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NO: 14722

150 FILS

Gaza smokers forced to cough up as Hamas seeks cash

Prince Harry to fly Apache attack helicopters

Bhutto’s niece tells Pakistan tale through own bloody past

Australia send message by overpowering India





Dubai names more suspects in killing DUBAI: Dubai police have named five new suspects in the killing of a senior Hamas militant at a luxury hotel in the Gulf emirate, bringing the total number to 32, AlArabiya news channel reported yesterday. Police said two of the new suspects in Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh’s assassination in January held French passports, another two travelled on British passports, and the other, a woman, had an Australian passport, the Dubai-based channel said. It gave the names in Arabic, while Dubai police were not reachable for comment. International police agency Interpol has already issued arrest notices for 27 suspects wanted by Dubai in connection with the killing of Mabhouh, a founder of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, who was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on Jan 20. The assassination has caused diplomatic tension over the alleged falsification of Western passports by Israel’s Mossad spy agency. London in March kicked out an Israeli

diplomat citing “compelling reasons” to believe that Israel was responsible for the misuse of British passports. The Dubai police had said 12 people linked to the hit used cloned British passports, four had French travel documents, six carried Irish passports and one used a German identity. Four Australian passports were also used in the operation. Meanwhile, two Palestinians were arrested in Jordan and extradited to Dubai over connections to the killing, according to police. Australia said yesterday that it was investigating reports that a fifth Australian passport had been linked to the assassination. Dubai police chief General Dahi Khalfan has said Mabhouh was drugged and then suffocated in his hotel room, while Hamas has blamed the killing entirely on Israel and vowed revenge. The emirate’s security service showed surveillance video footage from Mabhouh’s hotel detailing the movements of the alleged hit squad. — AFP

Parties woo kingmaker Tories seek alliance with Lib Dems • Brown stays put, makes own overture

American passport new secret weapon NEW YORK: Islamist militants attacking the United States have a new secret weapon: the US passport. That’s what some claim after last Saturday’s botched car bomb attack in New York, allegedly by a naturalized US citizen born in Pakistan. Everything from hijacked airliners to handguns have featured in attacks on US soil over the last decade. Maybe the slim, blue booklet labeled PASSPORT, and decorated in

WASHINGTON: An official reaches for a new blank US passport with an embedded electronic chip June 14, 2007 at the Passport Services office. — AFP

gold with an eagle, should be added to that list. Certainly US passports allow militants to infiltrate the country in a way no foreign jihadist could ever match. And if a militant is caught, he gets the same legal protections as everyone else in the country he was trying to fight. That’s ludicrous, says Senator Joe Lieberman, a senior Washington hawk. On Thursday he proposed a law to strip citizenship from anyone deemed to have joined the “enemy”. They “should no longer be entitled to the rights and privileges of American citizens,” Lieberman said. His ally, the Republican representative Charlie Dent, put the matter more pithily: “I suspect it’d be easier to launch a Hellfire missile at a non-citizen than a citizen.” Critics of the proposed law say fundamental US rights would be destroyed. “This proposal is unconstitutional and ineffective,” said Laura Murphy, at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Removing one’s citizenship is a terribly serious act with far-reaching implications, and it is especially egregious when based upon suspicion.” Continued on Page 19

LONDON: British opposition Conservative Party Leader David Cameron is seen on newspaper front-pages yesterday. — AFP

Arabic websites make Net history SAN FRANCISCO: Internet addresses written in Arabic are making history as the first online domains in non-Latin characters, with Chinese and Thai expected to follow close behind. “For the first time in the history of the Internet, nonLatin characters are being used for top-level domains,” the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said in an online message. “Arabic has now become the first nonLatin script to be used as an Internet domain name.” Top-level domain names serve as sort of a postal code for online addresses, with widely known examples including .com, .org, and .net.

US Pakistanis pose as Indians after NY plot NEW YORK: Pakistani merchants and job seekers in the United States, still reeling from economic hardship since the Sept 11 attacks of 2001, are posing as Indians to avoid discrimination in the wake of the Times Square bomb attempt. Once again, a man of Pakistani descent is at the center of a security story, leading to backlash against the Pakistani-American community. Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized American born in Pakistan, was arrested on Monday, two days after authorities say he parked a crude car bomb in New York’s busy Times Square. Suspected Sept 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and convicted 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef are also of Pakistani decent, and anti-American militants fighting US forces in Afghanistan take refuge in Pakistan. In Brooklyn, home to one of the

LONDON: Britain’s inconclusive election turned into high political drama yesterday, with the Conservatives and Labour Party wooing a potential ally as the markets pressed for results and a public accustomed to clearer outcomes watched transfixed. Conservative leader David Cameron, ahead but shy of a majority, seized the initiative with a “comprehensive offer” to the ideologically dissimilar but possibly willing Liberal Democrats. Labour incumbent Gordon Brown, beaten but still battling, dangled before the Liberal Democrats their dream of major electoral reform. A weekend of frantic negotiations loomed - but momentum seemed to be with the youthful Cameron. “We have to accept that we fell short of an overall majority,” said Cameron, 43, as results showed his party had won 306 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons - less than the 326 needed for outright victory. “Britain needs strong, stable decisive government and it is in the national interest that we get that on a secure basis. ... I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats,” he said. But Cameron promised only a “committee of inquiry” to look into the Liberal Democrats’ major goal, reform of Britain’s electoral system so that the number of seats gained is based on the percentage of vote a party achieves. They say that is fairer than the current system, in which a party can win a parliamentary majority by getting only a third of votes. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg did not immediately respond in public to his opponents’ overtures, but said earlier that the party that had gained the most seats and the Continued on Page 19

largest Pakistani populations in the United States, business is scant at the various grocery, halal meat and sweet cake shops since a Pakistani-American was suspected in the Times Square plot. More than 100 businesses along Coney Island Avenue have closed due to a 30 percent drop in business since 2001, a merchants’ association said. In Washington, an American man of Pakistani descent told of coming under suspicion this week when he tried to buy garden fertilizer. The Times Square car bomb contained a nonexplosive type of fertilizer. While there have been no reported incidents since the failed car bomb attack last Saturday, some Pakistanis are bracing for reprisals. Police have increased foot patrols. “A lot of Pakistanis can’t get jobs after 9/11 and now it’s even worse,” said Asghar Continued on Page 19

New top-level domains were designated for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. “All three are Arabic script domains, and will enable domain names written fully rightto-left,” Kim Davies of ICANN said Thursday in a blog post. “Expect more as we continue to process other applications.” Egypt claimed the first non-Latin script website in a new “.Masr” domain. Websites with online addresses in Arabic are available in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “Arabic is among the most highly used languages on the Internet today,” ICANN said. “Users in the (Middle East) will now have easier access to

the Internet, with the ability to use their primary language for the entire domain name.” It is up to countries with new top-level domains to launch them in ways that give people day-to-day use, according to Davies. Languages with native domain script names in the final stages of the approval process include Chinese, Sinhalese, Tamil and Thai, according to ICANN. A request by the China Internet Network Information Center for domain names in simplified and traditional Chinese was listed among the non-Latin script address applications that are well along a “fast track” to approval. Continued on Page 19

NEW DELHI: Chairman of India’s Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani gestures as he speaks during an economic summit in this March 14, 2008 file photo. — AFP

Mukesh wins Ambani feud NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani yesterday in his long-running feud with his brother Anil over a family deal to share the nation’s largest gas find. In a landmark decision, the court threw out a deal between the estranged siblings involving access to the Krishna Godavari Basin off India’s east coast in a move hailed by Mukesh’s lawyers and the government. Anil had demanded the honouring of a 2005 pact brokered by their mother that would allow his company to buy gas for 17 years from the field owned by Mukesh at a price far lower than one set by the government. Mukesh, 53, who heads India’s largest company Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), sought to have the deal annulled in a legal battle that has riveted India with its heady mix of incredible wealth and vitriolic family in-fighting. “It is a complete victory for Mukesh Ambani,” his lawyer Sameer Parekh told AFP after the decision overturning a lower court ruling in favour of Anil. Reliance Industries and Anil’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) must now renegotiate the deal in the next six weeks in line with the government’s pricing policy. Affirming only the government has the right to set gas prices, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan ruled the brothers’ deal was “not legally binding”. A lawyer for Mukesh said after the verdict the tycoon wished to reach out to his younger brother and end the “unhappiness” generated by the five-year fight. “Mukesh Ambani and more importantly (his wife) Nita Ambani have said they want to put all unpleasantness and unhappiness behind us,” Harish Salve, counsel for Reliance, told Continued on Page 19

Babylon torn between preservation and profit BABYLON, Iraq: A US-funded program to restore the ruins of Iraq’s ancient city of Babylon is threatened by a dispute among Iraqi officials over whether the priority should be preserving the site or making money off it. Local officials want swift work done to restore the crumbling ruins and start building restaurants and gift shops to draw in tourists, while antiquities officials in Baghdad favor a more painstaking approach to avoid the gaudy restoration mistakes of the past. The ruins of the millennia-old city, famed for its Hanging Gardens and the Tower of Babel, have suffered heavily over the past decades. Deep in Iraq’s verdant south, the cluster of excavated temples and palaces were mostly BABYLON: Jeffrey Allen, co-coordinator of a US-funded project to restore the rebuilt by former ruler Saddam ancient city of Babylon (right) talks to guide Mohammed Taher outside a Hussein in the 1980s, using modern reproduction of the Ishtar gate on May 1, 2010. — AP yellow brick to erect towering struc-

tures that marred the fragile remains of the original mud brick ruins. After Saddam’s fall in 2003, a US military base on the site did further damage. The site is filled with overgrown hillocks hiding the estimated 95 percent of the city that remains unexcavated - which archaeologists hope could eventually be uncovered. But for that to happen, they argue, the slow and meticulous work needs to be done to train Iraqis in conservation and draw up a preservation plan that can be used to drum up international funds and get the site UNESCO World Heritage status. A $700,000, two-year project to do that, funded by the US State Department and carried out by the New York-based World Monuments Fund, began last year and if it succeeds, the Babylon project could be a Continued on Page 19



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Um Al-Haiman residents appeal to UN KUWAIT: In their desperate bid to end the Um Al-Haiman crisis, the voluntary committee composed of residents of the area has announced its intention to intensify its efforts to resolve the problem through filing an official complaint against the cabinet with the United Nations, accusing the government of “failing to take any steps to end the issue.” The committee is cur-

KUWAIT: Children take part in the Um AlHaiman protest last week. —Photo by Yasser AlZayyat

Sheikha slams kids’ involvement in Um Al-Haiman protest

This move was initially proposed last November, but was postponed in favor of giving the cabinet enough time to take steps towards ending the crisis. However, the committee has now decided to appeal to the UN after apparently losing any hope of the government’s taking any action. Meanwhile, the Environmental Public Authority (EPA) recently discovered that oil excavation operations have led to soil contamination at some locations in the common zone between the Kuwaiti and Saudi borders. The EPA made the discovery after tests on soil samples taken from the area came back positive for oil pollution. EPA head Dr. Salah Al-Madhahi, has indicated that strong punitive measures should be taken against the oil sector, which he held fully responsible for this problem. In a related issue, the Supreme Environment Council on Thursday voted unanimously to suspend eight industrial facilities from operating for a week.

In a statement issued following the council’s third meeting, headed by council chairman Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al- Sabah, who is also First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister, the council said that operations at six of the facilities named were suspended due to the “immense” environmental violations perpetrated by them, while another two of the factories were to be compelled to change the equipment they employ and notify the council of these changes within a threemonth period. The council also advised the Public Authority for Commerce and Industry (PACI) to monitor the suspension of the operations at the facilities, which are located in western Shuaiba, and to submit a report to the council’s chairman within two weeks in order for him to brief the cabinet about the action taken. On the subject of the AlGhazali drainage system, the council recommended stopping its “illegal” operations, proposing that a report containing recom-

rently preparing a petition to be signed by all the area’s residents, in addition to collecting evidence and documents which it says will prove that the area is unsuitable for human inhabitants, as well as providing documents that demonstrate the suffering of the 45,000 citizens who live there.

KUWAIT: First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah presides over the Supreme Environment Council. —KUNA mendations to resolve the problem there be submitted to the council. Four other factories in western Shuaiba were given an extra week’s grace before closure, the statement noted.

At the beginning of the meeting, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak welcomed the new members of the board, Sheikh Ibrahim AlDuaij Al-Sabah, Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Dr. Jassem Bishara. Despite the

Two Social Ministry workers own 150 bogus companies

KUWAIT: A prominent Kuwaiti political activist has condemned the closure of schools in Um Al-Haiman as part of the protests against pollution in the area. “Encouraging children to hold school strikes and take part in sit-ins can help promote the development of behavior which will make them more likely to adopt rebellious attitudes in the future,” said Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, speaking at a forum held by the Kuwait Society of Engineers. Sheikha Amthal added, however, that she fully understands the Um Al-Haiman residents’ frustration and their actions, saying that she fully supports their right to protest as long as they don’t involve their children or close local schools. The leading activist indicated that she had toured the factories in the area and seen at firsthand the pollution problems afflicting local residents, urging the Supreme Environmental Council to introduce legislation restricting licenses for new factories to those built in unpopulated border areas. On a separate issue, a Ministry of Public Works official speaking at the same event denied reports that the cost of carrying out repairs and maintenance work at the Mishref sewage plant had risen to the same cost of the plant’s construction. MPW Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Klaib asserted that the cost of the work being carried out at the plant is far lower than the KD 50 million paid for its establishment, reported Al-Qabas. He added, however, that the exact figure paid for the work could not be revealed since the maintenance work is still ongoing.

KUWAIT: Immigration Department investigators are currently questioning two citizens referred by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL), who discovered that between them the two staff workers own 150 ‘front’ companies, firms which exist only on paper, with 800 workers falsely registered as being employed by them. Investigations have so far revealed that one of the suspects, who works as the head of the transactions, transfer and cancelation department in an MSAL labor department, owns 100 of the fake companies with which around 300 workers are registered, as well as a small grocery store (bakala), which on paper has 65 employees registered as working there. The investigation further revealed that the suspect had abused his authority to issue work permits illegally for expatriate residents, in exchange for between KD500 and KD1,000 per transaction, reported Al-Qabas. The other suspect is said to have similarly abused his position at another MSAL labor department to illegally register 230 workers at 50 ‘front’ companies that he owns, while he also owns an accessory shop where 75 employees are registered as working.

council’s statement, however, MP, Khaled Al-Tahous has insisted that he will continue with his intention to question the government if it ‘continues procrastinating on handling the environment dossier,’ apparently disre-

garding fellow parliamentarian Saadoun Al-Otaibi’s earlier announcement that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah had promised to end the Um AlHaiman area’s environmental problems. The government’s promise has led to many heated arguments and even exchanges of threats amongst Al-Tahous and other fifth constituency MPs, with Al-Tahous asserting, “I will respond to any accusations because I’m talking about an issue that matters to 45,000 people.” The MP also emphasized that he would go as far as grilling the PM himself despite the fact that he has no personal disagreements with him. Fellow MP Al-Otaibi said, however, that Al-Tahous shouldn’t have threatened to grill the premier, particularly since HH the Prime Minister had promised to shut down all illegally operating facilities following a meeting with fifth constituency MPs. —Agencies

ARPAC chief calls for anti-corruption alliance

Dr. Mohammad Al-Afasi

Minister leaves for Geneva human rights mission today KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr. Mohammad Al-Afasi leaves today for Geneva heading the Kuwaiti delegation to respond to the observations of the Human Rights Council. The Human Rights Council is to convene a session on May 12 to discuss the Kuwaiti human rights issue. In coordination with the Office of the Kuwaiti Mission in Geneva, the delegation will hold three preparatory meetings for the drafting of the Kuwaiti paper and clarify its position on human rights. — KUNA

BEIRUT: The Kuwaiti chairman of the Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC), Dr. Nasser Al-Sanae, yesterday called for the establishment of an Arab alliance to combat corruption. He suggested that the alliance would resemble Europe’s Strasbourg-based Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), a body established in 1999 to monitor member states’ compliance with the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption standards. Speaking to KUNA on the sidelines of ARPAC’s fourth annual conference which began earlier in the day, Al-Sanae said that an Arab anti-corruption body would help to eradicate the frustration among Arab citizens. Al-Sanae, a former MP who is also the chairman of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), explained that this year’s conference will focus on the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), as many Arab countries which signed the agreement had failed to comply with it. The conference was inaugurated yesterday under the patronage of Lebanon’s Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, who is represented at the event by MP Ghassan Mikhaiber. The theme of this year’s conference

In total submission to the Will of Almighty Allah, the Nigerian Embassy in Kuwait and the Nigerian community mourn the sad demise of the Nigerian President His Excellency

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (1951- 2010) on Wednesday 5th of May 2010. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Condolence register will be opened at the Embassy’s premises at Block 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, Along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya from 9am- 2pm (Sunday 7th May and Monday 8th May 2010)

is “Arab Parliamentarians and the Challenges of Effective Engagement against Corruption,” with the major items heading the agenda including the role of parliamentarians and challenges facing them, and the need to build coalitions to issue effective anti-corruption legislation. ARPAC was established in Beirut in 2004, with the aim of uniting the efforts of parliamentarians and activists, and developing their abilities to combat corruption, stressing transparency and the rule of law, and encouraging the introduction of laws and regulations that ensure the execution of all the UNCAC’s articles. In his inaugural speech at yesterday’s opening event, MP Mikhaiber asserted that the “plague” of corruption must be combated. He added that the UNCAC had entered the implementation phase in 2005, with 145 signatories, 16 of which are Arab states. The role of judicial, legislative and accountability bodies must be re-activated, as well as forging alliances between public authorities and NGOs in the Arab World in order to fight all sorts of corruption, he noted. The ARPAC General Assembly meeting will take place today, featuring the election of a new board to be tasked with drawing up the body’s future plans. —KUNA


Saturday, May 8, 2010

in the news Green light for K-net charity donations KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mohammad AlAfasi has issued a ministerial decision which will organize the process of collecting donations. The first article of the decision included resolution (10) from the organizing list, which calls for collecting donations through sales points systems used through banking services like the K-net. The second article noted the issuance date and its effective date through publishing it on the official newspaper and at all specified bureaus. —KUNA

Kuwait partakes in UN human rights session

Sheikha Hessa Al-Saad selected as honorary chairperson

AFNDA lauds Kuwait’s efforts in spreading anti-drug awareness CAIRO: Kuwait is keen on actively contributing to the efforts of the Arab Federation of NGOs for Prevention of Substance Abuse (AFNDA), especially raising awareness among youth of the dangers of drug use, AFNDA Secretary General Dr. Khaled Al-Saleh said yesterday. Al-Saleh, “AFNDA has been accredited as a monitor at the World Health Organization (WHO), given its great role in spreading awareness over the dangers of drug abuse,” he explained. “Kuwait actively contributed to AFNDA’s general assembly meeting,” he said, adding that 21 people ran for the 11 board seats reflected the keenness of Arab states in dealing with this serious threat to society. He noted that Kuwait’s Sheikha

GENEVA: Members of the UN Human Rights Commission attend the meeting yesterday. —KUNA GENEVA: Kuwait urged Armenia yesterday to carry on its efforts to adopt a draft law on gender equality in view of rights, equal opportunities and high-quality health services especially in rural areas. Kuwait made the urge during the 8th session of a UN Human Rights Council review team, saying that Armenia had carried out an all-out review of all matters bearing on human rights. First Secretary of the Kuwaiti Delegation to the UN in Geneva Talal Al-Mutairi hailed Armenia’s membership of over 50 international human rights treaties as a sincere sign of its eagerness to buttress human rights and disseminate the culture of human rights in the country. The Kuwaiti diplomat appreciated the Armenian government’s decision to create a new national agency to play a key role in defending human rights and basic freedoms in Armenia. He also voiced Kuwait’s appreciation of Armenian women’s great role in, and contribution, to building the society following the approval of a national blueprint to improve women’s status as a prelude to full gender equality. Also on Thursday, Kuwait recommended that Kenya pursue efforts for realizing greater social justice and resolving major problems namely poverty and unemployment. Nawwaf Naaman, member of the permanent Kuwaiti delegation at the United Nations in Geneva, urged in a statement the international community to offer Kenya necessary technical expertise for various development fields to create jobs for the youth in the towns and rural regions. He praised methods, adopted by the Kenyan authorities, for working out the national report addressed to the 8th session of the UN team tasked with regular examination of states’ human rights status. The Kuwaiti representatives at the UN here examined with great interest the Kenyan report that shed light on the authorities’ efforts at the level of human rights and some snags, such as economic and social barriers. —KUNA


Hessa Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah was selected as honorary chairperson of the federation, in appreciation for her societal work. Moreover, he said the general assembly meeting saw the approval of the ‘Strategy for Combating Drug Use in the Arab World’, presented by AFNDA Chairman Dr. Ahmad AlAlezm. He hoped that this strategy would receive sufficient support from Arab

who heads Kuwait Society for Combating Smoking, successfully maintained his post as director general of AFNDA in the board of directors’ elections at the federation’s headquarters in Cairo, Thursday night.

governments. Al-Saleh noted that the federation’s annual conference will be hosted in Kuwait in November. Al-Saleh and Dr. Hessa AlShaheen won seats in AFNDA’s board of directors. Alongside Al-Saleh and AlShaheen, Kuwait was represented at the general assembly meeting by Dr. Ahmad Al-Samdan from the National Committee for the Prevention of Addiction, Abdulwahab Al-Fuhaid

from Bashayer Al-Khair Society and Sameera Al-Qinai from Kuwait Social Society. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Algeria, Tunis, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt also took part in the meeting. AFNDA news board praised Kuwait for its special role in backing the progress of AFNDA particularly Kuwait’s International Islamic

Works deal with sewage, road maintenance

Minister of public works inks KD 111-million contracts KUWAIT: The Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar has signed four contracts worth 110.903 million dinars. One of the contracts signed is for operating and maintaining sewage pumping stations and pipes network, while the three other contracts pertain to maintenance works at the Hawally and Mubarak Al-Kabeer educational department buildings, and the establishment of a head office building for the Ministry of Education. “The total cost of contract signed by the ministry this year has reached KD threebillion”, Safar told the press following the

signing of the contracts, adding that 115 contracts set to be signed by the ministry were signed previously. In the meantime, the minister also uncovered the next steps that his ministry intends to carry out, indicating that the ministry is preparing to sign a number of contracts that pertain to the Sixth Ring roads network and junctures with West Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, as well as the projects of lighting the Wafra residential area, in addition to the second stage of Phase One of the Boubyan Island project and the Jaber Bridge project, Safar told Al-Watan yesterday.

In a separate issue, statistics indicat that an increase in the consumption levels for power consumption in Kuwait will force the country to find a proper way to increase power production capacity to an additional 23,000 megawatts within the upcoming few years, instead of 11,000 megawatts which is the level of power produced at present. These statistics have been revealed by the head of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi, who further urged a rationalization of power consumption, as well as finding new sources of power generation.

End of fodder crisis in horizon KUWAIT: A solution for fodder’s shortage and high prices crisis in Kuwait is in the horizon, as the Kuwait Flour Mills & Bakeries Company yesterday announced that it would provide sufficient quantities of yellow corn fodder to meet the local market’s demand during the next week, sources told Al-Watan. The announcement was made following an emergency meeting held between the company and owners of local poultry firms, as large shipments of fodder are expected to reach the country early next week to cater for the increasing demand in the country’s farming sector. In the meantime, company officials informed poultry firms to deal sparingly with their stock of fodder due to the shortage of supply which the company is passing through. The Kuwait Flour Mills & Bakeries Company sells subsidized yellow corn fodder with a 68 Kuwaiti dinars per ton.

GCC ministers’ meeting to tackle diversified matters KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali will head the 84th Meeting of the GCC Finance and Economy Committee, hosted by the GCC Secretariat at its headquarters in Riyadh on Saturday. The Finance Ministry, in a statement issued today, said that Al-Shamali will be heading a delegation grouping top officials of the Finance and Foreign Ministries. Important discussions will be held over economic and commercial matters relevant to the GCC member states, it said. The agenda includes a discussion of the outcomes of the meeting of GCC finance and economy undersecretaries, which came in preparation for the ministerial meeting. Qatar’s vision for activating the role of the GCC will be discussed, as well as requirements for the customs union and joint investment, health and educational projects, and the distribution of collected customs tariffs. Moreover, the ministers will follow up economic decisions made by the GCC Supreme Council, where executive orders have not been issued by some member states to implement them. They will also look into the GCC Supreme Council’s decision over visions of the consultative council for tackling the global economic crisis and its impact on the economies of the GCC member states. Also, the ministers will be looking into a Bahraini proposal for establishing a fund that supports financial and economic stability in the GCC, as well as recent developments in negotiations with other GCC blocs. They will also discuss the proposed establishment of a multi-party credit fund to deal with environmental problems in the Gulf, in cooperation with Iran and Iraq. Further, the ministers are expected to look into a Kuwaiti proposal for exempting imported cement and steel from customs tariffs, given the recent hike in the prices of these construction materials. —KUNA

Envoy appointed to Trinidad and Tobago CARACAS: Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Yousef Hussein Al-Qabandi presented his credentials as the extraordinary and plenipotentiary and nonresident Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in a ceremony attended by President George Maxwell Richard. The ceremony took place at the presidential palace where Al-Qabandi conveyed greetings and best wishes on behalf of His Highness the Amir to President Richard, hoping that Trinidad government and people progress and prosperity, a statement by Kuwait embassy in Caracas said on Thursday. For his part, President Richard expressed pleasure during the reception of the Ambassador and in turn returned greetings to His Highness the Amir, government and people. The President also called for bolstering ties between the two countries, particularly in the oil and gas fields. The newly-appointed ambassador was also quoted in the statement as saying that he hopes that bilateral relations would be boosted in the near future in various fields. —KUNA

Charitable Organization (IICO) which donated the building of the federation’s headquarters. The elections were supervised by Egypt’s Ministry of Social Security. Cognizant of the crucial importance of AFNDA’s efforts in combating abuse of drugs across the Arab world, of the Arab League accredited the federation as first non-governmental agency affiliated to the league. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works Fadhel Safar addresses a press conference after the contract-signing ceremony.—KUNA

Education minister addresses student problems in Egypt CAIRO: Kuwait’s Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud met with Kuwaitis studying in Egypt, to discuss their needs and ways to help them overcome problems they may be facing. Speaking at the meeting, held at the headquarters of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students (NUKS-Egypt), she said that the goal of her visit to Egypt was to discuss educational matters with Egyptian officials. She underscored the deeprooted relationship between Kuwait and Egypt, especially in the educational sector. Al-Humoud reassured the students of the support of Kuwaiti officials, who were keen to ensure the comfort of the students and their peace of mind so that they may pursue their studies unhindered. On his part, Chairman of NUKS-Egypt Nasser Al-Otaibi thanked the minister for her presence, and briefed her on the problems that the Kuwaiti students are facing in Egypt. Other students also put forth their cases, which Al-Humoud promised the Cultural Office at Kuwait Embassy would tend to. Moreover, the minister announced that she had issued orders for the renovation of the

headquarters of NUKS-Egypt. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Al-Humoud said that these students had certain expectations of the Higher Education Ministry, and had problems that needed to be solved in order for them to fulfill their educational ambitions. “We discussed these matters, whether related to finances, evaluation of courses, or living circumstances,” she said, noting that these were commonl problems faced by Kuwaitis studying abroad anywhere. She noted that the ministry was looking into leasing a new dorm for girls, or buying a new building. Al-Humoud thanked NUKSEgypt for organizing the meeting, and wished all the students success in their endeavors. The meeting was attended by Charge d’Affaires Omar AlKanderi and Director of the Cultural Office Dr. Awadh AlEnezi. The minister is being accompanied by Assistant Higher Education Undersecretary for Scholarships and Cultural Relations Rashed Al-Nuwaihedh, Advisor at the Higher Education Minister’s Office Dr. Ayedh AlMerri, and Supervisor at the Higher Education Minister’s Office Sheikha Al-Qamlas. —KUNA

CAIRO: Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud (2nd right) speaks to students in Egypt. —KUNA

Security forum urges varied income sources KUWAIT: The first information forum on the ‘Role of Security in Developing and Transforming Kuwait into a Financial and Trade Center’, organized by the Interior Ministry, ended Thursday with the release of several recommendations, particularly the need to increase sources of income. The closing of the forum was held under the patronage of Undersecretary for the Interior Ministry, Lt. Gen. Abdullatif Al-Rejaib. The event was held according to the directions of His Highness the Amir to transform the country into a financial and trade hub led by the private sector. The forum initially recommended diversity in sources of

income, because without this, there would be a danger to the country’s economic security and its sustainability. Financial and service-related investment-attracting projects were also recommended, along with an electronically synchronized system which organizes the traffic of people entering or leaving the country linked to the national data bank. An ambitious strategy to develop police training and education to keep up with global economic development, was also mentioned. Encouraging locals to take part against crime, like neighborhood watches abroad, was another proposal set forth by the forum. —KUNA

Kuwait, Morocco agree on broader horizons of greater cooperation RABAT: The visit of Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad AlSabah to Morocco opens up new horizons for cooperation, Moroccan State Minister Mohammad ElYazghi said yesterday. The Moroccan official was speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the sidelines of a dinner banquet, hosted by Kuwait’s Ambassador to Morocco Mohammad AlThuwaikh in honor of the visiting foreign minister and his accompanying delegation. “This visit opens up new horizons for fruitful cooperation in all areas, and will guarantee that relations continue in the same spirit of understanding upon which it was built in the 1960s,” El-Yazghi said. He said that bilateral cooperation could be further boosted, given the will of the Kuwaiti and Moroccan sides under the wise guidance of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. The state minister lauded the strong support offered by the Kuwaiti government to development projects in Morocco, adding that Kuwaiti-Moroccan relations were a “model” for inter-Arab relations. Sheikh Mohammad arrived on a three-day official visit to Morocco on Wednesday. The banquet was attend-

RABAT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabah during a dinner banquet hosted by the Kuwaiti Embassy in Morocco late Thursday. —KUNA ed by top Moroccan officials, headed by State Minister Mohand Laenser and State Minister Mohammad ElYazghi. Diplomats accredited in Rabat were also present, alongside prominent figures in the local community. It was also attended by Director of the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister’s Office Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah and Kuwait Embassy staff. Sheikh Mohammad has announced that the KuwaitiMoroccan joint committee is scheduled to meet some time in the third quarter of 2010. The minister made the comment shortly after

meeting King Mohammed VI of Morocco, whereby he had delivered the greetings of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait. Sheikh Mohammad said talks had focused on joint projects the two countries intend to pursue, with Morocco currently undergoing giant road and highspeed railway projects. Other issues the two discussed surrounded the Arab region whereby Sheikh Mohammad said he had informed the king of a fund established to support smaller to mid-sized projects in the Arab world, which he could directly benefit from. The fund was founded by

His Highness the Amir during the Kuwait-held Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit last year. The minister also said he had discussed with the king means to cooperate with Morocco in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful uses. On the Middle East issue, Jerusalem in particular, King Mohammed had stressed undying support and significance his country is placing, according to the Kuwaiti minister. The foreign minister arrived in the Moroccan capital, Rabat on Wednesday, for an official three-day visit. —KUNA



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Iranian heads home after France rejects US extradition TEHRAN: An Iranian engineer arrested by France headed for home yesterday after Paris refused to extradite him to the United States where he is accused of buying electronic parts and exporting them illegally, the official IRNA news agency reported. “Majid Kakavand, who had been arrested in March 2009 by the French police at the request of the United States, has left

France for Tehran aboard an Iran Air plane,” IRNA said. “Iranian diplomats in Paris accompanied him to Orly airport.” A French court on Wednesday turned down a US request to extradite Kakavand. US justice officials accused Kakavand of buying electronic components and measurement instruments through a Malaysian

company and exporting them to the Islamic republic via Malaysia between 2006 and 2008. Washington argued that Kakavand had purchased sensitive dual-use technology that could be used for military purposes and violated export laws by failing to seek a special licence to ship them to Iran. However, France does not have the

same export requirements for Iran and the IEI company that received the orders came under a trading ban after Kakavand had made his transactions, French officials said. The French court’s decision to release Kakavand capped more than a year of legal wrangling in a case that had broad diplomatic implications as France pressed for the release of a French academic held in

Tehran. Kakavand’s case came before the courts as France was seeking the release from Iran of 24-year-old French academic Clotilde Reiss, who has been tried on charges of acting against Iranian national security. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had linked Reiss’s release to

the fate of Iranians held in French jails, but President Nicolas Sarkozy had flatly responded that there would be no such swap. Another Iranian, Ali Vakili Rad, convicted of the 1991 murder of the deposed shah’s last prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, is in France awaiting a decision on a parole request. — AFP

Two sides expected to start indirect, US-mediated talks

US ME envoy meets Abbas in peace push RAMALLAH: Visiting US envoy George Mitchell met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas yesterday ahead of a key Palestinian decision on starting indirect peace talks with Israel. Officials said no statements were expected after yesterday’s meeting, which comes after a series of talks Mitchell had with Israeli leaders aimed at restarting the long-stalled dialogue.

JERUSALEM: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (L) welcomes US Middle East envoy George Mitchell at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem yesterday. President Shimon Peres told Mitchell in an earlier meeting that security must be a top issue in Washington’s efforts to launch indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. —AFP

Iran belongs to world’s ‘nuclear club’: Cleric TEHRAN: Iran has entered the world’s “nuclear club” and major powers should accept it, an influential cleric told worshippers yesterday, underlining Tehran’s defiance in a dispute with the West over its atomic activities. Ahmad Khatami, a conservative hardliner in the clerical establishment, also warned the major powers that Iran could “endanger your entire world” in any future confrontation. The United States is lobbying U.N. Security Council members to back a fourth round of sanctions on Iran, to press it into curbing sensitive nuclear work the West suspects is aimed at making bombs. Iran, the world’s fifthlargest crude exporter, says

its nuclear programme is aimed at generating electricity and has refused to bow to international pressure to halt it. “In regard to the nuclear issue, you should regard the nuclearisation of Iran as a bygone fact,” said Khatami, who is a member of a powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts. “By God’s grace, Iran has entered the world countries’ nuclear club,” said in a sermon broadcast live on state radio. The United States and Israel, Iran’s arch foes, have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row. Iran, a predominantly Shi’ite Muslim state, has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in

the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway crucial for global oil supplies. Addressing the six world powers which are now discussing a possible new round of sanctions on Iran-the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia-Khatami said: “If you should want to stand up against this religious (Islamic) system you would be standing up against the religion of God, and if you should want to confront our religion we will endanger your entire world.” Khatami praised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attendance at this week’s start of the month-long review conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,

which Tehran and Washington accuse each other of violating. In his May 3 speech at UN headquarters in New York, Ahmadinejad urged the United Nations to punish countries like the United States that threaten to use nuclear arms. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed Ahmadinejad’s comments as the “same tired, false and sometimes wild accusations”, and she urged nations to focus on efforts to bring Iran to heel over its nuclear programme. “Our president took part in this conference with full courage and intelligence,” Khatami said. “If anyone wants to see how effective this trip was they should look at the indignation of the arrogant powers.” — Reuters

WEST BANK: Israeli border police officers fire a non-lethal munitions at Palestinian demonstrators, not pictured, during a protest against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, yesterday. — AP

The Palestine Liberation Organisation was due to decide today whether to proceed with the indirect talks, after which Mitchell will hold a final meeting with Abbas, the Palestinian president’s spokesman said. At that meeting, Abbas will convey to the US envoy the Palestinians’ definitive answer on the talks, Nabil Abu Rudeina said. Mitchell is then expected to make a formal announcement about the start of the proximity talks today evening or tomoorow before he returns to Washington, the spokesman said. Abbas was joined in yesterday’s meeting by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. Earlier yesterday Israeli President Shimon Peres told Mitchell that security must be a top issue in Washington’s efforts to launch the indirect peace talks. “Resolving security issues is of the highest importance,” Peres said. He recalled that Palestinian militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel after it pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but also insisted that the Jewish state wants peace. “Israel aspires to a historic peace accord with the Palestinians that will lead to a Palestinian state alongside Israel,” said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, whose presidential functions are largely ceremonial. The Palestinians have said they want the peace agenda to put the priority on the borders of their promised future state. The two sides are widely expected to start indirect, US-mediated talks within days, but expectations of any significant achievement remain low in both camps. Direct negotiations produced virtually no tangible results by the time they collapsed in December 2008 just over one year after they restarted following a sevenyear hiatus. The direct negotiations ended after Israel launched a deadly offensive against Gaza aimed at halting militant attacks. The Palestinians agreed in March this year to take part in proximity talks but then pulled out after Israel announced plans to build 1,600 homes in annexed Arab east Jerusalem. After receiving US assurances that the Jerusalem settlement expansion plan would be put on hold, the Palestinians eventually agreed to consider a new attempt at proximity talks. They want east Jerusalem as the capital of a promised Palestinian state, but Israel considers all of the Holy City to be its “eternal and indivisible” capital. Jerusalem and Jewish settlements are among the thorniest issues in efforts to achieve a peace deal. Last November, Israel imposed a partial, 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, but the moratorium does not cover occupied east Jerusalem, or buildings already under construction. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi electoral staff recount ballots in Baghdad yesterday. A manual recount of ballots cast in Baghdad during last month’s Iraqi parliamentary election began on May 3 and it will last for two weeks, an electoral official said. The recount follows a successful appeal by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who alleged that he had lost votes because of violations at polling centres in Baghdad during the March 7 ballot. — AFP

Iraq vote winner asserts right to form government BAGHDAD: The leader of the top vote-getting coalition in Iraq’s inconclusive March 7 elections insisted his bloc still has the right to form the next government despite an alliance forged this week between two rival Shiite groups. The alliance makes the Shiites the largest political bloc in parliament, setting the stage for outmaneuvering the election win of Ayad Allawi’s cross-sectarian Iraqiya party. Strong Sunni support helped his bloc eke out a slim lead in the balloting in which no group won an outright majority in the 325-seat parliament. But as top vote getter, Allawi, a former prime minister, said he should have gotten the first stab at forming the next government and he was determined to stake his claim. Allawi’s case, however, received a blow on Thursday when the Kurdish coalition, which with 43 seats would be necessary to form any new government, indicated they would be happy to ally with the Shiites as they have done in the past. “We have allied with them when we were in opposition and in the new Iraq,” Ruznouri Sahawis, the Kurdish deputy prime minister, said after a meeting with the influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani Thursday. Allawi returned to Iraq late Thursday after spending most of the past two months touring the Mideast to lobby regional leaders for support. “The Iraqiya list is still sticking to its electoral and constitutional right and it is keen to communicate with other groups,” Allawi said at a joint press conference televised Thursday night with other party heads. Iraq’s conservative Shiite parties, including incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition, put aside their rivalry on Tuesday and formed a bloc of 159 seats, just four shy of a majority and began talks with other parties to form a new government, squeezing out

Allawi’s Sunni-backed list. Shiite politicians have left open the possibility that Iraqiya could join new broad based government. Allawi associate Rafia al-Issawi, however, warned there could be consequences if Iraqiya was not allowed a chance to form a government. “There is a big difference between a government that would include Iraqiya and authorizing Iraqiya to form this government,” he said at the same press conference with Allawi. “We are dealing with a constitutional right and if it is ignored, then there will be a problem in the political process.” Shortly before election results were announced, al-Maliki obtained a supreme court decision saying the largest bloc formed after the election could also get the first chance to form a government — raising accusations that Allawi was being cheated out of his win. Iraq has made little progress toward forming a government since the March elections, and for the past two months, various factions have engaged in talks over potential alliances. The protracted wrangling comes as US troops are set to drop by nearly half by Sept. 1. There are also fears that sidelining Allawi’s list could alienate the once-dominant Sunnis and lead to renewed unrest. A representative of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned in his Friday sermon against dragging out the political process and called for the swift formation of a government. “A long time has passed since the elections and Iraqi people are looking forward to political progress,” Sheik Abdul-Mahdi alKarbalaie said in the holy city of Karbala. “Mutual flexibility should be displayed by all,” he said. “People’s interests should come first before the interests of the (political) blocs.” — AP

BEIRUT: A Lebanese woman shouts during a protest against the arrest of some men allegedly involved in the lynching of an Egyptian man, in the village of Ketermaya, southeast of Beirut, yesterday. Mohammed Muslem, 38, who was the prime suspect in the deadly stabbing of an elderly couple and their two granddaughters in Ketermaya, was beaten and stabbed to death by residents of the village, who later hung his body on a pole with a butcher’s hook as police watched helplessly. — AFP

Lebanon arrests 2 after mob lynching of Egyptian KETERMAYA: Two people were arrested yesterday in connection with the mob lynching in Lebanon of a murder suspect, prompting protests by residents who blocked the main road leading to their village. “The internal security forces conducted a raid on Friday and arrested two suspects in the killing that took place in the village of Ketermaya,” a security official told AFP. He did not identify the two suspects or provide further details. The move led to calls for a protest during Friday prayers in the village with hundreds of residents blocking the road into Ketermaya — 25 kilometres (15 miles) southeast of Beirut-with flaming tyres and rubbish bins. The arrests came after the gruesome killing last week of Mohammed Muslem, an Egyptian and the prime suspect in the deadly stabbing of an elderly couple and their two granddaughters, aged

seven and nine, in Ketermaya. Muslem was dragged from a police car by an angry mob as he was being driven through the village for a re-enactment of the crime to which he had confessed, according to authorities. He was then stabbed and beaten to death before being stripped to his underpants and strung up on an electricity pole with a butcher’s hook through his chin. His killing was denounced by Lebanese officials who vowed to take action against those responsible. Residents justified their action given the quadruple murder. “We are being portrayed by the media as criminals but that is false,” said local resident Sleiman Sleiman. “Muslem massacred four people and police should release those detained or arrest the entire village.” — AFP


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Pentagon bans 4 Gitmo reporters for naming witness SAN JUAN: The Pentagon barred four journalists from military commissions at Guantanamo Bay because they published the name of a witness after being told not to. The us military wanted the witness identified only as “Interrogator No. 1” and forbade reporting his name during coverage of this week’s Guantanamo hearings for a 23year-old Canadian prisoner who is charged with killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. “Your reporters published the name of a witness whose identity was protected in court,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan wrote in an e-mail sent to the news organizations Thursday. Consequently, he said, the individual

reporters have been banned from attending future proceedings, but the news organizations themselves will be allowed to send other journalists. Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star, Paul Koring of The Globe and Mail, and Steven Edwards of Canwest News Service included the interrogator’s name in their coverage of this week’s hearings for Omar Khadr at the isolated US base in Cuba. Editors indicated they intend to appeal the Pentagon’s decision. “We have been covering Guantanamo for years and we’ve always played by (the) rules — and we did in this case as well. We expect

to sort this out and continue to cover this important story, as we have always done,” Mindy Marques, The Miami Herald’s managing editor, wrote in an e-mail responding to an Associated Press request for comment. Toronto Star editor, Michael Cooke, flatly dismissed the ban as “absurd.” “This is ridiculous and an unfair ban and the Toronto Star will object strongly to it,” Cooke told the AP. Canwest Vice President Scott Anderson said “it’s critical that we find out what happened here,” while Globe foreign editor, Stephen Northfield, said the newspaper would appeal the decision. Jameel Jaffer, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy legal director,

urged the Pentagon to reconsider its decision to ban the reporters from future tribunals, noting that the name of the interrogator had been published in previous reports. News media visits to Guantanamo have drawn journalists from dozens of countries, but have always come with long strings attached. Reporters can cover commission hearings from the courtroom but are barred from speaking with participants, even during breaks. Or they can view the proceedings on a large-screen TV near a press center where military censors peer at their photographs and video and decide what is out of bounds. Khadr’s lead defense attorney,

Barry Coburn of Washington-based Coburn & Coffman PLLC, said that during Thursday’s testimony, the witness described how he told the then-teenage Khadr about a “fictional individual who was raped and murdered in prison.” Coburn said the witness also testified “about how he screamed at Khadr and turned over furniture during interrogations as part of an interrogation strategy known as ‘fear up”‘ at a us military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan. Khadr, the son of an Egyptian-born alleged Al-Qaida financier, faces a July military trial on charges that include supporting terrorism and murder. The military says he was an Al-Qaida

fighter who built roadside bombs in Afghanistan and threw a grenade that killed US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer of Albuquerque, New Mexico, during a 2002 firefight. His lawyers deny he threw the grenade and have argued that he deserves leniency because he was 15 at the time of the battle at an Al-Qaeda compound. His defense has asked a military judge to bar the use of incriminating statements he made to interrogators, saying he was mistreated by US authorities while detained in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo. A judge is holding hearings on that request this week at Guantanamo. — AP

Iran ‘quite worried’ about isolation, US official says US joins UN council at Iran dinner in NY WASHINGTON: Iran’s dinner invitation to all 15 UN Security Council members on Thursday is another sign that Tehran is worried about its international isolation, a senior US official said yesterday. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) listens to Sergei Bobinov, a member of Panfilovets military-patriotic club, as he looks at exhibits at a museum at a World War Two memorial, a monument to the legendary 28 heroes from the Panfilov Division who fought against Nazi troops while defending the capital, on the eve of the Victory Day near the town of Volokolamsk outside Moscow yesterday. — AFP

Russian prez slams ‘totalitarian’ USSR

MOSCOW: President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday slammed the Soviet Union as a totalitarian regime that suppressed human rights, in the most damning assessment of the USSR by a Russian leader in recent years. In an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published two days before Russia marks the 65th anniversary of victory in World War II, Medvedev said the crimes of wartime dictator Joseph Stalin could never be forgiven. “The Soviet Union was a very complicated state and if we speak honestly the regime that was built in the Soviet Union... cannot be called anything other than totalitarian,” he said. “Unfortunately, this was a regime where elementary rights and freedoms were suppressed.” Medvedev and his predecessor in the Kremlin, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have until now rarely criticised the Soviet system and instead focused on its achievements. “Medvedev has made a very strong declaration which has been awaited for a very long time,” Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, usually one of the Kremlin’s harshest critics, told AFP. Putin, still seen by most observers as Russia’s de-facto number one leader, once famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. The president-who succeeded Putin exactly two years ago on May 7, 2008 — said that after its World War II triumph, the Soviet Union failed to allow its economy to develop. “This was accompanied by deaths and everything connected with dictatorship,” commented Medvedev. Medvedev also issued his clearest condemnation of Stalin, who is blamed for the deaths of millions in prison camps, purges and the forced collectivization of agriculture, yet is still admired by many Russians as a strong leader. “Stalin committed a mass of crimes against his own people,” said Medvedev. “And despite the fact that he worked a lot,

and despite the fact that under his leadership the country recorded many successes, what was done to his own people cannot be forgiven.” Russia is due to mark Victory Day tomorrow with a giant military parade attended by a host of world leaders and featuring 10,000 Russian troops and nuclear-capable missiles, as well as British, French, Polish and US soldiers. Parade preparations were overshadowed by a controversy about a plan to hang posters of Stalin, initially proposed by the Moscow municipality but then scrapped, reportedly on Kremlin orders. Medvedev rubbished the notion that Stalin won the war for the Soviet Union, saying that “the Great Patriotic War was won by our people, not by Stalin or even the generals.” Both of Medvedev’s grandfathers fought in the Red Army. Western historians have for years said an overconfident Stalin was stunned by the German invasion in 1941 and Medvedev admitted the Soviet Union could “have prepared more carefully” for the Nazi attack. Long criticised by human rights activists and Western historians for painting too rosy a picture of the Soviet past, Russia has over the past months taken cautious steps towards eroding powerful taboos over its wartime history. Last month it published on the Internet documents proving that Soviet secret police massacred Polish officers at Katyn forest in 1940, a crime the USSR long attempted to cover up by blaming it on the Nazis. Katyn “was a very dark page.... It is not just those abroad who allow history to be falsified. We ourselves have allowed history to be falisified,” Medvedev said. Political analyst Alexander Konovalov, director of the Institute for Strategic Evaluations, said that Medvedev was moving little-by-little to change Russian public opinion on history. “These comments will contribute to reestablish historical truths,” he said. — AFP

“President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad coming to the UN, the dinner last night... I read these as signs that the government is quite worried,” Slaughter told diplomats and Foreign Service staff in a speech broadcast to journalists. “They (Iranians) are always trying to block, but ... they are even more actively engaging right now to try to stop anything that will make them more isolated. I read that as some sign of our success,” Slaughter said. Ahmadinejad was one of only two heads of state to travel to the United Nations for the first two days of nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference. In a surprise move, Iran invited all 15 UN Security Council members to dinner Thursday in New York, yielding one of the highest-level US-Iran contacts since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The contact was with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who hosted an evening that was unexpected as it came in the midst of an escalating diplomatic crisis. The five permanent Security Council members-Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States-are considering whether to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear ambitions. They are trying to get Iran to stop enriching uranium, which can be used as fuel either for civilian power reactors or atomic weapons. Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations since April 1980, and face-to-face encounters between the countries’ senior officials are rare. Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister held a rare meeting with the United States and other Security Council members on Thursday as Tehran faces the possibility of new UN sanctions over its nuclear program. UN ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Russia did not attend the dinner meeting with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki organized by Iran’s UN mission, but sent lower level diplomats. Washington was represented by Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff. Most other council members sent ambassadors to the dinner at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Manhattan. They included Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, the only chief of mission from the five permanent council members to attend. Japanese Ambassador Yukio Takasu indicated there had been no concrete outcome. “We are not here to negotiate, we are here to exchange frank general ideas,” he told reporters through an interpreter. “There was no talk about sanctions. What is important is that most Security Council members are here.” He added that Mottaki reiterated Iran’s position “that it has the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” Wolff declined to comment except to say that “the dinner was very good.” Other envoys left without speaking to journalists. Washington does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran and rarely participates in meetings with Iranian officials outside of the United Nations. It was not immediately clear when a US diplomat last attended a dinner or reception hosted by Iran. “We see this as an opportunity for Iran to show the council that they’re prepared to play by the rules and meet their obligations,” a US official said before Thursday’s dinner, to explain why Washington was taking part.—Agencies

director of policy planning at the State Department, told colleagues here that Iran is trying all the harder to engage the international community in a bid to stop its growing isolation.

MIDDLE WALLOP: Britain’s Prince Harry, left, smiles as he receives his helicopter pilot’s wings from his father, Prince Charles, at the Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop, England, yesterday. The British Army has confirmed that Harry is to train as an Apache attack helicopter pilot. — AP

Prince Harry to fly Apache helicopters

LONDON: British Army commanders have selected Prince Harry to train as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, his office said Friday, boosting the 25-year-old’s hopes of returning to the front lines in Afghanistan. Prince Harry, who received his pilot’s wings from his father, Prince Charles, at a ceremony on Friday, said it was a “huge honor” to learn to fly “an awesome helicopter.” “There is still a huge mountain for me to climb if I am to pass the Apache training course,” he said in a statement issued by his London office. “To be honest, I think it will be one of the biggest challenges in my life so far,” the statement said. “I am very determined, though, as I do not want to let down people who have shown faith in my ability to fly this aircraft on operations.” The prince, who is third in line to the British throne and is known in the military as Lt. Harry Wales,

passed his basic helicopter training course last month. He was one of nine training pilots awarded their provisional wings by Prince Charles, who is Colonel in Chief of the Army Air Corps. “You are looking very smart, if I may say so,” Charles told his son as he inspected the graduates. Chelsy Davy, who has long been romantically linked with Harry, was in attendance, cheering loudly when his name was called out as the winner of the Peter Adams Trophy, a prize for the best tactical ability during the operational training phase. Harry’s success at basic training granted him the right to choose to apply to train on either the Apache, or the Lynx, a battlefield utility helicopter. His office said that Army Air Corps commanders judged that the prince’s skills and flying abilities best suited the Apache, which was designed to hunt and

destroy tanks. The helicopter has been extensively used in Afghanistan to assault enemy ground positions and fly cover for Chinook heavy-lift support helicopters. Harry has made no secret of his desire to return to the front lines in Afghanistan. The young royal — who was denied the chance to go to Iraq when the British army said it was too risky — served in Afghanistan in 2008 as a battlefield air controller until his time was cut short by a media leak. Flying is in the family’s royal blood: Harry’s older brother, William, is learning to fly search-and-rescue choppers. Charles qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974, and their uncle, Prince Andrew, flew a Royal Navy helicopter during the Falklands War. —AP

Turkish officers on trial over alleged assassination plot ISTANBUL: Nineteen suspects, among them nine navy officers, went on trial yesterday over alleged plots to kill two admirals and discredit Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government, Anatolia news agency reported. The suspects are believed to be linked to an alleged secularist network, called Eregenekon, accused of plotting to plunge Turkey into chaos and prompt a military coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the offshoot of a banned Islamist movement. They face prison sentences of up to 40 years on

charges of membership in a terrorist organisation, possession of explosives and illegally collecting private data on several people. The investigation began in July last year when a search at the flat of two of the navy officers resulted in the seizure of TNT sticks and an alleged plan to assasinate Admiral Metin Atac, who was navy commander until August 2009, and his successor, Admiral Esref Ugur Yigit. Media reports said at the time that the officers denied any connection to the explosives and the plan, arguing that they were being set up.

Friday’s trial is believed to be linked to two other cases in which 50 suspects, including four admirals and several other navy officers, stand accused of plots to blow up a submarine displayed in an Istanbul museum and stage bomb attacks against nonMuslim minorities to destabilise the country. The army, the guardians of Turkey’s secular system, has unseated four governments since 1960 and has often clashed with the AKP, which is suspected by many to harbour a secret plan to Islamicise the country. In recent years, it has been

hit by a a series of coup allegations, leading to dozens of serving and retired officers being detained and charged. Two retired generals are on trial, along with scores of other suspects, on charges of being the ringleaders of the Ergenekon network and plotting the overthrow of the government. The Ergenekon investigation, which began in 2007, has sharply divided the public, with some hailing it as a boost to Turkish democracy and others seeing it as a tool used by the government to bully and intimidate opponents. — AFP



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bhutto niece tells Pakistan’s tale through own bloody past NEW DELHI: Her striking looks recall her famous aunt, slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto, but Fatima Bhutto, who has penned a memoir of her family’s blood-soaked history, says the resemblance ends there. Fatima is a fierce critic of her charismatic aunt, who twice served as prime minister, claiming she was power hungry and “morally responsible” for the murder of her own brother-the writer’s father-in 1996. The book, “Songs of Blood and Sword”, is an adulatory-critics say airbrushed-portrayal of Fatima’s father, Murtaza Bhutto, a rival to Benazir in Pakistan’s volatile, faction-ridden politics. “It’s a book I always knew I would write” as a “journey of remembrance of my father,” Fatima told AFP in New Delhi where she was promoting her book. Pakistan’s most famous political dynasty has been dogged by bloodshed since Fatima’s grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the nation’s first democratically elected leader, was hanged by the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq in 1979. In each decade, “the Bhuttos seemed

to lose another member” of the family, says Fatima, 28, who studied at Columbia University in New York, then did an MA at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She now lives at the longtime Bhutto family home in a plush suburb of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial hub, with her adored stepmother Ghinwa Bhutto, who raised her after her parents split when she was a baby. A precocious writer, she published a volume of poetry when she was just 15 — a year after her father was gunned down outside the same family home-and now is a newspaper columnist known for her outspokenness. She recounts in the book how she hid in a windowless dressing room, clutching her young brother, when her father was shot dead in what she sees as a move to eliminate a rival to Benazir-who was then prime minister. Benazir “certainly felt Pakistan was not big enough for two Bhuttos at that time,” said Fatima, who cites in her book a tribunal ruling that her father’s killing could not have happened without approval at the “highest level of government.”

Benazir blamed her brother’s death on a plot to destabilise her government. She was herself killed in a suicide attack in 2007 after returning to Pakistan to contest elections following eight years of self-exile. Fatima said she wrote the book as a “homage” to her father and also to redress what she sees as his distorted image in the public eye. After Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed, Murtaza and his younger brother Shahnawaz formed a guerrilla outfit to revenge his death and overthrow Zia. The group was blamed for shootings, bombings and the 1981 hijacking of a Pakistan International Airways plane. Their activities earned Murtaza a “terrorist” tag that his daughter maintains is unwarranted. The book aims to break through the “mythology built around him” by opponents, says Fatima, who took six years “playing private detective” and tracking down her father’s friends. Death runs through the length of her story, from her grandfather’s execution, the shooting of her father, the mysterious death of Shahnawaz-the Bhutto family believed he was poisoned-and

Benazir’s assassination. Despite her anger toward Benazir, Fatima also recalls the good times when she was a child and Benazir was her “favourite aunt” who read her bedtime stories and recollects they shared a taste for “disgusting sticky sweets.” But when Benazir came to office as prime minister, “power transformed her and not for the good,” she says. Fatima said she has survived “all this madness” because she had a “lucky source of strength in my (step)mother to help me move past the violence.” A poised speaker who some believe could emerge as a politician in her own right, Fatima insists she harbours no political ambitions and does not believe in “birthright” politics. Her wish is to continue being a writer as she feels it allows her “a freer role to speak about issues from outside the system.” But the feuds that have beset her family have percolated down into her own generation. She and her two brothers have no contact with Benazir’s three children. “That door was shut long ago,” she says. — AFP

‘We are very grateful to our countrymen’

Frontrunner Aquino warns of Philippine election cheating MANILA: Philippine presidential frontrunner Benigno Aquino warned yesterday that poll cheating could rob him of victory, as a survey showed he may achieve the biggest election win in the nation’s history. Just three days before

up to 50 million Filipinos go to the polls, the son of national democracy heroine Corazon Aquino said he was buoyed by the latest survey results but urged his supporters to be vigilant against skullduggery. “We are very grateful to our countrymen. They saw the validity of our message and they saw that we were sincere,” Aquino said after the survey showed 42 percent of Filipinos intended to vote for him to be their next president. “(But) those who are thinking of cheating may be more active... so we should be more determined that the will of the people will be triumphant on Monday.” Aquino, 50, is a balding bachelor who spent the past decade as a low-key congressman and senator. But he has defied his rivals’ attempts to portray him as an uncharismatic political lightweight by tapping into popular sentiment for his revered mother, who died of cancer last year. Corazon Aquino led the “people power” revolution that overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, then served as the nation’s president for six years. She earned a reputation for being above much of the corruption that plagues the Philippines, and her son has similarly campaigned on a platform of clean governance. His main rival in the election appears to be former president Joseph Estrada, 73, who was deposed in 2001 amid graft allegations for which he was later MANILA: Supporters of Liberal party presidential candidate Benigno Aquino (not pictured) flash the convicted. Estrada climbed past busi“Laban” (fight) sign during the Miting de Avance (final grand rally) in Manila yesterday. Aquino is set ness titan Manny Villar with 20for a historic win in next week’s Philippine presidential election after widening an already big lead over percent support, according to his rivals, according to an opinion poll released yesterday. — AFP the survey released yesterday by polling body Social Weather Stations. Villar, who had long been seen as Aquino’s main rival, slumped to 19 percent from 26 percent recorded in the previous survey carried out in midApril. Aquino’s numbers were up from 38 percent. The survey was the last major opinion poll to be KATHMANDU: Protesters teachers and laborers — the air and fired tear gas can- Friday. Information Minister released ahead of Monday’s pleading for the end of a cripdemanded a halt to the six- isters to restore control. No Shanker Pokhrel said the election to choose a new presipling strike called by former day strike in the largest rally information on casualties was government appealed to the Maoists to withdraw the Maoist rebels clashed yesdent, members of parliament since Sunday. The Maoists immediately available. G o v e r n m e n t strike and resolve the crisis terday with the communists and thousands of other governtraditionally back their strike Sambhu peacefully. across Nepal. Shots were calls with the threat of vio- Administrator ment posts for the Southeast Residents opposed to the fired amid the chaos in one lence against those who defy Koirala said five people were Asian nation of 90 million peowestern town, wounding five them, and their supporters wounded when shots were strike began lashing out on ple. people. In the capital, police went into Katmandu neigh- fired in Lekhnath. Police are Thursday, assaulting strike Philippine presidential elechad earlier fired warning borhoods to try to forcibly investigating the volleys’ ori- supporters and setting a car tions are decided simply by on fire in scattered clashes in shots to control the crowds, shut shops that owners gins. whomever receives the largest The unrest has raised the capital and other towns. but it wasn’t clear who pulled opened for business. amount of votes. the trigger in Lekhnath Thousands of police in riot fears of renewed bloodshed The unrest comes as Nepal’s Estrada secured the most town, about 125 miles (200 gear guarded the streets to in Nepal, where the Maoist Constituent Assembly, electemphatic win in Philippine elecinsurgency claimed an esti- ed to draw up a new constitukilometers) west of prevent violence. toral history in 1998 when he Katmandu. Police reported at least mated 13,000 lives over a tion, struggles to draft the received 39 percent of the vote. Maoist leaders imposed a two clashes in Katmandu, and decade. An emergency cabi- charter before its term Aquino, who was set to general strike on Sunday that officers shot weapons into net meeting was held on expires May 28. — AP make his final campaign rally has shut down transportayesterday night to tens of thoution, businesses and schools sands of people in Manila, said across Nepal to push the efforts to steal the election from government to resign. The him were his greatest concern, five terrorists and two soldiers were killed,” SRINAGAR: Two Indian soldiers and five sepaMaoists — who ended their and not any legitimate chalratist guerrillas were killed in a fierce gun battle Indian army spokesman Vineet Sood said. bloody insurgency in 2006 lenge from his rivals. Rafiabad lies near the military control line yesterday in Kashmir, an army spokesman said. and joined the political “If the people are allowed to It was the third such clash in the disputed that divides Kashmir between India and process — won the counvote and their votes are countPakistan. Himalayan state in a week and comes amid try’s most recent elections, ed properly, I think I will win,” New Delhi consistently accuses Pakistan of Indian fears of an escalation in rebel violence but a dispute split their coaliarming, training and sending militants to its part after a period of relative calm. he said. Philippine elections tion, forcing their governSeparatist militants fighting Indian rule in of Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies. Both have long been tainted by ment to disband and ushering Kashmir step up attacks during the summer claim the territory in full but rule in parts. cheating and violence. Critics of in the current leaders. The The prime ministers of the two countries months as snow melts the region’s mountain President Gloria Arroyo, who is Maoists now want power passes, allowing easier movement of militants met in Bhutan last week and asked officials to required by constitutional term back, but the government from Pakistani territory, Indian security officials take steps to normalise relations between the limits to step down on June 30, has refused to step aside. In nuclear-armed neighbours. Tens of thousands of say. Katmandu, on Friday, an accused her of using illegal “Following a tip off, troops cordoned a forest people have been killed since an anti-India estimated crowd of 20,000 — means to win the last election area in Rafiabad area. The hiding terrorists insurgency broke out in 1989 in Kashmir, including doctors, lawyers, in 2004, charges that she opened fire and in the ensuing fierce encounter India’s only Muslim-majority region. — Reuters business executives, singers, denies. — AFP

Nepalese protest Maoist strike; gunshots wound 5

NEW DELHI: In this photo taken on April 3, 2010, Pakistani author and niece of slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto, poses with a copy of her book ‘Songs of Blood and Sword’ in New Delhi. — AFP

Thai PM battles to keep peace roadmap on track BANGKOK: Thailand’s beleaguered premier was fighting yesterday to keep his peace process alive in the face of growing opposition among rival protest movements to his “roadmap” to early elections. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s proposal, which envisages dissolving parliament in the second half of September for polls in midNovember, aims to end a crippling weeks-long political crisis. “We have to seek cooperation from everybody to return Thailand to peace,” one of his deputies Suthep Thaugsuban told reporters. “Everybody must avoid violence and help solve the problem.” But the anti-government “Red Shirts” are demanding a firmer timeline before ending eight weeks of protests that have paralysed parts of Bangkok and erupted into bouts of violence that left 27 people dead and injured almost 1,000. “The Red Shirts will stop our demonstrations when our people have a clear answer to what we demand and when our people are safe,” protest leader Jatuporn Prompan told a news conference. The rival pro-establishment “Yellow Shirts”-who blockaded Bangkok’s airports in 2008 in their own protestshave rejected the roadmap and election plan and called on the prime minister to resign. And in another setback, a moderate pro-government group known as the

“Multicoloureds”, whose rallies in the capital have also drawn thousands of supporters, called for the election date to be pushed back. “We are shocked and disagree with house dissolution so soon and want the election to be delayed until early next year,” one of the multileaders, Tul coloured Sithisomwong, said after talks with the premier. In a colour-coded crisis, Thailand is largely split between the mainly rural poor and urban working class Reds-who broadly support fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra-and the elite-backed Yellows. The Reds, who had been campaigning for snap polls to replace a government they say is the tool of Thailand’s elite, are demanding a specific date for the dissolution before dismantling their vast rally base. But one protest leader, Weng Tojirakarn, said he was hopeful the crisis “will not go on much longer.” “It’s now about the details of reconciliation,” he told AFP, adding that the movement had a “channel of communication” open with the government. “We want a peaceful way of solving the political crisis. It must be a permanent one and it must be an effective one,” he said. With the rainy season setting in, they have begun work to make life less difficult at the site, laying down wooden flooring and setting up more tents.

Hundreds more Red Shirts were reported to be descending on the capital from their stronghold in the northeast to reinforce the rally. Red Shirt leaders earlier this week hinted they might soon go home after weeks of mass rallies that last month descended into the country’s worst political violence in almost two decades. But the reconciliation process appears to have stalled as the different parties struggle to bridge their differences over the house dissolution date. The movement is also thought to be pushing for an amnesty for their leaders who are facing arrest warrants for defying a ban on rallies imposed under a state of emergency in the city. Top Reds said they would not seek an amnesty for those leaders accused of terrorism or plotting to overthrow the monarchy, and called for government officials behind a failed crackdown on April 10 to also face justice. Crowds at the vast Reds’ camp-which is fortified behind barricades made of piles of fuel-soaked tyres, razor wire and bamboo stakes-have swelled to as high as 100,000 in the past, but numbers have steadily fallen. The Reds have said the government is intent on clinging to power until September to ensure the new army leadership line-up is appointed and the national budget is approved in parliament before it holds elections. — AFP

Indian soldiers clash with Kashmir rebels

BANGKOK: Pro-government supporters rally at the Victory Monument, yesterday in Bangkok, Thailand. The nearly two-month standoff in Bangkok has paralyzed vital areas of the capital, hammered the economy, decimated the tourist industry and ground government machinery to a near halt. —AP


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Goldman Sachs to create a standards committee NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs’ embattled Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein told investors yesterday that the firm is creating a business standards committee to study the bank’s practices in the wake of the civil fraud suit launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the criminal probe opened by the Justice Department. “We need a rigorous self-examination,” Blankfein told investors gathered at the annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday, held a few blocks away from the investment firm’s global headquarters in New York.

“Our firm must review our core principles.” He noted there’s been a disconnect between how the company views itself and how outsiders view the firm. The committee, which will report to the board of directors, will review both services and products that Goldman Sachs offers. Blankfein is facing scrutiny from investors amid the much publicized charges launched last month. He’s expected to defend the company while vigorously trying to save his job. Investors also are looking to hear any comments from the top brass about whether Goldman Sachs

has begun settlement talks with the SEC. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that company lawyers met with SEC officials this week in a first move toward a potential settlement, though the two sides remain far apart. The newspaper quoted unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Shares of Goldman have been down more than 20 percent since the SEC announced the charges last month. They grew out of a 2007 transaction involving collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs - complex mortgage-related securities that many analysts

say helped accelerate the financial crisis and the Great Recession when they dramatically fell in value. The government said Goldman did not divulge to two clients that the CDOs they purchased were created in part by billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who was betting on them to fail. Goldman has denied any wrongdoing and said that it lost money on that particular deal. As for the criminal investigation, announced last week, the probe is in preliminary stages and could end without any charges being filed. Goldman

Sachs is also facing multiple shareholder and class-action suits that have been filed since the SEC announced its charges. According to published reports, settlement charges could range anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion. But what’s really at stake is Goldman Sach’s reputation, which has been tarnished since the launch of the SEC charges. Goldman’s power during the financial crisis and the prominence of many former Goldman executives have made the firm a lightning-rod for public outcry over Wall

Street’s greed and risky behavior. Even before the SEC announcement last month, the bank, both reviled and admired, was defending accusations that its bets helped fuel the financial crisis. Goldman also has become a scapegoat for Democrats in the increasing debate over the financial overhaul. Four days after being accused of fraud by the SEC, the bank reported stellar firstquarter profits of $3.3 billion, nearly double from the same period a year ago. In morning trading, shares of Goldman Sachs rose 98 cents to $143.30. — AP

Asian, European stocks fall after Wall Street plunge

Contagion fears go global as govts try to calm storm BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits to cast her ballot in the German Federal Parliament yesterday. — AP

German MPs back Greek aid package BERLIN: Lawmakers in Berlin and other euro zone capitals yesterday backed emergency aid for Greece, clearing key hurdles for a package that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said will determine the future of the European Union. After an accelerated legislative process, 390 deputies in Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favour of a bill that could see the country lend Greece euro 22.4 billion over three years. A total of 72 lawmakers voted against and 139 abstained. In a separate sitting, the Bundesrat upper house also approved Germany’s contribution to a euro110 billion rescue plan that was agreed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and euro zone members last weekend. Politicians in Spain and Portugal - two of the countries the market views as most at risk of contagion from Greece’s spiralling debt crisis approved their governments’ smaller contributions. In Den Haag, the Dutch parliament effectively granted approval for the country’s euro4.7 billion ($6.3 billion) contribution, by rejecting a motion against it. Up against debt servicing costs that are rising almost daily, Greece faces a race against time to start tapping the rescue package ahead of a May 19 deadline for refinancing an euro8.5 billion bond. A potential delay to payments from the package’s biggest contributor Germany came via a lawsuit filed in the country’s highest court by a group of academics. The suit, which had been expected, is thought to have little chance of success. Martin Ibler, an expert on constitutional law from the University of Konstanz, said he did not believe the academics’ complaint, nor their attempt to seek a court injunction to prevent President Horst Koehler signing off the aid bill, would succeed. However, the constitutional court could set out arguments in a justification for its ruling that would “state more precisely and limit the scope” of the government and parliament’s ability to act on future cases like Greece, Ibler said. One for-

mer judge of the court, who declined to be named, told Reuters this week he was sceptical the court action would succeed and that he did not expect the Greek loans to be held up by it. Earlier Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the Bundestag the aid would uphold Germany’s postwar legacy of serving peace in Europe. “The joint European currency, the joint European economic area were right,” he said. “There is no comparable alternative to them in the 21st Century in the age of globalisation. That is why we must defend the joint European currency.” Despite initial resistance to agreeing Greek aid due to massive popular opposition to a bailout, Merkel said this week the future of Europe depended on approving the package. Schaeuble said that, given the options available to legislators, policymakers agreed there was no alternative. “The President of the Bundesbank, the President of the European Central Bank, the director of the IMF, and many others say it would be devastating to risk allowing a member of the euro zone, Greece,to become insolvent,” he said. Debt restructuring was not the answer either, he added. The voting coincided with increasing political scrutiny of the bailout in the run-up to an election tomorrow in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state. If Merkel’s centre-right coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) lose, they will forfeit their majority in the Bundesrat, making them reliant on the opposition to pass many laws. The aid bill got backing from Germany’s opposition Greens, though the opposition Social Democrats said they would abstain. In Lisbon, both the ruling Socialists and the opposition centre-right Social Democrats backed Portugal’s euro2.06 billion ($2.76 billion) share of the package, which was approved by the country’s parliament. In Madrid, the Spanish cabinet in turn approved a euro9.8 billion ($13.15 billion) payment. — Reuters

Spain scrapes out of six-quarter recession MADRID: Spain scraped out of recession in the first quarter, the central bank said yesterday, becoming the last major world economy to return to growth but analysts warned any upturn could be short lived. The Spanish economy, which is struggling to rein in a ballooning public deficit, grew by 0.1 percent during the first three months of the year after six quarters of contraction, the bank said in a preliminary estimate. Stimulus measures enacted by the Spanish government including a cash-for-clunkers scheme “have triggered a recovery in some aspects of spending, particularly household spending,” it added. The government predicts the economy, Europe’s fifth largest, will shrink by 0.3 percent overall this year, after contracting by 3.6 percent last year, before returning to growth of 1.8 percent in 2011 and 2.9 percent in 2012. Spain entered its worst recession in decades during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded a crisis in the Spanish property market, which had been a major driver for growth in previous years. There have been a few recent signs that the economy is on the mend. Industrial produc-

tion rose in March on a 12month basis for the first time since April 2008 and the number of unemployed people in Spain fell in April for the first time in nine months, boosting the government’s argument that the economy is returning to growth. Rafael Pampillon, economics

professor at IE Business School in Madrid, said that while the economy will likely post growth in the second quarter as consumers make purchases ahead of a rise of two percentage points in the value-added tax in July, it still faces a lengthy period of sluggishness. — AFP

MADRID: Spain’s Finance Minister Elena Salgado speaks during a news conference at the Moncloa Palace yesterday. — AP

ATHENS/LONDON: Governments around the world sought to calm mar- finance ministers discussed the debt crisis in a conference call on Friday kets after fears about Greece’s debt crisis went global, with investors see- after Federal Reserve officials expressed concern and the White House ing it as an omen of turmoil in other European economies. Group of Seven said President Barack Obama was watching developments closely. Euro zone leaders were scheduled to meet for a special summit late yesterday to put their political stamp of approval on the EU-IMF deal to release Ä110 billion over three years to help Greece overcome its debt and deficit crisis. The German parliament yesterday approved its big share of the bailout. Italy’s cabinet has given initial approval, and the Dutch parliament gave its effective approval yesterday. Five German academics have filed a legal challenge to the package, however, reflecting widespread domestic opposition to the measure. Chancellor Angela Merkel talked of a “battle” between governments and markets. EU monetary affairs chief Olli Rehn compared Greek insolvency to the financial crisis 18 months ago. “Little did authorities of the United States know in September 2008 what the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers would lead to,” Rehn wrote in a Finnish magazine. “The consequence was that the world’s financial system was paralysed in a way that led to the biggest global recession ATHENS: A woman walks by a sign showing an Internet access area sprayed with an opposite arrow since the 1930s. Consequences from Greece’s reading “Life” yesterday. — AFP insolvency would be similar if not worse.” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the action to save Greece would “defeat and put an end to speculation which has been unleashed against this country”, adding there was no reason for markets to take aim at indebted Spain and Portugal. The stock market “had no technology in April. NEW YORK: US regulators have ny spokesman Stephen Cohen. European Central Bank was to Douglas McIntyre of 24/7 A congressional panel sched- or system issues associated with launched an inquiry into the hold a conference call with dizzying Wall Street plunge that uled a hearing for Tuesday on the trading that occurred Wall Street predicted the market commercial banks on Friday to left investors shaken after a the causes of the market drop. between 2:00 and 3:00 pm” on would bounce back. “The US gather opinions on the state of Senator Ted Thursday. “There is no indica- economy is improving inexorably wave of panic that dented confi- Democratic money markets. Euribor bankdence around the globe. Kaufman said the market plunge tion at this time that a Nasdaq while it might not be as quickly to-bank lending rates reached Thursday’s New York panic “must be carefully reviewed and market participant experienced a as the government or those out their highest level in almost spread to Asia and Europe, while placed within a meaningful regu- technological failure in connec- of work would like,” he said. four months. the factors behind the record latory framework soon”. The tion with this event,” it added in “The American markets will go World stocks held near a plunge on Wall Street remained panic appeared to engulf Asian a statement. The Nasdaq said it higher because the financial and three-month low yesterday unclear ahead of a new day of markets Friday, with investors’ would cancel trades executed economic forces behind them despite strong US jobs data trading. The Securities and concerns centered on deepening between 2:40 and 3:00 pm that have improved so much over the and the euro traded close to a Exchange Commission and the fears that Greece’s debt crisis were off more than 60 percent last year.” Others said there one-year trough, weighed were deeper reasons for conCommodity Futures Trading would spread through Europe. from the start of that period. down by persistent fears over But error or not, after three cern, noting that banks were The currency markets also were Commission said the regulatory the Greek crisis. The market agencies and exchanges would roiled as traders flocked to the days during which Greece’s debt tightening up lending among volatility might prompt China probe “unusual trading activity” safety of the dollar. Boris crisis pummeled stocks, it was themselves, in a move that bore to move more slowly than and would “take appropriate Schlossberg at Global Forex clear that the sell-off was real for similarities to the peak of the expected to let the yuan Trading said the big question some investors. At the close, the financial crisis in 2008. steps to protect investors.” appreciate, forex strategists This tightening is “a baromeThe tumultuous Wall Street now “is whether yesterday’s Dow had recovered to 10,520.32, said. German Finance price action was a one-off event a drop of 347.80 (3.20 percent). ter of distress in money marsession saw the blue-chip Dow Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble Jones Industrial Average drop or the start of the second credit The Nasdaq slid 82.65 points kets,” said Michael Panzner, an told parliament aid to Greece nearly 1,000 points in a matter of crunch that could derail the glob- (3.44 percent) at 2,319.64 while author of a book and website would uphold Germany’s postal economic recovery and put the Standard & Poor’s 500 index called “Financial Armageddon”. minutes, sparking panic and war legacy of serving peace, further stress on the risk trade.” tumbled 37.72 points (3.24 per- “While the measure has some fears of a total meltdown. The 65 years after its “darkest Eric Ryan, spokesman for the cent) to 1,128.15. The Dow way to go before it reaches the Dow later recovered, ending chapter” in World War Two. New York Stock Exchange, ruled Jones Industrial Average sunk kinds of extremes we saw during down three percent or 348 points “The joint European currency, out problems on his exchange. over 250 points in yesterday the Lehman Brothers bankrupt- a steep drop under normal cir- “We did not have any glitches or morning trading, after traders cy crisis one year earlier, it’s a the joint European economic cumstances. Spooked traders technical issues,” he said. area were right,” he said. were tested by key data on US development that shouldn’t be were left aghast. Andy Brooks, a “There is no comparable alterThe tech-rich Nasdaq said its unemployment and job creation ignored.” — AFP trader at T Rowe Price, speculatnative to them in the 21st ed the culprit was a so-called “fat Century in the age of globalifinger” trade, in which a trader sation. That is why we must incorrectly enters data. “I have defend the joint European curno idea why it happened; when it rency.” falls that far and fast and bounces The Greek parliament back that quickly, you figure it’s backed an austerity plan on an error or tech snafu,” Brooks Thursday, but selling accelersaid. ated across markets overnight The unusual trades affected after the European Central major stocks such as Procter & Bank said it had not considGamble, which dropped 37 perered buying government cent at one point, and 3M, which bonds to ease Greece’s debt plunged 25 percent, setting off a crisis. Some investors had chain reaction of computer-genhoped it would be more active erated selling. Rumors swirled in calming markets. that a Citigroup trader accidenEuropean investment-grade tally triggered trades worth $16 corporate credit default swaps billion, instead of 16 million, at hit their widest levels in over a the CME Group’s Chicago year, and there was a rise in Mercantile Exchange. But the the premium that investors CME said that trading by demand to buy peripheral euro Citigroup in its stock index government bonds rather than futures markets did “not appear benchmark Bunds. to be irregular or unusual”. Citi “The panic trading that startalso said it had not found evied today again is fading slightly dence of human error. “At this but things remain quite vulnerapoint, we have no evidence that NEW YORK: Traders gather on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to ble,” said Patrick Jacq, euro Citi was involved in any erro- watch a television interview with NYSE CEO Duncan Neiderauer before the zone interest rate strategist at neous transaction,” said compa- start of trading yesterday. — AP BNP Paribas. — Reuters

US probing shock share plunge after market panic



saturday, May 8, 2010

US schools add fresh food without busting budgets RIVERSIDE, California: Thousands of US public school districts are teaming up with local farmers to put more fresh fruits and vegetables on lunchroom menus, without breaking budgets or getting any help from celebrity chefs. The schools are taking early steps toward adding more fresh and homemade foods as advocated by British chef Jamie Oliver, who led a campaign to improve school lunch in his country. But inexpensive, processed foods still dominate US school menus. Proponents including US President Barack Obama are pushing for a bigger investment in school meals that feed some of the country’s neediest children. The aim is to establish healthier eating habits and curb obesity rates that are driving nearly $150 billion in medical costs each year. Nearly a third of US children are obese or overweight and public health experts are warning that this generation of youth may

be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. The problem is so severe it has caught the attention of the US military. Last month, two retired generals said in a Washington Post column that being overweight or obese was now the top medical reason recruits were turned down for military service, and that obesity rates were threatening the future strength of the military. Local farmer Bob Knight supplies 23 Southern California school districts with competitively priced produce, giving poor children access to products sold to upscale customers via farmers’ markets and direct sales. “We’re taking that elite food and we’re getting it to kids who would never, ever have access to it,” Knight said. Michelle Ratcliffe, farm-to-school program manager for the Oregon State Department of Agriculture, said schools needed more money to improve entrees in

the middle of the tray - where it is common to find processed meats and pizza loaded with fat. To that end, US Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon has joined the president and first lady Michelle Obama in calling for an extra $10 billion in funding over a decade for school breakfast and lunch programs. “You pay more for better foods and that’s true for institutions as well. I think that has to be recognized. The return on those investments will be huge,” Concannon said. Each day, US schools serve about 11 million breakfasts and 31 million lunches. A proposal in Congress calls for a $4.5 billion increase in funding over 10 years and would require the US Department of Agriculture to set new standards for all school food, whether it is served in a lunch room or from a vending machine. The additional money would raise the amount schools get for each meal served to

$2.74 from $2.68 and provide money for farm-to-school programs, school gardens and training. Right now, after labor costs and overhead, schools have about $1 left per lunch to spend on food. As a result, many depend on inexpensive food like pizza, chicken nuggets and pressed meats. While politicians wrangle over money, 15 school systems - including California’s Riverside Unified School District, Oregon’s Eugene School District, Kentucky’s Jefferson County Public Schools and Boston Public Schools - are working with the USDA to strengthen farm-to-school programs already in thousands of schools. Rodney Taylor, who made a name for himself bringing salad bars to schools in affluent Santa Monica, California, moved to Riverside Unified in 2002. As Riverside Unified’s nutrition services director, he oversees nearly four

dozen schools that serve produce from local farmers, and in some cases, from school gardens. More than half of lunches served in the district - in an area with some of the country’s highest home foreclosure and unemployment rates - are free of charge or offered at reduced prices, Taylor said. “My goal was to provide access to those students who may not have access. ... I can guarantee you that they don’t have a fruit bowl on their dining room table,” said Taylor. All but two of the district’s 31 elementary schools have salad bars and the district’s chef is creating prepackaged salads and sandwiches made with fresh ingredients to match the preferences of older students. Taylor said 47 percent of students in the district were eating school food in 2002. Participation is now almost 70 percent, helped by school menu promotion and the recession.

“We need to get back to more basic food, the kind like this program provides. ... I am a believer in the potential for school-based nutrition programs to help children grow up with healthy eating habits,” Concannon said during a recent Riverside visit. Knight said the farm-to-school program helped him stay on his family farm, which is located a stone’s throw from Riverside Unified’s Emerson Elementary School. Before he became a supplier to schools, Knight’s farm depended solely on farmers’ markets and direct sales. “This is totally working financially,” Knight said, adding the program helped preserve farmland while giving family farms a steady market. Ratcliffe said schools did not need to wait for more money to start making changes. “Can we do things in the meantime? Yes, we can, and yes, we are,” she said. — Reuters

US nonfarm payrolls jump, jobless rate up Average workweek edges up to 34.1 hours

WASHINGTON: US employment grew at the fastest pace in four years in April as private sector businesses ramped up hiring, showing the labor market recovery gaining steam. Employers added 290,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department yesterday, far more than analysts had expected. The department

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian street vendor keeps a variety of cigarette brands in a closed glass cabinet with tobacco for waterpipes on top in the centre of Gaza City on May 5, 2010. — AFP

Smokers forced to cough up as Hamas seeks cash

GAZA CITY: Gazans are trapped in their overcrowded strip by an Israeli blockade and are still struggling with the aftermath of war, but their anger today is directed at the Hamas rulers for taxing their smokes. Many see the new tax imposed on cigarettes smuggled from Egypt as a sign the Islamists are in deep financial trouble in the Palestinian territory that essentially survives on aid and a black market economy. “Egypt has stopped the money from coming in (and) Hamas now badly needs money to pay salaries,” said a local journalist, an inveterate smoker, who asked not to be named. Since Hamas, which is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, violently seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel and Egypt have imposed a tight blockade, allowing in only essential and humanitarian goods. Hundreds of tunnels that dot the border with Egypt have served to bring in other commercial goods - anything from motorbikes to Marlboros - as well as weapons and cash. But Egypt has recently cracked down on the smuggling, dealing a strong blow to Hamas, which is boycotted by most banks because it is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Hamas has made it clear it plans to gradually impose sales taxes on a wide range of items in order to address the financial crisis. “Everybody is angry,” says Hassan Abu El Kass, pointing to the stamp that shows the smokes he sells from a tiny street stall have been taxed. The three-shekel sales tax ($0.8) sent the price of a pack soaring by about 60 percent. “Sales are down, people can’t afford such prices,” says Kass. A small crowd gathers around him, expressing outrage over the tax and lashing out albeit quietly - at Hamas. One of Gaza’s political factions recently warned in rare public criticism of the Islamists that there would be an “explosion” if Hamas continues collecting the new taxes. Battling power outages that leave Gaza in the dark for hours on end, Hamas is also trying to get people to pay their electricity bills, something many residents haven’t done for years. Gaza gets about 70 percent of its electricity through power lines from Israel and five percent from Egypt, with the rest produced by the territory’s sole power plant that relies on industrial fuel imports from Israel. That plant has been working at only a fraction of its capacity since Israel imposed the blockade, receiving only 2.2 million litres of fuel a week, as opposed to the 3.5 million litres it needs. Gazans have long been used to power cuts, but the outages have become longer and more frequent since the European Commission stopped funding fuel purchases in November. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, dominated by president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah -the arch-foe of Hamas - is now in charge of buying the fuel, and supplies have dropped significantly. In March, a weekly average of 1.4 million litres of industrial fuel were imported into Gaza. That figure

dropped to about one million litres in the last week of April. The shortfall has been blamed on animosity between Hamas and Fatah, but also on a failure by consumers to pay their bills. The Gaza Electricity Corporation (GEDCO) says it has monthly sales of about 50 million shekels ($13.4 million) but collects only about 35 to 40 percent of the bill. The accrued arrears of municipalities alone amounted to 413.5 million shekels ($110.8 million) by January, according to GEDCO. “People haven’t been paying, Hamas hasn’t been paying, municipalities haven’t been paying,” says Yaser Alwadeya, a Gaza industrialist and independent politician, who has pushed for Hamas to tackle the issue urgently. In recent weeks, municipal employees have been going door-to-door to collect well-overdue payments, sometimes backed by police and technicians ready to cut off anyone who doesn’t pay up. But the power outages are still lengthy and frequent, affecting just about every sector of life from industrial plants to fishmongers, from sanitation facilities to reconstruction efforts. And Gaza’s blockade-ravaged economy was not much to start off with. “Nothing works properly: water is not drinkable, there’s barely any electricity, there are no services and banks have no money available,” says Alwadeya, who says he is among the few business leaders left in Gaza. Alwadeya’s company was once the largest food maker in Gaza, but much of his production line was reduced to rubble by Israel’s devastating three-week offensive launched in December 2008. He paints a bleak picture of the situation in the narrow coastal enclave. “We no longer have an economy in Gaza. Just dealers from tunnels.” The blockade has left many Gazans struggling to eke out a living, and 80 percent of the 1.5 million population depend on food aid. Fishermen, prevented by Israeli gunboats from venturing more than five kilometres (three miles) out to sea, now sail to the southern border to buy Egyptian fishermen’s catch. Some fish is also brought in through the tunnels. Farmers risk their lives when they venture into fields near the border wall. Citing the risk of militant attacks, Israel regularly opens fire on anyone getting to close to the boundary. The risk does not deter hundreds of people who scavenge for construction materials among the ruined buildings by Gaza’s northern border with Israel, using horse-drawn carts to carry their heavy loads. The closer they get to the border wall, the better the materials, and the higher the risk of getting shot. A little farther back, a cloud of dust rises from a spot where dozens of people collect pebbles that will be crushed and mixed into concrete. “It’s hard work, it’s dangerous,” says 12-year-old Motaz as he sifts through the sand just a few hundred metres from the border. Asked if he’d rather be at school, he mops his brow with a corner of his dusty Mickey Mouse Tshirt, adjusts his red baseball cap and shrugs. “We need the money.” — AFP

Int’l iPad sale from May 28 PARIS; Apple announced yesterday that its mass market iPad touchscreen portable tablet computer will go on sale outside the United States in nine major countries for the first time on May 28. The much-anticipated consumer gadget was launched on the US domestic market on April 3, but such was demand that the Californian firm was forced to delay deliveries to international consumers. Now, fans in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland can look forward to seeing them in the shops before the end of the month, Apple’s statement said. “Customers can pre-order all iPad models from Apple’s online store in all nine countries beginning on Monday, May 10,” it said. The firm plans to launch the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong

Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July. Apple gave no details on prices in the new markets, but versions of the device with different storage capacities and connection options are available in the United States for between $499 and $829 (€392 and €688). Although not yet officially available through Apple-licensed vendors outside the United States, impatient consumers in many areas have been buying imported models from the socalled “grey market”. The firm boasts that it has already sold more than one million iPads in the United States and that customers have downloaded over 12 million software applications from its online store.— AFP

The unemployment rate, however, rose to 9.9 percent as discouraged workers started to look for work again. Stubbornly high unemployment has been a political sore spot for President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats, even though the job market is showing increased vigor. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to rise 200,000 last month and the jobless rate to remain unchanged at 9.7 percent. The median forecast from the 20 most accurate forecasters was for a 188,000 increase in payrolls. The average workweek rose to 34.1 hours from 34 hours in March. The stronger-than-expected reading for the most widely watched US economic indicator did little to encourage investors worried about the euro zone’s debt crisis. US stocks, which on Thursday suffered their biggestever intraday slide, traded near 1 percent lower yesterday and prices of Treasury bonds, which would normally fall on signs of economic growth, were flat. Private sector employment increased 231,000, the largest gain since March 2006, after rising 174,000 in March. Private payrolls have grown for four months. Analysts had expected private employment to rise between 50,000 and 100,000 in April. Census hiring contributed 66,000 jobs. Data ranging from manufacturing to consumer spending have pointed to a pick-up in the recovery from the US economy’s longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression. The jump in US jobs growth was mirrored in Canada, where a record number of workers found jobs in April, stunning markets and adding pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates in June, ahead of other major industrialized countries. The US data was unlikely to put pressure on the Federal Reserve, with economists noting earnings for private sector workers were flat in April and would not put pressure on inflation. Nonetheless, investors slightly increased expectations the Fed will raise its key target rate. Implied prospects that the Fed will raise the target by its Sept 21 meeting edged up to 50 percent from about 46 percent before the jobs figures. “The trend is improving,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York. “The economic recovery is gaining momentum.” Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the jump in payrolls last month was the strongest sign yet that the labor market was healing but noted the high unemployment rate was still a cause for concern. Public disenchantment over the economy, especially the labor market, is damaging Obama’s popularity. His fellow Democrats face a tough fight in congressional elections in November, with their majority status at stake. Republicans say Obama’s policies - including a record economic stimulus package - have failed to deliver on their promise of reducing the jobless rate, which is expected to still be painfully high when elections roll around. — Reuters

also revised figures for February and March to show 121,000 more jobs were added than previously estimated. “I think we are moving into this very reassuring range of strong employment growth. It is consistent with the way the economy is going,” said Kurt Karl, chief US economist at Swiss Re in New York.

HONG KONG: Pedestrians are reflected in the shop window of French cosmetics company L’Occitane at a branch in the Causeway Bay district yesterday. —AFP

L’Occitane debuts amid market turmoil HONG KONG: Shares in L’Occitane tumbled at its Hong Kong debut yesterday on a day of market turmoil, in a listing closely watched by foreign luxury goods companies keen to tap the lucrative Asian market. The cosmetics group, the first French company to list in the city, plans to use the US$704 million it raised in the initial public offering for an aggressive expansion in China, Japan and other emerging markets. But the listing was launched on a day Asian markets tumbled after US shares saw a record intraday drop on deepening fears that Greece’s debt crisis could spread through Europe. Reinold Geiger, the company’s president, said he was not worried about the market troubles as his focus was on the longterm growth of his business. “There are ups and downs in the stock market. The development of a company like ours is long-term. For the long term, we are very positive,” he said after the launching ceremony at the stock exchange. “We have the biggest customer base in Asia. It is more than all of Europe and United States combined. There is no point for us go anywhere else.” At the close of trading yesterday, shares in L’Occitane dived 4.51 percent to 14.40 Hong Kong dollars (US$1.85) from its offer price of 15.08 dollars, although off earlier lows. Investors have been further spooked after a number of large companies shelved

their IPO plans in Hong Kong as the market deteriorated after China told banks to boost reserves and tighten lending to avoid a property bubble. Swire Properties pulled its plan for a US$3.09-billion share sale on the Hong Kong exchange Thursday, only two days after Giti Tire, China’s largest tire maker, postponed its 500-million-dollar IPO in the city. Yesterday, iron ore producer China Tian Yuan decided halted its 522-million-dollar issue, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires. However, Ronald Arculli, chairman of the city’s bourse operator, said the Hong Kong market would be more stable than its European counterparts because of its proximity to China. “L’Occitane sees that their growth in the years to come is very much China- and Asiabased. The listing is a win-win situation for L’Occitane and indeed for the Hong Kong stock exchange.” The listing comes as Hong Kong’s bourse operator is trying to establish the city as an international hub for IPOs, reducing its reliance on mainland Chinese companies. In January, Russian aluminium giant UC Rusal raised 2.55 billion dollars in a Hong Kong flotation, the first by a Russian company in the city. Market analysts said L’Occitane’s move would be closely watched by other overseas luxury products

groups that are considering IPOs in Asia. “I am sure companies like LVMH are looking into possible listings in Hong Kong,” said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities. Paris-based LVMH, which owns brands including Moet champagne, Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior perfume, is the world’s largest luxury company. Andre Hoffmann, L’Occitane’s AsiaPacific president, said the company planned to double the number of its stores in China its second-largest Asian market after Japan in 2009 - from the current 50 in the next five years. It was also looking to launch e-commerce services in China towards the end of this year, he added. “We only need one percent of all the people in China to be interested in organic skincare products and it will mean big business for us,” Hoffmann said. Geiger said L’Occitane was seeking merger and acquisition opportunities in the United States, Asia and Brazil. L’Occitane this week priced its shares at the top of its indicative price range of 12.88-15.08 Hong Kong dollars each after its shares in the public tranche were 158 times oversubscribed. Founded in 1976, the company sells skincare products, fragrances and toiletries in more than 80 countries. Its products are made of natural and organic ingredients sourced principally from or near Provence in southeast France. — AFP

UK’s uncertain future slams pound LONDON: The pound slumped to a 13-month dollar low yesterday on fears that Britain’s election outcome would hamper the nation’s ability to slash sky-high public debt, analysts said. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index also sank but experts said this was mainly owing to fears that the Greek debt crisis risked spreading. Britain’s election has sparked the country’s first official hung parliament since 1974, with the main opposition Conservatives garnering the most seats but with no chance of winning an overall majority, results showed. “We are in no-man’s land at the moment and the markets do not like uncertainty - this is leading to a sell-off in the pound,” said Currencies Direct dealer Phil McHugh. The pound tumbled to $1.4476 - its lowest level since April 2009 - as the Conservatives failed to clinch a decisive victory against the ruling Labour party. And the

British unit slid to a one-month low of Ä1.1353. “The pound has been crippled... by the spectre of political uncertainty,” said Mark Bolsom, head of the UK trading desk at Travelex. “A hung parliament really is the worst possible result for the pound and foreign exchange markets are very volatile. “Investors are concerned that a hung parliament will paralyse the formation of a credible deficit reduction plan,” Bolsom said, adding that many were seeking traditional safe-havens like the dollar. Sterling later pulled back to stand at $1.4709 at about 1600 GMT in choppy trading. The European single currency meanwhile had plunged to $1.2529 on Thursday, striking a near 14-month low on heightened concerns about Greece. Yesterday, the FTSE 100 was down four percent nearing the close, slammed by sharp falls elsewhere amid mushrooming fears that the

Greek debt crisis would spread across the eurozone. It later pulled back to stand two-percent lower. And traders worried that the uncertain election outcome would affect the new British government’s ability to slash the deficit and preserve the nation’s top-level credit ratings. Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday said he wanted to forge a “big, open and comprehensive” power-sharing deal with the third-placed Liberal Democrats, a day after Britain’s indecisive general election. “I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems, the debt crisis, our deep social problems, and our broken political system,” he said. The new British government’s priority will be to cut the deficit, which stands at £163.4 billion, or 11.6 percent of gross domestic product - the highest level since World War II. —AFP

Saturday, May 8, 2010



health & science


saturday, May 8, 2010

Oil spill may endanger human health: Officials Potential threats from minor nuisances to long-term risks such as cancer NEW ORLEANS: With a huge and unpredictable oil slick drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, state and federal authorities are preparing to deal with a variety of hazards to human health if and when the full brunt of the toxic mess washes ashore. The list of potential threats runs from temporary, minor nuisances such

WESTFALEN: One of four baby white lions is presented to journalists at a Safari park in the western German city of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock on Wednesday. —AFP

Skinny mannequins renew ‘too thin’ debate LONDON: Eating disorder campaigners are on the warpath over the latest designs from British mannequin maker Rootstein. British charity for people with eating disorders Beat is up in arms over news that Rootstein will unveil a Young and Restless collection next month, which includes a male mannequin with a 35 inch (89 cm) chest and a 27 inch waist, a full 11 inches smaller than the average Briton according to NHS statistics. Beat chief executive and eating disorder expert Susan Ringwood told Reuters that skinny male mannequins in shop windows can have just as unhealthy an influence on men as their female counterparts can have on women. “Boys and men nowadays are feeling the same pressures about their bodies as women and they

can compare themselves to these unrealistic images,” Ringwood said. Beat said anorexia and bulimia are not just women’s problems and that the number of men with eating disorders has increased in recent years. Rootstein was not immediately available for comment. However, it told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that the firm uses slender, but healthy teenagers as models. “It’s a trend which you can see in celebrities and rock stars-Russell Brand has a little bit to do with it. But I am sure that muscle boys will have their time again,” Rootstein creative director Kevin Arpino told the paper. The company said measurements for last season’s mannequins were bigger, but that there was increasing demand for smaller models, the Guardian reported. —Reuters

Lose weight fast to get lasting results: Study NEW YORK: Want to lose weight and keep it off? The best way to do it is to drop the pounds quickly, not slowly, according to new research. Scientists at the University of Florida, who studied the link between the rate of initial weight loss and overall success long-term, said shedding weight quickly is the best way to achieve lasting results. “Women who lost at a faster rate, greater than 1.5 pounds (0.68 kilos) a week, had lost more and maintained a greater loss in the long run than women who lost at a slower rate of half a pound (0.23 kilos) a week or less,” said researcher Lisa Nackers, whose findings are published online by the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. The women who lost weight faster also kept better food records and ate fewer calo-

ries than the other women. “It shows if you get off to a quick start ... it pays off more in the long run than making smaller behavioral changes,” Nackers added in an interview. About twothirds of U.S. adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese. Research results have been mixed on whether dropping pounds at a slow or quicker pace is best for overall weight loss in the long term. Nackers said the jury is still out on which is the best method but her findings support the quick approach. “What we concluded in this study is that the results show that perhaps losing at a faster rate is more reinforcing in terms of the learning period of behavior,” she added. Nackers suggests that physical appearance, body image, increased energy and better

“We don’t know how long this spill will last or how much oil we’ll be dealing with, so there’s a lot of unknowns,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana’s state health director. “But we’re going to make things as safe as humanly possible.” Oil has been spewing into the Gulf at a rate of at least 200,000 gallons (757,000 liters) a day since an offshore drilling rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 people. Little if any has reached land thus far, but shifts in wind speed and direction could propel the slick toward populated areas. In a possible hint of things to come, a foul stench drifted over parts of southwestern Louisiana last week. The oil probably was the culprit, said Alan Levine, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, whose office heard about dozens of complaints, even from state legislators in New Orleans, some 130 miles (210 kilometers) from the leaky undersea well. “Their eyes were burning, they felt nauseated, they were smelling it,” Levine said. The US Environmental Protection Agency has began round-theclock air monitoring in Gulf coastal areas and posting online hourly readings for ozone and tiny particles such as soot. Both can cause respiratory problems and are particuarly aggravating for people with chronic conditions such as asthma. Crude oil emits volatile organic compounds that react with nitrogen oxides to produce ozone. Fires being set by the Coast Guard to burn off oil on the water’s surface would produce sooty, acrid smoke. The potential for unhealthy air quality depends on a variety of factors, particularly the speed and direction of winds

as runny noses and headaches to long-term risks such as cancer if contaminated seafood ends up in the marketplace. While waiting to see how bad things will get, public health agencies are monitoring air quality, drinking water supplies and seafood processing plants and advising people to take precautions.

GULF OF MEXICO: A shrimp boat near the Chandeleur barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana deploys boom to sweep for oil in an attempt to slow the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday. —AP that could disperse fumes and determine where they go, said Jonathan Ward, an environmental toxicology professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. With the leaky Gulf well some 50 miles (80 kilometers) offshore, Ward said much of the oil vapor likely wouldn’t reach land, although the potential for air pollution from the slick will remain as long as the leak continues. Public health agencies in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi advised people near the coast who experience nausea, headaches or other smellrelated ailments to stay inside,

turn on air conditioners and avoid exerting themselves outdoors. In addition to air pollution, officials also were guarding against health problems from tainted drinking water and seafood. Some communities, including New Orleans, get their supplies from the Mississippi River. Its southerly currents will prevent oil from drifting upstream to city intake pipes, and the Coast Guard is making sure that any ships with oil-coated hulls are scrubbed down before proceeding up the river, Guidry said. Even so, the state health department has ordered testing

of municipal water systems near the Gulf for signs of oil. “It’s next to impossible that a high amount would get in,” Guidry said. “Even if some got through, more than likely the treatment system would eliminate it.” The department this week began taking samples at seafood processing plants. Officials have ordered a temporary moratorium on fishing in federal waters from the Mississippi River to northwestern Florida, but sampling will provide benchmarks enabling scientists to track any increases in contaminant levels once fishing is allowed to resume.

Louisiana health officials said they believe fish, shrimp and other Gulf delicacies already on the market are safe. Even after the immediate crisis passes, risks could linger for years, said Gina Solomon, an associate professor at the University of California-San Francisco medical school and a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Exposure to some of the chemicals in oil has been linked to cancer,” Solomon said. “Those chemicals can get into sediments in the Gulf, build in the food chain and be a long-term problem in fish and shellfish.” — AP

mobility may be improved more by shedding weight quickly which can be encouraging to meet goals. She and her team studied data on 262 middle-aged women who took part in an obesity treatment trial. All the women were encouraged to cut calories and do more exercise. They split the women into three groups, fast, moderate and slow, according to how much weight they lost in the first month. They also studied how much weight the women had dropped at six and 18 months. Nackers reported that women in the fast group were five times more likely to achieve a 10 percent loss of their body weight at 18 months than those in the slow group. Women in the moderate group were nearly three times more likely to reach that milestone than the slow group. —Reuters

MRI scans accurately spot spread of cancer: Study CHICAGO: A whole body MRI scan accurately detected breast tumors that had spread to the bone, even when there were no symptoms, offering a safe way to check patients, Indian researchers said on Thursday. They said whole body magnetic resonance imaging or MRI- which uses powerful magnets to create an image of the body- should be the method of choice for checking to see if breast cancer has spread. “When we use whole body MRI, it is a nonradiating tool. You are not giving radiation, which can be carcinogenic for the patient, and you are following them up very effectively,” Dr. Joshita Singh of the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Center in Pune, India, who led the study, said in a telephone interview. Singh, who presented her findings at the American Roentgen Ray Society meeting in San Diego, said whole body MRI would be helpful both in staging patients-to determine the extent of the cancer and the best treatment approach-and to track the effectiveness of treatments, without adding to a patient’s

cancer risk. “It is important that we detect metastases early in order to ensure the patient is getting the appropriate treatment. This study shows that whole body MRI can accomplish this task,” Singh said in a statement. Radiation exposure from more conventional imaging such as computed tomography or CT scans became a major concern in October after more than 200 patients were exposed to potentially toxic doses of radiation during CT scans at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Imaging tools commonly used to detect breast cancer include PET/CT, a combination of positron emission tomography and a CT scan, chest X-rays, bone scans, and ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis. Singh did head to toe MRI scans on 99 patients with breast cancer. They continued to follow these patients for clinical signs that the cancer had spread. They found MRI accurately showed that 47 patients had cancer that had spread, while 52 were negative. In many cases where the cancer had spread, the whole body MRI spotted it before any symptoms appeared, Singh said. —Reuters

SIOUX FALLS: A peacock displays his plumage while courting a peahen at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, S D, Wednesday. —AP

Distributor recalls lettuce on contamination fears WASHINGTON: A US food distributor is recalling lettuce sold in 23 states amid fears of contamination with E. coli bacteria, government and company officials said. The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday the recall of romaine lettuce by Freshway Foods covered 23 states as well as the District of Columbia capital area. The FDA said Freshway agreed to the recall

“because of the possible connection between the recalled romaine lettuce and an outbreak of foodborne disease.” It said the lettuce may be linked to an outbreak of illness, which is still under investigation, in Michigan, Ohio and New York. To date, 19 confirmed cases of E. coli O145 illnesses have been reported, including 12 individuals who have been hospitalized, and

three with a potentially life-threatening complication affecting the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms. The FDA statement said that “multiple lines of evidence have implicated shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility as a source of infections in a multistate outbreak to which this recall may be related.” Freshway Foods said a product sample in a New York state laboratory

tested positive for the bacteria and that the company traced the entire lot of romaine products. Phil Gilardi, company president, said: “We are voluntarily issuing this recall because we want to do everything possible to minimize risk to public health.” The recall covers 23 states in the eastern United States along with the city of Washington. — AFP


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Americans ‘bombarded’ with cancer sources WASHINGTON: Americans are being “bombarded” with cancer-causing chemicals and radiation and the federal government must do far more to protect them, presidential cancer advisers said on Thursday. Although most experts agree that as many as two-thirds of cancer cases are caused by lifestyle choices like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise, the two-member panel said many avoidable cancers were also caused by pollution, radon gas from the soil and medical imaging scans. “The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons,” wrote the two panel members, Dr. LaSalle Leffall, professor of surgery at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington and Margaret Kripke, an emeritus professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer is the No 2 killer of Americans, after heart disease. Kripke and Leffall, both appointed by President George W. Bush, decided in 2008 to focus a report on potential environmental links to cancer. “The American people-even before they are born-are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous

exposures,” they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama at top of the report. “The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.” A White House spokesman indicated he had not yet seen the report and the National Cancer Institute declined comment. The American Cancer Society said the report downplayed known risks that cause most cases of cancer including tobacco, obesity, alcohol, infections, hormones and sunlight. “The report is most provocative when it restates hypotheses as if they were established facts,” the society’s Dr. Michael Thun said in a statement. “For example, its conclusion that ‘the true burden of environmentally (pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated’ does not represent scientific consensus.” The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, agreed and said the report underemphasized prevention efforts. The report, available at, offered some of its own advice to consumers. For instance, the report said that although large studies have found no links between cell phone use and cancer, people would be prudent to wear headsets and make calls quickly. The report delighted environmental groups that have been pressing for more regulation of chemicals. “It is very gratifying to see this remarkable report that addresses those concerns,” said Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute. “The 40-year war on cancer has been called for what it is ... a failure,” Jeanne Rizzo, president and chief executive of the Breast Cancer Fund, which advocates about links between chemicals and breast cancer, told reporters in a telephone briefing. New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said he hoped the report would help boost support for a bill requiring closer regulation of chemicals. “My Safe Chemicals Act will require testing of all chemicals, and take substances off the market if the manufacturer cannot prove they are safe,” he said. — Reuters


Flu fears confine Chinese to barracks SINGAPORE: China’s badminton chiefs have banned their shuttlers from sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur to safeguard them from the H1N1 virus ahead of next week’s Thomas & Uber Cups. The Chinese men’s and women’s teams are strong favourites to retain their prestigious titles on May 16 and head coach Li Yongbo told reporters the players had been told to stay safely locked up unless they are playing or training. “The players have been told to stay in their rooms. They are only allowed to go to the training venue and to the Putra Stadium,” Li said at a media conference hosted by the team’s sponsors Li Ning. “We have brought our own medical team with us and are taking all sorts of precautions to ensure none of us catch the virus.” Two of Malaysia’s coaches-Misbun

and Rashid Sidek- were both treated for the H1N1 virus but have since been given a clean bill of health. China boast world and Olympic champion Lin Dan as their top singles player in the men’s Thomas Cup and he will be joined by Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai and Chen Long. For the doubles, they have named former world number ones Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng, Guo Zhengdong-Xu Chen and Chai Biao-Zhang Nan. The Chinese women’s team features world number one Wang Yihan, number two Wang Xin and fourth-ranked Wang Shixian. “We came here prepared to retain both Cups and that is just what we intend to do,” said coach Li. “I’m confident the teams have it in them to face all comers. We should be standing tall on May 16.” — Reuters



Saturday, May 8, 2010

People help assemble a 590 pound hamburger at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada on Thursday. The burger’s creators hope it will be deemed by Guinness World Records to be the world’s largest. —AP

Rourke goes to prison for ‘Iron Man 2’ D

uring a career which has included brushes with the law for everything from domestic violence to drink-driving, Mickey Rourke has spent more than enough time behind bars. Yet the 57-year-old Hollywood hellraiser decided he needed another stint in prison to prepare for his latest role in the eagerly anticipated superhero summer blockbuster “Iron Man 2”. Rourke, who plays Russian arch-criminal Ivan Vanko in the film, researched his character by paying a visit to inmates at a Moscow prison. “I made some calls and they let me go in this prison,”

Rourke told international journalists at a recent press event in Beverly Hills ahead of the film’s North American release yesterday. “Ten days later, I was with this guy. We talked; he had all these tattoos, he took his clothes off. He explained to me his tattoos one by one. I think he was there for kidnapping or something like that.” “I don’t want to play a onedimensional Russian bad guy. I like the guy to have layers to understand why he behaves the way he does. The fact that he is not the stereotypical Russian bad guy. I wanted to humanize him, in a way.” In addition, Rourke also prepared

Cannes shaping up a winner for movie industry


ays before the curtain rises on the world’s biggest film market at Cannes, festival organizers say the recession-hit film industry looks set to slide out of the doldrums. “There are signs of a timid recovery,” festival director Thierry Fremaux told AFP. “Cannes will probably reflect that.” With some 10,000 business types and 400 companies from 97 countries in town for the Cannes Market May 13 to May 22, held on the sidelines of the festival, the market is the globe’s top movie businessplace-with wheeling and dealing for rights to some 4,000 movies, either finished or in the planning stage. Market director Jerome Paillard, who has run the sector for 14 years, said that days before the start of business, registrations were up six per cent from belt-tightening 2009. “Everyone is watching very closely how things go this year,” he told AFP. “Professionals are showing optimism once again but we will see whether this translates into hard fact.” Favorable currency exchange rates, he added, had helped buoy the US presence this year after a difficult edition, thanks to the financial crisis. Some 16 percent of buyers and sellers are from the United States, with around the same numbers from Asia and 62 per-

cent from Europe. The number of producers signed up to attend has risen 10 percent to 2,000. “You can tell that people have more visibility and more readiness to project into the future,” he added. “And both distributors and television networks need to buy films after having had to survive on stocks for a year, which is encouraging.” Paillard said however that while a number of countries were back on the buyers’ market, offers were pegged to price levels seen two to three years back. “This is a lasting trend that the market will have to take into account,” he said. With 2,000-odd completed films up for sale this year, the Market offers 33 cinemas located in the central festival building famed for its red-carpeted steps, as well as in luxury hotels on the palm-fringed Croisette seaside walk and in city cinemas. Ten of the cinemas have been equipped for 3-D screenings, increasingly popular since James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” netted record ticket sales of 2.7 billion dollars. “3-D productions are spreading everywhere, they’re not just being made in Hollywood but also in Europe and Asia,” Paillard said. “Today people are wondering whether 3-D will spread beyond action movies and genre films to more intimate arthouse fare.” —AFP

for the role by undergoing intensive Russian language lessons, a process the actor admits was an uphill struggle. “I had a Russian teacher for about three months, five days a week, for about three hours a day,” Rourke said. “To learn like two lines it took me like three weeks. And then the Russian professor would make fun about my accent.” For the film’s producers, Rourke was a natural fit for the role. “Ivan Danko is a dark, tattooed, dangerous figure which really was perfect for Mickey’s sensibilities,” executive producer Louis D’Esposito said. “I don’t know many actors who would go to a Russian

prison to prepare a character,” producer Kevin Feige added. “I think it paid off.” Rourke’s performance is one of the highlights of the film, a followup to the 2008 hit starring Robert Downey Jr as an eccentric tycoon who builds an armor-plated rocket suit to help him fight crime. For Rourke, the movie is the latest successful step on a journey of redemption after spending more than a decade in the wilderness following a successful spell in the 1980s, which included films such as “Rumblefish”, “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “Diner”. In 1991, Rourke declared he was scaling back

acting to become a boxer, a career choice that later led to him requiring reconstructive plastic surgery. By 2000 Rourke was considered a lost cause by many within the movie industry. Yet Rourke reemerged successfully in 2005, when he appeared in “Sin City”, a cult hit directed by Robert Rodriguez. The comeback was confirmed with his performance in 2008’s “The Wrestler”, a role which earned him a Golden Globe victory and an Oscar nomination. “Several years ago, I was sitting in Sunset Boulevard and I could barely pay the bills,” Rourke told journalists. “I learned that I

probably caused my own problems and it wasn’t anybody else. Rourke said when the opportunity to relaunch his career came around with “Sin City”, he was determined not to squander it. “When I did ‘Sin City’, I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m in a real movie that costs more than one million dollars.’ I knew I was a given a second chance and that I didn’t want to screw it up that time. “If it had not taken me 14 years to come back, maybe it would have been difficult for me to keep it together. But I knew the repercussions could be pretty severe, especially if it was violent stuff.” —AFP

Parker’s ‘Blue-Eyed Devil’ familiar, predictable f you haven’t read the first three books in Robert B. Parker’s series of Westerns featuring gunmen Hitch and Cole, you probably will like this one. The dialogue crackles. The writing is as crisp and tight as anything Parker ever wrote. And Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, sof t-spoken gunmen who live by a code of honor, are enor mously appealing heroes. The characters have not grown any, however, since they first made their appearance in “Appaloosa” in 2005. For example, Cole’s woman, Allie, still runs off every time she spots a man with more money and power than Virgil. And Virgil still forgives her and takes her back every time the rival is killed or driven off. The plot has not changed much, either. Once again, Hitch and Cole show up in a town and discover that a bully is running the place as his private fiefdom. Once again, they set out to teach the bully a lesson and give the town back to the decent folk. And once again, they succeed, gunning down a lot of bad guys along the way. This time, Hitch and Cole return to Appaloosa, the setting for the first book in the series, and discover that a


man named Amos Calico is now the town sheriff. He has

grand political ambitions, he is shaking down town mer-

chants to build his political war chest, and he has a dozen deputies to back him up. Readers of the first three books know immediately that a dozen will not be nearly enough. To readers of the other books in the series, “BlueEyed Devil” will feel familiar and predictable, as if Parker simply recycled the plots of “Resolution” and “Brimstone.” Parker, author of more than 60 novels, died at his writing desk last Januar y, succumbing to a heart attack. His wildly popular series featuring a hero named Spenser, launched in 1974, is widely credited with reinvigorating and re-popularizing the private eye novel, paving the way for a new generation of writers including Robert Crais and Walter Mosley. He also wrote two popular series featuring a Boston private detective named Sunny R andall and small-town Massachusetts police chief Jesse Stone. Unless he has some unpublished manuscripts squirreled away somewhere, “Blue-Eyed Devil” may be his last book. The last Jesse Stone, “Split Image,” and the last Spenser, “The Professional,” were both published during the winter. —AP

File photo shows actor Mickey Rourke arrives for the world premiere of Iron Man 2 at the El Capitan Theater n the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on April 26, 2010. —AFP

Swiss yodellers choke on ‘playback’ tapes


wiss yodellers are up in arms over the planned use of ‘playback’ recordings to back their voices at the 100th anniversary of Switzerland’s national yodelling association today. “This is taking the mickey out of the public, unfortunately you can’t put it any other way,” Hannes Fuhrer, composer and singer of the traditional high pitched Swiss Alpine chants told the daily Berner Zeitung. The organizers argued that the extra recorded voices were necessary to back up the 600 yodellers and Alphorn players on

stage in a one-off gala performance in the cavernous main ice hockey stadium in Bern. Yodelling, a type of folk singing with a high pitched oscillating chants, is traditionally sung outdoors. It was originally a form of communication between isolated Alpine valleys. “We’ll never sing over pre-recorded tapes. In singing we express our feelings,” Philippe Rosat, former head of the yodellers club in Pays-dEnhaut, a rural area of western Switzerland, said in the newspaper 20 minutes. —AFP


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Dancers of the Brazilian group “Quasar Companhia de Danca” perform on stage during a dress rehearsal for their new show “Ceu na Boca” in the northern German city of Wolfsburg. —AFP

Lamberts tell story of ‘The House That Built Me’ M

iranda L ambert and her parents always swear they are not going to cry when they talk about the country firebrand’s latest single, “The House That Built Me.” It goes the same every time, though. Within minutes, all three are in tears. And how could they not be, when the song reflects a difficult eight-year period in their lives that included homelessness and despair? When they talk about the song, or even just hear it, so many emotions rush back. Lambert did not write her country top 10 hit, “The House That Built Me,” but she might as well have. Written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, it is a pitch-perfect retelling of her childhood, and her parents were shocked when they found out she did not create the song. Af ter they wiped away the tears, of course. “It’s like the persons that wrote that song were channeling into our lives at that horrible but great time in our lives,” said Rick

L ambert. “It was so many mixed emotions during that time because we actually lost everything we owned. We actually lost a house that we built with our own hands.” About 20 years ago, the Lamberts were private investigators in Lindale, Texas. A few bad business decisions doomed the company and left the family of four, including Miranda’s younger brother, with few options. “‘You’re three months away from bankruptcy’ is what they say, and that’s what happened,” Bev L ambert, 50, said. “Four months down the road, we’re just like, ‘What’s happened here?’, and we’re homeless literally.” The Lamberts stayed with family for a while, but needed a place of their own. Bev noticed a nearby house, a rental property that gave her a strange sense of hope. “And every day I was like, ‘If we could just have that house. If we could just get there we could get back to normal,”‘ she said. “What my wife failed to tell

you is that house was in such bad shape they were going to bulldoze the house down if we didn’t rent it,” Rick said. Some of the rooms did not have windows and everything needed fixing or replacing from floor to ceiling. The Lamberts eventually got that house, though, and moved in. They lived in one room at a time as Bev started a reclamation project. She also planted a garden and tended it every day, pulling what the family needed from the ground. And Rick provided the protein. “I would kill game animals,” he said. “I really didn’t care if it was in season or not. This was subsistence.” The family raised rabbits, “and we got to name two, that was it,” Miranda said , and other animals for food as well. When the Lamberts revisit that time in their lives, their emotions vary. Shame and pride. Fear and joy. There are just as many laughs as there are tears. The 26-year-old singer first heard “The House That Built Me” when it was

sent to boyfriend Blake Shelton. It was immediately powerful to Lambert. Shelton insisted she take the song. “It was beautiful,” Lambert said. “I mean, I just started bawling from the second I heard it. He was like, ‘If you have a reaction to this song like that, then you need to cut it.”‘ Her parents, who retired from the private investigator business a few years ago and live on land that borders that old house, simply refused to believe Lambert did not write the song. The imagery matched their lives in every way. The family did bury their dog of 14 years in the yard of that rundown house, just as the song says. And the little room at the top of the stairs is, in fact, where Miranda did her homework and learned how to play guitar. “And this guy didn’t know us,” Rick said, speaking of Douglas, who credits Shamblin with the idea for the song. The friends, who have logged many No. 1s separately, were at a songwriters event

Beverly Lambert, left, and husband Rick Lambert stand in front of their old house in Lindale, Texas, on Wednesday. The Lamberts are parents to country singer Miranda Lambert. —AP

when Shamblin brought up a kernel of a song over breakfast. He was interested in the idea of how powerful the memories of houses are for people. They started to shape that idea into a song, looking for a nice turn of phrase, something like “the house that he built.” “I believe Allen twisted it to not ‘the house that I built,’ but ‘the house that built me’ , just talking about that quintessential home that everybody has had,” Douglas said. “I guess the song does strike a chord of universality because I think even if you haven’t had the home, it’s the feeling of it’s the home you want to have or the home you’re trying to create.” As the operator of Lambert’s fan club, Bev knows firsthand how universal that song is. The response to it has been powerful. “So every single day I cry, because every single day I get somebody’s story and somebody’s grandma raised them and somebody was homeless and it reminds me of where we

were at the time,” Bev said. Turns out all those details were just coincidences, moments drawn out of the songwriters’ lives. Put them all together and Miranda Lambert thinks it is a triumphant tale that also is deeply personal. Like the narrator in “The House That Built Me,” she believes those struggles turned her into the tenacious, fiery, hardworking woman who is shaking up country music today. The Grammy nominee won three Academy of Country Music Awards in April, including album of the year for the critically acclaimed “Revolution,” and she recently had her first No. 1 single with “White Liar.” It looks like “The House That Built Me” may be her second as it continues to climb the charts. That would be quite the happy ending for the Lamberts. “It’s such a sad story, but it’s really such a happy story because it really just built our family back and it made us stronger than ever,” Miranda said. “And it made me.”— AP

Stone targets banks in ‘Wall Street’ sequel


Jasper Johns’ ‘Flag’, 1960-66, estimated at USD 10 million to 15 million, on display May 7, 2010 at Christie’s in New York. The work belongs to the collection of Michael Chrichton, to be sold at the Post-War and Contemporary art evening sale at Christie’s May 11. —AFP

irector Oliver Stone turns his sights on the US banking system later this year in the sequel to “Wall Street,” his examination of 1980s excess, with Michael Douglas reprising his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko. While in the 1987 film Stone cast the unscrupulous corporate raider Gekko as the bad guy, it is the big banks which are the villains of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” to be unveiled at the Cannes film festival later this month. “The original ‘87 movie was about these bandits (like Gekko) who came into the system,” the three-time Oscar winner told Reuters in a telephone interview. “It wasn’t about the system itself, it did not question the banks. The investment banks were not playing the same role back then,” he added. According to Stone, in the real world Gekko’s role was taken on

by hedge fund managers and then by investment banks, something he opposes. “Banks used to be boring, and there’s something to be said very strongly for keeping them that way,” said Stone, who has a reputation for tackling tough themes from the Vietnam war to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the 9/11 attacks. He referred to the so-called “Volcker rule” proposal in the United States which aims to limit proprietary trading by banks. “(This) is what our movie is a lot about, trading for themselves, for profits for themselves, and not for their clients. They (the banks) have lost their agentary function which was their original purpose,” said Stone. While addressing serious issues, Stone stressed that Wall Street 2 was chiefly a piece of entertainment. “I

wouldn’t have headed into this thing unless I could have made it exciting,” he explained. “I think one of the things I’ve been able to do over the years is take arcane subject matter ... and make it accessible and entertaining and the kind of movie where you want to know what happens next and which is suspenseful.” Hitting theaters on Sept. 24, the movie stars Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore, a successful trader who is in a relationship with Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko’s daughter. Frank Langella plays Moore’s mentor whose investment bank is stuck with billions of dollars in toxic debt, and Josh Brolin portrays Bretton James, who seeks to take over the business for a fraction of its worth. Gekko is out of jail, where he served time for securities fraud, and promoting his new book “Is Greed

Good?” while at the same time seeking a rapprochement with his daughter. Stone said he was not interested at first when he heard that Douglas and producer Edward Pressman were keen to return to Wall Street in 2006. “I was lukewarm to the idea because I wasn’t that interested in the celebrity culture of wealth. There was a draft written and it didn’t work out for me.” But after the financial crash of 2008, the project became more attractive, particularly with the sub-plot of Gekko’s relationship with his daughter thrown in. Stone said he believed that the movie, from News Corp unit Twentieth Century Fox, would not have been made were it not for the success of the original Wall Street. “It was still that name that drove it. It’s ironic to say that we created ... a sort of franchise, but it does help enormously around the world.” —Reuters

Aussie Fashion Week strikes serious notes SYDNEY: Feathers stuck on eyebrows. Men in skirts. Pink nipple tassles. Models painted blue who could have come straight off the set of the movie Avatar. Australian Fashion Week did not disappoint those who love or loathe-the extravagant flourishes on the catwalk with the bizarre standing out from a sea of more muted shows that consisted mainly of black, grey and white. But the aim of the 15th annual Australian Fashion Week was serious-to promote both established and a new guard of Australian designers locally and overseas in a market that is strengthening after last year’s global financial crisis. Many of

the 160 plus international buyers and media who descended on Sydney for the week-long show agreed the collections weren’t so offbeat and added to the image of Australian designers coming up with wearable, unique fashions, and not just swimwear. “The bulk of the designers showing at (Australian Fashion Week) beat to their own localized drum, hardly touched by the major shifts that the northern hemisphere fashion capital shows have prompted,” wrote blogger Susanna Lau of “The (Australian) designers have developed their own aesthetic ... and their

home fanbases regularly buying these brands proves that.” With London, New York, Paris and Milan securely placed as the world’s four fashion capitals, Australia is trying to position itself as the main fashion centre in the Asia Pacific region. Founded 15 years ago by Australian PR and marketing consultant Simon Lock, Australian Fashion Week has grown over the years to be bought in 2005 by marketing and management company IMG whose portfolio also includes fashion events in New York, London, Milan, Berlin, Miami and Mumbai. “We are looking to expand in Asia and

considering several other possibilities,” Daniel Hill, general manager of IMG Fashion Australia, told Reuters. Last year’s Rosemount Australian Fashion Week shrunk by 15 percent amid the global financial woes but numbers were back up in 2010 with over 165 registered international buyers and media, up from 134 a year ago, and more than 60 shows, up from 41. One of the most closely watched designers was Dion Lee who made his debut at last year’s fashion week while established labels Zimmerman and Alex Perry were also praised. On the catwalk Aboriginal model Samantha Harris created a buzz,

kicking off the show on Monday for Lisa Ho. Few Aboriginal models have been successful to date with supermodel Naomi Campbell commenting on the absence of Aboriginal models but Harris, 19, has been a rising star since she entered a contest in a teenage magazine in 2004. Her appearance at fashion week coincided with her appearance on the front cover of Vogue Australia’s June issue, the first Aboriginal model in the coveted position in 17 years. Harris was one of the models in Camilla Franks’ 20th Century Fox sponsored show painted in blue like a character from Avatar, all of them tall and thin. —Reuter



im Kardashian has been getting “death threats” from Justin Bieber fans. The socialite was astonished by the outpouring of messages she received after tweeting she had “Bieber fever” after meeting the teenage heartthrob at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington on Saturday. In a message directed at Justin - who posted a picture of them together describing


the brunette beauty as his girlfriend she tweeted: “I’m getting death threats from your fans! This is unBeliebable!!! (sic)” The 16-yearold singer was shocked, responding with: “Seriously?” This is not the first time the ‘Baby’ hitmaker’s followers have caused problems recently. His female fans knocked over his mother as they mobbed him at a New Zealand airport last month. The Canadian teen sensation was rushed

through the terminal building to escape hoards of screaming teenagers, who stole his hat as they stampeded. He later tweeted: “Finally got to New Zealand last night. The airport was crazy. Not happy that someone stole my hat and knocked down my mama. Come on people.” Police told the singer to axe plans to sign autographs and take pictures with admirers amid fear the crowd would get further out-of-con-

Saturday, May 8, 2010

trol, prompting many of the waiting group to burst into tears. Hoards of fans also forced the cancellation of a scheduled appearance by the 16-year old star in Sydney, Australia, recently. Police reported “mass scenes of hysteria” and 10 girls fainted as they waited through the night to watch their idol perform. Paramedics treated the injured on the scene, and the worst injury was to one fan who fractured a kneecap.

ylie Minogue thinks she may “never” get married. The Australian pop star who is currently dating Spanish model Andres Velencoso Segura admits a trip down the aisle is not “on the cards” any time soon. She said: “I’m in a very happy, romantic place and Andres is so levelheaded and easygoing. It’s enjoyable. He’s a good socialiser - which is good for me, because I could easily do my work, which involves so many people, then go home and stay home. I’m so boring. “Who knows? It’s not on the cards now. Maybe it’s a path I’ll never go down. All I know is you can do worse than expect the unexpected. However, the ‘In My Arms’ hitmaker admits she would like to wear a Chanel wedding dress if she ever did tie the knot with Andres. She added to this month’s edition of Britain’s Elle magazine: “I was miffed when I was younger that my mother’s wedding dress was a straight, simply, 1960s dress that her mother had made as opposed to the Cinderella gown. For me, I don’t know - maybe Coco Chanel.” A behind-the-scenes cover shoot interview with Kylie is available at


lack Eyed Peas star Fergie has joked she wants to sleep with Cheryl Cole. The ‘Boom Boom Pow’ singer - who is married to actor Josh Duhamel but has previously admitted she is bisexual - has joined in taunting her bandmate about how close he’s been getting to the ‘Parachute’ singer while the two acts tour Europe together. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Fergie has been telling everyone she’s more likely to sleep with Cheryl before will does. “Everyone has been teasing him about his crush. But when Fergie came out with this, everyone fell about laughing. “She’s mentioned it a few times now. And even Cheryl thinks it’s hilarious, 35, worked closely with Cheryl, 26, on her debut solo album ‘3 Words’ which he coproduced and wrote a number of tracks on. The other Black Eyed Peas members - Taboo and - have also been taunting the pair about the amount of time they’ve been spending together in’s mobile studio while on the road. has been very vocal about his support for Cheryl in the wake of her split from cheating husband Ashley Cole, and has pledged to always be there for her. He said: “I just still can’t believe Cheryl was ever cheated on. I mean, what has to be going through your head to cheat on Cheryl? “If she’s in New York, I’ll get on a flight to see her, if she’s in Los Angeles, I’ll get on a flight to see her - I’ll even come to London. If she needs me she knows I’m there, no excuses.” Black Eyed Peas, supported by Cheryl, are currently in the UK and play London’s O2 Arena tonight, and Birmingham’s LG Arena on Saturday.


ictoria Beckham has been named the World’s Most Glamorous Celebrity. The former Spice Girlturned-fashion designer beat Dannii Minogue to top the table of stylish women in a poll of UK females by make-up brand Max Factor, which marks the launch of the firm’s Vibrant Curve Effect Lip Gloss. A spokesperson said: “Victoria Beckham has been gracing the fashion pages for years now with her glamorous looks and she has designed her own clothes range. “She never leaves home without being fully made up and her signature glossy pout has become her calling card.” The spokesperson also revealed how pregnant Dannii’s standing in the poll shot up after she appeared in a number of chic outfits last year when sitting on the judging panel of UK TV talent show ‘The X Factor’. He added: “Dannii Minogue has become more popular after showcasing a wide range of glamorous looks on ‘The X Factor’.” There was no sign of Dannii’s cojudge Cheryl Cole, however, as pillow-lipped beauty Angelina Jolie completed the top three in the poll, which asked the opinions of 3,000 women.


enelope Cruz is selling her house. The ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ star has put her three-bedroom Hollywood mansion on the market for $3.7 million - $500,000 more than she paid for the property in May 2005. The grounds surrounding the ‘Balinese Modern’-style house include a small courtyard with a fountain, swimming pool, large lounge area furnished with a dining table, loungers, white chairs and a canopy bed and another courtyard leading to the glass doors. The 3,334 sq ft single-storey property has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and a dressing


ourtney Love thinks she is good in bed because she is ugly. The Hole singer who was previously married to late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and has dated stars including Smashing Pumpkins rocker Billy Corgan and The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas - claims she had to try harder to impress men because she couldn’t wow them with good looks. She told US TV show ‘On The Record’: “I’m better because I was never pretty. Pretty girls just lie there. Us girls who grew up a little more homely have to try a lot harder. That’s why pretty girls never threaten me - it’s like, yeah, you want to take me on? Take me on. Go for it.” Last week, Courtney claimed she had bedded Gwen Stefani’s husband Gavin Rossdale but has now insisted he was not married when their romance took place - though she does admit to having an affair with another betrothed man. She tweeted: “gavin hes lovely i always liked him we had a good time but werent meant to be married he is a sweet boy and i miss his charm. i wouldnt do a married man thing i did once and DISASTER terrible terrible idea. “and NO the married guy wasnt Gavin! as if! im shocked yall dont know we dated., 8 months, it was fun now get over it i dont kiss and tell. “until NOW i kissed and told about something i assumed everyone KNEW! cos everyone in my world knows. (sic)”


area, while the fully-equipped kitchen is furnished in green with granite counter tops and comes complete with two cookers and a large dining table. The actress - who is dating actor Javier Bardem - has barely lived in the house since she bought it. Instead, it has been available to rent for $14,500-per-month and is still listed as available for hire for location shoots through many local agencies. Penelope who also has other homes in Los Angeles and her native Spain - is currently in Paris shooting an advertising campaign for the new Lancome fragrance Tresor.

Saturday, May 8, 2010



Embassy information 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. 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.

IIS organises investiture ceremony for juniors I

ndia International school, Mangaf conducted the investiture ceremony for the Juniors (Primary wing) on Monday the 3rd April 2010. Fr. Lionel Mathew Braganza the Principal of Indian English Academy was the Chief Guest on this solemn occasion. The Principal Anis Ahmad welcomed and introduced the

Chief Guest to the students of primary classes who had assembled for the ceremony. The programme began with the recitation of the verses from the Holy Quran followed by Kuwait National Anthem and school song. The Chief Guest handed over the sashes and badges to the Head boy

Master Austin Joseph john and Head Girl Miss Hina Rahim. The Director Moosa Koya decorated the Deputy Head Boy Master S.K. Kaushik and the Deputy Head Girl Miss Mafaza Sharfuddin. All the other prefects were decorated by the Principal, Vice Principal, Head Master, KG Head and their House mistresses.

The School flag was handed over to the new Head Boy and Head Girl by the out going head boy and head girl who are now in class VI. The Oath was administered by the Principal which was followed by the speeches by Master Austin John and Miss Rahim. They thanked their teachers for

selecting them for the important posts. The Chief Guest addressed the student council members and made them sing a wonderful song which kept echoing in the school even after he left. He blessed the young leaders and prayed for them. The programme came to an end with the singing of Indian National Anthem.

Embassy of iNDia 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.

Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010 auditions


fter the stupendous success of ‘Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2008’- a mega Konkani Singing talent hunt show, “Youth Recreation Center” is all geared up for the preliminary rounds of GVOM 2010 on June 11, 2010 at the Indian Community Girls School Auditorium, Salmiya, Kuwait. This competition is open to all Konkani speaking singers of Mangalorean origin born on or before October 15, 1992 and with valid residence permit in Kuwait. Six males and females each from the preliminary rounds will be chosen for semifinals and one male and one female from each country will go to Dubai for finals to contest for the coveted title. Vinay Lewis of Kuwait was the winner of GVOM 2008. Interested participants for registration and enquiries in Kuwait may contact: Lawrence Pinto - 65828008; Louis Rodrigues - 66561184; Wilson Saldanha - 99719938 or email your enquiries to: Log on to: Last date for registration is May 15, 2010.

School Senate Election at ICSK - Junior Branch T

he Indian Community School, Kuwait - Junior Branch held its school senate election on Wednesday 28th April 2010 during the school hours. Twelve students from the senior most class V filed their nominations for the posts of the President, Vicepresident, Sports Captain and They Sports Vice-captain. were given a week for campaigning and they used this time given to them articulately. Posters, placards and handouts were prepared by the nominees. Their friends lend them a helping hand in distributing the handouts. The corridor walls were adorned with the pictures and slogans. During the recess the students were even seen canvassing for their friends and classmates. The enthusiasm and the excitement of the little ones knew no bounds. On the 28th of April the voting took place. The students of class IV and V were given an opportunity to vote for their desired candidates. Ink mark on the fingers after casting their votes became a matter of prestige for the little ones. The first vote was cast by the Principal - Ms. Fathima which was followed by the Vice Principal Mrs. Sherly Dennis and all the teaching staff and students. After the voting process was concluded the counting of votes began in the presence of the Principal - Ms. Fathima. Before the dispersal time, the results were declared. Dona Ajay was elected as the school president and Sneha Sridharan as the Vice-president. Anas Mohammed Ashraf was elected as the Sports Captain and Revel Cheriyan Muthalaly as the Sports Vice-captain. Thus the school senate election was a thrilling experience for the students of the ICSK Junior Branch and was conducted in a democratic way. Students learned a lot while actually participating in the event. ICSK believes in giving a quality education to the students. Indeed the school senate election at the ICSK Junior Branch was a rich learning experience for the little ones, the fond memories of which will linger in their minds for days to come.

AUK organize Omrah trip


he Student Government Association at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) organized a pilgrimage (Omrah) trip for the University community. As part of their cultural and religious activities, SGA organized the event fir the students, faculty, and staff of AUK in addition to their respective families. A total of 26 students, faculty, and staff members went on the Omrah trip. This is the first time any Student Government at AUK plans a Omrah trip and the SGA President, Abdullah AlSharrad, said he is very pleased with the overwhelming response from the AUK community. “The Omrah trip was very successful. I was personally on the trip and I received a lot of positive feedback from members of the AUK community who travelled with us,” Al-Sharrad said. The trip was organized in cooperation with Labaik Pilgrimage Group, a company which offers Omrah and Hajj services. SGA worked with the company for three months in preparation for this trip. SGA Programming Officer, Maikel Yousef said, “Some might say that it took us a long time to launch the event. I think I needed this much time because it wouldn’t have run smoothly otherwise. I am very happy with the results.”

ICSK PAC Arts Festival 2010


he Board of ICSK believes that the students, family, the school staff, and the community create educational partnership and share responsibility in learning success. The role of the PAC is to provide assistance, to the school respecting any matter relating to programs and services in order to help the school attain its goal of providing each child with the best education possible. Indian Community School’s Parent’s Advisory Council is proud to announce the annual cultural fest named PAC Arts Festival 2010, exclusively for the students of all the branches of Indian Community School Kuwait. The competitions are being organized with a view to bring out the innate talents of the younger generation amidst the Indian Community School children. The Arts Fest will be spread over a two-week period with more than 6,500 children competing in a wide variety of events in which close to 2,000 children have registered to participate in various events. This program is exclusively conducted by the parents of ICSK children. A gala event and prize distribution has been planned on the May 13 where Ajai Malhotra, the Indian Ambassador has consented to be the chief guest.

Visit Holland in Kuwait fest


o celebrate the excellent relationship and the longstanding friendship between the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kuwait organizes “Visit Holland in Kuwait” festival. A wide range of activities will offer opportunities to the audience to get acquainted with different aspects of Holland. Welcome to Holland in Kuwait began on April 9 and will go on till May 24. Below is the schedule list : May 8: Musical evening with Mezzo SOPRANO Merel Huizinga May 10 -11: Study in Holland event May 16-20: Dutch Film Week May 18-20: Regional GCC Workshop in Labor Migration



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) Investments show positive results all through the end of this month. You might be wise to let an investment grow before cashing in on your share. Interest in religion or mysticism is strong. You may find yourself studying meditation, alternative medicine, yoga, etc. Perhaps you are curious about some cult, how it started, how to understand the people that are involved, etc. In-depth discussions and probing conversations find you at your mental best, all day long. You look to strengthen ties with family members, possibly a father. You may intuitively turn any negative tendency into being the best image to those at work or home today. You may arrange for some entertainment this evening. A book store, play, concert or movie may be in order tonight. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You could find yourself in a problem-solving mood and ready to use your problem-solving skills. Try to eliminate the possibility of spreading yourself too thin doing too many things at once. Say no when your time is already full. Everyone needs a break and a little refreshment, even if it’s soup and crackers. Your intuition is sharp and you may find new insights as you look through some news articles. Any new ideas you have now should be written down and saved for a day in which you have more time. Family, home, relatives and real estate play a big part in your life. You may find some good opportunities are available in the financial area of your personal life. This could take form through selling a possession or investment.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 4. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 8. Immense East Indian fruit resembling breadfruit of. 11. Legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity. 12. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 13. The act of using. 14. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 15. A person regarded as arrogant and annoying. 16. A light touch or stroke. 17. Common Indian weaverbird. 19. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 21. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 23. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 24. The sixth month of the civil year. 27. A federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955. 28. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 30. One of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 33. Type genus of the Amiidae. 39. The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. 40. An island in Indonesia south of Borneo. 42. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 43. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 46. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 47. Avatar of Vishnu. 48. Small cubes with 1 to 6 spots on the faces. 49. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. DOWN 1. Divulge information or secrets. 2. Type genus of the Ranidae. 3. Distant in either space or time. 4. A caustic detergent useful for removing grease. 5. Airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.. 6. 100 avos equal 1 pataca. 7. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 8. (Old Testament) The fourth son of Jacob who was forebear of one of the tribes of Israel. 9. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 10. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 18. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 20. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 22. An enclosed space. 25. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 26. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 29. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 31. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 32. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 34. God of death. 35. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 36. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 37. Rounded like an egg. 38. A small cake leavened with yeast. 41. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 42. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 44. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 45. A brittle gray crystalline element that is a semiconducting metalloid (resembling silicon) used in transistors.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your inventive imagination will get you out of some tight places today, including a difference of opinion in the work place. You are openminded, democratic and enthusiastic. You have a definite sense of mission. Others will find you especially witty as well. Friends value your independence and unique qualities. When it comes to teaching or coaching young people, you are a natural, always able to motivate and inspire others. You may find yourself guiding someone younger than you today. You may find yourself torn between an environment that is very comfortable and supportive versus a real need to progress and push out on your own. You could be neglecting either home, family or career due to social involvement, easy does it.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Practical decisions come easily when you find yourself working in problem-solving groups. You have the ability to focus well on whatever subject needs your attention and you are not afraid to point out possible changes that will enhance and put a polish on the end result. Clear decisions affecting others can be made with your input. Your passion seems to carry through to the evening when you could be concerned with the absolute truth of a particular matter. No second hand information for you this evening! You will be looking for basic fairness and healing ideas to offer at either a family or school education meeting tonight. All work and no play can certainly take its toll so find ways to really laugh and relax; particularly this evening. Smile Leo (July 23-August 22) You could become involved in some heated discussion this morning but it will turn into more of an educational lesson than a frustrating conversation. Look at the learning process. Getting your point across to others, and understanding what they REALLY mean when they communicate with you. Humor is medicine and timing is the most important ingredient. If you are looking for a job, anything connected with publishing, advertising, or broadcasting may be areas you have not thought much about, however, you might surprise yourself. Research, communicating your thoughts, fascination with words and the right or popular pronunciation may all be a part of these listed job suggestions. A change of plans or perspectives gives you the upper hand.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) If you try to be too many things to too many people, you will end up wishing you had some other person’s head on your shoulders before too long. You may have been making too many promises lately. See if you can help others find ways to problem-solve. Think through your obligations before adding to them. Unless you are going to a fire, you can usually say that you would like a little time to think over a change in plans. A new understanding improves the interaction between people and you will begin to find available time to learn about the different types of personalities available to you. Be as considerate of yourself as you are critical. Your energies are positive with regard to finances. Family members will enjoy your attention this evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This day improves as it moves along. Your energies in the work place are activated when there is new business. You and others are moved to accomplish as much as possible before the day ends. You may feel that you could handle most anything. In a relationship, it is important to express your love often and this may be something you think about today. You may think that others should know how you feel, but it is very important to hear those very important, sweet and thoughtful words. You see, when you stop a moment in your day and let a loved one know you care enough to take the time for sentimental words, the blood pressure is actually calmed and there is a feeling of peacefulness. A flame burns steadily with fuel; think about it.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Be true throughout this whole month. It is still a very busy time for you with little time left for relaxation. Your success will continue, of course, the future just doesn’t seem as busy as it is now. Perhaps this is a time you are preparing for a convention or a time when you will be carrying on as usual but have added new equipment or software to learn while you work. Continue to take care of your health and get plenty of rest. This very busy time should ease up soon. This evening you may decide to reassess your extracurricular activities. Participating in club activities could drain your energies and your finances at this time. Try cutting back a little and spend more evening time at home.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You will either want to tactfully shoo people away or put up a working sign so as to assuage any interruptions today, they will understand. You take giant steps forward in your line of work, especially if you are in the teaching field. Instead of making promises it would be good to write down in contract form, your intention; especially if you are working with young people. This afternoon you will find more of an opportunity to relax and catch up on some reading or philosophizing. What you learn from books this afternoon could be the answer to some long-term investment problems. Financial issues you face this month may require some restructuring and re-examination. A partner’s suggestions are good. This evening there are opportunities to play.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution to

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) This is a very good day for job-related events. Promotion or practical insights will come easily. It is important to record these insights in some way so that you can refer to them when you need them. You have an inventive mind and may find yourself creating something that many people wish they had invented. Be sure and follow the poor man’s copywrite method before you say anything to anyone. You could represent or speak for your company and may find yourself communicating about your skills in a question and answer period. The intellectual and communicative talents of those close to you take on greater importance this day. You could be most persuasive with others just now. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You can take full advantage of your position today. It is an excellent time to solicit the help of others, though it is important that you truly know the needs of your company or business before asking. In other words, stop to think about what you are asking before you ask. You probably already know the answer. There may be increases in your financial affairs through unexpected boons. However, it can be lost just as easily careful. This could be a period of great material gain; it is certainly a time when material things have a great deal of importance. Compare prices and be sure of your decision before making large purchases. Stay away from arguments by checking the facts. Others will be impressed with your knowledge. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your time is spoken for today and it may be difficult to accomplish anything you have on your own agenda. Compromise, cooperation and determination may be the only way to handle such a day. There is an urge to protest all month but you will be glad later that you did not. You have lots of desire to be productive. Use you energies in positive, constructive and creative ways. This, again, if you did not know, is a year during which you will be drawn to many forms of selfimprovement. The result, of course, is a deep feeling of accomplishment with an understanding of just who you are and a deep knowing of the path you will want to take in life. You may enjoy some outdoor exercise with a young person this evening, perhaps beginning a routine.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

17 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Saturday 08-05-2010 Airlines Flt Route Royal Jordanian 802 Amman Jazeera 263 Beirut Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Pakistan 239 Sialkot DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 527 Alexandria Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok British 157 London Kuwait 418 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Falcon 201 Bahrain Kuwait 204 Lahore Jazeera 613 Lahore Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Kuwait 344 Chennai Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Alnaser 711 Baghdad/Najaf Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 171 Dubai Egypt Air 810 Cairo Jazeera 457 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai Kuwait 774 Riyadh Royal Jordanian 800 Amman United A/L 982 Washington DC Dulles Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Jazeera 257 Beirut Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Mahan Air 5066 Mashad Saudi Arabian A/L 2371 Jeddah Kuwait 786 Jeddah Iran Aseman 6791 Mashad Kuwait 118 New York Nas Air 703 Medinah Mihin Lanka 403 Colombo/Dubai Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 427 Bahrain Rovos 061 Baghdad/Najaf Emirates 857 Dubai Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Cargolux 792 Luxembourg Saudi Arabian A/L 510 Riyadh Jazeera 493 Jeddah Jazeera 433 Mashad Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 239 Amman Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Kuwait 104 London Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 548 Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh Kuwait 616 Doha Wataniya Airways 202 Jeddah Iran Air 607 Mashad Jazeera 177 Dubai Iazeera 459 Damascus Kuwait 674 Dubai Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Singapore A/L 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 614 Bahrain Rovos 093 Kandahar/Dubai Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Indian 993 Chennai/Mumbai Oman Air 647 Muscat Middle East 402 Beirut Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Egypt Air 618 Alexandria KLM 0445 Amsterdam Kuwait 1782 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Qatari 136 Doha Kuwait 178 Geneva/Frankfurt United A/L 981 Bahrain Jazeera 429 Bahrain Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 117 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 185 Dubai Egypt Air 612 Cairo India Express 393 Kozhikode/Cochin Egypt Air 606 Luxor Kuwait 788 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

Time 00:05 00:10 00:30 00:50 01:05 01:15 01:45 02:15 02:15 02:25 02:55 03:25 05:45 06:10 06:15 06:30 06:35 07:00 07:10 07:40 07:50 07:55 07:55 08:00 08:10 08:20 08:20 08:25 08:40 09:00 09:25 10:25 10:45 10:45 10:50 10:55 11:05 11:15 12:50 12:55 13:10 13:15 1320 13:35 13:35 13:35 13:40 13:50 14:10 14:10 14:30 14:35 14:55 15:05 15:45 15:50 15:55 16:00 16:15 16:20 16:40 16:50 16:50 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:35 17:40 17:40 17:45 18:00 18:30 18:35 18:35 18:45 18:50 18:50 18:55 18:55 18:55 19:05 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:25 19:40 19:55 20:00 20:05 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:30 20.35 20:40 20:40 20:50 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:10 22:35 22:35 22:40 22:55 23:10 23:15 23:25 23:55

Departure Flights on Saturday 08-05-2010 Airlines Flt Route Shaheen Air 442 Lahore 607 Luxor Egypt Air KLM 0447 Amsterdam Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa DHL 371 Bahrain Pakistan 240 Sialkot Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Royal Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 422 Bahrain Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain 094 Dubai/Kandahar Rovos Jazeera 456 Damascus Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 256 Beirut Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 671 Dubai Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Kuwait 773 Riyadh Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 785 Jeddah Kuwait 547 Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo 405 Beirut Middle East Rovos 062 Baghdad Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 432 Mashad Jazeera 492 Jeddah Alnaser 712 Najaf/Baghdad Jazeera 238 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Jeddah Wataniya Airways 201 Egyptair 611 Cairo Jazeera 426 Bahrain Jazeera 458 Damascus Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Royal Jordanian 801 Amman Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Kuwait 561 Amman Egypt Air 622 Assiut United A/L 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 1781 Jeddah Kuwait 617 Doha Jazeera 746 Jeddah Saudi Arabian A/L 505 Jeddah 135 Doha Qatari Kuwait 613 Bahrain Iran Aseman 6792 Mashad Saudi Arabian A/L 9371 Jeddah Mahan Air 5065 Mashad Nas Air 704 Riyadh Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin Lanka 404 Dubai/Colombo Kuwait 787 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Jazeera 262 Beirut Jazeera 184 Dubai Saudi Arabian A/L 511 Riyadh 116 Abu Dhabi Jazeera Kuwait 285 Chittagong Cargolux 792 Hong Kong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh 240 Amman Jazeera Kuwait 283 Dhaka Iran Air 604 Isfahan Bahran Air 345 Bahrain Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore A/L 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Kuwait 331 Trivandrum Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Kuwait 381 Delhi Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 480 Sabiha Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 502 Luxor United A/L 981 Washington DC Dulles Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Egypt Air 613 Cairo


Time 00:10 00:15 00:30 00:50 00:50 02:15 02:30 03:15 03:30 03.45 04:00 05:00 06:50 07:00 07:00 07:25 07:45 07:50 08:00 08:05 08:10 08:25 08:25 08:40 08:45 09:00 09:10 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:40 10:00 10:00 10:10 10:25 10:55 11:35 11:35 11:45 11:50 11:50 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:15 12:15 12:25 13:00 13:45 13:55 13:55 14:00 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:35 14:40 14:50 14:55 15:10 15:10 15:15 15:35 15:45 16:00 16:20 16:55 17:00 17:00 17:05 17:10 17:35 17:40 17:55 18:05 18:03 18:05 18:10 18:20 18:20 18:35 18:35 18:40 18:45 18:45 19:10 19:10 19:25 19:10 19:40 19:45 19:55 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:55 23:20 23:30 23:40 23:40 23:55

ACCOMMODATION Decent accommodation available in Salmiya near Bestow supermarket from May 20 to July 2. Please contact 25620547 or 66737466. (C 2228)

8-5-2010 In the double room flat one fully furnished bedroom with separate bathroom and kitchen facilities available with Keralite family at Abbassiya. For couple, lady or ladies from May onwards, interested contact 24310332/97841925. (C 2222) 6-5-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya behind Caesars bakery one room and separate bathroom only Keralite Christian bachelors. Call 66452684. (C 2216) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya from May end onwards, for executive bachelors or a couple, in a CAC bldg with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, near Integrated School, Noor stores bldg, spacious rooms and big hall. Call 66752359, 97635928. (C 2218) 5-5-2010 Sharing available for a single decent Filipina lady to share with a single lady (Filipina) in Hawally, Fourth Ring Road, opposite Jabriya, rent KD 58. Tel: 66189873. (C 2202) 4-5-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya with a Keralite Christian family. CAC building, one room

and separate bathroom. Rent KD 90. Contact: 99412052. (C 2212) 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 from 7th June 2010. Contact: 99494359. (C 2207) Furnished sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya with Keralite family, for a decent bachelor or couple. Contact 66576595 or 24346903 after 6 pm. (C 2206) 3-5-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla XLi 1.6, model 2009, excellent condition, silver color, km 43,500 done. Contact: 55107856. (C 2224) Laptop IBM Intel Centrino, Ram 512, HD 30 GB, Wifi bluetooth, DVD + CD - WR, price KD 65, & IBM PC P4, Intel 2.8, Ram 256, HD 40 GB with Dell LCD complete price KD 55, all in excellent condition, call 99322585. (C 2223)

8-5-2010 Toyota Corolla, 2000 model, run 1,30,000 km, excellent condition. Call: 66876539, 24895197. Toyota Camry Grande, model 2005, 6 cylinders, done 62,000 kms only, white color, excellent condition, cash price KD 2,850. Contact: 60083759. (C 2220) 6-5-2010 Hummer



bronze color, very good condition, Price KD 5,250. Call: 97487676. (C 2217) Honda Accord, 2004 model, 4 doors, full options, 12,000 km, golden color. Call: 55522942. (C 2215) Pentium 4, Intel, 30 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, sound card, speakers, 17” CRT monitor, ready for Inernet KD 25. P III, with 17” CRT monitor KD 15. Contact: 66244192. (C 2214) 5-5-2010 Toyota Corolla XLi, 1.8L, model 2007, golden beige color, excellent condition, done 61,000 kms only, cash price KD 2,850. Contact: 97213518. (C 2202) 4-5-2010 SITUATION WANTED

Young male, first class degree holder in mechanical engineering, eagerly waiting for employment opportunities, excellent communication skills, Autocad proficient, visa transferable. Tel: 99972119, email: (C 2221) 6-5-2010 I need job as accountant, I have 3 years experience in Kuwait. I can use difficult packages, good MIS skills (Oracle reporting system). I also have driving license. Call: 55355954. (C 2210) 3-5-2010

MATRIMONIAL Inviting proposals for RC girl working as a staff nurse in MOH Kuwait, height 167 cm, age 28 years, from

Changanassery, going for vacation on middle of November preference for male nurse. Email: (C 2227) 8-5-2010 Proposals are invited for Nair girl, 24 years, BSc nurse, Mavelikara Taluk, Alleppey dist, presently working as a staff nurse in Amrutha hospital Cochin. Interested well educated Nair boys may respond with complete profile to email: (C 2219) 6-5-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Required a parttime maid from 2 pm to 7 pm to work for a small family in Farwaniya. Accommodation in Farwaniya is preferred. Salary KD 30. Please call: 66931621. 8-5-2010

MISCELLANEOUS NYF Kuwait offers a rare and golden opportunity of 3 days silence meditation course from 13th May to 15th May at Salmiya by well experienced visiting master from India. For details contact: 25635450/ 99838117/ 99315825. (C 2213) 5-5-2010



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 01:00 Food Network Challenge 02:00 Unwrapped 03:00 Food Network Challenge 04:00 Teleshopping 07:00 Return of the Chef 07:25 30 Minute Meals 07:50 Giada At Home 08:40 Great British Menu 11:00 Barefoot Contessa 12:00 Everyday Italian 13:00 30 Minute Meals 14:00 Nigella Express 15:00 Barefoot Contessa 15:30 Great British Menu 18:00 Everyday Italian 19:00 Nigella Express 20:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:00 Food Network Challenge

00:00 Big Love 01:00 Dawson’s Creek 02:00 Life on Mars 03:00 ER 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 The Closer 06:00 Beauty and the Geek 07:00 Big Love 08:00 The Pacific 09:00 Survivor 10:00 Life on Mars 11:00 ER 12:00 Beauty and the Geek 13:00 The Closer 14:00 Life on Mars 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 The Pacific 17:00 Survivor 18:00 House 19:00 CSI New York 20:00 Glee 21:00 Drop Dead Diva 22:00 The Closer 23:00 Nip/Tuck

00:15 Dark Days in Monkey City 00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Animal Witness 03:00 Animal Witness 03:30 Animal Cops Houston 04:25 Animal Precinct 05:20 Animal Battlegrounds 05:45 Monkey Business 06:10 E-Vets: The Interns 06:35 SSPCA: On the Wildside 07:00 Lemur Street 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 09:40 E-Vets: The Interns 10:05 New Breed Vets with Steve Irwin 10:55 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 11:50 Beverly Hills Groomer 12:15 Monkey Life 12:45 Dogs 101 13:40 Escape to Chimp Eden 18:15 Predator’s Prey 19:10 Orangutan Island 19:40 Going Ape 20:10 Cell Dogs 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:55 Animal Cops Miami 23:50 Orangutan Island

00:35 Perfect Day 02:10 Doctor Who Confidential 02:30 2 Point 4 Children 03:05 Teletubbies 03:30 Me Too 03:50 Fimbles 04:10 Teletubbies 04:35 Me Too 04:55 Fimbles 05:15 Teletubbies 05:40 Me Too 06:00 Fimbles 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 09:35 Teletubbies 10:00 Coast 11:00 Eastenders 13:00 Bargain Hunt 16:00 The Weakest Link 18:15 Holby City 19:15 Holby City 20:15 Doctor Who 21:00 Doctor Who Confidential 21:20 Robin Hood 22:15 The Life And Times Of Vivienne Vyle 22:45 Suburban Shootout 23:15 The Smoking Room 23:45 Jack Dee

BBC LIFESTYLE 00:20 The Naked Chef 00:45 The Naked Chef 01:10 Living In The Sun 01:55 What Not To Wear 02:55 Come Dine With Me 03:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 04:15 Cash In The Attic USA 04:45 Hidden Potential 05:10 What Not To Wear 06:00 MasterChef Goes Large 07:00 Antiques Roadshow 12:00 Saturday Kitchen 13:00 Living In The Sun 13:45 Cash In The Attic 16:00 Bargain Hunt 16:45 Come Dine With Me 18:50 Chuck’s Day Off 19:40 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 20:05 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 20:30 Saturday Kitchen 21:30 Living In The Sun 22:15 Cash In The Attic

01:00 The Locusts-PG15 03:15 Lars And The Real Girl-PG15 05:00 Mamma Mia-PG15 07:00 When We Were Kings-PG15

Pan’s Labyrinth on Show Movies 09:00 The Sting-PG15 11:15 Ensemble C’est Tout-PG15 13:00 West Side Story-PG15 15:30 Hard Ball-PG15 17:15 Napoleon Part 1-PG 19:00 Je Crois Que Je L’aime-PG15 21:00 Killing Me Softly-18 23:00 People I Know-18

00:00 Border Security 00:30 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Miami Ink 02:00 Overhaulin’ 02:55 Industrial Junkie 03:50 Extreme Engineering 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Does it Work? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Nextworld 07:55 Brainiac 08:50 Mythbusters 09:45 How It’s Made 10:10 Huge Moves 11:05 World’s Toughest Tools 12:00 Fifth Gear 12:30 Fifth Gear 12:55 American Chopper 13:50 Heartland Thunder 14:45 Mighty Ships 15:40 Huge Moves 16:35 World’s Toughest Tools 17:30 How It’s Made 18:00 Destroyed in Seconds 19:00 Tornado Road 20:00 Ultimate Survival 21:00 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green 22:00 River Monsters 23:00 Surviving Disaster

00:30 The Colony 01:20 The Gadget Show 02:10 Space Pioneer 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Scrapheap Challenge 04:45 How Does That Work? 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 Sci-Fi Science 06:10 The Colony 07:00 Scrappy Races 08:00 Robotica 09:00 Science of the Movies 09:55 Mega World 15:25 Savage Planet 15:55 Eco-Tech 16:50 How It’s Made 17:45 Da Vinci’s Machines 18:40 NYC: Inside Out 19:30 Nextworld 20:20 The Gadget Show 21:10 Science of the Movies 22:00 Mythbusters 23:40 Nextworld

00:00 Jungle Junction 00:20 Special Agent Oso 00:45 Handy Manny 01:10 Imagination Movers 01:35 Jungle Junction 02:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:50 Handy Manny 03:10 Jungle Junction 03:20 Special Agent Oso 03:35 Fairly Odd Parents 04:00 Phineas & Ferb 04:25 Suite Life On Deck 04:45 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:10 Hannah Montana 05:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 06:00 Little Einsteins 06:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 06:45 Handy Manny 07:10 Lazytown 07:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 08:25 Hannah Montana

08:50 Hannah Montana 09:40 Sonny With A Chance 10:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 10:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie 12:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 13:40 Hannah Montana 14:05 Sonny With A Chance 14:30 Hannah Montana 14:55 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:20 Hannah Montana 15:45 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:10 Hannah Montana 16:35 Suite Life On Deck 17:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:30 Princess Protection Programme 20:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:40 Hannah Montana

06:00 Jimmy Two-Shoes 06:25 American Dragon 06:50 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 07:15 Phineas & Ferb 07:40 KICK BUTTOWSKI 08:05 Suite Life On Deck 08:30 I’M IN THE BAND 09:00 K9 ADVENTURES 09:30 Zeke & Luther 09:55 NEXT X WINTER SHORTS 10:00 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 10:30 I’M IN THE BAND 11:00 Kid vs Kat 11:30 SHREDUCATION 12:00 Zeke & Luther 12:30 Phil Of The Future 13:00 Iron Man: Armoured Adventures 15:00 KICK BUTTOWSKI 15:30 Suite Life On Deck 16:00 I’M IN THE BAND 16:30 Zeke & Luther 16:55 Zeke & Luther 17:00 EVEN STEVENS 18:40 SHREDUCATION 19:05 Phineas & Ferb 19:30 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 20:00 Zeke & Luther 20:30 American Dragon 21:00 Suite Life On Deck 21:25 Iron Man 21:50 Power Rangers Jungle Fury 22:15 Aaron Stone

00:15 Streets of Hollywood 00:40 E!ES 01:30 25 Most Stylish 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 THS 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 25 Most Memorable Swimsuit Moments 07:45 25 Most Stylish 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 15 Most Shocking Political Sex Scandals 11:05 Kendra 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Behind the Scenes 13:40 Pretty Wild 14:30 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 15:25 THS 17:10 Behind the Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Kendra 19:40 THS 20:30 E!ES 21:20 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Bank of Hollywood

00:00 Chopped

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 Extreme Forensics 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Crime Scene Psychics 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Undercover 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Impossible Heists 12:50 Disappeared 13:40 Royal Inquest 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Undercover 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Impossible Heists 20:20 Disappeared 21:10 Ghost Lab 22:00 A Haunting 23:40 Psychic Witness

01:20 Belly Of An Architect 03:15 Gothic 04:40 The Silver Strand 06:20 Evidence Of Blood 08:10 Mac And Me 09:50 The Secret Of N.I.M.H. 11:10 Master Of The World 12:50 Parker Kane 14:25 Topkapi 16:25 The Lost Brigade 17:45 Elmer Gantry 20:10 Inherit The Wind 1999 22:00 The Madness Of King George 23:50 Body Of Evidence

00:00 Jerseylicious 01:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 01:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 02:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 03:00 How Do I Look? 04:00 Dr 90210 05:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 05:30 Area 06:00 How Do I Look? 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Style Her Famous 08:00 Clean House 09:00 What I Hate About Me 10:00 Ruby 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Clean House 13:00 How Do I Look? 20:00 Go Fix Yourself 20:30 The Look for Less 21:00 Ruby: My Australian Adventure 22:00 Jerseylicious 23:00 Dr 90210

00:00 Camp Lazlo 00:25 Samurai Jack 00:50 Megas Xlr 01:15 Out Of Jimmy’s Head 01:40 Chowder 02:05 Cow & Chicken 02:30 Cramp Twins 02:55 George Of The Jungle 03:20 Adrenalini Brothers 03:45 Eliot Kid 04:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 04:35 Class Of 3000 05:00 The Powerpuff Girls 05:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 05:40 The Secret Saturdays 06:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Best Ed 07:20 Samurai Jack 07:45 Cramp Twins 08:10 Eliot Kid 08:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 09:00 George Of The Jungle 09:25 Chop Socky Chooks 09:50 Casper’s Scare School 10:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:40 Bakugan: New Vestroia 11:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 11:30 Foster’s 60 12:30 The Secret Saturdays 12:55 Best Ed 13:20 Eliot Kid 13:45 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 14:10 Megas Xlr 14:35 Samurai Jack 15:00 Ben 10 15:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 15:50 The Marvelous Misadventures Of

00:00 Bondi Rescue 00:30 Lonely Planet 01:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 02:30 4Real 03:00 First Ascent 03:30 Jailed Abroad 04:30 Chasing Che 05:00 Amazing Adv Of Nobody Europe 05:30 Word Travels:The Truth Behind 06:00 Bondi Rescue 06:30 Lonely Planet 07:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 08:30 4Real 09:00 First Ascent 09:30 Jailed Abroad 10:30 Chasing Che 11:00 Pressure Cook 11:30 Food School 12:00 Word Of Mouth 12:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 13:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 16:30 Treks In A Wild World 17:00 Pressure Cook 17:30 Food School 18:00 Word Of Mouth 18:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 19:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 22:30 Treks In A Wild World 23:00 Pressure Cook 23:30 Food School

00:00 Watching Ellie 00:30 Two and a half men 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cougar Town 03:30 American Dad 04:00 Saturday Night Live 05:00 Watching Ellie 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Dharma & Greg 07:30 Three sisters 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Family Biz 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Dharma & Greg 11:00 Frasier 11:30 The Bernie Mac show 12:00 Saturday Night Live 13:00 Two and a half men 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 Married with Children 14:30 Three sisters 15:00 How I met your mother 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Family Biz 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 The Bernie Mac show 18:30 Dharma & Greg 19:00 Watching Ellie 19:30 Gary Unmarried 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Curb your Enthusiasm 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Saturday Night Live

00:00 What’s Good For You 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Look A Like 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 What’s Good For You 09:00 Look A Like 09:30 10 Years younger 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 Parenting 14:30 Job Club 15:00 GMA Weekend Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 18:00 Downsize Me 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

00:00 Pan’s Labyrinth-18 02:00 Explicit Ills-PG15 04:00 A Previous Engagement-PG15 06:00 Keith-PG15 08:00 Call Of The North-PG 10:00 The Perfect Child-PG15 12:00 Motherhood-PG15 14:00 Closed For Winter-PG15 16:00 Call Of The North-PG 18:00 Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist 20:00 Gifted Hands-PG 22:00 Defiance-PG15

01:00 Shadows In Paradise-PG15 03:00 Species: The Awakening-18 05:00 Solo-PG15 07:00 Twins Effect 2-PG15 09:00 Ba’al-PG15 11:00 Road Of No Return-PG15

13:00 Kung Fu Hustle-PG15 15:00 Ba’al-PG15 17:00 The Vanishing-PG15 19:00 Vacancy 2: The First Cut-18 21:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 23:00 Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance-18

00:00 High Heels And Low Lifes-PG15 02:00 Jason Byrne Live At Vicar Street Theatre-PG15 04:00 The Other Half-PG15 06:00 Slap Shots 3-PG15 08:00 Everything’s Gone Green-PG15 10:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 12:00 Pretty In Pink-PG15 14:00 Big Daddy-PG15 16:00 High Heels And Low Lifes-PG15 18:00 Otis-PG15 20:00 My Name Is Bruce-PG15 22:00 Bachelor Party 2-18

00:00 Chill Out: Scooby-Doo-FAM 02:00 How To Eat Fried Worms-FAM 04:00 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 06:00 The Three Robbers-PG 08:00 Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacati-FAM 10:00 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 12:00 Babar: King Of The Elephants-FAM 14:00 How To Eat Fried Worms-FAM 16:00 Kung Fu Panda-PG 18:00 Dragonlance-PG 20:00 Magic Sport 2-PG 22:00 Babar: King Of The Elephants-FAM

00:00 The Passion 02:00 Flash Forwards 03:00 Lipstick Jungle 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 The Unusuals 06:00 Better off Ted 06:30 Billable Hours 07:00 Flash Forwards 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Lipstick Jungle 10:00 The Unusuals 11:00 Flash Forwards 12:00 Better off Ted 12:30 Billable Hours 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 The Passion 16:00 The Unusuals 17:00 Saving Grace 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Psych 20:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 21:00 In Treatment 22:00 Repear 23:00 Saving Grace

01:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 02:00 Premier League World 02:30 Premier League 04:30 Barclays Premier League Preview 05:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 06:00 Premier League Classics 07:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 08:00 Premier League World 08:30 Premier League 10:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 11:30 Futbol Mundial 12:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 13:00 Premier League 15:00 Premier League World 15:30 Goals Goals Goals 16:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 17:00 Premier League 19:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 20:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 21:00 Premier League World 21:30 Premier League 23:30 Goals Goals Goals

19:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 21:30 Live European Challenge Cup

19:20 Mega Movers 20:10 Cities of the Underworld 21:00 Cities of the Underworld: Prague 21:55 Gestapo 22:50 Ancient Discoveries 3

00:00 WWE SmackDown 02:00 WWE Bottomline 03:00 UFC 113 Countdown 04:00 NCAA Basketball 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Bottomline 08:00 WWE NXT 09:00 WWE SmackDown 11:00 WWE Vintage Collection 12:00 UAE National Race Day 12:30 Live NRL 14:30 V8 Supercars Extra 15:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 17:00 WWE NXT 18:00 WWE Vintage Collection 19:00 UFC All Access 19:30 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 20:30 UFC 113 Countdown 21:30 WWE SmackDown 23:30 WWE Bottomline

01:00 Rendition-18 03:00 Taking A Chance On Love-PG15 05:00 Madagascar 2-PG 07:00 The Longshots-PG15 09:00 Stan Lee: Mosaic-PG 11:00 The 11th Hour-U 13:00 The El Escorial Conspiracy-PG15 15:45 Australia-PG 18:45 Made Of Honor-PG15 21:00 Hancock-PG15 23:00 Mirrors-18

00:15 The Night Of The Iguana 01:50 Slaves Of New York 04:00 Where Eagles Dare 06:30 The Screening Room 07:00 The Last Time I Saw Paris 08:55 The Screening Room 09:25 Two Weeks In Another Town 11:10 The Alamo 13:50 The Screening Room 14:20 Some Came Running 16:35 40 Carats 18:25 Where The Spies Are 20:15 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof 22:00 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid 23:55 Angels & Insects

00:30 Deep Wreck Mysteries 01:20 Mega Movers 02:10 Cities of the Underworld 03:00 Ax Men 2 03:55 Gestapo 04:50 The Universe 05:40 Extreme Trains 06:30 Deep Wreck Mysteries 07:20 Mega Movers 08:10 Cities of the Underworld 09:00 Ax Men 2 09:55 Surviving History 10:50 The Universe 11:40 Extreme Trains 12:30 Deep Wreck Mysteries 13:20 Mega Movers 14:10 Cities of the Underworld 15:00 Ax Men 2 15:55 Surviving History 16:50 The Universe 17:40 Extreme Trains 18:30 Deep Wreck Mysteries

01:00 Code 01:04 New 01:35 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:00 Code 05:04 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Rnb 10 08:45 Playlist 11:00 Club 10 11:45 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 14:00 Focus 15:00 Guest Star 15:15 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 French Only 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 30 20:00 Code 20:04 Africa 10 20:45 Playlist 21:00 Trace Video Mix 22:00 Legend 23:00 Club 10 23:45 Playlist

00:00 Angry Planet 00:30 The Thirsty Traveler 01:00 Globe Trekker 02:00 Great Scenic Railways-Australia 03:00 Angry Planet 03:30 Culture Shock 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Food 06:00 The Thirsty Traveler 06:30 Angry Planet 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Spring 08:30 Top Travel 09:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 10:00 Distant Shores 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Chef Abroad 15:00 Short History of Convict Australia 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Secrets of Ancient China 18:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 19:00 Floyd On Africa 19:30 Chef Abroad 20:30 Sophie Grigson in the Souk 21:00 Planet Food 22:00 Top Travel 22:30 Destination Art 23:00 Globe Trekker

01:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out 07:00 Smooth Wake Up 09:00 Vh1 Music 11:00 VH1 Weekly Album Chart 12:00 Top 10 Van Halen 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 VH1 Greatness Weekend 17:00 Final Countdown Best Soundtracks Ever 21:00 Diva’s Pt1 22:00 Diva’s Pt2 23:00 Saturday Night Fever

00:30 Premier League Darts 04:30 Premier League Preview Show 05:00 World Sport 05:30 European Tour Weekly 06:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Live AFL Premiership 10:00 Total Rugby 10:30 Live Super 14 14:30 Total Rugby 15:00 Premier League Preview Show 15:30 World Sport 16:00 Live Rugby League Challenge Cup 18:00 Live Super 14 22:00 Total Rugby 22:30 Super 14

01:00 European Tour Weekly 01:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 02:00 NRL Premiership 04:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 05:00 Premier League World 05:30 Goals Goals Goals 06:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Futbol Mundial 07:30 European Tour Weekly 08:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 09:00 Super League 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 Guinness Premiership 13:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 14:00 NRL Premiership 16:00 European Tour Weekly 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship

Rendition on Super Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:15 Garfield Gets Real 22:35 Mafia! 00:00 Stolen Life: Caught On Tape 01:25 Eyewitness 03:05 Dark Is Rising, The 04:45 Garfield Gets Real 06:05 Mafia! 07:30 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers 09:20 National Treasure: Book Of Secrets 11:25 Wild Hogs 13:05 Pebble And The Penguin, The 14:20 Ground Zero: The Deadly Shift 15:45 Kinky Boots 17:30 Alien (Director’s Cut) 19:25 Species STAR World 20:00 American Idol 21:00 [V] Tunes 22:00 [V] Tunes 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 [V] Tunes 03:00 [V] Tunes 04:00 American Idol 05:00 Stone Undercover 06:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

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

Scrubs The Bold and the Beautiful The Bold and the Beautiful The Bold and the Beautiful The Bold and the Beautiful The Bold and the Beautiful October Road American Idol [V] Tunes Stone Undercover Scrubs Scrubs According To Jim According To Jim Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? American Idol Samantha Who? Rules Of Engagement Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Granada TV 20:00 The Friday Night Project - Denise Van Outen 20:30 Astounding Celebrities 21:00 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 22:00 All About George (Series 1) 23:00 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7)

23:30 Astounding Celebrities 00:00 SuperAgents 00:30 Poor Little Rich Girls (Series 2) 01:00 Northern Lights 02:00 Big Bad World (Series 1) 03:00 The Last Detective (Series 1) 05:00 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 06:00 Emmerdale (WEEKEND OMNIBUS) 07:30 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 08:00 All About George (Series 1) 09:00 Young, Posh and Loaded 09:30 The Sunshine Girls 10:00 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) 11:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 12:00 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Series 3) 13:00 Stars In Their Eyes (Series 12) 14:00 Prime Drama: Dirty Filthy Love 16:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 17:00 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Series 3) 18:00 Stars In Their Eyes (Series 12) 19:00 Prime Drama: Dirty Filthy Love Channel [V] 21:00 [V] Special 22:00 [V] Tunes

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

[V] Tunes Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist [V] Special [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Backtracks Double Shot [V] Tunes XO Loop Backtracks [V] Countdown [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Loop [V] Tunes [V] Tunes [V] Tunes XO

17:30 Loop 18:00 Backtracks 19:00 [V] Countdown

18:30 Cavuto On Business 19:00 FORBES on FOX 19:30 Cashin’ In

Fox News 20:00 Happening Now 21:00 The Live Desk 23:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 00:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto 01:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 02:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 03:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 04:00 The O’Reilly Factor 05:00 Hannity 06:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 07:00 The O’Reilly Factor 08:00 Hannity 09:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 10:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 11:00 Fox Report 12:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 13:00 Hannity (repeat) 14:00 The O’Reilly Factor (repeat) 15:00 FOX and Friends Saturday 16:00 FOX and Friends Saturday 17:00 FOX and Friends Saturday 18:00 Bulls and Bears

National Geographic Channel 20:00 Inside -Inside: Guantanamo 21:00 Riddles Of The Bible -Riddles Of The Dead Sea Scroll S2 22:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Leonardo Davinci 9 22:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Man In The Iron Mask 10 23:00 Theme Week -World’s Deadliest Animals : India 00:00 Monkey Thieves -Rising Forces 11 00:30 Hayden Turner’s Wildlife Chall Wrinkled Lipped Bats 8 01:00 Generals At War -The Battle Of Stalingrad 02:00 Megastructures -Air Force Transport 03:00 Adventure Wanted -Eiger Base Jump S1-3 04:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet Tuscan Basics 04:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet Hawaiian Fusion 05:00 Wild Africa -Relentless Enemies 07:00 Nat Geo Weekends -Megastructures : The Canton Tower

08:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Leonardo Davinci 9 08:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Man In The Iron Mask 10 09:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : Samurai Spiders 10:00 ABOUT ASIA -Food Lovers Guide To The Plane : Hong Kong 4 10:30 ABOUT ASIA -Food Lovers Guide To The Plane : Korean Code 11:00 4Real - Peru 11:30 4Real - Vancouver 12:00 Megastructures -Air Force Transport 13:00 Nat Geo Weekends -The Known Universe : Speeding Through The Universe 14:00 Taiwan To The World -Taiwan to the World : Hip Hop Nation 15:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Leonardo Davinci 9 15:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Man In The Iron Mask 10 16:00 Megastructures -Air Force Transport 17:00 Nat Geo Weekends -The Known Universe : Speeding Through The Universe 18:00 Taiwan To The World -Taiwan to the World : Hip Hop Nation 19:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : Samurai Spiders


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Giant box getting closer to oil-spewing Gulf well VENICE, Louisiana: BP Plc engineers using undersea robots maneuvered a massive metal chamber to within 60 m of a gushing ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, working to contain a leak that threatens an environmental catastrophe on US shores. The four-story structure, BP’s only shortterm hope of controlling the spewing crude, is designed to fit over the biggest of two leaks nearly 1.6 km below the water and funnel the escaping oil to a surface tanker. But the technique has never been tried at that depth, where engineers guiding remotely operated vehicles battle darkness, currents and intense undersea pressure. BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward warned there was no certainty of success. “The pressures and temperatures are very different here, so we cannot be confident that it will work,” Hayward told CNN. He said the dome was being lowered “very carefully” on to the leak, and the next three to four days would be spent making the connections to try to pump crude to the surface. Light oil washed ashore for the first time on a chain of islands off the Louisiana coast on Thursday as the slick expanded. At least 5,000 barrels (795,000 litres) have poured into the Gulf each day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded two weeks ago, killing 11 workers. BP says the containment dome could be operating by Monday. The company is drilling a relief well to halt the leak that could take two or three months to complete. Engineers have also considered pumping heavy fluids into the top of the failed blowout preventer to plug the leaking well in a technique called “top kill”. But that would be “a couple of weeks away,” officials said, as BP tries to fix the blowout preventer with underwater robots. BP has been under heavy pressure from Washington to meet its responsibilities in what could be the largest oil spill in

U.S. history. After meeting with BP executives in Houston, US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the company and its partners made “some very major mistakes”. “Its life is very much on the line here,” Salazar told reporters. “Are they doing everything that they can possibly do? I hope that they are. I want to make sure that is in fact happening.” Salazar reiterated the US government will issue no new offshore drilling permits until an inter-agency panel gives a safety review to President Barack Obama by May 28. In the meantime, existing drilling will continue. Hayward said the company would meet its obligations to contain and clean up the spill, as well as compensate businesses for their resulting losses. He said a $75 million legal cap on its liabilities under federal law, which some US lawmakers want to raise, would not be a limit. “Where there are legitimate claims for business interruption, then we will be good for them,” he said. “We have said that it is inevitable that the $75 million limit has no relevance in this case.” BP shares fell, dropping 2.3 percent in London on Friday, in line with the fall in the broader market. The STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index was down 3.8 percent. The world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, warned payouts for natural catastrophe claims and the US oil spill had placed its 2010 earnings goal in jeopardy. Munich’s nearest competitor, Swiss Re, said the spill’s cost to the entire industry would be $1.5 billion to $3.5 billion. The spill threatens an economic and ecological disaster on popular tourist beaches, wildlife refuges and fertile fishing grounds in four states. It has forced Obama to rethink plans to open more waters to offshore drilling. A sheen of oil washed ashore on much of the Chandeleur Islands, barrier

islands that are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, in the first confirmation of the oil slick hitting land, a US response team spokeswoman said. Some oiled birds, including pelicans and a gannet, had been found, Jeff Dauzat of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said. M A Sanjayan, chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, flew over the Chandeleur Islands and described seeing “ribbons and ribbons” of orange-colored oil stretching for miles and penetrating the numerous small bays, channels and inlets of the islands. From the air, he said, the oil containment operations appeared almost futile compared with the enormity of the slick. “We saw over a dozen skimmers working one slick,” he said. “As the boats would approach (the oil), it would just give way right in front of them, from the wake. So they looked like toys, like Q-tips, trying to mop up a very large area.” The heavier oil remains farther off the coast for now, closer to the leak site. But the Mississippi Delta, Breton Sound and Chandeleur Sound are in danger of shoreline contacts over the next few days, officials said. Kevin Begos, a seafood industry spokesman in Apalachicola, Florida, said the spill has affected the marketplace, even though there’s no oil anywhere nearby yet. He said seafood dealers in his area have seen orders drop considerably. “Right now, it’s mostly fear, because oil hasn’t come here yet,” Begos said. Alabama tourism officials planned an ad campaign to let tourists know the beaches were still clean and encourage them not to cancel their vacation plans. “The beaches are beautiful, the weather is great and the water is clean. The oil is way offshore,” Alabama real estate agent Bobby Hornsby said in a message to customers. — Reuters

American passport new secret weapon Continued from Page 1 Border controls have been severely tightened since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “Jihadist planners wanting to strike the US mainland face many challenges. For one thing, it is difficult for them to find operatives capable of traveling to and from the United States,” intelligence think tank Stratfor said Thursday. So few disagree that a US passport might be valuable. It’s also true that the number of citizens involved in terrorist incidents is steadily growing. Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square car bomb, entered the United States on a student visa a decade ago and was granted citizenship in 2009. US Army

Major Nidal Hasan, a devout Muslim disturbed by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gunned down 13 people and wounded 42 last November at the Fort Hood, Texas army base where he served. Just a week ago a New York man, Sabirhan Hasanoff, was charged with helping AlQaeda. Tellingly, this US citizen is accused by prosecutors, in part, of urging another citizen “not to use his US passport when traveling because a US passport with fewer immigration stamps would be more valuable to Al-Qaeda”. The passport issue is provoking fierce debate at a time when immigration is already a hot topic. At issue is the question of what it means to be a citizen of one of the most open countries in the world - a country built on welcoming newcomers. Some

are using the fear of terrorism to push for a clampdown on the millions of illegal immigrants working and living productively here, often for years. Proposals to grant those illegal immigrants amnesty “will legalize more terrorists,” writes the rightwing Human Events. “Every aspect of our immigration system has been used by foreign terrorists to gain a safe haven in the United States,” senior Republican congressman Lamar Smith is quoted as saying. The left-leaning New York Times warns that undermining the inalienable rights of citizenship means entering “dark territory”. “Abandoning democratic institutions in the face of terrorism is an act of surrender,” the Times said Thursday in its editorial. “It will not make this country safer. It will make it more vulnerable.” — AFP

Mukesh wins Ambani feud Continued from Page 1 reporters. “We hope this is a turning point, (that it) will bring a healing touch,” Salve said. “I have always said both Mukesh and Anil Ambani are our national assets.” Shares of Anil’s RNRL, which was counting on the cheap gas to supply planned power plants, crashed 23 percent to 52.75 rupees on the Mumbai stock exchange. Reliance Industries’ shares rose 2.27 percent to 1,033.85. “This was a make-or-break case for RNRL. If things do not pan out well for RNRL during renegotiations, we see more downside for the stock,” said Deepak Pareek, oil analyst at Mumbai-based Angel broking. Anil Ambani, 50, said in a statement his company “currently has no plans” to ask for a review of the Supreme Court order and it

looked forward to “expeditious and successful renegotiations” with Reliance Industries to secure gas supplies. The seeds of the drama lie in the carve-up of the Reliance empire built by their rags-to-riches father Dhirubhai Ambani, who died in 2002 without a will. In the asset split, Mukesh kept the oil, gas and petrochemicals businesses of the group’s flagship Reliance Industries. Anil got its power utility division, the phone company and finance arm. Under the pact, Anil was to get gas from Mukesh at $2.34 per million British thermal units (BTUs). However, the government two years later said the gas should be sold at nearly double the rate. The government, which stood to lose out on royalties, argued the resource belonged to the nation and could not be subject to a family pact and sold at cut-

rate prices. “The gas belongs to the people of India,” Indian oil secretary S S Sundaresan told reporters after the ruling. “The viewpoint of the government has been upheld.” Analysts say the very public row had highlighted to investors the vagaries surrounding energy marketing and pricing policy in fuel-hungry India and could make them more cautious. The Ambani feud has also been seen as a lesson to other family-run businesses in India, which dominate the corporate landscape, on how not to handle a handover from one generation to the next. Anil had accused his brother of “corporate greed” and trying “every trick in the book” to wriggle out of the agreement. Despite their rancorous battle, Mukesh and Anil still live in the same high-rise family mansion in Mumbai with their mother, albeit on different floors. — AFP

Babylon torn between preservation and profit Continued from Page 1 model for saving other ancient sites in this country that witnessed the birth of urban civilization. “I’m optimistic because what is happening in Babylon is the proper and scientific step and, God willing, the work in Babylon will open up new horizons,” said Qais Hussein Rashid, head of Iraq’s impoverished antiquities department. Founded in the 3rd millennium BC, Babylon rose to prominence nearly 4,000 years ago under King Hammurabi, whose famous law tablet resides in Paris’ Louvre Museum. In subsequent centuries the city was conquered, razed and rebuilt several times, becoming the largest city in the world with 250,000 inhabitants under King Nebuchadnezzar II in 600 BC. Nebuchadnezzar built the famed hanging gardens, one of the seven wonders of the world, for his homesick wife. He also exiled the Jewish people from Israel, gaining Babylon a bad rap in the JudeoChristian tradition and the name of the city has since become synonymous with sin. Given the state of the remains, the World Monuments Fund is expanding its project, seeking up $1 million from the US to restore two monuments in urgent need of rescue: the 2,500 year old NabuSha-Khare temple and the remains of the monumental Ishtar Gate, once the main entrance to Nebuchadnezzar’s city. Of all the battered ruins, the temple has the most potential, with its arched rooms and courtyards holding altars to the gods. “This had the most original fabric,” explained Jeffrey Allen, a project coordinator. “It is a rare example of a fairly intact temple from the new Babylonian period.” But plaster smeared over the mud brick building in the 1980s is flaking

away and in some places the weight of the modern materials has pulled down the ancient walls. Termite-infested wooden beams have also collapsed, bringing down parts of the ceiling, and the lower levels of the walls are being eaten away by rising water from nearby agriculture. The 13.7 m foundations of the Ishtar Gate remain impressive, built of bricks decorated with exquisite reliefs of dragons and bullocks. Cement flooring laid down in the 1980s, however, has pushed ground water into the gates’ walls, disintegrating the bricks and destroying the lower row of carved animals. Babylon reopened to the public last year and receives a trickle of visitors, almost entirely locals. The site was a US and the Polish military base until 2005, and a UNESCO report in 2009 slammed the military for damaging it with their heavy equipment. But for Allen and others studying the site, the damage from the Saddam years is far more serious. Aiming to associate himself with the glorious kings of Iraq’s past, Saddam ordered the country’s ruins to be rebuilt. Nebuchadnezzar’s southern palace now has towering walls of modern yellow bricks, many of them stamped with Saddam’s name. The palace and a nearby rebuilt Greek amphitheater were used to host an annual music festival. The work “was rushed through with many mistakes,” said Ayeed Ghalib AlTaie, the deputy site inspector who has worked in Babylon for the last decade. Now that the surrounding area is secure, provincial officials are eager to have visitors - with their cash - coming to the site again. The governor of Babil province, is pushing quick restoration and doesn’t want to wait for further study.

“We are not satisfied with the pace of the work in the site, which is being totally neglected by the antiquities board,” said Mansour Al-Manae, a member of the provincial council and head of its archaeology and tourism committee. Already the province has taken over part of the site, converted some modern buildings into facilities for visitors and has laid claim to the hilltop palace Saddam built overlooking the ruins in the 1990s. “We are trying our best to attract investments in order to build restaurants and other attractions,” said Al-Manae, calling the site “a big source of money to the province and to the country.” The governor went so far as to contact UNESCO behind the back of the antiquities department in January and sign a letter of intent to work on Babylon together. But Baghdad pushed him to cancel the letter, said Rashid, the government antiquities chief. With stability gradually returning to the country after years of strife, tourists interested in Iraq’s rich history are trickling back to see sights like the Ziggurat of Ur, birthplace of the biblical Patriarch Abraham, further south. Mohammed Taher, a tour guide at Babylon for decades, remembers Wester n tourists in the 1970s and 1980s would come to the ruins of the Tower of Babel at New Year’s to hold ceremonies commemorating its Biblical significance - even though all that’s left is a square-shaped grassy knoll. Allen of the WMF argues that going slow now to draw up careful plans will pay off more later with international donors. “New excavations can’t go forward until we sor t out these problems,” said Allen. But once that happens “you are going to have a fabulous site someday, it has great potential”. — AP

GULF OF MEXICO: The containment vessel is raised off the deck of the Joe Griffin into the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig collapse Thursday. — AP

Parties woo kingmaker Continued from Page 1 most votes - the Conservatives should have the first right to try to govern. “I think it is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest,” he said. In Thursday’s election, the Conservatives won 36 percent of votes cast, Labour 29 percent and the Liberal Democrats 23 percent. The Conservatives also held out the tantalizing prospect of Liberal Democrat seats in a Tory government. Senior Conservative lawmaker William Hague said Cabinet posts for Liberal Democrats were not “off the table.” Cameron also left open the option of trying to form a minority government if the Liberal Democrats turned him down. Brown, too, appealed to the Liberal Democrats to make a deal. Cameron and Clegg would be “entitled to take as much time as they feel necessary,” Brown said, while offering to talk to the Lib Dems if they failed. “Clearly should the discussions between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg come to nothing then I would of course be prepared to discuss with Mr Clegg the areas where there may be some measure of agreement between our two parties,” he said. Brown went farther than Cameron by promising quick legislation on electoral reform. “There needs to be immediate legislation on this to begin to restore the public’s trust in politics,” Brown said. “The question for all the political parties now is whether a parliamentary majority can be established that reflects what you, the electorate, have told us,” he said in a statement delivered outside 10 Downing St - still his home, at least for now. Even a deal with the Liberal Democrats would leave Labour a few seats short of a majority, meaning they would have to turn to Scottish and Welsh nationalists for further support. Final results in Thursday’s election gave the Conservatives 306 seats it the 650 seat House of Commons. Labour won 258 seats, the Liberal Democrats 57, and smaller parties 28. Voting in one constituency was postponed until later this month because of the death of a candidate. Thursday’s closely fought election was the first since 1974 to produce a “hung Parliament”, in which no party has overall control. The prospect of days, and possibly weeks, of political horse-trading unset-

tled the financial markets. As the pound and the FTSE-100 index fell sharply, pressure mounted for a quick solution. “It’s vital that this political vacuum is filled as quickly as possible,” said Miles Templeman, director general of business group the Institute of Directors. “The country simply can’t afford an extended period of political horse-trading which delays much-needed action to tackle the deficit.” Observers both inside and out of the country were following developments with interest. “It’s a bit fascinating to watch,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Friday. “We look forward to working with whoever is the prime minister.” Cameron and Clegg held telephone talks yesterday, kicking off a furious round of negotiations. Face-to-face talks between party figures were expected later in the day, the BBC reported. Although Britain has no written constitution, senior civil servants have been careful to lay out the rules in the event of a hung Parliament and avoid even more marketrattling uncertainty. Mandarins from the prime minister’s office, the civil service and Buckingham Palace will make sure all parties are kept informed as politicians meet and wrangle. Queen Elizabeth II, as head of state, will ultimately have the job of inviting someone to become Britain’s new prime minister - but she plays no role in deciding who that will be. The parties hope to make a deal before the financial markets reopen Monday, but talks could drag on until May 25, the date set for the queen to read out the new government’s plans for the upcoming term of Parliament. Such a long period of political wrangling and confusion in one of the world’s largest economies could unsettle global markets already reeling from the Greek debt crisis and fears of wider debt contagion in Europe. Britain’s budget deficit is set to eclipse even that of Greece next year, and whoever winds up in power faces the daunting challenge of introducing big spending cuts to slash the country’s huge deficit. The FTSE 100 share index ended 2.6 percent lower yesterday amid the uncertainty, while the British pound traded as low as $1.4449 by late morning. It rallied to $1.4720 by late afternoon, still down sharply from $1.51 Thursday morning. Turnout for the election - the closestfought in a generation - was 65.2 percent, higher than the 61 percent in Britain’s 2005 election. Some polling stations were overwhelmed by those interested in cast-

ing ballots, and anger flared as hundreds of people were blocked from voting when polls closed. Electoral Commission chief Jenny Watson acknowledged that Britain’s paper voting system had been unable to cope with a surge of voters. It was an election that confounded political certainties: What appears a Conservative victory is a defeat for reforming leader Cameron. The Liberal Democrats’ poor showing still leaves them kingmakers. And the battered Brown could stay prime minister despite Labour’s worst showing in decades. “I have a feeling Gordon Brown will have to be dragged from No. 10 with his fingernails in the door posts,” said Victoria Honeyman, a lecturer in politics at the University of Leeds. For Cameron, a bicycle-riding graduate of Eton and Oxford who staked his leadership on returning the Conservatives to power after 13 years, the result is less than a triumph. The Tories fell short of a majority that only a few months ago was considered inevitable, and Cameron’s rightwing opponents within the party may prevent him offering concessions to the Europhile, civil libertarian Liberal Democrats. Tim Montgomerie, who runs grassroots website Conservative Home, said many activists would be disappointed with Cameron’s campaign. Some traditionalists have complained Cameron failed to address core party issues like immigration, instead focussing on a confusing message about building a “Big Society.” A large number of Cameron’s favored younger candidates failed to capture seats. “As he enters his talks with Nick Clegg, David Cameron has got to realize that he’s not just building a coalition outside the party - he’s got to build a coalition inside the party, too,” Montgomerie said. The biggest disappointment may belong to Clegg, whose party surprisingly failed to capitalize on his stellar TV debate performances and mid-election polls showing him rivaling Labour for second place. The party ended up with six fewer seats than before the election. Bill Jones, a professor of politics at Liverpool Hope University, said Clegg’s support had turned out to be sof t. “People thought, ‘he looks like a nice young man, he seems to be talking a lot of sense and he is quite handsome’,” Jones said. “It was like a passing love affair the electorate had with Clegg. But it ended.” — Agencies

Arabic websites make Net history Continued from Page 1 Hong Kong and Taiwan were in the queue for top-level domain names in local script, as were Sri Lanka, the Russian Federation, and several other Arab countries. “The fast track process is working really well for many countries,” ICANN’s Tina Dam said on Thursday in an online message. “We are very much looking forward to seeing how the market will adopt and use these (new non-Latin domain names).”

In January, the global agency overseeing Internet domain names said Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates could begin creating online addresses in their native languages. ICANN effectively broke the Latin alphabet’s three-decade hold on Internet domain names. As of Thursday, ICANN had received requests for 21 domain names in a mix of 11 languages. In October, ICANN approved a new multilingual address system which it said would open up the Internet to millions more people worldwide.

In the future it will be possible to write an entire website address in any of the world’s language scripts. ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush has described the new measure as the biggest technical change to the Internet for 40 years. ICANN says more than half the world’s 1.6 billion Internet users use languages with scripts that are not Latin-based. ICANN, a non-profit body formed in 1998 by the US government, was last year given more autonomy after Washington relaxed its control over how the Internet is run. — AFP

US Pakistanis pose as Indians after NY plot Continued from Page 1 Choudhri, an accountant and chairman of Brooklyn’s Pakistani American Merchant Association. “They are now pretending they are Indian so they can get a job.” India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, creating hostilities that ordinarily would lead a Pakistani to resent being mistaken for an Indian. According to the latest US census data, some 210,410 people of Pakistani origin reside in the United States. Nearly 15,000 Pakistanis received US immigrant visas last year. “I want to make clear that we will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week, noting there are always “a few bad

apples”. New York is “the city where you can practice your religion and say what you want to say and be in charge of your own destiny and we’re going to keep it that way,” Bloomberg said. In Washington, an American of Pakistani heritage who would only be identified as Farhan, said a manager of a suburban home-improvement store prevented him from buying two bags of fertilizer for his family’s lawn on Tuesday. Farhan, who was born in northern Virginia, said police arrived soon after, investigated and allowed him to buy the fertilizer. “What kind of a country are we living in when a 22-year-old male can’t buy fertilizer?” Farhan asked. “I’m American. I’m not Pakistani.” Farhan said the store had subsequently apologized and the case appeared to be one of an overzealous manager rather than store

policy. Merchants in New York, many of whom declined to be named, still remember reprisals after Sept 11. Soon after the attacks, there was a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn at a Pakistani restaurant, which is now closed. The local merchants association has shrunk to 150 members, from about 250 merchants almost a decade ago. The FBI also arrested many undocumented workers in the neighborhood, leading to a wave of deportations, and residents would call law enforcement to make claims against their neighbors, including many false claims, Choudhri said. “After 9/11, we took much pain,” he said. “After that, a small beating is nothing. Now the Pakistanis are not so much scared but we are ashamed. We are embarrassed that the name of Pakistan came up.” — Reuters



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Woods in happier mood, Holmes and Allenby lead Woods grinds out an opening 70 at Sawgrass

LISBON: Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns the ball to France’s Arnaud Clement during their Estoril Open tennis match at Jamor Stadium yesterday. Federer won 7-6 (9/7), 6-2. — AFP

Federer overcomes early mis-steps; downs Clement

ESTORIL: Roger Federer overcame a slow start before stepping up a gear to defeat Frenchman Arnaud Clement 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 today and secure a semi-final place at the ATP Estoril Open. The Swiss top seed, playing the event for the second time after winning the title on his debut in 2008, lifted his spirits as his French Open title defense draws nearer. “I got off to a bad start in the first game, down love-30, he played a great passing shot to start,” said Federer. “I looked for my forehand too much. The next thing you know, you are down love-40. He got me on the back foot and I had to play careful. I missed some chances and made too many mistakes in the first set. “It was not beautiful tennis from my side.” Federer will today compete for a spot in his second final at the Estadio Nacional in a match against holder Albert Montanes, after the fourth-seeded Spaniard defeated number eight seed Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-3 in their quarter-

final. At the bottom of the draw, fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain advanced when compatriot Alberto Martin retired with a stomach complaint when trailing 60, 2-0. Federer kept a perfect record of 7-0 at the tournament after defeating former Top 10 player Clement, now ranked 83rd, in their first meeting in four years. Federer leads 7-3 in the series against the man who stopped him twice at the Australian Open early in his career, having won their last six matches. The opening set under cloudy skies and amid chill temperatures was combative, with Federer needing to come back from a break in the opening game, which he got back in the fourth for 2-2. He still required 68 minutes to win the opener in a tiebreak, though, after saving a Clement set point. Once the initial hard work was done, Federer lifted his game in the second set, finding his range and going up two breaks.

The world number one took home the victory on his second match point after just over 90 minutes. “In the second set I could open up a bit and take a few chances, I learnt from the first set,” said Federer, recovering his form after an opening-round loss last week in Rome. “I was finally able to put him away. “Arnaud is tough, I’ve always struggled with him. He knows what I like and what I don’t like so much.” On the women’s side of the draw, Anastasia Sevastova of Latvia and Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja will play for the title after Sevastova beat Chinese seventh seed Peng Shuai 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-3 and Santonja upset second seed Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-4. “The first set was a battle and I knew that I would have to step it up,” said Sevastova, the number 74 who made the semi-finals this spring in Monterrey, Mexico. “I played more aggressive, put pressure on her and that helped. I’m happy to be in the final, it’s amazing.” — AFP

Abbasiya emerges champions Youth India Pravasi Sports 2010 KUWAIT: Youth India the youth wing of Kerala Islamic Group - KIG, conducted ‘Sports 2010’ under the theme ‘sports for social causes’. Kaifan Amateur Athletic Stadium witnessed enthralling moments as all the zones of Youth India competed fiercely to stay on top, till Abbasiya zone romped home with the Winner’s trophy with 71 points. After a tough fight Fahaheel zone contended themselves with the runnersup’s cup with 64 points and Abu Halifa Zone secured the third spot. The competitions were conducted with participants from all over Kuwait organized as teams based on their respective areas, namely, Abbasiya, Farwaniya, Salmiya, Fahaheel, Abu Halifa and Kuwait City. Around 1000 athletes competed in the events. The ‘Sports 2010’ started off with a colorful march past by all the six teams participating in the competitions. Youth India President Khaleelurahman received the salute and sports convenor Shafi PT led the march past. Abbasiya Zone Captain Saji Pappachan received the Winner’s trophy from KIG President Sakkeer Hussain Thuvvoor after winning the competitions held in Men, Sr Boys, Jr Boys and Sub Jr Boys categories. Captain of Fahaheel Zone, Shaheer Ahamed received the runners up trophy from Apsara Mahmood and Abu Halifa Zone secured the cash prize for the most participants sponsored by Apsara Bazar. Amal (Sub Jr, Abbasiya), Vivek (Sr Boys, Salmiya), Ashish ( Jr Boys, Fahaheel ) secured individual championship in their respective divisions and Satheeshan and Manoj shared the individual

Championship in the Mens division. The competitions were conducted under the supervisions of Najeeb VS, Jose Master, Vinoy Master, Rafeeq Babu, Fasalul Haq, Abdurazaq Nadwi, Zubair KA, Shanavas, Hafees Ismail and Abdurahman K. The results of the competi-

tions and the fight for the top spot saw many eyes being permanently fixed on the projector screen. Anwar Sayeed, Rishdin Ameer and Mahsoom controlled the documentation. Dr Robi Kurian and Dr Ashraf provided first aid and volunteers under the leadership of

Mohamed Saleem provided all the necessary support. Bahrain Exchange MD and General Manager, Titus inaugurated the ‘Sports-2010’. Youth India General Secretary Noushad VV welcomed the athletes and Sports Convenor Sajid AC delivered the vote of thanks.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH: Tiger Woods buried the memories of his Quail Hollow nightmare last week while fellow American JB Holmes and Australian Robert Allenby took joint control of the Players Championship on Thursday. World number one Woods, who missed the cut for only the sixth time as a professional at the Quail Hollow Championship, cut a very different figure at the TPC Sawgrass as he ground out a two-under-par 70. The 14-times major winner recorded three birdies and a lone bogey in benign conditions to end an opening round of low-scoring four strokes behind the pacesetting Holmes and Allenby. British world number four Lee Westwood was among a group of eight players bunched on 67 in a tie for third. With the smile back on his face and a bit of swagger in his stride, Woods was on track for his first bogey-free display at Sawgrass in 13 appearances before he faltered at the last. Despite bogeying the hole after pulling his tee shot left into water, he was overall satisfied with his start in the tournament widely considered the “fifth major” by the players. “I was just grinding my way around,” Woods told reporters. “I kind of placed my golf ball around the golf course. I felt good. “I left a few shots out there and I didn’t make any putts today at all,” added the 34-year-old, who totaled 31 putts. “I had a few chances in there to make some putts, make some birdies, and I didn’t really do it.” Having recently returned to golf after a self-imposed break of five months following revelations about extramarital affairs, Woods felt he had received unfair criticism for his rusty form. “Obviously I have had some bad days but I’ve played six competitive rounds in seven months and people need to be a little more realistic. “It takes time to get into the rhythm of competing and it takes tournaments.” SURPRISINGLY CALM On a surprisingly calm day at Sawgrass where the greens were receptive and the average score of 71.103 was the lowest for the first round in 17 years, Holmes took advantage to set the early pace. “It was a fun day, one of those rounds where everything was going pretty good,” the long-hitting American said after firing a flawless six-birdie 66. “I wasn’t in too much trouble at any point ... one of those rounds where it’s not easy but it kind of felt pretty easy.” Allenby moved one stroke ahead of Holmes with seven birdies in his first 13 holes before he ran up a three-putt bogey at the parthree eighth, his penultimate hole. “I played well all day, drove it well and hit my irons well into the greens,” said Allenby, a four-times winner on the PGA Tour. “I was a bit unlucky with my tee shot on eight ... I just left myself an impossible putt. But overall I’m very happy.” US Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who could take over as world number one for the first time if he wins this week and Woods finishes outside the top five, matched his long-time rival by carding a 70. “Shooting 70 today isn’t the round that you want,” Mickelson said after recording four birdies and two bogeys. “There wasn’t much wind, the greens were receptive and there were a lot of low scores. “The reason I think this was a good day for me is I just didn’t have it ... and yet I was able to shoot a couple under par. If I can come out tomorrow, get hot and shoot something in the mid-60s, I can get back in the tournament.” — Reuters

FLORIDA: Tiger Woods hits a fairway shot on the tenth hole during the second round of the players Championship held at the players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass yesterday in Ponte Vedra Beach. — AFP

Tee for two as Irish twins reach for cup LONDON: A painful accident six years ago proved a lucky break for identical twins Leona and Lisa Maguire and paved the way for the Irish teenagers to become the most exciting prospects in women’s golf. Next month, in Boston, the 15year-olds will become the youngest players to represent Britain and Ireland against the United States in the Curtis Cup-the most prestigious team event in women’s amateur golf. For those in the know it is no surprise. After all, since they were first given a pitcher and a putter as nine-year-olds the Maguires have taken the junior and amateur ranks by storm, stacking the shelves in the family home in Ballyconnell with silverware. Only Michelle Wie has played in the Curtis Cup at a younger age, making her debut as a 14year-old, and the progress of the Maguire twins is already drawing comparisons with the American whose much-hyped professional career has yet to catch fire. A better benchmark would be Rory McIlroy, the Northern Ireland whizzkid who last week became the first player to win a PGA Tour event before his 21st birthday since Tiger Woods. Like McIlroy, who turned professional at 18, the Maguires are in no hurry although they both dream of the day when they battle each other down the 18th for a major. The Maguires’ golfing journey began in unlikely circumstances in 2004 when both swam competitively. Lisa broke her elbow in a fall and as part of her rehabilitation her father Declan took her and her sister to the local golf course. Immediately they were hooked and he liked what he saw. PROFESSIONAL GOLF Just a year later they played in the Junior Masters in La

Manga in Spain with Lisa winning and Leona finishing as runner-up. The following year at the under-12 world championships at Pinehurst, North Carolina, Lisa won by five shots with rounds of 68, 68 and 65 with Leona a very creditable

Golf third. As 12-year-olds, the pair got their first taste of professional golf when they were invited to play at the Northern Ireland Open-both of them narrowly missing the cut. Even McIlroy did not play his first European PGA Tour event until he was 17. “To play at 12 in a Ladies European Tour event was incredible,” their coach Shane O’Grady, who has polished their natural talent said. “I teach a lot of good players because that’s my specialty as a provincial coach with the Irish Union. When they came to me as 10-year-olds they were already playing off 20 handicaps. “After a couple of sessions I realized the difference was their dedication. I hadn’t seen that before in kids that age.” Being twins, a natural rivalry has developed between Lisa and Leona who practice together and could play foursomes in the Curtis Cup. While fiercely competitive, they also give each other great support, especially when playing dad. “That can get quite serious,” Leona said. “He still thinks he knows what to do but family pride is at stake. We normally win but he gets a few shots now. We don’t want dad to have the bragging rights for too long.” “With Lisa and I, when we are playing tournaments we are rivals but if I can’t win I want her to bring the trophy home to the house and it’s the same for her. The goal is to turn pro and play the LPGA Tour and battle each other for majors.”

SHARED HONOURS They are closely matched and share the honors between them, with Leona winning the French Under 21 Amateur tournament for the last two years. From June 11 to 13, however, it is all about the team. “We were over the moon when we found out we were in the Curtis Cup team,” Leona said. “It’s a great honour and a privilege and the pinnacle of women’s amateur golf. I’m delighted and relieved that all the hard work paid off.” Leona said Padraig Harrington’s success in winning three majors had been a huge motivation for her and Lisa, who both took part in the opening ceremony at the Ryder Cup at the K Club in 2006 when they also met Woods and Sergio Garcia. “(Harrington) is a huge role model for myself and Lisa,” she said. “What he has achieved over the past few years is phenomenal. “He was pleased that we still go to school and told us that the discipline we had for sitting exams at school would be the one that takes us through into professional golf.” The Maguires, with Declan and mother Breda, both teachers, and eight-year-old brother Odhran, have become used to six weeks on the road every summer. It is very much a family adventure and an expensive one at that. “Yeah, we’ve mortgaged the house a couple of times but we want to give them the best chance,” Breda said. “It’s amazing where we’ve come from and their dream is to play professionally but that won’t happen now...they are far too young. “They are quietly confident and very dedicated but also like the normal things that girls like. Michelle Wie’s situation was very different but people have their own reasons. I certainly would never voice my opinion about other people’s children.” — Reuters


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Demand for corporate WCup packages slumps More than 30 percent of rooms unsold

MARSEILLE: Olympique de Marseille’s captain Mamadou Niang exercises with sunglasses during a training session at the Commanderie after Marseille won their first championship title in French league in 18 years.—AFP

After Marseille coronation, Lyon and Bordeaux race for Euro-lucre PARIS: With Marseille winning their first French championship in 18 years there is a retro whiff in the air ahead of this weekend’s action which will see the teams below them scramble for places in the cash cow of the Champions League. Didier Deschamps followed former France teammate Laurent Blanc in masterminding the title win, 12 months after his 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 temamate performed the feat with Bordeaux - and 17 years after Deschamps lifted the European Cup with Marseille as a player. But as Marseille rejoin the ranks of the winners so there are losers and the higher they rise the heavier they usually fall. With the rise to prominence of Lille and Auxerre - both previous Champions League participants and currently in the other qualifying slots - both Bordeaux and exserial champions Lyon face the prospect of missing out. Lyon won seven French titles in a row before being dethroned by Blanc’s men. But their supine showing against Bayern Munich in what was a belated first European semi-final will not be coach Claude Puel’s biggest nightmare of the campaign if his side lose to Valenciennes yesterday as Lyon would lose ground on what is already an unacceptable fourth spot. A win would potentially take ‘Les Gones’ into second as they currently trail Lille and Auxerre by two points - and they also, crucially, have a game in hand at home to Monaco. “If we want to achieve anything we must show character. We have three matches to go but we have to believe in ourselves,” said Swedish star Kim Kallstrom. As for Bordeaux, whom Lyon beat in the Champions League quarters after first putting out Real Madrid to suggest they might not ultimately

flatter to deceive at the highest level, Wednesday’s draw at Nice ahead of yesterday’s home encounter with Sochaux means Blanc’s men could miss out on Europe altogether. Amid reports Blanc has been offered the chance to replace France coach Raymond Domenech after the World Cup (though he is under contract until 2011) Bordeaux’s hierarchy are clearly angry at the way their season has imploded since losing the League Cup final to Marseille in March. Mid-season, they had been nine points clear of the field. “I didn’t feel the players invested much in the match,” club chairman Jean-Louis Triaud remarked after the Nice draw which left the Girondins sixth and six points off a Champions League qualifying round finish with two games left. Triaud said the performance “looked like a friendly” showing and lacked urgency when millions of Euros are at stake. Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff is still out with hamstring trouble and Blanc recognizes that “Bordeaux without certain players are a lot less of a force to be reckoned with.” Blanc has already discounted the Champions League after a “mediocre” season - but says “we owe it to ourselves to participate in the Europa League.” Lille will not afford Marseille any time to rest on their title laurels, meanwhile, as the two meet at the northern club who have already tasted the Champions League on three occasions. The hosts will need to go all out as Auxerre, champions for the only time in 1996, will expect three points at home to lowly Lens. “Qualifying for the Champions League would be the cherry on the cake,” as Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez readily admits. —AFP

Rangers out to finish title winning season on a high GLASGOW: After the disappointment of their midweek defeat to Celtic Scottish international midfielder Kevin Thomson is determined that Rangers sign off their season on a high with a win over Motherwell at Ibrox tomorrow. The champions will finally be presented with the Scottish Premier League trophy after clinching their second title in a row two weeks ago. Walter Smith’s men lost to their bitter rivals in the final Old Firm game of the season in a match that only had pride at stake. But Thomson has already banished the memories of that game and urged his teammates to give the fans something to celebrate against European chasing Motherwell. “We want to bow out on a high by defeating Motherwell,” the Rangers player said. “It feels as though we have been waiting a long time to receive the trophy because we secured the title a couple of weeks ago now. It’s really just been a case of trying to get across the finishing line. “It’s fantastic to have won the league again and we are deserved winners. But it goes without saying we would like to end the season on a high by beating Motherwell. That would put everyone in a real mood to party.” Rangers will be without a couple of key men for their final bow of the season. Keeper Allan McGregor injured his knee against Celtic and Lee McCulloch is suspended after his red card in the fixture. The match could also be the swansong appearance for a host of players including prolific striker Kris Boyd, DaMarcus Beasley, Nacho Novo, Steven Smith and Kirk Broadfoot who are all out of contract in the summer. Craig Brown’s squad come to Ibrox on the back of their stunning midweek comeback against Hibernian.

The Fir Park side were 6-2 down before Lukas Jutkiewicz scored in injury time to seal a 6-6 draw in the highest ever scoring match in SPL history. The Steelmen only need to match Hibs’ result away to Dundee United at Tannadice to clinch the final Europa League spot. Neil Lennon will try and use Celtic’s final game of the season against Hearts to land the manager’s job at Parkhead on a permanent basis. A decision is expected within the next ten days and the interim boss, who has won seven in a row in the league including Tuesday’s Old Firm derby, says the players have finally started to show their quality at the end of a rare trophy-less season.

“In the past few weeks, the players here have shown they can play for the club and can handle the expectation,” the Hoops boss said. “But it will be a new season and a lot of circumstances will change over the course of the four of five weeks of the close season.” Rugby Park will play host to a tense relegation play-off between Kilmarnock and Falkirk tomorrow. The Bairns know they need to win if they are to avoid the drop as Killie sit two points above them but manager Steven Pressley is in confident mood. “We know what we need to do now and we’re confident we can do it,” the Bairns boss said. “You shouldn’t fear the challenge, you should relish it and we’ll do that.” Aberdeen bring down the curtain on a disappointing season away to St Mirren. The Dons have won just twice in 19 games and will finish Mark McGhee’s first season in charge in ninth position. St Johnstone host Hamilton at McDiarmid Park with the two sides battling to finish top of the pile in the bottom six of the table. —AFP

Matches on TV (local timings) Spanish League Getafe v Malaga Aljazeera Sport +7 Deportivo v Real Mallorca Aljazeera Sport +6 Villarreal v Valencia Aljazeera Sport +5 Sevilla v Barcelona Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Real Madrid v Athletic de Bilbao

Aljazeera Sport +1 22:00 22:00 22:00 22:00


German League Borussia M G v Bayer 04 Premiere Sport 1 Hertha v Bayern Munich Dubai Sports 1 FSV Mainz 05 v Schalke 04 Premiere Sport 1 Dubai Sports 2

16:30 16:30 16:30

JOHANNESBURG: The global economic crisis and alarmist reporting about South African crime have damaged World Cup sales with thousands of hotel rooms unsold and a collapse in foreign demand for corporate hospitality packages. FIFA’s official travel agent MATCH has been unable to sell 35 percent of the rooms it reserved in World Cup host cities and has abandoned plans to house fans in Mauritius and other neighboring countries, the company’s boss said yesterday. In an interview with Reuters, Jaime Byrom said sales of lucrative luxury hospitality packages to foreign financial services companies, who dominated this market at the last World Cup in Germany, had collapsed. But the losses had been compensated for by South African firms. Speaking of demand from the financial services sector, he added: “With the exception of South African banks, we have had very little if any business from overseas.” Byrom could not give the figure for overall unsold rooms across South Africa but said MATCH had retained 65 percent of the original inventory in host cities during the tournament. The rest had been returned to the open market. Officials have recently adjusted the number of foreigners expected for the World Cup from 450,000 to 370,000 or fewer. They blame the global economic crisis and alarmist reporting about violent crime, which Byrom repeatedly attacked. Byrom said most fans had opted to stay close to matches and a “significant” number of the rooms released back onto the market were in periods before and after the tournament or in more distant locations. He said a controversial plan to fly fans from neighboring countries and from non-tournament venues like South Africa’s scenic Garden Route, had been abandoned. There was insufficient demand to justify housing fans in the luxury hotels of Mauritius and South Africa’s immediate neighbors did not have enough suitable hotels. “We needed a critical mass to make it logistically sound, we couldn’t get that critical mass in the neighboring countries so that we could make it logistically feasible,” Byrom said. Hopes of a windfall of World Cup revenue for South Africa’s neighbors have been dashed in recent months. Critics have always questioned the viability of the Mauritius plan, that would have involved fans in return journeys of up to 17 hours to watch a match. Byrom said that even long haul non-venue locations in South Africa had proved unviable. “Because of the economic situation around the world, the burden of having to fly to every single match proved too big for people.” Byrom said MATCH would use about 48,000 accommodation rooms compared to the original estimate of 55,000, which at one time raised fears that South Africa would be unable to handle demand. He could not give figures for room nights sold, which is a more accurate indicator of demand. But he said more had been sold for this World Cup than Germany in 2006, despite the deterrent of a long haul and expensive tournament location. Byrom said South African companies had stepped into to rescue corporate hospitality packages, which account for around four percent of FIFA’s World Cup revenue. “I can tell you with confidence that we still believe we will meet our targets in hospitality, but that will be thanks to a large degree to the extraordinary enthusiasm we have found in corporate South Africa.” The Mexican-born executive repeatedly attacked negative reporting about South Africa in the foreign and particularly British press, which has deterred some overseas fans. “I have yet to find a country that has put so much effort and enthusiasm into an event as South Africa and a lot of bad reporting has spoiled the party,” Byrom said. MATCH’s efforts early this year to boost the number of fans coming to Africa’s first World Cup from other parts of the continent had failed. The company had set aside a small fleet of jumbo jets to transport fans, particularly from West Africa, where four of the other five African qualifiers are located, but there had been an insufficient response. —Reuters

JOHANNESBURG: Dancers rehearse for Carmen at the Johannesburg University yesterday. The production which has been dubbed the ‘Soccer Ballet’ has been commissioned to coincide with the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament which gets under way June 11. — AP

Algeria braces for historic football comeback ALGIERS: After a 24-year absence from football’s biggest tournament, Algeria’s lastminute qualification for the World Cup sent shock waves of glee through a country still reeling from a decade of civil war, persistent Al-Qaedalinked terrorism and massive unemployment and graft. The fans in the football-mad country on the northern coast of Africa are so excited that even high school graduation exams have been pushed forward so students can remain glued to the TV in June - just like everybody else. “Being at the World Cup is viewed as a symbol of Algeria’s return to the international stage,” said Nasser Djabi, a sociology professor at Algiers University. “It’s a form of national revival, especially for the youth who don’t believe in much.” Algeria was forced to beat Egypt in a onematch playoff to qualify for the tournament in South Africa, becoming the sole Arab nation at this year’s World Cup. The task ahead is not easy, though. “We’ll do our best, though it’s a massive challenge,” Algeria coach Rabah Saadane said in an interview at Algeria’s football federation headquarters. “It’s an achievement to be qualified. To make it to the second round would be startling.” Algeria will play in Group C at the World Cup, facing England, the United States and Slovenia. None of them, according to Saadane, will be easy to beat. “England, especially, is a high caliber,” the coach said. “Whatever technical deficiencies we may have, we’ll compensate by playing with all our heart.” The World Cup offers a rare moment of national unity and optimism in a country beset by a lackluster economy,

ALGIERS: A newly released stamps are displayed at the ‘Grande Poste’ in Algiers. Algerian post authorities released a new range of stamps representing the National football team taking part in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. —AFP regular riots, near-weekly bombings or ambushes by AlQaeda linked terrorists and deep mistrust between secular-leaning state forces and former Islamist insurgents who faced off in a bloody civil war in the 1990s, killing an estimated 200,000 people. “We’ll make our people proud,” Saadane said. Djabi said that a return to the sporting elite shows that things in general can get better. “People see it on par with security slowly improving, and some social services and housing concerns getting better,” the professor said. Saadane was even more effusive, saying qualification has “produced immense pride. In fact, it’s our proudest moment since independence.” That’s saying a lot in a country where the long and bitter war with France, its for-

mer colonial ruler, and the 1962 independence remain seminal moments and constant political references. The team, known as the “Fennecs,” or “Desert Foxes,” hasn’t played at a World Cup since 1986, when it was eliminated in the first round. Before that, Algeria beat West Germany - one of the favorites - in the 1982 World Cup, but was still eliminated after an infamous match in which West Germany beat Austria 1-0, conveniently sending both teams through. That match led to a change in FIFA’s scheduling rules. For this year’s World Cup, Saadane has already chosen a 25-man squad, but he will have to drop two players by June 1, according to FIFA rules. “I need to know what their game is like, what their physical shape is,” Saadane said of his

team. “That’s why I need as much time as I can get.” Some of those players have never before played for Algeria, but that’s not a surprise since the majority of the team was either born or raised in France. Many never even had Algerian passports until recently, but that won’t likely bother the fans who want to see the team succeed. The pressure is so strong on the team in Algeria this time that Saadane decided they couldn’t train at home or even in France. The Desert Foxes will instead spend time ahead of their June 13th opening match against Slovenia training at altitude in the Swiss Alps. “There were just too many fans here and in France,” Saadane said. “We needed a more neutral place to regroup.” —AP

Montreal to join MLS in 2012 NEW YORK: Montreal will be admitted to North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) competition from 2012, it was announced yesterday. Montreal will become the league’s 19th team and the third from Canada, joining Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, one of two news clubs starting up next season. “We are proud to welcome Montreal, the second largest French-speaking city in the world and a multicultural metropolis whose residents are deeply passionate about the world’s game, to Major League Soccer,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. Owned by Canadian businessman Joey Saputo and his family, Montreal Impact cur-

rently play in a temporary second-tier competition that was borne out of a feud between rival leagues. They have been linked with a move to the MLS for a number of years but did not enter the league in the last round of expansion when Vancouver and Portland were admitted for 2011. “I am extremely proud of the acquisition of an MLS team,” Saputo said. “This is what Montreal deserved: a great league within a great city.” The team is expected to retain the Impact moniker and will play at Saputo Stadium, which will undergo a C$23 million renovation to raise the seating capacity to 20,000 from 13,000. A select number of games will also be played at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. “I

believe the structure we already have in place, the support, the fans, the stadium, the following, will allow us to hit the ground running in 2012,” Saputo told a news conference in Montreal. “Just like we intend to compete on the field with the best clubs in MLS, we know that our fans will compete in the stands with the likes of Seattle or Toronto.” The MLS began with 10 teams in 1993 then increased to 12 in 1998 but two clubs dropped out in 2002 when attendance began to fall and teams were under financial pressure. The league has been steadily increasing ever since and the MLS is expected to add a 20th team for 2012 with several US cities already expressing interest. —Reuters



saturday, May 8, 2010

Pro Football Hall of Famer hit with rape charge SUFFERN: Former NFL great Lawrence Taylor was charged on Thursday with thirddegree rape of a 16-year-old girl brought to him in a New York suburb by a pimp, and could face up to four years in prison. Taylor paid $300 to have sex with the underage girl in the early hours of Thursday morning in Room 160 of the Holiday Inn hotel in Montebello, a village about 25 miles north of New York City, local police said. Pro Football Hall of Famer Taylor, 51, is denying all charges and will plead not guilty, his lawyer told a judge in the town of Ramapo, which includes Montebello. Taylor, known as “LT” when he starred with the New York Giants from 1981 to 1993, was handcuffed and wore a black shirt and blue

jeans in the Ramapo courtroom as he stood to hear the charges. “Every fact is at issue,” lawyer Arthur Aidala told reporters outside the courtroom. “Lawrence will fight every charge. Like every celebrity, Mr. Taylor is a target.” The former linebacker, held in the town jail overnight, was released on $75,000 bail by Town Justice Arnold Etelson. The twotime Super Bowl winner did not speak to reporters who crowded into the parking lot outside the town hall. Taylor, married and the father of three children, owns a home in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and was in New York to make a corporate appearance, his friend and business partner Mark Lepselter told reporters. His next court appearance on

charges brought by the victim identified only as “CF” was set for June 10. Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St Lawrence told a news conference in the parking lot that the girl had been reported

right to pursue charges against him. “CF” was 15 years old when she was reported missing by her uncle, and has since turned 16, the town supervisor said. Taylor was charged with an E felony of

Taylor charged with having sex with minor by her uncle as a runaway in March. St Lawrence said she had been delivered to Taylor shortly after midnight by a man identified as Rasheed Davis, who was arrested by New York City police after the victim communicated with her uncle after the incident. Davis faces charges in New York, St Lawrence said, with Ramapo reserving the

engaging in a sexual act with someone under the age of 17. He also was charged with a misdemeanor of soliciting a prostitute that carries a maximum sentence of one year. Taylor was one of the most dominating defensive players in the history of the National Football League. An All-Pro in each of his first nine seasons, the second overall

draft pick from the University of North Carolina was NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times and league MVP in 1986, the season that produced the first of two Super Bowl titles he won with the Giants. “Lawrence Taylor, defensively, has had as big an impact as any player I’ve ever seen,” former Oakland Raiders coach and broadcaster John Madden told in a 2007 article on the best athletes of the century. Taylor was ranked No 40. Admired on the gridiron for his strength, speed and ability to rush the quarterback, Taylor was troubled off the field by drug and alcohol problems. In his autobiography, “LT Living on the Edge,” Taylor said he started using

drugs during his second NFL season and would avoid testing detection by using urine from other teammates. Two failed drug tests, however, brought him an automatic four-game suspension. Following his retirement, he was arrested three times for drug-related offenses before entering a rehabilitation program and proclaiming his drug and alcohol woes are a thing of the past. Police found no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse in the hotel room and said Taylor had cooperated with authorities. In recent years Taylor has worked as a sports broadcaster, embarked on an acting career and competed on the eighth season of the ABC television show “Dancing With The Stars.” — Reuters

Red Wings avoid elimination Franzen has 4 goals, 6 points; Wings stay alive DETROIT: Johan Franzen had a natural hat trick in a 3:26 span of the first period, scored a fourth goal in the third, and set a Red Wings playoff record with six points as Detroit stayed alive with a 7-1 rout of the San Jose Sharks on Thursday in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. San Jose will host Game 5 today with another chance to advance to hockey’s final four for the second time in franchise history. Franzen of Belarus was originally credited with scoring the first goal 5:40 into the game, but a scoring change gave the goal to Todd Bertuzzi. That prevented Franzen from tying the NHL playoff record with four goals in a period. Valtteri Filppula put Detroit ahead 5-0 late in the first period on a shot that went off San Jose defenseman Douglas Murray and effectively ended goalie Evgeni Nabokov’s night. Nabokov made just four saves in the first period and was replaced by Thomas Greiss, who let the second shot he faced get past him off Brian Rafalski’s one-timer. San Jose took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play when Dany Heatley scored with 48.5 seconds left in the second period to make it 6-1. Jimmy Howard making 28 saves for Detroit.

Canadiens 3, Penguins 2

At Montreal, Maxim Lapierre and Brian Gionta scored 1:33 apart early in the third period to lift Montreal over Pittsburgh in Game 4 and into a tie in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots, and Tom Pyatt also scored for Montreal, which trailed 2-1 through the first two periods while being outshot 25-9. Maxime Talbot and Chris Kunitz scored 1:51 apart early in the first period to put Pittsburgh ahead. Pyatt had netted his first career playoff goal 2:34 in to put Montreal in front. Lapierre drew the Canadiens even at 2 with a wraparound goal 2:20 into the third. Game 5 is Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the first time in five playoff road games. — AP

FLORIDA: Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collins (lower right) takes a shot in front of (left) Orlando Magic guard Vince Carter in Game 2 of the second round of the NBA basketball playoffs in Orlando.— AP

Magic conjure up second easy victory over Hawks ORLANDO: The Orlando Magic followed up their series opening annihilation of the Atlanta Hawks with a 112-98 victory on Thursday to open a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-finals. Dwight Howard powered to a game-high 29 points and 17 rebounds, Vince Carter scored 24 and the Magic head to Atlanta for Game Three on Saturday

with a healthy lead and the momentum of six consecutive victories in the playoffs. “We have so many guys on this team who can score that things tend to open up in the second half,” Carter told reporters after adding 20 of his points in the second half. “In the first half, they did a good job on me coming off screens and put me in a zone a little bit. I just wanted

to give the ball up and move the ball.” Orlando appeared to be still coming to terms with their 43-point trounc-

However, the second-seeded Magic regrouped and grabbed the lead midway through the third and

three minutes early in the fourth, during which time Carter and Mickael Pietrus made three-pointers

Magic dump low-flying Hawks for 2-0 series lead ing of Atlanta on Tuesday and started a little flat in Game Two, trailing the Hawks by eight points at halftime.

used a clinical final quarter to outscore the visitors 28-15. The Hawks went scoreless for more than

to put Orlando 98-87 ahead. By the time Jameer Nelson made his own triple with 4:28 remaining, the Magic

had completed a 19-2 run to swell the lead to 18. Orlando remains undefeated this postseason and center Howard is playing his best basketball at just the right time. The All-NBA first-team center has overcome his foul trouble from round one and is enjoying greater accuracy from the free throw line, where he converted 13-of-18 on

Thursday. “I just believe that I can make it every time I step up there, and if I don’t, I believe I’m going to make the next one,” Howard said. “ Al Horford led Atlanta with 24 points and 10 rebounds while reserve Jamal Crawford recorded 23 for the Hawks. Atlanta has struggled against the Magic all season and has just one win in six total meetings. — Reuters

Red Bull back on top Schumacher third fastest for Mercedes

BARCELONA: McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain steers his car during practice for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix in Montmelo just outside Barcelona yesterday. —AP

Button thriving in role of lion tamer BARCELONA: Jenson Button mockingly cast his gaze around the McLaren hospitality centre, the Formula One world champion assessing the ‘lion’s den’ Jackie Stewart predicted could haunt his defense of the coveted crown. “It’s not very scary, is it?,” he said with a note of weary sarcasm. Sitting in what triple world champion and fellow Briton Stewart warned him was a lair that he would be wiser not to venture into, Button enjoyed a moment of vindication. Winner of two of the season’s four races to date, the 30-year-old starts this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as championship leader for the second year in a row. Team mate Lewis Hamilton, the

2008 champion who was supposed to give him a mauling after Button’s move from Brawn to McLaren, has yet to win and is fourth overall despite some thrilling performances. Stewart conceded last week that the Briton was taming the lions and Button thanked him for what he took as an apology. “It’s always interesting to hear it from someone like Jackie who has been around and experienced many different situations,” the champion said. “I know how I feel inside, and I’m the best person to judge myself. I’m very critical of the way I am, the way I drive, how I act within the team and also as a person...but Jackie is welcome to his

comments, which are nice and a positive.” Button, who heard Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone praise him as a good champion on Friday when the driver unveiled a plaque at the Circuit de Catalanya to mark his title, said he was no longer worried by anything anyone said about him. His place in the record books was secure and he had something that could never be taken away even if, as Ecclestone pointed out to reporters gathered in the sunshine outside his paddock motorhome, “he took too long to do it”. “I’ve won the world championship. I’ve achieved my goal that I set out to achieve,” said Button. “If my career ended now, I would end my

career as a very happy person. “I’ve got some great stories to tell and I can look at my trophy on the mantelpiece and say ‘I’ve won the world championship in Formula One. How many people did that?’ “But I’m here and I want to achieve more this season. I want to win the championship,” he added. “I’ve achieved what I set out to do, so I have no pressure, I’m not putting pressure on myself. I’m so much more relaxed as a person and as a driver.” “It means I’ve more time to think, and more time to try and make myself a better person and a better driver, so I couldn’t possibly be in a better position at the moment.” Button’s relaxed atti-

tude was evident when he was asked about comments by ex-Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, who was quoted this week as saying that he still did not consider his former driver to be one of the five fastest in F1. The Italian last season compared Button to a concrete bollard. “He’s hilarious. He’s a very sweet man,” said the Briton. “I don’t know where he gets his angles from, but it makes me smile more than anything else. It doesn’t make me angry, it doesn’t make me sad, it makes me smile, which is a good thing I suppose. I’m pretty happy. I’m sat here as the world champion and leading the championship.” — Reuters

BARCELONA: Michael Schumacher shook off his comeback rust yesterday after setting the third fastest time in Spanish Grand Prix practice behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Vettel, on pole three times in four races this season, dominated a sunny afternoon by lapping the Circuit de Catalunya with a best time in one minute 19.965 seconds ahead of Australian Webber. McLaren’s world champions Lewis Hamilton, in 1:21.134, and Jenson Button had been first and second in an overcast morning session. Schumacher, the sport’s most successful driver who has struggled to match his young German team mate Nico Rosberg so far in his comeback season at the age of 41 and after three years out, was third in both sessions. The second was stopped briefly when Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg crashed his Williams. Reverting to the chassis that he had used in pre-season testing, and armed with a longer wheelbase and new aerodynamic parts, Schumacher appeared to find the changes very much to his liking at a circuit that has handed him six of his 91 wins. The seven-times champion was 0.582 behind Hamilton’s first session pace and 0.792 slower than Vettel’s in the second.

Rosberg, who has been on the podium in his last two races while Schumacher retired in Malaysia and labored home 10th in China, was seventh. Fernando Alonso, the double world champion preparing for his first home grand prix as a Ferrari driver, ended the afternoon in fourth place after setting only the eighth best time before lunch. While yesterday practice provides a morale boost, today’s qualifying will be crucial with the winner in Barcelona starting on pole position for nine years in a row. Austrian Christian Klien made a return to Formula One after signing a reserve driver role with newcomers Hispania (HRT), taking Indian Karun Chandhok’s place in the morning. Klien lapped half a second faster than Brazilian Bruno Senna in the other Hispania before again handing over to Chandhok. Britain’s Paul di Resta also returned to the track for Force India, the tester replacing regular racer Adrian Sutil for the morning only and lapping quicker than the team’s other driver Vitantonio Liuzzi. Sauber’s Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa failed to complete a timed lap in the morning due to a gearbox problem but was 11th fastest in the afternoon. —Reuters


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Wigan won’t give Chelsea easy title ride WIGAN: Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has promised Manchester United that this team will make sure Chelsea don’t have an easy ride to the Premier League title. United need Wigan to deny Chelsea three points at Stamford Bridge tomorrow if they to overhaul the leaders and retain the title with a win over Stoke. Wigan have little to play for after securing their

Premier League survival, but Martinez has no intention of letting Carlo Ancelotti’s team cruise to victory. Chelsea, who lead United by one point going into the final round of fixtures, were beaten 3-1 at Wigan earlier this season and Martinez believes a repeat is possible. “A strong performance at Stamford Bridge is an important way to finish the season,” Martinez said. “We are not going to just

turn up and be another team at Stamford Bridge. “We will approach it in a manner where we want to hurt Chelsea on the day. “It is going to be difficult but the players have huge belief that we can go to Stamford Bridge and make things very, very difficult. “Mentally we are prepared to go there and do as well as we can.” Wigan’s win over Chelsea earier this season was their first ever

against one of the ‘big-four’ and they followed that success with surprise home wins over Liverpool and Arsenal. Martinez is convinced those results have given his team enough belief to cause Chelsea problems again this weekend. “The Chelsea performance was really, really pleasing the way we stopped them from being Chelsea. We were the better side,” he added. “We had a few chances

Wigan Athletic’s Spanish manager Roberto Martinez

Chelsea’s King prepares for English coronation

Ancelotti: We can’t let title slip away COBHAM: Carlo Ancelotti has warned his Chelsea players against the complacency that could allow the Premier League title to slip from their grasp. Ancelotti’s side go into their final game of the season against Wigan at Stamford Bridge tomorrow one point ahead of second placed Manchester United who host Stoke. With home advantage and faced by opponents who have nothing left to play for this season, Chelsea are strong favorites to lift the title for the first time since 2006 and complete the first leg of a potential league and FA Cup double. But, while Ancelotti acknowledges his team is in a strong position, he insists his players must maintain the high standards they have set throughout the campaign to avoid a shock late slip-up. The Blues boss knows all about Wigan’s threat having seen his team beaten at the DW Stadium when the two teams met earlier this season. He said: “We are in a very good situation. We wanted to arrive at the end of the season with more points. We have one more, but we can decide our own destiny at our home ground, Stamford Bridge, and that is a good thing. We have to play one more game though, and nothing is decided yet. But we have a great opportunity and a great possibility because the team is fit, in good condition and has fantastic motivation for this game. “We have to be ready, but we have to play for 90 minutes. We come to play this game, to try our best. They have a very good team and beat us in the last game where we played them, so we have to pay attention.” Last weekend’s 2-0 victory at Liverpool ensured Chelsea go into the final day in pole position and Ancelotti insists he has no need to make any special preparations for this final decisive game. “I saw my players focus during the week and they knew very well how important the game was. I didn’t say anything special,” he said. “This weekend is the same: to be champions, we have to play as we played against Stoke and against Liverpool. We have to maintain the same confidence in our play, the same determination, because nothing is decided. We have to pay a lot of attention. There are no more games. If we miss our chance now, there is no chance to recover.” Ancelotti is on the verge of winning the title in his first season in England after arriving at Stamford Bridge from AC Milan last year. But he acknowledges Chelsea have endured difficult times on and off the pitch. Defeats away from home appeared to expose weaknesses in his side’s defense at the start of the campaign and then again ahead of the final run-in. And a series of allegations about the private lives of skipper John Terry and left-back Ashley Cole diverted attention and ultimately prompted club owner Roman Abramovich to issue a stern warning against any member of staff who damaged the reputation of the club.But Ancelotti believes his side’s success has been achieved because of the players’ ability to remain focused. “This season, we had some problems but every team has a problem during the season,” he said. —AFP

in the first half and we got a goal from a set play. “In the second half when Chelsea scored the equalizer I just felt it was a real test how we would react to that. “To finish the game and win we got rid of that mental block that Wigan Athletic would never be able to beat the top four. We are going to approach it tomorrow in the same manner.” —AFP

LONDON: Manchester United’s hopes of a record 19th English title lie in the hands of an injury-depleted Wigan squad that has nothing left to play for and has avoided defeat away from home just twice this year. That will be how the gloomier sort of United fan views the prospect

English Premier League Preview

Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson rues the week that cost Utd ‘everything’ City, Spurs challenging the big four MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson rued the week that cost United ‘everything’ yesterday and the ‘travesty’ that his side was not challenging for Europe’s glittering prize in the Champions League final later this month. Ferguson’s side need to beat Stoke at Old Trafford on Sunday and hope leaders Chelsea slip up against Wigan at Stamford Bridge if they are to clinch a record fourth successive Premier League title. Yet it was a week in April that saw United exit the Champions League to Bayern Munich, temporarily lose striker Wayne Rooney to injury and lose to Chelsea in the league that saw the title momentum swing inexorably in the favor of Carlo Ancelotti’s side. “We are disappointed we haven’t won other things,” said Ferguson, whose side won the League Cup in February. “But the biggest disappointment was the European Cup. It is an absolute travesty we are not in the final. “It’s an absolute travesty, we were the best team, that’s the disappointment. That brought a certain disappointment for the first half against Chelsea. “That was a bad week for us. One bad week of the season is maybe going to cost us everything. “It’s not easy to overcome these things but the second half against Chelsea the players buckled down and got on with their job.” Bayern face Inter Milan in the Champions League final although Ferguson has no doubt his side

should be contesting the Madrid showpiece on May 22. “We had a good opportunity,” said Ferguson. “We should be in the final against Inter. It would have been a difficult game, because Inter, without question, have improved tremendously this season. But it’s a pity we won’t be in the final because we would have relished that.” The fact that Rooney was missing, or not fully fit, during that pivotal week of the season supports the thought that United are over-reliant on the England forward but Ferguson said he was happy with the make-up of his squad. “Apart from the older players we keep talking about - (Ryan) Giggs, (Paul) Scholes, (Gary) Neville - the rest of the squad is reasonably structured in terms of age,” said Ferguson. “There is a strong nucleus of young players and they are the future, there is no question about that. There is a good foundation there. “It is going to be more competitive next season with Tottenham’s achievement of reaching the Champions League and with (Manchester) City, who have money to spend and could buy a new team if they wanted to. I think they will be strong again next season. “It motivates you. The challenge is always there, we’ve always accepted that challenge and we have to again. It comes from different areas. “Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool are the established members but, in that gang of four, Tottenham and Manchester City are now going to be there.”— Reuters

City chief backs Mancini despite 4th-place blow MANCHESTER: Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak insists Roberto Mancini will remain in charge at Eastlands despite his side’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners set the Italian a target of qualifying for the Champions League when he replaced Mark Hughes as boss earlier this season, but that ambition was shattered by Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Mancini’s men on Wednesday. They are now unable to catch fourthplaced Spurs, prompting suggestions former Inter Milan coach Mancini would be sacked. But Khaldoon and owner Sheikh Mansour, who have spent over 200 million pounds on new players since

taking over, claim they never viewed Mancini’s appointment as a short-term option and insist the manager will be backed strongly in the transfer market during the close-season. “There is no speculation,” Khaldoon told City’s website. “Roberto has done an excellent job. I am very happy and Sheikh Mansour is delighted with the way he has organized the team. “With a good pre-season to prepare for next season he (Mancini) is going to do a wonderful job for us next season and for many years. “I have the highest regard for him as a human being and as a person and believe he is definitely the right manager for this club for many years.” —AFP

of Roberto Martinez’s side denying Chelsea, who have lost only twice at Stamford Bridge all season, the home victory they require to reclaim the Premier League trophy for the first time since 2006. Red Devils of a more optimistic disposition will recall that Martinez has already masterminded a win over Chelsea this season while counting on an outbreak of last-minute jitters to frustrate Carlo Ancelotti’s men in their quest to ensure a silver-tinted finale to the Italian’s first season in English football. Given the wealth of experience in a Chelsea squad that has won all six of their matches against United, Arsenal and Liverpool, that does not look like a likely scenario. Since losing to Tottenham last month, Chelsea have knocked seven past Stoke and won at Liverpool, hardly the form of a team teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “If at the beginning of the season someone had said we were going to play the last game at home and a win would win the league, I think everybody would have signed for it,” acknowledged Petr Cech, the Chelsea goalkeeper. “So we know what we have to do.” To take advantage of a Chelsea slip, the champions must beat Stoke at Old Trafford - in itself no straightforward task - and it has been apparent all week that United’s players are resigned to missing out on what would have been an unprecedented fourth consecutive title. “It is very strange,” recognized Edwin van der Sar. “In the last three years we have been in command. Now we have to wait. “It is going to be difficult. We have lost a lot of games this year but we are still in there at the end. Hopefully Wigan will have a go for it on Sunday and we will hear some positive news.” Club captain Gary Neville admitted that United have only themselves to blame for the position they find themselves in after a season in which five defeats before Christmas underlined the impact of the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. “When you leave it in the hands of others you have to take the punishment for it,” Neville said. “We hope that something happens on Sunday and we live in hope. But we will be kicking ourselves on Sunday if it doesn’t go our way. The mistakes we have made have been unusual. Hopefully we don’t live to regret it.” Wigan will be without Chris Kirkland, Titus Bramble and Marcelo Moreno through injury while Charles N’Zogbia is rated only a 50-50 shot to start at Stamford Bridge. —AFP

LIVERPOOL: Chelsea’s Brazilian Alex (right) heads the ball under a challenge from Liverpool’s Dutch Dirk Kuyt (back) in this file photo during the Premiership football match at Anfield in Liverpool. — AFP

Liverpool won’t sell stars despite debts LIVERPOOL: Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton insists key players Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard will not be sold to help solve the club’s financial problems. Accounts released yesterday show the club made an operating loss before tax of 16 million pounds ($23 million) in the year ending July 31, 2009. That plunged Liverpool’s finances further into the red with the debt rising from 299.8 million pounds ($443 million) to 351.4 million pounds ($520 million), while interest payments on loans increased by 3.6 million pounds ($5.3 million) to 40.1 million pounds ($59.3 million). It is a worrying state of affairs for Liverpool fans but Broughton, appointed to find a buyer to replace current co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, is adamant that Gerrard and Torres will not be sold

to raise funds. “There is absolutely no reason to sell either Torres or Gerrard,” Broughton said. “I don’t want to sell either of them. (Coach) Rafa Benitez does not want to sell either of them, the club is not looking to sell them. We don’t need to do it to pay off any debt. Torres is one of the great players and every club would love to have him. We have got him and there is no intention of selling him.” Broughton held his first longawaited meeting with Benitez on Thursday, during which the pair discussed the current situation regarding the search for new owners and also plans for rebuilding the squad. There are further get-togethers scheduled but Benitez, who has been linked with a move to Juventus, is unlikely to be handed substantial funds to improve the

squad as Liverpool have missed out on a lucrative place in the Champions League. “We have met, it was a frank exchange of views, constructive and very helpful,” Broughton added. “The squad does need strengthening and that is an on-going process which will not be stopped by the sale. We have sat down with Rafa to determine what is the strength of it (the squad), what it needs, who are the right players and who needs to be sold. What I have asked from Rafa is what any football club board ask at the end of the season. It is for an appraisal of each of the players, where the weak links are, which players he would prefer to sell if he had the opportunity, which positions he needs to fill, who are his prime candidates and what would be his priorities.”— AFP

Pietersen wary ahead of South Africa clash BRIDGETOWN: Kevin Pietersen seemed almost desperate to avoid tempting fate ahead of England’s World Twenty20 clash with his native South Africa despite his match-winning role against Pakistan. Pietersen’s unbeaten 73 saw England cruise to a six-wicket win - their first in this tournament - over the defending champions at the Kensington Oval here on Thursday as they opened the second round Super Eights in some style. After some mediocre displays, Pietersen found his form with a 52-ball innings featuring two sixes and eight fours in a total of 151 for four made in reply to Pakistan’s 147 for nine. With South Africa comfortably defeating New Zealand by 13 runs later on Thursday, the stage is set for the latest chapter of Pietersen’s often fraught relationship with his homeland when England face the Proteas here today. But while England captain Paul Collingwood and Pakistan coach Waqar Younis were piling on the plaudits, Pietersen praised England’s bowlers. “Anything can happen in Twenty20,” said Pietersen. “I could get out first ball (against South Africa) today,” he said. “It was nice, a nice wicket to bat on, and the boys bowled well. “Then we chased down a real gettable total, which was great.” There was a scare for England when Pietersen needed on-pitch medical attention early in his innings after limping while attempting run. However, the a Hampshire batsman insisted: “No concern - I just hit my bat on my ankle. It’s bleeding a little bit, but no problem.” Pietersen could leave the Caribbean in the next 10 days to be with his wife in London where she is expecting the birth of the couple’s first child. He was adamant though that impending fatherhood would not distract from his cricket, saying: “If it’s after the tournament that the baby comes, it’s after the tournament. “If it’s during the tournament, I’ll still be giving it my best shot whenever I play for England - no matter where or in what situation.” England’s batting has often failed to fire in all one-day cricket since the international retirement, several years ago now, of opener Marcus Trescothick. But Pietersen, one of an all South Africa born England top three, though is enthused by the batting depth he believes the team can now command. “I’ve played in the team for five or six years now, and to have a batting line-up like we’ve got at the moment is incredible,” he said. “Every single bloke from one down to nine or 10 can hit sixes. That’s brilliant, a great improvement and great for English cricket. “This is what I love doing; this is why I’m playing this tournament because I want to play for England and win games for England. “I’ll play for England as long as I can.” It was a sentiment endorsed by Collingwood, who said: “It was a great knock by KP. “We all know what KP can do, and when he’s in that kind of form he’s very dangerous. It was an exceptional innings. “It needed someone to get past 50 today just to see the team home.” Former fast bowler Waqar was left lamenting poor Pakistan fielding that saw five catches dropped, but he still had a word for the man-of-thematch. “You must give Kevin Pietersen credit for the way he played - he batted like a champion and took the game away from us. “It can be very frustrating, the way we dropped the catches and the way we fielded. But we’re not out of the tournament, so we don’t really have to worry about that.” —AFP

BRIDGETOWN: Australia’s David Warner celebrates after taking a diving catch to dismiss India’s batsman Yusuf Pathan for one run at a Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match in Bridgetown yesterday. —AP

Warner runs riot as Australia rout India Aussies blast away India to win Super 8s opener

BRIDGETOWN: Australia crushed India by 49 runs yesterday in the strongest sign yet that they have got to grips with the special demands of Twenty20 cricket. Australia’s opening pair of David Warner (72 from 42 balls) and Shane Watson (54 from 32) hammered India’s bowling attack, their 104 run partnership setting up a total 184 for five in their Super Eight game at a sun-drenched Kensington Oval. Michael Clarke’s side struck more than half of their runs from sixes-smashing 16 in total-before the Australian pace attack, relishing the fast and bouncy track, ripped through the Indian top order. Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait, who took three wickets each,

generated some real speed as Australia reduced India to 50 for seven after 10.3 overs. Although Rohit Sharma struck a magnificently entertaining unbeaten 79 , including six sixes, it was an innings that only served to add respectability to the magnitude of India’s defeat. It was a display from Australia, with some outstanding fielding to compliment the endeavors with bat and ball, that will make them, for many, favorites for the title in the Caribbean. “I think our performance was really good today, if we continue to make totals like that, with our bowling and the way that we are fielding, it is going to be hard for opposition teams to beat us,” said skipper Clarke.

The damage was done early by Warner and Watson who meted out particular punishment to Indian slow left-armer Ravinda Jadeja. Jadeja was hit for three sixes in a row by Watson at the end of his first over. When he was brought back Warner promptly hammered him for three consecutive sixes. Jadeja’s misery was partially self-inflicted-he had dropped Watson when the Australian opener was on just seven. David Hussey made 35 but after Australia were 150 in 15.2 overs they will be disappointed not to have become the first team to break the 200 barrier at this tournament. India though were simply blitzed by short pitched pace bowling on a responsive

surface that exposed an old weakness of Indian batsmen against the rising delivery. Rather than try to battle their way through the difficult spells of pace, the Indians tried to go on the attack with miserable results. “The adrenalin sometimes get the better of you. You try to fight fire with fire and it doesn’t always work and this was an example of that,” said skipper MS Dhoni. “If somebody bowls 150kph short stuff then you have to be really good at pulling which isn’t our natural strength. “Maybe we could have played through the first few overs because we saw as the ball got a bit older it didn’t come on as quickly. —Reuters

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard from the Twenty20 World Cup Super Eight Group F match between Australia and India at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown yesterday. Australia beat India by 49 runs Australia innings S. Watson b Pathan 54 D. Warner c Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh 72 D. Hussey c Vijay b Nehra 35 B. Haddin st Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh 8 C. White not out 5 M. Hussey b Nehra 8 S. Smith not out 1 Extras (w-1) 1 Total (five wickets; 20 overs) 184 Fall of wickets: 1-104 2-142 3-166 4-172 5-183 Bowling: Harbhajan 4-1-15-0, Nehra 4-0-31-2, Jadeja 20-38-0, Zaheer 4-0-45-0 (1w), Pathan 4-0-35-1, Yuvraj 2-0-20-2 India innings M. Vijay c White b Nannes


G. Gambhir c M. Hussey b Nannes 9 S. Raina c Clarke b Tait 5 R. Sharma not out 79 Yuvraj Singh b Nannes 1 MS Dhoni c D. Hussey b Smith 2 Y. Pathan c Warner b Johnson 1 R. Jadeja run out 4 Harbhajan Singh c D. Hussey b Watson 13 Zaheer Khan c Clarke b Tait 9 A. Nehra b Tait 0 Extras (lb-1, w-9) 10 Total (all out; 17.4 overs) 135 Fall of wickets: 1-10 2-12 3-17 4-23 5-37 6-42 7-50 897 9-133 Bowling: Nannes 4-0-25-3, Tait 3.4-0-21-3 (3w), Watson 3-0-31-1 (1w), Johnson 3-0-23-1 (3w), Smith 40-34-1 (1w).

Fielding errors leave Pakistan frustrated BRIDGETOWN: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis made no attempt to hide his frustration after the defending World Twenty20 champion’s poor fielding played a major role in their six-wicket loss to England. For all their undeniable brilliance with bat and ball, Pakistan in recent times have been almost comically inept in the field. But even by their own standards, Pakistan’s display against England at the Kensington Oval here on Thursday was something else. They dropped five catches, with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal putting down three by himself including a routine chance at mid-on from Craig Kieswetter when the England opener had yet to score. “It can be very frus-

trating, the way we dropped the catches and the way we fielded,” said fast bowling great Waqar, who might not have reacted with total equanimity to Ajmal’s fielding had he still been on the field himself. However, while such a display by an England or Australian side would have led to widespread condemnation and extra practice, Waqar has enough experience of Pakistan at international tournaments to know that there is still time for his inconsistent yet gifted side to turn things around. “We’re not out of the tournament, so we don’t really have to worry about that,” he said. New Zealand, well beaten in a 13-run loss to South Africa here on Thursday, are Pakistan’s next opponents and captain Shahid Afridi said his

side would have to up their game against the Black Caps today. “We missed our opportunities (against England) and you can’t afford to miss opportunities,” Afridi said. “We are working hard but right now I don’t know why we are missing opportunities.” England held Pakistan to 147 for nine before Kevin Pietersen, also the beneficiary of two dropped catches, saw his side home with an unbeaten 73. “You must give Kevin Pietersen credit for the way he played - he batted like a champion and took the game away from us,” Waqar said. “I thought 147 was a decent total, maybe 15 runs short - but with our bowling attack, I thought we could have managed it.” —AFP

SCOREBOARD BRIDGETOWN: Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (right) bowls to West Indies’ batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan as non-striking batsman Dwayne Bravo looks on at a Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match in Bridgetown yesterday. —AP

Jayawardene 98 shatters woeful West Indies BRIDGETOWN: Mahela Jayawardene stroked a classy 98 not out as Sri Lanka made the highest score in this Twenty20 World Cup and easily beat hosts West Indies by 57 runs. The Sri Lankans made 195 for three before West Indies, poor in all departments, stumbled to 138 for eight from their 20 overs. Jayawardene, who has already made a century in this tournament, was part of a dominating 166-run second wicket partner-

ship with Kumar Sangakkara. As he did in his ton against Zimbabwe in the group stage, Jayawardene batted with a cool head and an impressive ability to penetrate the field. While so many players opt to blast their runs in this format, the former Sri Lankan skipper shows you can prosper with more traditional qualities. He still produced some big shots in the 56 balls he faced, hitting four sixes and nine fours, but most of the latter

were driven or placed through gaps on the ground. Sri Lanka were helped along their way by some woeful fielding from West Indies who missed out on five catches and a stumping opportunity. The mishaps in the field were all the more evident coming so quickly after Australia’s outstanding catching and ground fielding in their win against India. A full Kensington Oval, with

a partisan home crowd, at the very least expected a decent run chase from their team. Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul went out clearly aiming to get off to a flyer and they hit 22 from the first 11 balls before Chanderpaul departed. When Gayle also went, having made just five, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo were forced to consolidate and the required run-rate drifted away from them.— Reuters

BRIDGETOWN: Final scoreboard in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval here yesterday: Sri Lanka M. Jayawardene not out 98 S. Jayasuriya c Taylor b Roach 6 K. Sangakkara c Pollard b Bravo 68 C. Kapugedera b Roach 6 T. Dilshan not out 4 Extras (b1, lb1, w11) 13 Total (3 wkts, 20 overs) 195 Did not bat: A Mathews, T Perera, N Kulasekara, M Muralitharan, L Malinga, A Mendis Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Jayasuriya), 2-173 (Sangakkara), 3191 (Kapugedera) Bowling: Roach 4-0-27-2 (2w); Taylor 3-0-28-0 (1w); Bravo 3-0-36-1; Benn 4-0-41-0 (2w); Sammy 2-0-23-0; Pollard 4-0-38-0 (1w) West Indies C. Gayle c Mathews b Kulasekara 5 S. Chanderpaul c Kapugedera b Mathews11 R. Sarwan c and b Mendis 28 D. Bravo c Mathews b Malinga23

A. Fletcher b Malinga 16 K. Pollard c Kapugedera b Mendis 9 D. Sammy lbw b Malinga 2 W. Hinds lbw b Mendis 5 J. Taylor not out 16 S. Benn not out 6 Extras (lb7, w10) 17 Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) 138 Did not bat: K Roach Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Gayle) 2-23 (Chanderpaul), 3-76 (Bravo), 4-82 (Sarwan), 5-99 (Pollard), 6-110 (Fletcher), 7-116 (Hinds), 8-122 (Sammy) Bowling: Kulasekara 4-0-27-1 (3w); Mathews 2-0-13-1; Mendis 4-0-24-3 (1w); Perera 2-0-13-0; Muralitharan 4-0-26-0 (3w); Malinga 4-0-28-3 (3w); Toss: Sri Lanka Result: Sri Lanka won by 57 runs Man of the match: Mahela Jayawardene (SRI) Umpires: Rudi Koertzen (RSA) and Simon Taufel (AUS) TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK) Match referee: Alan Hurst (AUS)

8 May  
8 May  

Kuwait Times