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MONDAY, MAY 31, 2010

Pharaonic mayor’s ‘lost tomb’ found south of Cairo


30 burnt alive in India bus accident



conspiracy theories

Let the ships sail! By Badrya Darwish


esterday the whole of the Middle East was impatiently awaiting for an international armada loaded with aid to reach besieged Gaza. This kind of help was started by the former British parliamentarian George Galloway who called it Lifeline for Gaza. The last trip of Mr Galloway was very dramatic where he clashed with the Egyptian authorities in Gaza. But this did not stop him nor it stopped the Lifeline for Gaza. On the contrary, more countries are now participating. More NGOs from all over the world are on board. And that is the beauty of it. The Kuwaiti flag is also there, headed by MP Tabtabaei and a cargo ship. At the time I am writing my article, NGOs from around 60 countries are sailing to the shores of Gaza. This trip is taking off from Cyprus. The mission did not have a smooth start nor sailing. But the people on it are determined and have made up their minds to enter the forbidden waters. The Israeli naval boats are already on alert on the shores of Gaza to stop the aid coming through. These ships do not carry arms. They do not carry weapons of mass destruction; they do not carry nuclear heads nor Scud missiles; not even phosphorus bombs. They carry food, medicine and vital aid for everyday life. That is why the mission is called ‘Lifeline’. But as usual, Israelis will not allow help or aid to reach devastated Gaza. They claim that Gaza has everything and people are not starving and have medicine and they are flourishing. Next, they will say people are living in paradise in Gaza. They promise that they will intercept the flotilla by all means. It remains to be seen whether the world will watch again this time the Israelis stop the aid and the ships sail back the same way they watched when Gaza was bombarded with all kinds of bombs for two months continuously every day.

NO: 14745

Players not happy with ‘supermarket’ World Cup ball

Venus dumped by Petrova as battling Henin edges Sharapova


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MP files to grill PM on pollution Govt ‘studying’ quiz request • Some MPs slam Tahous’ move By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Opposition lawmaker Khaled Al-Tahous (right) hands National Assembly Secretary General Allam Al-Kandari a petition to question Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah over alleged inaction on pollution in Umm Al-Haiman. — Photo Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Opposition lawmaker Khaled Al-Tahous yesterday executed his warning and filed a request to grill Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, holding him responsible for the failure of government institutions to apply the law on plants that have raised pollution levels around the Umm Al-Haiman area. Tahous had threatened to grill the prime minister if the government did not act and close down several factories that were blamed as the source of pollution and a sharp rise in diseases in the residential area of 45,000 people. The government ignored Tahous’ warning and was quietly working on the issue in accordance with an environment protection law which does not give it authority to shut down factories without a warning. Minister of Communications and government spokesman Mohammad Al-Busairi said the government will study the grilling and will deal with it in accordance with law and the constitution. Continued on Page 14

Aid flotilla defiantly sails towards Gaza GAZA CITY: A flotilla of ships carrying activists and aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip yesterday finally steamed south from Cyprus, heading for a fleet of Israeli naval vessels determined to stop them. The ships, carrying more than 700 passengers, are on the last leg of a high-profile mission to deliver some 10,000 tonnes of building and other supplies to Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007. Huwaida Arraf, chairman of the Free Gaza Movement, told AFP by phone from the boat

Challenger 1 that the ships had started towards Gaza yesterday afternoon. “Israel is blocking an area about 20 nautical miles out from the Gaza coast and we expect to hit that area in the late morning or early afternoon” today, she said. In the Gaza Strip, anti-siege activists called on the international community to ensure the protection of the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” which had been aiming to arrive on Saturday but was repeatedly delayed. “I am asking the international community to protect these boats from

the Israeli threat,” independent Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khudari said during a press conference on a boat anchored just outside the Gaza port. “If Israel blocks them, they have a strategy for getting here,” said Khudari, who heads the Gaza-based Committee to Lift the Siege. He did not give any further details. With the flotilla expected to approach at some stage over the next 24 hours, Gaza fishermen took to the sea flying Palestinian flags as well as those of Greece, Ireland, Sweden and

Turkey - all of which sent boats. Demonstrators also released scores of balloons with pictures tied to them of children who were killed during Israel’s massive 22-day offensive against Gaza that ended in Jan 2009. Israel has slammed as “illegal” the convoy’s attempt to break its blockade on Gaza, and has naval forces at the ready to intercept the ships, tow them to its port of Ashdod, and detain the pro-Palestinian activists. Continued on Page 14

Saudi firm studies US addiction help DETROIT: Mohammed AlTuraiki left his traditional Saudi Arabian headdress behind in favor of a blazer and sweater as he made the rounds at one of the United States’ oldest addiction treatment centers. He had traveled 11,265 km to Michigan in hope of finding answers to a problem so taboo in the conservative Muslim kingdom that no

DETROIT: Dr Alec Berry talks to residents at SHAR Inc, a residential treatment facility, in this March 24, 2010 photo. — AP

150 FILS

official statistics exist: alcohol and drug addiction. Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia, which forbids everything from liquor to allowing women to drive. For those who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse, treatment is scarce and the stigma so great that most never talk about their addiction, even to close family members. Al-Turaiki, the chief executive of the Riyadh-based Saudi Care for Rehabilitation and Health Care, is trying to change the negative image of addiction by creating a network of treatment facilities in the oil-rich kingdom. He came to Brighton Hospital earlier this year to check out the facility and its treatment programs that have long included the Detroit region’s large Arab and Muslim population. “When I made the rounds in the hospital, patients who saw me tossed out a few words in Arabic to see if I would respond,” Al-Turaiki said. “I felt at home.” During his weeklong visit to Brighton earlier this year, Al-Turaiki learned about the 60-year-old hospital’s links with the broader community, including Arab-American Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Mohammed Hussein Bahr Al-Ulum speaks to reporters at Kuwait airport yesterday upon his arrival to take up his post as Iraq’s first envoy to Kuwait since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of the state. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Jazeera presenters quit in dress spat DOHA: Five female news presenters at the pan-Arab AlJazeera satellite television channel have resigned over conflicts with management over dress code and other issues, a journalist there said yesterday. “This collective resignation is not motivated just by the growing pressure on the presenters concerning their dress code, which was evoked by the media,” said the journalist, who asked not to be identified. “The conflicts run much deeper,” the journalist added. The news presenters who have repor tedly quit are Jumana Namur, Lina Zahreddin, Lona Al-Shibel, Julnar Mussa and Nofar Afli. The Al-Hayat daily reported yesterday that they had resigned in the past few days af ter petitioning management in January over repeated criticism from a top company official for allegedly not being conservative enough in their dress. Management of the Doha-based channel told AFP it would issue a response later. — AFP

Lina Zahreddin

Jumana Namur

Smoking kid lays bare Indonesia’s addiction

BAERUM, Norway: Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany holds her trophy after she won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Telenor arena just outside Oslo late Saturday. — AFP (See Page 40)

Germany wins Eurovision OSLO: Germany won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo on Saturday with the punchy pop ballad “Satellite” sung by Lena, the second German to win the extravagant talent contest in its 55-year history. “I’m so happy and so thankful and so grateful and I never thought that we could do this,” said the 19-year-old, who had only just finished her final school exams. Dark red lips trembling with emotion, the singer - who had been tipped as one of the evening’s possible winners - told the show’s hosts she did not feel

strong enough to lift her trophy. “Thank you! This is so absolutely awesome and I feel like just, this is not real,” said the long-haired brunette, wearing a short yet sober slim-fitting black dress, a German flag in her hands. Germany last won the contest in 1982 and as this year’s winner, will host the show next year. Runners up Turkey and Romania trailed far behind in the annual contest that pitted 25 European countries against each other in the final. Acts ranging from Greece’s pop twist on Continued on Page 14

JAKARTA: A new video of a smoking Indonesian toddler has emerged to shock health experts and provide further graphic illustration of the Southeast Asian country’s growing addiction to tobacco. The parents of a two-year-old boy seen smoking in a clip posted on The Sun newspaper’s website are to be investigated, Indonesian officials said af ter the video drew worldwide attention. Chubby Ardi Rizal laughs and responds to the adults around him as he sits on his plastic tricycle and inhales deeply from frequent drags on a cigarette. His father reportedly gave him his first cigarette when he was 18 months old and now he smokes 40 a day. His mother says he beats his head against the wall unless he gets nicotine, but his father insists he is “healthy”. Child Protection Ministry official Heru Kasidi said the family would be investigated for what would be considered a clear case of child abuse in many countries. It’s the second time this year Indonesia Continued on Page 14

SUMATRA, Indonesia: In this photograph taken on May 16, 2010, two-year-old Indonesian boy Ardi Rizal puffs on a cigarette while playing on a plastic toy jeep in the yard of his family home in a village. — AFP

2 KAC facing slander campaign KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation said yesterday it is facing unfair media campaigns that aim to undermine its reputation and affect its commercial interests and relations and discredit it before its customers. The head of the Public Relations department in KAC Adel Bourisly said that the company is keen on improving the services offered to customers and on maintaining the high quality of technical and engineering services.

A large number of media reports, talking about accidents and failures of KAC are incorrect and unproven, Bourisly added. He called on local media and newspapers "to be more accurate and objective in tackling any news concerning KAC." He stressed that the carrier officials are always ready to make things clearer to the media, should they need any additional information over what is already available. — KUNA


Monday, May 31, 2010

Many locals find the job exhausting

MoE takes steps to end issue of under-qualified teachers By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education Mona AlLoughani said on Tuesday that non-performing Kuwaiti teachers will be given a chance to either improve their competence or will no longer be allowed to teach. The number of incompetent teachers might not be high, but there are a lot of teachers who come and go, spending only a few months in the teaching position. Many of the young locals, explained Abu Hassan, find the challenging job to be quite exhausting and so they resort to an easier alternative in any other ministry or government body. Lauding the decision of the Ministry of Education, Abu Hassan noted that these measures should be taken against Kuwaiti and even non-Kuwaiti teachers. In a statement to the press, Assistant Undersecretary Mona Al-Loughani said that the ministry has organized special workshops and training sessions to help teachers whose performances were not satisfactory.

"Those who have not benefited from such opportunities will not be allowed to teach," she said explaining that they have the option to be given an administrative job at the Ministry of Education instead. "Books, the curricula, methods and evaluation techniques are all important in the educational process. However, most important and critical is the responsibility of the teacher. After all, he is entrusted with our children, the most valuable asset and the builders of tomorrow's future," she said. An unnamed source at the Ministry of Education said that the issue of incompetent teachers has been present for a while, and the ministry officials have been wanting to take action against it for a while. "While the ministry can bring teachers from abroad who have experience and good

This drastic decision was taken after numerous talks were held about finding a solution to the problem of under-qualified teachers. Abu Hassan, an Egyptian teacher in a secondary school says that this is a very audacious step taken on behalf of the ministry. "An Egyptian supervisor wrote a negative review of a Kuwaiti teacher a few years ago, and this has cost him his job," he said.

records, it chooses to reserve seats for locals who turn out to do a very poor job. This not only costs money, but ruins the education process of many students as they are not given the optimum quality of education," he noted. "Competency of teachers is not dependent on their nationality; the problem is with their

willingness to improve," he added. Farah, a Kuwaiti teacher of English at a primary school said that similar action should be taken against school officials, not just teachers, who refuse to use new teaching methods. "There are school principals who kill any creativity in teachers by refusing to allow any new projects they try to implement

in the classroom. Taking action against them would be beneficial," she noted. While many of the teachers in Kuwait's schools come from different Arab countries, they usually are experienced in education, and have a two-year contract, allowing for the termination of their services once the two-year period is over.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Autism Center recently organized an emergency evacuation drill as part of their safety procedures. The drill process lasted for 3:51 minutes, and was described as a remarkable success.

Monday, May 31, 2010


NATIONAL Abandoned women waiting in Riyadh

Nepalese maids enter Saudi on Kuwaiti residency visas By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A growing number of Nepalese housemaids taken to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Kuwaiti residency visas are being abandoned in front of the Nepalese embassy in Riyadh. This information was revealed by Pushpa Bhattarai, Second Secretary of the recently-established Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait. In a telephone interview with the Kuwait Times yesterday,

DOHA: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met here yesterday with Crown Prince of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Sheikh Nasser is in Doha on a visit to head the Kuwaiti delegation to the Global Redesign summit for the World Economic Forum. The meeting was attended by members of the official delegation accompanying Sheikh Nasser.

FM hails Asia tour KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah AlSalem Al-Sabah said here yesterday that his Asian tour was part of Kuwait’s strategy to bolster relations on the political and economic level with Asian countries. Sheikh Mohammad was speaking to reporters before departing on his tour to Singapore, Japan and China. “We have begun strategic talks with Turkey and the EU on the beginning of this year, and now it’s time to open such dialogue with our Asian counterparts,” he said. Sheikh Mohammad said Kuwait in its capacity as the current President of the GCC would be signing a strategic dialogue deal with China as

part of the effort to bolster relations, adding that by the end of the year, the GCC would be focusing on boosting relations with Russia. During the visit to Japan, a deal would be signed between Kuwait and Tokyo to establish a cooperation committee, stated Sheikh Mohammad, noting that discussion on the issue of establishing a free-trade zone between Japan and the GCC would also be on the agenda. “We are depending on this tour to further bolster our economic strategy,” said Sheikh Mohammad, affirming that the visits are within the framework of Kuwait leadership’s desire to turn Kuwait into a regional economic center. — KUNA

in the news PM to sue Egypt newspaper KUWAIT: An attorney acting on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah is set to take legal action against the Egyptian newspaper Dustoor and its Kuwaiti columnist Mohammad Al-Wushaihi, accusing them of defamation. Attorney Emad Al-Saif condemned Al-Wushaihi in a press release over “insults” which he claimed the columnist penned for the paper, reported Al-Watan. Al-Saif further challenged Al-Wushaihi to publish similar claims in a Kuwaiti newspaper or online forum. Education proposal KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education is currently studying a proposal put forward by the Justice Minister. He has suggested that a certain amount from the charity budget be set aside to meet the educational expenses of non-Kuwaiti students. Only those who suffer from first degree disabilities will be allowed to join special needs schools, reported Al-Watan. The proposal further set aside KD 3.5 million aside to cover expenses. The Minister of Education is expected to receive a report soon from the Special Needs Education Department, which has been assigned the task to study the proposal. Heat, sandstorms and meteors KUWAIT: June is likely to be hot and windy with regular sandstorms, according to a local meteorologist. Adel Al-Saadoun said that the month will see a number of meteorological and astronomical phenomena, including the start of the Hijra (Islamic calendar) month of Rajab, as well as the beginning of the Bawareh winds season, with these winds known for their high temperatures and tendency to bring sandstorms. The moon will reach its furthest distance from Earth during June, Al-Saadoun said, with local astronomers in for a treat on the night of June 7th, when meteor showers will be visible in the skies over Kuwait. US Memorial Day ceremony KUWAIT: Kuwait will be partaking in the US Memorial Day commemoration ceremony which will be held in Washington today. Head of Foreign Media at the Ministry of Information Abdullah Al-Khaledi said that Kuwait would be partaking in the ceremonies for the fourth year in a row, adding that the participation was organized in cooperation with the Kuwaiti embassy in Washington.

“When their permit [to enter Saudi Arabia] expires they’re abandoned at our doorstep, probably because it is the easiest way to evade fines and prosecution,” said Bhattarai. There are an estimated 45,000 Nepalese workers in Kuwait including around 25,000 housemaids. Since opening just over two months ago, the embassy has already provided shelter to some 150 runaway maids, wo claim various reasons for running away from their sponsors. Kathmandu had earlier banned Nepalese citizens from working as domestic helpers abroad, but the workers managed to elude the ban by using Mumbai as an exit point. According to Bhattarai, many of the abandoned housemaids’ have legal residence in Kuwait and most of their cases include non-payment of salaries and expired residency status since they have entered Saudi Arabia through their sponsors with a visit visa permit. “To avoid paying SR10,000 fines and perhaps to avoid paying their salaries, the easiest way is to abandon them at our embassy premises there,” he said. “The problem with our housemaids is that many are illiterate; they can hardly speak English, much less Arabic, so they are unfortunately suffering.” Bhattarai noted that since the maids entered Kuwait via Mumbai and were subsequently

Bhattarai confirmed reports that housemaids are being abandoned on the doorstep of the Nepalese embassy in Saudi Arabia. “Yes, it is happening, sad to say,” he said. “The reason was that because many citizens of Saudi Arabia who have relatives in Kuwait are taking advantage of the fact that they can enter Kuwait legally and bring maids to Saudi Arabia on visit visas. They are hired by their sponsors in Kuwait through agencies or agents, but eventually they’re sent to Saudi Arabia by their relatives on visit visas.

KUWAIT: A maid is seen cleaning a car in a local Kuwaiti household. The image is for illustrative purposes only. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat sent to Saudi Arabia, their names are unfortunately not recorded at their labor or foreign affairs in Kathmandu. This, he said, was one of the reasons for establishing the Nepalese mission in Kuwait on March 22, 2010, “in order to keep track of our citizens and therefore help them in whatever way we can to improve their conditions and chances just like their counterparts from the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.”

Since the embassy in Kuwait is just over two months old, Bhattarai has called upon the Kuwaiti government to help it keep track of Nepalese citizens here and at the same time to help solve the problems of Nepalese housemaids abandoned in Saudi Arabia and those who flee their sponsors’ homes in Kuwait. “At this early stage, we already have about 150 runaway housemaids in our tempo-

rary shelter. One particular case we are dealing with is of a Nepalese housemaid who worked with her sponsor for over four years without being paid a salary,” he said. “She is currently being sheltered in our embassy right now,” he noted. Bhattarai told the Kuwait Times that he hoped to sign an agreement with Kuwaiti government with regards to securing the rights of the country’s

workers. “Maybe in one month time we could sign the MoU’s [Memoranda of Understanding] with the Kuwaiti government,” he said explaining that there are problems, which the Nepalese embassy and government are trying to solve “systematically and through legal means.” He added, “We are dealing with human beings’ problems, so we are wholeheartedly trying our best to be more compassionate and caring.”



Monday, May 31, 2010

Drug smuggling attempt foiled

Mina Abdullah scrap yard warehouse catches fire By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A fire broke out in warehouses located in Mina Abdullah scrap yard. Fire brigades from three fire centers were dispatched to the scene and helped contain the flames. The blaze spread to eight warehouses and a tanker. No injuries were reported.

Smuggle attempt Customs officers in Abdally foiled an Arab expat’s attempt to smuggle a large quantity of drugs into the country. The man was arrested and referred to concerned authorities.

Hit and run case A pedestrian was run over by a vehicle along the Sixth Ring Road. He sustained injuries to the head and succumbed to wounds later.

KUWAIT: MP Naji Al-Abd Al-Hadi cutting the ribbon to open the exhibition. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Yalla Shabab highlights local talent By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: With more than 65 pavilions, where most exhibitors were young, creative Kuwaitis, the ‘Yalla Shabab’ exhibition was held for two days between 27 May to 29. It was held under the under the patronage of MP Naji AlAbd Al-Hadi at the International Fair Ground. It was sponsored by Wataniya Telecom Company. Chocolateness was the golden sponsor, and Coffee Republic, the silver sponsor. The media sponsors were Kuwait Times, Al-Rai, Al-Nahar, and Al-Anbaa. Thousands of people visited stalls and encouraged young Kuwaitis who had put forward great ideas. At the food stalls, good quality chocolate, homemade cookies and cupcakes were on sale. Albader, a co-founder of Logoz with his partner Ali AlJasem said, “We basically design business cards logos, posters, books, magazines. We are specifically selling a unique set of playing cards. We have undertaken this business for 10 months. So far we have participated in around eight exhibitions.” “We look forward to showcasing our talent by designing these cards. Basically, we want to tell and inform Kuwaiti youth that we are very talented,” Al-Bader and Al-Jasem say. Another representative from His and Purse is Her said, “The customer can choose the size of the purse, pick the color and texture of the fabric, and decorate the purse using a variety of available accessories. Also, the man can select his own wallet, gym handbag. He can customize winter sweaters.”

KUWAIT: Firefighters in action after fire broke out in Mina Abdullah scrap yard yesterday. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Motor accidents A 35-year-old Egyptian suffered various cuts and bruises in a motorcycle accident that took place in Hawally. He was admitted to Mubarak hospital. In a similar case, a 30-year-old Egyptian was injured in a motorcycle accident that took place on Canada Dry street, Shuwaikh. He was admitted to Sabah hospital. In another case, a 37-year-old citizen broke her left foot during a car accident that took place near Jleeb. She was admitted to Farwaniya hospital. Also, a 33year-old Jordanian suffered a dislocated shoulder in a car accident that took place in Kabd. He was referred to Farwaniya hospital.

Suicide attempt A 24-year-old Nepalese attempted suicide by slashing her right wrist in Rehab. She was admitted to Farwaniya hospital.

Citizen stabbed A 16-year-old citizen sustained a deep stab wound to his back during a fight, and was transferred to Mubarak hospital.

A case of suicide A 50-year-old Filipino’s body was found suspended from a

KUWAIT: The Arab expat who was arrested for drug smuggling yesterday. tree in Salmiya in an apparent case of suicide. The body was referred to the coroner.

Syrian suffers burns A 65-year-old Syrian suffered first degree burns on his face in a fire that broke out in the basement of a Kuwait City building. The injured was admitted to Amiri hospital.

Smoke inhalation Three firemen were treated for smoke inhalation while tackling a blaze at Mina Abdallah. The injured were admitted to Adan hospital.

Gang fight A fight broke out between a group of young people at a Farwaniya mall. Several were

injured. Sharp objects were used during the fight which prompted security men to interfere. Some arrests were made.

Illegal resident An Arab pharmacist was arrested in connection with possession of an expired residence permit. He was referred to Rumaithiya police station.

High time to solve Palestinian issue By A Saleh

KUWAIT: Business Cradz and Logoz booth.

KAPF extends assistance to illegal residents KUWAIT: KAPF is interested in finding a radical solution for the illegal residents (usually indicated as bedoon) by granting them the opportunity to lead an honorable life, Mohammed Al Jalahma, KAPF deputy secretary general for Waqf Affairs said yesterday. KAFP is desirous to see this category of human beings receive decent lodging, appropriate education and health care. KAFP is involved in this humanitarian

Freak accidents A 55-year-old bedoon missed a step and fell near Jahra mosque. He suffered from a case of shoulder dislocation and was referred to Jahra hospital. Also, a 46-year-old female citizen fractured her left leg when she slipped and fell at a Nuzha school. A 14-year-old suffered knee injury at Jabriya school. Both were referred to Amiri hospital.

effort through extending assistance in the educational, social and humanitarian domains to ease the burden of the modest and needy sectors which suffer from the paucity of resources in the various areas of Kuwait, AlJalahma added. On the educational level, KAPF offered more than $ 1.8 million to help the needy university students, both legal and illegal residents. This assistance was pumped through the High University

Council belonging to the Ministry of Higher Education and the Student’s Program executed by KAPF. On the social and humanitarian level KAFP, through the Zakat House, has distributed money to the abstinent Families to improve their living conditions through buying the necessary provisions, Al Jalahma maintained. KAPF is interested in giving its due attention to the humanitarian side by assisting in finding a solution for the problem of this category in a way that reflects and highlight the humanitarian side which characterizes the Kuwaiti society.

Kuwaitis are known as people who cherish their values and traditions, observe human rights and consolidate the principles of justice and equality as recommended by our great religion. In the end, Al Jalahma called upon the philanthropic organizations in Kuwait to extend help to those disadvantaged categories, stressing the importance of such humanitarian initiatives in easing the burden of those people. We wish to see more initiatives to be made and to enjoy those noble and positive results of our sincere efforts in this respect.

KUWAIT: The Palestinian cause is on the minds of Kuwait’s people, with the flotilla of vessels currently heading for the besieged Gaza Strip being a way of drawing the world’s attention to this issue, said MP Abdullah AlRoumi, adding that it is high time to solve the issue and lift the siege and respect the international resolutions. MP Walid Al-Tabtabae, who is aboard one of the ships heading to Gaza, said that 15 Kuwaiti volunteers will arrive on Gaza’s shores by morning, voicing hope that the support of MPs and the media would give them the moral support needed to get the aid to the besieged Gazan people. MP Jamaan Al-Harbish said there are several Arab countries supporting the ships in their attempt to break the blockade against Gaza, and all Kuwaitis support them in their efforts. Former MP Fahad Al-Khannah said the series of concessionary actions forfeiting Palestinian rights has led to Palestinians hav-

ing to beg for aid to break the siege which is aimed at breaking the Palestinian people’s resistance. Another MP Khalid Al-Adwa said, “We are in solidarity with the besieged in Gaza, and the blockade will be broken by those steadfast in Gaza.” Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi praised the presence of the 16 Kuwaitis aboard “Freedom Flotilla” vessels, calling this clear-cut evidence of Kuwait’s unswerving backing to the Palestinian issue. Addressing a national rally to show solidarity with the Gaza-bound fleet, Al-Khorafi said, “The presence of a Kuwaiti team joining the campaign, together with a large international contingent representing 50 countries, to break the blockade on the Palestinian people is a matter of pride and boastfulness.” He lashed out, however, at the international community’s acquiescence to Israeli threats that relief supply ships would be denied access to Gaza’s shores, even though Israel is aware that they are civilian ships car-

rying relief supplies to the besieged Palestinian people, stating, “We want to know how those who accuse the defenders in this issue of terrorism can say about this humanitarian campaign.” Al-Khorafi called on the US and other UN Security Council members to ensure that these humanitarian relief ships are protected from Israeli threats. The “Freedom Flotilla” consists of seven ships, including a cargo ship funded by Kuwait flying the flags of Turkey and Kuwait, a cargo ship funded by Algeria, and a cargo ship funded by Europe from Sweden and Greece, as well as four vessels to transport passengers. The fleet’s ships are laden with more than 10,000 tons of medical supplies, building materials, timber and 100 prefab houses to shelter some of the tens of thousands of people who lost their homes during the Israeli war on Gaza in early 2009. They are also carrying 500 electric vehicles for the disabled, especially since the recent war that left nearly 600 people in Gaza disabled.

KUWAIT: Director of Sea Fire department Col Khalid Al-Mikrad decorated several officers and firemen with service medals as ordered by His Highness the Amir for their outstanding performance. He urged them to exert more efforts for the service of this country. —Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Monday, May 31, 2010


5 ‘Critics of govt, ruling family harassed’

AI report commends Kuwait on women’s advancement By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) has criticized the Kuwaiti government for the arrest of a Kuwaiti writer, as well for excluding domestic workers from the recently passed private sector labor law. The criticism was contained in the organization’s annual

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior recently concluded a civil service crimes training courses which ran between May 9 - 20. 14 security officers and two civilians took part in the course. The graduation ceremony took place under the patronage of the director of the Saad Al-Abdullah police academy, Lt. Fahad Al-Sharqawi, as well as the head of the police training institute, Col. Adnan Al-Obaid.

local spotlight

Violence among youth increasing By Muna Al-Fuzai Is violence among youth and school children a normal phenomena? How can it be stopped? When you send your kid to school to receive education, he could get killed in the same school at the hands of a lunatic, maybe one or more! It is not about how but why? What reasons could provoke this entire irrational and unbelievable act of crime to which your child fell victim to? Every now and then, we read about such incidents and maybe get affected emotionally when we think that such horrible incidents could happen to any of our children or a child whose only fault was that he was there at the wrong time. We worry about such abominable acts from taking place. Why do we feel insecure when our children attend school nowadays? Are schools no longer safe and why? Life has changed, and so has many ideas, values parenting methods. Values no longer form the focus of our lives. What roles do schools play? Are they supposed to educate and inform or inculcate manners in pupils or find ways to communicate with parents who bombard their chil-

dren’s minds with ideas, which may be dangerous, risky and sometimes deadly. Their ideas about dealing with teachers, own friends and colleagues, and retaliating to petty fights with children in the back yard are outrageous. Why do our schools witness such disorderly situations today? Violence among youth is a worrying phenomena that carries negative connotations with it. ‘Violent acts’ that take place in school cause deep wounds that may take years to heal. Many wonder what could have gone wrong. I honestly think that real education begins from home. I know it may appear a little too old-fashioned to say that. That is not the truth. When I was young, we were brought up in a manner in which we imbibed many values and ethics from our parents. We went to school at a time when parents firmly advised us to focus on education. It contained a hidden warning: Avoid trouble. It would be you and them no matter who started the fight. Twenty years ago, parents in Kuwait would rarely go to school, get themselves involved in the educational process and respect school management and teachers. At that time, each one of us went to school with the spirit of a seeker and researcher and not with the mind-set of a troublemaker. So parents were great mentors even with teachers’ existence. Also, one of the

reasons for the spread of violence in our schools today, besides the carelessness of parents themselves is the lack of proper focus on education. Education should provide students with values and life experiences. Passing examinations is not the only achievement. Their duty is also to prepare them for the future. Children today need to learn more about tolerance, giving, wisdom, arts and technology. They should be encouraged to think rather than flood them with useless information that wastes time! For example, I read that a robot is the right alternative to an actual human teacher. However, our children will turn such robots into toys, just like how they use laptops today. Also, one of the other obstacles present in education is its association with politics. I believe that both process are different and should not be a part of each other. Parents who lose a child to a violent act of crime will definitely ask several questions. The Ministry of Education is also responsible for making concerted efforts which ensure that such incidents do not occur. Education should be ashared responsibility. And yes, parents have the right to change their children’s schools once it turns into a less secure place.

The report commends the election of four female MPs to the National Assembly in the May 2009 elections, as well as the Kuwaiti constitutional court’s decision to give women the right to obtain passports without having to first obtain their husbands’ consent. It is also positive about the recent amendments made to the private sector labor law, namely the introduction of a national minimum wage, increasing annual leave, prohibiting arbitrary dismissal, and punishing visa trading. Despite all this, however, the report criticizes the exclusion of domestic workers from the law’s protection, stating, “The new law does not apply to domestic workers, mostly women, who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.” The 430-page report provides assessment of the human rights situation in 159 countries throughout 2009. The main

report covering the human rights situation in nations around the world, which was posted on the organization’s website on May 28th. “Migrant workers faced exploitation and abuse despite legal reforms. Critics of the government and ruling family were harassed. Thousands of Bedoon remained stateless and so were unable to access their full range of rights,” the report on Kuwait reads.

areas of focus for this year’s report are the UN’s Millennium Development Goals to fight poverty, ensure international justice, and highlight abuses against human rights defenders. The report heavily criticizes the human rights violations made by the state of Israel during its offensive on the Gaza Strip at the beginning of 2009. “Among other things, [Israel] carried out indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians, targeted and killed medical staff, used Palestinian civilians as ‘human shields’, and indiscriminately fired white phosphorus over densely populated residential areas,” the report reads. It also criticized the continuous blockade of the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel. The London-based watchdog report also criticized the Iranian government for using ‘excessive force’ against demonstrators following the presidential elec-

tion in the Islamic Republic in June 2009, as well as addressing the mass arrests of protestors. “Well over 5,000 people had been detained by the end of the year,” the report states. “Many were tortured, including some who were alleged to have been raped in detention, or otherwise illtreated. Some died from their injuries. Dozens were then prosecuted in grossly unfair mass ‘show trials’. Most were sentenced to prison terms but at least six were sentenced to death.” The report also criticizes US President Barack Obama’s failure to follow up on an executive order he signed on January 22 of 2009 to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which has remained open. The complete report is published in nine different languages, including Arabic, and can be found on Amnesty International’s website at:

kuwait digest

Welcome, Mister ambassador! Dr Sami Nasser Khalifa


or the first time since the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990, Mohammed Bahrul Oloum arrived a week ago to assume his duties as Iraq’s ambassador to Kuwait. We hope that the new ambassador’s job and performance will be different from that of the Iraqi Ambassador under dictator Saddam Hussein when it functioned as a mere espionage center. Bahrul Oloum is known to like Kuwait as he was raised here when his late father worked as judge in the Shiite court in Kuwait. I met with the new ambassador and his father in the mid nineties in London

to where they migrated in order to escape Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. They both displayed a great deal of cooperation when I asked to interview the father in order to discuss Shiites’ situations in Kuwait during mid 1970s, as part of my thesis to receive my PhD. Bahrul Oloum had always believed in Kuwait’s sovereignty and rejected Iraqi calls to annex it as an integral part of Iraq. For all these reasons, I do welcome you Mister Ambassador in Kuwait and do hope that your old beliefs of mutual respect and sovereignty be placed on top of your priorities in order to fix what the corrupt ‘Al-Baath’ party had damaged. Kuwait needed Iraq to be a

strong, stable and secure neighbor. Iraq needs the same from Kuwait. This is a formula that can only be achieved by reviving love and principles of co-existence amongst the two neighboring peoples. The invasion era has left very deep wounds and there will be a great deal of challenges. More efforts are needed on your side to differentiate between evil intentions that the previous regime had for Kuwait and today’s Iraqi people. Kuwaitis had learned a lot from Iraq for seven or eight decades. This greatly affects our leading thinkers and men of letters. I hope that a new phase of Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations can be begun. —Al-Rai



Monday, May 31, 2010

‘Revenge against dead mother’

Bedoon in police custody for raping two daughters KUWAIT: Police have arrested a bedoon (stateless) man on charges of repeatedly raping his two daughters. The case came to light after the girls told a friend about their father’s abuse. The horrified friend then told her father, who in turn informed police. Detectives contacted the two victims, aged 16 and 17, through their friend, and they confirmed that their father had During questioning, the man told police that his “hatred towards [the girls’] dead mother” had motivated him to carry out his attacks as a “form of revenge,” reported Al-Qabas. Police also took the testimonies of the two girls at the hospital, which one official described as containing “extremely shocking details that could lead their father to death penalty if convicted.’ The girls were taken to the psychiatric hospital to undergo counseling, while their father remains in Central Investigation Department custody awaiting trial. Brotherly hate Two brothers were arrested following a vicious brawl at their family home in Hawally. The fight broke out after the younger of the two brothers intervened to stop his older sibling from beating their younger sister, reported AlWatan. The altercation soon turned into

a full-on fistfight, which was broken up by police who rushed to the scene, taking both men into custody. Fraudster caught Security officers at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) arrested a Kuwaiti woman who faces charges of stealing KD 360,000 worth of accessories from a Salmiya shop. The woman was apprehended on her return to the country from another Arab nation, reported Al-Rai. It’s understood that a case was filed against her some time ago when she was accused of obtaining the articles by fraudulently claiming to be a representative of the National Assembly buying presents for visiting delegates. The woman, who is believed to have sold the goods in the neighboring country, has been taken into police custody. Missing man A Kuwaiti man has registered a

been sexually abusing them for over a year-and-a-half since their mother’s death. The police received permission to raid the man’s home, where he was caught in the act of sexually abusing one of the girls, and he was arrested and taken into custody, while the two girls were immediately taken to hospital for medical attention. missing person case after his learning disabled 30-year-old son failed to return to the family home in Taima for over three days, reported Al-Rai. A description of the missing man has been circulated and police are hunting for him. Fugitives recaptured Hawally police who pulled over a motorist for driving erratically ended up taking him into custody after a check on his ID revealed that he had gone on the run after being sentenced to prison in connection with another case, reported Al-Watan. In a separate incident, other officers in Hawally arrested two other Kuwaiti fugitives, referring both to the relevant authorities. Illegal partying Hawally police arrested three Kuwaiti citizens and three gay men whose nationality was unidentified after pulling over their car and discovering

that they were on their way to an illegal party venue, reported Al-Watan. The men were all taken into custody for questioning. Missing man A Kuwaiti man has registered a missing person case after learning this disabled 30-year-old son failed to return to the family home in Taima for over three days, reported Al-Rai. A description of the missing man has been circulated and police are hunting for him. KIA drugs bust An Egyptian man was arrested shortly after his arrival at KIA after customs officers who became suspicious at his behavior performed a search, finding three pieces of hashish hidden in his pants. The man told officers that the drugs were intended for personal consumption, reported Al-Anba. He was taken into custody.

Shopowner threatens salesmen

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) recently organized a tour for Iraqi Minister for Youth and Sports, Jassem Mohammad Jaafar to the Scientific Center. During the visit, Jaafar expressed his admiration to the facility, describing it as one of the most distinguished centers dedicated towards Science in the Middle East. Furthermore, he expressed hope that Iraq would benefit from this experience.

Kuwait role in Freedom Flotilla stems from sense of justice EAST MEDITERRANEAN: Deputy SecretaryGeneral of the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW) Mubarak Mutawwa said yesterday the Kuwaiti popular participation in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla stemmed from the sense of justice. “We feel it’s a matter of conscience to rise to help the besieged people in Gaza Strip,” he said in statements on board of Marmara, a Turkish boat among the international flotilla en route to Gaza. “I have the honor of taking part in this humanitarian effort which aims to break the siege on Gaza, as representative of the UNIW and the Kuwait people,” he said, noting that the UNIW represents up to 200 NGOs. “We want to send a message to the whole world that Kuwait always sides with good, right and justice. “The State of Kuwait had suffered the ordeal of the Iraqi invasion in 1990 and tasted the bitterness of injustice. At that time we were in need of supportive stance by the peace-loving nations. This is what Gaza needs now,” Mutawwa explained.

The people in Gaza have been undergoing two agonies at the hands of the Israeli occupation; the unfair siege and the military aggression of 2008/2009 winter. The blockage being in place since 2006 deprived the besieged people of the right to healthcare, sanitation, education and basic utilities while the war destroyed the embattled infrastructure and ravaged the farms and animal wealth in the southeastern Mediterranean enclave, he noted. Mutawwa thanked all contributors to the relief effort, voicing best regards to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Speaker of the National Assembly Jassem Al-Kharafi. He appealed for the Kuwaiti mass media to intensify the coverage of the Freedom Flotilla particularly because it includes a Kuwaiti delegation. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The legal representative of an Ahmadi food production firm told police in Fahaheel that a Kuwaiti man had been harassing and threatening the company’s salesmen. He informed officers that the man, a shopowner, had been regularly threatening the firm’s salesmen as he was under the misapprehension that they were taking his customers away. The legal representative said that although he had visited the man’s shop and attempted to reason with him over his behavior, the shopowner refused to end his threatening behavior, even asking staff at his shop to call him as soon as they saw any sales staff from the firm in the vicinity. The legal representative also claimed that the shopowner had attempted to extort money from the sales staff whenever they appeared to be in close proximity to individuals who shopped at his store. An investigation has been launched into the case. Grim discovery An Afghani worker discovered yesterday morning that his compatriot friend, co-worker and roommate had died in his sleep at their accommodation in Jaber AlAli. The worker made the grim discovery after breaking down the door of his friend’s room when he became alarmed at receiving no response from the man on repeatedly knocking on his door to wake him for work. His shocked friend immediately called the emergency services, with police and paramedics rushing to the scene, finding that the dead man had passed away some time before, reported Al-Jarida.

The body was removed for autopsy to determine the cause of death.

KUWAIT: Ahmad Al-Subaih, Dr Fadhil Safar and Yousif Al-Munawer with a picture of the future central food control laboratory.— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Contract signed for food quality control lab By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality has signed a contract with local construction firm Abu Shiba Trading Co., which will see the country gaining one of the most modern food quality control laboratories in the region within the next three years. The contract was signed yesterday at the municipality’s headquarters building, with Dr. Fadhil Safar, the Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipal Affairs, revealing afterwards that this is the first construction project of its kind to be undertaken by the municipality. “The municipality will supervise and execute this project in cooperation with a local contractor and the project is being undertaken in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and the Kuwait

Institute for Scientific Research,” the minister explained, adding, “Other parties will also cooperate with us on further projects.” The Municipality plans a variety of other projects, Dr. Safar revealed. “The municipality is carrying out administrative projects for the ‘Shaheed Tower’ and the municipal council,” he revealed, adding, “These projects are part of the state’s development plan and we are attaining achievements. All these plans have come at the right time.” The food quality control lab is an entirely new departure for the municipality, the minister stressed. Ahmad Al-Subaih, the Director General of Kuwait Municipality and head of the higher committee working on this project, said, “The municipality obtained exceptional leave to execute and

oversee this huge project, and I think it will meet expectations. This project will be on an international level and will compete with other similar projects being carried out in other GCC countries in both the technology and the equipment being used. The food quality control lab is being constructed on a 15,000 square meter site in Shuwaikh. The construction work is projected to be completed within two years, while equipping and furnishing the facility will take a further year, meaning that it’s scheduled for completion in three years. “This central laboratory will contain all kinds of food materials,” said the director of the municipality’s development projects department Yousif Al-Munawer. “It’s the biggest project in the region and will cost KD 7.661 million.”

Successful Kuwaiti film industry hard, but not impossible KUWAIT: The creation of a successful Kuwaiti cinema industry will not be easy, but is not impossible, according to a leading scholar of Asian cinema. Sri Lankan Professor Wimal Dissanayake, an academic at the United States’ University of Hawaii, said that the problem of Kuwait as with all nations with small populations, is that a cinema industry requires a large audience in the native country, as in India. KUNA met with Prof. Dissanayake on Saturday, with the interview also being attended by Sunil Sarath Perera, Ministerial Counselor at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait. On the spectrum of Asian cinema, Dissanayake said it was “remarkable” that the Thai film ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’ won the Palme d’Or at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival last week, adding that this will be construed as a feath-

er in the cap of Asian cinema. Another Asian-affiliated blockbuster was ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ a 2008 adaptation of a novel by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup, Dissanayake noted, pointing out that the movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009, winning eight. “When I speak about the Asian cinema industry, I’m including key players like India’s Bollywood, China, South Korea, Iran, and even Palestine,” noted the Sri Lankan scholar, who is also a Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Hong Kong. The Sri Lankan film industry was launched in 1947 and has seen ups and downs since then due to a number of financial and political reasons, the most recent of which was the military and ethnic conflict with the LTTE, which was brought to an end last year, Dissanayake said. He indicated that Lester James Peries,

an internationally-acclaimed Sri Lankan film director, screenwriter, and film producer, has played a major role in boosting the country’s filmmaking industry, having made over 28 films to date, often dealing with Sri Lankan family life in rural settings. Turning to global communication, Dissanayake said there is a real paradox when it comes to defining the term ‘globalization,’ as what gets shown is determined by Western media organizations, while other stories still need to be told. In this context, he carried on, the term “soft power” emerges as a means to overcome dominance by the West in terms of media, as it can be utilized in Asia through movies, advertisements and even “our own” pop culture; soft power but with a hard edge. Soft power, a term coined by Joseph Nye of Harvard University in 1990, is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option

and attraction. Prof Dissanayake received his early education in Sri Lanka, obtaining his doctorate from Cambridge University, England and carrying out his post-graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been the recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Fellowships and has been the keynote speaker at numerous academic conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia. An Affiliate to the Faculty of the Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii, Dissanayake also served as an advisor to the UNESCO. A bilingual poet, Dissanayake has published poetry in his mother tongue, Sinhalese, and in English, as well as authoring and co-authoring over 30 books on cinema and cultural studies that have been published by such prestigious academic presses as Oxford, Cambridge, and Duke. — KUNA

Dear traveler: Make sure that you obtain the necessary visa for the country of your destination before traveling. With compliments from the Ministry of Interior’s security media department

Monday, May 31, 2010



Broadcast comes amid rising Israel-Syria tensions

Israeli radio plays '62 interview with top spy JERUSALEM: Israel's Army Radio yesterday played parts of an interview given by Israel's most famous spy, marking 45 years since his capture and execution. In the 1962 interview on Damascus Radio, Eli Cohen is in character as businessman Kamal Amin Thabit. He comments on Arabic

ZGHARTA: Lebanese soldiers patrol the area during the municipal elections in the northern town of Zgharta, Lebanon, yesterday. Lebanese headed to ballot stations yesterday to vote in the fourth and last stage of municipal elections in north Lebanon. — AP

Lebanon hold municipal vote BEIRUT: Voters in north Lebanon are heading to the polls amid tight security for the fourth and last stage of municipal elections. The elections are seen as a test for coexistence in a nation where sectarian resentment continues 20 years after the end of a 1975-1990 civil war. Sunday's voting is expected to witness a limited number of heated electoral battles in the towns

of Batroun and Zgharta that are being closely contested between government-backed lists and their rivals. Concerns of violence were heightened after a family dispute that turned political deteriorated into a gunfight that killed two people Friday in the town of Dahr el-Ain in the northern Koura district. Municipal elections in Lebanon are held every six years. — AP

Israel rejects new drive to ban nukes from Mideast JERUSALEM: Israel, thought to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, has rejected a new UN call to come clean about its secretive nuclear program, calling it a "deeply flawed and hypocritical" act that ignores the threat posed by its sworn enemy Iran. Israel declared late Saturday that it would not take part in a 2012 conference on establishing a nuclear-free Middle East -- an Arab-led initiative backed by top ally US and the 188 other signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Although a series of US conditions put the conference in doubt, the resolution, and the surprising US support it received, added new pressure on Israel to give up what is almost universally believed to be a sizable nuclear arsenal. Israel refuses to confirm or deny the suspicions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to discuss the resolution with President Barack Obama when the two meet in Washington Tuesday, the Israeli leader's office said. Netanyahu was traveling in Canada yesterday, and a government spokesman declined what contacts had been made with the US over the resolution. But an Army Radio reporter traveling with Netanyahu in Toronto said his office unsuccessfully lobbied the US to block the resolution ahead of Friday's vote. Israel's so-called policy of nuclear ambiguity is a cornerstone of its military deterrence. It has long said that a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace must precede such weapons bans. Israel has never signed the non-proliferation treaty, which requires members to open nuclear facilities to inspection and to disarm. In its statement, it noted that since it's not a member, it is not a party to the resolution. "This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical: It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world," the government statement said. It "singles out Israel" yet "the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution," it added. Despite its assertions to the contrary, Iran is widely suspected to be seeking to build nuclear weapons. Israel sees Iran as its fiercest threat because of its nuclear program, its ballistic missiles capable of hitting the Jewish state and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated references to Israel's destruction. The Arab proposal for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction was first endorsed at a 1995 non-proliferation conference but never acted on. At this month's review of the treaty at UN headquarters, many delegates considered a conference to begin talks on a nuclear-free Middle East to be a critical part of the final resolution. The review's spotlight on Israel put the Jewish state in an uncomfortable position. While it tirelessly lobbies the international community to preventing Iran from acquiring atomic weapons, it insists on maintaining a veil of secrecy around its own nuclear capabilities. Details and pictures leaked in 1986 to the Sunday Times of London by Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear plant, led foreign experts to conclude Israel has dozens of nuclear weapons. — AP

Cohen is revered in Israel as a highly talented agent who worked his way into the upper echelons of Syrian government and society, feeding Israel with valuable political and military intelligence, which he transmitted back to Israeli via clandestine radio broadcasts. Cultivating his contacts by throwing lavish parties, Cohen befriended senior Syrian intelligence officers, arranging a rare tour of the Golan Heights overlooking northern Israel. He supplied Israel with details of the Syrian fortifications in the Golan, which proved crucial to the Jewish state's capture of the strategic territory in the 1967 Mideast war. Syria demands the Golan back as a condition for a peace accord. Cohen also relayed detailed Syrian plans to divert the waters of the Jordan River away from Israel, leading to an Israeli air force attack in 1964 that foiled the project. He arrived in Damascus in 1962 and spied for Israel until his capture. He was hanged in a public square in Damascus on May 18, 1965. Cohen was born in Egypt to Syrian Jewish parents. Since his execution, Israel has been trying unsuccessfully to persuade Syria to return his remains to Israel. In the interview, Cohen - who was posing as a Syrian business man who had lived

music and society, but the sound quality of some of the excerpts heard yesterday was unclear. The broadcast came as tensions between Israel and Syria have been on the rise, as each side charges that the other is preparing for war.

JERUSALEM: In this Dec 13, 1999 file photo, Nadia Cohen remembers her husband Eli Cohen during an interview. – AP

as an expatriate in Argentina - was asked why he returned to Syria from South America. He explained that he did not know enough about Syria. "I have been asked to talk about my country and did not know what to say," he said. "Then I told myself, let's go see my land, see how it has developed." His widow, Nadia, told Israel TV yesterday that she could not clearly identify Cohen's voice because of the accent and the poor sound quality. Even so, she said that hearing it affected her deeply. "The only comfort was in the pills I take. Without them I cannot deal with this kind of stress," she said. Syria and Israel have been bitter enemies since Israel was created in 1948, and tensions still run high. Israel accuses Syria of arming the Lebanese Hezbollah with rockets and other weapons to be aimed at Israel. Damascus charged that last week's large-scale Israeli civil defense drill was evidence that Israel was plotting an attack on Syria. Hezbollah and Israel fought a fierce monthlong war in 2006. Israel has said it has sent messages to Syria assuring Damascus that Israel has no intention of attacking. At the same time, Israeli leaders routinely ask world leaders to put pressure on Syria to stop supplying weapons to Hezbollah. — AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

German coalition partners turn rivals in key state BERLIN: Germany's ruling parties have become rivals to form a government with the Social Democrats in a key western state, a development which is likely to deepen tensions in Chancellor Angela Merkel's embattled coalition. Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) had shared power in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with their federal coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP) of Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, until an inconclusive vote on May 9. Having lost their majority, both sides have now signalled they could work with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in NRW, Germany's most populous state, even

though it would complicate policy in Berlin and the FDP had explicitly ruled out such an option before the vote. The showdown in NRW follows weeks of unrest in Merkel's government, castigated at home for its domestic squabbles and condemned abroad for its handling of the euro crisis-raising new questions about whether it can last a full four-year term. Westerwelle has repeatedly rebuffed overtures to work with the SPD in recent years, but he suggested at the weekend that such a link might be possible in NRW. "We'll have to wait and see which coalition we get in North Rhine-Westphalia," he told newspaper Welt am Sonntag, welcom-

ing the fact that the SPD had decided against a coalition with the Left party in NRW. The NRW talks come against the backdrop of government efforts to agree how to consolidate public finances, already a contentious issue inside the coalition. Merkel's cabinet will meet to discuss the planned overhaul on June 6-7. Westerwelle's apparent opening to the SPD also follows a plunge in support for his party, whose hopes of cutting taxes were dashed by Merkel a day after the NRW vote. "It looks like Westerwelle is annoyed with Merkel," said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University. "If the FDP were to enter a coalition with the

SPD in NRW, Westerwelle could use it to put pressure on Merkel." "This would have an impact on federal policy." The NRW vote put an end to Merkel's majority in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, jeopardising central planks of the government's reform agenda and its ability to pass legislation designed to alleviate the euro zone crisis. If the FDP helped the SPD to form a socalled "traffic light" coalition with the Greens in NRW, it could give Westwerelle more leverage on policy in Berlin, Neugebauer said. But it remained to be seen whether the FDP could work with the Greens, he added.

Until now, the most likely outcome had appeared to be a "grand coalition" in NRW between the SPD and CDU. But the parties have had trouble resolving differences over who would run the state, with the SPD reluctant to join a government under incumbent premier Juergen Ruettgers, whose CDU won the most support, but only by a few thousand votes. A deal with the FDP and Greens would allow the Social Democrats, as strongest party, to replace Ruettgers with one of their own and retake control of the bellwether state after a five-year hiatus. Neugebauer said the widening rift in Berlin would inevitably raise questions

about whether Merkel's government, just seven months old, would serve out a full term in office. "I never thought the government would get into this much trouble so quickly," said Neugebauer. "Merkel has failed to get the competition between her party and the FDP under control." Reflecting the unease in Berlin, Horst Seehofer, head of the CDU's sister party, Bavaria's Christian Social Union, hinted at the weekend that the government's days could be numbered. "The future of the coalition will be decided in the coming week," Seehofer was quoted as saying by Welt am Sonntag. — Reuters

Preliminary findings rule out terrorist act

No technical fault in Libya jet crash: Investigators TRIPOLI: Investigators have so far found no evidence that mechanical failure caused an Airbus aircraft to crash in Libya this month killing 103 people, a Libyan commission studying the crash said. The Airbus A330 operated by

Libya's Afriqiyah Airways crashed on May 12 as it prepared to land at Tripoli airport after a flight from Johannesburg, killing everyone on board except a nine-year-old Dutch boy.

ST PETERSBURG: A picture taken on May 29, 2010 shows Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as he kisses a baby during his visit to Nevskaya Dubrowka dormitory outside St. Petersburg. — AFP

Georgia leader faces test in municipal vote TBILISI: Georgians voted yesterday in nationwide municipal elections seen as a key test of proWestern President Mikheil Saakashvili's commitment to democratic reform and popular support. Polls show that Saakashvili's ruling party is expected to win the vote comfortably amid deep divisions in the opposition and continued support for his economic reforms. The vote is the first electoral test for Saakashvili's United National Movement since Georgia's 2008 war with Russia and will see candidates vying for 1,730 positions in 64 municipalities across the former Soviet republic, among them the important post of mayor of the capital Tbilisi. Polls opened at 8:00 am (0400 GMT) and were to close after 12 hours of voting, with exit poll results expected shortly after the end of voting. About 3.5 million people were registered to vote. By noon, voter turnout had reached 20 percent, the Central Election Commission said. Hailed as a leading democratic reformer in the former Soviet Union after he came to power in the peaceful 2003 Rose Revolution, Saakashvili has seen Western support wane over his handling of the war and opposition allegations of growing authoritarianism. He has vowed the elections will be conducted fairly and invited international observers to monitor the vote. Opposition leaders are promising to call supporters to the streets if they consider the vote unfair, but analysts say they do not expect a repeat of large-scale demonstrations held against Saakashvili last year. The vote will be the first-ever direct elections for the mayor's post in Tbilisi, a position seen by

many observers as a potential springboard for the presidency after Saakashvili's second term ends in 2013. The mayor was previously elected by the 50-member Tbilisi city council, whose positions are also up for grabs. Incumbent mayor Gigi Ugulava, a close Saakashvili ally, is widely expected to win. The leading opposition contender is Irakli Alasania, a former ambassador to the United Nations who defected to the opposition over Saakashvili's handling of the war which saw Russian forces pour into Georgia to repel an assault on the Moscow-backed rebel region of South Ossetia. Ugulava called the election

"historic" after casting his ballot and promised it would meet international standards. "This is a historic moment for Tbilisians because it is the first time that we directly elect the mayor. Everything will be conducted fairly today and high standards will be adhered to," he said in comments broadcast on Rustavi-2 television. Alasania voiced optimism despite the odds against him. "I voted for change. I am very optimistic," he said after voting. "I am confident that everything will go smoothly and that our state and our democracy will be strengthened after these elections." Voting in Tbilisi, 47-year-old

doctor Lisa Kvirikashvili said she was backing Saakashvili's party, which in recent years has overseen a dramatic facelift and major infrastructure improvements in the capital. "Tbilisi today is much better than several years ago. Ugulava is a good mayor," she said. Analysts say the election is being closely watched abroad, especially in Washington, for signs that Saakashvili remains committed to democratic reforms. "The West, the United States, have repeatedly declared that this election is a further test of Georgia's democracy," said Giorgi Margvelashvili, an analyst with the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. — AFP

TBILISI: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (L) and his wife Sandra Roelofs (R) exit a voting booth to cast their ballots in Tbilisi yesterday. Georgians voted in nationwide municipal elections seen as a key test of proWestern President Mikheil Saakashvili's commitment to democratic reform and popular support. — AFP

"There is no sign indicating a technical failure in the plane before the incident, according to data recovered up until now from the two black boxes," commission chief Naji Dhaw said in a statement setting out investigators' preliminary conclusions that was seen by Reuters on Sunday. Dhaw told Reuters the investigation was continuing into why the almost new aircraft crashed, and it could be some time before his commission was ready to present its final conclusions. The commission of investigation also ruled out an explosion or fire on board the plane before the crash and said there was no evidence it was caused by an act of terrorism. The commission also said there was no evidence a lack of fuel was a factor, and that there was nothing to indicate that the pilot had radioed the control tower before the crash to request technical or medical assistance. The statement added: "The crew was qualified to work on this type of aircraft. It had operated more than one flight on this route and authorisations for the crew were valid." The Airbus A330 had been in service for only eight months when it crashed, and it had passed three routine inspections by European aviation safety agencies. The victims included 70 Dutch citizens. Nationals from Libya, South Africa, Britain, Austria, Germany, Zimbabwe and France were also killed, the airline said. The only survivor was nineyear-old Ruben von Assouw, from the southern Dutch city of Tilburg, who was returning from a safari holiday in South Africa with his family. He was treated in a Tripoli hospital for bone fractures, and was then flown home in an air ambulance after being told that his parents and 11-year-old brother had died in the crash. — Reuters

Bashir dissolves govt ahead of new line-up KHARTOUM: President Omar Al-Bashir dissolved the Sudanese government yesterday four days after he was sworn in for a new term, ahead of the formation of a fresh cabinet line-up. "President Beshir decided to dissolve the government formed after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord (between Khartoum and southern rebels) ahead of a broader cabinet," said Omar Mohammed Saleh, a government spokesman. Bashir has asked the ministers of defence and presidential affairs, Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein and Bakri Hassan Saleh, to stay on in their posts until the new government is formed. The minister of state for cabinet affairs, Kamal Abdellatif, will also keep his post until the formation of a new team including the various factions which contested April's general election, the spokesman said. Bashir's decision was announced at a meeting of the outgoing cabinet. Negotiations are underway between Beshir's National Congress Party which swept the election and the ex-rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to bring smaller factions loyal to the regime into a new cabinet line-up. — AFP

KOSOVSKA: Romanian European Union police officers guard a bridge over the Ibar river in the northern, Serb-dominated part of the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo, yesterday. Riot police used tear gas and pepper spray yesterday to separate hundreds of ethnic Albanian protesters and Serbs voting in local Serbian elections in the tensely divided town of Mitrovica. — AP

Police use tear gas to prevent clashes in Kosovo MITROVICA: Riot police in Kosovo used tear gas and pepper spray yesterday to separate hundreds of ethnic Albanian protesters from rock-throwing Serbs voting in local Serbian elections in the tense, divided town of Mitrovica. NATO peacekeepers and European Union police units were also deployed to prevent clashes on the bridge that splits the town into a Serbian north and an Albanian south. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia rejected the move and with the backing of Russia has fought to keep nations around the world from recognizing Kosovo. Some 70 nations, including the United States, support Kosovo's independence. The Kosovo split came a decade after its 19981999 war with Serbia, which ended with NATO bombing Serb forces for weeks in 1999 to stop an ethnic cleansing campaign against Kosovo's mostly ethnic Albanian population. Yesterday, about 2,000 ethnic Albanians, led by veterans of the war, protested a vote in the Serb part of Mitrovica that they considered a breach of Kosovo's sovereignty. Singing nationalist songs and chanting the name of the now-disbanded guerrilla army that fought Serb forces in Kosovo, they marched

toward the bridge, where police held back hundreds of Serb counter-demonstrators who were throwing rocks and setting off fireworks. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse Serb protesters trying to charge across the bridge. Minutes later, automatic gunfire came from the north, but police did not report any injuries. Protesters on both sides dispersed an hour later, although NATO peacekeepers and EU police officers stayed to guard the bridge spanning the Ibar river -- a natural frontier between the two estranged communities that has been a frequent scene of clashes. Mitrovica was halved 11 years ago after French peacekeepers moved to protect local Serbs from Albanians seeking vengeance for their treatment by Serbs during the war. Since then, countless efforts have been made to bring the two sides together, but have largely failed. International overseers as well as Kosovo's government have not been able to establish their authority in the north, where Serb leaders largely backed by Belgrade are in control. The last riots took place in 2008 after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. A Ukrainian peacekeeper was killed by rioting Serbs and dozens of NATO peacekeepers were injured. — AP

Sarkozy faces sceptics over bid to revamp Africa ties PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy hosts his first Africa summit this week hoping to convince leaders that France has put an end to its notoriously murky dealings with its excolonies and wants a fresh start. Sarkozy will face many sceptics at the summit in the Riviera city of Nice from today, bringing together some forty leaders from Cairo to Cape Town. Unlike his predecessor Jacques Chirac, who was known for his personal relationships with French-speaking west African leaders, Sarkozy has preferred to engage with the continent as a whole. Over the past three years, he has cut down French military bases in Africa from five to three and reached beyond France's traditional sphere of influence in its former colonies, to South Africa, Rwanda and Angola. Former foreign minister Hubert Vedrine said he had difficulty believing in Sarkozy's vision of changed ties with Africa. "It was a good thing that he reviewed our defence accords. That had to be done," said Vedrine. "But Nicolas Sarkozy has not cleaned up our relationship with Africa." On his first visit to subSaharan Africa after taking

office in 2007, Sarkozy managed to offend African leaders and intellectuals with a speech widely seen as riddled with stereotypes and prejudices. "The tragedy of Africa is that the African has not fully entered into history," Sarkozy said in the speech at Dakar university. He argued that Africans had missed out on "progress". In marked contrast with Chirac, Sarkozy campaigned for election on a promise to shake up France's ties with Africa, vowing to chase away "the old demons of paternalism, clientelism and hand-outs." To underscore that point, the first African leader invited to the Elysee palace was Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, although she was followed shortly after by Omar Bongo of Gabon, France's long-time ally. The continued presence in Sarkozy's team of lawyer Robert Bourgi, known as one of the Elysee's top operators in shady parallel diplomacy, has reinforced the view that it's business-as-usual in Africa. On the economic front, Sarkozy wants to counter claims of French pillaging of resources by developing "win-win" partnerships in Africa. But the French rights group Survie International charges that Paris still defends its eco-

nomic interests "at the expense of human rights and democracy" in places like Niger, a prime source of uranium for French nuclear giant Areva. French development minister Alain Joyandet said the twoday gathering in Nice would be "the summit of renewal, a sort of launch of a new era." French and Africa business leaders and civil society representatives will also take part in the event to show that the summit is no longer the cozy affair of previous decades. "France has made a clear break with its old ways and now has ties with everybody in Africa," said an Elysee official. The Nice summit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the independence of 14 former colonies that is being celebrated in several countries, but Sarkozy has not attended any of the events. The Elysee has however invited the leaders of the 14 excolonies to Paris as the special guests of the July 14 national day celebrations, and their national armies are to take part in the traditional Bastille Day parade. Sarkozy will host a summit of west African leaders on July 13 at which he will deliver a keynote address on the future of Africa-France relations. — AFP

Monday, May 31, 2010



New law to take effect from July 29

Thousands march over Arizona’s immigration law TEMPE: Supporters and opponents of Arizona’s tough new crackdown on illegal immigration held separate rallies in Phoenix, drawing thousands of people from around the United States. Marchers carrying signs, banners and

BOGOTA: Surrounded by bodyguards Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe waves to journalists as he arrives at a polling station during presidential elections in Bogota, yesterday. — AP

Ex-defense minister takes aim at Colombian presidency BOGOTA: Juan Manuel Santos, a former Colombian defense minister tapped to succeed Alvaro Uribe in presidential elections yesterday, is both buoyed and beset by the hardline camapign he waged against Marxist guerrillas while in office. The 58-year-old candidate of Uribe’s conservative Social Party of National Unity is seen as a champion in the fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the oldest insurgency in the Americas that, while weakened, still exerts fear over Colombia. During his 2006-2009 period as minister, Santos scored some big victories against the FARC, including in 2008 when a Colombian raid into neighboring Ecuador killed a high-ranking rebel commander, Raul Reyes, and rescue operation the same year that liberated Ingrid Betancourt and three US military contractors. But he is also dogged by the murders of hundreds of civilians by soldiers who falsely claimed their “combat kills” were guerrillas. Scandals involving wiretaps of judges and journalists have also spread from Uribe to him. And while the Ecuador incursion was hailed at home, it has created diplomatic tensions with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and his ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, that could

Tropical storm of season kills 12 in Guatemala GUATEMALA CITY: The first tropical storm of the 2010 season hit the Pacific coastline of Guatemala and Mexico on Saturday, killing 12 people under landslides and rockfall triggered by torrential rains. Tropical Storm Agatha’s rains caused a landslide in a precarious hillside settlement of Guatemala City that killed four people and left 11 missing, Guatemalan disaster relief spokesman David de Leon said. Most of the city was without electricity at nightfall, complicating search efforts. Four children were killed by another mudslide in the town of Santa Catarina Pinula about six miles (10 kilometers) outside the Guatemalan capital. And in the department of Quetzaltenango, 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Guatemala City, a boulder loosened by rains crushed a house, killing two children and two adults, de Leon said. Agatha formed early Saturday in the East Pacific and moved over land in the evening along the Guatemala-Mexico border, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. The center of the storm was located 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Tapachula on Saturday night, moving northeast at 10 mph (16 kph) and packing winds of 40 mph (65 kph). More than 850 people were evacuated from their homes because of flooding affecting much of central and southern Guatemala. Before the rains, Guatemala already was contending with heavy eruptions from its Pacaya volcano that have blanketed the capital in ash and destroyed 800 homes. Officials expressed concerns that Agatha’s rains could exacerbate the damages. Though the storm is expected to lose force as it comes ashore overnight, it still could bring rains of 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) and as much as 30 inches (75 centimeters) in isolated areas of Guatemala. “The storm will start to weaken and we hope that on Sunday it will be just a tropical depression,” said Romero Garcia of Guatemala’s Meteorological Institute. “That is not to say that there won’t be heavy rains.” The Pacaya volcano, which is just south of the capital, started spewing lava and rocks Thursday afternoon, forcing the closure of Guatemala City’s international airport. A TV reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks. — AP

worsen should Santos become head of state. Chavez, who almost started a conflict with Colombia over the incident, has called Santos “dangerous” to peace in the region. Santos though has forged on with all the selfconfidence and determination accumulated since his birth into a powerful and rich Bogota family linked to politics and journalism. The clan, which already produced one president in 1938, Santos’s great-uncle Eduardo Santos, notably co-owns Colombia’s most influential daily, El Tiempo. “One can’t choose one’s family, only what you dedicate yourself to. I come from a wealthy family and I could just as well be playing golf right now in Miami. But I am here to serve my country,” he recently told AFP. With a US degree in economy and an MBA, and studies in economic development from the London School of Economics, Santos has the international credentials for his tilt for higher office. He is also an expert in one of Colombia’s main industries, coffee production, and has represented his country over several years in the International Coffee Organization. A long stint in government included being trade minister in 1990-1994 and finance minister 1998-2002. Santos has been married for 23 years and has three children. — AFP

Police declined to estimate the size of the crowd, but it appeared that up to 20,000 protesters, some bused in from around the country, braved 94degree (34-degree Celsius) heat. Volunteers handed out water bottles and set up water stations. About 20 people were treated for heat symptoms and seven were taken to a hospital, said Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson. There were no arrests, he said. The law’s opponents also gathered at capitols in states including Texas and Oregon, and about 300 people protested at the US Embassy in Mexico City demanding legalization for undocumented Mexican workers in the United States. “Many of us have relatives or friends in the US and we must now stand up and speak out on their behalf,” said Elvira Arellano, who gained international attention in 2007 when she was deported without her US citizen son. The new law requires that Arizona police conducting traffic stops or questioning people about possible legal violations ask them about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally. Critics of the law, set to take effect July 29, say it unfairly targets Hispanics and could lead to racial profiling. Proponents insist racial profiling will not be tolerated. “I don’t think that this law is

flags from the United States and Mexico filled a 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch of central Phoenix on Saturday, demanding that the federal government refuse to cooperate with Arizona authorities trying to enforce the new law.

ARIZONA: Protesters hold up banners as they demonstrate against Arizona’s tough new immigration laws at a large rally in Phoenix on May 29. Rights groups had already announced plans to file a legal challenge to the law, which makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers and requires police to determine whether people were in the country legally. — AFP American. I think it’s discriminatory,” said marcher Chelsea Halstead, a 20-year-old college student from Flagstaff. “I’m offended by it because this is a nation founded by immigrants.” In San Francisco, about 500 people gathered Saturday night outside AT&T Park, where the Giants were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks, to push for a boycott against Arizona. About 7,000 supporters of

Arizona’s law gathered Saturday evening at a baseball stadium in suburban Tempe, encouraging Americans to support Arizona by vacationing in the state. Charlene Pellin, 64, drove to Phoenix for a four-day vacation from her home in Huntington Beach, Calif. “Hopefully if enough people show support for Arizona more states will follow suit,” Pellin said. Supporters

said they are standing with Arizona for trying to enforce immigration laws because the federal government has failed to do so. “The operative word in all this is ‘illegal,”’ said Christine Griswold, a 54-year-old gynecologist in Palm Desert, Calif. “It has nothing to do with their race. It’s that they’re coming to the country illegally.” Some marchers chanted “si se

puede,” a phrase coined by Hispanic civil rights leader Cesar Chavez that roughly means “yes we can.” Others took aim at President Barack Obama, demanding that he prioritize immigration reform that would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants now in the country. “Obama, listen, we are in the fight,” they chanted in Spanish. — AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

Man executed for kindergarten stabbing spree in China BEIJING: A man was executed yesterday for carrying out a bloody assault on 32 people, mostly small children, at a kindergarten in eastern China, one of a spate of attacks on schools that shocked the nation. Xu Yuyuan, 47, burst into a classroom in the city of Taixing last month and stabbed children and teachers with a large knife, leaving four victims badly injured. The assault is one of a number that took place in China in a period of less than two months, leaving 17 people-including 15 children-dead and more than 80 injured. Two of the attackers committed suicide. “Xu Yuyuan was executed this morning,”

an official at the higher people’s court of Jiangsu province, who refused to be nameda, told AFP. He added the sentence was carried out in Taizhou, a larger city that administers Taixing. Xu, who had been jobless for nine years, was sentenced to death on May 15 by a court in Taizhou after a trial attended by 300 people. The sentence was then approved by China’s supreme court, the official Xinhua news agency said. He had told the court his motive was to vent his rage against society after losing money gambling and in business dealings, and suffering setbacks in his personal life.

According to a previous Xinhua report, the court decided that even though Xu had not succeeded in killing his victims, “his criminal motivation was extremely despicable, his means extremely cruel, his plot especially evil.” The recent spate of attacks has shocked a nation where violent crime remains relatively rare, and emergency measures including beefing up school security and shutting down bars near schools have been taken across China. Public security minister Meng Jianzhu has vowed to “severely strike” at anyone caught attacking schools, and the south-

western city of Chongqing has even ordered police to “shoot to kill” anyone trying to harm students. One man-a former doctor who stabbed to death eight children and injured five others on March 23 in southeast China-has already been executed. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has also commented on the recent attacksmany of which involved knives or meat cleavers-saying that long-standing social concerns are partially to blame. Analysts agree, saying the assaults show China is paying the price for focusing on economic growth for decades while ignoring mental health problems linked to the

nation’s rapid social change. Studies have cited a rise in mental disorders in China, some linked to stress as society becomes more fast-paced and old socialist supports have been scrapped. One study last year estimated that 173 million adults in China had some type of mental disorder — 91 percent of whom had never received professional help. Some of the attackers involved in the violent school rampages reportedly had mental problems. Chen Kangbing, a 33-year-old teacher reportedly on sick leave due to mental problems, injured 15 students and a teacher in a

knife attack at a primary school in southern China a day before Xu’s rampage. A number of other violent assaults and multiple killings have been reported across the country in recent months. Earlier this month, 13 vocational students were injured, including one who had a hand chopped off, when they were attacked by youths with cleavers on the southern island of Hainan. And state press reported in April that gay singer Zhou Youping was arrested in central China after allegedly killing six men in sadomasochistic sex games that involved hanging his victims. — AFP

‘Korean tensions must be defused’

China PM avoids backing sanctions for North Korea SEOGWIPO: China’s premier expressed no support for proposed UN sanctions against ally North Korea over its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship, declining yesterday to join other key nations in blaming Pyongyang. Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday that tensions between the two Koreas

need to be urgently defused. He spoke at the end of a weekend summit in South Korea where he was closely watched for signs that Beijing would get tougher on the North, which is accused of sinking the naval ship Cheonan with a torpedo two months ago, killing 46 sailors.

SEOGWIPO: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) speaks during the second-day of trilateral summit meetings between China, Japan and South Korea in Seogwipo on Jeju island, south of Seoul, yesterday. Wen said there is an “urgent” need to avoid clashes and ease tensions following the sinking of a South Korean warship. — AFP

2 Filipino soldiers killed in clashes with rebels MANILA: Two soldiers were killed and five others went missing in the latest clashes between Philippine troops and communist rebels, military officials said yesterday. The country’s Marxist insurgency, one of Asia’s longest, has continued to rage despite a deadline by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to crush it by the end of her term on June 30. A New People’s Army rebel sniper fatally shot one of several army soldiers guarding a government road project on Saturday in a remote village in Presentacion township in Camarines Sur province, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of Manila, army Lt. Col. Ernesto Cruz said. Twelve soldiers were deployed to pursue the attackers but

were ambushed by the rebels late Saturday in another village in Presentacion. Seven soldiers, three of them wounded by grenades and rifle fire, managed to return to camp, but five went missing, regional army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said. Villagers have reported seeing the bodies of four of the missing soldiers at the battle scene in a Presentacion hinterland, and troops aboard two Huey helicopters have been sent to look for the army personnel, Cabunoc said. The fifth soldier has sent a mobile phone message to his army commander, saying he was hiding in a forest near the scene of the clash. Troops were also searching for him, Cabunoc said. An army soldier was killed and seven oth-

ers were wounded by a land-mine blast in a separate fight Saturday on the outskirts of southern Davao city, regional military spokesman Capt. Emmanuel Garcia said. The communist guerrillas apparently planted mines to block the advance of government troops that they had fought twice earlier Saturday, Garcia said. The military says the rebels’ ranks have thinned to about 4,000 from more than 25,000 in the mid-1980s because of battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism. Peace talks between the rebels and the government brokered by Norway collapsed in 2004 after the rebels accused Arroyo’s administration of instigating their inclusion on US and European terrorist blacklists. —AP

Socialists quit Japan coalition over US base row TOKYO: Japan’s small socialist party yesterday walked out of the ruling coalition in a row over a US military base in Okinawa, heaping pressure on embattled Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ahead of July elections. The move came after Hatoyama on Friday dismissed Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Mizuho Fukushima as his consumer affairs minister. Fukushima had denounced Hatoyama’s decision to retain the Marine base despite a preelection promise by the centreleft prime minister to move it off Okinawa island, where the US military presence is hugely unpopular. “We decided to leave the government at an executive meeting,” Fukushima told a televised news conference. “Everybody told me it was good that I have stuck to my beliefs,” she said. The SDP has only minimal representation in parliament, with seven seats in the lower house and five seats in the upper chamber. But Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which dominates the lower house, needs the help of other parties to secure a majority in the upper house. The SDP’s departure could further damage Hatoyama’s standing as his approval ratings hover at all-

time lows of around 20 percent before the July elections, in which half of the 242 upper house seats will be contested. Hatoyama has been roundly assailed for indecisive leadership over Okinawa and the enfeebled economy, and also faces attacks over party political funding scandals. Pressure is reportedly growing within the DPJ for Hatoyama to stand down, but he insists he is going nowhere. “I want to gain the people’s understanding over my determination to work in this position,” he told Japanese media late Saturday as he attended a summit with the president of South Korea and the Chinese premier. Hatoyama formed a coalition with the SDP and the People’s New Party after the DPJ ended half a century of almost unbroken conservative rule in elections last August. Hatoyama promised to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma air station off Okinawa entirely, but the United States insisted that both sides stick to a 2006 deal to keep the base on the southern island. After months of tension, Tokyo and Washington said in a joint statement last week the base would be moved, as first agreed in 2006, from a crowded urban area to a coastal region of Okinawa. — AFP

TOKYO: Mizuho Fukushima (C), the consumer affairs minister, enters the official residence of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama for his meeting in Tokyo yesterday. Japan’s socialist party yesterday decided to leave the country’s ruling coalition in a row over a US base, putting pressure on Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ahead of July elections, Jiji Press reported. — AFP

China’s backing is key to any effort to punish North Korea with U.N. sanctions because Beijing wields veto power at the Security Council as a permanent member. North Korea has repeatedly denied attacking the ship, and on Sunday tens of thousands of people packed the main square in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital, for a rally condemning South Korea and the US. The isolated North often organizes such events during times of tense relations with foreign countries. Clapping and pumping their fists in the air, the protesters shouted anti-South Korean slogans, held signs and carried a huge portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, according to video footage from APTN in North Korea. “Because of the South Korean war-loving, mad puppets and American invaders, the North and South relationship is being driven to a catastrophe,” Choi Yong Rim, secretary of the North Korean Workers Party in Pyongyang, told the crowd. Wen joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan at the two-day summit, which was to focus on economic issues but was overshadowed by the sinking of the Cheonan, one of the South’s worst military losses since the Korean War in the 1950s. At a closing news conference, Wen gave no clear indication that Beijing was ready to endorse South Korea’s plans to bring North Korea before the U.N. Security Council for sanctions or condemnation. Nevertheless, Wen used China’s strongest language yet to describe the grave situation between communist ally North Korea and South Korea, a vital trading partner. “The urgent task for the moment is to properly handle the serious impact caused by the Cheonan incident, gradually defuse tensions over it and avoid possible conflicts,” Wen said. “China will continue to work with every country through aggressive negotiations and cooperation to fulfill our mission of maintaining peace and stability in the region,” he said. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said he doubted the Security Council would take up the Cheonan case. “Wen Jiabao’s speech today gave no practical measures in dealing with the Cheonan incident,” Yang said. “He said nothing about how specifically China will get involved in regard to the UN Security Council.” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said the three leaders had agreed to continue discussing the ship disaster. “I expect Japan and China, as very responsible members of the international community, to wisely cooperate in the handling of this matter,” Lee said. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama added that the three nations have “a common view that (the ship sinking) is a serious matter for peace and stability in Northeast Asia.” Last week, South Korea laid out a series of punitive measures, including slashing trade, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching largescale naval exercises off the western coast. The North warned the South’s moves would push the peninsula closer to war. —AFP

HONG KONG: Police officers hold fence as they clash with protesters yesterday in Hong Kong. Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters yesterday demanded Beijing exonerate the pro-democracy demonstrators it brutally suppressed 21 years ago in the June 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. — AP

Hundreds in HK remember Tiananmen crackdown HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters demanded yesterday that the Chinese government exonerate the participants in pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square that it brutally suppressed 21 years ago. The Chinese government still considers the 1989 protests a “counterrevolutionary riot,” and public discussion of the student movement is taboo. But the military crackdown, which killed at least hundreds, is mourned openly every year in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory that is promised Western-style civil liberties. This year, however, Hong Kong democracy activists alleged that local police were trying to clamp down on their mourning activities. On Saturday, police officers arrested 13 activists and confiscated a “Goddess of Democracy” statue dedicated to the Tiananmen victims and set up next to a shopping mall. Police said the activists didn’t have a license to display the statue. The activists pressed ahead with a scheduled protest yesterday, displaying a smaller version of

the statue. Police did not interfere with yesterday’s protest. “Political persecution is shameful,” the 400 protesters chanted in the rain before setting off for Hong Kong’s government headquarters. “No matter how harsh the crackdown, we will persist until the end with a firm hand,” veteran activist Szeto Wah told the crowd. “The Hong Kong government is so narrowminded,” protester Anthony Cheung said, adding he was worried that freedom of speech was being eroded in the former British colony. “It is giving us less and less space to express our views,” the 67-year-old retiree said. After most protesters dispersed, about 30 marched on to the Chinese government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, where they scuffled with police guarding the building. They later staged a sit-in on the road in front of the compound, stopping traffic. The activists plan to stage a candlelight vigil on Friday, the anniversary of the crackdown. The annual vigil usually draws tens of thousands of people. — AP

MANILA: US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas (R) shakes hands with a Philippine war veteran during a service to mark US Memorial Day and honour soldiers who fell during World War II at the Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Manila yesterday. — AFP

Thailand appears back to ‘normal’ BANGKOK: Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday the country appeared to be back to “normal” after the lifting of a curfew imposed in the wake of deadly anti-government protests. The premier cancelled the curfew Saturday but said emergency rule was still necessary after two months of mass rallies by “Red Shirt” demonstrators that paralysed the capital and left almost 90 people dead. “The situation last night was normal. Authorities will keep an eye though, then we’ll consider lifting the state of emergency,” Abhisit said in his weekly television address. The Reds’ street rallies, broken up on May 19 in an army crackdown on their encampment in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong commercial district, sparked outbreaks of violence that left 88 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1,900 injured. In an address Saturday to foreign diplomats, Abhisit said Thailand needed to “rebuild the

social and economic compact between people and the government,” but defended the crackdown. “I can say that when we took that Ratchaprasong intersection, we took Bangkok back for the people,” Abhisit said in the speech, which was broadcast yesterday. “No matter what their political views may be, I’m still confident that the majority of our people are peaceful and moderate and they were stunned and dismayed” by recent events, he said. The premier said he was confident the situation could be resolved through the democratic process, despite a history that has seen 18 actual or attempted coups in Thailand since 1932. “I think if something like this had happened in the past, people would probably think a coup d’etat was around the corner,” Abhisit said. “Clearly this time around I think everybody is determined that the situation should and could be resolved through normal parliamentary and democra-

tic processes,” he added. Abhisit will face a no confidence debate in parliament on Monday and Tuesday, as opposition parties plan to press him over methods used to disperse the Reds and allegations his Democrat Pary obtained illegal campaign donations in 2005. The Red Shirts were campaigning for elections they hoped would oust the government, which they view as undemocratic because it came to power with the backing of the army after a court ruling threw out the previous administration. Abhisit had proposed November 14 polls in a bid to end the rally, but he shelved the plan because demonstrators refused to disperse. Abhisit told diplomats he had not ruled out an early poll but repeated an earlier statement that the environment must be right for elections. “Clearly given the way things have turned out over the last couple of weeks, the date of November 14 would now look very unlikely,” he said. — AFP


Monday, May 31, 2010


Afghans seek modern peace in traditional style KABUL: At the bottom of a hill on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, billboards display pictures of past Afghan rulers with captions extolling how they resolved critical national issues at various times by holding “jirgas”, traditional gatherings of elders and notables. Flyers addressing Taleban insurgents and their sympathisers, bear an ancient Afghan maxim: “If you insist on your might and I do the same, neither of us will exist. But if you listen to me and I do to you, both of us will survive.” The homespun, softly-softly message is part of an effort by Pesident Hamid Karzai to reach out to the Taleban at a time when the insurgency is at its strongest and before Obama’s pledge to start withdrawing troops in mid-2011. Karzai, ruler of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban in 2001, has called a jirga from June 2-5 to present proposals for how to start peace talks. Delegates will debate and tinker with a draft that includes suggestions for the integration of Taleban foot soldiers into the army or police, the removal of some Taleban leaders from a UN blacklist and possibly

seeking asylum for others in an Islamic country from where they can engage in talks. The international community had given its full backing to Karzai’s bid to reach out to disaffected countrymen and the jirga offered an opportunity to advance that goal, NATO’s top diplomat in the country said. “This is a big week for Afghanistan,” Mark Sedwill said, adding it was the first of a series of major political events including the Kabul conference in July and parliament election in September aimed at setting the direction for a political settlement of the conflict. “The international community led by the United States has made clear we give complete support to Afghanistan to reach out to disaffected compatriots who are willing to re-enter the political mainstream. The jirga is a critical opportunity to advance that process,” he told a news conference jointly given with General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Analysts and observers however are not optimistic the jirga will amount to much, saying the assembly rather give Karzai’s proposals a veneer of national acceptance.

KABUL: NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Mark Sedwill (L) and top US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal speak to media during a press conference in Kabul yesterday. A huge “peace jirga” set to take place in Kabul this week marks a critical moment in bringing an end to decades of conflict that have blighted Afghanistan, NATO leaders said yesterday. — AFP

“What we hope is that this process will help demonstrate Karzai as a true national leader,” said a senior Obama aide in Washington. “This is really just the beginning of an important process and the Afghan government will be seeking some consensus on how to proceed,” added the official, who declined to be named. Washington does not want to be seen as interfering in what it says must be an Afghan-led process. Although jirgas are largely a Pashtun affairs, tribal elders and notables from all of Afghanistan’s different ethnic groups across the country will attend. They include Afghanistan’s Ulema religious council, members of civil societies and representatives of refugees living in Iran and Pakistan. Women will make up about 20 percent of the delegates and some 200 observers-including foreign diplomats, will attend. Noticeably absent, however, is the Taleban, but their influence will be unmissable. Despite a stepped up insurgency now at its strongest since 2001, analysts believe the Taleban may not target the gathering because they will not want to be seen to be

undermining a tradition. The debate over peace proposals will be a protracted and heated one, but even if there is a consensus, the hard part will be convincing the guerrillas to join. They are likely to see overtures as the first sign of surrender rather than an invitation to talks. Washington and its Western allies say they support any Afghan-led initiative to reach out to groups, provided they recognise the Afghan constitution and renounce violence and al Qaeda, blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on America. They have pledged to provide tens of millions of dollars for finding jobs for the ordinary Taleban combatants, but some Western leaders have reservation about talks with their top and hardline leaderships. Sedwill said the issue of reconciliation was complex and controversial but should be seen in the context of three decades of war in Afghanistan with shifting alliances and loyalties. “Afghanistan is in year 31 of the conflict although we ourselves have been here for a shorter period. We must remember there are people in government who fought in the civil war, fought each other,” he said. — Reuters

India train sabotage toll climbs to 146 ‘Rogue Maoist gang’ behind the carnage KOLKATA: Indian rescue workers completed search operations yesterday after pulling out 146 bodies from the site of a train wreck blamed on Maoist saboteurs, a state minister said. The crash occurred on Friday

BANGALORE: A villager looks on as a crane lifts the burnt passenger bus in Challakere, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Bangalore, India, yesterday. — AP

BANGALORE: At least 30 people, including 10 children, were burnt alive yesterday when a bus bound for the southern Indian city of Bangalore ploughed into a roadblock and caught fire, police said. The state-owned vehicle veered off a small bridge after colliding with the roadblock in the dark and fell into a ditch, local superintendent of police Labhu Ram told AFP from the accident site by phone. “The bus caught fire when the diesel tank exploded on impact,” he said. The bus had 64 passengers on board and was on its way from Surpur in southern Karnataka state to the IT hub of Bangalore, 600 kilometres (400 miles) away. At least three surviving passengers were in a

serious condition. State transport minister R. Ashok, who visited the accident site, told reporters that preliminary reports suggested the driver was at fault. “Negligent driving is suspected to have caused the accident as the bus was speeding and hit a road barrier on the bridge and skidded into the ditch,” Ashok said. Police had registered a case against the driver, who survived the accident, Ram added. India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, bigger than the more populous China, according to the World Health Organization, with accidents caused by speeding, bad roads, overcrowding and poor vehicle maintenance. Police figures show that nationwide more than 110,000 people die annually on the roads. —AFP

Nepal’s leaders meet to thrash out new govt KATHMANDU: Nepal’s three main parties held talks yesterday to try to hammer out a new coalition government after the prime minister agreed to resign to avert a political crisis. Madhav Kumar Nepal said he would step down in a last-minute deal to secure support of Maoist lawmakers for a bill to extend parliament’s term, which was due to expire Friday, leaving the country without a functioning legislature. The opposition Maoists won 2008 elections, but their government fell last year in a disagreement over the integration of their former fighters into the national army, and they have been agitating for a return to power ever since. “Leaders of the Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and the Maoists are in deep discussions on how to take Friday’s agreement forward,” UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told AFP. “They are also discussing the PM’s resignation and they hope to create a workplan on the next possible steps.” As the largest party in parliament the Maoists are likely to take a lead role in the next powersharing government, but the prime minister’s office said that many issues needed to be addressed first. The Maoists fought a decade-long civil war against the state before agreeing to lay down their arms in a 2006 peace agreement. However four years later, many of the terms of that deal remain unfulfilled. These include the integration of thousands of former Maoist fighters into the national army and the disbanding of the party’s armed youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL), which rival parties say is an obstacle to lasting peace. The prime minister had been in discussions with many of the country’s smaller parties which made up the coalition government that ruled since May 2009, his spokesman Bishnu Rijal told AFP. “They agreed that army integration, YCL disbandment and the appointment of a new leader to head the national unity government are urgent,” Rijal said on Sunday. “The prime minister’s resignation will come only after all this is agreed.” Analysts said that although the extension of the parliament, or “Constituent Assembly”, had averted a political crisis, there now was a risk of further paralysis. “All sides are battling it out,” Prashant Jha, a political analyst, told AFP. “Until there is compromise on an alternative candidate (for prime minis-

ter), the political deadlock will continue.” Karin Landgren, representative of the UN Secretary-General to Nepal, welcomed the extension of the Constituent Assembly as it “secures the continuation of the peace process.” She urged the parties to continue in the spirit of compromise to draft Nepal’s new constitution and to seek solutions to peace process issues such as a “dignified” resolution of the future of the Maoist army. Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is better known as Prachanda, led the rebel insurgency before 2006 and earlier this month he brought the country to a standstill by holding a nationwide general strike to press the party’s demands. The strike was called off after six days following international pressure and a mass rally in the capital Kathmandu protesting against the disruption of schools and businesses. —AFP

If confirmed as a Maoist strike, it would be the deadliest attack by the rebels in recent memory. The government has recently been severely criticised for its handling of the worsening leftwing insurgency. “Teams have pulled 146 bodies from the damaged carriages of the train. Now we are concentrating on hospitals because more than 200 injured are still there,” West Bengal civil defence minister Srikumar Mukherjee told AFP. Relief and rescue workers rushed to the site-a Maoist stronghold around 135 kilometres (85 miles) west of Kolkataand used mechanical cutters to reach the injured and the dead inside the badly mangled carriages. The precise cause of the derailment was still unclear. Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee initially said Maoists had blown up the track with explosives, while police pointed to evidence that a section of rail had been manually removed. The Times of India yesterday said police believed a “rogue Maoist gang” was behind the carnage. Mukherjee said many of the bodies were badly dismembered and identification of the remains by relatives was proving to be a big challenge. “We have urged the next of kin of the victims to donate blood to the Central Forensic Laboratory in Kolkata so that the bodies can be identified” by DNA testing, he said. The Indian Railways Board responded to the disaster by cancelling nighttime services in a number of Maoist-affected areas until further notice. The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of landless tribespeople and farmers left behind by India’s rapid economic expansion. The Maoist rebellion, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled the biggest threat to the country’s internal security, began in West Bengal in 1967 and has since spread to 20 of India’s 29 states. — AFP

when a Mumbai-bound high-speed passenger express from Kolkata veered off the tracks into the path of an oncoming freight train in a remote part of West Bengal state.

MUMBAI: Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party students wing shout slogans during an anti-Maoist rebels and anti-goverment protest in Mumbai yesterday. Rescue workers completed search operations after pulling out 146 bodies from the site of a train wreck in northeast India blamed on Maoist rebels. — AFP

India, US seek to bridge prickly gaps in ties NEW DELHI: India and the United States this week hold their first strategic dialogue, testing a pledge from the Obama administration that it really does consider New Delhi a global partner. New Delhi is keen for the June 2-3 talks to go beyond mere symbolism and tackle tricky issues such as the tighter US relationship with Islamabad, due to strategic concerns over the conflict in Afghanistan and the potential for instability in Pakistan. Washington, in turn, will look for assurances that India is on track to open its vast market in power plants to US firms, narrowing differences over trade and climate change, as well as getting New Delhi’s cooperation to sanction Iran over its nuclear programme. “The Indian complaint is that the Obama administration has done all the right things at the level of symbols, but at the level of substance the proof is still wanting,” said Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. India is widely seen as a key geopolitical player for stability in South Asia, as well as

playing a bigger role on global issues such as climate change and trade. President Barack Obama has called India an indispensable partner. But the ties have lacked a central theme, such as the civilian nuclear pact that defined the relationship during the presidency of George W. Bush. The talks led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna will focus on five areas-strategic cooperation, energy, climate change, education/ development, trade and agriculture-and also include deeper cooperation on security and intelligence. “There is a commitment there, but we have yet to see the kind of dedicated focus and the motivation within the bureaucracy to really get down to the nuts and bolts of fleshing out the strategic dialogue,” said Lisa Curtis, a South Asia analyst at the Heritage Foundation. President Bill Clinton started US efforts to build ties with modern India when the Cold War ended nearly two decades ago and India began to liberalise its economy in the 1990s. His successor George Bush elevated rela-

Police: Lahore attackers were Pakistani Taleban KATHMANDU: In this picture taken on August 22, 2009, Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal addresses media representatives following his arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Nepal’s three main parties held talks yesterday to try to hammer out a new coalition government after the prime minister agreed to resign to avert a political crisis.— AFP

LAHORE: Militants who attacked a minority sect, killing 93 people in the country’s east, belonged to the Pakistani Taleban and were trained in a lawless border region where the US wants Islamabad to mount an army operation, police said. Saturday’s revelation could help the US persuade Pakistan that rooting out the various extremist groups in North Waziristan is in Islamabad’s own interest. Up to now, Pakistan has resisted, in part because it says its army is stretched thin in operations elsewhere. Suspicion that the man accused of a failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square earlier this month may have received aid from the Pakistani Taleban has added to US urgency about clearing North Waziristan. Local TV channels have reported the Pakistani Taleban, or an affiliate, had claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks in Pakistan’s second-largest city. Senior police officer Akram Naeem in Lahore said the interrogation of one of the arrested suspects revealed that the gunmen were involved with the

Pakistani Taleban. The 17-year-old suspect told police the attackers had trained in the North Waziristan tribal region. “Our initial investigation has found that they all belong to Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan,” or Pakistani Taleban movement, Naeem said. He said the suspect, “Abdullah alias Mohammad, was given terrorism training in Miran Shah” — the main city in North Waziristan. North Waziristan has long been filled with militants focused on battling US and NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taleban began arriving after army operations against them in other regions. Before the Pakistani Taleban began operating in North Waziristan, Islamabad was believed to want to avoid taking on the area because the militant networks there were not threatening targets inside the country. Critics also suspect Pakistan wants to maintain good relations with some of those Afghan-focused militant networks so that it will have allies in Afghanistan once the US leaves the region. — AP

tions with a 2008 civilian nuclear deal that ended an embargo imposed in 1974 after New Delhi tested a nuclear bomb. Bilateral trade shot up from $5.6 billion in 1990 to $43 billion in 2008. But New Delhi is concerned about the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, in which it has allied with Pakistan, seeing it as giving Islamabad more influence in Afghanistan at the expense of India. “A fundamental disconnect has emerged between US and Indian interests in Af-Pak,” said Harsh Pant of King’s College, London. Among other nettlesome issues, Washington will be keen to get India to back its move on sanctions against Iran, something that New Delhi has so far refused to endorse. The United States has clashed with Brazil and Turkey, which oppose sanctions against Tehran. As a major G20 member India’s view would be crucial for Washington.

The dialogue will also focus on India expediting a bill giving accident liability protection to American firms, opening up retail trade, and cooperating on climate change positions. —Reuters



Monday, May 31, 2010


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Unions caught between members and markets By Peter Apps


uropean trade unions are facing up to a difficult choice: acquiesce to austerity measures and infuriate members, or fight them with strikes and risk a market backlash that could make the economic situation worse. At one extreme is Ireland, where unions have avoided widespread industrial action over existing cuts some of the earliest and sharpest in Western Europe in part because the resulting market reaction would hurt workers more. Trade union congress leader Jack O'Connor told Reuters last week that he feared foreign investors would interpret serious strikes as a sign Ireland might not be able to push through cuts and meet debt obligations, leaving it unable to borrow. "Even if you win (the strike campaign), you could end up losing," he said - but he said the decision was costing him sleepless nights and would not rule out further strikes if the government pushed through new cuts. At the other extreme is Greece - where the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are demanding harsh spending cuts - where unions say they will strike in June and push for Europe-wide action against austerity measures. "We'll be pushing until the end to prevent the worst," GSEE union head Yannis Panagopoulos, promising maximum resistance to a bill that raises the retirement age and curtails early pensions. Panagopoulos says he is already talking to other European unions and hopes they can work together to hold back a wave of austerity measures as governments pull back on stimulus spending and start to address deficits. An increasing number of European countries are announcing austerity measures to placate nervous bond markets. Spain, Portugal, Britain, Italy, Holland and France all announced new steps in recent weeks. Unions have tended to respond with open hostility, complaining the poor and public sector workers are being made to pay the cost of the mistakes of the rich. Italian unions say they will strike in June, while Spanish unions have threatened action if labour laws are changed without their consent. Europe's unions will hold a scheduled quarterly meeting in Brussels on June 1. But with electorates in northern Europe in particular already angry over having to bail out Greece, few see any real prospect of a concerted campaign of solidarity. "It's hard to see this really bringing the masses onto the streets in Liverpool or Lubeck," said David Lea, Western Europe analyst at Control Risks. "The Irish

example is very instructive. There is a lot of soul-searching going on within unions and the emergence of the bond market as a political arbiter is weighing on their minds more than they might admit." The widespread market alarm hitting not just Greek debt but also the euro - that followed protests in Athens that led to violence and the death of three in a burning bank is seen as a warning. "The Irish unions have it right," said Elizabeth Stephens, head of credit and political risk at London insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson. "My worry would be that the Greek unions may win in the short term and prompt an end to the measures but the crisis of confidence that would produce could lead to default. The economic damage would mean the unions would not stay powerful for long." A Greek march last week drew only half the crowd seen in the May 5 protests, while in France the government signalled it would push ahead with plans to raise the pension age after weak protests. "The public support just isn't there," said Control Risks' Lea. "The unions will need to take some action to avoid accusations of irrelevance but it will be limited." A Europe-wide day of protest probably not explicitly tied to Greece - is possible, analysts say, but would likely only be observed by more leftist unionists with turnout perhaps strongest in Italy but weaker elsewhere. After Greece, Italy is seen as probably the next most vulnerable country to labour unrest with unions already at loggerheads with Silvio Berlusconi's government-although unions there tend to strike for hours rather than days, reducing both the impact and market alarm. Spain's unions are seen likely to protest but ultimately acquiesce to cuts, as are Portugal's. "In Spain, the unions know that at the end of the day if they bring down the leftist government the right will get back in," said Exclusive Analysis analyst Pepe Egger. In Britain, trade union UNITE is locked in a row with British Airways but analysts say the labour movement will likely take a less aggressive line against austerity measures from a newly elected coalition government. "The British Airways case is really a one-off," said Control Risks' Lea. "Again, It just comes down to public support." Even Greek union boss Panagopoulos concedes cultural differences across Europe make coordinated action hard. "Scandinavians act differently and think southern Europeans act strangely, central Europeans also have a different way," he said. "It is very difficult." — Reuters

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When media acts responsibly everybody wins By Parvez Ahmed


n a span of just over a month two incidents rocked my city of Jacksonville, Florida, garnering wall-to-wall coverage in local media: the first was my nomination to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission (JHRC), whose mission is to promote fair treatment and equal opportunity for all people regardless of race, colour, religion, gender or national origin. The mayor's nomination is routinely approved by the City Council. But in my situation, the nomination drew unprecedented scrutiny. The second incendiary (no pun intended) situation was related to a pipe bomb that exploded at my local Islamic centre. Both situations had something in common: they impacted Muslims who were the target of hate, anger and violence. And neither situation drew any national media attention, which led Muslim American groups to question the national media silence and perceived double standards. But is such silence, as disturbing as it may be, a sign of bias? Decrying the national media's silence as bias solidifies a misperception that the Muslim community is perpetually playing the victim card. The Muslim community in Jacksonville faced formidable challenges but responded with positivity with timely help from public officials, faith leaders and law enforcement professionals. Far from being the victims, the Muslim community has been helped by the controversy as local media have sparked a public dialogue on difficult issues like diversity, inclusiveness and faith. Much of the controversy surrounding my nomination to the JHRC was contrived. The first sparks flew when City Councilman Clay Yarborough emailed me a series of irrelevant questions regarding my views about the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the US oath of loyalty, and the issue of legalising gay marriage. Although I was under no obligation to answer his questions, I did so, being very sensitive to the extreme

misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims that permeates American society. Our local newspaper, The Florida Times Union, found out about this exchange and wrote a story on it. This report led an anti-Muslim hate group called ACT! for America to organise opposition to my nomination. As the situation unfolded, however, the local newspaper ran several stories refuting their spurious allegations. The newspaper also exposed Yarborough's prejudices: when he was pressed by Florida Times Union columnist Mark Woods, he could not answer whether Muslims deserve a chance to serve in public offices. The newspaper later used a full-page editorial to offer its unequivocal endorsement of my nomination. And the local public radio station interviewed me on their morning show "First Coast Connect", allowing me to share my side of the story. Later when Jacksonville City Councilman Don Redman made the awkward request that I "pray" to "my God" at the council meeting dealing with my appointment to the JHRC, it was the local media that took umbrage and, over next several days, painstakingly explained to the public the potential economic and social damage that are likely to result from this hullaballoo. As a result of the media spotlight, Redman later apologised. Rather than decry what the national media did not do, Muslim Americans should celebrate what the local media did, despite heavy pressure from a minority but vocal group. They exemplified that even in an age of extreme sensationalism responsible journalism is alive and well. Partly as a result of this, the City Council voted 13-6 in favour of my nomination. When my mosque got bombed, literally hours before I was to attend my first meeting of the Human Rights Commission, the local media speculated - but did not sensationalise - that the bombing could be related to the vocal agitation against my nomination. They exhibited great professionalism by staying with the story even when the

blogosphere was complaining about too much attention being given to the bombing of a Muslim house of worship. The local media rightfully felt that this matter required extended attention so long as the perpetrator of this heinous crime remained at large. This is a teachable moment that shows the importance of relationship building, a task that is not undertaken with the seriousness it deserves.

The silence in the national media is less related to bias and more the result of a lack of meaningful relationships between the Muslim American community and national media outlets. The Jacksonville saga shows that getting the appropriate media attention and support from religious/civic organisations is much easier when the community has taken the time to build such relationships well in advance of a crisis.

The path to empowerment that Muslim Americans rightfully seek must result from relationship building and not from riding the waves of the news cycle. NOTE: Professor Parvez Ahmed is a Fulbright Scholar, Associate Professor of Finance at the University of North Florida and a frequent commentator on Islam and the Muslim American experience — CGNews

Spain's Zapatero on the ropes? By Axel Bugge and Sonya Dowsett


panish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero won a vote in parliament on Thursday by the thinnest of margins, one vote, raising doubts about the government's ability to stay in power till 2012. The slim margin of the vote on the Socialist government's austerity plan highlighted challenges faced by Zapatero as he tries to push through tough spending cuts and labour reforms to prevent Greece's debt crisis spreading to Spain. Voter support is falling after pay cuts and a pensions freeze alienated the Socialists' public sector and working class base, unemployment stands at a massive 20 percent, trade unions are restive and Zapatero lacks political allies. An opinion poll in the left-leaning El Pais daily after the 15 billion euro ($18.38 billion) in spending cuts was announced showed the conservative opposition Popular Party had opened up a 9 point lead over the Socialists after being only slightly ahead for months. Only the Socialist PSOE party voted for the deficit-cutting package. The unpopular measures passed thanks to the abstentions of Catalan centre-right party CiU, Canary Island party CC and Navarra regional party UPN. "They are absolutely alone. They have their 169 votes and that's it. The vote was passed by one vote only because there were 13 abstentions," said Juan Diez, political analyst at Analisis Sociologicos, Economicos y Politicos. Zapatero is already juggling the competing demands of the unions, traditional Socialist allies who want workers' rights to be maintained in a reform of rigid labour markets, and businesses that want the costs of hiring and firing to be cut. The government has been vulnerable since 2008 elections when the Socialists failed to achieve an overall majority, leaving them reliant on support from small, regional parties, such as the Catalan nationalist CiU. But now it is under even greater strain as it deals with huge international pres-

sure to bring down its budget deficit which hit 11.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 while trying to pacify supporters at home. CiU parliamentary leader Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida said he would vote against the 2011 budget bill although his party abstained on Thursday, enabling passage of the austerity plan. CiU voted against the budget last year, but the government managed to scrape it through with the support of other minority parties. "It's already been having trouble getting majorities, I don't know if things have substantially changed for him from yesterday," said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, analyst at consultancy Analistas Socio-Politicos. With the austerity package now on the statute book, Zapatero's next challenge is the reform of the labour market, seen as key to restoring Spain's competitiveness and returning the country to stronger growth. The government has set a deadline of today for unions, the government and business groups to reach an agreement but with just five days to go, there is still no deal and the unions say major differences remain with employers. If no agreement is reached, Zapatero could decide to legislate unilaterally on the reform, something which could be tougher if he cannot count on a parliamentary majority. The biggest union confederation, CCOO, said on Thursday it would call a general strike if the government imposed labour reform by royal decree. Another small, but potentially important vote, is the setting of a spending ceiling for public expenditure in 2011 - the first step in next year's budget process. That vote is likely to take place sometime in June. The 2011 budget, probably the biggest legislative hurdle facing Zapatero, will be presented around the beginning of December. Failure to get that through parliament would almost certainly mean the government would have to resign, leading to early elections. "It would have difficulty continuing," said Rodriguez of consultancy Analistas SocioPoliticos. — Reuters

British coalition honeymoon comes to abrupt end By Anna Tomforde


ust 18 days after an official launch in the Downing Street rose garden that prompted comparisons with a happy marriage, Britain's landmark Conservative-Liberal coalition has had the shortest of political honeymoons. It came down to earth with a bump late Saturday with the embarrassing departure of David Laws, a rising star of the Liberal Democrats and co-architect of the coalition, over allegations that he abused the parliamentary expenses system. Laws' predicament is given added spice by the revelation that the landlord to whom he paid rent on two properties, totalling £40,000 ($57,800) over eight years, was his long-term male partner. Initially, those defending him argued that the word 'partner' did not mean the same as 'spouse', a term used in expenses regulations applicable since 2006, which specifically bar payments to spouses. "I do not see how I can carry on my crucial work on the budget and spending review while I have to deal with the private and public implications of the recent

revelations," Laws, 44, said in his resignation letter. "The problems were caused by my desire to keep my sexuality secret," he wrote. As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laws was a key figure behind the implementation of the govern-

ment's massive deficit reduction package to be presented in an emergency budget on June 22. Considered a deficit hawk, Laws had wasted no time outlining 6 billion pounds of immediate cuts during his first week in office.

As the right-hand man of George Osborne, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was seen as having made his mark as the type of "ruthlessly effective" operator required in tough economic times.

File photo dated May 17, 2010 shows Britain's Chief Secretary to Treasury David Laws. – AP

But as if the loss of expertise was not enough of a blow, Laws' alleged abuse of the parliamentary expenses system seems to fly in the face of the "new politics" of honesty and fairness proclaimed by the coalition leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Indeed, during the election campaign, it was Clegg's call to "clean up parliament" that enhanced his popularity, as he boasted that "no Liberal Democrat" had been implicated in last year's widespread scandal over the abuse of parliamentary expenses. But while Cameron and Clegg may both have been reluctant to agree to Laws' departure, commentators had been unequivocal from the start. "It becomes a of question of credibility. You cannot have someone telling the nation to cut back when you are yourself accused of using taxpayers' money for private gain," said one analyst. For Prime Minister David Cameron, hanging on to Laws would have ensured that the expenses scandal would have hung over his administration like the sword of Damocles. Nonetheless, acknowledging the

loss, Cameron described Laws as a "good and honourable man" who could, "in time" perhaps return to the government benches. Laws, was, by all accounts, an outstanding political talent. Equipped with a double first in economics from Cambridge University, he became vice-president of Morgan Stanley bank at the age of 22. He left banking in 1994 and entered politics in 2001. Laws was seen as a new breed of Liberal Democrat whose promotion of free market politics collided with the overwhelmingly left-leaning traditions of his party. As such, he was seen as a political figure able to assuage the concerns held by many Conservatives about their new partners in the government coalition. Laws was instrumental in hammering out the coalition's government program, and was one of four Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers. He is succeeded by Danny Alexander, 38, who, while a rising star in the Liberal Democrat party, is seen as having none of the experience Laws brought into the job. — dpa


Monday, May 31, 2010


Attack may be tied to N Korean succession Is Facebook a Y friend or foe? H focus

By Jean H Lee

oung, inexperienced and virtually unknown even at home, Kim Jong Un needs at least a few political victories under his belt if he is to succeed his father as leader of communist North Korea. The sinking of a South Korean warship may well have provided Kim Jong Il's 20-something son and rumored heir with a victory that would bolster his support within the communist country's military, a million-man force in need of a boost after a November sea battle left one North Korean sailor dead. North Korea has vehemently denied involvement in the torpedo attack that sank the Cheonan near the Koreas' sea border in March, killing 46 sailors in one of the boldest attacks on the South since the Korean War of the 1950s. The timing might seem inexplicable: After a year of intransigence, North Korea seemed willing and ready to return to nuclear disarmament talks. But North Korea has never seen violence and negotiation as incompatible, and domestic issues _ a succession movement and military discontent - may be more urgent than foreign policy. North Korea's leaders tightly control information and thrive on myths and lies. However, they cannot hide that the nation is in turmoil, struggling to build its shattered economy and to feed its 24 million people. The number of defectors is rising, and the

encroachment of the outside world, through videos and films smuggled from China, has shown citizens what lies beyond the socalled Hermit Kingdom's borders. Kim Jong Il, now 68, is ailing. North Korea has never confirmed that he suffered a stroke in 2008, but his sudden weight loss last year and the persistent paralysis that has left him with a slight limp was visible during his rare trip to China last month. None of his three sons has had the benefit of the more than a decade of grooming Kim had by the time he took over after his father Kim Il Sung's death in 1994, and the regime says it is determined to usher in a "stronger, prosperous" era in 2012, the centenary of the patriarch's birth. Any change in leadership has the potential to be traumatic and tumultuous. A bold attack would be a quick way to muster support and favor in a country where one in 20 citizens is in the military. North Korea has attacked the South a number of times, despite the 1953 truce that ended the devastating Korean War. South Korea

has never retaliated militarily, mindful of the toll another war would have on the Korean peninsula. The North's deadliest attack was a bomb smuggled aboard a Korean Air flight, which was decimated over the Andaman Sea in 1987, killing 115 people on

board. A North Korean agent captured in connection with that plot said the mastermind was Kim Jong Il, then a few years shy of taking over as leader. Pyongyang has never admitted to any of the post-truce attacks and may have counted on little proof being uncovered when it sent a submarine loaded with a torpedo into the choppy Yellow Sea on March 26. But the distinctively North Korean script scrawled on the inside of a torpedo fragment found during the investigation, among other evidence, was a damning fingerprint. The Cheonan was a symbolic target: The 1,200-ton frigate was involved in a 1999 skirmish between the two Koreas that the South claims killed as many as 30 North Koreans. North Korea disputes the western sea border drawn by the U.N. at the close of the Korean War, and those waters have been the site of two other bloody battles since 1999: a firefight in 2002 that killed six South Koreans, and a clash just last November that Seoul says killed a North Korean sailor. The North Korean navy was ripe for revenge. And defectors say it may have needed a boost, since even relatively well-fed military leaders in a regime built around a "military-first" policy had been going hungry in recent

years. Not long after the November skirmish, the regime enacted sweeping currency reforms. North Koreans were ordered to exchange a limited amount of bills for a new currency, and to turn the rest over to the government - a move that effectively wiped out any personal savings. The reforms were a disaster. There were reports of riots and unrest - previously a rarity in totalitarian North Korea. If it was a move to showcase the young, Swiss-educated son's economic acumen, it was a miscalculation. The submarine attack, however, was a stealth move. North Korea's outdated arsenal cannot match South Korea's state-ofthe-art systems, but the slowmoving sub somehow went undetected by Seoul's sophisticated radars. Regardless of who ordered the attack, credit for it may have been circulated among top military commanders to build support for the fledging heir apparent, already reportedly dubbed the "Brilliant Comrade." To the broader public, the North characterizes blame for the attack as a smear campaign instigated by the South. And that suits the regime's purposes just fine. There's nothing like a mortal enemy to rally the masses in North Korea, a reclusive state built on the philosophy of "juche," or self-reliance. Washington and Seoul are leading the effort to haul Pyongyang back before the U.N. Security Council for more sanc-

tions or, at the very least, censure. Even that may play right into the Brilliant Comrade's political plans. In the past, the North has used its position as the bad boy of the nuclear world to behave even more badly. Missile tests in 2006 were followed by a nuclear test, its first. And last year, Security Council condemnation was followed just a month later by the regime's second atomic test. International criticism could provide the North with the opening to carry out a third test that would move the regime closer to its goal of perfecting an atomic bomb small enough to mount on a long-range missile. It would be another accomplishment for North Koreans to celebrate, and another achievement for the son to claim. It remains to be seen if and when Kim Jong Il will present his youngest son, a figure so enigmatic that his birthday, age and even his face remain a mystery, to the public as his heirapparent. The annual gathering of North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament came and went in April without any sign of either the elder Kim, known as the Dear Leader, or the Brilliant Comrade. A rare extraordinary session has been scheduled for June 7. If the precocious prodigal son did indeed plot the attack that plunged inter-Korean relations to their lowest point in a decade and sent world leaders into a huddle on how to avert war, he may finally have a reason to make his political debut. — AP

World warms, public cools to climate action By Alister Doyle


his year is on track to be the warmest worldwide since records began in the 19th century yet voters seem to be cooling to strong action to combat climate change. Their doubts may be quietly sapping the will of governments and companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions after the Copenhagen summit in December failed to agree a treaty meant to slow more droughts, floods and rising seas, analysts say. "There has been a resurgence of scepticism" that humans are to blame for global warming, said Max Boykoff, an assistant professor and expert in environmental policy at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Yet so far in 2010 there has been record warmth especially in many tropical regions, Australia and parts of the Arctic - despite a chill start to the year in western Europe and some eastern parts of North America. "It's more likely than not - greater than a 50 percent chance that it will be the warmest year on record," said Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the British Met Office Hadley Centre, referring to global temperatures. That would eclipse 1998 and 2005 as the warmest years since records began and undermine an argument used by some sceptics that warming has peaked. The decade just finished was the warmest on record, ahead of the 1990s. "It's a very consistent ongoing warming trend," said Tom Karl, director of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center. "Right now it would be extremely unlikely to see this year falling below the top three warmest years on record," he said, saying it was too early to say exactly where 2010 would rank because of an early 2010 El Nino warming of the eastern Pacific. In the first four months, land and ocean temperatures were 13.3 C and 0.69 C above the 20th century average, the warmest on record in NOAA data. But public perceptions do not track glob-

al temperatures. Economic slowdown, scepticism about climate science after the UN panel of climate experts exaggerated the melt of Himalayan glaciers and a scandal over leaked e-mails from a British university have all dimmed public enthusiasm. Scientists say many people wrongly judge global warming by temperatures at home. Karl said he would be rich "if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me: 'global warming? We had record snows and cold temperatures'." Among examples of widening public doubts, a YouGov opinion poll published this week in Britain showed that the number of people interested in the problem of global warming had fallen to 62 percent from 78 percent in 2007. In December, a global poll by the Nielsen Institute showed a global average of 37 percent of people were "very concerned" by climate change, down from 41 percent in 2007. "The economic slowdown has a real big influence on thinking in the United States," Boykoff said, with fears of job losses and the impact of possible carbon capping legislation probably figuring far larger than worries about the science. Less public interest in climate change means an opportunity for some "politicians to move it down the list of priorities", especially with mid-term US elections in November, he said. Legislation in the US Senate to curb emissions is stalled. The United States is the number two emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, after China. Christopher Monckton, a British sceptic associated with the US Science and Public Policy Institute, said that many more people this year were finding reasons to doubt findings by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). An independent panel is looking into the IPCC, partly after it exaggerated the melt of the Himalayas in a 2007 report. IPCC leaders reject suggestions of any bias, such as a charge by Monckton that they also over-estimated the warming effect of carbon dioxide. — Reuters

Politics as usual for Obama By Liz Sidoti


o much for changing how Washington works. Crimping his carefully crafted outsider image and undercutting a centerpiece of his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama got caught playing the usual politics - dangling a job offer for a political favor in the hunt for power. His lawyer admitted as much in a Friday report that detailed how Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel dispatched former President Bill Clinton to try to persuade Pennsylvania Rep Joe Sestak to abandon his primary challenge to Sen Arlen Specter by offering an executive branch post. "I can assure the public that nothing improper took place," Obama told reporters at the White House a day earlier. True or not, Obama has a political problem. Because what did take place was backroom bargaining, political maneuvering and stonewalling, all of which run counter to the higher _ perhaps impossibly high - bar Obama has set for himself and his White House to do things differently. The White House's reluctant acknowledgment of the chain of events shone a light on the unseemly, favor-trading side of politics - and at an inopportune time for Obama and Democrats as they seek to keep control of Congress. This election year, angry voters have made clear they have little patience for politics generally and Washington politics specifically. And they are choosing candidates who promise to change the system - and ousting incumbents who fail to deliver. But what may be even more troubling for the president is the question the episode raises: Has Obama become just like every other politician? The answer could have implications for him ahead of midterm congressional elections this fall and his likely re-election race in two years. Mindful of the potential fallout, the White House sought to play down the embarrassing situation even as it tried to blunt the media maelstrom by releasing its report on the Friday before a long Memorial Day weekend when few Americans pay attention to the news. White House counsel Robert Bauer said what transpired was neither illegal nor unethical. But he also said: "There have been numerous reported instances in the past when prior administrations - both Democratic and Republicans and motivated by the same goals - discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaigns for public office." Fair enough. But Obama has held himself to a different standard. And, by that measurement and in this case, he failed to deliver. As a candidate, Obama cast himself as above partisan

sniping and political maneuvering - even as he proved to be a shrewd politician able to broker deals. He promised voters turned off by politics and Washington - and yearning for change that this fresh-faced, political newcomer offered that he would do things differently from his predecessors. In Obama's new Washington, lobbyists would be banned from serving in his administration, the Democratic National Committee would be barred from accepting money from political action committees, White House visitor logs would be released and reams of information would be posted online. As president, Obama has turned that vision into reality, albeit with some exceptions. He has trumpeted his goal of an open and transparent administration. He bristles at the notion that his White House is anything but. And in a frustrated tone, he routinely talks like an outsider doggedly working to change the ways of Washington. But the Sestak incident undercuts all that - a point not lost on Obama's GOP critics. It all began when Specter, a veteran Republican senator facing a difficult Republican primary, chose to become a Democrat last year at the White House's urging. Obama quickly endorsed him and pledged to campaign for him. And the White House tried to clear the Democratic field for him. But Sestak entered the Democratic primary anyway. At one point during his campaign, he said that a job was offered but he provided no details. And the White House deflected repeated questions about the claim, insisting officials did not behave inappropriately while also declining to elaborate. Republicans pounced, mindful of Obama's repeated promises to run an open government that was above backroom deals. But it wasn't until Sestak upset Specter in the Democratic primary May 18 that Republicans renewed their pressure on the administration to disclose what happened and two top Democrats - party chief Tim Kaine and Sen. Dick Durbin, the party's second-ranking leader in the Senate - said the White House and Sestak needed to address the questions. In the end, Bauer's report said this: Emanuel enlisted Clinton's help as a go-between with Sestak. Clinton agreed to raise the offer of a seat on a presidential advisory board or another executive board if Sestak remained in the House of Representatives and dropped his bid, "which would avoid a divisive Senate primary". Sestak said Clinton called him last summer and raised the possibility, but "I said no". The White House hopes the report puts the matter to rest. But Republicans, no strangers to election-year politics, will surely try to keep it alive. — AP

India grapples for response as Maoists grow bolder By Elizabeth Roche


ndia's struggle to find an effective strategy against an increasingly violent Maoist insurgency has taken on an air of desperation as the rebels ramp up the scale and potency of their operations. Maoist saboteurs were blamed for Friday's derailing of a high-speed passenger train in West Bengal that collided with an oncoming goods train, killing at least 120 people. Coming after a landmine attack earlier this month that killed 35 people, including 24 civilians, it suggested the rebels' strategy has changed from one that in the past had almost exclusively targeted the security forces. The rising civilian death tolls have intensified public and political scrutiny of India's counter-insurgency policy, which until now has placed the operational onus on individual states rather than the central government. An offensive launched in November in the worst-affected areas with nearly 60,000 paramilitary and state police was coordinated by New Delhi, but it has produced little in the way of tangible results and Maoist attacks have continued unabated. After Friday's train wreck, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb

Indian rescue workers and security officer bring out the body of a young victim from a compartment at the site of a train crash near Sardiha, West Bengal May 28, 2010. – AP Bhattacharya made it clear that the states felt it was time for a new approach. "We have to find ways to counter this menace," he said. "Innocent people are being killed." Analysts say the government is hamstrung by internal disagreement over how to proceed, with some urging a more aggressive policy and others

favouring a long-term strategy that addresses the plight of landless tribespeople and impoverished farmers from whom the Maoists draw support. "There is a conflict between the socalled hawks who want to crush the rebels and the so-called doves who call for development in Maoist-dominated areas to wean away their support," said

Ajai Sahani, a counter-terrorism expert. Home Minister P Chidambaram is seen as belonging to the former camp, while his ruling Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi, has stressed the need to combat the "root causes" of the insurgency. "But the conflict is essentially one of slogans because neither side seems to have any idea how to flesh out their respective plans," said Sahani. "There is utter incoherence, whether one is talking about development or security. There is no talk or agreement on the content of either approach," he added. It is not as if India is inexperienced in countering insurgencies. Rebellions of varying size and intensity have waxed and waned in different parts of the country for decades, including the 20-year Muslim separatist battle in Indian Kashmir that has claimed at least 47,000 lives. But most have been restricted to a particular state. The Maoists, by contrast, are spread over a vast area and operate out of some of India's most remote and least-developed regions - making counter-insurgency coordination a severe challenge. "The Maoists are prevalent in areas where the administration and police are in a state of degradation," said K P S Gill, the former police chief of northern

Punjab state who was credited with crushing a violent Sikh militancy in the 1990s. Gill, who has advised the government in the Maoist-infested central state of Chhattisgarh on security issues, said state administrations lacked the resources to combat the rebels. "The police simply don't have the will and the numbers they need. You need to better equip the men and train them to take on the Maoists," he said. Meanwhile, grassroots activists working in areas where the Maoists hold sway say the government is paying the price for years of indifference towards dispossessed, marginalised communities left behind by India's economic boom. "I am against violence and I think the killing of common people is not going to endear the Maoists to the masses," said Medha Patkar, a tribal rights campaigner. "Having said that, we want the government to be more responsive to the needs of the people, to hold a dialogue to address the genuine problems the tribals and the poor face. "We have been waging a non-violent struggle for tribal rights for decades and the government has turned a deaf ear to us. So it's no wonder some people think violence is the only way to make the government listen," Patkar said. — AFP

By Charles Arthur

ere's a sentence that Robert Thomson, the editor of the Wall Street Journal, has not said: "Facebook argues they drive traffic to sites, but the whole Facebook sensibility is inimical to traditional brand loyalty ... Facebook encourages promiscuity [in viewing different news sites] - and shamelessly so - and therefore a significant proportion of their users don't necessarily associate that content with the creator." And here's something Rupert Murdoch has never said: "We are going to stop people like Facebook or whoever from taking stories for nothing ... There is a law of copyright and they recognise it ... Some sites have tapped into a river of gold [by aggregating content] ... They take [news content] for nothing. They have got this very clever business model." But if you replace "Facebook" with "Google" or "Google News" in both quotes, they're absolutely what they said (Thomson to the Australian and Murdoch at a press event in the US). Here's the strange thing, though: Facebook sends far more traffic to News International sites in the UK than Google News does, according to figures from Experian Hitwise, which monitors web browsers' (though not mobile users') surfing habits. Google's news aggregator service is the bete noire of the London Times owner and other traditional media outlets because it gives readers an instant hit without necessarily providing any traffic and hence advertising revenues. In fact figures from the data collection service show that for all news and media sites, Google News UK generates just 0.67 percent of traffic - while Facebook generates precisely 10 times as much at 6.7 percent. Having 450 million-odd users worldwide, with friends linked across continents, turns out to have its benefits. At least for Facebook. So is this another demonstration of News International's chiefs not "getting it"? Should their web teams be showing them lists of referrers, and exploring a new Facebook-bashing strategy? After all, the row over privacy settings has put the site at bay. Should Thomson do a quick find-and-replace on those Google-bashing speeches, and capitalise on the antipathy towards Facebook? Perhaps not yet. One caveat offered by Robin Goad, the research director at Experian Hitwise, is that the above figures fail to reflect the importance of Google search in driving traffic to news sites rather than Google News. He says: "The thing is, are people coming to read news stories via Google News, or via search in Google? If people click on a news story in the main Google home page which can happen, because news is now included in the 'universal search' results you get when you do a search rather than from the Google News page, then we see that as a click from Google." That does alter the picture: Google UK (the default for UK users) ranks much higher than Facebook on those measures: it is the "upstream", or previous, site for 21.9 percent of clicks to news and media sites, compared to 6.72 percent for Facebook. "I think that the majority does actually come from the Google home page," Goad says. But that doesn't mean we should overlook Facebook. "It is a big and growing source of traffic, though people don't talk about it. They talk about other things - Twitter, for instance." So could Facebook soon find itself referred to as a parasite, as Thomson spoke of Google? "They don't yet," says Goad. "But maybe when they realise how much traffic it represents, they will." Where Google News has a sentence that tells you what the story is, Goad notes: "Facebook often has the first paragraph, so they're stealing - if you want to use that word - more

of the content." But Paul Bradshaw, a reader in online journalism at Birmingham City University, thinks the lack of vituperation about Facebook has different reasons. "Firstly, this isn't about content, or readers this is about advertising. Google utterly dominates the online advertising market, and is therefore easily Murdoch's biggest competitor, and therefore biggest target. Murdoch knows the message should be simple and endlessly repeated. If you start attacking Google, keep attacking Google - don't muddy the message by changing tack. "Secondly, Google is enormously wealthy - much wealthier than Facebook. The gamble here is that Google might just throw Murdoch a bone to shut up. Or that a government or two might decide to tax those enormous revenues and - even better - prop up the established news organisations with the proceeds. But finally, there probably is a fundamental lack of understanding by Murdoch. He sees his content appearing on Google and thinks it's being stolen rather than referenced. The mooted move [of News International content] out of [the news archive database] LexisNexis suggests this is isn't just about Google." In fact there's an era ahead in which news organisations will have to get to grips with social media and its implications for their traffic and readership, Bradshaw says. He remarks: "I think social media traffic is underestimated because it's a relatively recent phenomenon - it's taken years for people to realise how important Google was. SEO [search engine optimisation] is still only now entering mainstream journalistic processes and systems and it will take another five years before social media optimisation is also part of the furniture. Also, social media importance varies enormously from site to site, whereas Google's impact is relatively consistent." There's another reason why the importance of social media traffic may be underestimated. Twitter is an interesting example of how social media is making it harder for news executives to know just where their traffic is coming from. For example, if you look at the data for pretty much any news website, incoming referrals from will likely figure in the top 10. However, that number significantly underestimates the importance of Twitter to readership - because 75% of Twitter traffic doesn't actually come via; instead, it comes from people clicking in Twitter applications such as Tweetdeck, which use the site's API (application programming interface) to access its database. If you click on a link in a Twitter feed on Tweetdeck, it won't show up as a referral. Facebook, however, is the new elephant in the online newsroom. It's the fast-growing social network and attracts far less attention than its far smaller rivals such as Twitter. And it is the users, not the site, who grab chunks of content to link to. "The majority comes from people posting it around the site, rather like YouTube videos - so it's driven by Facebook's users, not Facebook itself," says Goad. By contrast, he points out: "Google only presents that data when you go through to search on something, so if you search for 'David Cameron' you'll see results which include those news stories." Facebook is thus more of an exercise in news serendipity, depending on your circle of friends, than Google's directed attempt to organise the world's information. And if news executives are rubbing their hands, even as they mentally reclassify Facebook from being unimportant to being the next Google to being their new best friend because of its traffic-driving potential, there's some dispiriting news: social media sites tend to display much shorter attention spans over any story than news organisations do. — Guardian



Monday, May 31, 2010

Players not pleased with ‘plastic’ World Cup ball JOHANNESBURG: Several players are going all out against the new World Cup ball, with more than one comparing it to those bought on a supermarket. And this time it’s not only goalkeepers who are complaining. Strikers, defenders and midfielders are also lashing out at the Adidas ball just a few days before the month-long tournament is to begin in South Africa. The ball is called Jabulani, which means “to celebrate” in isiZulu, but not many are celebrating it so far. It’s hard to find a player who is happy with it, and those who don’t like it are not saving adjectives to describe their feelings. “It’s very weird,” Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said yesterday. “All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It’s like it doesn’t want to be kicked. It’s incredible, it’s like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it and it moves out of the way. I think it’s supernatural, it’s very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it’s going to be hard.” Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar on Saturday called the ball “terrible” and was the first to compare it to those plastic ones bought on a supermarket. Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini said the same thing, calling it a “disaster”. “It moves so much and makes it difficult to control. You jump up to head a cross and suddenly the ball will move and you

miss it,” Pazzini said. “It is especially bad for the goalkeepers if it means they concede a goal because they can’t judge the trajectory.” Adidas traditionally launches new balls for each World Cup and they usually cause controversy because of the changes prompted by the new technology being introduced. Most of the time the ball becomes speedier and goalkeepers are the ones most affected by it. But this time the livelier ball is causing problems to field players too. “There is no way to hide it,” Brazil midfielder Julio Baptista said. “It’s bad for the goalkeepers and it’s bad for us. It’s really bad. The players try to cross it and it goes to the opposite direction they intended it to go.” Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas also expressed his anger at the design of the ball after the European champion’s 3-2 friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday. “It’s sad that that such an important competition like the World Cup has such an important element like this ball of appalling condition,” he said. Adidas said the technology on the Jabulani is “radically new,” and when it launched the ball in December is said that it would sail true because small dots on the surface would help improve reliability in the air. It said the ball would have “an exceptionally stable

flight and perfect grip under all conditions.” FIFA and Adidas did not immediately return messages seeking comment yesterday. Adidas has released some promotional materials in which some of its sponsored players praise the ball, including Kaka, Michael Ballack, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard. Ballack called the ball “fantastic”. “It happens every time, the players always complain about the ball,” said former Brazil great Tostao. “It used to be the goalkeepers only, but now we have the others complaining too. At the greatest competition in the world you would think that the players would like the ball, but that’s not the case.” Players were already expecting the ball to be affected by the high-altitude in Johannesburg and some other host cities. A study by Adidas last year showed the altitude will have an impact of up to 5 percent on the ball’s speed, meaning a 20-yard free kick will reach the goal line 5 percent faster than it would at sea level. The ball is made up of 11 colors to represent the players in a starting lineup and the 11 official languages and the 11 communities of the host country. “That’s the ball they chose and we have to accept it,” Baptista said. “But it’s going to be complicated.” The World Cup begins on June 11 with South Africa playing Mexico. — AP

Smoking kid lays bare Indonesia’s addiction Continued from Page 1 has been embarrassed by such media coverage. Another video was posted on the Internet last month showing an Indonesian boy aged about four puffing on a locally made clove cigarette, blowing smoke rings and swearing with the encouragement of adults. Weak regulations - Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia not to have signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control - have enabled tobacco companies to target young Indonesians with advertising and events promotions. US singer Kelly Clarkson dropped tobacco sponsorship for her Jakarta concert in April after anti-smoking groups protested on the grounds that she was effectively encouraging her young fans to smoke. Other artists such as Jamiroquai, Anggun, Incubus and James Blunt have allowed their Indonesian shows to be used as vehicles for tobacco marketing. Anti-smoking activists and health experts say Indonesia is a paradise for the tobacco industry, which has been aggressively expanding sales in the country of about 240 million people. “The regulations on the tobacco industry in Indonesia are weak. They protect

the shareholders in the industry more than the people,” activist Kar tono Mohamad said. “The people in Indonesia are fighting alone against the tobacco industry, the government and the policy makers. It’s one against three.” According to the World Health Organisation, cigarette consumption in the Southeast Asian archipelago soared 47 percent in the 1990s. Almost 70 percent of men over 20 years of age smoke, and regular smoking among boys aged 15 to 19 increased from 36.8 percent in 1997 to 42.6 percent in 2000. But antismoking initiatives have floundered in the face of the powerful local tobacco industry, which employs scores of thousands of people and generates more than six billion dollars a year for the government. A bill establishing tobacco as an addictive substance was about to be signed into law last year when officials realised the pertinent clause had been mysteriously deleted. The case is under investigation. The gover nment has increased excise taxes but prices remain extremely low by international standards, with a pack of 20 costing little more than a dollar. Even so, studies have shown that poor families spend more on cigarettes than on books and

education. In another blow to anti-tobacco activists, lawmakers have strongly opposed a plan to cut cigarette production by five percent to about 248 billion sticks this year on the grounds that it would hurt local producers. Foreign makers like British American Tobacco and Philip Morris have long recognised the oppor tunities in Indonesia. In March, Philip Morris’s local unit, PT HM Sampoerna, the country’s largest producer, announced a net profit increase of 31 percent to 5.08 trillion rupiah ($548.64 million) last year. In the absence of tough government regulations Muslim clerics recently issued a fatwa against smoking. But analysts said the religious edict was likely to have about as much effect as regulations banning smoking in bars and restaurants, which are widely ignored. “More and more Indonesian children have become victims of the cigarette industry,” Indonesian Child Protection Commission chairman Hadi Supeno said. “There are many children under five years of age who have started smoking. A decade ago, the average age of beginner smokers was 19 but a recent study found that the average is seven.” — AFP

SAQQARA, Egypt: This undated photo released by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities yesterday shows the tomb of Ptahmes, the mayor of the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis, south of Cairo. — AP

Pharaonic mayor’s ‘lost tomb’ found in Saqqara CAIRO: Archaeologists have discovered the 3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital’s mayor, whose resting place had been lost under the desert sand since 19th century treasure hunters first carted off some of its decorative wall panels, officials announced yesterday. Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, also served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century BC. The discovery of his tomb earlier this year in a New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo, solves a riddle dating back to 1885, when foreign expeditions made off with pieces of the tomb, whose location was soon after forgotten. “Since then it was covered by sand and no one knew about it,” said Ola ElAguizy, the Cairo University archaeology

Continued from Page 1 social services groups that provide substance abuse counseling and one that developed one of America’s first Arabic-English 12-step program. “We will need to build an Islamically grounded 12-step culture and meetings to support patients post-discharge,” said Al-Turaiki, whose company plans to build a public-private 250-bed treatment hospital and referral centers not just in Saudi but throughout the Middle East. While at Brighton, he met with Alec Berry, an 82-year-old US-born Arab and Muslim who helped create the bilingual program. Berry, an alcoholic who has been sober for more than 40 years, is planning to go to Saudi Arabia later this year and develop post-treatment programs if Brighton and Saudi Care finalize their consulting agreement in the weeks ahead. Brighton and Saudi officials speak regularly by phone and the proposed agreement calls for Brighton officials to visit the kingdom and provide guidance on design, construction, management and clinical services. “They could see this is a very spiritual program that will fit in with Islam very easily - it’s seamless, almost,” said Berry, who has attended

meetings at Brighton for years and credits the facility with assisting his own recovery. The 12-step program at Brighton forms the core of the recovery program established by Alcoholics Anonymous, which isn’t allied with any religion or sect. But AlTuraiki and Berry say the program resonates with Muslims, since the third step speaks of turning one’s life “over to the care of God as we understood him.” Despite the success of 12-step programs, one the biggest roadblocks to recovery and awareness in Muslim and Arab communities is denial and shame. “In the ArabicMuslim community, because Islam forbids the use of alcohol, you can imagine how much more intense the denial system is going to be,” said Berry, a therapist. Brighton tries to combat feelings by giving every patient a roommate, said Dr Mark Menestrina, director of the detoxification unit. And during meetings with patients, Menestrina said he has had an ArabAmerican friend who has been sober for more than three years talk with patients in Arabic. “It also helps to have identification with people similar to you,” he said. “They need to know they’re not alone.” Al-Turaiki knows of no statistics on the rates of addiction or relapse in Saudi Arabia, but said the

odds of success “are at least twice as unfavorable as recorded in the best treatment centers in the US”. Though some in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East secretly seek treatment in the West for addiction, Al-Turaiki said the kingdom must have its own centers to help suffering addicts who can’t afford to leave. “We know the gap is too wide between the needs of addicts for treatment and rehabilitation and the facilities and expertise to deliver it, because addiction is stigmatized and it is chronic,” he said. He stressed that a strict prohibition on intoxicants shouldn’t keep a community or country from helping addicts. “Islam encourages Muslims to find treatment for alcohol and drug addiction,” he said. “The Muslim community supports every effort that its brothers and sisters take to draw back the veil of intoxication.” Berry said even with the cultural modifications, getting more Arabs and Muslims to acknowledge addiction and enter treatment will require more people to carry the message. He said Al-Turaiki and Saudi Care recognized the power and potential of the first-person connection at their first meeting. “They saw a recovering ArabMuslim,” he said. -— AP

Aid flotilla defiantly sails towards Gaza Continued from Page 1 As tensions mounted, several Israeli warships could be seen off the Gaza coast, an AFP photographer said. Khudari said the convoy, which is carrying hundreds of civilians and a handful of European MPs, would stop outside Gaza territorial waters before attempting to make landfall. It will travel “in two stages,” he said: “First they will stop in international waters at 30 nautical miles (from Gaza), and tomorrow (Monday) they will reach the shore.” Earlier, Audrey Bomse, legal adviser to the Free Gaza Movement, had said the convoy of boats was likely to avoid a confrontation with the Israeli army during hours of darkness. She also said the activists were considering sending “a second wave” of boats later this week. Israel has called the convoy a media stunt, insisting there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza despite reports to the contrary from aid agencies and offering to deliver the supplies through its own land crossings. “This is a provocation intended to dele-

gitimise Israel,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said late on Saturday. “If the flotilla had a genuine humanitarian goal, then its organisers should have transferred something for the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit as well,” he said of the Israeli snatched by militants in 2006 and held by the Hamas Islamist movement which runs the enclave. The activists responded on their website that they had offered to take in a letter for Shalit from his family but received no response from their lawyer. Hamas’s refusal to release him is cited by Israel as one of the main reasons for imposing the economic blockade on Gaza in 2007 in the wake of the group’s violent takeover of the territory. The confrontation with the flotilla could cost Israel tens of millions of dollars as it detains the activists, pays for docking the ships and transports the aid to Gaza, the online Israeli business magazine Globes reported. It said the detention facility alone had cost three million shekels ($780,000) and that the costs of holding the activists would mount if they refuse to accept Israel’s offer

to buy them tickets home. Pro-Palestinian activists have landed in Gaza five times, with another three unsuccessful attempts since their first such voyage in Aug 2008. The latest is their biggest operation. At Gaza’s tiny port, meant for small fishing boats, Hamas officials, activists and foreign nationals prepared to welcome the flotilla, sitting in some 40 small boats that were bobbing in the sea and decorated with the flags of the countries of the pro-Palestinian activists, including Turkey and Algeria. In other boats, Gaza boy scouts played music, while on shore, other activists released balloons with the faces of Palestinian civilians and militants killed in battles with Israeli forces. In Syria, eight Damascus-based Palestinian groups urged Arab and Muslim states to work to support the flotilla and warned Israel against committing any “foolishness to impede the vessels” “This could create more tension and trigger unpredictable reactions,” said the groups, which included Hamas and the militant Islamic Jihad. — Agencies

his family worshipping a trinity of gods, Amun, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu, said El-Aguizy. The tomb also contains reliefs of Ptahmes and his family hunting and fishing in the Nile river, and Ushtabi figurines which ancient Egyptians believed would serve the deceased in the afterlife. But the expedition’s spokeswoman Heba Mostapha said the tomb had been looted and its pillars used to build churches. “Part of the destruction we found in the grave was because its pillars were used to build churches in the Christian period and it was looted in the 19th century in the period of Mohammed Ali Pasha,” she said. The team was continuing its search for the tomb’s main chamber, where they believed they would find Ptahmes’ mummy and perhaps that of his wife. — Agencies

Germany wins Eurovision Continued from Page 1

Saudi firm studies US addiction help

professor who led the excavation. “It is important because this tomb was the lost tomb.” Some of the artifacts ended up in museums in the Netherlands, the United States and Italy as well as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, providing the only clues about the missing tomb. A team from Cairo University’s archaeology department found the tomb during new excavations of the area that started in 2005, El-Aguizy said. The inner chambers of the large, temple-style tomb and Ptahmes’ mummy remain undiscovered. In the side sanctuaries and other chambers they uncovered, archaeologists found a vivid wall engraving of people fishing from boats made of bundles of papyrus reeds. There were also amulets and fragments of statues. Workers unearthed reliefs depicting offerings to deities and the deceased and

a folkish tune to France’s rhythmic beach track were vying for points obtained from other countries, determined by both popular vote and specialist juries. In Germany, as soon as Lena was declared the winner, shouts of joy burst out from the crowds of thousands watching the event from giant screens displayed in the northern city of Hamburg and in Hanover, central Germany, her hometown. Over the last week, Germany had fallen for the natural-looking, spontaneous, and previously unknown young singer. She won audiences’ hearts by candidly answering questions on her private life and criticism of her English accent. Eurovision organisers said her “Satellite” song had become one of Germany’s top downloads. “Love, Oh, Love/I gotta tell you how I feel about you/Cause I, Oh, I/Can’t go a minute without your love,” says its jerky chorus, in English like most of the songs in this year’s contest. “Lena, you are making a

dream come true,” ran the headline in the online version of the Bild-Zeitung tabloid, which praised Germany’s “sensational” victory. “Incredible! Lena turns her head to Europe and won,” said regional daily Hamburger Abendblatt. “All of Germany was trembling... and crossing its fingers: Lena Meyer-Landrut was carrying the hopes of a nation on her shoulders,” said the weekly Focus. Organisers said more than 120 million viewers across 39 European countries but also as far afield as Myanmar, Australia and New Zealand - tuned in to the contest, one of the world’s most watched events. One incident clouded the evening: one of the 16,000 spectators who had packed Oslo’s Telenor Arena to watch the contest live managed to slip through security and onto the stage during Spain’s performance, joining the dancers around Daniel Diges. Some in Spain identified the intruder as Jaume Marquet Cot, better known as “Jimmy Jump”, a real estate agent from the separatist-minded region of Catalonia who is known for pitch invasions of sever-

al major sporting events, and accused him of trying to ruin Spain’s chances. But for the most part, the 55th installment of the Eurovision song contest lived up to expectations with its classic blend of kitsch and pop glamour. With sexy divas, bare-chested bronzed playboys, exuberant costumes and sparkling light displays, no effort had been spared for the musical showdown. While the votes were being counted, a giant flash mob - in which Norway’s Crown Princess took part - was broadcast, showing Europeans from all over the continent dancing along to a catchy pop tune. As in earlier years, regional blocks played a huge role in attributing points: Greece gave the maximum of 12 points to Cyprus who returned the favour; Serbia gave its points to Bosnia-Hercegovina, while Belarus’ top marks went to Russia. On the other hand, Russia gave 10 points to Georgia, with whom it was at war less than two years ago. France, which has not won the Eurovision since 1977, came in 12th, Greece placed 8th, and the United Kingdom was last. — AFP

MP files to grill PM on pollution Continued from Page 1 He said it was premature to say if the government will ask the grilling to be debated behind closed doors like it did with the first ever grilling against any Kuwaiti prime minister which was debated in camera last November. National Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKhorafi said the grilling will be listed on the agenda of the next regular session on June 8 and the government has the right to request a two-week delay. Government and parliamentary sources have raised a number of possibilities in dealing with the grilling including sending it to the constitutional court or to the Assembly’s legal and legislative committee, asking it to be postponed until the next term starting late October. Several MPs who made comments on the grilling criticized Tahous for both the timing and the content of the grilling, saying that the government should have been given more time to resolve the problem. Shiite MP Adnan Al-Mutawwa described the grilling as “ill-advised”, saying it aims to lead to dissolving the National Assembly but insisted it will fail to do so. MP Hussein Al-Huraiti said government’s measures on pollution are more useful than

the grilling, adding that it should have been directed at concerned ministers rather than the prime minister, “who could be grilled for a traffic problem anytime”. The 19-page grilling entirely focused on the pollution issue of Umm Al-Haiman, located about 55 km south of Kuwait City in the middle of a large number of oil facilities, including three refineries, and around 150 chemical and industrial plants. In the grilling, Tahous charged that officials have failed to apply the law and the prime minister must be held responsible for this because he has been at the helm of the Cabinet since Feb 2006. He stressed that government inaction “has turned Umm Al-Haiman into an environmental disaster area with a sharp rise in diseases like asthma, allergy, cancer and respiratory problems”. He said that based on a 2008 official statistics, Umm AlHaiman had the largest asthma cases with 1,399, with Sabahiya coming a distant second with 174 cases. Tahous named a number of highly toxic gases that are emitted by factories in the region. The lawmaker, a member of the Popular Action Bloc, insisted that a number of the factories were established without licences while others were given licences from the Public Industry Authority without obtain-

ing the compulsory environment clearance. As a result, Tahous said, pollution levels have increased to very dangerous levels that have become a real health hazard against the residents. Residents of Umm Al-Haiman claim that a government commission formed about 15 years ago had recommended against the construction of Umm AlHaiman because of pollution but the commission’s recommendations were ignored by the government which began construction work in the area in 1998. He said the Public Industry Authority and the Environment Public Authority have failed to apply the law on factories causing dangerous pollution, adding that around 80 of the plants are chemical and metal factories. The grilling debate could lead to a motion for non-cooperation with the prime minister which must be signed by 10 MPs. To pass, it requires a majority of the elected MPs as Cabinet ministers cannot participate. The prime minister defeated a noncooperation motion last December, which followed the first ever grilling debate of any Kuwaiti prime minister. If passed, the non-cooperation motion is referred to HH the Amir who will either dismiss the prime minister or dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh elections.


Monday, May 31, 2010


MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday: Cleveland 13, NY Yankees 11; Toronto 5, Baltimore 2; La Angels 5, Seattle 1 (10 Innings); Minnesota 8, Texas 3; Chicago Cubs 5, St. Louis 0; Oakland 6, Detroit 0; Boston 1, Kansas City 0; Tampa Bay 8, Chicago White Sox 5; Atlanta 6, Pittsburgh 3; Philadelphia 1, Florida 0; Cincinnati 12, Houston 2; Milwaukee 8, NY Mets 6; Colorado 11, LA Dodgers 3; San Diego 4, Washington 2; San Francisco 12, Arizona 1. American League Eastern Division W L 34 16 29 20 29 22 28 23 15 35

PCT .680 .592 .569 .549 .300

GB 4.5 5.5 6.5 19

Central Division Minnesota 29 20 Detroit 25 23 Chicago White Sox 21 28 Kansas City 21 29 Cleveland 18 29

.592 .521 .429 .420 .383

3.5 8 8.5 10

Oakland Texas LA Angels Seattle

Western Division 27 23 .540 26 23 .531 24 27 .471 19 29 .396

.5 3.5 7

Philadelphia Atlanta NY Mets Washington Florida

National League Eastern Division 28 20 27 22 25 25 25 25 24 26

.583 .551 .500 .500 .480

1.5 4 4 5

Cincinnati St. Louis Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Pittsburgh Houston

Central Division 30 20 28 22 24 26 21 28 20 30 16 33

.600 .560 .480 .429 .400 .327

2 6 8.5 10 13.5

San Diego LA Dodgers San Francisco Colorado Arizona

Western Division 29 20 .592 27 22 .551 26 22 .542 26 23 .531 20 30 .400

2 2.5 3 9.5

Tampa Bay NY Yankees Toronto Boston Baltimore

SAN DIEGO: Padres pitcher Mat Latos delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals.—AP

Halladay pitches perfect game for Phillies MIAMI: Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in major league history, delivering the marquee performance of his All-Star career in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins in the American League on Saturday. It was the second perfect game in the majors this month alone, Dallas Braden doing it for Oakland against Tampa Bay on May 9. It’s the first time in the modern era that there were a pair of perfec games in the same season. Halladay (7-3) struck out 11, then got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to ground out to end it, and was cheered by a crowd of 25,086 throughout much of the night. While there were a couple of good plays behind him, Halladay didn’t need any great defensive work in this gem. The lone run off Josh Johnson (5-2) came in the third and it was unearned.

Padres 4, Nationals 2 In San Diego, Nick Hundley hit a threerun homer in the first inning to boost San Diego to victory over Washington. Hundley accounted for all four Padres runs. He tripled leading off the fourth and scored on Chris Denorfia’s groundout. San Diego starter Mat Latos (5-3) won his fourth straight decision, striking out eight in six innings. Washington starter J.D. Martin (0-1) took the loss in his season debut.

Rockies 11, Dodgers 3 In Denver, Aaron Cook pitched effectively for 6 1-3 innings to guide Colorado past Los Angeles. Cook (2-3) allowed one earned run in his first win in a month. Carlos Gonzalez homered and added a run-saving defensive gem in center field for Colorado, which had lost six of the previous seven against the Dodgers. Seth Smith and

Miguel Olivo each had three hits with two RBIs apiece. LA starter Hiroki Kuroda (5-3) had his shortest — and roughest — outing of the season, giving up seven runs in four innings.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 0 In Chicago, Carlos Silva struck out a career-high 11 during seven dominant innings, leading Chicago over St. Louis. Silva (7-0) walked none. Matt Holliday was the only Cardinals’ batter to reach base against Silva with a single in the second and a double in the seventh. Silva became the first Cubs starter to begin a season 7-0 since Ken Holtzman went 9-0 in 1967. The Cardinals were held to one run or less for the eighth time this month and they’ve been shut out five times this season. St. Louis starter Adam Ottavino (0-1) gave up four runs and six walks in his major league debut.

Braves 6, Pirates 3 In Atlanta, Jason Heyward homered to help Atlanta down Pittsburgh. Heyward hit his 10th homer of the season, Martin Prado drove in three runs and Troy Glaus had a two-run double for the Braves. Pittsburgh pitcher Brian Burres hit a three-run triple but the Pirates lost their four straight. Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (2-1) gave up three runs in six innings. Burres (2-3) allowed four runs in five innings.

Reds 12, Astros 2 In Cincinnati, Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez each hit two home runs to propel streaking Cincinnati over Houston. Miguel Cairo and Drew Stubbs also homered as the Reds powered their way to their fourth consecutive win, taking a two-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central. The Reds have hit at least one home run

in 18 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in franchise history and the longest in the majors since 2008. The 1956 team set the franchise record with a 21-game stretch. Reds starter Aaron Harang (4-5) matched his season high by lasting seven innings. Astros starter Brian Moehler (0-2) gave up three of the home runs.

Giants 12, D’backs 1 In San Francisco, Buster Posey had three hits and three RBIs in his first major league game as San Francisco routed Arizona. Juan Uribe homered and drove in two runs as the Giants sent the Diamondbacks to their sixth straight loss. San Francisco starter Jonathan Sanchez (3-4) ended a fivegame winless streak, allowing two hits over five innings, striking out seven. Eli Whiteside also hit a home run and drove in two for the Giants, who recorded a season high for runs scored. Arizona starter

Rays 8, White Sox 5 In St. Petersburg, struggling slugger Carlos Pena drove in three runs to help Tampa Bay defeat Chicago. Pena hit a three-run double during a four-run fourth inning off John Danks (4-4) to put Tampa Bay up 6-2. The other run scored on Gabe Kapler’s bunt. Pena has just 12 hits in 94 at-bats during May. The first baseman was 1 for 5, including two strikeouts, on Saturday. Rays starter Wade Davis scattered six hits while pitching into the seventh inning. Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez homered for the White Sox, who have lost 12 of the past 13 when coming off a win.

Athletics 6, Tigers 0 In Detroit, Brett Anderson was sharp in his first start in a month, steering Oakland to a shutout win over Detroit. Anderson (2-1), back from elbow and forearm injuries, didn’t walk a batter in 5 2-3 innings. Mark Ellis drove in four runs for the A’s. Detroit starter Rick Porcello (4-5) allowed seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Red Sox 1, Royals 0 In Boston, Clay Buchholz keeps looking like Boston’s new ace, throwing seven shutout innings to lead Boston

over Kansas City. Buchholz (7-3) oudueled Royals ace Zack Greinke and posted his sixth win in seven starts. He has a 1.32 ERA in his past three outings. The loss snapped the Royals’ threegame winning streak. Mike Lowell drove in Boston’s lone run with an RBI grounder.

Indians 13, Yankees 11 In New York, Cleveland pitcher David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive before the Indians fought back from a big deficit to beat New York. Alex Rodriguez’s line drive cannoned off Huff’s head into right field for an RBI double. Huff was down on the mound for 6 minutes, carted off the field and taken to hospital, where he was cleared of serious damage. He returned to the clubhouse three hours later to celebrate an unlikely victory. Down 10-4 in the sixth inning to C.C. Sabathia, the Indians came back to win. Lou Marson hit three doubles and Russell Branyan homered.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2 In Toronto, Lyle Overbay hit two of Toronto’s four home runs in the win over Baltimore. Vernon Wells connected for a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning off Jason Berken (0-1). His 13th homer of the season was a long fly that hit the facing of the third deck in left field. One out later, Alex Gonzalez singled and Alberto Castillo replaced Berken, surrendering Overbay’s homer on his first pitch. Overbay also hit a solo drive in the second.

Angels 5, Mariners 1 In Anaheim, Kendry Morales fractured his lower left leg while celebrating his game-ending grand slam in the 10th inning which lifted Los Angeles over Seattle. Morales is scheduled to undergo surgery Sunday. He was leading the club in batting average (.290), home runs (11), total bases (94) and RBIs (39). Morales connected with one out and circled the bases to a waiting celebration. He leaped toward home plate and landed awkwardly.—AP

Brewers 8, Mets 6 In Milwaukee, Corey Hart hit a grand slam and a two-run homer in his first two atbats to lift Milwaukee over New York. Hart’s homers in the first and third gave him 12 for the season, tying his total from last year, and three in three consecutive plate appearances. He belted the first gamewinning homer of his career Friday. Ike Davis hit a three-run shot for New York, but the Mets continued their struggles on the road. All 14 runs were scored in the first four innings, but Todd Coffey (2-1) came for Milwaukee in with the bases loaded in the fifth and went on to retire seven straight batters. Mets spot starter Fernando Nieve (1-3) allowed five runs in two innings. —AP

Japan’s ‘Knuckle Princess’ makes Outlaws US debut

Twins crush Rangers, Rays beat White Sox MINNEAPOLIS: The Minnesota Twins finally got a big hit with the bases loaded to key a six-run seventh inning, and beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 in the American League on Saturday. Texas starter C.J Wilson (3-3) walked Justin Morneau to lead off the seventh, gave up a double to Michael Cuddyer and then walked Jason Kubel to exit with the bases loaded and nobody out. It’s a situation that has paralyzed the Twins this season. They came into the game with 66 at-bats with the bases loaded, the most in the major leagues, but managed only 11 hits. Delmon Young changed that, hitting a two-run double and J.J. Hardy followed with a two-run single. Minnesota starter Carl Pavano (5-5) allowed two runs in seven innings to take the win.

Billy Buckner (0-3) gave up seven runs over four-plus innings.

CHICO: Outlaws female knuckleballer Eri Yoshida pitches against the Tijuana Cimarrones in the top of the first inning during their GBL baseball game at Nettleton Stadium.—AP

CHICO: Japan’s Eri Yoshida has become the first woman to pitch professionally in the United States in a decade, showing Saturday that she and her sidearm knuckleballs can compete with the men. The “Knuckle Princess” was unfazed when a former major leaguer opened the game by bunting for a hit. She had a few knucklers that danced almost as much as those of her idol, Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox. She pitched a scoreless first inning in her debut for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League, before allowing a two-run homer to Juan Velasquez in the second inning. She added an RBI single in her first at-bat against David Rivas of the Tijuana Cimarrones, prompting a standing ovation from the near sellout crowd on “Girl Power Night.” Even her teammates got caught up in the excitement, taking pictures of Yoshida standing on first after her bases-loaded single through the hole between first and second. Yoshida is the first woman since Ila Borders in 2000 to play professionally in the United States. The 1.52-meter (5-foot-1), 52-kilogram (115-pound) Yoshida is also the first woman to play professionally in two countries, having pitched last year in an independent league in Japan. Yoshida got off to a much better debut than Borders did in her first game in 1997, when she failed to retire any of the three batters she faced for the Saint Paul Saints of the Northern League. After former San Francisco Giants infielder Ivan Ochoa led off the game by bunting for a single, drawing jeers from the crowd, Yoshida settled down and kept Tijuana off-balance with a sidearm knuckleball. She got Erold Andrus on a foul pop behind home plate before inducing Jackson Melian to ground into an inning-ending dou-

ble play. Yoshida hopped off the mound in excitement after the nine-pitch inning and exchanged high-fives with her teammates in the dugout with a huge smile. She fared better in her second encounter with a former major leaguer, getting Juan Melo to pop out to second base to open the second inning. She then got another former major leaguer, Kit Pellow, on a fly out to left before hitting Carlos Lopez with a pitch in the back. The only player to hit the ball hard against Yoshida in the first two innings was Velasquez, who drove a ball over the fence in left-center. Yoshida escaped the second with no further damage. Spurred by the interest in Yoshida, the Outlaws are streaming all of their home games live on the Internet this season. About 25 media outlets were credentialed for the game and the team drew a much larger crowd than usual for “Girl Power Night.” Mika Kuriyama, from San Leandro in the Bay Area, made the threehour-plus drive to take her 5year-old daughter Hannah to the game. Hannah was decked out in a kimono and held a sign for the “Knuckle Princess.” “I admire her,” Kuriyama said of Yoshida. “It takes a lot of guts to come out here and pitch. I really admire her. I wanted my daughter to be able to see that.” Yoshida learned to throw the knuckleball as a young girl by watching Wakefield. She taught herself the pitch and never had any formal coaching for how to throw the knuckler until meeting her idol during spring training in Florida earlier this year. Wakefield gave her a tutorial and was impressed by what he saw. Yoshida became Japan’s first female pro baseball player last year when she pitched for the Kobe Cruise 9 in the Kansai Independent League. She was 0-2 in 11 appearances with a 4.03 ERA in 10 2-3 innings. —AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

Davis, Molder take lead into Colonial final round

TEXAS: Jason Bohn reacts to missing a putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth. — AP

Clermont thrash Perpignan PARIS: Clermont, well used to heartbreak after 10 defeats in as many finals, tasted glory at long last by defeating holders Perpignan 19-6 to clinch their first French championship title at the Stade de France on Saturday. “Bloody hell, it was time. We worked so hard,” Clermont number eight Elvis Vermeulen, who was a member of the team that lost the last three finals against Stade Francais, Toulouse and Perpignan told television channel Canal Plus. Clermont coach Vern Cotter, his eyes filled with tears, added: “It was three years of sheer frustration but every year we tried to come back stronger. Full credit to the players. We are going to have a good night,” he said.

The game was a rematch of last year’s final won 22-13 by Perpignan. Clermont scored the only try through Fiji wing Napolioni Nalaga who charged over like a prop after a ruck on the Perpignan tryline. Scrumhalf Morgan Parra contributed three penalties and a conversion and fullback Anthony Floch added a drop goal. Perpignan answered with two penalties scored by fullback Jerome Porical who had scored 14 points in a flawless performance last year but missed three penalties on Saturday. “We can’t complain. We didn’t manage to develop our game. Clermont were stronger on the day and they deserve their title,” said Perpignan scrumhalf Nicolad Durand. — Reuters

PARIS: Clermont’s Jamie Cudmore catches the ball during his French rugby union final against Perpignan at the Stade de France stadium. — AP

FORT WORTH: Brian Davis and Bryce Molder shared a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Colonial on Saturday, hoping it will end for either with a first U.S. PGA Tour title. Davis had his second consecutive bogey-free 65 while Molder, the second-round leader, shot 67 to put them both at 16-under 194. The closest Davis has come to winning was last month at Hilton Head, when he got into a playoff with Jim Furyk and then called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the extra hole. The 35-year-old Englishman had missed the cut in his last three tournaments. Molder has four top-10s this season and he has only one professional victory since leaving university in 2001 — on the Nationwide Tour in 2006. It was another hot but ideal scoring day at Hogan’s Alley, where there again were only light breezes. The forecast on Sunday calls for nearly identical conditions. Kenny Perry’s tournament-record mark of 19 under, which he set when winning in 2003 and 2005, could be in serious jeopardy. The next-best score for a Colonial was 17 under by three players last year, when Steve Stricker won a two-hole playoff. There are 17 players at 11 under or better going into the final round. Zach Johnson (64) was a stroke behind the leaders. Ben Crane (64) joined first-round co-leaders Jeff Overton (66) and Jason Bohn (68) in a tie for fourth at 14 under. Molder shot a career-best 62 on Friday to take the halfway lead, then set another personal mark on Saturday with nine consecutive one-putts. Except he wasn’t able to parlay that streak into the outright lead again. He made putts ranging from 4 to 34 feet from holes Nos. 2-11, a stretch that included five birdies and a double bogey. Then on the closing 441-yard 18th hole, Molder slid a 10-foot birdie try just past the cup. Davis, who hasn’t had a bogey since the ninth hole in the opening round on Thursday, needed a couple of save shots on Saturday. At the par-5 11th, Davis made a 16-foot par putt after hitting from a fairway bunker to the rough and then over the green. He overcame a bad chip at the 430-yard 15th hole with a 21-foot par-saver. When he hit his second shot of the day from a fairway bunker and then went over the green at the only other par 5, he pitched a shot to 2 feet on No. 1. Johnson had birdies on both backside par 3s, making a 22-footer at No. 13, and an 8-footer at No. 16 while wrapping up his bogey-free round. He made a 4-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to get to 15 under when Molder still had four holes to play. Crane got to 14 under when he made an eagle from 143 yards at the par-4 17th hole. He had a hole-inone on Friday and another eagle on Thursday. KJ Choi teed off at No. 18 with a chance to match the course record of 61 with a birdie. He instead had a quadruple-bogey 8. Choi hit his tee shot into the left rough, flubbed his first chance to get out of it and then hit the next into the water. The 40-year-old South Korean knocked his drop through the green, then chipped another one off the green before finally making an 8-foot putt. “Everything went all right before that hole,” Choi said through an interpreter. “I knew that was a tough hole. In my mind, I thought bogey would be good. But things didn’t go right.” Choi was at 14 under and still tied with Molder for the lead after his errant tee shot on the closing hole. At about the same time, Molder was sinking a 34-foot putt at the par-3 No. 8, his second consecutive birdie getting him to 15 under. That span also made up for a double bogey at the 481-yard No. 5, when he hit his approach to the par 4 out of bounds. The only player over par through three rounds is Ian Poulter, the No. 6 player in the world. A 73 on Saturday put him at 1 over. Phil Mickelson missed the cut and a chance at being the No. 1 player in the world, so he wasn’t around for the Colonial’s second “Pink Out” to raise awareness of breast cancer. Hogan’s Alley was swathed on Saturday in pink — from the clothing worn by most golfers, officials and spectators to signs and ribbons. The first “Pink Out” was during the third round last year when Mickelson wasn’t here to defend his 2008 title soon after finding out his wife, Amy, had breast cancer. Soon after that, he found out his mother also had the disease. Mickelson said he would be wearing pink at home on Saturday in San Diego while spending the weekend his family. Amy Mickelson’s birthday is today. — AP

COLORADO: Boonchu Ruangkit, of Thailand, follows the flight of his shot off the 1st tee during the third round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament. — AP

Blake, Lehman lead field PARKER: Jay Don Blake shot a 2-underpar 70 to take a share of the 54-hole lead with Tom Lehman at the Senior PGA Championship, the senior circuit’s oldest and most prestigious event. Lehman fired a 71 through swirling winds that add to the adversity facing golfers at the 3-year-old Colorado Golf Club course co-designed by Ben Crenshaw, a 7,450-foot monster that cuts through open meadows, wooded hillsides and streams. Fred Couples, who led going into the weekend, faltered with a score of 75 but was still just two shots off the pace, along with Mark O’Meara (67) and Mike Goodes

(70). Seven others are within four strokes of the leaders. “There are six or eight or 10 guys that if they play good tomorrow can win it,” O’Meara said. That group features Lehman, who played steady golf in the final group while playing partners Couples and Tom Kite (79) stumbled, and Blake, the 1980 US college golf champion whose only professional wins came in 1991 at the Shearson Lehman Brothers Open and the Argentine Open. Blake entered the weekend tied for fourth at 4 under, three shots behind Couples. Blake said earlier in the week that he thought he had a good shot here because

his game was in top shape and so was his back, which bothered him for his last nine years on the US PGA Tour after he rejected his doctor’s advice and returned too soon from an appendectomy. He incorporated core strengthening exercises to save his back and his career and he gave up fishing, boating and drag racing to concentrate on the Champions Tour when he celebrated his 50th birthday 18 months ago. David Frost collected seven birdies in a bogey-free round, setting the course record with a 65. Frost, making his debut at the Senior PGA Championship, fired a 72 and a 77 in the first two rounds. — AP

PORTUGAL: Driver Sebastien Ogier (right) and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, both from France, hold their trophies after winning the Portugal FIA World Rally Championship. — AP

Ogier wins Rally of Portugal LISBON: French driver Sebastien Ogier survived a final-day attack from compatriot Sebastien Loeb to post his first world championship win at the Rally of Portugal yesterday. Six-times world champion Loeb, who heads the championship standings, went into the third day 21.1 seconds behind Ogier and was on the attack straight away, winning the day’s four gravel stages, to go into the final Algarve Stadium stage just under eight seconds behind. But Ogier held on, edging Loeb by 0.1 seconds in the two-kilometre tarmac stage to claim his maiden win with a margin of 7.9 seconds. The 26-year-old Citroen driver had narrowly missed out on a win in New Zealand earlier in May, his lead vanishing with a spin just three corners from the finish and he was naturally overjoyed to make amends for that disappointment. “It’s a fantastic feeling and I am very, very happy,” Ogier told the World Rally Championship website ( “It has not been easy with Sebastien (Loeb) behind me, pushing all the time, but we also pushed hard and made no mistakes,” he added. Loeb said his compatriot’s win signalled the arrival of added competition. “I tried (throughout) all the rally to beat him but he was just too fast ... I have a new rival now,” he said. Ogier has jumped from fourth to second in the championship standings on 88

PORTUGAL: Argentina’s driver Federico Villagra steers his Ford Focus RS WRC during the Portugal FIA World Rally Championship. — AP points, 38 behind Loeb. Spain’s Dani Sordo made it an all-Citroen podium by taking advantage of Petter Solberg’s steering fault to grab third place.

The Norwegian dropped another spot when he hit a water barrier in the final stage, allowing Finn Mikko Hirvonen to finish fourth. — Reuters

Queen Elizabeth to miss Commonwealth Games LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II will not attend the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October, Buckingham Palace confirmed yesterday-the first time she has missed the event in decades. Prince Charles, her eldest son and the heir to the throne, will represent the 84year-old Head of the Commonwealth instead at the October 3-14 Games. “It is correct to say that the Queen will not be attending the Commonwealth

Games this year,” a palace spokesman said. “The volume of Her Majesty’s engagements, coupled with other overseas commitments, means she will not be able to attend.” The Commonwealth Games are held every four years. Delhi 2010, the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in India since the Asian Games in 1982, will feature more than 70 nations and territories mainly from the former British empire.

The 12-day sporting extravaganza is being billed as the most expensive Commonwealth Games in history with an infrastructure and organising budget of two billion dollars. The Commonwealth Games Federation warned India again earlier this month over the slow progress in getting ready for the event, saying “there remains much to be done” ahead of the sporting extravaganza. — AFP


Monday, May 31, 2010


Dark horses ready to spoil Castroneves record bid INDIANAPOLIS: The spotlight will be on Helio Castroneves at the Indy 500 on Sunday but there are no shortage of dark horses in the 33 car field capable of denying the Brazilian a fourth win and a place in the Brickyard record books. Only three men have garnered four Indy 500 wins and Castroneves will try to join that elite club from the pole. Marco Andretti certainly has the pedigree to be a 500 winner. The son of Andretti Autosport Team owner Michael and grandson of Formula One World champion Mario, Marco will start 16th on the grid. In four Indy 500 starts he has finished second and third, and twice was eliminated after making contact with other drivers.

“I don’t think any of us are starting as high in the field as we’d like,” said Andretti of his team. “But a lot can happen in 500 miles.” Dan Wheldon finished second last year but came from 16th in 2005 to win the race many Americans regard the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. Starting 18th yesterday, the Briton will have to mount another charge if he is to return to Victory Lane but with four top 10 finishes at the Brickyard he cannot be ignored. “We’ve all been doing this long enough that we know what’s important is how we finish in the race,” said Wheldon. “I’ve said all along that the Panther boys have done a great job preparing for this month and I’m confident we’ll be well prepared for the race as well.”

Bruno Junqueira starts 25th, not normally where you would expect to find the Brazilian, who started the 2002 Indy from pole and has two fifth-place finishes in five races at the Brickyard. “I think we have a good chance,” he told Reuters. “The track owes me a win”. Alex Tagliani starts fifth on the grid but the Canadian is making just his second 500 appearance with a small upstart team that he coowns. “To be able to fight with the Penske’s and Ganassi’s of the Indy Car Series and have the opportunity to battle against them is just a huge honor,” said Tagliani. “That is just an amazing accomplishment for this team.” Meanwhile, team owners Roger

Penske and Chip Ganassi congratulate each other via text messages after races, but when the green flag drops on the Indy 500 late yesterday the two giants of American motorsport will be out for blood. The only owners to win both the Indy and Daytona 500s, Penske and Ganassi will renew their great rivalry at the 94th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. “Believe me, there are times when we’d just as soon rip each other’s heart out, I assure you,” Ganassi told reporters. “But at the end of the day, that’s on the track and when it comes to off the track, we’re certainly civil and friends and like to keep it that way.” Wearing crisp white shirts, matching dark trousers, black socks

and shoes, Penske and Ganassi are dressed for success and it is something both have come to expect at the Brickyard. American motorsport’s two most successful owners, their dominance stretches across decades and all types of race cars. Ganassi’s teams have amassed 121 wins in everything from Champ cars to sports cars, but he still lives in Penske’s rear view mirror. Penske, dubbed “The Captain”, operates the most successful Indy car racing team of all-time with 147 wins and 12 drivers championships. His cars have stormed home first at the Daytona 500 and his Formula One team has celebrated from the top of the podium. But it is at the Brickyard where

Ganassi and Penske’s friendly rivalry turns fierce. Penske has claimed a record 15 Indy 500 wins with the help of an all-star stable of drivers that has included four-times winner Rick Mears and current sensation Helio Castroneves, who will try for his fourth victory on Sunday. For Ganassi, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and Australian Scott Dixon in 2008 have put their names on the winner’s trophy. On Sunday, Castroneves will start from the pole with team mate Will Power alongside and Dario Franchitti starting his Ganassi Dallara from the outside of row one. Penske driver Ryan Briscoe and Dixon will be on row two. “The guy sitting next to me is the one that we

have to beat every weekend, whether it’s here at Indianapolis or certainly at Daytona or Charlotte,” said Penske. “The only thing I don’t like to do is every time he wins I’ve got to send him a text congratulations.” Despite his record, Penske could watch Ganassi accomplish something he has never done-become the first owner to claim the Indy and Daytona 500 double in the same year. “It would be a huge thing but right now my focus is to beat this guy next to me,” said Ganassi, who won the Daytona 500 in February with Jamie McMurray. “He’s the team we’re going to have to beat on Sunday to walk away with the trophy. —Reuters

Blackhawks down Flyers 6-5 in Stanley Cup opener

VERONA: Italy’s Ivan Basso holds up the trophy after winning the Giro d’Italia, tour of Italy cycling race. —AP

Basso wins Tour of Italy VERONA: Italian Ivan Basso claimed his second Tour of Italy title as Swede Gustav Erik Larsson won the 21st and final stage of this years race, a 15km timetrial around Verona. Surprise package Spaniard David Arroyo comfortably held onto second place in the overall standings while Basso’s Liquigas team-mate Vincenzo Nibali edged out Italian compatriot Michele Scarponi for the final place on the podium. But the day belonged to Basso who came home 15th fastest on the day but still earned his second win in his

home Tour following his success in 2006. The victory completed a remarkable turnaround for Basso who was banned for two years in 2006 for his involvement in the Operation Puerto scandal. He finished 1min 51sec ahead of Arroyo who had so thrilled fans with his valiant attempts to hold onto the leader’s pink jersey in the mountains. Following the last two gruelling days in the mountains it was little surprise that the top riders were not involved in the battle for the stage victory.

Saxo Bank’s Larsson posted the fastest time of 20min 19sec on the course, just two seconds quicker than Italian timetrial champions Marco Pinotti, who had led by 12sec at the one and only time check. Veteran Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov another to have served a doping ban - put in a good effort to finish third on the day, 17sec down, to leapfrog Australia’s Richie Porte and take sixth place overall from the winner of the Young Rider’s competition. The main interest for the day was the battle for third

place as Nibali started one second ahead of Scarponi. They reached the time check at the end of the Torricelle climb neck and neck but Nibali is known to be a better descender. And so it proved as he came to the line 12sec quicker than Scarponi managed to complete an excellent Tour. Fifth place went to Australian world road race champion Cadel Evans who had an outside chance of a podium finish at the start of the day but simply could not make up enough time on the two Italians ahead of him. —AFP

CHICAGO: Tomas Kopecky had the go-ahead goal in the third period, giving the Chicago Blackhawks a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Saturday’s opening game of the NHL’s Stanley Cup. Fast-paced, up-and-down, the game was played at breakneck speed. Two teams trying to get off to a quick start traded goals for the first two periods. It was almost a question of who would score last in this meeting of franchises who have experienced long title droughts. On this night it happened to be the Blackhawks. “You lose the first game of the Stanley Cup finals and it’s hard to sit here and thumb through the positives right now,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ll take a look at it tonight and tomorrow. We’ll be ready to go.” Game 2 is in Chicago on Monday. Kopecky, who had been scratched the previous five playoff games and was in the lineup because of an injury to Andrew Ladd, scored from the left side with a sharp-angled shot that beat backup Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher at 8:25 of the third. The Flyers failed to hold three one-goal leads. “They came out strong, they were playing really physical,” Chicago forward Kris Versteeg said. “We had to match them, and once we did that, we did well.” Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists apiece for Philadelphia, while Ville Leino, Blair Betts and Arron Asham also scored. Chicago’s Troy Brouwer scored two goals, the second putting the Blackhawks ahead 54 in the second period and prompting the Flyers to replace starting goalie Michael Leighton with Boucher. “I just wanted to be ready. We wanted to out and be a dangerous line every time we were on the ice,” Brouwer said. Dave Bolland had a shorthanded goal for the Blackhawks, and Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg also scored. Chicago is in its first final series since 1992 and aiming for the franchise’s first championship since 1961. The Flyers, who last made the finals in 1997, are shooting for their first title since the second of two championships in 1975. On Philadelphia’s first goal, Leino directed the puck toward the crease from the left circle. Niemi blocked it and then it apparently deflected off Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson and went into the net just 6:38 into the game to give the Flyers the early lead. The raucous crowd of 22,312 at the United Center wasn’t quieted for long. Just 68 seconds later, Hossa made a nice backhanded pass from the right circle to Brouwer in the circle. From high in the slot, he rifled it past Leighton to tie the game. Chicago went ahead 2-1 when Bolland took the puck away from defenseman Braydon Coburn at center ice, started his breakaway, and his shot struck Leighton before finding its way into the net. But after Chicago’s third penalty of the opening period, the Flyers converted on the power play to make it 2-2. Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger drove a shot from the high slot, and Hartnell scored on the rebound. Philadelphia stunned Chicago by scoring with just 27 seconds left in the first period to make it 3-2. Briere fired a shot from the slot, hustled toward the net and scored on the rebound for his 10th goal of the playoffs. —AP

CHICAGO: Tomas Kopecky No. 82 of the Chicago Blackhawks scores the gamewinning goal against goaltender Brian Boucher No. 33 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game One of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final. —AFP

Klitschko TKO’s Sosnowski BERLIN: Vitali Klitschko beat challenger Albert Sosnowski by technical knock-out on Saturday, ending the Pole’s bid to become his country’s first heavyweight champion. Towering over his lighter opponent, Klitschko clinched a successful defence of his WBC title when the fight was stopped in the 10th round. The 38-year-old Ukrainian dominated the fight, with the younger Sosnowski forced to work to the body after failing to connect to the head. “Albert gave everything ... but experience played an important role,” Klitschko told some 60,000 spectators after the contest in Schalke 04’s soccer stadium in

Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Keeping Sosnowski at bay with an outstretched left arm throughout much of the bout, Klitschko baited the challenger before hammering the shorter man down to the canvas with an explosive combination that ended the fight. Klitschko may now turn his attention to Britain’s David Haye, who holds the WBA title. Vitali’s brother Vladimir holds the WBO, IBF and IBO belts. “I have plenty of dry power left to fire,” Klitschko said from the ring. “I hope the next fight will be soon. We’ll see who’ll be next, maybe David Haye.” Haye, 29, who has a 24-1

record, has said the Klitschko brothers consistently pick “over-the-hill” opponents, and angered the pair when he appeared at a news conference wearing a T-shirt that depicted him holding their bloodied and severed heads. Speaking to journalists after the fight form his locker room, Klitschko said he would be happy if either he or his brother gets to face Haye in the ring. “He talks a lot and insults his opponents-in America they’d call him a ‘trash talker’. I’d be just as happy if it’s Vladimir who beats him or I,” he said. Klitschko now has 40 victories from 42 fights with two defeats. —Reuters

GERMANY: WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko of the Ukraine (right) punches challenger Albert Sosnowski of Poland during their WBC heavyweight world title boxing fight at the Veltins-Arena soccer stadium. —AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

Lakers defeat Suns to set up Celtics match

PHOENIX: Suns’ Louis Amundson (bottom right) goes up for a shot as teammate Leandro Barbosa (top middle) of Brazil, creates some space as he blocks out Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom (left) while Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (top right) holds Amundson in the first half in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals.—AP

Sharma seals India win BULAWAYO: A chilly day in Africa but not for Indian cricketers as batsman Rohit Sharma hit his second century in successive matches to secure a sevenwicket win over Sri Lanka in a tri-nation series. Sharma’s first century was against Zimbabwe on Friday in a match which the home side won by six wickets. But his winning “double” hundred here Sunday ensured victory against old foes Sri Lanka. Sent in to bat by India captain Suresh Raina, Sri Lanka struggled against the inexperienced Indians to reach 242 all out in 49.5 overs. This target was all too easy for India and they passed it with 39 balls to spare. “This was one of the best innings of my career because it is never easy to chase in one-day matches,” said Sharma. “We knew we had to bounce straight back after the Zimbabwe match.” Sri Lanka captain Tillekeratne Dilshan added: “The two early run-outs cost us a lot because we felt we needed a score of at least 280 runs. “The runs we did get were not enough for a good defence.” Now the rejuvenated Indians are back on track in the series and instead of being under pressure to survive they have the look of victors about them. Man-of-the-match Sharma’s 100 came up in exactly 100 balls. It was a race both against the light, which was generally indifferent, and also against the disappearing number of runs required for the win. When his century was secured, India needed only a handful of runs to cross the line and his captain Raina held back for him. Sharma hit six fours and two sixes in a faultless innings, which was not especially spectatular but of total command. He didn’t take all the limelight though. Virat Kohli weighed in with 82 before being caught on the boundary and they put on 154 for the third wicket. Kohli needed 92 balls as he hit four fours

in his seventh half century. From a team standpoint India recovered well from their shock beating by Zimbabwe and are now back on track for a possible series winning effort. The pressure now reverts to Sri Lanka who must beat Zimbabwe on Tuesday to put all three on level terms at the half-way stage. Before a crowd of only about 30 at the start of play, which followed a pre-dawn thunderstorm, perhaps 800 paying spectators braved the cold wind as Sri Lanka were put into bat. India were forced to start without Vinay Kumar who sprained an ankle playing soccer. He was replaced by Pragyan Ojha. The Sri Lankans, who had an air of failure about them from the early overs, mostly made heavy weather of the entire innings overs, scoring at fewer than three an over after losing Upul Tharanga with only eight runs on the board. They also suffered two runouts with the losses of Dilshan himself and Upul Tharanga. Sri Lanka did manage to get the rate up to four by the 38th over and almost to five near the end in a bid for boundaries, but they lost all their wickets in the attempt to go further. Dilshan forced his way to 61 off 84 balls to record his 17th half-century in 175 matches played. And Angelo Mathews weighed in with 75 in 95 balls for his fourth 50 in ODIs. But in between there were slow scoring periods. Between the 11th and 16th overs inclusive, for instance, only 12 runs were scored. India, on the other hand, showed no signs of the nerves they might have displayed after a first match defeat to the home side and went positively after the Sri Lanka total from the start. Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay with 18 and 14 respectively showed the way with a modest but sufficient foundation and from that point on it was the SharmaMathews show. —AFP

SCOREBOARD BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe: Scoreboard from triangular one-day international between India and Sri Lanka played here Queens Sports Club yestterday: Sri Lanka U. Tharanga run out (Kohli) 1 T. Dilshan run out (Sharma) 61 T. Samaraweera st Karthik b Ojha 19 A. Mathews b Yadav 75 C. Kapudegera c Vijay b Jadeja 20 C. Silva lbw Jadeja 5 T. Perera c Raina b Ojha 32 N. Kalusekera b Dinda 19 S. Randiv run out (Dinda) 1 D. Fernando not out 0 A. Mendis b Dinda 2 Extras (3w, 3lb, 1b) 7 Total (all out) 242 Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-39, 3-97, 4-150, 5-156, 6204, 7-226, 8-239, 9-241 Bowling: Umesh Yadav 10-1-61-1, Ashok Dinda 9.5-0-44-2 (2w), Pragyan Ojha 10-0-44-2, Amit Mishra 10-0-40-0 (1w), Ravindra Jadeja 10-1-49-2 India D. Kartik c sub (Jeevan Mendis) b Ajantha Mendis 18 M. Vijay lbw b Nuwan Kulasekera 14 V. Kohli c Fernando b Rajiv 82 R. Sharma not out 101 S. Raina not out 24 Extras: (3w, 1lb) 4 Total (for 3 wkts) 243 Did not bat: Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-47, 3-201 Bowling: Nuwan Kulasekera 9-1-34-1 (1w), Dilhara Fernando 8.3-0-58-1 (2w), Ajantha Mendis 10-0-64-1, Suray Randiv 9-0-51-1, Thisara Perera 7-0-35-0 Result: India win by seven wickets Man of the match: R Sharma (IND)

BULAWAYO: Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, plays a shot while Sri Lankan captain Tilakaretne Dilshan (right) looks on during a match against Sri Lanka at Queens Sports Club.—AP

PHOENIX: The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 111-103 on Saturday to clinch their Western Conference finals series 4-2, setting up another NBA finals epic against the Boston Celtics. Kobe Bryant wrapped up a magnificent series with 37 points and Ron Artest added 25 as the Lakers secured their 31st finals appearance, chasing their 16th championship. The Lakers and Celtics, the NBA’s premier teams for much of the league’s history, will meet in the finals for the 12th time with Game 1 Thursday in Los Angeles. They are the NBA champions each of the past two years — Boston beat the Lakers two years ago, and Los Angeles topped Orlando last season. “We’ll see how much we matured,” Bryant said. “They challenged us extremely well in the finals a couple years ago. Now is a chance to see how much we’ve grown.” Bryant scored nine points in the final 2 minutes, including what looked like an impossible 23-footer with Grant Hill in his face and 34 seconds to play. The basket put Los Angeles up 107-100 and the scrappy Suns were finished. Amare Stoudemire, in what may have been his last game with the Suns, scored 27 points but struggled to a 7-of-20 shooting night. He can opt out of the final year of his contract and has said chances are “50-50” that he will play elsewhere next season. Steve Nash added 21 points and nine assists in his 118th playoff game, the most for anyone who has never reached the finals. Bryant, with his 10th 30point performance in his last 11 postseason games, moved ahead of Jerry West and into a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second-most 30-point playoff games at 75. He has a way to go for the record of 109 held by Michael Jordan. Bryant also extended his NBA record to eight straight 30-point closeout games on the road. “I always thought he was the best player in basketball,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. Channing Frye had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have reached the finals only twice in their history and never have won a championship. Goran Dragic scored 10 of his 12 points in a fourth-quarter rally that got Phoenix within three points. The Lakers led by as many as 18 late in the second quarter and were up by 17 entering the fourth. But four Suns reserves plus Stoudemire got the Suns back into it. “With a 3-point shooting team like Phoenix,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, “you know that any lead is not impossible.” With Bryant on the bench for a brief rest, Dragic scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to slice Los Angeles’ lead to 91-82 with 10:27 left. The Lakers’ Sasha Vujacic drew a flagrant foul for an elbow to the face of his fellow Slovenian with 11:18 to play. Dragic made both free throws, then blew by Vujacic for a layup to cut it to 91-80 with 11:12 left. Dragic drove for another layup the next time as Bryant made a hasty return from the bench. The run reached 16-4 on Stoudemire’s layup after a slick pass from Dragic under the basket to cut it to 95-90 with 6:09. Nash and Jason Richardson finally re-entered the game with 3:26 to play and Los Angeles leading 99-92. Stoudemire made two free throws, then Nash cut it to 9996 on a layup with 2:19 left. Bryant sank a 21-footer, Lamar Odom stole Nash’s pass and Bryant made two free throws to stretch it to 103-96 with 1:43 to go. Four straight points by Stoudemire cut it to 100-95 with 53.1 seconds left, but Bryant responded with his dagger over Hill and the surprising playoff run of the undersized, overmatched Suns was over. —AP

LONDON: Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal hits a ball from England’s Graeme Swann during the 4th day of the first Test match at Lord’s cricket ground.—AP

Tamim ton leads B’desh revival against England LONDON: Tamim Iqbal marked his first Test at Lord’s with a breathtaking century as Bangladesh fought back with the bat against England on the fourth day of their series opener here yesterday. Bangladesh, following on, were 328 for five at stumps — 105 ahead of England’s first innings 505 after the Tigers had been bowled out for 282 earlier in the day. That prompted thoughts of England winning by an innings, as they’d done in the corresponding fixture here five years ago. But Tamim, who made 103 at better than a run-a-ball, shared a Bangladesh record first-wicket stand of 185 with fellow left-hander Imrul Kayes (75). Fast bowler Steven Finn, playing his first Test in England on his Middlesex home ground, removed both openers in a spell of two wickets for one run in 14 balls shortly before tea. That meant Bangladesh-who’ve won just three of their 66 previous Tests and lost all six against England-started Sunday’s final session with both Junaid Siddique and Jahurul Islam unbeaten on nought. But they went on to share a stand of exactly 100, with Siddique posting his second fifty of the match in 92 balls with five boundaries. Bangladesh lost a wicket in the first over with the new ball when Mohammad Ashraful was caught behind off reinvigorated paceman James Anderson, who like Finn took four first innings wickets, for 21. And there was still time for nightwatchman Shahadat Hossain to be bowled by Tim Bresnan for nought. Left-hander Siddique survived though to be 66 not out with Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan unbeaten on two. Earlier, England brought on occasional medium-pacer Jonathan Trott, whose 226 was the centrepiece of their total, and he broke the thirdwicket partnership when he had Jahurul (46)

caught and bowled. But Ashraful’s cover-driven boundary off Finn took the Tigers to 300. Tamim, who chanced his arm, was 31 not out at lunch and Kayes unbeaten on 30, both men batting positively as they did in a first innings stand of 88 only ended by a run-out. They exposed England’s questionable policy of opting for only four frontline bowlers, with firstchoice quick Stuart Broad rested, on a pitch which, like so many Test surfaces, favours batsmen. There was though no denying Tamim’s class when he pulled Finn for four to bring up Bangladesh’s first century opening stand against England. Tamim, who made 55 in the first innings, cut loose against off-spinner Graeme SwannEngland’s ‘control’ bowler. In three successive balls Tamim slog-swept Swann for six, cover-drove him for four and hoisted him for six. Before this match, Kayes’s best score in his 11 Tests was 33. But having made 43 in the first innings, he completed a maiden fifty in 96 balls when he swept Swann for four. Tamim’s superb forcing shot off the backfoot against Bresnan, who lacked for both guile and pace, saw Bangladesh to 163 without loss. That surpassed their previous best opening stand of 161 between Tamim and Siddique against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2007/08. Tamim’s third boundary of the over, a drive over mid-on, took the 21-year-old to a third Test ton in just 94 balls with two sixes and 15 fours. A joyous Tamim pointed to his shirt as he celebrated getting his name on the Lord’s honours board, just as fast bowler Shahadat had done this match by taking five wickets. Tamim was out soon afterwards when he hooked Finn to Trott at long leg. Kayes followed soon afterwards, caught at short leg by Ian Bell.—AFP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test between England and Bangladesh at Lord’s here yesterday: England 1st innings 505 (J Trott 226, A Strauss 83; Shahadat Hossain 5-98) Bangladesh 1st innings (overnight: 237-7) Tamim Iqbal run out (Pietersen) 55 Imrul Kayes c Strauss b Finn 43 Junaid Siddique c Prior b Finn 58 Jahurul Islam c Prior b Anderson 20 Mohammad Ashraful lbw b Finn 4 Shakib Al Hasan c Strauss b Anderson 25 Mushfiqur Rahim b Finn 16 Mahmudullah b Anderson 17 Shahadat Hossain b Anderson 20 Rubel Hossain c Cook b Bresnan 9 Robiul Islam not out 9 Extras (lb2, w3, nb1) 6 Total (all out, 93 overs, 403 mins) 282 Fall of wickets: 1-88 (Tamim), 2-134 (Kayes), 3-179 (Siddique), 4-185 (Ashraful), 5-191 (Jahurul), 6-221 (Shakib), 7-234 (Mushfiqur), 8-255 (Shahadat), 9-266 (Mahmudullah), 10-282 (Rubel) Bowling: Anderson 31-6-78-4 (1w); Bresnan 24-5-76-1 (2w); Finn 25-5-100-4 (1nb); Swann

11-6-19-0; Trott 2-0-7-0 Bangladesh 2nd Innings Tamim Iqbal c Trott b Finn 103 Imrul Kayes c Bell b Finn 75 Junaid Siddique not out 66 Jahurul Islam c and b Trott 46 Mohammad Ashraful c Prior b Anderson 21 Shahadat Hossain b Bresnan 0 Shakib Al Hasan not out 2 Extras (b4, lb8, w2, nb1) 15 Total (5 wkts, 85 overs, 355 mins) 328 Fall of wickets: 1-185 (Tamim), 2-189 (Kayes), 3-289 (Jahurul), 4-321 (Ashraful), 5-322 (Shahadat) Bowling: Anderson 20-6-66-1 (1w); Bresnan 20-5-88-1 (1w); Finn 16-4-66-2 (1nb); Swann 25-4-80-0; Trott 40-16-1 England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.

Pakistan greats slam overturn of Malik ban KARACHI: Former players yesterday lashed out at Pakistan cricket authorities for lifting a one-year ban on ex-captain Shoaib Malik, saying it would set a bad example. A one-man arbitration panel set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday accepted Malik’s appeal against a one-year playing ban imposed for breach of discipline during foreign tours last year. Retired judge Irfan Qadir on Saturday halved the original two million rupees (35,000 dollars) fine, paving the way for Malik’s return to international cricket. Former paceman Sarfraz Nawaz said the overturning did not bode well for the future of the game. “The PCB has taken a coward’s stance,” Nawaz told AFP. “It’s a decision taken under political pressure and will damage Pakistan cricket in the future.” Malik and allrounder Rana Naved-ul were banned for one year and fined two million rupees each for breaches of discipline during Pakistan’s tours of United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia between November and February. The pair were among seven players who were fined and banned for indiscipline. Former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were banned for indefinite periods over

infighting. Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal were fined heavily. Yousuf retired in protest, but the other six players appealed. The five remaining appeals were adjourned until next month.Nawaz said the PCB’s decision was abrupt. “(The) PCB took a decision against discipline breaches but couldn’t stand the pressure from political forces. I also question the authority of the arbitrator as well who doesn’t have the credibility and authority to take such a decision,” said Nawaz. Another former captain and ex-chief selector Amir Sohail said the PCB had been too quick to act. “The PCB has taken a hasty decision,” said Sohail, who resigned as director of the national cricket academy after differences with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt last year. “To hide its own incompetence, the PCB targeted the players and after pressures from outside they abruptly lifted the ban.” Another former chief selector Abdul Qadir said Malik’s ban overturn will encourage bad behaviour. “By lifting the ban on Malik, the PCB has succumbed to political pressures,” said Qadir, a former leg-spinner. “If the Board had taken a strong decision, it should have stuck to it come what may, but their decision will now encourage the players to violate discipline and get away with it.” —AFP



Monday, May 31, 2010

South Africa security threat serious — report JOHANNESBURG: South Africa may fall victim to a terrorist attack during the World Cup it is hosting in less than two weeks, according to a report in the Sunday Times, quoting an investigative group and other sources. The recent arrest in Iraq of Abdullah Azzam Al-Qahtani, an alleged Al-Qaeda supporter who claimed he was planning attacks on the Dutch and Danish teams, has revived debate on whether the tournament faces a threat of this kind. Qahtani’s scheme was later dismissed as posing no serious threat. South African officials have long said

their non-aligned status and a lack of any substantial local support for militant groups should insulate them from attacks during the June 11-July 11 event. Both the government and soccer’s governing body FIFA, which is cooperating with foreign security agencies and Interpol, have helped strengthen that view by stating no viable threat had been identified. However, analysts and security experts believe such actions cannot be ruled out because of the huge attention that even a small attack would get during the tournament.

Ronald Sandee, director of the NEFA Foundation, which investigates possible terrorist activities, briefed the US Congress counter-terror caucus on possible threats to the tournament, the Johannesburg-based paper said. He warned that Pakistani and Somali militants were running training camps in northern Mozambique and that trainees from these camps may have already crossed into South Africa to form or join cells planning attacks. “I believe there is an 80 percent chance of an attack,” he told the paper, adding that

strike teams were well established in South Africa. “Information confirms that several venues will be targeted, some simultaneously, others at random. Reference is also made to the possibility of a kamikaze-type attack,” the paper quoted him as saying. He said that numerous references were made to World Cup attacks in closed-frequency radio broadcasts and phone intercepts in Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, Pakistan and Yemen. However, the police have dismissed the allegations. “I don’t know where they got

their information from. We have all our strategies and plans in place,” Police Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo said. “We have intelligence briefings every day and there is nothing even suggesting what has been suggested by the Sunday Times.” The paper said South African security and intelligence had drawn up a watch-list of 40 possible suspects, quoting unnamed insider sources. Naidoo declined to comment. While South Africa has not been targeted in recent years, several militants involved in

attacks around the world are known to have spent time in the country, which experts say has acted as a safe haven and staging post for operations elsewhere. Critics claim widespread corruption among police and officials, including the sale of South African passports, had undermined counter-terrorism efforts. Sandee said the match between the United States and England on June 12 could be a particular target, along with fixtures involving the Danish and Dutch teams should militants move to avenge perceived insults against Islam. —Reuters

Own-goals deny Japanese victory over poor England

CHENGDU: Australian women soccer team players celebrate during a trophy presentation ceremony after they defeated North Korea in the Final match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2010. —AP

Australia win Women’s Asian Cup CHENGDU: A gutsy Australia downed defending champions North Korea 5-4 on penalties in a tense Women’s Asian Cup final yesterday, with both teams qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Germany. With the scores locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra-time, the Matildas were flawless in the shootout, winning after 18year-old substitute Kyah Simon netted the winning penalty. It was their first ever Asian championship and they did it without key player Lisa De Vanna who was stretchered off in their final group game with a broken leg. Samantha Kerr’s 19th minute goal gave them an early lead with the 16-year-old

striker burying a powerful shot in the top of the net after a fine solo run. The Australians were looking good for a win and Collette Mccallum should have made it 2-0 midway through the secondhalf but instead put her header narrowly wide. North Korea never gave up and grabbed the all-important equalizer on 73 minutes when Jo Yun-Mi latched onto the end of a pinpoint delivery from Song Jong-Sun. In a frantic final 10 minutes of regular time, North Korea pressed forward and almost secured victory when Yun HyonHi’s powerful shot rattled the far post as the clocked ticked down.

Her miss forced the game into to extratime but neither side could break the deadlock, leaving them facing a nervous penalty shootout. Earlier, Japan clinched their place at the World Cup by beating hosts China 2-0 in the third-place play-off. A goal in each half sealed victory at the Chengdu Sports Centre, with Kozue Ando opening the scoring in the 18th minute before captain Homare Sawa made the win safe midway through the second half. It ensured Norio Sasaki’s side will play at the World Cup while China miss out for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1991. —AFP

Brazilian Samurai ready to rumble for Japan TOKYO: Japan defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka may be just another Brazilian who has made the World Cup after abandoning his star-studded country, but he claims the Samurai spirit is running in his blood. Tulio acquired Japanese nationality in 2003 and has become the third Brazilianborn player to represent them at a World Cup, following Wagner Lopes in 1998 and Alessandro Santos in 2002 and 2006. But he is the first Brazilian of Japanese ancestry to stand on the big stage. Other boys from Brazil are now fighting for other flags - including Deco for Portugal and Cacau for Germany. Tulio admits that as a child

he never dreamed of fighting for the country which his grandparents left to seek their fortunes in Brazil. He remembers that his grandfather Yoshiyuki, who emigrated to Brazil at 11 and died last year at 92 as a retired coffee plantation owner, used to say: “We should never spoil Japanese pride in Brazil.” “No matter how, I wanted to repay my grandfather who was courageous enough to become a pioneer in Brazil,” the 29year-old Nagoya Grampus hardman said. With his long, dark tiedback hair and vocal presence on the pitch, Tulio has become the pride of the 1.3 million-strong Japanese community in Brazil and is bringing qualities which

are rare among most other Blue Samurai. “I have unrivalled weapons,” he said, citing his “strong heading in aerial battles” and “fierce fighting spirit.” Tulio has scored seven goals in 37 matches for Japan since his debut in 2006, when he was denied a World Cup ticket by then Blue Samurai coach and legendary compatriot Zico but named the J-League player of the year. That goal-hungry quality is much needed for the former Asian champions who face the Netherlands, Cameroon and Denmark in Group E with a solid midfield but feeble firepower. “Everybody recognises

UGANDA: Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini (centre) of the Dignity team, controls the ball under pressure from UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon (front right) team named Justice, during a football match in Kampala. The soccer game ended with the Musevini Dignity team winning 1-0. —AP

Tulio’s scoring potential,” Japan coach Takeshi Okada said. But he demanded Tulio follow the example of Brazil and Inter Milan centre back Lucio who “returns to the defensive side with all his might”. Tulio has been held responsible for goals against Japan when he was too slow in coming back after joining the attack. Recurring injuries to his thighs and his straight-talking style have also made his career difficult. The son of a self-made lawyer and his wife of Italian descent, Tulio was born in rural Palmeira d’Oeste in Sao Paulo state. He came to Japan aged 16 in 1998 after which he was scouted to play for a high school near Tokyo. After making his J-League debut with Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2001, Tulio moved to Urawa Red Diamonds in 2004, helping the country’s best-supported club win the AFC Champions League title in 2007. He signed with Nagoya in January. Tulio was too busy learning Japanese during the 1998 World Cup in France when Japan made their finals debut. But he had time to watch them on television with his family when he was home during the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. “I felt as if electricity was running through my body,” he said of how he reacted when he heard the Japanese anthem at that time. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ve really become Japanese. I’ve changed at last.’” Now he dreams of fighting against his homeland and it may be possible if the Selecao Canarinho and the Blue Samurai reach the quarterfinals or the final. “If Japan win, it will turn Brazil upside down,” Tulio said. “I want to ask my father and mother which country they will cheer for. But in any way, I seriously want to beat Brazil’s national team.” —AFP

GRAZ: Two own goals saved England from embarrassment in their final World Cup warm-up match as they came from behind to beat Japan 2-1 here yesterday. But the unconvincing victory threw up as many questions as answers for manager Fabio Capello just 48 hours before he must cut his squad for South Africa from 30 to 23. The unfortunate Yuji Nakazawa and Marcus ‘Tulio’ Tanaka, who put his side ahead after six minutes, both turned the ball into their own net in the second half — just when it looked as though Japan were heading for the first victory over England in their history. Capello admitted that the first-half had left him cold. “The first-half we were too slow, and allowed them to outpace us and create more than we did,” said the Italian, who admitted he knew the final 23 but would not comment on that or about his own future after the World Cup. “In the second we had more pace and more creativity and gave the Japanese more of a match and stopped them from playing.” Although Capello can be pleased with the result there is no hiding the fact that his experimental side under-performed for large sections of the match and needed five second-half substitutions to bring them to life. At times until then England were outplayed by a Japan side who went into the friendly fixture low on confidence following three defeats in four games and with manager Takeshi Okada said to be under intense pressure. Okada’s side were ahead after only six minutes when Glen Johnson lost his man from a Yasuhito Endo corner and Tulio swept home. The Japanese visibly grew in confidence after that, shaking off memories of recent defeats, including a 2-0 home reverse against South Korea earlier in the week, to dominate possession in areas that England would normally expect to call their own. The closest Capello’s side came to an equaliser was when Wayne Rooney cleverly found Aaron Lennon inside the area, only for the Tottenham winger’s shot to be well saved by Eiji Kawashima. But in truth Japan were comfortable for most of the opening 45 minutes, even threatening a second when Rio Ferdinand slipped and Shinji Okazaki fired over the bar when well placed to score. It was no surprise when Capello made five changes at half-time, bringing on Joe Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jamie Carragher, Joe Hart and Steven Gerrard coming on. The changes, with Cole playing behind Rooney in a 4-5-1 formation, reaped almost immediate dividends when Frank Lampard earned England a penalty as Honda foolishly handled the Englishman’s freekick. But Lampard’s 55th minute effort from the spot was superbly saved by Kawashima, sparking real celebration in the Japan side and leaving Capello with yet another headache. Lampard has enjoyed an outstanding season for Chelsea, scoring 27 goals in all competitions, but he has now missed two penalties in a row, having also shot wide in the FA Cup Final. Japan showed tenacity and energy in all positions, with substitute Daiki Iwamasa coming close to doubling their lead with an excellent left-foot shot that was well saved by Hart after 66 minutes. Only Rooney kept England going but Kawashima enjoyed an excellent day, saving one long-range effort comfortably from the Manchester United man and then acrobatically tipping another curling effort over the bar. — AFP

AUSTRIA: England’s Wayne Rooney reacts inside a goal frame during their friendly soccer match against Japan in Graz. —AP

‘Never again’ says Platini as Italy marks Heysel disaster ROME: UEFA president Michel Platini vowed there would never be a repeat of the Heysel stadium disaster as he attended a memorial in the northern Italian city of Turin Saturday, 25 years on. He spoke as Belgium, Britain and Italy all held ceremonies to mark the 1985 tragedy. During crowd trouble, 39 people, mostly Juventus fans, died when a wall collapsed as they waited to watch their team play Liverpool in the European Cup final at the stadium in Brussels. Another 600 fans were injured. Despite the terrible scenes in the stadium, the match went ahead, the authorities deciding that to cancel it risked creating further unrest. Former Juventus playmaker Platini, who played in that match, which went as the Italians won 1-0 to lift their first European Cup, remembered the darkness that came over him. “I was carefree like all players who were going through an important moment,” he said Saturday. “But that match was played in

darkness for us players. I still remember that match today and I can’t forget it. “As president of UEFA I guarantee that it will be one of my priorities to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.” In Britain, bells rang out in Liverpool on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the disaster. Thirty-nine chimes sounded out at the city’s town hall in memory of the victims and flags at all Liverpool FC’s buildings were flown at halfmast as a mark of respect. The club’s managing director Christian Purslow attended the memorial service in Turin, the home city of Juventus, along with families of the victims. New Juventus president Andrea Agnelli also spoke of his memories of the event. “I was a nine-year-old child and I was in front of the television and saw my parents’ worried expressions but I didn’t understand and they couldn’t explain it to me,” he said. “Since I’ve grown up my understanding has matured. I’ve always struggled to feel our victory in that Cup, even if the players assured me it

was a real game. “Now we have to ensure that future generations have secure stadiums so that football can be enjoyed in serenity and joy.” English teams were banned from Europe for five years as a result of the tragedy, with Liverpool barred for an extra season. Despite criticism of UEFA and the Belgian Football Association over the condition of the ageing stadium and the ticketing allocation, no official inquiry was ever held. Heysel stadium was demolished in 1994 and the King Baudouin Stadium was built on the site. It too hosted a brief commemoration ceremony on Saturday, the Belga news agency reported. A statue in memory of the victims of the disaster stands outside the stadium. After a five-month trial in Belgium in 1989, 14 Liverpool fans were given three-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter. English teams were banned from Europe for five years as a result of the tragedy with Liverpool being barred for an extra season. —AFP

ITALY: UEFA chairman Michel Platini (left) sits next to Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli as they attend a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Heysel stadium tragedy, in Turin. —AP

ISTANBUL: McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (right) and McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain steer their cars during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix. Hamilton won the race and Button finished in second position. — AP

Hamilton clinches Turkish GP, Red Bulls crash ISTANBUL: Lewis Hamilton took full advantage of a crash involving his two Red Bull rivals to claim victory and head Jenson Button home in a dramatic McLaren one-two in yesterday’s Turkish Grand Prix. The 25-year-old, who had started second on the grid, was third after a poor pit-stop had delayed him briefly when championship leader Mark Webber was sent spinning off the track by his hot-headed Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel. The collision cost Webber, 33, what looked certain to be a hat-trick after wins in Spain and Monaco and left Vettel, 22, in the gravel and out of contention - but delivered a gift-wrapped 43 points to the McLaren men. It was 2008 champion Hamilton’s first win of the year, the 12th of his career and his first since last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. “I don’t know what happened, but they collided

and we got past them and we had a bit of a battle - a fair one, I must say - before the end,” said Hamilton. “It was a great result for the team and I am happy to dedicate it to my dad for his 50th birthday tomorrow.” Button said: “It was a great duel with Lewis towards the end - I had the run into turn 12, on the outside, and I just had to have a go. “We were wheel to wheel for five corners-and it was fun, but he got me back at turn one and after that it was back to ‘fuel save’ mode.” Hamilton had not only to beat the self-destructing Red Bulls, but also a vigorous challenge from Button. The two McLaren men raced wheel to wheel on lap 48 and even touched before Hamilton emerged in front and led the defending world champion home in a result that lifted them to the top of the constructors’ title race. The decisive incident came when Webber was

leading with Vettel second when the young German made an ill-judged passing move-and steered right into the Australian’s car, sending both off the circuit. Webber, the drivers’ championship leader, managed to recover and re-join in third place, but the impetuous Vettel’s race was over. “A big shame for the team-and not an ideal scenario at all,” said Webber. “It can happen. He had a slight speed advantage, but he turned right into me and made contact and ... well, that was it. “There was a long way to go and I was not guaranteed to win, but it was an interesting few metres on the track between us.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: “It was very disappointing. I need to talk to both drivers. We did everything right as a team, but they should never have been there, where they were.

“It is bad for the team and we have lost a lot of points. I always ask them to give each other room, but we have handed the points on a plate to McLaren now. “We saw Lewis and Jenson racing each other and giving each other space. That’s all we ask for.” It was the McLaren team’s second one-two this season after the China Grand Prix when Button lead home Hamilton. German Michael Schumacher, 41, the seven-times champion, came home fourth for Mercedes behind Webber with his team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg fifth and Pole Robert Kubica sixth for Renault. Brazilian Felipe Massa finished seventh for Ferrari ahead of Alonso in a disappointing result for the Italian team as they celebrated their 800th Grand Prix. German Adrian Sutil was ninth for Force India

and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi picked up the final point and the Sauber team’s first this season in 10th place. Hamilton’s win lifted him up to third in the drivers’ title race behind Webber, who continued to lead on 93 points with Button second on 88. Vettel has 78. In the constructors’ championship, McLaren leap-frogged to the top ahead of Red Bull on 172 points to 171. Vettel, who failed to score, trudged back to the paddock without speaking. Later, he said: “I’m not very happy now after something like this happens. We are all pretty much the same speed and pace and I felt I was able to go quicker. I dived down the left, I had the corner so I was trying to focus on the braking and I lost the car. “We are a team and we have to respect that fact. It’s important points for myself, and the team, that are lost and it’s not the best case...” — AFP

Venus dumped out of French Open by Nadia

PARIS: Defending champion Roger Federer returns the ball to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka during their fourth round match for the French Open tennis tournament. — AP

Federer beats Wawrinka to set up Soderling clash PARIS: Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer showed no mercy for best friend Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday when he handed his Olympic gold medal-winning teammate a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 French Open thumping. World number one Federer nows faces Robin Soderling, the Swedish fifth seed who he defeated in the final last year. Soderling sent four-time champion Rafael Nadal crashing to a shock defeat in 2009 on his way to a first Grand Slam final, but Federer will be buoyed by his perfect record of 12 wins in 12 matches against the big-hitting Swede. Soderling reached the quarter-finals with a brutal 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 demolition of Croatian 10th seed Marin Cilic. French hopes of a first men’s champion since Yannick Noah in 1983 fizzled out when eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to retire from his last 16 clash with Russian 11th seed Mikhail Youzhny with a groin injury. Youzhny had won the first set 6-2 before the Frenchman, who had entered Court Philippe Chatrier with a flamboyant clenchedfist gesture, needed treatment on his injury and then quit before the start of the second set. Youzhny will be playing in his first Roland Garros quarter-final where his opponent will be either

British fourth seed Andy Murray or Czech 15th seed Tomas Berdych. Federer was barely troubled by his compatriot Wawrinka, easing to a fifth career win in six clashes. Federer has reached the quarter-finals without losing a set and is widely expected once again to be facing Rafael Nadal in the final next weekend, but he was refusing to get carried away by his smooth progress. “I could have lost a set against Alejandro Falla in the second round and today against Stan and after this, you never know,” said Federer. “So I am happy with what’s happened. I’m playing well, serving well and moving well. I hope it continues like this.” Wawrinka, who teamed up with Federer to win 2008 Olympic gold in Beijing in what he described as the greatest night of his life, was broken in the third and ninth games of the opening set. The 25-year-old achieved his first break of the contest in the opening game of the second, before Federer levelled in the eighth. Wawrinka, bidding to reach a first Grand Slam quarter-final, got to 5-5 in the tie-break, but a terrible backhand volley was dumped in the net with Federer out of position. That gave Federer set point and he was handed

the second set when a dispirited Wawrinka netted again with a second service return. Former Roland Garros junior champion Wawrinka angrily destroyed his racquet in the Paris dirt out of sheer frustration and picked up a code violation for his troubles. His afternoon went steadily downhill, with Federer quickly stretching to a 5-1 lead in the third set on his way to another comprehensive victory. “Frustration. Nothing but frustration,” said Wawrinka when asked to explain his racquet-smashing antics. “In the second set I really felt I was dominating. I had taken the lead in the tie-break. I was playing well, and I lost myself because of two very stupid mistakes.” Tsonga was left hoping his injury, which he first felt in the third-round win over Thiemo de Bakker, will not hamper his chances of playing at Wimbledon next month. “I felt pain when I put weight on the foot. In the first game, I knew it was going to be very difficult,” said the 25-year-old Frenchman after his 31 minutes on court. “I prepared all year for this type of event and then something like this happens. But that’s tennis. I am very sorry.”— AFP

PARIS: Second seed Venus Williams crashed to Russia’s Nadia Petrova in the fourth round of the French Open yesterday, as four-time champion Justine Henin edged a tight battle with Maria Sharapova. Williams, a runner-up here in 2002, became the biggest casualty of the tournament so far when she lost 6-3, 6-4 to Petrova, the 19th seed, on Court Philippe Chatrier. “It’s the most dramatic Roland Garros of my career,” said 27-year-old Petrova, who completed an epic win over France’s Aravane Rezai on Saturday in which she secured victory by winning the deciding set 10-8. “I came through a really stressful situation yesterday and I’m so much happier with the way things went today.” Williams spurned two break points in the first set and Petrova made her pay for her profligacy by converting one of the two break points that came her way to take a one-set lead. A netted forehand from Petrova, twice a semi-finalist, gave Williams an early break of serve in the second set but the Russian broke back and then broke again to take a 4-3 lead. The Russian was 5-3 and 30-0 up on Williams’s serve when she appeared to lose her nerve, miscuing a straightforward smash and netting a forehand, but she recovered to whip a forehand past the American on her first match point. “These days on tour, you can’t have a match when you don’t play your best. Everyone plays their best, especially against a top player,” said Williams. “I don’t know what they do on Court 18, but when they come against me they come hard.” Petrova will meet compatriot Elena Dementieva, the Russian fifth seed, for a place in the semi-finals. Danish third seed Caroline Wozniacki, 19, came through an engaging three-hour scrap with Italy’s 14th seed Flavia Pennetta to reach a quarter-final showdown with another Italian, Francesca Schiavone. Wozniacki led 4-2 in the first set but allowed Pennetta to battle back to lead 54 and had to see off a set point before winning a first-set tie-break when the Italian scuttled a backhand into the net. Pennetta levelled the match by winning a tense second-set tie-break but the nine-year age gap between the players finally told in the decider, as Wozniacki broke for a 4-2 lead before closing out a

PARIS: Russia’s Nadia Petrova waves after defeating USA’s Venus Williams during their fourth round match for the French Open tennis tournament. — AP 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 victory. “It was a fun match but such a tough, long match,” said Wozniacki. “But the crowd really got into it and it was a really nice atmosphere.” Henin displayed all her trademark grit to see off fellow former world number one Sharapova, hitting back from 0-2 and 0-40 down in the last set to claim a 62, 3-6, 6-3 victory that takes her into round four. The Belgian 22nd seed will play Australian seventh seed Samantha Stosur for a last-eight berth after her 24th consecutive Roland Garros victoryfive short of Chris Evert’s record. The match resumed on Sunday after play was suspended at one set all amid fading light on Saturday evening and Henin’s victory consigned 12th seed Sharapova to her earliest French Open exit since 2003. “Maria is a champion. You can’t give her any opportunities. I am happy to get

through,” said Henin, who is playing at Roland Garros for the first time since she last won the event in 2007 after coming out of retirement. “It was a real good test. The journey continues and I’m pleased to have a chance to win here at Roland Garros.” Sharapova admitted the third game of the deciding set had been crucial. “I had opportunities but it was frustrating not taking them,” said the Russian superstar. “I was a little too hesitant, but I know the things I need to do and I just want to get back on the court and work on them.” Dementieva, a beaten finalist here in 2004, swept into the quarter-finals with an emphatic 6-1, 6-3 victory over South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers. Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, the 30th seed who eliminated defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the previous round, lost 6-4, 6-4 to 17th seed Schiavone.—AFP

Samsung unveils new cameras in UAE


NBK has ‘Best Corporate Website’ in Kuwait


British Airways cabin crew launch new strike


Monday, May 31, 2010

Luxury market surfaces from recession Asian buyers snap up watches, jewelry after months of economic gloom WASHINGTON: The luxury goods market is rebounding from the slump caused by the global recession, but analysts say upscale sellers will be facing a hard slog due to changing demographics and lingering consumer caution. Global luxury goods industry sales are expected to grow four percent in 2010 to 153 million euros (191 million dollars) after a painful 8.0 percent decline in 2009, according to the consulting firm Bain & Company. Much of that growth is expected in the first half of the year, with more sluggish trends returning in the second half, according to Bain’s Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study. In the United States, retail sales in the luxury segment in April jumped 15.5 percent year-over-year in April after a 22.7 percent surge in March, helped by comparison with weak sales a year earlier, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse. Upscale retailer Saks swung to a record profit in the past quarter after a loss a year earlier, with sales up 6.1 percent. At rival Tiffany, it was a similar story with global sales up 17 percent in the most recent quarter and profit up nearly fourfold. French luxury giants Hermes and LVMH also reported strong growth in sales in the first quarter boosted largely by rise in Asia excluding Japan as buyers snap up watches, jewelry and other upscale goods af ter months of economic gloom. But it may be too early to break out the champagne for the luxury sector, analysts warn. In the US market, consulting firm Unity Marketing reports that much of the growth is coming from superrich households with incomes of 250,000 dollars a year-the top two percent of Americans. This group hiked spending by 22.6 percent in the past quarter. The so-called “aspirational affluents” with incomes between 100,000 and 249,999 dollars increased their spending by only 1.9 percent from fourth quarter of 2009 to first quarter of 2010, the survey found. “The ultra-affluents are returning to spending at prerecession levels, while the aspirational consumers are holding back,” says Unity president Pam Danziger. “But even with their exuberant amounts of spending, the

ultra-affluents can’t sustain recovery in the luxury market.” Danziger said the market for luxury cars, jewelry and other goods is now relying on a smaller slice of the ultra-rich population. Prior to the recession that began in 2007, this market had been boosted by the socalled wealth effect with rising home prices and stock prices fueling spending by the “Henrys” (high earners, not yet rich). This is a large group of nearly 23 million Americans with incomes between 100,000 and 250,000 dollars a year. These households “were feeling they had resources back in 2006 and 2007 — their stock market portfolios were stable, their home values were going up,” said Danziger. “There was a wealth effect. Now all that wealth is gone.” But Danziger says that even if the stock market rebounds and the economy steadies, the luxury market will be hurt by the aging of the US population: The babyboom generation that fueled the big surge in spending is entering retirement and “Generation X” is not a big enough group to pick up the slack. “The prime period for luxury goods is people who are 35 to 55 years old,” she noted. “As people get older, their priorities change.” This suggests the luxury market is unlikely to regain its luster until around 2018 to 2020, when the Millennials born after 1997 start their spending sprees. “So this means we have almost a decade that will be a luxury drought,” she said. All this means a narrower market for luxury and some brands and stores expanding downmarket. Some luxury retailers are expanding their outlet stores to be more accessible to upper middle-class shoppers. Some of these store “are demanding that these (luxury) brands come in with more reasonable price points,” said Danziger. Neiman Marcus, the upmarket department store, is testing a retail concept for shoppers who fled its stores during the recession. “The aspirational customer really got hit hard, and we felt that they kind of vacated our stores last year,” said Neiman Marcus chief executive Burt Tansky in a March earnings conference call. “We’re making every effort to bring them back.” —AFP

Iraq govt bank managers arrested, $360m missing BAGHDAD: Three managers of state-owned Iraqi banks have been arrested on suspicion of using bogus transfers to siphon off billions of dollars of government money to invest in private business. The head of Iraq’s anti-corruption Integrity Commission, Rahim Al-Ugaili, said while most of the money had been returned to the banks as part of the scheme, about $360 million was still missing. The money was withdrawn from four state-owned banksthree branches of the Rafidain bank and one branch of the Agricultural bank, he said. About $8.2 billion was withdrawn and then redeposited in a one-year period from Agricultural bank alone. He said the scheme involved collusion between merchants and bank managers to fraudulently withdraw money from the state-owned banks. The merchants would use the government money to invest in private businesses and then return it to the banks. Corruption has been a major problem for Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perceptions index has Iraq ranked as one of the world’s most corrupt nations — 176th out of 180 countries. “This money was being used in business in the private sector, which means the money was being given to merchants who used it in trading ... then they gave it back to the government (banks),” Ugaili said. “If that continued with a larger amount of money, it would be very dangerous for the Iraqi financial system,” he added. Three lower-level employees of the banks were also arrested, Ugaili said. Arrest warrants also were issued for four merchants and the owner of an Iraqi private company. Some of them are abroad, Ugaili said. Iraq’s deputy finance minister for banking affairs, Dhiyaa Al-Khayoon, said the scheme involved bogus bank transfers and collusion to hide bills received from the central bank. He said the manager of private Basra bank had also been arrested. “This is the biggest ever robbery from the Rafidain Bank,” he said. “This is a catastrophe for the bank.” Ugaili said a lack of both money and political will had hindered Iraq’s fight against corruption. “I thought with the end of Saddam (era), we would not find people above the law ... Now some of the (most) influential people in the country are above the law.” he said. —Reuters

Saudi Telecom ex-official fined for insider trading

BEVERLY HILLS: In this file photo, a view of the Versace store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills can be seen. — AFP

Dubai Tamweel chiefs get Tough Doha trade meeting jail terms in fraud probe looms in political shadow Former CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank gets one year DUBAI: The for mer chief executive of Islamic lender Tamweel and three other officials were handed jail terms by the Dubai criminal court yesterday, following a corruption probe aimed at boosting transparency in the Gulf Arab emirate. Adel Al-Shirawi, who was dismissed as Tamweel chief executive in 2008, was found guilty of accepting bribes and profiting from the sale of land in a Dubai project and sentenced to three years in jail. In addition to the jail term, Shirawi was fined and ordered to repay funds. His deputy, Abdullah Nasser, was also convicted and sentenced to three years in jail. Dubai, which is in the midst of restructuring massive debts at state-linked companies, embarked on a high-profile anti-corruption campaign in the wake of the financial crisis. In March, the government detained the former governor of its flagship financial district amid alleged irregularities and said similar cases would be brought before the courts in the future. “Dubai is looking back at all the deals in the past and subjecting them to scrutiny to address any issues that remain outstanding, whether it’s from a financial point of view, as seen by the restructurings, or a criminal probe,” said Ayman Khaleq, a partner at

Vinson & Elkins. The Tamweel arrests were part of a series of high-level detentions of bankers and property officials in Dubai that shook the financial establishment, as the government tried to root out corruption in the regional trade and tourism centre. The court also gave one-year jail terms to other Tamweel officials, Feras Khaltoum and board member Saad Abdul-Razak, finding them guilty of squandering funds. Khaltoum was former head of investments at Tamweel and chief financial officer at Istithmar World, a unit of state-owned Dubai World which is currently in talks to restructure $24.8 billion in debt. Abdul-Razak was also the former chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank and a director at Investment Corporation of Dubai, another sovereign fund which controls some of the emirate’s biggest companies. A lawyer for three of the defendantsShirawi, Abdul-Razak and Khaltoum-said they would appeal the sentences. All four men were acquitted of breaching trust. Tamweel is one of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest mortgage lenders along with Amlak. The two firms, hard hit by Dubai’s property collapse, are being restructured by the government and have not traded since 2008. — Reuters

US wants frank negotiations on Doha trade deal GENEVA: World Trade Organization members agree they must push on with difficult talks on a global trade deal, but November’s US mid-term elections mean they are unlikely to bear fruit before next year. The United States, ultimately the key to any pact, says that what is on the table after 8 years of talks on the Doha round is simply not compelling enough to attract support back home. Emerging economies say they have given enough in the current draft of what is meant to be a deal promoting development, so the scene is set for some bruising confrontations in which Washington too will be under pressure to make concessions. “We’ve walked up to the water’s edge... What we haven’t done yet is dive into the actual give and take of negotiations,” said a senior US official. The WTO’s consensus-driven system requires negotiations to move in a carefully choreographed dance, with proposals shared among ever-widening groups to ensure that none of the 153 members feels excluded from decision-making. But the time has now come for “frank, open and difficult negotiations” rather than exercises in transparency, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told a briefing. He was speaking after trade ministers met in Paris on May 27 to review the state of the Doha talks and agreed to pursue negotiations in whatever form is needed to aim for a deal. In particular, Kirk wants China, India and Brazil-as the three prime beneficiaries of globalization and the source of much future growth in the world economy-to

make a bigger contribution to a deal. Kirk insists it is not just the United States pushing the big emerging economies. Other rich countries, and some developing ones, also want a more “ambitious” deal, he said. US negotiators also complain that talks so far have concentrated on agriculture and manufactured goods, with little progress in services such as insurance and express delivery. Redressing imbalances China, India and Brazil retort that with hundreds of millions of their citizens still living in poverty, they cannot give all that it will take to clinch a deal in the Doha round- launched in 2001 to right some of the imbalances in the global trading system and help poor countries to prosper through trade. In practice that means that the United States, which says it has already made generous offers on cutting trade-distorting farm subsidies, must do more too. “I think they now fully understand, and it’s been made very clear to them, that if they want to push for any additional opening they need, then they’re going to have to be responsive in some of the areas where people want things from them,” said one senior official familiar with the talks. It is now widely accepted that a deal will require the big emerging economies to make additional offers, said this official. The question is whether the administration of President Barack Obama actually wants a deal before the mid-term elections. “It may be something they prefer to do next year rather than this year,” the official said. —Reuters

RIYADH: The Saudi bourse regulator has ordered a former board member of state-controlled Saudi Telecom to pay almost $2 million in fines and profit for insider trading in 2004, the watchdog said yesterday. The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has become more active in recent years in dealing with violations as it tries to polish the image of an opaque bourse gradually opening up to foreign investors. The ruling against former Saudi Telecom board member Saleh bin Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Hajjaj was delivered by an appeals panel which found him guilty of insider trading in December 2004, CMA said in a statement posted on the bourse website. He was ordered to pay back about 7.3 million riyals ($1.95 million) in profit, fined 100,000 riyals and banned from working for listed firms for three years. CMA described the ruling as being final. Reuters was unable to contact Hajjaj. Mohammed AlFaraj, a spokesman for Saudi Telecom, could not be reached immediately for comment. Saudi Telecom is 83.6-percent owned by three government funds and is the kingdom’s leading operator. Abdulhamid Al-Amri, a member

of the semi-official Saudi Economic Association think tank, welcomed the ruling although he said it was “belated”. “More than five years have passed since these transactions took place but this is the maximum sanction CMA can impose and naming the board member in itself is a major thing to do in the country,” Amri said. Over the past three years, CMA has stepped up efforts to clamp down on irregularities and imposed hefty fines and one jail term against investors and executives found guilty of manipulation, and on firms violating corporate governance and disclosure regulations. The Saudi bourse is gradually opening up to direct foreign ownership amid tough competition from regional bourses. In 2008, CMA allowed nonresident foreign investors to sign swap agreements with Saudi intermediaries, permitting indirect ownership of shares, in one of the kingdom’s boldest moves yet to open up its exchange to foreigners. But critics say CMA is slow and tackles only a minor portion of the violations on the Arab world’s largest bourse, where corporate governance regulations are only partially mandatory. — Reuters

HERSHEY: This file photo shows screaming park goers riding the Great Bear, an inverted roller coaster at Hersheypark, Pa. More people are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, than they did in 2009. Their budgets will be tighter because of high unemployment, stock markets in retreat and a still-fragile economy. — AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

Samsung unveils new camera range in UAE S

amsung Digital Imaging Company Inc, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, unveiled the Samsung NX10. "The Samsung NX10 is an innovative digital camera that provides users with optimum image quality in a sleek, compact body. Delivering creativity without compromise, users can now be as creative as they want on the move, without having to compromise perfect images. With our thorough research these past few years, we have discovered that what consumers want consumers want from their cameras is evolving. We have reflected their needs in the Samsung NX10. The new Samsung NX10 marks the start of the next generation

of cameras," said Ram Modak, General Manager of Digital Imaging Division of Samsung Gulf Electronics. "Now with specialized equipment open to everyone with no restrictions solely to the professionals, more people want to capture snapshots and tell a story through their camera-but they also want something compact that can be carried around all day. The large sensor and the ultra fast auto focus give consumers the quality they demand as well as the compactness they want in one exceptional package," Ram Modak continued. The NX10 incorporates a fast and decisive auto focus (AF), 14.6 MP APS-C size CMOS sensor and unique, large 3.0"

AMOLED screen, allowing users to easily view their images, even in bright sunlight. Users can also record in HD movie to create the full story. Available in two colors, Noble Black and Titan Silver, the Samsung NX10 is small, light and ergonomically designed to ensure maximum portability for everyday use. The Samsung NX10 ensures users never miss a moment, with one of the fastest AF in its class on the market. The company's latest innovation, the new DRIMe II Pro engine and advanced AF algorithm, also provide ultra fast AF speed with the higher precision of contrast AF. The new camera has the heart of a DSLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera, success-

fully integrating the APS-C size CMOS sensor with a mirrorless interchangeable lens, for a sleek, lightweight camera that users can easily take with them everywhere they go. Consumers are not just limited to taking shots, but can also tell their own stories in video format with HD movie recording (H.264 codec). Samsung continues to extend the usage of AMOLED screens across many products, using a large 3.0" AMOLED screen in Samsung NX10. AMOLED provides easier viewing even in bright sunshine and at acute viewing angles, meaning users no longer need to shield their screen with their hand. The category leading screen also

quality images within reach of the amateur photographer. The Samsung NX10 includes in-depth manual controls and also a Smart Auto function which automatically detects the surrounding environment of the shot and selects the right shoot mode. Its Smart Range feature also enables the user to vividly express both bright areas and dark areas in the same frame, and the Supersonic Dust Reduction system keeps those dust particles clear of the image sensor that can often impair an image. It even senses when the user brings the camera close to their face to look through the viewfinder, and puts the AMOLED screen on standby to conserve power.

provides 10,000 times faster response rate than conventional LCDs, has a far lower power consumption and higher contrast ratio - 10,000:1 vs 500:1. Ram Modak continues: "Samsung has always been quick to implement cutting edge technology and no more so when it comes to quality of images. For the first time in the market, Samsung has successfully integrated an APS-C size sensor into a compact body by eliminating the mirror box, meaning that our users can now be as creative as they want to be on the move without having to compromise on image quality." The Samsung NX10 also contains a range of intelligent features to put professional

World Economic Forum: Everybody's business By Mark Malloch-Brown


oday, an unusual exercise will come to fruition. The World Economic Forum will publish the results of the labours of some 1,500 experts, organised into dozens of specialist study groups, to redesign international cooperation. Over the last 18 months, they have been beavering away at every kind of global problem from the financial crisis to poverty, security, climate change, trade and migration to name a few to propose how each could be better handled at the global level. Now they will have a chance to present the report and their ideas to government representatives at a summit in Qatar. The work was prompted by the financial crisis and the glaring gaps it exposed in the international regulation of banks. But this seemed to be just the tip of a wider problem. Across so many spheres of economic and political life we are more integrated but less governed than ever before. As issues have gone global government has remained stubbornly national. The generation of international organisations, the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions, have never filled the space left by the collapse of the old European empires and nor would they have wanted to. Indeed the legacy of that period is countries often jealously guarding their independence from outside interference. But as the world is driven into each other's arms by revolutions in trade, communications and technology, there is precious little agreement or capacity on how to handle the growing list of global problems.

The stumbling response to a globally agreed path to international financial regulation is just one example as ad hoc country level responses diverge and financial firms start to shop around for low tax less regulated homes thereby defeating the whole purpose of reform. Even in avowedly more governed Europe, countries cannot agree on what intensity of volcanic ash threatens a jet engine. There was early optimism in 2009 that the enhanced G20, rushed into place to replace the clapped out G8, might offer an effective global crisis mechanism. In its first meetings at the head of government level in Washington, London and Pittsburgh, it appeared to act decisively to calm the markets by launching a co-ordinated global fiscal stimulus and equipping the IMF particularly with the resources to fire fight any further outbreaks. But as time elapsed and countries found themselves saddled with the nationalised losses of their banks and the cost of the stimulus itself they have fallen back into national laagers. Politicians have been fighting domestically and despite the efforts of the South Koreans and the French, the current and future G20 chairs to keep up the ambitions for the G20, the world is looking querulous and divided. The G20 is as dependent as the stalled trade and climate negotiations on political will. And governments have lost much of what they had because of the controversy at home stirred by the global bailout. Its most ardent champion Gordon Brown has been thrown out by the British voters. President

Obama faces a resurgent Republican Party and Mrs Merkel is struggling to justify a Greek rescue to Germans. The net effect of international financial statesmanship in 2009 is soaring debt and domestic political headaches a year later. No wonder politicians avoid multilateral entanglement whenever they can. The G20 has two further handicaps. It represents 85 percent of the global economy and has a lot more clout than the rheumy old G8 with its preponderance of old western economies that left out China, India, Brazil and South Africa among others. But the G20, although bigger, still omits a lot of countries. What about the rest of us, the G172, is the increasingly frequent complaint at the UN. For many others of us almost as important an omission are the voices of civil society, the NGOs, business and others who are such important sinews of the new global political economy. And hence to the second handicap, and where the World Economic Forum project can perhaps also help, the policy development process of the G20 is a strange one. Borrowed from the more intimate G8 exhausted sherpas shuttle backwards and forwards to endless meetings around the world, supplemented by telephone conferences and frantic email drafting to agree the key instrument of a G20 meeting, the CommuniquÈ. Even though G20 hosts commission papers and consultations, most gets lost on the cutting room floor as the frantic struggle to find consensus on the CommuniquÈ proceeds. Complex problems are reduced to a vague lowest common

denominator paragraph for the communiquÈ. Afterwards debate resumes as to what was meant and action of any kind is too often buried. The World Economic Forum's chairman, Klaus Schwab, hoped that by assembling policy experts, not just from governments and international organisations but from think tanks, universities, business and NGOs, not bound to representing an official point of view, and putting them under no such artificial deadline and no requirement to agree on very small detail, a set of more original and more three dimensional proposals might emerge than the narrow grind of the G20 and other international negotiations allow. How have the experts done? First, they have avoided big new international institutional initiatives, no relaunching the UN or closing the IMF. Instead there is a focus on smart distributed ideas, a forum to get energy users and suppliers talking to each other about energy stability and perhaps even pricing, something similar to get countries that produce migrants around the same table as those who find they are receiving them. The absence of big proposals for centralised change fits the temper of the times. There is no appetite for it in this post-global recession moment. In fact there are a lot of doubts about what big public institutions really can achieve alone in a fluid changing multistakeholder world. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of scepticism among the experts about governments alone having the will or capacity to fix problems. So focus instead on how

governments can provide the nudge, or incentives through regulation and guarantees, for the private sector and not for profits to take on expanded roles in infrastructure and service provision across much of the world. Indeed in the climate change area the report makes the explicit recognition that corporations and civil society are chomping at the bit to move forward on a low carbon global economy even as governments shy away from the political and financial costs involved. Similarly, the private sector has practical ideas it has contributed to this exercise about safe nuclear reprocessing to allow the growth of a global nuclear power industry that does not increase the threat of rogue weapons. The experts are good too at picking up issues that the rigid tramlines of inter-governmental thinking have missed. For example governments have kept clear of governance of oceans since they spent long years mired in the Law of the Sea Treaty, a shaggy dog story of an international negotiation that took some officials whole career to complete. Now the forum panel has declared that oceans are the great silent environmental threat, potentially as significant for our children's future as climate change, where biodiversity and marine life is being recklessly destroyed as polluters and commercial fishing fleets treat it as their private fief. They developed their proposals long before the spill in the Gulf of Mexico which now reinforces their alarm. Because the experts did not represent official positions there is room for both common sense but of course also sometimes

quite the opposite as imaginations are unleashed and utopia hovers as academics strive to outbid each other for the most cut through proposal. But there was more of the first than the second. There are sensible ideas about improving global public health and development assistance and two of our experts, an American investor, ex-Goldman Sachs as it happens, and a Chinese economist who were able to make a good hand of stringing together a linked set of proposals on regulation and trade imbalances that might offer the G 20 summiteers a road map. The approach shows there are a lot of good ideas out there about how to manage a world where we all sink or swim together and that the G20 or the UN need to be supplemented by processes where a wider range of opinion has the opportunity to reflect and debate solutions in a less forced and narrow way than official channels. But it also shows each approach needs the other. These proposals will remain just that, interesting academic ideas, if governments do not pick them up and incorporate them into their initiatives and international negotiations. On the other hand, governments have shown themselves conservative and cautious about bold international change except when crisis forces their hand. Change will only happen if the rest of us line up behind ideas we care about and agitate for them. Mark Malloch-Brown is Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum and a former UN Deputy Secretary-General and UK ministerial G20 envoy.

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

.2840000 .4180000 .3540000 .2480000 .2730000 .2440000 .0045000 .0020000 .0789120 .7688160 .4020000 .0750000 .7536910 .0045000 .0500000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2907000 .4204560 .3566410 .2507870 .2756010 .0479400 .0370400 .2463500 .0373220 .2065020 .0031920 .0063190 .0025670 .0034320 .0042370 .0791840 .7714620 .4111210 .0775580 .7554270 .0063530

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2928000 .4234240 .2525620 .0780520

.2940000 .4280000 .3620000 .2580000 .2820000 .25200000 .0075000 .0035000 .0797050 .7765420 .4180000 .0790000 .7612660 .0072000 .0580000

280.400 186.900 254.910 247.300 289.250 ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.254 6.275 3.428 2.561 3.916 207.800 37.504 4.213 6.316 9.020 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES

.2928000 .4234240 .3591590 .2525620 .2775520 .0482790 .0373020 .2480890 .0375860 .2079640 .0032150 .0063630 .0025850 .0034560 .0042670 .0796890 .7763480 .4140310 .0780520 .7602410 .0063980

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

77.910 80.260 758.930 775.900 79.553 ARAB COUNTRIES

Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

54.750 51.611 1.294 195.710 412.600 196.000 6.270 33.182 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

240.000 121.000 64.000

Bahrain Exchange Company

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

292.000 362.100 426.320

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

SELL CASH 251.800 776.340 4.430 281.700 573.200 15.800 49.200 167.800 54.510 363.300

SELL DRAFT 250.300 776.340 4.214 280.200

209.200 51.641 361.800

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

38.180 6.580 0.035 0.289 0.258 3.310 414.100 0.198 90.840 45.200 4.290 202.800 1.989 45.800 758.360 3.540 6.570 80.730 77.950 209.200 40.940 2.768 427.000 38.100 256.200 254.700 6.400 9.340 217.900 79.660 292.300 1.340

36.030 6.295

412.660 0.197 90.840 3.950 201.300

9.170 79.560 291.900


Sterling Pound US Dollar

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

TRAVELLER'S CHEQUE 425.000 291.900

292.000 3.445 6.295 2.575 4.210 6.310 79.580 78.050 775.900 51.615 431.400 0.0000328000 3.990 1.550 414.600 5.750 368.100 286.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

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

2.560 4.220 6.234 3.234 8.959 6.367 3.852

Currency 758.180 3.440 6.300 80.300 77.950 209.200 40.940 2.563 425.000

GOLD 10 Tola

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

291.850 278.923 426.347 363.313 253.426 715.354 772.506 79.440 80.143 77.795 411.846 51.632 6.280 3.438

US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

*Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 291.600 361.500 424.800 280.000 3.220 6.290 51.600 2.561 4.209 6.310 3.455 775.000 79.450 77.810


Monday, May 31, 2010


NBK has 'Best Corporate Website' in Kuwait

KUWAIT: NBK Board member Ghassan Al-Khalid receives the award from the Amir of the State of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, has recently received Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Informatics Award for the Best Corporate Website in Kuwait for 2009. The award was received during a special awarding ceremony held at Sheikha Salwa Al-Ahmad's Ballroom under the auspices and in the presence of the Amir of the State of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Commenting on this achievement, NBK Board member Ghassan AlKhalid, who received the award on behalf of NBK said "It is indeed a

source of immense honor and pride for NBK to be named the winner of the highly coveted and prestigious Informatics Award of Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah for the Best Corporate Website in Kuwait. This provides testament of the unique and leading position NBK maintains in terms of providing the best world-class electronic banking services to its customers". "NBK's website with its unique design, functionality, interactive tools and breadth of online offerings makes the bank closer to its customers and the public as well. NBK's new and enhanced website provides visitors which including NBK customers and

tion on latest promotions, products and services and important local information. “By separating the two sites it makes it easier for our visitors to navigate. We regularly receive over 2 million visitors to our sites a month.” It is interesting to note that the Informatics Award of Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, which was launched in 2001, is, by all means, one of the pioneering initiatives in the field of informatics both locally and regionally. The award is geared towards enhancing the individual as well as the corporate capabilities for further development in the field of informatics.

the public in general, both locally and regionally with tools and services on the various products and services that the bank provides. In addition to the latest reports, market news, local information and news pertinent to the bank's various activities and functions", Al-Khalid added. It is worth mentioning that to represent the bank’s regional footprint, two websites have recently been created; the first website serves the needs of investors, the media and highlights the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility. The second website serves the needs of people living in Kuwait; providing informa-

Promoting growth, competitiveness of insurance sector in ME DUBAI: In the last three years, policy makers and regulatory authorities have made progress in promoting the growth, competitiveness and development of the insurance industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As the industry looks to build on this success, several key challenges will need to be addressed to sustain growth and bring the region in line with developed insurance markets around the world, according to a new study by Booz & Company. The foundation is set Aided by regulatory authorities' efforts, the MENA region's insurance market saw 26 percent compounded annual growth between 2005 and 2008, which was surpassed only by Central and Eastern Europe's 27 percent growth rate. In 2008, the market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the largest in terms of Gross Premium Income (GPI), representing more than $5 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia with $3.1 billion and Morocco with $2.5 billion. Bahrain, Algeria, and the UAE showed the strongest GPI growth rates between 2007 and 2008, at 46 percent, 45 percent, and 41 percent, respectively. But there is still room for improvement: "The MENA region's share of the world market accounted for just 0.42 percent last year. Furthermore, insurance penetrationGPI as a percentage of gross domestic product-remains low in the MENA region," said Peter Vayanos, a partner at Booz & Company. This ratio grew to 1.08 percent in 2008 from 1.05 percent in 2005, but paled in comparison to every other major region of the world. The MENA region's progress to date In 2006, Booz & Company introduced a framework to assess the development of insurance in the

region, identify gaps, and prescribe a set of policy recommendations to be adopted. The framework was based on five key market "enablers": a legal framework, regulatory bodies, the nature of competition, skills and training, and market-led initiatives. "The industry has made significant progress in addressing these issues, though some critical gaps still exist," stated Roger Kastoun, a senior associate at Booz & Company. Legal framework: Having a robust legal framework in place protects the rights of policyholders, regulates the activities of market participants, and ensures the financial health of the sector; several countries have improved or expanded their legal frameworks. Regulatory bodies: Regulatory bodies are needed to oversee and supervise the sector, and ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations. Today, the region remains a patchwork of sophisticated and underdeveloped regulatory regimes, with Bahrain leading in terms of regulatory oversight. Nature of competition: Innovation, competitive pricing, and the adoption of best practices are all natural outcomes when countries welcome free competition in their insurance market. "Today, most MENA countries have more than 20 insurers in operation and are keen on attracting foreign players. Some markets however are still dominated by state-owned or partially state-owned companies," commented Vayanos. Skills and training: An adequate insurance knowledge base helps assess the risks to be insured, provides customers with the appropriate products and services, and ensures the availability and development of locally-based skills. Two recent initiatives have helped to address knowledge gaps: The Gulf Insurance Institute (GII) was established recently in Bahrain. In Qatar, the

BOOZ & COMPANY'S MARKET REPORT Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) established a training institute offering accredited courses in several specialist areas, including banking, insurance and wealth management. Market-led initiatives: A vibrant insurance market should be able to stand on its own two feet, with little government intervention. Some markets have attempted to foster the availability of insurance market data and conduct consumer awareness campaigns to promote a better understanding of the market and help attract talent. Insurance market data however is largely unavailable. Similarly, limited coordination among policymakers at the regional level is causing key issues to slip through the cracks. Booz & Company has identified four critical objectives that regulatory bodies should prioritize to enjoy sustained growth in the coming years: building the talent base, improving public awareness and acceptance of insurance, fostering the development of takaful and coordinating efforts to harmonize insurance markets in the Arab world. Building talent "One of the most notable developments in enhancing insurance skills and training in the region was the establishment of the GII in 2007, which offers accredited insurance certificates and a membership system," Kastoun stated. Furthermore, the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) offers a professional insurance certificate that is administered in more than 11 countries. In 2008, the BIBF launched a new takaful certification program accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the first such certification in the world. The region should strive to reach

a point where universities and private training centers offer multiple insurance degrees and certifications to accommodate the needs of students and professionals, and to target a wider range of individuals interested in pursuing insurance studies. "This will guarantee an abundant supply of qualified personnel to meet the region's growing demands of market participants and regulatory authorities," said Vayanos. Enhancing public awareness Arab countries have initiated a limited number of public insurance awareness campaigns. Notable exceptions include campaigns in Lebanon and Jordan. As a result, insurance penetration in Lebanon and Jordan-at 3.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively-is among the highest in the region. Other MENA countries' public awareness forays have been limited to the publication of monthly bulletins and market surveys, but these do not reach all potential policyholders and more initiatives are needed to spur demand. "Authorities can derive lessons from international best practices and employ consumer surveys to measure the level of knowledge and acceptance of insurance. This will help reveal areas of weakness to be addressed in future outreach campaigns," said Kastoun. Conducting such surveys regularly will also enable regulatory authorities to measure the evolution of market awareness and adjust their communication strategies accordingly. Regulatory bodies should support public awareness campaigns that target specific audiences and are tailored to the needs of each jurisdiction. These campaigns should emphasize the policyholder's recourse to lodge com-

plaints with the insurance authority. Developing takaful Takaful, Islamic insurance, is emerging as an increasingly important form of insurance in the Arab world. The GCC region is currently the world's largest market for takaful, representing over 59 percent of all takaful premiums written in 2007. The 26 percent compounded annual growth rate of takaful premiums between 2004 and 2007 matched that of conventional insurance markets over the same time period. To achieve the region's full takaful potential, the following need to be in place: Regulation: Insurance regulators should coordinate with leading takaful authorities and representative bodies in the MENA region and elsewhere to develop regulation guidelines for takaful and retakaful. Accounting standards: There is a need to implement takaful specific accounting best practices in all MENA countries to ensure transparency and protect stakeholders' interests. Public awareness: Insurance regulators should develop consumer education programs on a regional basis, set up informative websites about takaful and retakaful and their related benefits, and work with leading media outlets to inform the public. Skills and training: Insurance leaders should support the development and promotion of national and regional Islamic finance centers that offer certifications and degrees in takaful. Similarly, takaful-specific courses should be added to existing insurance curricula. Products: Regulators must take steps to encourage investment in product development. "Most insur-

ance companies have their own Shari'a boards to validate the compliance of takaful products with Islamic law, which should be augmented by the establishment of national authorities to certify the alignment of takaful products with Islamic law," Vayanos explained. Distribution channels: Insurers should look to explore new distribution channels such as Banctakafuli.e., the distribution of takaful products via banks' branch networks-and develop marketing events and other initiatives to reach the corporate and public-sector segments. Corporate governance and risk management: Companies are leery of the negative image incase a lack of understanding about Shari'a leads to non-Shari'a compliant products being sold inadvertently. One solution would be the creation of a regional authority to oversee Islamic corporate governance and risk management issues and disseminate topicrelated guidelines in collaboration with leading Islamic institutions such as the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). Promoting a regional insurance market The objective of Arab regulators should be the development of a regional insurance market. "To achieve this, policymakers and regulatory authorities in the region must work together to harmonize legal frameworks and ensure that supervisory standards are on a par with international standards," Kastoun stated. Organizations such as the Arab Forum of Insurance Regulatory Commissions (AFIRC) has taken significant steps to harmonize insurance markets in the Arab world. AFIRC, which brings together 16 Arab countries' regulatory authorities, aims to promote collaboration, transparency and adoption of international stan-

dards among regulatory authorities in the region. AFIRC and Hawkamah which strives to bridge the governance gap by assisting the regions' countries and businesses in developing and implementing sound corporate governance frameworks - have established a joint task force to conduct a corporate governance assessment of the region's insurance sector, develop corporate governance guidelines, and expand the industry's corporate governance capabilities. Such organizations are expected to assume increasingly significant roles in the development of the industry as a result of their efforts to support the adoption of international standards and best practices in the region. Conclusion "With MENA insurance expected to grow throughout the coming years, policymakers and regulators will have to address the challenges that lie ahead for the region to capture insurance's full growth potential, including developing an insurance talent base, fostering the development of takaful, creating and improving public awareness about insurance and supporting the growth of a regional insurance market," said Vayanos. To achieve these goals, policymakers and regulators will have to act locally, regionally, and internationally: locally by working closely with insurance companies, service providers, and other industry stakeholders to ensure a close oversight of their activities yet provide enough room for them to grow organically and inorganically; regionally by working closely with other regulatory authorities of the MENA region to promote transparency, collaboration, and implementation of international standards; and internationally by collaborating with standard-setting bodies to move understanding of regulatory and supervisory matters further.

Economy displays stability despite European debt crisis NBK'S WEEKLY MONEY MARKET REPORT United States Volatility continues Heightened risk aversion remains the dominant theme in the global financial markets with the dollar continuing to benefit as the safe-haven currency. The euro reached a low of 1.2152 during the week, dropping from a high of 1.2559 on Monday, as contagion fears along with more austerity measures to be taken in the eurozone continue to pressure the currency. The sterling range-traded between a high of 1.4610 and a low of 1.4255. The yen weakened last week to reach a low of 91.40 against the dollar from 89.20 levels earlier in the week, as weaker-than-expected data weighed on the currency. The Swiss franc traded between a high and low of 1.1697 and 1.1476 respectively. Finally, the Australian Dollar reached a high of 0.8550 on Friday after being hardly hit earlier reaching a low of 0.8065. US GDP slows in Q1 In the first quarter, the US economy grew at a slightly slower pace than previously estimated. The gross domestic product expanded at a 3 percent annual rate, below its initial estimate of 3.2 percent and against expectations for an upward revision to 3.4 percent. However, the recovery still appears to be solid, suggesting the economy could withstand fallout from the European debt crisis. Jobless claims The number of US workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance fell slightly less than expected last week, pointing to a gradual improvement in the labor market. Initial jobless claims fell to 460,000 from 474,000 the previous week and versus an expected decline to 455,000. Analysts argue that this number must fall below 450,000 to signal sustainable private payroll growth. Housing The housing market in the US showed some improvement in April as last minute buyers rushed to close contracts before the expiry of the government's homebuyer tax credit. Sales of previously owned homes rose 7.6 percent to an annual rate of 5.77 million units, the highest since November 2009. In parallel, sales of newly built US singlefamily homes rose faster than expected in April to their highest level in nearly two years. Sales jumped 14.8 percent to a 504,000 unit, the highest since May 2008. Consumer confidence The Conference Board's consumer confidence increased sharply in May, rising to its highest level since April 2008 at 63.3 from 57.7 in April. At the same time, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 73.6 compared to 72.2 in April, against expectations of a higher increase to 73.3.

Europe Italy approves austerity plan In an effort to prevent contagion from the Greek debt crisis, Italy's cabinet approved an austerity package last week to cut its deficit by 25 billion Euros in 2011 and 2012 aiming to lower the deficit to 2.7 percent of GDP from 5.3 percent in 2009. The International Monetary Fund welcomed Italy's commitment to reduce its fiscal deficit and said containing the public wage bill should be the focus of cost-cutting measures. Spain downgraded by Fitch Fitch downgrade Spain's credit rating last week, rekindling concerns about a sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone. The rating agency had cut Spain's credit rating by one notch to AA-plus from AAA, saying the country's economic recovery will be "more muted" than the government forecast due to its austerity measures. United Kingdom UK consumer morale falls British consumer confidence fell for the third month in a row in May, as people grew more fearful about the economic outlook and the health of their finances. The consumer confidence index slipped to its lowest level since December to -18 from -16 the previous month. Retail sales British retail sales suffered an unexpected hit in May after shoppers were turned off by poor weather in addition to the biggest price rises in two years. Sales tumbled to 14-month low to -18 in May from +13 in April, representing the biggest onemonth drop in the index since 2005. Japan Deflation continues Deflation remains the main theme in the world's second largest economy; Japan's core consumer prices marked their 14th straight month of annual declines in April. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 1.5 percent in April compared to a 1.2 percent decline in March, led by the government's policy to cut public high school tuition fees. Higher unemployment The jobless rate in Japan rose slightly from 5.0 percent in March to 5.1 percent in April, the first time in four months, a sign that the job rebound might be moderate. Kuwait Dinar at 0.29125 The USDKWD opened at 0.29125 last morning.

Flydubai announces flights to Colombo KUWAIT: Flydubai, Dubai's first low cost airline, is expanding its network in the Indian sub-continent with the announcement of flights to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Flights to flydubai's 21st destination will start on Wednesday, June 23, and are priced from AED450. Ghaith Al-Ghaith, flydubai's CEO said: "We started 2010 with a determination to add new and exciting destinations to our route network. With our recent announcements of destinations as far apart as Istanbul, Lucknow, Colombo and Karachi, we have delivered on our promise to establish ourselves as an affordable, accessible airline with a professional service and a network to be proud of by the anniversary of our first flight. "Sri Lanka is a great destination for us to have in our network, and once again we are complementing the existing services on the route. The more options for passengers the better and we believe our simple, low cost service will be very popular with the 300,000 Sri Lankan expats living in the UAE as well as tourists looking for an affordable tropical getaway." Sri Lanka, famous for its tea plantations, cricket team, tropical highland forests and beaches, has a population of more than 20 million. Colombo, with around 700,000 residents is by far the country's largest city. The nation has more than two thousand years of documented royal families

and has been one of the most advanced trading societies in the region, exporting cinnamon in particular to the Middle East, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The inaugural flight on June 23 will be perfect timing for Sri Lankans wanting to return home to celebrate the

Vel festival with their families, in July. A carnival atmosphere takes over the city with street entertainment, elephant processions, music, ceremonial dancing and fireworks. Flydubai will operate four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays,


Thursdays and Saturdays. FZ555 leaves Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 at 1855hrs and arrives in Colombo at 0110hrs local time the following day. The return flight FZ556 leaves Colombo at 0210hrs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Dubai at 0510hrs local time. Flights can be purchased on flydubai's website (, through the call centre (+9714 301 0800) and from travel agents. The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they want to receive. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10 kg, per passenger. Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just AED60 for the first piece and AED150 for the second, weighing up to 32kgs, subject to availability. Checked baggage at the airport is also strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book online early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed. A nominal payment of AED5 allows customers to select their seat and just AED100 secures the extra legroom positions. Bookings can be changed for a small fee, plus any difference in the fare, and food and drink can be purchased on board. Flydubai operates from a modernized and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.



KSE kickstarts week with gains KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) started the week recording marginal gains in the major and sectoral indices. Zain shares suspend from trading during yesterday’s session on the company’s request. The Market recorded the lowest total daily value since January 20, 2009. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) gained 0.69 points (0.35 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 196.81 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index increased by 3.50 points (0.05 percent) yesterday and closed at 6,813.80 points. Market capitalization was up KD 114.198 million yesterday to reach KD 32.50. Market breadth During yesterday’s session, 103 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners, as 43 equities retreated versus 36 that advanced. A total of 132 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Daily trading activity Trading activities ended on a negative note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 47.60 percent to reach 131.42 million shares, and value of shares traded decreased by 64.19 percent to stand at KD 15.99 million. The non-Kuwaiti sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 28.50 percent of total market volume. The Banking Sector was the value leader, with 30.73 percent of total market value. Gulf Finance House was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 31.76mn shares. National Bank of Kuwait was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD 1.05 million. Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Wethaq Takaful Insurance Company took the top spot for the day, adding 8.93 percent and closed at KD0.061. On the other hand, Al-Mowasat Healthcare

Company shed 12.05 percent and closed at KD0.146, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they ended the day mainly on a positive note, with Global Food Index being the top gainer. The index ended the day up 2.12 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) ending the day up 2.90 percent to close at KD 1.420, making it the top gainer in the sector. Global Industrial Index was the second biggest gainer, up 1.13 percent during yesterday’s session. The index’s gain was backed by Kuwait

Foundry Company, the top gainer in the sector, ending the day with a gain of 6.94 percent and closed at KD 0.770. Further contributing to the index’s gain was Mena Holding Group, which ended yesterday’s trading session with a gain of 5.75 percent and closed at KD 0.184. On the other side, Global Real Estate Index was the top decliner, down 0.32 percent backed by Mabanee Company and Sanam Real Estate Company ending the day down 1.54 percent and 6.76 percent, respectively. Global’s special indices also ended on a positive note, except for Global Islamic Index being the only decliner. The index ended the day down 0.51 percent backed by

Boubyan Bank ending the day down 1.89 percent. Global High Yield Index posted a 1.16 percent gain, making it the top gainer, backed by Americana. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $70.48 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $68.21 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Market news Trading in the shares of Zain halted until the telecommunications firm completes the distribution of its 2009 cash dividend, according to a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse yester-

day. The measure would preserve the rights of all shareholders of the rumors have any positive or negative impact on decision to invest and thus saves all human traders in Kuwait Stock Exchange. Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, said it did not plan to reduce its exposure to Euro zone investments, denying a Kuwaiti newspaper report. “KIA denies local newspaper reports that there is a consideration by (KIA) to reduce its investments and presence in European countries ... as a reaction to crises that some European countries are facing,” KIA said in an emailed statement.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Egypt’s Orascom surges 12%, Gulf bourses mixed DUBAI/CAIRO: Egyptian heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT) jumped 12 percent yesterday after it said it expects to know soon the outcome of talks to sell some of its African units to South Africa’s MTN. “I think you’ll see OT continue to rise in the coming weeks,” said Hashem Ghoneim of Pyramids Capital, adding he expected the stock to rise to around 7 Egyptian pounds ($1.24). After its biggest rise since January 31, OT closed at 6.06 pounds, its highest close in more than two weeks, helping lead Egypt’s index 2.8 percent higher. Qatar was the biggest gainer in the Gulf, led by Industries Qatar. Other regional bourses were mixed after most started the day higher, playing catch up with Saudi Arabia’s strong performance on Saturday. Industries Qatar climbed 4.7 percent after its rival Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) surged 10 percent on Saturday, leading the kingdom’s bourse to its biggest one-day gain since November 2008. “We are following what happened yesterday in the Saudi market,” said Samer Al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co. “The Qatar market has strong fundamentals and a better outlook economically speaking.” Banks and property stocks boosted bourses in the United Arab Emirates in early trading but both Dubai and Abu Dhabi reversed lower after Saudi Arabia’s benchmark declined on profit-taking soon after opening. “The bulk of yesterday’s gains were driven by the 8.7 percent rally in the petrochemical sector, indicating that much of the move was driven by the bounce in oil prices,” said Adel Merheb at Shuaa Capital, adding that the index remained in correction mode. The Saudi index ended 1.4 percent lower. Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi led declines on the emirate’s bourse, falling 4.2 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. “Both of these stocks have held up relatively well year-to-date,” said Ali Khan, managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital. “We are just seeing some lightening of positions on

relatively low volumes.” Shares of Tabreed fell 4 percent after the air conditioning company said on Thursday it was in talks with banks to restructure $1.47 billion in debt and aimed to raise $1.14 billion in new capital. In Kuwait, shares of Zain were halted until the telecom firm completes the distribution of its 2009 cash dividend. On Thursday, Zain’s shareholders approved a cash dividend of 170 fils per share which excludes distribution from the sale of some of Zain’s African units to Bharti. Oman climbed for a second trading day led by Al Jazeira Services. “Volumes continue to be very light and investors are cautiously holding cash,” said Osama Ibrahim Al-Qinna, head of brokerage division at Oman Arab Bank, adding that the bank remained cautious due to weakness in the Saudi market. YESTERDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS Kuwait The index edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,814 points. Egypt The benchmark rose 2.8 percent to 6,517 points. Qatar The bourse rose 2.1 percent to 6,826 points. Saudi Arabi The index fell 1.4 percent to 6,087 points. Dubai The benchmark declined 0.3 percent to 1,601 points. Abu Dhabi The measure eased 0.2 percent to 2,637 points. Oman Muscat’s main measure advanced 0.2 percent to 6,317 points. Bahrain The benchmark rose 0.1 percent to 1,455 points. — Reuters


Monday, May 31, 2010


Gloom grows as BP’s ‘top kill’ effort fails New strategy to capture ‘great majority’ of oil

LOS ANGELES: Theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm are being flooded with applications from job seekers. —MCT

Theme parks add new thrills for expected wave of tourists LOS ANGELES: Many theme parks last year had few new attractions but lots of discounts, bargains and two-for-one deals for recession-weary vacationers. But this summer, get ready for a 3-D King Kong, 200-foot-tall animated waterspouts and a 45-foot-tall Lego water slide. Buoyed by an improving economy, some major theme parks have made multimillion-dollar investments in new attractions opening this summer to help attendance numbers rebound from last year’s slump. Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif, already is reporting a big jump over last year in early sales of season passes. Most theme park managers won’t disclose the cost of the new attractions, but industry experts say any investment signals confidence that theme parks are pulling out of the recession slump. “There’s certainly a sense of optimism returning to the 2010 season,” said David Mandt, a spokesman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, a trade group that represents parks and museums nationwide. “I think the parks have weathered the storm well.” With the economy seemingly on a rebound, industry experts predict that theme parks will offer fewer discounts but will heavily promote this summer’s new rides. “As market indicators improve, that message will be fine-tuned and tweaked,” Mandt said. Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger said last week that he expected to cut back on discounts and return to “more normal pricing” at Disney parks and hotels this year, but he believed that the visitor numbers would continue to grow. “It’s possible that we are starting to see signs that consumers are looking past the smaller discount to take the vacation that they want to take,” Iger said during a conference call with industry analysts. The slew of new attractions and shows debuting this summer are a stark contrast to last year, when many theme parks offered nothing new except bargain ticket deals to entice penny-pinching tourists. Despite the discount offers, attendance numbers dropped sharply last year for all Southern California theme parks, except for Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Crowd numbers declined 6 percent last year at Universal Studios Hollywood, 6.5 percent at Knott’s Berry Farm and 12.6 percent at San Diego’s SeaWorld, according to the Themed Entertainment Association, a nonprofit that represents park designers and builders. Meanwhile, attendance increased 8 percent at Disneyland in Anaheim last year and 9.5 percent at Disney’s California Adventure Park. During an earnings report for the second quarter of 2010, however, Iger said attendance at all of Disney’s domestic parks was down 4 percent compared with the same period last year. But early ticket sales suggest a brighter summer for all theme parks. Since November, Knott’s Berry Farm has sold about 100,000 season passes, nearly twice as many as the same period last year, park spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey said. The ticket sales were bolstered, she said, by a discount of as much as 33 percent, depending on how early visitors buy the season passes. The park is planning to launch a new light show featuring the “Peanuts”

gang May 29. Theme park fans still want the discounts plus the new attractions this summer. “We are only going to do this once a year, so we want to make the most of it,” said Mike Smolka, a carpenter from Vancouver, Canada, who visited Universal Studios Hollywood this month with his wife and four boys. “We want new rides. Why not?” The couple bought discounted tickets for Universal Studios and Disneyland through a membership warehouse store. In the battle of the Southern California parks, the two superpowers, Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland, are expected to unleash the summer’s most popular attractions. In July, Universal Studios opens King Kong 360 3-D, the latest addition to the back-lot studio tram ride. It uses massive curved movie screens, high-tech 3-D projectors, fans and a “tram mover” system to make visitors believe that they are watching Kong battle a 35-foot Tyrannosaurus rex. The attraction, designed by Academy Awardwinning director Peter Jackson, replaces the mechanical Kong that was destroyed in a back lot fire in 2008. “We are spending the largest amount for a new attraction for the past decade. That is how much we believe in our brand,” said Universal Studios Hollywood President Larry Kurzweil, who declined to discuss the construction cost. Meanwhile, Disney’s California Adventure Park will offer a nighttime attraction called World of Color that opens June 11. It is a choreographed light show that displays Disney movie scenes on curtains of water that shoot up to 200 feet in the air from a lagoon called Paradise Bay. “It will give locals and out-of-town guests a compelling reason to visit the resort,” Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said of the new attraction, part of a $1 billion expansion to the California Adventure Park that is expected to be completed in 2012. In Valencia, Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to add a family-style roller coaster called Mr Six’s DanceCoaster as well as a new interactive play area at its adjacent water park, Hurricane Harbor. The two new attractions represent an effort to draw more families and break away from the park’s reputation as a hangout for thrill-seeking teenagers, park President Jay Thomas said. “We are creating more diversified attractions at our park,” he said. “We’ve been working to clean up the parks, and guests are noticing the difference.” This week, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach opens the new $5.5 million Molina Animal Center, where visitors can watch veterinarians treat aquarium animals. San Diego’s SeaWorld has renovated an existing stadium for a new dolphin show opening May 29. Meanwhile, workers in Carlsbad are putting the finishing touches on a $15 million, 5.5-acre water park addition at Legoland, the biggest expansion since the theme park opened in 1999. The water park, featuring a 45-foot tall slide, opens May 28. Spokeswoman Julie Estrada says Legoland will offer visitors the new attraction, plus an online discount that includes entrance to the park for five days for the price of one. “People will keep coming back because we give them something better,” she said. —MCT

Australia’s mining tax won’t change SYDNEY: Australia yesterday stood by its controversial proposed tax on the ‘super profits’ of the resources industry, as it ramped up its war of words with mining companies fighting the new levy. Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said the “core elements” of the new 40 percent tax rate, set to kick in once a project’s rate of return reaches about six percent, would not change despite a concerted campaign by resources firms. “We have certainly indicated that our framework is not going to be altered,” Tanner told Network Ten’s ‘Meet the Press’ program. “The core elements, the core framework, we intend to pursue.” Tanner said the tax would help fund the lowering of company tax for all

businesses and increase pension fund investment. He was dismissive of claims from miners that the levyset to be introduced in mid2012 — would hurt investment. “We just simply don’t treat those claims seriously,” Tanner said. “It is very clear that we are seeing a scare campaign and a lot of companies saying there is a question mark about this or there is a concern about that but we simply do not believe most of that. “There is a lot of posturing going on here, as you’d expect because they’re fighting for their self-interest. They do not want to pay any more tax.” Tanner’s comments came as chief executive of global miner Rio Tinto, Tom Albanese, said the proposed tax was damaging Australian investment and would ensure that

resources firms operating Down Under would pay the highest tax in the world. He said his company would soon release independently verified figures to prove that it already paid its fair share of tax after the government claimed that multinational mining companies effectively only paid a tax rate of 13 percent. Albanese said the figure was closer to 35 percent and would rise to above 50 percent if the new tax was introduced as proposed. He said Rio was reviewing all of its projects in Australia to see the implications of the new tax. “This has certainly caused everything to be delayed,” Albanese told ABC Television. Australia’s economy is riding an Asiandriven mining boom, with iron ore and coal key export commodities. —AFP

KENNER: BP acknowledged the failure Saturday of its latest “top kill” oper- to overcome the flow from the well, so we now believe it is time to move on ation to tamp down oil gushing from its blown-out well and launched a new to another option,” said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles at a news interim effort to contain the flow. “After three full days, we have been unable conference with federal officials in Robert, La. In a surprisingly somber statement from the company that has sought to reassure the public over the last 40 days, Suttles acknowledged: “This scares everybody - the fact that we cannot make this well stop flowing.” President Barack Obama’s reaction was measured. “It is also important to note that while we were hopeful that the top kill would succeed,” he said, “we were also mindful that there was a significant chance it would not. And we will continue to pursue any and all responsible means of stopping this leak until the completion of the two relief wells currently being drilled.” “As I said yesterday, every day that this leak continues is an assault on the people of the Gulf Coast region, their livelihoods and the natural bounty that belongs to all of us,” said Obama, who visited the region Friday. “It is as enraging as it is heartbreaking, and we will not relent until this leak is contained, until the waters and shores are cleaned up and until the people unjustly victimized by this man-made disaster are made whole. The top-kill operation had injected a high-pressure stream of heavy drilling fluid into a failed blowout preventer in hopes of overcoming the upward force of the oil so it could plug the well with cement. In the new strategy, BP engineers would first sever the crumpled riser pipe, then attach a cap over the lowermarine riser package that sits atop the blowout preventer. A riser pipe on the ocean floor. was a well-tested method of workers and residents affected the Deepwater Horizon crew new pipe would direct the oil to As much as 29 million gal- controlling wells and was BP’s by the oil leak, according to had experienced problems in a surface ship. It will take at lons of oil have been spilled best chance of success now. the months before the accident, Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La. least four days to install, into the Gulf since the April 20 Noting that crews and vol- including a “kick” from rising Concern mounted Saturday Suttles said, and could capture explosion of the Deepwater over possible health effects of unteers are being exposed to gas and problems with the cir“a great majority” of the oil Horizon drilling rig, compared dispersants BP continues to “hazardous fumes and danger- culation of drilling mud, but spewing from the well. Oil is with 11 million gallons leaked spray. Two contract cleanup ous dispersants,” Melancon that he was not informed of any now flowing from the crippled into Alaska’s Prince William workers were airlifted to West said, “We’ve got cleaning loca- serious problems on the day of well and would continue until Sound by the Exxon Valdez Jefferson Medical Center in tions for the birds but nothing the explosion. the maneuver is finished, tanker in 1989. BP, the owner Marrero, La., on Friday night for the people.” Daniel Sain, of His testimony added to Suttles said. Last week, a gov- of the well, says it will pay “all after suffering dizziness, Hopedale, La, said he was lay- growing anecdotal evidence of ernment panel estimated the legitimate claims” from the headaches and chest pains on ing boom last week when he chaos, equipment failures and flow of oil at 504,000 to 798,000 accident, which Obama on boats operating about a mile came across a rust-colored area confusion about procedures gallons a day. Friday called “a man-made cat- south of the coast. One of the of water with a pungent smell. and authority after explosions Suttles cautioned that the astrophe that is still evolving.” men told a hospital administra- Afterward, he experienced rocked the rig. The panel new maneuver would be “a In the news conference, tor that he had been helping to headaches, nausea and sinus delayed questioning Sims very complex operation.” As Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary burn off oil when he became ill. irritation, he said. about the blown-out well, with earlier efforts, it has never Landry “I don’t smoke cigarettes or which he designed, until sometold reporters, He said he had been sprayed been tried at 5,000 feet below “Obviously we’re very disap- with dispersant the day before. anything, but I’m coughing like time in July. “We want to ask sea level using robotic sub- pointed in today’s announce- He declined to speak to a a smoker,” he said, adding that him those kinds of questions in marines. In the end, only a ment...but we want to assure reporter, saying he feared los- no medical personnel were person,” said panelist Jason relief well, expected to be fin- you, we’ve had a very, very ing his job, the administrator available when he docked. Mathews, a petroleum engiished by early August, would aggressive response.” She said. The two men were Even residents not working on neer for the Minerals finally be able to kill the well, echoed Obama’s remarks dur- expected to be released the spill reported unaccus- Management Service. Saturday Suttles said. One of two such ing his visit to Louisiana, say- Monday. A hospital spokes- tomed ailments. Lisa Louque, a night, a storm rolled into south wells being slant-drilled is at ing, “There’s no silver bullet to woman said no toxicology tests restaurant worker, said she felt Louisiana just as two biologists 12,900 feet below the ocean stop this leak.” Some engi- had been conducted. dizzy and disoriented and from the state Department of surface, but it must reach neers were critical of BP’s A news release from the couldn’t breathe several days Fisheries and Wildlife hauled a 18,000 feet. “The farther we decision to persist with top kill Unified Command, a joint infor- after walking on a nearby dead dolphin into their boat. go, the slower it gets,” he said, and applauded the company’s mation center of BP and the beach. She said she stayed at Mandy Tumlin and Clint Edds, adding, “we are ahead of our decision to move on. federal government, said that at Lady of the Sea General dressed in white contaminaplan right now.” Iraj Ershaghi, a petroleum the time of the men’s com- Hospital in Cut Off, La, for a tion jumpsuits, had located The collapse of BP’s top-kill engineering professor at the plaints, no controlled burning of day and a half. the 6-foot dolphin in the maneuver came as public frus- University “I didn’t touch the oil,” she waters of Barataria Pass. “It’s of Southern oil was under way. It also said tration mounted over what the California, warned that continu- that aerial dispersants were said. “I didn’t know I really the freshest one we’ve seen,” government now calculates to ing to inject mud into the well used in the area of the burn shouldn’t have been out there.” Tumlin said. The dolphin’s be the biggest oil spill in the at extreme pressure could have fleet “but as per safety restric- In Kenner, a panel of the Coast glistening hide showed no nation’s history. Earlier fail- broken pipes, or casings, deep tions, no dispersants are Guard and the Minerals sign of oil, but it will be taken ures included a huge box in the well, causing it to col- deployed within two miles of Management Service heard a to an aquatic research center known as a “top hat” that lapse. Such a scenario could any vessel or platform.” sixth day of testimony about in New Orleans for testing. became clogged with crys- leave a ragged crater that could Federal authorities are expect- the causes of the spill. David Tests are under way on 25 talline gas hydrates and a tube be difficult, if not impossible, to ed to set up a temporary health Sims, BP operations manager dead marine mammals, includthat had siphoned a small por- plug by any means, he said. clinic in south Louisiana by for the relief well effort, testi- ing dolphins, collected since tion of oil from the fractured Ershaghi said the new strategy Tuesday to screen and treat fied by telephone. He said that the spill began. —MCT

Japan’s corporate deal to bounce back: Survey Hungary’s ex-minister denies deficit report BUDAPEST: Hungary’s former finance minister denied a media report on Saturday that the budget deficit could hit 6.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, far above the 3.8 percent target. Financial news website, citing a finance ministry document to be handed over to Hungary’s new government today, reported that the 2010 deficit could be 6.5 percent of GDP, eclipsing the target agreed with international lenders. “Not a word of this is true,” former finance minister Peter Oszko told Reuters. “The prognosis section of the documentation is public, our projections are clear. This was published on the finance ministry’s website. There is no way for 6.5 percent to come out other than by intentionally increasing the deficit.” Hungary’s centre-right Fidesz gov-

ernment, which took office on Saturday, has repeatedly said that this year’s deficit could well exceed the previous government’s target-an allegation that exfinance ministry officials have consistently rejected. Analysts polled by Reuters earlier this week estimated the 2010 deficit at 5 percent of GDP. Earlier this month the finance ministry published parts of the handover documentation on its Web site, which acknowledged the existence of some budget risks but said the deficit target was achievable with continued tight fiscal policy. It said the risks included lowerthan-expected income tax revenues and higher subsidies to state railway company MAV and local governments. Oszko said the 3.8 percent target could be achieved withvery tight budget control, although there were risks worth a few tenths of a percentage point. —Reuters

TOKYO: Capital spending by big Japanese companies is set to rise for the first time in three years as auto and electronics makers invest more abroad, a survey said yesterday. According to the poll of 1,472 leading firms by business daily Nikkei, the companies plan to invest a total of 23.35 trillion yen (257 billion dollars) in plant and equipment in the business year to March 2011. The annual total would be up 11 percent from the year to March 2010 when their combined capital spending plunged 23.7 percent, the steepest fall since the survey began in 1973, Nikkei said. But the 2010-2011 estimate is still the second lowest in the past five years, at around 80 percent of the level seen in the year to March 2008, before the global financial crisis struck. And corporate Japan may once again pare back investment in 20112012, because the yen’s appreciation against the euro as a result of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is making many firms cautious, the report said.

In the current year, export-led auto and electronics firms intend to boost their capital spending, mostly overseas, expecting steady growth in emerging markets including China, it said. But retailers and other sectors more reliant on domestic demand in deflation-hobbled Japan plan to spend significantly less than the last business year. Spending by manufacturers is projected to rise 17.3 percent to 12.79 trillion yen, with 14 of the 17 sectors posting year-on-year growth. Car giant Toyota plans to boost its capital spending by 27.8 percent from the previous year when the amount dipped 55.5 percent, Nikkei said. It is likely to spend 41 percent of its total outlays overseas, up from 32 percent in the year to March 2010, indicating Japanese carmakers’ accelerating moves to relocate their production overseas. The ratio of Honda’s overseas investment to its total capital spending is expected to jump from 50 percent to 67 percent as it plans to expand its production in China, Nikkei said. —AFP



Monday, May 31, 2010

British Airways cabin crew launch new strike Latest protest to disrupt travel

LONDON: Demonstrators from the Unite Union protest in favor of striking British Airways cabin crew on the fifth day of a five-day strike. —AFP

‘Broke Is Beautiful’ author says to embrace cash-strapped life By Susan Tompor


f you talk too much about money these days, chances are really good that you’re going to feel really bad. Even if your 401(k) has recovered some, your job situation could be iffy. Or maybe you’re decades away from getting out of debt. Things are so touch-and-go that you feel like if you asked Suze Orman if you can indulge in a drive-thru McDonald’s meal, she’d immediately chirp: “Denied.” So maybe it is time to take a deep breath and offer a collective: “So what?” Nobody’s saying go out and run up more debt on that plastic, mind you. But maybe it’s OK to admit that no matter how welleducated you are, you’re still broke. Or if not technically broke, that you’re running scared. “I wish that more people would come out of the closet as broke people,” said Laura Lee, 40, who lives in Rochester Hills, Mich, and wrote a new book called “Broke Is Beautiful: Living and Loving the Cash-Strapped Life.” “A lot of people are feeling broke.” I talked with Lee at the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills, where signs of wealth still abound. Gorgeous mansions are a short drive away on Lone Pine Road. A black Corvette in the church parking lot had a license plate reading “Morefun.” Lee, who was working Monday as one of many volunteers preparing the church’s massive rummage sale that runs Monday through Saturday, says even people with hundreds of thousands of dollars can feel broke if they dwell on what they think their net worth should be. She quotes a poll of New Yorkers that found that people who

earned more than $200,000 a year are more likely than low-income people to feel poor when seeing others with more money. Her book offers another interesting stat: In a 1999 poll, college freshmen predicted that they would be earning on average $75,000 a year by the time they were 30. This was at a time, she says, when the average 30-year-old was earning $27,000. Many people, Lee maintains, suffer delusions of wealth. But she doesn’t put herself in that category. She says, for example, that she mainly buys her clothes twice a year at that church rummage sale where women’s sweaters start at $4, jackets at $7 and slacks at $5. Prices are lower on Friday and Saturday. Her income can be sporadic. She receives money when she writes books, such as an earlier one called “The 100 Most Dangerous Things in Life.” She also writes speeches for corporate executives. And Lee stays in lower-priced hotels when she travels during about half the year with a Russian ballet artist as part of a business they’ve built that offers master ballet classes across the US. Lee studied theater at Oakland University but has had rough years when her credit score wasn’t all that good. She shops at Busch’s Fresh Food Market but says she often buys ramen noodles. Still, “I’ve always felt more secure relying on myself to create my own job than relying on someone else,” she said. “You rely on them to continue to need you - it’s always seemed less secure to me.” But she knows many people don’t feel the same way. Lee’s bottom line: It’s up to you to determine how you feel about your financial situation. “Define yourself as an artist

and you give yourself permission to be ‘starving,’ “ Lee writes in the book. “This can be a great liberation.” The most practical thing to do with your resources, she maintains, is to put them toward what makes your life worth living. Think about this. If times are tough, it may help to take a second job or put every dollar toward paying down debt - if that fixes a problem. Or it could be time to admit that you’re just aspiring to live a life that you realistically can never afford. Here’s where many experts would now say it’s time to cut features on your cell phone or go back to basic cable. But if you still have cable, I’d say the best step is to turn off the reality shows. Unlike the premise of some cable shows, most people do not have a $3,000 budget for a wedding dress or $5,000 sitting on a prepaid Visa card to revamp their entire wardrobe in less than a week. As a frontpage story in the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, many people on “Extreme Makeover” could not afford to pay the bills that came with living in highend homes and went into foreclosure. “If you feel as though you’ve been running just to stand still, you should know that this does not mean you’re a loser,” Lee writes. “It means you’re normal.” Most of us will never celebrate a lack of money - or view broke as the new fashionable black but we could feel more secure in uncertain times if we stopped grading ourselves on our 401(k) balances, the amount of home equity we have and our credit scores. “If you can’t change your situation, you can change your expectations,” Lee told me. “Your identity is not your credit score your identity is something else.” —MCT

MICHIGAN: Laura Lee, author of the new book called, “Broke is Beautiful,” helped set up a rummage sale at her church, the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills. —MCT

LONDON: British Airways cabin crew started a fresh fiveday strike yesterday with little sign of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between their union and the airline. The latest strike by crew in the Unite union is set to disrupt travel in the half-term school holidays, with another five-day stoppage planned from June 5. Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union, said it believed the 12 days of strikes since March had already cost BA 84 million pounds (121.5 million dollars, 99 million euros). The walkout affects flights from BA’s London Heathrow hub, the world’s busiest international passenger airport. BA said it would increase its flying schedule in the coming week as more cabin crew than expected had decided to work as normal during the strikes. Its schedule of long-term flights from London Heathrow will be increased to more than 70 percent-up from more than 60 percent this week. The short-haul schedule from the airport will rise to more than 55 percent of flights, up from more than 50 percent this week. “We are very disappointed that Unite are continuing to take strike action,” BA said. “We will continue to do all we can to minimize the disruption. “At Heathrow we plan to operate a substantial part of our longhaul schedule and there will be a number of flights to every destination across our shorthaul network.” Talks between the two sides ended without agreement on Friday, with Unite accusing BA chief executive Willie Walsh of blocking a resolution to the dispute on travel perks for cabin crew. Unite’s joint leader Derek Simpson offered to conduct talks in the “full glare” of the media so people would be able to see how “unreasonable” BA chief executive Willie Walsh was. “I prefer these negotiations to be in front of a camera. Let the world see what this is all about. If people could see what he is doing, they would know who to blame,” he told BBC television. “It is all about confidence of management in the workforce and of workforce in the management. Clearly there has been a breakdown. If we could get the confidence back a deal is do-able.” Simpson claimed Walsh said he would only meet for further talks after Unite’s annual conference, which opens today, in Manchester, northwest England, and continues until the end of the current strike. This month, BA posted a record annual pre-tax loss of 531 million pounds. The airline, which has been hit hard by the decreased demand for air travel, is slashing costs and merging with Spanish rival Iberia in a bid to return to profitability. —AFP

HAIRATAN: In this picture, an Afghan policeman stands guard near a new railway track inaugurated in Afghanistan. —AFP

Afghanistan sees ‘economic revolution’ with first railway HAIRATAN: Afghanistan has launched what it says is a revolutionary project that could revive the poverty-stricken, war-ravaged, landlocked country’s status as a thriving “silk road” trade hub. In the harsh desert heat on the northern border with Uzbekistan, workers are hammering down the tracks of Afghanistan’s first railway, being built with a grant of 165 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The first section of 75 kilometers (50 miles) will link the northern Afghan city of Mazar-I-Sharif to the Uzbek border, where the Friendship Bridge crosses the Amu River into the vast expanses of the former Soviet states and beyond. The line, being built by Uzbekistan’s stateowned rail corporation, is due to be completed in September, the first section of a network that officials hope will facilitate trade and link Afghanistan to international seaports. “This is an historic day, it’s the beginning of a vital project for Afghanistan and the region,” Finance Minister Omar Zakhailwal told officials and diplomats at an inauguration ceremony last week. “This railroad will spark an economic revolution not only in Afghanistan but across the region,” he said, after flying into the border town of Hairatan by helicopter. The project aims to open up the agricultural, textile and mineral wealth of Afghanistan-which borders Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran-to export markets from Asia to Europe. “I think it’s a very, very important project,” said Sayed Masoud, an economist at Kabul University. “It gains us credibility among our neighbors and makes our country a stable transit hub in the regional trade between Pakistan and the Central Asian countries and China,” he told AFP. Future plans to open up the country with rail include a line from Mazar-I-Sharif to Herat, the eastern city close to the border with Iran, to connect with a track being built from the other side. Mazar-I-Sharif was once an important caravan stop on the ancient “silk road” which connected

China to the world. But a series of wars and the thwarting of British imperial overtures saw Afghanistan-long at the vortex of geopolitical games-miss out on the railway boom that colonizers brought to its neighbors. A tiny sliver that served as a city link in Kabul almost a century ago is now on display in a museum in the capital, a relic of what could have been. Afghanistan has known little but war and brutality for 30 years, starting with the 1979 Soviet invasion, civil war from 1990, the 1996-2001 Taleban regime and, since its overthrow in a USled invasion, Taleban-led insurgency. The country of mountains, valleys and deserts lacks basic infrastructure, with just one ring road linking major cities but offering an often-treacherous drive through teetering passes and territory controlled by the Taleban. The north has been largely sheltered from the insurgency, though in recent years the Taleban have made inroads as they have targeted the road routes for NATO supplies coming from Tajikistan. This could make the railway project vulnerable to militant attack. The international community wants to speed up the end of the war with an influx of soldiers taking the fight to the Taleban in their southern fiefdom in Kandahar province, with hopes the threat will be quelled later this year. In tandem with these plans are efforts to build up Afghanistan’s security forces and pour aid money into rebuilding the country from the ground up. Experts say the railway is integral to Afghanistan’s ability to stand alone. Hairatan is showing the way forward, having in recent years become a lively centre for trade with more than half the country’s imports-mostly fuel, food and construction materials-coming in through Uzbekistan. “The tangible benefits of the new rail link are tremendous,” said Haruhiko Kuroda, ADB president. “The line will help reduce trade bottlenecks, boost commerce and speed the flow of much-needed humanitarian assistance.” —AFP

Spanish labor market reform talks fall apart MADRID: Talks between Spanish unions and employers over labor market reform have collapsed just days ahead a deadline from the Socialist government for a deal. Despite the presence of Labor Minister Celestino Corbacho for the first time in weeks at the talks, union leaders and employers failed to bridge their differences on Saturday in the latest attempt to thrash out a deal. Spanish newspaper El Pais said that the crunch talks on shaking up Spain’s strict labour market rules were “flirting with failure”. The government has given the two sides until the end of the month to work out an

agreement or else it is likely to impose a reform by decree despite a threat from the main unions to hold a general strike. El Pais said that the government was ready to give the talks “a few days” more but only if a realistic agreement were in the works, which did not appear to be the case. With no talks planned on Sunday, the last chance was to be during a final meeting on Monday ahead of the end of month deadline. If the government decides to go ahead with the reform by decree, then the cabinet would have to be approve it by June 11 at the latest. Spanish Prime Minister Jose

Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in February unveiled a plan to reform the country’s strict labor market rules. The measures include allowing firms to cut costs by shortening workers’ hours but without making them redundant, as Germany has done, to reduce the use of temporary contracts, promote permanent part-time job contracts and encourage the hiring of unskilled youths. Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund called for “urgent” reform and its head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said “in Spain you have a lot of rigidities, the labor market doesn’t work for many reasons.” —AFP

No need to restructure Greek debt: Minister ATHENS: Greece will not need to restructure its debt or take extra measures beyond a swathe of austerity cuts agreed with the EU and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek finance minister said yesterday. “Greece will not need additional measures,” George Papaconstantinou told Eleftherotypia daily in an interview, adding that debt restructuring “would be disastrous for the country’s credibility.” The minister said the recession gripping the country would peak in 2010 and that recovery would “gradually” begin thereafter. “I remain confident and I believe that we will recover very quickly,” he said. Greece has accumulated debt of nearly 300 billion euros (368 billion dollars) and was narrowly saved from default earlier this month by the first installment of an 110-billioneuro bailout loan from the EU and the IMF. The government had to adopt unpopular austerity measures to clinch the loan, including tax hikes, wage and pension cuts and a hiring freeze in the civil service. It has also pledged to trim massive waste in state hospitals which have a combined debt of around 5.6 billion euros. The minister yesterday insisted the ruling

Socialists would not back down in the face of strong opposition to the austerity measures from unions who have so far held four general strikes and waves of street protests. “The government has proven that it does not calculate the political cost when it

comes to doing what is necessary for the good of the country,” he said. Papaconstantinou also said he has a “close and constructive” cooperation with Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos, who was recently

criticized by government lawmakers for allegedly failing to protect the country’s battered bonds from speculators. “The governor has given detailed explanations and I will respond to parliament (on the issue),” the minister said. —Reuters

NEW YORK: The famed Wonder Wheel is seen at Coney Island on the first day of the Memorial Day weekend in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Yesterday was opening day of the nearby Luna Park amusement area which opened on the former grounds of the famed Astroland amusement park as part of the revitalization plans for Coney Island. —AFP


Monday, May 31, 2010


Bangladesh blocks Facebook over ‘obnoxious’ cartoons Website to be re-opened once offending pages permanently blocked DHAKA: Bangladesh has blocked social networking website Facebook over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and “obnoxious” images of the Muslim-majority country’s leaders, an official said yesterday. The move came after Pakistan banned access to Facebook,

Videogame review: Blur From a quick glance at Blur you’d be forgiven for thinking developer Bizarre Creations has settled down and put together a safe, neat, ultra-traditional racer: lots of real-world settings, authentic cars and glossy visuals. But alongside that, Blur’s gameplay is in fact firmly rooted in the fantastical. So while the handling of the featured vehicles does feel pretty accurate as you thunder down Brighton’s seafront or Hackney’s disheveled streets, your aim in doing so isn’t to win a simple time trial, but to scoop up power-ups and bombard your rivals with missiles and mines.

Thanks to a well-rounded arsenal of offensive and defensive weapons, the end result is a surprisingly delicate balance of action and strategy something to keep you thinking as you revel in the destruction. It might not exude innovation, but that’s hardly the point: it’s a very welcome and clever tweak to the familiar vehicle combat genre, and it makes for a magnificently playable game. With enough cars, tracks and challenges to keep players busy for hours, Blur’s boundless energy delivers all you could want from a racer with a twist.—Guardian

Skype’s new iPhone app introduces 3G calling LUXEMBOURG: Skype yesterday announced the launch of the new version of its iPhone application. Available to download from the Apple App Store today, this update allows iPhone users to make and receive Skype-to-Skype calls, and to call mobiles and landlines around the world at very low rates for the first time over their 3G data connection. Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will be free for a trial period which will run until the end of 2010.* Details of pricing will be announced in the coming months and will be in line with Skype’s commitment to providing customers with great value. Skype-to-Skype calls over WiFi will still remain free. “Using Skype on 3G has been the number one request among our iPhone customers. This new version is a great step towards enabling our customers to take and use Skype everywhere they go”, said Russ Shaw General Manager for Mobile, Skype. “Using Skype on iPhone without being restricted to the availability of a WiFi network will open up new ways for Skype customers to stay connected and make free or low-cost calls whenever they want, wherever they are in the world.” “We have a group of young tennis players that are constantly travelling inside Spain and around the world. One of them is my daughter, she travels a lot and we use Skype to communicate because it’s easier, faster and cheaper. The change of having Skype on the mobile phone has been crucial for us. Before we had to look for a computer in the tennis clubs and hotels and it was a real problem because it was very difficult to find one,” said Alexei Starkov, the physical/fitness coach of the FederaciÛn de Tenis de Madrid. “Tennis is an individual sport and when you travel by yourself at times you feel very lonely. Now with Skype for iPhone also allowing for calls over 3G you can call anytime and anywhere without having to find a WiFi spot.” Additional new features of the Skype for iPhone application include:

• Near CD-quality sound for Skype-toSkype calls using wideband audio on iPhone 3GS or 2nd generation iPod touch and onwards. • Enhanced call quality indicator, which will help customers choose the best moment to call. • Improved start-up time • Rapid access to the dial pad from the home screen The new version is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and iPad. Skype requires iPhone OS version 3.0 and above. Calling functionality is available on iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch onwards. iPod touch requires a compatible headset with a microphone. The Skype for iPhone application is available to download for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch, or at —AFP

The move was ordered as cartoons of Mohammed (PBOH) on the popular website “hurt the religious sentiments of the country’s Muslim population”, BTRC acting chairman Hasan Mahmud Delwar told AFP. “Some links in the site also contained obnoxious images of our leaders including the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the leader of the opposition,” he said. He said Facebook would be re-opened once Bangladesh had permanently blocked the offending pages. The country’s anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said it had arrested one man over the images of political leaders. “A special intelligence team arrested him and he has been charged with spreading malice,” senior RAB official Enamul Kabir said. Kabir said the arrested man used at least six Facebook accounts to post the images but officials declined to give details of the depictions, which were not immediately showing up on the site yesterday. On Friday thousands of Bangladeshis took to the streets of the capital Dhaka, demanding that the government ban Facebook over what they called “anti-Islamic propaganda”. The protests were triggered by a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” campaign on Facebook, which its anonymous promoters said was in defence of freedom of expression. Muslims regard all depictions of Islam’s founding prophet as blasphemous. “Drawing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed is an attack on Islam and is extremely humiliating for Islam,” Dhaka protest organiser A.T.M. Hemayet Uddin told thousands of cheering supporters. In a counter-demonstration, Dhaka University students held a rally on the campus late Saturday, urging authorities to lift the Facebook block immediately, according to the Daily Star newspaper. Pakistan has restored access to YouTube, but Facebook and 1,200 web pages remain blocked. Last year Bangladesh also blocked YouTube for several days after the video site hosted a recording of an angry dispute between Prime Minister Hasina and army officers over a deadly military mutiny. Bangladesh has nearly one million Facebook account holders-a sixth of all Internet users, according to the BTRC. Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia have fan pages on Facebook. The site has previously attracted government ire over allegations it spreads pornography and fraudulent money-making schemes. “There have been growing cyber-crimes related to Facebook and other social networking sites. The laws are inadequate to fight these crimes,” RAB spokesman Mohammad Sohail said. In March, officers arrested a Dhaka-based stocks tipster with more than 10,000 Facebook followers on charges of manipulating Bangladesh’s stock exchange.—AFP

video website YouTube and 1,200 web pages over a row about “blasphemous” content on the Internet. Facebook was blocked in Bangladesh late Saturday, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said.

LAHORE: Supporters of a Pakistani religious party chant slogans during a rally against an Internet Facebook page, in Lahore, Pakistan yesterday. —AP

Apple needs to jump on TV, opportunity analysts say Apple’s success in mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad could spill over into the TV segment if the company decides to make a push for devices with larger screens, analysts said on Friday. Engadget on Friday reported that a new version of the Apple TV platform was due for launch soon. It would succeed the current Apple TV service, which allows users to watch movies and experience other multimedia content on TVs. Apple declined to comment about the Engadget report. The new platform would include new hardware, including a box with an Apple A4 chip that would allow for 1080p video playback, according to the report. The device will be priced at US$99, substantially lower than its current $229 price, and will come with the iPhone OS. The new device will provide content storage in the cloud, compared to hard-drive storage in the current device, Engadget reported. The initial Apple TV service was not considered a success, but with Internet and broadcast content beginning to merge, the company could be poised for success in the TV market, analysts said. The sales of wireless and Internet-capable TV sets are taking off, and Apple has more brand equity as a device maker and content provider than ever in the past. However, the company will need to fend off TV makers, service providers and software makers who have their sights set on the burgeoning TV segment. There is a lot of fragmentation in the TV space, and Apple has a content distribution advantage compared to its rivals, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint

Technologies Associates. Elements of broadcast and Internet content are starting to merge, but companies are still trying to figure out the best way to bring them to big screens, he said. “Apple has made a recent try at TV and it wasn’t so great,” Kay said. “This is an important market that Apple shouldn’t leave uncovered.” Though unsuccessful, Apple can boast of experience in the TV market, which gives it an early mover advantage, Kay said. The company also has the reputation of providing a good user experience for customers on devices like the iPhone and iPad, and the brand equity could carry over to the TV. One of Apple’s rivals could be Google, which along with partners Intel, Sony and Logitech last week announced the Google TV platform, which will blend broadcast TV and Internet into one interface. Google will supply the software, and the service will be available later this year in some Sony high-definition TVs and Blu-ray DVD players, for which Intel will supply the Atom CE4100 chip. It would not be a surprise if Apple announces something around Apple TV as early as the developer’s conference, said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be held in San Francisco from June 7 to 11. “People think that Apple may be responding to Google, but it may be the other way around,” Bajarin said. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was part of Apple’s board in the past and understands Apple’s direction, he said. Apple’s

mobile product strategy-like with the iPhone and iPad-revolves around bundling hardware, software and services. But the strategy may need to change in the TV market, analysts said. Apple was an early player in the mobile market, which allowed it to blend things, but there are too many players offering Internet-connected TV sets and services, analysts said. In addition to providing hardware and content, Apple will also need to make it easier for customers to understand what the

service does, said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at the NPD Group. There are too many moving parts a customer needs to understand in order to use the current Apple TV device and surrounding services. It will depend on Apple if it wants to bring simplicity with an all-in-one purchase, Baker said. Nevertheless, the segment is growing and the time is ripe for Apple to exploit it. “Given the fact they’ve been unsuccessful, it’s a product segment that it is poised to explode,” Baker said. —PCworld

BARCELONA: A customer holds the new iPad tablet computer at an Apple store inBarcelona, Spain, Friday. —AP

Will Google transform your goggle box? And now for something completely different: Google TV. Yes, you read that correctly: Google TV. Now I know what you’re thinking. You already have enough TV channels, most of them running Friends, Desperate Housewives or reruns of Top Gear. Why on earth would you want to watch a channel in which a T-shirted nerd with an IQ in the low thousands explains how to code an algorithm for complex linear programming in seven lines of Perl while behind him one of his more subversive colleagues is gleefully demonstrating on a whiteboard how it can be done in four? Relax. Google TV is not a channel, it’s a platform, ie a base on which things can be built. In ordinary life, platforms are physical objects, such as the drilling rig that is causing BP such grief, but the Google guys don’t

do physical. They’re geeks, so their idea of a platform is a large piece of software called an operating system. A while back, they created such a platform for mobile phones. It’s called Android and handsets based on that platform have recently begun to outsell the Apple iPhone in what may or may not be a significant development. But then the question arose: after mobile phones, what? The Googlers’ gaze alighted on the humble domestic television. Now, the thing about a TV set is that it’s an exceedingly stupid device. In computational terms, it has the IQ of a nematode worm and it shows. Take, for example, TV’s idea of an EPG or “electronic programme guide”: a crude grid plotting channels against times, through which one has to scroll endlessly like a lost zombie. In terms of user interface

design, it predates the Pyramids. This kind of stupidity offends the delicate sensibilities of the Googlers. It’s, like, so uncool. Why can’t you just type in what you want to watch and have the TV set tune to it instantly? And if what you want to watch isn’t available via traditional broadcast channels, it’s probably available on the web somewhere, so why can’t the TV find it and start displaying it? The answer is that the TV nematode can’t do complicated things such as that because it is a Device of Very Little Brain. “No problem,” say the Googlers, “we’ll give it a cognitive transplant.” So they signed deals with TV manufacturers such as Sony and set-top box makers such as Logitech to build TVs that will run the Android operating system. And so Google TV was born. In

addition to receiving conventional television signals, the new TVs will have a web browser, will run Flash (nice snub for Steve Jobs, that) and connect to the web via your home wireless computer network. The first sets will be on the US market in the autumn. Neat, eh? The web and TV united via Google software. But note that Google won’t be making the hardware. That will be left to Sony and co. So the model is similar to the situation with mobile phones, where Google makes the Android platform but anyone can make a handset to run it. And anyone can write and publish apps to run on them. So there are dozens of different Android phones on the market and many thousands of Android apps available in an open, unregulated ecosystem that contrasts sharply with Apple’s tightly closed shop.

All of which is fine and dandy, until something goes wrong. Remember that these new TVs will basically be computers with very large screens and a wireless connection to the net. And you know what happens with computers. So spool forward to the summer of 2012. You’ve just bought a 50inch Sony GoogleBravia set to watch the Olympics. Family and friends have been invited to celebrate the occasion. Drinks and nibbles have been procured from M&S. Uncle Fred is in his favourite chair. You “boot up” your new TV and are greeted by a Google search box into which you type (using your Android mobile phone, naturally) “Olympic opening ceremony”. A browser window opens, inside which is a spinning beachball - and nothing else. After a while, it dawns on you that Flash has

crashed the browser. But when you try to kill the application, you find that the entire set has frozen. The only thing to do is unplug it from the wall and start again. But the same thing happens again. So who do you call? John Lewis, which sold you the set? (“Sorry, sir, that’s a Sony problem.”) Sony? (“Sorry, sir, that’s a software problem. We suggest you call Google.”) Google? (Google doesn’t do telephone support - it only does online forums.) And, to cap it all, Uncle Fred is grinning from ear to ear. “Told you it wouldn’t work,” he chuckles. The only consolation is that the guy two doors down is in even worse shape. He’s bought a Microsoft TV and is coping with a stack overflow in Windows 9. Stay tuned - if you can.—Guardian



Monday, May 31, 2010

Malaysia state defends Indian animal testing lab

BEIJING: School children with tiger's ears headband gesture in front of a tiger poster during an event to encourage people to protect the endangered wild tiger species around Asia countries held at the National Animal Museum in Beijing, China Saturday. —AP

Pandemonium breaks out in the densely populated Kakuri district

At least 100 intoxicated by poisonous gas in Nigeria KANO: At least 100 people had to be hospitalized for intoxication following a poisonous gas emission in northern Nigeria, officials and residents told AFP yesterday. Pandemonium broke out on Saturday in the densely populated Kakuri district of Kaduna city when a gas cylinder exploded, emitting pungent gas,

Aliyu Saleh Raminkura, head of Kaduna state emergency relief agency said. The explosion occurred when an employee of a scrap metal factory ripped open a gas cylinder, sending plumes of yellow smoke in the air that caused 100 people to choke and lose consciousness, Raminkura said by phone from Kaduna.

"As a result, 100 people who inhaled the smoke fell unconscious and had to be rushed to hospital where they were revived and are still receiving treatment but no death was recorded," Raminkura said. Some inhabitants put the number of people who fell unconscious much high-

er. "Around 300 people were rendered unconscious. The figure kept increasing as the gas kept oozing out of the exploded cylinder for 10 minutes," Kakuri resident Abdulkadir Ibrahim said. He said many of the affected residents were revived with milk which dulled the effect of the gas.—AFP

New genes found in 'Cantonese cancer' PARIS: Flaws in three genes could help explain why parts of southern China have extraordinarily high rates of a type of nose-and-throat cancer, scientists said yesterday. Experts from China, Singapore and the United States trawled through a genetic datamine of around 10,000 people of southern Chinese descent. Half of the volunteers had been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer that forms in the lining of the upper throat lying behind the nose.

The other half were otherwise healthy. What showed up in the cancer group were telltale variants in three genes, according to the research, reported in the journal Nature Genetics. The three, named TNFRSF19, MDSIEVI1 and CDKN2A/2B, have been previously linked with leukaemia. Another pointer in the cancer patients was a variation in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene, which has previously been fingered in this disease.

The findings are important, says the study, as they could shed light on the molecular pathways of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and its high prevalence in southern China, especially Guangdong province. In this region, the cancer occurs in about 25 cases per 100,000 people, which is 25 times higher than the rest of the world. As a result, nasopharyngeal carcinoma is sometimes called the "Cantonese cancer." Only Alaska, parts of northern Africa

and southeastern Asia have similarly high rates. The research was led by the Genome Institute of Singapore and the Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Centre in Guangzhou. Nose and throat cancers have lifestyle as well as inherited factors. Smoking, in particular, is a major cause. In nasopharyngeal carcinoma, consumption of salted and pickled foods as well as high levels in the blood of Epstein-Barr virus are additionally in the spotlight.—AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian leader yesterday drew criticism from animal rights groups for saying it was the "fate" of animals to be used in drug testing at a proposed multimillion-dollar laboratory in his state. The remarks came after activists last month slammed Indian drug company Vivo Bio Tech's plan to build the 140-million-dollar lab in Malacca, a state in southern Muslim-majority Malaysia, for testing animals in preclinical trials. They said the project will cause "immense suffering, misery and death" for thousands of animals, and urged the government to stop the project as the country has no law governing the use of animals in research. Defending the project, Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam said the use of animal was allowed in laboratory trials and dared critics to replace the animals in the tests with humans. "In Islam, God made animals as food and for the use of man. How can you not test on animals? Would you rather run the tests on humans?" he said according to the Malaysiakini news website, adding "that is (the animal's) fate". "I should call this group for a dialogue and I will ask them if they are prepared to replace the rats and monkeys" with humans, Ali added. Ali's aide Daud Awang confirmed the chief minister's remarks to AFP, adding that he was unsure when construction of the laboratory will commence. Christine Chin, a spokeswoman for a coalition of animal rights groups opposing the project, said Ali's remarks were "uncalled for" and "unbecoming" of a leader. "We are just asking for a humane and a more progressive method, there are alternative methods available without having to use animals. We lack an anti-cruelty law for animals here," she told AFP. The coalition includes the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. State officials said the project had been agreed in New Delhi in January between Vivo Bio Tech and Malaysia's stateowned Melaka Biotech.— AFP

Singapore oil slick reaches Malaysia SINGAPORE: An oil slick that closed public beaches on Singapore's eastern coastline has been mostly contained but patches have drifted into Malaysian waters, officials said. "Efforts to contain and clean up the oil spill have been positive," the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in its latest press release, issued yesterday evening. "As of this afternoon, no oil slick was reported in the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off Changi East or within the anchorages of Singapore's port waters," the MPA added. However, oil from the slick had been spotted in Malaysian waters, it said, without giving details about the size of the slick. "Further patches of oil slick were observed today in Malaysian waters and in the TSS to the east of Singapore by passing ships and aircraft," the MPA said. "MPA has informed our Malaysian counterparts of the observations and have offered our assistance," MPA said. On Saturday, the MPA said that oil had been sighted off Tanjong Pengelih, in southern Malaysia, and east of Singapore's Changi Beach. No "significant patches" have been observed off

Changi itself or within Singapore's port waters, the MPA said. The spill came from the Malaysianregistered tanker MT Bunga Kelana 3, which was carrying nearly 62,000 tonnes of crude when it collided off Singapore Tuesday with the MV Waily, a bulk carrier registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. About 2,500 tonnes of crude leaked from a gash in the double-hulled tanker but most of it was contained at sea, according to the MPA. Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) said in its latest update that emergency crews had cleaned up oil at two beaches on the city state's eastern coastline. "East Coast Beach and Changi Beach have been cleared of oil stains. No oil patches are visible at sea from the two beaches," it said in a press statement issued yesterday evening. The beaches, closed since Thursday, would remain off-limits to the public, pending checks on the water quality, the NEA said. The agency added that cleaning efforts at the vulnerable natural reserve at Chek Jawa was also almost complete. "At Chek Jawa, 98 percent of cleaning is complete. Only small patches of oil film are visible on the water surface," the agency said.—AFP

The point about pain: Study sheds light on acupuncture PARIS: Acupuncture eases pain in the limbs because it releases a natural molecule called adenosine, neuroscientists in the United States reported yesterday. The mechanism was discovered through experiments in lab mice, which were given an injection of an inflammation-inducing chemical in their right paw. The researchers inserted fine needles below the midline of the mice's knee, at a well-known acupuncture location called the Zusanli point. They rotated the needle gently every five minutes for 30 minutes, mimicking a standard acupuncture treatment. During and just after this operation, levels of adenosine in the tissues surrounding the needle surged 24-fold. The mouse's discomfort-measurable by the rodents' response time to touch and heat-was reduced by twothirds, they found. The same test was carried out on mice that had been genetically engi-

neered to lack adenosine. The acupuncture failed to have any effect, and the mice reacted in

discomfort, as before. The team then experimented with an adenosine booster.

They gave mice a leukaemia drug called deoxycoformycin, which makes it harder for tis-

sues to remove adenosine. As a result, levels of adenosine accumulated in the muscles, nearly tripling the duration of the acupuncture's effectiveness. "Acupuncture has been a mainstay of medical treatment in certain parts of the world for 4,000 years, but because it has not been understood completely, many people have remained skeptical," said Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, who headed the research. Previous work has focussed on acupuncture's effectiveness on the central nervous systemthe trunk of nerves in the spinal cord and brain-rather than the peripheral nervous system. In the central nervous system, acupuncture creates signals that cause the brain to produce powerful anti-pain chemicals called endorphins. The paper is published by the journal Nature Neuroscience.—AFP

SINGAPORE: Black plastic bags filled with sand spoiled with crude oil slick lie along the East Coast in Singapore on May 28, 2010, after crude spilled from a tanker damaged in a collision in the Singapore Strait. —AFP

Monday, May 31, 2010



No more eating shark fin in Hawaii after new law

HONOLULU: Archie Chik, head chef at Kirin Restaurant in Honolulu, holds a bowl of shark fin soup and a plate with a shark’s fin Wednesday. — AP

HONOLULU: The $48-a-plate shark fin has been a favorite dish to celebrate 80th birthdays and fete out of town VIPs since Vienna Hou’s Chinese restaurant opened 25 years ago. But Kirin Restaurant customers won’t be dining in that style starting July 1, 2011, when Hawaii becomes the first state in the nation to ban the possession of shark fins. The state is attempting to help prevent the overfishing and extinction of sharks around the world. “Something will be missing,” said Hou, who grew up watching her father sell shark fin as part of his seafood trading business in Hong Kong. “Decent Chinese restaurants , they all serve shark fin.” Gov. Linda Lingle on Friday signed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins. The bill passed the state House and Senate with broad support earlier this year. The legislation generated some grumbling in Hawaii’s sizable Chinese community , more than 13 percent of the state population is Chinese or part Chinese. Many consider shark fin a delicacy and important part of Chinese culture. The ban also comes as the tourism-dependent state expects a surge in affluent Chinese visitors. Restaurateurs say about a dozen establishments in Hawaii serve shark fin, which doesn’t taste like much by itself. The flavor in shark fin dishes comes from the ingredients it’s cooked with, either the rich sauce it’s served with on a plate or the savory pork and chicken base in shark fin soup. Some people eat it for the supposed health benefits, claiming that it’s good for bones, kidneys and lungs and helps treat cancer. Shark fin is also considered a status symbol in high-end restaurants, a dish to impress or lavishly treat guests. At Kirin,

on a busy street near the University of Hawaii, one soup serving is $17. In Hong Kong, high end restaurants can charge $1,000 for premium shark fin. “I don’t think you should say it should be illegal to have shark fin,” said Johnson Choi, president of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce. “Shark fins are part of food culture , Chinese have had food culture for over 5,000 years.” Environmentalists say the tradition is leading to a dangerous depletion of sharks worldwide. A report last year by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates 32 percent of open ocean shark species are in danger of becoming extinct primarily because of overfishing. Hawaii’s lawmakers heard testimony that sharks are being killed for their fins at a rate of 89 million per year. “It’s not a local issue. It’s an international issue,” said state Sen. Clayton Hee, the sponsor of the Hawaii bill. Restaurants serving fins will have until next July to run through their inventory. After that, those caught with fin will have to pay a fine between $5,000 to $15,000 for a first offense. A third offense would result in a fine between $35,000 to $50,000 and up to a year in prison. It’s designed to go a step further than the previous law which aimed to control shark finning , the act of cutting fins off sharks at sea and dumping their carcasses in the ocean , by banning the landing of shark fins at Hawaii ports. Shark conservation activists say they hope the law inspires other states and the federal government to follow suit. “This is a landmark bill,” said Marie Levine, the founder and executive director of the Shark Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. “This is enormously important for the conserva-

tion of sharks.” Conservation efforts suffered a major setback earlier this year when an effort to protect six shark species under the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, failed in March. Hee, who is of Chinese and Native Hawaiian descent, rejected the argument that shark fins shouldn’t be banned because they’re an important part of Chinese culture. He argued the food is only eaten by an elite few at Chinese restaurants. “It’s a tradition of serving shark fin to those who could most afford it. It’s an indulgent activity,” Hee said. In contrast, he noted sharks are deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture as ancestral gods, or aumakua, and are featured prominently in ancient legends. The law’s power may be primarily symbolic given Hawaii is a small market for shark fin, especially compared to Hong Kong. The IUCN estimates Hong Kong handles at least 50 percent and perhaps 80 percent of the world’s shark fin trade. Some restaurant managers , both inside and outside of the tourist mecca of Waikiki , said their biggest eaters of shark fin are Japanese tourists who like to order the dish because it’s three to four times cheaper here than back home. “I doubt it very much that people will be very disappointed,” said David Chui, manager of Legends Seafood Restaurant. Carroll Cox, president of the Hawaii-based group EnviroWatch, hopes the governor makes enforcement a high priority. Other countries will also have to commit to limit the shark fin trade for any restrictions to have an effect, he said. “People learn to circumvent the law, especially when you have a product that’s expensive and in demand,” said Cox. — AP



Monday, May 31, 2010

MEMAC Ogilvy appoints regional public relations director for the MENA Region

Smile diving completes training program


mile Diving Centre, in Kuwait, also an EFR Workplace First Aid facility, has recently completed training staff in one of Kuwait’s largest gyms! 20 members of staff at Palms Beach Hotel took part in the EFR Primary and Secondary Care course with AED. EFR Instructor Khaled Alanzi,

seen below in local traditional dress with his students, was complimented on his training in the form of a letter of thanks from the Hotel Management. Alanzi says “The sky is the limit for the EFR market; it’s up to the instructor how to sell EFR...” Well done to Smile Workplace First Aid Facility!

BEIRUT: MEMAC Ogilvy, the leading communications agency in the Middle East, announced the appointment of Saada Hammad as Regional Director of Public Relations for the Middle East and North Africa. “Saada brings a tremendous amount of experience to what is already one of the leading PR agencies in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Edmond Moutran, Chairman & CEO of Memac Ogilvy & Mather Holding - Middle East & North Africa (MENA). “She is truly one of the best in the business and I am confident she will provide leadership to the organization and excellent counsel to our regional clientele.” Hammad brings a wealth of experience to her role and is an exceptional communicator with a background in public relations, marketing, and development in both the corporate and agency worlds. Hammad began her career in public relations at Bain Communications in Dubai and added value amongst various organizations

in the region and most recently was the communications manager for General Motors Middle East. At GM, she built an in-house and agency team while developing and executing multifaceted strategies that integrated corporate communications, product communications, employee and dealer communications, media relations and corporate social responsibility. It was under Hammad’s tenure that GM navigated its communications needs through the company’s bankruptcy by the development and execution of a reputation management campaign. Hammad will be working closely

with MEMAC Ogilvy’s PR directors and managing directors of to drive the vision and strategy for the regional network. Her remit will include further expansion for the agency into new areas and practices, business development and talent management. She will play a key role in providing clients with consistent, measurable results across the region.

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 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.

IES sets record again T

he zestful candidates of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (IES) have won laurels again with shining cent percent results in the AISS Examination conducted by the CBSE for class X for the year 2009-2010. The Management and Staff in general, and the whole batch of students who appeared for the exam in particular, are so proud that they could keep up their prestige. The fact that they could attain this achievement without any support from external tuition classes but with the sole and selfless support of their dedicated teaching faculty elevates their elation. Moreover, instead of laying a hand of filtration, the school promotes children from class 9 to 10 every year unconditionally. As per the new method of awarding grades in place of marks, A1 grades indicate marks of 91 and above in subjects. 53.3 % of children scored A1 grades while 24.2 % scored A2, 14.5 % scored B1 and remaining 8 % scored B2 grades. Of the total children who appeared for the exam-

ination, 72 % scored ‘A’ grades in English, 60 % scored ‘A’ grades in second languages, 63 % scored ‘A’ grades in Mathematics, 55 % scored ‘A’ grades in General Science and 74 % scored ‘A’ grades in Social Science. The subject average of the school in English is 87.7 %, second languages 85.3%, Mathematics 87.1%, General Science 82.6% and Social Science 91.1 % The perspiration of the teachers and aspirations of the students have synergized to surmount the ladder of success. The commendable performance of the students in all sense is a solemn tribute to the teachers and the management who were with them to help attain this glorious result.

EMBASSY OF AMERICA The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF SERBIA The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia would like to inform the public that the offices of the Embassy have been move to Al Surra, Block 5, street 1, house 71. The Embassy will be open for the public as from 1st June 2010.



Monday, May 31, 2010

OICC Kuwait pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi


verseas Indian cultural congress Kuwait organized a meeting On 21 May at United Indian School, Jleeb Al Shoyoukh to commemorate 19th death anniversary of former Prime minister Sri Rajiv Gandhi. Abdullah Kutty, former member of Parliament and member of Legislative Assembly of Kerala (MLA) from Kannor was present on the occasion as chief guest who has delivered key note Address. Sri Rajiv Gandhi was Assassinated by suicide bomber in Sriperampathoor in Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991 while he was on an election campaign. Rajiv Gandhi is known as the architect of modern India Who laid foundation for a revolution in the field of Information Technology in India. He introduced Panchayathi Raj in India Giving more power to the local administrative bodies. Voting rights for above 18 years of age was another gift to youngsters during his tenure as Prime Minister. M A Hilal Chairman 1CC presided over the function and Varghese Puthukulangara, General Convenor welcomed the audience. Rajan Daniel, M. K Pothen, Sharafudeen Kanneth, Aby Varicad, Scariah Cherian, Joseph Thankachan Joy Karvaloor, Hareesh Tripunithara made falicitation speech. Varghese Joseph proposed vote of thanks.

Regency Hotel honors advertising managers at Silk Road Restaurant


s a token of great appreciation and an acknowledgment of their exerted efforts & continued support, the Regency Hotel held a luncheon ceremony to honor the local press advertising Managers at its exclusive silk Road Restaurant . Chef Oswald the Regency’s Executive Chef, innovated a mouth- watering menu of delicious dishes to reflect the Regency’s Renowned, authentic and typical Arab Hospitality . Renatto Moretto the General Manager along with his PR & Marketing Team welcomed the esteemed guests and wished them a memorable time and an exceptional food experience .The superb menu included an assortment of lavish salads, starters, main courses and deserts . After lunch, Moretto toured his guests around the hotel’s facilities featuring a breathtaking lobby, luxurious guest rooms & suites, a outstanding executive lounge, a dazzling group of swimming pools and giant extra- ordinary conference & Banquet center . At the end of the event,the press guests expressed their gratitude to the warm welcome, highly delightful cuisines & the friendly services . They also praised the hotel’s excellence facilities & strategic location being Number one sheer elegance in the country.

Happy Birthday 2nd birthday of Divya Bharathy on 29-05-2010 wishes coming from father Rajasekhar, mother Akhila, N Dhanushprabhu, R Maharanjani, R Salini, S Sakthi, S Sandu, A Ajith, K Maharaja, Dinesh Raja, B Monica, B Mukesh, R Aswin and R Preethy.

Best wishes


he English Language and Literature Department at the Kuwait University Faculty of Art wishes Abdulsalam Ibrahim Narkar a safe journey back home. Abdulsalam has worked as a senior technician in the department since 1982. The department’s students and staff wish him happiness and joy as he returns back to India.

Anne Kalloor Raju

Batul Kaizar

Swetha Sridhar

Nagarjun Srinivasan

Adlin Saroja

Jasmine Neyyan

Rhea Tomy

Sonia Anne

Shreya Sunkam

Freda Susan James

Lizanne Dsouza

Minnu Merin

Namitha Mariam


Reeba Mariam

Merin Aleyamma

Harish Binu

Allan Eapen Reji

Jasmine Jose

Ronak Pillai

Saad Muhammad

Taikhum Gulam

Atulya Satishkumar

Shreya Anna

Maria Shabbir

Neena Susan

Jovine John

Nimi Chandra

Alex Sherjy Syriac


Roby John George

Kevin Zachriah


Kadam Mayank

ICSK Class 10 result - A golden reward


he total number of examinees were 271 the largest for any CBSE school in Kuwait. At ICSK, no screening test is conducted for students; all students registered in Class X are permitted to take the Board Examinations. As is well known to all our readers, this year the CBSE awarded only grades for subjects, no marks being indicated. The ICSK students, once again clocked in exemplary performance, securing top ranks in Kuwait. Four students posted a

perfect 10 score by obtaining A1 grades in each of the five compulsory subjects prescribed for the course. Engraving their names in the roll of honour are : 1. Anne Kalloor Raju - Senior Branch, 2. Batul Kaizar Sadliwala - Senior Branch, 3. Swetha Sridhar - Senior Branch, 4. Nagurjuna Srinivasan Amman Branch ICSK is extremely proud of their brilliant performance, the scholars themselves believing that success has come their way by being focused and goal ori-

ented, as they pursued their studies. Following closely in their foot step is a galaxy of 18 young achievers with a score of 9.8 points, earning A1 grade in all 4 subjects. Each one of them credit their success to their relentless hard work, combined with their teachers guidance, parental support and a conducive school environment for academic pursuit. A fact of statistics which also makes ICSK take pride, is that overall A1 grades scored have

John Sherjy Syriac

Ibrahim Kassim

been 243 and when it comes to a combined number of A1 & A2 grades, it is a mind boggling 562. This result adds another glorious

chapter in the annals of our School history, the oldest Indian Educational Institution in Kuwait, an institution in the midst of celebrating

its 50th year of existence. A Golden reward indeed. The management, staff and students of ICSK takes great pride in congratulating our

young achievers, who have proved yet again that the school, is a CBSE Kuwait leader when it comes to quality education.



Monday, May 31, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 09:25 Bank of Hollywood 10:15 THS 11:05 THS 12:00 E! News 12:50 Kendra 13:15 Kendra 13:40 Dr 90210 14:30 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Pretty Wild 17:35 Pretty Wild 18:00 E! News 18:50 Streets of Hollywood 19:15 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 19:40 THS 20:30 THS 21:20 Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami 21:45 Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami 22:10 E! News 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Wildest TV Show Moments

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 Life 02:00 One Tree Hill 03:00 Wallander 04:00 Life 05:00 Psych 06:00 Doctor Who 07:00 Burn Notice 08:00 Criminal Minds 09:00 Cold Case 10:00 One Tree Hill 11:00 TBC 12:00 Doctor Who 13:00 Psych 14:00 One Tree Hill 15:00 Life 16:00 Criminal Minds 17:00 Cold Case 18:00 Burn Notice 19:00 Doctor Who 20:00 My Own Worst Enemy 21:00 Saving Grace 22:00 Psych 23:00 The Ex-List

00:15 Going Ape 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Untamed & Uncut 03:30 Animal Cops Miami 04:25 Going Ape 04:50 Going Ape 05:20 Animal Cops Phoenix 06:10 Aussie Animal Rescue 06:35 Vet on the Loose 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Orangutan Island 08:15 Dark Days in Monkey City 08:45 Austin Stevens Adventures 09:40 Monkey Business 10:05 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:55 Monkey Life 11:20 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 11:50 Animal Precinct 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Philadelphia 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 15:30 Orangutan Island 15:55 Dark Days in Monkey City 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Monkey Business 17:45 Monkey Life 18:15 Dogs 101 19:10 Orangutan Island 19:40 Dark Days in Monkey City 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Human Prey 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia

00:25 Doctor Who 01:10 Doctor Who Confidential 01:25 The Monastery 02:15 Robin Hood 03:05 Teletubbies 03:30 Me Too 03:50 Tweenies 04:10 Teletubbies 04:35 Me Too 04:55 Tweenies 05:15 Teletubbies 05:40 Me Too 06:00 Tweenies 06:20 Teletubbies 06:45 Me Too 07:05 Tweenies 07:25 Teletubbies 07:50 Me Too 08:10 Tweenies 08:30 Teletubbies 08:55 Me Too 09:15 Tweenies 09:40 Bargain Hunt 10:25 Wolf Battlefield 11:15 Last of the Summer Wine 11:45 Last of the Summer Wine 12:15 The Weakest Link 13:00 Eastenders 13:30 Doctors 14:00 Cash In The Attic 14:30 Bargain Hunt 15:15 Last of the Summer Wine 15:45 Last of the Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Robin Hood 18:45 Doctor Who Confidential 19:00 Gil Mayo Mysteries 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 New Tricks 22:45 Holby City 23:45 Holby City

00:00 Saturday Kitchen 00:30 Saturday Kitchen 01:00 Living In The Sun 01:45 Cash In The Attic 02:30 Cash In The Attic 03:15 Cash In The Attic 04:00 Bargain Hunt 04:45 Living In The Sun 05:30 Cash In The Attic 06:15 Cash In The Attic 07:00 Cash In The Attic USA 07:20 Bargain Hunt 08:05 Antiques Roadshow

00:00 TNA: Sacrifice 01:00 M1 Challenge 02:00 Harvest 03:00 M1 Challenge 04:00 M1 Challenge 05:00 Amazing Adventures of a Nobody 05:30 Amazing Adventures of a Nobody 06:00 UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 06:30 UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 07:00 Quattro Events 2009 07:30 Quattro Events 2009 08:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 2008 09:00 X Games 15 2009 10:00 Fantasy Factory 10:30 Untracked 11:00 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2008 11:30 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2008 12:00 Pro Bull Riders 13:00 Fantasy Factory 13:30 Untracked 14:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 2008 15:00 X Games 15 2009 16:00 Fantasy Factory 16:30 Untracked 17:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 2008 18:00 X Games 15 2009 19:00 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2008 19:30 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2008 20:00 Fantasy Factory 20:30 Untracked 21:00 Pro Bull Riders 22:00 Harvest 23:00 X Games 15 2009

The Kingdom on Show Movies 08:55 Antiques Roadshow 09:45 Cash In The Attic USA 10:05 Hidden Potential 11:25 Living In The Sun 12:10 What Not To Wear 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:50 Bargain Hunt 14:35 Antiques Roadshow 15:25 Cash In The Attic USA 15:45 Cash In The Attic USA 16:05 Hidden Potential 17:15 Living In The Sun 18:00 Antiques Roadshow 18:50 Come Dine With Me 19:40 MasterChef Goes Large 20:10 Saturday Kitchen 20:40 Saturday Kitchen 21:10 Cash In The Attic 21:55 A Life Coach Less Ordinary 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:30 MasterChef Goes Large 23:55 MasterChef Goes Large

01:00 Survivre Avec Les Loups-PG15 03:00 Man On Wire-PG15 05:00 Ceux Qui Restent-PG15 07:00 Xanadu-PG 09:00 All Hat-PG15 11:00 Teknolust-PG15 13:00 The Sting-PG15 15:15 2012: Startling New Secret-PG 17:15 Heights-PG15 19:00 Land Of Plenty-PG15 21:00 L’affaire Farewell-PG15 23:00 De-Lovely-PG15

00:00 Ross Kemp on Gangs 01:00 Rampage! 02:00 Battle Machine Bros 02:55 Fifth Gear 03:20 Fifth Gear 03:50 Twist the Throttle 04:45 How Stuff Works 05:10 Destroyed in Seconds 05:40 Destroyed in Seconds 06:05 Extreme Engineering 07:00 Extreme Engineering 07:55 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 08:20 Overhaulin’ 09:15 Mythbusters 10:10 Ultimate Survival 11:05 Industrial Junkie 11:35 Industrial Junkie 12:00 Border Security 12:30 How It’s Made 12:55 How Stuff Works 13:20 American Chopper 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Mythbusters 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Deadliest Catch 18:00 Border Security 18:30 Overhaulin’ 19:30 Destroyed in Seconds 20:00 How It’s Made 20:30 How Stuff Works 21:00 Huge Moves 22:00 Surviving Disaster 23:00 American Loggers

01:20 The Colony 02:10 The Gadget Show 02:35 The Gadget Show 03:00 Science of the Movies 03:50 Under New York 04:45 Nextworld 05:40 How Does That Work? 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 Ten Ways 09:00 The Gadget Show 09:25 The Gadget Show 09:55 Stuntdawgs 10:20 Weird Connections 10:50 What’s That About? 11:45 Cool Stuff & How it Works 12:15 The Greatest Ever 13:10 One Step Beyond

13:35 The Gadget Show 14:00 The Gadget Show 14:30 Nextworld 15:25 Cool Stuff & How it Works 15:55 Ten Ways 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 The Greatest Ever 18:40 Da Vinci’s Machines 19:30 Mega Builders 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Mythbusters 22:00 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:50 Mega Builders 23:40 The Greatest Ever

00:00 Sonny With A Chance 00:20 Jonas 00:45 Jonas 01:10 Jonas 01:35 Jonas 02:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 02:25 Imagination Movers 02:45 Handy Manny 03:10 Jungle Junction 03:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 04:00 Jonas 04:25 Jonas 04:50 Jonas 05:15 Suite Life On Deck 05:35 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 06:00 Special Agent Oso 06:10 Timmy Time 06:25 Jungle Junction 06:35 Special Agent Oso 07:00 Timmy Time 07:10 Timmy Time 07:20 Imagination Movers 07:45 Jungle Junction 08:00 Timmy Time 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:20 Jungle Junction 09:35 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 A Kind Of Magic 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 Hannah Montana 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 I Got A Rocket 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:55 Replacements 15:15 A Kind Of Magic 15:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Jonas 19:25 Suite Life On Deck 19:50 Sonny With A Chance 20:15 Hannah Montana 20:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 Phineas & Ferb 22:25 Replacements 22:50 A Kind Of Magic 23:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Hannah Montana

00:00 Best Thing I Ever Ate 00:30 Best Thing I Ever Ate 01:00 Food Network Challenge 01:59 Food Network Challenge 03:00 Iron Chef America 04:00 Teleshopping 04:30 Teleshopping 04:59 Teleshopping 05:30 Teleshopping 06:00 Teleshopping 06:29 Teleshopping 07:00 Food Network Challenge 07:50 Food Network Challenge 08:40 Iron Chef America 09:29 Iron Chef America 10:30 Chopped 11:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 12:00 Great British Menu 12:29 Daily Cooks Challenge 13:00 30 Minute Meals 13:30 30 Minute Meals 13:59 Barefoot Contessa 14:30 Barefoot Contessa 15:00 Nigella Express 15:29 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:00 Barefoot Contessa 16:30 Barefoot Contessa 16:59 Grill It! with Bobby Flay 17:30 Grill It! with Bobby Flay 18:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 18:29 Great British Menu 19:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:30 Barefoot Contessa 19:59 Barefoot Contessa 20:30 Nigella Express 21:00 Food Network Challenge 22:00 Iron Chef America 22:59 Iron Chef America

00:40 E!ES 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 THS 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News

00:30 Extreme Forensics 01:20 Murder Shift 02:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 03:05 Deadly Women 04:00 Extreme Forensics 04:55 Real Emergency Calls 05:20 FBI Files 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Real Emergency Calls 09:05 Real Emergency Calls 09:30 Mystery ER 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Mystery ER 12:50 The Prosecutors 13:40 Disappeared 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Real Emergency Calls 16:35 Real Emergency Calls 17:00 Mystery ER 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Mystery ER

20:20 The Prosecutors 21:10 Disappeared 22:00 FBI Case Files 22:50 I Escaped Death 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:30 Romeo Is Bleeding 03:20 Scandal 05:15 House Of Games 06:55 Chattahoochee 08:25 The Lost Brigade 09:45 The Bridge At Remagen 11:40 Topkapi 13:40 Outback 15:10 Duel At Diablo 16:50 The Spikes Gang 18:25 The Rose Garden 20:15 Legend Of The Lost 22:00 Welcome To Woop Woop 23:35 In The Arms Of A Killer

00:30 Bondi Rescue 01:00 Bondi Rescue 01:30 The Best Job In The World 02:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 02:30 Jailed Abroad 03:30 Jailed Abroad 04:30 Positive Footprints 05:00 Destination Extreme 05:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 06:30 Bondi Rescue 07:00 Bondi Rescue 07:30 The Best Job In The World 08:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 08:30 Jailed Abroad 09:30 Jailed Abroad 10:30 Positive Footprints 11:00 Amazing Adv Of Nobody Europe 11:30 Word Travels 12:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 12:30 Lonely Planet 13:30 Departures 14:30 Which Way To... 15:30 Jailed Abroad 16:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 17:00 Amazing Adv Of Nobody Europe 17:30 Word Travels 18:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 18:30 Lonely Planet 19:30 Departures 20:30 Which Way To... 21:30 Jailed Abroad 22:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 23:00 Amazing Adv Of Nobody Europe 23:30 Word Travels

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:30 05:00 05:30 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:30

Better Off Ted The Office The Daily Show with Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Curb your Enthusiasm Entourage Saturday Night Live South park Better Off Ted Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon Everybody Loves Raymond Just Shoot me! Malcolm in the Middle Frasier Yes dear Married with Children Drew Carey Everybody Loves Raymond Just Shoot me! Frasier Hope & Faith Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon The Office Yes dear Married with Children Malcolm in the Middle Saturday Night Live Drew Carey Everybody Loves Raymond Frasier Hope & Faith Just Shoot me! Billable Hours The Office Friends Friends The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Colbert Report Global Monday Stand Up night South park

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 05:00 GMA Weekend (Repeat) 06:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 07:00 Parenting 07:30 Job Club 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Downsize Me 10:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 The View (repeat) 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 Ahead of The Curve 16:30 Nature’s Edge 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 18:00 Eat Yourself Sexy 18:30 10 Years Younger 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 Beowulf-18 02:00 Red Riding 1974-PG15 04:00 Three Investigators-PG15 06:00 Before The Rains-PG15 08:00 Confessions Of A Shopaholic-PG 10:00 Get Smart-PG15 12:00 The Prestige-PG15 14:30 Jonas Brothers Concert-PG 16:00 Confessions Of A Shopaholic-PG 18:00 The Bucket List-PG15 20:00 Boarding Gate-18 22:00 The Kingdom-18

01:00 Eden Lake-18 03:00 Starship Troopers 3: Marauder-18 05:00 Rock Monster-PG15 07:00 The Vanishing-PG15 09:00 Player 5150-PG15 11:00 Screamers: The Hunting-18 13:00 The Scorpion King 2: Rise Of A Warrior-PG15 15:00 Player 5150-PG15 17:00 April Fool’s Day-18 19:00 Universal Soldier: The Return-18 21:00 The Italian Job-PG15 23:00 Rec-R

05:00 WWE Vintage Collection 06:00 UFC Unleased 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 11:00 WWE Vintage Collection 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 V8 Supercars 15:00 WWE Smack Down 17:00 UFC 114 20:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC Unleased 23:00 UFC Unleased

01:00 White Lightnin’-PG15 03:00 The Boy In The Striped PyjamasPG15 05:00 High Noon-PG15 07:00 Fred Claus-PG 09:00 All Roads Lead Home-PG 11:00 Living Proof-PG 13:00 Four Extraordinary Women-PG15 14:30 Genghis Khan-PG15 17:00 All Roads Lead Home-PG 19:00 Greetings From The Shore-PG 21:00 Miracle At St. Anna-18 23:45 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG

00:00 Trapped In Paradise-PG15 02:00 Real Time-PG15 04:00 The Hammer-PG15 06:00 Ghostbusters Ii-PG 08:00 Skills Like This-PG15 10:00 Sabrina-PG 12:00 The Other Half-PG15 14:00 The Scout-PG15 16:00 Trapped In Paradise-PG15 18:00 National Lampoon’s One Two Many-18 20:00 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story18 22:00 Touch Of Pink-18

00:15 Sweet Bird Of Youth 02:55 The Screening Room 03:25 The Screening Room 04:00 Mutiny On The Bounty 07:00 Somebody Up There Likes Me 08:50 Ice Station Zebra 11:15 Penelope 12:50 Boys’ Night Out 14:40 It Happened At The World’s Fair 16:25 Skyjacked 18:05 The Unsinkable Molly Brown 20:15 Desert Bloom 22:00 Kelly’s Heroes

00:00 Au Pair 3: Adventure In ParadisePG 02:00 Space Chimps-PG 04:00 Soccer Dog-PG 06:00 The Nameless Warrior-FAM 08:00 Elias And The Royal Yacht-FAM 10:00 Soccer Dog-PG 12:00 Chill Out: Scooby-doo-FAM 14:00 Space Chimps-PG 16:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 18:00 Igor-PG 20:00 Tommy And The Cool Mule-PG 22:00 Chill Out: Scooby-doo-FAM

00:00 What I Hate About Me 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 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Style Star 09:30 Dress My Nest 10:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Ruby 12:30 Giuliana & Bill 13:00 Dr 90210 14:00 Dr 90210 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Dr 90210 17:00 Dr 90210 18:00 Dr 90210 19:00 Dr 90210 20:00 Dr 90210 21:00 Jerseylicious 22:00 Peter Perfect 23:00 Jerseylicious

00:00 Ashes to Ashes 01:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 02:00 Without A Trace 02:30 In Treatment 03:00 In Plain Sight 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Law & Order 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Without A Trace 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 In Plain Sight 10:00 Law & Order 11:00 Without A Trace 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Ashes to Ashes 15:00 Law & Order: Criminal Intent 16:00 Law & Order 17:00 In Plain Sight 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Ugly Betty 20:00 Desperate Housewives 21:00 Without A Trace 22:00 True Blood 23:00 In Plain Sight

00:30 MonsterQuest 01:20 AX Men 02:10 Deep Sea Detectives 03:00 Lost Worlds 03:55 How the Earth Was Made 04:50 Man Moment Machine 05:40 The Crusades 06:30 MonsterQuest 07:20 AX Men 08:10 Deep Sea Detectives 09:00 Lost Worlds

09:55 How the Earth Was Made 10:50 Man Moment Machine 11:40 The Crusades 12:30 MonsterQuest 13:20 AX Men 14:10 Deep Sea Detectives 15:00 Lost Worlds 15:55 How the Earth Was Made 16:50 Man Moment Machine 17:40 The Crusades 18:30 MonsterQuest 19:20 AX Men 20:10 Deep Sea Detectives 21:00 Man Moment Machine 21:55 Mega Movers 22:50 Battle Stations 23:40 Warriors

01:00 Code 01:04 Africa 10 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:00 Code 05:04 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Sound System 10 08:45 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 Latina 10 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Code 20:04 Hit Us 21:00 Playlist

00:00 The Big Guide 01:00 Think Green 02:00 Distant Shores 02:30 Wild At Heart 03:00 Secrets of Bangkok 04:00 The Big Guide 05:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 06:00 Down the Line 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Essential 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Think Green 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Intrepid Journeys 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Taste Takes Off 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 Hollywood and Vines 14:30 Entrada 15:00 Think Green 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Essential 17:30 Taste Takes Off 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Planet Food 21:00 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 21:30 Travel Today 22:00 Secrets of Ancient China 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 VH1 Rocks 01:00 Vh1 Music 07:00 Vh1 Hits 09:00 Vh1 Music 11:00 Aerobic 12:00 Top 10 Electronic Legends 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 Vh1 Pop Chart 15:00 Vh1 Music 17:00 Music For The Masses 18:00 Vh1 Music 19:00 VH1 Viewer’s Jukebox 20:00 VH1 Viewer’s Jukebox 21:00 Top 10 Electronic Legends 22:00 Music For The Masses 23:00 Mando Diao Winter Valencia

00:00 International Cricket 07:00 Pga European Tour 11:30 Futbol Mundial 12:00 World Sport 12:30 Icc Cricket World 13:00 Live International Cricket 20:00 Pga European Tour Highlights 21:00 Super 14 23:00 Fei Equestrian World 23:30 Icc Cricket World

01:00 PGA European Tour 05:30 Rugby League Challenge Cup 07:00 Rugby League Challenge Cup 08:45 Rugby League Challenge Cup 10:30 The Senior PGA Chamionship 14:00 Super 14 16:00 Guinness Premiership 18:00 World Sport 18:30 NRL Premiership 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Live Masters Football

00:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 01:00 WWE Smack Down 03:00 WWE Bottom Line 04:00 WWE NXT

Miracle At St. Anna on Super Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:10 Species 22:50 Species II 00:15 Saving Sarah Cain 02:00 Urgency 03:25 Sixth Man, The 05:15 Just Married 06:50 Saving Sarah Cain 08:35 Urgency 10:00 Waitress 11:50 Sixth Man, The 13:40 Picture Perfect 15:25 National Treasure: Book Of Secrets 17:30 Thin Red Line, The STAR World 20:00 Mental 20:50 Starsky & Hutch 21:00 The Listener 21:50 Who’s The Boss? 22:00 90210 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Tunes 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 Eli Stone 05:50 Different Strokes 06:00 Grey’s Anatomy

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

Starsky & Hutch 90210 Who’s The Boss? Mental Different Strokes The King Of Queens The Bold and the Beautiful Kyle XY Starsky & Hutch Grey’s Anatomy Who’s The Boss? [V] TUNES Eli Stone Scrubs Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim October Road Different Strokes Castle Starsky & Hutch Stone Undercover Who’s The Boss? Criminal Minds Different Strokes

Granada TV 20:30 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 21:00 Forger’s Masterclass 21:30 Beyond Boiling Point 22:00 Nights From Hell 23:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2)

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

60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) Parkinson (Series 6) Crime Monday: Cold Blood (Series 3) Forger’s Masterclass The Diet That Time Forgot Emmerdale Coronation Street 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) Crime Monday: Cold Blood (Series 3) Forger’s Masterclass Parkinson (Series 6) Too Fat To Toddle Emmerdale Coronation Street Teen Fat Camp Crime Monday: Cold Blood (Series 3) Forger’s Masterclass Parkinson (Series 6) Emmerdale Coronation Street Teen Fat Camp Crime Monday: Cold Blood (Series 3) Forger’s Masterclass

Channel [V] 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 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 20:00

Loop 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 [V] Special

Fox News 20:00 America’s News HQ host Shannon Bream 22:00 Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 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 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 03:00 FOX Report Sunday host Harris Faulkner 04:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee (best of) 05:00 Real American Stories with Sarah Palin 06:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera (Afghan)/Kimberly Guilfoyle 07:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 08:00 Real American Stories with Sarah Palin 09:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 10:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 11:00 War Stories with Oliver North PELELIU: THE FORGOTTEN BATTLE 12:00 Real American Stories with Sarah Palin 13:00 Geraldo at Large with Geraldo Rivera 14:00 FOX & Friends First Live 15:00 FOX & Friends Live 17:00 America’s Newsroom 18:00 America’s Newsroom 19:00 Happening Now National Geographic Channel 20:00 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : King Arthur 2 20:30 Mystery Files 30min -Mystery Files : The Romanovs 3 21:00 Monster Fish -Great White Sturgeon 22:00 Inside -Inside LSD 23:00 Best Job in the world -The Best Job In The World : Ben Goes Wild 3 23:30 Best Job in the world -The Best Job In The World : Getting Fishy 4

00:00 Air Crash Investigation -Fire on Board 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : The Toilet Men 02:00 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Zulu Wedding 3 02:30 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Malay Wedding 4 03:00 Hippos: Africa’s River Beast 04:00 Wild Africa -Caught On Safari 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : The Toilet Men 06:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Cocktail Artists 20 06:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Catch Of The Day 12 07:00 Hunter Hunted -Victims Of Venom 2 08:00 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Zulu Wedding 3 08:30 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Malay Wedding 4 09:00 Hayden Turner’s Wildlife Chall -Monarch Butterflies 2 09:30 Wild Detectives -Bear Meeting 10:00 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Aircraft Carrier Explosion S3-4 10:30 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Asian Tsunami S3-6 11:00 Air Crash Investigation -Fire on Board 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : The Toilet Men 13:00 Convoy - War For The Atlantic -Brink Of Defeat 3 14:00 Super Factories -UPS 15:00 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Aircraft Carrier Explosion S3-4 15:30 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Asian Tsunami S3-6

Monday, May 31, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 31/05/2010 Airlines Flt Wataniya Airways 188 Wataniya Airways 306 Bangladesh 045 Gulf Air 211 Turkish 772 Wataniya Airways 322 Jazeera 435 Ethiopian 620 Jazeera 267 DHL 370 Emirates 853 Etihad 305 Qatari 138 Falcon 201 Jazeera 503 Jazeera 527 Kuwait 412 Jazeera 529 British 157 Kuwait 204 Kuwait 382 Kuwait 302 Fly Dubai 053 Kuwait 676 Kuwait 352 Kuwait 284 Kuwait 362 Kuwait 344 Emirates 855 Arabia 121 Qatar 132 Etihad 301 Gulf Air 213 Wataniya Airways 182 Middle East 404 Wataniya Airways 102 Jazeera 165 Iran Aseman 6521 Egypt Air 610 Kuwait 672 Oman Air 645 Wataniya Airways 432 Jordanian 800 United 982 Jazeera 525 Fly Dubai 057 Wataniya Airways 422 Jazeera 257 Saudia 500 Kuwait 552 Nas Air 745 Qatari 134 Kuwait 548 Kuwait 546 Kuwait 678 Kuwait 118 Etihad 303 Emirates 857 Gulf Air 215 Wataniya Airways 402 Saudia 510 Jazeera 493 Arabia 125 Jazeera 367 Srilankan 227 Kuwait 104 Wataniya Airways 304 Wataniya Airways 106 Kuwait 542 Kuwait 502 Kuwait 786 Kuwait 618 Jazeera 177 Kuwait 744 Kuwait 674 Kuwait 614 Kuwait 774 Indian 575 Fly Dubai 061 Middle East 402 Rovos 081 Jet A/W 572 KLM 0445 Wataniya Airways 404 Jazeera 459 DHL 372 Gulf Air 217 Emirates 859 Qatari 136 United 981 Jazeera 429 Jazeera 185 Tunis Air 327 Lufthansa 636 Pakistan 239 Wataniya Airways 108

Route Bahrain Cairo Dhaka/Bahrain Bahrain Istanbul Sharm El Sheikh Mashad Addis Ababa Beirut Bahrain Dubai Abu Dhabi Doha Dubai Luxor Alexandria Manila/Bangkok Assiut London Lahore Delhi Mumbai Dubai Dubai Cochin Dhaka Colombo Chennai Dubai Sharjah Doha Abu Dhabi Bahrain Bahrain Beirut Dubai Dubai Lamerd Cairo Dubai Muscat Damascus Amman Washington DC Dulles Alexandria Dubai Amman Beirut Jeddah Damascus Jeddah Doha Luxor Alexandria Muscat/Abu Dhabi New York Abu Dhabi Dubai Bahrain Beirut Riyadh Jeddah Sharjah Deirezzor Colombo/Dubai London Cairo Dubai Cairo Beirut Jeddah Doha Dubai Dammam Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Chennai/Goa Dubai Beirut Baghdad Mumbai Amsterdam Beirut Damascus Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Doha Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Tunis Frankfurt Sialkot Dubai

ACCOMMODATION Departure Flights on Monday 31/05/2010

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

Airlines Jazeera India Express KLM Lufthansa Safi Indian Pakistan Bangladesh Turkish Ethiopian DHL Emirates Etihad Qatari Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways British Jazeera Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Arabia Emirates Qatari Etihad Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Kuwait Wataniya Airways Middle East Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Iran Aseman Kuwait Kuwait Egypt Air Oman Air Wataniya Airways Jordanian Fly Dubai United Jazeera Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Saudia Nas Air Jazeera Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Rovos Etihad Gulf Air Emirates Wataniya Airways Kuwait Arabia Jazeera Jazeera Saudia Srilankan Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Middle East Jet A/W Wataniya Airways KLM Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Emirates Falcon Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait United

Flt 528 390 0447 637 216 982 206 046 773 620 371 854 306 139 101 524 164 212 181 431 156 256 545 054 677 671 421 551 547 122 856 133 302 401 214 165 303 405 541 492 366 103 6522 501 785 611 646 105 801 058 982 176 673 403 617 501 746 458 773 135 613 743 082 304 216 858 305 543 126 262 184 511 228 428 107 283 062 331 403 571 187 0445 218 373 675 860 102 381 137 301 612 205 526 502 411 981

Route Assiut Mangalore/Kozhikode Amsterdam Frankfurt Kabul Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai Peshawar/Lahore Dhaka Istanbul Bahrain/Addis Ababa Bahrain Dubai Abu Dhabi Doha Dubai Alexandria Dubai Bahrain Bahrain Damascus London Beirut Alexandria Dubai Abu Dhabi/Muscat Dubai Amman Damascus Luxor Sharjah Dubai Doha Abu Dhabi Beirut Bahrain Rome/Paris Cairo Beirut Cairo Jeddah Deirezzor London Lamerd Beirut Jeddah Cairo Muscat Dubai Amman Dubai Bahrain Dubai Dubai Beirut Doha Jeddah Jeddah Damascus Riyadh Doha Bahrain Dammam Baghdad Abu Dhabi Bahrain Dubai Cairo Cairo Sharjah Beirut Dubai Riyadh Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Dubai Dhaka Dubai Trivandrum Beirut Mumbai Bahrain Bahrain/Amsterdam Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Dubai Bahrain Delhi Doha Mumbai Lahore Islamabad Alexandria Luxor Bangkok/Manila Washington DC Dulles


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

Sharing accommodation available in new Riggae for couples/two working ladies, CA/C building. Please contact: 99874350. (C 2342) A room available in flat in Hawally, call 55360091. Sharing accommodation available with Christian family near Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School, Abbassiya. Contact: 24334903/ 66795128 after 4 pm. (C 2343) Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya, opp Food Inn for decent family/couple/bachelors, Indians only to share with a Goan family in a 2 BHKWA/C. Good location available from 25th June onwards. Please contact: 97258347. (C 2341) 31-5-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite bachelor in Abbassiya. Contact: 66577233. (C 2336) Two central A/C room available in Mangaf behind Mr Baker, near seaside signal from May 30th. Contact: 99512909. (C 2338) Sharing accommodation available for Indian couple in a central A/C flat having Internet & telephone facility, rent KD 95, Amman Street, Salmiya, near Apollo hospital from Just 1st onwards. Contact: 66757539. (C 2337) Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya for

couples/one decent executive bachelor/visiting families (Keralites/south Indian only) to share with a Keralite family in a two bedroom, hall, central A/C flat from 1st June onwards with reasonable rent, near Mughal Mahal restaurant and Shifa Al-Jazeera clinic. If interested please contact: 97508939. (C 2340) 30-5-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a decent Indian bachelor in a fully furnished CA/C building with kitchen and parking facilities near Crowne Plaza. If interested call 99038601. (C 2332) 29-5-2010 A fully furnished flat for rent during summer vacation for 3 months starting from June - Aug. CA/C building, nice location in Kheitan, specially for families on visit. Phone: 67060429. (C 2326) Fully furnished 1 BHK available for Indian Muslim family from 22nd June to 10th Sept. with household items at Abbassiya, opp German Clinic. Contact: 97834504. (C 2327) Independent room for working ladies or single bachelor near Lulu Hypermarket, central A/C + satellite. Please call: 65152017. (C 2328) 27-5-2010


Live-in full-time Indian housemaid. Contact: 66574800. (C 2335) 30-5-2010

Live-in, full-time housemaid, for family in Salwa, KD 90 per month. Must have own residency. All duties including walking dog. Holiday Friday. Immediate start. Tel: 97611015. (C 2310) 27-5-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Camry Grande, model 2005, 6 cylinders, done 63,000 kms only, white color, excellent condition, cash price KD 2,850. Contact: 97213518. (C 2339) 30-5-2010 Toyota Corolla 1.8, model 2005, color white, 4-cylinder, 72,000 kilometer, price KD 2,400, excellent condition. Tel: 55107856. (C 2333) Laptop mini Acer, 160 Giga, 12” screen, light use, still in the carton, buying price KD 115, willing to sell KD 60 (not negotiable). Call 94426326. 29-5-2010 Pentium 4, Intel, 40 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, soundcard, speakers, 17” CRT monitor, ready for internet KD 30. P III, Intel, 15 GB HDD, 128 MB RAM with 17”

CRT monitor KD 15. Contact: 66244192. (C 2330) 27-5-2010 Toyota Hoice bus mini 2006 seat, 4000 KD, Nissan Uran freezer 2000 model, KD 1400 KD. Phone: 66052331. (C 2324) House contents sale, Sat 29 May 9-12 noon, Salwa, block 7, street 7, house 293, apt 2, ground floor, all must go. Tel: 25657060. (C 2322) 26-5-2010


I need full-time job as sales executive, my qualification is MBA (Marketing) and valid Kuwait driving license. I can join from 1st June 2010. Please call: 55355954. (C 2334) 29-5-2010

CHANGE OF NAME Passport name: Alphonso Anand Fernandes Anand. Passport No: Z1447802 issued in Kuwait, hereby confirm that I have changed my name as follows Anand Alphonso Albin Fernandes. (C 2344) 31-5-2010



Monday, May 31, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) Sweep away any doubts your have today--they can only cause you to move slowly. Time is on your side, but not enough to waste with doubts. This is a much more favorable time than you think! A time that is good for involving yourself with research and statistics. Reporting, clerking and story writing are all possible--probably not at one time. You could guide others through your writing. Considering your romantic enthusiasm, a story of a romantic kind could see a successful result. You will do almost anything to fulfill your leadership or destiny roles. You know how to get things done and you will work tirelessly today to achieve your dreams. Perhaps research or study will soon become a part of your professional progress. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You and your work could come under scrutiny today. You are ready for any review you might have--don’t worry. You also have a knack of charming anyone to your way of thinking. Go slow and think things through before trying to convince a higher-up of your work techniques. Work, achievement and ambition are the things that mean a lot to you now. Find some time to think and study, for you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts. This is a good time to complete any unfinished business--the longer you wait, the faster things can go wrong. Much can be accomplished now. During this time, when your confidence and energies are high, it is best to carefully carve out a balance between work, play and family with a maintenance program.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. An associate degree in applied science. 4. A light touch or stroke. 7. Type genus of the Anatidae. 11. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 12. A master's degree in business. 13. Made from residue of grapes or apples after pressing. 14. Toward the mouth or oral region. 16. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 17. A linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing. 18. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 19. An associate degree in nursing. 21. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 24. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 27. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 30. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 34. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 35. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 40. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 45. Any of various coarse shrubby plants of the genus Iva with small greenish flowers. 46. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 47. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 48. (informal) `johnny' was applied as a nickname for Confederate soldiers by the Federal soldiers in the American Civil War. 49. The cry made by sheep. 50. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 51. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. DOWN 1. In a murderous frenzy as if possessed by a demon. 2. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 3. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 4. Diabetes caused by a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin and characterized by polyuria. 5. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 6. When dried yields a hard substance used e.g. in golf balls. 7. The basic unit of electric current adopted under the System International d'Unites. 8. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 9. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 10. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 15. An informal term for a father. 20. The compass point that is one point north of northeast. 22. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 23. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 25. Before noon. 26. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 28. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 29. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 31. Liquid containing proteins and electrolytes including the liquid in blood plasma and interstitial fluid. 32. A heavy brittle diamagnetic trivalent metallic element (resembles arsenic and antimony chemically). 33. (law) A group of people summoned for jury service (from whom a jury will be chosen). 36. A small cake leavened with yeast. 37. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 38. At any time. 39. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 41. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 42. The syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization. 43. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 44. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your energies are high and your best efforts--applied to any project--will be successful now. Your communicative abilities are accented and it is an excellent time to sway others to your way of thinking. Be careful in taking a technical argument to extremes and in trying to find a logical reason for every event that occurs-especially the actions of a loved one. You are perceived as so intense at times that your presence in a group has a very decided effect. You may have political influence or handle other people's money--perhaps an investment opportunity will be available soon. You have insight into your emotions and drive and you can talk about your feelings with great insight and fluidity. You manage to bring the searing truth to group situations today.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) Use your knowledge as well as your instincts to help make an important decision. Don't second-guess a gut feeling. You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in speech. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others just now and are in a good position to lead or relate to groups and society in general. Get outside for a while during the noon hour--perhaps visiting a bookstore. Read something funny, merge your sense of humor into the afternoon and life will not seem so black and white. Focus will become easier to come by when pressures are relaxed. Create fun this afternoon. Parental advice is vital. Listen to the voice of experience this evening. Soon it could be you talking to your kids. Leo (July 23-August 22) You may spend quite a bit of time thinking of ways in which to improve finances. The desire for monetary success is considerable and you may decide a part-time job is in order for a short time. You may have a pet project you will want to tend to today. This pet project can bring a sense of well-being into your life now. Change may seem to be the only way to stop those feelings of monotony. Your emotions could come into play while talking with loved ones this afternoon. Try to keep a measure of objectivity at this time. Your interest in religion and philosophy can be used when helping a friend. A social affair this evening will create an opportunity for you to network. Bring fresh flowers for the host. You make a new friend this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Although your day flows easily enough, your mood may be pensive. Cleaning up your special work area and organizing your thoughts may take up much of the day. There is involvement in projection, promotion and publication of ideas among friends and family. A round table discussion may produce creative ideas for future group activities. You may be moving in and organizing a creative idea for profit. There are serious attitudes toward affairs of business. Plan to finalize matters with the help of a lawyer and everyone will be happy. You find yourself feeling more private and in a stay-at-home mood this evening. A short trip or an evening dinner out is a temptation in which the whole family may enjoy participating. Enjoy your loved ones.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Story writing, whether it actually is a story to be published or one just developing will get a big boost today. Ideas are easy and writing will flow like a waterfall. Perhaps a new business plan is the object of the writing--whatever the case; much can be accomplished along these lines. You could be most persuasive with others and persuasive in your communication. The situation is a natural for selfexpression and lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. Catching up on neighborhood gossip and visiting with friends can be enjoyed this afternoon. You are practical, realistic and stable in your feelings--any frustrations with another can be easily solved, particularly through a compromise. A good conversation with those you love is possible.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are ambitious and ready to accomplish whatever is put in front of you today. Completing any on-going job will bring you a great deal of satisfaction. As problems arise, you are ready and willing to tackle them. Any professional advice that you think you might need could be successfully taken into account. You will find this one of your better times for working with groups. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus. Your productiveness thrives at this time. Use your self-expression freely, particularly in any writing tasks that you perform. Although your thoughts could be focused mostly on achievements, do not forget one or two loved ones that need your undivided attention this evening. Hug someone you love today. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There is an abundance of creative interest in which projects will be successful. There could be mistakes in mathematical problems however--check your work carefully. Inventiveness and creative ventures could be lucrative. You will be attentive to your loved ones but you may seem to have other things on your mind as well. Be easy on your nervous system and involve yourself in some fun activity that includes only your best friend or loved one. Perhaps a movie or dinner at a restaurant would be satisfying. You have an urge for social life but again, your mind may not be focused on what others are talking about. A busy day today and one possibly tomorrow will have many demands on your ability to think quickly. Retire early this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could be known as the best team player at work. You and your siblings are well known to be good at sports. Today is about enjoying the company of your family, friends or a few coworkers. You tend to be good at lending a helping hand for and with others. You feel a love of duty and a determination to be the best you can be. A casual ball game or board game is fun and the team type of activities draws you close to the people with whom you enjoy keeping company. There is a harmony between your emotions and rational action. Your strong personal magnetism and effervescent personality may gain you much positive attention. You inspire many with your positive attitude. This afternoon you may find yourself making a list for future get-togethers.

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

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You may tend to scatter your attention just now. There is much to do in many avenues of your life and it may be difficult to know just where to begin. It would be good to make out a list, follow it and not rush ahead of schedule. Giving each item all of your attention--one thing at a time. Family outings or some sports activity with your friends is probably going to be on your mind much of the afternoon. You may be thinking of putting in some new grass, a tree, some flowers, etc. Whatever activity is planned, you will want to invite as much help as possible so you can get the work done all at once. You may even decide to name parts of the project after each helper. You may enjoy a nap later this afternoon. This evening is invigorating.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Business can be conducted successfully today. You could be most persuasive with others and successful in talking yourself through the best sales day ever! This afternoon you may decide to seek out a new friend or do some fun activity with a neighbor or relative that you have not seen for a long time. A new person may unexpectedly enter your life. You are in tune with your convictions and beliefs and don't mind expressing them to others. A loved one, who feels as you do about life and life circumstances, may be helpful in helping you find new paths to success. Return the favor and you will have a friend for life. Take advantage of some social opportunities this evening and enjoy the evening partaking in fun things.


Monday, May 31, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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始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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


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



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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Monday, May 31, 2010

he actress - who is married to ‘X Men’ star Ryan Reynolds admitted that she’s not a fan of doing work around the house and hinted that she even leaves some domestic tasks to her spouse. She said: “I wouldn’t say that cleaning is something I like to do, or ironing. I can’t remember the last time I ironed, actually. “Does anybody actually iron anymore? Men iron more than women


these days.” However, while she hates cleaning, the ‘Iron Man 2’ star loves nothing more than creating new culinary treats. She explained: “I love to cook and bake, I love to be domestic in that way because you know what goes into the food you eat. “I like cooking alone - I find it very therapeutic. I put on some music, maybe have a glass of wine and make something like a turkey Bolognese or a nice frittata.”

Church and Henson have split

eona Lewis was mortified when she accidentally flashed her underwear. The ‘Bleeding Love’ singer was in the middle of a performance which included some wind machines and admits they were a little too powerful for her liking. She said:”I was singing in front of some wind machines when my dress just blew up! I was only wearing a little pair of knickers, so it was really embarrassing. The wind machines were meant to be blowing my hair, so how did it get up my dress? I was like, ‘Are you doing that on purpose?’ “Everyone pretended they


harlotte Church and Gavin Henson have reportedly split just six weeks after announcing their engagement. The singer-and-TV star and her rugby player fiance - who have children Ruby, two, and 16month-old Dexter together have apparently ended their romance after months of disagreements. A source said: “It is an incredibly sad state of affairs. Both Gavin and Charlotte are deeply distraught. But after a lot of soul-searching, they realized this is the best course of action for them and the children. It was a mutual decision. “To the outside world they were a golden couple. The truth is, they had the same insecurities as anyone else. Charlotte is very headstrong. In the end, Gav found it too much. He was blaming her for his rugby career stalling. She hated him going out


drinking with mates.” This news comes less than two months after the pair announced their plans to marry. At the time, Gavin said: “It’s time to get married. I want us to be a family and we have different names at the moment. Me, Ruby and Dexter are Henson and Charlotte is Church. It feels right.” Gavin is expected to move out of their £1.2 million mansion and buy a house nearby so he can continue to play a big role in his children’s lives. The source added to the News of the World newspaper: “One thing they do still share together is complete devotion to their two children. That won’t change at all - and Gav will continue to play a very active role in their lives. He is devastated about the break-up, especially because of the impact on the two little ones.”

Rock’s Ritchie ambition hris Rock wants to star in a Guy Ritchie film. The US comedian - who is currently promoting his latest film ‘Death at a Funeral’ admits he was supposed to appear in ‘Revolver’ as Avi but lost out at the last minute to Outkast singer Andre 3000. Chris told BANG Showbiz: “I’m a fan of Guy Ritchie. ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock’... I was supposed to be in ‘Revolver’ and then I saw one day that it was Andre 3000. I had the meeting. Maybe I was too expensive. Maybe I’ll be in his next one.” Discussing his favorite film from the last year, the 45-year-old star admits ‘Avatar’ rates highly. He said: “My favorite movie of this year? The last 12 months? I think ‘Avatar’ was pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty freaking good. And ‘(500) Days of Summer’. That really spoke to me. ‘Precious’ was funny. That was a knee-slapper that ‘Precious’.”


iane Kruger thinks of Karl Lagerfeld as her “stepfather”. The stunning actress has a very close relationship with the Chanel designer and says she loves working with him. She told “He is like a stepfather to me. We’re very close- we just get on so well. He is a very curious person, he’s very interested in people in general. I’ve known him since I was 16-years-old, ever since I first started to model and he has always been so kind. We go way back. People have said I am his muse but I don’t think I’d call myself that. It’s not how I think of our relationship. That’s big. It’s hard to describe Karl, he really is one of a kind.” The 33-year-old beauty loves Karl’s designs for Chanel because they are so classic. She said: “What’s not to love about Chanel? It’s timeless, it’s chic. I don’t know many people that don’t like it. I love it.” While she is a devoted Chanel fan, Diane is also an admirer of Calvin Klein and was recently announced as the new face of the fashion house’s latest fragrance, Beauty.

didn’t see, but I know they did.” Although she was embarrassed about showing her underwear, Leona recently admitted she finds skinny dipping “liberating”. The ‘Happy’ hitmaker admitted she and her friends once stripped off and jumped into a swimming pool during a holiday to Portugal in order to cheer up one of their other pals. She said: “I was with some girlfriends in Portugal. One of my friends was going through a hard time with her boyfriend, so we thought let’s do something crazy. It was liberating.”

ick Cannon says his wife Mariah Carey is the “diva of all divas”. The rapper-and-presenter admits his superstar spouse lives up to her demanding reputation and he claims she takes five hours to get ready when they go out. Nick said in an interview on ‘Lopez Tonight’: “Imagine if you’ve got the diva of all divas. If we’ve got to be somewhere at five or six o’clock, I tell her it’s time to go at noon so she gets those five hours to do what she needs to do.” Although she likes to keep him waiting, the 29-year-old star has never been happier and says he and Mariah, 41, are always having fun. He added: “We are both kids at heart. She is the funniest person ever and she has a great sense of humor. We connect at a spiritual level.” Nick is also adamant the 12-year age gap between him and Mariah isn’t a problem, because he has always preferred women that have been “a little older” than him. He said: “I even lost my virginity to an older lady. She was in high school and I was in junior high.”



— Bang Showbiz

Kruger thinks of Lagerfeld as a ‘stepfather’

d Westwick steals underwear from his TV show. The ‘Gossip Girl’ actor never turns up to the set of the US drama wearing pants because he feels “more comfortable” without


them, so raids the wardrobe of his character Chuck Bass if producers make him wear undergarments. He stated: “I show up without it and have to put it on. I don’t usually wear underwear. It’s more comfortable and free to air it all out.” The 22-year-old hunk - who has been dating co-star Jessica Szohr since 2008 - also admitted that despite working long hours, he is never too tired to have sex. He said: “Sleep or sex? Sex, man. Straight up. Sex, then sleep. I’ve got a great appetite for ... um, everything.” Ed has previously claimed he would have sex in public to dispel rumours he is gay. He said: “I made out with a girl in public. Maybe I need to have sex in public with a woman. “That one’s still on the list. Still haven’t ticked that one off. Well, I have, but they haven’t seen me. Not George Michael public.”

Pants thief Ed Westwick



Monday, May 31, 2010


Candles rest on the star of actor Dennis Hopper following news of his death, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on May 29, 2010. — AFP By Paula Bustamante ennis Hopper, a counterculture icon who died Saturday aged 74, had a rollercoaster Hollywood career as an actor and director that spanned over 50 years, but won lasting fame with his cult classic “Easy Rider.” The rebel with the bad-boy reputation lit up the silver screen alongside fellow movie giants like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, but it was often in his uneasy roles as angst-ridden outsider-a demented bomber, a psychotic killer, or a long-haired hippie-that seared his image into the conscience of generations of filmgoers. Hopper was a dyed-in-the-wool American actor and director of the post World War II era. Born in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal period in Kansas in 1936, he was a child of the heartland. His first film role was “Johnny Guitar” (1954), followed by “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), “Giant” (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (1957). While working on “Rebel Without a Cause,” the actor became good friends with one of his own idols, James Dean, who was famously killed in a car crash in


Violence-torn Jamaica longs for new Marley By Shaun Tandon n Jamaica’s slums, the police are feared, the gangs are fractious and the politicians are resented, but one man remains a great uniterBob Marley, who grew up here in what he called the “concrete jungle.” After a week of violence on the cramped streets of western Kingston, many residents are nostalgic for the late reggae superstar, who attempted to broker an end to the island’s bloody turf wars three decades ago. “Jamaica needs another Bob Marley, a leader for the people,” said Prince Alla, 60, a contemporary of Marley and himself an influential reggae artist. Prince Alla faulted Jamaica’s politicians, who “buy some liquor at election time and then forget about everyone,” and a younger crop of artists on the music-mad island who have embraced violent themes. “Music is creation,” said Prince Alla, like Marley a devout follower of the Afrocentric Rastafarian faith. “Many musicians now talk of the problem, not the solution, and become part of the problem.” “What we were doing was about love, unity,” he said. “There was oppression going on and Bob Marley conveyed a message of peace.” Marley nearly paid with his life. He was shot in Kingston in 1976, apparent retribution for reaching out to both sides as the island verged on civil war between its two parties, which for years have counted on support from gangs. Undaunted, Marley in 1978 pulled off one of the defining moments of Jamaican political history when he coaxed the country’s rival leaders to join him on stage at a concert and hold hands. The two leaders, Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, were said not to have shaken hands again until 1981 at the funeral of Marley, who died of cancer at age 36. Marley’s music was not always pacifist. One of his best-known songs was “I Shot the Sheriff,” although the narrator said he killed in self-defense. But more resonant for many poor Jamaicans are “Get Up, Stand Up,” in which Marley and Peter Tosh exhort Jamaicans to fight for their rights, and “Concrete Jungle,” in which Marley sang of how he cannot feel free living in the slums. In Trench Town, Marley’s home neighborhood which he immortalized in “No Woman, No Cry,” stray dogs and goats eat from piles of trash strewn between an open sewer and a dirt park where children played soccer. Armed soldiers set up checkpoints at entries to Trench Town, which has been comparatively peaceful but lies next to incongruously named Tivoli Gardens where security forces launched a major offensive on May 23.


The deadly operation is meant to capture a gang leader who effectively ruled the fiefdom and is wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges. Nestled in Trench Town under the mango and ackee trees is a dormitory-like house where Marley once kept a tiny bedroom with his wife Rita. “In the days that Bob was here, there weren’t these problems. We were poor, but humble and rich in spirit,” said Sophia Dowe, 41, who gives tours of the residence.

Prince Alla, a prominent reggae musician and contemporary of Bob Marley, speaks at an outdoor cafe in Kingston, Jamaica. — AFP “It was the politics that brought all the problems,” she said. Such housing was first set up in the 1940s before the island’s independence to accommodate rural Jamaicans migrating to the capital to find work. These days unemployment in Trench Town runs at 60 percent and homes are made of ramshackle corrugated metal. “If Bob Marley were here, he could make a big contribution,” said resident Richard Freeman, 38. “People are more aggressive than during his time. No one wants to say nothing and find yourself on the wrong side.” Some residents spend the weekend in the hot sun smoking marijuana spliffs or drinking rum served up from parked trailers which blare dancehall, music popular with younger Jamaicans that is noticeably faster than Marley’s reggae. But whatever young people’s tastes, all respect Marley. “Bob Marley sang about reality and he made we here famous,” said Odane, a bare-chested 16-year-old. “But a lot is different ‘cause Bob isn’t here.”— AFP

Coppola’s Vietnam War film “Apocalypse Now.” If there was a professional comeback to speak of after his time on the dark side, Hopper owed it to director David Lynch. Lynch cast Hopper as Frank Booth, the psychopathic killer in the eery 1986 film “Blue Velvet.” That same year, he was cast as an alcoholic in “Hoosiers” alongside Gene Hackman, and earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. It was his second Academy Award nod. He was also nominated for the “Easy Rider” original screenplay back in 1970. The jack-of-all-trades Hopper even played a young Napoleon Bonaparte in the star-studded “The Story of Mankind” (1957).) Not content with simply being a multifaceted actor and director, Hopper also was an accomplished artist with a pop-art style inspired by impressionism. His work went on display at a gallery in the Netherlands in 2009, alongside pieces by the likes of Georgia O’Keefe. He was also an avid modern art collector and joked that his collection could not withstand his divorces. His private life, including his relations with his wife,

became increasingly public in the final year of his life as he waged a bitter divorce battle against his partner of nearly 14 years, Victoria. In April, a court ordered him to pay her and his daughter some 12,000 dollars a month in spousal and child support. On the political front, as with much else in his life, Hopper was a rebel. Unlike most of Hollywood, he was a lifelong Republican, though he broke with his political past in 2008, casting his ballot for Barack Obama, he said in interviews. In addition to his Oscar nominations, Hopper had been made a commander of France’s National Order of Arts and Letters. In March he was present at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Flanked by stars he had worked with throughout his nearly halfcentury career, he thanked his fellow actors for turning out to pay tribute. “Everything I’ve learned in my life I learned from you and the wonderful world that I traveled and saw... well, I got it all from you. This has been my home and my school,” Hopper said. “And I love all of you. I just want to thank you. This means so much to me, and thank you very much, everyone.”— AFP

Bieber-mania sparks search for next teen sensation By Monica Herrera


hat does 16-year-old Justin Bieber have in common with musical icons Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Britney Spears? They all, at one time or another, have inspired record company A&R executives en masse to aggressively sign up artists who sound, and sometimes even look, decidedly like them. Dylan’s brilliance sparked the signings of folkies from Donovan to Steve Forbert; Springsteen led to Joe Grushecky and John Cafferty; Nirvana minted Radish, Candlebox and countless others; Britney Spears begat Willa Ford. Seizing on the opportunities created by a phenomenon like Bieber is nothing new, and it’s certainly not unique to the music business. But in the case of Bieber and the search for the next teen heartthrob, the pace at which it’s happening appears as frenzied as the girls who bum-rush Bieber for autographs after shows. Perhaps the most extreme example is the preternaturally talented Greyson Chance, who in less than a month has secured two A-list managers and motivated a major TV personality to launch a record label. On April 28, Chance posted a YouTube video of himself covering Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” for his sixth-grade classmates in Oklahoma. Ellen DeGeneres booked the 12year-old-who sports a swooping, Bieberesque haircut-for a May 13 appearance on her ABC daytime show, then brought him back May 26 to announce that she’d launched her own record label, eleveneleven, and signed Chance as her first artist. Though Chance was rumored to have signed with Interscope the week of his first “Ellen” visit, a representative for DeGeneres says, “A partnership with a major label is still in the works.” Chance is co-managed by Guy Oseary (Madonna) and Troy Carter (Lady Gaga). A source familiar with the deal says

‘Let me try this’ Comparisons between Bieber and Chance are inevitable, given their age and online origins. But a more fitting comparison can be made with Cody Simpson, a 13-year-old from

seemed legit and I’ve been wanting to make music since I was 7, so I told my parents to let me try this.” “I’ve never worked with anyone this young before, but Cody is so focused,” says Campbell, who helped Simpson get signed to Atlantic through executive vice president of A&R Mike Caren. Caren says there’s room for more than one teen male artist in the marketplace. “Justin Bieber

Australia signed to Atlantic. Simpson also started playing guitar and singing at a young age and was discovered last summer by an enterprising YouTube viewer: producer Shawn Campbell (Missy Elliott, Ciara). “My parents thought it was some weirdo trying to get to me,” Simpson says, “but he

opened the door for teen music on rhythm and pop radio,” he says. “The really talented ones can break through.” Simpson’s debut single, “iYiYiYi,” featuring labelmate Flo Rida, will be released Tuesday , and a full album is in progress. Caren says that it will be “more uptempo,

that no material has been recorded yet, but Chance’s team is searching for music in the vein of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.”

Justin Bieber

In a Thursday, June 22, 2000 photo, US movie star Dennis Hopper poses on a Harley Davidson motorbike at the ground of the world exposition Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. — AP

September 1955, after they had become friends. Hopper made a big impact on the screen throughout the 1960s, often appearing as villains in western dramas like “True Grit” (1969), but the film that made his career was a very different sort of movie. “Easy Rider” (1969) saw Hopper in the director’s chair and growing as an actor alongside Peter Fonda and a young Jack Nicholson, in a wildly successful film that became a cult classic. Ironically, Hopper was putting his new artistic maturity on display even as he portrayed the often mindless and sometimes even mindful excesses of youth. With its anti-establishment credo and its attractive low budget, the film about hippie bikers on a cross-country odyssey also went far toward prodding often riskaverse Hollywood toward producing a raft of copycat flicks. “We rode the highways of America and changed the way movies were made in Hollywood,” Fonda told celebrity website TMZ in recalling his late friend. Hopper’s work was heavily overshadowed by drug and alcohol issues in the 1970s. By 1979, he appeared as a pot-smoking photographer alongside Brando in Francis Ford

US actor Dennis Hopper waves as he arrives to attend the Closing Ceremony of the 61st Cannes International Film Festival on May 25, 2008 in Cannes, southern France. —AFP

life-size bronze statue of comic book reporter Tintin and more than 200 other items linked to the diminutive globetrotter have fetched more than $1.3 million at a Paris auction. The most expensive lot was two inked and water-painted original panels from the 1938 “King Ottokar’s Sceptre” album, which went for $299,620. The bronze statue, showing Tintin with his hands in his pockets and dog Snowy at his side, went for $153,650 in the Saturday auction at the DrouotMontaigne auction house. Belgian artist Herge’s adventures of Tintin have been translated into nearly 80 languages and sold more than 200 million books since 1929. Racial and cultural stereotypes in books such as “Tintin in the Congo” have prompted criticism, but demand for Tintin artifacts remains strong. — AP

energetic pop” than Bieber’s R&B-driven material. “It’s reminiscent of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync sound.” ‘People are less scared’ Simpson is managed by Blue Williams, who also manages 15-year-old Khalil, signed to Island Def Jam Music Group’s Teen Island label. The label was created for Bieber, says Kawan “KP” Prather, senior vice president of A&R at Def Jam, adding that as a result of Bieber’s success, “people are less scared” to sign teen artists outside of the Disney/Nickelodeon formula. Khalil’s debut single, “Girlfriend,” was written by Sean Garrett and sent to urban and rhythm radio formats May 24, and Williams says the focus is on developing him into a long-term artist. “Justin Bieber tapped into something that we had gotten away from as an industry,” he says. “Little girls like to have artists that make them scream, whose posters they can put up on their walls. We’ve been so busy chasing a hit single or a hot record, we stopped making stars.” Also on Teen Island is Aaron Fresh, a 17year-old native of Trinidad and Tobago signed to a joint venture through Nick Cannon’s Ncredible Entertainment. Fresh’s debut single, the reggae-tinged “Spending All My Time,” is bubbling under the Mainstream Top 40 chart. “The youth movement is definitely in effect right now,” says Cannon, who was introduced to Fresh through a producer. “It comes around about every 10 years, and last time it was Usher, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. I see Aaron as a future superstar right up there with them.” Meanwhile, even Simon Cowell appears to be on the hunt for the next Bieber. During an interview on ABC’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before his departure from “American Idol,” the music/TV mogul revealed that “The X Factor” will come to the United States next fall with a lower age limit — 14. — Reuters


Young people sit outside in the hot sun in Kingston’s poor Trench Town neighborhood. —AFP A porter displays a watercolor, named “Tintin and the sea shells” drawn by Belgian creator Herge.—AP

Visitors view drawings and sculpture by Belgium comics artist Herge.



Monday, May 31, 2010

Fashion By Erica Berenstein ulie Colin gently wrapped a scarf around her client’s curlers to protect the precious new hair-do from the thick dust swirling around outside her salon in a makeshift Haitian camp. It’s been almost five months since Colin, 26, lost her home and her beauty salon in the January 12 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and devastated Haiti’s capital, Port-auPrince. International donors and Haitians are increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of recovery and reconstruction, with rubble still filling the streets and millions of homeless struggling to survive in some 1,300 tent cities. But determined to get on with her life, Colin, who lives in a camp in what was an upscale golf club in Petionville, wasted no time


Clients of the Escada Studio de Beaute in the Petion-ville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince get manicures and pedicures on May 27, 2010.—AFP

relaunching her beauty parlor under the cramped tarpaulin she shares with family. Her new surroundings can’t compare to her once-thriving brick and mortar, modern salon though. “Oh, it was chic,” she sighed, looking around at the dirt floor covered by a blue plastic tarp, and peering out the open doorway that looks out onto drainage trenches and a steep path that turns to mud when it rains. “It wasn’t like this. It had everything,” she said, a tinge of nostalgia in her voice. “I can manage to work here, but I’m still missing a lot of things. Like hair dryers, and I don’t have electricity.” All treatments are half price these days-she knows everyone is short on cash. Manicures and pedicures are less than three dollars, acrylic tips about 1.20 dollar extra. Getting your hair washed and styled costs about 10 dollars. Colin

wants women to be able to afford the little luxuries she can offer. New and old clients are ecstatic at the chance for some pampering. So far, said Colin, six loyal customers who still have their homes make as many as three bus transfers to get to this tiny oasis from miles away. Others, like Katiana Mugascin, a 25year-old customer of two years, live in this same camp for internally displaced people, and are clinging to a weekly ritual that just feels good. “I don’t feel okay at all, because I am not used to living like this,” said Mugascin, looking in the mirror at her newly-shaped eyebrows. “And we are all traumatized because of the earthquake,” she said. But she quickly smiled and began laughing, saying being in the salon feels just like before, since it’s a chance to laugh and joke around, in a brief diversion from the

Models wear designs from the Alessa collection at the Fashion Rio Summer 2010/2011 event in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday.—AP

Models wear designs from the Maria Bonita Extra collection at the Fashion Rio Summer 2010/2011 event in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday.—AP

harsh realities of daily life outside. International aid groups discourage people from establishing anything permanent in the camps, since they are only supposed to be temporary shelters. Mugascin and Colin both stressed they plan to rebuild their homes and move out of the camp as soon as possible. “She is really brave to pull this off with the meager means she has right now,” said Colin’s sister Farah, who helps out at the salon. The younger woman looked on with pride as her sister adjusted acrylic tips on another client’s pedicure and added: “It’s a really big success.”The salon makes roughly 20 to 40 dollars a day, and Colin says she has even managed to get many new customers by setting up shop in the camp. Hers is one of a handful of make-shift salons. But her loyal clients say it’s the best. — AFP



Monday, May 31, 2010


Tattoo artist Sheila Whited added this butterfly to the right arm of Leslie Wilhelm. — MCT photos

come out of hiding By Kim Hone-McMahan here’s a row of containers holding incense just inside Sheila Whited’s tattoo shop in Springfield Township, Ohio. Fizzy pop, ocean wind, Arabian night are some of the aromas. On this day, the smell of vanilla filled the air. A few feet away, Leslie Wilhelm was lounging in an antique barber’s chair. She came for her 11th tattoo, a butterfly. As the artist, whose shop is named Tattoos by Sheila, leaned over her, Wilhelm wore a semismile. Oh, sure, it hurt. “Like really bad bee stings,” Wilhelm said, adding that the outline of the design is the worst. When the 36-year-old, nicknamed “Red” for her ginger-colored mane, got her first tattoo, she perspired so much, her back and legs were dripping. But no longer-she’s used to it. The pain can be more or less severe, depending on where the tattoo is located. What area is the most painful? “He has one; we don’t,” Whited said, nodding her head toward a male photographer. It sure does seem like more people are getting inked these days. In a 2006 Pew Research Center report, some 36 percent of US 18- to 25-year-olds and 40 percent of those ages 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo. But Whited said she’s no busier now than she was 32 years ago, when she began inking masterpieces in the folds and curves of people’s bodies. “It’s not that they didn’t get them; they just got them in hidden areas,” Whited said. “People (like Wilhelm) are now showing them because it’s more accepted.” Perhaps you’ve noticed tattoos on some professionals (though anything above the neck is generally still considered a no-no in the business world). Once reserved for sailors and motorcycle gangs, tat-


Tattoo artist Sheila Whited has walls that display thousands of tattoos people can get in Akron. toos have lost their unsavory image. “I’ve always done people that you would never dream had tattoos. ... I mean, I tattooed my gynecologist 15 years ago,” Whited said,

By Adam Tschorn re you feeling bored with the same old board shorts? Help is here. And while the notion of customized surf trunks is nothing new-companies such as Katin and Birdwell have been offering one-offs for decades-until now the level of customization has amounted to little more than choosing among a handful of color-blocked fabric panels and picking accent colors from a limited palette. But a 7-week-old Santa Monica, Calif, start-up,, is taking customization to a new level, allowing anyone with Internet access to click a few buttons and transfer almost any photo, design or piece of artwork onto a pair of men’s board shorts that are then printed, cut and sewn by hand within a few miles of downtown Los Angeles. There are only a few exceptions to what the company will print: No trademark infringement, no pornography and “we’re a hibiscusfree zone,” jokes Shortomatic’s chief executive, creative director and co-founder, William Cawley, a 45-year-old British expat with a background in the ad business. “We’re sick of seeing all those board shorts covered in hibiscus prints, so we tell people we won’t do that.” But aside from the offensive flora (and Cawley seems as if he might be amenable to that with just a bit of arm-twisting), the world is pretty much your oyster-an oyster that could quite easily end up as part of a sea shell mosaic festooning your custom shorts. On the second floor of an industrial office park in Santa Monica, William and his wife, Jennifer, 43, a professional freelance photographer, sit surrounded by a mind-boggling sampling of the possibilities: One pair of shorts depicts a photo of a Mexican-flavored Day of the Dead skull composed entirely of


chuckling. While 18- to 25-year-olds are typical clients at Akron’s Good Life Tattoos & Piercing, older folks are not alien. The oldest

jelly beans. Another pair shows two sweatbeaded cans of Red Bull. Another is plain black, with a low-slung gun holster circling the waist. The Pepto-Bismol-pink pair of board shorts that Jennifer Cawley wears has a demure drawing of a ‘50s-era pinup girl in frilly knickers and a pair of bunny ears lounging on the right leg. If you’re not feeling creative, you can choose from the site’s online gallery, curated by Jennifer, bearing work by artists who receive a cut of the proceeds. The Cawleys and a third co-founder, Maryl Georgi, a 42year-old yoga aficionado who serves as the company’s chief financial officer, started their adventures in customization in July 2008 with the launch of, which used a machine that worked like an outsized inkjet printer to put photos and artwork on personalized yoga mats, a sampling of which hang like heraldic banners high on the walls of their office space. There are the Dalai Lama smiling beatifically, the Rolling Stones logo superimposed over a smoothed river rock, puppies, children and serene beach scenes. Cawley points to one that depicts several photos of a teddy bear bent into various yoga poses. “We call him yogi bear. Get it?” Cawley asks. To hear Cawley tell it, moving from making 12square-foot yoga mats to being able to offer wearable, comfortable board shorts in an easy-to-manipulate computer interface required the kind of mental gymnastics worthy of the yogi bear. But it was mental calisthenics well spent; the site is so easy to use and so much fun, it’s easy to burn an entire afternoon mocking up board short styles that will never see the light of day. After you choose a size (due to fabric width constraints, sizes top out at a 38-inch

person Jesse Strother, 26, co-owner and artist, has tattooed was a 67-year-old man. He selected an arrowhead design to cover up a former sweetheart’s name. That’s one of the reasons some suggest kids should wait until they are at least 18 to get a tattoo. Their minds may change-a lover today may be a foe tomorrow. But even 18-year-olds, which is the youngest someone in Ohio can get a shop tattoo without parental consent, can make a faux pas. Take Kimberley Vlaminck of Belgium, for instance. She claimed last year that she fell asleep when an artist was tattooing 56 stars on her face, where she wanted just three. Of course, controversy followed-many wondered how anyone could zonk out when getting a constellation inked on her face. Turns out, the 18-year-old made up the story when she saw how furious her father was about the tattoos. The lesson? Think, think, think-and, if you’re a teen, talk it over with your parents or someone more mature before being marked. “In recent months, I have discovered that more and more of my friends and classmates are getting tattoos,” said Madeleine Winer, a St. Vincent-St Mary High School senior and member of a group of young people who advise the Beacon Journal on subjects of interest to their peers. “I know some of my classmates got them as a 16th or 17th birthday gift from their parents. . . . People my age get tattoos to commemorate an important event or person in their life. “I see tattoos as a form of art, but I would never want to get one. I am afraid of ... needles.” More than art Sometimes tattoo artists are called on to do more than ink a design. For instance,

waist) and upload a file from your computer, a preview of the finished product will appear on the screen, and the image on the shorts can be moved, resized, mirrored or duplicated on each leg. From there you can specify background and accent colors (which, in another cool feature, can be plucked from among the hues in your original image) and choose black or white for the contrast stitching and drawstring color. The final opportunity to personalize is writing a message of up to 140 characters on the inside waistband. The end result-for a couple of clicks and a $99 price tag-is a one-off pair of super soft and supple polyester microfiber men’s board shorts unlike anything else that exists, delivered to your door within 21 days. (Which means that if you uploaded a photo today, Dad could have a pair of boast-worthy board shorts in time for Father’s Day.) Cawley doesn’t want to talk specifically about what he has up his custom-printed sleeve next, saying only that a women’s short silhouette will be added next month. “We’ve got some more garments and accessories in the works,” he says with a smile. “The umbrella company of Yogamatic and Shortomatic is called Anymatic LLC for a reason.” For now, the three are content to let their board shorts speak for themselveswhich doesn’t appear to be a bad strategy, since each pair is practically guaranteed to be a conversation piece. What really excites Cawley is the prospect of people using the shorts to make a statement-the way an Obama “Hope” yoga mat from did in October 2008. “I mean, I’d thought about getting all the hobos on the PCH to wear board shorts printed to look like they’re covered in gaffer’s tape,” he says. “The possibilities are endless.” — MCT

years ago, Whited was asked to place a small dot on the bottom of a baby’s foot. Twins had been born-one with a heart defect, the other without. When the mother returned to work, she was fearful that because the twins were identical, a caregiver might give medicine to the wrong infant. So someone suggested the dot. On another occasion, a teenager had a tumor removed from his penis. “Because they had taken skin from his leg and grafted it, he had a perfect, white rectangle,” Whited said. He was worried, she said, that when the day came that he wanted to have sex, he would be embarrassed. His parents brought him to the tattoo shop and Whited applied flesh and vein colors to his genitals. And then there are women who have lost their breasts to cancer. After reconstruction, Whited is sometimes called upon to add color to the nipple area. Whited, who has volunteered in various capacities in her community, says it’s her most rewarding work. Piercings Piercings are popular, too. Jeremiah Currier, 27, who co-owns Good Life Tattoos & Piercings with Strother, gets worked up about the subject. He maintains that places such as those in some shopping malls should be told to discard plastic guns and use ones that can be sterilized properly. Cleanliness, as it should be, is a big deal to Currier. The media and celebrities who show off their piercings pave the way for trends, he noted. The above-18 crowd sometimes requests piercings in private parts. But at least half of the shop’s piercing business is 14- to 18-year-old girls who come in to get their ears, lips, belly buttons

and nostrils pierced. “In my shop, it’s up to the parents to decide if their child is mature enough to care for a piercing,” Whited said. “If a kid comes in and I can see that they are rude or nasty to their parents, I won’t do it.” Tattoos head south Whited has built a following during the past three decades, so much so that she has tattooed generations of families: “It’s not unusual to have a grandmother and granddaughter to come in together.” But what happens to the tattoos that were inked on Grandma back when Groucho Marx made Lydia the Tattooed Lady a hit? “The only thing I can think of when I imagine getting a tattoo is how gross it will look when I’m a wrinkly old lady baking cookies with my family,” said Trista White, a senior at Firestone High School and another member of the Beacon young readers group. “Even if I think the design is super cute right now, I know that my grandkids will think differently when they see old Granny with a butterfly on her shoulder or some black birds flying up her vein-ridden arm.” But Whited, who is 56 years old and has between 80 and 100 tats, maintains that’s not everyone’s destiny. “If your body is sagging because you didn’t take care of it, that’s your problem,” Whited said. And tattoos, she added, last forever. “They can’t be stolen, can’t be taken in a divorce, or taken by the government to pay taxes. About the only thing that can make them go away is road rash.” Spoken by a woman who rides a Harley motorcycle nicknamed Betty Lou. — MCT

(From left) Maryl Georgi, William Cawley and Jennifer Cawley, pictured May 18, 2010, are the cofounders of, and, a company that custom prints board shorts and yoga mats in Santa Monica, California. —MCT

Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany holds her trophy after she won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Telenor arena in Baerum just outside Oslo.

Lena from Germany, front, celebrates after winning.

Lena Meyer-Landrut winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, and her mentor Stefan Raab are welcomed by Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Christian Wulff as they arrive in Lena’s home town of Hanover, central Germany, yesterday, one day after competing in the contest.— AFP photos

By Erik Kirschbaum

Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany performs after she won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.—AFP

ermany celebrated its first win in the Eurovision Song Contest in nearly three decades yesterday with fireworks, street parties and a frenzied revelry normally reserved for World Cup soccer victories. A teenager named Lena ended Germany’s long losing streak in the popular Europeanwide song competition with an improbable triumph over 24 other finalists in a live program from Oslo watched by more than 100 million people across Europe. “Europe does like us!” wrote Bild am Sonntag, the country’s best-selling Sunday newspaper on page one after Lena clinched victory in the panEuropean voting just after midnight. Fireworks lit up the sky in Berlin, in Hamburg where 70,000 people watched the contest on giant TV screens in a central square, and in Lena’s home town of Hanover, where 20,000 celebrated Germany’s first win since 1982 at an open air party. Hanover will host a nationally televised homecoming rally on Sunday afternoon for Lena, a high school student whose full name is Lena MeyerLandrut. The song contest might be dismissed as tacky in some countries but it is serious stuff in Germany. Germany had complained bitterly in the past when even top acts such as “No Angels” it sent to compete often ended up near the bottom. Since taking 24th place in 2005, Germans were 15th in 2006, 19th in 2007, 23rd for “No Angels” in 2008 and 20th in 2009. That prompted national soulsearching and fretting about being disliked across Europe. Germans felt personally blamed for the two world wars or rude behavior by German tourists, harboring a sense that they are envied for their prosperity. “Why doesn’t anyone like us?,” Bild asked after the “No Angels” got zero votes from 40 of 42 countries in 2008.


Georgia’s Sofia Nizharadze performs the song “Shine”.

Filipa Azevedo from Portugal performing the song Ha Dias Assim.

Belgium’s Tom Dice performs “Me And My Guitar”.

Giorgos Alkaios & Friends from Greece perform the song “OPA”.

Unknown amatuer “This definitely was not to be expected,” the energetic 19-year-old Lena told 10 million German TV viewers, referring to the long line of defeats that followed Germany’s last win in 1982 with Nicole’s anti-war ballad “Ein bisschen Frieden” (“A Little Peace”). “I’m just floored. I can’t believe it. I just can’t frigging believe it,” she added. While German entries got zero points from many countries in the past, Lena got points from most countries and called the widespread backing especially pleasing. “I’m really, really happy about that aspect,” she said. Lena was an unknown before she won Germany’s qualifiers for the contest earlier this year. But she has since become a national celebrity with the catchy love song “Satellite”, her infectious enthusiasm and her signature short black dresses. The win by the amateur singer against a field of European professional acts was all the more surprising for many Germans. Before this year, Lena had trained only as a dancer and had a few minor attempts at singing with a school band. “It’s all just so unbelievable,” said ARD TV’s commentator Peter Urban, who has watched generations of German hopefuls suffer miserable defeats. “We knew she was good but there’s always the problem of translating that into points.” Germany, humiliated by poor past results it blamed on politically and geographically motivated bloc voting, had pushed hard to reform the voting system and dilute the phone-in voters. This year only half of a contestant’s score came from the traditional phone-in votes with professional judges accounting for the other 50 percent. — Reuters

A streaker, (wearing a red cap and a t-shirt reading “Jimmy Jump”) appears on stage as Spain’s Daniel Diges performs his song “Algo Pequenito (Something Tiny)”.

Denmark’s Chanee & N’evergreen perform the song ‘In A Moment Like This’.

Turkey’s maNga performs the song “We Could Be The Same”.

Puerto Rican singer Chayanne performs during the Eurovision Song Contest.

BosniaHerzegovina’s Vukasin Brajic performs their song “Thunder And Lightning”.

31st May  

Kuwait Times