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RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF

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TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010

French Muslim says he has mistresses, not a polygamist PAGE 14

conspiracy theories

Apologize, for God’s sake By Badr ya Dar wish

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t was shocking to hear the news about the Sri Lankan New Year celebrations that were disrupted at the Jahra sports stadium. Nobody knows what happened exactly. Even the Ministry of Interior didn’t provide a proper explanation. Hardliners barged in while the people were celebrating and asked them to leave. Police were at hand, but what was their role? Did they stop these extremists from abusing the Sri Lankan community on their festive day? Or did they advise them to cut the party short and leave? Whatever happened, it’s a disgrace. And a shame for Kuwait. Sri Lankans are known to be mild-mannered people. They have been in our country for tens of years. We have never heard that they have rallied, demonstrated, clashed with the policed or acted violently. So why this reaction towards them? And why did the interior ministry allow this? Some of these hardliners claimed that there was liquor, dancing and mixed interaction at the party. Without asking the ambassador, I can assure you there were no drinks in that party. Maybe cola and water. I doubt that a party with thousands of people can afford to distribute alcohol, even if the organizers wanted to. It’s a norm in some Western embassies in Kuwait to offer alcoholic drinks in their functions if they are held on embassy premises, and not even in hotels. So can you imagine the Sri Lankan embassy allowing it in a stadium in Jahra? Excuse me! Isn’t Kuwait a country of institutions? Or when it comes to a country like Sri Lanka, we forget the role of institutions and act in a bizarre way. May I ask the same guys who entered the stadium and stopped the festivities, would they dare do the same at an American or British celebration? Or German of French? Canadian or Russian etc, etc? Theoretically speaking, let’s say hooligans did this. And hooliganism could be present in any country. I didn’t see any proper reaction in the media or the parliament, except for MP Aseel Al-Awadhi asking the interior minister of details of what happened at the doomed party. Where are the other parliamentarians? Or they don’t care for human rights? Or it doesn’t matter as these are Sri Lankan expats, and not important enough for our MPs to care for? Step on them, crush them, stop their festivals - it’s alright. The least we can do to compensate the Sri Lankan community is to issue a formal apology, which I haven’t heard so far from anyone, except a few individuals.

JAMADA ALAWAL 13, 1431 AH

Israel freezes building in East Jerusalem

Bashir declared winner in landmark Sudan polls

India cricket mogul Modi suspended in growing scandal

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Amir blasts Assembly, blames the constitution Sheikh Sabah: MPs want to please the ‘street’ with ‘illogical’ decisions By B Izzak

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in front of the chancellery yesterday. — AP

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah has strongly criticized the National Assembly for wasting development opportunities by foscusing on small issues and held the Kuwaiti constitution responsible for the ongoing political crisis in the country. In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allegemeine Zaintung, the Amir also said that the Assembly has disappointed the Kuwaiti people by wasting a long time in discussing issues not related to development. The Amir is in Germany at the start of a European tour that will also include Italy and the Vatican. Asked why Kuwait has been experiencing a political stalemate although it is the first democracy in the Gulf and that MPs are elected by the people, HH the Amir said that the people elect the Assembly which enjoys many powers. “It monitors the government and holds it accountable as well as it issues laws. But parliament has disappointed the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people,” he said. The Assembly has wasted a golden opportunity and a long time discussing issues far Continued on Page 14

MoI slammed over Lanka debacle By Khaled Abdullah and agencies KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti lawmaker has asked the interior minister to explain the disruption of the Sri Lankan New Year celebrations on Friday. The daylong celebration organized by the Sri Lankan embassy at Jahra Stadium was cancelled hours before its scheduled end after angry Kuwaitis invaded the field and demanded that the participants, estimated at more than 10,000, leave the premises.

The Kuwaitis, members of a conservative religious group, said that the celebrations violated Islamic rules by allowing men and women to mix and by playing music. Negotiations between the organizers, the police and the protestors failed to end the deadlock and the Sri Lankan ambassador urged his compatriots to leave the stadium to avoid an escalation of the tense situation. The police later said that the organizers had the proper papers to hold the celebrations at the

stadium. “I want to know who exactly ended the celebrations and whether the interior ministry had any role in the decision. I also want to know whether the organizers had the proper documents to go ahead with the celebrations and whether the interior ministry did anything to stop those who wanted to suspend them,” Aseel Al-Awadhi, one of the four women MPs in the Assembly, asked the interior minister. Continued on Page 14

Gunfire at Avenues after youths scuffle By A Saleh KUWAIT: Shots rang out at The Avenues mall yesterday after a huge fight broke out between two large groups of youths. Security forces surrounded the mall and shoppers were evacuated in the chaos that erupted after the shooting by unknown assailants. No fatalities were reported, but many of the youths were injured and taken to Farwaniya Hospital.

SANAA: A forensics officer takes samples from the scene where an attacker targeted the convoy of the British ambassador yesterday. — AP

British envoy to Yemen escapes suicide bombing SANAA: Britain’s envoy to Yemen Timothy Torlot yesterday narrowly escaped a bomb triggered by a suspected Al-Qaeda suicide attacker who hurled himself at the ambassador’s convoy in a Sanaa street, officials said. A Yemen security official said “the ambassador was not hurt” in the attack, which was launched as Torlot’s two-car convoy neared the British embassy compound. “The failed terrorist attack that tar-

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geted the British ambassador in Sanaa carries the fingerprints of Al-Qaeda,” said the interior ministry website, citing security authorities. The interior ministry later named the assailant as Othman Ali Nouman Al-Salawi, 22, from Taiz south of Sanaa, according to the defence ministry website 26sep.net. It said that the “terrorist Salawi has received training Continued on Page 14

Kuwait denies ban on Palestine team By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Director of the International Athletics Championship Shafi Al-Hajeri denied yesterday the reports published in the media on a ban by the Kuwaiti authorities or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the disabled Palestinian national athletics team to participate in the championship. “The whole news is a big lie. Kuwait always welcomes all Arab teams to come and participate. We provide all facilities and we invited the Palestinian team to participate and agreed to issue visas for them,” Al-

Hajeri told Kuwait Times yesterday, providing all necessary documents from email correspondence with the Palestinian officials. The problem is not about the permission to enter Kuwait, he said. “The Palestinian team replied to our invitation that they didn’t have budget to come and said they needed Kuwait to finance their participation. They also demanded paying for 20 members to participate although most of them are administrative staff and not players,” he said. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: (From left) Malcolm Brinded, executive director of Upstream International, Shell International BV, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive officer of Total, and Saad Al-Shuwaib, chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, attend the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Oil price not hampering global recovery: Kuwait Total to end fuel sale if Iran sanctioned KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah said yesterday that current oil prices of $75 to $85 a barrel do not hamper the global economic recovery. “So far in 2010, we have witnessed a stable level of oil prices at between 75 and 85 dollars a barrel,” the minister told the opening session of the 18th Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference. “This

price will not create hurdles for the world economic recovery,” said Sheikh Ahmad. Oil dipped yesterday, coming off 19-month highs as commodity prices were hit by a strengthening dollar and profit-taking. London’s Brent North Sea crude for June fell to 87.13 dollars per barrel, having earlier Continued on Page 14


NATIONAL

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State bodies submit 123 applications

Govt approves financial allowances for Kuwaitis KUWAIT: At its weekly meeting on Sunday morning, the Kuwaiti cabinet approved a number of financial incentives and allowances for Kuwaiti employees of various government bodies and departments. During the meeting, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan briefed the cabinet about a recent Civil Service Commission (CSC) meeting at which 123 applications submitted by state bodies requesting additional financial incentives and allowances for staff were discussed and approved.

BERLIN: During his current official European tour, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday received the former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher at his residence in the German capital. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Chief of Kuwait’s National Guards Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, along with other members of HH the Amir’s accompanying delegation. — KUNA

Most Filipina maids in ME ‘undocumented’ MANILA: Most Filipina domestic workers employed in the Middle East are undocumented having failed to go through the necessary processes required by the Philippines, according to the Philippine labor secretary. “Around 70 percent of Filipina domestic helpers were able to get work in the Middle East without going through the necessary procedures required by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration before flying to their work destinations,” Marianito Roque said. “This is a major problem in the labor market, but we have already talked about the reforms that would be introduced to address this issue.” Roque was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a three-day conference currently taking place in Doha for Philippine

labor attaches, welfare officers and staff from the country’s Middle East embassies’ units to assist nationals working in the region. The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment has been pushing for the imposition of basic requirements to address the problem including a standard minimum $400 monthly wage, a requirement of certification from the country’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority verifying the domestic workers’ competence, a language training program in the country of their destination and a strict implementation of no placement fee for their deployment. According to Roque, the Philippines is now stricter than it previously was regarding the procedures to send domestic

helpers to work abroad and wants to ensure that they have definite job offers from employers in their destination country. Registered placement agencies could lose their licenses if they were found to be involved in backdoor deployment of workers. The Philippines now wants to reduce the deployment of domestic helpers and to encourage more skilled male workers to take jobs in the overseas labor market since there is an increasing demand for such workers in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the labor secretary said. Manila is requesting that Qatar reinstate the 121,000 work visas quota based on an agreement reached between the Philippines and Qatar last year, Roque said. — Agencies

The CSC officials reviewed the applications taking into consideration current inflation rates and the needs of the government’s recently unveiled major development plan, as well as labor market requirements and the necessity of maintaining a balance between the needs of the public and private sectors, Al-Roudhan revealed afterwards. The minister revealed that the CSC had approved the introduction of additional allowances for Kuwaiti engineers, pharmacists and employees in the Amiri, Crown Prince’s and Prime Minister’s Diwans. Kuwaiti social workers, Kuwaiti accountants holding the necessary qualifications, law professionals, Kuwaiti cabinet secretariat employees, Bachelor’s degree-level economists, port employees and workers in the Public Authority for Housing Welfare and Environment Public Authority were also

given additional allowances. Speaking after the meeting, which was chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed AlSabah, Al-Roudhan said that the CSC also approved further financial allowances for Kuwaiti staff with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the civil information authority and the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DCGA), along with a special bonus for Kuwaiti air traffic controllers, as well as for Kuwaiti Savings and Credit Bank staff, Kuwaiti Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) personnel, Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs clerics and Kuwaiti Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) staff, who also had an application for monthly bonuses of between KD 70 and KD 200 each approved. Among other Kuwaiti employees of state bodies

Forum discusses role of editors with new technologies KUWAIT: At a forum in KUNA’s headquarters yesterday, prominent Kuwaiti and Arab media figures debated the role of editors-in-chief of newspapers in the Arab world in light of expanding technological and communication advancements. Speaking at the fourth session of the 7th Arab Media Forum, which started on Sunday, Walid Al-Nisf of Kuwait’s Al-Qabas Daily, explained that an editor-inchief needs to be strategic.

“Their role is basic, to ensure the success of the newspaper,” he said. An editor-in-chief should be keen on remaining objective and immune to political influence, said the veteran Kuwaiti journalist in his lecture. He also spoke on the difficulties that decision making editors repeatedly face. Facing social barriers, such as certain taboos and basic values, are common and “flexibility may be required when encountering such conditions.”

Jaber Al-Harmi, editor-inchief of the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq, said that a media organization interested in success must stay ahead of rapid technological innovations. “Any institution that remains in its place unmoved, will lag far behind,” he pointed out. An editor-in-chief must be skilled in using computers and cannot be less informed about this domain than the editors who work under him, he added. The editor-in-chief of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Yom Al-Sabea explained that good staff planning is more than just installing state of the art devices. “The news room needs to be able to supply all sections of the newspaper with

various news and reports from all over of the world,” he said. An editor-in-chief in the Arab world “suffers a lot from political leadership because he is held accountable for certain notions promoted by the newspaper,” said Ibrahim AlBashmi of the Bahraini newspaper Al-Waqt. Political conditions in Arab countries coerce the editors-in-chief to deal and be diplomatic with various parts of the social spectrum, he added. Faisal Makram, of the Yemeni newspaper Al-Ghad, praised communication technology for allowing newspapers to cross into previously untouchable areas, such as corruption. — KUNA

the Municipality’s Legal Department. Also during the meeting, HH the Prime Minister briefed the cabinet about his recent visit to Paris and his meeting there with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, during which he delivered a letter from HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah. The premier said that his talks with President Sarkozy had dealt with the historic ties between Kuwait and France, as well as means of boosting economic, investment, cultural and defense-related cooperation between the two nations. He noted that President Sarkozy had reiterated France’s commitment to Kuwait’s security, safety and sovereignty. HH Sheikh Nasser also briefed the cabinet about the agreements signed with France on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, diplomatic cooperation, and the environment. — KUNA

Mixed views over payment allowances By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The recent news of the Cabinet’s approval of civil service pay rise has sparked mixed views among citizens. Those benefiting from the government’s decision found the news to be a long-awaited answer for their hopes to get a pay raise. To others, working for specific sectors in governmental bodies, the news came as a shock and disappointment as the pay rise decision did not include them. Many citizens expressed their discontent regarding the vagueness of the draft that was published in the local media. “The articles are not clear. They do not explain whether or not people working for the Ministry of Higher Education for example are included in the clause that concerns those working in what the article called the ‘education sector,” said one Abdullah AlHajeri, a 32-year-old citizen. Al-Hajeri said that although according to his profession as an engineer he will benefit from new law, he

in the news

KUWAIT: The fourth session of the 7th Arab Media Forum in progress. — KUNA

receiving pay rises will be Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) staff, Ministry of Education (MoE) personnel, staff at the country’s museums and workers in the health ministry’s preventive health centers. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti engineers working in the private sector will all receive a KD 420 monthly allowance on top of their pay, while those with Masters and PhD qualifications will receive an additional KD 75 and KD 150 each respectively. Kuwaiti Zakat House employees, meanwhile, will see their monthly allowance rise to KD 300 each, while the cabinet is still discussing a Ministry of Justice proposal to grant Kuwaiti legal experts further financial incentives and introduce special allowances for members of the Fatwa and Legislative Department, the Ministry of Interior’s Interrogation Department and

Co-op privatization KUWAIT: The head of the Kuwait Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUCCS) has warned that any move to privatize Kuwait’s co-ops would lead to a disastrous outcome for the country’s economy. “Privatizing Co-ops would lead to the destruction of the Cooperative movement in the country,” said KUCCS chairman Dr. Hussein AlDuwaihees, emphasizing the Co-op movement’s central role in combating price increases and supporting consumers by keeping prices down. Al-Duwaihees was speaking at a press conference held to announce the union’s forthcoming launch of a new price control committee, which he revealed will include representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, reported AlWatan. The new committee will monitor and regulate the prices of items at all Kuwait’s Co-ops, combating any attempts to increase prices by more than ten percent of their original cost. Resignation threats KUWAIT: The Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) staff union has rejected the threats of resignation over non-payment of bonuses contained in a petition started by a SCB worker. While confirming that the union would look into the grievances outlined in the petition as part of its duty to address any problems faced by SCB staff, union head Jaber Al-Rakaibi emphasized the union’s rejection of any such threats, whatever the reason. Al-Rakaibi also told Al-Watan that the issue of bonuses was settled last Tuesday during a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Housing and of Development Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

doubts that it will result in a better living standard for citizens. “Each time the government gives its citizens a raise, the merchants and businessmen, those big names dominating the market, would also raise the prices of commodities. It defeats the purpose of the government’s decision to give a raise,” he said. He noted that government officials concerned with the Ministry of Commerce should tackle this issue immediately. Ahmad Al-Mansour, a 28-year-old said that the law did not do justice to the people working for government bodies who have high school diplomas. “In some ministries, employees with high school diplomas comprise a very high percentage. But they are not included in this raise,” he said. With salaries that do not exceed KD 500, many of these employees, noted Al-Mansour are more in need of a raise than those who make over KD 1,000. Suad Al-Bloushi, a 30-year-old engineer who works for one of the ministries says

that the raise they were granted was much needed, given that their hard work was equated with that of other employees with less education and less tasks and responsibilities at the job. “It’s good to see that the government is finally choosing to give pay increments to those with jobs in the professional fields,” she said. The young engineer said that it is too early for people to judge this law. That it will still be discussed and studied and modified, in accordance with what is best, she hopes. “I strongly believe, however, that the basis for giving increments should be based on education level. It will not only encourage people to study in order to earn a degree and therefore more pay, but it is also going to form a solid backbone to the country’s plans for development,” said Al-Bloushi. That being said, she quickly noted that expertise is not to be undermined, but a stress on education level will boost the performance of government bodies and therefore bring a more positive outcome.

Letters to Muna Al-Fuzai Hi Muna, appreciate your guts in trying to open the eyes of those that read the newspaper. You are right. It is easy to blame others even though we make our own mistakes. This has been the practice. It is normal to issue driving licenses but proper training should be administered before doing so. In my opinion, practical training should be conducted on the road, and not inside a walled compound. For example, congestions are caused at the roundabout because motorists do not bother to wait till vehicles pass by. They simply enter the roundabout without even considering what could cause a big traffic problem on four other roads. It is easy to blame expatriates or the reckless motorist. All over the GCC, the roads are being monitored. Why are no actions being taken against motorists? More policemen need to be deployed at busy junctions and on the roads. It will ease the situation. Normally bicycles, very old vehicles, damaged cars cause traffic problems. Another big problem is that buses do not have any designated stops. They halt even in the middle of the road so that passengers can enter and exit. Hope these situations will change soon. This is because people like you are vigilant about this matter. Regards, Reader

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Dear Madam, Your article in Kuwait Times entitled, ‘Expats and Driving Licenses’ is well-appreciated. You have written facts that many MoI officers may not be able to digest. Everyone, including expats, should be held responsible for the violation of law. We have read one more news/rumors that are related to renewing driving licenses. We heard that the government is planning to renew driving licenses along with residence permits, every two years ! Moreover, along with renewal, one must undergo a driving test again. This rule is applicable only on expats! If the government is serious about maintaining road/traffic safety, they have to think about in a broad manner rather than target expats. Regards Reader Hello Muna, After reading your previous two articles, I’ve noticed that you seem to have a certain animosity towards anything Islamic. Like it or not Muna, this is an Islamic country. This country wasn’t created when the British carved our borders like some would want us to think, or it wasn’t first freed when the Americans came to this country to chase out Saddam. No. This

land was the land of Islam under the Islamic Empire for many, many centuries. Khalid Bin Al-Waleed walked his army through this land and fought against the oppressors. So we, as Islamists are the real patrons, while others are the ones that create a new legislation to this land. This is especially now, with the envoys being sent out through the embassies. Maybe the government should have done it in a different way. But, the Wali Al-Amr’s job as a man that takes the rein, is to lead this ‘MUSLIM’ country is to spread Islam. It is under Islam that an obligatory action is carried out. Dawwah is a must and it isn’t just limited to Kuwait’s borders, or limited to the doors of the mosques like so many liberals would wish it to be. I have no doubt that your opinion on the establishment of Islamic Law in its totality would be negative. I say Fear God if you are a Muslim. And whenever you hear something about Islam being established, you might not like to ask yourself, “If the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) were here, in front of me now, and requested this from me, would I say the same thing? “If you’re not a Muslim and are some Christian or Atheist in disguise, then put forth your debate. Come and challenge me or anyone else to whatever doubts you have, and I swear by God that we’ll be able to refute anything and everything you bring forward. Everything when looked at from a distance seems weird to the onlooker, even Islam. So for instance, the cutting of the hand of a thief in Islam. People who are non-Muslim look at this as being a barbaric practice. The only information they have on the issue how sentences are executed. They don’t know about how it isn’t applied during droughts or hard times, that it isn’t applied on an amount of money sufficient for a meal. It is only applied on the one who stole, not out of need, but out of gluttony. Also, people seem to forget the environment in which these laws are applied. Back then, people lived on the edge of life and death. Stealing someone’s food or money could be fatal. So let’s say, for instance, that a man was traveling in the desert for two weeks. He has just enough water to complete the journey. And now, someone comes and steals his water. That in itself amounts to indirect murder. Things like this. Everything, even the hijab has its positive aspects. If you want to have some more insight or have questions about an issue, I’d be more than happy to clarify it for you. But don’t just reach conclusions and begin hating anything that is Islamic before the subject is given its due right. If not, then you’d be no more than a bigot ranting on this platform that oddly enough Kuwait Times has provided for you. Thank You Abu Ayoub muna@kuwaittimes.net


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NATIONAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Economic Society holds seminar

Praise for Kuwait privatization bill By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: A number of prominent local economists yesterday underlined the importance of the private sector’s role and of small businesses in Kuw ait’s development. Speaking at a seminar entitled ‘The Development Plan and the Future of Small Businesses,’ held at the Kuw ait Economic Society’s (KES) headquarters, the economists argued that the privati-

DAMASCUS: A partial view of the opening session of the fourth Arab Businesswomen Forum in Damascus yesterday. —KUNA

An open letter to US President Obama Dear Mr. President, According to recent news reports, you are struggling to fulfill your commitment to close Guantanamo in part because you are having trouble finding other countries that will take detainees. I know a country that is ready, willing and able to take two: Kuwait. Kuwait is our faithful ally. The US Ambassador to Kuwait has described the relationship between the two countries as “foundational” and has acknowledged that Kuwait’s logistical support has been “essential” to our military operations in Iraq. Furthermore, Kuwait has established a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center and program to reintegrate detainees with their families and society. Yet the center stands empty, and its staff idle, while two Kuwaiti citizens languish in their eighth year of imprisonment at Guantanamo. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with the two Kuwaiti detainees who were recently released by order of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., which granted their petitions for habeas corpus after examining the evidence and concluding that the United States had no basis to detain them as enemy combatants. The case of one of them, Fouad Al-Rabiah, is particularly instructive. At the time he was taken to Guantanamo, Mr. AlRabiah was a middle-aged man with a wife and four children, twenty years in a job with

the same employer, a documented record of voluntary relief work, and no connection with any extremist group. A CIA analyst who examined Mr. Al-Rabiah’s case shortly after he arrived in Guantanamo concluded that it was the classic situation of someone who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite this, the U.S. claimed that Mr. Al Rabiah was a high-level Al Qaeda financier and supply chief during the battle of Tora Bora. As the federal court found, however, these fantastic claims were based almost entirely on false “confessions” wrung out of Mr. Al Rabiah through the same abusive and coercive interrogation methods designed by the North Korean and Chinese Communists during the Korean War, and for the same purpose: to extract false confessions from American POWs that could be exploited for propaganda purposes. The court explained, “Al Rabiah’s interrogators began using abusive techniques that violated the Army Field Manual and the Geneva Convention...[T]he use of these methods is likely to ‘yield unreliable results...and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.’” Not surprisingly, Mr. Al Rabiah’s statements given under these abusive conditions were so absurd and self-contradictory that, as the court pointed out, “even the Government’s own interrogators did not believe them.” Yet the Department of Justice

- your Department of Justice - vigorously defended these interrogation techniques in court and argued that Mr. Al Rabiah should continue to be imprisoned based on the statements obtained through those methods. Officials of your administration have now informed the Government of Kuwait that they will not even consider returning the last two Kuwaiti detainees unless Kuwait imposes restrictive conditions on Mr. Al Rabiah and the other Kuwaiti detainee released by the federal court - as if they were paroled criminals instead of men who never should have been imprisoned in the first place. This makes no sense, either as a matter of justice or necessity. The remaining Kuwaiti detainees will be placed into the rehabilitation program, and Kuwait has promised that it will take all the security measures necessary for the safety and security, not just of the United States and its citizens, but of Kuwait and its citizens as well. The way to close Guantanamo, and to make America safer, is there. Allies like Kuwait are willing to help. Please give them the chance.

Dear Sir, I read your article on the privatization of KOC - in the KT dated April 19. You have a valid point. Let me first talk a little about India. Until 1997, the Government was the sole telecommunications/telephone services provider in India. The government-run department charged me (and everyone else) 30 Rupees per minute for a call from Madras to Bombay. Subsequently, private operators were allowed to enter the marketplace and today the charge for the same call is 29 paisa per minute —- less than one hundredth of what I paid in 1997! Similarly, the state-run postal department was charging Rs 24 for sending a letter from Mumbai to Delhi. After private courier companies were allowed to step in, the charge has fallen to just Rs 10-15! I understand that KPTC of Kuwait was exploiting the public (taking them for a ride?) until the government permitted private operators like Citybus to step in, although I realize that this is hearsay. Broadly speaking, the government must confine itself to matters related to governing only: Law and Order, Intelligence/ Defense/ Passport and Diplomatic Affairs/ Currency/

Legislation on various matters. The govt should not be involved in commercial activities! When the present Indian government decided to sell its PROFIT-making companies- privatization- there was lot of opposition and the Govt has to drop its plans! Here your point has won. I know of two excellent companies, both run/administered by Indian firm TATA. The Govt owns majority shares (51 percent) in Tata Iron, while TATA owns just 7 percent with the remaining shares held by the public, but crucially the management of the firm is left to TATA itself, which is one of the best steel companies in the world! The moment its administration is left to the government sector, it will sink within a year. Why? Because nobody will work in a government company in India. But I admit your point that in Kuwait why should a golden egg-laying goose be gifted to foreigners/the private sector? That is a valid question/contention. Since 90 percent of Kuwait’s GDP/revenue comes from oil, your viewpoint has some substance. Thanks, A KT Reader

Judicial buildings KUWAIT: The problem regarding the lack of a suitable number of judicial buildings is on its way to be addressed, reported Al-Qabas. Frustration had spread through Palace of Justice where the majority of judicial concerns are carried out. The palace houses the headquarters of several courts such as; the appeals court, the cassation court, the high court and the commercial court. All trials regarding these courts are carried out in the same location. Head of the development plan committee, Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Development and Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, asked the supreme judicial council to provide the committee with a list of their needs. The supreme council made a list of priorities which includes establishing 14 buildings throughout the governorates of the State. The committee expressed a willingness to meet their demands. Officer’s assaulter KUWAIT: The Criminal Court found a Kuwait Municipality lawyer guilty of assaulting a traffic police officer while he was doing his job, reported AlWatan. The court found him responsible for causing the officer several injuries and sentenced him to four years in prison and hard labor. The lawyer assaulted the officer in response to a ticket he received for parking in a no parking zone in front of the Kuwait Stock Exchange building.

KUWAIT: Firefighters had to use a special crane to remove a car that landed on a shed used as a car park for a private villa in South Surra yesterday. The driver sustained minor injuries and he was taken to a hospital by an ambulance. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: ‘Development Plan and the Future of the Small Projects’ seminar in progress. — Photo by Joseph Shagra representing real interaction with the transformation being witnessed in Kuwait, saying that it is clear the development plan is focused on implementing strategies that allow the private sector to perform its natural role in economic activities in order to turn Kuwaiti society into one which demands real partnership in the production and development of national wealth and the creation of real job opportunities, while reviving the role of the middle classes through productivity and working for the collective good. Fahad Al-Joaan, a member of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that small businesses are vital in stimulating the establishment of creative initiatives that encour-

age young people into participating in development, thus creating a stronger partnership with the private sector. In the last few years, Kuwait has witnessed numerous public sector initiatives carried out at great cost but without any great success, said Al-Joaan, asserting that private sector businesses could perform far more effectively and efficiently in this regard. AIC Deputy Executive Director Farad Lyan voiced hope that the seminar would help in implementing the private sector’s efforts to bring small businesses to the fore. Lyan pointed out that the growth of small businesses had been crucial for the progress of the economies of developed nations.

Audit Bureau’s powers to be extended in the news

letter to the editor

State and private sector organizations are all in the same boat regarding the issue of development, said Al-Baseeri, pointing out that the plan had been approved by both government and parliament. The minister asserted that the plan would open doors for the Kuwaiti private sector and provide employment opportunities for young Kuwaitis, encouraging them to get involved in the private sector and to play an active part in contributing towards the plan’s implementation. He stressed the private sector’s crucial role and the importance of supporting it and allowing it to participate fully through providing it with all means of financial support. Another speaker at the seminar, Arab Investment Company (AIC) chairman Najat AlSoweidi, said that society would benefit greatly from the development plan since it would create a more balanced budget and increase general expenditure on development-related activities, increasing productivity and reducing the current public sector expenditure which stands at $4.5 billion annually. This can be achieved through encouraging the private sector’s participation and assistance, which will maintain greater fiscal balance, said Al-Soweidi. KES chairperson Rola Dashti said that yesterday’s seminar was a prelude to the regional conference for small businesses which the society will be holding shortly. The seminar had attracted attention from young people on issues of national and regional concern related to privatization, she said. It also drew attention to the importance of young people’s participation in the development cycle and in providing a stable environment in which young people can contribute towards building their nation, Dr. Dashti continued. She stressed the seminar’s importance in

zation bill w ill allow Kuw ait’s private sector to participate in state projects and help in successfully implementing the development plan. Representing His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah at yesterday’s event, transport minister Mohammad Al-Baseeri said that the plan is considered an incentive for young people to participate in the country’s development and in carrying out the projects included.

Jahra crackdown KUWAIT: A major police operation across Jahra resulted in the arrest of 68 Asians of various nationalities who were illegally residing in the country, along with two Bangladeshi thieves who were caught redhanded with a truckload of stolen fire extinguishers. The operation, which was carried out at night to take advantage of the element of surprise, was led by Major Mutair Al-Sabeel and directed by Brigadier General Mohammad Al-Enezi and his assistant Brigadier General Mohammad AlDayeen, reported Al-Watan. It came as part of the Ministry of Interior’s comprehensive efforts to crack down on illegal residents.

KUWAIT: The parliamentary legislative committee’s recent failure to unanimously approve a number of requests to lift the immunity of a number of MPs was caused solely by a lack of quorum, according to committee rapporteur Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabae. Dr. Al-Tabtabae told Al-Rai that

during a meeting of the committee with Audit Bureau representatives, those present discussed a proposal to extend the bureau’s jurisdiction to include the secret expenses of some sensitive “entities and bodies.” The MP said that in response to a motion to grant the Audit Bureau

in my view

The bedoon dossier

authority to refer individuals for prosecution, bureau officials had expressed a wish not to be granted such powers, insisting that the Audit Bureau’s role should be limited to informing the relevant authorities of illegal acts in order for them to take the appropriate action.

Court drops charges on eight accused of jihad By Hanan Al-Saadoun

By Fouad Al-Obaid reat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. We are today, in Kuwait, in a rather awkward situation whereby, despite the fact that we are well into the 21st century. Issues of the 20th century are still pending to be solved and should not be left without a permanent solution. Today in 2010, we still have thousands of individuals that are non-citizens of any nation, and are present on Kuwaiti territory without any real paper or official recognition. The theory that has been adopted and is believed by many that a small segment of thousands of people who claim to be stateless have valid legal claims to the Kuwaiti nationality by its territorial presence prior to the political formation of the state post-protectorate in 1961. Many of those who are today stateless are in that condition. This is because their parents have destroyed their original citizenship documents from other countries and have resided illegally in Kuwait. For the time being, being stateless gave people equal rights to Kuwaitis until the late 1980’s. Hence, the advantages outweighed their loss of original nationality. This, however, started becoming problematic. After a long time, when the problem was never really solved, the situation spun out of hand. This leads us to today’s situation. Whereby, regardless of the real reasons to not legalize their stay, and whether those that deserve nationality have not been filtered, many years have passed. Today the situation is not yet resolved. Despite various legislations passed trying to bring an end to the plight of many via the naturalization of 2,000 individuals per year. It was passed by the Parliament several years ago. Till today, this legislation was not rendered effective. Many today are suffering as a result of poor policy implemented in that area. By analyzing the situation and placing it in the wider context of our region, it is today very dangerous to have people that are not nationals who have been treated unjustly for a prolonged period of time - against out Islamic morals might I remind - and the threat of revolt or loyalty should conflict arise. It is also an international problem that affects the country’s image. As a nation, we ought to have a clean slate. Kuwait is known to be generous with countries of the entire world. However, we have yet to find the courage to resolve a situation that should no longer be, especially when placed in an international context of people in different countries. In a similar condition, those that were nationalized effectively closed their respective pending files. I propose that we naturalize on a priority-based method: Bedoons that are educated holding higher education degrees starting with PhD holders, MA holders followed by BA holders whose desire is to integrate into Kuwaiti society. Their naturalization is directly beneficial to the State. It is also preferable to naturalize those that have a family in Kuwait that, and those that uphold the morals and traditions of Kuwait. The process should be done fairly quickly. At a time when Kuwait is aspiring to become a regional and global financial and business hub, this dossier is one that we need to bring a firm end to - effectively and swiftly. fouad@kuwaittimes.net

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KUWAIT: The criminal court of appeals struck down a four year jail sentence and declared all those accused in the jihad of Afghanistan, eight in total, innocent. A Lawyer of one of the accused denied the charges and said the investigation launched by detectives were not serious. The lawyer said his client suffers from schizophrenia and gave himself up voluntarily towards the end of 2007 to Kuwait’s Embassy in Pakistan. He said his client had nothing to do with Afghanistan, had never even been there, and that there was no physical evidence linking him to the country. He added that the investigation led by detectives cannot be used to convict the suspect. He explained that while

the detectives charged the second accused of transferring KD 700 to the first accused and that the money was kept in the second accused personal account, the officers were unable to provide any evidence. He pointed out that the suspect did not even have an account in the bank and authorities were unable to produce a bank withdrawal slip. According to an investigator, the first accused was in Afghanistan and trained to hold arms and fight. He added that he joined the Taleban and participated in many training courses as well as met the other accused suspects. Lawyer Bashar Al-Nassar said he expected the ruling, that it was fair and clean, and reflects the fact that Kuwait’s judiciary cannot be affected by the media.


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South African Freedom Day message Ashraf Y. Suliman South African Ambassador t is indeed an honor and privilege as South Africa’s Ambassador to the State of Kuwait to convey a special message on the occasion of a very special day in the lives of every South African. As we celebrate Freedom Day it is equally important to extend our gratitude to our friends in the international community for fighting side by side with us to achieve our Freedom. We reiterate our heartfelt gratitude to the international community for its unwavering support to our struggle for freedom. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, thus it is incumbent upon us to reflect on this important historical event. We recall the words of Madiba on his release, when he said: “I stand before you, not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” These words inspire us not to rest, until we achieve the ideals of a society free of poverty and deprivation. In the two decades since the release of Madiba, our country has changed fundamentally. President Mandela united this country behind the goal of a non- sexiest, non-racial, democratic and prosperous South Africa. As we celebrate Freedom Day, let us recommit ourselves to building a better future for all South Africans, black and white. Our long-term infrastructure program will help us grow faster. Our education and skills programs will increase our productivity and competitiveness. Our Industrial

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Policy Action Plan and our new focus on green jobs, will build stronger and more labor absorbing industries. Our rural development program will improve rural productivity, and the lives of people living in rural areas. Underlining our strategy for economic recovery and growth is our capital investment program. We remain seized to strive harder to build a strong developmental state. This year, 2010, is a year of action. As a government, we are committed to five priorities: education, health, rural development and land reform, creating decent work, and fighting crime. In addition, we will work to improve the effectiveness of local government, infrastructure development and human settlements. As South Africa, we have voluntarily committed ourselves to specific emission reduction targets, and will continue working on our long-term climate change mitigation strategy. We will support efforts to speed up the political and economic integration of the SADC region, and promote intra-regional trade and investment. South Africa continues to play a leading role in continental efforts to strengthen the Africa Union and its organs, and to work for

unity. We will focus energy on revitalizing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, as a strategy for economic development on the continent. The hosting of the FIFA World Cup makes 2010 truly a year of action. We have spent many years planning for this World Cup and we are determined to make a success of it. The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament. It is our fervent hope that hosting the FIFA World Cup will leave behind, once and for all, a legacy of undoing the historical marginalization of Africa and position Africa as a continent that is dynamic, growing and whose people have confidence in the future. We are committed to realistically banish Afro-pessimism forever. It is noteworthy to mention that the bilateral relations with the State of Kuwait is growing steadily. There is a sincere commitment by the political leadership of both countries to develop this relationship even further. In this regard, the exchange of high level visits in the coming months augurs well for taking this relationship to a higher level. We have also noted the presence of the private sector in seeking opportunities in both countries. People to People interaction will further enhance and solidify the brotherly relations that exist between Kuwait and South Africa. As we celebrate this august event, let us for a moment pause and seek the mercy of Almighty God to guide the Leadership of His Excellency President Jacob Zuma and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to bring peace, security and prosperity in the Republic of South Africa and the State of Kuwait. May God bless Africa

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society received a donation from students from the Kuwait National English School for Haitian earthquake victims. The KRCS said that the student’s donation is to lessen the suffering of earthquake victims in Haiti and reflect Kuwait’s devotion to support those in need around the world. KNES students presented the donation to the KRCS, who will transfer the money to Haiti and distribute it to those in need. —KUNA

Health Ministry needs 2,000 more nurses KUWAIT: Following the recent expansion at local hospitals, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is set to recruit a further 2,000 nurses to work at state health facilities across the country. The MoH has already approached the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for approval to employ the additional nursing staff, said Assistant MoH Undersecretary for Supportive Medicine Affairs Dr. Qais AlDuwairi. Dr. Al-Duwairi also announced that the health ministry is shortly to launch a new online application system to allow nurses to submit job applications via the ministry’s website, reported Al-Qabas. The senior health ministry official said that the new system will help not only in reducing overcrowding in the MoH recruitment departments, but will also help in reducing the time required to select suitable candidates as it will include several measures to exclude applicants who fail to meet the ministry’s rigorous employment criteria.

Killer’s sentence cut by two-thirds By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Appeals Court yesterday commuted a killer’s prison sentence from ten years to three years and four months. Representing the killer who murdered his victim in Sulaibiya, lawyer Faisal Al-Enezi argued that his client was not criminally responsible for the murder he committed as he had been acting in self defense.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Green Line group holds environment celebration By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has played an imperative role in improving the country’s environmental situation. In honor of his contributions, the Green Line Environment Group - Kuwait (GLEG) held a panoramic environmental celebration at the Scientific Center yesterday. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad played a pivotal role in Kuwait in facilitating the country’s participation as a signatory in international environmental treaties. The first was signed in 1961. HH was the first president of the High Environment Council. “Also, during his tenure as its president HH reconstructed the environmental sector in Kuwait and founded the Environmental Public Authority (EPA),” said Khalid Al-Hajiri, Chairman of GLEG during the conference. “Since HH was appointed to his post as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1963, he succeeded in solving many political crisis that may have turned into destructive wars that destroyed humanity and the environment. He also made efforts to ensure world security and peace, and he succeeded in solving many regional and Arab conflicts. Still, many countries demand his advice to solve their problems,” he added. “HH the Amir placed human prosperity, safety and security as the goal of his international policy. History can’t forget HH’s role in putting an end to the Black September events in 1970. He also played a main role in ending the Yemeni war in 1972. In addition, he interfered in ending the Lebanese Civil War and stopping the destruction,” highlighted Al-Hajiri. Al-Hajiri also announced the distribution of the complete issue of the Arab Environmental Expectations Report during the ceremony. “We appreciate the efforts of EPA in publishing the summary of the report. This cooperation also helps spread environmental awareness in the society, “ Al-Hajiri added. Green Line also announced its future agenda. “The group will train 6,000 environmental activists, where a 1,000 will be assigned to one governorate. They will be trained to preserve the environment, how to deal with disasters, and to spread environment awareness in the society within the next five years,” Al-Hajiri noted. GLEG announced the start of an important strategic project. “It’s the archiving and documenting of Kuwait’s environment history. In addition to finding the biggest Arabic electronic environmental encyclopedia, it includes the best environmental sources which society needs. We will also establish the biggest environmental educational awareness projects; the Green Library. This project will supply all of Kuwait’s schools with the necessary environmental

KUWAIT: Khalid Al-Hajiri (left) awarding Jinan Bu Shihri.

KUWAIT: Female students attending the ceremony. — Photos by Yasser AlZayyat sources,” he pointed out. From the legal aspect, Green Line also prepared projects. “We will start cooperating with some international authorities to execute the biggest environmental law project, which aims at improving the environmental legislation. The Group will also hold environmental symposiums on monthly basis,” he explained.

Member of the Municipal Council Jinan Boushehri stated that developed countries have been encouraging volunteerism. “Placing general benefit over vested interest is the path to inspirational behavior. This is evident in the work taken up by the Green Line Group. Kuwait has suffered from environmental negligence for many years. This

has badly affected its land, sea, and air. However, HH the Amir has given it adequate care,” she noted. Meteorologist Eisa Ramadan presented a report on the environmental disasters that took place in 2009, and explained how human negligence badly affects the environment and causes disasters.

Teachers host leadership development courses KUWAIT: The Leadership Development Academy of the Kuwait Teachers’ Society (KTS) recently invited teachers to take part in the academy’s first semester of the educational year 2010/2011. The program was held in cooperation with the Social Service and Continuing Education Center of the Kuwait University (KU).

“The academy is a specialized center that provides training to teachers through an elite team of academics,” said General Director of the Academy Abdurrahman AlJassar. He indicated that courses will improve the trainees’ skills in leadership and basic administration issues. The training courses of the first

semester will take place between October 2010 and January 2011. Recruitment will be restricted to Kuwaiti teachers. AlJassar urged all applicants to commit to the regulations on admission, and refer to the society’s headquarters in Al-Dasma to present their application and take part in an interview.

Kuwaiti delegation to attend Texas conference KUWAIT: On April 20, US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah K. Jones and Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Chairman Sami Al Rushaid wished “masalama” to the 35-person Kuwaiti delegation that will be attending the Offshore Technology Conference, to be held May 3-6, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Since 1993, the US Embassy has organized a Kuwaiti delegation to this 41-year-old show specializing in development of offshore resources. This year’s official Kuwait delegation, including 11 representatives from KOC and 25 from Kuwait’s most active private sector companies in oil and gas, is the largest and best in the 17-year history of Kuwait’s participation. KOC will have its own booth at the OTC and the delegation has several VIP invitations for evening events as well as site visits. Houston’s OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of oil drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. It is held annually at the Reliant Center in Houston and is among the 10 largest trade shows. Attendance consistently exceeds 50,000, and more than 2,500 companies from 35 countries exhibit in an area the size of 13 football fields. OTC includes attendees from around

the globe, with more than 110 countries represented at recent conferences. This year’s Kuwaiti delegation is being led by US Embassy Commercial Specialists Ahmed Yousef and Dina Al-Shawa. Forty-five corporate and US or Kuwait government officials attended the sendoff reception at the Marina Hotel. This year’s Kuwait delegation received generous cooperation from partners KOC, Qatar Airways, Cubical Services, Aref

Energy, Kuwait Transcontinental Shipping, Denton Wilde Sapte law firm, and the Marina Hotel. In addition to the local delegates, US and international companies Chevron, Halliburton, and Schlumberger also attended the reception, hosted by Commercial Counselor Nancy CharlesParker and the Commercial team from the US Embassy. For more information on OTC programs, the trade event

that can give your company a head start on state of the art technology, please contact Commercial Specialist, Dina Al-Shawa (Dina.AlShawa@trade.gov), Tel: 2-2591506 or 2259-1011 at the US Embassy, Kuwait. For those Kuwait companies unable to attend, please contact Ms. Al-Shawa for a list of the US technologies showcased at this show, which predicts the future of oil technology.


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Taxation before privatization: MP

kuwait digest

‘Legislation required before Privatization law passing privatization bill’ needs explanation By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: A member of Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) has warned that it would be a huge mistake to pass the privatization law before adopting a number of other items of legislation, namely taxation law. MP Jamaan Al-Harbish issued the warning during a seminar held at former MP Nasser Al-Sanea’s Diwan in Rawdha on Sunday evening. The seminar, entitled Al-Harbish said that in its current form Kuwait does not have the necessary ‘legislative environment’ to begin privatizing government institutions. “We do not have the required laws that will protect the rights of the state or of the citizens,” he asserted. “Even in the case of privatizing the Kuwait Airways Corporation, when the legislation was tailormade for the corporation, we are still witnessing numerous loopholes that are being exploited by high officials at the KAC.” The MP called on the Kuwaiti people to be attentive to the process of passing this legislation since it will affect their lives. Al-Harbish accused the members of the parliamentary financial committee of deliberately neglecting the country’s trade unions in their debate over the legislation. He also accused the privatization bill of not providing any solution regarding the increasing numbers of public sector workers. “The previous experiences we had with privatization proved to be unsuccessful, plus the law stipulates that the government guarantees the working conditions of employees in the privatized institutions for only five years, after which they will choose whether to stay in the corporation according to the rules of the private sector or to be transferred to a government position, which doesn’t solve the problem at all, because the sector will be privatized, and the government will still have to deal with the inflated work force,” Al-Harbish explained.

‘State And Citizens Under Privatization,’ was attended by various prominent figures who expressed a diverse range of views on the privatization issue. “In all the countries where privatization has been implemented, there is a taxation system, where corporations who get the right to invest in a government sector can contribute to the government budget, and that is why I think taxation, and other laws should be passed before privatization law,” said Al-Harbish, a member of ICM, as well as of the Development and Reform parliamentary block.

KUWAIT: MP Jamaan Al-Harbish, Ali Al-Mousa, Muhammad Al-Dallal, the head of ICM, Ahmad Al-Deyayn, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, and Nasser Al-Sanea’ at the seminar.— Photo by Ahmad Saeid The Islamist MP concluded that the countries where privatization has been implemented already had a highly qualified work force, and did not have a majority of low-paid expatriate workers, which also gave the citizens of those countries the opportunity to play an active part in their nations’ development. MP Marzouq Al-Ghanim asserted, however, that privatization is not a magic wand, nor it is the ultimate goal. “It is merely an instrument, a step in a sequence of proce-

dures that we need to take to start the reform of the Kuwaiti economy, and reduce dependence on oil revenues,” he insisted. Al-Ghanim said that privatization, like any other procedure, has ups and downs. “It is easy to protest against anything, but the problem is many of those who argue against privatization do not propose an alternative,” he said. The MP argued that the government needs to undertake the privatization process, and it will be better to pass legislation to

regulate this process rather than allowing the government to do whatever it sees fit in this matter. “Kuwait is the most socialist country in the world,” said AlGhanim, “because the public sector in Kuwait dominates the economy, and this in itself is a violation of the constitution, which declares that there should be ‘fair cooperation’ between the public and private sector in development.” Al-Ghanim asserted that privatization can provide an alternative income source for the

Kuwaiti people if they own shares in the corporations, operating the current public sector. “This will be much better than demanding salary rises, that will come with an increase in prices,” he noted. Former planning minister Ali Al-Mousa said that in order to achieve complete and balanced reform, there is a need for antimonopoly legislation to be introduced and consumer protection bodies to be founded before the privatization law is adopted. AlMousa stressed that the most important thing for citizens is to receive the best quality of services, regardless of whether these are provided by a public or private authority. “The government will still guarantee free medical service for citizens for example, regardless of whether the health sector is privatized or not,” he pointed out, adding, “We can also see that private universities provide an alternative for students who cannot find the opportunity to study at a government university.” Kuwaiti author Ahmad AlDeyayn said that the privatization legislation is unconstitutional and contains many structural inconsistencies. He argued that those who oppose privatization are not necessarily against the private sector, pointing out that the argument over privatization is global. “Some countries have had bad experiences with privatization,” he said, adding that Kuwait’s public sector has played a great role in the country’s development.

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n his column with Al-Qabas yesterday, Abdullatif Al-Duaij wrote on how it seems as though many people, including himself, do not understand the conflict between those who are for, and against, the privatization law. ‘The concept behind privatization in the country remains unclear,’ he added. The Kuwaiti economy, like all economies dependent on oil for its main source of income, has a special nature based on the price of oil, he wrote. The country earns money by selling oil while individuals make money through the state’s spending, he explained. ‘Should privatization be enforced, whoever owns the oil sector will take control of paying citizen’s salaries, not the economy, he pointed out. ‘Furthermore, would the state stop their policy of spending following privatization, or

Govt unable to spend funds allocated for development KUWAIT: Several leading local economists have asserted that the Kuwaiti government will be unable to expend the KD 8 billion allocated annually for each year of its recently unveiled fouryear KD 30 billion development plan. The unnamed economic experts told AlQabas that the government lacks the capability to utilize these sums of money. The economists noted that the government failed to allocate 60 percent of the budget allocated for investment in projects in recent years, extrapolating from this that it would encounter similar problems in coming years for several reasons, including: • Fixed capital funding • The low number of contractors signed up to expedite major projects. • Limits on manpower, particularly the restrictions on recruiting expatriate workers. • A lack of services, compounded by the failure to address the power and transportation requirements needed to accomplish the major projects, each of which needs an average of 18 months preliminary groundwork before work can get underway. • Legislative shortcomings, with the cabinet still needing to enforce a large number of rules regarding execution of the development plan.

Kuwait disabled athletes lead track, field championship KUWAIT: Kuwait’s team of disabled athletes led the scene of Kuwait’s first Disabled International Track and Field Championship on Sunday. The championship, which began Saturday, is the beginning of a series of competitions set to take place in Kuwait for the next few years. Kuwaiti athletes won three gold, five silver and three bronze medals while the Iraqi team won two gold, the UAE won one gold and one silver, Bahrain won one gold and bronze while Tunisia

and Uzbekistan each won a gold medal. Kuwaiti athlete Adel Al-Shehri came first in the shot put while Jassem Al-Kandari won first place in the javelin throw. Content with the results, Kuwaiti team manager Mohsin Al-Ajmi said the medals won in the first day of the tournament are enough for the team to qualify for the World Disabled Championships in New Zealand next year. The championship sees the participation of 12 teams and features three competitions in the javelin, discus, and hammer throw. —KUNA

Barrak Al-Heed

TEC spring festival at Egaila Beach KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) will organize a Spring Festival at the Egaila beach on April 30. It is being held as part of the events that the company has been organizing. The festival will start at 4:00 pm, said the Beach’s Supervisor Barrak AlHeed. He added that it will feature several activities that are scheduled for children and folklore shows. This is in addition to an oriental music concert that will feature participation from various TECcertified singers. Al-Heed further asserted the significance that the company gives to Corporate Social Responsibility, urging citizens and residents to take part in events that are held as part of the spring season celebrations.

would they continue to subsidize goods and ‘refresh’ the market whenever necessary or whenever investors start to complain?’ ‘If the state continues their spending approach, then what’s the point of privatization?’ he questioned. ‘On the other hand, should services and goods fall under market price rates, how would citizens cope with the increase of prices without the government’s support, especially considering their claims that their current salaries are not enough to cope with their expenses?’ ‘Who will have control over the prices?’ he wondered. ‘In other words, would our economy be affected by the market’s requirements, citizens’ requirements, MPs’ pressure or be left in the hands of merchants to take care of?’ ‘We need someone to enlighten us on this matter,’ he concluded.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Alcohol duo in police net

Drunk girl held while looking for boyfriend KUWAIT: A young woman was arrested after she was caught driving under the influence of alcohol while searching for her boyfriend, reported Al-Watan. The girl was heavily intoxicated after spending a night with her boyfriend and went searching for him as soon as she realized he had disappeared. She was eventually pulled over at a security checkpoint and arrested when police realized she was drunk. Police brought her back to the police station while she begged them to let her go so that she could continue searching for her lost boyfriend. Alcohol trade Two citizens were arrested in the Hawally governorate while selling imported alcohol, reported Al-Watan. Police decided to monitor the location where the citizens were caught after investigators reported that an illegal operation was expected to take place there. The two were sent to the proper authorities.

Al-Baghli Dutiful Son Award 2010 launched KUWAIT: Al-Baghli Dutiful Son Award 2010 is officially launched, said the award’s chairman Ibrahim Al-Baghli in a press conference. Al-Baghli said Sunday evening that the award’s aims go along with the plans of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor of promoting public enthusiasm over promoting social solidarity. The award aims to encourage voluntary work in serving the elderly and stressing positive behaviors of sons and daughters towards their parents and grandparents according to the Islamic principles and values and the Kuwaiti traditions, he pointed out. The award’s higher organizing committee held several activities and will be holding more, including a photography competition in cooperation with Kuwait Journalists Association and a short story writing competition on treating parents in cooperation with the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL), he added. Meanwhile, deputy director of the award’s higher organiz-

Missing daughter An Iraqi girl went missing after she left her sister’s home in Abdullah Al-Mubarak, reported Al-Watan. The girl ran away from home after her family was naturalized and expected to earn Kuwaiti citizenship. A case was opened at the local police station and authorities are searching for the young woman. Shooting An Egyptian man approached officials at the Ali Sabah AlSalem police station and informed officials that the car rental shop he works at was targeted with gunfire, reported Al-

Watan. A case was opened, and investigators have opened up a case in search of the attackers. Vicious brawl A large fight that began in Taimaa carried over to the Jahra Hospital when two youths started a fight over a previous dispute, reported Al-Watan. When the fight escalated to the point where one of the youths was shot, the brawlers decided to stop the fight so that the youth could receive medical attention. However, the brawl resumed shortly after the youths reached the hospital. Security guards were able to put the situation under control and several of the fighters were placed under arrest. Fugitive held A GCC national was arrested at the Abdaly border checkpoint when it was discovered that he was trying to access the country using his brother’s passport, reported Al-Qabas. An inspection into his true identification revealed that he was wanted for

a drug-related crime for which he was sentenced to serve a five-year prison sentence. Customs officials also found an amount of hashish hidden in the criminal’s car. He was taken to the proper authorities. Employee mugged Police arrested two Egyptian men who were instructed to kidnap and mug a fellow compatriot by their Kuwaiti sponsor, reported Al-Qabas. The victim, who is sponsored by the same man, explained to police that his sponsor organized the attack because of a financial dispute. Police arrested the two attackers and found them in possession of the victim’s wallet and cell phone. They then launched an investigation in search of the sponsor, whose whereabouts remain unknown. Blackmail A young woman informed police at the Hawally police station that a man she knows online threatened to publish private photos and video

footage of her should she fail to pay him an amount of money, reported Al-Rai. The girl reported that she was fooled into trusting the young man and shared with him photos and video clips of herself naked via a webcam. A case was opened and investigators are searching for the blackmailer. Suspects escape A high ranked police officer found himself in a bad situation after he allowed two suspects to drive themselves to the Public Prosecutor’s Department in their own vehicles, reported AlRai. The police arrested a citizen and his wife after they confessed to torturing their Nepali maid in their Salmiya home. While police were preparing to take them to the Public Prosecutor’s Department a First Lieutenant, who knew the couple, allowed them to report to the department alone instead of in police patrols. The couple, however, took the opportunity to escape. The official is now under investigation.

KUWAIT: Ibrahim Al-Baghli addressing the press conference. ing committee Isam Haidar said that the award had a positive role in encouraging proper treatment of parents and the elderly. He called for recognizing the “Kuwait elderly care society”, adding that the award will hold several activities this

year. On his part, head of the judging panel Mansour AlSalameen said that those wishing to take part in the photography competition could submit their work until Aug 31. He noted that a photography exhibition will be held later.

In the meantime, supervisor at the elderly affairs department of the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry Jassim Al-Dalwi said that the award is one of the projects that stress social values and social partnership between different segments of society. — KUNA

Stage set for ‘Kuwait in Egypt’ exhibition

KUWAIT: Retired officers from the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate were recently honored by the Madina Center in recognition of their long years of service, and for serving as examples of dedication to others. The honored officers were: Brig Mohammad Hashim, Colonels Mahmoud Abbas, Tariq Al-Sarraf and Hussein Al-Samhan. Meanwhile, non-commissioned officers at Madina Center were also honored including Staff Warrant Officer Adel Obal, Sergeant Major Alaa Al-Huwaj, and corporals Abdullah Al-Qallaf and Ali Al-Azmi. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Education development essential KUWAIT: Developing Kuwait’s education system is essential in achieving the country’s vision of becoming a global financial and commercial center by 2035, according to education minister Moudhi AlHumoud.

Speaking at a meeting of Ministry of Education (MoE) undersecretaries and directors of local education directorates, Al-Humoud emphasized the importance of including all educational stages in the development process, reported Al-

Watan. She particularly focused on the need to include elementary level pupils, pointing out that these are the individuals who will take control of implementing the development plan 15 years from now.

CAIRO: Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) will participate in “Kuwait in Egypt” exhibition which kicks off today, with a delegation headed by the Board Chairman and Director General of KUNA Sheikh Mubarak Duaij Al-Sabah. The exhibition is held under the patronage of Egyptian Premier Dr. Ahmad Nazif. The KUNA chairman said that the participation of the agency in this event is of high value, since KUNA is the leading Kuwaiti media organization. He added that KUNA is keen on attending this event annually, as it helps shed light on Kuwait’s leading role in various fields in the region. KUNA’s pavilion is receiving visitors for the sixth consecutive year, and the volume of visitors attests to its success. The chairman also stressed that this year’s publications will cover themes including news writing, history of KUNA, local and international KUNA media services, and much more. Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij said that this fair contributes in enhancing the ties between Kuwait and Egypt, noting that the success of this exhibition is due in part to the effort of the organizing bodies, including AlJabriya Exhibition Group, headed by Ismael Bahbahani. — KUNA

Campaigners call for school strike in Um Al-Haiman KUWAIT: A voluntary committee of Um Al-Haiman residents has launched a ‘No Education Without Health’ campaign in protest at high pollution levels in the area. The members have called for all the area’s schools to remain closed next Sunday and Monday, May 2 and 3, as a protest against the government’s and parliament’s “failure” to address the pollution crisis there.

KUWAIT: Free health consultation to the community at the Avenues Mall.

Majority of people in Kuwait overweight KUWAIT: Gethealthykuwait.com yesterday announced that 59 per cent of people tested during its outreach visits to the Avenues Mall in the last two weeks were overweight or obese. During three visits to the mall, gethealthykuwait.com expert nutritionists tested and consulted over 577 people, reaching an overall total of 4134 people since its launch in June 2009, in its fight to combat obesity in the community. Gethealthykuwait.com experts also determined that out of the people tested at the Avenues Mall, 23% were border line diabetic and 22% suffered from high cholesterol levels. In the last two visits, gethealthykuwait.com tested 384 people to discover that 59% had Body Mass Index (BMI) results that were higher than the healthy range usually between 20 and 25. Gethealthykuwait.com Chief Nutritionist and Diet Care Operations Manager, Sami Al Bader said: “Obesity has become a shocking reality in the Kuwaiti community and many individuals just don’t realize its threat on their health. 60 per cent of the people gethealthykuwait.com has tested suffer from being overweight and obese, and these results prove that this is indeed a dangerous reality that needs immediate attention. Our goal with gethealthykuwait.com is to expose the dangers of unhealthy eating regiments and empower individuals to take the first step towards a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Our team of expert nutritionists encourage people to make healthier lifestyles on a weekly basis, and have helped more than 250 lose over a ton of fat in six months since the start of the initiative.”

Gethealthykuwait.com’s Head of Testing and Taiba Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Rashed Al Fadala said: “Every community outreach visit drives us to continue in our fight against obesity, especially when we discover the dangers of our visit’s results. These shocking results compel us to make more and more positive changes in the community through our weekly outreaches like the Avenues Mall, to empower community members to combat obesity. Gethealthykuwait.com was launched by Diet Care and Taiba Hospital as the first and largest initiative of its kind to reach out directly to the community and has successfully made healthier changes in the lives of thousands of community members.” Gethealthykuwait.com’s

goal is to make the community well-aware of the dangers of the obesity in Kuwait in order and make the community take immediate action to better their lives. Since Gethealthykuwait.com was launched in June 2009, it has given more than 4134 people in the Kuwaiti community free cholesterol, glucose, and BMI tests and consultations as part of its weekly outreach visits to private businesses, public centers, and schools. The campaign provides each individual the chance to conduct a free on-the-spot blood test. With the results, the individual also receives a free personal consultation with an expert nutritionist from gethealthykuwait.com and a chance to take the necessary steps to lead a healthier lifestyle through the campaign’s 28-day

program. Started in June 09, Gethealthykuwait is a community initiative funded by Diet Care and Taiba hospital to provide every individual in Kuwait the opportunity for free on-spot health testing, and free nutritional consultation by expert dietitians from Diet Care, the leading provider of diet and nutrition services in Kuwait, and Taiba Hospital, the leading independent hospitals in Kuwait. Manned by a team of expert dietitians, Gethealthykuwait.com conducts weekly visits to offices, schools, and malls offering on-spot testing and consultation. In each of these visits, the gethealthykuwait.com team will offer free cholesterol tests, blood sugar level tests, weight assessments and free consultation.


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

7

Another aide to former Israel PM arrested by fraud squad JERUSALEM: Israeli police yesterday arrested former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s one-time office manager, the latest Olmert aide to be questioned over multiple fraud and bribery cases in which the ex-premier is a suspect. TV newscasts showed detectives at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport meeting Shula Zaken as she returned from a visit to the United States, and driving her away in an

unmarked car. Local media said she was being taken for questioning at the headquarters of the police national fraud squad, near Tel Aviv. The police spokesman did not respond to AFP’s request for comment. Olmert’s former lawyer and business associate, Uri Messer, was arrested three weeks ago on suspicion of using bribes to secure approval for a massive property

development in Jerusalem named the “Holyland Project.” Media reports had said Olmert, who is also a former mayor of Jerusalem, was suspected of having taken a bribe of 3.5 million shekels (almost one million dollars at the current exchange rate). On April 15 Olmert went on television and denied taking any bribe. His successor as mayor, Uri

Lupolianski, is also under arrest for his alleged involvement in the Holyland scandal. Police have a state’s witness to testify against Olmert, according to media reports. In December, Olmert pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption linked to three other cases. He resigned under pressure in September 2008 after police recommended that he be indicted. Messer is himself a

witness in the trial currently under way against Olmert, and Zaken is a co-defendant. Olmert is accused of unlawfully accepting gifts of cash-stuffed envelopes from Jewish-American businessman Morris Talanski and of multiple-billing for foreign trips. He has also been charged with cronyism in relation to an investment centre

which he oversaw when he was trade and industry minister between 2003 and 2006. The case is expected to drag on for months, if not years. If found guilty, Olmert could face a prison term, although it is unclear for how long. All the charges relate to a period before Olmert became premier, to his terms as mayor of Jerusalem and later as trade and industry minister. — AFP

Sudan elects wanted Bashir as president Kiir stays south Sudan president with 92% of vote

BAGHDAD: Iraqi university students attend a costume party ahead of their official graduation ceremony from the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad yesterday. — AFP

Iraq panel wipes out votes, result in doubt BAGHDAD: An Iraqi review panel yesterday threw the results of a March election into question by invalidating votes cast for 52 candidates, officials said, possibly threatening the slim lead of a Sunni-backed alliance. It was not immediately clear how many of the candidates barred for alleged ties to Saddam Hussein’s banned Baath party had won seats in the March 7 ballot. If the result changed, the decision could spark anger among Sunnis just as the sectarian violence unleashed after the 2003 U.S.led invasion recedes. “The ruling of the review panel is politically motivated and could be detrimental to the whole democratic process in Iraq,” said Mustafa al-Hiti, a senior member of the cross-sectarian Iraqiya alliance that rode strong Sunni support to gain a two-seat lead in the election. But Hiti told Reuters that Iraqiya, led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, did not expect to lose any of its 91 seats in the next 325-seat parliament as a result. Tariq Harp, a lawyer for Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which came second and could benefit the most from any

change in the election result, said he believed “two or three winners” could be affected. The panel’s decision came before the expected start next week of a recount of votes in Baghdad, which could also change the result and stir anger among Sunnis who saw Iraqiya’s success as a vindication of their claim to greater political clout. Sunnis’ resentment at their fall from power after the ousting of Sunni dictator Saddam in 2003 helped fuel a sectarian war and a fierce insurgency after the invasion. Iraqis had hoped the election would help the war-damaged country cement improved security and stability. Instead, the lack of a clear result has spawned protracted political uncertainty as Shi’ite-led, Sunni-backed and Kurdish factions try to negotiate tie-ups that would allow them to gain a working majority and pick the next government. The impasse has occurred as international oil firms are starting to invest in Iraq’s vast oilfields, launching the country on a path that could more than quadruple its oil output capacity to Saudi levels of 12 million barrels per day.— Reuters

Israeli forces kill wanted Hamas man in West Bank BEIT AWWA: Israeli forces yesterday killed a wanted Hamas militant in a hail of gunfire after surrounding a house in the southern West Bank where he was holed up, security forces said. A team comprised of border police, soldiers and members of the Shin Bet domestic intelligence “eliminated Ali Suweiti,” a border police spokesman said. The army said the force surrounded the house in Beit Awwa where Suweiti had holed up and urged him to surrender. He refused “andrce, and was ultimately killed.” Palestinian witnesses said the house was demolished during the operation and that three relatives of its owner were arrested by Israeli forces. The body was later carried through the streets at a funeral march attended by thousands of protestors waving green Hamas banners and calling on its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, to take revenge. The army said Suweiti, in his 40s, had carried out five shooting attacks and a bombing between 1999 and 2004, killing a border policeman in the West Bank in one of the shootings in April 2004. Hamas, an armed Islamist group sworn to the destruction of Israel, has carried out scores of deadly attacks in the last two decades and is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Israel and the West. The group, which rules the Gaza Strip, blamed

Monday’s operation on Israel and security forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, calling it the “repulsive fruit of security coordination.” “The assassination of this Qassam commander is a dangerous crime, which comes in the context of the occupation’s determination to eliminate the forces of the resistance, and especially the Qassam Brigades in the West Bank,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “The martyr was targeted by Abbas’s forces, just as he was targeted by the Zionist occupation,” he added in a statement from the group’s Gaza enclave. Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007 after routing Abbas’s forces in a week of bloody street battles, limiting his authority to the occupied West Bank and cleaving the Palestinians into hostile rival camps. Since then both Palestinian factions have accused their rivals of arresting scores of their members for political reasons, and Hamas has charged the Palestinian Authority with allying with Israel against it in the West Bank. Authorities in the West Bank and Gaza have said they only arrest those who pose a security threat, but international and Palestinian rights groups have accused both gov opened fire at the forces” who returned fire, the army said in a statement. “The terrorist continued to fire at the foernments of political arrests and mistreatment of detainees. —AFP

BEIT AWWA: A Palestinian child weeps during the funeral procession of Hamas official Ali Suweiti, in the West Bank village of Beit Awwa, near Hebron, yesterday. Israeli forces killed the wanted Hamas official who had holed up in a house in the southern West Bank, police and witnesses said. —AFP

KHARTOUM: President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has won Sudan’s first open elections in 24 years in a result that confirms in office the only sitting head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Bashir won 68 percent of the presidential vote, while Salva Kiir retained his job as the president of Sudan’s semi-autonomous south, with 92.99 percent of the vote in that race, Sudan’s National Elections Commission announced. After a vote that outside observers said fell short of global standards, Bashir is expected to form a coalition with Kiir as the country heads toward a 2011 referendum on whether south Sudan should split off and become Africa’s newest state. Bashir had hoped a win in a legitimate vote would help him defy the ICC warrant, in which he is accused of ordering a campaign of murder, torture and rape in Sudan’s Darfur region. But the election, meant to mark Sudan’s transformation into a democratic state, were marred by widespread charges of fraud, including from Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), suggesting the new ruling coalition will be a fragile one. Bashir appeared on state television soon after the result saying the Sudanese people “have achieved this moral victory before the eyes of the world in a civilised, high class and shared manner”. He added that Sudan would hold the southern referendum “as scheduled”. Many southerners fear Bashir will try to disrupt the plebiscite in a manoeuvre to keep control of the south’s oil. Kiir said he felt “total dismay” about reports of election irregularities and promised to investigate all complaints. “No amount of intimidation or provocation will lead us back to war. We will maintain security and prepare our people for the referendum in 2011,” he told journalists in the southern capital Juba, going on to congratulate Bashir on his win. A breakdown of the presidential votes showed massive majorities of up to 95 percent for Bashir in most northern states, although those percentages dipped in three states of Darfur and border regions. Kiir won overwhelmingly in every southern state. Bashir’s victory was dismissed by opposition parties. They boycotted the vote, citing fraud. “They cooked the figures — (Bashir) didn’t get 51 percent of the vote,” UMMA Reform and Renewal leader Mubarak Al-Fadil told Reuters. “His campaign was conducted under one party system with all the foundations of a police state ... it was a farce.” The result was announced amid unusually high securitypolice used sniffer dogs and mirrors to check cars outside the venue, guarded by five trucks filled with armed police. Flag-waving supporters of Bashir’s National Congress Party gathered at its Khartoum headquarters and some slaughtered a camel in preparation for celebrations set for Monday evening. Human Rights Watch said the win gave Bashir no extra legal immunity against the ICC charges. “Political oppression and human rights violations undermined the freedom and fairness of the vote all over Sudan,” the group’s Africa director Georgette Gagnon said in a statement. Bashir and Kiir’s current coalition government has had a rocky five years since the signing in 2005 of a peace deal that ended more than two decades of northsouth civil war. North-south tensions bode poorly for full implementation of the peace deal, including next year’s referendum.

Any major delay to that vote would be unacceptable to southerners, who most believe overwhelmingly want secession. — Reuters

KHARTOUM: Supporters of President Omar Al-Bashir celebrate his victory in the country’s first multiparty elections in over two decades, at a rally in Khartoum yesterday. Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, immediately pledged to respect the provisions of a Western-backed peace agreement with southern rebels that put an end to Africa’s longest-running civil war. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

8

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nigerians see little in it for them as elections near LAGOS: Years of military rule and memories of rigged voting have left many Nigerians unimpressed with democracy as presidential elections approach. Even with official promises of credible polls early next year, the fear is that many Nigerians are so tired of disappointment that they won’t bother voting. Chioma Imuka, 37, sells plants by the roadside in Lagos. She listens to the local radio news religiously but she says she might as well be following the twists of a soap opera. Since 1999, after a long period of military rule, Nigerians have had a democratic government but Imuka’s expectations are minimal: “They should just leave me to do my business and make some money to eat. Whether Yar’Adua is dead or alive, nobody knows. They don’t tell us anything,” she said, “What can we do?” Since he went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment in November, little has been

heard from President Musa Yar’Adua. And since his secretive homecoming in February, his vice president Goodluck Jonathan, who is now acting president, has neither seen nor spoken to him. Jonathan is cementing his hold on power in the oil-producing nation, but uncertainty remains. Muibi Azeez is a tailor and father of two. At age 29, he has voted once, at a state election. According to him, “God does everything, not the president.” Sitting behind a black Singer pedal machine decorated with ornate scrolling, Azeez is sewing himself a shirt to attend his friend’s mother’s funeral. Business is slow. There is limited opportunity for Nigerians to vent their unhappiness at high unemployment and rising rents. Imuka, a single mother with a daughter in university, says she is far too busy trying to make money and cynical about voting to exercise her civic duties. “Vote! Why would I vote? Our leaders

are selected not elected. They knew Yar’Adua was sick when they put him there.” Yar’Adua came to power in 2007 from relative obscurity through the influence of then president, Olusegun Obasanjo. That election was the first time a civilian leader had handed over to another civilian in Africa’s most populous nation but the vote was deeply flawed. Imuka is a fan of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, not because of his farreaching agenda but rather because he’s allowed her to keep operating in a prime location and even boosted her business opportunities by encouraging roadside business owners to improve their areas by planting flowers. “Fashola wants to beautify the State. He wants people to plant flowers everywhere. Even at taxi parks, drivers have to plant flowers,” she said. For most Nigerians, government is inci-

dental to their daily lives and only rarely, such as with the Lagos greening initiative, do the two interact. Politics is a policy-light preserve of a rich elite that has little to do with the day-to-day grind. Most Nigerians do not pay taxes in a formal manner and unless something stands directly in the way of their livelihood, it is unlikely that Azeez or Imuka will take part in a demonstration or make any other demands of their government. Instead, Imuka talks back at the radio under the shade of a palm tree. She complains with her friends about the secrecy surrounding Yar’Adua’s health, but this is where her protest starts, and ends. “That feeling you have when somebody tries to short-change you by collecting your money without fulfilling his obligations; you need that type of feeling for easy mobilization,” said Olusegun Sotola, from the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis. “But the Nigerian state gets its revenue

from rent and royalty paid on natural resources (oil). I am sure less than five percent of Nigerians pay direct tax to government.” That makes many of about 140 million Nigerians a tough crowd to mobilise for political activists who wish people would do more to make their vote count. New activist groups have emerged since Yar’Adua’s hospitalisation. Among them is the Save Nigeria Group which organised two marches while Yar’Adua was in Saudi Arabia; one in Abuja which drew about 3,000 people, another in Lagos attracted some 6,000 of the city’s estimated 15 million residents. Yinka Odumakin, spokeswoman for the Save Nigeria Group, said: “We want to get to a point where we have rallies of 100,000 or even 200,000 people but given that there has been some kind of lethargy, 6,000 is not bad.” “Our goal is to take politics to the streets,” said Odumakin whose group has

spent thousands of dollars placing full-page ads in national newspapers. Acting President Jonathan acknowledged the problem of election rigging when he made electoral reform one of his top three policy priorities. Pressure has been mounting for the sacking of Maurice Iwu, head of the electoral commission that validated Yar’Adua’s controversial election. Jonathan has less than a year to deliver on his promise to Nigerians and to the international community of credible polls. And even if Jonathan can make good on his promise, the average voter has become cynical about whether democracy in Nigeria can yield the dividends it promises. Alaba Sanusi, 44, is a trader in Lagos. When asked to join a political demonstration just minutes away from his shop, his response was typical of many Nigerians. “Na democracy man go chop?” he says in Pidgin English. “Can you eat democracy?”—Reuters

UK Conservatives set new goals in tight election Conservatives still short of overall majority: Polls LONDON: Britain’s opposition Conservatives launched a new drive yesterday to dislodge the ruling Labour Party from some of its strongholds in a May 6 election that has been thrown wide open by a third party. The centre-right

Conservatives are battling to oust centre-left Labour from government after 13 years. Both parties face a surprise challenge from the centrist Liberal Democrats, or Lib Dems, whose popularity has surged in the last 10 days.

SOUTHAMPTON: David Cameron, leader of Britain’s opposition Conservative Party, faces a group of students during a visit to Southampton University in Southampton, England, yesterday, while campaigning for Britain’s May 6 General Election. —AP

Teacher ‘hit disruptive pupil with a dumbbell’ LONDON: A schoolteacher attacked a pupil who was misbehaving in class by beating him around the head with a dumbbell and shouting “die, die, die,” a court heard yesterday. Peter Harvey, 50, bludgeoned the 14-year-old boy during a science lesson last July, the Press Association reported. Harvey denies attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, but has admitted a charge of

GBH. Prosecutor Stuart Rafferty told Nottingham Crown Court Harvey was “well, happy and in a positive frame of mind” on the morning of the attack. He said: “A girl who had behaviour difficulties was being disruptive and was messing about with a whiteboard and then started messing about with a window blind. “He told her to stop and there were words between them. He seems to have pulled her away from the window by

her bag on her shoulder and shouted at her and it was alleged he kicked her. “She left the classroom in a state of tears and some of the class took exception to the way she had been treated and started calling him a psycho. “He didn’t seem to respond to that and told the class to get on with their work. “The boy began to mess about with a wooden metre rule. He was wandering about the classroom with it, sword fighting with another pupil, that

ERFURT: People gather outside the Gutenberg High School, as a sign in the background reads “remembrance”, during a commemorative ceremony for victims of the April 26, 2002 high school massacre in Erfurt, Germany, yesterday. — AP

sort of high jinx.” Rafferty added: “He told him to put it down and he did. The boy then took out a metal bunsen burner stand and was waving it about in a similar way. “Mr Harvey chased him around the classroom and it came to a point when the boy told him to ‘fuck off’. “That seems to have lit the blue touch paper because Mr Harvey grabbed him by his collar and started dragging him out of the classroom. “He got him out of the classroom and down the corridor into a preparation room. “He threw him to the ground and armed himself with a 3kg dumbbell and began to hit the boy about the head with it. “He struck at least two blows to the head which caused serious injury, really serious injury. “At the time the blows were being struck Mr Harvey was only heard to say one thing. “What he was saying was ‘die, die, die’.” The court heard that one pupil tried to drag Harvey off the boy, who was lying on his back looking “frightened and confused”. The teacher was kneeling above him, raising the dumbbell to shoulder height for each of the blows, the jury was told. The schoolboy was left with a fractured right temple bone and severe cuts to his head. The trial continues. — Reuters

The Conservatives are ahead in the polls, but the Lib Dem bounce to second place could deprive them of the overall majority of parliamentary seats that they need to govern alone. The polls are pointing to a “hung parliament” in which no party has an overall majority of the 650 seats. The Conservative nightmare is that this could allow Labour to cling to power by forming an alliance with the Lib Dems. Conservative leader David Cameron said yesterday that his party had added 20 new names to the list of target seats it is campaigning to wrest from Labour’s grip, suggesting that this could tip the balance and deliver a Conservative majority. “We are aiming for a majority government. We believe that is doable, that is deliverable. That is why we’ve extended our battleground,” Cameron told a news conference. Cameron denied suggestions that this meant that the Conservatives were now pessimistic about winning target seats held by the Lib Dems. “We are working very, very hard to win seats off the Liberal Democrats in many parts of the country,” he said, attacking that party as “misguided”, “confused” and “out with the fairies”. Under Britain’s electoral system, victory hinges not on the breakdown of the national vote but the number of parliamentary seats won by each party. Parties usually focus their efforts on winning marginal seats which can change hands with a only small swing in votes. “What we’ve seen because of the meltdown in the Labour campaign is an opportunity to work even harder in certain seats which were ... quite safe Labour seats but they’re not any more. They’re up for grabs,” Cameron said. Cameron says a hung parliament would usher in a period of instability, with parties wrangling over political posts and pet policies rather than getting on with the crucial task of tackling Britain’s worrisome budget deficit. His concerns are widely shared by businesses, according to a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce released on Monday that found two thirds of them were worried about the potential impact of a hung parliament. But Swiss bank UBS said on Monday that a coalition government would likely agree measures to tighten fiscal policy, and the biggest impact on sterling would come if a single party won a majority and tried to cut the budget deficit too quickly. “Investors should expect sterling weakness to be shortlived in the event of a hung parliament, and be wary of sterling strength if the 2010 elections result in a clear majority for any party that then tightens fiscal policy too quickly,” it said in a research note. For the Lib Dems, who say the voting system is biased against them and favours the two bigger parties, a hung parliament could offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain electoral reform in return for their support in parliament. —AP

WARSAW: Supporters line up at a party office in Warsaw, Poland, yesterday, to sign a petition to back the candidacy of opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in the early presidential elections that were called after his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash in Russia on April 10. — AP

Bereaved twin runs for Polish president WARSAW: Polish opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski announced yesterday that he would run in June’s contest to become president in succession to his identical twin after his death in an air crash in Russia. “Poland is our common, great responsibility. It demands that we overcome personal suffering to take action despite a personal tragedy,” Kaczynski said in a statement on the website of his Law and Justice party. “This is why I have taken the decision to be a candidate for the office of president of the Republic of Poland.” Kaczynski’s identical twin, president Lech Kaczynski, perished in an April 10 crash near Smolensk, western Russia along with his wife Maria and 94 others including scores of other senior Polish politicians and military lead-

ers. “The life of the president tragically cut short, the death of the Poland’s patriotic elite, means one thing: we have to complete their mission,” Kaczynski said. Under Polish law, the country’s liberal speaker of parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, stepped up to become acting head of state after the crash. Komorowski had already been preparing to run against Lech Kaczynski in a scheduled presidential ballot in October when the latter’s first fiveyear mandate was due to end. Polls had shown that Komorowski was likely to foil Lech Kaczynski’s re-election bid. Surveys have also indicated that Komorowski, a close ally of Poland’s liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk, will also defeat Jaroslaw Kaczynski in the snap election on June 20. — AFP

Somali militants push toward pirate stronghold MOGADISHU: Fighters from Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked militant group moved into the northern region where Somali pirates operate early yesterday, residents said, forcing pirates to flee and raising the specter of an insurgent attempt to close down the piracy trade. The pirate gang holding a kidnapped British couple fled into a forest to escape the militants, a selfproclaimed pirate chieftain said. Paul and Rachel Chandler were bundled into a car early Monday after militants neared the town of Haradhere, said Maslah Yare, who leads the pirate gang that is holding the Chandlers. Somali pirates and insurgents are two separate groups. If al-Shabab militants take control of pirate strongholds, the 300-plus foreign hostages that pirates hold could be in greater danger. Yare said the Chandlers — who are in their 50s — were walking deep into a forest and away from the Islamist militants. “Al-Shabab militants are chasing us,” Yare told The Associated Press by phone. A spokesman from the militant group could not be reached for comment yesterday. But a witness, businessman Ahmed Salad, said an advance team of al-Shabab militants entered the pirate lair in

two vehicles around midnight Sunday after they had routed moderate Islamists from villages nearby. He said the militants withdrew a short while later for points unknown. The pirate lairs are generally in northern coastal villages, while al-Shabab operates mostly in southern and central Somalia. A second resident of Haradhere said pirates have started to withdraw from the city to another pirate den called Hobyo. “The town is nearly empty after pirates have left it,” said businessman Yusuf Arush. “It is calm but tense.” As Haradhere became a pirate stronghold in recent years, vices arrived alongside the millions of dollars in ransoms pirates have raked in. The drugs, alcohol and prostitution that now thrive in Haradhere are vehemently opposed by al-Shabab, an ultraconservative Islamist militia that carries out lashings, stonings and amputations as punishment. In 2006 the Islamic Courts Union took control of much of the southern and central parts of Somalia and succeeded in shutting down much of the piracy trade to the north. The Chandlers were kidnapped in October by pirates who seized their 38-foot yacht in the Indian Ocean as they sailed toward Tanzania.

Yare claimed that al-Shabab has offered to pay $1.8 million for the Chandlers, but that his group is demanding $2.5 million. Yare’s claims could not immediately be confirmed. He said that pirates would abandon the Chandlers if the militants close in on them “because our lives are more important to us than holding on to them.” Pirates now hold 15 vessels and more than 300 hostages. The European Union’s foreign affairs and security chief said earlier yesterday she will visit Africa next month to press for more help in prosecuting pirates arrested by European warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden. Catherine Ashton wants to see the suspects on trial as close to home as possible instead of transported to Europe for prosecution. An EU armada has detained scores of suspected pirates in recent months but only a handful will ever wind up in court. The vast majority were disarmed and put back on their boats with enough food and fuel to reach land. Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop told AP yesterday that the Dutch frigate HMS Tromp that recently served with the EU mission detained 83 pirates in two months and turned 73 loose. —AP


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

9

Tens of thousands driven from homes by killings, rape GENEVA: Murder, rape and general violence have driven tens of thousands from their homes in rural Colombia in the last year in a problem ignored during the presidential election campaign, the ICRC said yesterday. Indigenous communities and those descended from African slaves in the south and along the Pacific coast were the worst hit, the humanitarian organization’s chief representative in the Latin American country said. “Many are being forced to flee because of threats to their

lives. Other are subjected to extra-judicial killings or to sexual violence, and yet most of their tragedies go unreported,” the official, Christophe Beney, told a news conference. The Swiss-based ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, had recorded some 800 alleged violations of global humanitarian law over the past year, all linked to fighting involving the army, paramilitaries and Marxist rebels, he said. These included 28 killings,

61 direct attacks against civilians and communities, and 84 disappearances. Death threats were widely used to force people to flee their homes.

cities, is due to take place on May 30 with a run-off in June. All the leading candidates, including front runner and former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos,

Killings, violence wrack rural Colombia The first round of elections for a successor to President Alvaro Uribe, whose focus on crushing the rebels has shifted the conflict away from large towns and

have said they will largely continue Uribe’s security policies, which have been strongly backed by the United States. Uribe’s drive against the rebels, some

of whom are accused of running drugs, have attracted foreign investment to Colombia by making the cities and major highways across the country safer than they have been for many years. But the new focus of the fighting in more remote regions- especially in the south along the border with Ecuador and along the Pacific coast-means that the plight of the rural poor who bear the brunt of it has become almost invisible, said Beney.

Official figures, he said, showed that the total number of people displaced by years of violence now stood at 3.3 million - out of a total population of around 46 million-and very few dared to return home. The ICRC, which has offices in many parts of Colombia and provides relief and help in setting up income-generating projects for the displaced, said another problem for rural people was posed by mines laid by the sides in the fighting. — Reuters

Obama fulfills Cairo pledge with entrepreneur summit US leader hosts Muslim entrepreneurs WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama launched a new effort yesterday to build business and social ties to the Muslim world, but analysts say the need for progress on big issues like Middle East peace will overshadow the initiative. Obama hosts a two-day Presidential Summit on

HAVANA: Laura Pollan (second left) leader of the Ladies in White, a group of female Cuban dissidents, is surrounded by government supporters after a Sunday mass in Havana. — AP

Cubans vote in historic polls ‘Ladies in White’ harassed HAVANA: Cubans voted on Sunday in municipal elections touted as proof of democracy on the communist-led island, while the dissident “Ladies in White” were harassed by government supporters for seven hours as they tried to march for the freedom of political prisoners. The prolonged “act of repudiation” against the six women, who could barely be seen in the engulfing crowd of about 100 people, took some of the luster off a day the Cuban government hoped would counter an authoritarian image it blames on its enemies abroad. It also signaled an escalation in the government’s clampdown on the Ladies in White, whose weekly marches for seven years have made them the leading symbol of Cuban opposition. The women are seeking the release of their husbands and sons imprisoned since a 2003 crackdown on dissidents. An hour before the polls closed, officials said 93 percent of Cuba’s 8.4 million voters had cast a vote for delegates to local assemblies that deal with nuts-and-bolts issues of municipal government. The Communist Party is the only legal party in Cuba and the nation’s top leaders are not directly elected by the people. Critics say the turnout is high because Cubans must vote or face problems with local authorities. Cuban officials say the local elections are an enviable example of democracy for the rest of the world because of the high turnout and the populist purity of the process. “In no other part of the world do as many participate in elections as in Cuba,” said Cuban vice president Esteban Lazo. “The delegates are chosen by their own people, who nominate the best and most capable,” he told reporters after voting. Cuban television showed President Raul Castro casting his vote in Havana, but ailing former leader Fidel Castro, 83, did not

make an appearance. An electoral official said she had received a ballot from the elder Castro, who has not been seen in public since July 2006, and she was shown dropping into a ballot box. “He voted,” she said with a smile. As Cuban television reported on the election, the small contingent of the Ladies in White tried to stage their weekly protest march on Havana’s Fifth Avenue, but they were swarmed by government supporters who roughly shoved then into a nearby park. There, the white-clad ladies linked arms in a circle and stood silently while the jeering crowd taunted them with insults and slogans such as “this street belongs to Fidel.” The women tried to leave several times, but were prevented by the crowd. Finally, after seven hours, the stalemate ended with them agreeing to be escorted by a ring of state security agents to a government-provided bus that took them out of harm’s way. The pro-government crowd threw water bottles at the bus as it drove off. The women were similarly treated last week when they tried to march and during a week of protest marches in Havana last month. The harassment, and the February death of a dissident hunger striker, brought international condemnation of the Cuban government, which said it would not give into “blackmail” it believes is being perpetrated by the United States and Europe. The government appears set on ending the Ladies in White marches, which have been the only known public protests permitted in Cuba since the early 1960s. It has demanded they seek a permit to march, the women have refused and the result has been the showdowns the past two Sundays. Cuba’s dissident community is small and not broadly supported, but Cuban leaders view them as mercenaries working with the United States and Europe to topple the government. —Reuters

Drug cartels change tactics Mexican authorities targeted MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s drug cartels have changed tactics and are turning more attacks on authorities, rather than focusing their fire on rivals gangs, the country’s top security official said Sunday. Interior Secretary Fernandez Gomez-Mont said at a news conference that two backto-back, bloody ambushes of government convoys - both blamed on cartels - represent a new tactic. “In the last few weeks the dynamics of the violence have changed. The criminals have decided to directly confront and attack the authorities,” GomezMont said. “They are trying to direct their fire power at what they fear most at this moment, which is the authorities,” he said. Officials here have long said that more than 90 percent of the death toll in Mexico’s wave of drug violence, which has claimed more than 22,700 lives since a government crackdown began in December 2006 - are victims of disputes between rival gangs. Mexican drug gangs have been known to target security officials. The nation’s acting federal police chief was shot dead in May 2008 in an attack attributed to drug traffickers lashing back at President Felipe Calderon’s offensive against organized crime. But such high-profile attacks were rare in comparison to intergang warfare. But after the largescale attacks on officials Friday and Saturday, “casualties among the authorities are beginning to increase in this battle,” GomezMont said. On Saturday, gunmen armed with assault rifles and grenades attacked a convoy carrying the top security official of the western state of Michoacan, in

what appeared to be a carefully planned ambush. The official survived with nonlife-threatening wounds - she was traveling in a bullet-resistant SUV - but two of her bodyguards and two passers-by were killed. Of the other nine people wounded, most were bystanders, including two girls ages 2 and 12. Gomez-Mont said the attack was carried out by a group known as “The Resistance,” an outgrowth of the Michoacan-based La Familia drug cartel. It came a day after, gunmen ambushed two police vehicles at a busy intersection in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing seven officers and a 17-year-old boy caught in the crossfire. Two more officers were seriously wounded. Hours after that attack, a painted message directed at top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in down-

town Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. “This will happen to you ... for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea,” the message read. The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified. Gomez-Mont, who is responsible for domestic security affairs, said the United States has to do more to stop cross-border gangs and illicit trade in weapons and money. He said some gangs “find a certain kind of sanctuary on the other side of the border,” referring to Los Aztecas, a Ciudad Juarez gang that also operates in the United States, where it is known as the Barrio Azteca gang.—AP

CIUDAD JUAREZ: Members of the Federal Police cover the corpse of a policeman killed by drug traffickers in Ciudad Juarez. — AFP

The president will address the summit at the end of the first day to underscore his commitment to “deepening our engagement around the world with Muslimmajority communities,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said. While the summit is widely viewed as a positive step that demonstrates follow-through on the Cairo address, analysts said Obama would ultimately be judged on his handling of the bigger issues in the Muslim worldthe Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran’s nuclear program, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “In some ways Cairo is not going to be fulfilled until you get grander solutions to some of the big geopolitical problems,” said Juan Zarate, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. “The president is going to be judged by his ability to move those big issues much more so than whether or not he hosts a conference at the White House,” he said. Obama has struggled to advance many of those issues. His effort to revive the Middle East peace process has been hampered by Israeli settlement activity, and his attempts to engage Iran over its nuclear program have been rebuffed. The administration is pushing ahead with its strategy for the war in Afghanistan despite increasingly brittle relations with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai due to concerns about corruption in the Afghan government. Administration officials point to Obama’s responsible steps toward winding up the Iraq war, and his fulfillment of pledges made in the Cairo speech-creating a fund to boost technological development, naming science envoys and now holding the entrepreneurship summit. “These things don’t hurt. They’re helpful,” Zarate said. “But I don’t think we should be Pollyannaish about the grand impact or effect of these.” The two-day entrepreneurial summit brings together a diverse group of people ages 20 to 79, “everybody from ... the Davos crowd to people that are not traditionally invited to things like this,” said one senior administration official. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and other senior US officials will participate in sessions alongside private sector experts like Yahoo! chief executive Jerry Yang, Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus and Arif Naqvi, head of Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity firm in the Middle East. The aim is to bring together successful business and social entrepreneurs from different countries, venture capitalists, development bankers and other business experts to discuss ideas and share experiences with a view toward creating support networks that will help promote development in the region. The White House has urged groups outside the government to participate by organizing their own related events, and that has spawned more than 30 other sessions by such groups as the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Arab Empowerment and the Middle East Youth Initiative at Brookings. The focus on social entrepreneurship as well as business entrepreneurship is seen as particularly helpful because it appeals to young people interested in having an impact, and a large proportion of the Muslim world population is under 30. —Reuters

Entrepreneurship that will bring together about 250 successful business and social entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries, most with large Muslim populations, fulfilling a pledge he made in his Cairo speech to the Islamic world last June.

Wall Street overhaul faces key Senate test WASHINGTON: Sweeping and popular US legislation to rein in Wall Street and prevent a repeat of the 2008 global financial meltdown faced a key test vote yesterday in the sharply divided US Senate. The vote, expected after 5:00 pm (2100 GMT), was to come as lawmakers geared up to question top Goldman Sachs executives today about actions that triggered fraud charges against the Wall Street investment giant. Amid anger at Goldman and other big banks, a new Washington Post/ABC poll found the US public backs tougher rules for Wall Street by a 65-31 percent margin. The error margin was plus or minus three percentage points. US President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies, seeking an edge in November midterm elections, have painted Republican opposition to the bill as evidence the White House’s foes are in the pocket of big banks blamed for the collapse. Republicans, all 41 of whom recently signed a letter pledging to oppose the measure, say they want to give bipartisan talks

MAINE: President Barack Obama speaks at an event at the Portland Expo Center, in Portland. Many experts believe the health care overhaul law falls short on taming costs, and that will force Congress to revisit health care in a few years. — AP begun one year ago a change to forge a compromise on the legislation. “We remain eager to work with Republicans who are sincere about reforming Wall Street, and we are hopeful for bipartisan agreement on this important effort,” said a spokesman for Democratic Senate Majority

Leader Harry Reid. “But there are no two ways about it: a vote against even opening debate on holding Wall Street accountable is a vote to protect Wall Street,” said the spokesman, Jim Manley. The bill aims to enact the most sweeping new regulations on banking since the Great

Depression of the 1930s, notably to address the problem of financial institutions whose collapse could risk crippling the US economy. The measure, championed by US Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd, a Democrat, would map a way to dissolve such “too big to fail” firms in a bid to avoid massive taxpayer-funded “bailouts” approved in late 2008. The bill-widely seen as less muscular than an approach that cleared the House of Representatives last year-would also establish a new agency to protect consumers from shady lending practices. The final legislation will also tighten regulations on the giant market in derivatives-complex, privately traded instruments tied to the underlying value of a commodity and seen as vehicles for dangerous speculation. Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on Dodd’s committee, told ABC television yesterday that compromise talks between his office and Dodd’s would continue but “I don’t believe we’ll have a deal today.”— AFP


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INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sarkozy pushes friendlier ties on China trip PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy sets off to China tomorrow for a visit intended to set the seal on reconciliation, two years after he offended Beijing with comments on Tibet. The state visit, Sarkozy’s second to China, will have a political rather than a commercial focus and will include talks on possible new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, the French presidency said. Sarkozy will be accompanied by his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and will find time during the three-day visit for some private sightseeing in the ancient city of Xian, a for-

mer imperial capital. He will meet President Hu Jintao and chief legislator Wu Bangguo in Beijing before travelling to Shanghai on Friday for the opening of the Shanghai World Expo, a huge multinational cultural exhibition. “China attaches a great importance” to Sarkozy’s visit, said a source in Beijing. A source in Paris added that “2010 will be an exceptional year for Franco-Chinese ties,” with “a return to unclouded relations”. The French president’s first state visit to China was in November 2007, six months after his election. The following year, relations hit a

bump when Sarkozy expressed shock at a fierce crackdown by Chinese forces in Tibet. Ties suffered further in April 2008 when pro-Tibetan demonstrators booed and jostled the Olympic flame as it was carried through Paris on its way to the Beijing Games. Tensions peaked when Sarkozy met with the Tibetan leader-in-exile, the Dalai Lama, in December 2008, before starting to ease with a meeting between Sarkozy and Hu at the G20 summit on the financial crisis last year. “We want to develop a partnership with China in the G20,” an official at the Elysee said ahead of this week’s trip.

France has helped lead efforts by the G20 grouping to reform world finance and is due to preside over it from November. The Elysee said China has “a growing, decisive, major role. There is no solution without China.” The two presidents will also discuss Iran. France and the United States are trying to win United Nations backing for new sanctions on Iran over its suspect nuclear program, but China is reluctant to punish a major trading partner and source of oil. Another sensitive issue for Sarkozy and Hu is China’s currency policy. Beijing is

accused by other countries of taking anticompetitive measures to weaken the yuan in order to keep its exports strong. “They will not tackle that subject headon,” a French official said, explaining that Sarkozy will merely seek China’s support for a general overhaul of the global monetary system by the G20. The 2007 visit saw France and China sign 20 billion euros (about 27 billion dollars) in business deals. This time, the Elysee has said, nuclear power, aeronautic and environmental projects will be discussed but not signed. “Big contracts will be discussed but there will be

no announcements,” an official said. “Those will be made when President Hu makes a state visit to France in the autumn,” about six months from now. The two countries are due to agree accords on development and education, including a plan for a 500-million-euro joint fund to support small businesses in both countries. Others include a forest conservation project in the southern province of Hunan, a cooperation accord on sustainable development in central Hubei and another for educational exchanges between French and Chinese universities. — AFP

King appears on TV, makes no comment on troubles

Protesters block police in deepening Thai crisis BANGKOK: Protests and blockades in the provinces yesterday, and a grenade attack against a politician, deepened fears of a civil conflict in Thailand after the prime minister rejected demands by anti-government protesters. Thailand’s revered King Bhumibhol Adulyadej made a rare appearance on Thai television at a ceremony to install judges, but made no direct comment Hopes for an end to a seven-week standoff that has paralyzed Bangkok and killed 26 people were dashed on the weekend when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected a proposal by the protesters for an election in three months. Concern is growing about the impact the prolonged protests is having on domestic businesses, with signs that consumer confidence is flagging, and the tourism industry-Thailand’s biggest foreign exchange earner-getting decimated. The government said yesterday it may have to shave 0.64 percent point from its 2010 economic growth forecast of 4.5 percent if the protests continue another three months. Bargain hunters bought Thai stocks, pushing the local index up 1.3 percent, in line with most Asian markets. But Chris Wood, an analyst at brokerage CLSA, said he had cut his allocation of Thai stocks to zero. “All evidence still points to a potentially inflammatory stalemate in Thai politics,” he said. THREATS TO MONARCHY Underlining those concerns, a grenade was hurled late on Sunday at a police post near the home of Banharn Silapa-Archa, chief adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana Party, part of the ruling coalition, wounding at least 11 people. Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd distributed a chart yesterday showing the names of those who authorities said may be involved in a network to undermine the monarchy. The list included former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, several red-shirt leaders, academics, and others involved in anti-government community radio stations and web sites. Thailand has a strict lese majeste law that restricts discussion of the country’s revered institution, and has a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail for violations of

on the political troubles in his kingdom, urging the judges to be honest and set a good example. Protesters fortified a sprawling encampment in Bangkok’s main shopping district and urged supporters in northern provinces to block convoys of police and soldiers from reinforcing the capital, adding to a growing sense of lawlessness.

BANGKOK: This frame grab taken off THAI TV shows Thai King Bhumibhol Adulyadej speaking to judges at the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok. — AFP it. The 82-year king, who has been in hospital the past seven months, has stepped in to help resolve past political crises, the last time in 1992. But the constitutional monarch, who is considered a powerful symbol of unity, has made no public statements on the current political deadlock. The mostly rural and urban poor “red shirts”, responded to their leaders’ call for resistance with a half-dozen blockades in their north and northeast strongholds, another headache for the Oxfordeducated Abhisit, who faces pressure from many urban middle class Thais to take a hard line against the protesters.

Hundreds manned roadblocks in at least three northeastern provinces and around Bangkok to prevent security forces from entering the capital ahead of what protest leaders said was an imminent security crackdown. Local television footage showed protesters carrying out searches, even on soldiers. A rival protest group known as the “yellow shirts” said they would gather on Thursday outside a heavily fortified army barracks where Abhisit has a temporary office to urge authorities to disperse the red shirts. They also called for martial law in lawless areas of the country. “Now there is a state within a state,” Suriyasai

Katasila, one of the movement’s leaders said yesterday. “It’s anarchy and the government needs to do something to end that.” The yellows shirts vowed to take action if the red shirts are not dispersed. They are well versed in street protests themselves, besieging the prime minister’s office for three months and taking over Bangkok’s airports for eight days in 2008. PREPARING FOR BATTLE The army chief has said repeatedly a crackdown would do more harm than good. Any attempt to break up the red shirt encampment-a 3 square-km area in a ritzy shopping district-risks heavy casualties and the prospect of clashes spilling into high-end residential areas. Red shirt guards wearing helmets and carrying wooden spears massed behind walls of tyres and bamboo poles at their Bangkok encampment in preparation for battle. Army chief Anupong Paochinda acknowledged on Sunday some retired and inactive officers had joined the protest movement, but sought to play down talks of a split in the armed forces. Analysts say a well-armed rogue military element led by retired generals back the protesters and is allied with the red shirts’ de facto leader, Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. Analysts and diplomats say both sides want to be in power in September during an annual reshuffle of the military, an institution central to protecting and upholding the monarchy. The red shirts say Abhisit came to power illegitimately in 2008, heading a coalition cobbled together with the help of the military, after a pro-Thaksin government fell when a court dissolved a party affiliated with him. — Reuters

S Korea mourns warship victims Hatoyama’s support slips SEOUL: South Korea’s president and thousands of people yesterday mourned the victims of a naval disaster as suspicions grew that a North Korean torpedo tore a warship apart near the tense border. “The Republic of Korea will not forget your lofty sacrifice,” President Lee MyungBak wrote in the guest book at a shrine outside Seoul’s City Hall to the 46 victims. The South has not so far directly blamed its communist neighbor for the blast which sank the Cheonan corvette near the disputed border on March 26. But Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young said Sunday a torpedo explosion which tore the ship into two pieces was among the likeliest causes. The suspicions have further worsened relations between two countries that have remained technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended only with an armistice. On Friday the North seized South Korean assets at a mountain resort in its territory, warning that the two countries were on the brink of war over claims in Seoul about the sinking. Pyongyang denies involvement. The South on Sunday began five days of national mourning, due to culminate Thursday in a mass funeral at a naval base in Pyeongtaek south of Seoul. Yesterday Lee, accompanied by ministers and top officials, laid a white chrysanthemum, observed a moment of silence and gazed at framed portraits of the dead sailors. A memorial banner was hung outside the presidential Blue House. Public shrines have been set up in several cities. The Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002, as well as a firefight last November which left a North Korean patrol boat retreating in flames. A North Korean general demoted in January-possibly to take the blame for damage suffered in the November sea clash-has now regained his former rank of four-star general, TV footage and a still photo showed. Kim Myong-Guk, who heads the general staff’s operations bureau, had been demoted to a three-star general in January, earlier photos showed. “We are trying to check what’s behind his promotion,” a Seoul intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. “We are trying to see if the promotion was related to the sinking of the Cheonan but have reached no conclusions yet.” Analysts have speculated that the sinking may have been in revenge for the clash last November. The general-sporting his four stars-was shown briefing the North’s leader Kim Jong-Il at a military base at an undisclosed location. South Korea

is mounting a multinational probe into the blast after lifting both sections of the ship from the bed of the murky Yellow Sea. Lee has vowed a “resolute” response when the cause is established. The sinking is a wake-up call to the realities of living next door to the world’s “most belligerent” state, he said last week. Both South Korean and US officials have indicated that any proof of the North’s involvement would jeopardize efforts to restart six-party nuclear disarmament talks. Analysts say Seoul would likely seek UN Security Council action, for which the support of the North’s ally China would be needed. A foreign ministry spokesman said Lee and Chinese President Hu Jintao were expected to discuss “recent political developments in and around the Korean peninsula” when they meet in Shanghai on Friday. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak offers a flower during a memorial service for the deceased sailors from the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheonan held at Seoul City Hall Plaza yesterday. — AP

as US base row heats up TOKYO: Two out of three Japanese voters disapprove of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and nearly 60 percent think he should resign if he fails to resolve a feud over a US airbase by an end of May deadline, a media poll showed yesterday. The survey, which comes a day after tens of thousands gathered on Okinawa to demand the base be moved off the island, bodes ill for his ruling Democratic Party’s chances of winning a majority in an upcoming election for parliament’s upper house. An inconclusive result in the election, expected in July or August, could hamper policymaking as the country struggles to maintain a fragile economic recovery while reining in its massive debt. Hatoyama got a rare piece of good news yesterday when media said a judicial review panel had ruled that prosecutors were right not to indict the premier over misreporting of his political funds, for which an aide was convicted last week. The panel is still reviewing whether Democratic Party SecretaryGeneral Ichiro Ozawa should be charged over another scandal, media say, and a finding against the ruling party kingpin would be a major blow to the prime minister. The Nikkei newspaper poll, conducted over the weekend, showed 68 percent of voters disapprove of Hatoyama, up 11 percentage points from the previous poll last month, partly on frustrations over the Futenma US base row. The United States wants to push ahead with a 2006 agreement to move the base from a city centre to a less crowded part of the island, but Hatoyama raised hopes during his election campaign last year that a new location could be found outside Okinawa. A number of alternative proposals have been leaked to domestic media, but Hatoyama’s failure to find one acceptable to both Japan’s biggest ally and Okinawa residents has helped erode support already damaged by funding scandals within his party. “We see this as one expression of public opinion,” Hatoyama told reporters when asked about the Okinawa rally. He said he remained determined to lighten the burden on Okinawa, which plays reluctant host to about half the US forces in Japan, and to remove the threat to public safety presented by Futenma’s location in a densely populated area. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, who travels to Japan today, said talks between the two countries were progressing well. “Some of the recent dialogue between US and Japan and some of the proposals that we are now looking at are encouraging,” he told the Kyodo news agency in Hong Kong. He later told reporters: “The next phase on how to handle discussions between our two countries on Okinawa will be critical. I think we’ve seen some signs that give us some cause ... that we’re encouraged but there’s a lot of hard work to be done.” Only 24 percent of respondents to the Nikkei poll said they supported Hatoyama, down 12 points on the previous survey and compared with levels of about 70 percent when he took office last September after a landslide election victory. Twenty percent of respondents said they would vote for the Democrats in the upper house election, down 4 percentage points. Support for the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was down at 14 percent, the Nikkei said. — Reuters

MANILA: Residents salvage their belongings in the debris after a fire gutted a slum area the night before in Manila yesterday. — AFP

Thousands homeless in Manila slum fire MANILA: Thousands of people were made homeless after a spectacular fire ripped through a crowded shanty town in the Philippine capital queued for food yesterday as they pondered how to rebuild their lives. Sunday’s blaze, likely started by a faulty power line, raged for more than seven hours and destroyed hundreds of homes in a depressingly familiar scene for the Manila region, where fires regularly engulf densely populated slums. One man who escaped the fire but went back in to retrieve his air conditioner was the only person confirmed to have been killed, but four others were injured, according to local government official Obet Madarang. Madarang, an aide to the mayor of Quezon City where the fire occurred, said 2,600 families, equating to about 15,000 people, had lost their homes and were now in desperate need of relief assistance. “We have enough food but we are lacking drinking water and portable toilets,” Madarang said as a huge line of people queued up for assistance close to the charred remains of their houses. One woman who lost her home, May Llegue, 28, said survivors appreciated the food but were worried about many other necessities that the government had yet to provide. “What we need is bedding because there are many children who have no place to sleep. And we need medical assistance for the elderly,” she said. Llegue was among the thousands of people, many of whom earn a living doing manual labor, crowded on sidewalks and in parking lots near their burned homes. Santa Jasio, 77, said she and her paraplegic husband, Rufo, narrowly avoided death after one of their grandchildren helped them down four flights of stairs to safety. But, with her husband lying next to her on cardboard sheets and the rest of her

family trying to salvage what they could from the ruins of their home, Jasio was feeling anything but lucky. “We lost everything. We don’t know what to do now,” she said. Government official Madarang said illegal power lines that slum dwellers typically set up were the likely cause of the fire. “A lot of people are illegally tapping the power lines. That was also believed to have been the cause of the last fire here six years ago,” he said. Madarang said the death toll from the fire was relatively low because it broke out in the afternoon when everyone was awake and able to evacuate. “If it had happened at night, many people would have died,” he said. Nearly four million people in Metro Manila, about 35 percent of the city’s population, live in overcrowded slums such as the one in Quezon City, according to United Nations data. Fires often rip through them, but the resilient slum dwellers are known to rebuild their homes and lives nearly as quickly as they are destroyed. Yesterday, vegetable dealer Melinda Resti, 49, had already reopened her store even though the rest of her building had been consumed by the blaze. “The whole second floor and the back of the store were lost. We barely have a roof. But the storefront wasn’t burned,” she said. Nearby, Mila Balanza, 53, kept a sharp watch over the remains of her food store, saying she feared some people would take advantage of the fire to take over her space. “I hardly have anything left. Even the few items in my store were looted,” she said. “But I will not leave, no matter what happens. I will be back. I already bought some cheap lumber so I can quickly start the rebuilding.” — AFP

Beijing staking ‘middle’ role at nuke conference China to focus on demands for more cuts by US, Russia BEIJING: China is likely to stake out a position between the big nuclear weapons states and the non-nuclear-armed countries at an international conference next month, a prominent Swedish think tank said yesterday. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report that Beijing faces pressure over its nuclear weapons modernization after Washington and Moscow signed a treaty to cut their much bigger arsenals of atomic missiles. For now, however, China is likely to fend off calls to formally curb its nuclear weapons development and could seek to use the conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to push back by backing demands from non-nucleararmed states for deeper cuts from Washington and Moscow, the report said. “China is unlikely to take part in any unilateral or multilateral (nuclear) disarmament steps in the near- to medium-term,” said the report written by Bates Gill, the director of SIPRI and an expert on Chinese security policy. “On the contrary, Chinese steps to modernize its nuclear arsenal will stand out among the world’s major nuclear weapons states,” said the report. US President Barack Obama announced this month a shift in US doctrine, vowing not to use atomic weapons against non-nuclear states that abide by the NPT. CHINA’S AWKWARD POSITION The deepening diplomacy over nuclear arms has thrown into relief China’s awkward position in atomic diplomacy-as a member of the club of five nuclear weapons states formally accepted by the NPT, but one claiming to share many developing countries’ demands and grievances with that club. Gill said that ambivalence is likely to play out at the conference throughout much of May discussing the NPT’s future. “Beijing will probably expect the United States in particular, but also Russia, to do much of the heavy lifting” over disarmament commitments, Gill said in an email. China is also likely to use the conference to

“defend the right of non-nuclear states, and particularly developing countries, to access nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes,” said the SIPRI report. Beijing faces growing calls from Western powers to support a fresh round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear activities. Although China has been discussing possible sanctions, it has also long stressed that Iranian demands for peaceful nuclear power must also be heeded. Under their new treaty, the United States and Russia vowed to limit their deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 each, 30 percent fewer than the limit set in a 2002 treaty. The SIPRI has estimated that as of 2009 China possessed 186 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. Since conducting its first nuclear test in 1964, China has said it will never be the first to use such weapons in any conflict. But Beijing wants to preserve some leeway to upgrade its arsenal, insulating its deterrent against possible moves by potential foes, including the United States developing anti-missile technology. China wants to have a limited nuclear “second strike” force to deter foes, the nation’s main military newspaper said last week, spelling out the ideas behind the country’s atomic modernization. China has been replacing liquid-fuelled ballistic nuclear-capable missiles with solid-fuel missiles, which will make launching them faster. It is also building new “Jin-class” ballistic missile submarines, capable of launching nuclear warheads while at sea. “It remains too early to expect China to enter into official multilateral disarmament discussions with the other nuclear weapons states,” Gill said in response to questions. But if the United States and Russia were to contemplate cutting their strategic warheads to below 1,000 each, that would “depend on the other nuclear weapons states, and especially China, showing a willingness to engage in multilateral disarmament discussions”, said Gill. — Reuters


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Afghan police: Explosions hit Kandahar, two dead KANDAHAR: Three explosions struck Kandahar yesterday morning, killing two civilians in the key southern Afghan city where the US is planning an offensive to clear out the Taleban. Two police officers and one civilian were wounded, authorities said. The first two blasts — one caused by a roadside bomb and the other from a motorbike packed with explosives about 30 feet (10 meters) away — happened within a minute of each other in downtown Kandahar, said Deputy Provincial Police Chief Fazel

Ahmad Sherzad. About two hours later, a third blast struck north of the city. The looming offensive and continuing crime and insecurity have rattled Kandahar’s half-million inhabitants. “The security in this city is deteriorating,” said Enayutullah Khan, 43, a rickshaw driver. “People leave their homes only to find food for their children, otherwise we don’t leave the house.” Kandahar is the largest city in southern Afghanistan and the birthplace of the Taleban, which still has considerable support

here. A US-led operation planned for this summer aims to clear Kandahar of Taleban fighters and break the grip of warlords who have allowed the fighters to slip back in. President Barack Obama has ordered 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, in part to back up the Kandahar offensive. The operation will be a critical test of the Afghan war. But the Taleban have launched increasingly deadly attacks ahead of the offensive. Since April 12, at least 20 civilians have been killed in Kandahar, including children. Aid

workers also have been targeted. Yesterday’s first two explosions, which killed two civilians and injured one police officer and one civilian, happened while a convoy of police vehicles was passing by, the Interior Ministry said. One of the explosions went off near a car belonging to Sherzad, the deputy police chief, but he was not inside the vehicle at the time. One policeman was injured in the blast in the city’s north. Also yesterday, Eric Laroche, the World Health Organization’s assis-

tant director-general for health action in crises, urged that more be done to protect the health of millions of Afghans still vulnerable to disasters like earthquakes and combat. “Much has been achieved in recent years to expand health care in many parts of the country, but we still see today that many Afghans remain extremely vulnerable to a wide range of humanitarian emergencies, and more needs to be done to protect them,” Laroche said in a statement, urging that more medical personnel and clinics be made available across

Afghanistan, particularly in remote areas. On Sunday, meanwhile, one Afghan police officer was killed and another was wounded during an attack on a militant compound in the Wordoch district of Badakshkhan province northeast of Kabul, according to an Interior Ministry statement released Monday. The statement said two militants were killed in the operation. During a search of the compound, authorities found explosives and eight different kinds of roadside bombs. Also Sunday, government forces

on a mission to eradicate poppies in eastern Nangrahar province came under fire, said Ghafor Khan, a provincial police spokesman. During the gunbattle three Afghans — one from the Afghan Army and two from the border police — were killed. Nine more members of various Afghan forces were also injured. Six Taleban militants were killed in the fighting and 12 were injured, Khan said. The area is now under government control, and the forces destroyed about 200 acres (80 hectares) of poppies. — AP

‘US concentrating more on Pakistan’s stability’

Afghanistan, India discuss south Asian militant threat NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in New Delhi yesterday and vowed to tackle the militant violence that threatens regional stability. The talks came two months after nine Indians were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul that Indian officials

KATHMANDU: Nepalese Prime Minister Madav Kumar Nepal shakes hand with Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister’s Office in Kathmandu yesterday. Gilani arrived yesterday for an overnight halt before proceeding to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Thimpu, Bhutan. — AFP

Nepal’s Maoist leader calls for public protest KATHMANDU: The leader of Nepal’s opposition Maoists yesterday urged the public to support a nationwide street protest aimed at toppling the current government. Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the protest planned for May 1 would be a massive but peaceful show of popular will demanding the ruling administration step down. “We have no alternative but to exert pressure on the current government who has no intention of moving the peace process forward or writing the constitution,” Dahal told reporters in Kathmandu. “We will lead a peaceful rally and we will not resort to any violence.” The Maoist party, which has the largest number of seats in parliament, is demanding that the coalition government resigns and be replaced by a

new, Maoist-led national government. Dahal’s comments come amid mounting concern about the state of the peace process that began when a decade-long civil war between the Maoists and the state ended in 2006. Nepal’s lawmakers have until May 28 to complete a new constitution that analysts say is key to ensuring lasting peace after the conflict in which more than 16,000 people died. They must also reach agreement on the integration of nearly 20,000 former Maoist fighters still languishing in cantonments around the country. The Maoist-led government fell in March 2009 after the president overruled its decision to sack the head of the army. Since then the party has held regular protests, calling for an apology and a parliamentary debate over the extent of the president’s powers. — AFP

THIMPU: A Bhutanese policeman directs traffic at a crossing decorated with gates to welcome dignitaries to the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Thimpu yesterday. Bhutan is set to host the annual summit of South Asian leaders for the first time April 28-29. — AFP

Indian govt denies phone-tapping claims NEW DELHI: India’s government yesterday denied tapping the telephones of senior politicians as noisy protests by the opposition brought parliamentary proceedings to a standstill. Opposition parties united to accuse the government of eavesdropping on senior political leaders and demanded a probe into the scandal reported by a magazine last week. Home Minister P. Chidamabaram promised to investigate but denied the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was involved. “I wish to state categorically that no telephone tapping or eavesdropping on political leaders was authorised by the previous UPA government. Nor has the present UPA government authorised any such activity,” he said. The row comes at a crucial time as the government is seeking support from its allies for a possible vote over high food prices, clear budget and several other key bills. Outlook magazine reported intelligence officers had tapped the phones of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat and Bihar state chief minister Nitish Kumar. The allegations have brought together opposition rivals who could demand a confidence vote on Tuesday. At least 13 opposition parties, led by the Communists, have demanded the vote against an unpopular hike in fuel prices. The Congress-led government

performed strongly when winning last year’s elections and is expected to survive the test, despite two allies quitting the coalition last month over a bill to reserve parliamentary seats for women. The opposition, however, demanded a statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue. “Democracy has to be defended,” L.K Advani, a veteran leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told the lower house of parliament, which was repeatedly adjourned amid uproar on the opposition benches. “This house will not be satisfied until the prime minister comes to the house and makes a statement,” Advani added, demanding new legislation to prevent such abuses of personal privacy. Parliamentary proceedings and clearance of key bills in the last two weeks have been stalled over a scandal involving India’s junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor and charges of tax irregularities in the Indian Premier League. Tharoor resigned a week ago after it was revealed his girlfriend had been given a free stake worth 15 million dollars in a new IPL cricket team to be based in his state. The opposition charged that this was a kickback for putting together the consortium that bought the franchise in the southern city of Kochi. Tharoor denies all wrongdoing. — AFP

“We discussed the issue of terrorism, which threatens our region,” Singh said. “President Karzai assured me that the government of Afghanistan will take all possible measures for the security of Indians in Afghanistan.” Officials in New Delhi say groups such as the LeT have the tacit support of Pakistan’s military and have accused the militants of mounting attacks against Indians in Kabul as part of a south Asian “proxy war.” Without mentioning Pakistan by name, Singh said the attacks in Kabul in February “were the handiwork of those who do not wish to see the emergence of a strong, independent and pluralistic Afghanistan.” He stressed that the attacks would not undermine India’s commitment to the country. India is also increasingly concerned over plans to open talks with “moderate” Talebana policy being pushed by many within the international coalition engaged in Afghanistan. Karzai, en route to a meeting of South Asian leaders in Bhutan starting tomorrow, said the two leaders had talked about the “peace jirga” planned in late May to bring together all of Afghanistan’s tribal leaders. He said the jirga would give advice on how to reconcile those Taleban and other militants “who are not part of AlQaeda, who are not part of any terrorist network.” India, which maintained warm relations with the United States under former president George W. Bush, has strong doubts about US President Barack Obama’s plans to withdraw from Afghanistan from next year. It fears the United States is concentrating more on Pakistan’s stability rather than the security threat that Pakistan poses to India. India’s embassy in Kabul was bombed last October and in July 2008, in what some observers see as a deliberate campaign to force India to pull out. New Delhi has poured money into Afghanistan and become an influential partner of the government in Kabul-to Islamabad’s growing concern. India also blames the LeT for the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 that left 166 people dead and worsened already acrimonious ties with arch-rival and neighbour Pakistan. The LeT and the Pakistani government deny involvement. India, which has repeatedly urged the global community to “stay the course” in Afghanistan, is worried that Pakistan and the Taleban could assume key roles in the country once foreign troops begin their pull-out. Some 4,000 Indians are building roads, sanitation projects and power lines in Afghanistan. India is also building the new Afghan parliament. Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan have fought three wars since the subcontinent’s 1947 partition and remain at loggerheads over the disputed region of Kashmir, which they administer jointly but claim in full. — AFP

blamed on Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). India is heavily involved in reconstruction and aid efforts in Afghanistan and has provided more than a billion dollars in assistance since the fall of the Islamist Taleban regime in 2001.

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) gestures as he talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) after a meeting in New Delhi yesterday. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in New Delhi to discuss a relationship seen as key to regional stability. — AFP

US drone strike kills eight in Pakistan MIRANSHAH: A US drone attack killed eight Islamist militants in Pakistan’s northwest tribal badlands yesterday, targeting Al-Qaeda and Talebanlinked groups for the second time in 48 hours. US missiles increasingly strike militants who use Pakistan’s rugged North Waziristan district as a haven to plot attacks on US-led troops who have fought against the Taleban for nearly nine years in neighbouring Afghanistan. Pakistani security officials said three US missiles struck a compound in the Khushali Toorkhel area, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miranshah, North Waziristan’s main town. “The target was a militant compound belonging to followers of a local rebel commander Haleem Khan,” a senior Pakistani security official told AFP, asking not to be named. “Eight militants were killed and several others sustained injuries in the strike,” another security official told AFP. Pakistani security officials said most of the dead were militants from the Mehsud tribe in neighbouring South Waziristan, from which top leaders and many foot soldiers in Pakistan’s main Tehreek-e-Taliban faction are drawn. Officials said that Khan, the local rebel commander, was not among the dead. He is believed to have ties to Taleban-linked Afghan warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is reputed to control up to 2,000 fighters in the region who stage attacks over the border against foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan. The United States has significantly increased drone strikes on North Waziristan this year, the last one on Saturday killing seven militants.

More than 880 people have been killed in nearly 100 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, and the bombing raids fuel anti-American sentiment in Muslim Pakistan and draw public condemnation from the government. The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Central Intelligence Agency has started using smaller missiles in its hunt for Al-Qaeda and other militant leaders in Pakistan in hopes of minimising civilian casualties. Citing unnamed current and former officials in the United States and Pakistan, the newspaper said the new technology had resulted in more accurate strikes that have provoked relatively little public outrage. US officials say the strikes are a vital tool to protect the 126,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and have killed a number of high-value targets

including Pakistani Taleban chief Baitullah Mehsud. Many officials also believe his successor Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a strike in January, but there has been no official confirmation of his death. The rugged tribal belt has become a stronghold for hundreds of extremists who fled neighbouring Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in late 2001. Taliban militants yesterday shot dead a pro-government tribal elder, Maulana Abdul Haleem, in Bajaur, in the far north of the tribal belt, officials said. His bullet-riddled body was dumped in the bazaar of Nawagi, a rural town some 30 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of Khar, the main town in the lawless district where Pakistani troops have been fighting since August 2008. “There was a rope around

the neck of Maulana Abdul Haleem and his body had several bullet wounds and signs of torture,” local administration official Irshad Khan told AFP. Haleem had been kidnapped late Sunday with four other elders, Khan said. Two security officials confirmed the incident. The killing was the latest in a string of assassinations of respected tribal elders allied to the government against Islamist extremists. Under US pressure, Pakistan last year significantly increased operations against militants in the tribal belt, which Washington has called the most dangerous region on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda. But the military has so far appeared reluctant to launch a similar all-out assault into North Waziristan, where many insurgents have sought sanctuary. — AFP

SRINAGAR: Indian policemen scuffle with activists of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during a protest in Srinagar, India, yesterday. The activists were demanding the Indian government revoke the armed forces special powers act in the region. — AP


OPINION

12

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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No exit seen from very un-Thai crisis By Denis D Gray

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hether keeping rapacious colonial powers at bay, averting political violence or settling family squabbles, Thais have earned a reputation for deft diplomacy, thwarting confrontation and achieving compromise, or as they proudly say, “bending with the wind like bamboo.” Until now, it seems. The latest iteration of Thailand’s political crisis, which pits a largely rural movement against the government, is in its seventh week. There is no end in sight and seemingly no one able to break the deadlock that has seen protesters occupying key areas of Bangkok for weeks. Individuals and institutions, including the monarchy, that once played key mediating roles, are either powerless or silent. Confrontations have so far taken the lives of 26 people and paralyzed central Bangkok, where the protesters, known as the Red Shirts, occupy a square-mile (half-kilometer) of some of the capital’s most glamorous shopping areas. Almost everyone agrees that old-fashioned give-and-take is the best way out of the stalemate, which has crippled Thailand’s golden tourist industry and shaken investor confidence. But three rounds of talks have already failed, and the seemingly intractable standoff even has some worrying publicly about the potential for civil war. “Every night, the country is sitting on a time bomb, waiting for chaos to occur,” says Surichai Wun-gaeo, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. The latest talks broke down Saturday after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected a Red Shirt proposal that Parliament be dissolved in 30 days, a softening of earlier demands for immediate dissolution to be followed by elections. The Red Shirts consist mainly of rural supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and pro-democracy activists who opposed the military coup that ousted him in 2006. They believe Abhisit’s government is illegitimate because it came to power under military pressure through a parliamentary vote after disputed court rulings ousted two elected pro-Thaksin governments. But what really fuels the protesters - and makes reconciliation difficult - are not legal decisions and political wrangling, but deep-seated anger at a Bangkok-based elite they say treats the rural poor as secondclass citizens while it fails to alleviate their poverty. Compromise is hard even for past masters of the art, given the “intensification of polarization” in Thai society, says Surat Horachaikul, another political scientist at Chulalongkorn University. “This time it involves a change of the system. Never before has the nation been polarized this way,” he says. Some protest leaders and academics have called into question past compromises -

which they say merely involved the hoodwinking of the havenots by power brokers who made empty promises - suggesting they underscore exactly what’s wrong with the system. “Different people see history differently. Thai society is made to think that we’re a compromising people and the Land of Smiles. That’s not true,” says Chulalongkorn’s Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee. Third parties who in the past have helped pull the country back from the edge of chaos have so far played little role in the crisis. Someone like Anand Panyarachun, a former prime minister and highly regarded peacemaker who warns that Thailand was on the “verge of catastrophe,” is seen by the protesters as too close to the power elite. The much-revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, perhaps the pivotal figure in modern Thai history, has been hospitalized since Sept. 19 and remains silent. Last week, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a former prime minister, petitioned the 82-year-old king, saying “I can see that there is no other institution that can stop this except the monarchy.” The US-born Bhumibol, the world’s longest reigning monarch, stepped in to stop bloodshed during a student uprising in 1973 and again during antimilitary street protests in 1992. Both events lasted just days. Bhumibol’s predecessors are credited with cleverly playing Great Britain and France against each other in the 19th century, insuring that Thailand remained a rare exception - a country in the non-Western world that was never colonized. But Paul Handley, who authored a biography of the king, says that Bhumibol’s “health problems may have left him without the energy to hash out a deal personally.” The king, he says, has the constitutional right to order a dissolution, but he has never done so without the agreement of the government in power, so it is still the government that must strike a deal with the protesters. “For the king or the palace to step in publicly, they have to have first crafted a compromise they know will succeed in defusing the situation. If the king makes a public move and it doesn’t work, then everyone will see him as weak,” says the author of “The King Never Smiles.” Still, Handley and others say it is still not too late for a peaceful resolution since both sides have already agreed that Parliament would be dissolved and have narrowed their disagreements over when this should occur. Other crises in the past, they note, have been defused through new elections, although the government and its allies presently fear balloting would simply bring proThaksin leaders. That, in turn, could spark fresh demonstrations and possible violence if the legions of anti-Thaksin “Yellow Shirt” protesters whose mass rallies preceded the 2006 coup and sought the ouster of subsequent proThaksin administrations, including shutting the capital’s airports for a week - take to the streets once again. — AP

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US targets an American abroad By Vicki Divoll

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ccording to media reports, the United States has taken the apparently unprecedented step of authorizing the “targeted killing” of one of its citizens outside a war zone - though the government has not officially acknowledged it. Unnamed intelligence and counter-terrorism sources told reporters that the Obama administration had added Anwar al Awlaki, a Muslim cleric born in New Mexico, to the CIA list of suspected terrorists who may be captured or killed. Awlaki, believed to be in hiding in Yemen, has been linked to Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood, Texas, shooter, and to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up an airliner in December. The reports indicate that the administration had concluded Awlaki had taken on an operational role in terrorist attacks. His addition to the CIA list shouldn’t “surprise anyone,” according to one anonymous US official quoted in the New York Times. It is surprising, however. As a matter of US law, had the administration wanted merely to listen to Awlaki’s cellphone conversations or read his emails, it would have needed to check with another branch of government - the judiciary. But to target him for death, the executive branch appears to have acted alone. It adds up to this: Awlaki’s right to privacy exceeds his right to life. Since when has the fate of an American citizen - his privacy, his liberty, his life - rested solely within the hands of the executive branch of government? Under our Constitution, life, liberty and property cannot be taken from us without due process of law. Due process means very different things in different contexts, but it usually involves judges. If the state wants to take your land for public use, it can, but you are entitled

to a judicial hearing on its value. If the government wants to listen to your phones, the police must seek a warrant from a judge. If your government detains you, you are entitled to seek a judicial hearing on the lawfulness of your detention. And if you are to be punished for your actions by death, the decision is made in court, after a trial that determines your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a second trial that determines that you deserve the ultimate punishment. In our system, even if we sometimes fail, we try to get it right before we take the life of a fellow citizen. To do that we need process and we need judges. Of course, the Constitution is primarily a territorial document. It does not apply to foreign people in foreign countries. But it protects everyone inside the United States, both citizens and foreigners, even undocumented foreigners. It is unclear, however, which of our rights as US citizens travel with us when we go overseas. Because the government hasn’t been in the habit of taking away the rights of its citizens while they are abroad, there haven’t been a lot of legal tests of the question. And so far, the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether constitutional guarantees prevent the government from killing its citizens abroad. But we don’t have to rely solely on the high court for an answer. It has been the job of Congress for 220 years to pass laws that pick up where the Constitution leaves off in order to protect American citizens from the excesses of government. In 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, going beyond the Fourth Amendment by requiring the executive to seek a judicial order before conducting electronic surveillance on individuals inside the United States to collect foreign intelligence. In

2008, FISA was amended to require a judicial order for conducting surveillance on citizens when they are overseas too.

NOTE: Vicki Divoll is a former general counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a former assistant general

counsel for the CIA. She teaches US government and constitutional development at the US Naval Academy — MCT

All that jazz in Pakistan By Sundus Rasheed

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cience fiction fans may remember how humans and aliens communicated with one another using a five-tone musical motif in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The movie was also one of the first to portray space aliens as friendly - albeit different - neighbours, rather than enemy invaders. The idea of music creating a bridge between real-life cultures was evident last year when I had the privilege of producing radio shows featuring performances by two jazz quartets from the United States - The Ari Roland Quartet and Cultures in Harmony. Besides performing American jazz music for a Pakistani radio audience, The Ari Roland Quartet, originally based in New York, held live classes and workshops for Pakistani youth and music enthusiasts and encouraged discussions on the similarities between jazz and South Asian music - essentially using music to communicate across American and Pakistani misunderstandings and stereotypes. The quartet performed for the American Independence Day celebrations in the American missions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad over a period of two weeks. Unfortunately, the reach of the live programme was restricted to ambassadors and guests due to security concerns, but the magic of The Ari Roland Quartet still came alive for a wider audience through the CityFM89 radio station for Karachi audiences as they performed on the air during the station’s jazz show - “Take 5 with Zahir”. They took a Pakistani pop classic called “Dil Dil Pakistan” (“Heart, Heart Pakistan”) by Pakistan’s legendary pop group Vital Signs and added cellos and saxophones. Their version of the classic song received a fair amount of airtime on the cities’ radio stations. The quartet brought a typical American musical art form to Pakistan and let Pakistanis make it their own. As Ari Roland himself said, “The history of jazz has to do with taking songs that everyone knows and

making jazz performances of them.” The same melodies, different instruments. The same thoughts, different languages. A few months later on Pakistan’s Independence Day - 14 August - The Citizen’s Foundation, a local charity in Karachi focusing on providing education to the nation’s youth, brought a jazz quartet from the US non-governmental organisation Cultures in Harmony to Pakistan. Cultures in Harmony is led by Julliard School graduate William Harvey, who performed with fellow musicians Ethan Philbrick, Chris Jenkins and Emily Holden. The quartet performed at schools run by The Citizen’s Foundation in some of the country’s poorest areas and collaborated with some of the most acclaimed and popular musicians of the country. The quartet traveled extensively in Pakistan and received a great deal of media coverage and great responses to their music. In fact, their string quartet version of the Pakistani national anthem is now available as a cell phone ring tone in Pakistan. And when they performed the national anthem for radio, I felt my eyes tearing up. What resounded in my ears was a passion for my nation that was shared by four Americans. These performances demonstrate that the coming together of cultures does not mean that one be overpowered by the other. The practice of American musicians performing alongside Pakistani musicians demonstrates the reality that Americans want to learn from Pakistanis and their culture. Pakistanis feel that Americans have travelled abroad in recent years only to tell people what to do. But it is these kinds of cultural exchanges that help foster the notion that the vast majority of Americans are respectful and willing to learn from their counterparts in Pakistan and beyond. NOTE: Sundus Rasheed manages and creates content for the English-language radio network CityFM89 in Karachi, Pakistan and also comments on various social issues and pop culture — CGNews

Rocky start for new global board By Martin Crutsinger

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he Group of 20 nations, designated as the new board of directors for the global economy, is off to a rocky start. Financial ministers and central bank governors from the 20 countries met in Washington over the past three days to advance a reform agenda designed to fix serious problems that the 2008 financial crisis exposed. But in the end, instead of resolving differences, the discussions exposed a number of divisions not only over old issues but new problems such as rising government debt burdens. The worry is that the debt crisis currently hitting Greece could be only the first of a series of government debt crises. The level of government debt has risen to heights not seen since just after World War II. Of course, the finance officials sought to paper over differences, issuing a series of bland communiques pledging greater efforts at cooperation. They insisted that they would intensify efforts to resolve disagreements on financial rules before a meeting of G-20 leaders in Canada June 25-27. But that will require considerable effort given stark differences in such areas as setting new capital standards for banks and imposing new bank taxes to pay for the cost of bailouts. It is highly

The Development Committee meets on the final day of the G-20 summit of finance ministers and central bank governors at World Bank headquarters in Washington Sunday. – AP unlikely that all of those disputes will be resolved in time for President Barack Obama and the other G-20 leaders to agree on a completed package at their Canada summit. For one thing, many governments are facing the same challenges as the Obama administration in trying to overcome determined opposition from big banks to tightening the current rules under which they are making a lot of

money. Those activities, which have been blamed for bringing on the crisis, include trading in complex financial products such as derivatives and operating with inadequate amounts of capital to cushion against losses. While an IMF staff paper endorsed imposing new taxes on banks, an idea that has support in the administration and in Europe, other G-20 countries

_ Canada, Australia and Japan - are opposed. They argue that their banks didn’t suffer massive failures and therefore shouldn’t have to bear the burden of new taxes. IMF Managing Director Dominick Strauss-Kahn tried to put the best face on the disagreements in the financial area, saying it wasn’t important for countries to adopt the same approach as long as whatever rules changes they adopted were compatible with other countries. The concern is that in an era of financial globalization - where millions of dollars can flow around the world at the click of a computer key - countries need to pursue similar approaches to regulation. If they don’t, it could spark a race to the bottom where financial firms go searching for nations with weaker rules that allow them to pursue riskier activities and rake in greater profits. “I think the charges lodged against Goldman Sachs in the United States have helped countries see the need for reforms, but they are still far apart on the best approach,” said Sung Won Sohn, a business professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University. Even in areas where the G-20 was able to agree on a more coordinated approach, there is concern that the efforts will fall short of what is needed to keep the global economy on an even keel. G-20

officials endorsed providing emergency loans through the IMF to debt-ridden Greece. But the size of the overall package being discussed - about $40 billion from European countries and $13.4 billion from the IMF - was viewed by many analysts as falling well short of what will eventually be required not only for Greece but other nations sinking under rising debt burdens. “What the financial crisis and Great Recession did was pile on a lot of debt and it will take some time for nations to work through their budget problems,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. All of the disagreements among the G-20 nations may have some people pining for the old days when the board of directors for the global economy was much smaller. For three decades, the global economic agenda was set by the G-7, composed of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada, the seven biggest economies in the mid1970s when this group was formed. But with China now the third largest economy in the world and economic powerhouses Brazil, India and South Korea also key members of the G-20, the old G-7 days are certainly gone forever. No matter how messy, the world needs to get accustomed to a bigger board room. — AP


ANALYSIS

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

13

Climate debate gets ugly By David Fogarty

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urderer, liar, fraud, traitor. Climate scientists, used to dealing with sceptics, are under siege like never before, targeted by hate emails brimming with abuse and accusations of fabricating global warming data. Some emails contain thinly veiled death threats. Across the Internet, climate blogs are no less venomous, underscoring the surge in abuse over the past six months triggered by purported evidence that global warming is either a hoax or the threat from a warmer world is grossly overstated. A major source of the anger is from companies with a vested interest in fighting green legislation that might curtail their activities or make their operations more costly. “The attacks against climate science represent the most highly coordinated, heavily financed, attack against science that we have ever witnessed,” said climate scientist Michael Mann, from Pennsylvania State University in the United States. “The evidence for the reality of human-caused climate change gets stronger with each additional year,” Mann told Reuters in emailed responses to questions. Greenpeace and other groups say that some energy companies are giving millions to groups that oppose climate change science because of concerns about the multi-billion dollar costs associated with carbon trading schemes and clean energy policies. For example, rich nations including the United States, Japan and Australia, are looking to introduce emissions caps and a regulated market for trading those emissions. More broadly, the United Nations is trying to seal a tougher climate accord to curb emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation blamed for heating up the planet. Other opponents are drawn into the debate by deep concerns that governments will trample on freedoms or expand their powers as they try to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and minimise the impacts of higher temperatures. “There are two kinds of opponents - one is the fossil fuel lobby. So you have a trillion-dollar industry that’s protecting market share,” said Stephen Schneider of Stanford University in California, referring to the oil industry’s long history of funding climate sceptic groups and think tanks. “And then you have the ideologues who have a deep hatred of government involvement,” said Schneider, a veteran climate scientist and author of the book “Science as a contact sport”. The result is a potent mix that has given the debate a quasi-religious tone with some climate critics coming from the right-wing fringe and making arguments as emotive as those raised in the abortion and creationism debates in the United States. The debate has largely become drawn along political lines, at least in the US, where opponents in the Republican Party question climate science and raise doubts over the need to implement greener policies such as those espoused by climate change campaigner and former Vice President, Al Gore. In a party conference in April, Republican firebrand Sarah Palin, a potential 2012 presidential nominee, mocked what she called the “snake-oil-based, global warming, Gore-gate” crowd. The green lobby is also to blame. Exaggerations by some green interest groups, which have at times over-played the immediacy of the problem to bring about a groundswell of support for a new U.N. climate treaty and green policies, have given sceptics plenty of ammunition. Sceptics also point to admissions in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change that there is a 10 percent chance global warming is part of a natural cycle. The same report says there’s a 90 percent probability that climate change is due to human activities led by burning fossil fuels. Nevertheless, the sceptics demand 100 percent certainty, something that researchers say is impossible. “This time it’s different” Scientists and conservationists say some anti-climate change lobbyists are funded by energy giants such as ExxonMobil, which has a long history of donating money to interest groups that challenge climate science. According to a Greenpeace report released last month, ExxonMobil gave nearly $9 million to entities linked to the climate denialist camp between 2005 and 2008. The report, using mandatory SEC reporting on charitable contributions, also shows

that foundations linked to Kansas-based Koch Industries, a privately owned petrochemical and chemicals giant, gave nearly $25 million. Koch said the Greenpeace report mischaracterised the company’s efforts. “We’ve strived to encourage an intellectually honest debate on the scientific basis for claims of harm from greenhouse gases,” the company said in a note on its website. ExxonMobil makes no secret of funding a range of groups, but says it has also discontinued contributions to several public policy research groups. “We contribute to an array of public policy organisations that research and promote discussion on climate change and other domestic and international issues,” the company says on its website. Stanford’s Schneider has dealt with sceptics for years. But this time, he says, it’s different. “I don’t see it stopping,” said Schneider by telephone. “I see it intensifying. The ugliness is what’s new.” One of the thinly veiled death threats that Schneider has received says: “You communistic dupe of the UN who wants to impose world

government on us and take away American freedom of religion and economy - you are a traitor to the US, belong in jail and should be executed.” Hacked Emails Scientists say there is a wealth of data showing the planet is warming, that it’s being triggered by rising levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and that man is to blame. Sceptics counter this by saying that rising CO2 levels is natural and harmless and that it’s impossible for mankind to influence the way the planet functions. Others play up doubts or errors in some scientific studies to undermine it all. Many also say warming has stalled, pointing to the recent burst of cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere as evidence of global cooling, even though satellite data show that, overall, Nov. 2009 to Jan. 2010 was the warmest Jan-Nov the world has seen since satellite temperature data began in 1979. Then came the release of emails hacked late last year from a British climate research unit. The “climategate” emails, totalling more than 1,000, were

stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), and involve correspondence between director Phil Jones and other leading climate scientists, including Schneider and Mann. The emails led to allegations the scientists fudged data to bolster the case for mankind causing global warming, setting off a surge of criticism across the Internet accusing climate scientists of a massive hoax. “This whole thing has gone viral on the Internet,” said Cindy Baxter of Greenpeace, author of a recent report “Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Industry and Climate Science.” “You’ve got all those voices out there on the blogosphere who are then picked up and echoed,” she told Reuters. The University of East Anglia has been a particular target. “There have been an awful lot of abusive emails since ‘climategate’ broke,” said university spokesman Simon Dunford. Sceptics were accused of very selectively choosing only a small number of the hacked emails and taking

comments out of context to misrepresent the scientists’ meaning. A British government inquiry cleared Jones of any wrongdoing, but said CRU was wrong to withhold information from sceptics. Mann, who was accused of falsifying data, was cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal investigation by Penn State University. Truth and trust Sceptics also accused the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of supporting flawed science after several errors in a major 2007 report surfaced. The errors, including a reference to a non-peer reviewed study that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, represent a fraction of the conclusions in the

report, the main climate policy guide for governments, which is based on the work of thousands of scientists. The IPCC has defended its work and has ordered a review. Many governments, including the United States, Britain and Australia have also reiterated their faith in the IPCC. For climate scientists, truth and trust are at stake. “In general, the battle for public opinion is being lost,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. His emails were also hacked in the CRU incident. “There is so much misinformation and so many polarised attitudes that one can not even hold a rational discussion or debate. The facts are certainly lost or glossed over in many cases. The media have been a bust.” Schneider said the mainstream media had failed to do “its job of sorting out credible from non-credible and not giving all claimants of truth equal status at the bargaining table”. Across the Internet, the climate science debate is being played out in a myriad of climate sceptic sites and blogs as well as sites defending the science of human-induced climate change. One high-profile site is climatedepot.com, run by Marc Morano, a former aide to US Republican Senator James Inhofe, who is an outspoken critic of climate change policies. Morano, who told Reuters he had also been the target of abusive emails, has been quoted as saying that climate scientists should be publicly flogged. “The global warming scientists need to feel and hear the public’s outrage at their shenanigans like “climategate” ... There is no advocacy of violence or hint that people should threaten them,” Morano said, adding: “Public outrage is healthy.” “The emperor has no clothes” Another prominent climate change denialist, Christopher Monckton, who’s associated with the US-based Science and Public Policy Institute,

what he calls the “non-problem of global warming” and in an email interview with Reuters accused climate change scientists of being “increasingly desperate to discredit anyone who dares to point out that the Emperor has no clothes”. Media commentators have added their voices, polarising public opinion further. In the United States, conservative radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh said on the air last November that climate change was a massive hoax and that all climate scientists involved should be “named and fired, drawn and quartered, or whatever it is”. In Australia, just as in the United States, the level of abuse also coincides with media appearances or the release of peer-reviewed scientific work on climate change. “Each time I have a media profile in terms of media reports on scientific papers, major presentations, there is a flurry. So if I am on TV, or radio there ends up being a substantial increase,” said David Karoly of the University of Melbourne. “One of the purposes for the attacks is either an intention to waste my time or to distract my attention essentially from communication about climate change science or even undertaking research, and it’s also perhaps intended to make me concerned about my visibility.” Absolute proof “We get emails to say we’re destroying the Australian economy, we get emails to say it will be our fault when no one in Australia can get a job. We get emails just basically accusing us of direct fraud and lying on the science,” said Andy Pitman, co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. “My personal reaction to them is personal recognition that this means we are a threat to the sorts of people who would be trying to prevent the finding of solutions to global warming.” Pitman said a major problem was trying to satisfy demands for absolute proof of human-induced global warming. “There is no proof in the context that they want it, that the earth goes around the sun. They are demanding a level of proof that doesn’t exist in science. “And then they say when you can’t prove it to the extent that they want, then clearly that means there isn’t any evidence, which of course is a logical fallacy.” Better communication about the science is key, scientists say, even if they complain that many sceptics are reluctant to debate the science on a level playing field. “One of the ways I describe it (the debate) is it’s very asymmetric,” said Roger Wakimoto, director of NCAR in Colorado. “It’s very difficult to counter someone who just says ‘you’re wrong. I think this is a scam’. How do you respond to that? ... They haven’t done any research, they haven’t spent years looking into the problem. This is why it’s asymmetric,” he said. “We like to go into a scientific debate, show us you’re evidence and we’ll tell why we agree or disagree with you. But that’s not what the naysayers are doing,” Wakimoto added. “We’ve never experienced this sort of thing before,” he said of the intense challenges to climate science and the level of email and Internet traffic. All the climate change scientists with whom Reuters spoke said they were determined to continue their research despite the barrage of nasty emails and threats. Some expressed concern the argument could turn violent. “My wife has made it very clear, if the threats become personalised, I cease to interact with the media. We have kids,” said one scientist who did not want to be identified. — Reuters

told Reuters he doesn’t condone the coordinated attack on climate scientists, saying that he, too, was a victim. He said his main aim was to expose

Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan By Tim Sullivan

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cross Afghanistan, behind the obvious battles fought for this country’s soul, a shadow war is being quietly waged. It’s being fought with spies and proxies, with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money and ominous diplomatic threats. The fight pits nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan against one another in a battle for influence that will almost certainly gain traction as the clock ticks down toward America’s military withdrawal, which President Barack Obama has announced will begin next year. The clash has already sparked bloody militant attacks, and American officials fear the region could become further destabilized. With Pakistani intelligence maintaining ties to Afghanistan’s Taleban militants, India has threatened to draw Iran, Russia and other nations into the competition if an anti-Indian government comes to power in Kabul. “This is a delicate game going on here,” said Daoud Muradian, a senior adviser to the Afghan Foreign Ministry. He spoke wearily about how Afghanistan, a mountainous crossroads linking South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia, has for centuries often been little more than a stage for other countries’ power struggles. “We don’t want to be forced to choose between India and Pakistan.” For both India and Pakistan, Afghanistan is an exceedingly valuable prize. To India, ties with Kabul mean new trade routes, access to Central Asia’s vast energy reserves and a way to stave off the rise of Islamic militancy. It means the chance for New Delhi to undermine Islamabad as it nurtures its superpower aspirations by expanding its

regional influence. While Pakistan is also desperate for new energy supplies, its Afghan policy has been largely shaped by the view that Afghanistan is its natural ally. The two countries share a long border, overwhelmingly Muslim populations and deep ethnic links. Then there is fear. Pakistan and India have already fought three wars over the past seven decades, and Pakistani military leaders are terrified of someday being trapped militarily between India on one border and a pro-India Afghanistan on the other. “We can’t afford an unfriendly government in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan. The shadow war began in earnest in the wake of the 2001 US invasion, when the Taleban government was forced from power and New Delhi began courting Afghanistan’s new leaders. It was a move into a country that Islamabad, a fierce supporter of the Taleban government, had seen as its diplomatic territory for two decades. But New Delhi quickly became a close ally of President Hamid Karzai, is in India for talks aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. On the surface, both India and Pakistan are bringing help to a country that desperately needs it. New Delhi has built highways in the western deserts and brought electricity to Kabul. It is constructing a new Parliament building and offers free medical care in clinics across Afghanistan. Despite its immense spending needs - India has widespread poverty and staggering infrastructure problems despite its rapidly growing economy - it has given more than $1.3 billion in development aid. That, in turn, has sparked Pakistani efforts, with Islamabad spending about $350

million on everything from school textbooks to buses. But this is far from pure humanitarianism. Gen Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, laid out the situation bluntly: “While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures,” he warned in a report late last year. Heightened tensions are the last thing the US wants. The Afghan war has killed more than 1,800 coalition soldiers more than 1,100 of them Americans. More than 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed just last year. If the competition over Afghanistan is rooted in a cocktail of issues, much of it revolves around the Taleban. New Delhi’s perceptions of modern Afghanistan have been molded by its memories of the 1996-2001 Taleban government, the fundamentalist Muslim regime which rose to power with Pakistan’s help. It was a time when New Delhi was openly despised in Kabul, when anti-India insurgents trained in Afghan camps and the hijackers of an Indian airliner were welcomed here as heroes. Even after the Taleban government fell, Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, InterServices Intelligence, or ISI, retained links to the Taleban insurgency now battling the American-led forces and the Karzai government, in case the Taleban ever return to power. But if there’s one thing New Delhi does not want, it’s another militant Islamic government in Kabul. “We want the stabilization of Afghanistan because it is directly related to our security. Plain and simple,” said Jayant Prasad, the Indian ambassador to Afghanistan,

speaking inside his heavily guarded Kabul residence. India has paid heavily for its Afghan involvement. The Indian Embassy was bombed in 2008 and again last year, leaving 75 people dead. Six Indians were killed by militants during the construction of an India-funded highway. Two Kabul guest houses popular among Indians have been attacked. The last attack, in February, left at least six Indians dead and forced New Delhi to temporarily close its medical and teaching missions in Kabul. India blamed that attack on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the same group believed to be behind the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. India and the United States have both said the embassy attacks were carried out by militants allied to Pakistan’s ISI. The Pakistanis “are bringing the proxy war to Afghanistan and we are the targets,” said Prasad. It’s an accusation that Pakistan angrily denies. “India has always used Afghanistan against us,” said Sadiq, the Pakistani ambassador. Karzai has made little secret of his preference for India. The president, who was educated in India, has loudly welcomed New Delhi’s assistance while rarely mentioning Pakistan’s aid. Other Afghan officials barely disguise their distrust of Pakistan. Pakistan wants “a puppet state in Kabul, a subservient state,” said Muradian, the foreign ministry adviser. “India wants a stable, pluralistic Afghanistan.” Certainly, India has shown it is willing to play diplomatic hardball. Even India’s allies say New Delhi has a large presence in Afghanistan from its foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, or RAW. At least one victim of the February guest house attack

was an undercover RAW agent, a senior Afghan official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. According to Islamabad, many of those agents are providing support to separatist militants in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province - an accusation New Delhi denies. The reality remains murky. Pakistan keeps Baluchistan largely sealed off to outsiders. Western diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, say Indian intelligence is believed to be in contact with the Baluchi separatists, though it’s unclear if they provide any support. India also is keeping in reserve its longtime links to Afghan warlords, in case Afghanistan is again divided by violence. For years, New Delhi supplied the leaders of the Northern Alliance, the collection of ethnic militias that battled the Taleban (and often one another), with food, intelligence and medical care. Later, after the Alliance helped the US oust the Taleban in 2001, the warlords scattered into government and business - and sometimes into crime or exile. But India remains in close contact with a range of the former militia leaders, according to people with close ties to New Delhi’s foreign policy elite, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. New Delhi’s biggest worry is that US forces will withdraw from Afghanistan before Karzai’s government is in full control of the country. An early withdrawal, India fears, could allow Islamabad and the Taleban militants to gain more power in Afghanistan and potentially even usher in another government hostile to New Delhi. While a full American pullout appears unlikely anytime soon, US mil-

itary officials have angered New Delhi by talking about the possibility of allowing some Taleban to join the Afghan government. India warns it could form a coalition with Iran - an alliance that would infuriate Washington - if the Taleban appear poised to return to power. The “self-interested coalition” could include Russia and several Central Asian states that would also fear a Taleban return, according to an Indian with knowledge of the diplomatic maneuvering. For now, though, India’s program to win Afghan hearts and minds is clearly working. Take the three Indian doctors working in the dusty northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, dispensing prescriptions and performing surgeries in a faded colonial-era hospital that somehow survived the years of fighting. Every morning, clusters of women in blue burqas gather in the narrow hallway outside the clinic, while men wait in the parking lot. They are the poorest people in one of the world’s poorest countries: widows, the unemployed, the elderly. They measure the distance to the clinic by the cost of getting there - and a 10-cent bus ride is a painful investment. About 150 arrive every day for free care and medicine. An old man named Myagul - he has only one name, and didn’t know his age had been coughing badly, he said, and growing dizzy when he stood up. The doctors prescribed blood pressure medicine and cough syrup. He’d already been to a handful of doctors, but they had all asked for fees he couldn’t afford. But on a warm Afghan morning, the old man with the greasy beard and the torn blazer left the clinic clutching a handful of medicines, weary but pleased. “Finally it was these Indians who helped.” — AP


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NEWS

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

French Muslim says he has mistresses, not a polygamist

ALLAHABAD: Indian farmers transport watermelons on camels on their way to market yesterday. Watermelon, a summer fruit, gains popularity with the rise of temperature, which has already crossed 44 degrees centigrade in different parts of India. —AP

Israel freezes Jerusalem building JERUSALEM: The Israeli government has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in Jerusalem’s disputed eastern sector, municipal officials said yesterday. The decision was made despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public insistence that building would not be stopped in the face of US pressure. It remained unclear if the slowdown constituted a formal moratorium or how long it would last, but the move reflected Netanyahu’s need to mend a serious rift with the US over Israeli construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state as Washington tries to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. An Israeli government official claimed a weekslong delay in reviewing plans for new construction was nothing more than a bureaucratic issue. Nonetheless, signs of the freeze drew angry criticism from hardline lawmakers, including a member of Netanyahu’s own party who warned the government could collapse over the matter. Construction in east Jerusalem has been a major sticking point since Israel infuriated Washington last month by announcing a major new east Jerusalem housing development during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden. In Washington, US officials said they were aware of news of the freeze but were seeking clarification from the Israeli government and had no immediate comment. Jerusalem Councilman Meir Margalit of the dovish Meretz Party said top Jerusalem officials intimately involved with construction projects told him that Netanyahu’s office ordered a freeze after Washington expressed anger over the building plans. “The government ordered the Interior Ministry immediately after the Biden incident to not even talk about new construction for Jewish homes in east Jerusalem,” Margalit said. “It’s not just that building has stopped: The committees that deal with this are not even meeting anymore.” He declined to identify the officials who informed him of the order because they had not approved the disclosure of their names. Another councilman, Meir Turujamen, who sits on the Interior Ministry committee that approves building plans, said his panel has not met since the Biden visit, after previously meeting once weekly. “I wrote a letter about three weeks or a month ago asking (Interior Minister Eli) Yishai why the committee isn’t convening,” he said. “To this day I haven’t received an answer.” Turujamen added that the last time his committee met was to make the provocative

decision to approve the 1,600-apartment Ramat Shlomo project that riled the Americans. He said he had received no official word of a de facto freeze order, “but based on the situation, those are the facts”. Netanyahu had previously announced a 10-month slowdown in West Bank construction in an attempt to restart peace talks. But he insisted that east Jerusalem not be included in those restrictions. After word of the Ramat Shlomo project got out the Palestinians called off indirect US-mediated peace talks. Palestinian leaders, who also are facing American pressure, will seek backing this week from the Arab League to renew participation in those talks. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he has not heard anything official about an Israeli construction freeze in east Jerusalem. “What counts for us is what we’ll be seeing on the ground,” he said. “We hope the Israeli government will halt settlement activity so we can give proximity talks the chance they deserve.” Attempts to advance construction haven’t halted altogether. A lower-level municipal planning committee last week gave preliminary approval to a synagogue and kindergarten in a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem, he said. But that decision still needs Interior Ministry approval. An engineer who oversees residential construction in a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem said requests for proposals to build hundreds of apartments already approved haven’t gone out.

The engineer spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his business ties with the city. Netanyahu has said he was taken by surprise by the approval of the Ramat Shlomo project while Biden was here, and aides announced that he would make sure he would be kept in the loop in the future before any decisions were taken on controversial construction. But he also has repeatedly stated he would not freeze construction. Asked about Margalit’s claim that a freeze order was in effect, government spokesman Mark Regev replied: “Following the Biden visit and the mishap, the prime minister asked that a mechanism be put in place to prevent a recurrence of this kind of debacle.” He would not elaborate, and stopped short of saying Netanyahu had ordered a freeze. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said this mechanism explained why planning committee meetings were being delayed, because now multiple ministries had to be involved in the coordination. Israel captured east Jerusalem, the site of sacred shrines holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, in the 1967 Middle East war and immediately annexed it. Some 180,000 Israelis now live in Jewish neighborhoods built there in the past four decades, and about 2,000 more live in the heart of traditionally Arab neighborhoods. The Palestinians, the US and the rest of the international community do not recognize the annexation. The hawkish Netanyahu, however, has said repeatedly that east Jerusalem will remain under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal, a position the Palestinians reject. Most of the partners in his hardline coalition have publicly opposed sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians or freezing construction in east Jerusalem. Netanyahu huddled with members of his Likud Party yesterday and denied any freeze was in place, said Danny Danon, a lawmaker who attended the meeting. “If we see there is a freeze, we will not sit quietly and the prime minister knows that,” he said. “This coalition will not allow the prime minister to freeze building in Jerusalem.” Also yesterday, Israeli troops killed a wanted Palestinian militant in a raid on a West Bank house. The man was identified by relatives as Hamas activist Ali Sweiti. The Israeli army said Sweiti was wanted in five shooting attacks, one of which killed a paramilitary policeman in 2004. The army said he was killed after he refused calls to surrender and opened fire at soldiers. — AP

PARIS: A Muslim Frenchman at the center of a firestorm over polygamy said yesterday that keeping mistresses is the French way of life. The man’s case came to light after his wife was fined for driving with a veil covering her face, and his comments are an ironic riposte to those in French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government who want to push immigrants to better integrate into French society. The 31-year-old Frenchwoman drew nationwide attention last week to a driving fine she received for apparel that hinders her vision. But it soon emerged that her husband may have four wives - although it was doubtful the marriages were made official under French law. The situation appeared to be a boon to Sarkozy, who is trying to rush through controversial legislation forbidding burqa-style Islamic veils that cover the face, on the grounds that they don’t respect French values or women’s dignity. But it has stoked debate and may backfire on legal grounds. Many Muslims fear a law banning facecovering veils because they say targeting the tiny minority of women who cover their faces stigmatizes France’s entire Muslim community - at an estimated 5 million people, the largest in western Europe. Those who want a full ban on the face-covering veil contend the garment conceals more than the face, notably helping to perpetuate practices like polygamy, approved in some Muslim countries, and is a signpost of a radical interpretation of Islam. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux wants to revoke the French citizenship of the driver’s husband if he is found to be practicing polygamy. The man is also suspected of profiting from state subsidies for single women provided to each of the wives. Authorities are looking into whether the Algerian-born Lies Hebbadj was married to four women in French civil ceremonies, which would be highly unlike-

NANTES, France: Lies Hebbadj, husband of a French Muslim woman fined for driving while wearing a full-face veil, gives a press conference yesterday. – AFP ly. Were he married in religious ceremonies by imams in Algeria or in France, these unions would not count as marriages under French law, said Rabah Hached, a Paris lawyer who specializes in immigration issues. In that case, each of the officially unmarried women could potentially receive state aid for her children. For the attorney, the law may be on the side of the allegedly polygamous man. “It’s not forbidden to have a mistress,” Hached said by telephone. While stressing he does not know details of the case, Hached said that “I strongly suspect this gentleman we’re talking about is within his rights.” Hebbadj, defended his lifestyle yesterday by turning the notion of polygamy on its head. “If we are stripped of nationality, for

having mistresses,” Lies Hebbadj told reporters in Nantes, then “there would be a lot of French people stripped of nationality. As far as I know, mistresses are not forbidden, neither in France, nor in Islam. Maybe under the Christian faith, but not in France.” He did not specify whether he lives under the same roof with the various women in his life, although press reports have quoted neighbors as saying he moves between several houses. Hebbadj, whose robed image has been flashed around France by TV, runs a recently opened halal butcher shop. The revelation last week that a police officer cited the woman, whose name has not been revealed, for driving while wearing a niqab, which reveals only the eyes, provided a taste of what is in store. A French bill that would outlaw the veils in all public places will be introduced in May, despite a ruling by France’s highest administrative body that it risks being found unconstitutional. Prime Minister Francois Fillon met yesterday with Muslim leaders and the justice minister yesterday to lay the groundwork for an eventual law. Sarkozy, who has striven to revive what he says is a loss of basic French values, is sinking in polls and his conservative party was trounced in March regional elections. Some Socialist rivals suggested the arrest of the veiled driver with a suspect husband was a setup. A Socialist Party spokesman accused Sarkozy of playing to the antiimmigration far-right. “The government decided ... to continue its strategy of stigmatizing” Muslims and has become “the best ally of Islamic extremists in France,” Benoit Hamon said yesterday. “A banal police citation has been transformed into an affair of state.” France’s Muslim leaders have consistently said the veil debate is stigmatizing Muslims. — AP

British envoy to Yemen escapes suicide bombing Continued from Page 1 in Maarib province,” an Al-Qaeda stronghold 170 km east of Sanaa. “This operation reflects the state of despair which has hit the terrorists after the painful preemptive strikes which they received in their hideouts at the hands of security services,” the ministry said. The suicide bomber threw himself at the convoy of the diplomat “wearing an explosive belt,” the interior ministry said. Three bystanders, one woman and two men, were lightly wounded in the blast, and witnesses said the attacker’s body was torn to pieces. The explosion ripped apart the bomber, and his head was found on the roof of a house about 20 meters away, the ministry also said. The rear window of Torlot’s armoured car was spattered with blood, a British diplomat in Sanaa told Reuters. The British Foreign Office confirmed that the ambassador escaped an explosion, without specifying whether it was a suicide attack or not. “We can confirm that there was an incident in Sanaa this morning. There was a small explosion beside the

British ambassador’s car. He was unhurt. No other embassy staff or British nationals were injured,” a spokesman in London said. “The embassy will remain closed to the public for the time being. We advise all British nationals in Yemen to keep a low profile and remain vigilant.” The statement added that Britain was working “urgently” with Yemeni authorities to find out what happened. Torlot has been the ambassador to Yemen since 2007. Witnesses said that the bomber was a bit slow in targeting the diplomat’s vehicle and that the only damage was to a police car escorting the convoy. The bomber alighted from a black car with tinted windows five minutes before the attack in the east Sanaa district of Noqom, about 600 m from the British embassy. “The suicide bomber, dressed in sports gear, strapped his body with explosives and attempted to target the British envoy but fortunately failed,” said Mohammed Al-Basha, spokesman for Yemen’s embassy in the United States. “Officials investigating the aftermath found the suicide bomber’s body parts scattered across the neighbourhood. Aside from the

suicide bomber, there were no fatalities and no British nationals were injured,” he said in a statement. American and British missions were shut for some days in January following indications that the local branch of Al-Qaeda was targeting Western interests in the south Arabian Peninsula country. The warning followed the botched Christmas bombing of a US airliner which was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) the local Al-Qaeda franchise. Yemen’s defence ministry said in late December that an attack against the British embassy was foiled after dismantling an Al-Qaeda cell in Arhab, 35 km north of the capital. The attack on the British embassy “was to be modelled on the operation that was carried out against the American embassy” in 2008, which killed 16 people, the defence ministry said at the time. Yesterday’s bombing is the first suicide attack in Yemen since March 2009 when a South Korean delegation was attacked while investigating a bombing few days earlier which killed four South Korean tourists. No one was killed or injured in that blast. — AFP

Kuwait denies ban on Palestine team Oil price not hampering global recovery: Kuwait Continued from Page 1 struck $87.75 - a level last seen in Oct 2008. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for June, slid 16 cents to $84.96. The Kuwaiti minister, whose country is OPEC’s fourth largest exporter, said the OPEC cartel will step in to raise output if oil prices soar above $100 a barrel. Sheikh Ahmad said Kuwait will continue to invest in crude capacity increases to reach its target of four million barrels per day by 2020. “Our current production capacity is 3.1 million bpd and if compared with our quota of about 2.2 million bpd, it means we have a capacity surplus of around one million bpd,” he said. The minister said Kuwait is targeting 3.5 million bpd in 2015 and four million bpd by 2020 and “we plan to sustain it until 2030”. Kuwait, which discovered non-associated natural gas for the first time in 2006, is still on target to produce 28 million cu m per day of non-associated, or free gas in 2016. The state currently produces around 140 million cubic feet per day of non-associated gas, but this is way behind its original target for 2011 of 600 million cubic feet per day. As a result, Kuwait in February signed a technical service agreement with Shell to develop its difficult free gas reserves. Sheikh Ahmad said Kuwait “encourages other IOCs (international oil companies) to follow the Shell example,” adding that the state is in talks with a number of oil majors and hopes to make an announcement shortly. The chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Saad AlShuwayeb told reporters that Kuwait also produces one billion cubic feet of associated gas alongside its crude oil output. But despite its abundant reserves, the state still has a gas shortfall due to rising domestic power consumption and started to import liquefied natural gas by vessel in significant quantities at the beginning of April. It plans to import an average 500 million cubic feet per day of LNG until the end of October, according to Shuwayeb.

Chairman of state-owned Kuwait Oil Co (KOC) Sami Al-Rasheed said the cost of production-raising projects over the next five years was around three billion Kuwaiti dinars ($10.4 billion). Rasheed said that Kuwait plans to achieve the production capacity target of four million bpd in 2020 through raising the output of distillates to 450,000 bpd and of heavy oil to up to 300,000 bpd and by boosting production at the main oilfields. He warned that Kuwait was moving from the production of “easy” oil to “difficult” oil which requires advanced technology and is more expensive. “Rising costs (of projects) is one of the main challenges we are facing,” Rasheed said. Kuwait says it sits on around 10 percent of global crude reserves, although a senior minister said last week that Kuwaiti oil reserves were much higher than published. Meanwhile, French energy giant Total will cease gasoline sales to Iran if the United States passes legislation to penalise fuel suppliers to the Islamic Republic, Total’s chief executive said yesterday. With the US pushing for a fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran over its nuclear work, several of the world’s top oil firms and trading houses have already curbed fuel sales to preempt potential penalisation of their US operations. Total continued to deliver small amounts of fuel to the Islamic republic, Christophe de Margerie told reporters on the sidelines of the conference. “If any laws, or any rules are made in a way that prevents (us) from doing those things we will stop,” he said. “We always respect laws.” Total has faced political pressure to stop the sales, but would only do so when officially required, de Margerie said, although he declined to say who had applied the pressure. “I’ve been asked by certain people to reconsider, I say OK, make it official,” he said. Total was also in talks with Kuwait over developing a joint-venture refinery and petrochemical plant in China, de Margerie said. Several potential schemes were under discussion although Total would only go ahead with one, he said, declining to give more details. Kuwait is

looking for an international oil firm to join it and Sinopec in a joint venture to build a 300,000 barrels per day refinery and petrochemical plant in Zhanjiang. The plant will involve investment of around $9 billion. Total was also in talks with Kuwait about technical service agreements for work on heavy oil projects and in enhanced oil recovery, de Margerie said. Total executives held talks with Kuwait on Sunday and de Margerie’s presence in the country was a signal of the company’s intent, he said. “We have been, shall we say, sleeping a little bit here,” he said. “There are a lot of things to be done in heavy oil, in enhancing oil recovery factors in existing fields.” Disputes between Kuwait’s government and the National Assembly have slowed the country’s efforts to develop the energy sector, but in February it signed a 5-year technical service agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to develop gas fields in the country’s north. The political situation in Iraq had no impact on the pace of work at the Halfaya oilfield project, de Margerie said. “We are working in the spirit of what has been decided by the existing government and by the rules of the bids,” de Margerie said. “When there will be a new government we will see.” China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) is the majority partner in the oilfield project and Total owns an 18.75 percent stake in the field. The consortium aimed to move ahead apace with the project, he said. “Our partners are willing to go quickly and we are encouraging them to do so,” he said. Iraq, which has the world’s third largest oil proven reserves, signed a final contract earlier this year to develop Halfaya with CNPC, Total and Malaysian state firm Petronas. Halfaya, in souther n Iraq, has estimated reserves of 4.1 billion barrels of oil. The field could help turn Iraq into one of the world’s top oil producers and earn Iraq billions of dollars it needs to rebuild after decades of war, sanctions and economic decline. — Agencies

Continued from Page 1 ”We offered to pay the finances for 12 members and asked them to finish the paperwork and send it in time as there are deadlines for submission. The team ignored our correspondence, and then finally sent us their entries long after the deadline,” AlHajeri said. “The Palestinian disabled team for athletics has had no foreign participations. They haven’t participate in any regional or international championships,” he said.

The CNN’s website Sunday quoted Palestinian sources as saying that the Kuwaiti authorities rejected entry permits for the Palestinian disabled team which was supposed to take part in an international tournament that kicked off in Kuwait on Saturday. The event hosts more than 155 male and female disabled players from 12 Arab and foreign countries. “The decision on not issuing entry permits for members of the Palestinian team came from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the pretext that they hold Palestinian passports,” the Palestinian sources told CNN.

The Palestinian Paralympic Committee expressed sorrow over the banning of the Palestinian team from taking part in the tournament after extensive efforts and preparations and obtaining the required permits for members of the team to exit the Rafah border post in Gaza. “Committee Board members exerted utmost effort to cover the expenses of the team’s participation in the tournament, including air tickets,” sources said, adding that an international observer at the tournament will compile a report on the incident to the international federation.

MoI slammed over Lanka debacle Continued from Page 1 Also yesterday, the Kuwaiti Human Rights Society issued a statement on the incident, strongly denouncing the suspension of the event. “Unfortunately, the celebration was suspended upon the request of an MP, which is unjustifiable and an indication that authorities are incapable of respecting decisions, including the green light given to the event through a license.” The statement, which was

received by Kuwait Times, added that the Interior Ministry had repeatedly submitted to pressure applied by lawmakers’, specifically MPs who belong to a conservative religious bloc which stands against freedom and people’s jubilations. Writing in Al-Qabas, columnist Ahmad Al-Baghli condemned the intervention of the Kuwaitis to end the celebrations, saying that the 10,000 Sri Lankans had the right and the official permission to celebrate. “How could the interior ministry

accept the conditions and demands of the citizens, even though some of them were MPs? Why should an MP claim that the celebrations violated Islam? Conservative MPs obviously want to end all forms of mixing, not only between Kuwaiti men and women, but also in other communities,” Baghli wrote in his column titled “Who rules Kuwait?” “Do I have to remind everyone that we are a state ruled by laws and official institutions, and not by traditions and statements?” he wrote.

Amir blasts Assembly, blames the constitution Continued from Page 1 away from development projects and failed in assisting the government, Sheikh Sabah added. “What the people say, that parliament has obstructed development and has been engaged in impotent political debates, is true and this was acknowledged by the lawmakers themselves,” he said. The Amir also said Assembly’s mistake in performing its duties is attributed to the Kuwaiti constitution which combines between the parliamentary and presidential systems. The constitution is not purely presidential nor is it absolutely parliamentary but a mixture of the two which leads to overlapping between the legislature and the executive powers and eventually results in disputes. As a result of this system, parliament is stronger than the government and MPs want to force through popular decisions which defy logic, Sheikh Sabah said. “MPs want to please the ‘street’ through swift resolutions that aim to meet senti-

ments rather than logic. We have consequently failed to arrive at a consensus on main national questions, or to have longterm development projects passed,” he said. Kuwait became the first Arab state in the Gulf to have a constitution and parliament in 1962. However, the chamber has been suspended twice for a total of 11 years and was dissolved four times because of political disputes. Meanwhile, the head of the financial and economic affairs committee MP Yousef AlZalzalah said that the committee will meet on Thursday to discuss a large number of amendments to the privatization law. The law was passed in the first reading about two weeks ago and MPs have submitted a large number of amendments to bar the privatization of the oil sector and make it obligatory for the government to own the so-called golden share in the privatized projects which gives it a veto power. The Popular Action Bloc submitted amendments calling to ban any privatization

of the oil, health and education sectors even with a new law. A public shareholding company must be established to run the privatized facility of which 40 percent will be given to the Kuwaiti people. The Bloc proposed that these shares should be distributed free. Communications Minister Mohammad AlBusairi however said yesterday that the government will not accept amendments to the law that could damage or obstruct its goals. Islamist MPs yesterday strongly criticized France for planning to issue a law that slaps a total ban on the niqab. MP Mohammad Hayef said that if France issues the ban, “we will launch a campaign to convince Islamic countries to stop dealing with France”. Also, Islamist and liberal MPs were yesterday locked in a controversy over the proposed draft law on women’s civil and social rights. The bill is expected to be debated today. Islamist MPs want the law to include incentives for women to stay at home while liberal MPs want more women to be involved in the workforce.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

15

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results on Sunday: Cincinnati 5, San Diego 4; Baltimore 7, Boston 6 (10 innings); Washington 1, LA Dodgers 0; Tampa Bay 6, Toronto 0; Chicago White Sox 3, Seattle 2; Houston 10, Pittsburgh 3; Kansas City 4, Minnesota 3; Chicago Cubs 12, Milwaukee 2; Texas 8, Detroit 4; LA Angels 8, NY Yankees 4; Oakland 11, Cleveland 0; Arizona 8, Philadelphia 6; Colorado 8, Florida 4; NY Mets 1, Atlanta 0; St. Louis 2, San Francisco 0. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB Tampa Bay 14 5 .737 NY Yankees 12 6 .667 1.5 Toronto 10 9 .526 4 Boston 8 11 .421 6 Baltimore 3 16 .158 11 Central Division Minnesota 13 6 Detroit 10 9 Cleveland 8 10 Chicago White Sox 8 11 Kansas City 7 11

Oakland LA Angels Seattle Texas

.684 .526 .444 .421 .389

3 4.5 5 5.5

Western Division 12 8 .600 10 10 .500 9 10 .474 8 10 .444

2 2.5 3

National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 11 7 Florida 10 9 NY Mets 10 9 Washington 10 9 Atlanta 8 10

.611 .526 .526 .526 .444

1.5 1.5 1.5 3

Central Division 11 7 9 10 8 10 8 10 8 11 7 11

.611 .474 .444 .444 .421 .389

2.5 3 3 3.5 4

Western Division San Diego 11 7 .611 San Francisco 10 8 .556 Colorado 10 9 .526 Arizona 8 10 .444 LA Dodgers 8 10 .444

1 1.5 3 3

St. Louis Chicago Cubs Houston Milwaukee Cincinnati Pittsburgh

SAN FRANCISCO: St. Louis Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker (right) slides safely into second as San Francisco Giants’ Mark DeRosa drops the ball during the seventh inning.—AP

Reds rally to end Padres’ winning streak CINCINNATI: Ramon Hernandez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning as the Cincinnati Reds rallied to end the San Diego Padres’ eight-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory on Sunday. Francisco Cordero got former Reds utility Jerry Hairston Jr to fly out to center with runners on first and third to end the game for his seventh save. Jay Bruce had three hits and Scott Rolen hit his fifth homer for Cincinnati, which managed only four runs in the first two games of the series. Arthur Rhodes (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the victory. Adrian Gonzalez hit a tworun drive for San Diego and has homered in four consecutive games. Mike Adams (0-1) got the loss.

Cardinals 2, Giants 0 At San Francisco, Brad Penny, Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin combined for a nine-hitter and Albert Pujols hit his team-

leading seventh homer, helping St. Louis avoid a series sweep. Penny (3-0) gave up eight hits over 7 2-3 innings while outpitching former teammate Matt Cain. Penny, who played for San Francisco in 2009, didn’t allow a runner past second base while lowering his ERA to 0.94. Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres had three hits apiece for the Giants, who were shut out for the second time in five games. Pujols hit a hanging slider from Cain (0-1) into the left-field stands in the first inning.

Nationals 1, Dodgers 0 At Washington, Scott Olsen pitched seven strong innings for his first victory since having shoulder surgery in July, leading the Nationals to victory. Chad Billingsley (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in six innings for Los Angeles. Adam Dunn drove in the only run of the game with a groundout in the first. Olsen (1-1) allowed

six hits, walked one and struck out eight in his third start since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on April 15. Tyler Clippard worked the eighth and Matt Capps finished the seven-hitter for his major league-leading eighth save.

Cubs 12, Brewers 2 At Milwaukee, Derrek Lee hit a towering 445-foot homer and Ryan Theriot had five hits to help the Cubs complete the three-game sweep. Randy Wells (2-0) continued Chicago’s string of strong starting pitching performances, allowing two runs in seven innings. Kosuke Fukudome, Tyler Colvin and Geovany Soto also homered for the Cubs, who scored nine times in the first four innings and finished with 18 hits. Theriot went 5 of 6 with three RBIs and is 14 of 25 in his last five games. Dave Bush (1-1) lasted just 3 2-3 innings for Milwaukee. He was charged with nine runs, seven earned, and 10 hits.

Rockies 8, Marlins 4 At Denver, Seth Smith homered twice as Colorado beat Florida after attending an emotional Coors Field memorial service for team president Keli McGregor. Several thousand people attended the pregame ballpark services for McGregor, 48, who passed away unexpectedly last week. He was found unconscious in a hotel room on Tuesday and later pronounced dead. Jorge De La Rosa (31) pitched five solid innings and Miguel Olivo also homered for the Rockies. Chris Volstad (1-2) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for Florida.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 6 At Phoenix, Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning and finished with three hits, including a three-run homer, to lead Arizona. Reynolds had a season-high four RBIs and Chris Young added three hits, including two dou-

bles, for Arizona. The Diamondbacks equaled a season high with 15 hits, which also was the most allowed by the Phillies this year. Leo Rosales (2-0) earned the win. Chad Qualls worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save. Reynolds’ clutch hit came off of David Herndon (0-1) and gave Arizona the series win after losing three straight sets. Greg Dobbs hit a two-run homer and Carlos Ruiz drove in two runs for the Phillies.

Astros 10, Pirates 3 At Houston, Lance Berkman hit his first home run and Carlos Lee and Pedro Feliz drove in two runs apiece as Houston completed a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh. Brett Myers (1-1) allowed 11 singles and struck out six in six innings and Michael Bourn tied a single-game career high with three steals. The Astros have won eight of 10 games after losing their first eight. Charlie Morton (0-4) gave up five runs and

Rays shine over Jays ST PETERSBURG: David Price threw a four-hitter for his first complete game, while John Jaso and Jason Bartlett had two RBIs apiece as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0 on Sunday. Price (3-1) struck out nine and walked one. He improved to 9-1 in his career against the AL East. Carlos Pena opened the fifth by drawing Tampa Bay’s sixth walk off Brandon Morrow (1-2) and then went to third when B.J. Upton got the Rays first hit, a double to right. After Pat Burrell struck out, Jaso hit a two-run single. Blue Jays catcher Jose Molina threw out a runner trying to steal second including Carl Crawford twice - in each of the first four innings. The four runners thrown out attempting to steal in the same game by Molina set a Toronto team record. It was the first time a catcher has thrown out four runners attempting to steal in one game since Florida’s Charles Johnson did it against Montreal on Sept. 18, 2002.

Angels 8, Yankees 4 At Anaheim, Bobby Abreu and Kendry Morales homered and Brandon Wood drove in the goahead runs with a bases-loaded double as the Angels handed New York its first series loss of the season. Scott Kazmir (2-1) gave up two home runs - including his third to Robinson Cano this season - but got the win after allowing four runs, three hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. Javier Vazquez (1-3) threw 78 pitches in just 3 2-3 innings, giving up five runs, five hits and three walks. The 33-year-old right-hander hasn’t made it through the sixth in any of his four starts, surrendering 20 runs in 20 innings. New York

had won its first five series, including a three-game set against the Angels in the Bronx.

White Sox 3, Mariners 2 At Chicago, Paul Konerko hit a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning for his major league-best eighth homer as the White Sox completed a three-game series sweep. John Danks pitched eight sharp innings for Chicago, allowing two runs and eight hits. Danks (30) was coming off a strong eightinning outing in a victory over Tampa Bay. After consecutive days of gameending homers by Andruw Jones and Alex Rios, Konerko connected against Brandon League (2-1) to put the White Sox ahead 3-2. He has homered in three straight games.

Royals 4, Twins 3 At Kansas City, Jose Guillen homered and drove in two runs to support Brian Bannister and help the Royals avoid a three-game sweep. Guillen hit his seventh homer in the fifth inning and Bannister (1-1) escaped a baserunner-filled game by scattering nine hits over 6 1-3 innings. Kansas City’s beleaguered bullpen had some shaky moments before Joakim Soria closed out the ninth for his fifth save. Justin Morneau hit his fourth homer and had a runscoring double off Soria in the ninth, but the Twins stranded 12 runners - four in the last two innings.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6, 10 innings At Boston, Rhyne Hughes singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning and Matt Wieters followed

Mets 1, Braves 0, 6 innings, rain At New York, Mike Pelfrey pitched out of constant trouble to extend his scoreless streak to 24 innings as the Mets finished a three-game sweep of the slumping Braves in a game cut short by rain. A throwing error by third baseman Chipper Jones allowed Jose Reyes to score in the first inning. Play was stopped after one pitch in the sixth when rain intensified, and the game was called following a 98-minute delay. Tommy Hanson (1-2) did not give up an earned run as Atlanta lost its fifth straight. The Braves have been outscored 19-6 during their skid. They squandered several early scoring chances against Pelfrey (4-0), lifted after throwing 106 pitches through five innings. — AP

Eskendereya out with swollen leg

with a two-run single, helping Baltimore snap a 10-game losing streak against the Red Sox with its third win of the season. Miguel Tejada added a two-run homer for Baltimore, which overcame a 4-1 deficit to avoid its fourth straight series sweep against the Red Sox. Jim Johnson (1-1) allowed two runs in the bottom of the 10th, and had to leave with runners on first and second. Cla Meredith got the final two outs for his first save.

Rangers 8, Tigers 4 At Arlington, Michael Young had three hits and drove in five runs and David Murphy homered for Texas. Colby Lewis (3-0) threw 50 pitches and allowed eight baserunners in the first two innings before settling down, getting 16 consecutive outs from the second through the seventh. Lewis allowed four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings while matching a career high with 10 strikeouts. Tigers rookie Austin Jackson hit his first major league homer, leading off the game with a 410-foot shot.

Athletics 11, Indians 0 At Oakland, Eric Chavez hit a two-run double and also singled in a run to help Gio Gonzalez win for the first time in three starts. Eric Patterson homered and hit a tworun triple, matching his career high with three RBIs. Kevin Kouzmanoff returned to the A’s lineup and added a three-run double. He sat out Saturday to give him time to heal after fouling a pitch off his foot. Kouzmanoff’s fifth-inning hit chased Justin Masterson (0-3). Gonzalez (2-1) gave up five hits in seven innings. —AP

five hits in three innings for the Pirates, who’ve lost six in a row. Morton has allowed 24 earned runs in 13 1-3 innings this season.

ST PETERSBURG: Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez watches his throw to first over Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Molina to complete a double play on batter John McDonald during the eighth inning.—AP

LOUISVILLE: Todd Pletcher sank into the chair and wearily turned toward the cameras. The four-time US trainer of the year has grown accustomed to disappointment at the Kentucky Derby - where he’s winless in 24 starts - but never quite like this. Pletcher pulled likely favorite Eskendereya out of the Derby on Sunday due to swelling in the 3-yearold chestnut colt’s left front leg. Pletcher noticed the inflammation after Eskendereya’s gallop over a sloppy track on Saturday. The swelling grew worse overnight, and Pletcher sent owner Ahmed Zayat a text early Sunday expressing his concerns. Hours later, the horse Pletcher called the best he ever brought to the Derby was out. Pletcher said Zayat “took it better than I would have.” “He says the horse comes first,” Pletcher said. “He loves Eskendereya. He’s not going to do anything to take any chances. ... It’s not a phone call I wanted to make.” Eskendereya had been so dominant in winning the Wood Memorial and Fountain of Youth Stakes by a combined 181/4 lengths he would have easily been the favorite when the expected 20horse field is set on Wednesday. Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia said he could have put the odds on Eskendereya as low as 9-5, an eyepoppingly low number in a race as wide-open as the Derby. Then again, Eskendereya certainly looked deserving of the honor. “You thought to yourself, ‘This is an exceptional horse’ and rightfully so,” said trainer Nick Zito, who finished a distant second with Jackson Bend in both preparation races. With

Eskendereya out, Lookin At Lucky is likely to become the favorite. Last year’s juvenile champion has won six times in eight career starts, but is coming off a third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby. Pletcher could still send a record six horses to the post in the Derby, but none boast Eskendereya’s impressive credentials. He is unbeaten in four starts on dirt and just appeared to be blossoming this spring after ending his 2year-old campaign with a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last November. Only three weeks after looking unbeatable in the Wood, Eskendereya’s racing future could be in jeopardy. While Pletcher said it’s too early to tell the severity of the injury, when asked if the situation was career-threatening, he simply answered “I hope not.” Zayat has long coveted the Derby and came close last year when Pioneerof the Nile was runner-up to long shot Mine That Bird. Zayat did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press, but the injury is a crippling blow to his struggling racing operation. He filed for bankruptcy protection in February to keep Zayat Stables afloat after Fifth Third Bank filed a lawsuit that alleges his stable defaulted on $34 million in loans. Eskendereya was the key to helping Zayat Stables get out of debt. Zayat filed a reorganization plan in New Jersey bankruptcy court this month in which he agreed to sell Eskendereya by the end of the year. There was no value placed on the horse, though it easily would run in the millions with a Derby win. —AP


SPORTS

16

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coyotes beat Red Wings 5-2 to force Game 7 DETROIT: The Phoenix Coyotes scored their first three goals on special teams and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday that forced Game 7 in their first-round playoff series. Phoenix will host the final game of the series later today. L auri Korpikoski scored a short-handed goal 4:10 in to spark the win and keep the Coyotes in contention. Wojtek Wolski’s even-strength goal put Phoenix ahead 4-1 late in the second. Jimmy Howard made 24 saves for the Red Wings. Canucks 4, Kings 2 At Los Angeles, Daniel Sedin scored with 2:03 to play as Vancouver rallied from another third-period deficit to finish off its first-round series against Los Angeles with a victory in Game 6. Roberto Luongo made 30 saves while keeping Vancouver close in its third straight victory over Los Angeles, and Kevin Bieksa equalized early in the third period for the third-seeded Canucks. Sedin then skated in to collect a loose puck and snapped a shot over goalie Jonathan Quick, sending Vancouver to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Drew Doughty and Alexander Frolov scored and Quick stopped 18 shots for the sixth-seeded Kings, who struggled to finish close games in their first playoff appearance since 2002. Meanwhile, former Czech ice hockey coach Alois Hadamczik will return to the national team after the World Championships in May, the country’s hockey association said yesterday. Hadamczik will replace Vladimir Ruzicka, who will step down in May after a poor showing for the hockey-mad nation at the Vancouver Olympics in February when they lost to Finland in the quarter-finals. Hadamczik led HC Vitkovice Steel, based in the eastern town of Ostrava, to a runner-up place in the Czech league this season. He led the national team between 2005 and 2008, winning third at the Olympics in Turin in 2006 and a silver medal at the World Championships the same year. — Reuters

LOS ANGELES: Henrik Sedin No. 33 of the Vancouver Canucks controls the puck in front goaltender Jonathan Quick No. 32 of the Los Angeles Kings during Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. — AFP

Noh targets record Asian Tour earnings crown SINGAPORE: South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul has his sights set on becoming the youngest winner of the Asian Tour order of merit title after taking top spot following a strong finish at the Ballantine’s Championship. The 18-year-old fired a final round four-under-par 68 on Sunday to finish five shots behind winner Marcus Fraser of Australia in a tie for fourth but the $137,760 cheque moved him above Andrew Dodt in the earnings standings. “It’s nice to be on top of the Asian Tour order of merit and I hope to do well to secure my position,” Noh said in an Asian Tour statement yesterday. “I know if I win the order of merit,

I’ll be the youngest player to do so but at the moment, I don’t want to think too far ahead as there are still many more events this year and things might change. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.” The slender teenager learned to play by hitting balls on the beach near his home and made his global breakthrough with a victor y at the co-sanctioned Malaysian Open last month, becoming the youngest professional winner on the European Tour. Noh followed that up by qualifying for the British Open the following week through International Final Qualifying (Asia) in a hot and humid Malaysia but

dealt well gloomy conditions at home during last week’s 54-hole Ballantine’s Championship. “It was a tough week especially with the fog delay during the opening round,” Noh added. “The weather conditions were tough but I’m happy I played well under all these circumstances and I know my game can only get better when I play against these strong players.” Meanwhile, a boycott by South Korean golfers unhappy with new qualification rules instituted by the OneAsia circuit will not stop organizers from holding upcoming tournaments, the Korean Golf Association said yesterday.

The OneAsia Tour was launched last year as a joint venture between the Australian PGA and governing bodies in Asia, including China and South Korea. The tour scheduled 11 events for this year across the Asia-Pacific region. However, OneAsia has met opposition from the more established Asian Tour as well as from South Korean players unhappy that the international circuit is absorbing locals-only tournaments such as the Maekyung Open. The golfers have protested against what they call quotas against local players, and a group of about 135 pros announced two weeks ago that they would not compete in three upcoming

OneAsia tournaments in South Korea: The SK Telecom Open, the Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open and the GS Caltex Maekyung Open. Players have complained that only half the number of South Koreans who normally compete in the tournaments will be able to participate this year. Korean PGA tournaments typically draw up to 100 local golfers. The Korean Golf Association said 72 South Koreans will compete in the Maekyung Open, which offers $905,000 (1 billion won) in prize money. The fourday tournament next month is expected to draw more than 150 players from Australia, China and South Korea.

Bohn grabs Zurich Classic by 2 strokes

AVONDALE: Jason Bohn displays his trophy on the 18th green after winning the Zurich Classic PGA Tour golf tournament. —AP

AVONDALE: Jason Bohn won the Zurich Classic on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, making birdies on three of the final four holes at TPC Louisiana for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory over Jeff Overton. Bohn, who completed a third-round 71 in the morning in the weather-plagued tournament, finished at 18-under 270. The 37-year-old Bohn also won the 2005 BC Open. Sunday’s victory, coming as it did after a variety of injuries and back surgery, was especially sweet, Bohn said. Bohn led since his 65 in the opening round, but admitted he felt the heat Sunday as several players moved into range. Overton mounted a persistent challenge, twice moving level with Bohn on his way to a 66. Overton birdied the 18th - after missing a long eagle putt - but Bohn, who made birdie putts of 5 1/2 feet on No. 15 and 22 feet on No 16, had to only tap in on 18 for his fifth birdie of the round. Troy Merritt, a 24-year-old rookie, closed with a 67 to finish third at 14 under, Lee Janzen (69) was another stroke back and Greg Chalmers (69) was 12 under. Heavy rain and lightening Friday and again Saturday morning delayed the early rounds. Bohn played 24 holes Saturday and 30 Sunday. Bohn completed his third round on Sunday morning at 13 under, led by two shots over Alex Cejka after 54 holes. Overton and Janzen went into the final round at 10 under. Bohn earned $1,152,000 after making $395,321 in his previous eight starts this year. — AP

“We have explained to them that they will not be disadvantaged at the events, but they refused to take part in the tour naments,” said Kim Dongwook, KGA vice president. “We will keep persuading them, but the upcoming event will be held as scheduled, even if they are absent.” If the boycott continues, South Korean officials will speak to their counterparts in China and Australia to discuss how to fill the vacancies, he said. The Seoul Open is in June and the Korea Open in October. South Korea’s Y.E. Yang won the tour’s second event, the China Open, just over a week ago. — Agencies

Gebrselassie eyes 2:02 marathon

JEJU: This handout photo taken and received on April 25, 2010 shows Mardan Mamat of Singapore on the final day of the Ballantine’s Championship golf tournament. The 2.9 million USD event, co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours, was reduced to 54 holes due to poor weather on the first two days of the tournament. — AFP

O’Meara and Price capture Legends on 2nd playoff hole SAVANNAH: Mark O’Meara and Nick Price beat Joey Sindelar and John Cook on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the better-ball Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Both teams bogeyed the first playoff hole and returned to play No. 18, where Price won it with a par putt from about 7 feet. It was O’Meara’s first win since joining the Champions Tour in 2007. “It’s very special, obviously,” O’Meara said. “I’ve been practicing hard and I’ve finished second a number of times. Having Nick as a partner out there helped a lot. To be honest, I was relaxed out there.” O’Meara, the 1998 Masters and British Open winner, won for the first time since the PGA European Tour’s 2004 Dubai Desert Classic. “I felt like the timing was right, because we’re both playing pretty well,” said Price, who rolled in a 40-foot putt for eagle on No 7. “I’m really happy for Mark and I’m happy because it’s been over a year since I’ve won.” It looked as if this one might slip away, too, until Cook missed a 4-foot putt that would have won it on the final hole of regulation.

“We dodged a bullet there,” Price said. “I feel bad for John, too, because he was probably playing the best of all of us today.” Playing in rain and heavy wind, both teams bogeyed the first playoff hole and returned to play the 457yard 18th again, where Price won it with a 7foot par putt. “It was probably playing 500 yards today,” Price said. “It was at least 20 yards of wind on each shot, and it was two clubs. And it’s just so hard to keep the ball on that green.” Cook and Sindelar (61) and O’Meara and Price (62) finished at 28-under 188 in the 54hole event at The Club at Savannah Harbor, an island layout in the Savannah River. Andy Bean and Lu Chien-soon (64) were a stroke back, and Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman (63) and Fred Couples-Jay Haas (64) tied for fourth at 23 under. Ken Green, making his first Champions Tour start since having his lower right leg amputated after an auto accident in June that killed his brother and girlfriend, teamed with Mike Reid tied for 26th at 12 under. They had a 71 on Sunday. — AP

NAIROBI: World marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie predicted yesterday he would become the first man to clock two hours two minutes over 42.195 kms. Gebrselassie, 37, is the only man to run under 2:04 after setting his world record of 2:03:59 in Berlin two years ago. “There are good runners around. Imagine, a 2:05 in the Boston Marathon but I think I am the candidate to break it again. A 2:02 is very much possible,” Gebrselassie told Reuters in an interview. Gebrselassie, who won Olympic golds in 1996 and 2000 in the 10,000 plus four consecutive world titles, set world marathon records in 2007 and 2008 in Berlin on what is considered the fastest marathon course in the world. The Ethiopian, who has targeted the marathon title at the 2012 London Olympics, did not say when or where he planned to try and set a new record. He won the Berlin marathon for a fourth straight year in 2009 but failed to beat his best time. Gebrselassie said he was not surprised that compatriot Tsegaye Kebede had defied the combined efforts of a powerful Kenyan contingent to win the London marathon on Sunday. Kebede ran unopposed in the final 10 kms on a slippery surface to clock 2:05:19, nine seconds outside the course record set by Kenyan Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru last year. “I was not surprised when Kebede won in London yesterday. He has been consistent since winning bronze in the Beijing Olympics and another bronze in the Berlin world championships last year,” Gebrselassie said. “The surface was not very good, but this is sport where the unexpected happens many times. Many other favorites lost. But Kebede was in very good shape.” —Reuters

Haile Gebrselassie in action in this file photo


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

17

Schumacher still a winner, says Brawn LONDON: Ross Brawn, the man who helped mastermind so many of Michael Schumacher’s finest moments in Formula One, said the seven-times champion will be a winner again this season once Mercedes give him a good enough car. In an interview with Reuters at a floating lifeboat station on the River Thames, where he was launching a fund-raising challenge, Mercedes team principal Brawn was optimistic about the 41-year-old German’s prospects after a tough start to his comeback year. He added that it was only a matter of time before Schumacher’s team mate Nico Rosberg took his first win and applauded world champion Jenson Button’s strong showing at McLaren after leaving Brawn. “It would be foolish to say he (Schumacher) is where he wants to be but he’s very determined to succeed and I think these frustrations are just going to make him try even harder,” said Brawn. Schumacher has been outqualified and beaten by fellow German Rosberg in all four races so far but will have a different chassis at next week’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. “The one (chassis) he had got damaged

during the first few races and we repaired it it hard to get back up to speed. Brawn said with the car and the tyres, it’s not towards still in there because no-one else is really as best we could at the races,” said Brawn, both driver and team had work to do but the way he likes to have a car which is very dominating either,” he added, the platform removing his orange life-jacket after step- there was no panic, only frustration. responsive and very sharp. We haven’t swaying gently against the wash of passing ping off a lifeboat onto a jetty by London’s “Undoubtedly these tyres are a bit different been able to provide him with that yet.” boats. “There is still plenty of opportunity. to what he’s used to,” said Brawn. “Maybe, “We’ve not had a fantastic start but we are “I was frustrated at the weekend (in Waterloo bridge. China) because Nico could have “Now we are back at base we are won that race,” continued Brawn. going to re-introduce the test chas“He made one mistake in very diffisis and he will be using that in cult circumstances. “He’s very Barcelona. “We want to eliminate close to winning a race, just needs any doubt because obviously LONDON: Double world cham- and show that everything is arrived for drivers and teams things to fall into place...but that Michael has come back, he’s trying pion Fernando Alonso gave a 10 under control and well protect- who are going to show who is will come. I’m sure he will definiteto find his references and is trying million euro ($13.33 million) ed,” the bank said in a state- able to develop quickest,” said ly do it and I think Michael will to work out how to approach thumbs-up to future Formula ment. Alonso, who joined Alonso. “A nice fight is startwhen we get the car sorted,” said things,” he explained. One success with Ferrari yes- Ferrari this season after winning ing,” he added. Alonso said he Brawn. Rosberg will stick with the chasterday. Team sponsors championships with Renault, was not worried about his “He is so determined and you sis that has taken him to two podiSantander said they had insured told a news conference in Ferrari engine after suffering a can see that in his driving,” added ums in a row but will also benefit the Spaniard’s thumbs for five Madrid that he hoped the first failure in Friday practice at the Brawn, a keen sea angler whose from a major revamp for the first million each as part of a publicity European race of the season last race in China. holiday home in Cornwall is right race of the season in Europe. “I’m sure we will have a great campaign for accident and life would reinforce his title chalnext to a lifeboat slip. The wheelbase on both cars has insurance ahead of next week’s lenge. The Spaniard, winner of car in Barcelona and I am not “The bits where it’s not quite been changed to improve weight Spanish Grand Prix in the Bahrain season-opener, is worried,” he added. “The Ferrari working are not because of (lack of) distribution and there is a big aeromechanics are very confident that third overall after four races. Barcelona. skill or bravery, it’s because the dynamic upgrade too. Schumacher “The time has come to show they have resolved the problems “Alonso’s thumbs are a symtechnique needs tuning and the car finished 10th in the latest race in bol, as well as being essential for who is up for winning the cham- and I hope the fans have a fantasneeds tuning. China, while Rosberg was third and driving a Formula One car, in pionship and who is not. Now in tic time and there is a great “It’s odd places where he’s losled early on, and some have that they make a sign of victory Europe the moment of truth has atmosphere as ever.” —Reuters ing time and that’s why we think expressed concern that he is finding

Alonso’s thumbs insured for $13.33m

he’ll sort it out and we’ll sort it out and get to where we need to.” Brawn said the team’s own analysis of the three races up to China had shown that Schumacher was getting progressively stronger and closer to Rosberg. Button, who won six of the first seven races in 2009 before fading in the second half of the year, has won twice in four starts for McLaren. Some commentators had warned him he was making a mistake in leaving Brawn for the ‘Lions’ Den’, a team seen as being dominated by his fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton, but Brawn said Button was showing his true character again. “He’s taken a really intelligent approach this year,” he said. “He’s highly skilled, we know that. If Jenson starts with the Jenson we had in the first half of last year then he’s going to be very strong.” “Really the second half (of 2009) came from certain pressures that were building with the championship and so on and wasn’t the natural Jenson. What we are seeing again is the natural Jenson. “He’s not looked necessarily quicker than Lewis, but he’s doing a better job and he’s getting the results.” — Reuters

Gulbis sets up Federer clash

BIRMINGHAM: Russia’s Elena Dementieva returns the ball during her match against Melanie Oudin in their Fed Cup tennis match.—AP

Doubles duo earns US spot in Fed Cup final NEW YORK: Liezel Huber and Bethanie MattekSands swept aside Russians Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva in the decisive Fed Cup doubles on Sunday to earn the United States a place in the final against Italy. With the best-offive tie locked at 2-2, the US duo eased to a 6-3 61 victory in front of cheering crowds on the indoor hard court in Birmingham, Alabama. “This is awesome,” a beaming Mattek-Sands said courtside after sealing victory with a crunching forehand winner down the line, the Russians having been broken four times in the second set. “We had a blast out there.” The Americans, who have a record 17 Fed Cup titles but have not lifted the trophy since 2000, will host holders Italy in November in a re-match of last year’s final. The Italians crushed Czech Republic 5-0 in their semi-final in Rome earlier on Sunday. Earlier, Mattek-Sands had kept American hopes alive by battling past Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 2-6 6-3 after Dementieva had beaten Melanie Oudin to give Russia a 2-1 lead. Ranked 129th, Mattek-Sands broke world number 62 Makarova three times in the final set of the reverse singles encounter before wrapping up victory in just over two-and-a-half hours. Continually cheered on by loud chants of “USA, USA, USA” from the partisan crowd, Mattek-

Sands threw her racket and both arms into the air in celebration after the match ended with the Russian left-hander hitting a forehand long. “It is great playing in the US, having the home crowd,” the American said. “They really helped me pull it out in my singles. I was getting some tough calls and she was playing good.” World number six Dementieva had earlier fended off a gritty fightback by Oudin in the first reverse singles to put Russia ahead. Neither player held serve for the first 10 games before an error-strewn first set went into a tiebreak which Dementieva clinched 7-4 after winning the last four points. Baseliner Oudin, shouldering the burden of being America’s number one after Serena and Venus Williams declared themselves unavailable, then broke the erratic Russian in the first, third and fifth games of the second set to level the match. Although Dementieva was again broken in the third game of the final set to trail 1-2, she won the next four games before sealing victory when Oudin hit a forehand long. The Russians, winners of four Fed Cup titles between 2004 and 2008, were also under-strength having lost world number three Dinara Safina, fifth-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova (14) to various injuries this year. — Reuters

Rocket sinks Williams SHEFFIELD: Ronnie O’Sullivan racked up three century breaks in the space of seven frames as he powered past Mark Williams and into the last eight of the World Championship here yesterday. Snooker’s biggest star suddenly rediscovered his best form to clinch a 13-10 victory that set up a quarter-final meeting with the winner of the clash between seven-times champions Stephen Hendry and Mark Selby, which Selby was leading 11-5. O’Sullivan and Williams could not be separated in the opening two sessions of this match, finishing 4-4 and 8-8, but the challenge of what was effectively a nine-frame final session against a player he greatly admires brought the best out of O’Sullivan. He made a sharp start, aided by an error from Williams who went in-off into the centre pocket off the black. After a false start, O’Sullivan returned to fire in a break of 53 to take the frame. Runs of 53 and 48 from Williams made it 9-9, but then came a golden half-hour from O’Sullivan. Williams was first in with 22 in frame 19 but a missed black proved costly, with O’Sullivan constructing a breezy break of 104. Three chances to get moving were passed up by Williams in the next frame, and 75 from O’Sullivan gave him what in the context of the session was a handsome 11-9 lead. Williams returned re-energised after the mid-session interval and a break of 114 narrowed the gap. But he twice played poor safety shots early in the next frame and O’Sullivan fired in a rapid break of 111. Williams failed with six attempts to escape from a snooker to give O’Sullivan a healthy lead as he pushed for the finish line. He left a chance when he finally hit the red and O’Sullivan needed no second invitation, rifling in a break of 106 and raising his arm to salute the crowd

ROME: Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis took little more than an hour to dispose of Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 at the Rome Masters here yesterday to set up a second round clash with world number one Roger Federer. The Swiss master had a first round bye and the big serving Gulbis took only 69 minutes to secure his bid for what he hopes will be an early tournament upset. Gulbis is ranked only 40th in the world but the 21-year-old has no qualms about his next challenge having taken a set off Federer in Doha earlier this year. “It’s really good that I played him in Doha because the first match against a player like that is the toughest mentally,” he said. “In Doha in the warm-up I was pretty scared but now I know I can play with him, I won a set, it’s his first match on clay (this year) so I’m not going to think about it. “I’ll go on court, play my best and whatever happens is okay. If I lose 6-2, 6-1 I’ll just go on. “There’s no need to think about it, thinking about it won’t help you. You have to throw away thoughts about it and you’ll be okay.” That sort of attitude is typical of the Latvian who admitted that he is no fan of training and has no intention of forging the type of long and dominant career of his next opponent. “I don’t like practising or spending a lot of hours on court, that’s just not me,” he added. “I just want to win a Grand Slam, only one and I’ll finish my career.” Federer warmed up for his clash with Gulbis today with a run-out in the doubles where he and compatriot Yves Allegro beat Johan Brunstrom and JeanJulien Rojer 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) to progress to the second round. Reigning champion and world number three Rafael Nadal also found out his second round opponent as German Philipp Kohlschreiber edged Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in a tight three-setter 6-7 (1/7), 6-1, 6-4. With none of the top stars in action yesterday, the highest profile player to take to the courts early on was former world number one and French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero. But the Spanish clay court specialist, who dealt Nadal his sole defeat here two years ago, showed just how far his star has dipped as he was humiliated by Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-0, 6-3 in under an hour. Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych had a comfortable opener as he beat qualifier Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3.—AFP

ROME: Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns the ball during a double game he played with Switzerland’s Yves Allegro against Sweden’s Johan Brunstrom and Netherlands Antilles’ Jean-Julien Rojer, at the Rome Masters.—AP

Safina set for Stuttgart return STUTTGART: Former world number one Dinara Safina is set to begin her comeback from the painful back injury which has kept her out of tennis for three months at this week’s WTA tournament in Stuttgart. The Russian has not played since January’s Australian Open and is the second seed in Stuttgart with current world number two Caroline Wozniacki as the top-ranked player with last year’s winner Svetlana Kuznetsova as third seed. Safina had a bad start to the year when she had to retire at the last 16 stage in Melbourne with two stress fractures and a ruptured muscle in her back and has been working intensively with her Croatian physio to fix the problem. She says she is looking forward to competing on court again and is hoping to celebrate her 24th birthday today with some

success having had to find other ways to keep herself fit since she last contested a WTA event. “During all this time, I have been doing a lot of biking,” she said on her blog. “This was the only thing I could do to stay in shape. I have been putting a lot of work in to get fit and I am looking forward to it.” Former world number one Justine Henin is expected to be in Stuttgart despite breaking a finger on her left hand last week, but needed a wildcard to take her place in Stuttgart as she continues her comeback. Venus Williams has withdrawn because of the knee injury she suffered in the final of the Miami WTA tournament and her sister, world number one Serena, also sits out Stuttgart. The pair both missed the USA’s Fed Cup semi-final against Russia in

Alabama at the weekend. “My doctors told me I need more time to recover from my injury, it’s why I can’t make Stuttgart,” said Venus. The top half of the draw features Wozniacki who is expected to face Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals. But Kuznetsova and Australia’s Samantha Stosur are potential opponents she may need to overcome. In the bottom half, Safina has an opening bye but will be up against the likes of Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, while Henin faces Germany’s Julia Goerges in her first match. Competition in the Porsche Arena promises to be tough with a total of seven top ten players appearing at the 33rd edition of the long standing event, a key warm-up for the French Open next month.—AFP

Climbers should smile on Tour de Romandie SHEFFIELD: Ronnie O’Sullivan of England plays a shot during his World Championship Snooker match against Mark Williams of Wales at the Crucible Theatre.—AFP on his way out of the auditorium. Earlier in the day, China’s number one Ding Junhui ended his second session against 2005 champion Shaun Murphy with the match tied at 8-8.—AFP

GENEVA: New Pro Tour leader Philippe Gilbert joins his closest rival Alejandro Valverde in a mountainous test on the six stage Tour de Romandie which begins today. The Belgian road racer has nonetheless played down his chances on the hilly 658 kilometre race, aiming to improve on 14th last year with a top ten finish and some points for his Pro Tour tally. “I think this year it’s within my grasp,” said Gilbert, fourth in the Liege-

Bastogne-Liege one-day classic on Sunday and winner of the Amstel Gold earlier this month on the Dutch flatlands. Valverde, however, will relish the long Swiss race, which may prove to be a last chance to shine before the International Cycling Federation (UCI) hears the Spaniard on doping claims that have excluded him from racing in Italy. The 2010 Tour de Romandie has the makings this year of a training ground for some of the bigger Tours and a showcase

for climbers. After the prologue and first stage from Porrentruy in the Jura hills, the race stays on the Swiss plateau near Fribourg before an individual time trial on the flat around Moudon on the third stage. But the last two days involve testing climbs in the Alps, as the race wends its way into the French side of the mountains at Chatel on Saturday before the final stage at Sion in southwestern Switzerland the next day.

Last year’s Tour de Romandie winner Roman Kreuziger has the added benefit of strong backing in his Liquigas team, but might have to give way to a star billing announced by the organisers. His Italian team leader, former Giro winner Ivan Basso, is a provisional late entry, with the flagship Tour of Italy beginning just a week after the Swiss race finishes. Basso finished fifth on the Tour of Trentino in Italy last week.—AFP


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mourinho could deny Guardiola a repeat triumph LONDON: Pep Guardiola’s bid to underline Barcelona’s status as the best club team in the world is in danger of being derailed in the Champions League by a man appointed by Inter Milan to end decades of failure in European football’s biggest club competition. Barcelona has to overturn Inter’s 3-1 first leg lead in the semifinals, although a 2-0 victor y over Jose Mourinho’s Italian champion at Camp Nou tomorrow will mean it advances on away goals. That will give Guardiola’s team the chance to win the Champions League title for the second season in a row, this time at the home of its biggest domestic rival, Real Madrid, on May 22. With a final against either Bayern Munich or Lyon to play for, Guardiola

believes his team has to maintain the regain the momentum of last season’s triumphs in Spain, Europe and the FIFA Club World Cup. “It’s too important for us,” he said. “We’ve just won six titles (in one year) and there’s a feeling that if we don’t win the double we’ve achieved nothing. “We need to settle it as quickly as possible. The game needs that. We can’t sit back and see what happens while the minutes are ticking by. We have lots of goals to cancel out.” With both sides hit by injuries and suspensions, it might come down to the battle between two of the best coaching minds in the game. While Guardiola’s motivation is maintaining last season’s achievements,

Mourinho has to help Inter make up for 55 years of disappointment on the continental stage. The last time Inter won the European title — then called the European Cup — was in 1965. Some of the biggest names in European football — including Giovanni Trapattoni and Marcello Lippi — have tried and failed to bring the trophy back to San Siro. Twice a European Cup winner back in the mid-60s, Inter has watched most of the powerhouse clubs capture the title since then and, despite four consecutive Serie A titles, dearly wants to win a competition now known as the Champions League. An Inter victory in Barcelona will mean that Mourinho, who was an assistant coach at Camp Nou when Guardiola

was a player there, will be close to achieving what he was appointed to do. Inter is chasing the biggest European football prize and the trophy Mourinho held six years ago when he was in charge of Portuguese club FC Porto. Although he then guided Chelsea to its first league titles in half a century, Mourinho was unable to lead the Premier League club to the Champions League final. Now he is out to end Inter’s long wait for European success. Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who scored Inter’s first goal in the first leg, is a doubtful starter with a left thigh muscle injury and Mario Balotelli, who threw his shirt down after being whistled by Inter fans in the first leg, may not trav-

el. Since Inter’s last appearance in the final in 1993, Bayer n has won four European titles but only one since 1976. Like Mourinho, Bayern coach Louis van Gaal is aiming to capture the trophy with two different clubs, having led Ajax to a triumph in 1995. But he has been hit by suspensions to Franck Ribery and Danijel Pranjic and, although Mark van Bommel returns from a ban and his team has a 10 lead from the first leg, central defenders Daniel van Buyten and Mar tin Demichelis are both doubtful starters after leaving the field with calf injuries in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Bor ussia Moenchengladbach. Lyon has Jeremy Toulalan missing through suspension after he was sent

off for two yellow cards in Munich while Brazilians Cris and Michel Bastos could be sidelined through injury. Coach Claude Puel admitted his team should have taken advantage of Ribery’s first half red card in Munich. “We played with the handbrake on, and we couldn’t make the most of the time when we had the extra man,” he said. “But we still have our chances for the return leg, even though it would have been good to score away from home. “We went to Madrid and qualified and now we will go and do it at Stade Gerland. I prefer this kind of scenario, because you play your best football when you need to get a result rather than,” protecting a result. —AP

Lyon, Bayern re-focus on place in history LYON: Trailing 1-0 ahead of the conclusion of their Champions League semifinal with Bayern Munich today, Lyon are keen to prove their worth following a meek performance in the first leg. After being outplayed at the Allianz Arena last Wednesday, the French side must prevail in front of their own fans at Stade Gerland if they are to reach the final for the first time in their history. Bayern, four-time European champions and finalists a further three times, have pedigree and a fearsome attacking line-up on their side, but Lyon coach Claude Puel feels his team are better when they know they have to win. “I prefer that, because our game is much better when we have to go after a result than the other way round,” he said. Bayer n winger Franck Riber y’s sending off in the 37th minute of the first leg gave Lyon the opportunity to take a grip on the tie but they failed to take it and were ultimately undone by an Arjen Robben goal in the 69th minute. Lyon yielded their numerical advantage when Jeremy Toulalan was sent off early in the second half and striker Lisandro Lopez has upbraided his teammates for their lack of attacking intent. “It’s clear. The team must change their attitude and their mentality for the next match on Tuesday,” he said. “We didn’t play enough when we had the ball. We were waiting in our own half too much. We have to correct the tactics and show a more positive spirit to go for victory.” Puel conceded that his side were inhibited in Munich but he sought to strike a positive note ahead of the return leg. “We never managed to free ourselves,” he said. “We didn’t know how to play our game, quite simply. But, without being a foolish optimist, I believe that we still have a chance.” Lyon have had six days to prepare for the encounter, after their league game with Monaco scheduled for the weekend was postponed by the French league. It is in stark contrast to the build-up to the first match, when they were forced to travel to Germany by bus due to the volcanic ash cloud that grounded flights across Europe. They have not emerged unscathed from the past week, however, with centre-back and captain Cris rated doubtful with knee and hip injuries sustained in the first leg. Holding midfielder Toulalan, meanwhile, is suspended following his dismissal for two bookable offences at the Allianz Arena. Bayern’s preparations have been disturbed by injuries to first-choice centrebacks Martin Demichelis and Daniel Van Buyten (both calf) in their 1-1 draw at Bor ussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. “I took a knock on the calf,” revealed Belgian international Van Buyten shortly after the final whistle. “Now it is worse than when I came off.” Bayern coach Louis van Gaal will wait until the day of the match before deciding whether Demichelis and Van Buyten are fit to play. “I hope at least one of the centrebacks recovers fitness, then we’ll have (Holger) Badstuber at centre-back and (Diego) Contento on the left,” said the Dutch coach. “I’d be happy with that.” Captain Mark van Bommel will return to the centre of the Bayern midfield af ter missing the first match through suspension, but Riber y is unavailable due to his sending off in the first leg. The draw at Moenchengladbach allowed Schalke to draw level with Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga, cutting their lead to goal difference with two matches remaining. The prospect of a fif th European Cup, a 22nd German title and a 15th German Cup make this potentially a historic season, though, and van Bommel says his team can compete with the very best. “Perhaps we aren’t better than Manchester United (who they beat in the quarter-finals), but with this team we can beat the great sides,” he said. —AFP

FRANCE: Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris of France is seen during a training session on the eve of their Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match against Bayern Munich. — AP

Honduras team helped defuse tensions: Rueda TEGUCIGALPA: Honduras may have tortilla thin chances of getting past the first round at the World Cup but the team’s achievement has helped unite the country amid the political crisis last year, coach Reinaldo Rueda said. Colombian Rueda told Reuters he saw a similarity, though on a much smaller scale, with Nelson Mandela’s South Africa and the Rugby World Cup in 1995 when reading the book “Playing the Enemy”. “I read that book and I thought about what we are doing here...It’s a Latin American theme,” Rueda said in an interview at a hotel in the capital Tegucigalpa, shaken last year by a coup. Rueda also recalled the job his compatriot Hernan Gomez had done in Ecuador, overcoming the racial divide between the Andean capital and the Pacific coast to steer them to their first World Cup in 2002. The

53-year-old from Cali said he had come to the conclusion after taking the Honduras job in 2007 that the way to improve the national team was to break down the Central American country’s racial and social prejudices. “I think it was a coincidence,” he said of his staff’s work and the presidential crisis. “We had set ourselves the goal since 2007, after analyzing the regional rivalries here, that the national team...should be a unifying factor in the country and we would have to win that on the pitch,” he said. “So we were on that road, two years on, when the events of June 28 occurred and that had other connotations, not just regional rivalries but also political ones with conflict and polarization. “It coincided with the final straight in the World Cup qualifiers and the national team became a great cause in

reuniting families, liberating tensions.” Rueda said a home match against Costa Rica, a 4-0 victory, in August was decisive. “The political divisions were still strong and there the people were able to free their tension, embrace each other, as if finding each other again,” he said. “With qualification in October, practically a month and half from the elections, Hondurans recovered their nationalistic mystique, their self esteem, motivation, their pride in their flag and their country.” This has inevitably led to Hondurans feeling theirs could be a surprise team at the finals in South Africa starting on June 11, to the point that the gains of qualification might be lost in the disappointment of failure. “The biggest challenge will be to get through the first round and be prepared to assimilate the two situations (win or lose)

in the same way,” he said. With Group H rivals Chile, favorites Spain and Switzerland, in that order, it would be remarkable if Honduras were to finish in the top two. “But there’s the illusion of having to play for it all on the pitch, that everything’s possible in football and the important thing here is for directors, media, everyone to ensure the fans do not feel frustrated, deceived, disillusioned when there is an adverse result.” Rueda, who said he did not know if he would stay in the job, has been granted Honduran citizenship for his work at the helm of the team. “It’s a nice distinction that I take as recognition of our work (as a coaching staff),” he said. “For me the best thing we’ve been able to do here, above going to the World Cup, is recover the confidence, the credibility of the people in the

Enyimba buried under Vita goal avalanche

Hayatou: African football can be proud JOHANNESBURG: African football confederation president Issa Hayatou said on Monday the continent can be proud of what it has achieved, just two weeks before Togo takes the federation to court to solve a dispute caused by a fatal terrorist attack at the African Cup of Nations. Hayatou avoided a question on Togo’s disagreement with CAF, which will be heard at the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport on May 7, and has caused FIFA president Sepp Blatter to step in as a mediator. “I didn’t come here to speak about the life of the Togo team,” Hayatou said, pointing out that he was in South Africa to be honored by President Jacob Zuma for services to African football. Sitting alongside chief World Cup organizer Danny Jordaan, Hayatou preferred to look ahead to Africa’s first World Cup. “We have realized our dream and everyone recognizes the value of African soccer,” said Hayatou, who has led CAF since 1988. “South Africa is playing the major role and we should be proud of the work we have done.” Before the continent can celebrate its greatest sporting achievement, one of African football’s darkest moments will be remembered when Togo’s appeal is heard by sport’s highest court. Togo pulled out of the African Cup of Nations in January after gunmen

attacked its team bus in Angola’s northern territory of Cabinda, killing two members of the party and seriously injuring a third. CAF responded to Togo’s return home by banning it from the next two tournaments, a punishment viewed as unnecessary and harsh. “Everything has been said and everything has been done and everything is in hand,” Hayatou said of Togo’s appeal. “Certainly, you will have results in the coming days. Don’t be in a rush.” Hayatou and Jordaan presented a united front in praise of African football’s progress. For the first time, the continent will be represented by six teams at the World Cup. While Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and Cameroon forward Samuel Eto’o are two of the biggest names in world football. “We have great footballers in the continent,” Hayatou said. “Football is the one expression in which Africa can compete equally,” But the Cabinda tragedy led to Togo’s best-known player, striker Emmanuel Adebayor, giving up international football earlier this month, citing the emotional affects of the shooting. “I will say it is a loss for football,” Hayatou said of the Manchester City striker’s decision. “He is free to do what he wants and no one can force him to do what he doesn’t want. He can only judge himself, but it is a loss.” Hayatou’s next

national team. There was a lot of skepticism, mistrust, a very heavy atmosphere around the players, a lack of respect.” Rueda said his staff had worked very well, with a commitment “that may have been the result of what happened to us in Colombia, everything we learnt that we were able to transfer here.” Colombia began the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup in Germany poorly and after four games sacked “Pacho” Maturana and appointed Rueda, who did such a good job that his country only just missed out on the fifth-place playoff. “We missed out by one point,” said Rueda. “The project was for 2010 but (the team’s) reaction was so good that everyone raised their hopes. Then came pressure from the media and sponsors, the cessation of the contract and the chance to come to Honduras.” — Reuters

CAPE TOWN: This aerial photo released by Dean Treml, shows the new 70,000 seat capacity Green Point Stadium, to be used for the FIFA Soccer World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. The tournament begins June 11, 2010, with host South Africa playing Mexico in Johannesburg. —AP words will have offered little consolation for the demoralized Togo team. “At national level, they (Togo) are authorized to play,” he said. “They did not suspend the national team of Togo (from all football), they only suspended them from the Cup of Nations. I think many among you don’t understand. They can play all the games except the Cup of Nations.” Jordaan said he looked forward to welcoming the CAF president back to South Africa in June for the World Cup.

“The content of the World Cup is really the people, as they get excited and they embrace the event,” Jordaan said. “We hope it will be an African celebration of song and dance, and good football and fantastic goals.” But the relationship between the World Cup host country and CAF has also experienced uneasy moments. A local reporter asked Hayatou if he could set the record straight over whether or not he supported South Africa in its failed bid to host the 2006 tournament. —AP

JOHANNESBURG: Former giants Enyimba of Nigeria are staring at elimination from the African Confederation Cup after a 3-0 weekend drubbing by Vita Club in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ‘Peoples Elephant’ from the south-east city of Aba won the 2003 African Champions League, repeated the feat the following year, and rank among the favourites to win the second-tier Confederation Cup. But their reputation counted for nought at the 80,000-seat Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa as Vita exceeded expectations by building a three-goal half-time advantage in a third round, first leg qualifier. Cameroonian Albert Mfongang scored his fourth goal this year in the competition after five minutes, Ilifo Ilonga added a second midway through the first half and Bongeli Lofo converted a 41st-minute penalty. Enyimba managed to overcome a two-goal first-leg deficit against African rookies Academica Soyo of Angola in the previous round, but experienced international campaigners Vita are set to offer more stubborn resistance. Title holders Stade Malien of Mali are another contender

struggling away from home and a 2-0 loss at modest Moroccan oufit FUS Rabat leaves them with an uphill task in Bamako next month. Both FUS goals came via their ‘foreign legion’ with Alhassane Issoufou from Niger scoring on 26 minutes and Malian Souleymane Dembele increasing the lead midway through the second half. Stade last year became the first Malian winners of an African Football Confederation (CAF) club competition, defeating Algerian visitors Entente Setif in a shootout after both finalists triumphed 2-0 at home. But Malien lost many of their stars soon after lifting the cup, including leading scorers Ousmane Bagayoko and Bakary Coulibaly, and scraped into the third round with a penalties success over Sewe San Pedro of Ivory Coast. CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, the only team to successfully defend the Confederation Cup, look set to advance after holding Petrojet of Egypt 1-1 in Suez. Hamza Younes struck midway through the opening half for the visitors, pouncing on a parry by goalkeeper Ahmed Fawzi to finish off a slick counterattack. —AFP


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SPORTS

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Popular Bora walks the walk and talks the talk DOHA: Veteran World Cup managers do not fade away-they prowl the marble foyers of five star hotels cocking an ear for word of employment and offering bear hugs and back slaps to potential bosses. That was the impression given by 65year-old Serbian coach Velibor “Bora” Milutinovic as he navigated his way for an interview over a $10 cappuccino at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha during the 2011 Asian Cup Draw in host nation Qatar. The only person to have coached five different teams at the World Cup may currently be out of job but he has not lost the common touch or celebrity status. He received four shouts of “Hello, Boss!” and “Hello, Coach!” from the bell hop, two coffee lounge waitresses and the maitre’d. His role “offering my experience” to

Qatar’s premier side Al Sadd and national squads means he receives the red carpet treatment wherever he treads in the energy-rich, football obsessed state. “I have intuition. Sometimes I cannot speak the language but I make a joke with people and we get an understanding. I try and get the best of players this way. The language is never a problem. People like me,” the multi-linguist told Reuters. How to win friends and influence people with his infectious, passionate personality is not the main topic of conversation, however. With the World Cup in South Africa under two months away, is Bora-dubbed the Miracle Worker for transforming lowly national sides-as disappointed as the journalists that the North Korean delegation pulled out of last week’s Asian Cup draw unexpect-

edly? Bora is among those linked to train the hermit state’s team at the World Cup. “No, no, no. I did not know they had pulled out. I didn’t know they were coming,” he insisted. “I have never asked for this job. I have never asked for any job. People come to me. I am interested of course (in potential positions) but I am happy with my life at the moment,” he said. He shook his head and grinned away queries that he has been approached for the vacant Iraq position-though the hearty hugs and handshakes with the Iraqi FA President on his way into the hotel fuelled the speculation. “I don’t judge my coaching success by the number of World Cup teams I have managed. I go on the number of players I have promot-

ed into the squads, who would not have been there but for me, and who remain after I have gone,” he said. He drew a crude graph highlighting his World Cup runs over three decades-Mexico in 1986, Costa Rica in 1990, United States in 1994, Nigeria in 1998 and China in 2002. Bora was sacked from his last national team, Jamaica, in 2007 following a string of defeats. After a few sums he proudly calculated he had discovered 67 World Cup players-and nurtured and promoted them into the first team squad for the biggest tournament of their lives. Married to a Mexican, Bora divides his time between Mexico City and Doha. He continues to look East, he said, and maintains a great fondness for his last World Cup success-China. He still has ties with the

country’s footballing community, and writes a popular blog about his support for the Chinese national team. “I was very happy for the Chinese people when we went to the World Cup. I never saw any corruption when I was there but getting rid of the corruption, as they are trying to do now, will not solve the problem of how to make China good,” he said. “They feel they don’t have time to develop grass roots football. The government wants instant success. No way. They need strategy, they need it even on the small details. It’s hard to explain the way I work. God gave me intuition. I had excellent connections with Chinese players, even though I did not speak Chinese. I never let the politics interfere. “I understood the Chinese people and the

players understood me, and I got the best out of them. They stopped their bad discipline under me, but it returned when I left.” Given his insight and success, what must be done for the Chinese to become a regional and global force? “Call Bora back,” he said, only half-joking. “People think I am always joking. People think they know me,” he said. Bora took a call in English during the interview and told the caller: “If you have a good team, nothing matters. I can’t give them any more advice. Ciao.” Job, Bora? “No, no, no. It has never been my obsession to always go to the World Cup. I don’t wait for calls. I live my life,” he said before departing across the foyer, shaking hands and joking with Asia’s footballing VIPs. — Reuters

Sampdoria stun Roma

MEXICO: Americas’ Angel Reyna, right, battles for the ball with Santos’ Uriel Alvarez during a Mexican soccer league match. — AP

Santos near title, Mexico playoffs set MEXICO CITY: Santos, the team Pele made famous, defeated Santo Andre 3-2 on Sunday in the first leg of the Sao Paulo state championship final in Brazil, making it a strong favorite for the title going into the return leg. Santos can win its 18th state title - its first since 2007 - even if it loses the second leg next weekend by one goal. “We have a bigger advantage now going into the second match,” Santos right back Leo said. “But Santo Andre showed its strength and we will need to be careful.” Wesley scored two second-half goals to lead Santos to the victory. Santos is heavily favored over the small club from the outskirts of Sao Paulo and is led by Robinho and young players Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso. Robinho is back at Santos on loan from Manchester City, but much of the attention has been on Neymar and Ganso with fans and local media wanting coach Dunga to select them for the World Cup. The Rio de Janeiro state championship ended last week after Botafogo defeated Flamengo 2-1 in the Rio Cup final. Botafogo automatically clinched the overall title because it had also won the Guanabara Cup, the competition’s first stage. The Brazilian league starts in two weeks with the state championships being played across the country. In Mexico, the eightteam playoffs are set in the Clausura championship. America claimed the final spot on Sunday, beating Santos 1-0 at Aztec Stadium through Angel Reyna’s seventh-minute goal. Seven of the eight teams had already qualified before Sunday: defending champion Monterrey, Guadalajara Chivas, Toluca, Pumas, Santos Laguna, Morelia, Pachuca. The quarterfinal playoffs start next weekend in a home and away series. In the playoffs, it’s: Monterrey-Pachuca, Chivas-Morelia, Pumas-Santos and America-Toluca. Reyna summed up his winning goal. “Miracles exist,” he said. “I lit an extra candle at home and it’s thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe that we will get another chance.” Reyna was referring to the country’s patron saint, who is

widely revered in Mexico and often used as a symbol of the nation. Defending champion Monterrey will be the favorite to win back to back titles, the Rayados having lost only one of 17 matches in the regular season. Chivas won a record eight consecutive matches to start the season, but won only two more after that. Though Chivas finished second, it has played the last month without five of its top players who are away at a training camp for Mexico’s World Cup team. Three players finished equal for the scoring title with 10 goals in the Clausura: Herculez Gomez of Puebla, Javier Hernandez of Chivas and Johan Fano of Atlante. Hernandez has not played for Chivas for a month and Gomez was suspended from Puelba’s final match after picking up two yellow cards last weekend. Gomez, who was born in Los Angeles to Mexico-born parents, is the first US player to win or share the regular season scoring title. In Argentina, Estudiantes went back to the top of the standings in the Clausura tournament with a 1-0 victory Saturday over River Plate. It was Estudiantes fourth straight victory with three rounds remaining. The victory improved Estudiantes to 33 points, one ahead of Argentinos Junior and two in front of Godoy Cruz and Independiente. Argentinos Juniors defeated Gimnasia on Sunday 3-1. Independiente drew 0-0 at Hurucan on Saturday and Godoy Cruz defeated Chacarita 1-0 on Friday. In Chile, Colo Colo took over the league lead with a 1-0 victory over Universidad de Chile with Argentine Ezequiel Miralles getting the winner. Colo Colo played a man short when Miralles was sent off in the 35th on a red card just minutes after scoring. Colo Colo has 26 points and Universidad de Chile 25. It was the last match for Colo Colo’s Argentine coach Hugo Tocalli, who said last week he would be leaving for “family reasons.” Tocalli has been under pressure since Colo Colo was knocked out of the Copa Libertadores. — AP

Auxerre thrash Toulouse MARSEILLE: An early goal by Mathieu Valbuena earned Olympique Marseille a nervy 1-0 home win over St Etienne and maintained their five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday. Diminutive midfielder Valbuena struck from inside the box after six minutes in a stuttering performance by the Provence side, who have 71 points with four games left. Second-placed AJ Auxerre, on 66 points, won 3-0 at Toulouse earlier on Sunday thanks to two goals from Poland striker Ireneusz Jelen. Marseille and Auxerre meet at Auxerre’s Abbe Deschamps stadium on Friday. “That is why we had to win tonight,” Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, the last OM captain to claim the league title, in 1992, told reporters. “We could have killed it in the first half. We suffered after the break, we had some problems keeping the ball. There were some hot moments but we won, that’s what matters.” Marseille got off to a perfect start, with Valbuena beating Jeremie Janot with an angled shot from inside the box after being set up by forward Brandao. The home side did not ease up and came close to a second after 20 minutes when Janot tipped a Mamadou Niang powerful header over his bar. The St Etienne keeper was helpless at the half hour with another Niang header but the Senegal striker’s attempt struck the post. St Etienne’s attacks were easily thwarted by the impressive Marseille centre back Stephane M’Bia but Marseille’s game deteriorated after the interval as Les Verts stepped up a gear. St Etienne had a goal disallowed shortly

FRANCE: Toulouse’s midfielder Mathieu Berson (left) vies with Auxerre’s forward George Niculae during the French League football match. — AFP after the hour when Emmanuel Riviere fired home but the striker was ruled offside. A few minutes later, a Yohan Benalouane attempt hit Steve Mandanda’s post as Marseille eventually held on. Auxerre’s victory was far more convincing. The Burgundy side, who claimed their only top-flight crown in 1996, played solidly in the first half and came out stronger after the interval. “We had five very tough minutes, when we could not get out of our half of the field and barely managed three passes

in a row,” Auxerre captain Benoit Pedretti told French TV Channel Foot+. “Then, we waited for counter-attack opportunities and set-pieces. We made the most of our chances.” Pedretti opened the scoring with a fine dipping free kick two minutes into the second half and Jelen doubled the lead with a delightful 25-metre shot on 67 minutes. Jelen put the result beyond doubt with 11 minutes remaining, latching on to Valter Birsa’s cross from the left. Elsewhere, Lens were held to a 1-1 home draw by neighbours Valenciennes. — Reuters

MILAN: AS Roma handed the Serie A title initiative back to leaders Inter Milan after losing 2-1 at home to Sampdoria on Sunday, their first league defeat in 25 games. Claudio Ranieri’s side looked to be returning to the summit after Francesco Totti’s 14thminute goal but a second-half double from Giampaolo Pazzini sent Samp back up to the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot. Inter, who had let slip a ninepoint lead from February, beat Atalanta 3-1 on Saturday and lie two points ahead of Roma with three games left as they seek a fifth straight scudetto. The visit of Samp had looked the toughest-remaining hurdle in debt-laden Roma’s fairytale route to a surprise fourth Serie A title and so it proved. Totti, substituted in last weekend’s derby win over Lazio because he was over-excited, expertly turned in Mirko Vucinic’s pass to boost calls for the Italian to come out of international retirement at June’s World Cup. But it was another Azzurri striker hoping to be in South Africa who produced stunned silence in the Stadio Olimpico. First Pazzini headed in former Roma forward Antonio Cassano’s cross early in the second half before poking in the winner five minutes from time. “First half that wasn’t us,” Pazzini told Sky TV. “Then we sorted it out in the second half. It was a great match and our Champions League dream continues.” Roma, who also face Inter in the Italian Cup final on May 5, probably did enough to claim a draw, with Totti hitting the post and a strong penalty appeal being turned down. Sampdoria moved two points above Palermo, who beat thirdplaced AC Milan 3-1 on Saturday, and six above Juventus. Sixth-placed Juve, again linked in the media with Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez for next season, boosted their faint hopes of fourth when Italy striker Vincenzo Iaquinta netted his first goals since September in a 3-0 home win over Bari. Iaquinta, likely to be in Italy’s World Cup squad and possibly the starting lineup, has struggled with injury for most of the season but looked fresh after coming on as a substitute. He rounded the goalkeeper and scored from a tight angle early in the second half for the opener and prodded in a third. In between his goals, strike partner Alessandro Del Piero converted a penalty after a foul on playmaker Diego, who had one of his best games for Juve in a difficult first season. Interim coach Alberto Zaccheroni has failed to win over fans since replacing Ciro Ferrara in January and Juve officials have refused to confirm or deny links with Benitez, whose Liverpool side are enduring just as bad a season as the Turin club. Bottom side Livorno were relegated despite a 3-1 home victory over Catania and Bologna’s 2-1 win over Parma also meant Siena are all but down following a 4-1 defeat at Udinese. Siena are nine behind fourth-bottom Bologna and have an equal headto-head but their goal difference is vastly inferior. Lazio won 2-1 at Genoa and look almost safe, six above third-bottom Atalanta who occupy the final relegation place. — Reuters

Matches on TV (local timings) UEFA Champions League Lyon v Bayern ....... 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +5 Al Jazeera Sport +3

ROME: AS Roma’s Francesco Totti (bottom) is fouled by Sampdoria’s Andrea Poli during their Serie A soccer match in Rome. — AP

Sevilla crash to defeat BARCELONA: Sevilla missed the chance to climb above Real Mallorca into Spain’s fourth Champions League qualification berth when they conceded a penalty in added time to lose 4-3 at Getafe in a dramatic La Liga match on Sunday. Substitute Daniel Parejo tore off his shirt and ran to the corner flag to celebrate after netting his spot kick but the referee made him take it again as a team mate had encroached into the area. He made no mistake with his second effort, sending goalkeeper Andres Palop the wrong way, and the Getafe fans celebrated wildly at the final whistle as the disconsolate Sevilla players trudged off. Mallorca had to come from a goal down to rescue a point at home to 10-man Malaga in the earlier kickoff but Sevilla failed to take advantage and stayed fifth on 54 points with four matches left. The Balearic Islanders have 56 in fourth, six behind third-placed Valencia, who won 1-0 at home to Deportivo Coruna on Saturday thanks to David Villa’s first-half penalty. Getafe climbed to seventh on 50, one ahead of Athletic Bilbao, who play at 13th-placed Osasuna later yesterday, and two behind Villarreal, who scored a 2-1 comeback victory at Racing Santander. The top two also won on Saturday, leaders Barcelona beating basement side Xerez 3-1 at the Nou Camp and

SPAIN: Getafe’s David Cortes (right) duels for the ball with Sevilla’s Fernando Navarro during their La Liga soccer match at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez Stadium. — AP Kaka netting a late winner for Real Madrid in a 2-1 win at Real Zaragoza. Barca have 87 points and Real 86. In other matches on Sunday, Atletico Madrid warmed up for Thursday’s Europa League semifinal second leg at Liverpool with a 31 home win over relegation threatened Tenerife. January signing Eduardo Salvio netted twice in the first half and Sergio Aguero, who returns from suspension for the second leg at Anfield with Atletico leading 1-0, added a third with just over 10 minutes left.

In Mallorca, midfielder Gonzalo Castro had his 45th-minute penalty saved after Malaga defender Milan Stepanov was dismissed for a handball on the line before Victor Obinna fired the La Liga strugglers in front. Striker Aritz Aduriz nodded home in added time, leaving Malaga in 17th, two points above the relegation places. Espanyol moved closer to safety with a 1-0 success at Almeria and Real Valladolid, in 18th, kept alive their hopes of avoiding the drop by winning 2-0 at Sporting Gijon. — Reuters


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IPL cricket chief gets bowled out NEW DELHI: The head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league was removed from his post yesterday after a scandal that has ensnared top politicians and strained the ruling coalition. Tax authorities are probing the three-year-old Indian Premier League (IPL), the game’s most lucrative tournament, after a junior government minister resigned following allegations of improper influence. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) axed IPL chief L alit Modi immediately af ter the final match of the 2010 series, past midnight, saying he had “brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself.” The widening scandal has sparked off tensions between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a key ally whose chief is seen close to Modi, ahead of a possible confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday over high fuel prices. While Modi has not been formally charged and denies any wrongdoing, newspapers have said authorities were investigating reports of improprieties in bidding for teams and in negotiating television broadcast rights for the matches. “The board looked into the allegations and took a decision to issue a show-cause notice to Mr Lalit Modi and pending inquiry, decided to suspend him,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar told a news conference in Mumbai. The board’s probe would be dropped if Modi convinced them of his

innocence within two weeks, Manohar said. Ahead of his suspension, Modi reiterated his stand. “We have had some off-field unpleasant dramas only based on innuendos, half-truths and motivated leaks from all types of sources,” Modi told the crowd that had come for the IPL final on Sunday night. “I assure you all decisions have been jointly taken by the governing council and approved by the general body in both year one and two of the IPL.” Modi was replaced by a BCCI vice president, Chirayu Amin, a businessman who is also on the IPL governing council. The IPL helped revolutionize cricket with its short, televisionfriendly format combined with lucrative advertising and cheerleaders in packed arenas, but it upset many of the sport’s traditionalists. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man and head of Reliance Industries, Vijay Mallya, who controls United Spirits, the world’s second largest maker of alcohol, and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan all control teams who play in the league. They have paid astronomical sums for franchises and players. At the top end, West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard was snapped up for a reported $2.75 million by Ambani while rights for a team in the western city of Pune went for $370 million. The distraction over cricket imposes further difficulties on a gov-

MUMBAI: This file photo taken on February 20, 2008 shows the chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the official in charge of the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL), Lalit Modi, taking part in a press conference in Mumbai. — AFP ernment struggling to capitalize on its re-election to promote policies that would boost investment and ailing infrastructure, as well as reform welfare and subsidies. Parliament has been disrupted on several days as the opposition demanded a probe into the IPL, with some lawmakers demanding both the BCCI and the IPL be taken over by the state. The enormous popularity of the game in India has made the BCCI one of the richest sporting bodies in the world and brought to its board politicians, businessmen and royalty. Farm Minister Sharad Pawar, who is also the head of the NCP, skippered

the cricket board for three years till 2008. Arun Jaitley, who leads the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the upper house of parliament, serves as a vice president. Pawar’s links to the game and his earlier support for Modi have caused frictions with the Congress, especially af ter Junior Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor was forced to resign after Modi accused him of using political muscle to influence team bids. Bond and stock markets have so far been unaffected by the scandal, with most watchers anticipating the government will survive Tuesday’s vote on prices. — Reuters

CHICAGO: LeBron James had 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, while Antawn Jamison scored 24 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-98 Sunday afternoon to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round NBA playoff series. The Cavaliers led by 10 at halftime after scoring 38 in the second quarter and broke it open with a 37-point third, putting them in position to close it out at home today. James was at it again after scoring 40 and 39 the previous two games, connecting almost whenever he wanted and from wherever he wanted. He was 6 of 9 on 3-pointers, including a jumper from just inside midcourt at the end of the third that made it 99-76. Chicago got 21 apiece from Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who also pulled down 20 rebounds, but the Bulls are on the verge of their second straight first-round exit. Heat 101, Celtics 92 At Miami, Dwyane Wade set franchise playoff records with 46 points, including 30 in the second half, as the heat staved off elimination by beating Boston in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference first-round series. Desperate to extend their season, Miami opened the fourth quarter on a 25-8 run, fueled mostly by Wade, who made 16-of24 shots from the field. Quentin Richardson scored 20 points and Michael Beasley added 15 for the Heat, who still trail the best-ofseven series 3-1. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 23 points. Game 5 is today in Boston. Spurs 92, Mavericks 89 At San Antonio, George Hill scored 29 points, helping the Spurs overcome a miserable night from Tim Duncan and take a 3-1 lead over Dallas in its firstround series. The Spurs have won three straight since coach Gregg Popovich criticized some of his players and they’ve put the No. 2-seeded Mavs on the edge of their third first-round exit in four years. Game 5 is today night in Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler had 17 apiece for Dallas, the NBA’s best road team during the regular season. But the Mavs couldn’t leave San Antonio with a win, and they have to push the series to a Game 6 to earn another shot. Jazz 117, Nuggets 106 At Salt L ake City, Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 13 rebounds, while Deron Williams added 24 points and 13 assists as the Utah Jazz held off a late charge to beat Denver for a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference playoff series. Carmelo Anthony finished with 39 points and led the Nuggets back within range late in the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets never caught all the way up and lost for the third straight time in the series. Game 5 is tomorrow in Denver, where the Nuggets will need to win at home to stay alive. — AP

CHICAGO: Cleveland Cavaliers’ Delonte West (left) shoots over Chicago Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich during the second quarter of Game 4 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs. — AP

Dubai hosts largest sports convention DUBAI: The Gulf’s growing prominence in the sports world will be on display this week as it hosts more than 1,500 executives and officials from the Olympic movement and international federations. The SportsAccord International Convention in Dubai will consider issues ranging from the funding of sports federations to the shifting geography of venues, which has resulted in the wealthy Gulf nations luring some of the world’s most prominent golf, tennis and Formula One races. Governments in the region now are setting their sights even higher, with Qatar bidding for the 2022 football World Cup and Dubai exploring a bid for the 2020 Olympics. Doha’s bid for the 2016 Olympics was unsuccessful. Dubai has spent billions of dollars building sports venues to cater for the international events. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday said Dubai’s sports infrastructure had made it a “top destination on the global sports calendar” and said the city has “a lot to offer” to the Olympic movement. Mohammed said Dubai continues to evaluate the “cost and benefits” of a bid,” insisting that the process alone will help authorities “identify the strengths and weaknesses of our transportation systems, our tourism facilities, our sports venues and other vital infrastruc-

ture.” Dubai has run far ahead of its Gulf competitors on the sports front by linking investment with a decade-long effort to attract tourists and entertain the Asian and Western expatriates that make up most of the emirate’s 1.5 million inhabitants. The UAE has hosted ATP and WTA tour tennis events, the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the Dubai World Cup, which is the world’s richest horse race. The ruling Al Maktoum family has scaled back some of its development plans amid the global financial crisis, but sports events have not appeared to suffer as Dubai struggles to pay off its massive debt. Last month a $2 billion horse racing complex was inaugurated. Managers of Dubai Sports City said progress is on track on the cluster of megavenues that will stage sports events and set up training facilities and specialized academies for golf, tennis, football, rugby, cricket and swimming. Along with sports executives, the event will host top Olympic officials and those from cities hosting upcoming games including London, Sochi, Russia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is also expected to speak along with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. — AP


RubyTuesday Restaurant Conference

Europe splits in Greek bailout row

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Goldman Sachs hits back at critics

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Shell: Mideast needs to solve ‘gas puzzle’ KUWAIT: The Middle East needs to solve the conundrum which leaves it sitting on 40 percent of the world’s gas reserves and yet suffering from a supply shortage, a senior executive from Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday. Natural gas demand in the region was growing at such a rate that by 2015, total consumption in the Middle East would be close to that in major European economies, Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s executive director for international upstream, said in a speech at an industry event. Middle East gas demand was rising at around 5 percent per year, a rate similar to growth in China, he said. “Domestic demand is growing, fuelled by economic growth, low gas prices and a gradual switch from oil to gas for power generation. As a result, some Middle East countries face natural gas shortages,” Brinded said. The region could explore using new technology and investing in LNG infrastructure as it looks to meet gas demand, Brinded said. While global gas markets suffer a glut, the only country in the Gulf with gas to spare is Qatar. The rest of the region would burn more if it could. In February, OPEC-member Kuwait signed a 5-year service contract with Shell to develop pure fields in the country’s north. The Gulf Arab state plans to increase output from the gas fields to 1 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) from around 140 million. Kuwait, like its neighbors, has seen gas demand for power generation and industry rise on a petrodollar-fuelled boom. Shell signed a deal in June 2009 to supply Kuwait, one of the world’s highest per capita consumers of electricity, with gas to feed its power generation stations during the summer. Neighboring Iraq said earlier this month it would invite 15 companies by the end of the year to bid to develop three gas fields, and said Shell was among the favored. $85 oil reasonable Oil prices at $85 a barrel are at a reasonable level and are not expected to pose a risk to economic recovery, OPEC’s head of research said yesterday. Oil was near $85 yesterday, above the $70 to $80 mark many in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have pegged as fair. So far, the group has shown no sign of responding to higher prices with a formal increase in supply. “I think it’s a reasonable price that will promote economic development and it’s also a reasonable price to producers to invest,” OPEC’s Hasan Qabazard said in an interview. “I don’t think so, no,” he said when asked if current prices were a risk to the recovery. OPEC has kept its oil supply targets unchanged since late 2008, although higher prices have encouraged some members to boost output informally. Qabazard said he saw ample supplies and healthy oil inventories. “As it stands right now, we have plenty of oil in the market, OECD stocks are 61 days of forward demand cover-above the five-year average-they are about eight days above the five-year average,” he said. “Reasonable stocks are 52-54 days of forward demand cover.” Asked if OPEC would consider increasing its oil output, the OPEC official said forecasts showed little growth in demand for the group’s crude this year. The 12 OPEC members pump more than a third of the world’s oil. “The call on OPEC this year will be around the same as last year, maybe a little bit more, about 100,000 (barrels per day) more. Demand for OPEC crude will be around 29 million bpd,” Qabazard said. His comments followed remarks on Sunday from Kuwait’s oil minister, who told Reuters on Sunday that OPEC would pump more oil to prevent a rally in oil prices above $100 from hurting the economy. “If it’s sustained above $100, that would damage the economic recovery,” Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said. — Agencies

Short of supply despite holding 40% global gas reserves

KUWAIT: (Left-right) Sami Al-Rushaid, chairman and managing director of Kuwait oil company, Nader Sultan, chairman of Ikarus petroleum industries, Kuwait, Ray Hunt, chairman and CEO of Hunt consolidated, Inc, USA, and Christopher Reddick, vice president of technology, British petroleum (BP), attend the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Kuwait City yesterday. Sabah said that current oil prices of between 75-85 dollars a barrel do not hamper the global economic recovery. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

UAE economy to grow by 2.5 percent in 2010 Emirates NBD Q1 SHARJAH: The United Arab Emirates yesterday cut its growth forecast for this year, with Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri saying the economy would expand by up to 2.5 percent. Last month the minister forecast 3.2 percent growth this year. The government revises its figures as often as every month and gave no reason for the downgrade. “Up to 2.5 percent GDP growth

Oil prices seen energizing UAE economy in 2010 depending on oil prices,” Mansouri told reporters, when asked about growth this year. “Definitely this is a positive supporting element to reinforce our performance in terms of the GDP.” “And I am also very positive it will give us some push in terms of utilizing some of these

(oil) revenues towards injecting a lot of those into infrastructure projects ... to be able to mobilize and energize the economy,” he said. Inflation, would be low, he said, reiterating his previous forecast for inflation of up to 2 percent this year, saying it was under control. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the world’s

third-largest oil exporter to see growth of 2.5 percent in 2010, following an estimated 1.4 percent contraction in 2009. Debt restructuring in Dubai is expected to slow down recovery of the second-largest Arab economy this year, making it lag behind its regional peers. The economy will, however, benefit

from rising oil prices, which hovered around $84.85 a barrel yesterday, well up from lows of around $32 a barrel in December 2008. UAE consumer prices rose 0.68 percent year-on-year and 0.1 percent month-on-month in March, following three consecutive months of declines as housing prices rose. Analysts are expecting average inflation of 2.5 percent this year. — Reuters

China gains clout in World Bank vote shift WASHINGTON: China overtook large European nations in a shift in voting power at the World Bank on Sunday that was designed to give emerging economies greater influence in the global development institution. The agreement increases the voting shares of some emerging and developing countries by 3.13 percent to a total 47 percent stake. It puts China’s share behind that of the United States and Japan, but above Germany, Britain and France. While the outcome recognizes Beijing’s growing global economic clout, South Africa said the voting shares of many developing countries, including its own, were diluted in the shift. “China’s share has increased because of its growth in the world economy,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a news conference at the end of weekend meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US maintained its majority stake of 16 percent but Japan said it had accepted a reduction in its voting share to 6.84 percent. China’s share will rise to 4.42 percent from 2.77 percent-reflecting its status as the world’s third-largest economy. The changes in voting shares will also contribute $1.6 billion in new resources to the poverty-fighting institution. In addition, World Bank’s 186 member countries agreed to a general capital increase of $3.5 billion for the Bank-the first in more than 20 years-to make up for the heavy lending by the Bank during the financial crisis. “It is just reflecting reality, and I believe multinational institutions should reflect realities because otherwise they become outdated,” EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told Reuters. But tensions bubbled to the surface after months of tough negotiations, in

World Bank gets $5.1 billion in new resources

WASHINGTON: China’s Finance Minister Xie Xuren (left) shakes hands with Australia’s Treasurer Wayne during the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC. — AFP

which some countries were reluctant to give up voting shares and others fought to hang on to theirs. Russia’s Alexei Kudrin told reporters the agreement on giving developing countries a greater stake reflected consensus among member countries. “Russia managed to keep its quota at 2.77 percent but others had to bring their share down,” he said. “We understand this is not easy for those countries, but again, that was the consensus: developing countries should have a bigger voice.” ‘FAR FROM PERFECT’ Zoellick said a new formula for calculating voting power was “far from a perfect process but it was one that allowed us to bring 186 shareholders together because there are always sensitivities.” “While all countries agreed they wanted to make this shift, those who had to give up shares obviously would have preferred not to have done so,” Zoellick added. He said members agreed that for the next review in 2015 they would develop a new methodology to seek a more balanced voting system. But South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan expressed disappointment in the outcome and said he considered this a “starting point”. “We are disappointed that the process has resulted in dilution of the voting power of some Sub-Saharan African countries, in spite of the collective acknowledgment of the need to protect them,” Gordhan said. “We strongly believe that more should have been done to prevent such dilutions.” “We consider the progress made to date as a starting point for more robust outcomes in future,” Gordhan added. While Africa’s stakes have risen since voice reforms began in 2008, and its representation on the World Bank board increased to three from two, voting shares of South Africa and Nigeria have declined. — Reuters

falls on bad loans DUBAI: Emirates NBD, the UAE’s third-largest bank by market value, reported a 12 percent fall in net profit, less than analysts had expected, after booking an increased provision against bad debts. The bank said yesterday the first quarter result reflected the “early signs of stability, increased economic activity and improved consumer sentiment and business confidence in the UAE”. Emirates NBD posted a first-quarter net profit of 1.11 billion dirhams ($302.3 million), down from 1.26 billion dirhams in the first quarter in 2009. Analysts’ average first-quarter net profit forecast was for 617 million dirhams. Total deposits rose 5.6 percent during the quarter, while lending slowed down 1.2 percent. Emirates NBD is one of two local banks that are part of a seven-member committee leading talks between Dubai World and its creditors. The Dubai government in March unveiled a $9.5 billion support plan for its investment vehicle Dubai World, for which most lenders, including Emirates NBD, expressed support. The Dubai-based bank said it booked 555 million dirhams in impairment allowances in the first-quarter, compared with 462 million in the same quarter in 2009. “We continue to believe that UAE banks will experience substantial credit losses this year on the back of economic realignment as domestic corporations reduce leverage and higher cost of debt and equity erode margins, putting pressure on cash flows and profitability,” said Goldman Sachs analyst William Mejia in a note to investors. Lenders in the United Arab Emirates in 2009 booked hef ty provisions because of the region’s prop-

erty downturn combined with the global economic crisis. The bank’s chief financial officer Sanjay Uppal said he expects non-performing loans to peak at around 3 percent by the middle of 2010, but that the trend is unlikely to carry on into 2011. Emirates NBD had a loan portfolio of 218.7 billion dirhams ($59.56 billion) at the end of the first quarter. The UAE central bank told lenders in a circular on April 22 that they are not required to book provisions against Dubai World until there is more clarity on the final restructuring plan. TALKS PROGRESSING Emirates NBD’s chief executive officer said the restructuring talks were progressing well and that he expected a resolution within weeks. Some analysts said the domestic banking sector will bear the brunt of the Dubai World debt revamp in the second quarter. “The circular keeps the door open for the banks to take further provisions in the second quarter,” said Samer Al-Jaouni, general manager at Middle East Financial Brokerage Company. Ratings agency Moody’s in April said the impact of Dubai World’s restructuring is manageable for the UAE banks, but also warned adverse economic conditions would put pressure on the domestic banking system. Three of ENBD’s largest competitors, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Mashreq, are still to report their first-quarter earnings. First Gulf Bank, the country’s second-largest bank by market value, on April 21 reported a 23 percent rise in first-quarter net profit. Shares in Emirates NBD closed 1.7 percent higher, while the Dubai index fell 0.7 percent. — Reuters


BUSINESS

22

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

KUWAIT: RubyTuesday’s officials and other dignitaries pictured during the conference. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

RubyTuesday hosts its ‘first ever’ conference KUWAIT: National Arabic Company, Kuwait, who holds the franchise-rights of RubyTuesday , the American Casual Dining Restaurant, in the Middle East, Africa, East Europe and East Asia, hosted the first International RubyTuesday Conference in its International Training Centre, Kuwait. This is the first time such a conference is held outside RubyTuesday International’s Headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee. The conference ran from 23-25 April 2010, and was inaugurated by Emad Bukhamseen, Chairman of National Arabic Company. From RubyTuesday International, Max Piet, Vice President Franchise Operations, Nicholas Ibrahim, Chief Technology Officer and Sr Vice President, George Thenamkodath, Director of International Business Development, Rebecca Hurst, Distribution Manager, were present in the conference. Also present in the conference were owners of RubyTuesday’s from India, Hong Kong and the Middle East “We never stop learning, and we never stop training and teaching. This is why the International Conference here in Kuwait is so very important to our future in the Middle East. We have brought together Owners and Operators to ensure that we are all looking toward the future in the same way: with Quality, Passion, and Pride in all

that we do” said Max Piet at his speech. In his speech, Nicholas Ibrahim outlined in detail the new Simphony Point Of Sales and Back Office Systems that will go on stream soon in all the RubyTuesday restaurants in the Middle East with 24/7 on-line support from Beirut, Lebanon. Simphony can operate as an independent stand-alone system, or as a part of a company wide information system. The System has been tested successfully in the US and is being introduced to the Middle East region. The conference has been designed to cover many key aspects of business growth. Topics included: sales strategies, new menu rollout, business systems, customer satisfaction, the entrepreneurial mind set and more. This international RubyTuesday conference is a complete learning experience that improves the business throughout. From new products, to new levels of customer satisfaction, to gold-standard food service education - the participants gained real-world solutions they can apply to their businesses immediately. The participants have had the opportunity to network with restaurant owners, operators and managers while attending sessions. In the GCC, National Arabic Company has RubyTuesday franchisees Balubaid in Saudi Arabia, Bin Hendi in Dubai, Global Brands in Qatar owned by

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Thani, Good Food Company in Kuwait (RubyTuesday Avenues Mall), Bahrain, East Coast Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon and Jordan, United Beverages & Food Company in Egypt For future developments, the National Arabic Company has planned to open franchised RubyTuesday restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia as well as in parts of Europe like Poland and Georgia in addition to Turkey and Kazakhstan. In a short span of six years, RubyTuesday opened fourteen restaurants in Middle East owned and franchised. By 2013, the Middle East will see more than 35 RubyTuesday restaurants. RubyTuesdays enjoy a definite edge over its competitors in their exclusive slowcooked ribs and premium triple prime burgers. These products really encompass a wide range of customers, said Vijay Elantholy, Chief Operating Officer, National Arabic Company, Kuwait. New customers are invited to try these great products in any of their RubyTuesday restaurants. RubyTuesdays offer 100% guaranteed halal meat products derived from lawful animals that were slaughtered according to the Islamic rites, in all their restaurants. These products have also been certified by the US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service.

British Airways increases capacity to repatriate stranded pilgrims

KUWAIT: Participants listen during the first International RubyTuesday Conference.

KUWAIT: British Airways has upped its efforts to help pilgrims who have been left stranded in Saudi Arabia by the volcanic ash incident. The airline announced that it will be increasing capacity on four of its Jeddah services this week to London Heathrow on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in a bid to clear the backlog of pilgrims performing Umrah who were grounded following flight disruptions. This is part of a wider plan by British Airways to accommodate customers

stranded after the six-day closure of UK airspace. They are also advising customers to register using a webform on ba.com to accelerate rebooking an earlier flight, where further flights are being operated, and to help BA identify where extra capacity is needed. Alternatively, customers can contact British Airways call centre in Saudi Arabia. Paolo De Renzis, British Airways’ Area Commercial Manager, Middle East said, “We are doing everything we can to help

bring stranded pilgrims back home as quickly as possible after this unprecedented situation. “This is why we are planning extra operations from a variety of destinations, and we hope to add additional capacity into the schedule where it is needed. Our absolute priority is to get as many customers back home as soon as we can. Customers should continue to use ba.com for the latest flight information and to check-in online for their flights,” added De Renzis.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2830000 .4380000 .385000 .2680000 .2810000 .2640000 .0045000 .0020000 .0779910 .7598420 .4020000 .0750000 .7448930 .0045000 .0500000

US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2873000 .4402660 .3872940 .2700910 .2835820 .0520390 .0400400 .2667140 .0370090 .2088690 .0031010 .0064550 .0025310 .0034300 .0041940 .0782600 .7624540 .4063200 .0766520 .7466070 .0065140

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2894000 .4433760 .2720040 .0771410

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES 3.084 6.516

.2930000 .4460000 .3920000 .2770000 .2890000 .2720000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787750 .7674790 .4170000 .0790000 .7523790 .0072000 .0580000 .2894000 .4433760 .3900290 .2720040 .2855900 .0524070 .0403230 .2685970 .0372710 .2103490 .0031230 .0065010 .0025490 .0034540 .0042230 .0787590 .7673160 .4091980 .0771410 .7513680 .0065600

Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

3.433 2.532 4.084 211.900 37.242 4.171 6.539 8.983 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES 77.110 79.440 751.140 767.900 78.742 ARAB COUNTRIES 54.500 52.151 1.284 205.000 408.300 194.000 6.286 35.160

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 289.000 Euro 387.300 Sterling Pound 449.110 Canadian dollar 291.200 Turkish lire 196.000 Swiss Franc 270.100 Australian dollar 268.400 US Dollar Buying 287.500

SELL CASH 272.000 768.390 4.430 291.900 567.400 15.800 52.300 167.800 54.390 390.500

10 Tola

GOLD 1,250.240

37.760 6.495

408.420 0.194 91.700 4.080 209.900

SELL DRAFT 270.500 768.390 4.170 290.400

211.600 52.195 389.000

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees

Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

271.500 9.160 78.740 288.900

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Nepali rupee Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 446.800 288.900

288.850 291.153 447.231 388.812 268.732 707.989 764.553 78.622 79.319 76.995 407.606 52.163 6.528 3.445

2.527 4.177 6.532 3.064 8.961 6.301 4.052

Currency 750.380 3.450 6.515 79.480 77.150 211.610 41.260 2.534 446.800

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash

37.910 6.770 0.035 0.294 0.255 3.190 410.150 0.195 91.700 47.200 4.260 211.400 2.183 49.800 750.560 3.520 6.700 79.910 77.150 211.610 41.260 2.738 448.800 40.800 273.000 6.400 9.310 217.900 78.840 289.300 1.330

Sterling Pound US Dollar

GOLD 225.000 115.000 59.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

288.050 3.450 6.500 2.540 4.170 6.540 78.760 77.250 768.000 52.175 450.000 0.000032300 4.100 1.550 410.300 5.750 392.000 296.500

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 288.600 386.800 448.400 290.100 3.090 6.515 52.150 2.532 4.170 6.526 3.445 767.000 78.620 77.090


BUSINESS

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

23

China’s influence grows in global auto market BEIJING: Nissan’s Teana sedan has a fullsize back seat, conservative looks and a reasonable price - just the thing for a Chinese entrepreneur with a family. That Chinese buyer is why the car exists. Nissan says the Teana, though also sold in Japan and other countries, was created with China in mind one of a growing number of models designed by global automakers for the world’s biggest car market. “The Teana is a Chinese product,” said Nissan Motor Co’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, at this week’s Beijing auto show. “Without any doubt, the Chinese consumer now is becoming a big target for a lot of products that we are developing.” China’s car buyers have become an important force in the design decisions of automakers from Nissan to General Motors Co. to Volkswagen AG. Their influence is starting to be seen in vehicles sold worldwide. The reason is obvious: China’s auto market surged past the United States last year to become No 1 at a time when sales elsewhere are so weak that major brands make most of their global profit in China. “From volume cars to luxury cars, we can see that all car makers are trying to design cars to fit Chinese tastes,” said John Zeng, an analyst for IHS Global Insight. Automakers are modifying luxury cars to suit China’s new rich and creating scaled-down sedans and minivans for the populous but lower-income family market. China’s growing influence echoes defining periods of expansion in the industry’s history - from Europe to Detroit a century ago and the rise of Japan since the 1970s. GM was a pioneer in designing for the Chinese market. Its Cadillac unit created its 2008 CTS for China, giving it a bigger back seat for Chinese buyers who sit in back while their chauffeur drives. That model was sold worldwide, so Cadillac customers everywhere got the added legroom. Other producers are following. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz debuted an extended Eclass sedan for China at the Beijing auto show. Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo Cars and Volkswagen AG’s Audi have created

Chinese models with bigger back seats. Luxury makers are giving cars a longer wheel base and stronger suspension for a smooth ride on China’s rougher city streets. China had almost no private cars 15 years ago. But sales have grown so fast since then that the country already is the biggest market for VW, Europe’s biggest automaker. It could replace the United States as GM’s top market by vehicles sold as early as this year. GM sold 2.1 million cars and trucks in the United States in 2009 and says total China sales of all its brands, including those with local partners, should pass 2 million this year. “The lines are going to cross. It’s only a matter of when,” said Tim Lee, GM’s president for international operations outside North America and Europe. Automakers and industry analysts say Chinese car ownership levels are still so low that sales, from luxury to economy brands, should grow strongly in coming years as millions of families buy their first car. In the mass market, China-inspired cars mix smaller size and lower price with bigger vehicles’ more sober styling and focus on interior room. That is aimed at first-time buyers who might be middle-aged with children or a business and care about practical transportation, not sporty looks. Nissan’s Teana is priced at 177,000 to 366,000 yuan ($25,900 to $53,600) several times China’s average annual income of about $3,000 per person but much less than a similar-size car costs abroad. Nissan sold 35,400 Teanas in China from January to March, up 88 percent from the same time last year, according to JD Power. GM’s compact Sail, designed for China and made with a local partner, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp, is priced at 57,000 to 69,000 yuan ($8,300 to $10,100). GM’s compact Wuling Zhiguang minivan, also made with SAIC, costs 37,000 to 46,000 yuan ($5,400 to $6,700). Chrysler LLC linked up with a Chinese partner, Chery Automobile Co., to turn one of its low-priced models into a compact for the US market but the alliance was called off

after the global crisis hit. China’s influence extends to products marketed by global automakers in other developing markets. GM and SAIC announced in December they will expand their partnership to India to make and sell Wuling minivans and flatbed trucks. Last year, Wuling became the first brand in China to top 1 million units in annual sales. “We are currently exporting Wuling products to a number of markets in Africa and in South America very successfully,” Lee said. “We know we will be successful in India as well.” Ford is following a different strategy, using Chinese market research to help design global vehicle platforms rather than creating a China model, said Joe Hindrichs, the company’s president for Asia-Pacific and Africa. “What’s most important to us is that we have Chinese input from consumer research and Chinese employees into the design process of our products so we get Chinese desires and perspectives,” Hindrichs said. “We are doing that on all our global products because we know how important the Chinese market is.” At the Beijing auto show, Ford displayed a micro-compact concept car, the Start, with a three-cylinder engine. Its chief designer, J Mays, said Ford had crowded Chinese cities in mind when it created the car. Automakers also are turning to China for design talent. Nissan plans to open a Beijing design center in 2011. It would be the first in China for a Japanese automaker and add to Nissan studios in Japan, Britain and the United States. “We are going to hire a lot of Chinese designers,” said Ghosn, the Nissan CEO. GM launched a Shanghai design center with partner SAIC in 1997 that Lee said has grown into a “fully capable engineering center where we can do cars from bumper to bumper and from tires to roof.” It designed the interior of the latest Buick LaCrosse sold in the United States and created the new Sail sedan and hatchback. For now, Sails are sold only in China. But, Lee said, “We could easily use those designs and that product in other markets.” — AP

BEIJING: A sales person opens the door to the Teana during the Beijing Auto China 2010 show held in Beijing. Nissan said the Teana, though also sold in Japan and other countries, was created with China in mind, one of a growing number of models designed by global automakers for the world’s biggest car market. — AP

China market access ‘critical’ to US firms Regulatory, IPR, access issues all trump yuan concerns BEIJING: US firms working in China are more concerned about regulatory and policy issues than about pushing China to revalue its currency, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce said in Beijing yesterday. American businesses are encountering new obstacles to market access as China’s growing economy leads them to expand deeper into inland provinces, AmCham president Christian Murck told reporters. Washington has been pressing China to allow its currency to appreciate and trade more flexibly, with politicians and labor groups blaming the undervalued yuan for the large US trade deficit with China and the loss of US manufacturing jobs. “A single-minded focus on the yuan is a mistake,” Murck said, citing access for financial services, progress toward a market economy and domestic industrial policies as important concerns for US business operating in China.

Policy makers in Beijing worry that allowing too much of an appreciation in the yuan will make Chinese exports uncompetitive, hurting a sector that drives growth and jobs in China. Half of member companies surveyed by AmCham said a Chinese economic slowdown ranked as one of the top three risks in upcoming years, while 30 percent cited rising labor costs in China, AmCham said in its annual white paper. Some 15 percent viewed yuan appreciation as a risk. Foreign investors have previously experienced steadily widening opportunity and market access in China, especially as China joined the World Trade Organization and opened new sectors to investment and competition. That trend is now bumping up against inconsistent applications of regulations, concerns over registering and protecting intellectual property and indigenous innovation rules. “Now, when we look from the vantage

point of 2009 and 2010, and look toward the future, we feel less certainty that trend will continue,” Murck said. China’s measures to stave off the global economic crisis by channeling stimulus funding through state banks to state-backed sectors has contributed to foreign firms’ perceptions of increased obstacles. “That represents a slowing in the process of moving forward to a market economy,” he said. American corporations have been increasingly reliant on returns from their businesses in China, as other markets continue to feel the effects of the global financial crisis. Many firms are selling into second- and third-tier cities, or moving operations from the prosperous coast to inland regions where labor is cheaper but logistics are less developed. That accounts for part of the increased concerns over regulatory issues, as firms contend with different applications of rules and local favoritism, Murck said. — Reuters

Greenback still strong Weekly Money Market Report

flydubai makes three route announcements in 3 weeks KUWAIT: flydubai, Dubai’s first low cost airline, has scored a hatrick of new route announcements with the news that the airline will begin flights to the Syrian city, Latakia, in June. Latakia will be flydubai’s third Syrian destination, after Damascus and Aleppo, and is the fifth new route to be announced by the airline this month. The four weekly service will begin on Sunday, June 20 and will take the airline’s network to 18 destinations. Prices for Latakia will start from AED 350 for one way fare including all taxes and charges and one piece of hand luggage. Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai’s CEO said: “Adding Latakia to our existing routes of Damascus and Aleppo, demonstrates the importance of Syria as a key destination to flydubai. Thanks to flydubai, Dubai’s growing Syrian expatriate population and the 500,000-strong community in Latakia now

have even better access to quality, safe and low-cost air travel.” Latakia is Syria’s busiest and most modern seaport located to the south west of the urban centre of Aleppo and has been an important trading and agricultural hub since ancient times, known for its tobacco, cotton and fruit exports. The city is also increasingly gaining a reputation as a first-class tourism destination, thanks to its pristine beaches, picturesque mountains and rich archaeological heritage. FZ233 to Latakia will depart from Dubai at 1130hrs and land at 1400hrs local time. FZ234 returns at 1510hrs local time and reaches Dubai at 1930hrs. Bookings are now open and flights can be purchased on flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), through the call centre (04 301 0800) and from travel agents. The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they

want to receive. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10kg, per passenger. Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just AED60 for the first piece and AED150 for the second, weighing up to 32kgs, subject to availability. Checked baggage at the airport is also strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book online early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed. A nominal payment of AED5 allows customers to select their seat and just AED100 secures the extra legroom positions. Bookings can be changed for a small fee, plus any difference in the fare, and food and drink can be purchased on board. flydubai operates from a modernized and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.

Government begins to offload Citi stock WASHINGTON: The US government announced yesterday it would start selling 1.5 billion shares in Citigroup, as it begins one of the biggest stock sales in history. It is the first block sale of Citigroup shares held by the government, which has begun to wind-up crisis investments in the hope of recouping taxpayers’ cash. “The US Department of the Treasury today announced the next steps in its plan to sell approximately 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup com-

mon stock,” a statement said. The US government owns 27 percent of the firm and shares worth around 37 billion dollars at yesterday’s pre-market rates. “Treasury will begin selling its common shares in the market in an orderly fashion under a pre-arranged written trading plan.” The announcement comes as Washington tries to claw back the 700-billion-dollars of taxpayers’ money used to prevent the collapse of the global

financial system in 2008. At the depths of the crisis the government injected a total of 45 billion dollars into Citi, once the world’s biggest banking group. The New York-based company faced massive losses in the wake of the mortgage crisis and came perilously close to seeing a run on its deposits as confidence in the system collapsed. Despite repaying some 20 billion dollars to the authorities in December, Citi is still one of the last of the major banks

operating in the shadow of a US government bailout. The government had held off selling its share stake in the firm until now, no doubt dissuaded by its low market value. The bank last week said it had returned to profit after two years spent largely in the red, posting a profit of 4.4 billion dollars in the first quarter of this year. Since then it has risen almost 40 cents a share, a potential earning of around 300 million dollars for the Treasury. — AFP

KUWAIT: The strengthening of the US Dollar against other major currencies continued last week as risk aversion mounted in the foreign exchange markets. Traders were mainly focusing on news from the Euro Zone and the United Kingdom, as the Greek debt crisis evolves and the election in the United Kingdom approaches. The Euro was not able to break higher, with the downtrend being the major theme. It started the week trading in a narrow range until news about the budget deficit in the Euro Zone came out, along with a sovereign rating downgrade for Greece. This news pushed the Euro lower to a level of 1.3202, the lowest since May 2009. The Euro was able to recuperate on Friday after the Greek government announced that it would ask for help from the proposed bailout plan, and closed at 1.3384. The Sterling Pound had a flattish week, reaching a high of 1.5473 on Thursday, and ending the week at 1.5377. The Swiss Franc had a similar performance to the Euro’s, weakening until Thursday to a level of 1.0850, and recouping some of the losses on Friday to close at 1.0731. The Japanese Yen was no exception. The currency reached a low of 91.60 on Monday, but weakened afterwards to a high of 94.32, and ended sessions at 93.97. Quarterly Earnings Show Positive Companies around the world are posting their earnings results for the first quarter of 2010, and in many cases the numbers are showing an improvement from earlier figures. Citigroup posted a $4.43 billion first-quarter profit, its best result in nearly three years, as the economic recovery reduced the bank’s credit losses and increased prices even on its worst assets. Similarly, Credit Suisse Group reported a net profit of CHF 2.06 billion ($1.93 billion), and said it was well placed to meet new banking rules due to come into force in Switzerland later this year. Economic Data Sales of US previously owned homes rose in March for the first time in 4 months as buyers took advantage of a government tax credit and the weather improvement. Purchases climbed 6.8% to an annual rate of 5.35 million. The Labor Department reported a rise of 0.7% in producer prices in March, pushed up by the biggest gain in food costs since 1984. Excluding food and energy costs, wholesale prices rose 0.1%. Eurozone Budget Deficit Widens The Euro area’s budget deficit widened to more than double the union’s 3.0% limit in 2009, led by Greece and Ireland. The total budget deficit, expressed as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reached 6.3% last year which represents the highest level since the introduction of the Euro in 1999, after recording only 2.0% in 2008. At 14.3% of GDP, Ireland had the largest shortfall among its peers. Financiallystricken Greece had an even bigger deficit than previously thought. The data showed that Greece’s budget deficit in 2009 was 13.6% of GDP.

Greece Rating Downgrade The credit rating agency Moody’s lowered Greece’s sovereign rating one notch from A2 to A3 and placed them on review for further possible downgrade. The move is based on the agency’s view that there is a “significant risk that debt may only stabilize at a higher and more costly level than previously estimated”. The review, which is expected to conclude within the next three months, will determine whether the rating will remain in the A range. The country’s sovereign rating now stands four notches above the “junk” status. Positive Economic Indicators Europe’s services and manufacturing industries expanded more than economists forecast in April as an export-led recovery prompted companies to step up production. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the manufacturing and the services sectors rose to 57.5 and 55.5 respectively, from earlier levels of 56.6 and 54.1. A composite index for both industries rose from 55.9 to 57.3. In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, investor confidence rose in April as falling unemployment and a weaker Euro improved the economic sentiment. The ZEW index for investor and analyst expectations rose from 44.5 to 53.0 in March, recording the first increase in 7 months. MPC Meeting Minutes The minutes from the Bank of England’s last meeting showed that the policy makers voted unanimously to keep their bondpurchase plan at GBP 200 billion in April as some officials showed mounting concern at the prospect of a prolonged period of faster inflation. Bank of England officials are trying to balance between promoting the economic recovery and containing the effects of rising inflation, which was above BOE’s upper limit of 3.0%. Officials have suspended commenting on policy before the May 6 election, in order not to influence the voters’ opinions before the polls. Gross Domestic Product The UK’s economy grew half as much as economists had forecasted in the first quarter of 2010, underscoring the recovery’s fragility two weeks before the elections. GDP rose 0.2% from Q4 2009, when a 0.4% expansion ended the recession. Mixed Economic Data The United Kingdom’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 3.6% from a year earlier compared with a 3.0% increase in February as energy costs rose within weeks of the election, and as a weak Sterling Pound helped push the cost of imports. The Bank of England has a mandate to target inflation at 2.0% and keep it within 1 percentage point of that level. Excluding the volatile components that are the energy and food costs, the socalled Core CPI rose by 3.0% from last year. The jobless claims fell more than expected in March, falling by 32,900 from February to 1.54 million. However, the unemployment rate climbed from an earlier 7.8% to a 16-year high of 8.0%.


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KSE ends trading session with declines Global Daily Market Report KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s trading session with declines witnessed across the board. Furthermore, most market sectors also declined backed by losses realized in the Islamic companies. GGI shed 1.01 points (- 0.49 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 205.05 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index decreased by 43.80 points yesterday and closed at 7,204.40 points. Market capitalization was down KD166.96mn yesterday to reach KD33.85 billion. Market Breadth During yesterday’s session, 125 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 64 equities retreated versus 23 that advanced. A total of 124 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Daily Trading Activity Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 11.70 percent to reach 244.93mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded gained by 31.68 percent to stand at KD69.98mn. The Services Sector was both the volume and value leader yesterday, accounting for 33.50 percent of total traded volume and 35.24 percent of total market value. Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 22.03mn. Kuwait Finance House was the value leader with a total value of KD13.84mn. Top Gainers and Biggest Decliners In terms of top gainers, Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company took the top spot for the day, adding 8.87 percent and closed at KD0.270. On the other hand, Al-Qurain Holding Company shed 7.41 percent and closed at KD0.025, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors Wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they ended the day on a mixed note except for Global Insurance Index, which was unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Global Real Estate Sector was the top decliner, down 1.17 percent for yesterday backed by Mabanee Company ending the day down 1.47 percent and closed at

Wataniya sponsors AUK project: ‘Kuwait at 50’ KD0.670. In addition, The Commercial Real Estate Company, the top decliner in the sector, also contributed to the index’s decline by posting a 5.62 percent drop to close at KD0.84. Global Industrial Index was the second biggest decliner for yesterday. The index shed 1.07 percent from its value backed by Kuwait Metal Pipe Industries & Oil Services ending the day with a loss of 5.19 percent and closed at KD0.365. Further aiding the index’s gain was Kuwait Cement Company which posted a 2.78 percent decrease in value to close at KD0.700. In terms of gainers, Global Services Index took the lead with a gain of 0.15 percent backed by heavyweight Agility ending the day up 3.39 percent and closed at KD0.610. Global special indices

also ended on a negative note, with Global Islamic Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day down 2.28 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Finance House ending the day down 3.85 percent and closed at KD1.000. Oil News The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at US$83.01 a barrel on Friday, compared with US$82.36 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwait’s oil production capacity currently stood at 3.1mn barrels per day (bpd), versus its quota which was at 2.2mn barrels per day, its oil minister told a conference yesterday. Market News Ahli United Bank - Bahrain (AUB)

said it will offer EGP37 a share to buy out minority shareholders in its Egyptian subsidiary. In January, AUB raised its stake in Ahli United Bank Egypt to 79.6 percent from 35.5 percent for about US$180mn. Yesterday, the Bahraini lender said the offer to minority shareholders was to comply with Egyptian regulations. It said the price per share offered equaled its previous offer, according to a regulatory filing to the Bahrain Stock Exchange. The lender said it expected Egyptian regulators to approve the offer within the coming days. Kuwait will invest around KD3bn dinars in upstream developments over the next five years, according to a senior oil official.

KUWAIT: Wataniya is proud to announce the sponsorship of a remarkable project inspired by Kuwaiti people, culture and history. The project which entitled “Kuwait at 50” aims at highlighting the different eras of Kuwait’s History in video series trailing its path from independence back in 1961 up to the present time. It was created by the American University of Kuwait (AUK) students with the support of the faculty members. “Kuwait at 50” complies four DVDs portraying Kuwait in the past 50 years. The videos will give the viewer a deeper insight on the rich culture as well as Kuwaiti society’s characteristics, in which it shed light on clothes, food, architecture, and education and leisure lifestyles. “Being given the opportunity to sponsor “Kuwait at 50” initiative is a very valuable and important asset to us. Our corporate social

responsibility strategy is devoted towards supporting such projects and empowering youth in being part of their society’s traditions as well as realizing the importance of belonging to a prosperous and giving community,” Abdol Aziz and Balool, Wataniya PR manager expressed. A ceremony was held on April 22nd to celebrate the agreement signed by Wataniya and AUK. Wataniya Public Relations manager Abdol Aziz and Balool were present as well as Dr Earl Sullivan AUK Interim President, Dr Marjorie Kelly Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Ms. Amal Al Binali Director Public Relations, Marketing and University Government Relations Officer. The “Kuwait at 50” documentary will be distributed in Kuwait and throughout the United States in efforts to spread the proper awareness about the society in Kuwait.


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Global Fund faces ‘challenge’ to find cash GENEVA: One of the biggest global sources of funds to treat AIDS and other killer diseases in poor countries is facing a crucial challenge to find cash after the financial crisis, its head said yesterday. The Global Fund for HIV/AIDS malaria and tuberculosis, which claims to have saved an estimated 4.9 million lives since 2005, needs to mobilize 13 to 20 billion dollars (10-15 billion euros) for 2011-2013 this year

from state and private donors. “The challenge is the resources,” said Michel Kazatchkine executive director of the Global Fund. “The challenge for us in 2010 is to build on the results and mobilize the international community in a very difficult context.” “These resources will largely determine where the world will be in 2015 with the health related (UN) Millennium Development Goals,” by their target date,

Kazatchkine told journalists. Apart from bringing like saving HIV/AIDS drug treatment to Africa, the Fund says it currently accounts some twothirds of international funding for TB treatment and 70 percent for malaria treatment and prevention. Last month, a senior Fund official said there had been a “very positive reaction” during a meeting with donors including states, charities and private com-

panies. But Kazatchkine said yesterday he would spend most of his time travelling the world to coax support until a major pledging conference in New York in October chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He in particular targeted broader funding from Gulf nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) states. Although it was set up by UN member states in 2002, the fund largely got of the

ground thanks to the involvement of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2008 to 2010 the fund has provided 9.7 billion dollars for carefully selected HIV/AID, malaria and TB treatment prevention programs in developing nations. “We were 3.0 billion dollars short, the Global Fund could not respond to all the quality demands we have received,” said Kazatchkine. Some states, led by Ethiopia,

are pressing the Global Fund to take on all health-related UN development Goals, including those for maternal and child health. “I don’t think in a year of difficult replenishment it is the right time to broaden the mandate of the Global Fund,” said Katzatckine, a day before the body holds a board meeting in Geneva. The Gates Foundation was “strongly opposed” to an expansion, he noted. — AFP

Greek crisis drives wedge in EU ranks ATHENS: A Greek debt rescue engaging the IMF split the European Union yesterday, with Italy attacking German “intransigence” in handing over urgently needed funds as Greece’s borrowing costs shot through the roof again. As the Greeks struggled to get a crucial EU-IMF debt rescue agreed before a looming mid-May debt deadline, Germany broke ranks to demand tight spending curbs from Athens but drew a rebuke from the Italian foreign minister. “I am concerned by the intransigence Germany is showing,” Franco Frattini said as he arrived for talks in Luxembourg with his EU counterparts. “This is not a rescue operation (of Greece), this is a consolidation of Europe’s walls, the walls of the euro, it’s a rescue for all of us,” he said. His German counterpart Guido Westerwelle had earlier said Berlin opposed financial aid to Greece unless Athens first presented a credible debt reduction program. “Making promises of concrete aid too soon will only

ATHENS: A man hands alms to a beggar in central Athens yesterday. Financial markets upped the pressure on debt-ridden Greece yesterday, as investors remained skeptical about its long-term solvency despite assurances that a rescue loan will help pay off a chunk of debt in coming weeks. — AP

New Zealand’s business delegation to visit Kuwait Trade between Kuwait and NZ valued at $157 million KUWAIT: The largest ever business delegation to visit the Middle East from New Zealand, led by the New Zealand Minister of Trade, the Honorable Tim Groser, is set to arrive in Kuwait today with the aim of reinforcing and expanding trade relationships between the two countries. The delegation consists of over 90 New Zealand business leaders representing over 60 leading New Zealand companies looking to capitalize on the solid growth and economic modernization taking place throughout the region. According to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the government’s economic development agency, the GCC as a whole is an increasingly important contributor to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Trade between New Zealand and the GCC totaled over $2.1 billion last year - a 40 per cent increase since 2000 - making the GCC New Zealand’s sixth largest bilateral trading partner. With a growing economy and developing business sector, Kuwait represents a promising market for New Zealand companies. Bilateral trade between the two nations totaled over $157 million last year, representing 8 per cent of the total trade between New Zealand and the GCC. While exports from Kuwait to New Zealand in 2009 amounted to $115 million - an 8 per cent increase since 2008. Groser, New Zealand Minister of Trade, commented on the visit: “With the introduction of a recent $25 billion economic development program and the prospect of related political reforms, business in Kuwait is thriving, which provides New Zealand with increased opportunity for trade and investment. Our visit here demonstrates our depth of commitment to this region, and represents an opportunity to deepen relationships in already established sectors, while also

developing a stronger and more diversified presence in this market.” “The growing relationship between our nations presents valuable commercial opportunities for both New Zealand and Kuwait companies, and this is a unique chance for New Zealand business leaders to demonstrate to local partners the breadth of expertise they can offer,” he added. In recent years, an area of focus for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has been the Kuwait marine sector. With the highest per capita rate of boat ownership in the GCC, Kuwait provides a steady market for New Zealand companies such as Maxwell Marine, Sealegs and Hutchwilco, to provide their expertise. Recognized as a world leader in healthcare technologies, many New Zealand companies have also capitalized on the success of the growing Kuwait healthcare sector. The practical and innovative solutions offered by New Zealand companies such as Orion Health (health information integration) and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare (respiratory and neonatal) are already well established in this market. While Winscribe (digital dictation software) has recently set up in Kuwait with the assistance of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, aiming to further improve the standard of healthcare within Kuwait. Government lead initiatives such as this GCC business mission aim to broaden the trade relationship with Kuwait by developing sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, food and beverage and marine, as well as investigating new opportunities for trade and investment. The Minister of Trade and the business delegation will visit Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, before arriving in Kuwait, and ending their trip in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Bangladesh seeks help as oil bill soar DHAKA: State-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corp is seeking help to pay for an estimated $4.3 billion of oil imports in the next fiscal year to run new power plants to meet growing energy needs, a top executive said yesterday. BPC, Bangladesh’s only fuel importer and distributor, normally buys up to 3.8 million tons of refined and crude oil annually at costs between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion, its chairman Anwarul Karim said. “But for the next fiscal year our import may rise to 4.4 million tons as the government plans to set up several oil-fired power

plants,” he told Reuters. To meet the rising fuel bill, Bangladesh has asked the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to provide more funds, Karim said. The IDB gives Bangladesh about $1.2 billon a year now to pay for oil imports. “We have also asked Bangladesh’s central bank to allocate additional funds for oil import,” Karim added. The new power plants fuelled by diesel and furnace oil will add more than 1,350 megawatts of power to the national grid, a partial fulfillment of promises by Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina to ease a nagging power crisis that affects households and industries. But BPC, which sells many fuels below cost as part of a complicated subsidy program, has accumulated losses of $2.83 billion that may rise to $3.05 billion at the end of the current fiscal year ending in June 2010. Bangladesh now imports oil from Vietnam, Malaysia, Maldives, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India and United Arab Emirates. But officials said it was also looking for other sources to buy the additional fuel. — Reuters

Europe splits in Greek bailout row have the effect of taking the pressure off Greece,” Westerwelle said as he arrived for the talks. “Above all, we need to see budget consolidation taking place in Greece,” said Westerwelle, whose governing coalition is facing a tricky regional election on May 9. In Greece, analysts are noting that the government caught Brussels napping as it sought to activate the fall-back loan currently worth 45 billion euros (60 billion dollars) before European money could be put in place. “(Greek PM) George Papandreou pushed the button of a mechanism that is not operational,” wrote Dimitris Mitropoulos, a columnist in topselling Ta Nea daily which nominally supports the government. “The wiring has not been connected and most importantly, the voltage needed has not been set,” he added, noting that Greece’s actual loan needs could run to 150 billion euros over

three years according to certain estimates. Greece is scrambling to get the financial package in place ahead of a May 19 deadline to pay bondholders about 8.5 billion euros, leaving only a small window to act or face a crippling default. Athens has a total public debt approaching 300 billion euros. Yesterday, the interest rate on Greek 10-year debt reached 9.116 percent, the highest for Greece since the country joined the eurozone in 2001. The previous record was 8.950 percent early on Friday, shortly before Greece abandoned efforts to stand alone and asked for help. And the euro sank to 1.3320 dollars from 1.3384 dollars in New York late on Friday, when it had hit a one-year low at 1.3202 dollars. The potential involvement of the International Monetary Fund has met a poor response in Greece amid fears that it could prescribe austerity cuts that will further undermine

the country’s recession-hit economy. Conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras accused the government of placing the country under “suffocating” IMF control while the leading union spoke of a “particularly painful” development which called for mobilization. “The IMF will impose new measures that neither our economy nor our society can take,” said Samaras, whose party was ousted from power in October as the global financial crisis began to take root in Greece. The conservative leader will later today meet with an IMF mission sent to Athens last week to discuss the terms of the loan. Greek unions have already staged a series of general strikes, work stoppages and street protests against the government’s crisis cutbacks. Greek-flagged ships were blocked at the main port of Piraeus yesterday under a sailors’ strike against govern-

ment efforts to open the sector to foreign competition. The capital will be left without public transport on Tuesday during a six-hour work stoppage against state spending cuts. Greece has ruled out the prospect of restructuring its debt or leaving the eurozone. “It is a scenario that has no basis,” the Greek finance minister said on Sunday during an IMF meeting in Washington when asked about a debt restructuring. “Greece is a member of the eurozone, will always remain a member of the eurozone, will always remain within the European Union, full stop.” The Greek debt crisis has hit the euro hard, plunging the eurozone into the most serious crisis of its 11-year history and placing other eurozone nations, most notably Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland in the firing line. “Greece will remain under the spotlight with speculation about debt rescheduling/restructuring and concerns over the contagion effects to persist for a while,” BNP Paribas said in a note yesterday. — AFP

Dividends in UK set for a slow recovery LONDON: British companies paid out less in dividends in the first quarter than the same period a year earlier, Capita Registrars said, cutting its forecast for full-year dividend growth. UK firms paid out 13.6 billion pounds ($21.04 billion) in dividends during the first three months of 2010, down 2.5 percent on the same period a year ago, Capita Registrars said in a report released yesterday. Heavyweights reducing their payouts were a major factor in the fall, with bank HSBC cutting 670 million pounds, and oil giants BP and Shell paying out 330 million less between them. Shell’s dollardenominated payout was up 5 percent on

last year, while BP’s dividend was the same in dollars, but a stronger pound reduced the sterling payout. “Even very strong performance from the rest of UK plc will make it difficult to make up for weakness at the top-as a result we expect the recovery in dividends to take longer than we had initially forecast,” said Paul Taylor, head of dividends at Capita Registrars. Capita Registrars, a unit of Capita Group that provides share registration, has downgraded its full-year forecast for UK dividends in 2010 to 59.2 billion pounds, up just 1.3 percent from 2009. In January, it had forecast 5 percent growth.

Capita Registrars said it was the slowest annual rate of decline since the recession began and 186 companies paid a dividend between January and March, up from 161 a year ago. A total of 102 companies increased or reinstated payments, against 56 cutting or cancelling them. However, it said a number of special factors had combined to limit the fall to 2.5 percent. This included Cadbury paying a 133 million pound dividend in February, the last one before it was taken over by Kraft Foods, and Unilever switching to quarterly dividends and paying out 240 million pounds in the first quarter. Capita Registrars’ Taylor also said

some smaller companies may have brought forward their payments to the 2009/10 tax year, which ended on April 5, to beat a tax hike. On April 6, the UK rate of income tax for higher earners rose to 50 percent from 40 percent. Adjusting for these one-offs, dividends were down 7 percent in the quarter, Capita Registrars said. The FTSE 100 performed poorly compared with the midcap FTSE 250, Capita Registrars said. Payments from blue chips fell 8 percent after adjusting for one-offs, while the midcaps paid out 2 percent more. The FTSE 100 yielded 4 percent in the quarter, while the FTSE 250 yielded 3.4 percent. — Reuters

Greek dockworkers on strike as economic reforms loom Reforms focus on opening markets, cutting costs ATHENS: Dockers at Greece’s largest ports stopped work yesterday to protest against moves exposing them to foreign competition, as EU and IMF officials discussed more such reforms with Athens as a condition for granting aid. After bowing to market pressure on Friday to become the first euro zone member to ask for a bailout, Greece braced for tougher austerity steps to climb out of a debt crisis rocking the country and the euro zone. Greek media reported European Union and International Monetary Fund officials had proposed over a dozen possible steps to slash public sector costs and boost competitiveness. Economists say prices may be 20-30 percent too high. The first such measure-allowing non-Greek cruise ships to moor at multiple Greek ports without hiring Greek crews-was announced last week and prompted yesterday’s 24-hour strike, which blocked ports and stranded ships. About 60 dock workers at Piraeus port prevented 870 mostly Spanish passengers on a Maltese-flagged cruise ship, the Zenith, from embarking or disembarking, officials said. “Lifting the restrictions, as announced, will mean the end of Greek-flagged cruise shipping and the funeral of Greek

PIRAEUS: A cyclist rides at the main port of Piraeus, near Athens as a docked ship is seen in the background during a strike yesterday. — AP sailors,” said Antonis Dalakogiorgos, head of the Panhellenic Sailors’ Union. Polls show government support is waning as austerity measures take their grip, although Prime Minister George Papandreou still leads in approval ratings. Analysts say the success of measures will hinge on the public’s tolerance. MORE AUSTERITY Papandreou has pledged to slash the budget deficit by four percentage points this year,

from last year’s 13.6 percent of economic output, the highest in the EU. But a deeper-thanexpected recession and a spike in Greece’s borrowing costs is seen forcing more cutbacks to ensure Athens can slow the growth of its 300 billion euro public debt load. Questioning whether German concerns about the 45 billion euro aid package could prevent Athens from refinancing debt due in May, markets continued to punish Greek assets, driving bond yields to a

new 12-year high. Economists are also unsure whether the aid can prevent Greece from having to default or restructure its debt down the road. Barclay’s Capital wrote in a note it did not see the EU and IMF pushing for that move now, but it could come later. “Uncertainty remains high,” its researchers wrote. “This suggests to us that it is still very risky to hold Greek debt.” Yannis Stournaras, head of the Athens-based Foundation of Economic Research, said the

relatively closed economy meant prices for some goods and services were 15 percent higher than the euro zone average. Eliminating the labor restrictions would boost growth and competitiveness by 10 percent or more. “These profit margins will converge with the euro zone average and in the medium-term produce much higher GDP and productivity,” he said. Loath to stoke public unrest similar to that which caused violent rioting and deaths in the late 1990s Asia crisis, the IMF has taken pains to focus on the social aspect of reforms. But it is expected to ask Athens to hike the pension age to as high as 67 from an average of around 62, scrap bonuses that account for a large part of payroll costs and target items such as a 1951 law granting pensions to thousands of unwed daughters of retired civil servants and banking and military officials. Labor Minister Andreas Loverdos said the IMF had asked if Greece would end a system in which all workers receive two extra monthly salaries a year as bonuses, daily Ta Nea reported. “I was asked whether we are thinking of ending the 14th-month salary bonus in the private sector, why not move to just 12-month salaries,” he told the daily. He did not specify the government’s response.— Reuters


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Oil groups turn focus back to traditional fields ALWYN PLATFORM: The sixmeter high red, blue and gold ball recently painted on the side of the Alwyn alpha rig is the largest Total logo in the world-a sign of Big Oil’s growing focus on its heartlands. Across a 73-metre steel bridge, the Alwyn bravo platform, its blastwalls glistening in the Spring sunshine, processes 100,000 barrels equivalent of oil and gas a day. Even though it is well past its peak, the North Sea accounts for 25 percent of Total’s production and the French oil major’s investment in the area is growing. While common sense might suggest the biggest oil companies should concentrate on the biggest undeveloped fields, Total’s focus on the heavily tapped North Sea reflects a broader trend. Twenty years ago, Western oil majors saw their future in Africa, Latin America and the Former Soviet Union (FSA), which political change and new technologies were opening to them. However, a wave of resource nationalism, spurred by a surge in oil prices from $40/barrel in 2004 to over $147/barrel in 2008,

Resource nationalism prompts boost in OECD investment undermined this strategy, and the oil majors are now more focused on opportunities closer to home. “We are not afraid to be in places like Africa but in the OECD we have less political risk and more predictable tax,” said Patrice de Vivies, Total’s Northern Europe exploration boss, casting an eye north toward the wisps of smoke drifting from the flame towers of the platforms on the Brent field 30 km away. While companies still eye deals in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the FSU, there is a broad acceptance that attractive opportunities in these areas will be scarce. Europe’s largest oil company by market value, Royal Dutch Shell Plc has said it plans to direct 60-70 percent of its investments into the industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “We want a certain portion of investment in the OECD. Because we think,

long term, we have more political and fiscal stability there,” Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser told a press conference last month. Previously, big projects in Russia and Nigeria meant the ratio of investment in OECD countries to non-OECD countries was lower, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry added. BROAD PULLBACK Spanish oil major Repsol, which in 2006 had gas fields in Bolivia nationalized, has made rebalancing its portfolio toward the OECD a cornerstone of its strategy, prompting new ventures in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and Canada, a spokesman said. Exxon Mobil, which pulled out of Venezuela due to the seizure of its assets there, and which said it would not put any more money into Russia until its rules on foreign investment became clearer, signaled its focus with a $27billion agreed bid for US gas producer XTO Energy in December. Chevron said it expects its OECD

production to rise. This has contributed to muted bidding and unawarded licenses at auctions in Venezuela and Algeria in the past four months. Increased investment and production in the United States and Europe supports the desire of political leaders there to boost security of energy supplies but, for the companies, the motivation is entirely economic. “There’s little benefit in overcommitting to resource-rich countries if the value proposition does not stack up to other options in your portfolio,” said Iain Brown, upstream vice-president at consultants Wood Mackenzie in Edinburgh. The muchdrilled OECD is attractive despite the fact that discovery sizes are typically smaller and costs higher. Production costs in non-OECD countries are much lower but taxes and royalties are high and production sharing agreements often give the host government the lion’s share of

profits. Talisman Energy said last year that finding and development (F&D) costs were $34 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in North America and $39/boe in the North Sea. By contrast, TNK-BP, the Russian oil producer, half-owned by Londonbased BP, said last year it had F&D costs of under $4/boe and analysts put F&D costs in Saudi Arabia at $12/boe. But some non-OECD countries, including Saudi Arabia, reserve their oil fields for their state oil companies and the others demand tough terms-Russia levies taxes of 90 percent on profits above $30/barrel oil. There are also costs attached to non-OECD political unrest: in Nigeria, civil violence has shut down a third of production. The willingness of Western oil companies to forgo opportunities rather than agree to unprofitable fiscal demands has helped Chinese state-owned oil companies to expand. Beijing has charged its companies with securing energy

sources for China’s fast-growing economy and is not so concerned about high political risk and poor economic terms. TECHNOLOGY HELPS A five-minute helicopter ride south of Alwyn, in calm, Norwegian waters, a drilling rig, distinguishable from the crowded production platforms by its flat deck, dominated by a lone drilling derrick, sits above the Hild field. Hild was found 30 years ago but only now, thanks to modern seismic surveys, can the complex structure be developed. Indeed, new technology has underpinned the shift to OECD reserves. New methods for freeing natural gas from low-permeability shale rock have led to a surge in US gas output, cutting US reliance on imports. Exxon’s bid for XTO, a big player in shale gas, is about giving the world’s largest non-government controlled oil company by market value a leading position in shale gas.

Similarly, new ways to extract natural gas from coal seams has attracted billions of dollars of investment into Australia and led to the rare sight of onshore rigs drilling in Europe. Better seismic techniques and platform design has facilitated more exploration in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico-resulting in multi-billion barrel finds such as BP’s Tiber and Kaskida fields-and in the North Sea. The oil majors’ retreat to the OECD is not unprecedented. When Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Iran threw them out in the 1970s, the companies regrouped in the North Sea and Alaska. Similarly, analysts expect that, if non-OECD resourceholders start to offer more generous and numerous opportunities, Western oil executives will quickly return. Nodding amidst the loud hum of the Alwyn rig’s gas processing machinery, Total’s de Vivies agrees. “We are not trying to reduce our presence in non-OECD. It is simply that the OECD is where the opportunities are now.”— Reuters

World stocks bounce higher amid US data Wall Street set for mild gains LONDON: World stocks bounced sharply higher yesterday, boosted by a raft of US data showing economic recovery gathering strength, but crisis-hit Greece’s debt came under renewed pressure. The euro fell as questions remained about Friday’s decision by the Greek government to turn to its European Union partners and the International Monetary Fund for help. Wall Street looked set to open with mild gains. Greece tried to reassure investors on Sunday that aid would arrive in time to avert the euro zone’s first sovereign debt default, despite signs that a 45 billioneuro ($60.49 billion) EU-IMF package would have to be bigger. But the premium investors demand to buy Greek government bonds rather than euro zone benchmark Bunds hit a new 12-year high. Equity investors, however, were buoyed by solid improvement in US economic data on Friday. World stocks as measured by MSCI were up 0.6 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 gained 1 percent and Japan’s Nikkei closed 2.3 percent higher. New US home sales rose at their fastest pace in 47 years in March and new orders for durable

Visa to cut debit card payment fees in Europe BRUSSELS: The amount of commission consumers are charged for making payments in Europe using Visa debit cards is to fall, European competition regulators said yesterday. “Today, Visa Europe has proposed to reduce to 0.20 percent (of the final price of a product or service) the fee that is collectively determined and charged between banks for each payment by debit card,” a European Commission statement said. The new maximum level applies to all cross-border transactions in the European Economic Area, which is the 27 European Union member countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. “This will improve the efficiency of the European financial system to the benefit of consumers and retailers,” said the EU’s competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia. The changes are in line with those undertaken by rival Mastercard in April last year and are designed to head off the threat of massive fines for breaching competition law. Commission experts said that, following market testing, “the commitments would be made legally binding and the commission would not pursue the antitrust investigation further.” The changes also affect domestic transactions within Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Sweden, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the latter pair only issuing pre-paid Visa cards. Cross-border fees will be reduced by about 30 percent on average, the commission said, while charges for domestic transactions will fall by about 60 percent. — AFP

NEW YORK: A sign for Wall Street is shown near the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Wall Street yesterday, after Caterpillar Inc joined other companies in reporting more signs of an improving world economy. — AP

goods grew strongly, helping US stocks to a 19-month high. “US economic data, and other global data has been driving the market higher,” said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers. EURO FALLS Elsewhere, however, it was Greece making the running. The euro fell and the spread between Greek and German 10-year government bond yields hit a new 12-year high of 670 basis points. “The market is looking for any fresh news in regards to Greece; we will only get a positive reaction if we get some firm details but that may take some time,” said Christian Lawrence, currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets. The European Commission said there was no specific deadline for a deal to be finalized. The euro fell half a percent on the day against sterling, while the single currency also fell 0.1 percent against the yen at 125.14 yen. It was down half a percent against the dollar at $1.3321. On fixed income markets, other peripheral euro zone countries were also coming under pressure. Portuguese/German yield spreads widened to a lifetime level. — Reuters

Oil slips on strong dollar, profit-taking LONDON: Oil dipped yesterday, coming off 19month highs as commodity prices were hit by a strengthening dollar and profit-taking, analysts said. London’s Brent North Sea crude for June dipped 12 cents to 87.13 dollars per barrel, having earlier struck 87.75 dollars-a level last seen in October 2008. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for June, slid 16 cents to 84.96 dollars. “We were up quite significantly on Friday night on positive (US) economic data but it seems dollar strength is starting to take effect now,” said analyst Andrey Kryuchenckov at VTB Capital. The European single currency fell against the dollar yesterday as traders were unconvinced by a multi-billion-dollar Greek rescue package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. The euro sank to 1.3320 dollars from 1.3384 dollars in New York late on Friday. A stronger dol-

lar tends to hit demand for dollar-priced oil which becomes more expensive for foreign buyers using weaker currencies. Oil was buoyed after positive economic data on Friday pointed to an ongoing economic recovery in the United States, the world’s top energy consuming nation. Sales of newly constructed single-family houses in the United States jumped by nearly 27 percent in March compared with February, raising hopes the recovery was gaining traction. The positive news in the housing market followed upbeat US corporate earnings reports. Ahead this week, analysts will focus on more economic data and a US interest rate meeting. “Market participants will be keeping an eye on consumer confidence data on Tuesday as well as the outcome of the Federal Reserve Bank meeting on Wednesday that could provide further

signs of the US economic conditions and the levels of energy demand across the markets,” said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou. Elsewhere, Kuwait Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah said yesterday that current oil prices of 75-85 dollars do not hamper global economic recovery. “So far in 2010, we have witnessed a stable level of oil prices at between 75 and 85 dollars a barrel,” the minister told the opening session of the 18th Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference. “This price will not create hurdles for the world economic recovery,” he added. The Kuwaiti minister, whose country is OPEC’s fourth largest exporter, said the cartel will step in to raise output if prices breach 100 dollars. Sheikh Ahmad said Kuwait will continue to invest in crude capacity increases to reach its target of four million barrels per day by 2020. — AFP

KUWAIT: Experts point to a screen at the control room of a new gathering centre at the Kuwaiti Sabriya oilfield, south of Kuwait City. Kuwait opened the new centre as part of the Gulf state’s drive to boost its oil output to four million barrels per day by 2020. Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah inaugurated the facility, built by South Korean SK Engineering and Construction Co at a cost of 626.7 million dollars, at Kuwait’s third largest oilfield near the northern border with Iraq. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

NEW YORK: A combined image shows Lloyd Blankfein (left), CEO of Goldman Sachs and US Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan on Capitol Hill. — AFP

Goldman Sachs hits back at mortgage profit allegations WASHINGTON: Embattled Wall Street investment giant Goldman Sachs hit back Sunday at claims that it used the US sub-prime mortgage crisis to make tens of millions of dollars in profit. The financial giant, already facing fraud charges, found itself in the middle of a new firestorm Saturday after emails released by a US Senate panel suggested Goldman executives made huge profits out of the 2007 crisis. Goldman fired back on Sunday, accusing the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of having “cherry-picked just four emails from the 20 million pages of documents and emails provided to it.” “It is concerning that the subcommittee seems to have reached its conclusion even before holding a hearing,” added Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag. The emails made public Saturday come at a bad time for Goldmans Sachs. Earlier this month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was charging the company with fraud, accusing it of “defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts” about a product based on subprime, or higher-risk mortgagebacked securities. On Saturday, subcommittee chairman Democratic Senator Carl Levin said Goldman Sachs and other investment banks had acted as “self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that helped trigger the crisis.” He said the bank had bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments, got credit rating agencies to label them as AAA securities, and then sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system. In addition, Levin said, the bank often bet against the instruments it sold and rolled in profits as a result. Van Praag said Sunday the company had net loss-

es of over 1.2 billion dollars in residential mortgage-related products in 2007 and 2008. “This demonstrates conclusively that we did not make a significant amount of money in the mortgage market,” he said. But the four emails released by the subcommittee suggest that the company was able to make massive profits by shorting products including residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). In one email, Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein appeared to gloat about the strategy in an exchange with other top Goldman executives. “Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts,” the message said. In another, a Goldman Sachs manager noted that the firm had bet against 32 billion dollars in mortgage-related securities that had been downgraded by credit rating agencies, causing losses for many investors. “Sounds like we will make some serious money,” the manager wrote. “Yes, we are well positioned,” his colleague responded. In a third email, Goldman employees discussed securities that were underwritten and sold by the company and tied to mortgages issued by Washington Mutual Bank’s subprime lender, Long Beach Mortgage. One employee reported the “wipeout” of one Long Beach security and the “imminent” collapse of another as “bad news” that would cost the firm 2.5 million dollars. The “good news,” the employee wrote, was that Goldman had bet against the very securities it had assembled and sold, meaning the failure would net the company five million dollars. Blankfein and other current and former company personnel are scheduled to testify before the subcommittee today. — AFP

Whirlpool Q1 profit more than doubles as sales rise NEW YORK: Whirlpool Corp said yesterday that its first-quarter profit more than doubled as sales of its appliances improved both domestically and overseas. Shares soared as the company also boosted its guidance. The strong quarter offers a strong indication that consumers are feeling comfortable enough economically to buy more big-ticket items. The world’s largest appliance maker lifted its 2010 earnings forecast above Wall Street’s expectations on its quarterly performance. Its stock gained $7.89, or 7.7 percent, to $110.11 in premarket trading. The shares have traded between $37.24 and $102.42 over the last year. Whirlpool, which sells Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and its namesake brand, did not say whether a federal rebate program to boost sales of energy efficient products helped sales but analysts largely expect it did. Last year’s stimulus bill funded a $300 million program that will offer rebates of varying amounts - possibly up to $200 or more - to buyers of energy-efficient appliances and other products that carry the “Energy Star” label. In the depths of the recession, shoppers pulled back sharply on purchases of big-ticket items such as washers and dryers, which hurt Whirlpool’s profit. But that spending has been increasing as economic conditions improve and shoppers flock to the rebates, which are being doled out by states. People have been hungry for them, often using up allotted amounts in just days. Massachusetts decided to offer a second round of appliance rebates this summer after program hopefuls used up allotted funding in just hours. Texas’ funding was used up within a day. In the first three months of the year, Whirlpool earned $164 million, or $2.13 per share, well above

the $68 million, or 91 cents per share, the company earned a year ago. The results were significantly higher than the $1.33 per share that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected. Those estimates normally remove one-time items. The company, based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, said revenue rose 20 percent to $4.27 billion from $3.57 billion, topping estimates of $3.79 billion. In North America, revenue grew 7 percent to $2.3 billion as U.S. unit shipments of major appliances climbed 6 percent. Whirlpool predicts its full-year US unit shipments will rise 3 percent to 5 percent, up from a previous forecast for a 2 percent to 4 percent increase. European revenue increased 6 percent to $739 million, with unit demand essentially flat. Latin American revenue jumped 65 percent to $1.1 billion, mostly on higher sales volumes, increased productivity and the effect of a weaker dollar. The appliance maker anticipates appliance shipments to Brazil will grow about 10 percent in 2010, compared with a prior outlook for a 5 percent to 10 percent rise. In Asia, revenue surged 60 percent to $192 million. Whirlpool also raised its full-year unit shipment forecast for the region. The company now expects a 5 percent to 8 percent increase. Its previous guidance called for 3 percent to 5 percent growth. Whirlpool now anticipates a 2010 profit between $8 and $8.50 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings in a range of $6.50 to $7 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $7.08 per share for the year. “While economic uncertainty remains, Whirlpool Corp is well positioned to substantially grow earnings from prior-year levels,” Fettig said. — AP


TECHNOLOGY

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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(Left) In this April 24, 2010 photo, the electric car EK-2 from Chinese automaker Geely is displayed at the Beijing Auto China 2010 show held in Beijing. (Center) In this April 11, 2010 photo, Shanghai Automotive Group Co Ltd (SAIC) debuts the Ye Zi or Leaf concept car at the World Expo in Shanghai. (Right) In this photo taken April 24, 2010, a model stands next to the all-electric I-Car, a concept car debuted at the Beijing Auto China 2010 show. — AP

China’s automakers aim for ‘green’ market niche BEIJING: The first Chinese-made car to hit the U.S. market might be an all-electric minivan that skips over gasoline technology and gets a head start on the auto industry’s next era. BYD Inc., part-owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, hopes to start selling its five-seat e6 on the West Coast this year. The e6, displayed this week at the Beijing auto show, is one of a series of “green” vehicles being developed by Chinese automakers that run on everything from batteries to solar panels and tiny wind turbines. They lag Western rivals in technology but are working at a frenzied pace to ensure they’ll be part of the green automobile age. “Automakers want to invest because they know it’s one area where they can really compete abroad,” said Liu Lixi, an auto analyst with Northeast Securities Co in Shanghai. China, the world’s biggest auto market since last year, is emerging as both a major potential

buyer of green vehicles and a source of eager if inexperienced producers such as BYD, Chery Automobile Co. and Volvo buyer Geely. Beijing is promoting green transportation in hopes of cleaning up its battered environment, reducing surging reliance on imported oil and capturing a share of a promising infant industry with no entrenched competitors. The government announced in March it will promote Chinese technology with tax breaks and other subsidies similar to those given in the United States, Japan and Europe. Automakers are waiting for details. If BYD can get its e6 to market in the United States, it would be in place to compete with the first wave of mass-market American all-electric vehicles, including General Motors Co’s Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Motors Inc’s Roadster. Other Chinese producers have announced plans in the past to export to the United States but have yet to

Practical test of iPad HAMBURG: Bill Gates was predicting great things for the tablet computer a number of years ago. “It’s a PC that is virtually without limits - and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America,” the Microsoft founder proclaimed at the Comdex computer trade fair in November 2001. He was dreadfully mistaken. While the tablet computers since that time have been a string of flops, Bill Gates’ arch-rival Steve Jobs appears to have broken through with the iPad. “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world - it’s going to be a game changer,” the Apple CEO crowed after 300,000 of the devices were sold on the first day. To date the iPad is only available in the US. It’s due in other countries such as in Europe later this spring. At that point the three WLAN-only versions currently available as 16, 32 and 64 GB models will be joined by three 3G-ready (UMTS) models. The first thing one notices about the iPad is its weight. At 680 gm, the device is heavier in the hand than expected. That makes the iPad best used in a sitting position, or with the tablet computer in a docking station like those offered by Apple. The iPad screen is literally brilliant. Videos and photos are razor-sharp on the screen. Compared with a smartphone like the Nexus One or the iPhone, the screen (25cm/9.7 inches measured diagonally) seems gigantic. It provides 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, with 132 pixels per inch. “The iPad isn’t a big iPod Touch - an iPod Touch is a miniature iPad that restricts the full multitouch experience in exchange for offering greater portability,” wrote Jacqui Cheng from the well-regarded technology website Ars Technica. Yet it’s not just the photo and video applications that benefit from the full multitouch experience. Film fans may complain that Apple opted for a standard 4:3 picture ratio and not the widescreen 16:9 format. That leaves black strips on the top and bottom of the screen when playing back films and HDTV shows. Experts from iSuppli have taken the iPad apart and calculated that the touch-sensitive screen cost $99 to build, more than a third of the entire $250 in material costs for the machine. Apple’s unwillingness to compromise on the display is clearly evident. The display reacts quickly and precisely to finger input. And the virtual keyboard is quite useable. While it doesn’t take long for the screen to pick up visible fingerprints from where it has been touched, those smudges are then easily wiped away again.

Among the plus points on the iPad is its battery, offering more than ten hours of continuous use. No laptop can match that, nor most smartphones either, for that matter. Apple’s critics complain that the battery on the iPad (just like on the iPod and iPhone) cannot be replaced by the user. In this case the criticism is unlikely to gain traction, since the iPad battery in fact fills up almost every free millimetre of the casing and is indeed best replaced by a trained technician. The iPad is designed as a mobile internet machine. The integrated Safari browser runs impressively fast, even on complex websites. Put to the key web standards test Acid3, the iPad scored a perfect 100 points. That said, Apple has stubbornly refused to incorporate Adobe’s Flash technology, frequently used on the web for video playback, interactive graphics and online games. Important video portals like YouTube have started offering their pages in HTML5 instead of Flash, allowing the iPad to display them properly. Websites that haven’t made that jump appear with Swiss cheese-like holes in their content. Apple justifies its omission of Flash based on the security vulnerabilities lurking in the Adobe technology. Prior to the launch of the iPad, there were intense discussions on whether the iPad would turn the e-book market upside down. In the US, iPad users can download iBooks from Apple’s iTunes app store. Apple still hasn’t worked out the agreements with book publishers in many other countries yet, so that function will initially be lacking when the iPad launches globally. Yet Apple is seeking to position the iPad as more than just a mobile entertainment device. The iTunes App Store also offers special version of the iWorks office suite for word processing, PowerPoint- style presentations and spreadsheets. “We don’t think the iPad is a laptop replacement,” writes Engadget Editor-in-Chief Joshua Topolsky, adding: “Not yet.” Whether the iPad will truly revolutionise the computer world, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs promises, remains to be see. Tim O’Reilly, inventor of the term ‘Web 2.0,” sees the iPad not just as the end of the age of the computer mouse, but also as bringing sweeping change to the ways we access computer programs. “The iPad signals more than the end of the PC era. It signals that the App Store, the first real rival to the web as today’s dominant consumer application platform, isn’t going to be limited to smartphones.” — dpa

Berlin firm offers ‘WePad’ BERLIN: Apple’s Goliath is about to meet a German David. At least one German company hopes so. Berlin-based company Neofonie has announced plans to release a tablet computer, the WePad, to compete with Apple’s iPad, which is already flying off shelves in the US. By doing so, Neofonie hopes to combat Apple’s feared monopolization of multimedia readers. The company makes much of the fact that its product uses the plural “we” rather than Apple’s singular “i.” Company chief Helmut Hoffer von Ankershoffen presented the WePad in Berlin days before the iPad was to go to market. The plan is to have the WePad on store shelves by August. For a price of between €449 and €569 ($610 and $770), the device will let people read newspapers, magazines and books, watch films and surf online. “We aren’t the iPad killer,” Ankershofen assured journalists, noting that the tablet computer market has space for more than one competitor. Ankershoffen got his start in the business after designing the search engine Fireball before starting his own company in 1998, which now employs 170. He promises that the WePad is on par with the iPad and can actually do a lot more. “The iPad only looks a little better in terms of design.” That said, the WePad doesn’t need to be humble about its capabilities. Unlike Apple’s tablet, the WePad, which measures 29 by 19 cm, comes with a built-in webcam, two USB connections and a memory card reader. Constructed in Asia, there will be 16 and 32-gigabyte models. Memory capacity can be expanded with an SD card. Additionally, the WePad

can be connected to an external keyboard and display pictures directly from a digital camera. Thanks to an Intel Atom N450 processor, the WePad packs more performance than the iPad. And thanks to Adobe Flash, it comes ready to play standard multimedia options directly from the Internet. About 20,000 WePads have been pre-ordered. About 10,000 applications (apps) are expected for the tablet. The tablet is also designed with an eye toward creating a non- Apple and non-iTunes option for people who want to download music. Unlike Apple, which forces content providers to use its platform and requires app creators to pay the company 30 per cent of their revenue, Neofonie hopes to bring publishers more into the business, though Ankershoffen has not shared a lot of detail on these plans. While platforms like iTunes and Amazon’s Kindle attempt to turn media companies into pure content providers, Neofonie’s platform, WeMagazine, is designed to help those companies get more access to readers. Neofonie also says it will give content providers the right to decide about content. Gruner + Jahr, publishers of German magazine Stern, plan to be the first to give the WePad a try, with their new eStern magazine. Other German and Swiss publishers are also mulling their options. But it remains to be seen whether Neofonie can enjoy Apple’s marketing success. Just like with its iPhone, Apple has already turned the iPad into a cult object. But Ankershoffen says he foresees good prospects. “There are a lot more users than there are Apple users,” he notes. — dpa

meet American emissions standards. Going all-electric, which has no emissions at all, would eliminate that hurdle. Chinese cars also have yet to pass Western crash tests, and BYD spokesman Paul Lin said the company was working on satisfying safety standards for the e6. Other Chinese automakers are working on a wide array of alternative cars, some of which debuted at this week’s Auto China 2010. Dongfeng Motor Corp showed its all-electric I-Car, a toy-like concept car that looks like a smiley face on wheels. The tiny hatchback’s styling is straight out of “Star Trek”, with glowing neon blue hubcaps and a futuristic interior with touch-pad buttons. Geely unveiled six alternative energy vehicles, some of which it said it plans to release by next year. Geely shot to prominence abroad in March when it agreed to buy Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co. for $1.8 billion. Geely is still in the early stages of research on green

vehicles and it could be two to three years before it decides on its long-term strategy, said its founder and chairman, Li Shufu. “Renewable energy cars are the concept and future in the industry and Geely is part of it,” said Li. One of the most extreme visions of China’s green future is the Ye Zi, or Leaf, an experimental car developed by SAIC, the local partner of GM and Volkswagen AG. It looks like a praying mantis on wheels, with a jutting leaf-shaped roof that supports solar panels and tiny wind turbines on its wheels to top up its batteries. SAIC plans to debut its Leaf at the Shanghai Expo, which opens May 1 and is expected to draw some 70 million visitors, including five million from abroad. Nissan Motor Co’s CEO Carlos Ghosn said the Chinese green auto market is potentially so huge that Nissan is already making tentative plans for production in China of its own all-electric car, also called the

Leaf. Nissan is waiting to see whether Beijing will pay Chinese buyers a subsidy big enough to bring down the price of electric vehicles to the level of gasoline models, Ghosn told reporters at the auto show. He said governments in the United States, Europe and Japan pay about $7,500 per vehicle. Alternative vehicles have gotten a lackluster reception in China so far but that should change with government subsidies, said Liu, the auto analyst. Still, it won’t be easy for Chinese producers to succeed in Western markets, even though they successfully export gasoline models to markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America, said Zhang Xin, an auto analyst at Guotai Juan’an Securities in Beijing. “Globally, the quality of most Chinese cars is still not good enough for European and US markets,” Zhang said. “China entered the auto market so late, so it will take some time for them to play catch up.” — AP

Taxis with easily swapped batteries hit Tokyo streets TOKYO: Three electric cabs began a 90-day trial in Tokyo yesterday that officials and the company involved say could eventually lead to the electrification of the city’s entire taxi fleet. The cabs run on lithium-ion batteries that can be There is only one such “switch station” in Tokyo now, and the city would need 300 for the entire fleet of 60,000 cabs on Tokyo streets - more than New York, London and Paris combined to go electric, said Better Place Chief Executive Shai Agassi. He said the move to electric is inevitable because the burgeoning number of cars in countries like China is sure to push up oil prices while the price of electric vehicles is sure to come down like flat panel TVs. “There is no other alternative,” Agassi said at an opening ceremony. Ichiro Kawanabe, president of Nihon Kotsu taxi company, Tokyo’s biggest, which is cooperating with the test-run, said plans after the 90 day test-run are undecided. “We wanted to contribute to society through cabs,” he said. Although cabs make up just 2 percent of vehicles in Japan, they account for 20 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, said Kiyotaka Fujii, President of Better Place Japan. Japan has set an ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Government officials expressed hopes the project will serve as a model for other cities. Ryuji Masuno, a transport ministry director, said electric vehicles should be more than a fad in Japan. “We hope these cabs will work as a display window for the technology.” Japan is home to some of the world’s top automakers, including Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which are taking orders for electric vehicles from regular car buyers. Those vehicles are different from the ones Better Place is using for the Tokyo cab project. Their batteries can’t be switched and so require time for recharging. Better Place has electric vehicle projects in California, Israel, Denmark and France. Over the weekend, the company signed a deal with Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co to jointly develop a switchable-battery vehicle prototype. — AP

changed in less than one minute with a fully charged one. The charge starts running low after 300 km, according to Better Place, the California-based electric-vehicle services provider that’s part of the government-backed project.

TOKYO: Shai Agassi, founder and chief executive officer of the global electric vehicle service provider Better Place, introduces the world’s first switchable-battery electric taxi at a battery changing station yesterday. — AFP

WLAN USB sticks update computers HAMBURG: Newer laptops usually come with WLAN technology built in. Home PCs, by contrast, frequently lack the equipment to wirelessly connect to a home network or the Internet. A USB-based WLAN adapter, though, can help older computers get in on the wireless action. The defining characteristic for a WLAN USB stick is its maximum data transmission speed. The single letter suffixes on device names provide clues on how quickly a given stick can transmit. Christian Just from Germany’s Computer Bild magazine recommends models that support the IEEE 802.11 n standard. “Those sticks are available starting from around 30 dollars. They are most definitely worth their cost, though,” he says. The N standard offers a nominal data transfer rate of up to 300 megabits per second (MBit/s). In practice, the sticks top out at around 80 to 120 Mbit/s. The fast N standard also requires a WLAN router capable of working at that tempo as well. Another key factor is how the stick will be used, says Klaus Kuehn, product manager at hardware maker Hama. If the computer is being expanded simply to read email messages every now and then, the data transmission doesn’t have to be particularly quick. There are also WLAN USB sticks available on the market that support the B standard (11

MBit/s) and G standard (54 MBit/s), says Alexander Zollondz from the online magazine Netzwelt. Those adapters can be found cheap, primarily on eBay. “Many users grab for them at that price - but they should watch out that the stick doesn’t slow down their entire DSL connection,” Zollondz says. Older adapters that do not support the current N standard for data transmission can indeed impact the entire network, Christian Just explains. If the user has two modern laptops and a router running on the N standard, for example, and then attaches an antiquated PC unable to match that data rate, then transfer speeds will be reset back to the older, slower standard. One important potential reason for acquiring a WLAN USB adapter is to improve reception over the WLAN-card that may be built onto the PC, Just says. Those cards can suffer from being hidden in the casing behind other metal parts. WLAN USB sticks by contrast are easy to reposition, often using a USB extension cord, to find spots with better reception. Just a few centimetres can often make a noticeable difference. WLAN USB sticks are generally easy to install. Most models install themselves, in fact. In other cases a CD-ROM with installation software is usually included, says Zollondz. The

user must then configure the stick like other network components so that it can connect to the internet via the router - typically with the proper WLAN password. It’s important to have current drivers, Just says. Name-brand hardware makers typically release updated drivers for newer Windows versions. “That is not always the case with the no-name producers.” There are further differences in the processing quality and the service, such as whether the software is only in English or Chinese or multiple languages. The quality differences are sometimes also reflected in the price. “New sticks based on the N standard trend more toward 50 dollars, while older ones are available for around 20 dollars,” Zollondz explains. Users in multi-family buildings may want to check out WLAN USB sticks that work on the 5 Gigahertz frequency instead of the standard 2.4 Gigahertz band. When numerous WLANs are run in close proximity, the networks can overlap and overload the 2.4 Ghz band. Remember: the router must also support the 5 Gigahertz band for this trick to work. The quality of the WLAN USBN stick also depends on the antenna sending the signal, Zollondz notes. The antenna has a major impact on the broadcast range. Newer sticks already include a MIMO antenna to extend the range significantly. — dpa


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stressed drivers at greater risk of accidents HAMBURG: Stress is an almost everyday condition. Your job can be stressful, the precarious economic situation is stressful and problems in personal relationships often cause stress, too. Getting some rest sometimes helps. At any rate, stress is seldom felt to be really dangerous. But people under stress can pose a risk, to themselves as well as to others, when adrenaline is surging through their body, their heart rate is high and they are sitting at the wheel of a car. Stress has various effects. Stressed drivers on their way to a pressing appointment are quick to anger at slower motorists and other obstacles. Their ability to concentrate is diminished. “Failures in processing information cause more than 50 per

cent of all traffic accidents. Situations are incorrectly assessed or not perceived in time,” noted Ulrich Chiellino, a traffic psychologist with the German motorists’ association ADAC. It is easy to understand how stress arises. Alfred Fuhr, a traffic sociologist with the German automobile club AvD, cited the example of a schoolboy who never really has any trouble in math class. Nevertheless, the schoolboy is stressed during math tests. A similar phenomenon can affect drivers, for whom road traffic is routine. “Stress arises when you’re confronted with an inescapable event over which you have no control,” Fuhr said. That event can be a deadline - something not confined to the workplace. Fuhr cited another

example: a trip to a holiday destination. The trip, almost by definition, should be relaxing. It becomes stressful, though, if you are trying to make a ferry and are held up by traffic or road work. “In cases like this, the driver always has the disruptive factors in the back of his mind,” Fuhr said. They distract him from the task at hand, namely driving. Hurrying under time pressure can cause carelessness that leads to driving errors and then accidents. “Careless mistakes made while driving can be fatal,” Fuhr warned. Stress not only diminishes the ability to concentrate, it can also make drivers irritable and induce them to take greater risks to reach their destination on time. In stressful situations it is important that

either the passengers keep an eye on the driver or the driver recognize he or she is stressed. Actions can bring relief, for example stopping the car when deadline pressure gets too heavy. Instead of pressing harder on the accelerator, Rainer Hillgaertner, spokesman for the German automobile club ACE, advised pulling the car over, phoning the person with whom the appointment is scheduled and saying you may be arriving a little late. This simple act quickly alleviates stress. A holidaymaker hurrying to catch a ferry could simply phone and find out when the following ferry leaves, then calmly drive the remaining distance to the port. Stress is preventable in many cases. Instead of telling yourself that you can somehow

reach a destination in a certain amount of time, Hillgaerter said you should allow yourself extra time so that even a traffic jam cannot make you late and cause stress. Chiellino, the traffic psychologist, recommended that motorists learn proper behaviour in stress situations, starting with the recognition that stress affects driving and can lead to dangerous errors in judgement. Blaming others should also be avoided. “Many drivers see themselves as victims, saying the traffic stresses them,” Chiellino noted. Other motorists are not deliberately driving slowly in order to impede the stressed motorist, though. Perhaps they also suffer from stress but have learned that stepping on the gas is unhelpful. — dpa

‘Green tea party’ closes out US Earth Day celebrations WASHINGTON: Washington played host Sunday to another ‘tea party’ rally, but this time the tea w as green and the message of the thousands w ho gathered on the National Mall w as about the environment, not anti-government. “It’s nice to be at a tea party,” British pop icon Sting said, referring to the vocal conservative and predominantly w hite activist movement that is vehe-

mently opposed to President Barack Obama’s administration and health care reforms in particular. “A green tea party, w here people know w hat’s going dow n, for a change,” Sting added as he took the stage to close out nine hours of music and pleas to save the planet, organized in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

WASHINGTON: Environmentalists call for climate action during the Earth Day celebration on the National Mall Sunday. — AP

Deep ocean current found near Antarctica SINGAPORE: Scientists have discovered a fastmoving deep ocean current with the volume of 40 Amazon Rivers near Antarctica that will help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change on the world’s oceans. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists, in a study published in Sunday’s issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the current is a key part of a global ocean circulation pattern that helps control the planet’s climate. Scientists had previously detected evidence of the current but had no data on it. “We didn’t know if it was a significant part of the circulation or not and this shows clearly that it is,” one of the authors, Steve Rintoul, told Reuters. Rintoul, of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, said it proved to be the fastest deep ocean current yet found, with an average speed of 20 cm a second. It was also found to carry more than 12 million cubic metres a second of very cold, salty water from Antarctica.

“At these depths, below three kilometres (two miles) from the surface, these are the strongest recorded speeds we’ve seen so far, which was really a surprise to us.” He said the current carries dense, oxygen-rich water that sinks near Antarctica to the deep ocean basins further north around the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean and then branches out. The current forms part of a much larger network that spans the world’s oceans, acting like a giant conveyor belt to distribute heat around the globe. Oceans are also a major store of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that is emitted naturally and by mankind, mainly from burning fossil fuels. For example, the Gulf Stream brings warm water to the North Atlantic, giving northern Europe a relatively mild climate. Failure of the current, which has occurred in the past, would plunge parts of Europe into a deep freeze, scientists say. “The deep current along the Kerguelen Plateau is part of a global system of

ocean currents called the overturning circulation, which determines how much heat and carbon the ocean can soak up,” Rintoul said. A key part of the circulation is the creation of large volumes of the very cold, salty water in several areas along coastal Antarctica that then sinks to the bottom and flows to other ocean basins. The team deployed measuring devices anchored to the sea floor at depths of up to 4.5 km and recorded current speed, temperature and salinity for a two-year period. “The continuous measurements provided by the moorings allow us, for the first time, to determine how much water the deep current carries to the north,” Rintoul said. He said a key issue for predicting climate was whether the overturning circulation was going to stay at its present strength or whether it was sensitive to changes as climate changes. That meant further improving measurements of the speed and volume of the cold, salty water that is created around Antarctica. — Reuters

Value of pricey heart screening questioned LONDON: Examining patient records to pick out those at high risk of developing heart disease is cheaper and just as effective as screening all adults aged between 40 and 74, a British study showed yesterday. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, raises doubts about a £250-million ($387 million) a year screening programme launched by the British government in 2008 and suggests funds may be better spent on highrisk patients. Simon Griffin of the epidemiology unit of Britain’s Medical Research Council, who led the study, said it showed with healthcare budgets squeezed by global recession and a growing burden of chronic disease, health authorities should think carefully about pricey heart screening plans. “A universal screening program for cardiovascular disease might prevent an important number of new cardiovascular events ... but it may be unrealistic to implement in increasingly resourceconstrained health systems,” he wrote in the study. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in Europe, the United States and other developed nations. Its costs to the British economy are estimated at 30 billion pounds ($46.4 billion) a year, while the American Heart Association

estimates heart disease and stroke will cost the United States an estimated $503.2 billion in 2010. Griffin and colleagues assessed data from almost 17,000 European men and women between the ages of 40 and 74 who had no heart disease or diabetes at the start of the study. They looked at several different screening strategies to determine which ones were most effective: Inviting all 40-74 year olds for vascular screening (as the British programme does); inviting 50-74 year olds for screening; inviting overweight people for screening, asking patients to complete a heart disease risk questionnaire and inviting those with high scores for screening; and inviting only patients whose records would flag them up as high risk. The researchers found that final strategy - using medical records to pick out high risk patients-was just as effective as the government’s screening programme at preventing new cases of heart disease and would save costs. Starting screening from age 50, rather than 40, would also get similar results, they found. “Policy makers have to decide on the balance between the number of people needed to screen or treat and the number of (heart disease) cases that can be prevented,” Griffin wrote.— Reuters

Before Sting, hip-hop artists The Roots, Bob Weir of legendary rock band the Grateful Dead, and John Legend were among the acts who blasted through heavy-bass sets on a temporary stage set up on the Mall, with the Capitol as a backdrop. When the sets ended, local and international politicians, stars and activists took center stage to plead for the planet. In a videotaped message, President Barack Obama said Earth Day “has always been about coming together for a cause bigger than ourselves” and urged the thousands gathered under the hot spring sun on the mall to form a united front against climate change. Former president of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres, who is now a member of the global action committee of the Earth Day Network, warned that, when it comes to climate change, “we have to get it right the first time we can only have a plan A because there is no planet B.” Avatar director James Cameron teamed up with three actors from his blockbuster movie - CCH Pounder, who played the Na’Vi matriarch; Na’Vi warrior Laz Alonzo, and Giovanni Ribisi, who played earthling Parker Selfridge - to call on what he said were 200,000 people gathered on the Mall “to be warriors for the Earth.” “You have to leave here today and fight the deniers. You have to fight the people in doubt and make them understand the urgency of climate change legislation,” Cameron said. “You need to be warriors for the Earth and create change, but your tools will not be physical weapons but words,” said Cameron, whose movie Avatar is about the Na’Vi people’s fight against strip-miners from Earth who want to gut the Na’Vi planet, Pandora, for its precious mineral, unobtainium. The number of Americans who believe climate change exists and is caused by human activity shrank from 52 percent two years ago to around a third of the population recently, Cameron said, citing a recent poll. Civil rights icon, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, urged Americans to ditch their cars in favor of mass transportation. “I applaud President Obama for the start he has made towards more mass transit, more rail lines, more green jobs and weatherization... Mass transit is a major key” in the fight against global warming, Jackson said. For the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, taking to the stage to promote a cause was alien. “People have put us on a kind of pedestal and I’ve been reluctant to use that for political or ideological purposes,” he told reporters. “But this is important enough for me to speak out on. The environment is important and if you have kids, it’s hugely important,” Weir said. The celebration on the Mall came ahead of what was supposed to be the passage of a compromise energy and climate bill by the Senate. But those plans were thrown into disarray Sunday when influential Republican, Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, abruptly pulled his support for the bill, saying he was outraged over a decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to move an immigration bill in the Senate ahead of it. “I grew up in South Carolina,” Jesse Jackson told reporters at the Earth Day rally. “We were the number one toxic waste dump of the US. People sent their toxic waste to South Carolina. “Clearly, South Carolina should be at the forefront of environmental legislation,” he said. — AFP

BARNSTEAD, New Hampshire: Four-year-old Garrett Mullen watches three-day-old pinto stallion named Einstein on Sunday. The diminutive horse born in New Hampshire could lay claim to the world record for lightweight foal. The pinto stallion named Einstein weighed just 6 pounds and measured 14 inches in height when he was born Friday in Barnstead. Those proportions fit a human baby just about right but are downright tiny for horse, even a miniature breed like Einstein. – AP

‘Harm reduction’ needed to cut drug-user AIDS risk LONDON: Barely a twentieth of the estimated $3.2 billion needed is put into preventing drug users spreading the AIDS virus, experts said yesterday, and the shortfall is fuelling HIV epidemics in parts of Europe and Asia. In a report on the use of “harm reduction” measures like clean needle exchanges and safer drug substitutes, the experts found that in countries which fail to take prevention steps, drug-related HIV infection accounts for the vast majority of new cases. The proportion of new HIV cases linked to injecting drug use is 90 percent in Bangladesh, 66 percent in Russia and 50 percent in Indonesia, the report said; yet only around three US cents a day is spent on trying to halt drug-related spread of the virus in low- and middle-income countries. “We have known now for well over two decades that HIV is preventable - it is untenable that today in some 100 (poorer) countries nearly all people who inject drugs have absolutely no access to clean needles or methadone,” said Professor Gerry Stimson, a co-author of the report and the director of the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA). About 33.4 million people worldwide are infected with the AIDS virus. Since AIDS emerged in the 1980s, almost 60 million people have been infected and 25 million have died. Drug users can spread the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS by sharing needles with an HIV-infected person, or pass it on by having unprotected sex. Harm reduction measures for drug users - like providing clean needles, condoms and the drug substitute methadone - were introduced some 25 years ago in countries such as Australia and in European cities like Rotterdam and Liverpool,

where AIDS spreading among addicts was a major problem. Similar policies have since been adopted by public health authorities in many European and other rich nations and, along with safe sex campaigns, are considered a major factor in the relatively low rates of HIV in those places. But the report found 20 countries in eastern Europe and Asia where injecting drug use is now the major cause of HIV infection, and said the failure to protect drug users is driving the world’s fast growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in eastern Europe. “Three cents a day is a terrifying figure and equally terrifying are the HIV infection rates amongst injecting drug users in parts of Eastern Europe and Asia,” said Stimson. Stimson, who is heading an international conference on harm reduction in the British city of Liverpool this week, said one fifth of the all global funding for HIV prevention should be dedicated to HIV prevention steps for drug users. “Harm reduction is a low-cost, highimpact intervention,” he said. The report said a full package of HIV-related harm reduction steps in Asia would cost $39 per life-year saved, and treatment with AIDS drugs would be around $2,000 per life-year saved. Alvaro Bermejo, head of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, said a less punitive approach to drug users would reduce HIV. “The ‘war on drugs’ is a war on drug users and it is fuelling the HIV epidemic, making public health responses much more difficult,” he said in a statement on the report. “It’s time to move away from the detention centre system and to provide services for users in their communities and in government health clinics so they can see them as places where they can get help and not be badly treated.” — Reuters

BANDA ACEH: Officers of Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of the forestry ministry carry a tranquilized Sumatran tiger that was caught by a snare laid by villagers for a health examination prior to relocating it to a safari park yesterday. Conservationists fear that the critically endangered species, now only around 400 left in the wild, may become extinct in the next decade due to poaching and habitat loss. — AP


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HEALTH

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What to do in an emergency situation BERLIN: A shopper falls unconscious to the ground in a department store. During lunch time a colleague chokes on a piece of food and gasps for air. While cooking, a person cuts their finger with a knife and bleeds profusely. If you know what to do in situations like these, you may end up saving a life. And even if you are unsure, you should try to help anyway as the law protects anyone from prosecution who goes to a person’s aid in an emergency. “The only mistake you can make is to do nothing,” says Lars Menzel from the St John’s Ambulance in Leipzig, Germany. Every person who happens upon an accident in Germany is obliged to come to the person’s aid. “I am the most important part in the chain of events that leads to a person receiving help,” says Menzel. That is because the faster the call to the emergency services is made, the quicker the professionals can get to work. “It’s better to make one emergency call too many, than one too few,” advises Menzel. Here’s an overview of what to do if you find yourself in a situation where a person needs help. What do I do when a person falls unconscious? If a person suddenly falls over most people

automatically do the right thing and speak to the person. They shake them and check if they are still conscious. “Shake and Shout” is the name of this emergency method, according to Doctor Markus Roessler. If the patient fails to react you must call the emergency services immediately. Then, check to see if the person is breathing, advises Menzel, who is head of the emergency unit at University Clinic Goettingen. “Can you hear the person breathing? Is their chest rising and falling?” If that is the case, move the person into a stable position with their head tilted slightly back. That will prevent blockage by any vomit or saliva and it will stop the tongue from covering the air passages. If there are no signs of breathing you must immediately try to resuscitate the person with CPR. Place the person on their back on a solid surface and remove clothes from their upper body. Then kneel beside the person. The rule is: press the chest down 30 times and then exhale into their lungs twice, says Barbara Hogan from the German Society for Interdisciplinary Medicine in Hamburg. It is usually a good idea to begin resuscitation by beating the chest once with your fist - “Like hitting a

table top.” Continue pumping the chest and ventilating the lungs until the person either resumes breathing normally or the emergency services arrive and take over. Don’t worry if a rib breaks during the process. “That often happens but it does not affect the patient. The main thing is to get the heart working again,” says Hogan. The longer a heart ceases to function, the worse the consequences for the affected person. If there is an automatic defibrillator close by, such as in an airport or a swimming pool, you should try to use it, advises Hogan. “You don’t need to be afraid of a defibrillator. The machine tells you everything you need to do.” How do I treat a skin cut? Every home should have a first aid kit. A kit contains sterile compresses that can be used to cover a skin cut before it is bandaged. If you don’t have anything sterile to use, use something else. The main thing is to prevent bleeding, says Hogan. If a wound bleeds heavily, Menzel recommends calling a paramedic. His basic advice is: “Use physics to your advantage.” A bleeding finger should be held higher

than the patient’s heart to lessen the flow of blood. It is a good idea to wear disposable gloves when doing this as they can prevent infections. How do I treat a burn? The best way to treat a minor burn, such as a finger that has touched a hot cooking surface, is to hold the affected area under cold, running water for 10 minutes, says Menzel. A bleeding burn should not be cooled. Larger burns require the attention of a paramedic. How do I help a person who is choking? If a person has swallowed something the wrong way they should cough first if they can. “That’s the best way to get an object out of the throat,” says Roessler. Usually the person bends forward when doing this. You can help by patting the person between their shoulder blades, adds Menzel. If the object does not move you must call the emergency services because if the person loses consciousness paramedics must get to work with resuscitation as quickly as possible. — dpa

What to do when a child is choking BERLIN: A child having a coughing fit or wheezing may be choking on food or other object obstructing the airway, the German Otolaryngologists Association said. If the child is unable to cough up the foreign object, it must be removed by a doctor or in a hospital. Quick action by parents is necessary if the child has acute difficult breathing, however. In the case of babies, lie the baby face down on your forearm or thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than his or her chest. Support the baby’s head and give up to five slaps to the baby’s back between the shoulder blades. Only firm slaps can dislodge the obstruction, noted Jan Loehler, an otolaryngologist in the German city of Bad Bramstedt. A child who is choking and unable to breathe can sometimes be helped with the Heimlich manoeuvre, also known as abdominal thrusts. Kneel or stand behind the child and wrap your arms around his or her waist. Make a fist with one hand, place it above the navel and below the breastbone, grasp it with the other hand and pull it abruptly upward and inward, Loehler said. The aim, Loehler explained, is to expel the foreign object from the airway by increasing pressure in the lungs. The Heimlich manoeuvre can be performed up to five successive times. Care should be taken not to squeeze the rib cage, and parents should refrain from the procedure if the child is under one year old. Though the Heimlich manoeuvre can cause broken ribs and internal injuries, Loehler said it was necessary to take the risk if the child was in danger of suffocating. —dpa


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Embassy information

With actors Vivienne Carlyle and Owen Oldroyd at a performance of Blood Brothers.

At Big Ben

BSK students participate in theatrical workshops in UK eventeen students and three members of staff from The British School of Kuwait enjoyed a very memorable 8 days in Stratford-uponAvon and London as part of their literature studies. Six plays and musicals in seven nights was always going to be demanding but the performances were outstanding, the costumes amazing and the sets were excellent. This was a theatrical feast of the highest caliber. In Stratford students watched King Lear giving his kingdom away to his daughters, only to descend quickly into madness. The storm scene was magnificently portrayed as Lear was raised onto a platform as a deluge of rain poured down on him whilst he raged against the storm. The students will also never forget Gloucester’s eyes being plucked out of his head by a redhot poker! Whilst in Stratford the students also visited Shakespeare’s birthplace, the other Shakespeare houses and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. BSK students also had the opportunity to visit Warwick Castle where they met Robin Hood, Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, saw falconry displays and jousting amongst many other

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things. Students then transferred to London where there were many drama workshops and West End shows. Four of the workshops were at Pineapple Studios near Covent Garden. Whether the workshops were based on Macbeth, King Lear, song in performance or stage combat the students all joined in and had great fun. Rich, who ran the stage combat workshop, was highly entertaining and it’s amazing what fake blood and an empty water bottle can do to scare people! Students watched the Lion King and were stunned by the use of puppets in the production; they were terrified by A Woman in Black but were moved to a standing ovation for the production of Blood Brothers. Some of the students knew Mr Owen Oldroyd who was in the show and he arranged to meet the students after the show. He was joined by Vivienne Carlyle, the star of the show, who played Mrs Johnston and gave the students a full length interview on the production. Other notable places on the trip were Shakespeare’s Globe, where they had a tour and a workshop on Much Ado About Nothing; a flight on the

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait informs that it has started updating the information about Ukrainian citizens, who live and work in Kuwait. In this connection, we are asking you to refer to the Embassy and update your file in consular register in order not to be excluded from it. For additional information please call: 25318507 ext.106 or visit the embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait (address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str.6, house 5). The consular section of the Embassy open every day from 09:30 till 14:30 except Friday and Saturday. EMBASSY OF INDIA

At the Globe Theatre. London Eye; a tour of London; a walk around the East end of London on a Jack the Ripper tour and much more. Students ate at many different restaurants including Planet Hollywood and

Smollensky’s. Former BSK graduates who are presently at university in London also joined the students to be part of this special expedition. The success of the trip was evident in the

increased knowledge gained about theatre, acting, productions and what it takes to make it in the world of showbusiness. A return visit is already in the planning stage.

US school specialist hosts event to put education on Kuwaiti parents’ agenda leading US educator and President’s Council member will be visiting the Middle East to share his expertise in international boarding schools with parents, students and counsellors across the region. John A. Williamson, executive director of Linden Educational Services’ Boarding Schools division, will be on hand at the Boarding School Fair at the Marina Hotel (http://www.marinahotel.com) in Kuwait City from 4.30pm to 9pm on 2 May 2010, to provide advice and answer questions about all aspects of selecting a boarding school and enrolling a child, as well as other concerns such as pastoral care. John says: “The option of sending

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in Tokyo had never encountered anyone from Kuwait or the Gulf region before and many companies expressed their delight at the fact that they too learned great things about Kuwait, education in the country and about the media through the eyes and opinions of the students. “I thought they were a curious, intelligent, promising group. They asked a lot of good, honest questions and seemed pretty open-minded and eager to learn. I do perceive that journalism is still young in the Gulf, and it would be great to see the students being part of establishing a vibrant press presence there,” said one local journalist from Tokyo. Many major Japan-based advertising, public relations firms and news outlets echoed this sentiment. All going on to say how thoroughly impressed they were with the graciousness and expertise the Kuwait students showed while in Japan. “The trip was very academic and productive. To say we learned a lot is an understatement. However, the fact that many of the Japanese learned so much from us was a pleasant surprise. We really took our roles as ambassadors for Kuwait and our University quite seriously. And we represented both country and University professionally and proudly,” said Fatima AlSabah, a second-year communication and media student at AUK.

children to international boarding schools has become an increasingly popular one for parents in the Middle East. It provides peace of mind for parents that their children are protected and cared for both scholastically and socially while they ease themselves into Western society, as well as a chance to learn new languages and meet like-minded children. It also opens doors for opportunities for selective university enrolment, as well as future employment.” “For expat parents who may be frequently on the move, it gives stability and consistency to a child whose education may otherwise be constantly disrupted.” The schools which will be attending

the fair have been handpicked and vetted carefully by Linden Educational Services. This includes verifying the school’s regional accreditation, undertaking background checks on the faculty, visiting the campus to assess the facilities and reviewing all statistical information over a five-year period. Linden has also selected a diversity of schools by country, location, variety of facilities and provided a comprehensive mixture of co-ed and single sex establishments. John says: “How we select the schools to work with is designed to provide a full breadth of opportunities so that selecting the right school is an easy and enjoyable experience for the individual student and family.”

ESF celebrates One World

AUK students return from Japan hirteen students and two instructors from the American University of Kuwait (AUK) came back this week from a special study abroad course that took them to Tokyo, Japan to study Japanese Media and introduced the Japanese to Kuwaiti culture. The class titled, Comm 389: Special Topics, Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan was the first such trip for the communication and media program, the second largest major at AUK, and allowed the students the opportunity to learn from the Japanese model of conducting and running media enterprises and campaigns in the areas of public relations, advertising and journalism. “We wanted to give the students something completely foreign to anything they encountered in the field of mass communications. Many had travelled to Europe and North America and we felt Japan’s reputation for being pioneers and for innovation was the perfect case study for our first such course,” said Charles Mitchell, instructor of journalism at AUK. Mitchell further added that the students were also ambassadors for Kuwait and AUK. The scenario of Middle East meets Far East was something the University, the instructors and the students were acutely aware of. Not only did the students learn about the Japanese media, they were acting as representatives for education and for Kuwaiti culture. Many of the major media enterprises

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to invite all Nigerians residing in Kuwait to come and register with the Embassy. The registration is compulsory for all Nigerians residing /visiting Kuwait. Kindly bring the following documents along with you: • A photocopy of the Nigerian passport • One passport photograph • Copy of the civil identification card or visa For additional information please call: 25620278 or visit the Embassy at Block, 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, Along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya. The Consular Section opens Sunday - Thursday from 9 am - 3 pm Your prompt response is highly solicited.

he English School Fahaheel recently held the annual International Day under the slogan “One World. One ESF”. On this day the many nationalities that attend the school got the opportunity to share with others the diversity and depth of their culture, traditions, social activities and economies. A big thank you goes out to the all the parents who whole heartedly assisted at the stalls and to all embassies in Kuwait who helped contribute to the beautiful display stands. Upper school students had planned for weeks for this event by setting up stalls in the covered play area, each depicting the rich culture they represent. It was a truly educational, colourful and enjoyable day for students, teachers and parents who came to view all nationalities at ESF working together in harmony. The Lower and Middle school students participated by dressing up in their traditional attire. Upper school students also held a dance display during which cultural dances numbers were performed. Each Middle school classroom depicted a different country and region and staff and students worked hard to make this possible over a number of days.

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The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will continue uninterrupted until May 10, 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Announcements Indian Lawyers Forum Kuwait ndian Lawyers Forum is convened for a family get together at the residence of Adv Sudheer Ramachandran on April 30 at 11 am at Abbassiya (next to BVP). To know the location, please call 99359680. All Indian lawyer members are cordially invited to attend the meeting. Those who are interested may contact: 97203939/ 97260159 or by email: lawyersforum@gmail.com

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■■■■■■ Kala Balakalamela erala Art Lovers Association-KALA will conduct Arts and Literature competitions for Indian school children on April 30 at Indian Community School, Khaitan. The items include classical dances, essay writing, elocutions, recitations, singing, classical music and skits. The event is named “Balakalamela-2010”. Prizes to winners will be given away the same evening. Free entry forms are available at all Indian schools, J Saji, general secretary KALA, said. For assistance and details, the following numbers may be contacted: 97817100 / 99122984/ 24317875.

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Al-Thaalib Scholarship 2010 l-Thaalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC) & Ministry of Awqaf in association with Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. Last year we were able to provide financial assistance to nearly 900 students of various Indian & Pakistani Schools in Kuwait for the academic year 2008-09. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. We are pleased to inform that the process for Al-Thaalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2010-11, has begun for all Indian, Philippine and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait.This year we shall endeavor to reach the scholarship to as many needy students as possible to help them continue with their education without any financial hindrance. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form, from Al-Thaalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al-Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co, Int’l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al-Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al-Thaalib office on or before April 30, 2010 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form. For more information, you may contact 55046318 or 22418934 ext 204/202.

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■■■■■■ Food competition n the occasion of MES Ladies Wing’s 5th Anniversary Celebration a food competition will be held on Friday April 30, 2010 at Kuwait Medical Association Hall - Jabriya from 3 to 6 pm. It is open to all residing in Kuwait. The first 15 entries will be accepted from each category. The three categories are Dessert, Snacks, Biriyani. Interested persons can contact on Tel: 99862430, 99135198, and 97299734 for registration. Valuable prizes will be awarded for the 1st 2nd 3rd prize winners from each category. The Judges interpretation and decision will be final. The judging panel headed by Dr Lakshmi Nair, from Kirali TV will select the winners.

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uwait Bilingual School, Jahra presented its annual theatre production, Snow Queen, on Wednesday April 21 before a cheerful audience. The 1845 tale by Hans Christian Anderson was styled into a 80 minutes play by the school drama teacher Christa Francine Eleftherakis. About 25 students brought to life differing characters: from Gerda, the little girl who goes in search of her lost brother, to robbers, servants, princess and the snow queen in addition to the two nar-

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rators. The chorus crew, consisting about 30 students, delighted the audience with their rendering of songs composed by the school music teacher Ravinder Singh Rawat. The ‘Robbers’ dance’, one among the outstanding scenes where the robbers do a dabka style dance in tune with a Bollywood rhythm was choreographed and composed by Christa and Ravinder respectively. “It was a team work,” said Christa, the director. “Given the fact that English is their second language,

the students had to work really hard to make this event come true, “ she added. The play was in two acts and 12 scenes. The magnificent sets, 4 in total comprising the village, forest and palace scenes were designed by Saleh Abdel Shafi, the Art teacher. The star of the show was the character Greta, the determined girl, amusingly played by Noor Abdulnasser. She sang beautifully and played her role unassumingly. Other characters were also memorable:

KIG: The Blooming kids slamic Women’s Association (IWA) the ladies wing of KIG has organized the formation of “Malarvadi Balasangam”, an organization for the children, where our blooming kids can grow, learn, and play in a safe, fun, and productive environment. By inculcating moral and ethical values and by nourishing the budding talents positively, IWA aims at the formation of a talented group of blooming kids free from the luring clutches of channels and unproductive games. The new units were born under the leadership of IWA that has an active presence among the Kuwait expat ladies. The office bearers of the 14 units so formed in Kuwait includes (in the order President, Secretary and name of the unit): Asha, Ghalib Riyaz (Jleeb),

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Firas, Shahn shan (Bilquees), Sanad, Ajmal (Abbasiya), Ahmed Ansal, Raed Abdul Majeed (Fahaheel), Mujthaba, Ishaque Abdul Latheef ( Mahboola), Aisha Nooh, Fathima (Mangaf), Parvathy, Muhsina Musthafa(Abuhaleefa), Mishael, Sinvan (Riggae) Sradha, Afrah(Al Rasheedi), Shafeeque, Nasreen (Darul Quran) Sherin, Bahiya Ali(Ghazzali) Abil Arshad, Waseem Anas(Khaitna) Basil Habeeb, Lamya Shoukath (Hawally) Abdurahman Ameer, Muhsina Majeed (Salmiya) IWA will plan carefully designed agenda for the monthly gathering with innovative programs that make use of the children’s artistic and inborn talents. For more details, please contact the Balasangam central coordinator Maryam Moidu (23713509).

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Vanithavedi anniversary

s part of the on going 10th anniversary celebrations of Vanithavedi - Kuwait, May day will be celebrated on Saturday 1st May ‘10 from 2 PM at Abbassiya United Indian School. It will start with the Painting competition for children and women along with the exhibition of the selected works of women painters.A legal workshop focusing on difficulties and problems faced by women workforce and the available legal protection will be held at 5 P.M. Adv. Twinkle Annie Chacko will give the keynote address. Representatives from various Indian organizations will participate in the ensuing discussions. Phone numbers 24342807, 24312180 and 97114331 can be contacted for details.

Ajay Malhotra meets with Indian leader

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Snow Queen mirrors KBS’ talents Kai (Mohammed Fahad), grandmother (Adwa Sultan), and the ones played by Turki, Salman, Ala’a, Ahmad, Nada, Batool, Wael, Laiyal, Abdalaziz, Moaath, Abdullah, Salma, Hesham, Fahed, Faisal, Ghala, Asma, Salem, Mteb, Fahd, Mubarak, Mousa, Sultan and Hesham. “It was an altogether enjoyable experience,” said Amna Latif, the assistant director of the play which received a standing ovation when the curtain fell.

ew regulation and comprehensive law required to protect and solve the issues of Indian Emigrants” Pinarayi Vijayan CPI (M) State Secretary told in meeting held at Indian Embassy with Mr. Ajay Malhotra the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait. They had discussed about the Pravasi Welfare Fund and Pension Scheme for the Keralites introduced by the State Government of Kerala. Mr. Ajay Malhotra pointed that, others states in India should also follow same model. Mr. Vijan asks for

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Indian Embassy to take encouraging steps to listen the grievance of the common people and workers. Pinarayi Vijayn was on a short visit to Kuwait. Pravasi welfare board chairman Mr. T. K. Hamsa, Member of Indian Parliament, M.V. Vijaya Ragavan, Managing director of Kairali TV Mr. John Britas, Director M.A. Rashid, leaders for KALA ‘Kerala Art Lovers Association) J. Albert, Sam Pynummodu, Thomas Kadavil, R. Ramesh, Saji Thomas Mathew and R.Naganathn were also attended the meeting.

‘Sri Lanka Culture Week’ kicks off uwait began yetserday a “Sri Lanka Culture Week”, jointly hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka and Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters upto May 2. The event, the first ever promotions of its kind, is cosponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) with the support of a host of well-wishers. A 28-member cultural troupe from “Chandana Wickramasinghe and the Dancers Guild” will perform “Sri Lak Rangana”, a cultural extravaganza throughout the week featuring Sri Lanka’s well-known historical and contemporary dance and fusion acts while an orchestra will entertain the guests with classical music. Kuwait’s Sri Lankan Ambassador Sarath Dissanayake played a key role in organizing this event. A Batik Designer/Artist, Sonali Dharmawardene, a member of the Sri Lankan Troupe is scheduled to make special presentations to audiences of high profile ladies in Kuwait on the theme “Batik, Lifestyles & Role of Sri Lankan Women”. Parallel to the main

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event a handicraft exhibition will also be held throughout the week, which will feature Sri Lanka’s Handicraft, cottage industries, handlooms, masks, bronze items, gems & jewellery and other ornaments. It is also significant that an “MoU on Tourism Cooperation” will be signed with Kuwait, which is the second such instrument to be signed by Sri Lanka with a Gulf country after Bahrain. The celebrations would facilitate further promotion of Sri Lanka - Kuwait relations and would help create awareness on Sri Lanka’s rich culture, heritage, dance, music etc. among the Kuwaitis and the

larger expat community. Sri Lanka Commenting on the significance of this event, veteran dance choreographer Chandana Wickramasinghe said this was the first time that Kuwait was going to witness the wide variety of our dancing prowess. “There are five concerts during the week. April 26 and 27 are dedicated to Ministers in the Kuwaiti government and diplomats. The shows will be open to all on April 29 and 30. We are performing with 28 members of our group and that is going to be a novel experimental move. I have plans to take this evbent to other parts of the world too,” said Chandana.

Safir International Hotel hosts Japanese, Ethiopian envoys he Safir International Hotel, represented by his general manager Kifah Melhem, were glad to host his excellency the Japanese ambassador Massatishi Motto and spouse as well as his excellency the Ethiopian ambassador Kadav Hanfar

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and spouse, for an Asian theme dinner that is holding every Wednesday in the upmost wonderful Sea Breeze Restaurant with its fascinating view overlooking the Arab Gulf and Kuwait Towers. Safir International Hotel launched

recently his Asian night in Sea Breeze Restaurant to please and pamper his guests with the upmost authentic and delicious varieties prepared by a committee of chefs headed by the executive chef “Frank Schulte” who join recently Safir

International Hotel family. all these food selection is presented in a well created atmosphere starting staff traditonal uniform, far eastern decoration, lihting and music aiming to take our valuable guest through a unique evening.

Indian ambassador Ajai Malhotra lighting the lamp during the inaugural function of Viswakala 2010, the 5th annual celebrations of Viswakarma Organisation at Carmel school, Khaitan.


TV PROGRAMS

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 20:00 Striker! 21:00 Bandits Of Selous 22:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 23:00 Search For The Giant Octopus 00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 E! Investigates 01:30 Extreme Hollywood 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Beauty Queens Gone Wrong 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 25 Most Sensational Hollywood Meltdowns 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Pretty Wild 09:50 Pretty Wild 10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Kendra 13:40 Ths 15:25 Behind The Scenes 15:50 Behind The Scenes 16:15 E!es 17:10 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:35 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Streets Of Hollywood

00:00 House 01:00 Dawson’s Creek 02:00 Bones 03:00 Hotel Babylon 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 Supernatural 06:00 CSI New York 07:00 House 08:00 Hawthorne 09:00 Saving Grace 10:00 Bones 11:00 Hotel Babylon 12:00 CSI New York 13:00 Supernatural 14:00 Bones 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Hawthorne 17:00 Saving Grace 18:00 House 19:00 CSI New York 20:00 Dollhouse 21:00 Flash Forward 22:00 Burn Notice 23:00 Rescue Me

00:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Human Prey 03:30 Animal Cops Houston 04:25 Miami Animal Police 05:20 Monkey Business 05:45 Deep Into the Wild with Nick Baker 06:10 E-Vets: The Interns 06:35 SSPCA: On the Wildside 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Planet Earth 08:45 Austin Stevens Adventures 09:40 Beverly Hills Groomer 10:05 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:55 Monkey Business 11:20 SSPCA: On the Wildside 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Houston 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 SSPCA: On the Wildside 15:30 Planet Earth 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Beverly Hills Groomer 17:45 Deep Into the Wild with Nick Baker 18:15 Cell Dogs 19:10 Crime Scene Wild 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Cell Dogs

00:45 Ancient Rome: Rise And Fall Of An Empire 01:35 2 Point 4 Children 02:10 2 Point 4 Children 02:45 Holby City 03:45 Holby City 04:45 Ancient Rome: Rise And Fall Of An Empire 05:35 Bargain Hunt 06:20 Teletubbies 06:45 Me Too 07:05 Fimbles 07:25 Teletubbies 07:50 Me Too 08:10 Fimbles 08:30 Teletubbies 08:55 Me Too 09:15 Fimbles 09:40 Bargain Hunt 10:25 Terry Jones’ Barbarians 11:15 2 Point 4 Children 11:45 2 Point 4 Children 12:15 The Weakest Link 13:00 Eastenders 13:30 Doctors 14:00 Bargain Hunt 14:45 Cash In The Attic 15:15 2 Point 4 Children 15:45 2 Point 4 Children 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Holby City 19:00 Holby City 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Silent Witness 22:45 Perfect Day

00:20 Come Dine With Me 00:45 Come Dine With Me 01:10 Saturday Kitchen 01:40 Saturday Kitchen 02:05 Cash In The Attic 02:50 How To Find A Husband 03:35 Saturday Kitchen 04:05 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 04:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:00 Cash In The Attic USA 05:20 Hidden Potential 05:45 How To Find A Husband 06:30 New British Kitchen 06:55 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 07:25 What To Eat Now - Autumn 08:00 Cash In The Attic USA 08:20 Bargain Hunt 09:05 Antiques Roadshow 09:55 Antiques Roadshow 10:45 Cash In The Attic USA 11:05 Cash In The Attic USA 11:25 Hidden Potential 11:50 Saturday Kitchen 12:15 Saturday Kitchen

00:00 Giada At Home 01:00 Food Network Challenge 01:00 Great British Menu 02:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 03:00 Barefoot Contessa 03:00 Iron Chef America 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 05:00 Great British Menu 05:00 Iron Chef America 06:00 Chopped 06:00 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Everyday Italian 07:00 Iron Chef America 08:00 Great British Menu 08:00 Iron Chef America 09:00 Chopped 09:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 10:00 30 Minute Meals 10:00 Food Network Challenge 11:00 30 Minute Meals 11:00 Food Network Challenge 12:00 Iron Chef America 12:40 Barefoot Contessa 13:00 Teleshopping 14:00 Teleshopping 14:20 Barefoot Contessa 15:00 Teleshopping 16:00 Great British Menu 17:00 Teleshopping 18:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:00 Teleshopping 20:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:00 Teleshopping

Miracle at St. Anna on Super Movies 12:40 Cash In The Attic 13:25 How To Find A Husband 14:15 Bargain Hunt 15:00 Bargain Hunt 15:45 Antiques Roadshow 16:35 Cash In The Attic USA 16:55 Hidden Potential 17:20 Saturday Kitchen 17:45 Saturday Kitchen 18:10 Cash In The Attic 18:55 Antiques Roadshow 19:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:15 Come Dine With Me 20:40 MasterChef Goes Large

01:15 Normal Life-R 03:00 La Personne Aux Deux PersonnesPG15 05:00 Map Of The Human Heart-18 07:00 Chariots Of Fire-PG 09:00 Jump Tomorrow-PG15 11:00 All Hat-PG15 12:30 Sunset Park-PG 14:15 Meet Joe Black-PG15 17:15 L’age Des Tenebres-PG15 19:00 What Rats Won’t Do-PG15 21:00 Croupier-PG15 23:00 On The Edge-18

00:00 Border Security 00:30 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Miami Ink 02:00 Street Customs Berlin 02:55 Twist the Throttle 03:50 Massive Machines 04:15 Massive Machines 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Massive Machines 07:30 Massive Machines 07:55 Wreck Rescue 08:20 Street Customs Berlin 09:15 Mythbusters 10:10 Ultimate Survival 11:05 Twist the Throttle 12:00 Border Security 12:30 How It’s Made 12:55 How It’s Made 13:20 American Chopper 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Mythbusters 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 World’s Toughest Jobs 18:00 Border Security 18:30 Street Customs 19:30 Destroyed in Seconds 20:00 How It’s Made

00:30 Nextworld 01:20 Building the Biggest 02:10 Kings of Construction 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 NASA’s Greatest Missions 04:45 How Does That Work? 05:10 Mean Green Machines 05:40 Weird Connections 06:10 Nextworld 07:00 Junkyard Mega-Wars 08:00 NASA’s Greatest Missions 09:00 Building the Biggest 09:55 How Does That Work? 10:20 Stunt Junkies 10:50 Nextworld 11:45 Green Wheels 12:10 Weird Connections 12:40 NASA’s Greatest Missions 13:35 Building the Biggest 14:30 Mighty Ships 15:25 How Does That Work? 15:55 Junkyard Mega-Wars 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 Mega World 18:40 Ultimate Power Builders 19:30 Mean Green Machines 19:55 Mean Green Machines 20:20 How It’s Made

00:00 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 00:20 Lazytown 00:45 Special Agent Oso 01:10 Imagination Movers 01:35 Jungle Junction 02:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:45 Handy Manny 03:10 Special Agent Oso 03:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:00 Fairly Odd Parents 04:25 Hannah Montana 04:45 I Got A Rocket 05:05 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:35 Phineas & Ferb 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 06:35 Lazytown 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:20 Imagination Movers 07:45 Jungle Junction 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 Hannah Montana 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 American Dragon 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 I Got A Rocket 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:55 Replacements 15:15 A Kind Of Magic 15:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Jonas 19:25 Suite Life On Deck 19:50 Sonny With A Chance 20:15 Hannah Montana 20:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody

00:30 Dead Tenants 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 Forensic Justice 03:05 Dr G: Medical Examiner 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Amsterdam Vice 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Disappeared 09:30 The Prosecutors 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Guilty Or Innocent? 12:50 Diagnosis: Unknown 13:40 Fugitive Strike Force 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Disappeared 17:00 The Prosecutors

06:00 American Dragon 06:25 Kid vs Kat 06:50 Phineas & Ferb 07:15 Phineas & Ferb 07:40 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 09:00 Phineas & Ferb 09:30 Zeke & Luther 10:00 Phil Of The Future 10:30 Suite Life On Deck 11:00 Kid vs Kat 11:30 Power Rangers Jungle Fury 12:00 Aaron Stone 12:25 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 12:50 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 13:20 NEXT X EUROPE 13:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:00 Zeke & Luther 14:30 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 15:00 American Dragon 15:30 Kid vs Kat 16:00 Phineas & Ferb 16:30 K9 ADVENTURES 17:00 Suite Life On Deck 17:30 Aaron Stone 18:00 Iron Man: Armoured Adventures 18:25 Kid vs Kat 18:50 NEXT X EUROPE 19:00 Zeke & Luther 19:30 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 20:00 American Dragon 20:30 K9 ADVENTURES 21:00 Phil Of The Future

01:05 Scandal 03:00 Conflict of Interest 04:25 Year Of The Dragon 06:35 Sonny Boy 08:15 Marie: A True Story 10:05 The Rose Garden 11:55 The Wizard of Loneliness 13:45 Beach Party 15:20 Man in the Moon 17:00 Nobody’s Fool 18:45 Futureworld 20:30 Vigilante Force 22:00 Moving Target 23:35 Livin’ Large

00:00 The Last Lioness 01:00 Secrets Of The King Cobra 02:00 Built For The Kill 03:00 Bonecrusher Queens 04:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 05:00 Mother Warthog 06:00 The Last Lioness 07:00 Secrets Of The King Cobra 08:00 Built For The Kill 09:00 Bonecrusher Queens 10:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 11:00 Search For The Giant Octopus 12:00 The Megafalls Of Iguacu 13:00 Ancient Creatures 14:00 Striker! 15:00 Bandits Of Selous 16:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 17:00 Search For The Giant Octopus 18:00 The Megafalls Of Iguacu 19:00 Ancient Creatures

00:00 Billable Hours 00:30 The Office 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Monday night Stand Up 04:30 South park 05:00 Billable Hours 05:30 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Just Shoot me! 07:30 Malcolm in the Middle 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Yes dear 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Drew Carey 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Just Shoot me! 11:00 Frasier 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 Best of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 13:00 The Office 13:30 Yes dear 14:00 The Nanny 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 Billable Hours 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Significant Others 18:30 Just Shoot me! 19:00 Scrubs 19:30 The Office 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years younger 01:30 Eat Yourself Sexy 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 Parenting 07:30 Popcorn 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Turn Back Your Body Clock 09:30 10 Years Younger 10:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 The View (repeat) 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 18:00 Eat Yourself Sexy 18:30 10 Years younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show

10:00 Soccer Dog-PG 12:00 Space Buddies-PG 14:00 Justice League: The New FrontierFAM 16:00 That Darn Cat-PG 18:00 My Favorite Martian-PG 20:00 Alice Upside Down-PG 22:00 Space Buddies-PG

00:00 Ugly Betty 01:00 Desperate Housewives 02:00 Breaking Bad 03:00 Survivor : Samoa 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Coach 05:00 Repear 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Law & Order 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Coach 09:00 Survivor : Samoa 10:00 Repear 11:00 Law & Order 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Coach 14:00 Ugly Betty 15:00 Desperate Housewives 16:00 Repear 17:00 Survivor : Samoa 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Lost 20:00 Heroes 21:00 Law & Order 22:00 Repear 23:00 Breaking Bad

00:00 Premier League Review Show 01:30 Premier League 16:00 Premier League Classics 17:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 Premier League World 18:00 Premier League 20:00 Portugol 20:30 Brazil League Highlights 21:00 Premier League Classics 21:30 Premier League World 22:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:30 Goals Goals Goals 23:00 Premier League

00:00 ICC Cricket World 00:30 Super League 02:30 Goals On Monday 04:00 Guinness Premiership 06:00 Premier League World 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Snooker World Championship 11:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 12:00 World Hockey 12:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 13:00 ICC Cricket World 13:30 Futbol Mundial 14:00 Goals On Monday 15:30 NRL Premiership 17:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 18:00 Super 14 20:00 Braclays Premier League Highlights 21:00 Futbol Mundial

01:00 Goals On Monday 02:30 NRL Premiership 04:30 Super League 06:30 Premier League Classics 07:00 Goals On Monday 09:30 NRL Premiership 10:30 Premier League World 11:00 World Sport 11:30 ICC Cricket World 12:00 Live Snooker World Championship 16:00 World Sport 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship 20:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship

00:00 WWE Smackdown 02:00 WWE Vintage Collection 03:00 Bushido 04:00 NCAA Basketball 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE NXT 08:00 FIM World Cup 08:30 UAE National Race Day 09:00 Ironman 09:30 V8 Supercars Extra 10:00 WWE Vintage Collection 11:00 Bushido 12:00 WWE Bottomline 13:00 NCAA Basketball 15:00 Ironman 15:30 V8 Supercars Extra 16:00 LG Action Sport 17:00 WWE Bottomline 18:00 UFC 112 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC Unleashed

01:15 The Other Boleyn Girl-PG15 03:15 American Violet-PG15 05:00 Lost Holiday: The Jim And Suzanne Shemwell Story-PG 07:00 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 09:00 The Golden Door-PG15 11:00 The Memsahib-PG15 13:00 Momma’s Man-PG15 15:00 Where God Left His Shoes-PG 17:00 The Golden Door-PG15 19:00 The Secret Life Of Bees-PG15 21:00 The Firm -PG15 23:00 Miracle At St. Anna-18

01:20 Victor/Victoria 03:30 The Screening Room 04:00 Strictly Business 05:20 Casablanca 07:00 Somebody Up There Likes Me 08:50 An American In Paris 10:40 Somebody Up There Likes Me 12:30 The V.I.P.S 14:25 High Society 16:10 Ride The High Country 17:45 The Screening Room 18:15 Rhapsody 20:10 The Philadelphia Story 22:00 Strictly Business 23:20 Crazy In Love

00:30 Deep Sea Detectives 01:20 Battlefield Detectives 02:10 Modern Marvels 03:00 Modern Marvels 03:55 Modern Marvels 04:50 Battle Stations 05:40 Dogfights 06:30 Deep Sea Detectives 07:20 Battlefield Detectives 08:10 Modern Marvels 09:00 Modern Marvels 09:55 Modern Marvels 10:50 Battle Stations 11:40 Dogfights 12:30 Deep Sea Detectives 13:20 Battlefield Detectives 14:10 Modern Marvels 15:00 Modern Marvels 15:55 Modern Marvels 16:50 Battle Stations 17:40 Dogfights 18:30 Deep Sea Detectives 19:20 Battlefield Detectives 20:10 Modern Marvels 21:00 American Warrior: Billy Fiske 21:55 The American Revolution 22:50 Stolen by Hitler 23:40 Fleeing the Reich

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Angry Planet 01:30 The Thirsty Traveler 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 Floyd Uncorked 03:30 Travel Today 04:00 Culture Shock 04:30 Essential 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Planet Food 07:00 The Thirsty Traveler 07:30 Angry Planet 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Essential 09:30 Dream Destinations 10:00 Distant Shores 10:30 Feast India 11:00 Chef Abroad 11:30 Entrada 12:00 Planet Food 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Chef Abroad 14:30 The Thirsty Traveler 15:00 Feast India 15:30 Entrada 16:00 Planet Food 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Essential 18:30 Journey Into Wine-South Africa 19:00 Chef Abroad 19:30 The Thirsty Traveler 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Spring 21:30 Chef Abroad 22:00 Chef Abroad 22:30 Top Travel 23:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma

00:00 Clubbed-18 01:45 Barbarossa-PG15 04:00 Saving God-PG15 06:00 Sarah Landon And The Paranormal Hour-PG 08:00 Moondance Alexander-FAM 10:00 Perfect Holiday-PG 11:45 The Prestige-PG15 14:00 Frozen River-PG15 16:00 Moondance Alexander-FAM 18:00 Genova-PG15 20:00 Semi-Pro-PG15 22:00 Angels And Demons-PG15

01:00 Ninja Cheerleaders-PG15 03:00 Alien Raiders-18 05:00 Twin Daggers-PG15 07:00 The Last Drop-PG15 09:00 Spiderwick Chronicles-PG 11:00 Death Warrant-PG15 13:00 The X Files-PG15 15:00 Spiderwick Chronicles-PG 17:00 Eden Lake-18 19:00 Traitor-PG15 21:00 Resident Evil 3-18 23:00 Dark Reprieve-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Fifty Pills-PG15 Prom Wars-18 I.Q.-PG Scrooged-PG Americanizing Shelly-PG Clueless-PG15 Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants 2 My Favorite Martian-PG Fifty Pills-PG15 Kids In The Hall: Brain Candy-18 My Fake Finace-PG15 Dead Man On Campus-18

00:00 Simba The King Lion-FAM 02:00 Justice League: The New FrontierFAM 04:00 Soccer Dog-PG 06:00 Robotech - The Shadow ChroniclesFAM 08:00 Barney’s Great Adventure-FAM

Clubbed on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:45 Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation 23:20 A Woman’s Rage 00:55 Phone Booth 02:15 Watching The Detectives 03:50 New York, New York 06:30 The Darjeeling Limited 08:00 A Woman’s Rage 09:35 Phone Booth 10:55 Watching The Detectives 12:30 Nine Months 14:15 VIP Access 14:45 Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End 17:30 Hellhounds 18:55 Predator STAR World 20:00 Reaper 20:50 Charlie’s Angels 21:00 Stone Undercover 21:50 Who’s The Boss? 22:00 October Road 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 Kyle XY 03:00 Scrubs 03:30 The King Of Queens 04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 Samantha Who? 05:00 Criminal Minds

05:50 06:00 06:50 07:00 07:50 08:00 08:50 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:00 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 17:00 17:50 18:00 18:50 19:00

Jackie Chan Adventures Grey’s Anatomy Charlie’s Angels October Road Who’s The Boss? Reaper Jackie Chan Adventures The King Of Queens THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL Kyle XY Charlie’s Angels Grey’s Anatomy Who’s The Boss? [V] Tunes Criminal Minds Scrubs The King Of Queens Samantha Who? Samantha Who? American Idol AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL Charlie’s Angels BOSTON LEGAL Who’s The Boss? American Idol

Granada TV 20:00 Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (Series 2) * 21:00 Young, Posh and Loaded 21:30 The Sunshine Girls 22:00 Emmerdale

22:30 23:00 23:30 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:30 04:00 05:00 05:30 06:00 07:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:30 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:30

Coronation Street Young, Posh and Loaded The Sunshine Girls Teen Fat Camp The Paul O’Grady Show Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour Airline (Series 6) Warzone Emmerdale Coronation Street Teen Fat Camp Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour Airline (Series 6) The Paul O’Grady Show Warzone Emmerdale Coronation Street The Chopping Block (Series 1) Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour Airline (Series 6) The Paul O’Grady Show Emmerdale Coronation Street The Chopping Block (Series 1) Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour Airline (Series 6)

Channel [V] 21:00 [V] Countdown 23:00 Backtracks 23:30 Double Shot

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00

Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist [V] Countdown Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Parental Control Double Bill [V] Tunes Amp Around Asia Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks

19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30

XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist

Fox News 00:00 Happening Now 01:00 The Live Desk 03:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 04:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto 05:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 06:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 07:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 08:00 The O’Reilly Factor 09:00 Hannity 10:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 11:00 The O’Reilly Factor 12:00 Hannity 13:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 14:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 15:00 Fox Report 16:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 17:00 The O’Reilly Factor 18:00 FOX & Friends First Live 19:00 FOX & Friends Live 21:00 America’s Newsroom 22:00 America’s Newsroom 23:00 Happening Now National Geographic Channel 20:00 Perilous Journeys -Cracking The Ice Road 2

21:00 Generals At War -The Battle Of Midway 22:00 Warplanes -The Age Of Stealth 23:00 Theme Week -History’s Secrets : The Hunt For Hitler 00:00 Air Crash Investigation -Lockerbie 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -Somewhere In China : Three Gorges Dam 2 02:00 Situation Critical -Assault On Entebbe 03:00 Animals Like Us -Medicine 04:00 Shark Men -Size Matters 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -Somewhere In China : Three Gorges Dam 2 06:00 Locked Up Abroad -Busted And Pregnant 07:00 Triumph Of Life -Winning Teams 08:00 Situation Critical -Assault On Entebbe 09:00 Bonecrusher Queens 10:00 Theme Week -Hunt for Hitler’s Scientists 11:00 Air Crash Investigation -Lockerbie 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -Somewhere In China : Three Gorges Dam 2 13:00 Don’t Tell My Mother... -Don’t Tell My Mother : Venezuela S2 14:00 4Real -Pawnee 5 14:30 4Real -Kenya 6 15:00 Theme Week -Hunt for Hitler’s Scientists 16:00 Perilous Journeys -Roof of Africa 3 17:00 Air Crash Investigation -Lockerbie 18:00 Don’t Tell My Mother... -Don’t Tell My Mother : Venezuela S2 19:00 4Real -Pawnee 5 19:30 4Real -Kenya 6


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 26/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Royal Jordanian 802 Amman Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Kuwait 544 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Pakistan 239 Sialkot Qatari 138 Doha Air France 6782 Paris Jazeera 503 Luxor Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 527 Alexandria Jazeera 529 Assiut Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok British 157 London Kuwait 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Jazeera 481 Sabiha Falcon 201 Bahrain Kuwait 206 Islamabad Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Iran Air 605 Isfahan Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Iran Air 619 Lar Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 447 Doha Egypt Air 610 Cairo Kuwait 672 Dubai Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus United A/L 982 Washington Dc Dulles Royal Jordanian 800 Amman Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Kuwait 562 Amman Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 744 Dammam Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Qatari 134 Doha Kuwait 546 Alexandria Mihin Lanka 403 Colombo/Dubai Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudi Arabian A/L 510 Riyadh Jazeera 493 Jeddah Jazeera 239 Amman Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 367 Deirezzor Jazeera 343 Sanaa/Bahrain Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 786 Jeddah Kuwait 618 Doha Jazeera 177 Dubai Kuwait 674 Dubai Kuwait 614 Bahrain Kuwait 774 Riyadh Kuwait 552 Damascus Kuwait 512 Tehran Rovos 093 Kandahar/Dubai Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Oman Air 647 Muscat Indian 993 Chennai/Mumbai Middle East 402 Beirut Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Egypt Air 618 Alexandria KLM 0443 Amsterdam Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut Jazeera 459 Damascus DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Rovos 091 Baghdad Qatari 136 Doha United A/L 981 Bahrain Jazeera 429 Bahrain Jazeera 117 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 449 Doha Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 185 Dubai India Express 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore Pakistan 205 Lahore/Peshawar Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai Jazeera 263 Beirut

Time 00:05 00:30 00:50 00:50 01:05 01:15 01:45 02:15 02:25 02:55 02:55 03:25 03:25 05:15 05:45 06:05 06:10 06:15 06:30 06:35 06:40 07:00 07:15 07:20 07:50 07:55 07:55 08:00 08:10 08:25 08:40 08:55 09:00 09:25 10:25 10:40 10:45 10:45 11:05 11:05 11:10 12:55 13:15 13:35 13:35 13:35 14:10 14:10 14:20 14:30 14:40 14:45 15:05 15:30 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:25 17:35 17:40 17:40 17:55 18:00 18:35 18:45 18:50 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:05 19:20 19:20 19:25 19:40 19:45 20:00 20:05 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:30 20:35 20:40 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:30 21:35 21:55 22:15 22:25 22:25 22:30 23:05 23:10 23:55 23:55 23:55

Departure Flights on Tuesday 27/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Tunis Air 328 Dubai/Tunis Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Pakistan 240 Sialkot Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Air France 6782 Dubai/Hong Kong Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Royal Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 422 Bahrain Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 256 Beirut Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 671 Dubai Jazeera 342 Bahrain/Sanaa Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 561 Amman Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Iran Air 604 Isfahan Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Iran Air 618 Lar Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Kuwait 743 Dammam Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 492 Jeddah Jazeera 366 Deirezzor Jazeera 238 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Kuwait 551 Damascus Royal Jordanian 801 Amman Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai United A/L 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 673 Dubai Kuwait 617 Doha Kuwait 511 Tehran Saudi Arabia A/L 501 Jeddah Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Jazeera 458 Damascus Kuwait 773 Riyadh Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 613 Bahrain Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin Lanka 404 Dubai/Colombo Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Emirates 858 Dubai Jazeera 262 Beirut Rovos 092 Baghdad Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudi Arabian A/L 511 Riyadh Jazeera 116 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 448 Doha Jazeera 184 Dubai Jazeera 428 Bahrain Srilanka 228 Dubai/Colombo Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Kuwait 283 Dhaka Kuwait 361 Colombo Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Kuwait 343 Chennai Kuwait 351 Cochin Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0443 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 801 Cairo Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Kuwait 381 Delhi Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Jazeera 480 Sabiha Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 502 Luxor United A/L 981 Washington Dc Dulles Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Time 00:05 00:25 00:50 01:15 02:15 02:30 03:15 03:45 03:45 04:00 05:00 05:15 06:50 07:00 07:00 07:35 07:40 07:45 07:50 08:00 08:10 08:25 08:35 08:35 08:40 09:00 09:00 09:10 09:15 09:20 09:30 09:40 09:55 10:00 10:10 11:35 11:35 11:40 11:50 11:55 12:00 12:15 12:20 12:30 13:00 13:30 13:55 14:20 14:30 14:30 14:50 14:55 15:10 15:10 15:35 15:40 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:05 16:20 16:20 17:35 17:40 18:05 18:05 18:05 18:15 18:15 18:20 18:35 18:40 18:55 19:00 19:10 19:10 19:40 20:00 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 23:05 23:20 23:30 23:40 23:40

ACCOMMODATION One big room to let from 1/6/10 to a single executive bachelor for KD 75 in spacious flat near city. Please contact: 97407275. (C 2189) 27-4-2010 Accommodation available in Abbassiya near Oman Exchange for decent and non-smoking Keralites. Contact: 24334859, 9185377. (C 2191) Sharing accommodation in Jabriya, separate room in mulhak for decent Muslim bachelor, rent KD 65, near Al Hadi hospital, from 1st May, phone facilities. Contact: 99546413. (C 2177). 25-4-2010 Sharing accommodation available for 1 Keralite bachelor in a C-AC flat in Abbassiya near Caesar始s cargo/ opposite Al Jas Int始l Shipping. Call 66349475. (C 2173) Sharing accommodation available for Keralite couple to share with Keralite family in 2 bedroom 2 bathroom flat in Abbassiya. Call: 97168979. (C 2175) 24-4-2010 A sharing room available for a decent bachelor (preferably Mangalorean) with another Mangalorean in Abbassiya near United Indian School. Contact: 97539726. (C 2169) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan and Dar Al Saha polyclinic, for single family. Contact: 66533471. (C 2172) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for visiting family or two working ladies or couples in new CAC fully furnished two bedroom, two bathroom (attached) flat with Keralite family from 7th June 2010. Contact: 66013882, 99494359. (C 2170) Sharing accommodation available for a small family in a 2 bedroom, hall & kitchen central A/C flat near Emirates hotel Abu Halifa with Keralite Christian family. Contact: 97612421. (C 2147) 22-4-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Camry, model 2005, GLi, white color, low mileage, price KD 2,750. Call: 60667860. (C 2188) Honda Civil, model 2008, color white, km 23,000, maintained under warranty, excellent condition, price KD 2,950. Contact: 66013800, 66235897. (C 2187) Expat leaving, quality household goods, electronics on sale, Block 10, St 2, House 175, 3rd floor, Salwa. Call before coming 97447513, 66038947, 99848794. Expat leaving Kuwait, electronic and household items for immediate sale at a very reasonable price. Please contact: 25661859. (2190)

27-4-2010 Mitsubishi jeep Nativa, model 2008, silver color, excellent condition, cash price KD 2,800, done 65,000 kms only, Contact: 66211779. (C 2184) 26-4-2010 Nissan Pathfinder 2005, (XES 3.5), color grey, run 130,000 km, passing up to April 2011, new tires and very good condition. Price KD 3,100 (negotiable). Call 99338742. (C 2176) Laptop IBM Intel Centrino, RAM 512, HD 30 GB, WiFi, DVD-CD-WR, price KD 65 & IBM PC P4, CPU Intel original 2.8, RAM 256, HD 40 GB, price KD 35, all in excellent condition, call 99322585. (C 2180) Honda Accord, 2004 model, gold color, full options, 120,000 km, excellent condition. Price KD 2,800. Call: 55522942. (C 2181) 25-4-2010 1998 GMC Sierra - 3500 pick up 6.5L diesel engine, double heel in very good condition, full options. KD 2,250. Contact: 66714700. (C 2150)

LOST I, Nayanam P.R., Pallikkattil House, note the public the loss of my mark lists and certificate of Bachelor of Commerce Degree examination 2004 September with Registration No.242077 of University of Calicut. I intend to apply for the duplicate mark list/certificate. (C 2167) 21-4-2010

CHANGE OF NAME 1996 Chev Silverado pick up 2W in very good condition, loaded with options. KD 2,050. Contact: 97485532. (C 2149) 22-4-2010 2005 white mini-van, manual, 7-seater GM-Wuling Chinese made, service by Mutawa Al-Kazi Co, 55,700 km, regd. March 2011. Call: 99913384. (C 2164) Nissan Pathfinder, 2003 model, metallic golden color, km 170,000 SE.3.5, very good condition. KD 2,400, serious buyers can contact: 97615287. (C 2168) 21-4-2010

No: 14711

Old name: Pichai Senthil Kumar, Passport No: F8462965. New name: P. Sayed Ahmed. (C 2174) 24-4-2010

MATRIMONIAL Invited from parents of well educated qualified boy for a Keralite Roman Catholic (RC) girl 25/slim/fair working as Saudi MOH nurse. Interested parents may respond with complete profile to jibyvandakom@yahoo.in (C 2186) 26-4-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Part time maid required in Messila area for a small family. Contact: 99754411 (C 2185) 26-4-2010

SITUATION WANTED

Indian male, B.Tech electronics + MBA Marketing, 2 years experience in sales/marketing/management, proficient in computer applications, good communication skills, seeks suitable employment. Tel: 65170157. Email: baby_eldhose@yahoo.co.in (C 2179) I need full/part-time job as accountant, I am commerce graduate, with 3 years experience in Kuwait. I can use different financial packages, good MIS skills. Call: 55355954. (C 2182) 25-4-2010 Indian male, MBA (HR) with 4 years UAE experience in Admin-Payroll-HR, specialized in Oracle HRMS, MIS reports, six sigma implementation experience, seeks job. Call: 94061559, mrds1230@yahoo.com


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 971

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You are passionate in your search for truth today. Nothing superficial or ephemeral holds your attention for long. Your intense analytical approach to life may cut through to the heart of things and reveal to you what others do not want to know. You have real vision with moments of insight and clear seeing that allows you to see and work to the best of your abilities. You dream of a world where unity and harmony are a reality. Group, political or community work may just be in the forecast this afternoon. Your imagination will drive you to make your dreams a reality. You are in a mood of self-enjoyment and can appreciate your own better qualities this evening. You may see value in or feel love for an older person or someone in authority. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Questions of attitude, approaches to problem solving and the methods for handling authorities and the law are in high focus. These are indicated by a high burn rate and many changes regarding your career and making your way through life. Perhaps you will have many jobs or be forever going through changes and adjustments that affect your career. It could be difficult finding lasting success or prosperity and the path to it may be areas where you have real experience and particular expertise. You must know this now so that you will be able to invest wisely and have a secure foundation to depend upon when you need it. You could be most persuasive with others. A good conversation with those you love is possible this evening.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 4. A hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal cortex. 8. An enclosed space. 11. (informal) Of the highest quality. 12. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 13. A rapid bustling commotion. 14. A label made of cardboard or plastic or metal. 15. The lean flesh of a fish similar to cod. 16. (prefix) Reverse of or absence of. 17. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 21. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 22. The act of scanning. 24. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 25. A motley assortment of things. 27. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 28. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 30. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 36. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 40. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 41. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 42. By bad luck. 43. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 44. The cry made by sheep. 45. The compass point that is one point east of northeast. 46. Seed of a pea plant. DOWN 1. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 2. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 3. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 4. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 5. A repetitive song in which as many syllables as necessary are assigned to a single tone v 1. 6. Flightless New Zealand birds similar to gallinules. 7. Step on it. 8. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 9. The clay from which adobe bricks are made. 10. Music composed for dancing the conga. 18. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 19. Stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings. 20. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 23. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 26. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 29. Lower in esteem. 31. A small cake leavened with yeast. 32. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 33. Slightly wet. 34. A French abbot. 35. A quantity of no importance. 37. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 38. An adult male person (as opposed to a woman). 39. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for duty and responsibilities. You tend to view problems as the lessons they bring to you and not obstacles. There is a drive to probe and penetrate, which may find you examining and working through some strong internal changes. Be aware of the possibilities that you could become too dominating. This may not be the best time to make important decisions about life circumstances. Others may challenge your authority or the direction you are taking. Encouraging words and listening to suggestions may slow your progress but gain you successful results. You will be pleased with the results of your actions. At home this evening you will be able to relax and enjoy the company of a loved one.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are the issues felt instinctively now. You want roots; you crave a sense of intimate connection that will last a very long time. You may have to pinch yourself a few times to bring yourself out of a dreamy mood today. This temporary sluggishness may be a good thing, as it will help you to slow down. Focus yourself by creating a list of the things you need to accomplish. You must trust your own decisions and thinking process. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others. You may find yourself counseling a stressed-out coworker. You are wise to maintain your positive mental attitude for yourself. You often encourage others. Relax early this evening. Leo (July 23-August 22) You seem less critical of others these days and more accepting of interruptions and delays. Others could follow your lead. There may have been a warning that the work you are doing today will just normally have these interruptions and delays. You will have an opportunity to keep a notebook handy for sketching, creating poetry, writing letters, etc. Obtaining and exchanging information during the noon break takes on more significance. You appear most charming this afternoon. Now is the best time to make that special date, apply for job advancement or otherwise make yourself known. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling/s satisfies a deep emotional need this evening. Cooking is relaxing tonight.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Now that your home life seems to be moving along fairly well you will find your career is more fulfilling. The concentration on your job is more focused these days. This is a good day to get things done. Good eye-hand coordination and a sustained effort make almost any task run well. You may feel like exercising or getting out and around town this afternoon. There may be items to purchase and a group meeting to attend before you head for home. You can demonstrate great deal of understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others and you will find yourself in a good position to share ideas about community concerns. A community meeting or a group meeting will probably put you in a good mood this evening. A letter you wrote gets positive results.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your timing should be perfect. These good vibrations can do much for your disposition. Activity in projects or group activities can have positive results. There is a tendency to enjoy a sense of power and control, especially when teaching some method of working that others have not encountered before. Enjoy this power and control with humility and you will be happy with the results. You will be able to help set the pace in the work place and there are no complaints. You have a great deal of interest in others that makes you unique and attractive to others. Sexual needs are just one of the life issues emphasized for you at this time. You may not go dancing today but you make plans to enjoy some dancing in the future? classes maybe.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Others may find you especially witty and eccentric now. You may have insights or breakthroughs about some professional quandary. Others value you for your independence and unique qualities. Your objectivity comes in handy when you are called on to be mediator in a professional situation. This afternoon may bring ideas of inventiveness. If you have been waiting for the right artistic inspiration, this might be the right time to look for the bridge of discovery. Perhaps the zoo, art museum or just being quiet in an outside environment will help influence you to create. Most significantly, this is your time to appreciate yourself and discover the unlimited possibilities of your talents. Communications with friends is good.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Career moves may depend upon your cutting through some of the fluff and really taking care of business—getting down to your most practical. This may not be an easy day, for events and circumstances may conspire to block your sense of freedom and independence. Someone could challenge your ideas and perhaps find them unconventional. This is a perfect time to stop and think about which important situation is where you really want to focus your attention. Some choices, the obvious path that opens up for you now, may grate against your own sense of freedom and independence. You may have some new insight into talents that have lain dormant for years. Relax and enjoy communication with loved ones this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution

yester

Yesterday’s Solution

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INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321

Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn

0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) The love of your job makes you a fine manager and business person. You bring a great deal of love to your work. You will work with real imagination and understanding in areas of the mind that are the most personal or private—depth psychology. You are like a midwife of the spirit, assisting at the birth of each individual going through a spiritual re-birth process. You accept the natural process of birth; the spiritual and physical and have dedicated yourself to helping the process along. You will find many times where you will be in a position to help a new comer to your line of work or expertise; today will be no exception. You have insight into your emotions and drive and you can talk about your feelings with great insight and fluidity.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Things are happening and your career or path depends upon your own ambition, which is strong now. You are able to use good common sense and can feel the trends of the future. You make your plans now for the changes you want to make this workweek. This is a time to get ahead by taking action. You are riding a high now in terms of taking advantage of the cycles in your life. This may be a high-water time for you. However, this is also the beginning of a series of years during which you should begin to consolidate and tie down the advances you have made in recent years—invest. Community endeavors may hold your attention for some time to come. You are interested, as many of us, in making the world a better place.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) This is a time to get ahead by taking action; particularly, when it comes to advancement or project changes. Support and recognition should be pouring out to you from both the public and the family. You feel at home in the world and it more than takes care of you. There is success in your future and you can feel it. Good advice from a guide or older person may be worth your attention this afternoon. Now is a good time to make drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine; your body will thank you. Exercise is not only good for the body but can be a form of meditation. You could have deep insights into your own feelings and inner, spiritual nature at this time. Tonight is a good time to soak in some bath bubbles or relax in a sauna.


INFORMATION

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

35 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 112 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368

Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw

For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 HOSPITALS Sabah Hospital

24812000

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24874330/9 CLINICS

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22630786

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24810221

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4719048

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4732263

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3900322

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 AIRLINES

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

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Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

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Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

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22436184 24833967

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New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

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PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

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22561444

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22619557

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22525888

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25653755

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25620111

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Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3

Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288

25345875

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22636464

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali

22633135

Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

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36

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Travel

Cherry blossoms

By Ben Garcia apan attracts millions of visitors every year. The number of foreign visitors rise during spring when cherry blossoms (Sakura in Japanese) grandiosely display its breathtaking beauty and gentle scents. There is something about cherry blossoms that attract people’s attention from all walks of life, which I discovered after my close encounter with the Japanese national flower. Its peculiar assets are its mild fragrance, and pinkish-white colors which naturally exude serenity and calmness. The famous trees are considered a magnet for tourists in Japan. It has been the subject of many stories, and most of the time attracts front and cover pages of several newspapers and magazines here in Kuwait. Visitors won’t leave Japan without

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vast cultural heritage. Cherry blossoms viewing was one of my best times in Tokyo but also unique and unforgettable encounters with remarkable cherry blossoms. The garden was huge. Judging from what I have witnessed, flocks of people viewing cherry blossoms were really unbelievable. A majority of its excited visitors were tourists from different countries of the world including China and Korea, Europeans, American countries. The countless people I saw under the blossoming tree are proof of how the cherry blossoms are adored by visitors. Some tourists were camping under the tree, many captured images and videos that admired the beauty of cherry blossoms. Indeed, cherry blossoms are undeniably, the most famous and alluring attraction in Tokyo during spring.

blossoms are indigenous to many Asian states including Japan, Korea and China. Japan boasts of a wide variety of cherry blossoms in about 200 species. The blossoming trees can display its natural beauty and endure up to three weeks depending on the weather and locations. We were fortunate to witness the blossoming trees in Tokyo during the launch of direct flight of Emirates Airlines from Dubai to Tokyo. In the night, the media group (from the Middle East) was treated to a stage presentation at the Yasukuni Shrine, a location under the blossoming cheery trees. It snowed in the morning, so the outdoor event held at night was freezing indeed! Happo-En The tour to Tokyo started in Happo-En, a famous traditional venue for weddings and entertainment with a magic touch of Japanese garden with a pond in the center. There are greeneries and several historic teahouses located inside Happo En. The garden is also adorned with several large and small stone lanterns that are traditionally seen at Japanese gardens. The stones were preserved and until now displayed at the venue. The place was established in late 17th century by Okubo Hikozaemon, the trusted shogun adviser. During Meiji period, it was the site of the palatial residence of Shibuwasa Kisaku, a cousin and close associate of Shibuwasa Eiichi, the founder of Japanese capitalism.

Asukusa Sensoji (Kannon) Temple —Photos by Ben Garcia At the venue, we were treated to Japanese traditional music over some sumptuous lunch. We enjoyed assorted Japanese hors d’ouevres, seafood sashimi with fresh lobster, famous cheery blossom infused octopus and bamboo shoot as starter. Orange sherbet was served as refreshment . We then prepared to have some heavy main course which included roast beef fillet which was served in mushroom sauce. Traditional Miso soup and tofu with matching rice in sea-urchin and Abalone was also served. Our dinner was served at Yakatabune Cruise. It was initially planned that we would be treated at a night boat cruising at the Sumida River which flows down to Tokyo bay, but since the temperature was unbearable at night, the Yakatabune Cruise was chosen as the ideal venue. We enjoyed

The Middle East media group posing in front of Nijubashi Bridge at the entrance of Imperial Palace.

Akihabara area

A remarkable snap of cherry blossoms outside the Imperial Palace.

Fish market area Most of the cherry blossom festivals fall between March-May. In fact, cherry blossom festivals were on-going during our visit. The cherry blossoms festival has always been the biggest, if not the grandest and most colorful spring occasions according to our tour. In fact, visitors will be amazed at various practices associated with cherry blossoms. From foods to decorations, to paintings and movies, cherry blossoms have already occupied a place in their culture, and almost everything about their daily lives. Cherry

to Tokyo. In 1888, the construction of the new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style afterwards.

Happo En entrance

At Tsukiji market

experiencing the exquisiteness and unique charm of cherry blossoms. Yes, I must admit, I told myself, I won’t leave Japan unless I experienced and examined the tree closer enough which I really did. A Japanese government tour-guide who did not wish to disclose her name accompanied our team from the Middle East, to a famous cherry blossoms viewing site. The place is called Ueno - a garden right in front of the National Museum—about ten minutes walk away from the central museum where we also spent and discovered the country’s

some beverages and spoke to Geishas. The Geisha girls were an added attraction at the Yakatabune Cruise Boat. They performed some incredible traditional Japanese dances and visitors could request their favorite

Maiji Jinju (Shinto Shrine)

songs over karaoke. Visitors are encouraged to sing as well while cruising across the famous Sumida River. A Geisha was previously associated with prostitution, according to the accounts relayed to us by our tour guide. However, now Geishas are used to entertain Yakatabune visitors. The cruise was famous for tourists, especially at night as visitors could see the beauty of Tokyo along river banks from outside and inside the boat. From the upper deck of the boat, which I discovered was made in Cebu Philippines; you could see the beautiful cherry blossoms illuminated with lamplights and traditional Japanese lanterns. Imperial Plaza A visit to the Japanese Imperial Palace (park) was another remarkable experience to remember. It is a place where the head of state, the Japanese Emperor’s family, resides. The Imperial Plaza, or Kokyo Gaien as most Japanese people call it, is located right at the entrance of the Japanese Imperial household. The Kokyo Gaien is a large park-like area located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The total area including the garden covers an area of 7.41 square kilometers. Our tour guide explained that the plaza has become a jogging and picnic activity area for many Japanese and foreign visitors who visit or live around Tokyo Prefecture. When we arrived at around 9:30 am, the palace garden was already teeming with visitors. We were only allowed up to the main entrance of the palace which is called Nijubashi Bridge. The Emperor’s family lives there. The palace is surrounded by large stone walls and moats. The famous entrance which is open for public viewing has a site where the best photo sessions are held for any visitor-the Nijubashi Bridge. The Nijubashi Bridge is famous and has been an important landmark as it serves as an entrance to the inner sanctum of the palace. The plaza boasts of magnificent greeneries, pine trees which have been flourishing there for centuries, adding to the breathtaking ambiance of the place where the royals live. From the entrance of the palace, you would notice several remarkable but modern buildings built just across the street, not far away. The Imperial Palace was said to be the center of the Tokugawa shogun empire who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown in a bloodless military take-over, and the country’s capital and Imperial Residence was moved from Kyoto

Meiji Jinju Meiji Jinju (Shinto Shrine) was next on our tour spree in the capital of Japan. The main shrine is located next to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Completed in 1920, Meiji Jinju was the biggest Shinto Shrine in Japan. It is known for holding various traditional events related to Shinto religion including traditional weddings. The main shrine can be reached by walking about 20 minutes from its entrance near Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line or Meiji-jingu-mae Station. Shinto religion is known for its nature worship. And so, the place boasts of thousand century old trees and several species of birds and man-friendly animals. Meiji Jinju Shrine was dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and wife Empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan. In fact, the two are known for westernizing and modernizing Japan. Our group was able to experience how the Shinto rituals are being performed before offering prayers. Visitors can also leave a prayer note in exchange of a five yen coin. They believed that the prayers and wishes could come true. Branded boutiques, shops The Harajuku and Omotesando areas are also famous for signature, branded boutiques and shops which are frequented by the young and wealthy Japanese and foreign visitors. It was a big alley, complete with shops that contain famous fashion products. The group discovered the real luxurious life led in Japan. Tsukiji Market Another tourist and popular place for foreign visitors in central Tokyo is the Tsukiji (Fish) Market. The market is located at Tsukiji, the most famous market among the ten or so similar fish markets located in Japan. The fish market handles more than 2,000 metric tons of fish every day. The market also handles distribution of fruits, vegetables, meat and flowers to metropolitan Tokyo. The group arrived at the Tsukiji market around 9 am, right after attending an auction where fish were sold. However, the market is crowded with foreign tourists at that time. One of the best things I noticed inside the fish market was the fact that the place did not stink. In fact, I was amazed at the fact that most of the marine creatures on sale were either alive (in aquariums) or were readily and beautifully packed. Continued on Page 37


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Travel

Visitors at the entrance of Imperial Palace. Continued from Page 36 Akihabara The electronic city, known to many as Akihabara, was another place on the list to visit in central Tokyo. Akihabara, or Akiba for short, is a huge place for electronic shopping. It houses thousands of electronic shops selling electronic items beyond the imagination. Whether it is a desktop computer or a laptop, anime or otaku goods, new or used, they have a place in Akiba. Akiba is located on the eastern side of the central Chiyoda region. Chuo-Dori was

ing. The food service rituals at these cafes are an outrageous experience. They begin by taking an order while the drinks are made right in front of you. The maid often shares tricks or jokes with their valued customers. “The concept is very popular among visitors and Japanese alike, admitted our tour

busiest place I visited on my Tokyo tour. The tower features a main observation deck that commands a panoramic view of Tokyo but also in a place where you can glimpse the famous Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba. It will allow you a 360 degree view of Tokyo. Tokyo Disneyland and several famous Shinto and Buddhist Shrines and other

Japanese server at a restaurant in front of Tokyo Tower. the name of Akiba’s main street where we wandered for almost two hours. Our tour guide noted that retailing electronic items in Akiba began just right after World War II when a large demand for radios spurred the growth of a black market. The prices could vary as the competition was stiff among electronic shops. We started our stroll in Akiba at Maid’s cafe where beautiful young ladies met our group with a big smile. It has been a tradition to welcome visitors at Maid’s cafe first. Maid’s cafe was a concept which mushroomed at Akiba. Today, according to our tour-guide, there are about 100 Maid’s cafes located throughout Akiba. At these cafe, waitresses wear maid’s uniforms to evoke their willingness to serve their customers in a more personalized but creative and artistic manner. The maid (waitress) will approach each visitor as if they are in a casual bar. They sit and talk with each guest close enough for a customer to smell what kind of perfume she is wear-

Geisha girls at Yakatabune cruise. guide. “Besides electronic shops, visitors are coming here because of them. It is an added attraction at Akiba indeed.” Tokyo Tower Our next stop was a tour of Tokyo Tower (or Nihon Depanto in Japanese). Nihon Depanto was completed in 1958 and has since become a symbol of tourism in Japan. The Tokyo Tower was originally built as a communication and observation tower. It is 333 meters in height and is still the tallest iron supported tower in Tokyo. The next tallest tower was halfway finished when we visited Japan, but it will replace Tokyo Tower as their landmark once completed. The old Tokyo Tower was the

buildings were clearly visible. At night, the tower is illuminated with an orange light in winter and white incandescent light in summer to delight visitors and passers-by. Odaiba Aqua City Odaiba is a large reclaimed island in the Tokyo Bay area. Odaiba offers an ambience for shoppers and people who

The Chuo Doro, main street at Akihabara. want to enjoy recreation away from the busy roads and crowded streets of Tokyo’s metropolitan area. Odaiba is a 30 minute drive away from central Tokyo. Originally, Odaiba was a series of six island fortresses constructed in 1853 by Egawa Hidetatsu for the Tokugawa shogunate in order to protect Edo from an attack from the sea. It was reconstructed in the 1950’s for military purposes and again renovated in the 1990’s. Now it is a famous residential and commercial leisure area. Visiting Odaiba was a journey well worth remembering. Odaiba boasts a famous, but slightly smaller replica of New York’s Statue of Liberty. Odadiba City is linked by a white, instead of the original orange, replica of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. In Japan the bridge is referred to as the Rainbow Bridge. We enjoyed window shopping and several photos of the Statue of Liberty as well as a live magician show organized for kids and adults visitors. Odaiba hosts several commercial festivals, from car exhibitions to recreational activities. It is also where Venus Mall is located. The mall is complete with all amenities for recreation and shopping pleasure.

which change water level according to the tide. The three centuries old pine tree is one of many attractions in addition to the original teahouses, beautiful Japanese lanterns and the remarkable flower farm gardens. We visited many places in Tokyo during our tour but the one thing that real-

ly amazed me was the hospitality and ever modest people of Japan. Despite their stature as one of few first class cities in the world, and the fact that Japan has the second largest economy in the world, their attitude is an amazing manifestation of a great nation.

Shinto ceremony before entering the shrine.

Asukusa Sensoji (Kannon) Temple & Nakamise shopping street These places are a combination of unforgettable shopping, spiritual and historical areas. A portion of the temple was under-construction when we visited the Kannon Temple but the main altar of the temple was opened for worshippers. A Buddhist monk was chanting prayers when we visited the temple and while some visitors were seen offering prayers and incense, others were hurling coins at the altar. Initially we were forbidden to take pictures of the altar, but were eventually allowed to. We enjoyed a rickshaw ride through Asukusa while the young Japanese man dragging the rickshaw would sometimes share some of Asukusa’s history. He explained that the bell enshrined on the outside of the famous temple was the only surviving bell of World War II. He noted that the bell was hidden by a young monk underground during the war because much of the available metal during those times were surrendered to the government to be used as a weapon. Hama Rikyu Garden Another historical garden we visited was the Ha Rikyu garden, located alongside the Tokyo Bay area. The garden of a feudal lords’ residence during the Edo Period is one of Tokyo’s most attractive landscape gardens. It was first created by Tokugawa shoguns 300 years ago for its excellent duck hunting location. The area is surrounded by several artificial ponds, made of seawater,

Visitors write wishes at the Shinto Shrine


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fashion

Stella McCartney for GapKids and babyGap ap is proud to announce the second collection of Stella McCartney for GapKids and babyGap Spring Summer 2010. Launching in stores from the this month, Stella’s second collection captures the essence of a perfect childhood summer wardrobe. Paired-down essentials are set against playful, distinctive pieces to create an eclectic design mix that allows kids to create their own unique style statement. The delicate ‘Stella’ zig-zag hemmed dress in embroidered cotton sets the tone, evoking the romance of simple summer dressing. Softly crumpled linens and cottons in signature muted hues are the foundations for timeless styles for all ages. For girls, the ‘Lily’ eyelet drop-waist dress and soft-pink ‘Anna’ ruffle blouse. For boys, a striped voile collar-less shirt or grey roll-up short. For babies, a grey linen collared romper suit or cotton smocked blouse with matching bloomer. Crochet details compliment the neutral palette, as a cuff on a linen tunic top for babies, and as a girl’s cotton/cashmere ‘Mercy’ shift dress with butterfly design. Classic summer stripes and indigo shades reiterate a sense of modern nostalgia. For babies, the ‘Moses’ merino onesie comes in navy and cream sailor stripe whilst the girls ‘Bea’ navy cotton ruffle blouse is effortless, worn with a cream skinny jean. For toddler boys, the ‘Beckett’, a summer jacket in mix-matched blue and white stripes and table-cloth check. An

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oversized anchor motif offers a signature Stella touch, printed on sweaters for babies and boys and on a girl’s knitted cotton sleeveless dress. Bright block colours and pop prints provide contrast, creating playful summer moments. Bright ginger and rainforest green infuse kicks of colour in a boy’s slim jean and girl’s ‘Olivia’ hooded beach cover-up. Tropical fish decorate the

boys ‘Elliot’ swim trunks and the girls ‘Bailey’ cotton sundress. A glow in the dark cloud print becomes the basis of a toddler boys pyjama set and Stella’s iconic horse print is placed on a girl’s envelope tee. Favourites from Stella’s debut Gap collection are updated in bold shades, including the unisex pacamac, superhero ‘Fitz’ tee and hi-top trainer. Stella’s recognisable aesthetic is found in the essential denim and organic jersey separates that complete the collection. The ‘Lula’ girls denim shirt and boys denim roll-up short are wear-with-all styles, understated and versatile, combined with key accessories like a ribbon espadrille or boys denim ‘Arthur’ pump, they offer the perfect capsule wardrobe for kids to dress up as themselves. Available in store from the beginning of April, in select GapKids and babyGap stores in the United States, Canada, UK, France, Ireland and Japan. In addition the collection will be available in selected stores in Russia, Turkey, Greece, Asia and the Middle East. The collection will also be available online from the beginning of April in the US. Stella McCartney comments, “For this second collection I wanted to design pieces that ensure your child looks like an individual with their own style statement, a mixture of simple minimal styles and more detailed pieces to create a summer wardrobe for all your kids’ needs.”

Gap features simpler relaxed fashion new lightness, ease and innocence for Summer ’10. With echoes of a simpler lifestyle, extending the relaxed spirit of weekends in the country into the working week, back in the city. The fresh faced simplicity of days spent in the garden, reinterpreted with a feminine, modern sense of style and individuality. Mini floral prints are mismatched and layered into a kaleidoscope of pretty color. Dresses are worn in the style of aprons, layered over shirts. Patchwork denim completes the look. Accessories are key and reinforce the personal approach - patchwork floral scarves, bags, belts and hats add a new dimension. Shoe fabrications reflect a connection with the outdoors and nature, featuring cork, jute and floral prints. The ease of spirit continues in shades of ivory, ecru and off pastels, with wispy fabrics and frayed edges. Broderie anglaise tops and dresses are inspired by vintage cotton underpinnings that may have been found in grandmother’s attic and are given a modern grounding with destructed white denim and Pierre Hardy’s super high espadrille platform wedges. Folk rock inspired denim continues the relaxed mood but with a toughened edge. Soft, love-worn shades of denim jeans, raw edge cutoff shorts and chambray pieces are mixed with graphic tees and butter soft leather shirts or supersoft khaki parkas. Worn over bikinis in a range of mini-florals or bandana prints, with layered jewelry adding personal style. For men, the feeling of country weekends appears in the shape of workwear inspired carpenter pockets on jeans and double layer, mismatched plaids or bandana print shirts, with a touch of mini floral, in the softest cottons. Cargo pockets on khaki shorts and pants continue the story. Shorts in khaki and denim feature a raw edge, reminiscent of your favorite pair of vintage jeans and khakis, given a second life. Denim jackets are re-interpreted as longer-line blazers or in railroad stripes. A soft ivory and neutral story sees layers of seersucker, pastel knits and pale heathered sweaters blended with chambray and white denim.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Fashion Falls Expressway where the downtown farmers’ market sets up on seasonal Sundays. His signature look is a collision of cartooning and graffiti. Brightly colored monsters are his trademark, but he prefers his creatures to be of the cute, cheerful variety. “I think there’s something really wonderfully playful and smart about John’s work,” says Ashley Ulmer, who runs Green Eyed Monster with her sister and was Marra’s resident hall adviser at Goucher College. “There’s something very endearing about what he does.” Marra hopes to propel the Dooce (www.dooce.com) buzz about his custom accessories into a steadier paycheck. He got blogger Heather B. Armstrong’s attention in January when he sent her a pair of shoes for her baby, Marlo. She fell for the

ohn Marra couldn’t quite believe it when mommy blogger Dooce went online last month to rave about his custom sneakers. It’s something special to get a mention from one of the most influential bloggers in the country. But when she calls your work “genius,” it’s cause for celebration-to say nothing of increased orders. “It was totally, totally unexpected,” says Marra, a Baltimore artist who works behind the name (real_bot). “I don’t even have business cards!” Marra, who is 25, lives in a shared house near the Charles

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Village neighborhood and makes ends meet by waiting tables at Donna’s and giving art lessons to at-risk children through the Art with a Heart program. He has also lent his illustrations for the Web site Green Eyed Monster, which also sells two canvas bags that he designed. Around Baltimore, people might be more familiar with his work decorating walls and pillars. There’s the huge mural he contributed to in Fells Point on the side of the Bank of America building. And his unmistakable style brightens a pillar under the Jones

John Marra paints a custom design on a pair of canvas sneakers sent to him by a grandmother. (Right) John Marra, 25 works from his home in the Barclay neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, March 22, 2010. —MCT photos

tennies, which he painted with clouds and flying hippos. The blogger has a well-known affection for hippos. Armstrong sent him back a postcard of thanks, but didn’t mention that she’d soon be blogging about his work. After the late-February mention, Marra has seen steady orders for the shoes-which cost $150 for adult pairs, $80 for children’s sizes and $50 for baby pairs. The Green Eyed Monster site handles his sales. A woman from Fort Worth, Texas, wanted a pair with a design that included each of her three grandchildren. A mom in Philadelphia wanted a pair of vegan slippers painted for her daughter. Someone even wanted him to customize her bowling shoes. Marra encourages customers to send him their old or new shoes along with a concept for him to work with. He’ll sketch out a design, e-mail it back to them for approval, and then send back the one-of-a-kind shoes within a couple of weeks. And he doesn’t just paint shoes _ if it’s paintable, he’ll happily leave his signature on it. At his house, he worked on the pair for the Fort Worth grandmother in the second-floor studio he shares with his girlfriend, artist Rachel Boss. Using oil-based paint pens, he sketched in little red heart characters to represent each grandchild, and had them sitting on buoyant shooting stars. Shawn James, community arts coordinator for Baltimore’s Office of Promotion & the Arts, hired Marra to work on the murals, mainly because of the sense of fun that comes through in his painting. “What I think really appeals to people about his work is it’s fun and eclectic,” James says. “Everyone has their style, but his stands out.” —MCT

‘Locked’ up:

Hair style can indicate social, religious or fashion choice rystal Bowersox rocks, it’s plain to see. The folksy guitar-slinger from rural Ohio has thus far dominated this lackluster season of “American Idol” with her vocal prowess and easygoing stage presence. So why, then, are so many people hung up on her hair? Via blogs and messages boards, fans have issued proclamations on the long, blonde, ropelike dreadlocks that Bowersox, 24, sports. Some love them, but some deride them with a passion. Venomous adjectives such as “dirty, filthy, and trashy” have been used to describe them. “(They’re) ugly and make her look cheap,” insisted one poster. She’s a “fake sister,” claimed another, referring to the fact that dreadlocks are mostly associated with black hair. All this vitriol underscores the many stigmas and stereotypes attached to a hairstyle that dates back to ancient Egypt and, more recently, is often associated with reggae artist Bob Marley, a member of the Rastafari movement. But even though such mainstream

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Michelle Robinson, owner of Naturally Yours Hair Care, ‘retwists’ in a client’s new hair growth, April 15, 2010 in Oakland, California. —MCT photos of UC Berkeley, recalls how sororities and certain clubs shunned her. “Before I had dreadlocks, I remember being approached by lots of campus (recruiters),” she says. “Afterward, they would just smile and let me walk on by without handing me their fliers. ... They probably didn’t think I fit into their demographic.” Like others who favor dreadlocks, Aiken has seen them arouse curiosity in friends and strangers “(A lot of people

Jason Howard swings his dreadlocks through the air in the backyard of his home, April 18, 2010, in Oakland, California. celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, singers Lenny Kravitz and Adam Duritz, baseball star Manny Ramirez and author Alice Walker, have sprouted dreadlocks through the years, it’s a hairstyle that remains highly misunderstood. “I can’t tell you how many people have approached me trying to buy, sell, or give me pot,” says Ludovic Blain, a Berkeley resident who has worn dreadlocks for 14 years. “And I don’t smoke anything.” Although he believes his thick tresses have gained more acceptance in recent years, Blain, who has a Cornell University education and an administrative position, has seen them provoke false perceptions in job interviews and some social circles. “People struggle to fit me in a box, especially when I leave a major metropolitan area,” he says. “Am I a radical?

Am I homeless? Lazy? ... At this point, I just chuckle.” Jason Howard can relate. The 36year-old Oakland, Calif., professional recently hosted his mother, who flew in from North Carolina for a visit. She took one look at her son’s cascade of robust dreadlocks and pulled him aside to ask if he was involved with drugs and gangs. “I explained to her that my hair hasn’t changed me as a person,” he says. “It just fits my persona, and I feel it looks good on me.” L oretta Green-Williams, 56, and Jordan Aiken, 23, have their own tales of dreadlocks woe. Green-Williams, a Pittsburg, Calif., resident, notices how people “talk down” to her and question her intellect-never mind that she holds a master’s degree from University of San Francisco. Aiken, a recent graduate

want to come up and touch them”). She has also dealt with what might be the biggest misconception about dreadlocks: that they’re the unclean, unkempt byproduct of neglect. “They’re not dirty. I wash my hair. I really do,” she says, laughing. “No one ever says they smell bad or anything.” Indeed, Michelle Robinson, who specializes in “locking” (or knitting) hair in her Oakland salon, Naturally Yours, insists that the hairstyle actually can be very high maintenance with some dreadheads spending several hours a week on grooming and upkeep. “There’s a lot of ignorance out there. What we’re basically talking about is just a larger strand of hair,” says Robinson, who prefers to drop the word “dread” from the term. “It’s not dreadful. It’s clean and beautiful,” she stresses. Robinson estimates that 70 percent of her clientele have locks. Her customers include “attorneys, doctors, teachers, preachers and business owners” who undergo a process in which the hair is separated into strands that are tightly twisted into coils. It generally takes six months to a year for the locks to set. What some don’t realize, Robinson says, is that many black women choose locks not to take an easy way out, but to “save” their hair. “As time goes on, all the (hair-relaxing) chemicals they’ve used can lead to hair breakage,” she points out. “This is a way to go more natural. For some, this is the final destiny.” One issue concerning the hairstyle is tinged with tension: Who should wear them? For Rastafarians, dreadlocks are a symbol of inner spirituality. Moreover, for many blacks, dreadlocks represent a vivid rejection of assimilation and an expression of racial pride. That’s why some regard Caucasians with locks as “culture vultures.” Lanita Jacobs-Huey, an associate professor of anthropology and ethnic studies at the University of Souther n California, says it’s a subject that often comes up in her classes. “Someone will say: ‘I saw a white person with locks and I don’t know how I feel about it,’” she says. “... For me, personally, it always seems interesting and different (to see a white person with locks). Who knows what their spiritual or cultural predilections might be? Or is it just a fashion statement?” Green-Williams, who has Rastafarian relatives, says she has “a problem with anyone who takes culture and turns it into a fad. “I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to wear the style, but I prefer it if there is some knowledge invested in their choice and that a certain level of respect and reverence is shown,” she says. “It would be like me wearing a yarmulke: What point are you trying to make?” John Meagher, 21, a white Oakland

resident and lead singer in a rock band, has had locks for two years. He says his hair choice has drawn compliments from black acquaintances. “Maybe it’s because I really don’t go for a Rasta vibe. I’m not pretending to be something I’m not,” he says. “I actually hate reggae.” For the record, Bowersox, who has had her locks for four-plus years, has said in various interviews that she has no intention of snipping them off just to please the “Idol” voters. That sentiment draws a hearty cheer from Aiken, who has sported her blonde locks for a similar amount of time. “It’s a singing competition. They should probably focus on her voice,” she says. “If she loves her locks, I think she should just rock them and ignore what the people are saying. They’re probably just jealous anyway.” ‘Locked in Bob Marley and Whoopi Goldberg didn’t invent dreadlocks. The hairstyle has been around for thousands of years. Here’s a brief run through history: Along the Nile: The first known examples of dreadlocks date back to

Donna Moore, of Vallejo, California, poses for a portrait of her dreadlocked hair at Naturally Yours Hair Care.

ancient Egypt, where images of the hairstyle appeared on various artifacts. It has been said that, when he died, King Tutankhamun was wearing dreadlocks. Religious persuasions: Several ascetic groups within major religions have embraced the hairstyle through the years, including the Sadhus of Hinduism and the Coptic monks of Christianity. The tresses that provided Sampson with all that strength? Dreadlocks. The Rastafari: For a Rasta, dreadlocks are an expression of inner spirituality and an effort to live in accordance with the laws of nature. According to a Rastafarian proverb, “A man who cuts his hair is like a tree without leaves.” Slavery: Shackled slaves grew dreadlocks during the long trip from Africa to America. According to author Jeffer y Bradley (“Don’t Wor r y, Be Nappy”), the slave trader cut them off because they considered them “dreadful.” Many blacks today wear the hairstyle as an expression of individuality and racial pride. —MCT


www.kuwaittimes.net

An Emirati man looks at a painting by Lebanese artist Zena Al-Khalil, exhibited by Christie’s in Dubai on April 25, 2010. Christie’s will host its seventh auction of international modern and contemporary art in the Gulf emirate on April 28. (Right) An Emirati man looks at a black and white photograph by Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al-Dowayan, exhibited by Christie’s in Dubai. — AFP

Reality TV shatters taboos in India aboos are tumbling in India as new notions of sex, relationships and personal liberty displace traditional values. Nowhere are these changes more visible than on the myriad reality TV shows. Programs like Emotional Atyachar (Emotional Torture) and Sach Ka Samna (Face The Truth) seem designed to shock the older generation in a country rooted in tradition but whose television schedules increasingly resemble the United States or other Western countries. Previously, middle class Indians were glued to family dramas in tame daily soaps that usually revolved around the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationshipa crucial yet often tensionfilled one in Indian families. Though these remain popular, most private channels now dedicate a nightly slot to reality shows that shock and titillate, featuring brash youngsters who flirt, argue and shamelessly selfpromote. They are a force for social change, for better or for worse, and are drawing thousands of fans but making plenty of enemies along the way. “Negative emotions have always been around in India but were hidden or well-covered,” says Raghav Jha, a sociologist in Mumbai. “By bringing it in the open, reality shows have found a way to justify them and have made them acceptable,” said Jha,

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This file photo taken on February 24, 2007 shows Indian Bollywood actress and winner of the controversial British reality television program ‘Big Brother’ Shilpa Shetty smiling during a press conference in Mumbai. —AFP

who works for a private media-research organization. “Reality shows are making millions of Indians believe that it is good to abuse, cool to misbehave, openly share their sexual encounters and justify any act by yelling,” he said. In the last five years, production companies have broadcast Indian versions of popular American and European shows, such as “American Idol”, “The Moment of Truth”, “Big Brother”, the “Fear Factor” and “I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here”. The genre was propelled to the forefront of Indian popular culture three years ago when Shilpa Shetty, a Bollywood star at home but relatively unknown to the wider world, entered Britain’s “Big Brother” house. Shetty was the victim of racist bullying led by British reality TV stalwart Jade Goody-who died of cancer 13 months ago-in a global scandal that led to responses from the British and Indian governments and the show’s suspension. Since then indigenous concepts and productions have been growing fast. In one, Rahul Mahajan, a 30something from a political family who was arrested in a 2006 drug abuse case, chose a wife on the big budget “Rahul Dulhaniya Lejayange” (Rahul Will Take The Bride) after dating more than a dozen contestants on the show. In “Emotional

This file photo taken on August 2, 2009 shows reality television star Rakhi Sawant announcing her engagement to Elesh Parujanwala , whom she chose among 16 eligible bachelors, at the conclusion of the series ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ at the Hotel Leela Kempinski in Mumbai. —AFP Torture”, men and women watch their partners when attractive “honey traps” are sent round to flirt with them. In a country where parents traditionally select and suggest partners for their children and extramarital sex is taboo, both shows were bound to run into criticism. In another show that challenged the rigid caste system, children from rich families in Mumbai try out slumdwelling with the low-caste “untouchables” in scenes

Singapore’s ‘void decks’ reflect racial rainbow tanding in two rows with knees bent, 10 men slowly pushed their palms out against a slight breeze during a Chinese “tai chi” martial arts session on the ground floor of a public housing block. In similar places across the island, Malay weddings were taking place and Indian children shared playgrounds with kids from other races, including the occasional white boy or girl from expatriate families renting public flats. Just a typical weekend in Singapore’s “void decks”-the shared open spaces under highrise government-built apartments scattered across the densely populated city-state. With more than 80 percent of its ethnically diverse people staying in public flats-and foreigners now accounting for a third of the population of five million-void decks are an

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important part of daily life in Singapore. Like blank canvasses on which Singapore’s ethnic rainbow is painted, void decks host everything from weddings and funerals to romantic trysts and day-long chequers sessions that draw retirees from all ethnic groups. “The void deck is a place for collective idling’,” said Chua Beng Huat, a professor with the National University of Singapore’s sociology department. More than that, sharing the space is also part of Singapore’s strictly enforced social policies aimed at ensuring harmony among the races in a region often torn by religious and ethnic strife. Flats in every public housing estate are apportioned in accordance with Singapore’s ethnic mix — 77 percent Chinese, 14 percent Malay and eight percent

This photo taken on March 22, 2010 shows two Singaporean retirees play checkers at the void deck of a public housing block in Singapore. —AFP photos

that would revolt conservative Hindus. The winner of the “Big Switch”, a monthlong contest, took home prize money of 21,000 dollars after charming viewers while shining shoes, selling books at traffic lights and doing other menial tasks normally reserved for the poor. Najma Heptulla, a member of parliament from the western state of Rajasthan, has campaigned against reality shows, some of which she says are vulgar and un-

Indian. She has particularly targeted the Indian version of “The Moment of Truth”, which sees participants asked questions such as whether they had slept with a prostitute or with a girl younger than their daughter. “We are not Britain and we are not America. We are in India,” said Heptulla, who has demanded the show be pulled off air. “We have different values and we have a different kind of living system. “And I think, looking at

our society, it doesn’t match with it at all,” she told AFP. Whether it matches or not, the desire to take part is undeniable as aspiring actors and college students, many from remote villages and towns, rush for the chance to take part. During one audition held in March on the outskirts of New Delhi for the show “Indian Idol”, there was a stampede when contestants fought to enter the audition venue, which left 12 wannabe contestants injured.

Reality television actors agree that the shows might not be edifying viewing, but they defend their role. “These shows are having a wonderful impact because I think people are opening up. They’re moving along with the times,” says Revika Desai, a contestant for an upcoming show scheduled for April this year. Producers say reality TV is bound to stir objections given that the format is predicated on the idea of revealing personal and often embarrassing secrets in public-anathema to many in India. Meanwhile, viewing figures go from strength-tostrength. “After just five years, the reality genre now holds over 13 percent of the general entertainment space,” said Siddhartha Mukherjee, a senior official at Television Audience Measurement, a TV viewership monitoring agency. Mukherjee said family dramas still held a majority share of viewing figures but the growth of reality shows was “phenomenal”. Critics, however, say people are being duped in huge numbers. “Very few people in India understand that a larger format of these shows are scripted and the chaos is preplanned too,” said PN Vasanti, director of Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi. “The concept is here to stay though and it is for certain taking a toll on Indian culture,” she said. —AFP

Sopranos-style TV sparks concerns on Armenian crime rates A

Indian, based on a 2000 census-to prevent racial enclaves from forming. Ethnic harmony is paramount to Singapore, which experienced race riots in the 1960s and is keen to avoid the tensions that periodically flare up in neighboring Malaysia. In two recent cases played up by local media, a Christian pastor was forced to apologize publicly for slurs against Taoists and Buddhists, while three Chinese youngsters are being investigated for antiIndian rants on the web. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has used the void decks to underscore the need for ethnic tolerance, citing a rare incident that could have caused racial tensions to flare. Lee related in a national day speech last August that families organizing a Chinese funeral and a Malay wedding were in a tussle for the same void deck, but the situation was defused with the intervention of community leaders. “If such an incident had been wrongly handled and you have a case which escalates into a racial or a religious conflict, then one case is bad enough,” he said. For most Singaporeans, void decks are simply a neutral place to hang

out and mix it up. Wong Phui San, a 59-year-old retiree, takes a short bus ride to another district to play chequers because players there are up to his skill level. “What else is there to do if I don’t come here? This way I don’t have to spend money. I’ll only need to take the bus and I can spend my day here,” said Wong. Weddings of ethnic Malays are often held at void decks on weekends. Planners are called in to transform the space into a ballroom as the cement floors are carpeted, walls draped with long cloth and flowers, and a temporary dais is set up for the bride and groom. “One main reason why the void deck is a popular wedding venue for the Malays is that it’s cost-efficient,” said Nurdyana Lim, a Malay wedding planner. The large scale of Malay weddings evolved from the village tradition of involving the entire family, long-lost relatives and neighbors to help out with the ceremony in the spirit of community, she said. “They can invite more than 1,000 guests and not worry about having to spend as much as if they were to book a hotel ballroom,” she added. —AFP

ctor Harutyun Movsisian has no doubt why his character Hovo has become one of the best-loved and most popular figures on Armenian television. “Hovo is very kind, he respects his family and his wife, and he loves his country,” said Movsisian, who is one of the ex-Soviet republic’s most recognisable faces since he started playing Hovo on television series “The Trap” in 2008. “He is surrounded by jackals, dishonest, cruel characters and he fights for justice and to protect ordinary people.” Given the description, one might think Hovo was a police officer, a crusading lawyer or even an Armenian version of superspy Jack Bauer on American television series “24”. But Hovo is in fact the head of an organized crime family and “The Trap” one of a slew of Sopranos-style television series that have taken Armenia by storm. But as the popularity of these mafia dramas has grown, so have Armenia’s crime rates, and police are raising concerns that the glorification of crime bosses is to blame. Last year “The Trap” was the highest-rated program on Armenian television, according to AGB Nielsen Media Research’s Yerevan office, with more than 27 percent of

Armenian viewers tuning in every day to watch Hovo struggle with corrupt police and rival gangs as he ran his criminal empire. Similar programs featuring hero gangsters, including “The Orphans”, “The Price of Life”, and “Happy Unhappiness”, were all in the top five most-watched. Many of the programs, including “The Trap”, have now ended but thanks to their popularity many new mafia dramas are now in production. Overall crime rates in Armenia,

meanwhile, jumped 54.7 percent last year and police say local television’s love affair with the criminal world is partly responsible. “These programs are propaganda for criminality,” Armenian police spokesman Sayat Shirinian said. “Glorifying criminals, humiliating the police and showing that violence is the answer of course will have an effect on people’s morals and lead to an increase in criminality.” Critics are especially worried about the impact of the pro-

grams on children. “These series are teaching new behavior-that murder, terror or blackmail are the fastest and most effective way to solve problems,” child psychologist Khachatur Gasparian said. “Children identify with the heroes of these programs and become more aggressive and uncontrollable.” Some have even raised concerns that the programs are damaging Armenia’s international image by portraying the country as a hotbed of crime. —AFP

Armenian actors portraying cops and gangsters film a scene for a Sopranos-style television series in Yerevan on April 21, 2010. —AFP

27 April  

First Daily in Arabian Gulf