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SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010


Spanish title race goes to final weekend

Lebanon fires 10-ton hummus broadside at Israel PAGE 14


NO: 14723

150 FILS

New Zealand pip Pakistan in last ball thriller

Bayern officially seals Bundesliga title



Snags hit customs union GCC to scrap steel duty • Finance ministers also discuss regional bank, fund

LONDON: Mohamed Al-Fayed (right), former owner of Harrods department store meets Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim AlThani inside the Harrods store yesterday. — AP

Fayed sells iconic Harrods to Qatar LONDON: Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed has sold luxury London department store Harrods to the investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, his financial advisors Lazard said yesterday. “The Al-Fayed family trust, owners of Harrods, announce that they have today sold the Harrods Group to Qatar Holding,” Lazard said in a statement. No figure was given, but media reports suggested that Al Fayed, who also owns Fulham football club,

sold Harrods for about £1.5 billion ($2.2 billion). Al-Fayed, 77, is retiring as chairman of Harrods and believed Qatar Holding would continue to promote it as one of the world’s foremost brands, Lazard International chairman Ken Costa said in the statement. “After 25 years as chairman of Harrods, Mohamed Al-Fayed has decided to retire and to spend more time with his children and grandchildren,” Costa said. Continued on Page 14

WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK, Canada: This undated satellite image shows a beaver dam situated in northern Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park. — AP

RIYADH: A disagreement over how the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should distribute custom receipts is threatening the completion of the bloc’s longawaited customs union, officials said yesterday. The GCC’s attempts over the past 29 years to emulate the European Union’s economic integration model have been dogged by delays in a monetary union plan and regional rivalry and mistrust between its two biggest economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The introduction of a customs union in 2003 had been hailed by officials as a major achievement countering critics claims that the Gulf Arab bloc would be unable to realise economic integration in the world’s biggest oil exporting region. But differences remain and trucks transporting goods have been held up for days mainly at the border between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, an issue which has cast fresh doubts about the efficiency of the customs union plan. GCC officials say the UAE is unhappy with a quota of receipts proposed by the GCC secretariat but some stress that a bigger issue would be to scrap red tape at border crossings. GCC Secretary General Abdulrahamn AlAttiyah cautioned at a meeting of finance ministers of the bloc - which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar - against stopping in the midst of “transitional phase of the customs union”. “The goal for everyone is to get to its final status (by the start of 2011) and achieve greater and better economic benefits than what has been achieved up to now. “Extending the transitional phase may, God forbid, expose the Gulf customs union ... to a retreat and to the loss of the main gains for member states in the economic field as well as weaken the credibility of their decisions for commercial partners,” he said at the meeting yesterday. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: A butcher works in his shop in Souq Mubarakiyah in this file photo. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait seeks new livestock sources KUWAIT: Kuwait is looking for new sources for imports of sheep to make up for shortage of imports from Australia, the country’s main longtime exporter of this meat, traditionally favored by many in the country. Board Chairman of the Livestock Transport & Trading Co Badr Suleiman Al-Jarallah said in remarks to KUNA yesterday that a delegation of the company recently visited Uruguay for examining prospects of importing sheep from there. Another team is due to visit Mongolia, Georgia and Azerbaijan next week. Arrangements are also being made to discuss with South Africa and neighboring countries, namely Namibia, Swaziland and Botswana, to import sheep as these countries have a surplus of livestock. The world sheep market has seen a drastic drop of supplies due to climatic conditions, desertification and draught, said Al-Jarallah. These extraordinary condi-

tions have damaged large amounts of agricultural land in Australia, China, Argentina and India. These conditions negatively affected livestock supplies and resulted in a hike in the prices of mutton. Regional exporters of sheep including Syria, Iran and Turkey, in light of these conditions, have abstained from exporting sheep, thus aggravating the problem, Al-Jarallah added. He said the company imports 140,000-170,000 heads of sheep daily from Australia for the domestic market and some regional markets. The company has sought, over the past years, to cut demand for livestock and guide consumers towards consuming frozen meat, Al-Jarallah said. However, the depleting supplies of livestock and a rise in prices on the international markets led to negative effects on the frozen meat business as well, where the price of a head climbed from KD 23 to KD 31. So the company

Bollywood eyes new market

Canada beavers build giant dam TORONTO: A Canadian-based ecologist said Friday that he has located the world’s largest beaver dam in northwestern Canada using Google satellite technology. Ecologist Jean Thie located the 850-m dam using Google Earth and NASA technology while researching the rate of melting permafrost in the country’s far north. Situated in northern Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories border, the dam stretches more than eight football fields long, said Thie. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it - it’s a vast, vast area. There may be longer dams out there, but this, by far, is the largest I have seen so far. And, it would not have been possible to view it without something like Google Earth,” said Thie. Thie told AP the detailed satellite program helped him conclude the dam was the work of beavers - which, incidentally, are the country’s national symbol. Thie discovered the dam in 2007, but he said it only recently caught media attention after

someone at a British paper spotted his findings on a blog and ran a story reiterating Thie’s claim that the dam is visible from space. Thie stakes that claim because he used satellite technology to detect the dam. “It might be hard to believe, but there are a few things that are visible from space, and beaver dams are among the few animal-made structures that are,” said Thie. Park spokesman Mike Keizer said the dam sits in a corner of a park “the size of Switzerland” in an area surrounded by heavily forested marshland. Keizer flew over the beaver dam, but said there was no safe place to land anywhere nearby because it’s either overly boggy or the foliage is too dense. Using past images and park aerial photography, Thie concluded that the eager beavers began their work in the 1970s and that generations of the rodents have worked on it since. “This was the work of extended families,” said Thie, who is the president of EcoInformatics, a science research company. — AP

incurred heavy losses over its commitment to the price of KD 22.5 per head. Nevertheless, the company remains committed to securing new sources of sheep imports, since it supplies up to 80 percent of the domestic need for meat, said Al-Jarallah. He also indicated that the fasting month of Ramadan would fall in three months’ time during which many families prefer meat for iftar meals. He indicated that past bids to make up for the shortage of the imports of Australian sheep by importing sheep from the China’s Inner Mongolia region and Sudan proved largely fruitless. But he pledged to spare no effort in the attempts to find new, reliable import sources. Mutton is favored for main courses by many people in the Arab world, particularly in Kuwait and the other countries of the Arab Peninsula. — KUNA

LONDON: Britain’s Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party Gordon Brown (right), Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg (lef t) and Conservative Party leader David Cameron walk to lay wreaths during a remembrance service to mark VE Day yesterday. — AP

Tories, Lib Dems mull pact LONDON: Within days, Britain may have something it hasn’t seen since World War II - a coalition government. The first-place Conservatives and third-place Liberal Democrats are negotiating in hopes of resolving an election that

failed to produce a clear winner. It remains to be seen whether the rightwing and center-left party can share power or even cooperate on keeping a minority Conservative administration in control of Parliament. They

are likely to find common ground on the economy and taxes but have divergent views on voting-system reform, nuclear weapons and some key foreign policy issues. Continued on Page 14

MUMBAI: A new Bollywood film co-starring a Mexican actress has raised hopes that Indian cinema can make inroads into the Spanish-speaking market, after boosting its profile elsewhere in the world. Leading lady Barbara Mori appears with heartthrob actor Hrithik Roshan in “Kites”, a romantic drama about a fugitive left for dead in the Mexican desert, who meets the love of his life and goes on the run across the United States. Roshan’s father, Rakesh, who produced the movie, said: “There are a lot of inquiries from the Spanishspeaking market and we would love to release ‘Kites’ in as many countries as possible. The world has become small due to globalisation and today films from South Korea and other Asian countries do make an impact in mainstream Hollywood and other markets. But unfortunately Indian films have not been able to do that. I want to show the world that Indian films can make an impact too.” The overseas success of

Hrithik Roshan

Barbara Mori

this year’s Shah Rukh Khan blockbuster “My Name Is Khan” has left Hindi-language filmmakers eager to tap into overseas markets with similar “crossover” films. “My Name Is Khan” took $39 million worldwide in the month after its release in February, including $17 million outside India. Its distributors, Fox Star Studios, hailed it as “Bollywood’s first truly global film”. That came after the 2009 Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” which although British-made, boost-

ed worldwide interest in using Indian film industry talent. The overseas market makes up seven percent of overall revenues in India’s 89.3-billion-rupee ($1.9-billion) film industry, with foreign audiences prized because of the higher cost of cinema tickets compared with those in India. The United States, Canada, Britain and Europe account for up to twothirds of foreign income, according to a recent KPMG Continued on Page 14



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oil below $65 alarms Kuwait DOHA: Oil ministers from several OPEC nations played down yesterday a sharp fall in prices, but Kuwait said another $10 drop may force the group into action. US crude oil futures settled at $75.11 a barrel on Friday, posting their largest weekly loss in almost a year and a half, as worries grew that the euro zone’s debt crisis might derail the global economic recovery. Kuwait’s oil minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah said OPEC was likely to call a meeting if crude prices suffered further sharp losses. “Sixty-five dollars would ring a bell ... and a meeting,” he told

reporters before an Arab Energy Conference in Doha. Crude also hit its lowest level since Feb 16th on Friday at $74.51, just five days after going over $87 a barrel. But the price is now right in the middle of the $70-$80 range that Saudi Arabia has targeted as fair for both consumers and producers. OPEC is not scheduled to meet formally until October and has kept oil supply targets steady since late 2008. Oil prices had undergone a correction in the past week and there was no need for OPEC to meet before October, said

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Oil Minister Mohammed Al-Hamli. “Prices move up and down, it’s a natural correction. The price changes are responding to market forces,” he told reporters. “We still believe the market is very well supplied.” Algeria’s Oil Minister Chakib Khelil likewise said there was no need for OPEC to take any action at the moment as the price slide had nothing to do with fundamentals. “All this (economic) uncertainty has led to a decline in the oil price ... I don’t think (OPEC) needs to step in,” he said. Khelil said he expected oil prices to be around $80-$85 a barrel

for the rest of the year. The Doha conference from today until Wednesday is not an OPEC gathering, but oil ministers will probably hold informal meetings on the sidelines of the event. Ministers from OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Iraq, the UAE and Libya are expected to attend. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali AlNaimi declined to comment on the price fall. Higher prices have encouraged some members to boost output informally, but core Gulf Arab members Saudi, the UAE and Kuwait have stuck to output restraints. —Reuters

Al-Humoud meets heads of Egyptian universities

WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his wife with Former US First Lady Laura Bush over the weekend.

Cabinet plans to discuss naturalization KUWAIT: The Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah has listed the issue of naturalizing the children of Kuwaiti widowed and divorced women on the Cabinet’s agenda to be discussed today. He opted not to wait for a report being prepared by the Supreme Council of Planning on

illegal residents. The discussion will focus on the civil situation and rights of these children, and their eligibility to receive Kuwaiti citizenship. This issue is part of several others that will be deliberated upon during the meeting, including the security treaty signed between Gulf countries

and the privatization issue pertinent with the Cabinet’s approval on parliamentary amendments, reported AlWatan. Furthermore, the Cabinet will also discuss the final report on supplying manpower for the General Department of Investigations, the legal depart-

ment of the Kuwait Municipality, the Fatwa and Legislation Department, and the Experts Department. In the meantime, the Minister of Public Works and Municipality Affairs will make a presentation on the creation of six separate residential areas for laborers.

Pay hike for expat engineers Non-Kuwaiti engineers KUWAIT: employed with the Kuwait Municipality will soon receive salary increments. An official decree was issued to increase salaries starting February 1.

The decision was made by the Managing Director of the Municipality, Ahmad AlSubaih. The first article of the second contract was signed between the Municipality and 153 expat engineers, reported Al-

Qabas. The pay scale has been revised to provide them with monthly allowances in the form salary raises that range between KD 100 and KD 250.

CAIRO: Kuwait’s Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud met with heads and representatives of private universities here yesterday and discussed a host of academic-related issues. The meeting would allow Kuwaiti students wanting to continue with their higher studies in Egypt the opportunity to be familiar with the academic system followed here and its compatibility with their academic qualifications, Minister Al-Humoud told KUNA after the meeting, which was attended by Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Hani Hilal. Commending “distinguished” services offered by private universities, Al-Humoud stressed significance of preparing Kuwaiti students according to best academic standards and vocational accreditation followed here. The Kuwaiti minister had earlier yesterday paid a visit to the Egyptian E-Learning University (EELU). On his part, Minister Hilal said that discussions with his Kuwaiti counterpart were “positive”, pointing out that AlHumoud will meet with heads of public Egyptian universities tomorrow in order to discuss further cooperation between the two countries at the academic level. The meeting was attended by Charge d’Affaires at Kuwait’s embassy in Cairo Omar AlKanderi and Director of the Cultural Office Dr. Awadh AlEnizi. 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 Minister’s Office Sheikha AlQimlas. — KUNA

RABAT: Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah leaving Morocco after a three-day visit yesterday.

Foreign minister’s visit to Morocco ‘a big success’ RABAT: Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah wrapped up a formal three-day visit to Morocco yesterday during which he held talks with King Mohammad VI and senior officials on issues of common interest. The foreign minister was seen off upon departure at the airport by the Minister of State Ahmad Al-Onsor, the Foreign Undersecretary, Yousef AlOmrani, the Kuwaiti ambassador Mohammad Saleh Al-Thuwaikh, Kuwaiti diplomats and ranking figures. The Moroccan minister of state said the visit by Sheikh Mohammad was successful, for it resulted in bolstering further the bilateral relations between Kuwait and Morocco, and opened “the horizons for launching new projects in feasible sectors.” This visit will contribute to the improvement of the bilateral ties between the two brotherly countries, said Al-Onsor.

Kuwait and Morocco have been bound with solid ties and are in consensus on various Arab issues namely the Palestinian cause, he said, praising Kuwait’s support for Morocco’s territorial sanctity. Elaborating, the official added that Sheikh Mohammad and the Moroccan officials discussed Kuwaiti support for development schemes in the country. For his part, Al-Thuwaikh said the mission was fruitful noting that the foreign minister during the visit affirmed Kuwait’s keenness on supporting the Moroccan development ventures. He added that the two sides agreed on holding a meeting of the joint commission in the last quarter of the current year. Sheikh Mohammad started the visit to the kingdom on Wednesday. He was accompanied by the director of his bureau, Sheikh Ahmad AlNasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.

GCC studying Kuwaiti proposal on environment protection KUWAIT: Rana Al-Rasheed, Marketing Director of VIVA Kuwait. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Hessa, one of the winners, with Rana Al-Rasheed.

Winners of ‘Giving Competition’ announced By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: VIVA Kuwait announced the winners of its ‘Giving Competition’ in a special ceremony that was held on Thursday at Salwa Al-Sabah Hall and attended by school representatives, participating students and their parents. The Giving Competition was created by VIVA Kuwait to introduce children, at a young age, to concept of contributing to the society in which they live.

Students in Kuwait between the ages of 8 to 12 were asked to demonstrate ‘giving’ in their own unique and creative ways. Participants were able to exhibit their thoughts on giving in different categories such as in the form of drawings, essays, songs or videos. Rana Al-Rasheed, Marketing Director of VIVA Kuwait, expressed her joy and gratitude to all the people who participated in the event. “I am very happy to see such large number of students participat-

ing in this competition; I thank their schools for their cooperation and support, and in helping us to spread our giving concept.” “This competition represents VIVA Kuwait’s belief in the importance of giving to our community. We hope that these ideas inspire people to do the same,” Al-Rasheed added. Winners received valuable gifts. However, all participating students were also rewarded for their entries.

The judging committee consisted of VIVA Kuwait’s Marketing Director, Rana Al-Rasheed and Yaarob Bou Rhama, the producer of VIVA’s national song ‘Enta tekdar.’ VIVA Kuwait strongly believes in the concept of giving, and is committed to putting it to practice. Exposing children to giving at an early age will result in more giving in the future. Competitions like this, and other similar events, are a positive step for the community.

RIYADH: Kuwait’s Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shimali unveiled here yesterday that the meeting of GCC Ministers of Finance and Economy (Committee on Economic and Financial Cooperation) discussed earlier in the day a proposal submitted by the State of Kuwait to establish an account with the World Bank (WB) concerning maintenance of the environment in the Gulf region. The minister said that the proposal has won wide acceptance from the GCC, Iran and Iraq, noting that this account “Environmental Fund” is open to the contribution of the aforementioned countries as well as other countries to preserve the environment and to reduce environ-

mental pollution and toxic gases emitted either in water or in the air. He praised the meeting and its outcome which was held in an atmosphere of understanding and agreement to remove obstacles and strengthen mutual cooperation in the economy and finance to achieve the aspirations of the leaders and people of the GCC countries towards integration and Gulf unity. With regard to the prospective consultative meeting of the GCC leaders in Riyadh next Tuesday, the minister said that the meeting of ministers of finance and economy had referred a number of issues and economic matters for this meeting, notably the Customs Union

and observations arising in the trade and industrial exchange between member states. He said during his chairmanship of the 84th meeting of the Committee on Financial and Economic Cooperation (GCC Ministers of Finance and Economy), which began here yesterday that the leaders of the GCC countries “have provided us with another opportunity to work again on the completion of outstanding issues, after extending the transition period for the customs union, as all of them were confident in our ability to reach an agreement on the remaining outstanding issues concerning the Customs Union and this puts us all in front of a big challenge to overcome”. — KUNA



Sunday, May 9, 2010

KISR announces launch

Convention to promote sustainable development By Rawan Khal i d KUW AIT: In collabora tion w ith the American Energy Systems La boratory, the Kuw ait Institute for Scientific Resea rch (KISR) held a press conference on Thursda y a t its premises. It w a s a ttended by KISR ’s Director Genera l Dr N a ji Al-Muta iri, Cha ir m a n of th e Prepa ra tory Com m ittees for the 10th Interna tiona l Dr Al-Mutairi said that the patronage of HH the Prime Minister reflects the political leadership’s interest in Research and Development (R&D) activities held in general and energy research in particular. He added that his patronage reflects his continuous support for Kuwaiti scientists and researchers. Dr Al-Mutairi stressed that the activity of scientific R&D, held under the patronage of HH the Amir, will be enhanced to achieve sustainable development. He also highlighted the attention devoted by HH the Crown Prince to conduct scientific research activities. About the Energy Conference scheduled to be held in October 2010, Dr Al-Mutairi said that Kuwait will host the 10th International Conference for Enhanced Building Operations (ICEBO 2010) scheduled for 26 to 28 October 2010 in collaboration with the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) at Texas A&M University. He added that ICEBO is an annual forum that was previously hosted in France, Germany and the USA. Kuwait is the first country in the Middle East that will be hosting this important conference this year. Also Dr Al-Mutairi stated that buildings are the primary consumers of electricity in Kuwait, as demand for electricity reaches its peak during the summer months due to harsh weather conditions in the region. In addition, the reduction of energy consumption in buildings is a key option to reduce fuel consumption from power plants. This constitutes the main source of income of the country. It is also important to reduce greenhouse gases which are harmful to the environment. Dr Al-Mutairi indicated that ICEBO aims at exchanging expertise and results among participating countries to promote the concept of sustainable development. He added that the outcome of this conference would benefit a number of sectors in the country such as, ministries, governmental institu-

Conference for Enhanced Building Operations (ICEBO 2010) scheduled to be held in October. The meeting w as a lso a ttended by representatives of the m ajor sponsors of the conference. The press conference bega n w ith a key note speech delivered by Dr Naji Al-Mutairi, in w hich he tha nk ed HH t he P rim e Minister Sheik h Na sser Moha mma d Al-Ahm ad Al-J a ber Al-Sa bah for accepting the pa trona ge of ICEBO 2010.

KISR Director General Dr Naji Al-Mutairi tions, consultancy firms, and companies. Dr Naji Al-Mutairi concluded his speech by thanking national institutions and companies that supported and sponsored the conference. The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) comes on top of the list of these institutions, which also includes the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Al-Babtain and Air-Conditioning Refrigeration Company - LG, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), and Equate Petrochemical Company. Dr Dhari Al-Ajmi, Chairman of Organizing Committee, and Director of KISR’s Environment and Urban Development Division, pointed out to the formation of the conference committees, such as the Organizing Committee, International Advisory Committee, Scientific Committee, and Public Relations and Information Committee. In addition to an exhibition committee, that will be responsible to bring local and international companies to demonstrate ener-

gy-saving technologies along with conference activities. Dr AlAjmi invited specialists and those who are interested, to visit the conference website at, which has been recently inaugurated to give a clear idea about the conferences’ objectives, events, and the latest news. Then, Dr Ahmad Al-Mulla, Chairman of Scientific Committee and the Research Scientist at KISR’s Building and Technologies Energy Department, spoke about the conference scientific papers. He indicated that 160 abstracts have been accepted from 37 countries. He mentioned that the topics of the ICEBO 2010 include best practices and policies in commissioning, retrocommissioning, and continuous commissioning in new and existing buildings, national energy efficiency and conservation policies and programs, high-performance sustainable and green buildings, successful programs for electric utility demand side and response management, and on-site and building integrated renewable energy applications such as solar, wind and fuel cells. Dr Al-Mulla concluded

that the scientific committee will soon finalize the selection of keynote speakers, and workshops for ICEBO 2010. On the other hand, Talal AlAjmi, KFAS representative, said that KFAS is keen to support conferences relevant to basic and applied research in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, health, food, social sciences, and economy. He stressed that Kuwait and the region should make use of the outcome of this conference. Reem Al-Ammar, representative of the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), confirmed the important role played by KISR in conducting studies related to energy conservation in buildings for MEW. She also stated that KISR provides technical support for MEW. He added that the outcomes and recommendations of this conference would serve the interests of MEW and stressed that these recommendations should be clear and applicable. Ali Murad, KPC representative, announced that KPC and its subsidiaries take great interest in the application of standards for environmental conservation and activation of the sustainable development strategies. Thus, they will be fulfilling Kuwait’s commitment towards international treaties related to environment. He added that the KPC always supports conferences related to activation of environmental requirements and its commitment towards sustainable development in Kuwait, and commended the sincere efforts exerted by KISR staff to make this important event a success. Naji Qataya, representative of Al-Babtain Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Company LG, stressed the company’s support of conferences related to energy conservation in buildings and utilization of environmentally friendly technology. He added that Al-Babtain Company always seeks to develop high quality products that conform to international standards.

Message from the Nigerian Embassy KUWAIT: The condolence register for the death of the Nigerian president will be opened today (Sunday) and tomorrow (Monday) at the Embassy’s premises at Block 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya from 9am to 2pm.

More Kuwaiti Army units in Bahrain for war games

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) held a special ceremony to honor participants in the 8th Firemen Festival held on March 25. The ceremony was held under the patronage of Major General Jassim Al-Mansouri at the Palms Hotel and attended by KFSD commanders, firemen and sponsoring companies. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

MANAMA: Units of the Kuwaiti Army arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to take part in the “Eagle Resolve-2010” joint military exercise between the military forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and the US Central Command (USCENTCOM), due to proceed till the 19th of this month. Lt Gen Mohammad AlKanderi, in charge of the arriving troops, said in remarks to Kuwait News Agency that the drill is one of the most important common exercice, aimed at enhancing combat capacity of the forces to cope with crises, catastrophes and terrorism. For his part, the Military attaché at the Embassy of Kuwait in Bahrain Colonel Ali Suleiman Al-Asaker expressed gratitude to the Bahraini military command for furnishing the Kuwaiti forces with all needed logistical facilities. The maneuvers that had already started on Wednesday would proceed till the 19th of this month. Some Kuwaiti military units had already arrived in the country for participation in the war games.— KUNA

KUWAIT: Chief of Army Staff Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah posing for a photograph with a new batch of officers who graduated from the Military College over the weekend.

Kuwaiti society calls for protecting Mismanagement birds during breeding season of natural

KUWAIT: The Ornithological Society of Kuwait (OSK) has called on governmental bodies and the public to protect different species of birds during the breeding season that culminates during these days and will continue to the end of July. OSK Chairman and environmental researcher Abdulrahman Al-Sarhan said that the birds started their breeding season earlier than usual this year, due to the onset of warm weather by the end of February. One sign of the beginning of the breeding season is when the birds begin to sing more frequently and build their nests, Al-Sarhan noted. Islam calls for the protection of birds, and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) encouraged Muslims not to harass birds while in their nests, he added. He noted that some people take birds and their chicks from their nests during the breeding season, and later sell at the bird market in Al-Rai area. Al-Sarhan said that the OSK prepared a report, supported with photos and statistics, registering irregularities at the

bird market. These irregularities include violations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), he explained, saying that the reports in both Arabic and English languages are being sent to the responsible bodies. Field studies conducted by bird observers in Kuwait indicate that 87 species of birds are breeding in the country, among them 53 on a regular basis, he affirmed. The OSK chief said that birds choose hidden locations for their nests to protect them against predators. The nests vary in size and shape, he said, adding that birds choose suitable environments, as well as availability of food and a place of breeding. Kuwait is mainly an open desert area, that embraces up to 23 species of birds, while the Kuwaiti shores and islands have 17. Farms and residential areas have up to 24 kinds of birds, while dense reed swamps are home to 14 species. — KUNA

resources here KUWAIT: Kuwait has been placed fourth worldwide and second among Arab nations among 20 countries that manage natural resources in the worst manner possible. This was revealed in a recent academic study carried out by the University of Adelaide in south Australia in cooperation with the University of Singapore and Princeton University. This finding was published at a time when several fifth constituency MPs are preparing a draft law according to which residents of Umm Al-Haiman would be relocated to other residential areas. The lawmakers will meet with the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, State Minister for Development and Housing Affairs, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, to hold discussions. On a separate note, the Cabinet plans to deliberate on issues that need to be addressed promptly. This pertains to draft laws related to the development plan like the privatization law, women’s civil and social rights law, and the State’s budget, reported Al-Watan. Some of these projects were already scheduled to be enforced last April.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Street fights in Farwaniya

Youth dies in car accident on Fahaheel expressway By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 23-year-old citizen died in a car accident that took place along Fahaheel expressway, said security officers. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they found that the young man suffered multiple fractures and sustained injuries to his head. Meanwhile, a 30-year-old

citizen sustained injuries to his lower spine after losing control over the vehicle he was at the helm of, and it collided into another at the Al-Shaab Amusement Park junction. Two 19-year-old female citizens sustained leg injuries while another 15-year-old girl sustained a bruise to her left thigh. The four were admitted to Mubarak hospital for treatment.

In another case, a 45-yearold Indian fractured his right leg and sustained several injuries in a traffic accident that took place in Sabhan. The man was admitted to Farwaniya hospital for treatment. In a similar case , an and four Egyptian Bangladeshi workers sustained injuries that varied between head injuries, bruises and multiple fractures after the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in lost control and it flipped over along Fahaheel expressway. All the injured were rushed to Adan hospital.

KENITRA, Morocco: ‘Kuwait Media and Cultural Days’ activities in progress in Kenitra over the weekend.

Kuwait’s media, cultural days conclude in Moroccan city KENITRA, Morocco: Activities of ‘Kuwait Media and Cultural Days’ in Kenitra, south of Rabat, concluded after ten days of rich events that featured an exhibition of Kuwaiti books and publications by the Ministry of Information, cultural seminars and a competition for Moroccan students at Ibn Tofail University. First Secretary at the Kuwaiti Embassy, Saleh Al-Haddad, underlined the strong and productive bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the cultural field, adding that Kuwait and Morocco had always been messengers of Arab and Islamic culture to the world. He hailed the success of the event and the unprecedented crowds visiting the Kuwaiti book fair, adding that relations between the two countries would continue to prosper under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Morocco’s King Mohammad VI. On her part, Kuwaiti writer and academic Dr

Haifa Al-Sanoussi said following her participating in a seminar titled ‘Kuwaiti Creativity in the Eyes of Moroccans’, that the Kuwaiti days allowed Moroccan academicians and the public alike to gain an understanding of Kuwaiti culture. Meanwhile, Moroccan poet and academic Rabeya Bu Younis, who works as a professor in Ibn Tofail University praised the success of this event, saying that Kuwaiti cultural activities were intense and well-organized, and that the cultural movement in the Gulf state was creative and remarkable. The Kuwaiti days kicked off in Morocco on April 30, and was inaugurated by Kuwaiti Ambassador Mohammad Al-Thuwaikh and organized by the head of the Kuwaiti information delegation Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi. A cultural competition was organized by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information at Ibn Tofail University and valuable prizes were awarded to the first three winners. —KUNA

Noisy quarrel A 25-year-old Egyptian sustained multiple injuries in a noisy quarrel that took place in Farwaniya. The man was admitted to Farwaniya hospital for treatment. In another case, a 26-year-old citizen sustained a fracture to his nose and multiple injuries in a fight that took place at AlShaab marine club junction road along the Gulf Road. The man was admitted to Amiri hospital. Also, a 27-year-old citizen sustained a head and right shoulder injury resulting from a knife stab wound he sustained during a fight that occurred in a Salmiya hotel. False alarm Upon receiving an emergency call from a passerby in Salwa, an ambulance was dispatched to the location where a man appeared to lay in an unconscious state. The man, presumably in a drunken stupor, heard police vehicle’s sirens, sobered up and drove off. Child injured An 8-year-old citizen injured his wrist after he missed a step and fell while playing at Al-Kout Complex. The child was admitted to Adan hospital for treatment.

KUWAIT: One of the accidents in Kuwait yesterday. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Asian bootlegger held in Abu Halifa KUWAIT: The Ahmadi police recently arrested an Asian man who was arrested in connection with possession of alcohol in Abu Halifa. Upon sighting the presence of police officers, the man had made a weak attempt at fleeing the scene, reported Al-Watan. During search operations conducted, police confiscated 80 bottles of illicit liquor. During interrogations conducted later, he confessed to selling the spurious beverage. He was referred to higher authorities.

Man drowns An Asian man drowned while swimming at the Gulf Road’s waterfront. Police had received an emergency call informing about the man’s disappearance. Security officers and rescue teams rushed to the scene and coordinated with coastguards in launching a search operation. Hours later, officials were able to locate the man’s body, which was taken to the nearest hospital, reported Al-Watan. A case was opened for further investigations.

Fugit ives nabbed At least 165 fugitives were arrested in con-

ICM supports Umm Al-Haiman pollution case KUWAIT: The Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) criticized the government’s lack of seriousness in resolving the pollution problems afflicting the Ali Sabah Al-Salem area, formerly known as Umm Al-Haiman. A statement released by the political bloc’s Development Office Supervisor Mutab AlOtaibi warned against the disastrous effect of air pollution that has been affecting the lives of 50,000 citizens. “The ICM would like to express its full support to Umm Al-Haiman residents for their efforts at saving their children’s lives that is threatened by continued environmental destruction,” the statement read. It asserted that the pollution levels had exceeded the maximum permissible levels. Furthermore, the statement accuses the government of failing to resolve the issue effectively for nine years, while also holding it accountable for creating the crisis by issuing licenses to expand the area in a location that lacks basic environmental and health facilities. Also, the statement further accused the government of failing to effectively deal with pollutioncausing factories. “Strict measures need to be taken, given the fact that citizens’ lives are at risk,” the statement read. The statement also mentioned several solutions that the government can provide to put an end to this crisis, including relocating the area’s residents while paying them compensations for the pollution suffered for nine years. —Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The Public Relations department of the National Bank of Kuwait recently organized an exclusive show of the latest movie for NBK Staff and their family members and friends at Marina Cinema. More than 300 were present to enjoy the movie. NBK Public Relations Officer Talal Al-Turki said: “This event comes in line with NBK’s constant efforts to present its employees various activities throughout the year”.

nection with several cases. In a raid that was conducted recently over the weekend, police officers were deployed at crowded meeting places and shopping malls to maintain security, reported Al-Watan.

Asian maid dies An Asian woman was pronounced dead after being found in unconscious state in her room. The incident took place at a house in AlDoha, when members of the family placed an emergency call. Paramesstaff who were accompanied by police reported to the scene. The domestic helper had already passed away, reported Al-Rai. Crime scene investigators were summoned, and referred the body to the coroner.

Man caught A man was recently arrested after he was spotted wandering suspiciously in AlSulaibiya. Paraphernalia used to perform sorcery was recovered from his possession. In addition, police seized a small pouch that contained a white substance, reported Al-Rai. He was referred to the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC).

Thugs caught Farwaniya officials recently detained a gang comprising of six Syrian nationals. They were previously accused of carrying out several thefts, including stealing an Asian man’s car in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and masquerading as security officers, reported Al-Anbaa. They were referred to higher authorities.

Drunk in custody A family from Al-Nahdha recently turned their son over to the Qairawan police station. He reportedly entered the place of residence in a state of heavy intoxication, and caused trouble to family members, reported Al-Rai. He was arrested and a case was opened against him.

Duo attacks dad Two brothers, aged 18 and 19 respectively, recently attacked their own father following an altercation that broke out at their home in Abdullah Al-Mubarak. In a fit of rage, the siblings stabbed him on his chest and abdominal area before fleeing the scene.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

5 Sharia implementation recessing

Hayef urges Parliament to provide Islamic projects KUWAIT: An Islamist lawmaker has urged local Islamic organizations to Mohammad Hayef during a forum held at the diwan of the GCC Sharia cooperate with MPs to come up with Sharia-compliant draft laws, stating Scholars Association. Hayef also talked about another draft law, one relatthat there is a shortage of such legislation, for which he blamed Islamic ed to banning banks from charging interest, which is viewed as usury, service organizations and other MPs. “There have been a number of draft adding at the same time that the relevant parliamentary committee has laws presented in this regard, including a draft law to appoint Islamic cler- discussed a draft law to provide a Sharia supervisory committee at all local ics to all Kuwait embassies abroad, in addition to a draft law to establish a banks to monitor their transactions and facilitate their transformation into public authority for the Hoy Quran and Hadith Sciences,” said MP Islamic banks. Shuraiaan, the parliamentary with basic services like approved and effective as a The MP said that there Al-Watan. Another speaker at the committee in charge of pub- water and electricity, noting new article of legislation. are thousands of Islamic Regarding the governscholars and students in this event, the head of the lic facilities approved several that the continued suffering field in the country, who supreme committee for the reforms on the draft law for of people due to shortages ment’s reservations, Dr. Alestablishment of of those two vital services Mislem explained that the could form teams to monitor implementation of Sharia the ‘negative phenomena’ in regulations, Dr. Khalid Al- Kuwaiti public companies had forced the MPs to come government had requested society and urge the parlia- Mathkour, said that the concerned with building up with the proposed draft more exemption powers in the law, particularly conment to provide more precedence once given by power stations and water law. The MP added that the cerning vital conditions to implementing desalination plant, while MPs Islamic projects. Meanwhile, head of the Islamic regulations had rejecting government reser- committee had rejected the determined by the cabinet, reservations submitted by but added that such powers association Dr. Ujail Al- receded in favor of other vations over the legislation. Committee Rapporteur, the government regarding would be decided through Nashmi said that the issues. Meanwhile, at a meeting MP Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem, the draft because the com- an assessment authority, responsibility for achieving the goals listed by Hayef on Thursday attended by told reporters after the mittee is keen on bolstering noting that all companies lies first and foremost on Minister of Electricity and meeting that the draft law cooperation in implementing must be governed by this Dr. Bader Al- is vital in terms of dealing the draft law once its legislation. MPs’ shoulders, reported Water

Subsidies help reduce prices in Kuwait market KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Subsidy Sector has taken several steps in the past few years to accommodate the general hike in the prices of products worldwide, driven by the international financial crisis. Despite this decrease in the price of foodstuff, the ministry continued to add new products on the subsidy list, allocated to citizens through the subsidy card at prices lower than those on the regular market. A government source, close to both the Commerce and Industry

Handicrafts exhibition held KUWAIT: The third exhibition of handicrafts created by inmates of rehabilitation facilities was held on May 6. The event was held on behalf of the Ministry of Interior’s Assistant Undersecretary for Rehabilitation Facilities, Anwar Al-Yaseen.

Director of General Department of Rehabilitation Facilities, Khalid Al-Deyeen inaugurated the exhibition that was displayed at Al-Fanar mall. In a speech delivered as part of the event, Al-Deyeen said

that this event demonstrates the rehabilitating facilities’ goals in enhancing the skills of inmates that help them in the future. He further indicated that this exhibition would boost Kuwait’s image on an international level.

Ministry and the Ministry of Social Affairs, said that official statistics showed that the prices of all new products provided to subsidy distribution centers dropped on the local market, compared to before their addition. The source added that committees that followed up on this matter noticed a drop in prices at differing percentages depending on the area, explaining that demand on the products was a factor here. He explained that on the local market, the price of these products

dropped because demand had decreased - as people were obtaining them from subsidy centers instead of from regular supermarkets. Najem Hamad, a consumer, said that he noticed the drop in prices in the local supermarket after the addition of products on the subsidy list, noting that residents who could not buy subsidized products had benefitted from this price decrease at local supermarkets. He added that the products listed on the subsidy cards were of high quality and offered a variety of brands

in each category, saying that this alleviated part of the financial burden on Kuwaiti families. Meanwhile, Hamad Mana’e, another consumer, called on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to increase its efforts to provide more subsidy services, noting that many more families were now collecting subsidized items because of their value for money and high quality. According to the Subsidy Sector’s records, there are 1.475 million Kuwaitis benefiting from 170,000 subsidy family cards. —KUNA



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Human use of the island limited

Municipality completes report on Failaka isle By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Failaka, Kuwait’s only inhabited island, is to undergo major building and development. Many believe that the large and naturally unspoilt island is being wrongly exploited and the row between government and parliament over the development project has been taking place since the liberation from Iraqi occupation in 1991, delaying the project by almost two decades. Finally, however, the Kuwait Municipality and other administrative authorities have decided to get to work on the development, with the municipality forming a team that prepared a detailed plan of the work to be carried out. The conclusion of the team’s work and its issuing of a report detailing its findings was marked by a press conference held on Thursday at the municipality headquarters.

Liquor smuggling attempt foiled KUWAIT: Customs officials and General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officers recently foiled an attempt to smuggle a large shipment of bottles of alcohol hidden in a secret compartment of a shipping container into the country. After receiving a tip-off from colleagues in another Arab country, Lt Ahmad Al-Khalifa ordered that the container be searched, reported Al-Watan. This followed a similar attempt to smuggle 1,570 bottles of alcohol into the country using a similar technique, when it was again found to be concealed in a hidden compartment in a shipping container. A search is underway for the individual responsible. Meanwhile, Farwaniya police arrested two Asian men in Khaitan after a search of their vehicle revealed that they had hidden 136 plastic bags filled with bottles of homemade liquor in the car, and were preparing to sell them. Minister attacked Minister of Health Dr. Helal Al-Sayer was shocked when a man stormed into his office and attempted to assault him before security officers rushed in and

restrained the assailant. When police came to the office to take the man into custody, however, Dr. Al-Sayer instructed them to release him, refusing to press charges against him, reported Al-Rai. Subsequent investigations revealed that the man is a Ministry of Health employee who was disgruntled at being reassigned to a different ministry department. Drunk and dumb Three drunken juveniles who ignored the orders of Mubarak Al-Kabeer police to pull their car over to the side of the Sixth Ring Road, drove straight into a cement barrier before their vehicle was hit by a bus. None of the young drunkards were hurt in the incident, with one of them staggering out of the car holding a sword, which he proceeded to wave at the approaching police officers in a menacing manner, reported Al-Watan. All three were quickly arrested and taken to the nearest police station to sober up. Salmi shooter A Kuwaiti man was shocked to find himself coming under gunfire while driving along Salmi Road. The assailant, also a

Kuwaiti man, who was reportedly under the influence of drugs, apparently pursued the man’s vehicle in his own car, firing intermittently at him with a pistol for unknown reasons but thankfully missing. The victim quickly called police who rushed to the scene, reported Al-Watan, but the assailant had managed to flee by the time they arrived. A hunt is underway for the intoxicated gunman. Fugitive caught A Syrian fugitive, wanted in a money-related case worth KD24,000, was arrested in a recent operation in Khaitan, and taken into custody. The operation was ordered by the head of the Capital governorate’s investigation department, Colonel Mansour Al-Otaibi, reported AlWatan. Drug dealer Police who became suspicious of the demeanor of a motorist who parked his car at the roadside in Sabhan discovered when they searched the vehicle that he was carrying a quantity of drugs. On being taken into custody and questioned, the man, a citizen of another GCC country, admitted

that he was a drug dealer who was awaiting the arrival of a customer in order to conduct a deal. He has been referred to the relevant authorities. Suicide bid Coastguards recently rescued a Kuwaiti woman in her twenties who was apparently threatening to jump into the sea from an area outside a seafront mall in Salmiya in an attempt to end her life, reported Al-Watan. The coastguard officers quickly restrained the depressed young woman and she was taken for questioning. Prison bus Central Prison officials were put on high alert after a bus carrying 42 inmates on its way back from the Palace of Justice to the jail broke down en route. The Ministry of Interior sent support officers as soon as officials there were informed of the incident in order to maintain control of the situation and ensure that none of the prisoners took advantage of the incident to attempt an escape, reported Al-Rai. Alternative transport was quickly arranged, with no difficulties reported, and the inmates were returned to the prison.

The municipality Director General has issued an official decree, No. 1/2009, to form a team that will observe and check the present situation in Failaka Island. This includes the private and repossessed properties, and all lands, farms and buildings on the island, including those whose possession is contested. “Through our work as a team, we tried to complete a detailed plan and report about Failaka and the urban, monuments, historical locations and public and private properties on the island in the present time in 2009. We hope that the results of this study that will be presented to the decision makers, will help in taking the suitable decision regarding developing the construction in the Island,” said Khalid AlObaid, the head of the team and the director of the municipality’s legal department. The present human use of the Island is limited, he explained. “Most uses are concentrated in the northern-west area and the southern beach of the Island, which is a residential area next to the main port, and the port area at the southernwest of Failaka. There are few chalets available on the island that provide the only tourism activity in there at present. The rest of the location consists of cemeteries, historical locations, government-owned areas and utilities. These account for around 70.44 percent of the island’s total space, and the rest is marshland,” noted team member Engineer Awatif Al-Matrood.

KUWAIT: Khalid Al-Obaid, the head of the team, addressing the press conference. According to the report, residential living space currently makes up only 1.7 percent of Failaka Island. “We created a table dividing the percentage of the different usages in the island,” Al-Matrood explained. “The lowest percentage among all the activities was commercial activity, which occupies only 0.072 percent of the total land, while the highest percentage was for the open and green lands, which occupy 29.26 percent.” The study also focused on other specifications. “We also divided the state property

lands depending on the purpose and use of the spaces. Some exist already, others not yet or are not in use. Also the use of some areas was not specified yet. In total the public property makes 89.9 percent including 396 utilities, while private properties make up 1.03 percent, including 162 properties on Failaka,” she explained. Al-Obaid then explained the court case which the Kuwait Municipality lost recently, in which it was forced to compensate the owner of land in Mangaf to the tune of

KD 5.5 million. “The court decided that the owner had gained the possession of this land by his continoues use of it for 36 years. The government then decided to specify this land for a public park. Later the government changed the purpose of using of this land to residential usage, and built a housing project on it. They didn’t expropriate the realestate, however, so the court approved financial compensation for the claimant of five and a half million dinars. And we believe in the justice of our courts,” he said.

Ras Al-Ardh Club inaugurates swimming pool KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) opened its swimming pool at the Ras Al-Ardh Club. It will host a slew of activities and programs during the summer of 2010. The inauguration ceremony was accompanied by the launching of the Club’s summer festival which includes several competitions and activities, said the Club’s supervisor Husam AlZawawi. On the first day of the event, several water sports competitions and activities for children were held.

Tug of war.

Three visitors pose with their award.

Husam Al-Zawawi

Children get ready for a competition.

Contestants with their award.

Two swimmers display their awards.

Children pose with their prizes following a competition.

The lifeguards.


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Armed men target security forces

Bombs planted in home of policeman kill 3 in Iraq ISTANBUL: Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad, second right, and their wives Hayrunnisa Gul, left, and Asma Assad seen at a balcony of the Ottoman-era Ciragan Palace before a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, yesterday. Presidents of Turkey and Syria have met to discuss ways to revive the stalled peace talks with Israel and boosting bilateral ties. —AP

Syrian president Assad in Turkey for talks on Israel ANKARA: Turkey yesterday said it was ready to help revive the stalled peace talks between Syria and Israel, but the Syrian president said Israel does not appear to be a partner in the process. “I don’t think conditions are ripe for a successful mediation because Israel does not appear to be ready for peace,” Syrian President Bashar Assad told a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. However, Assad said Syria was still working for progress to reach peace with Israel. “Even if there is one percent risk of a war, we are working to eliminate that,” Assad said in response to a question over whether the two rivals could go to war over their conflicts. Assad accused Israel of maintaining hostile policies toward the Palestinians and not compro-

mising from its stance, hampering the Mideast peace process. Gul said Turkey would like to help contribute to the peace process for the stability and welfare of the region. Ankara has mediated several rounds of indirect negotiations between the Mideast rivals in 2008, but the discussions made no significant headway. Syria suspended the talks in response to Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Syria has demanded the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Golan Heights as a condition for peace. Israel’s current government rejects preconditions. On Iran’s controversial nuclear program, both Syria and Turkey extended support for peaceful use of nuclear energy by everyone, urging a diplomatic solution to the international standoff. —AP

Iran positive on fresh nuclear talks with West Iranian Foreign ANKARA: Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has welcomed a proposal for new talks with Western powers over his country’s nuclear programme, possibly in Turkey, media reported late Friday. “This idea has been accepted by Iran. If we agree on a date, this meeting may be held in a short time,” Anatolia news agency quoted Mottaki as saying after talks with the Turkish foreign minister in Istanbul Friday evening. “The venue of the meeting will be very probably Turkey. This proposal is a good proposal for us,” he said. Turkish Foreign Minister

Iran hangs six drug traffickers TEHRAN: Iran hanged six convicted drug traffickers in a prison west of Tehran yesterday, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy are all punishable by death under Iranian Sharia law practised since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Amnesty International says Iran had the second highest number of executions in 2009 after China, adding that about a third of its 388 executions took place in eight weeks of turmoil following a disputed June presidential election. Those put to death yesterday in the city of Karaj were sentenced for carrying and trafficking drugs including heroin and opium, Fars reported, citing the judiciary. One of the men, Abbas Gravand, was found guilty of possessing 386 grams of heroin. Another, Saeed Mikaeli, was sentenced for possessing and selling 422 grams of crack. Iran is a key transit route for narcotics smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, to the West and elsewhere. Opium is used to make heroin. Last year, Iran’s police chief, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, said about 130,000 people in the country of 70 million become addicted to drugs each year. The Iranian judiciary is stepping up its fight against the drugs trade but a large part of the “narcotics mafia” is based outside the country, he added. In March, Iranian media said five men convicted of various crimes including drug smuggling and rape were put to death in the southeastern province of Kerman. —Reuters

Ahmet Davutoglu said he had proposed the meeting in Turkey during his visit to Tehran last month. He had suggested talks between Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as a representative of powers in the so-called P5+1 group working on the Iran nuclear standoff. “We have offered a meeting with P5+1 in Turkey. Iran is positive on this proposal. A reply is being awaited from Ashton,” he said. “The resumption of talks between the P5+1 and Iran is a must. The way for diplomatic efforts should be opened,” he said.

The P5+1 group consists of permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany. Turkey and Brazil, both nonpermanent members of the Security Council opposed to fresh sanctions against Iran, have recently stepped up efforts for a diplomatic solution of tensions over the Islamic republic’s nuclear activities. World powers and Iran have been at loggerheads for months over a proposed deal to supply nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor in exchange for low-enriched uranium from Iran. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Bombs planted inside the home of a policeman in northern Iraq are struggling to maintain security as the country’s politicians clamor over exploded yesterday, killing him, his mother and one other resident, a securi- the shape of a new government two months after an inconclusive election. ty official said. The bombing was one of several attacks around Iraq’s north The early morning attack took place on a home in the town of Amirli, just that killed a total of nine people since Friday evening, a sign that authorities south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and injured five other people. The Kirkuk area is home to an uneasy mix of Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic groups. While violence has dropped dramatically over the years, a steady low-level unrest continues, fueled in large part by distrust and animosity between the country’s Kurds and Arabs, as well as Sunnis and Shiites. Much of the drop in violence has been attributed to Sunni tribes forming so-called Awakening Councils and turning against their erstwhile al-Qaeda allies, dealing a massive blow to the insurgency. The insurgents, however, continue to extract their revenge, and on Friday night gunmen firing from a speeding car killed four Awakening Council members at their checkpoint south of Kirkuk, according to a security official. Four other members of the council were injured and the three gunmen escaped, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. “Armed men have started to destabilize the security situation and target the security forces, including the Awakening members,” said Sheik Hussein Ali, the head of the local branch of the WEST BANK: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, is seen during a meeting with the PLO executive Awakening Council in Hawija, west of Kirkuk. committee and the Fatah central committee, held in order to approve the beginning of proximity talks with “The members of Awakening Israel in the West Bank city of Ramallah, yesterday. Israel is ready to negotiate the terms of Palestinian stateare frustrated now because the hood, although it wants its security concerns addressed in the initial stages of indirect talks, the Israeli president government doesn’t take care of said Friday after meeting with the US Mideast envoy. —AP them and delays their salaries for many months,” he added. The councils were once funded by the U.S. military, which has since turned that responsibility over to RAMALLAH: Palestinian leaders gathered Sunday that talks would begin, Palestinian ment remain low in both camps. the Iraqi government, with mixed Direct negotiations produced virtually no in Ramallah yesterday for a key meeting of and US officials said. results. He is also expected to hold two more tangible results by the time they collapsed in the Palestine Liberation Organisation Gunmen late Friday night also December 2008 just over one year after they expected to give the go-ahead to indirect meetings with Abbas, Erakat said. attacked a car in downtown In the Gaza Strip, Hamas called on the restarted following a seven-year hiatus. peace talks with Israel. Kirkuk carrying two members of The direct negotiations ended after Israel President Barack Obama’s special Middle PLO to reject the proximity talks, which it the Peshmerga, the military force launched a deadly offensive against Gaza East envoy George Mitchell has been shut- called “absurd.” of the nearby Kurdish “We warn the executive of PLO not to aimed at halting rocket attacks. tling between Israeli and Palestinian leaders autonomous region, killing one The Palestinians agreed in March this trying to secure a deal on restarting the take any decision to resume talks with the and injuring the other, according enemy and to give cover to the Israeli occu- year to take part in proximity talks but then long-stalled dialogue. to Col. Sherzad Morferi of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas pation to commit more crimes against our pulled out after Israel announced plans to local police. build 1,600 homes in annexed Arab east has balked at again entering talks with Israel people,” a statement said. The steady violence in Iraq The Islamist Hamas, which has ruled Jerusalem. until first getting backing from the Arab has also been accompanied by a After receiving US assurances that the League and now the PLO, an umbrella group Gaza since 2007 after ejecting forces loyal to rise in crime, especially kidnapAbbas, has routinely rejected talks with Jerusalem settlement expansion plan would of Palestinian factions. ping, which has evolved from a be put on hold, the Palestinians eventually “It is premature to speak for the moment Israel. political act into a commercial Mitchell spent much of the week meeting agreed to consider a new attempt at proximof an agreement to launch negotiations enterprise. The kidnapped because the Palestinian leadership, which with Israeli leaders who want the talks to ity talks. teenage son of a wealthy Sufi They want east Jerusalem, which Israel makes decisions, has not yet met,” chief focus on security arrangements, before movsheik was found dead yesterday, captured from Jordan in the 1967 Middle Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said after ing quickly to direct talks. said Brig. Gen. Najimulddin Kadir, The Palestinians have said they want the East War, as the capital of a promised Abbas-Mitchell talks on Friday. the police chief of Sulaimaniyah, a If the PLO votes yes to the so-called peace agenda to put the priority on the bor- Palestinian state. However, Israel considers Kurdish city in northern Iraq all of the Holy City to be its “eternal and proximity talks, Mitchell was expected to ders of their promised future state. some 50 miles (80 kilometers) But expectations of significant achieve- indivisible” capital. —AFP officially announce later yesterday or on east of Kirkuk. —AP

PLO leaders to decide on peace talks



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wartime past a divisive issue in Baltic states RIGA: Two small displays in a Soviet-era concrete congress centre in the Latvian capital of Riga are a telling sign of the Baltic states’ split vision of the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. One, set up by a local Russianminority group, recounts how Soviet troops drove Nazi German forces from Riga in October 1944. The other, by the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, tells the story of the Baltic nation’s struggle for independence during five decades of Soviet rule. “History is one of the most divisive issues in the Baltic states,” Nils

Muiznieks, a professor at the University of Latvia, told AFP. Different-and often bitterly conflicting-historical narratives are a commonplace in this small Baltic country which shares a painful past with neighbours Lithuania and Estonia. The debates spill onto the streets on anniversaries like May 9, when Russia marks the 1945 end of World War II in Europe. The celebration comes a day after the equivalent in Western nations because of the different timing of Nazi Germany’s official surrender there. The Baltic states were seized by

the Soviet Union under a 1939 pact with Nazi Germany, and suffered brutal oppression at Moscow’s hands. The Nazis drove out the Soviets in 1941 when Berlin tore up the deal and turned on its erstwhile partner. They were hailed as liberators by some Balts, who later went on to join the German military. They they brought their own terror, massacring the region’s Jews, sometimes with the help of local collaborators. The Soviets rolled back the Nazis in 1944-1945 on the road to defeating Germany, and launched a new crackdown in the Baltic, sending tens of thousands of Balts to Siberia.

“The recovery from this period is taking a long time,” Latvia’s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told AFP. “Nobody will return those people whose lives were lost in the Stalinist repressions. Therefore it’s important to also remember the occupation to raise awareness not only in Latvia, but also in Europe and the world about the history of the Baltic states in that period,” he said. The Baltic states regained independence as the Soviet bloc crumbled in 1991, and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004. Since they became anchored in

the West, Moscow has often accused them of trying to “rewrite” the history of World War II by equating the Nazis and Soviets. The trio counter that the Kremlin has failed to acknowledge its own wrongdoing. “History is always very difficult between neighbours,” Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite told AFP in a recent interview. “It’s not for today’s Russia to be responsible for it, but to have a political acknowledgement of the past,” said Grybauskaite, who is the sole Baltic leader to abstain from going to Moscow for the May 9 festivities.

For many Russians-including those living in the Baltics, who often have Soviet-era settler roots-May 9 has a very different meaning. It marks the end of the 1941-1945 “Great Patriotic War” with Germany which cost millions of Soviet lives, and any purported failure to acknowledge that suffering is painful. “This resentment comes from two different interpretations of what is perceived as the same war,” said Ojars Kalnins, head of the Latvian Institute, which promotes the country abroad. Nationalists have criticised Latvia’s President Valdis Zatlers and

Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves for heading to the May 9 parade in Moscow. One Estonian nationalist movement called it a “dance with a cannibal.” May 9 is also marked closer to home. Around 200,000 Latvian residents, mostly ethnic Russians, are expected gather this year at a Soviet-built Victory Monument in Riga park. In the past, the celebration, sprinkled with Soviet nostalgia, included concerts of wartime songs, as people created a sea of flowers at the foot of the monument built in 1985. —AFP

Survivors say methane gas bubble triggered blast

Huge dome probes ocean depths to cap US oil leak NEW ORLEANS: Undersea robots carefully placed a huge dome over an oil leak gushing from a sunken rig deep in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday as workers rushed to protect the fragile US coast. Favorable weather is expected to keep the bulk of the estimated three million gallons of oil spreading across the gulf away

from shore in the coming days. But with a thin sheen of oil already lapping Louisiana’s coastal islands, local leaders begged for more boom to protect vulnerable coastal wetlands and wildlife preserves, as well as billion-dollar fishing and tourism destinations. “It’ll be so much harder to clean up this oil if it gets into the marshes,” said Governor Bobby Jindal. The US Coast Guard, which is assisting in the recovery efforts led by British energy giant BP, cautioned that resources must be used “strategically”. “There’s not enough to completely boom off every piece of coastline for all four (gulf) states,” Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley told AFP. “That’s hundreds and hundreds of miles.” Hope hinges on the unprecedented effort to cap the massive leak some 1,500 m below the surface because it will take three months to drill relief wells to stem the flow. Engineers hope the 100-ton chamber, expected to be operational , will collect about 85 percent of the crude by funneling it up to a barge on the surface. An estimated 210,000 gallons of oil have been gushing every day from a pipe ruptured when the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, two days after an explosion that killed 11 workers. The delicate procedure is seen as the best hope to stave off the biggest US environmental disaster since the 1989 Exxon BILOXI, Mississippi: (From left) Michael Matulis, EllaMarie Powell, Aaron Bayer and Shena Hayes search the Valdez spill in Alaska, but officials have shied away from calling it a beach for any trash or debris while participating in a coast-wide beach cleanup day yesterday. – AP silver bullet, warning the technology has never been used before at such depths. Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service announced MADRID: King Juan Carlos of Spain successthey would co-chair an investigafully underwent lung surgery to remove a tion beginning Tuesday on the small benign growth, doctors said yesterday. factors that led to the disaster. The 72-year-old monarch had a two-hour Survivors of the deadly oil-rig operation in a hospital in Barcelona and was explosion that led to the leak said recovering well, Dr. Laureano Molins Lopezit was caused by a giant bubble of Rodo said. methane gas that rushed up the “It’s good news, the lesion is benign,” drill pipe, as workers and visiting Molins said at a post-operation press conferBP officials in nearby crew quarence, adding that there were “no malign cells” ters celebrated seven years of in tissue removed from the upper part of the accident-free operations on the king’s right lung. rig, according to a transcript of A statement issued by Avelino Barros interviews obtained by a college Caballero, head of the palace’s medical team, professor. Robert Bea, an engisaid doctors carrying out a routine checkup on neering professor at the April 26 and 27 found what was described as University of California Berkeley, “calcification” at the top of the king’s right said he obtained the accounts lung. After further tests — including magfrom three rig workers familiar netic resonance scans — they decided to operwith the explosion - including two ate yesterday to remove the nodule. Surgery in the rig’s quarters. When the was directed by doctor Molins, the statement methane gas reached a room said. Molins said the king would not need any where mud used in well-drilling post-operation medical treatment on his lungs. was stored, sparks from engines “He has not suffered lung cancer,” he said. running pumps there ignited the Juan Carlos used to be a heavy smoker but has gas cloud, according to the trannot been seen smoking in public in recent script. years. The palace declined to say whether he BARCELONA: Spain’s King Juan Carlos I looks on during the trophy preSheen from the massive crude had stopped. sentation of bullfighting in the Royal Cavalry of Seville on March 25, 2010. spill has been washing ashore on Molins said the king’s former addiction to Spain’s King Juan Carlos I underwent surgery at a hospital in Barcelona the Chandeleur Islands, some tobacco had been an important factor in decid100 km off Louisiana, forcing US ing to investigate the growth through surgery. yesterday to remove a growth on his lung, the royal palace said. —AFP officials to close a wildlife refuge The nodule had been growing and “capturing to minimize disturbance to nestglucose” so it was necessary to examine the ing sea birds and to allow cleangrowth, Molins said. up work. The Breton National The origin of the nodule could have been Wildlife Refuge, home to endanthe result of an infection, the surgeon said gered species of brown pelican, Molins said the king’s medical team had on least tern and piping plover, is April 28 forbidden the king to smoke. one of the oldest in the country “Cigars are just as bad as cigarettes,” he and spreads across almost 7,000 LONDON: The first Bosnian Serb con- pital with “serious injuries”. said. The king carried out his duties as normal acres. “West Yorkshire Police are currently victed of genocide for his part in the on Friday, including an early afternoon meetThe National Oceanic and Srebrenica massacre was savagely investigating the matter. Inquiries are at ing with US Vice President Joe Biden at the Atmospheric Administration attacked in a British prison, police said an early stage.” Zarzuela Palace. The king and Biden met for (NOAA) meanwhile extended the A Ministry of Justice spokesman conyesterday. 50 minutes and discussed bilateral and interarea closed to commercial and Radislav Krstic, 62, was taken to hos- firmed a prisoner was assaulted by three national matters, officials said. At a handshake recreational fishing to 4.5 percent pital after being attacked by three inmates. ceremony with Biden the king looked weary. of Gulf waters, saying the fishing Sources said Krstic was in a serious inmates Friday at the high-security The king is much loved and respected in Spain ban would remain in place until Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire, northern condition when he was taken to hospital after he defended the country’s parliamentary May 17. but was later returned to jail. England. democracy from an attempted right-wing miliNews of the sheen reaching Nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men The Sun newspaper said yesterday tary coup in 1981. On Feb. 23 of that year Louisiana’s outlying shores his throat was cut several times and he and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb some 200 soldiers and paramilitary Civil raised new fears for the fragile troops after the fall of the United was stabbed in the head. Guard stormed the debating chamber of parecosystem of its wetlands and Krtic is serving a 35-year sentence for Nations-protected Srebrenica enclave in liament, firing automatic weapons into the shores - a major stop for migratoaiding and abetting genocide. He was eastern Bosnia on July 11, 1995. ceiling and shouting orders. They took ry birds home to vital spawning The massacre is the worst single atroctransferred to Wakefield from The Hague hostage about 350 lawmakers, causing the grounds for fish, shrimp and ity committed in Europe soil since World in 2004. deepest crisis in government since Gen. crabs. “It’s going to destroy the A West Yorkshire Police spokesman War II and the only episode of the 1992-95 Francisco Franco died in 1975 after nearly 40 industry - it will never recover if said the force was called in to the the war in Bosnia officially ruled to have been years of dictatorship. The king stood firm, told the oil gets into the marshlands,” genocide. Krstic was found guilty of aiding prison to “an allegation of assault”. the soldiers to stand down and in a nationally oyster fisherman Cliff LeBoef, 50, He said the inmate was taken to hos- and abetting genocide. —AFP televised speech defended democracy. —AP told AFP. —AFP

NOVOROSSIISK: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) meets with WWII veterans in Novorossiisk yesterday. —AFP

Two bombs hit Russia’s Dagestan MOSCOW: A bomb tore through a car in Russia’s troubled North Caucasus yesterday and seriously wounded a policeman, investigators said, confirming another blast that killed a woman in the same region a day before. Yesterday’s bomb was fixed to the car of a police detective in the town of Tyrnyauz in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, they said. “The police officer was hospitalised with multiple injuries,” the Investigation Committee said in a statement. The investigators also confirmed a bombing at a railway station in the republic of

Dagestan late Friday which media had already reported killed a woman and wounded five people. The blast struck a railway platform in the city of Derbent on the Caspian Sea as passengers boarded a surburban train, the committee said. “As a result of the explosion, one person died,” investigators said. “One policeman received a head injury.” A spokesman for Dagestan’s interior ministry told AFP that a woman was killed, three policeman wounded and three civilians also hurt. It was not clear who was behind the attacks.

Investigators opened a criminal case on charges of terrorism over the train blast, while the car bomb was classed as the attempted assassination of an official. The local pro-Kremlin authorities in the North Caucasus are battling to defeat an Islamist insurgency that has already left scores of civilians and police dead. In March 12 people were killed in a double suicide attack in Dagestan which came after coordinated suicide bombings on the Moscow metro blamed on Islamists from the Caucasus claimed the lives of 39 people. —AFP

Spain’s king undergoes lung surgery

Bosnian Serb war criminal attacked in British jail: Police

AUGSBURG: A picture taken on December 1, 2007 shows the bishop of Augsburg in southern Germany, Walter Mixa, during a conference in Augsburg, southern Germany. Pope Benedict XVI yesterday accepted the resignation of German bishop Walter Mixa over charges of beating children in a Catholic orphange more than 20 years ago, the Vatican said. —AFP

Pope accepts resignation of German bishop in sex probe VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict yesterday accepted the resignation of a German bishop who has been accused of sexually abusing minors, the latest in a string of Roman Catholic prelates forced to resign over an abuse scandal. A Vatican statement said the pope agreed Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg in Bavaria should step down. He became the first bishop to quit in the pontiff’s native Germany over the child abuse scandal that has rocked the Church in several European countries and the United States. In recent weeks, a Belgian bishop resigned after admitting he had sexually abused a boy and three Irish bishops quit over their handling of sexual abuse cases. German prosecutors and church officials said on Friday authorities were investigating accusations of sexual abuse by Mixa, who had already offered to step down after being accused of hitting children.

A spokesman for the diocese of Eichstaett said the accusations referred to a time between 1996 and 2000 when Mixa was bishop of Eichstaett, which like Augsburg is in predominantly Catholic Bavaria. The Augsburg diocese said it had provided information to prosecutors after a meticulous examination of the accusations. The Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper reported, without naming its sources, that Mixa was accused of abusing a boy while bishop of Eichstaett. Mixa’s lawyer, Gerhard Decker, has denied the accusations against the 69-year old bishop, who also faces allegations of financial misconduct, and said Mixa would work with prosecutors to clear up the matter. Mixa wrote to the pope in April to offer his resignation, after denying for weeks that he had hit children in the 1970s and 1980s before later admitting he had slapped them. Some victims say he hit them with full force in

the face. The accusations against Mixa revealed on Friday were the first made of sexual abuse. He had previously asked for forgiveness from those he says he may have slighted. A survey published last month found a quarter of Germany’s Catholics were considering leaving the church over the abuse allegations, the greatest crisis in Benedict’s five-year pontificate. Belgian bishops concluded a week-long visit to the Vatican yesterday with a rare press conference in which they spoke of the pain caused by the scandal which led to the resignation last month of the bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe. He stepped down after admitting he had sexually abused a boy when in charge of the diocese of Bruges, the first such case to be made public in Belgium-although a church commission said it was investigating about 20 other allegations of sex abuse. —Reuters


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Need to learn to live with smaller growth in defense budgets

Gates steps up campaign to slash defense waste CRYSTAL LAKE: Investigators and rail employees work at the scene of what authorities say, was an apparent suicide by Metra executive director Phil Pagano, on May 7 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Pagano died this morning after he was struck by a Metra train near the Crystal Lake station, hours before the Metra board was to meet about his job status. — AP

State rail chief dies in apparent suicide CHICAGO: Authorities say the executive director of the Chicago area’s Metra commuter rail service has died of an apparent suicide after he stepped into the path of one of his agency’s trains. Phil Pagano was under investigation into allegations that he received an unapproved $56,000 bonus. McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren says he died Friday morning. Nygren says a train engineer put on the emergency brakes when he

saw Pagano on the tracks about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Chicago but was unable to stop. He says Pagano died instantly. Metra announced on April 30 that Pagano was under investigation and he had been placed on paid administrative leave. Metra said Friday that there’s a “tremendous sense of loss within the agency.” Pagano’s attorney had no comment. — AP

More than 7 years in prison for Chavez critic CARACAS: A former Venezuelan defense minister and critic of President Hugo Chavez was sentenced to more than seven years in prison on Friday after being convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power. Retired Gen. Raul Baduel was sentenced to seven years, 11 months in prison by a military court and is barred from running for public office, state television reported. Baduel was tried on charges that 40 million bolivars — then worth $18.6 million at the official exchange rate — went missing in 2006 and 2007 while he was defense minister. Baduel has insisted he is innocent and dismissed the accusation as a politically motivated reprisal for his opposition to Chavez. Baduel retired in July 2007

after Chavez removed him from the defense minister post, and he quickly emerged as a prominent critic of the president. He publicly opposed a package of constitutional revisions proposed by Chavez that would have enshrined socialist ideals in the constitution but were rejected by voters in 2007. “He was tried without any evidence,” his daughter Andreina Baduel said after the sentencing. “My father has been an honest man and he always will be.” In the same case, Col. Hernan Medina Marval was sentenced to 8 years, 11 months in prison. Another of Baduel’s daughters, Rayrin Baduel, told reporters that the main evidence had been the testimony of soldiers who saw Medina

carrying some black backs allegedly filled with cash. “Why didn’t they arrest him at that very moment?” she said. Chavez has denied going after opponents through the legal system, saying Baduel and other government critics are criminals who must face justice. Baduel had maintained a friendship with Chavez since the presidents’ army days and clandestinely aided a failed 1992 coup attempt led by the then-lieutenant colonel. The general also came to Chavez’s aid in 2002, when the president was briefly ousted in a coup. Baduel was a key player in securing Chavez’s return to power by sending a team of paratroopers to rescue him from officers who had detained him. — AP

ABILENE: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is stepping up his campaign to reshape the US defense establishment by shifting Pentagon spending priorities and imploring military and civilian officials to change the way they do business. Returning to his home state, Gates was delivering a speech yesterHis spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said in advance of the speech that it was intended as a “hard-hitting message” on the need to learn to live with smaller growth in defense budgets in the years ahead, particularly in light of the nation’s deep economic distress. The presidential library was a fitting setting for Gates to caution against unrestrained military spending. In his farewell address to the nation in January 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned of “grave implications” from the combination of an enormous military establishment and a huge arms industry. He worried about excessive influence on society from the military-industrial complex. Like Pentagon chiefs before him, Gates has made a concerted effort to align defense spending more closely to the evolving, irregular security threats that have faced the US since the demise of the Cold War nearly a generation ago. And like his predecessors, Gates has so far achieved mixed results while encountering fierce resistance in Congress and inside the Pentagon bureaucracy. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, did trigger real change at the Pentagon — but mostly in the form of enormous increases in the defense budget and less in terms of preparing to fight the kind of insurgencies that the US has struggled to overcome in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hugely expensive programs like the Air Force’s F-22 stealth fighter, which was conceived during the Cold War, lived on. “When all was said and done, the way the Pentagon selected, evaluated, developed and paid for major

day on defense spending as the featured guest at a celebration of the 65th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to end World War II in Europe. He was speaking at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in the former president’s home town.

Walter Hickel dies at 90

KANSAS: In this photo provided by the US Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates speaks with US Army Majors during an informal roundtable with the officers at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, May 70. Gates is stepping up his campaign to reshape the nation’s defense establishment by shifting Pentagon spending priorities and imploring military and civilian officials to change the way they do business. — AP new weapons systems and equipment did not fundamentally change — even after Sept. 11,” Gates said last summer. Gates has managed to cap F-22 production short of what the Air Force had wanted, but he has had less success persuading Congress that the Air Force can get by without producing more C-17 cargo planes. Last year, Congress defied the administration by including in the 2010 defense budget $465 million to develop an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force’s multimission fighter of the future. The White House and Gates still support production of the F-

35, which can fulfill multiple combat roles, but the administration asserts that the second engine program is unnecessary. In a speech May 3 to the Navy League, which advocates for Navy programs and budgets, Gates said the nation must rethink whether it can afford such an enormous naval fleet at a time when the Army and Marine Corps need more money to take care of troops and their families. “Do we really need 11 carrier strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?” Gates asked. In remarks Friday to officers at the Army’s Command and

General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Gates said wryly that he gathered from Navy reaction to his speech that “they didn’t much like what I had to say.” Neither did Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat and former Navy secretary whose state is home to some of the Navy’s biggest bases and shipbuilding interests. “When someone says that there is a massive overmatch between our Navy and other navies around the world, I think that is a misstatement of why we have navies or how different countries field military forces,” Webb told a Senate hearing on Thursday. — AP

ANCHORAGE: Former Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel, who was Richard Nixon’s interior secretary until he was fired after criticizing the handling of Vietnam protests, has died at age 90. Longtime assistant Malcolm Roberts says Hickel died Friday night at Horizon House, an assisted living facility in Anchorage. President Nixon fired Hickel in 1970 after he wrote a letter saying the administration was ignoring the concerns of “our young people.” The letter helped stir the national debate about the growing generational rift over Vietnam. The letter was written following the National Guard shootings during a protest at Ohio’s Kent State University and the US invasion of Cambodia. Hickel was first elected Alaska governor in 1966. He resigned to take the Cabinet post. He served a second term as governor in the 1990s. — AP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

North Korea’s Kim committed to disarmament talks SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said the isolated state remains committed to nuclear disarmament, Pyongyang’s official media reported yesterday, a year after quitting talks on its atomic arsenal. During a visit this week to Beijing, he also said ties with China will be unchanged by the “replacement of one generation by a new one,” amid reports he is paving the way for his son to take control of the isolated

communist state. North Korea, which has tested two nuclear bombs, last year bolted from six-nation talks but in remarks reported Saturday, Kim “expressed the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) willingness to provide favourable conditions for the resumption of the six-party (disarmament) talks.” He said the North “remains unchanged in its basic stand to preserve the aim of denuclearising the

Korean peninsula, implement the joint statement adopted at the sixparty talks and pursue a peaceful solution through dialogue.” The comments, carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), came with the first North Korean confirmation of a secretive five-day trip to China and echoed statements reported by official Beijing media on Friday. “Both sides decided to make joint

efforts to attain the objective of denuclearising the peninsula in accordance with the stand clarified in the September 19 joint statement,” KCNA said, referring to a 2005 agreement under which North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear programme in return for badly needed aid and security guarantees. Professor Koh Yu-Hwan of Dongguk University said Pyongyang was unable to promise to return to

the talks in more explicit terms due to the unexplained sinking of a South Korean warship near the border with the North in March. South Korea and the United States indicated that the resumption of talks with North Korea, also grouping China, Russia and Japan, should wait for the outcome of an investigation into the sinking, which claimed the lives of 46 sailors. “This is a step forward for the

North which in the past said it would not come to the dialogue table unless its demands for a peace treaty with the United States and lifting of UN sanctions are met,” Koh said. Referring to close ties with Beijing, Kim, who himself inherited control of the nation from his father Kim Il-Sung, made comments likely to stoke speculation that he is grooming his third son, Jong-Un, for succession.

The bilateral friendship will remain unchanged “despite the passage of time and the replacement of one generation by a new one,” Kim said. Hu, speaking at a state dinner hosted in Kim’s honour, said the two countries should maintain and improve the traditional friendship “along with the passage of time and convey it down through generations,” KCNA reported. —AFP

Officials race to deliver vote-counting software to remote precincts

Philippine candidates wrap up campaigns in festive-style MANILA: Philippine presidential candidates wrapped up their election campaigns in a festival-style atmosphere yesterday, as polling officials raced to deliver vote-counting software to remote precincts. Three months of intense campaigning were due to officially end at midnight with 50-year-old bachelor

Benigno Aquino looking set to win tomorrow’s election in a landslide and continue the legacy of his democracy-champion parents. “The dawn is near... the people are hungry for a new leadership,” Aquino told a cheering crowd of roughly 10,000 people at his final major campaign rally in Manila late on Friday night. Aquino’s rally featured pop singers, movie stars and comedians delivering routines that were flashed on giant screens. The skits included a woman dressed as an angel telling the crowd she was sent from heaven by Aquino’s late mother, former president Corazon Aquino who led the revolution that overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. His two main rivals, former president Joseph Estrada and business titan Manny Villar, held simultaneous rallies in other parts of Manila on Friday night. Villar’s event had the air of a festive television game show transplanted into the badlands of Manila’s dockyards, highlighting his message of being a candidate for the poor. With shipping containers and Manila’s infamous Smokey Mountain rubbish dump as the backdrop, Villar entertained thousands of slum dwellers with scantily-clad women dancers, singers, and show business personalities. Aquino spent yesterday in his home town of Tarlac, his family’s political and economic stronghold for generations, where he travelled in a motorcade aboard a flatbed truck in a final salute to his supporters. No campaigning is allowed today to allow a cooling-off period before the polls, when about 40 million Filipinos are expected to elect a new president, members of parliament and more MANILA: An indigenous Filipino prepares to feed a test ballot into a Precinct Count Optical Machine or PCOS than 17,000 other positions. Philippine elections are machine during a mock voting and final testing of the first ever automated Presidential elections in Zambales always plagued by violence, and province northwest of Manila, yesterday. More than 17,000 positions from president to municipal councilors will dozens of people have been be contested. The country has about 50 million registered voters. —AP killed in recent months as the political tensions built. In the latest violence, unidentified assailants shot an election officer in the stomach SYDNEY: An Australian politican’s call to debate, with opposition leader Tony munity life.” on Friday night on the restive southern island of Mindanao. ban the burqa “for safety” following an Abbott forced to distance himself from Muslims make up about 1.7 percent of The election officer survived armed robbery by a bandit wearing the Bernardi and declare that such a ban was Australia’s heavily Christian population of but two people died in the cenIslamic veil has triggered heated public not opposition policy. 22 million, and religious tensions have tral Philippines earlier on Friday debate following similar moves in Europe. “I think a lot of Australians find the run high in recent years. when communist rebels Senator Cory Bernardi sparked a wearing of the burqa quite confronting Anti-Muslim sentiment flared on attacked a group of soldiers, national furore with claims that the use of and I wish it was not widely worn,” Abbott Sydney’s southern Cronulla Beach in highlighting the varied security a burqa in a hold-up in Sydney on said. December 2005 when mobs of whites threats across the country. Wednesday showed it had “no place in “But the point is we don’t have a poli- attacked Lebanese Australians there in a Meanwhile, election officials Australian society” and should be banned cy to ban it and we have always respected bid to “reclaim the beach.” were working frantically to “for safety, and for society”. people’s rights in this area.” The race riots, the country’s worst of deliver memory cards to roughly “The burqa is no longer simply the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said there modern times, sparked a retaliatory cam80,000 vote counting machines symbol of female repression and Islamic was no reason to introduce a ban, adding paign in which churches, shops and cars across the vast archipelago after culture, it is now emerging as the pre- that the “worst thing we can do is actual- were attacked. an initial batch of the chips were found to be faulty. ferred disguise of bandits and ne’er-do- ly start ganging up on particular groups Belgium last month became the first The embarrassing technical wells,” Bernardi, a conservative lawmak- within our country.” country to pass a national ban on the glitch, only discovered one week er, wrote on his website. “I believe Australians pride them- burqa, and France’s national assembly is before the vote, highlighted con“New arrivals to this country should selves in having a diverse society, one soon to debate such a move. cerns across the political specnot come here to recreate the living envi- which is characterised by tolerance, one Italian police this week fined a woman trum about the potential for the ronment they have just left. They should where we don’t stand up and give people 500 euros (630 US dollars) for wearing a election to fall victim to inepticome here for a better life based on the lectures about what they should be wear- full Islamic veil, the first punishment of its tude or fraud. freedoms and values that have built our ing,” Rudd said on Friday. kind in Italy. The city of Novara adopted a The Philippines is using great nation.” “These are sensitive and important decree in January banning the burqa in computers to tally the votes for His comments ignited intense public matters which have a real effect on com- public. —AFP the first time in a bid to speed up the process and minimise the cheating that has tarnished previous elections. But Aquino and other presidential candidates have warned cheating in many varied forms is still likely to occur. Myanmar officials told AFP YANGON: Myanmar’s ruling The reformatted cards, junta is likely to allow US envoy that Campbell is scheduled to which let computers count the Kurt Campbell to meet with spend three days in Myanmar votes and transmit the results, opposition leader Aung San Suu next week, including talks are being rushed to more than Kyi, paving the way for him to Monday with members of the 70,000 precincts, Commission visit the country next week, an decision-making committee of on Elections official Gregorio Suu Kyi’s disbanded party, the official told AFP yesterday. Larrazabal said. Campbell, the assistant sec- National League for Democracy. Larrazabal said the cards had “He will meet with nine cenretary of state for East Asian reached some precincts in time and Pacific Affairs, met with the tral executive committee memfor a final testing today, but condetained Nobel peace laureate bers on Monday. He’s also likeceded some may not reach cerin Yangon last November when ly to meet with Daw Aung San tain remote areas on time. he became the highest-ranking Suu Kyi on that day. But it’s not He said this would not cause American official to visit confirmed yet,” one official said an election failure, since people on condition of anonymity. Myanmar in 14 years. would still be able to cast their They said that Campbell is A State Department official votes. However, this would said Friday that Campbell would also scheduled to travel to only go ahead with a planned Myanmar’s remote capital the count in these areas. YANGON: A file picture taken on November 4, 2009 delay trip to military-ruled Myanmar Naypyidaw to meet with mem“What is important is the shows Myanmar’s detained democracy icon Aung San people can vote. The (memory) if he was again allowed to see bers of the regime, before Suu Kyi as she greets a US delegation during a rare cards can be delivered afterAung San Suu Kyi and other returning to the country’s main city Yangon. —AFP opposition members. public appearance at a hotel in Yangon. —AFP wards,” he added. —AFP

Australian lawmaker stirs burqa controversy

Myanmar may allow US envoy meet with Suu Kyi

BANGKOK: Police pause at the site of an overnight grenade attack in downtown Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. New violence erupted overnight in the Thai capital, killing a policeman and marring tentative progress to resolving a sometimes bloody two-month standoff between the government and protestors seeking new elections. Anti-government demonstrators say they agree in principle with a proposal by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections. —AP

New Thai violence kills 2, mars compromise moves BANGKOK: Hopes for an end to Thailand’s political crisis diminished yesterday after double nighttime attacks killed two policemen and wounded 13 people in a heavily guarded area previously targeted in protest violence. The attacks happened after the so-called Red Shirt movement signaled it generally agreed with a government reconciliation plan and might soon end the protracted demonstrations that have shut down much of Bangkok’s commercial district. The protest movement denied involvement in the latest violence and indicated that its occupation would continue while it sought a deal with the government, saying the two were not mutually exclusive. “No matter who and whatever is trying to obstruct us, we will carry on our protest (in central Bangkok),” Weng Tojirakarn, a protest leader, said yesterday. In response, the government warned that if the Red Shirts did not end their protest soon those seeking to disrupt the reconciliation process might launch more attacks. The protesters say they agree in principle with a proposal by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to

dissolve Parliament and hold new polls — their key demands — but want more specific details and assurance that Abhisit has the full support of his coalition partners and other political actors. “One mouth speaks of reconciliation while the other 99 mouths keep talking about cracking down,” Weng said. He called on the government to revoke emergency decrees that give the military powers to restore order and that ban public gatherings. As Weng spoke, a long column of pickup trucks loaded with protesters arrived from northeastern Thailand to reinforce the Red Shirt “occupation zone.” “At the moment, we are waiting for more clarity from the Red Shirts. If they agree in principle {with the reconciliation plan}, they must end the protest. They have to make the decision soon,” government spokesman Panithan Wattanayagorn said in a telephone interview. He said the latest attacks were carried out by “ill-intentioned people who used terror to try to ruin the conciliatory atmosphere.” He did not identify any specific group. —AP

TAIPEI: Chen Chih-chung, son of jailed former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian, chants slogans during a rally to demand Chen Shui-bian’s release from prison in Taipei yesterday. —AFP

Civilian deaths hurt Afghan operations BAGRAM AIR FIELD: The US and its allies still have “miles to go” in Afghanistan and international forces have yet to secure large parts of the country, President Hamid Karzai said in comments published yesterday. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Karzai also said civilian casualties are harming efforts to bring security. “We have traveled far together, but the international effort in Afghanistan still has miles to go,” said Karzai, who heads to Washington tomorrow after months of rocky relations with the Obama administration. Karzai, who was at Bagram Air Field yesterday with several of

his ministers, is hoping the trip to Washington will bring renewed legitimacy and the political backing he needs for possible peace talks with the Taleban. Karzai was at the base meeting with Afghan commandoes who partner with US Special forces. A top US commander also was to give him a briefing on special operations. The trip to Washington comes at a critical juncture in the war. At the same time that more troops and aid are moving into Afghanistan, the US has made it clear that its involvement is not open-ended. President Barack Obama, who gathered his national security team to dis-

cuss Afghanistan and Pakistan on Thursday at the White House, wants to start pulling out troops in July 2011 if conditions allow. That’s 15 months away. Also yesterday, the Foreign Ministry said the Afghan government was preparing to send a high-level delegation from several ministries to neighboring Iran to investigate recent reports of the abuse of Afghan prisoners there. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Zahir Faqiri said Afghan officials have sent letters to Iran seeking information about reported executions of Afghans on death row. —AP

Sunday, May 9, 2010


INTERNATIONAL Nuclear safety concerns addressed

Pakistan test-fires 2 missiles: Military KATHMANDU: Shop keepers read newspapers as a group of tourists walk past in Kathmandu, Nepal, yesterday. Markets opened for business, vehicles were back on the streets in Nepal yesterday after the former communist rebels called an end to their debilitating general strike after six days. — AP

Nepal’s Maoists suspend strike KATHMANDU: Nepal’s former Maoist rebels have suspended a general strike that had choked daily life in the impoverished Himalayan nation for the past week, but are maintaining pressure on the prime minister to resign. The Maoists were under enormous public pressure to call off the strike that hit ordinary Nepalis badly and halted the supply of essential goods, including fuel and medicines, for six days without breaking the deadlock with the government. Experts say the Maoists, who control 40 percent of seats in the 601-seat parliament, had been trying to apply pressure tactics to return to power a year after quitting in a row with the president. Transport, businesses and schools had come to a standstill as the Maoists demanded Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal quit to clear the way for a unity government headed by the Maoists. The government has so far said it will not yield. “We have suspended the general strike because of the difficulties faced by the people,” Maoist chief

Prachanda told reporters late on Friday after a party meeting. He said the former rebels would continue to block roads to the Singha Durbar office complex that houses the prime minister’s office and other ministries to force the government out. On Friday, about 25,000 people marched in the capital, Kathmandu, pressing the Maoists to end the strike and find a solution to the stalemate with other parties through dialogue. The Maoists headed a government two years ago but quit last year after the president refused to sack the country’s army chief. They have since been protesting against the government. The standoff has delayed the integration and rehabilitation of more than 19,000 former Maoist fighters, a key part of the 2006 peace deal that ended a decade-long civil war. In a sign that the political standoff was likely to continue, the United Nations is planning to extend its peace mission in Nepal for another four months. — Reuters

PESHAWAR: Pakistani police escort a hooded suspected suicide bomber and his accomplice as they leave a court in Peshawar. Pakistani police arrested a suspected suicide bomber in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and recovered a suicide vest from him, police said May 6. — AP

Rights group rejects S Lanka war probe as smokescreen COLOMBO: An international rights group yesterday called Sri Lanka’s planned review of its final battle against Tamil Tiger rebels a smokescreen to avoid accountability for alleged war crimes. President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday said he would name a commission next week to assess lessons from the last stages of fighting in 2009 and recommend measures to prevent a return to conflict. But New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the move was “yet another attempt to deflect an independent international investigation” into alleged war crimes. HRW urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to insist on an independent investigation into reports at least 7,000 civilians died in the first four months of fighting last year when troops crushed Tiger separatists. Sri Lanka has been under intense pressure to probe alleged rights abuses, a demand resisted by Colombo, which maintains no civilians were killed by its security forces. “Every time the international community raises the issue of accountability, Sri Lanka establishes a commission that takes a long time to achieve nothing,” said

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. The UN secretary general “should put an end to this game of smoke and mirrors and begin a process that would ensure justice for all the victims of Sri Lanka’s war,” Adams said. Rajapakse promised the review would search for violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct in conflict situations and identify those responsible. But the statement did not specifically refer to rights abuses and charges that surrendering rebels were killed while thousands perished in the crossfire or were deliberately targeted. The Sri Lankan president’s review announcement came as former army chief Sarath Fonseka said he was ready to testify before any international tribunal and expose anyone guilty of war crimes. The United Nations estimates 7,000 thousand civilians perished in fighting in the early months of last year when government troops overwhelmed Tamil Tiger rebels and ended their 37-year separatist campaign. Colombo has refused to allow any independent foreign investigation into the alleged rights abuses. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakista n sa id yesterda y it had successfully tested tw o missiles capable of ca rrying nuclea r a nd conventional warhea ds as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gila ni ca lled for its recognition as a nuclea r pow er. Gilani, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid and other senior military and civilian officials witnessed the tests, the military said. The prime minister urged the international community to recognise Pakistan as a nuclear power and give it access to civilian nuclear energy. “It is time for the world to recognise Pakistan as a de jure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities,” Gilani said. He demanded a Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver for Pakistan saying, “energy is a vital economic security need of Pakistan and nuclear energy is a clean way forward.” The 45-member NSG controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide. Is rules usually ban trade with states that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Pakistan is not a signatory. Pakistan’s arsenal includes short-range, medium and longrange missiles named after Muslim conquerors. South Asian rivals India and Pakistan-which have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir — have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998. Pakistan reiterated a call yesterday for the international community to recognise it as a nuclear power, saying it had addressed the world’s concerns over the safety and security of its nuclear weapons. Pakistan is a crucial ally in the US-led fight against al Qaeda and Taleban and President Barack Obama last month expressed confidence over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear programmes. However, militant attacks across the country, even on supposedly secure military installations, have raised fears that militants could penetrate nuclear facilities. But Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said he had “laid to rest” all concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear programme at a summit hosted by Obama in Washington last month, and the world had “expressed satisfaction” over Pakistan’s nuclear security arrangements. Gilani also reiterated a Pakistani offer made at the Washington summit to provide nuclear fuel cycle services, under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, to the world. Pakistan’s nuclear programme has been under intense international scrutiny since its inception in the 1970s. In 2004, top Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted to selling Iran, North Korea and Libya nuclear enrichment technology that

A sta tement from the milita ry sa id the Ghazna vi, w ith a range of 290 kilometres (180 miles), and the Shaheen 1, w hich can hit ta rgets up to 650 kilometres a way, both “successfully hit the ta rget a rea s.”

can be used to produce fuel for civilian reactors or atomic weapons. Pakistan denied the government knew anything about Khan’s activities though Western diplomats and intelligence officials say they believe some members of Pakistan’s government and military were aware of his nuclear network. Gilani, whose government is struggling with a chronic energy crisis and acute power shortages, also reiterated a call for the provision of civilian nuclear technology by the international community. “Energy is a vital economic security need of Pakistan and nuclear energy is a clean way

forward,” he said. Pakistan has long been asking for a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, similar to one the United States has with India. But the United States is reluctant to strike such a deal with Pakistan mainly because of Khan’s proliferation activities. Pakistan first carried out nuclear tests in May 1998, days after similar tests by India. Like India, Pakistan has not signed the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan has about 80 atomic bombs and fissile material for up to 150 more, international experts say. — Agencies

In this handout photo released by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, a Pakistan-made Shaheen-1 missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Pakistan yesterday. Pakistan successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, yesterday, the military said. — AP



Sunday, May 9, 2010


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German FDP leader clouds party hopes By Dave Graham


erman foreign ministers have traditionally been an asset for their party: not so Guido Westerwelle, who is widely seen as a liability for his Free Democrats (FDP) in a major regional election today. Support for Westerwelle’s pro-business FDP has almost halved since he led them into coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) on the back of his party’s best ever federal election result last September. Barely seven months on, a poor result in the vote in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where the FDP also share power with the CDU, may hobble the party for the rest of this parliament. Latest polls suggest the two will not secure a majority in NRW. According to critics, 48-yearold Westerwelle has failed to adapt to his new role as Germany’s top diplomat and too often becomes bogged down in the trenches of domestic politics where he fought for the previous decade and a half. If the CDU-FDP pairing cannot hold NRW, they will lose their majority in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, making it even harder for Westerwelle to fulfill campaign promises to overhaul the tax system and cut red tape for businesses. Disputes within the coalition over how to fund these plans have hampered the FDP’s efforts to deliver on their pledges, eroding support for the party among its core voters. Polls show Westerwelle himself has exacerbated rather than alleviated the problem; despite the fact foreign ministers have always enjoyed some measure of public support in the postwar era, said Manfred Guellner, head of pollster Forsa. HansDietrich Genscher famously served as foreign minister for 18 years in shifting coalitions, using the position to help anchor the FDP in power through the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, into German reunification. “Westerwelle really is the absolute exception here. An overwhelming majority of the population think he’s not up to the job,” Guellner said. “And that has really hurt his party.” A poll by Infratest dimap for ARD television showed over 70 percent of voters were not happy with Westerwelle’s performance in April - three times as many as his predecessor Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the same point in the last parliament. Christine Ramjoue, 68, a pensioner in NRW from the city of Wuppertal, said she had run out of patience with the FDP. “I voted FDP last time but I’m not going to this time,” she said. “I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen of Mr Westerwelle.” If Merkel’s centre-right pairing loses control of the Bundesrat, many new laws will need opposition backing, slowing down a legislative process that has been roundly condemned

as laboured since her second administration began. This could scupper central planks of the FDP’s campaign manifesto like cutting income tax and reforming the tax system, which Westerwelle has continued pressing for in the teeth of opposition from CDU Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Since Merkel’s reelection, voter support for tax cuts has dwindled in the face of growing awareness that the country’s sharpest postwar recession and a budgetary crisis in the euro zone has left the government with little room to maneouvre. “Going on about tax cuts has been a big mistake,” said Forsa’s Guellner. “What people really wanted to see was taxes simplified, but the FDP has not made progress there.” Frustration over Westerwelle has alienated much of the FDP’s traditional entrepreneurial base, according to business daily Handelsblatt. A survey of over 500 executives by the newspaper in April found that while 37 percent said they had voted for the FDP on Sept. 27, only six percent said they favoured the party now. Only one percent of respondents said Westerwelle’s foreign policy was “deserving of praise” compared with over 20 times that number who took the view it was “disappointingly bad”. “Never in the history of the Federal Republic has a party isolated itself from its core voters so quickly after an electoral success as the FDP now,” the paper wrote. Ulrich von Alemann, a political scientist at the University of Duesseldorf, said Westerwelle, FDP leader since 2001, had failed to rise above the fray of domestic politics since his appointment, despite a series of high-profile foreign visits. “Westerwelle is not a team player, he has no competitors within the party,” said Alemann. “So if his reputation is down in the dumps, it’s going to have an impact on the electorate. A lot of FDP supporters are very concerned about this. “He’s not managed to make the transition from the role of combative domestic politician to statesmanlike minister: he’s having trouble finding his role, and voters have noticed.” Mocked by the media for refusing to answer even a single question in English at one of his first news conferences after the September vote, Westerwelle has also been accused of abusing his office to further the business interests of his partner. Moreover, a broad swathe of the political establishment rounded on the trained lawyer for comments he made linking the level of minimum jobless benefits with “late Roman decadence”. Latest polls indicate the FDP should get about 7-8 percent of the vote in NRW, Germany’s most populous state. Though this would mark a slight improvement on the party’s showing in the 2005 NRW vote, it would fall far short of the 14.6 percent of the federal tally the FDP secured in September. — Reuters

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Settlement deep in West Bank a peace spoiler A By Karin Laub

riel has ambitions of becoming a city, and already boasts 19,000 people, a college, a $10 million sports complex, and a four-lane highway leading to it. Ariel is a West Bank settlement, however, and its geography casts a heavy shadow over Palestinian hopes of getting a viable state of their own. Ron Nachman, its founder and mayor, says the community he began with two tents on a hill 32 years ago is already an irreversible fact. To reaffirm that claim and promise future growth, Israel’s prime minister, the hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu, recently planted a tree here, while his centrist coalition partner, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, paved the way for the college to become a full-fledged university. If Ariel stays, it would gouge a giant hole in any future Palestinian state or could prevent its creation entirely. As the United States pushes to renew peace talks, Israel’s plans here - encouraged by American evangelical Christians - are deepening the Palestinians’ distrust. Even some Israelis, including former peace negotiators, warn a partition deal is impossible if Israel retains Ariel. Of the four major settlement blocs Israel hopes to keep in a peace deal, three are close to its borders. But Ariel juts deep into the would-be nation of Palestine, like a sausage on a stick. “There is no viability for a Palestinian state if they keep Ariel,” warned Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Twenty kilometers may not sound like much, but the distance is critical in the argument over territory. Ariel is midway into the West Bank, while heavily populated mid-Israel to the west is also just 20 km wide. And Ariel is not alone. Its satellite settlements house 30,000 people, 10 percent of the Jewish population among the Arabs of the West Bank. Nachman, the mayor, dismisses the notion of Palestinian statehood, calling it a security threat, and he believes no Israeli government can afford to dismantle his town. Also, even though he laments the current freeze on settlements imposed by Netanyahu, he dreams of tripling Ariel’s population to 60,000 within a generation. There is precedent for uprooting settlers: Israel evacuated several thousand when it returned the Sinai Desert to Egypt in 1982, and another 8,500 when it left Gaza in 2005. But Ariel poses a unique dilemma - its size makes it difficult to evacuate, but its location makes it hard to annex. And as Ariel grows, so does the dilemma. The settlement’s attractions - government subsidies, cheap housing - all but assure future expansion. On a recent afternoon, swimmers did laps in the sports center’s glass-enclosed pool, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding West Bank hills, while runners worked out on treadmills. Alex Yurievsky said he moved here from the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikvah two months ago because he got a house for about half the price he would have paid in central Israel. The 40-year-old immigrant from Ukraine said three friends from Petah Tikvah also

decided to move to Ariel after visiting him. Yet Nachman complained that Ariel has been shortchanged over the years, and that he has no housing for new arrivals. Indeed, three settlements already are more populous, growing faster than Ariel. The curb on construction is to last 10 months, ending in September, and was a partial concession to the Obama administration, which sought a comprehensive freeze. Israel seems to recognize that Ariel is a potential problem. Bowing to U.S. pressure, it did not connect Ariel’s perimeter fence to the West Bank separation barrier, seen by some in Israel as the basis for a future border. Former Israeli negotiators say Ariel emerged as a major obstacle in previous border talks, and in two sets of simulated negotiations, the Israeli team ended up ceding Ariel to the Palestinians. Still, construction is continuing on 80 apartments and 130 college dorm rooms, all exempt from the freeze because their foundations were poured before it took effect, Israeli officials said. Nachman said he has completed plans for 3,000 more apartments, but requires government approval. He said he will push for permits once the freeze is over, but complained that he has been stonewalled by Israel’s leaders in the past. The Housing Ministry refused to comment on building plans for Ariel. The industrial park has a dozen factories, and Nachman has said he expects two dozen

more to move in. Entrepreneur Lior Barkan, who owns a factory for LCD screen-mounting systems, said he set up shop in Ariel because of cheaper land and tax breaks. Plans for developing Ariel also include a two-storey shopping mall, and during his visit in January, Netanyahu promised Ariel a cultural center. “This is where our forefathers lived,” he said. “This is where we will remain and build.” The planned upgrade of the college with 8,700 full-time and 2,500 part-time students is perhaps the most controversial in Israel. In January, Barak removed a bureaucratic hurdle to enable the college to become a full-fledged university by 2012, said its president, Dan Meyerstein. Meyerstein said the college, like the settlement, has broad Israeli public support. However, others warned it would make Israel vulnerable to an academic boycott by pro-Palestinian activists. Last year, Spain expelled Ariel’s college from a solar power design contest because it is in a settlement, while 250 Israeli university lecturers signed a petition this month opposing the college’s upgrade. As debate simmers in Israel about the pros and cons of quitting the West Bank, Ariel’s boosters argue that leaving the settlement in place is good for peace. They say Israeli voters will support a peace deal only if the number of uprooted settlers is kept low. The hilltop settlement was founded in 1978 by the government of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Netanyahu’s ideological mentor. It spreads over more than 1,200

hectares, some of it taken from nearby Arab villages, according to Israeli settlement monitors. The location was chosen because it controls a major aquifer and helps shield Israel’s narrow coastal plain, Nachman said. Ariel is a major employer in the area; several thousand Palestinians work in its industrial park and a neighboring one with 120 factories. The settlement grew in spurts, most rapidly in the 1990s with the arrival of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Today, half of Ariel’s residents are immigrants, and many shop signs are in both Russian and Hebrew. Beyond the tax breaks and affordable housing, Ariel offers perquisites that result from an alliance between Nachman and US Christian Zionists. The evangelicals believe a Jewish return to biblical Israel hastens Christ’s prophesied return. Christians, including followers of TV evangelist John Hagee, have donated generously to Ariel, helping build the sports complex and an adventure trail, part of a youth leadership center. The center, with climbing walls, ropes and an Alpine tower, will be inaugurated in April. Ukrainian-born Elisabeth Isakov, 47, who runs a liquor store, said that after 16 years in Ariel, she would be reluctant to leave, even for compensation. “It’s our city,” she said. Yurievsky, the newcomer, said he does not mind a Palestinian state next door, provided Ariel is part of Israel. Pushing a baby stroller carrying his 6-month-old son, he said: “I want a border so it will be quiet, but Ariel is ours.” — AP

Tea party jolts US politics, yet remains obscure By Steven R Hurst


iana Reimer and her husband depend on his US Navy pension, Social Security and Medicare health insurance - all from the government. Even so, the 67-year-old quit her job at a Philadelphia department store to become one of the better-known organizers of the small-government, low-tax tea party movement in the state of Pennsylvania. Ultraconservative tea parties have swept to prominence in the United States like a wildfire across the prairie. Some say the movement will intensify an expected Republican resurgence in November elections. But the movement’s true shape and texture often seems obscure. It includes people like Reimer who depend on the government while wanting it out of their lives. Its quasar-like energy is shaking up the Republican Party and purging moderates from its ranks. That could energize the party’s conservative base. But it could also split the Republican vote, potentially benefiting Democrats. Moderate Florida Gov Charlie Crist quit the Republican Party last week under the conservative drumbeat of a tea party-linked candidate who looked certain to win the primary for Senate. Crist is now running as an independent, and the three-way race could help Democrats. John McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee, has adopted ultraconservative positions as he fights off a hardright challenge in the Arizona primary. Yet the movement’s true political power remains a mys-

tery. Tea party-backed challengers were shut out in Republican House and Senate primaries across three states on Tuesday. What’s clear is that Americans are angry and tea partiers reflect that anger. The economy is rebounding, but slowly, from the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployment remains high. Members of Congress are held, largely, in record low esteem. Soaring budget deficits have everyone on edge. Asked if anger motivated her activism, Reimer responds: “Only when I talk about it. Mostly, I’m just happy I can help people find a voice for venting their frustration.” Brian Carso, who teaches history at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, believes tea partiers are suffering what he calls a “national identity crisis.” Tea party members “worry about the national debt, about military over-extension, about Iran, about a loss of diplomatic power. They worry we are going to become just another European-style socialist county,” says Carso, who has worked in Republican politics. The man known by some in Pennsylvania as the king of tea partiers has another perspective. Jeff Coleman says tea party activists are people who just want their lives “to matter, to count for something.” Coleman talked over lunch in a downtown cafe in leafy Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital. Along with him was Matt Brouillette, who runs a pro-business foundation. Both know the movement well. Brouillette is a conservative talk radio personality. Coleman was a Republican

state legislator by age 25. Ten years later, he’s running Republican congressman Sam Rohrer’s campaign for governor -

a challenge: Rohrer is drawing less than 10 percent support in recent polls. A conversation about the tea

In this April 15, 2010 file photo, Jacob Wipt, 6, holds a sign at a tea party rally in downtown Houston. – AP

party often cast back to what they call the glory days of the Ronald Reagan presidency. The Reaganinspired conservative, small-government, pro-business movement was, they say, “running on fumes,” until its revival late last century by Rush Limbaugh. His is the talk radio voice that booms forth nationwide in the name of right-wing conservatism. Coleman and Brouillette place him in the movement pantheon along with fellow rightwing broadcaster, Glen Beck of Fox News. Harrisburg, a charming old city of about 47,000 people on the Susquehanna River _ would seem to be an unlikely setting for a talk about tea parties. Its shrinking population is about 54 percent African-American, hardly the racial profile to broadly support the kind of political philosophy espoused by the two conservatives. There are few blacks in the tea party movement. It’s populated primarily by older, more affluent whites with a higher education. Crude and racist placards have routinely appeared at movement rallies, but Coleman, Brouillette and every other movement member contacted for this report hotly denied racism was a factor. Members say it is just coincidence that the movement rose to prominence in lockstep with the days of Barack Obama, the first black US president. The tea party movement got its name from a seminal protest by American colonists against a British tax on tea. In late 1773, protesters boarded ships and dumped the tea in Boston harbor rather than allowing it to be

unloaded. The root protest was against the tax imposed by Britain’s parliament where the colonies had no vote. The Revolutionary War began about two years later. Coleman and Brouillette spend a lot of time helping tea party movements coordinate action both inside and outside the state. They are in contact with organizers like Reimer and McKay Sailer, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mother in a well-todo Pittsburgh suburb. “We’re very concerned with fiscal issues,” she says. “It started with (former Republican President George W) Bush, then Obama’s stimulus programs, the auto bailouts, the rumblings of health care reform.” As with most tea party groups nationwide, Sailer says her organization - about 1,000 members strong shuns social issues like abortion or gay marriage, the stark divides between American liberals and conservatives. “That’s a luxury,” she says of political fights about such issues. “We’re worried about government encroachment on our lives, taxes, the free market, anything that infringes on capitalism and small businesses.” Across the state in Philadelphia, Reimer says she’s upset with government spending, “wheeling and dealing on health care” and the federal rescue of the country’s financial system and auto companies. There’s also a tinge of bitterness. Reimer says she and her husband had hoped to sell their suburban home for a profit and buy a smaller residence in Philadelphia proper. Falling real estate prices in the recession erased that possibility. —AP


sunday, May 9, 2010


Tone, timing at centre of UK election drama By Peter Apps


ritain’s election looks to have produced the most inconclusive result possible - a narrow victory for the right leaning Conservatives and a Labour Prime Minister who shows no inclination to step aside yet. Financial markets want negotiations on forming a new government to be over quickly and clarity on who will be in charge. They also need to know whether that leader will head a minority government or a coalition. Prime Minister Gordon Brown soldiers on, but for how long? The pound, gilts and stock market all fell initially on Friday when it became clear that the Conservatives had failed to secure a parliamentary majority. Markets want clarity fast, followed by swift action on tackling Britain’s record budget deficit. That much was clear from a bounce after Britain’s third party, the Liberal Democrats, indicated it was open to the idea of a Conservative government followed by further rises and falls as other party leaders spoke later. What investors fear most is policy paralysis at a time when markets around the globe are already volatile due to worries that a debt crisis in Greece may spread across Europe and beyond. “The (UK) market reaction has been relatively muted so far, but they will lose patience,” said Nomura political

analyst Alastair Newton. “The key thing is where everything stands when Tokyo markets open tomorrow. Sovereign debt markets in particular are extremely nervous over Greece.” Some of the sharpest moves so far have been in the gilts market, potentially increasing Britain’s borrowing costs and pushing the difference in British and German bond yields to its highest level in 12 years. In the run-up to the election, gilts had proved more resilient to political worries with election-driven market moves largely limited to sterling. The pound hit a oneyear low against the dollar on Friday and a two-week low against the troubled euro before recovering. A moderately falling pound does little to damage Britain’s economy directly, beyond slightly boosting imported inflation, and indeed improves its competitiveness abroad. But a spike in gilts yields would be unwelcome. Brown constitutionally has the first opportunity to form a government and is reaching out to the centrist Lib Dems with the offer of a referendum on electoral reform, long desired by Britain’s smaller political parties. The Conservative line is that Labour has lost its mandate to govern. Leader David Cameron said he was examining both options of trying to rule as a minority and in coalition with

Two women hang a banner out of a window as they wait to catch a glimpse of British Conservative Party leader David Cameron as he prepared to address the media in London on Friday. – AFP the Lib Dems - although his offer on electoral reform was only to set up a commission to look into it. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s line so far has been that the Conservatives should have the first chance to form a government, as they won the

most votes and seats in parliament. But he is walking an uneasy line, reluctant to rule anything out before negotiations that could beyond the weekend. The most stable coalition in terms of parliamentary seats would involve the

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, although they are not natural allies. The Lib Dems are pro-European Union, unlike the eurosceptic Conservatives, and like Labour they want to delay cutting the deficit until next year. On tax policy, the Lib Dems want a much more redistributive system reducing the burden on the poorest and increasing that on the rich. This could make agreement on an “austerity budget” more difficult. “I think Cameron and Clegg could work together, but I think Clegg would find that difficult to sell to his party,” said Nomura’s Newton. A meeting of Liberal Democrats yesterday could prove important in determining whom they support. In the meantime, markets will be watching politicians’ statements for any signs that agreement could be reached. Frontbench politicians from the two main parties faced off robustly against each other in morning television sessions, worrying markets, before the three party leaders struck a more conciliatory, statesmanlike note later in the day. “If you see senior figures... taking a very aggressive tone and not conceding to each other I think people may think it will take a lot longer to form a government, and you could see a much more negative (market) reaction,” said Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at Eurasia Group. Analysts expect much noise

over the weekend as the parties secretly negotiate, but said the key decision-makers would play their cards close to their chests. The chief issue for investors and credit ratings agencies which have already warned Britain could risk losing its AAA status - is addressing the deficit. That makes passage of any emergency budget particularly important, not to mention the initial market reaction to it. Market analysts have been saying that a broad coalition might prove more capable of fiscal tightening than a minority government. But the election result leaves parliament so finely balanced that putting this together looks relatively difficult. “Fiscal tightening on the scale needed to get back to fiscal sustainability may well not be politically sustainable in a minority government,” said Citi in a research note. But Jefferies chief economist David Owen said he believed the Conservatives could push through a budget either as a minority government or in coalition with the Lib Dems. “I don’t think this result is a disaster for Britain,” said Owen. “It’s just a matter of getting through the next few days until Gordon Brown accepts the inevitable and resigns. I think we will quite possibly get another election in the next 2 to 3 years ... but that is not what markets are looking at right now, they are looking at the immediate future.” — Reuters

British political cycle ends with no vista By Paul Taylor


ritain’s inconclusive general election brings to an end a long political cycle in which better schools and hospitals had top priority for voters. But unlike the other major sea changes in postwar British politics - 1945, 1979 and 1997 there is no new big idea. “This was a profoundly unhistoric election,” said historian David Starkey. “There was no real choice.” What lies ahead is austerity without a vista, but crucial choices about where to cut public spending and raise taxes may be delayed or obscured by a long wrangle over electoral reform. After World War Two, Britain threw itself energetically into building a modern

welfare state based on a mixed economy with a big public sector. In the cruel words of then US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Britain lost an empire but had not yet found a role. It sought to preserve international influence chiefly as junior partner to the United States and, belatedly and reluctantly, as a member of the European Community. In the late 1970s, an electorate disenchanted with endless strikes, high taxes and economic muddle turned its back on social democracy and voted for personal enrichment. That launched Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s radical shake-up of the economy. She privatised most state firms, broke the grip of the trade unions, sold off public housing,

deregulated markets and cut taxes. Her foreign policy mixed defiant nationalism, recapturing the remote Falkland (Malvinas) Islands from Argentina and fighting for British financial interests in Europe, with close partnership with the United States in the Cold War. Sometime in the mid-1990s, the wheel turned again and Britons exasperated by the backward state of their schools, hospitals and trains chose to spend more of their new national wealth on education, health and transport. That swept Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair to power with a mandate to modernise Britain’s creaking public services without reversing the Thatcherite economic disposition. It was the age of “cool Britannia”, when London became a

magnetic multicultural metropolis and City financial sector bonuses fuelled a seemingly endless property boom. His foreign policy was boldly interventionist in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East. But despite his declared intention, Blair failed to overcome Britain’s semi-detachment from the European Union, and expended his political capital instead on an unpopular war in Iraq. The global financial crash of 2008 brought that era to a spectacular end, felling some of Britain’s swaggering banks and leaving others clinging to a life-raft of state aid. The bank rescues and the ensuing recession - the deepest since the 1930s Great Depression - caused an explosion in the public debt and budget deficit. That

economic meltdown and a sordid scandal over parliamentarians’ expenses, set the backdrop for Thursday’s general election. This time disenchanted voters no longer had a choice between private wealth and public services but only between pain now or pain later. The main campaign issues were how deeply and how soon public spending must be cut, and by how much taxes will have to rise to pay the bill for a decade-long, credit-fuelled binge and whom Britons least distrust to implement this great retrenchment. None of the three main parties spelled out the full extent of the coming public spending cuts for fear of driving voters to despair or abstention, or into the arms of fringe parties. — Reuters


UK may face fresh vote despite deal By Katherine Haddon


ritain could yet face fresh elections within months, despite the start of talks between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on a possible power-sharing deal in a hung parliament, experts warned. David Cameron’s centre-right Tories and Nick Clegg’s centrist Liberal Democrats could struggle to find common ground since they strongly disagree on issues including Europe, defence and immigration, analysts said. If the two parties fail to reach agreement, the Liberal Democrats could still make a pact with Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour party, which lost its overall majority in Thursday’s general election. “Either way there’s going to be an election again soon, probably before the end of the year,” Victoria Honeyman, a politics lecturer at Leeds University, told AFP. Britain faces days of political limbo after its first hung parliament - in which no one party has an overall majority since 1974. The pound slumped to a 13-month dollar low and London stocks sank in response to the news. The Conservatives have won 306 seats, centre-left Labour 258 and the Liberal Democrats 57. The magic figure needed to secure a clear majority is 326. Negotiations between the parties involved have begun, while Queen Elizabeth II is monitoring events and four top civil servants have been assigned to each party for talks. One possibility is that the Tories could rule as a minority government with support from the Lib Dems on a vote-by-vote basis. Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson raised the possibility of this, describing it as a “meccano-type solution”. “I

don’t think there’s any serious prospect for a coalition,” Tory former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind told the BBC. “It’s perfectly possible to reach an agreement if both sides want to find the basis of an agreement”. Cameron has drawn clear red lines for negotiations in a bid to reassure lawmakers of his party concerned about a possible deal - but risks alienating the pro-European Lib Dems, who want voting reform, an amnesty on illegal immigrants and the scrapping of the Trident nuclear deterrent. “I don’t believe any government should give more powers to the EU, I don’t believe any government can be weak or soft on the issue of immigration and the country’s defences must be kept strong,” Cameron said. He also restated his backing for Britain’s current voting system, although he raised the possibility of an inquiry into this. A Conservative/Lib Dem deal might be “the best of a bad job” but “isn’t what anyone would really want” from either of the two parties, Honeyman said, noting that the Lib Dem manifesto was “a bit left of Labour” in many areas. If the Conservatives and Lib Dems do not manage to strike a deal, Brown’s Labour could step in to try to work with Clegg’s party. Brown said he was content for the two opposition parties to talk first but would be happy to talk to the Lib Dems afterwards, while making an overture to them by floating a referendum on voting reform. Even if Labour were to team up with the Liberal Democrats, who have 52 seats, they would still be well short of the magic 326 figure, meaning they may also need to bring on board smaller parties such as Scottish and Welsh nationalists. — AFP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

FANAR, Lebanon: Lebanese chefs celebrate after preparing a massive bowl of hummus weighing 10,452 kg, the size of Lebanon in square kilometers, during a bid to break a record previously held by Israel and reclaim ownership over the popular Middle Eastern dish. Some 300 Lebanese chefs prepared the huge hummus plate and doubled the record achieved by cooks in an Arab town near Jerusalem in January that weighed around four metric tons and broke a previous record held by Lebanon. A Guinness World Records adjudicator confirmed that Lebanon now holds the record. — AP

Lebanon fires 10-tonne hummus volley at Israel BEIRUT: Lebanon yesterday claimed another victory in the continuing battle with Israel over which country can make the largest plate of the chickpea delicacy hummus - with a 10-tonne broadside. More than 300 chefs set the new record for hummus, which the Lebanese say is their national dish despite Israeli claims, in the presence of a Guinness World Records representative who confirmed its weight at 10,452 kg. Hummus is a dip made of chick peas, sesame paste, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. The chefs mixed the ingredients together in a giant plate which itself claimed a record for the largest earthenware dish. The latest Lebanese shot across Israel’s culinary bows came amid a gastronomic fight

Lebanon’s famous chef Ramzi Choueiry (second right) and pottery maker Joe Abalan (second left) hold their Guinness world record certificates for the largest plate of hummus and the largest pottery plate yesterday. — AFP

between two countries still technically at war. In January, 50 chefs in the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem mashed up more than four tonnes of hummus, beating a Guinness record set in Lebanon just months previously. Both hummus and tabbouleh - a salad made with parsley, bulgur wheat, scallions and tomatoes are being used as ammunition in the cultural cuisine campaign. The Lebanese set the tabbouleh record last year. Israel exports hummus widely, and is accused of claiming an Arab dish as its own. Now the Lebanese have also set their sights on falafel, which is popular in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and ... Israel. Today they will try to set a world record for that also. – AFP

Bollywood eyes new market Continued from Page 1 report on India’s media and entertainment industry. Central and South America did not figure in the breakdown. “Kites” director Anurag Basu told reporters recently that Indian cinema which has a fanatical following at home should have a higher profile abroad. “I feel very sad that the world knows only filmmakers like (US-based) Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay!”, “Monsoon Wedding”) and (Canada-based) Deepa Mehta (Elements trilogy),” he said. “They don’t know about Indian films and I feel “Kites” will be that

film that will appeal to masses of Western and Spanish-speaking countries,” he added, calling it “a truly global Indian film” for mainstream consumption. One way Basu is hoping for box office success is by releasing a longer Hindi-language version and a shorter, apparently steamier, one in English. Mori, a 32-yearold model and actress who has starred in television soap operas and a number of Spanish-language films, is one of a number of foreign female stars to take a leading role in a Bollywood movie. On a recent promotional tour in India’s entertainment capital, Mumbai, she said the film, in which

she speaks Spanish, had a universal appeal. “Our attempt with this film was to make an emotional appealing love story though the two protagonists don’t know each other’s language,” she said. “The emotions appeal to human beings all over the world and therefore I felt this film can work on an international scale before going ahead with the project.” “Kites,” which is out on May 21, is 36-year-old Hrithik Roshan’s return to the big screen after last starring in “Jodhaa Akbar” in 2008, a love story about the Mughal emperor Akbar and his Hindu wife, Jodhaa. — AFP

Fayed sells iconic Harrods to Qatar Continued from Page 1 “He has built Harrods into a unique luxury brand with worldwide recognition” and wanted to ensure this legacy would continue, he added. Qatar Holding, only the fifth-ever owner of Harrods, “was specifically chosen by the trust as they had both the vision and financial capacity to support the long term successful growth of Harrods,” Costa said. The new owner is the main investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) which is charged with investing and managing the oil and gasgenerated wealth of the emirate and diversifying its finances. “We are happy to acquire Harrods, a unique company that combines an iconic luxury brand and one of the most prestigious retail properties in the world with best-in-class financial metrics,” said Qatar Holding’s managing director and chief executive officer Ahmad Mohamed AlSayed in a statement. “This acquisition further expands our global portfolio of world-leading companies,” he added. The

Qatar Holding division adds Harrods to a portfolio which includes a 17-percent stake in German carmaker Volkswagen and a seven-percent share in the British bank Barclays. Al-Fayed is to remain as an honorary chairman, according to Qatar Holding. Qatar’s prime minister, who is also chairman of Qatar Holding, said there were plans to upgrade the luxury store. “What I can assure you is Qatar Holding will do their best to upgrade this monument, to make it even greater and better for the tourism and also for the British people,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim AlThani told reporters in an impromptu news conference at the store. He said it will create a “road map” to upgrade Harrods in the next few months. Al-Fayed is an outspoken and colourful figure whose son Dodi was killed alongside Princess Diana in a 1997 Paris car crash. He spent 10 years trying unsuccessfully to prove that British security services were behind their death. A shrine to the couple remains in the store in London’s upmarket Knightsbridge dis-

trict. Al-Fayed and his brothers’ interest in Harrods started when they acquired a 30 percent stake in the House of Fraser group, the then owners of the department store, in 1983. A year later they bought the remaining shares in a £615-million takeover battle. The deal was part of a long-running battle between Al-Fayed and businessman Tiny Rowland that endured throughout the 1980s. After buying the store, Al-Fayed gave it a £300-million refit, installing a marble-clad interior and Egyptian-inspired designs. It currently boasts 40 lifts and three wells from which it draws its water. Harrods attracts millions of visitors each year, whether tourists drawn to a national landmark or shoppers attracted to its motto of “Everything for Everybody Everywhere”. Al-Fayed once said he wanted to be buried there. It began as a much smaller shop on the same site when grocer Charles Henry Harrod opened a store in 1849, and his son built it up. It burned down in 1883 but the family built a new one and rapidly expanded it. — Agencies

Tories, Lib Dems mull pact Continued from Page 1 With negotiations between the parties likely to stretch on for at least two more days and the ruling Labour party still lobbying for its own alternative coalition with the Liberal Democrats, the only thing that’s clear “is how confused it is at the moment”, according to Bill Jones, a professor of politics at Liverpool Hope University in northern England. Uncertainty has a cost: Market jitters over Britain’s record deficit mean that there’s increased pressure on both parties to compromise on their principles for the sake of economic stability. “We have a political crisis in the country, in terms of a growing awareness that the voting system is totally inadequate,” Jones said. “The other crisis is the economic crisis, which is how to deal with the deficit. Those two things are competing with each other.” With 306 seats in the House of Commons, David Cameron’s Conservatives are still 20 short of a bare majority. But if they are backed by the 57 legislators from third-place Liberal Democrats they would have a comfortable cushion for passing the legislation they say is desperately needed to control Britain’s £153 billion ($236 billion) deficit. But while both Tory leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg agree on the need for spending cuts, the pace of austerity measures is likely to be slower than if Cameron had won a majority. Cameron has pushed for immediate cuts, while Clegg’s party has counseled a slower approach that they say will safeguard the recovery. The two have much else in common: Clegg’s plan to cut taxes for the lowestpaid British workers would likely be taken up in a coalition government, and the partners would agree to scrap a planned rise in National Insurance - a payroll tax levied on employers and their staff. Both have pledged action on civil liberties and would likely take quick action to scrap Britain’s planned national identity card program. Cameron is eager to burnish his party’s green-friendly image, and both he and Clegg could be expected to lobby Britain’s allies for an international deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the two parties have divergent views on foreign affairs, both are committed to keeping British troops in Afghanistan, at least in the short term. Clegg’s party describes itself as a “critical supporter” of the conflict, while Cameron has pledged a withdrawal of British forces within five years. But the potential partners also have major disagreements over Europe - Clegg’s party is in favor of Britain eventually joining the euro currency, a policy Cameron’s bloc bitterly opposes. There may be tensions too on how to handle Iran’s nuclear program, the Liberal Democrats say they’ll support targeted sanctions but would not back military action. The biggest stumbling block to cooperation may be electoral reform. Liberal Democrats advocate a system common in continental Europe in which parties win seats in proportion to their share of the total vote - a system that is much less likely to put one party in a dominating position. The Conservatives fear such reforms would leave the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power indefinitely - and potentially freeze them out. Conservative legislator Liam Fox told the BBC that rebuilding Britain’s recession-battered economy was the most important issue. “It would seem to me very strange in an election that was dominated by the economy ... if the government of the UK was held to ransom over an issue that the voters did not see as their priority,” Fox said, in a reference to electoral reform. Brown, still hoping that his beleaguered Labour Party can cling to power, has offered to legislate for a referendum on a change in the voting system, but Cameron has only gone so far as to offer the Liberal Democrats a committee of inquiry - which wouldn’t necessarily lead to any change. Senior Liberal Democrat figures have dismissed Cameron’s proposals as inadequate, and the Lib Dems’ base is also alarmed: Yesterday hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the building where Liberal Democrats were meeting to discuss possible a possible deal with the Tories to urge them not to give up on electoral reform. Some of them waved placards which read: “Where Is My

Vote?” - the same slogan used by Iran’s opposition during violent street protest following the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. If Cameron acceded to too many of the Lib Dems’ demands, he’d have to stare down spirited opposition on his own party’s right wing. Cameron has already ruffled feathers in his quest to move his party toward the political center, and Jones, the politics expert, said his standing may have been weakened by his failure to win power outright Thursday. The party’s right has taken note that many of Cameron’s proteges - the young, multiethnic professionals who were supposed to be the new face of the Tory Party failed to win seats in the contest. Among the party’s old guard, the hostility toward the Lib Dems is palpable. Former Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit said that Clegg’s election results - which fell far short of what was expected - prove that the politician “should be put into a locked cupboard while the big boys sort it out”. Lord Tebbit told Sky News that any deal which did more than throw the Liberal Democrats “a few crumbs” would be a mistake and that the Conservatives should instead try to form a minority government, essentially daring the opposition to vote their proposals down. Meanwhile talks between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are continuing, with the lawmakers from both parties due to meet again to discuss the negotiations today. The Conservative Party said no deal was likely before tomorrow. Whatever happens, Tebbit predicted, the status quo was so unstable that the Labour, the Tories, and the Lib Dems would all have a chance to refight their battles within a year’s time. “It all points to a general election again within 12 months,” he said. Brown and Labour are waiting in the wings to talk to the Lib Dems if they and the Conservatives cannot force through a deal, and has tried to entice them with the prospect of immediate legislation on electoral reform. The BBC reported that Brown had clashed with Clegg in a bad-tempered telephone conversation Friday, a claim denied by a Lib Dem source. — Agencies

Snags hit customs union Continued from Page 1 This task does not promise to be easy, the GCC officials argue, given that most truck drivers in GCC are migrant workers and the bloc has yet to create a more flexible and uniform identification system for its massive non-native workforce. Kuwait’s Finance Minister Mustafa AlShamali, whose country holds GCC’s rotating presidency, said the issue of custom receipts distribution was “not a thorny issue impossible to solve” and that it had taken too long to be studied. “Any formula or mechanism member states agree on has to be reviewed after two years ... These customs receipts represent a small fraction of member states’ overall revenue so agreeing on ... their distribution should be easy,” Shamali said. The meeting will set the agenda for a GCC summit in Riyadh next week. The Gulf countries are also expected

to abolish a 5 percent steel import duty within one to two months to ease a supply strain mostly felt in Saudi Arabia, an official said. The finance ministers examined the proposed measure at the meeting yesterday, and a final decision is expected at the summit. “There is consensus among GCC countries about this proposal. It will be approved without any problem but it will probably take a month or two for it to be implemented,” an official from the GCC secretariat told Reuters before the meeting. Attiyah said the finance ministers agreed to the custom duty abolition which would also extend to cement imports - but did not set a timeframe for its implementation. “This issue was discussed extensively and there is consensus among all ministers on the priority of ... working towards achieving all the requested abolitions,” Attiyah said. After a relative lull, steel demand began soar-

ing in the second half of 2009 in Saudi Arabia, fuelled mainly by massive state spending by the world’s top oil exporter on infrastructure to diversify the economy and counter the effects of the global economic downturn. The finance ministers also discussed proposals from Qatar to set up a regional bank for international aid and a Bahraini proposal to set up a stabilisation fund to aid troubled GCC economies should the need arise. The meeting will set the agenda for the GCC summit. “There is no consensus over these two proposals. The monetary union council should decide whether there is a need for a stabilisation fund,” the official said. “As for the Qatari proposal, there are some voices within GCC that question the need for a new aid institution.” Saudi Arabia is home to the Islamic Development Bank while Kuwait hosts the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. — Reuters


Sunday, May 9, 2010


MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results on Friday. Florida 4, Washington 2; Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 0; St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 3; NY Yankees 10, Boston 3; NY Mets 6, San Francisco 4; Chicago Cubs 14, Cincinnati 7; Texas 4, Kansas City 1; San Diego 7, Houston 0; Toronto 7, Chicago White Sox 4 (12 innings); Milwaukee 3, Arizona 2; Tampa Bay 4, Oakland 1; La Angels 8, Seattle 0; La Dodgers 6, Colorado 5; Minnesota V Baltimore (postponed); Cleveland v Detroit (postponed). American L eague Eastern Division W L PCT 22 7 .759 20 8 .714 18 13 .581 15 15 .500 8 21 .276

GB 1.5 5 7.5 14

Central Division Minnesota 19 10 .655 Detroit 16 13 .552 Chicago White Sox 12 18 .400 Cleveland 10 17 .370 Kansas City 11 19 .367

3 7.5 8 8.5

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

Western Division 16 14 .533 15 15 .500 13 18 .419 11 18 .379

1 3.5 4.5

Philadelphia NY Mets Washington Florida Atlanta

National League Eastern Division 18 11 .621 16 13 .552 15 14 .517 14 15 .483 12 17 .414

2 3 4 6

St. Louis Cincinnati Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Pittsburgh Houston

Central Division 19 11 .633 14 15 .483 14 16 .467 13 16 .448 13 16 .448 9 20 .310

4.5 5 5.5 5.5 9.5

San Diego San Francisco Colorado Arizona LA Dodgers

Western Division 18 11 .621 17 11 .607 14 15 .483 14 16 .467 13 16 .448

0.5 4 4.5 5

Tampa Bay NY Yankees Toronto Boston Baltimore

LOS ANGELES: Dodgers Nick Green (right) breaks his bat for a single as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (lower left) and home plate umpire Gary Darling look on during the second inning of their Major League Baseball game.—AP

Giants fall to Mets as Cards edge Pirates NEW YORK: Rookie Ike Davis and Rod Barajas both homered twice, with Barajas hitting his second in the ninth inning to give the New York Mets a 6-4 win over the San Francisco Giants in the National League on Friday, notching their eighth straight home win. Davis hit solo homers in the second and fourth innings for the first multihomer game of his major league career and did a 360 degree flip into the dugout to catch a foul ball to end the top of the ninth with runners at the corners. Davis also started the winning rally, walking with one out in the bottom of the ninth against Sergio Romo (0-3). Barajas then hit a high drive down the leftfield line for his ninth homer this season. Francisco Rodriguez (2-0) was handed a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth but allowed a tying solo homer to John Bowker.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3 In Pittsburgh, Yadier Molina doubled in

the go-ahead run in the ninth inning with his fourth hit, lifting St. Louis over Pittsburgh. The Cardinals took advantage of several Pirates defensive lapses and a key fielding mistake. Joe Mather, pinch running in the ninth after Matt Holliday singled off Evan Meek (1-1) for his fourth hit, arrived well behind the throw as he tried to steal second, but snuck his right hand in ahead of Aki Iwamura’s tag. Molina followed with his double. St. Louis’ Ryan Franklin (2-0) got the final four outs for the victory despite throwing a tying wild pitch in a wild eighth inning, when five of the Pirates’ six batters reached base but only one scored.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 5 In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp tripled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, ending a 14-game RBI drought and lifting Los Angeles over Colorado.

Dodgers reliever Jeff Weaver (1-1) pitched one-third of an inning with a walk to earn the victory on his return from a back strain. LA closer Jonathan Broxton gave up a leadoff single in the ninth but finished with two strikeouts to earn his second save. Colorado’s Matt Daley (0-1) was the loser.

Phillies 7, Braves 0 In Philadelpia, the 47-year-old Jamie Moyer became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout as Philadelphia beat Atlanta. Phil Niekro was the previous oldest at 46 years, 188 days when he tossed a fourhitter for the New York Yankees in 1986. Moyer (4-2) struck out five and faced one batter over the minimum to earn his 262nd career victory. He allowed only two hits, both leadoff singles to Troy Glaus in

the second and eighth innings. He recorded his 10th career shutout and 32nd complete game. Braves starter Derek Lowe (4-3) allowed seven runs in five innings.

Marlins 4, Nationals 2 In Washington, Gaby Sanchez hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning as Florida beat Washington to snap a threegame skid. Bryan Petersen singled in his major league debut, starting the decisive rally against Brian Bruney (1-2). Petersen moved to second when Bruney fumbled a bunt attempt and Sanchez followed with a looper to right-center, making it 3-2. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu’s sacrifice fly made it 4-2. Marlins starter Chris Volstad (3-2) went seven innings, yielding two runs.

Cubs 14, Reds 7 In Cincinnati, Starlin Castro arrived in

Brewers 3, D’backs 2 In Phoenix, Yovani Gallardo struck out 10 in five innings to help Milwaukee edge Arizona. Gallardo (4-2), who struck out five in a row at one point, has reached double digits in strikeouts in three of his past four starts. He allowed three hits in his fourth straight win. Rickie Weeks and Jim Edmonds home-

red for Milwaukee and Ryan Braun scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth inning for his fifth save in nine attempts. Arizona’s Edwin Jackson (1-4) dropped his third straight decision, allowing three runs in seven innings.

Padres 7, Astros 0 In Houston, Mat Latos struck out a career-high nine in eight shutout innings as San Diego routed Houston. Latos (2-3) allowed only two hits without a walk, and also drove in a run for the Padres, who snapped a five-game losing streak at Houston. Scott Hairston homered twice for San Diego and Chase Headley hit a two-run homer for the Padres. Houston starter Bud Norris (1-4) struck out seven, but otherwise struggled in four innings, giving up four runs.—AP

Westwood takes lead at Players Championship

Rays roll over Athletics OAKLAND: The Tampa Bay Rays’ extraordinary start to the American League season got even better with a 4-1 win at the Oakland Athletics on Friday. At 22-7, the Rays are off to the best start to a season since the New York Yankees began 23-6 in 2003. Tampa Bay won its fifth straight and improved to 13-1 on the road. Tampa Bay starter David Price (4-1) threw seven innings, allowing only one unearned run. Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez (3-2) ceded three runs over seven innings, walking five.

Yankees 10, Red Sox 3 In Boston, New York’s Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer before the Yankees added six runs in a wild sixth inning that carried them over Boston. The Yankees have won their past five games by a combined score of 37-12. New York starter Phil Hughes (4-0) allowed two runs in seven innings. Boston starter Josh Beckett (1-1) gave up nine runs in 5 1-3 innings and knocked Robinson Cano out of the game when he hit him on the t knee in the sixth. He also plunked Derek Jeter in the back in that inning and even hit his own catcher, Jason Varitek, with a pitch that forced him out of the game with a cut left forearm. Jeter played in his 2,165th game for the Yankees, breaking a tie with Lou Gehrig for second place in club history. Mickey Mantle is first with 2,401.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 4 In Chicago, Alex Gonzalez hit the tiebreaking three-run homer in the 12th inning as Toronto beat Chicago for its sixth straight win. Gonzalez’s shot off JJ Putz (0-2) came after Vernon Wells walked with two outs and Lyle Overbay singled. He then drove a fastball about 10 rows deep in left field for his ninth homer. John Buck went deep twice for the Blue Jays. That made a winner of Scott Downs (1-3) who pitched two scoreless innings.

Rangers 4, Royals 1 In Arlington, CJ Wilson pitched his second complete game to steer Texas past Kansas City. Wilson (3-1), a converted reliever, allowed only one run. Vladimir Guerrero homered on the first pitch leading off the second — his third straight at-bat with a home run. That put the Rangers ahead to stay against Kansas City ace Zach Greinke (0-4), leaving the 2009 AL Cy Young winner still without a win this season.

Angels 8, Mariners 0 In Seattle, Jered Weaver kept Seattle hitless into the seventh inning as Los Angeles ended a seven-game losing streak. Weaver (4-1) held the first 22 Mariners hitless until 40-year-old Ken Griffey Jr got a single with two outs in the seventh. Kendry Morales had a three-run double in the first. Juan Rivera, Howie Kendrick and Ryan Budde homered off Felix Hernandez (2-3) in a four-run fourth for the Angels.—AP

the majors in style, hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat and driving in a record six runs during Chicago’s victory over Cincinnati. The 20-year-old was called up from the minors, becoming the youngest shortstop in Cubs history. His home run off Homer Bailey (0-2) made him the sixth player in Cubs history to connect in his first at-bat. He added a bases-loaded triple, becoming the first player in the modern day to get six RBIs on debut. Carlos Silva (3-0) struggled in the win.

FLORIDA: Lee Westwood of England acknowledges the crowd after making an eagle during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament.—AP

FLORIDA: Lee Westwood ran off three straight birdies to start his back nine Friday on his way to a 7-under 65 that gave the Englishman a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Players Championship. Westwood tries to save his best for the big events. While he didn’t put this tournament in the top five, it was prestigious enough to motivate him. “As you get older, it gets harder to peak all the time when you want to,” said Westwood, a 37-year-old Englishman. “You have to pick and choose your ones, and you want to play well in the biggest tournaments. And this is one of the biggest tournaments.” Westwood was at 12-under 132, the lowest score to lead after 36 holes at The Players Championship since 1994, when Greg Norman was at 14 under on his way to setting the 72-hole record. Ryuji Imada, Francesco Molinari and Heath Slocum were a stroke back. But as the wind picked up and the temperatures rose late in the afternoon, there were signs that the TPC Sawgrass was starting to get firm after two days of relatively soft conditions. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be around for the weekend, which is about all that could be said for golf’s two biggest stars. Woods overcame one tee shot that flew off to the right at a 45-degree angle and gave him double bogey for a 1-under 71. Mickelson flirted with the cut line late in the day until making a tough chip look easy for birdie on the 16th. He shot a 71. They were at 3-under 141, nine shots behind. That might be too far back on a course where there already have been 73 rounds in the 60s, the most after two days on the Stadium Course since 1993. But with more heat and more wind, the final two days could be as unpredictable as ever. “Because the character of the course is changing so much from the morning to the afternoon, the guys that are 2-, 3-, 4-under par are in the tournament,” Mickelson said. “Because if they shoot 6-, 7-, 8-under par, they’re going to move right up the leaderboard. And it’s going to be difficult for the leaders to pull away.” Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Vijay Singh and defending champion Henrik Stenson won’t be making any move at

all. They were among 15 players poised to make the cut on the number at 1-under 143 until John Merrick make a birdie putt just outside 12 feet on the final hole to knock them out. That tied the tournament record for the lowest cut at 142. Westwood might be at the top of the list among those to have never won a major, with his 30 career victories and having not finished worse than third in the past two majors, including a runner-up to Mickelson at the Masters. Slocum had perhaps the most impressive round of the day with a 66 in the afternoon, when balls started bouncing through some of the greens. He ran off three birdies to start his round and finished without a bogey on his card. “I’ve felt good about my game for a while now,” said Slocum, who last year at The Barclays holed a birdie putt on the final hole to beat Woods, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els. “It’s just putting four rounds together and finishing a golf tournament.” Molinari had a 65 without a bogey in the morning, and suddenly his first trip to Sawgrass. The Italian Open is being held this week in his hometown, and brother Edoardo turned down this tournament to play at home. The scoring is so low that Robert Allenby had a 70 to reach 8 under and shook his head as he saw the front page of the leaderboard, which was missing his name. Was it all that unusual? “At this place? Yes,” he said. “Normally, 8 under is leading. But it’s because the conditions are super soft.” Woods has never missed consecutive cuts — he’s missed only six for his career — and it wasn’t until a solid back nine that he was secure for the weekend. He hit a drive into the trees on the par-5 11th hole and made bogey, then hit his 3wood so far right on the 14th that it landed in the middle of a pond on the 12th hole. But for every mistake came enough birdies to keep him around par, and keep him at Sawgrass for two more days. “I wasn’t quite as sharp today as I was yesterday,” Woods said. “Got to keep plodding along on this golf course. Anything can happen.”—AP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cavs dominate Celtics

PHOENIX: San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili of Argentina (right) has his shot blocked by Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire (left) during the fourth quarter of Game 3 of a Western Conference semifinals NBA basketball game. — AP

Chinese eye Thomas, Uber Cup glory KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton powerhouse China, featuring Olympic champion Lin Dan and women’s world number one Wang Yihan, are confident of keeping their stranglehold on the world team championships starting today. The dominant Chinese have won the past three editions of the Thomas Cup, for men, and six consecutive Uber Cups, for women, and head coach Li Yongbo is confident of further success in Kuala Lumpur. “We came here prepared to retain both cups and that is just what we intend to do,” said the former world and Olympic champion ahead of the start of eight days of competition in the Malaysian capital’s Putra Stadium. China, boasting world and Olympic champion Lin Dan, and former world number ones Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in the doubles, are hotly tipped to make it four titles in a row in the men’s competition, held every two years. But Indonesian ace Taufik Hidayat believes the 13times champions have an even chance of regaining the trophy they last lifted in 2002 when they beat Malaysia in the final in Guangzhou, China. “I will give China the vote as 51-49 favourites to retain the title,” said the top-ranked Indonesian singles player, currently fifth in the world. “But I expect it to be one of the most closely fought Thomas Cup finals from the knockout stages.” US coach, China-born Cai Zimin, has written off his team’s chances after being drawn with both the defending champions and the hosts in Group A.

“Both China and Malaysia are strong teams,” said Cai. “They have world-class players and there is no way we can beat them in the group stages. This effectively shuts out our hopes of making the quarter-finals.” The powerful Chinese women include world top two Wang Yihan and Wang Xin but they are unlikely to have it all their own way in their bid for the biennial Uber Cup, with three-times champions Indonesia gunning for a repeat final clash. Indonesia’s Uber Cup team manager Djendjen said his side were “a good bet for the final” although he admitted China would be strong favourites. “Our target is to reach the final. There should not be any obstacles in topping our group to advance to the quarter-finals,” said Djendjen. The once-mighty Indonesia, who are in Group B with Denmark and Australia, lost 0-3 to China in front of their home fans in Jakarta in 2008, having last won in 1996 in Hong Kong. “We have a young team without any big names. But we have a set of players who are capable of regaining our past glory,” added Djendjen. China’s Li said his players have been told not to do any sightseeing after two Malaysia coaches were treated for swine flu and subsequently given a clean bill of health. “The players will been told to stay in their rooms. They are allowed to go only to the training venue and to the Putra Stadium.”— AFP

Wiggins grabs first Giro stage AMSTERDAM: Britain’s Bradley Wiggins sped around the picturesque streets of Amsterdam to win the first stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday and lay down a marker for the rest of the three-week race. The Team Sky rider, among the favourites for overall glory, grabbed the leader’s pink jersey by completing the time trial in 10 minutes 18 seconds to hold a two-second lead over Brent Bookwalter and Australian world champion Cadel Evans. “I did my own race. It felt good,” Wiggins told reporters. Sullen skies and drizzle in the Netherlands greeted the 198 riders from 34 nations who criss-crossed the famous canals individually before finishing the 8.4-km route by the city’s ageing Olympic Stadium. The spectacular start took place on a pontoon in the middle of a pond in the city’s Museumplein, with the huge Rijksmuseum hidden from view by scaffolding during renovation work. The Giro itself had been trying to rebuild its reputation since last year’s runner-up Danilo Di Luca was banned for doping but a fresh blow arrived on Monday when potential favourite Franco Pellizotti was told he will face doping charges. The International Cycling Union (UCI) said his biological passport had suspicious data and he was pulled out of the race. The absence of top riders such as Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, who will concentrate on July’s Tour de France, has also hurt the Giro’s standing this year but the Dutch did their best to put on a good show. Amsterdam shone in orange for last week’s celebrated Queen’s Day festival and race organisers tried with partial success to replicate the idea and turn the city pink in honour of the Giro’s signature color. A decent-sized crowd lined the route with special cheers reserved for the home Rabobank team and the eight Dutch riders. They failed to threaten at the top of the leaderboard where American Bookwalter made a surprise appearance having managed the same time as BMC team mate Evans. The race, which has often started or passed through other countries than Italy and could begin in the United States in 2012 under ambitious plans, stays in the cycling-mad Netherlands for two more days before returning home. Today’s 210-km second stage is between Amsterdam and Utrecht while Monday’s third stage finishes in Middelburg. The race ends in Verona on May 30. — Reuters

AMSTERDAM: Britain’s Bradley Wiggins pedals on his way to win the opening leg of the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, beating world champion Cadel Evans by two seconds.—AP

BOSTON: LeBron James scored 21 of his 38 points in the first quarter to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Boston 124-95 on Friday, handing the Celtics their worst home playoff loss ever and taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. Showing no ill-effects of an elbow problem that was the talk of Cleveland, James finished with eight rebounds and seven assists. The 21 points in a quarter was a franchise postseason record. Antawn Jamison had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, while Shaquille O’Neal added 12 points and nine rebounds. Rajon Rondo, who had 19 assists in Boston’s Game 2 victory on Monday, had 18 points and eight assists. The Celtics missed 10 of their first 13 shots, hitting just 27 percent in the first quarter to spot Cleveland a 21-point lead. They were never able to recover as the Cavaliers shot 59 percent from the field for the game. Game 4 is Sunday and the Celtics need a victory to split their home games and assure themselves of another. James wore a black sleeve on his right elbow, which became a concern after he shot a free throw left-handed in the closing minutes of Cleveland’s first-round playoff game against Chicago. He was 8 of 10 from the field in the first quarter — most of them mid- to long-range jumpers — and after that it didn’t matter. “I know I’m going to hear a lot about the elbow, but I’m here to play basketball and give our team a chance to win,” James said. The Celtics had high hopes after taking Game 2 in Cleveland to swipe the homecourt advantage from the 61win Cavaliers. But Cleveland earned it back in Game 3, needing just one quarter to silence the Boston crowd. “We knew how important it was to come out and play aggressive after giving away Game 2,” James said. James scored eight straight points to make it a 10-point lead midway through the first, and seven points during an 11-0 run that made it 36-15 with 19 seconds left in the quarter. Cleveland led by 24 points in the second quarter, 30 in the third, and never by less than 20 in the entire second half. Suns 110, Spurs 96 In San Antonio, Goran Dragic scored 23 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help Phoenix to a 3-0 series lead over San Antonio in the Western Conference semifinals, putting the Spurs in a historically irreparable hole. The Spurs have put Phoenix through a decade of postseason misery, ousting the Suns from the playoffs four consecutive times since 2003. One more win will end all that. They can thank Dragic, whose brilliant fourth quarter made it unnecessary for Steve Nash to get off the bench until the final 3 minutes and Amare Stoudemire to sit out the fourth quarter. Dragic hit nine of 11 shots in the fourth, including all four of his 3-point attempts. After his last one with 5.7 seconds left, the Suns impatiently waited for the final seconds to tick away before swarming Dragic as the Spurs shuffled away. “Coach said ‘Don’t be shy, just be aggressive, attack the basket,”‘ Dragic said. “Third and fourth quarter, I just did it.” No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, and the way the Suns have played in this series, San Antonio might be struggling to find a way to beat them. Game 4 is today in San Antonio. Jason Richardson had 21 points and Grant Hill added 18 for the Suns. Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 27 points while Tony Parker had just 10 points on 5-of-17 shooting in his return to the starting lineup. The Suns trailed 39-21 early in the second quarter while missing 13 of their first 21 shots, putting Phoenix in the biggest hole it faced thus far in the playoffs. Dragic’s layup on the second Phoenix possession of the fourth quarter put the Suns ahead 73-72 and gave them their first lead of the game. — AP

PHILADELPHIA: Flyers’ Simon Gagne (left) and Danny Briere celebrate after Gagne’s game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series against the Boston Bruins. — AP

Flyers, Blackhawks lead PHILADELPHIA: Simon Gagne made a timely return to the lineup, scoring in overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 5-4 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday and stave off elimination from the NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Flyers reduced the deficit in the best-of-seven series to 3-1, with Game 5 in Boston tomorrow. The Bruins can clinch their first conference finals since 1992 with a victory. Former Flyers star Mark Recchi scored twice for Boston, including the tying goal with 31.5 seconds left in regulation. Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic had the Bruins other goals. Chris Pronger, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and Ville Leino all scored for Philadelphia. Gagne played for the first time since he broke a toe in Game 4 of Philadelphia’s opening-round series

against New Jersey. Expected to miss this series, he managed an early comeback and heard a rousing ovation when he was introduced in pregame introductions. Gagne got the crowd roaring 31/2 hours later on his first goal of the postseason. The Flyers wasted a 3-1 lead and were deflated when Recchi scored the tying goal. Recchi burned his former team when he scored against Brian Boucher off a faceoff in Philadelphia’s end. It was his sixth goal of the postseason. Blackhawks 7, Canucks 4 In Vancouver, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored three power-play goals and added two assists as the Blackhawks beat Vancouver and grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Toews took over the NHL playoff scoring lead with 18 points as Chicago moved within one win of their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals. The Blackhawks have won three straight after dropping the series opener at home. Patrick Sharp also scored on the power play and Tomas Kopecky added a goal shortly after another penalty expired. Chicago went 4 for 8 with the man advantage. Brent Seabrook opened the scoring 18 seconds in, Dave Bolland scored into an empty net with 37 seconds left, and Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Blackhawks, who can advance with a win in Chicago on Sunday. The Canucks goals came from Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Kyle Wellwood and Alex Edler and Roberto Luongo made 27 saves. — AP

NEW ZEALAND: France’s Sebastien Loeb drives his car during super stage 6 at the Rally of New Zealand. — AP

Loeb stays ahead in N Zealand AUCKLAND: World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb of France won six of eight stages on day two of the Rally of New Zealand, rising from seventh place to second yesterday, 5.3 seconds behind Citroen teammate Sebastien Ogier. Six-times world champion Loeb started the day 1 minute, 19.8 seconds off the lead held by Norway’s Petter Solberg and had trailed by more than 1 minute, 40 seconds after crashing on the fourth of nine stages Friday. He steadily made up ground on the last five stages on the opening day and continued a remarkable charge through the field yesterday, winning the day’s first three stages. Loeb was positioned to win his fourth straight round of this year’s world championship and claim the Rally New Zealand title for the third time. “I think it was my greatest rally day,” Loeb said. “It was incredible.

We drove flat out everywhere in every stage. “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I should get in the points.” Loeb won the day’s first stage by 4.1 seconds from Ogier, the second by 6.1 seconds from his compatriot and teammate and the third by a remarkable 22 seconds, moving within 38.5 seconds of the overall lead. He was narrowly second behind Ogier in the fourth, super special stage then won the fifth stage by 10.4 seconds to move to third place, 28.3 seconds off the lead. “I’m pushing as hard as I can,” Loeb said. “I’m trying hard to make up for yesterday.” Loeb moved to second behind Ogier when he won the sixth stage by 8.7 seconds and cut more deeply into Ogier’s lead when he was fastest by 14.5 seconds on the day’s seventh stage. He came in only 0.2 seconds behind Ogier on the day’s final, 4.8km, super spe-

cial stage to move within challenging distance of the lead with four stages remaining on the last day Sunday. Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala, driving a Ford, was third and 33.2 seconds from the leader. Overnight leader Solberg, in a privateer Citroen campaign, dropped back to fifth at the end of the second day, 53.6 seconds behind Ogier. Ogier thought it would be difficult to hold off the hard-charging Loeb today. “I’ve had a good rally for the moment, but it’s still a long way to go,” he said. “It will be hard to conserve the lead, but I will do my best.” Loeb seemed to have lost all chance to win the rally Friday when he took a right hand bend too fast and slewed sideways into a railway bridge. He was narrowly prevented from rolling down a steep embankment onto railway tracks and sparked a small scrub fire when he restarted his engine. — AP


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Montanes stuns Federer

ROME: Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez bites the trophy after beating Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the final match of the Italian Open tennis tournament. —AP

Martinez-Sanchez wins Rome Open ROME: Unfancied Maria Martinez-Sanchez produced a stunning display of old school tennis, full of spin and guile, to upset seventh seed Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 to win the WTA Rome Open yesterday. The victory was the biggest of the Spaniard’s career and only her third tournament title as she wowed the packed stands at the Foro Italico in a 2hr 20min thriller. Her only two previous wins in Bogota and Bastaad, both last year, were at tournaments that are never attended by top players. But this victory was remarkable for a doubles specialist who at 27 has suddenly started to play the best tennis of her career. Jankovic, the overwhelming favourite against the world number 26, seemed frustrated throughout as Martinez-Sanchez confused her with a range of slices, spins, drop-shots and serve-volleying. And the Serbian, a two-time winner here, said on court after the match: “I want to congratulate Maria, she played a great match and she really killed me with all those drop shots. “It was pretty tough. She plays very differently to most girls, hitting a lot of drop shots, she serve-volleys and she’s lefthanded. It’s a little bit tricky.”

Jankovic had earlier become only the seventh person to beat both Williams sisters in the same tournament, something she is proud of. “To beat them takes a lot of energy out of you. They’re the best athletes and the best players and to beat them is huge. “Not many players have done that and I’m one of the few with a positive record against them which is very good for me. “But the final is a good result here and I have to keep my head up high. I wanted to win my third title here but it’s still a good result.” Martinez-Sanchez had beaten world number two Caroline Wozniacki in the third round and last year had taken a then-world number one Dinara Safina to three sets before wilting in the decider. But it was her constant drop shots, mostly successful, that was the basis for this win. She broke Jankovic in the fourth game of the first set from a drop shot and then served for the set at 5-3. However, Jankovic had two break points which the Spaniard saved with a serve out wide and volley into the open court and then the second after a lightning exchange at the net. She was still broken, though, after a

woeful backhand smash went wide followed by a netted backhand drive. She was broken again at 5-5 after another dreadful missed smash, this time on the forehand side, and then netting another easy backhand. However she broke straight back to set up the tie-break and went up a mini-break with a foray to the net and volley winner before securing the set with a serve and volley winner on a replayed point, which did nothing to improve Jankovic’s mood. Martinez-Sanchez hit a winning pass following a drop shot to earn break point in the opening game of the second set and then nailed that with a backhand winner. She was broken back but broke again to love at 3-3 in a game in which she incredibly hit a sliced forehand winner. But a double fault at 15-40 when serving for the match saw her broken back for 5-5, only to then break in the next game in which she hit three drop shot winners. And she rounded off an incredible victory with a serve and volley winner. Despite her victory she would have no time to rest as she also had to play in the doubles final with compatriot Nuria Llagostera-Vives against Italian Flavia Pennetta and Gisele Dulko of Argentina. —AFP

Waratahs back in playoff contention AUCKLAND: The New South Wales Waratahs put their campaign to reach the playoffs back on track with an emphatic 46-19 win over the Waikato Chiefs in a Super 14 match in Hamilton yesterday. The Waratahs, facing a door-die battle after their woeful away loss to the Highlanders last week, scored seven tries and kept their opponents scoreless for an hour to lift themselves into third place in the standings with a round left to go. The Waratahs have a chance to seal a semi-final spot if they can win at home to the Wellington Hurricanes in the last round of matches next week. “It was pleasing obviously coming off our pretty disappointing performance last weekend,” Waratahs flanker Phil Waugh said in a televised interview. “Discipline was very good, we stuck to our strategy and our patience was good and we came away with some good points early in the game which was very important.” Berrick Barnes’ shift to flyhalf after spending the last few weeks at inside centre proved a masterstroke, the Wallaby playmaker scoring a try and having a hand in several others in a 12point game with two conversions and a penalty. Bulky winger Drew Mitchell put the Waratahs on the board in spectacular fashion, shimmying between two defenders then chipping the ball from the 22 and charging onto it for a try in the third minute. Number eight Ben Mowen then found a gaping hole in the Chiefs’ line to make it 10-0, shrugging off two defenders before planting the ball between the posts twenty minutes later. Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was then credited with the Waratahs’ third in the first halfhour after the Chiefs’ forwards were barged over their own line in a rolling maul at the left-hand corner. —Reuters

TOKYO: Masakazu Toyota (top) of Japan tackles James Love (bottom) of Arabian Gulf during their match in the Asian Five Nations rugby tournament. Japan defeated Arabian Gulf 60-5. —AFP

Brumbies rout Highlanders CANBERRA: The ACT Brumbies thrashed the Otago Highlanders 31-3 in a Super 14 rugby match yesterday to keep alive their semi-final hopes and give retiring flanker George Smith the perfect send-off in front of home fans. Flyhalf Matt Toomua emerged the hero for the Brumbies, scoring a fourth try in the dying minutes to collect a vital bonus point that lifted the team into fourth place. The Brumbies will battle with the sixth-placed Canterbury Crusaders in Christchurch next week for the right to a postseason berth in the season’s final round. “We made it hard for ourselves out there, in the last minute we scored the try but full credit to the boys, they stuck in there to the last minute,” said Smith, who announced his retirement from international rugby earlier this year. “It’s been a joy to run out here... Look, I’ll miss the place but I’ve a lot of good memories from the place.” The Brumbies were the first to settle after a torrid opening, and they were rewarded for a series of forward drives when Rocky Elsom snatched the ball in a line-out, hit the ground running and pirouetted over the line at the 12th minute. A sharp pick-and-go by skipper Stephen

Hoiles set up Salesi Ma’afu for the Brumbies’ second a few minutes later, the lock burrowing over from a ruck a metre out to make it 12-0. The Highlanders fought back valiantly to trap the ball in the Brumbies’ 22 for much of the remaining half but were denied on the goal-line twice and were unable to score until Israel Dagg kicked a penalty goal on the stroke of halftime. Toomua sliced through midfield to set up a chain of passes that ended with scrum-half Josh Valentine prancing over the line unopposed to extend the lead to 22-3 eight minutes after the break. The Brumbies were unlucky not to have their fourth try soon after when hooker Stephen Moore cannoned into the right goalpost as he put the ball over the line. Desperate drives for the elusive fourth went unrewarded, however, as the Highlanders defended furiously, but Matt Giteau steered a penalty kick to touch with two minutes remaining, allowing the team to re-group for a final push. The Brumbies mauled to within a couple of metres from the line before Toomua swerved past a defender and planted their fourth, sparking thunderous cheers at Canberra Stadium.—Reuters

ESTORIL: World number one Roger Federer crashed to a shock semi-final loss to Spain’s Albert Montanes on a heavy court slowed by a day of rain at the Estoril Open. Montanes triumphed 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) to move to within one victory of repeating his 2009 title with the upset in a match which began with more than two hours of delay after downpours drenched the Estadio Nacionale. The Spaniard, the ATP number 34, will face off in today’s final against the winner from fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Portugal’s Frederico Gil. Federer now goes into the Madrid Masters with a 2-2 record on clay and a title to defend in the Spanish capital. Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal step up their bids for final tune-ups prior to the French Open as headliners at the Madrid Masters. But world number two Novak Djokovic is out, the suffering Serb an apparent victim of the breathing problems which forced him to quit a quarter-final at his home Serbia Open on Friday. Holder Federer and Nadal played the final a year ago at the Caja Magica, where a moveable roofs over showcourts look likely to be useful with rain predicted for some of the upcoming week. World number one Federer kick-started what proved to be a career-defining run to a first French Open crown, initiated when he beat Nadal for the title a year ago. With the Swiss stalled in Estoril, Portugal, by rain at the semi-final stage, Nadal has had the week off as the four-time French Open winner finally starts to plan his playing schedule with time built in for the rest needed by his fragile knees. The second-seeded Spaniard should come in fresh after claiming a fifth Rome title a week ago with a win over David Ferrer. With his preferred clay season in full bloom, Nadal is happy to be on court, with two titles from two events so far this spring prior to the last major tune-up in the Spanish capital. “I need high motivation to keep winning,” said the world number three. “The important thing is to have enough motivation to want to improve all the time-this is the main thing for me. “For about eight months or longer (11 months between May, 2009. in Rome and Monte Carlo in April), I didn’t win a tournament. then I won two. “Every time I go on court I try my best and I try to do this all the time.” Third seed Andy Murray will try and improve a luckless clay start, with the Scot posting one win from three matches so far. Fourth-seeded French Open finalist Robin Soderling of Sweden, who lost in Paris to Federer, will try to surpass his Barcelona final of last month against Fernando Verdasco. On the women’s WTA side, Maria Sharapova makes her return to the game after last playing in mid-March at Indian Wells. The 11th-seeded Russian has been dealing with injuries over the last few seasons and will be making her debut at the obligatory women’s event with a first-round match against Lucie Safarova. Top seed Serena Williams and her fourth-seeded sister Venus will need to recover from back-to-back losses this week in Rome to Serb Jelena Jankovic, the number seven in the Spanish capital. Dane Caroline Wozniacki takes the second seeding and begins against a qualifier while Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova (fifth) and Elena Dementieva (sixth) will hope to make up ground during the French Open run-up after Rome disappointments. Australian Samantha Stosur, the Charleston champion whose only loss on clay this season came in the Stuttgart final against Justine Henin, is seeded eighth after a week of rest. —AFP

LISBON: Spain’s Albert Montanes reacts after defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer 6-2, 7-6, in their Estoril Tennis Open semi finals match. —AP

Webber on pole for Spanish Grand Prix BARCELONA: Australian Mark Webber outqualified team mate Sebastian Vettel at the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday to hand Red Bull a front row sweep and stunning fifth successive pole position. The pole was Webber’s second of the season, with Red Bull’s blistering lap times leaving their rivals gasping for air in their slipstream. “This pole was for the team, both sides of the garage have had about five hours sleep in the last two nights. They have really worked incredibly hard,” said Webber, who will start from the top slot for the third time in his career on Sunday. “It’s a sensational qualifying for both Seb and myself.” Lewis Hamilton was third fastest and shares the second row with Spaniard Fernando Alonso, his former McLaren team mate and double world champion who is now racing for the first time at home as a Ferrari driver. Alonso’s grid position was overshadowed by a stewards’ enquiry, with Ferrari fined $20,000 for releasing his car unsafely into the path of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in a pitlane incident. Formula One world champion Jenson Button, in a McLaren, and seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, for

Mercedes, will line up together on the third row at the Circuit de Catalunya. Schumacher’s sixth place marked the first time that the 41-year-old German, making a comeback after three years out, had qualified ahead of team mate Rosberg and was also his highest grid position of the year. Rosberg qualified eighth with Poland’s Robert Kubica seventh for Renault but felt Alonso should have been penalised for the near collision. Alonso naturally saw no need for any sanction, telling reporters: “I didn’t see Nico unfortunately, the angle of vision is not perfect to see anyone coming from the pits so you rely on your mechanic.” Webber, who was faster than Vettel in all three stages of qualifying, will be boosted by the knowledge that the driver on pole has won for the last nine years in Barcelona. Vettel, on pole three times this year but a winner just once, will equally be encouraged by the fact that no driver has won from pole so far in 2010. Neither will need reminding that they locked out the front row at the last race in China, only for Button to take the victory. “I think we are enjoying ourselves. Mark wants to beat me

and I want to beat Mark,” said Vettel, congratulating his happy team mate, who will have to start on the ‘dirty’ side of the circuit. “Maybe I can find something for tomorrow... even if it might look comfortable from the lap times, I think we have to keep our feet on the ground,” he added of a session in which the Red Bulls lapped seven tenths faster than the rest of the field. “This should be a walk in the park for the Red Bulls. If it’s dry, it probably will be,” commented Button after the most predictable of outcomes. Hamilton said the Red Bulls looked “ridiculously fast” and McLaren had a lot of work to do, with Ferrari also competitive after introducing engine and aerodynamic modifications for the first race of the European season. At the back end, Renault’s Russian Vitaly Petrov qualified 14th but collected a five place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. Both Virgin Racing cars were also demoted five places for a breach of the technical regulations having qualified 21st and 22nd. Indian Karun Chandhok, who qualified behind them in 23rd, goes right to the back after a gearbox change. —Reuters

SPAIN: Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber from Australia drives his car during a free practice at the track in Montmelo just outside Barcelona. —AP

‘King’ Chandhok happy to leave his throne BARCELONA: Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok had a spring in his step at the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday after recovering from a bout of food poisoning that laid him low earlier in the week. “I feel better now, finally recovered,” he told Reuters at the Circuit de Catalunya. “I have never been so ill in India. I went to Munich on Monday and I ate something there. I have been really ill since. All of Tuesday I was in bed, I just couldn’t move.” Chandhok said Brazilian Bruno Senna, his team mate at the Hispania (HRT) team, had been less than sympathetic to his plight. “He called me ‘The King’ for the amount of time I spent on the throne (toilet) for the last few days,” he smiled. “It’s not been a pleasant week.” The Indian, who also has a dust allergy that kicks in whenever he goes home to Chennai, managed to extract some revenge by mocking the Brazilian’s fear of needles when they had a health check together.

Today’s Spanish Grand Prix is a home race for the team, one of three all-new outfits on the starting grid, and Chandhok said he had been taken aback by the local response. “We’ve got two paddock suites here full of guests and fans. We could have stood there all day talking to people, they are so enthusiastic,” he said after Thursday practice. “In the hotel I walked in and it was really strange. Normally you sign the check in form and instead I signed about 20 autographs at the reception because all the hotel staff had these pictures. “We went to a football game and the people at Barca (Barcelona) all knew who we were. You get the feeling that there’s a bit of national sentiment behind it,” he added. “But the public will always follow a driver more than a team. and as long as you have (Spanish double world champion) Fernando Alonso that’s where the loyalties will lie.” —Reuters



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Jayawardene opening up Twenty20 horizons BRIDGETOWN: Sri L anka’s Mahela Jayawardene is relishing the “freedom” that comes with opening the batting after another superlative display at the World Twenty20. And he insists his appetite for runs is far from sated ahead of the islanders’ upcoming clash with Australia today. The 32-year-old made an unbeaten 98 as Sri Lanka, last year’s losing finalists, began their second round Super Eights campaign with a crushing 57-run win over hosts the West Indies at the Kensington Oval here on Friday. It was the stylish right-hander’s third big score in as many innings this tournament and left him with 279 runs at a

colossal average of 139.5 after knocks of 81 against New Zealand and 100 against Zimbabwe. Former captain Jayawardene has come late in his career to opening, although he has always been a top order batsman. And for those who dismiss Twenty20 as a game for sloggers only, Jayawardene’s essentially orthodox approach provides evidence cricket’s fundamentals still hold good in all forms of the game. While the likes of other senior international batsmen such as Australia’s Ricky Ponting and India’s Sachin Tendulkar have opted out of international Twenty20 in a bid to extend their Test careers,

Jayawardene is relishing the chance it is giving him to reinvigorate his game. “I am enjoying it,” said Jayawardene, who faced 56 balls with four sixes and nine fours in a Sri Lanka total of 195 for three - the best of the tournament so far against the West Indies. “For me it was about me pushing myself with my technique and ability to see how it would suit for me to play T20 cricket. “Batting in the middle (order) was a challenge, I adapted and I did different things but I think opening the batting has given me much more freedom to go out and express myself - guys need to find that. “Yes, I am scoring runs, you are not

Pakistan lose in last ball thriller

BRIDGETOWN: Defending champions Pakistan were on the brink of elimination from the World Twenty20 after losing to New Zealand by just one run in a last-ball thriller here yesterday. Victory for South Africa over England in the day’s other Group E Super Eights match at the Kensington Oval would mean Pakistan no longer had a chance of reaching the semi-finals. Recalled New Zealand fast bowler Ian Butler, entrusted with the last over, took an impressive three wickets for 19 runs as opener Salman Butt, who finished on 67 not out, so nearly saw Pakistan home after a top-order collapse. Pakistan, chasing 134 to win, finished on 132 for seven in reply to the 133 for seven New Zealand made after losing the toss. “We just hung in there, and thankfully it went our way. One of the biggest games I have played for New Zealand,” said man-of-thematch Butler after his first game of the tournament. New Zealand found life tough against Pakistan’s spinners and Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori said: “We kept ourselves in it with a spirited bowling performance. We kept attacking and it worked for us.” Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi sportingly added: “It was a great game of cricket, we all enjoyed. Salman Butt played a mature innings. “New Zealand’s bowlers bowled really well but so did (Pakistan spinners) (Abdur) Rehman, (Mohammad) Hafeez and (Saeed) Ajmal.” Pakistan began the final over, bowled by Butler, needing 11 to win. Left-hander Butt couldn’t make contact with the first ball but slashed the second down to third man for four. He also missed the third delivery before crashing the fourth through point for another boundary. Off the fifth ball, Pakistan ran a bye. That meant leftarmer Rehman, who’d earlier taken two wickets for just 19 runs in his first Twenty20 international for nearly three years, was on strike with two needed off the final ball. Rehman made good contact as he swung at a leg side delivery from Butler but the ball flew straight to Martin Guptill and New Zealand had won. The Black Caps, who lost their opening Super Eights match to South Africa as Pakistan went down to England, needed victory as much as the title-holders to revive their Ian Butler hopes of a semi-final spot.

Pakistan collapsed to 25 for three in the face of hostile fast bowling from Shane Bond and the recalled Kyle Mills. Butler, selected along with Mills after fellow seamers Jacob Oram and Tim Southee were dropped, then struck

a big score from,” the Australian added. “We have got a guy (Jaywardene) here who is used to making big scores, knows how to go about making big scores, not only in the shorter version but in Test matches as well. “He is a classical style batsman who doesn’t muscle the ball away but still seems to time it pretty well away to the fence or over the fence.” Only four batsmen have scored Twenty20 international hundreds - West Indies’ Chris Gayle and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum being joined in an exclusive club at this tournament by India’s Suresh Raina and Jayawardene. The Sri Lankan had the chance to

make history by becoming the first man to make two centuries at this level but chose not to hog the strike in the last over against the West Indies. However, he insisted he felt no disappointment at missing out. “Not at all, at that point I couldn’t even get the ball out of the 30 yard circle I was that tired,” Jayawardene said. “I was quite glad Kapu (Chamara Kapugedara) and (Tillakaratne) Dilshan came and hit a few fours. “It is all about getting runs for the team. Hundreds are great but then as always (if) you are winning the matches as well. I wasn’t focused on the hundred but on getting as many runs as we could.” —AFP

Scoreboard BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Final scoreboard in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match between England and South Africa at the Kensington Oval here yesterday: England 3 M. Lumb lbw b Botha C. Kieswetter c Steyn b Botha 41 K. Pietersen c Smith b Botha 53 P. Collingwood c Boucher b M Morkel 14 E. Morgan c de Villiers b Langeveldt 21 L. Wright b Langeveldt 0 T. Bresnan b M Morkel 13 M. Yardy not out 8 G. Swann not out 1 14 Extras (lb3, w7, nb4) Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 168 Did not bat: S Broad, R Sidebottom Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Lumb), 2-98 (Pietersen), 3-113 (Kieswetter), 4-124 (Collingwood), 5-137 (Wright), 6-148 (Morgan), 7-162 (Bresnan) Bowling: Botha 4-0-15-2; Steyn 4-0-50-0; M Morkel 4-0-40-2 (3nb); Langeveldt 4-0-34-2 (1w); Kallis 3-0-15-0; Duminy 1-011-1

South Africa G. Smith c Lumb b Swann 19 11 J. Kallis c Pietersen b Broad H. Gibbs c Sidebottom b Yardy 8 AB de Villiers c Collingwood b Swann 5 A. Morkel b Yardy 0 JP Duminy c Yardy b Sidebottom 39 M. Boucher c Morgan b Swann 9 J. Botha c and b Sidebottom 12 D. Steyn c Morgan b Broad 5 M. Morkel b Sidebottom 1 2 C. Langeveldt not out Extras (b2, lb9, w6, nb1) 18 Total (all out, 19 overs) 129 Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Kallis), 2-34 (Gibbs), 3-44 (Smith), 4-46 (de Villiers), 5-53 (de Villiers), 6-90 (Boucher), 7-111 (Duminy), 8-125 (Steyn), 9-126 (Botha), 10-129 (M Morkel) Bowling: Sidebottom 4-0-23-3; Bresnan 3-0-14-0; Broad 4-026-2 (1nb, 1w); Yardy 4-0-31-2 (3w); Swann 4-0-24-3 (1w) Result: England won by 39 runs.

England win over S Africa

BRIDGESTONE: New Zealand’s Gareth Hopkins (left) looks on as Pakistani Salman Butt plays a shot. —AFP twice to reduce Pakistan to 58 for five. Butler had Misbah-ul-Haq lbw for three and then, after digging in a short ball, saw Afridi caught pulling for 11 by a diving Nathan McCullum, running in from deep midwicket. Replays were not conclusive as to whether the ball had carried but Afridi walked off and the catch stood. Abdul Razzaq gave Pakistan renewed hope by driving left-arm spinner Vettori for a six and a four off successive balls. Razzaq then finished a 15th over from Vettori that cost 16 runs with another huge six, this time lofted over deep midwicket, to leave Pakistan in the far more healthy position of 94 for five. He then failed to connect several times against Bond before flat-batting the bowler for a massive six over long-on that landed on top of the pavilion. However, when Razzaq holed to offspinner Nathan McCullum for a 28-ball 29 it meant Pakistan were 111 for six. Pakistan’s target was down to 22 off two overs when Butt, giving himself room, drove Mills for a superb six over long-off. Butt, only one of three Pakistan batsmen to make it into double figures, faced 54 balls in all with a six and eight fours. Vettori led the way for New Zealand with 38. Only opener Brendon McCullum (33) also made it past 30. Pakistan complete their Super Eights programme against South Africa in St Lucia tomor row, when New Zealand face England. —AFP

sure how long you are going to be in this game so every time I go out there I want to score runs.” And he insisted he’d tweaked rather than transformed his game for Twenty20 cricket. “I haven’t changed a lot but, having said that, I am playing a few more different shots than I am used to in one-day or Test cricket because of different tactics. “You tend to analyse and see what works for you and what doesn’t.” Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, said of Jayawardene: “He is batting as well as everyone in the world knows he can bat like. “Opening in the 20 overs game is really one of the only spots you can make

Scoreboard BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Final scoreboard in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the Kensington Oval here yesterday: New Zealand B. McCullum c Sami b Rehman 33 J. Ryder c Rehman b Sami 7 M. Guptill c U Akmal b Rehman 2 R. Taylor c K Akmal b Sami 3 D. Vettori run out (Sami/Ajmal) 38 S. Styris b Afridi 21 G. Hopkins c Rehman b Afridi 2 N. McCullum not out 12 I. Butler not out 0 Extras (lb2, w12, nb1) 15 Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 133 Did not bat: K Mills, S Bond Fall of wickets: 1-34 (Ryder), 2-41 (Guptill), 3-55 (B McCullum), 4-58 (Taylor), 5-98 (Styris), 6-104 (Hopkins), 7-127 (Vettori) Bowling: Aamer 3-0-20-0 (1nb, 2w); Sami 3-0-25-2 (7w); Rehman 3-0-19-2 (2w); Hafeez 3-0-11-0; Afridi 4-0-292; Ajmal 4-0-27-0 (1w); Pakistan Kamran Akmal b Mills 5 Salman Butt not out 67 Hafeez c Hopkins b Bond 8 Umar Akmal c Hopkins b Mills 0 Misbah-ul-Haq lbw b Butler 3 Afridi c N MCullum b Butler 11 ARazzaq c Taylor b N McCullum 29 Abdur Rehman c Guptill b Butler 2 Extras (b1, lb1, w4, nb1) 7 Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 132 Did not bat: Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal Fall of wickets: 1-15 (K Akmal), 2-24 (Hafeez), 3-25 (U Akmal), 4-42 (Misbah), 5-58 (Afridi), 6-111 (Razzaq) Bowling: Bond 4-0-28-1 (1w); Mills 4-0-33-2 (1nb, 2w); Butler 4-1-19-3; Vettori 4-0-31-0 (1w); N McCullum 4-0-19-1. Result: New Zealand won by one run

Man-of-the-match: Ian Butler (NZL)

BRIDGETOWN: Kevin Pietersen laid the platform for a commanding 39-run victory over his native South Africa as England took a giant stride towards the World Twenty20 semi-finals here yesterday. Man-of-the-match Pietersen’s high-class 53 was at the heart of England’s 168 for seven against the land of his birth at the Kensington Oval. South Africa, in reply, suffered a dramatic top-order collapse against spinners England Graeme Swann (three wickets for 24 runs) and Michael Yardy (two for 26). The Proteas lost four wickets for 19 runs as 34 for one was transformed into 53 for five. JP Duminy, the only batsman in the innings to score more than 19, made 39 but by that stage the game was all but beyond South Africa’s grasp. He became one of a trio of wickets for Ryan Sidebottom (three for 23), who ended the match with an over to spare by bowling Morne Morkel as South Africa were dismissed for 129. Victory left England with two wins from two second round matches after Pietersen made an unbeaten 73 in a six-wicket win over defending champions Pakistan on Thursday. However, it is possible for three of the four sides in a pool that also features New Zealand to end the second round, which concludes for Group E teams in St Lucia tomorrow, with two wins each. If that is the case, net run-rate will decide which two teams go through to the last four. But if Pakistan beat South Africa, England will be in the semifinals before their match against New Zealand. South Africa’s slump against spin started when Herschelle Gibbs, on eight, top-edged a sweep off leftarmer Yardy’s first ball and was brilliantly caught by a diving Sidebottom, running back at short fine leg. Proteas captain Graeme Smith then holed out when his slog-sweep off Swann was caught in the deep by Michael Lumb. Albie Morkel, who’d hammered 40 off just 18 balls in South Africa’s 13-run win over New Zealand here on Thursday, was out for a duck after a Yardy delivery turned past the outside edge and clipped the top of offstump. AB de Villiers did not last long either before skying Swann to England

captain Paul Collingwood at midwicket. Earlier, Pietersen shared a stand of 94 in just under 12 overs with fellow South Africa born batsman Craig Kieswetter, who made 41, after Collingwood won the toss. The pair relished the pace of fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, whose combined eight overs cost a hugely expensive 90 runs. Steyn, arguably the world’s leading quick, was treated with disdain in a fourover spell that went for an extraordinary 50 runs.

Pietersen struck a huge six over long-on off Steyn and then casually advanced down the pitch to drive him for four. But former South Africa Under-19 wicketkeeper Kieswetter had made just seven when he guided Morne Morkel straight to third man only for the Proteas’ joy to be cut short because the delivery was a no-ball. It may not have been as expensive as the ‘wicket’ Morne Morkel took in the first round, when India’s Suresh Raina was on five before going on to complete a hundred, but it was an expensive mistake nonetheless. Pietersen’s 33-ball innings, which featured a six and eight fours, ended when he top-edged an attempted sweep against off-spinner Johan Botha, who took an impressive two for 15. —AFP

India in crunch clash

BRIDGESTONE: South Africa’s bowler Johan Botha celebrates the dismissal of England’s opener Michael Lumb. —AP

BRIDGETOWN: West Indies captain Chris Gayle admits the hosts will have to go “back to the drawing-board” ahead of their World Twenty20 Super Eights clash with India here today. Both teams started the second round on Friday with heavy defeats at the Kensington Oval, the hosts going down by 57 runs to Sri Lanka after India suffered a 49-run reverse at Australia’s hands. India lost six wickets to Aussie fast bowlers Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait on a lively pitch and seemed to struggle with short-pitched deliveries - a point not lost on Gayle whose attack features several quicks. “We can use the short ball but at the same we have to be careful because it (the Kensington Oval) is a small ground and they have quality batters who can make adjustments. But it’s certainly something we will put into our plans.” West Indies played a major part in their own downfall against Sri Lanka by missing six chances, with Gayle himself dropping Kumar Sangakkara at slip before his opposite number had scored. Sangakkara went on to make 68 and share in a 166-run stand with former skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who was given two reprieves before finishing with an unbeaten 98. “We’ll discuss what happened and it’s back to the drawing board,” Gayle said. “It’s a must-win for both teams and it should be a good game. “We are still confident we can win the two games and move onto the semi-final,” the opening batsman insisted. He added: “It’s a disappointing start but we had our chances and we let it slip away. We can’t take away the fact they batted really well but those missed chances hurt us.” —AFP


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Chelsea eye title, United look for twist LONDON: Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou has vowed that his side won’t blow their chance to savour a joyous title celebration with their supporters today. Carlo Ancelotti’s team will clinch the Premier League title with a win over Wigan in front of a capacity 42,000 crowd at Stamford Bridge and Kalou can’t wait to get the party started. The Ivory Coast international knows there is plenty of pent-up frustration waiting to be released in west London after Chelsea had to watch Manchester United take the title for the last three years. Now, having won just the FA Cup since Jose Mourinho’s departure in 2007, the Blues are on the verge of being crowned kings of English football for the first time since 2006. Kalou believes the prospect of celebrating the title in front of their own supporters will give Chelsea all the incentive they need to blow Wigan away. “We should go and enjoy the moment because you don’t always get these opportunities,” Kalou said. “Playing for the title in front of your own supporters, we have to enjoy that and make them enjoy it as well and hopefully in the end we can all celebrate together.” After a topsy-turvy title race notable for the unusually large number of defeats suffered by both the main contenders, Kalou is convinced Chelsea will be worthy champions because they have coped better than United with their troubles. “In the whole season you can’t play at the same level and be on top every time,” Kalou said. “The difference in winning the title is when you are not on top form you have to come back to the basics where you fight for every game, and that is what we do well.” United, currently a point behind Ancelotti’s men, have beat to Stoke at Old Trafford and hope Wigan can repeat the performance that secured a shock 3-1 win over Chelsea back in September. It is an unpromising situation for the champions but United defender Rio Ferdinand admits he is still hoping a “weird” season has one last bizarre twist. “More so-called lesser teams on paper have been taking points off the top four, when in previous seasons it’s been a case of the big teams beating all the others and then dropping points against each other,” Ferdinand said. “It’s been a weird season. Hopefully that will bode well for Chelsea’s game today.” Outside of the destination of the trophy, the only other unresolved issue is whether Arsenal can hold onto third place, which carries the significant prize of direct entry to the Champions League group stage. Tottenham could overtake the Gunners if they beat Burnley and their north London rivals lose at home to Fulham. But the odds must be on Arsenal getting the point they need against a Fulham side that will be preoccupied by Wednesday’s Europa League final date with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admits an Arsenal slip may be one miracle too far in a memorable season for his club. “We’ll go into the last game and give it our best shot but it’s very, very difficult,” he said. “It will be difficult for Fulham to get a result at Arsenal. (Fulham coach) Roy (Hodgson) has got a Europa League cup final on Wednesday to consider and he’s got to do what he feels is right for his club. “We’re pleased to be where we are-if a miracle happens and we can win at Burnley and Fulham pull off a win at Arsenal, that would be even better. But it’s a long shot.” Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had no problem praising his rivals’ achievement and said: “Spurs are in the Champions League on merit, you are never there by coincidence. “When you beat Arsenal, you beat Chelsea, you beat Manchester City, you deserve it.”—AFP

Today’s matches on TV (local timings) English Premier League Bolt on v Birmingham..................18:00 ShowSports 3 Everton FC v Port smouth...........18:00 ShowSports 2 W’hampton v Sunderland.............1 8:00 ShowSports 1 Chelsea FC v Wigan....................1 8:00 ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2 Man United v Stoke....................18 :00 ShowSports 3 Arsenal FC v Fulham FC.............1 8:00 ShowSports 4 Burnley FC v Tot tenha m.............1 8:00 Sho Shasha Hull v Liverpool.........................18:00 Extreme Sport Italian League Juventus v Parma......................16 :00 Al Jazeera Sport +6 Inter v Chievo...........................16:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 AS Roma v Cagliari....................16:0 0 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Genoa v AC Milan......................16 :00 Al Jazeera Sport +4 Paler mo v Sampdoria..................16:00 Al Jazeera Sport +7

GERMANY: Bayern Munich celebrate with the Bundesliga trophy after the German First Division football match against Hertha, the last day of the Bundesliga season won by Bayern Munich for the 22nd time.—AFP

Robben seals Bayern’s 22nd German League title BERLIN: Dutch winger Arjen Robben’s second-half brace gave Bayern Munich a 31 win at relegated Hertha Berlin yesterday that sealed the Bavarian giants’ 22nd German league title. Bayern had already opened up an effectively insurmountable three-point lead over title rivals Schalke and ended the season five points clear as the players celebrated in style at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Having also scored twice on his debut last August, Robben’s double means he finishes with 16 league goals for the season. The 26-year-old cost Bayern 24 million euros from Real Madrid, but has been worth every penny after a stellar season that saw him play a huge part in getting Bayern to the Champions League final against Inter Milan on May 22.

“It is important that we won here,” said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, who was drenched in beer by his players after the match in what has become a Bundesliga custom. “We have the best defence, the best attack and deserved to be crowned Bundesliga champions. It is good that we were victorious to keep the winning rhythm. Tonight, we will celebrate in style.” Croatia striker Ivica Olic put Munich ahead when he hit his 11th league goal of the season on 20 minutes by drilling Robben’s pass into the bottom-right corner. Berlin fought back when Adrian Ramos levelled on 59 minutes before Robben curled home a shot on 74 minutes and then

added his second with a simple tap-in three minutes from time. Bayern will be back at the Olympic Stadium next Saturday when they play Werder Bremen in the German Cup final. Schalke were already assured of second place and an automatic place in next season’s Champions League. They finished their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Mainz. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is set to be Germany’s number one at next month’s World Cup, saved a penalty from midfielder Miroslav Karhan on 75 minutes after bringing down Andreas Ivanschitz. Bremen will have the chance to join Schalke and Bayern in the Champions League after finishing third in the league thanks to a 1-1 draw with Hamburg, which

entitles them to a place in the play-off round. Peru striker Claudio Pizarro opened the scoring on 59 minutes with a superb strike from a pass by Clemens Fritz before Hamburg’s Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy equalised in the 82nd minute. Bayer Leverkusen qualified for a Europa League place for next season after a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchgladbach saw them finish fourth. Borussia Dortmund will join them in the old UEFA Cup competition as they finished fifth despite losing 3-1 at Freiburg. Stuttgart, who flirted with relegation before the arrival of Christian Gross as manager last December, completed their fairytale comeback when they finished sixth to claim the last European place with

a 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim. Defending champions Wolfsburg completed a disappointing season with a 3-1 win over Frankfurt that left them eighth in the table. In the fight to avoid the drop, Hanover, whose captain Robert Enke tragically committed suicide last November, preserved their Bundesliga status with a 3-0 win at Bochum that sent their opponents into the second division. Nuremberg beat Cologne 1-0, but it was not enough to save them from a relegation showdown. Bochum and bottom side Hertha will now be relegated and Nuremberg finish in 16th, which means they will face second division Augsburg in a two-legged play-off next Thursday and Sunday for the right to a place in the Bundesliga.—AFP

Mexico let down fans in World Cup warmup

RIYADH: Al-Ittihad’s players react after winning the Saudi King Cup of Champions final soccer match against Al-Hilal at King Fahd Stadium. —AP

Tensions high in Serie A title chase ROME: The Serie A title run-in between Inter Milan and AS Roma is hotting up with just two games left amid accusations and legal threats providing an intriguing back-drop. Reigning champions Inter entertain mid-table Chievo today while Roma host Cagliari, who have nothing left to play for. Then next weekend Inter travel to already relegated Siena while Roma will be at Chievo. And as if the tension was not already stoked to breaking point during Wednesday’s fractious and ill-tempered Italian Cup final between the two scudetto protagonists - which Inter won 1-0 - comments from the champions’ coach Jose Mourinho following that match have done nothing to calm the situation. Mourinho was commenting on a rumour that Siena president Massimo Mezzaroma will give his players the bonus they would have got for escaping relegation if they beat Inter. “We have two difficult matches left, Chievo and Siena who don’t deserve the position they are in,” he said. “If it’s true that Siena’s president will be happy if they beat us and has promised them the same bonus they would have had for staying up, they would have an extra motivation. And who knows, given that Roma haven’t paid out bonuses for (winning) the Coppa Italia maybe they’ll be available to offer some extra cash.” Roma responded by saying they would be looking into possible legal ramifications, although Mezzaroma saw the

funny side but suggested he had been motivating his players by other means. “I like that kind of joke because given the cunning person who said it, that’s the only way you can take it,” he said. “But I’m convinced that in sport more than finance, which is a pitch on which no-one can compete with Inter, the group’s cohesion, their pride and their attachment to the shirt are fundamental motivations. “And maybe even the Inter coach, at the beginning of his career before he was operating with big budgets, used the same argument to construct his numerous victories.” Coming on the back of the fall-out from Roma club captain Francesco Totti’s violent kick at Inter teenage forward Mario Balotelli - for which he earnt a red card during the Cup final - it is clear there will still be much noise made before the season is up. Totti came out and accused Balotelli of having insulted and provoked him while the Italian of Ghanaian origin reported that the veteran had racially abused him. Roma darling Totti also seemingly criticised his own club for not backing him, saying that he was wrong but had been abandoned since the incident on Wednesday night. On the pitch both Inter and Roma could be feeling the effects of a bruising encounter with Inter’s playmaker Wesley Sneijder a doubt for the weekend and both teams likely to be feeling fatigued. Their’s are not the only crucial encounters today though as there is a

huge game being played in Sicily with mammoth financial implications. Fifth placed Palermo host fourthplaced Sampdoria with Champions League football at stake. If Samp, who head Palermo by two points, win they will have qualified for the money-spinning competition, if it’s a draw or the Sicilians win it will be decided on the final day of the season.—AFP

EAST RUTHERFORD: Mexico’s World Cup hopefuls did little to give their heaving sea of red and green-clad fans something to celebrate in the first match at the new Meadowlands Stadium on Friday as they played out an anti-climactic scoreless draw with Ecuador. With Ecuador failing to qualify and Mexico experimenting in the countdown to the World Cup, it was perhaps unsurprising the match, the first at the new home of New York’s two NFL teams, the Giants and the Jets, failed to reach any great heights. Neither side created many clear scoring opportunities, with Manchester United-bound striker Javier Hernandez heavily marked after squandering an early chance, and they settled for a stalemate in front of almost 80,000 fans, who had turned the match into a noisy carnival with horns and whistles. “I’m satisfied with the result,” Mexico coach Javier Aguirre told a news conference. “Obviously you want to win, and when you have nearly 80,000 people there you want to score a goal, but I think we played well.” The match provided few real clues for Aguirre as he prepares to decide on which three players he has to drop for the World Cup, although he will have at least two more chances to run an eye over them with matches against Senegal in Chicago and Angola in Houston next week. “This was a very useful game. I’m very happy with the 26 players we’ve got and obviously it will be a tough decision on which three players to leave at home,” he said. “We made a few mistakes, but we tried hard. This is our first step, we still have time.”

Mexico will play hosts South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup in less than a month. France and Uruguay are also in Group A for the June 11-July 11 tournament. With little action of note on the pitch, it was left to the 77,507 spectators to provide the entertainment at the $1.6 billion venue that has replaced the old Giants stadium and could potentially host the World Cup final if the United States wins their bid to stage the tournament in 2018 or 2022. “The importance of New York in the world and in the US and as a magnet can’t be argued and so New York is an important part of the bid,” US Soccer president Sunil Gulati told Reuters before the match. “This is a fantastic stadium but we have a lot of fantastic stadiums and a lot of options about where we can play.” The US will hand over their bid document to the world governing body FIFA next week with the decision on the hosts expected in December. He confirmed that Arizona had been retained on the list of possible sites despite the state facing criticism over the introduction of tough new immigration laws. “We’ve got 18 cities that are part of the bid process, it’s a long way between now and 2018 and 2022 and at this point I think it would be premature to make any decisions,” he said. Mexico Soccer’s president Justino Compean also sidestepped the issue of Arizona’s immigration laws and said he was now enthusiastically backing the US bid after his own country pulled out of the race to stage the tournament. “I hope the US will be chosen. For us, it would be like playing at home,” he said.—Reuters

City Clinic basketball Super Cup KUWAIT: City Clinic Super Cup Interschool basketball tournament starts today. May 9 2010 at 4pm at Jabriya Indian School. City Clinic Managing Director KP Noushad is to inaugurate the event and Jabriya Indian School Principal Usha Varkey will preside over the function. The tournament will be played on May 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 from 3pm to 7pm on a league cum knock-out basis. The final will be played on Thursday 4pm. The inaugural match will be played between Jabriya Indian School and Indian Central School.

EAST RUTHERFORD: Pablo Barrera No. 21 of Mexico controls the ball as Michael Arroyo No. 7 and Ulises De La Cruz No. 4 of Ecuador pursue during the 2010 FMF US Tour.—AFP

Results/standings MADRID: Real Madrid’s Marcelo Vieira from Brazil (left) reacts after scoring against Atlhetic Bilbao with fellow team member Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal (right) during their Spanish League soccer match. —AP

Getafe 2 (Soldado 26, Leon 56) Malaga 1 (Fernando 90); Sporting Gijon 1 (De las Cuevas 57) Atletico Madrid 1 (Ibrahima 71); Valladolid 2 (Baraja 56, Nauzet 78-pen) Racing Santander 1 (Christian 28); Sevilla 2 (Kanoute 68, Fabiano 71) Barcelona 3 (Messi 5, Bojan 28, Pedro 62);Tenerife 2 (Bertran 15, Nino 90) Almeria 2 (Piatti 17, Crusat 80);Villarreal 2 (Rossi 10, Llorente 18) Valencia 0; Xerez 3 (Francis 22, Michel 68, Calvo 74) Real Zaragoza 2 (Herrera 66, Gabi 76); Espanyol 2 (Forlin 49, Osvaldo 51) Osasuna 1 (Vadocz 5); Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Riki 68) Real Mallorca 0; Real Madrid 5 (Ronaldo 22-pen, Higuain 77, Ramos 79, Benzema 80, Marcelo 88) Athletic Bilbao 1 (Yeste 41). Spanish League table after yesterday’s matches on the penultimate weekend of the 2009/10 season (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona Real Madrid Valencia Sevilla Mallorca Getafe Villarreal Bilbao Atletico Deportivo Espanyol Almeria Osasuna Sporting Zaragoza Valladolid Malaga Tenerife Racing Xerez

37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37

30 31 20 18 17 16 16 14 13 13 11 10 11 9 10 7 7 9 8 8

6 2 8 6 8 7 7 9 8 8 11 12 9 13 10 15 15 9 12 9

1 4 9 13 12 14 14 14 16 16 15 15 17 15 17 15 15 19 17 20

94 101 58 62 57 55 55 48 57 35 29 41 36 36 43 37 41 40 40 37

24 34 40 47 44 48 54 53 58 47 44 52 45 49 61 58 47 73 59 65

96 95 68 60 59 55 55 51 47 47 44 42 42 40 40 36 36 36 36 33

Spanish League goes down to the wire MADRID: The Spanish league title will go down to a thrilling final day of the season with champions Barcelona holding a one-point lead over Real Madrid after a tense 3-2 win at Sevilla yesterday. Real defeated 10-man Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu although it was not as easy as the scoreline suggested with three goals in four minutes turning the tide. Barcelona have 96 points, a point ahead of Real, and host Valladolid at Camp Nou on the final day of the season while Real travel to Malaga. Lionel Messi scored a fifth minute

opener for Barca for his 32nd goal of a terrific season and Bojan Krkic bagged a second on 28 minutes. Pedro Rodriguez added a third in the second half before Frederic Kanoute (68) and Luis Fabiano (71) stunned the visitors with quick goals and Barca had to hold on for a nervy win that, in truth, should have been comfortable. Real went past 100 goals for the season with a 5-1 rout of Bilbao although they were helped by the dismissal of Fernando Amorebieta after 21 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo made it five goals in three

games with a 22nd minute penalty for his 26th goal of the season only for Francisco Yeste to equalise before half-time. A goal blitz saw Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Marcelo score in the final 13 minutes as Real prevented Barcelona from winning the league for one more weekend. Barcelona had won their last three meetings against Sevilla scoring 11 goals and not conceding any so the omens were good although Sevilla had knocked them out of this season’s Kings Cup. With five minutes gone Barca got

the dream start with Maxwell releasing Messi who was just onside and the Argentine controlled and fired past Andres Palop for his 32nd goal of the season. It was a huge shot in the arm and Barca dominated proceedings up to the second goal on 28 minutes through Bojan. Maxwell slipped a pass to Bojan who shrugged off his marker to fire home and Pep Guardiola was off the susbtitutes bench pumping his first in glee. Messi missed a sitter to make it 3-0 before the interval but at half-time Barcelona knew they would be champions with Real locked 1-1 against Bilbao. Palop pulled off a wonder save to

deny Messi in the second half and Sevilla then shook the champions with Kanoute and Fabiano scoring inside a matter of minutes. Real knew they couldn’t slip up against Bilbao and 33-year-old Guti started in what could be final appearance at the Bernabeu with reports that he will end his 15-year association with the club and join Turkish side Galatasaray. All eyes were on Ronaldo after his hat-trick against Mallorca and he headed over a good chance early on. The Portuguese star was involved again on 21 minutes as his goalbound shot was handled by Amorebieta and Bilbao

were handed a double punishment as Amorebieta was red-carded and Real were awarded a penalty. Ronaldo converted for his 26th league goal and Bilbao were expected to cave in with one man less. However, four minutes before half-time whistle Yeste jinked his way past four stagnant Real defenders before dispatching the ball past Iker Casillas. Brazilian Kaka was introduced after the interval and Real found their shooting boots with Higuain, Ramos and Benzema scoring three times in a matter of minutes to down Bilbao. — AFP

Lille close in on Champions League PARIS: Lille took control of the race for Champions League qualification with a thrilling 3-2 victory over newly anointed French champions Marseille on the season’s penultimate day yesterday. Rivals Lyon rescued a 2-2 draw at Valenciennes, while Auxerre were held to a goalless stalemate at home to Lens. Lille hold onto second place, two points above third-placed Auxerre, while Lyon stay fourth, four points shy of Lille, but with a game in hand at home to Monaco on May 12. Lyon host relegated Le Mans on the final day, with Auxerre visiting Sochaux and Lille travelling to Lorient. Montpellier climbed to fifth, behind Lyon on goal difference, by beating Lorient 2-1, while deposed champions Bordeaux kept their hopes of securing a top-five finish alive by beating Sochaux 1-0. The top three qualify for the Champions League, with the teams finishing fourth and fifth entering the Europa League. With Marseille having claimed their first French title in 18 years with a 3-1 win over Rennes on Wednesday and the relegation places already settled, European qualification is the only issue to be settled in Ligue 1. Lille hosted Marseille hoping to take advantage of any fatigue created by the visitors’ title celebrations, but they fell behind in the sixth minute when Mamadou Niang curled a lovely shot into the top-right corner. Marseille had goalkeeper Steve Mandanda sent off in the 28th minute after he felled Gervinho inside the penalty area, with Yohan Cabaye converting the ensuing spotkick, but Didier Deschamps’s side restored their lead in first-half injury time when Vitorino Hilton smashed home. Lille drew level through Tulio De Melo with 10 minutes to play though and secured a victory that takes them to the brink of the Champions League when right-back Mathieu Debuchy converted a corner at the near post in the fourth minute of injury time. At Valenciennes, Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom fired this season’s Champions League semi-finalists Lyon into a 17th-minute lead with a thumping half-volley from the edge of the area.

Results/standings Saint-Etienne 0 Toulouse 1 (Gignac 62); Montpellier 2 (Montano 30-pen, Camara 43-pen) Lorient 1 (Bourillon 89); Auxerre 0 Lens 0; Rennes 2 (Leroy 58, Marveaux 63) Nice 2 (Mounier 13, Fae 77); Monaco 2 (Loties 7-og, Maazou 59) Nancy 1 (Sami 75); Le Mans 1 (Armand 9-og) Paris SaintGermain 0; Bordeaux 2 (Wendel 66-pen, Tremoulinas 86) Sochaux 0; Grenoble 2 (Ljuboja 34, 82) Boulogne 0; Lille 3 (Cabaye 28-pen, De Melo 81, Debuchy 90+4) Marseille 2;(Niang 6, Hilton 45+3); Valenciennes 2 (Audel 71, Cohade 81-pen) Lyon 2 (Kallstrom 17,Balde French League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Marseille Lille Auxerre Lyon Montpellier Bordeaux Lorient Monaco Rennes

37 37 37 36 37 37 37 36 37

22 21 19 18 19 19 15 15 14

9 7 11 12 9 7 10 9 11

6 9 7 6 9 11 12 12 12

67 71 40 59 47 55 52 39 52

The hosts turned the game around with two goals in 10 minutes late in the second half, as Johan Audel headed the equaliser in the 71th minute before Renaud Cohade put them in front with an 81stminute penalty. But Bobo Balde unfortunately deflected Lisandro Lopez’s shot past his own goalkeeper in injury time to rescue an important point for the visitors. Montpellier, promoted from Ligue 2 last season, prevailed over Lorient thanks to a pair of

36 38 28 38 39 36 41 42 40

75 - champions 70 68 66 66 64 55 54 53

V’ciennes PSG Nancy Toulouse Lens Nice Sochaux St-Etienne Le Mans Boulogne Grenoble

37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37

first-half penalties from Victor Hugo Montano and Souleymane Camara. The south coast club will take a two-point lead over Bordeaux into the season’s final day after Laurent Blanc’s side beat Sochaux via a cool 66thminute penalty by Wendel and a fine late strike from Benoit Tremoulinas. Marouane Chamakh, playing in his last game at Stade Chaban-Delmas prior to his anticipated move to Arsenal, received a standing ovation after being substituted in the

14 12 13 12 11 11 11 10 8 6 5

9 11 8 10 12 10 8 9 8 10 8

14 14 16 15 14 16 18 18 21 21 24

49 49 45 36 36 40 27 26 36 30 31

49 43 52 36 41 56 50 44 57 62 59

51 47 47 46 45 43 41 39 32 - relegated 28 - relegated 23 - relegated

second half. Paris Saint-Germain will play in the Europa League next season after beating Monaco in last month’s French Cup final but they sank to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at third-bottom Le Mans. Elsewhere, Rennes drew 22 at home to Nice, Monaco defeated Nancy 2-1 in their final home game of the season, bottom club Grenoble beat secondbottom Boulogne 2-0 and Toulouse won 1-0 at SaintEtienne. — AFP

FRANCE: Marseille’s Baky (right) challenges for the ball with Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy during their French Division One soccer match. —AP

Iran steps up pressure on foreign firms


Goldman’s Blankfein vows to stay put


Americans flood back to job market


Monday, May 9, 2010

Volcanic ash hits aviation industry 15 airports in Spain closed

MADRID: Fifteen airports in northern Spain were closed yesterday because of the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano, Spain’s airport and air traffic authority Aena announced. “The movement of the volcanic ash cloud coming from Iceland has forced us to close starting at noon (1000 GMT) the airports in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Saragossa, Pamplona and La Rioja,” Aena said in a statement. Nine other airports in northern Spain, which were already shut down due to the volcanic ash. The airports will remain closed until at least 6 pm (1600 GMT) yesterday, Aena said. Most flights between Europe and North America were delayed yesterday due to the spreading cloud of volcanic ash stretching across much of the northern Atlantic, the European flight control agency said. Flights will have to be rerouted north over Greenland or south over Spain to avoid the 1,200-miles. -Long cloud stretching from Iceland to northern Spain, Eurocontrol said. This will increase flying times by about an hour in either direction. “We assume that basically most of the transAtlantic flights will have to be rerouted yesterday,” Eurocontrol spokeswoman Kyla Evans said. “We expect substantial delays because of that.” Approximately 600 airliners make the oceanic crossing every day. Around 40 percent will be rerouted southward and the rest will skirt Iceland from the north. Just over 100 flights were canceled at mainland Portugal’s three international airports yesterday because of the ash cloud, the national airport authority ANA said.

“During the day, the area affected by volcanic ash is expected to extend from Iceland, south to Portugal and possibly as far east as Barcelona and Marseille,” a Eurocontrol advisory said. Until Eyjafjallajokul (pronounced ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yerkuhl), the volcano in southern Iceland, stops its emissions, the key to the future course of Europe’s ash crisis will be the prevailing winds. The eruption of the glacier-capped volcano has shown no signs of stopping since it began belching ash April 13. It last erupted from 1821 to 1823. Since the ash is reaching altitudes of up to 35,000 feet, right in the path of most transAtlantic flights, it will effectively block the usual routes. Eurocontrol said this would cause significant congestion, particularly in the airspace over Spain and Portugal where many of the diverted flights are heading. A trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, which is normally about 5,800 kilometers long, could add on another 1,000 kilometers and an hour of flying time - by being diverted over the Iberian Peninsula. Tracks across the Atlantic normally follow “great circles” the shortest path between two points on the globe. They are determined each day by air traffic control centers on both sides of the Atlantic, generally depending on the jet stream from North America to Europe. Planes flying the track system typically follow each other in 10-minute intervals and at altitude levels 1,000 feet apart, in order to maintain safety in airspace which is beyond the range of radar control. —Agencies

VIGO: A departure board displays cancelled flights from the Peinador airport in Vigo, northwestern Spain yesterday. Fifteen airports in northern Spain have been closed because of the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. — AFP

Systemic crisis in eurozone Europe scrambles to head off market predators BRUSSELS: European nations scrambled yesterday to build a crisis fund big enough to satisfy markets and contain a postGreece “state of emergency” engulfing the entire eurozone. After leaders of the 16 euro currency countries ordered that a new fighting fund be ready for Monday trading, finance ministers from the 27 European Union members are expected to fix its scope and scale at emergency talks today. A chain of debt running through continental Europe sent shares tumbling across the globe last week, with banks now in the firing line amid growing fears that European governments will be unable to keep up repayments. It comes as governments ready to send on billions of euros in loans for debt-laden Greece, which triggered a crisis that experts warn echoes the US sub-prime mortgage collapse and may jeopardize global economic recovery. “Between now and today night we will have a watertight line of defense in the eurozone,” euro finance chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in the early hours of yesterday, as EU officials worked to mobilize “all available means.” Having also agreed to impose new curbs on speculators blamed for sustained and deliberate attacks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the “stabilization” fund would send “a very clear signal” to markets to back off. While bailouts are banned by EU treaties, Brussels is planning to use powers in “exceptional circumstances” that previously allowed it to help non-euro members like Hungary, Latvia or Romania, by borrowing on the bond market. Sources said 70 billion euros ($90 billion) could be raised in this way, while European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet is not ruling out a so-

LISBON: European Central Bank’s President, Jean-Claude Trichet shades his eyes during a news conference following a meeting of the Governing Council of the ECB in Lisbon. Fears that the Greek debt crisis is spiraling out of control could push the European Central Bank to take an even bigger role in stabilizing the situation and rescuing the euro from the worst crisis since it was created 11 years ago. — AP called nuclear option, introducing emergency provisions for the buying of government debt, according to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Trichet himself remained coy on the weekend plans, saying only that “this mechanism is the responsibility of the EU council (of leaders) and of the European Commission.” “Europe is faced with the same challenge from the Greek crisis as it faced in October 2008 after Lehmann Brothers fell, triggering the global financial crisis,” Christian de Boissieu, an economics professor at the Sorbonne in Paris said yesterday. “Markets have only exploited the gaps in the European response,” he said, although he

detected a “new tone” after Friday night’s decisions. Leaders also agreed to “accelerate” public deficit reduction plans across the board and “reinforce” rules limiting room for maneuver on broken budgets after signing off 80 billion euros of Greek loans over three years. Currently 13 of the 16 currency partners are under excessive deficit surveillance, having breached set guidelines. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the entire eurozone had to defend itself from a “systemic crisis” through “general mobilization,” the French leader said. Berlusconi told his peers that the 11-year-old shared currency area was in a “state of emergency” and exceptional meas-

ures were required. Markets have been unimpressed by EU action to date, but Greek premier George Papandreou said the new stance showed that “the need to safeguard the eurozone goes beyond Greece’s problems.” The sweeping decisions came after the United States, Japan and Canada relayed their growing concerns, via the G7 forum, to France, Germany, Italy and non-eurozone Britain, which is itself heavily indebted. US President Barack Obama himself spoke with German Chancellor Merkel, and called for a “strong policy response” extending to the wider “international community.” That came after stocks plummeted in Asia and on Wall

Street, the euro plumbed to a 14-month low against the dollar and Japan said it would need to plough more than 20 billion dollars into shaken Asian financial markets. Portugal on watch list Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has announced plans to delay some major public projects to speed up reducing the country’s public deficit this year, local media reported yesterday. “The government has decided to reduce the deficit this year to 7.3 percent of GDP,” Socrates told Portuguese journalists late Friday after a meeting of eurozone leaders in Brussels. Portugal, which is struggling to fend off comparisons to Greece, had previously said it would cut its public deficit from a record 9.4 percent of output last year to 8.3 percent in 2010. It expects to be under the EU limit of three percent by 2013. To speed up the deficit reduction, the Socialist premier said the government would delay several major projects including the construction of a new airport at Lisbon and a third bridge over the river Tage which is aimed at accommodating a future highspeed train link between the Portuguese capital and Madrid. “These projects remain absolutely essential to the modernization of the country but I think that it is sensible to wait for the financial situation to stabilize before launching them,” Socrates said. Struggling with tepid growth, debt-laden Portugal is seen as vulnerable to the sort of crippling speculative market pressure that has hobbled Greece. Last week Standard & Poor’s downgraded Portugal’s credit rating owing to concerns about fiscal and economic weaknesses. Still analysts maintain that Portuguese solvency is not under threat.—Agencies

Ambani pledges to renegotiate gas deal NEW DELHI: Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani will abide by a court ruling ordering him to renegotiate a deal sharing the family’s gas wealth, his firm said yesterday after his legal victory against his brother Anil. In a landmark decision Friday capping a vitriolic family feud, India’s Supreme Court rejected a deal between the estranged siblings involving sharing resources from the nation’s richest gas field off India’s east coast. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), led by Mukesh, will renegotiate the gas supply pact with his brother’s Reliance Natural Resources LTD (RNRL) “in the manner and within the (six-week) timeframe” set by the court, the statement said. Anil had demanded the honoring of a 2005 pact between the billionaire siblings allowing RNRL to buy gas for 17 years from the Krishna Godavari Basin owned by Mukesh at a price far below one later set by the government. Mukesh, 53, sought to have the deal scrapped and said Anil must pay the price stipulated by the government-a position

upheld by the court which said the gas belonged to the nation and could not be sold for a cut-rate price. As a result of the ruling, Mukesh’s company gains higher revenues while the government gets bigger royalties. Indian newspapers splashed news of the court decision on their front pages. “It’s win-win for Mukesh and the government,” said the Times of India. Mukesh said in the statement he hoped the judgment would bring a “permanent closure to the incessant distortion of facts and malicious allegations” being leveled by his brother’s company. After the judgment, shares of Anil’s company, which was counting on the cheap gas to supply planned power plants, crashed 23 percent to 52.75 rupees. Reliance Industries’ shares rose 2.27 percent to 1,033.85. Analysts have upgraded the share outlook for Reliance Industries but say the stock of RNRL could fall further as it will have to shell out far more money to buy gas for its key power projects. —AFP

NEW DELHI: This combination of file photographs shows Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani (left) and Reliance Power Chairman Anil Ambani at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). — AFP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

NBK-Jordan offers housing loans to Jordanian residents

Gc Watches opens exclusive boutiques worldwide KUWAIT: Gc Watches continues to sustain rapid growth, gaining a strong base of worldwide consumers. As part of the brand’s strategic expansion, Gc will open 25 boutiques by the end of 2009. Gc has created a newly designed concept for these boutiques that reflects the modern style, premium quality and the luxury of the Gc brand. In 2007, Gc Watches opened its first exclusive Gc Boutique in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia followed by two Gc Boutiques in Jakarta, Indonesia, one in Seoul, Korea and Bombay, India in 2008. To date in 2009 the first Pan-American boutique was opened in Panama City, as well as the first European based boutique in London at Westfield, Europe’s largest and most prestigious shopping centre. A total of 25 Gc Boutiques are projected to open at prime locations this year in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Morocco, South Africa, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Other fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Geneva, Tokyo and New York are scheduled within the next two years. An a tmosphere of Gc luxury Each Gc Boutique embodies the essence of the Gc brand: attention to detail, luxurious materials and a stylish inviting atmosphere to cater to the discerning shopper. Design elements such as leather panels, dark walnut flooring, metallic painted walls and fiber optic lighting create a stylish and sensuous atmosphere. Large glass windows allow the customers to admire the elegant timepieces and jewelry to entice them to discover the world of the Gc brand. All Gc Boutiques will carry a wide range of luxuriously crafted Gc Watches and Jewelry. Starting in 2009, an exclusive collection of special edition and limited series of timepieces will be available only in the Gc Boutiques. The main collection of Gc Watches and Jewelry will continue to be offered by fine retailers around the world. Multi-million dollar marketing plans are foreseen for the rollout and opening of exclusive Gc Boutiques worldwide, as well as for the further support of the Gc retail partners. This is a strong statement that reflects the Sequel AG commitment to the expansion of the Gc brand. Sequel AG Founded in 2007, Sequel AG, a

Timex Group company, is a Swiss company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland with satellite offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Norwalk, Connecticut. Sequel AG is a member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. The 15-year licensing agreement gives Sequel AG the exclusive distribution rights for Gc Watches worldwide, and includes an international license for

jewellery. Sequel AG distributes Gc Watches and Jewelry in over 70 countries worldwide through a network of 60 distributors and 5,000 retail outlets. Top 10 Highest Selling Swiss Watches 2007 saw “a record year and growth unrivaled over the last 18 years” for the Swiss Watch Industry. Sequel is proud to announce that Gc

KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait-Jordan invites non-resident Jordanians living in Kuwait to apply for loans to purchase property in Jordan from any NBK branch. This remarkable offer is accessible to all those whose wish to avoid the prolonged procedures of loan applications separate from their summer holidays in order to concentrate on searching for their dream home. “We are offering a very attractive rate on these loans with flexible repayment tenures, with fast approvals and minimal fuss stated NBKJordan General Manager, Jabra Ghandour” adding that there are the usual terms and conditions applicable as with any loan taken out, however we aim to make the process as simple as possible in order for our customers to benefit as much as possible through flexible terms and minimal effort”. “Any of our 70 branches are equipped to offer assistance and shall be happy to advise our customers of the requirements for taking out this loan”, Ghandour added. The loan amount granted can reach 250,000 JD or up to 75% of the property value. Repayment period is flexible up to 15 years. This attractive rate of 6% interest is only available for a limited time period, as offer will end on the 31st of August 31 2010.

Watches has been at the forefront of that growth, seeing triple digit increases and gaining a strong base of worldwide consumers as a result of its recognizable luxury timepieces at accessible price points. Sequel AG estimates that Gc Watches was in the Top 10 brands (unit shipments) exported from Switzerland in 2007. Cindy Livingston, President and CEO of Sequel AG, has been the driving force behind the growth of the brand. “We have a major opportunity in the future with Gc Watches, and we have set our sights on a much higher target. We have an incredible Gc Brand Team in Paris headed by Virginie Riot-Billet, and her passion for detail and proven eye for the essentials of style, has created a highly successful collection of timepieces.” In addition, Paul Marciano, CEO, Creative Director of Guess Inc., became the official spokesperson for Gc Watches. His input to the collection mirrors his own background and personality ?? European roots combined with the creative power expressed in such highlights as the world-famous advertising campaigns he fashioned for GUESS.

CBK elects new board

Caution up, markets flat Markaz Market Review KUWAIT: GCC markets continue to outperform emerging markets for the year. On a monthly basis, however, GCC markets have stagnated in line with global cues says the recent report published by Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”. MSCI GCC gained 1% in April, bringing the YTD gain to 13.6%; outperforming MSCI EM and MSCI BRIC whose returns are at 3% and -1%, respectively. Laggards in the GCC were Kuwait and the UAE, which lost 1.22% and 6.66% in April. Regional investors were focused on the on-going Dubai World debt situation, legal battles with Agility, and Q1 results. Corporate earnings have been mixed for the GCC; banks showed mixed Q1 results with Saudi heavyweights Al Rajhi and Samba showing quarterly declines, while NBAD’s Q1 bottom line grew 34%. Kuwaiti banks were also mixed; NBK showed growth while the same for KFH was down. Telecoms have turned in a poor showing, with most firms missing their

forecasts. Volume traded in the GCC declined 30% in April while Value Traded grew 6% to USD 34 bn. Liquidity in Kuwait and UAE contracted with value traded declining 13% and 37%, respectively, for the month. Volatility was up in most markets, with GCC MVX expanding 68% as per the Markaz Volatility Index; risk in Qatar, the UAE and Oman was down between 25%-35%. Global Markets review Global markets stagnated in April as caution set in among investors in the face of increasing uncertainty regarding the Greece debt issue and its contagion for other indebted EU nations like Spain, Portugal and Ireland. MSCI World was flat in April after gaining 6% in March, keeping the YTD gain at 3.4%. On a market cap weighted basis, The US contributed the bulk at 3% to the gain. The concern in the European Union expanded from

Jabra Ghandour

not just preventing a Greek default, but to preventing a ripple effect in other weak EU nations. At the end of April, the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a co-financed USD 146 bn aid package to Greece. Additionally, following recent downgrades by S&P and Moody’s, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced an acceptance of all Greek government debt as loan collateral. Attention has now turned to Ireland, Spain, and Portugal with investors already showing reduced confidence in weaker nations resulting in spikes in bond premiums. Signs of trouble are emerging in Asia, with Shanghai declining nearly 8% in April, amid speculation that China’s economy may be close to a crash as a result of a possible burst in the property bubble. China’s GDP grew 12% in Q1, the fastest pace in three years and an indication of possible overheating.

KUWAIT: The Annual General Meeting of Al -Tijari Investment Company (CBK Capital) was held on Thursday May 6 2010 where the financial statements of the company for the year were approved and a new board was elected for the upcoming three year term (2010-2012). The following nominees were elected for the new board: Dherar Khaled Al-Rabah, Faisal Mohammed Bin Sabet, Rasheed Abdul Hady Zaid Mubarak, Sahar Abdul Aziz Al Rumaih, Sheikh/ Ahmed Duij Jaber Al Ali Al Sabah. Subsequent to the meeting, the board of directors held its first meeting and unanimously nominated and recommended Dherar Khaled Al-Rabah as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director and Faisal Mohammed Bin Sabet as Deputy Chairman. Dherar Khaled AlRabah expressed his thanks and gratitude to his fellow members of the board for the confidence they have placed in him as Chairman of CBK Capital and for vesting on him the most senior executive position in CBK Capital as managing director. As such, and as the Commercial Companies Law does not allow one person to hold the Chairmanship position for two enterprises, Dherar

CBK Chairman Khaled Al-Rabah will resign from his position as Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait. Al-Rabah expressed his thanks and appreciation to the shareholders of Commercial Bank and the Board of Directors and wished them and the Bank all success. Al-Rabah added that leaving his post as Chairman of the Commercial Bank does not

mean that he will be entirely leaving the Bank as he is assuming the managing responsibilities of a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank that will play a significant role in the coming period in line with the new strategy of Commercial bank which aims at accentuating the role and activities of CBK Capital.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

.2840000 .2940000 .4340000 .4440000 .3710000 .3790000 .2580000 .2690000 .2790000 .2880000 .2600000 .2670000 .0045000 .0075000 .0020000 .0035000 .0782750 .0790620 .7626130 .7702780 .4020000 .4170000 .0750000 .0790000 .7476100 .7551240 .0045000 .0072000 .0500000 .0580000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2883500 .2904500 .4364090 .4394900 .3735130 .3761500 .2607550 .2626010 .2808730 .2828620 .0501810 .0505370 .0388720 .0391470 .2620360 .2638860 .0371230 .0373860 .2080730 .2095470 .0030440 .0030650 .0064430 .0064880 .0025460 .0025640 .0034430 .0034670 .0041720 .0042020 .0785450 .0790460 .7652360 .7701140 .4078030 .4106910 .0769320 .0774220 .7493310 .7541080 .0064790 .0065290 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2904500 .4394900 .2626010 .0774220

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees


Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

3.441 2.548 3.992 208.300 37.290 4.186 6.362 8.989 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.400 Qatari Riyal 79.740 Omani Riyal 754.000 Bahraini Dinar 770.830 UAE Dirham 79.040 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 54.250 Egyptian Pound 51.840 Yemen Riyal 1.287 Tunisian Dinar 197.800 Jordanian Dinar 409.900 Lebanese Lira 194.700 Syrian Lier 6.269 Morocco Dirham 33.811 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 290.100 Euro 374.230 Sterling Pound 433.700 Canadian dollar 281.700 Turkish lire 186.400 Swiss Franc 264.930 Australian dollar 257.500 US Dollar Buying 288.000 GOLD 20 Gram 235.000 10 Gram 120.000 5 Gram 61.000

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

SELL CASH 262.000 771.300 4.410 282.700 569.500 15.800 50.600 167.800 54.600

SELL DRAFT 260.500 771.300 4.187 281.200

209.600 52.855

Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

374.000 38.060 6.700 0.035 0.295 0.256 3.270 411.710 0.196 91.080 47.200 4.260 211.900 1.976 47.700 753.420 3.530 6.730 80.210 77.440 209.620 40.240 2.748 434.700 38.800 265.800 6.400 9.350 217.900 79.140 290.400 1.330

372.500 37.910 6.380

409.980 0.195 91.080 4.000 210.400 753.240 3.460 6.370 79.780 77.440 209.620 40.240 2.547 432.700 264.000 9.160 79.040 290.000

GOLD 1,316.810 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 432.700 290.000

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

289.500 283.039 438.902 377.457 261.473 709.585 766.276 78.800 79.498 77.169 408.525 52.139 6.463 3.446

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

2.539 4.186 6.423 3.052 8.931 6.315 4.024

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) US Dollar 289.550 Pak Rupees 3.455 Indian Rupees 6.505 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.550 Bangladesh Taka 4.185 Philippines Peso 6.540 UAE Dirhams 78.900 Saudi Riyals 77.385 Bahraini Dinars 769.300 Egyptian Pounds 52.115 Pound Sterling 446.800 Indonesian Rupiah 0.000035000 Nepali rupee 4.200 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Jordanian Dinars 411.200 Syrian Pounds 5.750 Euro 388.500 Candaian Dollars 291.900

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 289.900 Euro 372.000 Pound Sterling 432.100 Canadian Dollar 281.000 Japanese Yen 3.100 Indian Rupee 6.370 Egyptian Pound 51.820 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.547 Bangladesh Taka 4.185 Philippines Peso 6.338 Pakistan Rupee 3.447 Bahraini Dinar 770.500 UAE Dirham 78.950 Saudi Riyal 77.220 *Rates are subject to change


sunday, May 9, 2010


No need for OPEC action now: Algeria DOHA: Algerian oil minister Chakib Khelil said yesterday that there was no need for OPEC to take any action for the moment despite the recent drop in oil prices. Khelil said the drop in oil prices was due to uncertainty in the market over the Greek debt crisis, and had nothing to do with fundamentals. He said he still expected prices to stay around $80 to $85 a barrel for the rest of the year. US crude oil futures fell settled at $75.11 a barrel on Friday, after falling to $74.51, its

lowest since Feb 16. Oil posted its biggest weekly loss in almost a year hand a half on Friday following the sharp sell-off on Wall Street and on worries that the euro zone’s debt crisis will derail the global economic recovery. Khelil said the drop in oil prices was due to mounting uncertainty in the market, and had nothing to do with fundamentals. He said he expected prices to stay around $80 to $85 a barrel for the rest of the year. — Reuter

Sonic Solutions tries to level DVD playing field Shares gained more than 400% in 12 months LOS ANGELES: In a field of entertainment occupied by Goliaths, Sonic Solutions’ chief executive thinks his company has a David-like ability to wean consumers away from DVDs. And some investors seem ready to declare the company a winner. Sonic’s shares have skyrocketed more than 400 percent in the last 12 months from $1.95 to close at $10.99 on Friday. It has traded as high as $14.02 in the past two weeks. US consumers spent $636 million buying and renting movies and TV shows online, according to Adams Media Research. That is less than 4 percent of combined revenues of $6.5 billion in rentals and $10.9 billion in sales, a figure that is shrinking but still dominates home entertainment. Globally, the research firm puts the DVD market at about $43 billion. But some major Hollywood studios have imposed a one-month delay on DVD releases for Coinstar’s Redbox rental kiosks and mailservice Netflix-that does not apply to digital content providers. Sonic Chief Executive Dave Habiger believes the rules stifling DVD rental chains combined with the deals he has made with North

American retailer Best Buy and electronics and appliance makers LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics will jumpstart his company’s business. “We’re in the early innings of this game, this is the second inning of a baseball game,” Habiger told Reuters this week. “The game will be over in a year-and-a-half, maybe two.” CLOUD MOVIE WATCHING Sonic is developing a Webbased infrastructure that lets studios and retailers sell copies of movies and television shows directly to consumers. These movies and shows are stored in the “cloud”-a server away from a users’ computer-and consumers can watch them on any Web-connected device with the help of a login and password. This summer, Best Buy will promote digital delivery of movies, starting with a marketing push of DVD players and TV sets equipped with Sonic technology. It is the culmination of a partnership with Sonic announced November. LG and Samsung have used Sonic’s technology in more than 1 million televisions and DVD players. “I don’t care if

it’s a shiny disc, I don’t care if it’s a chip in your brain or if it’s a cloud,” he said, but so-far reluctant consumers will turn to digital. Habiger said his Californiabased company’s move to build a “cloud” that serves as an online repository of media content for consumers jives with similar efforts such as Walt Disney Co’s fledgling KeyChest plan. Sonic runs the cloud-based Roxio CinemaNow online movie and TV distribution service, and Habiger said it could partner with Disney on its plans to develop KeyChest. The company is already working with other Hollywood studios in trying to tackle issues such as consumer fraud. But there’s formidable competition ahead. Sonic, which has a $325 million market capitalization, competes against Apple’s iTunes store for digital downloads, and against Netflix for streaming. But he said what sets Sonic apart is that it remains in the background and allows its movie studio and retail partners to take the lead in dealing with consumers. “I think we will be one of the major players in the delivery of content. (Sonic) will be number one or two in delivery,” Habiger said. — Reuters

ASALUYEH: Photo shows the South Pars gas field development in the Asaluyeh industrial zone on the Gulf coast. Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi threatened yesterday that Iran would kick out foreign firms for delaying the development of its massive South Pars gas field and replace them with domestic companies. — AFP

Tehran steps up gas field pressure on foreign firms Minister acknowledges ‘liquidity shortage’ in projects TEHRAN: Iran plans to replace foreign companies which have “dragged their feet for years” with domestic firms in developing its giant South Pars natural gas field, the oil minister was quoted as saying yesterday. Massoud Mirkazemi did not name any firms in a report carried by Mehr News Agency. But another official last month said Iran had given Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol one week to decide on their involvement in the offshore field. Iran says both Anglo-Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol have procrastinated on finalizing their involvement in the world’s largest reservoir of gas. It has set similar deadlines in the past as a way of pressuring foreign companies, which have become increasingly wary of investing in the Islamic Republic due to a long-running dispute with the West over its nuclear program.

“We have recently notified foreign companies, which have dragged their feet for years in some phases of the gas field, that we would not negotiate with them anymore and plan to cede the implementation of these projects to domestic companies,” Mirkazemi said. Ali Vakili, head of the state Pars Oil and Gas Company, said it would soon sign contracts with Iranian companies on the development of South Pars phases 19, 22-24, 27 and 28. “We will not wait for foreign companies ... Iranian firms possess the necessary capability for the implementation of the South Pars gas field projects from start to end,” the Oil Ministry website SHANA quoted him as saying. CHINESE INVESTMENT Mirkazemi reiterated that Iran needed to invest $200 billion in its all-important energy sector in the 2010-15 peri-

od, but suggested it currently faced a shortage of funds. Analysts say Iran, which has started issuing bonds to help fund South Pars projects, needs to attract foreign capital to help expand and modernize its oil and gas industries. “Upon the realization of this level of investment there will be a considerable leap forward in the development of the oil industry in Iran,” Mirkazemi said, referring to the 5-year plan. But, he added: “We are currently facing a liquidity shortage for the implementation of various projects.” Many foreign countries are investing in South Pars, which Iran shares with Qatar, but US and UN sanctions have caused Western companies to treat Iran with caution, sometimes to the benefit of operators from other parts of the world. China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has clinched a $4.7 billion deal

to develop part of South Pars, supplanting Total as lead partner in the project after the French firm delayed its investment decision under political pressure. Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves but has no major net exports, partly because sanctions have hindered access to Western technology and funding. Repsol and Shell signed a service contract for the Persian LNG project in 2007, setting out the conditions for exploration and development operations in Phases 13 and 14 of South Pars. The project covers development of production and exports of liquefied natural gas from a part of the field. In 2008, Shell delayed decisions on multi-billion dollar investments in Iranian LNG plans due to political tension. LNG is gas cooled to liquid under pressure for transportation in special tankers.— Reuters

101 winners for Wataniya Mobile Media raffle draw KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom is glad to announce the results of the Mobile Media raffle draw that took place on May 3rd, 2010 targeting customers who have participated in the Mobile Media campaign from February 21st to April 20th 2010. Upon the raffle draw, 101 winners were awarded for participating during the campaign period. A customer who has answered “yes” to mobile media and then answered three questions during the campaign period was eligible to enter the draw with the only limitation that they had to be above 15 years old and able to form a legally binding contract. Each customer who was interested in participating had one chance to enter the draw and win with an opportunity to update their profile anytime during the campaign period. “The concept behind the Mobile Media raffle draw was to engage our customers in our services and make them look forward to winning valuable rewards while motivating them in becoming active customers.” Abdol Aziz Al Balool PR Manager at Wataniya expressed. “I would like to congratulate every lucky winner and promise our customers that

Abdol Aziz Al Balool PR Manager of Wataniya Telecom

there will be even more rewards and prizes coming from Wataniya,” Al Balool also added.

101 Wataniya customers had the chance of becoming lucky winners at the Mobile Media raffle draw and will be

contacted on their winning number to collect their prizes with the grand prize being a 2010 VW Touareg from

Behbehani Motors. The prizes and names of the first 21 winners go as follows:

ALLAHABAD: Indian fishermen haul in nets from the river Yamuna in Allahabad. — AFP

India’s 3G auction license bids rising NEW DELHI: Bids for nationwide licenses in India’s sale of spectrum for superfast 3G mobile services have hit 2.65 billion dollars, a government website said yesterday. An offer of 120.69 billion rupees (2.65 billion) reached on Friday was nearly 3.5 times the 35 billion rupee reserve price set by the government for a pan-India slot. Final figures weren’t available for yesterday but bidding was expected to kick off at 122.52 billion rupees. Nine cellular firms, including Indian market leaders Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, are competing for 3G airwaves in the country, which added a record 20.31 million subscribers last month. Proceeds from the auction, which began April 9, will be an important source of revenue as the government seeks to plug a yawning budget deficit. Telecom Minister A. Raja has said the government is likely to

earn upwards of 500 billion rupees from the auction of 3G spectrum and a follow-on sale of broadband airwaves. Analysts believe the auction could be heading into its final stretch and could conclude in the coming days. The sale, in which phone operators are slugging it out for scarce spectrum space in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market, is seen as propelling India decisively into the Internet era. There are nearly half a billion mobile phone subscribers in India, only a fraction of whom have access to the Internet via computers. New 3G networks will give people fast access to the web from their handsets. Analysts say the cost of 3G could strain the balance sheets of India’s telecom companies, which are already under pressure from a savage price war in the congested mobile market. “There is not going to be any quick payback,” KPMG tele-

coms analyst Roman Shetty said, predicting companies would only start earning money from their 3G investments after four-five years, after consolidation of the overcrowded Indian market. The high sums being raised have also focused attention on a government move two years ago to award 2G licenses on a “first-come, first-serves” basis, rather than by auction. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was overruled when it proposed an auction. Opposition parties have called for the resignation of communications minister A Raja, alleging corruption in the distribution of 2G licenses. Some telecom ministry officials and private companies are already being probed by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. Last year they raided offices to pursue allegations of irregularities in the awarding of the licenses. — AFP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

KSE records significant losses bayan weekly market report KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) registered significant losses by the end of the previous week amid sharp decrease in trading levels. The week has witnessed considerable weakness in purchase activities, and daily trading indicators reached their lowest levels for the current year, as 117.22 million shares changed hands on the last trading day of the week, with the execution of 3,007 deals at a total value of KD25.49 million. In addition, average daily turnover during last week declined by 43.81%, compared to previous week’s levels, to reach KD33.66 million, whereas trading volume average amounted to 147.14 million shares, at a

decrease of 45.79%. The retreat in KSE’s performance was attributed, at the beginning, to anticipation for latest developments in news regarding a number of the market’s leading companies, like Mobile Telecommunications Co and Public Warehousing Co. Furthermore, a large number of listed companies have not yet announced their results for the first three months of the year. Where despite the relative increase in declarations during the week, only 24% of companies listed in the regular market have announced their results for the period, while the official disclosure period will end within approximately one week. On the other hand,

the market’s losses intensified in light of the recorded declines in international and regional stock markets during the week, mainly, due to latest developments in Greece’s debt crisis. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 7,114.4 points, down by 2.53% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.96% weekly loss after closing at 427.10 points. Accordingly, the market’s year-to-date gains were reduced as a result of last week’s incurred losses, as price index’s increase from the beginning of the year reached 1.56%, while weighted index’s gains became 10.72%.

Sectors’ indices All of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the red zone. Last week’s biggest loser was the Services sector, as its index declined by 3.53% to end the week’s activity at 15,495.3 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Industry sector’s index closed at 5,583.6 points recording 2.82% decrease. The Insurance sector came in third, as its index closed at 2,524.9 points at a loss of 2.78%. The Non-Kuwaiti companies sector was the least declining as its index closed at 7,501.3 points with a 0.81% decrease. Sectors’ activity The Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 269.83 million

shares changing hands, representing 36.68% of the total market trading volume. The Investment sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 25.80% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 189.84 million shares. On the other hand, the Services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of K.D. 71.95 million or 42.75% of last week’s total market trading value. The Banks sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of K.D. 45.19 million represented 26.86% of the total market trading value. Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization declined by

2.01% during last week to reach K.D. 32.44 billion, as all of KSE’s sectors recorded a decrease in their respective market capitalization. The Food sector was the most declining as its total market capitalization reached K.D. 717.91 million, decreasing by 5.16%. The Real Estate sector was the second in terms of recorded decline with 3.33% decrease after the total value of its listed companies reached K.D. 1.84 billion. The third place was for the Investment sector, which total market capitalization reached K.D. 3.07 billion by the end of the week, recording a decline of 3.12%. The Banks sector was the least declining with 0.93% recorded decrease after its market capitalization amounted to K.D. 11.37 billion.


sunday, May 9, 2010


Greek aid riles eurozone newcomer Slovakia BRATISLAVA: The eurozone’s drive to resolve the deep debt crisis in member state Greece has sparked fierce criticism from ex-communist Slovakia, the newest member of the 16-nation currency bloc. The move to award Greece a 110-billion-euro aid package, steered by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, comes as Slovakia inches closer to a general election and polls show the public is skeptical about the bailout. The Greek crisis has raised fears of contagion across the eurozone. Slovakia’s left-leaning Prime Minister Robert Fico gave fellow EU leaders frayed nerves this week when he suggested his country’s approval for the bailout was not a given. “Personally, I don’t trust the Greeks,” said Fico, known for his hardball rhetoric, as lawmakers in Athens approved tough austerity measures Thursday. He also demanded that they “do their homework” before getting any cash. Critics have focused on what turned out to be bogus figures provided by Greece in the past to show it met eurozone rules on fiscal stability. Bratislava’s share in the loan will exceed 800 million euros-around 150 euros per Slovak-according to its finance ministry. As he left Friday for a crisis summit of EU leaders, Fico said he would not actually block the package but that Slovakia would not send a cent until its June 12 general election. “We will sign the EU aid-package today, enabling other eurozone members to send their share anytime they want, but our share has to be approved by the new parliament,” he insisted. Political scientist Peter Horvath, from Slovakia’s Trnava University, said Fico’s statements showed he was watching the polls like a hawk. “Public opinion in Slovakia prefers not helping the Greeks to helping them, especially when they have lived so long on a higher standard than they could afford,” he said. There is an economic concern about lending to Greece as well, Horvath added. “Slovakia

ATHENS: A tourist buys strawberries at an open-air stall as others stand in front in central Monastiraki Square, Athens. — AP

NBK credit cardholders get 40% discount at Midas showrooms KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East in collaboration with Midas will be offering NBK credit cardholders a 40% discount on all furniture and home accessory purchases at any Midas showroom. The two-week offer is valid from May 7 until May 23, 2010. “NBK’s existing customers can use any of their Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club credit cards to make their purchases from Midas showrooms and they will receive the 40% discount offered during this time-limited promotion. Midas has a stylish range of practical, modern and durable furniture that is well priced. These qualities make the shops products attractive to a large number of our customer base. Seeing that they’ve shown preference for this brand we are happy to be able to arrange this special offer for them” stated Abdulla Al-Najran Al- Tuwaijri NBK DGM Consumer Banking Group. Adding “Customers should hurry as this offer is available for a limited time period. Anyone who doesn’t have an NBK credit card should apply for one now at their nearest NBK branch”. To find our more call Hala Watani on 1801801 or log on to

Abdulla Al-Tuwaijri

Goldman annual meeting brings few fraud queries Blankfein vows to stay put NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc held its longest-ever annual investor meeting on Friday, but Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein faced few questions about civil fraud charges against the company. Blankfein, addressing a friendlier audience than the US Senate panel before which he testified on April 27, told wellknown shareholder gadfly Evelyn Davis that he was staying in his job after she asked him to resign. Other queries focused on more typical issues like compensation, global warming, and board appointments. Blankfein began the 3hour meeting saying that Goldman would undertake a “rigorous self-examination” after the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s charges. “There is no bigger priority for our board of directors and management than to undertake a comprehensive review of all of our business practices,” he told shareholders. He said Goldman would create a business standards committee that would offer guidance to management regarding standards and transparency. Friday’s meeting at a building in lower Manhattan near Goldman’s new headquarters was longer than any other annual shareholder gathering since Goldman went public 11 years ago. Goldman shares, which have lost 22 percent since the SEC complaint was filed in mid-April, rose 0.47 percent to $142.99 on Friday. They were the top performer in the Amex Securities Broker/Dealer Index. ADDRESSING PUBLIC CONCERNS Blankfein mentioned the business standards committee during the Senate hearing. On Friday, he said it was a way for Goldman to address concerns about the company that have been expressed by regulators and the public. The SEC has accused the bank of failing to tell investors who bought risky debt tied to subprime mortgages that hedge fund manager John Paulson helped select the underlying portfolio for a mortgage-linked security and was shorting the deal. Goldman is also facing related shareholder lawsuits and, according to a source last week, a Justice Department criminal investigation. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Goldman has begun settlement discus-

sions with the SEC. For the past year, Goldman has been scrutinized for having accepted government bailout funds and rebounding from the financial crisis so quickly that it was able set aside more than $16 billion last year for bonuses, salaries and other compensation. At Friday’s meeting, former presidential candidate and activist Rev. Jesse Jackson addressed the disconnect between Goldman’s out-sized profits and high unemployment and home foreclosures. Blankfein, who said late last year he was “doing God’s work,” told Jackson, “There is no future for Goldman, certainly no success for Goldman Sachs, unless the economy as a whole grows, and the economy grows in a way in which it doesn’t create a wider divergence. “If there is a silver lining, it certainly affords us an opportunity to be introspective,” Blankfein said. He acknowledged that the negative attention on the company had put a “strain” on clients. He has engaged in a public relations campaign, including media interviews, and said he would do more to help the public understand what Goldman does. “We have very little contact with the consuming public or the retail investor,” Blankfein told the shareholders. STAYING PUT There has been speculation that Blankfein would resign. On Friday, Evelyn Davis kicked off a question and answer session by calling for Blankfein’s voluntary resignation by tomorrow. “I have no current plan to step down on Monday,” answered Blankfein, cracking a smile. Davis persisted, later asking Blankfein, “If you won’t resign by Monday, how about by the end of the month?” Blankfein retorted, “I have no intention of doing that right now.” Harry Korba, a shareholder from Yonkers, New York, was applauded for expressing support for Blankfein. Shareholders backed Goldman’s nominations for directors and a proposal for an advisory vote on pay. They defeated a proposal by The Maryknoll Sisters of St Dominic relating to the use of collateral in derivatives trading. Shareholders also followed the lead of Goldman’s board in defeating a proposal urging the company to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive. — Reuters

would have to borrow money to help Greece and it’s questionable if we would get the money back,” he explained. Sixteen of the EU’s 27 members now use the euro, in circulation since 2002. Slovakia adopted the currency in 2009, becoming the second ex-communist state to meet the rigorous entry criteria after Slovenia in 2007. Juraj Valachy, an analyst with Tatra Banka in Bratislava, said it was important to put Fico’s stance into perspective. “Slovakia was never in a position to block the aid package to Greece,” he said, given the relatively small clout of the nation of 5.4 million. Horvath, meanwhile, underscored the difference with the EU’s heavyweights. “Almost nobody noticed when Slovakia said it had serious reservations against lending money to Greece but when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel hesitated to clearly show support, everybody was holding their breath,” he said. Echoing earlier comments by Slovenia, Slovakia on Friday also called for tougher fiscal discipline in the eurozone, saying the currency bloc needed powers to expel members who break the rules. Calls for discipline by the eurozone’s youngest members are legitimate but could come back to haunt Slovakia, Grigorij Meseznikov of the Institute for Public Affairs in Bratislava, told AFP. “If the government calls for stricter rules it will have to follow them instead of raising the deficit,” he said. Slovakia’s public deficitthe shortfall between state spending and revenuesmore than doubled to 6.77 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 as the economy shrank by 4.7 percent. EU states are meant to keep deficit below 3.0 percent, although few have done so amid the global economic crisis. Fico’s Smer party has been top of the polls, pledging to boost social spending after the elections. “Fico’s calls on Greece to cut welfare benefits are not in line with his promises to continue building social state after elections,” Meseznikov said. — AFP

Gloom in Greece despite EU loan ATHENS: An imminent EUIMF loan rescue failed to dispel Greek gloom yesterday over giant budget cuts which could spell an uncertain economic future as the country’s main labor union warned of fresh protests. The launch of an unprecedented bailout worth 110 billion euros ($140 billion) badly needed by debt-hit Athens could be days away but the mood is dominated by the week’s deadly riots and fear of the coming austerity storm. “There are a lot of hidden sides (to the crisis) which we still don’t know about. But they all mathematically point to disaster, to unbelievable recession, the worst our economy has seen,” pro-opposition daily Eleftheros Typos said yesterday. “There is enormous danger for the country and the nation’s cohesion,” the conservative daily warned. “The country is desperately asking for development measures to be implemented immediately to get production going and reduce unemployment, which mainly strikes the young,” added left-wing Eleftherotypia. With the country in urgent need of nine billion euros (11 billion dollars) by May 19 to service existing debt, Greek PM George Papandreou reported with relief early Saturday that rescue funds would arrive within days. “In the following days, Greece will receive the first tranche of the 110 billion euros from the EU and the IMF,” Papandreou said after an emergency late-night summit of euro leaders in Brussels. “This will allow us to implement our (austerity) program and our reforms,” he underlined. Papandreou, a Socialist, has called on Greek political parties on the right and left to support the national effort to drag the

Labor union warns of fresh protests

BRUSSELS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hold a meeting prior to an extraordinary EU summit in Brussels. Eurozone leaders are to look at ways to give the pact real bite as the region tries to plot its way out of a debt crisis triggered in Greece and that now threatens to swamp far bigger European economies. — AFP country from the brink of bankruptcy. But the Communists and the leftist Syriza party have pledged to fight the austerity cuts. Both parties are snubbing a meeting with President Carolos Papoulias called by Papandreou to discuss the crisis tomorrow. Three general strikes have been held in the last three months against the government’s economic policies, and a senior member of Greece’s main union yesterday warned its members to be ready for another. “We are on strike readiness,” said Stathis Anestis, deputy general secretary of the General Confederation of Greek Workers. “We are also envisag-

ing another general strike,” he said. The union would mobilize its members, estimated at around a million private employees, when the government brings its latest reform-a pensions overhaul scheduled to be finalized by the cabinet on Monday-to parliament for a vote, Anestis said. Greece’s total debt stands at nearly 300 billion euros and there is growing concern that the government will face severe difficulty in implementing the harsh cuts in a worsening recession and with strong union opposition. The parliament in Athens has become a focal point for successive street protests. On

Wednesday, violence erupted on the sidelines of a massive demonstration and three bank employees died when their branch was firebombed. Clashes between young protesters and police also broke out Thursday as the chamber approved the austerity plan committing to knocking 30 billion euros off the public deficit to bring the economy within EU rules. Fears in past months that Greece would be unable to maintain debt payments sent its borrowing costs soaring, sapped the euro and put the spotlight on other weak European economies. Spain and Portugal, struggling to fend off suggestions

they could follow Greece’s footsteps, have blamed speculators for steep falls in their stock markets and Madrid warned it could take legal action against them. Ireland and Italy have also come under pressure from market attacks. European stock markets suffered on Friday, with London, Frankfurt and Paris plunging by more than four percent shortly before closing at the end of a week in which the euro dropped to 14-month lows at around 1.25 dollars. Finance ministers from the 27 European Union states are to hold talks today to flesh out a broader crisis fund to firefight problems elsewhere in the bloc. — AFP

Latin American markets hit by the Greek drama SAO PAULO: Fears of contagion from Greek’s listing economy have spread as far afield as Latin America, but so far the region-once a disaster zone of fiscal failures-has resisted the worst of the effects, experts say. In Brazil, the biggest Latin American economy, stocks languished this week, though losses were relatively limited. Exchanges in Mexico, Chile and Argentina likewise dipped lower. The Brazilian currency, the real, reversed its steady climb against the dollar as investors again flocked to the latter’s safe-haven status. But for the most part, the Greek woes buffeting Europe and the United States have had only a mild impact, even if analysts are watching carefully. “How the crisis in Greece will affect Latin America depends on how it develops. It will depend on whether

liquidity in world markets will seize up,” explained Raul Feliz, from Mexico’s CID center for economic research. “It will depend on whether European banks enter a situation of bankruptcy or massive losses. If that happens, it will affect Mexico and Latin America,” he said, but added, “I see that as unlikely.” Still, collateral damage is seeping through into some corners of the continent. Argentina, which struggled with its own financial implosion in 2001 that resulted in the biggest sovereign default in history, was reliving some of its nightmare in the Greek drama. With the violent Greek protests against budget, salary and pension cuts, “we are lamentably reminded of what we went through in Argentina in 2001,” Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said Wednesday.

Rather than pointing the finger at the profligacy of Buenos Aires and Athens, though, she blamed the upheaval on austerity demands from the International Monetary Fund and other credit institutions “that don’t understand what is going on in the world and in society.” The issue remains sensitive for Argentina, which is still struggling nearly a decade later to get access to affordable credit - something that will prove even more elusive if Greece also defaults. Argentine economists, though, point out that Greece was part of the eurozone club-an advantage in terms of winning a bail-out, but also a handicap if its own troubles cause other weak economies such as Spain and Portugal to stumble. “Argentina was isolated. Greece is a member of the eurozone.

Any Greek default would come with a very high cost, unlike Argentina at that time. Because in Greece’s case, there are systemic risks in other European Union countries,” said Alejandro Vinitzky, of the consultancy Maxinver. While Latin American economies for the most part are enjoying solid growth, controlled inflation and dependable currencies, skittish investors worried about a global downturn have been beating a cautious retreat. “This ‘Greek tragedy’ will provoke pressure for higher interest rates on (government) bonds for most of Latin America’s debt... The bond market is already under stress from what happened over the past months in the world,” Gabriel Perez, director of the economy faculty at the Panamericana University in Mexico, said. — AFP



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Americans resume job hunt as economy improves WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Friday said Americans were flooding back into the job market, as the economy slowly improved after a barn-busting report showed 290,000 jobs were created in April. Obama hailed the Labor Department figures as a “very encouraging” sign that the US economy is emerging from the doldrums of a recession that destroyed more than eight million jobs. Even though the new jobs figures beat all estimates, the number of Americans returning to the labor market pushed the unemployment rate up to 9.9 percent, from 9.7 percent in March. At least 805,000 Americans entered the market in April. Employers-still shellshocked from the worst recession in a generation-could not create enough jobs to keep pace. Obama said Americans were returning to the labor market because they were “encouraged by better prospects.” “The economy has been growing for the better part of a year,” he said claiming his administration’s policies had helped fuel the recovery. But the

sheer length of the recession may be pushing people back to work, according to Peter Morici, a University of Maryland business professor. “Unemployment benefits are running out for some workers, pushing families harder into the jobs market,” he said. The number of reentrants to the labor force rose by 195,000, the Labor Department said. With congressional elections later this year, Obama faces the mammoth political and economic task of putting Americans back to work. Polls show around 80 percent of Americans say unemployment will be important to how they vote in the November elections. In a sign of the scale of Obama’s challenge, Friday’s report showed 6.7 million people had been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, accounting for almost half of those out of work. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’ve also come a very long way,” said Obama. “I give you my word that I’m going to keep fighting every single day to create jobs and opportunities for people.” “And I won’t rest until you, and millions of your

neighbors caught up in these storms, are able to find a good job and reach a brighter day.” But analysts said Friday’s figures showed that brighter days were fast approaching. “The jobless recovery is becoming a lot less jobless,” said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors. “The one missing link in this recovery has been jobs, and that void is beginning to be filled.” The figures showed that jobs were created across the board, from manufacturing to the hospitality and services sectors. The manufacturing industry created 44,000 jobs, which Obama lauded as the best performance since 1998. Since December, factory employment has risen by 101,000, according to the Labor Department. For the second month in a row, employment levels were boosted by government hiring for the decennial census. Around 66,000 worked on the project in April. “In just about every area, April’s employment report showcased the strongest labor sector since before the recession,” said Jeffrey Rosen of — AFP

New regulations likely as US probes big stock dive Investigators seek trades that triggered meltdown NEW YORK: President Ba rack Obama said yesterday that regulators would look for w ays to prevent a repeat of Thursday’s mysterious stock market meltdown, adding to expectations the US government will ma ke new regula tions to curb runaw ay computer trading. More than a da y a fter a nea rly 1,000-point drop in the Dow, the government had not publicly pinpointed the reasons. Growing concern about the Greek debt crisis, exacerbated by a spike

in the Ja pa nese yen, may have caused computerized trading progra ms to dump US stocks. Initia l theories ha d focused on a n individual trader erroneously entering an order, known as “fa t finger” on Wall Street. “The regula tory authorities a re evaluating this closely w ith a concern for protecting investors a nd preventing this from happening again,” sa id Oba ma, who called the selloff “unusual ma rket activity” w hen he spoke to reporters.

NEW YORK: A trader rubs his eyes on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before the closing bell in New York City. Stocks closed down nearly 140 points for the day and 600 points for the week. — AFP

Frayed investors eye skittish stocks NEW YORK: The extreme market volatility of recent days has shaken investors, who still are seeking a clear explanation of what sent US stocks into Thursday’s dizzying intraday spiral. With talk of a new credit crisis looming in Europe, the week ahead could get ugly on Wall Street. Investors saw stock gains for the year erased in a harrowing five days of trading that pushed major indexes down by 6 percent to 8 percent. Nervous traders, many of whom will have closed out positions on Friday, will watch closely for any developments over the weekend amid speculation the European Central Bank may move to support Greece and other debt-laden euro-zone countries. “Everyone is very jittery on what is going on over in Europe, especially in Greece, and if there is going to be contagion to Spain and Portugal and how that affects the whole global banking system,” said Frank Ingarra, a portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds in Stamford, Connecticut. Next week investors want regulators to shed more light on Thursday’s sharp intraday sell-off when some stocks traded near zero and the Dow fell nearly 1,000 points-its biggest intraday point drop ever. COMMENTS FROM BERNANKE, OBAMA Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is likely to try to soothe investors’ fears when he speaks during the week. On Friday President Barack Obama said regulators are investigating “unusual market activity” and emphasized US support for a strong policy response for Europe’s financial situation. Although events have eclipsed signs of strength in the US economy, including a surge in employment and stronger corporate earnings, investors will watch April retail sales data as well as earnings from Walt Disney Co and Macy’s Inc for an insight into the health of the consumer. Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York said he would be watching retail sales closely after many chain stores posted below par same-store sales figures. “Samestore sales were so weak, I think there is a lot of curiosity about what this number is going to be,” he said. “Retail sales ex-autos is to me the biggest one for the week.” The report on Friday is expected to show retail sales, exclud-

ing autos, rose 0.4 percent, down from a 0.9 percent ruse the month before, according to a Reuters survey. CONSUMER SENTIMENT April industrial production data and University of Michigan’s May consumer sentiment, also out Friday, are both expected to show improvements over prior months. Those reports will follow a reading on weekly jobless claims on Thursday, expected to show new claims fell by 4,000 to 440,000, supporting a picture of a slowly improving labor market. But as investors largely ignored a report on Friday that showed an unexpected surge in US jobs growth, it may take more than good macroeconomic data and strong earnings to stem the market’s decline. The S&P 500 closed out its worst week since March 2009 when indexes hit a 12 year low. The broad-based measure fell 6.4 percent in five days. Major indexes turned negative for the year. The Nasdaq has fallen more than 10 percent since a recent peak on April 23, marking a technical correction, possibly a harbinger of further falls in the Dow industrials and the S&P 500, which have yet to drop 10 percent. US investors are starting to compare the growing European debt crisis to the events around the bankruptcy of Lehman Brother and collapse of Bear Stearns that sent markets into a tailspin in late 2008. In an ominous sign the costs of protecting European bank debt against default have reached levels not seen since the height of the financial crisis. ‘EMOTIONAL SWITCH’ “For the last year we have gone straight up in the markets and people have forgotten about risk. Now all of a sudden people are at least acknowledging that there could be some risk out there. Emotionally, that’s a big switch,” said Tom Forester, manager of the Forester Value Fund in Libertyville, Illinois. An emotional switch is an apt way to describe Thursday’s 9 percent intraday market plunge in a matter of minutes before the indexes regained much of the losses. Talk of erroneous trades and computerized trading programs gone haywire have further tested nerves as many exchanges canceled thousands of orders and investors were left on Friday trying to work out what they owned. — Reuters

More than 50 people were working on the investigation into the night on Friday-some who have slept for only two hours since Thursday’s plunge-but regulators still do not know whether it started outside or within equity markets, a government source close to the probe told Reuters. Politico, a news organization that covers US politics and government, said regulators were eyeing a series of high-volume trades in S&P futures in Chicago as the trigger. Whatever the cause, the biggest-ever intraday point drop in the Dow stoked outrage among investors and politicians already up in arms over Wall Street’s role in the global recession. “We should expect the regulators to use every tool available to them to lower the speed limit on financial markets, and especially on banks,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co, told Reuters Insider. “You will see regulation, taxation and enforcement all being used.” Two Democratic senators called for an amendment to the financial reform bill, asking US regulators to report on the causes of Thursday’s market plunge and whether circuit breakers are needed for computer-driven trading. The selloff came as the US Senate debated Obama’s proposed crackdown which, like recent civil fraud allegations against Goldman Sachs Group Inc, could fuel enthusiasm for the legislation. Indeed, Senators Ted Kaufman and Mark Warner asked Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, to add their amendment to the bill, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Reuters. “A temporary $1 trillion drop in market value is an unacceptable consequence of a software glitch,” Kaufman and Warner said in the letter. European Union market supervisors agreed on Friday to intensify monitoring due to wild stock and derivative swings. The Dow industrials finished down 3.2 percent on Thursday. The index lost 1.3 percent on Friday but there was no sign of the kind of selling that wracked the market on Thursday. “It’s a day that no one in the markets should be proud of,” said William O’Brien, chief executive of Direct Edge, a trading venue operator that handles more than 10 percent of all US stock trading. “While a lot of regulation worked to mitigate the risks that became really evident yesterday, there’s clearly more that we can do.” While the reasons behind the market swoon remained unclear, one senior portfolio manager at a large corporate pension plan speculated the move could have been set off by an algorithm responding to a spike in the Japanese yen, first against the euro, then against the dollar. That in turn may have touched off computer orders to dump large amounts of stock more or less instantaneously, the portfolio manager said. “That set off a nuclear process of one order banging into the next and exploding,” he said. “At the end of the day, the fault lies with poor programming and lack of intelligent human override.”

CIRCUIT BREAKER SOUGHT The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission reiterated that they were examining the reasons behind the selloff, and “scrutinizing the extent to which disparate trading conventions and rules across various markets may have contributed to the spike in volatility.” There are two issues for regulators and exchanges. One is to ensure that the same kind of rapid selloff does not happen again; the other is to determine if someone in the market was trying to take advantage of the situation. Even before Thursday’s meltdown, the SEC had been probing high-frequency trading and the structure of the mostly electronic marketplace, which has undergone a high-tech transformation over the past decade. High-frequency trading, where firms use lightning-quick algorithms to capitalize on tiny market imbalances, accounts for an estimated 60 percent of all volumes. Investors and exchanges have come to rely on those short-term traders to keep markets flowing. There was no shortage of proposals to avoid a repeat, and leading exchanges sniped among themselves over where the blame lay and what the best solution was. Nasdaq OMX Group will push for a market wide circuit breaker based on individual stocks, Chief Executive Robert Greifeld said. Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE parent NYSE Euronext, touted his exchange’s use of a lever that slows down floor trading. The New York Stock Exchange’s use of its “mini circuit breaker” on Thursday afternoon was akin to abandoning its listed stocks, Greifeld said. “That signal is a negative signal that there is something wrong with (NYSE’s) stocks. Instead of standing behind it, they basically walked away from that,” Greifeld said on CNBC. Niederauer defended the use of the so-called Liquidity Refreshment Point, which kicks in at pre-established times based on market activity. “We’re simply slowing down the race car when we think it’s dangerous,” he told CNBC. CANCELED TRADES The Nasdaq Stock Market early on Friday widened its list of stocks facing canceled trades, and the focus turned to derivatives and regulators. Trades that took place during the worst of the meltdown have been canceled for more than 250 stocks, Nasdaq OMX said, adding to the long list of “busted” transactions on NYSE Euronext’s Arca, other exchanges and trading venues. A record number of options contracts traded on Thursday. A handful of high-frequency firms told Reuters they had temporarily stopped trading on Thursday, citing the heavy market plunge and uncertainty over which trades would be canceled. “We were concerned there would be trade breaks, and as a result, we would be left with an unpredictable position at the end of the day,” said Manoj Narang, CEO of Tradeworx, a New Jersey-based hedge fund that also runs a highfrequency unit. — Reuters

CALIFORNIA: Career Link Center One Stop job center employee Charelston Pierce (left) helps a job seeker fill out a paperwork in San Francisco. A report by the US Labor Department showed a surge in new jobs for the month of April adding 290,000 positions. Unemployment rose to 9.9 percent. — AFP

Homes can be lost by mistake NEW YORK: Last November, Michael Hill of Lexington, SC, finally got the call he’d been waiting for. Congratulations, a rep from JPMorgan Chase told him, your trial mortgage modification is approved. Hill’s monthly payment, around $900, would be nearly halved. Except there was a problem. Chase had foreclosed on Hill’s home a month earlier, and his family was just days away from eviction. “I listened to her and then I just said, ‘Well, that sounds good,’” Hill recalled. “ ‘Tell me how we’re going to do this, seeing as how you sold the house?’” That, he found out, was news to Chase. Millions of homeowners face losing their homes in the continuing foreclosure crisis, but homeowners often have more than the struggling economy and slumping house prices to worry about: Disorganization within the big banks that service mortgages has made a bad problem worse. Hill was able to avoid eviction - for now. Chase reversed the sale by paying the man who’d bought the home an extra $19,500 on top of the $86,000 he’d paid at the auction. But other homeowners say they lost their homes because the communication breakdown within the banks was so complete that it led to premature or mistaken foreclosures. “We believe in many cases people are losing their homes when they should not have,” said Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, which counts dozens of non-profits that work with homeowners among its members. In the worst breakdowns, such as Hill’s, banks and other companies that service loans - actually work at cross-purposes, with one arm of the company foreclosing on the home while the other offers help. Servicers say such mistakes are rare and result from the high volume of defaults and foreclosures. The problems happen even among servicers participating in the administration’s $75 billion foreclosureprevention program. Servicers operating under the year-old program are forbidden from auctioning someone’s home while a modification decision is pending. Consumer advocates say the lapses continue because they go unpunished. “We’ve had too much of the carrot, and we need a stick,” Stein says. The Treasury Department has yet to penalize a servicer for breaking the program’s rules. The program provides federal subsidies to encourage modifications. Treasury officials overseeing the program say they’re aware of the problems and have moved to fix them. Some states are going further to protect homeowners, however, with recent rules that stop the foreclosure process if the homeowner requests a modification. Many homeowners, seeing no other option, have gone to court to reclaim their homes. At least 50 homeowners have recently filed lawsuits alleging the servicer foreclosed with a loan mod request pending or even while they were on a payment plan. In good times, banks and other servicers - Bank of America is the biggest, followed by Chase and Wells Fargo - were known mainly to homeowners simply as where they sent their monthly mortgage payment. But the companies have been deluged over the past couple years by requests for help from millions of struggling homeowners. Homeowners commonly wait six months for an answer on a loan mod application. The federal program for encouraging loan mods includes a three-month trial period, after which servicers are supposed to decide whether to make the modifications permanent. But some homeowners have waited as long as 10 months for a final answer. The experience of Hill, married with two children, typifies the delays and confusion. After the mistaken foreclosure, he began the trial modification last December. He made those payments, but two months after his trial period was supposed to end, Hill is still

waiting for a final answer from Chase. The miscommunications have continued. He received a letter in January saying that he’d been approved for a permanent modification, but he was then told he’d received it in error. His family remains partially packed, ready to move should the modification not go through. “I’m on pins and needles every time someone’s knocking on the door or calling,” he said. Christine Holevas, a Chase spokeswoman, said that Chase had “agreed with Hill’s request to rescind the foreclosure” and was “now reviewing his loan for permanent modification.” She said Chase services “more than 10 million mortgages - the vast majority without a hitch.” Communication breakdowns occur because of the way the servicers are structured. One division typically deals with modifications and another with foreclosures. Servicers also hire a local trustee or attorney to actually pursue foreclosure. “Often they just simply don’t communicate with each other,” said Laurie Maggiano, the Treasury official in charge of setting policy for the modification program. Such problems were particularly bad last summer, in the first few months of the program, she said. “Basically, you have the right hand at the mortgage company not knowing what the left hand is doing,” said Mark Pearce, North Carolina’s deputy commissioner of banks. Communication glitches and mistakes are “systemic, more than anecdotal” among mortgage servicers, he said. “We’ve had cases where we’ve informed the mortgage company that they’re about to foreclose on someone.” The experience for the homeowner, he said, can be “Kafkaesque.” “We’re all human, and the servicers are overworked and trying their best,” said Vicki Vidal, of the Mortgage Bankers Association. She said foreclosure errors are rare, particularly if struggling homeowners are prompt in contacting their servicer. Frances Gomez, of Tempe, Ariz., lived in her house for more than 30 years. Three years ago, she refinanced it with Countrywide, now part of Bank of America, for nearly $300,000. The home’s value has declined dramatically, said Gomez, who put some of the money from the refinancing into her hair salon. Last year, the recession forced her to close her shop. Gomez fell behind on her mortgage, and after striking out with a company that promised to work with Bank of America to get her a loan mod, she learned in December that her home was scheduled for foreclosure. So Gomez applied herself. She twice succeeded in getting Bank of America to postpone the sale date, and she said she was assured it would not happen until her application was reviewed. Gomez had opened a smaller salon and understood there was a good chance she would qualify for a modification. She was still waiting in March when a Realtor, representing the new owner of her home, showed up. Her house had sold at auction -for less than half of what Gomez owed. “They don’t give you an opportunity,” she said. “They just go and do it with no warning.” It’s not supposed to work that way. Under the federal program, which requires servicers to follow a set of guidelines for modifications, servicers must give borrowers a written denial before foreclosing. When Gomez called Bank of America about the sale, she said, she was told there was a mistake but nothing could be done. She did get a denial notice - some three weeks after the house was sold and just days before she was evicted. “I just want people to know what they’re doing,” Gomez, now living with family members, said. After being contacted by ProPublica, Bank of America reviewed Gomez’s case. Bank spokesman Rick Simon acknowledged that Gomez might not have been told her house would be sold and that the bank made a mistake in denying Gomez, because it did not take into account the income from her new salon business. —MCT

CALIFORNIA: A sale pending sign is posted in front of home for sale in Greenbrae, California. — AFP


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Firms quickly realize PR possibilities of social media KANSAS CITY: Richard Pesce loved his Clif Bars. Then the company sent him an expired box of the energy snacks. He emailed complaints. He phoned. No luck. So he announced on Twitter - the microblogging service then in its infancy in 2008 - that his Clif Bars love affair was toast. Meanwhile, an information technology worker at Clif Bars was listening, or more precisely, trolling Twitter for buzz about the product. Suddenly, Pesce, a Sprint Nextel public relations specialist, had an apology and double his original order of energy bars. The interactive bedlam of the Internet’s social networking might be a way to polish Sprint’s image. We’ll find customers with gripes - surveys show Sprint improving but still trailing the competition in customer service and make them happy. We’ll fix their problems. The world will see. And tweet by tweet, one Facebook post after the next, the ether of the Web will begin to reform the company image. “We very quickly found out that as we started reaching out to people on Twitter, things started to change,” said Pesce, who now leads the Overland Park, Kan., telecommunications company’s five-

person social media team and trains others in the company as “social media ninjas.” Maybe the explosion of social networking isn’t just a giant time drain. Perhaps, companies are concluding, interactive media can be good for business. The potential varies by product and by customer. It turns on finding the best way to bond corporation to opinion leader, and hinges on nimble strategy and an investment of money and manpower that keeps pace with the tell-menow tempo of the Internet. A world where a static come-see-us website sufficed for online outreach is fading like the battery in a 2-year-old iPhone. Increasingly, companies wander beyond their own sites into the wilds of other virtual venues, greeting strangers on strange turf. For consumers, the rush of businesses into social networking could mean shortcuts to discounts and could offer better tips on how to use and where to find products. It also might mean sales pitches where they expect personal conversation, and trading privacy for ties to their favorite brands. The key, say professionals using social networks to promote their businesses, is not simply to pitch product but to strike up

relationships. Red Bull sponsors adventurers and invites people to follow exploits online. A dental office might post pictures of funny faces as a way of convivially engaging customers on the power of a smile. “You can’t just sit back and hope you get a bunch of Twitter followers,” said Dan Melton of NPT Labs in Kansas City, Kan. He helps nonprofit groups set up their social media connecting a clinic with its patients online as a more efficient way of dealing with simple questions about things such as drug interactions - and gives boot camps on social media. Some outfits start reluctantly, fearing that social networking is just another passing gimmick. Others have unrealistic expectations. Melton and others who have dabbled in social networking stress it requires real people staying engaged with the public. Kansas City, Mo.-based Handmark got plenty of user love for its TweetCaster application - an easier way to play in the Twitter world from your handset - that it gave away free with advertising. “They told us they liked it but that they’d be willing to pay for it to get it without the advertising,” Conway said. So now Handmark offers TweetCaster free with ads

or ad-free for $4.99. Handmark makes a plethora of applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry and other smart phones. Beyond promoting its latest virtual widget, it aims to be a source of tips about a range of things its technophile customers are likely to be interested in. The firm also uses its Twitter accounts, newsletters and Facebook page to scavenge for ideas and feedback. As the power of social networks grows, they might also become more invasive. Facebook, for instance, is rolling out features that would have people taking their online identities with them to every website they visit to better share their likes and dislikes with friends. Some worry that the increased sharing not only will alert companies to potential customers but ultimately could give sellers insight to the maximum prices they could set for individual buyers. Still, people share a lot. Including their locations. Foursquare awards virtual badges to users for going places and crowns the most frequent visitor to a spot as its mayor. Gowalla works much the same way. Some merchants use the networks to offer specials. Those geo-location here-I-am services

could push the limits of just how much people want to share. Blippy, backed by Twitter co-founder Philip Kaplan, entices people to share news of online purchases. Blippy reasons that the system goes beyond written recommendations to show how acquaintances are voting with their Visas. Users also can hide purchases - say some Imodium or a Danielle Steel novel - from public view or reveal to them to just a select lists of friends. “Social media can be the intersection of voyeurism and narcissism. Narcissists want everyone to know what they’re wearing and that they’re checking into Foursquare. Other people just want to know what their friends are up to,” said John Kreicbergs, an account supervisor at the Bernstein-Rein advertising firm in Kansas City, Mo. Consider Kreicbergs’ recent trip east. As he crossed the northern border of New York he tweeted: “Vermont: the green mountain state.” It was a fanciful way to let his wife know his whereabouts. But within three minutes he got an e-mail telling him that “VermontTourism” was following his Twitter feed - a sign somebody in Montpelier was watching Twitter. Soon

after, they tweeted to him, “Welcome!” Kreicbergs found the whole thing a little creepy, but he also liked the warm greeting and the sense that an actual person was at the ready to help this tourist. In counseling clients, he reminds them that social networking is not free media, it’s earned. “It’s labor-intensive,” he said. “You’ve got to reach out to people.” Indeed, that’s the game plan being tested by Sprint. Pesce said his squad spends much of its time converting the disgruntled into pleased, and in a very public way. “Ultimately,” Pesce said, “we’re trying to improve that personal dialogue in real time.” Not everyone will want to chat with companies they buy from, said Kirk Kirkpatrick, a professor of marketing at the Henry W Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “They don’t want an onslaught of selfserving messages. It can really be just PR,” said Kirkpatrick, who is also creative director at Tonic Inc advertising in Kansas City, Mo. “The key is giving people something they want, not just what you’re pushing.” — MCT

Brazil launches first oil tanker PORTO DE SUAPE: Brazil has launched the first of 10 domestically built oil tankers it will use to boost its trade in “black gold,” and give new life to its shipbuilding industry. The 274-meter long vessel, named the “Jaoa Candido” after a famous black Brazilian sailor, cost 120 million dollars and can transport a million barrels of crude-around half the daily output of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva led the launching ceremony, telling the 3,700 shipyard workers here that the tanker symbolized “a people’s high affirmation.” Brazil is sitting on 14 billion barrels of proven reserves of crude oil, and expects to more than triple that with recent offshore finds, propelling it into the ranks of major oil exporters. In 2009, the country had daily oil output of 2.5 million barrels. The tanker was one of 49 Brazil intends to build under a national development program for its shipyards that have gone into decline since the 1970s. — AFP

RECIFE, PERNAMBUCO: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva (left) attends the launching of the oil tanker ‘Joao Candido’ at Suape Harbour in Recife, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernanbuco. The Suezmax-type ship is the first tanker built in Brazil and will export the oil of the state company Petrobras. — AFP

Blowout preventers known to fail HOUSTON: Cutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements, according to an Associated Press investigation. These steel monsters known as blowout preventers or BOPs - sometimes as big as a doubledecker bus and weighing up to 640,000 pounds - guard the mouth of wells. They act as the last defense to choke off unintended releases, slamming a gushing pipe with up to 1 million pounds of force. While the precise causes of the April 20 explosion and spill remain unknown, investigators are focusing on the blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon rig operated by BP PLC as one likely contributor. To hear some industry officials talk, these devices are virtually foolproof. But a detailed AP review shows that reliability questions have long shadowed blowout preventers:- Accident reports from the US Minerals Management Service, a branch of the Interior Department, show that the devices have failed or otherwise played a role in at least 14 accidents, mostly since 2005. Government and industry reports have raised questions about the reliability of blowout preventers for more than a decade. A 2003 report by Transocean, the owner of the destroyed rig, said: “Floating drilling rig downtime due to poor BOP reliability is a common and very costly issue confronting all offshore drilling contractors.” - Lawsuits have fingered these valves as a factor in previous blowouts. It is unclear why the blowout valves on the Deepwater Horizon didn’t stop the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and has sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into Gulf. Interviews with rig workers conducted as part of BP’s internal investigation into the explosion indicate that a methane gas bubble escaped from the well and expanded quickly as it shot up the drill column, a series of events that included the failure of the blowout preventer and explosion of the rig.

Since then, the minerals agency has been inspecting offshore rigs and platforms to verify testing of these valves and check emergency exercises. On Friday, a senior agency official told the AP that regulators had been comfortable that the valves were reliable - until the blowout. “Based on the record, we have felt that these were performing the job they were supposed to perform,” Deputy Director Walter Cruickshank said. “This incident is going to make us re-examine that assumption.” He said new procedures and rules may be needed, including certifying blowout preventers by an independent group of experts. He also said the agency may revise its peeled-back testing requirement of 1998, when it replaced a weekly regimen with biweekly pressure tests. Congress plans hearings that will consider BOP reliability. “The safety valve is not so safe,” said US Sen Maria Cantwell of Washington state. She said the industry knew this kind of part sometimes fails, but it acted as if it couldn’t. After the accident, BP CEO Tony Hayward said of blowout preventers in general: “It’s unprecedented for it to fail.” Yet the AP review turned up instances where preventer seals have failed outright, obstructions have blocked them, or valves simply weren’t designed for the task. Sometimes there

were blowouts. The control systems also have proved goof-prone. When a worker accidentally disconnected a blowout preventer at one rig in 2000, federal regulators recommended changes in the control panels. Later that year, a worker at a rig off the Louisiana coast was making those very changes when he accidentally pushed the wrong button and unlatched the valves; the ensuing blowout released 8,400 gallons of crude. The government has long known of such problems, according to a historical review conducted by the AP. In the late 1990s, the industry appealed for fewer required pressure tests on these valves. The federal minerals service did two studies, each finding that failures were more common than the industry said. But the agency, known as MMS, then did its turnaround and required tests half as often. It estimated that the rule would yield an annual savings of up to $340,000 per rig. An industry executive praised the “flexibility” of regulators, long plagued with accusations that they have been too cozy with the industry they supervise. Laurence Power, of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, an engineering teacher who has studied these valves in offshore oil wells, said he has “not been able to see their logic” for reducing the frequency of testing. In 1999, right after that rule

change, an MMS-commissioned report by a research group identified 117 blowout preventer failures at deepwater rigs within the previous year. These breakdowns created 3,638 hours of lost time - a 4 percent chunk of drilling time. In 2004, an engineering study for federal regulators said only 3 of 14 new devices could shear pipe, as sometimes required to check leaks, at maximum rated depths. Only half of operators accepting a newly built device tested this function during commissioning or acceptance, according to the report. “This grim snapshot illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout,” the report warned. Two years later, a trade journal’s article still noted that shearing preventers “may also have difficulty cutting today’s high-strength, high toughness drill pipe” at deep wells. The special cutting preventers were blamed in 1979 for the biggest peacetime well spill in history, when about 140 million gallons of oil poured from a Mexican well in the Gulf. Questions about reliability hung heavily but were mostly unspoken Thursday at a Houston conference on offshore oil rig technology. Shown a spreadsheet of problems with blowout preventers, Transocean technology manager John Kozicz said, “We know that - but they

don’t happen frequently.” Even Transocean’s Earl Shanks, lead author of the 2003 study reporting “poor BOP reliability,” now views blowout preventers as “very reliable.” But he did acknowledge problems in the complex electronic and hydraulic tangle that activates and controls the devices. At Deepwater Horizon, he said, “Something went wrong and we don’t know what.” Cameron International, which made the Deepwater Horizon preventers, has acknowledged that these lumbering emergency stoppers need lots of upkeep. “You have to maintain it,” CEO Jack Moore told investors last year. “You have to replace the mechanical and rubber elements.” Cameron International did not respond to AP questions about reliability. But it has had to face such questions in court. A 2008 federal lawsuit claims its faulty blowout preventers contributed to a well blowout. The suit makes the same claim about other valves installed at the rig but made by Hydril. A Hydril Pressure Control representative said he couldn’t be quoted by name under company policy, but he defended the safety of his company’s preventers. Asked about the lawsuit, he said, “It is a matter of litigation, and we have denied the allegation and strongly believe in the merits of our case.”— AP

Apple goes from digital underdog to tech bully SAN FRANCISCO: Apple forged its reputation at the dawn of personal computing as a fearlessly independent innovator with one of the most famous television ads of all time. Called 1984 after the year it appeared and George Orwell’s classic novel of dystopia and dictatorship, the ad featured a hammer-wielding female athlete representing the new Apple Macintosh, who single- handedly destroys the dictatorship of computing conformity offered by Apple’s rivals like IBM and Microsoft. But 26 years later, the pendulum has swung back - and then some. Apple is now one of the richest, most powerful tech companies on the planet thanks to its world-beating mobile devices like the iPod, iPhone and newly introduced iPad. All of a sudden, Apple is beginning to look a lot like the dominant companies it so famously derided back at the start of its journey. It’s the third-most valuable company in the US after Microsoft and oil giant Exxon and will probably soon overtake Microsoft. This year alone Apple will ring up 60 billion dollars in sales. But as Apple power grows, so do the company’s critics. Recent tech news headlines reflect Apple’s changing image. The products may still be great, but a company once seen as the smart and scrawny underdog is increasingly portrayed as an overbearing monolith seeking to preserve and expand its dominance at all costs. “Is Apple another Microsoft?” ComputerWorld asked, while even the mainstream New York Times chimed in with criticism, calling Apple “churlish”, and saying that the gorgeous iPad had become “a metaphor for the hermetic kingdom of Apple: a seamless device that can’t be opened, has no apertures for input and is animated mostly by purchases from Apple.” The criticisms may also be shared in Washington, where the US Justice Department is reported to be considering an antitrust investigation

over Apple’s announcement last month that all third- party programs written for its iPhone operating system must be compiled using proprietary Apple tools. That insistence sparked a storm of online protests. “These restrictions are so over the line,” was one typical post at BetaNews, a popular developers’ forum. “Everybody go to/develop for Android!” it urged on behalf of the Google operating system that is Apple’s main mobile rival. Apple maintains a similar iron grip over its iPhone and iPad - banning apps with sexual innuendo and even ones that bash public figures, even in jest. One app that ran afoul of Apple’s censorship was only allowed in after it won a Pulitzer Prize. A game in which you can place politicians on a trampoline in the White House remains on the forbidden list. Apple is notoriously secretive about its upcoming products and is taking unprecedented flack for its behaviour in the now infamous case of the missing iPhone prototype. One of its eagerly awaited, unreleased new-generation devices was left in a bar by a company engineer last month, only to be found and picked up by a student. Tech site Gizmodo paid 5,000 dollars for the device, which it promptly returned to Apple after examining it from every angle. The story could have ended there with no great harm done to anyone. But Apple claimed that the device had been stolen, and police immediately raided and searched the home of the Gizmodo editor who wrote the story and seized his computers. Even Comedy Central’s news satire The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which appeals to the same audience of tech-savvy adults in their 20s and 30s who are prime Apple customers, felt it necessary to zing the company. “Microsoft was supposed to be the evil one,” said Stewart. “But now Apple is busting down doors in Palo Alto, while Bill Gates rids the world of mosquitoes.”— DPA



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ship-breaking exposes Bangladesh to climate change threat

SITAKUNDU: Abul Kalam (right) poses for a photo at a shipbreaking yard in Sitakundu some 30 kms from the port city Chittagong. — AFP

New global climate deal ‘still far away’ Negotiators still pessimistic after Copenhagen failures BEIJING: China’s top climate negotiator said yesterday although progress had been made in negotiations for a new accord to combat global warming, there was still some distance to go before a binding deal could be secured. At a conference of ministers and environmental organizations in Beijing, Xie Zhenhua, also vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said all sides needed to “strengthen trust” and “deepen cooperation” in order to achieve positive results at the next global climate change meeting in Cancun, Mexico at the end of this year. “Climate change negotiations have already made gradual progress, but there is still a relatively long way to go to reach a legally binding agreement,” Xie said. He said many developed countries had already committed to reducing emissions after last year’s United Nations summit in the Danish capital of Copenhagen but the key issue was still “converting political will into concrete action.” Negotiators from 194 nations will gather in Cancun at the end of the year to try to build on the Copenhagen accord signed last December with the ultimate aim still a legally-binding treaty that will set the tempo for global CO2 cuts over the next decade. The main stumbling block has remained the issue of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” a principle enshrined in the UN’s Kyoto Protocol to recognize the fact that industrialized countries have been responsible for the bulk of the greenhouse emissions blamed for rising global temperatures. Developing nations have not been obliged to set binding emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol, and critics- particularly in the United States-claim it gives countries like China a free ride and competitive advantage in world trade. The first phase of Kyoto is set to expire at the end of 2012, and many have expressed doubt about the prospects of a new deal, especially after the efforts to secure a full and binding agreement at Copenhagen ended in failure. REALISM Ministers at the conference said lessons needed to be learned from Copenhagen before a new international accord could be reached by the end of next

year, and the key issue was toning down expectations. “What we are looking for is not a repetition of the same old mistake of putting everything together and expecting a full and comprehensive negotiated result, but actually something that is the only way you can proceed in these negotiations-which is by incremental progress,” said Tim Groser, New Zealand’s minister in charge of climate change talks. Michael Church, environment minister of Grenada, which represents the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), an association of nations vulnerable to rising sea levels, hurricanes and prolonged drought, also called for a more pragmatic approachbut he suggested there was now too much pessimism as a result of last year’s Copenhagen summit. “What we need to do is to set ourselves some realistic goals and work towards satisfying those goals,” he said on the sidelines of the conference. “Cancun is not the end of the world because already we have started talking about continuing negotiations the following year.” “In some quarters, you get the sentiment being expressed that there will be no deal-it is like reaching a conclusion before you’ve started.” Groser said a more low-key approach to the negotiations was already yielding results. “We now have a more politically mature atmosphere, and that is more likely to lead to progress than the razzle-dazzle, showbiz approach (of Copenhagen),” he said. “Surrounding the delegates with film stars and 40,000 protesters was not conducive to progress.” Smaller nations like Grenada said the Copenhagen talks were scuppered when their bigger counterparts tried to “hijack the whole process” by imposing their own deal, but Church said attitudes had now changed noticeably, and the old conflict between developed and developing nations had eased. “I have just come from the Petersburg dialogue (in Bonn, Germany) and I believe we have all learnt something from Copenhagen. I think if there is one positive thing that came out of Copenhagen it is emphasizing the need for trust. “I sensed a different spirit-a greater willingness to compromise,” he said. — Reuters

KOENIGSWINTER: Greenpeace activists wearing masks featuring (left to right) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Barack Obama, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pretend cooking the Earth as they demonstrate before the Petersberg Climate Dialogue climate conference at the Petersberg in Koenigswinter near Bonn, western Germany. — AFP

Google to start selling e-books this summer SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc plans to begin selling ebooks this summer over a platform that would allow readers to load the books onto multiple electronic devices, the company said. The search giant outlined the plan during a panel discussion in New York that was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The service is called Google Editions and will allow users to buy e-books directly from the company, as well as through other retailers. No details were given regarding the price of books or which publishers would participate in the project. Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Google, acknowledged Tuesday that the Google Editions service was being targeted for a launch sometime this summer. The service would also be “device-agnostic”_meaning that any Internet-enabled device could download and read the books, he said. Such a move would position Google to compete in the fast-growing e-book market with and Apple Inc. Amazon launched its Kindle e-reader in late 2007 and has since taken a commanding lead in the market. Apple launched its iPad tablet last month, along with its iBookstore service to sell e-books for the device. The company said Monday it has sold 1 million iPads and 1.5 million copies of e-books in the past month. Amazon has never released sales data for the Kindle. The Kindle is a proprietary device that only reads e-books purchased from Amazon. Books for the iPad must be purchased through Apple; if a user has downloaded the Kindle app, titles can be downloaded from Amazon. Google’s proposed system would not be locked to a particular device. The service also has the potential to offer far more titles than those offered by Amazon and Apple, as Google has already digitized some 12 million books into its Google Books service. Many of these are out-of-print titles. The company is working to win over publishers to its proposal. The event Tuesday was sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group and held at Random House’s Manhattan offices under the title: “The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?” The Google Editions service will launch whether or not the company is able to reach a settlement with authors and publishers over rights to millions of out-ofprint books that are still under copyright protection, according to Stricker. The service will involve titles that are in print and covered under an agency deal with publishers. Out-of-print titles may be added if the settlement is successful. —MCT

SITAKUNDU: When huge waves hit Bangladesh’s sleepy southeastern Sitakundu coastline after a cyclone in 1991, shopkeeper Abul Kalam survived by hanging on to a coconut tree. Kalam’s parents, brother, sister and young nephew and niece were among the 138,000 people killed that May when a tidal surge from the force-five cyclone destroyed his family’s house and the tiny fishing village they called home. Those who survived-including Kalam and his wife-owe their lives to the protection provided by the trees, which is why they are concerned about the deforestation they’re witnessing around them. “In 1991 we survived, but now we are surrounded by ship-breaking yards, there are hardly any trees left,” Kalam said. “I hung onto that coconut tree for dear life. The waves were so strong they ripped my clothes off.” In just two decades, Sitakundu beach has been transformed from a quiet, leafy shoreline into a sprawling industrial hub, home to one of Bangladesh’s largest, most profitable and most controversial industries: ship-breaking. Thirty percent of the world’s condemned ships are recycled in Bangladesh, and the industry creates tens of thousands of jobs and provides three-quarters of the country’s steel-but at a serious environmental cost. “More than 40,000 big trees were felled in the last six months to clear the way for new ship-breaking yards,” Mohammad Ali Shaheen, the Bangladesh head of the Platform on Ship-breaking lobby group said. “Not only are the yards dumping toxic waste on the coast, they are also clearing forests that have been painstakingly planted and nurtured to work as natural barriers to cyclones.” Local environmentalists say Bangladesh is on the frontline of climate change and that rampant deforestation, particularly by ship-

breaking yards, is making things worse. In the past five years, Bangladesh has been hit by two cyclones which left 5,000 people dead, displaced millions and caused three billion dollars worth of damage. “There is now hardly any forest left along a more than 20-kilometre stretch of Sitakundu coast,” said professor Mohammad Kamal Hossain, a forestry expert at Chittagong University. “The ship-breakers have gobbled up most of the plantations, showing scant regard to the government’s environmental laws.” Felling old growth forests is illegal in Bangladesh but laws are not enforced as ship-breaking is a billion dollar industry and yards owners are some of the country’s top business tycoons, he said. Ships broken up in Bangladesh also routinely contain materials like asbestos, banned in many countries. The government’s recent attempt to impose strict environmental standards on the industry ended with an about-face within three months after devastating strikes threatened the country’s steel industry. The proposed law, which required ships to be certified by the selling nation’s environmental authorities, was amended to allow yards to bring in ships on their own declarations that the vessels are free from toxic materials. But the 100 shipyards in Bangladesh-up from just 36 in 2008, with all the new arrivals on the Sitakundu coast-are damaging the environment in more ways than just through these toxic chemicals. “Thanks to these ship-breakers, poor villages along the coast now have practically no natural protection against cyclones. If a major cyclone like Sidr hits, I am sure there will be hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Hossain said. Cyclone Sidr, which had wind speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour, hit Bangladesh’s southwestern coast in November 2007, leaving at least 4,000 dead

and millions homeless. Experts said Sidr’s toll was far lower than the 1991 cyclone as the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, stood in the path and bore the brunt of the storm. “The wind speed of the cyclone of 1991 (which hit the southeast coast) was far less than that of Sidr. Yet its death toll was 35 times more,” Hossain said. Jafar Alam, president of Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association-a powerful industry group-admits that some shipyards have cleared forests. “But they are not our members. They acted individually,” Alam said, adding that his association had promised to help the government take action against ship-breakers who illegally encroach on forest land. Addressing attacks on the industry regularly offered by groups like the NGO Platform on Ship-breaking, he said that such organizations were “the lackies of foreign governments talking nonsense”. “There were no major forests where we set up our scrapyards. There is no question of us causing environmental damages,” said Alam, whose association oversaw more than 80 percent of the 200 ships broken last year in Sitakundu. “We are an important industry. We employ tens of thousands of people and directly and indirectly our worth is around three billion dollars,” he said. “There are more areas we are planning to set up yards as business is really booming.” Such talk sends shivers down Jyotindra Jaldash’s spine. The 70-year-old fisherman who lives in a village along Sitakundu coast said watching his childhood home transform into a shipyard has turned him into a cynic. “When the ships first arrived here, I liked the look of them when they were moored. But now they are everywhere. They have killed all the fish, they have cut the forests, and soon, they will drive us all out,” he said. — AFP

Obama touts healthcare in new bid to ease doubts Polls show mixed response to healthcare reform WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama yesterday touted the benefits of his US healthcare overhaul, renewing a bid to counter Republican criticism and ease public doubts more than a month after he signed reform into law. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama made clear he would keep up his campaign to promote the healthcare revamp, which is already shaping up as key issue in the campaign for pivotal congressional elections in November. “While it will take some time to fully implement this law, reform is already delivering real benefits to millions of Americans,” Obama said. “Already, we are seeing a healthcare system that holds insurance companies more accountable and gives consumers more control.” Designed to reshape the $2.5 trillion healthcare industry, which accounts for onesixth of the country’s economy, the law will extend health insurance to 32 million Americans who lack it. The measure also bars insurance practices like refusing coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions. Republicans, who unanimously opposed the bill, have charged that the Democratic president is leading a costly government takeover of healthcare, something Obama strongly denies. Polls have shown a mixed public response to passage of reform, prompting concern among some Democrats it could add to public anxiety over

WASHINGTON: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures during a “Healthcare Thank You Rally” on Capitol Hill. — AP high unemployment that threatens their election prospects. Acknowledging that work remains to be done, Obama said, “I’ve said before that implementing health insurance reform won’t happen overnight, and it will require some tweaks and changes along the way.” But he insisted, “Already we are seeing how reform is improving the lives of millions.” Hewing to a populist tone, Obama kept the focus on big insurance companies, which fought many aspects of the

reform package. “The new health care law has also begun to end the worst practices of insurance companies,” he said. “For too long, we have been held hostage to an insurance industry that jacks up premiums and drops coverage as they please.” Obama said on Monday the administration would offer further details on a new rule allowing young people without insurance to be covered until 26 by their parents’ health plans. “Even though insurance

companies have until September to comply with this rule, we’ve asked them to do so immediately to avoid coverage gaps for new college graduates and other young adults,” he said. Obama cited other changes he said were already done, in the works or soon to come, including a break from unfair rate hikes, insurers barred from dropping coverage for people when they get sick and 4 million small businesses notified they could be eligible for a healthcare tax cut this year. — Reuters

Google upgrades search page SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc’s search results page, one of the most sought-after addresses on the Web, is getting a major makeover. The Mountain View, Calif, giant said that the page, where the results of an Internet search are listed, will have a new column on the left containing navigation tools to help users dig deeper for information. It would help sort results by content type and date, and even suggest other links or ways to refine the search. Google, which runs the world’s most popular search engine, says it wants its millions of users to more quickly and easily find what they are looking for on the Internet. Nearly 270 million people use Google each day. The latest move - the most significant face lift in three years - is also seen as a way for Google to maintain its competitive advantage as Yahoo Inc, Microsoft Corp and other rivals try to take a bite out of its share of the lucrative advertising market. Nearly all of Google’s $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009 came from advertising. Microsoft launched its Bing search engine almost a year ago to challenge Google and has captured nearly 12 percent of the US search market. During that time Google’s share has remained steady at about 65 percent, according to ComScore.

And competition for ad dollars is intensifying on another front. Google faces a formidable competitor in popular social networking website Facebook Inc., which recently surpassed Google as the most visited site in the US. The makeover, one of eight since Google’s 1998 launch, radically alters the appearance of the results page, which for years had placed suggested links to satisfy the search request on the left and advertiser links on the right. Danny Sullivan, editor of, said the new look helps Google catch up with Yahoo, Bing and, each of which already has some version of a three-pane design featuring navigation, search results and advertising. It could also pave the way for Google to move more swiftly beyond its franchise of selling text-based advertisements into a broader array of display, video and other sorts of advertising. To avoid cluttering the search results page, which has always been prized for its simplicity, Google redesigned the page to make it cleaner and to make the logo brighter, said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search product and user experience, who spearheaded the makeover. Most users began seeing the changes Wednesday, Google

search project manager Nundu Janakiram said. For example, if you search for a news topic - say, “Icelandic volcano” - the search engine will, in the left column, suggest results from the last few days or realtime updates. Or search for a product, such as “Big Green Egg outdoor grill,” and the search engine will suggest shopping or review sites. For some searches, Google also will offer a link to its Wonder Wheel feature, a visual representation of related searches that used to take a few clicks to find. A Something Different search will suggest related topics, like other classic rock bands when you look for “Rolling Stones.” Sullivan called it the biggest redesign since May 2007, when Google added socalled universal search to its main results page. That’s when Google began intermingling results from different media rather than having them separated into categories and having consumers access them by clicking on a long row of links above the main query box. That move, pointing users to video, photos and other media, set the stage for the latest changes. “These changes should help guide people to have a more relevant search experience,” Sullivan said. — MCT

Sunday, May 9, 2010



Louisiana begs for more boom as oil slick laps coastal islands HOPEDALE: Louisiana begged for more protective booms and urged the federal government not to repeat the mistakes of Hurricane Katrina Friday as a massive oil slick lapped coastal islands. More than two weeks after a BP-leased rig sank spectacularly 50 miles offshore and started hemorrhaging an estimated 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, vast swaths of the US coast remain unprotected. High winds and rough seas bear some of the blame, but Governor Bobby Jindal said the problem now is a lack of the resources needed to avert disaster. “We need more booms to keep this oil out of our fragile wetlands,” Jindal said at a press conference in the remote port of Hopedale. “It’s so important to have those first lines of defense in place,” he said. “It’ll be so much harder to clean up this oil if it’s allowed to come into the inside and the backside of these wetlands.” Fishermen watching their livelihoods get washed away by a toxic soup are anxious to get their boats out the docks and help in efforts to skim the oil off the surface and lay out protective booms. While a lucky few have gone out to help, most sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Federal officials say they have a stockpile of 1.3 million feet of boom ready to be deployed across the Gulf Coast. They shipped 20,000 feet to Hopedale on Friday, bringing the parish’s total to 60,000 feet. Local officials say they need at least another 240,000 feet of

GULF OF MEXICO: Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. — AP

hard and absorbent boom to offer the “very minimal protection” to the parish’s 120 miles of coastal wetlands. And the oil sheen has already entered their waters. “We cannot afford to let this turn into another catastrophe for St Bernard parish,” said parish president Craig Taffar. “It’s a community that is just getting back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina.” Taffar acknowledged that fighting the oil was a monumental task and that it will be impossible to protect every inch of his parish. But he said the psychological impact of suffering through another disaster where the government failed to apply the proper resources is “unforgiveable.” “I’m not sure that their mental and psychological well-being will recover as well from this as we did from Katrina,” he said. “You can only take so many blows before you fall down.” Taffer - whose parish stretches from this isolated port to the edge of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans - said the current situation does not approach the complete failure of government after Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005. Tens of thousands of people were stranded for days without food or water - some on their roofs, others at the Superdome stadium or on freeway overpasses - after a massive storm surge wiped out coastal towns and smashed through poorlymaintained levees. The scars are still visible across the parish

where abandoned homes rot in the hot sun, the spray painted markers left by search and rescue crews a stark reminder of those who died when the water rushed in. This looming ecological and economic disaster evokes painful parallels to those chaotic days when desperate people were left to fend for themselves, Taffar said. “It certainly has remnants of feeling helpless and having agencies and individuals in higher levels of authority controlling our destiny, and that is frightening,” he said. “We have our residents and fishermen here they’re standing here begging to be utilized to protect their own livelihood and the resources aren’t here.” BP is financially responsible for all cleanup efforts, which are also being supervised by the US Coast Guard and a host of other agencies. Some 10,000 people and about 270 boats have been deployed to the Gulf Coast to help combat the ever-growing slick. There is no reason why more cannot get involved, Taffer said, or why resources are being spread out across the coast when Louisiana faces an “immediate threat.” “If there’s boom headed to Alabama or Florida where there is not a direct threat we are asking the Coast Guard to bring them here,” he said. “We need the resources to protect our wetlands. We need the resources to protect our way of life. We need the resources to protect a culture- and a history-rich parish.” — AFP



Sunday, May 9, 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. Embassy of iNDia

Venezuelan Embassy supports Juniors’ football tourney


he Dasman model school recently held a football tournament for juniors in co-operation with the Venezuelan Embassy, and was organized by the FCB. The tournament featured participation of junior teams from several Kuwaiti sports clubs. After the end of the tournament, the Venezuelan Ambassador handed trophies to the winning teams.

Cannes Young Lions ad contest


fter the successful launch last year of the 48 Hour YouTube Cannes Young Lions Ad Contest, this year’s contest opens May 14 in search of two young creatives to win a trip to Cannes to attend the 57th International Advertising Competition and compete as Team YouTube in the 2010 Young Lions Film Competition, alongside 41 other teams from around the world. YouTube will be running a 48-hour viral film contest to create an ad for a well-known international charity whose identity will be kept secret until May 14, when the competition begins. On May 16, the competition will close and contestants will then have one week to generate as many votes for their entry as possible. Two winners will be select-

ed by a panel of international advertising experts who will judge the ad based on creativity and public votes. The winners will unite as team YouTube and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Cannes to attend the 57th International Advertising Festival and a chance to compete as the 42nd team in the prestigious Young Lions Film competition. Make an ad: At midnight on May 14 (GMT), YouTube will release a brief for up to a 60-second viral ad aimed at raising awareness for the charity, on Creatives 28 years of age or younger have until midnight of May 16 (GMT) to submit their ad to this channel. Spread the word: There will be a one-week period

between 16 May and 23 May for entrants to create a viral buzz around their video to drive as many public votes as possible by whatever means. Judging: Between May 24-27, a panel of advertising leaders will judge the shortlisted entries and select two winners based on the overall creative execution of the brief and the videos’ public votes. Judges: Chris Baylis, Executive Creative Director - TribalDDB Amsterdam Edmund Choe, Executive Creative Director, Greater China - Saatchi & Saatchi Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Digital Officer - TBWA Worldwide Brian Elliott, Founder and Chief

Executive - Amsterdam Worldwide Go to Cannes: The two winners will be announced on June 1. The prize for the two selected winners is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Festival to take part in the Young Lions Film Competition as Team YouTube, offering fantastic exposure for young creatives looking to carve a role in the advertising or film industry. Team YouTube should be available to attend the Festival 20-26 June 2010. Anna Bateson, Head of YouTube Marketing, EMEA, said, “Last year’s competition generated a lot of interest amongst young creatives eager to showcase their skills through the wide reach, social and viral power of YouTube. We are delighted to be working with Cannes Lions for the second

year in a row. This competition is a great opportunity for young creatives to join forces as a YouTube team and challenge the best advertising talent in the industry.” Launched in 2006, the Young Lions Film Competition is an integral part of the week-long International Advertising Festival which sees teams of two from 41 countries aged 28 or under, who have just 48 hours to shoot and edit a one minute commercial on behalf of the client - a charity or not-for-profit organization. The experience is intense but winning can be rewarding both personally and professionally. Last year the 48 Hour YouTube Cannes Young Lions Ad Contest received 692 entries and over 100,000 votes and was won by Adeline Chew from Malaysia.

Embassy of PhiliPPiNEs The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will continue uninterrupted until May 10, 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote.

Yiaco Apollo Medical Center celebrates fifth anniversary


iaco Apollo Medical Center situated at Amman Street in Salmiya has completed five years of its successful operation. In order to celebrate this occasion, a grand socio- cultural event for the employees and families was arranged on April 23. The evening was full of fun and smiles for all the attendees. The Chief Guest of the program was Dr Hamed Ahmed Hamadah Chairman & Managing Director of the famous Yiaco Medical Company. He proudly emphasized the importance of Yiaco Apollo as a landmark for the healthcare sector and wished for further growth of the center. Walid Abu Zaid CFO and Acting Director of the Medical Centers division of Yiaco Medical Company was appreciative of the high quality care given by the center and the way it has proved to be a center of excellence. Rasem Mohd Nasser, Senior HR manager of Yiaco Medical company pointed out that such events for the Yiaco Apollo family is a part of tradition of the

Yiaco Medical Company for overall development of the employee. Dr Riaz Khan President of Indian Doctors Forum Kuwait also attended the event and praised the achievements of the center. Dr Bhaskar Gupta Medical Director

of the center elaborated the journey of the center since 2005 and how the team of hard working doctors, nurses and receptionists were able to create a name in the health care sector of Kuwait. Days of practice for the sociocultural event that showcased the

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.

world was the hallmark of the day. Everyone in the colorful attire enjoyed the well organized event. Scores of spots prizes, raffles and gifts were distributed to all the employees and their families. The program was well compeered by Dr

Ruchira Vasudeva, supported by Dr Parvin Parkar, Dr Sudha Ravendran and Dr Sushma Narayan. Stage management and event was very well managed by Suby Alexander, Anit Paul Kurias and Nagraj Burra.

EMBASSY OF THAILAND All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies and the Royal Thai Consulate-General worldwide, including eligible foreigners who apply for Visa on Arrival at designated checkpoints, will be exempted from tourist visa fee from 11 May 2010 to 31 March 2011. Such arrangement is for Tourist Visa only.

Sunday, May 9, 2010



KES holds graduation ceremony


inister of Public Health, Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, accompanied by his wife, Margaret, honoured Kuwait English School by attending a glorious graduation ceremony for Senior High School students, held in the Arraya Ballroom at the Courtyard Marriot. “Tonight is all about celebrating the success of the students here tonight. They are all approaching a critical stage in their life and I have every confidence that they will continue to excel”, said Carew in her speech, enclosed in the program. Carew was unable to attend her 22nd and final Graduation Ceremony as her husband, John, suddenly fell unwell last week. “Rhoda Elizabeth Muhmood, School Director - we have known each other for what seems like forever! What will I do next year when I do not have all the papers you give me? We have had 27 years of working together and you

have supported me through many difficulties in my personal life, as well as many pleasures. We have seen each other’s families grow up and we have shared and compared joys and sadnesses. You have always been there for me. Thank you for your unstinting support, your friendship, your generosity and your never failing energy” Carew’s farewell address said. The prestigious event commenced with a Processional by KES Concert Band, followed by a recitation of the Holy Quran by Nada Al-Haj Asad and Aamir Kothari. School Chairman, Mohammed Jassim Al-Saddah, delivered a welcome address. The Chairman was then assisted by Dr Hilal Al-Sayer to present certificates to Year 12 and 13 graduates. After a musical interlude by KES Show Band, Rakaan Huneidi, Head Boy, and Varsha Radhakrishnan, Head Girl, delivered their addresses. After a musical interlude by the Concert Band,

Maryam Qamber read her poem “Dear KES.” Dr Hilal Al-Sayer delivered a speech and then presented certificates to Year 11 graduates. After Muhmood’s address she presented some special awards, with Mohammed Al-Dahes, Director of Private Education. Sixty students

graduated with Distinction or Credit. Carew mentioned a number of events during the current academic year including Sweeney Todd and the Haiti Concert, the School Spring Fete, numerous Mufti days, Bake Sales and other fund raising activities. Earth Day, an Environmental Fashion Show, and

KMWA holds family get-together

the Prep Concert marked “Year of the Environment” celebrated at KES this year. KES became ISACK champions at netball, tabletennis, football, swimming and volleyball, in addition to Sports days, Swimming galas, Health and Fitness Week, and an inter-house Fitness Challenge.

KES students also participated in a number of International award trips to Prague, Jordan and Mutla Ridge, to Italy (MUN), geography field course in Thailand , skiing in Switzerland, on a London theatre trip, and to Dubai. “To those of you leaving us to embark on the next exciting stage of your lives, I

wish you the very best. To those of you hoping to come back to us in year 12 in September - please make sure you use what time is left so that you can fulfill your expectations”, Carew’s speech read. “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”.

Birthday Greetings


arnataka Muslim Welfare Association (KMWA), Kuwait conducted a spectacular family get-together on May 7, 2010 at Social Reform Society Auditorium Rawda. Hundreds of members from various parts of Karnataka attended the program. Multimedia presentation on Quran and science, slide presentation on ‘Importance of Social Service in Prophetic Teachings’, quiz with instant prizes to audience, Islamic songs , book stalls and raffle draws were some of the attractions of the event Hasan Yusuf Incumbent President of Karnataka Muslim Welfare Association welcomed the gathering and briefed about the activities of KMWA . Hameed Kuliyar conducted quiz and instant prizes were given to those who gave right answers. Sharafuddin B S during slide presentation on ‘Importance of Social Service in Prophetic Teachings’ said that sincerity in belief, giving the rights of God and giving the rights of human being’s are three important elements of religion. He further emphasized on third element and explained about the importance of social service in Islam. Jafar Sadik presented multimedia presentation on ‘Islam and Science’ highlighting many prophecies of Quran which is confirmed by modern scientific inventions. Children and elders alikeappreciated English Islamic songs presented through multimedia. There was raffle draw at the end of program in which first prize Kuwait Mangalore return air ticket, second prize umrah package and the third prize Lexmark all in one printer were distributed to the lucky winners. Mohammed Aslam, President of Indian Muslim Association during his concluding remarks highlighted the importance of regional association to enhance community service activities. Program started with recitation of Quran by Minhajuddin and its Kannada translation by Shahul Hameed. Humayun Pasha presented vote of thanks. Omar Salar conducted the program and snacks were distributed at the end.

appy b’day to dear Hanin. May Allah bless you throughout your life. With loving greetings from baba Ahmed Ismael, mama Shaimaa Kamal and sister Layal.


appy birthday to Aromal Sunil who turns one today! Best wishes and love from achu Sunil, amma Dhanya, uncle, Anu, Arun, Anil D B Nair, and grand-dad Baskaran.


Mar Thimotheos visits Armenian Archbishop


G Dr Mathews Mar Thimotheos, Metropolitan of UK, Europe and Africa Diocese visited Archbishop Dr Gorium Babian, Armenian Prelacy of Kuwait and Arabian Gulf Countries at the Armenian Church during his official visit

to Kuwait. During the brief discussions, both expressed the need to reinforce the bilateral relationship with Malankara Indian Orthodox Church and Armenian Orthodox Church which are constituent churches of Oriental Orthodox Churches.

The Metropolitan was accompanied by Fr Jose Mathew Vicar of St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edava, Kuwait, Associate Vicar Fr George C Varghese and Shaji Abraham, Sabha Managing Committee Member, Kuwait.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales 07:45 Extreme Hollywood 08:35 E! News 09:25 40 (More) Crimes of Fashion 11:05 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 12:00 E! News 12:50 Pretty Wild 13:40 Kendra 15:25 20 Best & Worst Celebrity Plastic... 17:10 Behind the Scenes 17:35 Behind the Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:50 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 19:15 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 19:40 Too Young To Kill 21:20 Pretty Wild 21:45 Pretty Wild 22:10 E! News 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Bank of Hollywood

00:00 House 01:00 Dawson’s Creek 02:00 Life on Mars 03:00 ER 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 The Closer 06:00 CSI New York 07:00 House 08:00 Glee 09:00 Drop Dead Diva 10:00 Life on Mars 11:00 ER 12:00 CSI New York 13:00 The Closer 14:00 Life on Mars 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Glee 17:00 Drop Dead Diva 18:00 House 19:00 CSI New York 20:00 Criminal Minds 21:00 Cold Case 22:00 Supernatural 23:00 The Ex-List

00:15 Going Ape 00:45 Human Prey 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Untamed & Uncut 03:30 Animal Cops Miami 04:25 Human Prey 05:20 Animal Cops Phoenix 06:10 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 06:35 Jockeys 07:00 Lemur Street 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:15 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 09:40 Pet Rescue 10:05 Corwin’s Quest 10:55 Miami Animal Police 11:50 Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous... 12:45 Animal Precinct 13:40 SSPCA: On the Wildside 14:05 SSPCA: On the Wildside 14:35 Safari Sisters 15:00 Safari Sisters 15:30 Dogs 101 16:25 Into the Pride 17:20 Dark Days in Monkey City 17:45 Dark Days in Monkey City 18:15 The Animals’ Guide to Survival 19:10 Orangutan Island 19:40 Going Ape 20:10 In Search of the King Cobra 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Untamed & Uncut

00:30 Blackadder II 01:00 Blackadder II 01:30 Manchild 02:00 The Life And Times Of Vivienne Vyle 02:30 Suburban Shootout 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 Doctors 11:30 Doctors 12:00 Doctors 12:30 Doctors 13:00 Doctors 13:30 Bargain Hunt 14:15 The Weakest Link 15:00 The Weakest Link 15:45 Cash In The Attic 16:15 Doctor Who 17:01 Doctor Who Confidential 17:16 Robin Hood 18:05 Casualty 18:55 Casualty 19:45 Model Gardens 20:15 Hell To Hotel

00:30 Bargain Hunt 01:15 Come Dine With Me 03:20 Chuck’s Day Off 03:45 Chuck’s Day Off 04:10 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 04:35 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 05:00 Saturday Kitchen 06:00 Living In The Sun 07:00 Saturday Kitchen 08:00 Living In The Sun 08:45 Cash In The Attic 11:00 Saturday Kitchen 13:00 Living In The Sun 13:45 Cash In The Attic 16:00 Bargain Hunt 16:45 Come Dine With Me 18:25 Chuck’s Day Off 19:40 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen

Obsessed on Super Movies 20:05 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 20:30 The Naked Chef 20:55 The Naked Chef 21:20 Come Dine With Me 23:50 Saturday Kitchen

01:00 Ma Place Au Soleil-PG15 03:00 Killing Me Softly-18 05:00 Je Crois Que Je L’aime-PG15 06:30 West Side Story-PG15 09:00 Hard Ball-PG15 11:00 Napoleon Part 1-PG 13:00 Dragon Hunters-PG 15:00 What Rats Won’t Do-PG15 17:00 All Hat-PG15 18:45 As Good As It Gets-PG15 21:00 Welcome To Sarajevo-18 23:00 I Want You-18

00:00 Deadly Women 01:00 Undercover 02:00 Prototype This 02:55 Brainiac 03:50 Nextworld 04:45 How It’s Made 05:10 Ultimate Survival 06:05 Mythbusters 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:30 Fifth Gear 07:55 Heartland Thunder 08:50 Overhaulin’ 09:45 How Does it Work? 10:10 Destroyed in Seconds 10:40 Destroyed in Seconds 11:05 Ultimate Survival 12:00 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green 12:55 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green 13:50 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green 14:45 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green 15:40 Extreme Fishing 16:35 Extreme Fishing 17:30 How Does it Work? 18:00 Extreme Fishing 19:00 River Monsters 20:00 Prototype This 21:00 Mythbusters 22:00 Tornado Road 23:00 MacIntyre: World’s Toughest Towns

00:30 Da Vinci’s Machines 01:20 The Colony 02:10 Cosmic Collisions 03:00 Nextworld 03:50 Da Vinci’s Machines 04:45 What’s That About? 05:40 How Does That Work? 06:10 Mighty Ships 07:00 Scrappy Races 08:00 The Gadget Show 08:30 The Gadget Show 09:00 Nextworld 09:55 Thunder Races 10:50 Thunder Races 11:45 Thunder Races 12:40 Thunder Races 13:35 Thunder Races 14:30 Thunder Races 15:25 Savage Planet 15:55 Eco-Tech 16:50 Mighty Ships 17:45 Engineered 18:40 How Does That Work? 19:05 How Does That Work? 19:30 What’s That About? 20:20 Space Pioneer 21:10 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:00 Future Weapons 22:50 Future Weapons 23:40 Extreme Bodies

00:00 Sonny With A Chance 00:20 Hannah Montana 00:45 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 01:10 Hannah Montana 01:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 02:00 Hannah Montana 02:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:45 Handy Manny 03:10 Lazytown 03:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 04:00 Suite Life On Deck 04:25 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 Fairly Odd Parents 08:25 Suite Life On Deck 08:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 09:15 Jonas 09:40 Hannah Montana 10:00 Sonny With A Chance 10:30 Mulan 2 12:00 Hannah Montana 12:25 Jonas 12:50 Replacements 13:15 Fairly Odd Parents 13:40 Sonny With A Chance 14:00 Suite Life On Deck 14:25 A Kind Of Magic 14:50 Phineas & Ferb 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:35 Replacements 16:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:25 Hannah Montana 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:00 Suite Life On Deck 17:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 17:50 Jonas 18:10 Hannah Montana 18:35 Sonny With A Chance 19:00 Brother Bear 2 20:35 Hannah Montana 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 Hannah Montana 22:25 Jonas 22:50 Replacements 23:15 Fairly Odd Parents 23:40 Sonny With A Chance

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 UP UP AND AWAY 13:30 Aaron Stone 14:00 Kid vs Kat 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 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 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 20:00 Zeke & Luther 20:30 Zeke & Luther 21:00 Suite Life On Deck 21:25 Suite Life On Deck

00:00 M1 Challenge 03:30 The Dudesons 04:00 Untracked 04:30 Untracked 05:00 Ticket To Ride 2009-10 05:30 Ticket To Ride 2009-10 06:00 Cannonball 8000 2007 06:30 Cannonball 8000 2007 07:00 Relentless 07:30 Relentless 08:00 Untracked 08:30 Untracked 09:00 China Invitational 2009 10:00 X Games 15 2009 11:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 2008 12:00 Very Best Of Maverick’s Big Surf 13:00 Summer Dew Tour 2009 14:00 China Invitational 2009 15:00 Untracked 15:30 Untracked 16:00 X Games 15 2009 17:00 China Invitational 2009 18:00 Ticket To Ride 2009-10 18:30 Ticket To Ride 2009-10 19:00 X Games 15 2009 20:00 Very Best Of Maverick’s Big Surf

00:00 Food Network Challenge 02:00 Food Network Challenge Special 04:00 Teleshopping 07:00 30 Minute Meals 07:50 Giada At Home 08:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 11:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 12:00 Everyday Italian 13:00 30 Minute Meals 14:00 Rescue Chef with Danny Boome 15:00 Barefoot Contessa 15:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 18:00 Everyday Italian 19:00 Barefoot Contessa 20:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 21:00 Food Network Challenge Special 23:00 Food Network Challenge

00:30 Crime Scene Psychics 00:55 Crime Scene Psychics 01:20 Ghost Lab 02:10 A Haunting 03:05 Psychic Witness 04:00 Crime Scene Psychics 04:25 Crime Scene Psychics 04:55 Crime Scene Psychics 05:20 FBI Files 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 CSU 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Impossible Heists 12:50 Fugitive Strike Force 13:40 Diagnosis: Unknown 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 CSU 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Impossible Heists 20:20 Fugitive Strike Force 21:10 Diagnosis: Unknown 22:00 Murder Shift 22:50 On The Case With Paula Zahn 23:40 Deadly Women

01:30 Ulee’s Gold 03:25 Seven Hours To Judgement 04:55 Sensations 06:30 The First Time 08:00 The Hawaiians 10:15 Ski Patrol 11:50 Mr. Accident 13:20 The Wizard Of Loneliness 15:10 Kidnapped (Epic) 16:50 The Cure 18:30 Rich Kids 20:10 The Rose Garden 22:00 Curse Of The Pink Panther 23:45 The Madness Of King George

00:00 Word Of Mouth 00:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 01:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 02:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 03:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 04:30 Treks In A Wild World 05:00 Pressure Cook

00:40 E! Investigates 01:30 E! Investigates 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 E! Investigates

05:30 Food School 06:00 Word Of Mouth 06:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 07:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 08:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 09:30 Don’t Tell My Mother... 10:30 Treks In A Wild World 11:00 Wild Rides 11:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 12:30 Bondi Rescue 13:00 Bondi Rescue 13:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 14:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 14:30 Jailed Abroad 15:30 Jailed Abroad 16:30 Positive Footprints 17:00 Wild Rides 17:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 18:30 Bondi Rescue 19:00 Bondi Rescue 19:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 20:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 20:30 Jailed Abroad 21:30 Jailed Abroad 22:30 Positive Footprints 23:00 Wild Rides 23:30 Cruise Ship Diaries

00:00 Watching Ellie 00:30 Gary Unmarried 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Entourage 03:30 Curb your Enthusiasm 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 Married with Children 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 Gary Unmarried 13:30 Yes dear 14:00 Married with Children 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 How I met your mother 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Hope & Faith 18:30 Just Shoot me! 19:00 Better Off Ted 19:30 The Office 20:00 Curb your Enthusiasm 20:30 Entourage 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:30 South park

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA Weekend (Repeat) 06:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Downsize Me 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 Popcorn 15:00 GMA Weekend Live 16:00 Ahead of The Curve 16:30 Chef’s Table 17:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 18:00 Downsize Me 19:00 The View (repeat) 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 23:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified

00:00 Exterminators-PG15 02:00 Guilty Hearts-PG15 04:00 A Plumm Summer-PG15 06:00 Bolt-FAM 08:00 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 10:00 The Man From Earth-PG15 12:00 Definitely Maybe-PG15 14:00 Every Second Counts-PG 16:00 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 18:00 Smart People-PG15 20:00 And Then Came Love-PG15 22:00 Ocean’s Thirteen-PG15

01:00 Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia03:00 Dog Pound-PG15 05:00 Fire From Below-PG15 07:00 Shifty-PG15 09:00 Monster Ark-18 11:00 Circus-PG15 13:00 Newton Boys-PG15 15:00 Monster Ark-18 17:00 Capers-PG15 19:00 Red Sands-18 21:00 Mutant Chronicles-PG15 23:00 Child’s Play-18

00:00 Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day 02:00 In And Out-PG15 04:00 Blonde And Blonder-PG15 06:00 King’s Ransom-PG15 08:00 Rat-PG 10:00 Tortilla Soup-PG15 12:00 Much Ado About Nothing-PG15 14:00 Bridal Fever-PG 16:00 Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day 18:00 The Good Life-PG15 20:00 Legally Blondes-PG 22:00 Friday After Next-18

00:00 Space Buddies-PG 02:00 The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones 04:00 Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles 06:00 The Ant Bully-FAM 08:00 Elias And The Royal Yacht-FAM 10:00 Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles 12:00 Christopher’s Dream-FAM 14:00 The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones 16:00 Justice League: The New Frontier 18:00 Little Hercules In 3-D-PG15 20:00 War Of The Buttons-PG 22:00 Christopher’s Dream-FAM

00:00 Psych 01:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 02:00 In Treatment 03:00 Saving Grace 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Repear 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 In Treatment 07:30 In Treatment 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Saving Grace 10:00 Repear 11:00 In Treatment 11:30 In Treatment 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Psych 15:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 16:00 Repear 17:00 Saving Grace 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Ashes to Ashes 20:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 21:00 Spooks 22:00 Repear 23:00 Saving Grace

00:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 01:00 Premier League World 01:30 Premier League 03:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 04:30 Premier League 06:30 Goals Goals Goals 07:00 Premier League World 07:30 Goals Goals Goals 08:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 09:00 Premier League Classics 10:00 Premier League 12:00 Barclays Premier League Preview 13:00 Premier League 15:00 Premier League Classics 17:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 18:00 Live Premier League 20:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 21:00 Premier League

02:30 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 03:30 UFC 113 Countdown 04:00 Live UFC 113 Countdown 05:00 Live UFC 113 08:00 WWE Bottomline 09:00 WWE NXT 10:00 WWE SmackDown 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 14:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 15:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 16:00 WWE Bottomline 17:00 Premier League Preview 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Live Premier League 20:00 UFC 113 23:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

01:30 The Good German-18 04:00 Stan Lee: Mosaic-PG 06:00 Australia-PG 09:00 Little Girl Lost-PG 11:00 Made Of Honor-PG15 13:00 Momma’s Man-PG15 15:00 Into The Storm-PG15 17:00 Little Girl Lost-PG 19:00 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 21:00 Meet Dave-PG 23:00 Obsessed-R

01:40 The Screening Room 02:15 A Patch Of Blue 04:00 The Screening Room 04:30 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 06:15 The Screening Room 07:00 To Have And Have Not 08:40 Masquerade 10:20 The Mouse On The Moon 11:45 Meet Me In St. Louis 13:35 Where Eagles Dare 16:05 Silk Stockings 18:00 The Asphalt Jungle 20:00 2010 22:00 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 23:45 Poltergeist

00:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 01:20 Cities of the Underworld 02:10 Ancient Discoveries 03:00 Cities of the Underworld: Prague 03:55 Gestapo 04:50 Ancient Discoveries 3 05:40 Conspiracy? 06:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 07:20 Cities of the Underworld 08:10 Ancient Discoveries 09:00 Cities of the Underworld: Prague 09:55 Nazi Britain 10:50 Ancient Discoveries 3 11:40 Conspiracy? 12:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 13:20 Cities of the Underworld 14:10 Ancient Discoveries 15:00 Cities of the Underworld: Prague 15:55 Nazi Britain 16:50 Ancient Discoveries 3 17:40 Conspiracy? 18:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 19:20 Cities of the Underworld 20:10 Ancient Discoveries 21:00 Lost Worlds 21:55 Seven Deadly Sins 22:50 Life After People 23:40 Ax Men 2

00:00 Dallas Divas & Daughters 00:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 01:00 My Celebrity Home

02:00 Split Ends 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 My Celebrity Home 10:00 Ruby: My Australian Adventure 11:00 Dallas Divas & Daughters 11:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 12:00 Peter Perfect 13:00 How Do I Look? 14:00 How Do I Look? 15:00 How Do I Look? 16:00 How Do I Look? 17:00 How Do I Look? 18:00 How Do I Look? 19:00 How Do I Look? 20:00 How Do I Look? 21:00 How Do I Look? 22:00 Clean House 23:00 Ruby: My Australian Adventure

01:00 Code 01:04 Sound System 10 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:00 Code 05:04 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Africa 10 08:45 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 30 15:00 Code Compilation 15:24 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 New 16:35 Playlist 17:00 Focus 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Code 20:04 French Only 20:45 Playlist

00:00 Secrets of Ancient China 01:00 Chef Abroad 01:30 Chef Abroad 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 Top Travel 03:30 Destination Art 04:00 Distant Shores 04:30 Distant Shores 05:00 Distant Shores 05:30 Distant Shores 06:00 Great Scenic Railways-Australia 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Swiss Railway Journeys 09:00 Swiss Railway Journeys 10:00 Great Scenic Railways-Australia 11:00 Short History of Convict Australia 12:00 Globe Trekker 12:30 Essential 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Chef Abroad 14:30 Chef Abroad 15:00 Secrets of Bangkok 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Grannies On Safari 17:30 Spring 18:00 Distant Shores 18:30 Wild At Heart 19:00 Angry Planet 19:30 Culture Shock 20:00 Tokyo Revealed 21:00 Think Green 22:00 Down the Line 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:30 Super 14 02:30 Premier League Preview Show 03:00 Guinness Premiership 05:00 ICC Cricket World 05:30 Premier League Preview Show 06:00 Premier League World 06:30 World Sport 07:00 Live NRL Premiership 09:00 V8 Supercars 09:30 Super 14 11:30 World Sport 12:00 Premier League World 12:30 Premier League Preview Show 13:00 Premier League Classics 15:30 Premier League World 17:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 18:00 Live Premier League 20:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 21:00 Premier League

00:00 AFL Premiership 02:30 Super 14 06:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 07:00 V8 Supercars 07:30 Premier League Preview 08:00 Live NRL Premiership 10:00 NRL Premiership 12:00 ICC Cricket World 12:30 Rugby League 14:30 Live Rugby League 16:30 World Sport 17:00 Futbol Mundial 17:30 Premier League Preview 18:00 Live Premier League 20:00 PGA European Tour

00:30 WWE NXT 01:30 WWE Vintage Collection

Bolt on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:05 VIP Access: Iron Man 2 21:35 Ground Zero: The Deadly Shift 23:00 Eyewitness 00:40 Alien (Director’s Cut) 02:35 Species 04:20 Pebble And The Penguin, The 05:35 Ground Zero: The Deadly Shift 07:00 Kinky Boots 08:45 VIP Access: Iron Man 2 09:15 Alien (Director’s Cut) 11:10 Species 12:50 More Of Me 14:20 Nanny’s Secret, A 15:55 Fled 17:30 Meet The Spartans 18:55 Forever Strong STAR World 20:00 American Idol 21:00 October Road 22:00 [V] Tunes 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 Kyle XY 03:00 Scrubs 03:30 Scrubs 04:00 The King Of Queens 04:30 According To Jim 05:00 East West

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

Grey’s Anatomy Samantha Who? Rules Of Engagement Australia’s Next Top Model The King Of Queens The Bold and the Beautiful Kyle XY Charlie’s Angels Grey’s Anatomy Who’s The Boss? [V] Tunes Asia Uncut Scrubs Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim 90210 Jackie Chan Adventures Mental Charlie’s Angels The Listener Who’s The Boss? Criminal Minds Jackie Chan Adventures

Granada TV 21:00 Airline (Series 6) 21:30 Motoring Madness 22:00 Young, Posh and Loaded 22:30 The Sunshine Girls 23:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2)

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

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Series 3) Stars In Their Eyes (Series 12) Prime Drama: Dirty Filthy Love 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) Warzone Coronation Street (WEEKEND OMNIBUS) Dirtbusters Revenge TV Airline (Series 6) Motoring Madness Confessions Of Forger’s Masterclass Vroom Vroom (Series 2) Hell’s Kitchen (UK Series 3) I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) Cold Blood (Series 1) Vroom Vroom (Series 2) Hell’s Kitchen (UK Series 3) I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) Cold Blood (Series 1)

Channel [V] 20:00 [V] Special 21:00 [V] Tunes 21:30 [V] Tunes 22:00 Loop 23:00 Amp Around Asia 23:30 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Special 01:00 XO 01:30 Loop

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

Backtracks Videoscope [V] Special [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Loop Amp Around Asia [V] Tunes [V] Special XO Loop Backtracks Videoscope [V] Special [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Loop Amp Around Asia [V] Tunes [V] Special XO Loop Backtracks Videoscope

Fox News 20:00 America’s News HQ Host Shannon Bream 21:00 America’s News HQ Hosts Kelly Wright and Jamie Colby 22:00 The Journal Editorial Report 22:30 Fox News Watch

23:00 The Passion: Facts, Fictions and Faith with Lauren Green 00:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Harris Faulkner 02:00 America’s News HQ hosts Rick Folbaum and Juliet Huddy 03:00 FOX Report Saturday host Harris Faulkner 04:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 05:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 06:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 07:00 The Journal Editorial Report 07:30 Fox News Watch 08:00 FOX Report Saturday 09:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 10:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 11:00 FOX Report Saturday host Julie Banderas 12:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 13:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 14:00 The Journal Editorial Report 14:30 Fox News Watch 15:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 16:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 17:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 18:00 America’s News HQ 19:00 America’s News HQ National Geographic Channel 20:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Turkish Delights 20:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Community Power

21:00 Animals Like Us -Politics 22:00 Megastructures -Air Force Transport 23:00 Monster Fish -Mongolian Terror Trout 00:00 Interpol Investigates -Missing Link 01:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Leonardo Davinci 9 01:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Man In The Iron Mask 10 02:00 Crocodiles: Under The Skin 03:00 Monkey Thieves -Rising Forces 11 03:30 Hayden Turner’s Wildlife Chall -Wrinkled Lipped Bats 8 04:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Turkish Delights 04:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Community Power 05:00 Rescue Ink -Rebels With A Cause 1 06:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Leonardo Davinci 9 06:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : Man In The Iron Mask 10 07:00 Monster Fish -Mongolian Terror Trout 08:00 Cruise Ship Diaries -Honeymoon Season 1 09:00 DogTown -New Lives S2-4 10:00 Air Crash Investigation -Shattered In Seconds 11:00 Monster Fish -Mongolian Terror Trout 12:00 Wild Africa -Eye Of The Leopard 14:00 Inside -Inside- Narco State 15:00 Locked Up Abroad -Conned In Quito 16:00 Taiwan To The World -Taiwan to the World : Hip Hop Nation

Sunday, May 9, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Sunday 09-05-2010 Airlines Flt Route Royal Jordanian 802 Amman Ariana 405 Kabul/Dubai Jazeera 263 Beirut Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Kuwait 544 Cairo Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain 241 Amman Jazeera Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 513 Sharm El Sheikh DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha 201 Dubai Falcon Jazeera 503 Luxor Jazeera 527 Alexandria Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok British 157 London Jazeera 481 Sabiha Kuwait 206 Islamabad Kuwait 382 Delhi Jazeera 531 Assiut Iran Air 615 Shahre Kord Kuwait 302 Mumbai 332 Trivandrum Kuwait Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah 286 Chittagong Kuwait Qatari 132 Doha Iran Air 603 Shiraz Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Iran Aseman 6801 Ahwaz Jazeera 425 Bahrain Falcon 203 Dubai Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 113 Abu Dhabi 165 Dubai Jazeera Jazeera 447 Doha Egypt Air 610 Cairo Kuwait 672 Dubai Oman Air 645 Muscat Kuwait 774 Riyadh United A/L 982 Washington Dc Dulles Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Royal Jordanian 800 Amman Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Jazeera 257 Beirut Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 512 Tehran Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Jazeera 173 Dubai Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai 215 Bahrain Gulf Air Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudi Arabian A/L 510 Riyadh Arabia 125 Sharjah 367 Deirezzor Jazeera Jazeera 239 Amman Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 511 Sharm El Sheikh Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Kuwait 166 Paris/Rome Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 618 Doha Kuwait 786 Jeddah Jazeera 177 Dubai Kuwait 744 Dammam Kuwait 614 Bahrain Kuwait 674 Dubai 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi Singapore A/L Kuwait 102 New York/London Kuwait 552 Damascus Srilankan 267 Colombo/Dammam Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Oman Air 647 Muscat Wataniya Airways 612 Sabiha Middle East 402 Beirut Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Rovos 081 Baghdad Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Kuwait 172 Frankfurt Qatari 136 Doha Jazeera 459 Damascus United A/L 981 Bahrain Indian 981 Chennai/Ahmedabad Jazeera 429 Bahrain Safi A/W 215 Kabul Jazeera 449 Doha Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 185 Dubai India Express 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore KLM 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Pakistan 205 Lahore Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Sunday 09/05/2010 Airlines Flt Route 607 Luxor Egypt Air India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode Indian 994 Mumbai/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Jazeera 530 Assiut 406 Dubai/Kabul Ariana Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi 139 Doha Qatari Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Royal Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 112 Abu Dhabi 422 Bahrain Jazeera Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus 256 Beirut Jazeera British 156 London Iran Air 614 Shahre Kord Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 171 Frankfurt 671 Dubai Kuwait Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 561 Amman Arabia 122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Kuwait 773 Riyadh Kuwait 117 New York Kuwait 511 Tehran Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Iran Air 602 Shiraz Iran Aseman 6802 Ahwaz Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Falcon 204 Baghdad Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Jazeera 172 Dubai Jazeera 636 Aleppo Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Jazeera 510 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 366 Deirezzor Jazeera 238 Amman Kuwait 103 London Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Oman Air 646 Muscat Kuwait 551 Damascus Royal Jordanian 801 Amman Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai United A/L 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 617 Doha Saudi Arabian A/L 503 Medinah/Jeddah Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 613 Bahrain Kuwait 743 Dammam Jazeera 458 Damascus Rovos 082 Baghdad Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudi Arabian A/L 511 Riyadh Jazeera 184 Dubai Jazeera 448 Doha Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 434 Mashad Kuwait 283 Dhaka Jazeera 266 Beirut Kuwait 361 Colombo 062 Dubai Fly Dubai Singapore A/L 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Kuwait 343 Chennai Kuwait 351 Cochin Srilankan 267 Colombo Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Kuwait 381 Delhi Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 203 Lahore Kuwait 301 Mumbai Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 502 Luxor United A/L 981 Washington Dc Dulles Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta


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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for a decent Christian or Hindu family/bachelor in Abbassiya. Call 97980907. (C 2230) Sharing accommodation available for decent executive bachelor/couples to share with Keralite Christian family in a 2 BHK CA/C flat, near Shifa Al-Jazeera medical center, opp. Farwaniya police station, from May last or 1st June onwards. Contact: 55958189. (C 2231) 9-5-2010 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)

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 H2, 2003, 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)


Required live-in maid for Keralite family. Please contact: 99509436. (C 2234) 9-5-2010 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

for employment opportunities, excellent communication skills, Autocad proficient, visa transferable. Tel: 99972119, email: (C 2221) 6-5-2010


Indian male, 41 years, BA (economics) diploma in HRD management, fluent in English, Arabic, Hindu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, can bring all categories of human resource from India, needs any official job. Tel: 94986733 email: (C 2229) 9-5-2010 Young male, first class degree holder in mechanical engineering, eagerly waiting

No: 14723

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

MISCELLANEOUS Coaching available for BBA/MBA/EMBA, Preston University Islamabad. Admissions open: May 15, 2010. Examination center: Kuwait. Contact: 67656460/66078041. Email: (C 2233) Teaching Knowledge Test, classes available for TKT. Duration: May 14 - June 19, 2010, 3 days a week. Instructor: Native speaker. Course ends with a certificate from Cambridge University. Call: 67656460/66078041. Email: (C 2232) 5-9-2010



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You find it easy to work with other people and you tend to pour a lot of interest into those around you. This may not mean you are working, but it could mean you have involved yourself with some neighborhood cleanup program or some other community works. Your home and surroundings reflect your ability to express yourself in light. With your powerful spirit, you enjoy your strong emotions and have an active social life as well. You are very skilled at working with psychology and the hidden recesses of the mind and may be quite helpful. You would make an excellent psychologist and teacher. You may feel the need to care for others perhaps on a public rather than private level. A volunteer service may be in order now. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Yours is the most practical

of environments. You can manipulate every idea or situation and put it to good use. Others value you for your ability to make practical decisions and you may receive compliments along those lines today. There will be opportunities to do some creative word play with friends or relatives in coming up with some new job opportunities or in giving advice to someone that would like a new job idea. Later today, you might decide to walk up or drive over to the nearest golf course, amusement club or park to meet your friends. You could be a bit restless this afternoon and may desire some fun time away from home. Be careful in the choices you make. If you cannot remain objective, remain detached.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Being four more than fifty. 4. A master's degree in library science. 8. A unit of pressure. 11. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 12. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 13. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 14. A city in northern India. 16. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 17. An associate degree in applied science. 18. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 19. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 21. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 24. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 25. Being ten more than one hundred eighty. 26. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 32. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 33. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 34. (architecture) Forming or resembling an arch. 37. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 39. (South African) A camp defended by a circular formation of wagons. 41. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 44. Rare (usually fatal) brain disease (usually in middle age) caused by an unidentified slow virus. 45. An narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family. 48. United States liquid unit equal to 4 quarts or 3.785 liters. 49. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 50. In or of the present month. 51. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 52. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 53. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 54. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 55. A radioactive element of the actinide series. DOWN 1. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 2. English prelate noted for his pessimistic sermons and articles (18601954). 3. Communicated in the form of words. 4. A polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and tungsten in its properties. 5. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 6. Flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes. 7. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 8. Jordan's port. 9. Hard strong durable yellowish-brown wood of teak trees. 10. An independent group of closely related Chadic languages spoken in the area between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic languages. 15. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 20. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 22. A person forced to flee from home or country. 23. A small cake leavened with yeast. 27. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 28. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 29. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 30. Call upon in supplication. 31. Deciduous round-headed Asiatic tree widely grown in mild climates as an ornamental for its heart-shaped leaves and fragrant yellow-green flowers followed by hanging clusters of fleshy orange-red berries. 35. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 36. A genus of Pyralidae. 38. Molten rock in the earth's crust. 39. A beverage made by steeping tea leaves in water. 40. Type genus of the Ranidae. 42. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 43. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 46. A change in the electrical properties of the skin in response to stress or anxiety. 47. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You resist change and resent others prying into your personal affairs. You prefer things unchanged but you also know that people, including yourself, need to learn and grow. Self-analysis is an activity that you have learned to enjoy as you have seen yourself achieve more and more accomplishments and attained goals than ever before. You may decide it is time for new goals. Make sure you continue to insert a few short-term goals with the long-range goals. The short-term goals help to build up confidence. You will help a friend this afternoon with some job they have taken upon themselves. You find a creative environment in which to enjoy friends this evening. Perhaps a comedy club or a dinner playhouse is in the works.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You and your family may decide there is time this weekend to take a trip. This revelation may find one or two of you really shuffling around in order to leave at an early hour. You develop a knack for organizing things and people, as a sense of practicality takes hold. A new piece of exercise equipment could be purchased today. This afternoon you will be able to spend some relaxing and enjoyable time with loved ones. You may feel unusually affectionate and physical this evening. Perhaps you will enjoy a camping trip before the weather becomes too hot and find the stars overwhelmingly beautiful as you sit beside your sweetheart. Whether you are with family, friends or with your sweetheart, this evening will be pleasant. Leo (July 23-August 22) You are apt to spend a great deal of time with co-workers and people apart from work this day. Some type of competitive sports or team effort among co-workers is available. You have unwavering support from family members for whatever future plans are in question. Everything conspires to reveal you at your most elegant, particularly in social situations. Innocent flirtations, a movie or theater matinee, or perhaps a stroll through an art gallery is favorably indicated. Watch your budget, but have fun. Chances are also good that you and your partner may be able to work through some things that have been going on under the surface. The mellow feeling this evening is perfect for easing any type of difficult relationship.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are so business oriented; you and your friends could get together when you are not in a work situation and agree to invest in some project. Plan together and set up the process toward a money making adventure. A temporary program for this project would be best. The success, if it were to be kept short-term, is very likely; and most positive. You are feeling good. This will rub off on the folks around you and you will all have a good time; no matter what the activity. This is the right time to throw a party. This time brings positive thinking, mental stability, good feelings, relaxation and opportunity. This is a good time to make long-range plans, take advantage of further education, take a longdistance trip, or take up philosophy or religious studies.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Real insight into your own inner workings or psychology could surface today and in a manageable form. You may be in the mood for deep and penetrating conversations or thoughts. You may be very eloquent or forceful in speaking or communicating. People will understand just what you mean. A new job idea could be to hire teachers or instructors that would train other business employees a number of technical subjects. This might include software programs, technical style and sales techniques. Find ways in which to nourish another person’s self-esteem today. In turn, you will find your own selfesteem improves. Teach a child to respect their own ability to create positive results from their actions. Tonight, you enjoy time with a loved one.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your timing should

be perfect today, those around you will find you to be most intuitive. Communicating with neighbors, friends and family is the focus today. You could find yourself writing letters and making phone calls. Conflicts can be settled through your intelligent comprehension. You can be most persuasive. You have needs and you sense the needs of others; fitting the two together makes everything work very well. This is perhaps a good time to catch up on your reading as you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts of others. Selling property, collecting money and involving yourself in some sports activity are all favored today. There are excellent interactions with loved ones tonight. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Creative endeavors promote lots of attention and monetary rewards. This may mean you are showing off your talent in an art show or fair of some sort. You could show great sales ability and meet someone new in the process. This is a good day for ideas. You may receive some recognition or special attention regarding your particular skills and abilities. Friends enjoy your company today as much as you enjoy theirs. You could be out enjoying some sports related activity with your friends later today. This evening is a good time to spend with a loved one. Emotions are up and you may even find yourself pondering a bit on the meaning of life. You feel at one with your situation. Generally, this could be a potentially satisfying time.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Elevate


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

your intake of foods or supplements high in vitamin B in order to stay alert and clear. You will want to feel good about yourself and the way you do things, this addition to your diet will certainly help. This is the time of the year to get outside and enjoy nature. Create some fun opportunities to do just that open air and having fun with loved ones can lift everyone’s spirit. Work, health and diet results provide a lot of satisfaction as a new life phase begins for you. You could be most persuasive with others and expressive in your speech. An exciting relationship is worth your time today. General good feeling and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. You may decide to cook up a new recipe this evening. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may wonder about the motivations of a friend today. Do not close your mind to friend’s quirks or way of doing things. You should try your best to communicate your needs and desires to friends and relatives so as to avoid misunderstandings. You create positive results from a negative situation today. You enjoy and value your own life situation at this time. A friend will bring you memorable moments of laughter and good conversation. Sympathy and understanding are emotional qualities that take on greater importance. It’s wisdom, not knowledge that counts most. Sports or some competitive activity with family or friends is best engaged in now. Help an elderly person learn some gentle exercises in order to keep tone in their muscles. Pisces (February 19-March 20) After the chores this morning you look for ways to enjoy your work-free day. You seek deep, meaningful experiences that are photographic moments to ponder. A friend or relative may give you an update of their life or drama just to hear your reaction and comments. You enjoy probing and understanding the inner, intimate and philosophical side of life and others like to know your opinion. You can be very helpful without really realizing it. Today is anything but stressful as you enjoy your friends in some group play or competition. You usually attract positive people into your life. Your circle of friends just keeps enlarging and brings about a great deal of pleasure. You could find that you are appreciated more than you thought.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital

POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

24874330/9 CLINICS













Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb














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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290 Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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Mel B

Sunday, May 9, 2010

soaks her hair in sweat

he former Spice Girl admits she only washes her tresses twice a week as she doesn’t like to put too many products on her locks, but does treat herself to an overnight conditioner which she claims works wonders. She said: “I only wash my hair twice a week and do a deep conditioning overnight mask that makes my scalp sweat, so you get all your natural oils back.” Mel


- who raises three daughters with husband Stephen Belafonte recently shaved one side of her head as she wanted to be like the rest of the family. She said: “All my kids were getting Mohawks and I was like, ‘I wanna join in!’ “Mel is not the only star who avoids over washing her hair. Camila Alves only shampoos her locks once a week as partner Matthew McConaughey prefers it

like that. The mother-of-two said: “Matthew likes it as natural as possible. I try to keep my hair as simple as I can, so it can do its own thing. I try to wash my hair once a week. People think you have to wash your hair all the time, but, actually, you need to let your hair produce its own oils and be healthy on its own. I try to not use a lot of chemicals.”

Diane Kruger is the new face of CK he stunning actress will front the campaign for the fashion house’s new fragrance, Beauty, and will appear in both the print and television advertising. The campaign will debut later this year. Diane showed her loyalty to Calvin Klein by wearing a stunning white gown by the designer to the Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Diane will follow in the footsteps of Kate Moss, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson, who have all fronted campaigns for the brand. As well as the Calvin Klein adverts, last year it was announced Diane had become the latest face of L’Oreal Paris. Talking about her new role, Diane said “I admire the brand, not only


for the quality and innovation of its products, but also because it represents diversity and excellence across the world, values which are very close to my heart. I am, of course, also delighted to be joining the other L’Oreal Paris Spokespeople, an extremely talented, widelyadmired group of people.” Vianney Derville, International General Manager of L’Oreal Paris, said of Diane’s appointment: “A highly accomplished actress, Diane Kruger has won us over with her personality, natural grace and elegance.” Diane will represent the brand’s major innovations in hair care, hair color and make-up, in particular its latest foundation, Mat’Morphose.

Katie Price chooses baby over botox

J Lo doesn’t want to be a size zero

he model is trying for a baby with husband Alex Reid and has ditched the wrinkle-smoothing injections after a doctor advised her the treatment could be harmful to expectant ladies. A source said: “Katie was gutted but she didn’t want to take any chances. She was the one who asked whether it was safe to have the injections when pregnant. When the doctor said it wasn’t advisable Katie said, ‘No way.’ “ The 31-year-old star visited a beauty parlor in Surrey, South East England, in preparation for her birthday party on May 22. But instead of her normal skin-smoothing regime, the brunette beauty - who already has three children, Harvey, seven, Junior, four, and two-year-old Princess Tiaamii from previous relationships - opted for more natural procedures. The source added to The Sun newspaper: “Instead she had a massage and a normal facial for an hour and a half. She is desperate for a baby after coming off the pill at Christmas. She keeps saying she is worried she will have loads of wrinkles at her birthday party. But deep down all she wants is to get pregnant so vanity has to be put to one side.” Last month, Katie sparked speculation she was expecting after pulling out of the Virgin London Marathon - a 26 mile charity run after being advised by doctors.


he singer-and-actress - famed for her perfectly curvy figure - likes to keep her diet varied and will indulge in the occasional treat but knows she can’t do it all the time if she wants to maintain her enviable body. She said: “Just like anybody I try to watch what I eat - there’s no big science to it, which is what sucks. “One of the good tricks is to have a goal - for me it may be getting in shape for a video shoot. The other is portion control. I love to eat everything and you pretty much can - a little piece of something fattening is not going to kill you. It’s when you eat the whole box that it’s going to kill you.” Jennifer - who has two-year-old twins, Max and Emme, with husband Marc Anthony - also says she’s never felt pressure to be a size zero and has always been confident about her sexy curves. She said: “I was always very comfortable with who I was. I’ve never looked at myself in a negative way.” When Jennifer first became a worldwide star, a lot of attention was given to her shapely behind but she insists she never paid too much attention to the stories, even when it was rumored she had insured it for $1 million. The ‘Back-up Plan’ beauty added to Marie Claire magazine: “I thought that story was funny. In fact, we traced that story, and that was a rumor that started in London. “But I was honestly at that time was in such a work fog I didn’t even notice. Now that I’ve had time to sit I appreciate and love everything in a different way, and I think that’s because of the kids too. I just think of life in a different way: back then it was just about the grind.”


Mila Kunis’ friends think she is a ‘hobbit’ he actress - who measures in at a mere 5 ft 4ins - gets constantly teased for being short but insists she is taller than most people think. She said: “My friends call me hobbit. I come across shorter than I am. People will say, ‘You’re not five foot four.’ And I’ll say, ‘People, I know my height.’ I’m constantly winning bets - hundreds of dollars.” Hobbits are the diminutive characters from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ books and films. Mila - who voices the character Meg Griffin in animated TV series ‘Family Guy’ - has also denied claims she has had plastic surgery, insisting if she were to go under the knife she wouldn’t be embarrassed to admit it. She added in an interview with the June issue of Esquire magazine, out this week: “Where are my curves? If I were going to get plastic surgery, I’d get some real work done.” The 26-year-old star is slowly becoming aware of the internet phenomenon of “Meg porn” - which depicts the cartoon character in various compromising positions. The ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ actress said: “I was at the Emmys last year, and I was in a really ladylike dress, and I felt like a lady, and I opened my phone and someone had sent me these pictures of Meg getting it on with the dog. That was my introduction to Meg porn.” — BangShowbiz


Aniston gorges on infant food he actress wanted to shift some weight before she flew out to Hawaii to shoot new movie ‘Just Go With It’ so enlisted the help of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who recommended The Baby Food Cleanse eating plan, which involves 14 portions of pureed food a day followed by a healthy adult dinner. It is said to have worked for Jennifer - who has previously admitted to enjoying dairy, coffee and wine - as she has lost 7lbs. A source told Britain’s Grazia magazine: “While in Europe last month, Jen had relaxed her usually strict diet regime. She knew she had been indulging, and seeing as her upcoming role required her to wear lots of little dresses, she wanted to be at her physical peak.” Tracy - whose celebrity clients


include Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox Arquette - is very impressed with Jennifer’s progress. She said: “She’s doing really well. Nobody says they only want one specific thing changed. They want the whole toning package.” The diet includes fruit smoothies, pureed oatmeal and pears with cinnamon, soups containing dandelion greens and a dinner of lean meats and vegetables and Tracy swears by the eating plan. A source said: “Tracy is all about ‘clean eating’, which means no oils, spices or salt. With ‘baby eating’, the food is easily processed by the body. Tracy believes efficient digestion equals quick weight loss. But this is a temporary diet for shifting a few pounds quickly, before going back to a normal, healthy eating plan.”


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Christina Aguilera named WFP hunger ambassador rammy-award winning singer Christina Aguilera was named an ambassador against hunger on Friday by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), and said that having a child of her own had pushed her into action. “A child dies every 6 seconds of hunger, which is a huge statistic for me,” Aguilera told Oprah Winfrey, announcing her appointment on Winfrey’s popular TV talk show. “After having my own child, I just had to be a part of it and do something about it and help change that situation,” she said. Aguilera, 29, whose hit songs include “Beautiful” and “Genie in a Bottle”, has a twoyear-old son with her music executive husband Jordan Bratman. Last year, she traveled to Guatemala to see WFP’s programs for maternal and child health programs, and in January she took part in the “Hope for Haiti” celebrity telethon that raised more than $60 million for earthquake disaster relief. Aguilera described her work with WFP as a life-changing experience and said she plans to go to Haiti soon: “I want to check on the situation there and help to deliver food. I want to visit orphanages and schools there and try to do my part in helping.” Josette Sheeran, executive director of WFP, said Aguilera had a passion and dedication to hungry children that “will make her a wonderful champion in the fight against hunger. — Reuters



‘Babies’ gorgeously captures family bond he babies you see in the movies and on TV are total divas. California law requires it: Infants need a doctor’s note and legal permits before they can be stars. They’re only allowed on camera for 20 minutes a day. They must be accompanied by both a nurse and studio teacher - both paid for by the producers. The babies also need to be at least 15 days old. But the filmmakers behind “Babies,” a documentary in theaters say they didn’t have to worry about all that. They cast the film’s four international stars while they were still in the womb and filmed them unobtrusively in their natural environments, like “a wildlife film of human babies,” says producer Amandine Billot. Still, the film may have violated California’s tough child labor laws, since one of its young stars hails from the Golden State. The law is clear - it applies to any kind of film production using children in the state, including documentaries, says Toni Casala, founder of, an online resource for parents and producers who want kids on camera. Presented without narration or dialogue, “Babies” follows four infants from around the world from birth until their first steps. Viewers see Ponijao and her traditional life among the Himba culture in Namibia; Bayarjargal, the son of nomads in Mongolia; Mari, growing up in the heart of Tokyo; and Hattie, a baby girl in San Francisco. Director Thomas Balmes says he wanted to show the universality of parental love and children’s development, despite geographical and cultural differences. “We needed a common environment in terms of love and affection and time,” Balmes says. “The message of the film is as long as you get that, this is what is crucial and what makes babies grow well.” The French director says he shot most of the footage himself, trying to disturb his subjects as little as possible, and often shooting alone with only natural light. Yet if someone complains about “Babies” to the state labor commissioner’s office, an investigation could be launched, says staff attorney David Gurley. He declined to speak specifically about “Babies” because he has not seen the film, but Gurley confirmed that state law would typically apply to all types of productions in California that include minors, including Hattie. The labor commissioner’s office can inter-


vene in non-complying productions at any point, even after a film is released. Violators could be subject to fines ranging from $50 to $5,000 per violation, Gurley says, adding the labor commissioner’s office could also “preclude a filmmaker from getting a permit to film in California in the future.” James Schamus, CEO of “Babies” distributor Focus Features, expressed confidence that no laws were broken in the making of the film. “Although Focus was not involved in the actual filming of Babies, we have spoken at length with the filmmakers and with Hattie’s family, as well as with labor law experts, and we can state categorically the filmmakers more than adhered to both the letter and spirit of the law,” Schamus said in a statement. Although state labor law is mostly clear, some terms are not, such as whether a minor needs to be considered an employee. That determination is made on a case by case basis, Gurley says. The office might also consider the commercialism of a project when determining if a production violates child labor laws, though many noncommercial appearances are also covered under these laws. Billot and Balmes maintain they did nothing illegal because the babies in their film weren’t actually working. “California’s child labor laws only apply to employees, and Hattie was never our employee in that way,” Billot says. “Just as filmmakers who produce nature films seek to blend in with their environment, we set out to create a wildlife film of human babies by being as unobtrusive as possible. In short, we quietly observed and recorded the babies’ activities.” Hattie’s dad initially had reservations about the presence of cameras and he filmed some of his daughter’s scenes himself. “We didn’t want the shooting to interfere with our lives,” the father says in the film’s production notes. “We wanted Hattie to be able to just be a baby.” The infant is first seen being treated in a hospital shortly after her home birth. Other scenes show Hattie considering the family cat and peeling a banana by herself. “The artistic vision of ‘Babies’ was simply to film Hattie as she went about her normal, everyday routine without interfering with her environment,” producer Billot says. “We wanted to capture her daily interactions with the world around her.” — AP

Host Oprah Winfrey chats with singer Christina Aguilera (left) during “The Oprah Winfrey Show” live from Radio City Music Hall, Friday, May 7, 2010 in New York. Winfrey was also celebrating the 10th anniversary of ‘O’ The Oprah Magazine. — AP

A R Rahman gives Indian music a high-tech spin ndian film score composer A R Rahman says he’s looking forward to bringing East and West together with his upcoming “The A R Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour.” “We wanted to get the best of both worlds-the finest team from America and the soul of the music and the traditions of India and all that stuff,” Rahman told about the tour, which begins June 11 at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island and will play at least 20 shows in North America and Europe. Staged by American creative director Amy Tinkham (Madonna, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Paul McCartney), the twoand-a-half-hour show will feature a cast of musicians, dancers and acrobats, plus changing sets and an extensive video production. “What is added is a new dimension which


nobody has ever seen, the Asian audience has never seen,” added Rahman, who won Academy and Grammy awards for his 2008 “Slumdog Millionaire” soundtrack. “Normally what happens is we go and sing and there’s some dancers and some kind of visual effects. But this one is so integrated, and every (musical) bar and every second is integrated with technology and stuff which moves around, and it’s done with so much passion.” Rahman himself will be playing keyboards and singing during the show, as well as speaking to the audience to explain the meanings and creation of the songs. “We’re looking at a universal appeal to this,” he said. “There’s some songs in English, of course, but even for those that aren’t you can still come and enjoy the musicality and the whole

culture and colorfulness and the vibrancy of Indian stuff. That’s all going to be there.” Though the show is keeping him busy, Rahman is still composing film soundtracks, and also has started work on a non-film album of original songs that will target the North American markets he conquered with “Slumdog Millionaire” and the single “Jai Ho.” “It’s a work-in-progress,” Rahman said. “I’ve had three or four sessions already. The music is probably an extension of what ‘Jai Ho’ did, but going more friendly in terms of English audiences. It’s retaining the same kind of magic, hopefully.” Rahman said he’s been approached about collaborations by “most” of the artists he joined for the “We Are the World: 25 for Haiti” single earlier this year, but “I’m taking it easy. I want to finish my album first.” — Reuters


‘Iron Man 2’ does not soar quite so high ots of things get blown up and torn apart in “Iron Man 2,” as you would expect from any selfrespecting blockbuster kicking off the summer movie season. The magnitude of destruction far exceeds that of its predecessor - from rows of cars to armies of drones to Tony Stark’s cliff-top Shangri-La and includes repeated instances of characters walking away from a massive fireball without looking back. ‘Cause looking back is for wimps. But that is not all that gets obliterated here. The substance of the original “Iron Man,” the brain and the soul that set it apart from the typical seasonal fare and made it one of the best films of 2008, also have been blown to bits. Tony Stark had purpose back then, and despite the outlandish fantasy of his Marvel Comics-inspired story, as a person he had a believable arc. Crafting the high-tech suit and transforming himself into a superhero gave this selfish industrialist and self-destructive playboy a sense of drive, a reason for being beyond just his whims and indulgences. Here, he is purely arrogant again, with some glimmers of mortality and daddy issues. And Robert Downey Jr, so irresistibly verbal and quick on his feet in the first film (and in pretty much every film he’s ever made), seems to be on autopilot. Sure, he’s got a way with a one-liner, and his comic timing is indisputable, but he’s done this song-and-dance routine before and seems rather bored with it. Then again the character and the sequel itself are less


defined this time. Narratively, “Iron Man 2” is a mess. Director Jon Favreau, working from a script by Justin Theroux, throws in too many subplots, too many characters - and what a waste of that cast, actors who can really act, like Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle and Samuel L Jackson in an eyepatch as Nick Fury, offering a bit of foreshadowing to “The Avengers” film. (For more Marvel movie geekery, stick around until the end of the credits.) As we recall from the last line of the first film, the whole world knows that Stark is indeed Iron Man. Now the government (led by Garry Shandling as a sniveling senator) wants him to turn over the suit for the military’s benefit, and his best friend, Lt Col James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Cheadle in place of Terrence Howard) can only do so much to protect him. Meantime, there is a new foe in the form of Russian bad guy Ivan Vanko (Rourke, buried beneath tattoos and a Boris-and-Natasha accent), who has built a suit of his own in his dank Siberian abode, complete with electrified tentacles; sadly, he and fellow acting heavyweight Downey spend most of their screen time apart. In no time, Stark’s rival, Justin Hammer (Rockwell, turning on the smarm) snaps up Vanko and asks him to build an army of Iron Men for himself. Then there’s the battle Stark is waging internally, as he reflects on his own weakening body and the memories of a scientist father (John Slattery, glimpsed in old movies) who didn’t love him

enough. And speaking of love, “Iron Man 2” also tries to find time for the blossoming relationship between Stark and his right-hand woman, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), while dangling the possibility of a dalliance with a mysterious new assistant (Scarlett Johansson). So yeah, there is a lot going on here. The enemy, the focal point of the whole movie, for that matter, remains murky, making you realize about halfway through that it is

unclear exactly what “Iron Man 2” is supposed to be about. Favreau seemed to handle all the expensive toys effortlessly the first time, an exciting discovery given his previous work on smaller films like “Made” and “Elf.” The strain shows now in a lack of momentum and a reliance on generically bombastic action sequences. (The final showdown looks like several blips of light, chasing each other around the skies above New York’s Flushing Meadows.) —AP

In Vietnam film, US My Lai killer returns to apologize n Le Dan’s cinematic vision, a tormented former US army lieutenant returns to Vietnam to personally apologize for organizing the wartime massacre at My Lai. Dan, 82, has taken the real-life apology which William Calley made in the United States last year and gone a step further with his latest production, “Nhung La Thu Tu Son My (Letters from Son My)”, which features some survivors of the massacre. “I think this is the most important film of my life,” Dan, one of the country’s most prominent directors, said in a telephone interview from southern Vietnam. He has finished filming and is finalizing production with hopes of a Vietnamese premiere in September. Calley was the only US soldier convicted over the killings at My Lai and other hamlets in an area Vietnamese call Son My. It was one of the darkest moments of the Vietnam War and helped turn US public opinion against the conflict. The exact toll of the massacre on March 16, 1968 was disputed but US estimates suggested up to 504 citizens were killed, a figure accepted by Dan. Old men, women and children-all unarmed-were murdered in the slaughter by Calley’s platoon, which other US soldiers tried to stop. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley said last August. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.” Dan, who has made about 45 films and television shows during his four-decade career, said his desire to make the film was sparked not just by Calley’s apology but by Vietnamese reaction to it. Pham Thanh Cong, a survivor of the killings who directs a small museum at My Lai, said last year that he welcomed Calley’s apology, although it came too late. “I want him to come back... and see things here,” Cong said. Calley has not returned to Vietnam but in Dan’s film he does, as the character Peter Cage. “He was obsessed. He woke up in the middle of the night after nightmares about the killings in Son My. He


decided to come to Vietnam to apologize himself,” Dan says. Cage sends emails to his wife every day to convey the emotions he feels on the return trip. “In the film, he is pitiful. But no one can hate him,” Dan says. “I found information on him on the Internet, in the media. I think my character in the film is about 70 or 80 percent of the real William Calley.” Many of the hundreds of people in the film are from My Lai. A few, like the museum director Cong, survived the killings. “I felt very moved having a role in this film because my family members and my neighbors were the victims of the massacre,” says Cong, who saw his mother and broth-

Film director Le Dan is pictured at his home in Ho Chi Minh City. — AFP ers killed at My L ai. On screen, Cong heads a museum, as he does in real life. “In my role, I call for agreement and forgiveness,” he says. Dan, many of whose other films featured Vietnamese wartime heroes, said he would have liked Calley to be part of his latest production but there was not enough time to arrange that. “I think I will get in contact with him later,” said the director. Shooting of the 95minute movie took place between December and late February in My L ai and surrounding Quang Ngai province as well as Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. Dan said he and his friends are funding the production themselves at a cost of less than 10 billion dong (516,000 dollars). He said he settled on Frenchman Gerard Saub, 65, to play Cage after he could not find any Americans in Vietnam who fit the part. —AFP



Sunday, May 9, 2010


Destination weddings:

Package deals for runaway brides ere comes the bride, there goes the bride, along with the groom and a small group of family and friends. Many are opting to tie the knot far away from home and the hassles of the traditional catered affair. And travel experts say whether couples choose a beach in the Caribbean or a castle in Spain, combining wedding, reception and honeymoon can be kinder to their nerves and their wallet. “It’s one stop shopping! Wedding and honeymoon and no problems with tuxes, caterers and flowers,” said Jeff Krudop of Travel Leaders in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “I would say about 50 percent of our leisure business is somehow related to a destination wedding or vow renewal.” Krudop says it’s a niche market that keeps growing. “It’s most popular with young couples in their 20s and 30’s who


with family and friends,” she explained. Celebrities have fueled the trend, according to Lane. Tom Cruise wed Katie Holmes at a castle in Italy; Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner married in Turks and Caicos. Then there’s the money factor. Unlike traditional receptions, which might have to accommodate 250 guests, destination weddings are attended only by family and a few close friends. “Often brides cover the reception and guests pay their own way,” Lane explained. “And guests can contribute to offset the costs, or pay for extras for the couple, like a spa treatment or a candlelit dinner,” she said. For some couples, nothing says romance like a shipboard ceremony. “Norwegian Cruise Line performs more than 400 weddings annually,” according to spokesperson Courtney Recht. And there’s a

want to make a big vacation with family and friends. It’s also very popular with repeat marriages.” He said Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean remain the most popular destinations, although recently more clients are requesting Europe or South America. Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean has been specializing in destination weddings for 30 years. “We began concept of combining wedding and honeymoon in one,” said spokesperson Vanessa Lane. “We coined the term ‘weddingmoon’ because as soon as the wedding is over, honeymoon begins.” Lane, citing a market report in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons magazine, said the destination weddings market has seen a 400 percent increase in last ten years. “It’s the ease of having everything included, of getting away

Norwegian wedding planner at the ready to handle every detail. The cruise line offers package deals for shipboard weddings, as well as for those held on dry land, and from ports in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. If you’re not quite there yet, Norwegian will provide a consultant to mastermind your proposal at sea. If you’ve been there and done that, it will help you renew your vows. But weddings are the mainstay. “Couples are seeking non-traditional weddings,” said Marcia Grant, a travel agent with Travel Leaders in North Oaks, Minnesota. “Less stress, more memorable, all-inclusive.” And weddings fortified with a little luck. “The dates that couples are most interested in now are 10/10/10 and 1/1/11,” Grant added. — Reuters

Cashing in around Vegas:

By Karen Samelson ot much of a gambler? Finding outdoorsy things to do within a short drive of Las Vegas is a safe bet. Going for a hike can mean more than strolling down the Strip, taking in the extravagantly colorful sights engineered by humankind over the last half-century. Going for a hike also can mean walking past awe-inspiring red geologic formations carved by nature over millions of years, since Las Vegas also makes a great home base for adventures that won’t put your bank account in jeopardy. Some parks are close enough that you can be back on the Strip in time to catch a Cirque du Soleil show, though if the nightlife keeps you from rising early, it may be wise to book a 10 pm showing. Spring is an especially good time to explore the area, before the heat makes hiking tiring or even dangerous. If you’re lucky enough to hit the desert when it’s in bloom, consider putting some money down on the roulette wheel afterward. To savor a few hours of peace and quiet away from the constant casino cacophony, here are a few options. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 17 miles west of the Strip on Highway 159, can be toured in half a day if time is limited. The park features a 13-mile oneway loop road through the conservation area’s more spectacular parts. Allow plenty of time to stop and absorb the red and white hills ringing the central desert area. The red comes from iron in the sandstone created from giant dunes that covered the western United States 180 million years ago. You could just do the drive, but with 25 miles of hiking trails, surely one of the scenic stops will entice you to take a walk (if you’re not wearing your Vegas spike heels). A popular 2.5-mile round-trip hike up

has drinkable water. Halfway through the driving loop, Willow Spring offers a picnic area, as well as a path to a few petroglyphs, rock art pecked into the cliff around AD 800. Red Rock isn’t just for hikers. We saw numerous bicyclists giving their quads a workout as the road gained 1,000 feet in altitude (the highest point is 4,771 feet), and watched rock climbers reaching for adventure - and handholds - on the sheer cliffs. Keep in mind that unlike the Strip, sunset on the loop road quickly marks the end of the day. We aborted another hike because we didn’t want to encounter a cholla cactus in the dark. Valley of Fire State Park, 55 miles northeast of Vegas off I-15 on Highway 169. The


mineral patina. Rainbow Vista offers a view of the valley and rocks of other colors. As at Mouse’s Tank, there’s a trail on the soft red sand, but hikers may be tempted to disappear into side canyons as well. Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit, as daily summer temperatures usually exceed 100 degrees. Spring is a good time to see flowers such as desert marigold and desert mallow along the roads. Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 35 miles southeast of Vegas on Highway 93. Hoover Dam can be connected to Valley of Fire via the 63-mile Northshore Road that offers everchanging scenery, including views of Lake Mead, colorful rock formations and desolate desert. We spied a wild

floors and also rubbed the toe of a winged figure statue for good luck. We didn’t have time for a tour but paid $8 for the visitor center, with its informative displays on the construction from 1931 to ‘35. The dam was sort of a stimulus project for the Great Depression - and finished ahead of schedule. Now there’s a new project: A span bridge just south of the dam is scheduled to open late this year to improve security and traffic flow. Death Valley National Park in California is a bigger trip, 120 to 172 miles depending on whether you take the shortest or the most scenic route. If you think the desert is dry and boring, the stark beauty of the landscape may come as a surprise. (The drive there, however, included

were peaking in mid-April. It was around 50 degrees at Dante’s View just after lunch. As we drove down, closer and closer to the low point, we watched the temperature reading in the rental car rise 62 degrees when we hit Highway 190, and in the 70s on the salt flats. The rock color changed from the volcanic black basalt of the Black Mountains to yellow and gold near Twenty Mule Team Canyon (where borax was mined in the 1880s) and Zabriskie Point, a photo stop overlooking colorful badlands. Badwater Basin actually has a tiny pond with water and a few little plants. Otherwise, the salt flats are desolate, though the crystalline formations are intriguing. A 10-minute stroll took us to the edge of the shal-

A rock climber looks for her next move on the Calico Tanks trail at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

A barrel cactus at Valley of Fire State Park east of Las Vegas has just a small flower bud, but its spines still provide plenty of color.

to Calico Tanks passes an American Indian agave roasting pit and then follows a creek bed to a tinaja. This natural water tank, a mini-lake in the spring, helped draw early peoples to the area. My friend and I lost the trail a few times while scrambling over the rock slabs, but by following the creek and rock cairns we never worried about getting lost. Hikers unfazed by heights can go just five minutes past the tinaja and get a great view of the arid Las Vegas valley, including the Stratosphere and other Strip landmarks. The texture of the rock and the stark line between the red and tan sandstone make for good picture taking, so we spent more than two hours just on that trail. The park draws tourists from other states and countries as well as locals such as Tiffany, a massage therapist hiking with her puppy. The somewhat shaded Calico Tanks hike is one of the cooler options for summer days, Tiffany said. It was only about 60 degrees that day in early March, but Red Rock Canyon’s summer temperatures can top 105 degrees, so planning is important. Spring and summer are the best times for flowers. Even in spring, take several quarts of water. Only the visitor center

Red and tan rocks create a contrast at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. —MCT photos formations’ redness is stunning, even on a rainy day when we couldn’t see the rocks “on fire” at sunset. The rocks are even redder than at Red Rock Canyon, and fault activity and millenniums of erosion have sculpted the soft sandstone into intriguing formations with names such as Elephant Rock, the Beehives and Seven Sisters. Valley of Fire has a variety of overlooks and trails, most of them short. Atlatl Rock, a popular site up a metal staircase from a parking lot, is known for its petroglyphs. It includes a picture of an atlatl, a notched stick used to throw primitive spears. Because of its easy access, the rock art is protected behind a clear shield. Finding prehistoric petroglyphs on our own was much more fun. The half-mile round-trip hike to Mouse’s Tank, another natural basin, prompted numerous cries of “Look here!” Look for the petroglyphs on rock faces darkened by desert varnish, a

horse, but the bighorn sheep were hiding in the hills. Visitors with plenty of time can go hiking, biking or boating at Lake Mead, but a visit to Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam easily fills a day. Who knew that a stop at Hoover Dam, one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, would take two hours, even without a tour? The dam doesn’t count as nature, of course, but you don’t have to be a techno-geek to be awed by the size, complexity and durability of the project. Built for flood control, water delivery and hydroelectric power, the dam has had a profound effect on growth in the Southwest. The influx of laborers making about 65 cents an hour also gave the Vegas area a growth spurt. We snagged a free parking spot on the Arizona side and walked the 1,244 feet across the dam, staring down 726 straight feet of concrete to the Colorado River. We checked out the bathrooms in the Art Deco towers with mosaic

flat stretches of 70 mph highway so straight that a curve was something my friend announced.) Once in the park we took a 13mile side road to Dante’s View and hiked half a mile to the summit (5,590 feet) for a spectacular vista. But it was neither hellish nor an inferno that day. It’s mind-boggling to realize you’re looking down almost 6,000 feet to Death Valley’s salt flats and Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level the lowest point in the US To the west across the valley lies the snow-topped Panamint Range, punctuated by the 11,049foot Telescope Peak. Looking down at the salt flats, we had trouble telling what was salt and what was water because there are seasonal lakes that vary in depth from year to year. On top it was cool, and we noted the colors of lichen on the rocks: orange, blue, green, black and lime green. There were signs of small green shoots and flower buds, but no blooms yet; the wildflowers

low salt lake. We had hoped to catch the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes in the late afternoon to photograph the striking shadows, but as usual we were pushing it to hit our last stop by sunset, and a storm was rolling in. Five minutes after we headed onto the dunes, dust clouds rose in the distance and ominous dark clouds started spitting rain, so we hightailed it back to the car. Although we were almost disappointed that it wasn’t hot that day, most visitors need to be concerned about adequate water and sun protection: The average high in April is 90 degrees. Think twice before visiting in August. There are creatures in such a desolate place, but we saw only a few gnat-like bugs at Dante’s Peak, some road kill and a few crows. But if you want to see birds or just need to get some fresh air, you can always take a quick stroll past the pink wading birds at the Flamingo casino back in Vegas. — MCT


Sunday, May 9, 2010


World’s best travel spots



Washington DC

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Planning your next holiday for this year? Here is a list of the world’s best travel spots recommended by travel website TripAdvisor ( 1. Best destination in the world - Monaco

9. Best destination in the US and world for nightlife - New Orleans, Louisiana

onte-Carlo is home to the celebrated Monte Carlo Casino. This glamorous palace is full of frescoes, sculptures, and features an astonishing gold and marble atrium-not to mention the main attraction, gambling. Steeped in 700 years of Grimaldi royal history, Monte-Carlo’s location is stunning, tucked between French medieval villages and the Alps. Take in a worldclass opera or ballet, bask in the sun on Larvotto Beach or get an adrenaline rush at May’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.


2. Best Destination in the US - San Francisco ho cares about a little fog when there’s so much to do in San Francisco? By day, explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay, ride a cable car, and stroll around the Presidio; by night, have a fabulous dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tiny place in Chinatown, then hit some of


hile parts of the city still are rebuilding the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans welcomes travelers and pulls out all the stops to show them a good time. And it’s not merely Southern hospitalitytourism funds help make rebuilding possible. So take a tour of the elegant Garden District, hit a jazz club, dine at the Commander’s Palace, or join the crowds on Bourbon Street you’ll have a fine time, and you can feel good about every dollar you spend.


San Francisco water sports and golf courses are nearby. And family-friendly dining and hotels abound. 5. Best destination in the world for culture and sightseeing - Florence

catch a military band playing an outdoor concert on Capitol Hill. 7. Best destination in the world for families - Marne-la-Vallee, France hy did Marne-laVallee make the list? It’s simple: Disneyland


veryone’s heard the Doors of Paradise, the Duomo and Michelangelo’s David are


Queenstown, New Zealand

10. Best destination in the world for outdoor and adventure - Queenstown, New Zealand taggering beauty and heartpumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbitsmuch of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area.


Florence, Italy need another massage. It’s the good kind of vicious cycle.

14. Best destination in the US for romance - Napa, California

13. Best destination in the world for romance - Oia, Greece

t’s no wonder Napa made three of our lists this year - it might just be the world’s most perfect spot for a weekend getaway. What more do you really need than romantic inns, great food and wine, and relaxing spas?

ia is carved out of the cliffs, and visitors can see houses built for Venetian sea cap-



11. Best destination in the US for adventure - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado his gorgeous, high-altitude National Park straddles the Continental Divide- which means there are two distinct climate patterns here. Visitors enjoy prime rock-climbing, hiking and biking trails, and plenty of camping options. If you’re after a more educational outdoor experience, take one of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association Field Seminars.


12. Best destination in the US and world for relaxation and spa - Sedona, Arizona nyplace can have an amazing pool and spa, but an amazing pool and spa in the middle of a gorgeous desert? That’s what you’ll find at Sedona’s resorts. If you do feel like taking a break from lounging poolside and sampling different kinds of massages, you’ll find miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback tours. Afterward, of course, you’ll


the best clubs on the West Coast. 3. Best destination in the world for beach and sun - Providenciales, Turks & Caicos cuba diving, horseback riding, sunbathing, take your pick. “Provo” offers plenty for the happy couple to do, including picture-perfect coastlines to walk along, hand in hand. The island itself is relatively tranquil; try Malcolm Beach to get even further away from crowds.


4. Best destination in the US for beach and sun - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina yrtle Beach is a familyfriendly beach destinationwhich means in addition to great beaches, there’s plenty to do when the kids are sick of making sand castles. Amusement parks,


captivating, but in Florence, beauty can sneak up on a traveler unexpectedly. You’ll duck into a random church to escape the heat only to spend two hours staring at an impossibly pure blue in a fresco. Or you’ll consider writing a sonnet about pear gelato. It’s just that kind of place. Don’t miss the sunset over the Arno and the famous wines of the Chianti region just south of town.

Park Paris. Families have flocked here since its opening in 1992. Other Disney attractions include Walt Disney Studios Park and Golf Disneyland. If you need a break from Minnie and Mickey, visit the Sea Life Centre or Val d’Europe Shopping Center.

6. Best destination in the US for culture and sightseeing - Washington DC

haped by the currents and curves of the Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells has been a favorite family vacation destination for more than 150 years. An explosion of indoor water parks has turned the Dells from a summer hot spot to a year-round destination. Kids will enjoy the seemingly endless supply of fun and games, from go-karts to miniature golf, sideshows to thrill rides. If the weather’s right, you can take a Duck tour of land and water, and top it all off with a heaping helping of the local fudge.

ake sure you bring cash to Washington, DC. Not that it’s expensive-actually, many museums are free — or that no one accepts plastic. It’s just an awful lot of fun to hold up a $5 bill next to the actual Lincoln Memorial, or a $20 in front of the White House. In between touring monuments and historical sights, check out the quirky International Spy Museum, watch pandas at the National Zoo, or


8. Best destination in the US for families - Wisconsin Dells


Marne-la-Vallee, France

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos tains as well as the more typical “cave houses” of the villagers. You’ll find the pure white buildings with colorful roofs that are typical of Greek architecture, and you’ll probably enjoy poking around the town. But don’t breeze through in an houryou must stay for the sunset. It’s legendary. Watch from a cafe, or, better yet, from a boat-you’ll be spellbound.

15. Best emerging destination in the world - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany outh of GarmischPartenkirchen on the Austrian border lies Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, rising nearly 10,000 feet and offering gorgeous glacier-top skiing. The towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen used to be separate, but were merged for the 1936 Winter Olympics. With almost 75 miles of downhill runs of all difficulty levels, Zugspitze also has 68 miles of cross-country trails, a terrain park and Germany’s first superpipe. — Reuters


t’s a simple idea we all wish we’d had. But alas, we didn’t. And now these bracelets - tiny rubber bands called “bandz” shaped like food, princesses, Phillies paraphernalia, and lions, tigers, and bears, oh my - are the latest fashion must-haves for teens, tweens, and toddlers, boys and girls alike. Toy stores and children’s clothing boutiques are selling through dozens of boxes a day. Some teachers in northern New Jersey have banned them from their classroom too distracting. What’s so cool about the Technicolor bandz? On, they look like bracelets or ponytail holders, but off, they pop right back to their original shapes. Poof. Not only do the bandz come in funky tie-dyed patterns - some have glitter, others glow in the dark, and some are even, OMG!, scented. Back in the day, I would have wanted them. And at $2.50 for a pack of 20, I understand why they are hot for collecting and trading. (I’d wear a couple now, but with grown-woman wrists, these little bandz would surely cut off my circulation.) “I love them because they are fun to play with,” said Ani Greenspan, 13, a seventh grader at Colonial Middle School. “They are really adorable and they have the cutest shapes: dog bones, fairies ... I especially like the tie-dyed ones and the ones that glow in the dark.” They are more interactive than the popular neon Madonna jelly bracelets of the 1980s, cheaper than cuddly Beanie Babies, and not as high-minded as those yellow Lance Armstrong Livestrong bands, the most recent trend in


Modeling their Silly Bandz from left are Josh Joffe, 10, Ryan Forman, 10, Ani Greenspan, Noah Joffe, 7, and Amanda Lipson, 11, in Down 2 Earth Kids store where they all bought their bands in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. bracelets. Plus, they are low-tech - no charger needed here. The most wellknown brand of bandz is Silly Bandz, made by Ohio-based Brainchild Products, which claims to be the inventor of the bandz. Other makers: RubbaBandz, Crazy Bandz, Zanybandz, and Logo Bandz. It all started a few years ago when the Learning Express store in Birmingham, Ala., started stocking them as a way to introduce younger children to shapes. Then in February, sales mysteriously quickened - and not in a fashionable city like New York, but more so in states like North Carolina, Ohio, and Georgia. “We just can’t keep them in,”

said Lisa Lipson of Down 2 Earth Kids in Lafayette Hill, Pa. In its display window is a sign in fluorescent bubblegum print announcing “Silly Bandz are here!!!” “We sell hundreds a day,” Lipson said as she freshened up her stock. Just then, as if on cue, a tall, handsome man wearing gym shorts walked in search of What else? - some bandz for his 9-yearold son, Steven. “I’m looking for a turtle,” said Peter Ross, 48, as he and Lipson pored through the contents of three bags of sea-life and farm-animal bandz. They eventually found one. “My son just loves turtles.” The same day, Holly Kaplan of Lafayette Hill bought 60 packages of

assorted bandz - her genres of choice being farm animals, sea creatures, and rock-and-roll accessories - as favors for her daughter Lindsay’s ninth birthday party. “The kids love them,” she said. “They carry them in plastic bags in their backpacks and they trade them on the bus and at recess. They even know when the shipments come at different stores - like on Thursdays, they all go to Five Below.” The bandz aren’t treated like contraband in school districts in Philadelphia yet. Local school officials are still trying to figure out the difference between Silly Bandz and Zanybandz (but it doesn’t matter which brand of bandz, man). One local principal, Denise Marks of Conshohocken Elementary School, hasn’t had a problem. In fact, she uses them to reward students for good behavior. Steve Martin designs Rubba-Bandz through his company Confetti & Friends in Farmingdale, NY. Martin said he’s been selling his version of the bandz for five or six years, but sales really took off around Christmastime. He works with a graphic designer to make the shapes currently they’re creating fast-foodshaped bandz - which are then manufactured in China. Sales within the last three weeks have increased tenfold. Martin said he sent out more than 17,000 packs Monday afternoon to hundreds of stores across the country. Some stores, he said, sell 900 packs a day. What’s the secret to the bandz’ popularity? “I wish I knew myself,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m just happy about it.” — MCT

Josh Joffe, 10, shows off his Silly Bandz, which are bands of different shapes and colors that kids love.

These undated artist sketches released by Annika Wester/CWC International, Inc show drawings by Annika Wester that appears in “Bump It Up,” by Amy Tara Koch. Much is made of the non-maternity clothes an expectant mother can wear during pregnancy - the wrap dresses, the leggings, the boxy shift dress-turned-tunic top - but some maternity clothes also do double duty once the baby is born. — AP photos

The cover of “Bump It Up,” by Amy Tara Koch

Silly Bandz are worn by both boys and girls. — MCT photos

9th May  

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