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Militants attack Afghan ‘peace jirga’


Loyalty takes butler from poor Nepal village to New York

Tata Motors opens new factory for Nano car


NO: 14748

150 FILS

Gutsy Stosur stuns Serena




Tears and harrowing stories as families embrace loved ones

‘Gaza heroes’ welcomed home Expelled activists accuse Israel of cold-blooded killings

KUWAIT: (Clockwise from top left) MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, who was detained aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla raided by Israel on May 31, 2010, arrives to a rousing welcome at Kuwait airport yesterday after he was deported from Israel along with 17 other Kuwaiti activists; Relatives and well-wishers hold banners welcoming the returnees; Lawyer Mubarak Al-Mutawa; and KUNA correspondent Muna Shashter are all smiles on their return; Female activists including Sundos Al-Abduljader (left) and Haya Al-Shatti (second left) hold their passports after they were deported by Israel yesterday through the Israeli-controlled Allenby Bridge which links Jordan with the West Bank. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP (See Pages 4 & 5)

Israel deports all activists Turkey demands Israel lift Gaza blockade to restore ties ANKARA/JERUSALEM: Defending Israel’s enforcement of its blockade of Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday it was vital for the country’s security and would stay in place. In a televised address after world outrage erupted over nine deaths in Monday’s seizure of a Turkish ship bound for Gaza, a defiant Netanyahu said easing controls would put long-range Iranian missiles into the hands of the Palestinian enclave’s Hamas rulers. This threatened not just Israel but Europe too, he said. Turkey, a Muslim country that had been Israel’s

strategic ally, accused it of “state terrorism” and has recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and demanded it lift its blockade. Those calls have been echoed by European leaders and the United Nations, who also want an inquiry into the incident. Turkey also demanded Israel lift its blockade of Gaza as a condition for normalising relations but added it was time that “calm replaced anger” after Israel’s deadly raid. “The future of ties with Israel will depend on the attitude of Israel,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in

Cyclone churns towards Oman MUSCAT: Tropical Cyclone Phet barrelled towards the coast of the Gulf state of Oman yesterday, strengthening fast and forecast to become a powerful Category 5 storm. Phet is expected to reach Oman in 30 to 36 hours, said Professor Mark Saunders, lead scientist and project manager at Tropical Storm Risk, a University College of London department. “It will strike land as a super cyclonic storm with a speed of over 210 km per hour, and either Category 4 or 5,” Saunders told Reuters by telephone. A storm that powerful would be strong enough to damage buildings, pull down trees and damage infrastructure, he said.

State television said the government had ordered police and the air force to evacuate people from eastern Oman, where waves were 8 m high. National carrier Oman Air said it had cancelled two flights so that aircraft could evacuate people from Masirah island off the east coast. The storm is stronger than Cyclone Gomu, which killed at least 54 people in Oman and Iran in 2007, Saunders said. Phet will move inland over eastern Oman before reemerging over the north Indian Ocean and roaring on to Pakistan, according to Tropical Storm Risk forecasts. The cyclone will steer east of the Gulf and the Strait of Continued on Page 13

Ankara on his return from the United States. “I see no reason for not normalising the ties, once the Gaza blockade is lifted and our citizens are released.” Yesterday, Turkey’s usually fractious parliament unanimously passed a nonbinding declaration calling for a review of economic, political and military ties with Israel. Davutoglu said three of nine activists killed when Israeli commandos stormed ships trying to take aid to Gaza had been identified as Turks. A fourth had a Turkish credit card, but his nationality had not yet been confirmed. Continued on Page 13

By Abdullah Al-Qattan and agencies KUWAIT: Eighteen Kuwaiti activists detained by Israel after a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla returned home yesterday, accusing Israeli troops of having opened fire without warning. The activists, including Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and six women, were flown home aboard a government plane from Jordan after crossing by bus from Israel early yesterday, following hours of delay. Tabtabaei, who was on the main vessel, the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, told Kuwait Times that Israeli commandos fired live ammunition from the air killing two unarmed Turkish men instantly. This, he said, led to a firm unarmed stand by the civilians on the boats against fully armed soldiers that did not show any mercy. “The resistance of the hostile takeover led to holding three Israeli soldiers captive that were freed later on when the flotilla surrendered,” Tabtabaei said. “We were assaulted, beaten and tied up for hours”. Tabtabaei said the attack came in early hours of the morning, “when we were getting ready for morning prayers without any warning of any kind. Later, we were forced to be interrogated but we refused to answer any questions.” Continued on Page 13

Row over peace plan pullout By B Izzak KUWAIT: Members of the National Action Bloc yesterday threatened to grill the prime minister af ter they accused him of being responsible for failure to apply the sports laws which have been a major field of controversy for several years. The group said in a statement that it will not hesitate to use all constitu-

tional tools against those who fail to ensure the application of the law in the sports sector. Member of the group MP Mohammad Al-Mulla yesterday explicitly said he will grill Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah, holding him responsible for not applying the sports law. The group is upset at the way Sheikh Talal Continued on Page 13

Cabbie kills 12 in UK rampage

Japan PM quits after base row TOKYO: Japan’s centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama tearfully resigned yesterday, just nine months after a stunning election win, his brief reign derailed by a row over an unpopular US airbase. Hatoyama ended more than half a century of conservative rule in an electoral earthquake last August, but soon earned a reputation for crippling indecision at the helm of the world’s second-biggest economy. The 63-year-old millionaire, the scion of an influential family dubbed “Japan’s Kennedys”, quit at a meeting of his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), blaming the base dispute and political funding scandals. “I will step down,” an emotional Hatoyama told party lawmakers at a special meeting in parliament, while also vowing to “create a new DPJ”. “I apologise to all of you lawmakers here for causing enormous trouble.” Finance Minister Naoto Kan, 63, who is a deputy prime minister, was widely tipped to succeed Hatoyama and in the afternoon Continued on Page 13

Bloc threatens to grill PM on sports

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama welcomes Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Salem AlSabah prior to their meeting at his official residence yesterday. — AP (See Page 6)

BOOT, England: A gunman killed at least 12 people in a deadly rampage through a popular tourist region in northwest England yesterday, before apparently turning the gun on himself, police said. Some 25 people were injured, three critically, when 52-yearold taxi driver Derrick Bird spent over three hours driving through the Lake District, reportedly shooting at people from his car window. During the killing spree, police warned frightened local residents and tourists to stay indoors for their own protection. What is thought to be Bird’s body was eventually found in woods, along with a gun, near the village of Boot. Police are baffled as to why

Derrick Bird he launched the attacks, which shocked the rural community popular with hikers drawn to its spectacular mountain walks, plus fans of Continued on Page 13



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kuwait entering Murba’aniya

Expect the unexpected as weather turns harsher By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: It’s official; summer is here. Local meteorologist Adel Saadoun has warned that the next few weeks will see harsher weather hitting Kuwait as the country enters the so-called Murba’aniya period. Murba’aniya is the peri-

KUWAIT: The head of the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Supervision and Inspection Brigadier General Shehab Al-Shemmari paid an unscheduled visit to Qarouh and Um Al-Maradem Islands recently to inspect the security personnel stationed there. The visit is part of the department’s efforts to monitor the preparedness of the security forces and the ministry’s apparatus.

local spotlight

In love... with a camel! T

By Muna Al-Fuzai

his news was released in the UAE media recently: an Asian man was sent to jail for three months after he confessed to having physical relationship with a camel whom he claimed to have fallen in love with! Meanwhile, the female camel was executed for the crime she committed with the man! I thought I should write about this because it is commonly accepted that when a human has physical contact with an animal it is always considered a kind of abuse. We tend to think of the man as powerful compared to any other animal. But what if that animal was large in body, like a camel? Should we still consider it abuse?

However, one serious question remains; why was this animal killed? It is no secret that in the past, young boys in some conservative areas and villages used to have their first sexual experience with chickens. It was understood that their sexual experiments would end the life of those poor helpless chicken. That however, is a clear case of an abused animal. The more I think about the camel though, I imagine that its large body is not easy to abuse. In fact, a camel is big enough to kill any man! Anyhow, the fact remains that the Asian man claimed to have fallen in love with the camel and continued to have a physical relationship with her for months. Eventually the man’s sponsor discovered the illegal love affair and reported the incident to the police. For those who think such a thing could never happen, that’s how the story made it to the press.

“It is normal in Kuwait,” he pointed out. “But along the way these conditions change, especially when heavy sandstorms appear. Sometimes heavy dust in the atmosphere blocks the sun’s rays, which can help lower temperature levels, but still, the weather in Kuwait during these periods is really very hot, so many people leave the country.” Saadoun advised the public to avoid exposure to direct sunlight wherever possible during this period, especially from 10am-4pm. “This is the period where we can only be exposed to direct sunlight in the early morning, but not in the afternoon. I would suggest especially to those new in Kuwait to go the beach in the morning or in the evening only,” he said, recommending that people avoid the sun in the afternoon and explaining, “It will be very bad for your skin if you are exposed to the sun’s direct rays” during this period. He also advised the public to drink more liquids and ensure that their car is well maintained to avoid any breakdowns leaving them stuck in the heat. The current weather period in Kuwait, known as Thuraya, will prevail until at least June 6, Saadoun explained, adding that this period is characterized by the dearth of any wind, even a breeze. “You can judge it by looking at the trees near you; there are no leaves swaying, therefore it’s difficult for dust to appear during this period. But, again, during this period the temperature is normally rising in preparation for Murba’aniya.” Asked whether Kuwait will have a chance to witness the upcoming lunar eclipse expected to take place on June 26, the meteorologist explained that unfortunately the event will not be visible from Kuwait since it will take place during daylight hours here, at between 1:00 and 2:00 PM local time.

od of around 40 days in summer characterized by unforgiving weather conditions, during which temperatures usually reach a peak of up to 50 degrees Centigrade. Murba’aniya is forecast to start on June 7 this year, next Monday. Speaking to the Kuwait Times yesterday, Saadoun said that sometimes in July, temperatures can hit up to 50 degrees.

KUWAIT: Two birds take refuge from the summer heat. Temperatures in Kuwait yesterday climbed to 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit). —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Astronomer calls for recognition of coordinates meeting point KUWAIT: A prominent Kuwaiti astronomer has called for a location in Al-Roudha to be recognized due to the fact that the spot is where the geographic longitudinal and latitudinal lines of 48 degrees and 29 degrees respectively meet. Dr. Saleh Al-Ajairi said that the recent discovery that this unique geographic coordinate is located in the park in Block Four of Al-Roudha means that it should be marked by some sort of monument, which he said could become a tourist attraction, reported Al-Watan. Al-Ajairi emphasized the importance of recognizing Kuwait’s coordinate features, reiterating the Kuwaiti people’s historical connection which

KFAS to set up science TV channel: Al-Shamlan KUWAIT: The head of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) revealed on Tuesday that the body is currently working on setting up the country’s first science TV channel, which it hoped will spread scientific and cultural awareness at both the local and regional level. The foundation has always been keen to support the country’s scientific development and plays a hugely important role in spreading scientific awareness in society, said KFAS Director General Ali Al-Shamlan, adding that the foundation’s members are keen to follow the instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah, the chairman of its board of directors. The foundation aims especially to offer financial support for programs and activities which focus on utilizing the creative skills of talented Kuwaitis, offering them prizes in various fields, he explained, adding that it encourages Kuwaiti citizens to patent their inventions with international patent bodies in the US, Europe and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations in order to protect their intellectual rights in introducing new scientific innovations and techniques. At least one Kuwaiti patent application is submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office per week, he said, adding that 12 or 13 patents were issued to Kuwaiti inventors between 2008 and 2009. Al-Shamlan further revealed that Kuwaiti inventors have won 48 prizes for their inventions at international level; of these 42 were in medal form with 18 golds, 12 silvers and 12 bronzes, with one Kuwaiti inventor winning the Gold Cup at the annual International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva. — KUNA

cartography, which the country depended heavily on during its time as a maritime center, for pearl diving as well as for international trade, when Kuwaiti vessels reached the shore of India and East Africa aboard locally-built ships. “During their voyages to India, Kuwaitis studied maps detailing the coordinates and geography of the sea, which were provided to the Indians by the British Admiralty,” said Al-Ajairi, indicating that the Kuwaiti navigators were able to calculate the coordinates almost exactly correctly. The astronomer also revealed that in 1938 four Kuwaiti naval captains received certificates in naval sciences from the British Admiralty.

kuwait digest

The double standard By Khalifa Al-Khurafi


uwait and other Gulf countries have long faced accusations from human rights organizations about the mistreatment of laborers and Asians. The organizations work hard to find solutions for them when the solution can be found in the hands of the workers themselves. They can always return to their home countries if they are uncomfortable working abroad. Meanwhile, Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries are issuing regulations to make sure workers are not wronged. Among which are rules forcing companies to pay workers salaries by depositing it directly into the bank accounts of workers. This would ensure that no company fails to pay the salaries of their workers. Furthermore, we hope that the Interior Ministry enforces a similar approach to protect the rights of housemaids. That said, I urge the American and European embassies in Kuwait to allow Asian workers who work in GCC countries seek working visas in America and Europe. Leaving workers between the hard living conditions of their home countries, the improper situations in GCC countries and a closed door to the west is unjust. Regarding the bedoon issue, the Kuwaiti authority is not compelled to naturalize illegal residents living on its soil. Attempts to uncover their affiliation to their countries of origin are baseless. Instead of demanding that Kuwait grant its illegal residents Kuwaiti citizenships I urge the United States do the same for the five million illegal Mexican residents who live in America. Meanwhile, European countries should naturalize their illegal residents who infiltrate their countries from Turkey and Africa. —Al-Qabas

Anti-terror measures KUWAIT: New measures to secure Kuwait International Airport (KIA) against terrorist attack will be implemented shortly, said the head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Essam AlZamel on Tuesday. The measures follow the implementation of an agreement between a number of Middle Eastern countries,

including Kuwait, to enhance their airport security procedures, which was ratified during the recent aviation safety conference held in Abu Dhabi, reported Al-Qabas. “The [airport’s] scanners and inspection equipment are soon to be updated in order for them to be able to detect any contraband and stop criminal acts,” Al-Zamel explained.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

3 No solution yet for the problem

Fear of power outages as indicator nears maximum By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Yesterday, the registered amount of electricity consumed reached close to a critical level. The consumption of energy reached about 9,750 Mega Watts yesterday, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Water’s website. Such excessive consumption, experts observed, could threaten to cut power in certain areas. The expectation of

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah launched yesterday the national campaign for the protection of the marine environment, ‘Sinyar 4’, with the establishment of the ‘Kuwait Marine City’ reserve in Al-Zour area. The launch took place at Bayan Palace in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness received Chairperson of Kuwait Volunteer Work Society Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the team of volunteers, and lauded their efforts for the protection of the marine environment and the example they were setting for their peers in this area. — KUNA

Red Bulletin, Kuwait Times enter partnership KUWAIT: Red Bull has entered a strategic partnership with the Kuwait Times, the leading independent English language daily in the Arabian Gulf, to distribute its monthly sports and lifestyle title The Red Bulletin. The edition of this glossy magazine which is already distributed in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland and Ireland, will be published monthly as a Saturday supplement for Kuwait Times subscribers, being distributed with the Kuwait Times on the second Saturday of every month. Speaking about the new partnership,

Abd Al-Rahman Alyan, the Kuwait Times’ Editor-in-Chief, said, “Red Bulletin magazine will be a great addition to our sports and lifestyle content that is extremely popular. Just like us, the magazine exerts a great focus on quality journalism that entertains, informs and discusses a palette of diverse topics. We are thrilled to be able to offer this excellent magazine to our readers.” Starting on Saturday June 12, this new partnership will bring The Red Bulletin’s global circulation to 3.6 million per month. The Red Bulletin, a 100-page magazine focusing on sport, lifestyle, art and culture,

which features internationally renowned journalists, photographers and illustrators, will add further value to the Kuwait Times’ existing wide-ranging editorial content. The magazine’s motto is ‘Beyond The Ordinary’ and its mission is to bring to life the creative and adventurous world of Red Bull through spectacular photography and features. The Red Bulletin is a global monthly publication, adapted to reflect different local cultures, which first appeared in Austria, Red Bull’s home, at the end of 2007 and has continued to expand internationally.

Kuwait urges ICC to stop Israeli crimes KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Justice Undersecretary Dr. Mohammad Al-Ansari on Tuesday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prioritize Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people. Al-Ansari, who is also the chairman of the national committee of international humanitarian law, told KUNA in a phone call from Rome, where he is taking part in a conference about the ICC’s statutes, that the Israeli assault against the Freedom Flotilla was a standard action due to the ICC’s lack of action against the country. He said Kuwait has put great

emphasis on the ICC’s role in enforcing justice in all member countries through the prosecution of all criminals. The ICC has achieved many goals in enforcing justice in the world, but still faces challenges like double standards and selectivity over certain cases, Al-Ansari continued. Kuwait believes in the ICC’s importance, although the government has not yet ratified the statute, he continued, adding that Kuwait is keenly monitoring the ICC’s activities and making it clear that crimes committed under the ICC’s jurisdiction undermine international peace and security.

Prison warder held KUWAIT: The drug smuggler who was arrested yesterday.— Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Three dead, seven injured in accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 35-year-old Asian woman died when she was hit by a car near the Blajat gas station in Salmiya. Her body was removed for autopsy. In two other cases, one unidentified man was killed in a car accident in the Ferdous area, while another unidentified man also died when his car overturned on the Fifth Ring Road near the Avenues Mall. Both bodies were removed for autopsy. Meanwhile, two men, a 21year-old Egyptian and a 48year-old Bangladeshi, were rushed to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining head injuries in a car crash on the Sixth Ring Road. In a separate incident, two Kuwaiti men, aged 29 and 40, suffered injuries to their heads and hands in a collision on Fahaheel Expressway. Both were taken to Mubarak Hospital. In another accident, a 13-year-old Saudi boy suffered a broken nose in a collision at the Sulaibikhat crossroads. He was taken to Sabah Hospital. In a separate case, a 40-year-old Asian man was taken to Mubarak Hospital after suffering a spinal fracture, a gash to his head and a dislocated shoulder when he was hit by a car in Salmiya.

Meanwhile, a 33-year-old Yemeni man suffered broken bones in one hand and a head wound when he was hit by a car in Mangaf. He was taken to Adan Hospital. Dealer busted General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officers arrested an Asian drug dealer in Salmiya, confiscating 300 grams of heroin and a sensitive scale used for weighing the drug for sale. The man was using his job as an electrical and satellite technician as a cover for his trade. Farwaniya attack A 20-year-old Kuwaiti man was beaten up by unidentified assailants near the European Physiotherapy Center in Farwaniya. He was subsequently taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Shuwaikh fight A 34-year-old bedoon (stateless) man was taken to Sabah Hospital after sustaining a gash to the neck in a fight in a Shuwaikh garage. Head injury A 25-year-old Egyptian man was taken to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining head injury when a heavy object fell on him at his workplace near the Marina Mall.

KUWAIT: Hawally police have arrested a Kuwait Prison warder for stealing cleaning materials from the prison’s stores and selling them on the black market. During questioning, the officer admitted that he had been covertly confiscating half of the soap, detergent and other cleaning products requisitioned from the prison’s supplies department and smuggling them out of the prison before selling it on the black market since he began working there seven months previously. He had apparently managed to make KD 15 thousand via this illicit and highly profitable trade in that period, reported Al-Qabas.

Ali Al-Salem, a resident of Kuwait, tied the problem of electricity shortages to the trend of privatization urged by the government and approved by the National Assembly. He added that the government created the idea of electricity shortages on purpose in an attempt to convince citizens that the electricity sector should be privatized. Al-Salem said that the Kuwaiti government has a good amount of power generators and the whole issue has political dimensions. Another resident took a slightly different approach to the shortages. “Power cuts are something fabricated annually to benefit some influential people” said Nasser Al-

power cuts are reminiscent of the 2008 scheduled blackouts in certain parts of Kuwait when power outages darkened the skyline in various places across Kuwait. Two years later, there is still no solution for the problem that affects this country’s most vital sector. Residents in Kuwait voiced concern about the affect blackouts have on people’s daily life during the hot, unbearable summer temperatures.

Najdi, a resident of Kuwait. He added that the talk about heavy energy consumption is not realistic considering that there were no new constructions to cause such a burden on the power grid. He said that if the electricity shortage problem continues annually without a suitable solution people will be deprived of their simplest living needs. Another resident, Hussein Al-Ahmad does not think the average Kuwaiti citizen is responsible for the overload or for finding a solution to the problem. He feels the government should provide the needed energy and power for everyone to be satisfied. He said the Kuwaiti government has always satisfied the needs of its citizens and that is

how it always should be. Eman Al-Awadhi said that the power shortage problem is going to grow in the future. He relates this to the new residential areas being built without first finding new power sources. However, Al-Awadhi pointed out that there should be no increased level of power consumption in the summer because most people in Kuwait leave to go on holiday. Regardless, she demanded that the government start researching the use of solar power. No official announcement of power outages have been announced as of yet. However, residents expressed fear that outages may occur in the near future.

in the news Jahra education head

Expat nurses eviction

US chemotherapy expert

KUWAIT: Education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud has announced that the new head of Jahra Educational Directorate will be named soon. The move comes as part of the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) efforts to fill vacant senior positions, the minister explained, while acknowledging the capable performance of interim directorate head Latifa Al-Ajeel in the position. Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the completion of the directorate’s examination preparations, Dr. Al-Humoud said that the country’s schools are all prepared to begin the examinations process, reported Al-Qabas. The minister also praised the range of activities offered to pupils by the directorate during the school year, emphasizing the importance of engaging school pupils in all sorts of constructive activities as part of their education process. In her own address at the event, Al-Ajeel said that organizing a broad range of events for students aims to encourage them to utilize their time and effort in positive and useful activities which will help in countering any increase in negative phenomena such as school violence.

KUWAIT: Following condemnation of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) decision to evict a large number of expatriate nurses living in its staff quarters, a senior ministry official has supported the ministry’s decision, reported Al-Rai. MoH Assistant Undersecretary for Supportive Medical Services Dr. Qais AlDuwairi said that the health ministry had given the nurses three months’ notice, adding that it was evicting the nurses in order to carry out a review of the regulations and conditions governing staff accommodation.

KUWAIT: An American chemotherapy expert has helped 30 cancer patients during a visit to the Badriya Al-Ahmad Cancer Center here, which began on May 28 and ended on June 1. Dr. Salem Al-Shemmari, the head of the center’s chemotherapy department, said that Professor Dr. Robert C. Bast from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas had visited Kuwait as a guest of the Ministry of Health (MoH) to organize visits for international doctors to diagnose and work with cancer patients in Kuwait. Dr. Bast also took part in two seminars held for the center’s medical staff, the first of which focused on ovarian cancer, while the second discussed the proper diagnosis for each cancer case separately. He and the medical staff also discussed ways of developing the center’s research sector. Dr. Bast, meanwhile, revealed that a “major revolution” in ovarian cancer treatment has been discovered and will be announced at a major cancer conference to be held in Chicago next week, reported Al-Qabas. The treatment focuses on using newly designed medications to target the blood-vessels that feed the tumor, while performing chemotherapy in parallel.

Students absenteeism KUWAIT: School heads across the country have been ordered to provide education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud with daily records of student absenteeism figures. The decision was made in response to the high levels of absenteeism being reported in the current final exam period, reported AlWatan, with some schools reporting a zero percent attendance rate. Staff at some schools indicated that although many students take time off during the exam period supposedly to study and revise for their exams, the material had already been fully covered in classes.



Kuwaiti activists wave victory signs onboard the Amiri plane.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed receiving MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae at the airport.

‘Freedom Flotilla’ Kuwaitis hail state’s stance

Kuwait Ambassador to Jordan Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik talking to the released activists.

Two Kuwaiti women thanking the Almighty Allah for their safe return.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti ‘Freedom Flotilla’ activists, who arrived back home yesterday have praised the state’s stance in supporting them and ensuring their safe return home. Mona Shashtar, who was aboard one of the flotilla vessels, said that detaining the activists in an Israeli jail was an unreasonable and barbaric act against the volunteers, who had not committed any crime. She said that the Israelis had threatened to kill the son of the ship’s first mate, savagely searched the volunteers’ belongings, and seized all their computers, cameras and other electronic equipment. She expressed joy at returning to Kuwait, hailing the support of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, the government, and National Assembly for their support. “The Israelis forced us to sign documents saying we left Israel according to our own wishes,” she noted, but said that despite this “I will return again once, twice, and many more times until Palestine is liberated.” She hailed the efforts of the Jordanian Consul in Israel for his efforts to secure their release, adding that he represented Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, Syrians, Indonesians, Malaysians, and all the other activists whose countries don’t have diplomatic representation in Israel. Photographer Ali Bu Hamad, who was also with the flotilla, said, “Our goal was to deliver aid to the

Gazans, but the Israelis attacked us some 120 miles from [Israeli] waters,” adding that what the volunteers witnessed was “an act of piracy, whereby the whole ship was taken over by commandos.” He said that he had been detained af ter the vessel docked in Ashdod from where he was transferred to Beir Al-Saba’ prison, adding, “We always see on TV the way the Israelis treat the Palestinians, but this time we saw for ourselves how filthy these people are and how they wage psychological warfare in all meanings of the word.” Bu Hamad added that the media was prevented from reporting on the events taking place, and that the activists were accused of having provoked the attack and of entering Israeli waters, which was not the case, noting that there were no weapons on board. All the activists’ equipment, including cameras, was confiscated, he said, and no mercy was shown even to the wounded. He recalled how a man was lef t to bleed to death after being injured in the initial attack on the ship. Attorney Mubarak AlMutawa recalled a similar experience, which he said could only be described as an “act of piracy” against defenseless civilians in midsea. MP Dr Waleed AlTabtabae expressed gratitude to the Kuwaiti leadership for its support for the activists’ popular humanitarian efforts. He also expressed appreciation to the government, National Assembly and the Kuwaiti people for their support for the Kuwaiti activists. Al-Tabtabae, who was sent home wearing an Israeli prison uniform, said that Israeli soldiers had opened fire at the unarmed activists, beaten and verbally abused them, and prevented them from eating, sleeping and using the bathroom for 24 hours. “We refused to be interrogated by the Israelis, to sign any documents or answer any question asked by them,” he said. The flotilla was on a humanitarian mission, he stressed, calling for ending all diplomatic ties with Israel and ending the siege on the Gaza Strip. Wael Al-Abduljader hailed HH the Amir’s initiative in sending an Amiri plane to fly

An activist surrounded by the members of his family.

A huge number of people at the airport yesterday. the Kuwaiti delegation from Jordan to Kuwait, also praising the efforts of the Kuwaiti government in ensuring the safe return of the delegation. Another of the activists, Salah Al-Jarallah, said that he was proud to have taken part in the flotilla to express his support to the people of Gaza. He hailed the efforts of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Jordan and Ambassador Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik AlSabah who received the Kuwaiti delegation at King Hussein bridge after their release from an Israeli jail. Activist Haya Al-Shatti said she was determined to participate in other convoys aiming to deliver aid to Gaza. Al-Shatti praised the steps taken by HH the Amir to secure the return of the Kuwaiti delegation that was held by Israeli forces who attacked the flotilla. The attack was sudden

HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed and Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi greets one of the activists. and occurred in the early hours of the day, Al-Shatti said, stressing that she would take part in future convoys to shed light on the suffering of those held in the “big prison of Gaza,” referring to the Israeli siege imposed on the strip. She also expressed her condolences to the families of the activists who were killed by Israeli forces. Haya’s father, Dr Adnan Al-Shatti of Kuwait University, said that Amiri initiative of sending a plane to fly the Kuwaiti delegation home from Jordan expressed the concern of HH the Amir for the wellbeing of Kuwaitis everywhere. He thanked Allah for the safe return of the Kuwaitis who were aboard the ships that were heading to Gaza to deliver aid. MP Mohammad Hayef stressed that Kuwaitis have always been supportive and provided aid to the needy, especially the Palestinians. MP Falah Al-Sawwagh praised the great humanitarian efforts of the Kuwaitis who were volunteers in the humanitarian convoy. Meanwhile, MP Faisal AlMislem said the Kuwaiti delegation played a major role in attracting attention to Palestinian cause that became an international concern due to the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza. MP Dr Jamaan Al-Harbish said the crisis of holding Kuwaiti activists by Israeli forces showed the unity of Kuwaitis. He praised HH the Amir’s initiative in sending a plane to bring the activists home and his efforts to ensure their safety. In the meantime, representative of the popular committee to support the activists Salah Al-Abduljader said that Kuwait was proud of the volunteers who took part in the flotilla, saying “Today is a day of victory and pride for Kuwait and its people.” Al-Abduljader praised the stance of HH the Amir and his support for the Palestinian cause, and hailed the role of the state’s government and National Assembly is ensuring the release of the activists. Head of the committee’s legal committee Iyad AlMutawa said that the committee is shortly to hold a seminar in which specialists in international law will participate to discuss Israeli violations. The committee will make every effort to ensure that Israel is prosecuted in the international courts, he added. — KUNA



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sheikh Faisal, Tabtabae and Al-Mutawa in Jordan.

kuwait digest

A matter of time for Israel By Faisal Al-Zamal


Abdullah Al-Ibrahim smiling in tears.

Returnees received with tears of joy.

Sundos Al-Abduljader received with roses.

Kuwaiti activists onboard the ship.

Mona Shashtar (right) and Haya Al Shatti (left) talking to the press.

hat makes Israel confident enough to kill ship passengers on a peace mission carrying medicine and other lawful items? What makes one citizen, Jilaad Shalit, more valuable than the lives of other countries, not to mention the whole nation living in Gaza? What makes Israel forget the repercussions of such actions on future Jewish generations when American support starts to weaken? When those future generations have to face the anger of several countries no one will care if revenge is taken against them. The world has seen the arrogance of this country and one day someone has to pay the price. Two days ago a Jew came on TV and said that the “Quran urges Muslims to kill Jews so we have the same right.” The truth is what a Jewish Rabbai said in front of George Bush, the former President of the US, in front of Sheikh Hamza Yousuf, an American citizen; “Sir, Islam is something and terror is something else. We as Jews lived under oppression and racism in Spain. The ones who protected us and kept us alive were the Muslims in Morocco and Turkey.” Courts in Spain urged the killing of Jews, and non-Jews while the Quran said “Allah does not urge you to be unjust against those of other religions if they do not fight you or force you out of your houses. Be kind to them.” Future generations of Israel will face the repercussions of what Israel has done when Israel’s support is weakened. They will not find the same experience in Spain and people will understand the reaction. It is only a matter of time. May Allah bless the souls of those who fell on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. — Al-Anba



Thursday, June 3, 2010

'New law remains unenforced'

KD 100 fine for parking in disabled parking spaces By Nawara Fattahova

Maid commits suicide in Waha KUWAIT: An Indonesian maid committed suicide by consuming pesticide in her sponsor's home in Waha, reported AlWatan. Her sponsor brought her to a nearby hospital after finding the maid unconscious but was too late to save the woman's life. She was pronounced dead as soon as she arrived at the hospital. A case was opened for investigations. Meanwhile, a 23-year-old citizen was saved after she attempted to kill herself by consuming pesticide, reported AlWatan. The woman was brought to a nearby hospital by family members as soon as she was found unconscious. Authorities are waiting for the woman's health to stabilize before investigating the incident. Drug possession A young man was arrested in Sabah AlSalem after he was found in possession of three envelopes of heroin, reported AlWatan. The drugs were found after the man was pulled over by authorities for driving recklessly. It was discovered that he was also intoxicated. He was referred to the proper authorities. Hawally fight Six youngsters engaged in a fight in Hawally, reported Al-Watan. The fight left one of the youths with a serious head wound after he was struck with a metal rod. Paramedics brought the youth to Mubarak Hospital while police arrested the other brawlers. An investigation revealed that the fight began as a result of

an argument between two brothers and another group of youths fighting over the attention of a girl inside a mall in the area.

after he found the janitor tied up inside the stable. An investigation was launched in search of the criminals.

Forgery case Investigators arrested a female employee working at the service center for the general department of forgery, reported Al-Qabas. The arrest was made after police discovered she illegally processed driver's licenses and car registrations in exchange for money. An investigation into a number of transactions lacking official state stamps led authorities to suspect the employee was taking bribes. She was held for questioning.

Refinery fire A fire at the Shuaiba Port Oil Refinery resulted in the injury of two employees before firefighters could extinguish the fire, reported Annahar. The workers were sent to Adan Hospital while two firefighters were also treated for smoke inhalation. The incident did not affect the refinery's shipment and export operations, reported Kuwait Petroleum Corporation officials.

Home robbery As soon as an Egyptian man returned to his apartment in Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh, he discovered that thieves broke into his home and stole KD 800, reported Al-Rai. He reported the incident to the local police station and a case was opened. Investigators were sent to examine the scene of the crime. Stable theft Three thugs broke into a stable in Jahra, assaulted its janitor and stole its power generator, reported Al-Rai. The janitor was overpowered by the thieves after he attempted to stop them from trespassing. He was tied to the back of the assailant’s vehicle with a rope and dragged for a long distance. The janitor's sponsor filed a report with Waha police

Inmate dies A 44-year-old Kuwaiti inmate died in Farwaniya Hospital as a result of blood poisoning caused by renal failure, reported Al-Anba. The man was brought to the hospital from the Central Jail when his medical condition worsened. He was serving a 9 years sentence for a drug related case. Brutal assault An argument between a Kuwaiti couple at their home in Saad Al-Abdullah escalated to the point where the husband physically attacked and beat his wife, as well as the maid who intervened to attempt to stop his assault. Following the brutal attack, reported Al-Watan, the woman went to the police station, taking the maid with her, to lodge a complaint about the incident. An investigation has been launched.

KUWAIT: While the recently approved disability rights legislation stipulates that the fine for parking in parking spaces reserved for disabled motorists' vehicles was increased from KD 15 to KD 100 as of May 28, a traffic department insider told the Kuwait Times that the law has not yet been enforced. The source said that the law is difficult to enforce and will probably take some time to be put into effect. Fawaz Al-Hasban, the Public and Foreign Relations Manager with the Higher Council for the Disabled, explained the new article, No. 63 in the new disability rights legislation, saying, "This article sets that any person who parks his vehicle in a place reserved for disabled drivers will be imprisoned for no longer than a month and will pay a fine not greater than KD 100, or will be punished with one of these penalties. Also the court may issue an order to revoke his driving license for a period not longer than one month." Al-Hasban said that the law has already been passed and the details published in local newspapers. "We again warn drivers to take care as they may pay high penalties for such violations," he said. "This law will be enforced in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, specifically the Traffic Department, and we call upon them to be strict in enforcing it as [violating it] is a contravention of the rights of the disabled," he added. The Higher Council for the Disabled is the authority responsible for issuing the special permits for disabled drivers, allowing them to use the parking places reserved for them.

in the news Grilling warning KUWAIT: Insisting that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah "holds the keys" to resolving Kuwait's sports crisis through enforcing the country's sports regulations, MP Saleh Al-Mulla has warned that he will submit an interpellation motion against the premier if he fails to do so. Al-Mulla also condemned the manner in which he said the Chief Executive Officer of the Kuwait Football Association had taken over its headquarters, stating that this takeover should have taken place following a court order. The MP asserted that Kuwait has not committed itself to complying with the order handed down by international sports bodies, reported Al-Watan. He also said that since the government has already rejected a complaint submitted to the International Labor Organization by the Kuwait Trade Union Federation it should not adopt "double standards" in dealing with complaints made by other Kuwaiti bodies to international organizations. Al-Mulla said that the Court of Arbitration in Sports is unqualified to issue court orders due to the fact that its decisions cannot be appealed against. Anti-terror measures KUWAIT: New measures to secure Kuwait International Airport (KIA) against terrorist attack will be implemented shortly, said the head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Essam AlZamel on Tuesday. The measures follow the implementation of an agreement between a number of Middle Eastern countries, including Kuwait, to enhance their airport security procedures, which was ratified during the recent aviation safety conference held in Abu Dhabi, reported Al-Qabas. "The [airport's] scanners and inspection equipment are soon to be updated in order for them to be able to detect any contraband and stop criminal acts," AlZamel explained.

KUWAIT: Days after the new law for the disabled was enacted and which fines KD 100 for cars that park in a space designated for the disabled, vehicles without the "blue sign" were seen parked.— Photos by Joseph Shagra

MPs reject escalation, grilling By A. Saleh KUWAIT: MP Khalid Al-Sultan has rejected recent statements by fellow MP Saleh Al-Mulla in which Al-Mulla threatened to file an interpellation against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah over the premier's failure to enforce sports regulations. Instead of escalating the issue promptly to a grilling, Al-Sultan said that this issue should be investigated systematically and thoroughly, and that questions should be directed to the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, who is assigned to han-

dle the case. Meanwhile, MP Husain Al-Qallaf criticized MPs who "continue to cause tensions with the cabinet for personal reasons," acknowledging the manner in which the cabinet is dealing with events on the political scene. Furthermore, Al-Qallaf urged those MPs to cooperate with the cabinet in these issues, saying that their current actions has damaged the country's democracy. "The cabinet should stand firmly against those MPs who raise tensions for personal agendas," AlQallaf asserted.

SINGAPORE: Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah held on Tuesday a dinner banquet in honor of participating heads of GCC delegations. The GCC delegations took part in the second ministerial meeting with their ASEAN counterparts here.

FM arrives in Japan for talks TOKYO: Kuwait's Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah arrived here yesterday, following a visit to Singapore, on a two-day official visit during which he will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and head the Kuwaiti delegation at the first Japan-Kuwait Joint Committee meeting. The minister was received at the airport by Kuwaiti Ambassador Mohammed Al-Roumi, who also serves as Director of the Foreign Ministry's Asia Department, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and other Kuwaiti diplomats, as well as the Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait Masatoshi Muto and Japanese Foreign Ministry officials. The first ministerial Japan-Kuwait Joint

Economic Committee, which was due to take place later in the day, was to be co-chaired by Sheikh Dr. Mohammad, Okada and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima. The ministerial meeting was expected to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in such areas as human development and the environment, according to the working-level preparatory meeting held earlier this week. The Joint Committee, which was established during His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah's visit to Japan in July 2008, will help the two countries to strengthen and develop their bilateral relations, particularly in the field of economy and commerce. Japan is among Kuwait's major trading partners, with bilateral trade reaching $10.53 billion in 2009. — KUNA


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Abbas to ask Obama for ‘bold decisions’ on Middle East BETHLEHEM: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas yesterday called for US President Barack Obama to make “bold decisions” on Middle East peace and accused Israel of “terrorism. ”His remarks at the opening of an investment conference in the occupied West Bank came ahead of a visit to Washington next week and days after Israel’s deadly capture of an aid convoy bound for the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. “My message to Obama during our meeting in Washington next week will be that we need bold decisions to change the

face of the region,” Abbas said. He was to meet with US envoy George Mitchell later in the day for the latest round of indirect “proximity” talks with Israel launched on May 9. “My message to all parties is that we need bold decisions to change the face of the region and end the suffering and the pain and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands,” Abbas said. The president spoke at the opening of the 2010 Palestine Investment Conference, which he referred to as the “Freedom Conference” in honor of those killed on

Monday aboard the “Freedom Flotilla” captured on Monday. Organizers said delegations from 26 countries would be attending the conference, including a US presidential delegation led by Mitchell. International peace envoy Tony Blair was also in attendance. The West Bank economy saw 8.5 percent growth last year as Israel eased some movement restrictions and hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid flowed to prime minister Salam Fayyad’s Western-backed government.

Egypt’s Brotherhood loses vote bid, backs El Baradei CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday it would back a drive by former UN atomic watchdog head Mohammed ElBaradei to reform Egyptian politics after the group secured no seats in a vote to parliament’s upper house. Egypt’s biggest opposition group, which controls a fifth of the lower house seats but none in the Shura Council upper house, said it would help ElBaradei collect signatures for change, a move bound to boost his efforts to gather a million names. Tuesday’s Shura Council vote for a third of the seats was marred by abuses reported by rights groups and independent monitors, a common feature of Egyptian elections. Officials said the vote went smoothly and complaints were investigated. “None of the Brotherhood’s candidates have won any seats in 2010 Shura Council elections, a blatant proof that vote rigging took place. Many candidates ran in constituencies which they won in the 2005 lower house parliamentary election,” said Mohamed Saad el-Katatni, who heads the Brotherhood’s lower house bloc. Official results will be announced today and are expected to confirm that President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party swept up almost all of the seats. While the overall outcome was not in doubt, Tuesday’s vote was being watched to see how much space the authorities would give the Brotherhood and opposition in the parliamentary election later this year and presidential race next. “The Shura vote is a clear indication that there is a decision from the state to exclude the Brotherhood from upcoming elections ... for the People’s Assembly (lower house) where they hold a fifth of seats,” political analyst Diaa Rashwan said. Katatni had said in April the Brotherhood broadly backed ElBaradei’s call for political reform but yesterday went further by

backing the drive for collecting signatures for a petition to change the constitution and emergency law that critics say is used to stifle dissent. “In a matter of weeks we will begin gathering signatures across the country and from the streets where the Brotherhood has strong presence,” he said, adding this did not mean the group would back a possible bid by ElBaradei for president. ElBaradei has said he might run but constitutional rules make it almost impossible for an independent to get on the ballot. The government insists the system is free and fair. Analysts say a petition may not lead to changing the constitution by the 2011 presidential race but could attract international scrutiny of Egypt’s sclerotic political system, which the government would not welcome. The Brotherhood has by far the biggest grassroots network of any opposition group through health and other social projects that analysts say bolster its popular support. The Brotherhood is officially banned but fielded its 13 candidates as independents to skirt the ban. It has previously said it did not expect to repeat this year its success of 2005, when it won 88 of the lower house of parliament’s 454 seats. Rights groups and observers cited a range of abuses during Tuesday’s vote, including saying security forces and ruling party backers blocked many opposition voters from casting ballots. A Reuters witness saw uniformed police barring some opposition supporters entering a polling station. Officials said this complaint was investigated and voters were later let in. Some monitors with permission to watch voting said they had been turfed out of polling stations. The Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house, reviews laws before handing them to the lower People’s Assembly for a final vote.—Reuters

Qaeda unlikely to be hurt by leader’s death WASHINGTON: The killing of AlQaeda’s No. 3 leader is unlikely to derail the terror group for long. Pressured by American drone missile strikes, the militant network has shrugged off similar losses of its top tier leaders and is increasingly relying on new franchises that threaten attacks on the US. The death of Mustafa AlYazid strikes a short-term blow to a terror group that, like mythology’s many-headed Hydra, still has multiple tentacles to continue the fight. With offshoots in Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Al-Qaeda has become a more fragmented enemy. And, as shown by the Christmas Day airliner attack, its franchises are becoming more independent, more dangerous and equally intent on targeting America. Thus even as the US eliminates Al-Qaeda leaders, the terror group is rapidly inspiring new recruits who are just as eager to attack and kill Americans. “While we’re having some success in putting pressure on them, they’re also having a great deal of success radicalizing other parts of the global Islamic jihadist movement to join them in attacking the United States,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center and a former CIA officer. Al-Yazid, who is also known as Sheik Saeed AlMasri, is the seventh person considered by US intelligence to be the No. 3 leader who has been killed or captured since 2001, Riedel said. “It shows that it’s been two things - a very dangerous job, and, secondly, one that you can refill relatively easily,” he said. AlYazid, whom Al-Qaeda described as its top commander in Afghanistan, was killed along with his wife, three daughters, a grandchild and other men, women and children, the group said. He is believed to have been struck down by a CIA drone strike, likely in the past two weeks. Among AlYazid’s predecessors in the third spot were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the reputed mastermind of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, who is being held in the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center; Mohammed Atef, who was killed in US airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2001; Abu Laith Al-Libi, who was killed in a Jan 2008 drone strike, and Abu Farraj Al-Libbi, who was captured and

Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid detained in Pakistan. US officials agree that AlQaeda has become proficient at replacing its vulnerable No. 3 tier. But they also assert that the loss is severe setback for a group that has relied on Al-Yazid as a founding member of Al-Qaeda and the group’s prime conduit to Osama bin Laden and Ayman AlZawahiri. He was running AlQaeda’s day-to-day operations, and also had a hand in the group’s financing, according to US officials. The success of the drone strikes - the one that apparently killed Al-Yazid was among dozens over the past year that have killed hundreds of insurgents - has made it harder for bin Laden and his lieutenants to operate and find safe haven. US intelligence officials and other experts say AlQaeda has been weakened, both financially and structurally, over the past few years. The terror group is “under more pressure, is facing more challenges and is a more vulnerable organization than at any time” since the Sept 11 attacks, according to Mike Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Leiter told Congress that AlQaeda safe havens in Pakistan are shrinking, and that the terror group’s leadership losses have hurt its training and plotting. But at the same time, its allies - such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabab in Somalia - remain resilient. In its announcement of Al-Yazid’s death, Al-Qaeda issued a blunt warning. “What he left behind will, with permission from Allah, continue to be generous and copious and to produce heroes and raise genera-

tions,” the terror group said in a message on jihadist websites. “His death will only be a severe curse by his life upon the infidels.” Even British authorities warned in a report to Parliament that eliminating Al-Qaeda leaders has not made the broader group less lethal. In fact, US officials are increasingly warning that Al-Qaeda’s outlying, smaller franchises are more likely to plot and wage off-thecuff, less sophisticated attacks that are harder to detect and prevent. The independent groups, which often rely on their own plotting and financing, are also less predictable and don’t have the larger, more organized structure that can more easily be tracked or infiltrated. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, reportedly trained with Al-Qaeda in Yemen. And the alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested shortly after the failed terror attempt last month, reportedly received training from insurgents in Pakistan. The enemy, in fact, is no longer described as just Al-Qaeda by White House officials. Instead, it is now routinely “Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.” In a speech last week, John Brennan, the White House’s top counterterrorism adviser, warned that as the US strikes Al-Qaeda, the terror group is increasingly relying on recruits with little training, executing less sophisticated - but lethal - attacks. “We have long recognized that AlQaeda, its affiliates and those who subscribe to its murderous ideology are a resilient, resourceful and determined enemy,” Brennan said. — AP

All festivities connected to the conference were cancelled following the deadly seizure of the aid convoy, but organisers said they would still hold plenary sessions and working meetings between delegates and officials. Meanwhile, Abbas accused Israel of “state terrorism” over the violent seizure of the ships by naval commandos in a botched assault in which nine activists were killed and scores wounded, including some Israeli soldiers. “The Palestinian people were facing

state terrorism when Israel attacked the Freedom Flotilla. The Palestinian people and the entire world are confronted with this terrorism,” he said. “We have seen daily examples of terrorism with the killings and the expulsions from houses, the confiscation of lands and the siege on Gaza. “We ask the world, how long will this go on?” At the opening of the conference, participants observed a moment of silence for those killed aboard the ships. Abbas later drew a roar of applause and a standing ova-

tion when he hailed Ankara’s harsh response to the raid on the Turkish-backed flotilla. On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the operation as a “bloody massacre” and urged the world to punish Israel for its “lawlessness” in a speech that helped transform him into a Palestinian hero. Turkey had earlier recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and scrapped planned joint military exercises with Israel, plunging already tense relations between the two once close allies into a new crisis.— AFP

Hundreds of Gazans use opened Egyptian crossing Priority given to the sick, to pre-registered travelers RAFAH: Hundreds of Palestinians travelled into and out of the Gaza Strip yesterday after Egypt opened its Rafah crossing for travel and humanitarian aid. The opening took place in the wake of a deadly Israeli “Rafah crossing is open today in all directions,” Hamas border official Bashir Abu alNajaa said in a statement. The terminal is the only way in and out of Gaza that is not controlled by Israel. Priority would be given to the sick and to preregistered travellers, as well as those holding a visa or residency permits from elsewhere, he said. Hamas and Egyptian border authorities said five busloads of travellers, or around 400 people, had entered Egypt by mid-afternoon with another 400 people expected to depart by the end of the day. Hamas said more than 450 people had entered Gaza, while an Egyptian border official put the count at just 200. “The crossing authority will work to facilitate the travel of any citizen who wishes to without any limitations,” Abu al-Najaa said. “The Rafah crossing will remain open on a permanent basis in order to ease the unjust blockade on the Palestinian people.” Egypt has previously opened the crossing for short periods to send in humanitarian aid and allow the sick to leave Gaza, and Hamas greeted the decision to open the crossing with scepticism. “We hope that the Rafah crossing will be open permanently and completely and not simply as a reaction,” Hamas social affairs minister Ahmad al-Kurd told reporters. “We don’t need any more lives to be sacrificed in order to open the crossing.” Egypt’s official MENA news agency confirmed the crossing would be open for Palestinians returning from abroad and for those with visas or residency permits to leave the territory. It

RAFAH: Palestinians, one holding a passport, stand behind a fence as they wait to cross the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, southern Gaza Strip yesterday. —AP said medical supplies, humanitarian aid and food would also be let in but only in coordination with the Egyptian Red Crescent. Hamas border authorities said the Red Crescent had brought in six trucks loaded with medical supplies and generators as well as five minibuses donated by Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal.

Abu Dhabi police seize 16 kilos of heroin: Report DUBAI: Abu Dhabi police have seized 16 kilograms (34 pounds) of heroin which three Afghans and a Pakistani tried to sell to undercover agents, The National newspaper reported yesterday. An agent posing as a buyer contacted one of the four traffickers and agreed to buy the heroin, which had been smuggled into the country in boxes of fruit, for about 261,500 dollars, the paper said.

A Pakistani and an Afghan who delivered the drugs to a hotel room in Abu Dhabi were arrested and charged with trafficking. Two other Afghans remain at large and will be tried in absentia. The four face the death penalty if convicted. However, executions are rare in the United Arab Emirates, where death sentences are usually commuted to life in prison.—AFP

Iraqi police honor deaths of US troops since invasion KIRKUK: Police in Iraq’s disputed northern city of Kirkuk held a ceremony yesterday to honor the deaths of US troops killed since the March 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein. As part of the ceremony, police in Kirkuk, which sits on the border between Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and the rest of the country, unveiled a wall with the photographs of 31 American soldiers who were killed in the province. The photos represent a selection of the 102 US soldiers who have died in Kirkuk province since the invasion, with police

assault on a convoy of activist aid ships that had sought to break a blockade on the coastal territory that was tightened after the Islamist movement took over in 2007.

officials saying the US military would decide whether or not to release the remaining 71 photos. “Without the help of US forces, Iraq would still be under the control of the dictator (Saddam Hussein),” provincial police chief Major General Jamal Taher Bakr said. “This group of martyrs worked to stabilise the security situation in Iraq, particularly in Kirkuk.” A total of 4,400 US soldiers have died in Iraq since the invasion, according to an AFP tally based on figures compiled by independent website —AFP

Israel and Egypt have largely sealed Gaza’s borders since the 2006 capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas and other militants, with the closures tightened after Hamas ousted the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel has said the closure is necessary to prevent Hamas from importing weapons and insists the humanitarian

needs of Gaza’s 1.5 million people are met by the dozens of truckloads of basic goods it allows in most days. But the closures have severely hindered rebuilding following Israel’s devastating three-week assault on Gaza that ended in January 2009, during which entire neighbourhoods were flattened and thousands of

homes destroyed. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the war launched in a bid to halt years of near-daily rocket attacks from the territory. Since 2007, Gaza’s economy has been largely sustained by international aid and the smuggling of goods through a vast network of tunnels from Egypt. —AFP



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Resolution condemns 'outrageous attack'

UN rights council approves probe into Israel's ship raid GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council yesterday condemned Israeli's "outrageous attack" on Gaza-bound aid ships and set up an independent international investigation into the raid. The criticism came in a resolution proposed by Pakistan, Sudan and the Palestinian delegation and adopted with 32 countries voting in favor, three against and eight abstentions. The resolution "Condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous

attack by the Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla of ships which resulted in the killing and injuring of many innocent civilians from different countries." It "decides to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian aid and human rights law" resulting from the attack.

GENEVA: Imad M Zuhairi, Counselor of the Permanent Representative Mission of Palestine to Geneva, delivers his statement during the Urgent Debate on the Gaza flotilla incident at the fourteenth session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday. —AP

Fighting in Somalia kills 24 MOGADISHU: Fighting in two central Somali towns left least 24 people dead and 50 wounded as rebels clashed with a progovernment militia, a rights group said yesterday. The moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca group that is aligned with President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's weak UNbacked administration fought with al Shabaab insurgents in Marergur and Gadon towns in the Galgadud region on Tuesday. "At least 24 people died and 50 more were wounded, mostly combatants, in the long hours of fighting," said Ali Yasin Gedi, vice chairman of the Mogadishu-based Elman rights group. "Civilians fled to bush areas, some were barefoot with no belongings." Western security agencies say Somalia-a failed state

that has been torn by civil war for nearly two decades-has become a haven for militants including foreign jihadists, who are using it to plot attacks in the region and beyond. The rebels want to extend their area of control from the south towards the pro-government northeastern region of Puntland. Ahmed's government controls little more than Mogadishu's sea port, the airport and his palace in the capital. "Large forces of al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam attacked us but we chased them away after fierce fighting," said Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, an Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca spokesman. "Their goal was to capture Dhusamareb, but they failed." Residents in Marergur town spoke of fierce fighting. "The two

sides fought the whole of yesterday and they are still at face-off," Nur Abdi, an elder in Marergur, told Reuters. "Many dead bodies are scattered all over the place and residents have fled," he said. A local al Shabaab official, whose group has declared loyalty to al Qaeda, vowed that his forces would seize the whole region from the pro-government militia. "We shall never stop fighting until our fighters capture the whole region and impose the Islamic sharia," Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Isse, a senior al Shabaab official, told reporters. At least 21,000 people have been killed in fighting in Somalia in the last three years and 1.5 million have been driven from their homes, triggering one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.—Reuters

Ship seizes back control from Somali pirates: EU BRUSSELS: The crew of a Libyan cargo ship seized back control from Somali pirates yesterday after fighting in which some of their captors are believed to have died and a crew member was wounded, the EU said. "The hijacked Libyan-owned merchant vessel RIM reported that the crew had successfully retaken control of the ship. One of the crew members was seriously injured during the incident," a spokesman for the EU anti-piracy NAVFOR naval force said. "It is believed that some of the pirates were killed during the incident; the ship is now under the control of the crew," added NAVFOR, which sent a warship to offer help

and administer medical aid to the survivors. The mainly Syrian crew of 10 had been taken captive in February and their assailants were demanding three million dollars in ransom for their safe return. The 4,800-tonne vessel, owned by Libya's White Sea Shipping, was attacked in the northwestern Gulf of Aden, south of the Yemeni coast. It had set off from Romania with a crew of nine Syrians and a Romanian with an unspecified cargo. It was unclear who had been injured. After it was captured, the pirates had taken the vessel to an area off the town of Laasgoray, on the border between Somalia's breakaway

regions of Somaliland and Puntland. The crew turned the tables on their captors as the ship was southeast of Garacad, off Somalia's northern coastline, NAVFOR said. Somali pirates have become a chronic hazard for shipping in the region. They hijack vessels exclusively for ransom payments, which are regularly made. The news of the successful action by the RIM's crew came shortly after NAVFOR reported that assailants armed with rocket-propelled grenades hijacked a Panamaflagged cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden with 24 crew from Bangladesh, Ghana, Egypt and Pakistan, also yesterday.—AFP

RAKACASZEND: A Hungarian farmer arrives to his flooded home to save belongings in the village of Rakacaszend, northeastern Hungary yesterday. Several swollen rivers are causing floods throughout Hungary, while roads remain closed due to the unusual wet weather and heavy rains. —AP

It also authorizes the president of the council to appoint members of the mission. Israeli commandos boarded one of the aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip in a pre-dawn raid on Monday that left at least nine passengers dead. Hundreds of proPalestinian activists were also arrested. The raid sparked global outrage and prompted states from the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to ask for the special session of the 47 member states in the UN rights council. During the urgent sitting stretching over two days, not only Muslim states but others ranging from Laos to Peru and Iceland spoke out against Israel's move. "No impunity can be accepted from this atrocious crime," said a Palestinian representative. "These murderous attacks are characteristic tools used by Israel to derail every peaceful effort and silence every voice of moderation and reason," Pakistani ambassador Zamir Akram told the council Tuesday on behalf of the OIC. The United States said on the first day of the sitting it was "deeply disturbed" by the violence. But it also said that it opposed the resolution. US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said the text "rushes to judgment on a set of facts" that were only starting to emerge. "It creates an international mechanism before giving the responsible government an opportunity to investigate this incident itself and thereby risks further politicizing a sensitive and volatile situation," she added. The Netherlands also voted against the text with its envoy saying that the rights council's investigation, parallel to one called for by the UN Security Council, "would not be conducive to re-launching the Middle East peace process." Britain and France abstained saying they regretted that the resolution failed to reflect the language used by the Security Council which called "for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards." Israeli ambassador Aharon Leshno Yaar did not refer to the resolution when he spoke ahead of the vote, but he reiterated that the activists onboard the raided ship did not have peaceful motives. He said Molotov cocktails, clubs and iron bars were used against Israeli soldiers. The ambassador also claimed that "large quantities of cash were also found on board, some in the pockets of the attackers and most in courier belts ready for transfer to the Hamas."—AFP

VATICAN: In this March 12, 2010 file photo Archbishop Robert Zollitsch listens to reporters' questions during a press conference following an audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. German prosecutors say yesterday they are investigating allegations that the country's top Roman Catholic cleric was responsible for hiring a priest known to have sexually abused minors. — AP

German archbishop probed for sex abuse BERLIN: Prosecutors said yesterday they were probing Germany's top archbishop on suspicion of abetting child abuse, in the case of a man who said he was molested in the 1960s with the clergyman's knowledge. German Episcopal Conference chief Robert Zollitsch is being investigated for allegedly turning a blind eye to the abuse by a priest, public prosecutor Wolfgang Maier in the southern city of Freiburg said. The Freiburg diocese said Zollitsch strongly denied the charges. ARD public television reported earlier that the alleged victim said he was abused at the Birnau Monastery in the Freiburg diocese, where Zollitsch was employed. Prosecutors said the man accused Zollitsch, who was responsible for human resources in the diocese, of learning of the abuse but nevertheless assuring that the priest was employed again at Birnau in 1987. Maier told AFP the case had been passed on to the state prosecutor's office in Konstanz, southern Germany "without further review" because an investigation of the priest was already under-

way there. "That is why I cannot comment on the substance of the accusations," he said. A spokesman for the Konstanz prosecutor's office said yesterday that the files had not yet arrived. A Freiburg diocese spokesman said that Zollitsch had not ordered the priest to be employed at Birnau, saying the monastery operated "independently". "The accusations of criminal behaviour by Dr Robert Zollitsch in connection with the Birnau Monastery are without foundation," he said. In common with other European countries, Germany has been rocked in recent months by revelations that hundreds of children were physically or sexually abused in institutions, the vast majority run by the Roman Catholic Church. The scandal has badly damaged the standing of the Church in Germany, and also of the German-born pope, five years after his appointment as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics was a source of great national pride. Zollitsch, 71, had met with Pope Benedict XVI in April at the Vatican about the spreading scandal.—AFP

in the news Protest against Israel banned in Algiers ALGIERS: Police in Algeria have blocked a small demonstration of intellectuals and journalists from gathering in front of the US Embassy to protest Israel's raid on an aid flotilla heading to Gaza. Organizer Mohammed BenFodhil said he was briefly detained yesterday. Banners reading "Israel Bezeff," or "Israel stop it," and "Obama-Clinton equal Sharon", a reference to former Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon, were confiscated. Algeria doesn't recognize Israel diplomatically. Many Algerians identify US foreign policy with the Jewish state. Demonstrations are banned in the capital Algiers because of terrorism threats. A protest against Israel last year caused large riots. Algerian authorities say all 32 Algerians detained by Israel on the aid flotilla have been released. 2 killed in flooding in Eastern Europe BUDAPEST: The Hungarian Defense Ministry says nearly 1,000 soldiers are working to bolster flood defenses in Hungary, where heavy rainfall has led to overflowing rivers and streams. Two people have died due to flooding in neighboring Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Railroad services have been suspended in several parts of northeastern Hungary, the region most affected by the flooding. In Slovakia, where hundreds of people have been evacuated, TA3 news television that says the body of a 38-year-old man was found after his car was swept away by high waters in the town of Vysna Sebastova. A person also was found drowned in the eastern Czech city of Zlin. Officials in Serbia describe the situation as "critical," while rescuers in Bosnia are using boats to help residents. Zimbabwe van crashes; 16 killed HARARE: Zimbabwe police say a taxi van has crashed head-on into a military bus, killing 16 people and seriously injuring three others. Fourteen soldiers on the bus were slightly hurt in the crash late Tuesday, located about 30 miles (45 kilometers) northwest of Harare. Police investigators blame the crash on an error by the taxi van driver. He died in the collision and had evidently tried to pass two slow-moving vehicles. Bus crashes are common in Zimbabwe and are mainly attributed to speeding on potholed highways, poor vehicle maintenance, and shortages of spare parts and tires in the ailing economy. At least 200 people have died in bus crashes this year.

BETOU: A view of the temporary refugee centre at Betou on May 21, 2010. Thousands of refugees have fled the ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo by crossing the river into neighboring Congo where insecurity still prevails about their future. —AFP

Congo refugees are prey to rape NYAMOBA: Annie was seven months pregnant when she lost her baby because "at least six men in military uniform" raped her in the Republic of Congo, after fleeing conflict across the border. Like many other refugees from tribal fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Annie had fled to the Likoula region in the north of the Congo Republic, where the population of Nyamoba village has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000. Fighting back tears, Annie, 37, told her story to a gathering of local officials, relief workers and several journalists. She arrived in Congo in January when she was pregnant. At the end of April, she crossed back over the Oubangui river into the DR Congo "just to see whether my fields had not been destroyed". "On the way back, at least six men in military uniform raped me. I lost my baby, but my life was saved by the grace of God." Oscar Amede Ondze, an elder in the village committee, spoke of cases of sexual abuse against two young girls of nine and 13 at the beginning of May. "The rapists were a refugee of 28 and a local man of 39," Ondze charged, adding that "both of

them are in the hands of the police at Betou," the main town of the district where Nyamoba lies. According to a humanitarian coordinator for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Isaac Wadbrind Madress, the fund is registering "more and more sexual and sexist violence committed in these sites." He was referring to the 92 places where refugees have settled, mostly along the Oubangui river, after fleeing the violence in northern DR Congo's Equateur Province. Congolese officials estimate that there are about 120,000 refugees, who all arrived since last October. The UNFPA is working on the ground "to avoid complications for the victims" of sexual assault and is engaged in preventive measures, though nobody has a figure for the number of rape cases. "It's young girls and women who are not protected and are victims of these barbaric acts," Madress said. "There are cases of rape perpetrated by refugees themselves, but also by the local population." Until April, the non-governmental organisation Medecins d'Afrique (Doctors of aAfrica) was treating recurrent pathologies such as malaria,

diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Since then however, it has sent material to its 15 clinics in the region to help the victims of sexual violence, according to coordinator Jean Florent Mbandza. "We have taken the essential steps to cover health centres" along an axis of 300 kilometres (185 miles), between Likouala's capital Impfondo, and the town of Liranga, Mbandza told AFP. Health workers have to treat the trauma suffered by victims of sexual abuse and also watch out for the spread of HIV in the region, where HIV prevalence was estimated at 1.9 percent of the population in 2009, according to a national study. That rate was below the national average of 3.2 percent, which itself had declined from 4.2 percent in 2003). If sexual abuse continues and there are no preventive measures or a bid to increase the population's awareness of sexually transmitted diseases, "in the coming five or 10 years, the rate is likely to be higher," warned Palmer Mathat, the regional health director. Mathat also warned that tuberculosis was "back in strength" in the Likouala region.—AFP

Thursday, June 3, 2010



Brazil will oppose, but respect, Iran sanctions

BRASILIA: Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim speaks on the terms of the agreement on the nuclear program between Brazil, Turkey and Iran, during a meeting of the Commission of External Relationships and National Defense of the Brazilian Senate in Brasilia Tuesday. —AP

Cancun mayor charged with ties to drug cartels MEXICO CITY: The mayor of Cancun was charged with drug trafficking ties Tuesday, forcing him to end his campaign for governor in a scandal that has shaken Mexico's upcoming state elections. A federal judge indicted Gregorio Sanchez on charges of organized crime and money laundering a week after he was arrested in Mexico's most important tourist resort. Prosecutors say he protected two of Mexico's most brutal drug gangs and lived beyond his means. The formal charges bar Sanchez from participating in politics, ending his run for governor of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo. Officials have said they cannot remember another Mexican candidate ever being charged with drug ties in the middle of a campaign, and leaders of Sanchez's leftist party say the allegations are politically motivated. Jesus Ortega, president of the Democratic Revolution Party, called the charges "an aberration" and said the party would use every legal resource available to help Sanchez. The July 4 elections in 10 Mexican states have already been marred by attacks and threats against candidates, fueling fears drug cartels are increasingly infiltrating politics through bribes and intimidation. One candidate for mayor of a northern town near the border with Texas was shot dead inside his business after ignoring warnings to drop out of the race. In Sanchez's case, Judge Carlos Elorza said prosecutors had submitted testimony and documents indicating the mayor was using illegally obtained funds and had ties to the Beltran Leyva and Zetas cartels. The federal Attorney General's Office has said the evidence includes several protected witnesses and documents from the Finance Department showing Sanchez made bank withdrawals amounting to more than $2 million, a sum that does not correspond to his declared income. The Democratic Revolutionary Party says the mayor has a real estate business that explains his

wealth. It has compared the case to last year's arrest of 12 mayors in the western state of Michoacan on drug charges just two months before state and congressional elections. All but two of those officials have since been released for lack of evidence, feeding allegations their arrests were a political maneuver to bolster the government's tough image ahead of elections, though none of those mayors was a candidate. Corruption scandals are nothing new in Cancun, whose white-sand beaches and raucous nightclubs make it a popular spring break destination for U.S. teenagers. Former Quintana Roo Gov. Mario Villanueva was extradited last month to the U.S. to face charges of conspiring to import hundreds of tons of cocaine through Cancun. Last year, Sanchez's police chief and other close collaborators were arrested for allegedly protecting cartels. The police chief was also questioned in the slaying of an army general hired to root out police corruption in the city, although he was never charged with that crime. On Tuesday, President Felipe Calderon said his government won't relent in its fight against drug trafficking. Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police across the country to fight drug traffickers since taking office in late 2006. Drug gang violence has surged since the deployment, claiming more than 22,700 lives. In the Pacific coast of Guerrero, gunmen barged into a hospital Tuesday in the resort city of Acapulco and killed a police commander who was waiting to see a doctor, the state's public safety department said. Also Tuesday, a 3-yearold girl was killed together with her father by gunmen who opened fire on their car in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, authorities said. Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, said the girl was shot once in the neck. — AP

HAVANA: Laura Pollan, leader of the female dissidents' group Ladies in White, left, and Julia Nunez, whose husband the political prisoner Adolfo Fernandez is in the process of being moved to a jail closer to home, share a smile during an interview with The Associated Press in Havana, Tuesday. —AP

Cuba moving 7 political prisoners nearer homes HAVANA: Cuba has begun transferring some of the country's 200 political prisoners to jails closer to home, the first sign the government is making good on a deal with the Roman Catholic Church to improve conditions behind bars. At least seven prisoners were on the move, according to reports Tuesday from Roman Catholic Church officials, human rights leaders and relatives who said they had spoken with jail authorities. "There is great hope and euphoria among us," Julia Nunez, whose husband Adolfo Fernandez was among those being transferred, told The Associated Press. She said that visiting him had meant a 7-hour bus ride to a prison 310 miles (500 kilometers) away. "No matter how you look at it, this is a little light at the end of the tunnel." The Havana archbishop's office released a list of six other names, along with details on where the men would end up. The news, once hard to imagine from a government that rarely backs down on anything , came 10 days after church officials announced an agreement that would see authorities move some "prisoners of conscience" and allow long-demanded medical treatment for those who are ailing. "This could be the starting gun," said Elizardo Sanchez, who heads the Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation and monitors dissident activity.

The church list included Felix Navarro, Jose Luis Garcia, Ivan Adolfo Hernandez, Diosdado Gonzalez, Arnaldo Ramos and Antonio Ramon Diaz, all jailed in a sweeping 2003 crackdown. They were sentenced to terms ranging from 20 to 25 years, while Fernandez is serving a 15-year term. All were charged with treason and other crimes against the communist state. Sanchez said he was heartened by news of the moves, but added he was waiting to hear about help for the sick prisoners. "It would be much more important if they free those who are not well," he said. The deal between the government and the church followed a meeting between Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who has become a key player in efforts to improve relations between dissidents and Cuba's communist leaders. Last month, Ortega negotiated an end to a three-week ban on marches by a small group of wives and mothers of some of the 75 activists, community organizers and government critics jailed in 2003. More than 50 remain behind bars. Before his mediation, pro-government supporters had surrounded the women , called the Ladies in White , preventing them from demonstrating and showering them with hours of verbal abuse. The Cuban government had no immediate comment on the reported transfers. — AP

BRASILIA: Brazil's foreign minister said Tuesday that despite the nation's strong opposition to any new sanctions on Iran, it would respect them if they are approved. Foreign Minister Celso Amorim spoke before a Senate committee to explain Brazil's role in an Iranian nuclear fuel-swap deal it helped broker with Turkey. "Brazil meticulously respects the sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council against Iran," he said. "If there are sanctions, even if Brazil is not in favor, we're going to respect them." Both Amorim and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have been outspoken in their

opposition to potential new sanctions. Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, but the West fears it is geared toward nuclear weapons. Last month, Silva and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan finalized a fuel-swap deal with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that was similar to an agreement the US and the International Atomic Energy Agency had pushed for last October, but which Iran at the time rejected. Under the Brazil-Turkey deal, submitted last week to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran agrees to ship 1,200 kilograms

(2,640 pounds) of uranium to Turkey, where it will be stored. In exchange, Iran would get fuel rods made from 20percent enriched uranium; that level of enrichment is high enough for use in research reactors but too low for nuclear weapons. The concerns of the US and other opponents of the deal is that Iran has continued to churn out low-enriched material , reportedly doubling its stock since that failed October deal , and is running a pilot program of enriching to higher levels, near 20 percent. Silva and Amorim, however, counter that their deal was never meant to be con-

sidered any sort of final accord on Iran's nuclear program, but merely the first step to getting the nation back to the negotiating table, which Brazil says it was directly encouraged by President Barack Obama to do. "Brazil was urged by President Obama to help in engaging with Iran," Amorim said. Silva, speaking at a union rally in Sao Paulo, said that he and Turkey's leader "accomplished more in 18 hours of conversation" with the Iranians than the Americans had managed during the last three decades , a "demonstration that dialogue is the best way of resolving conflicts."— AP

Best chance at stopping leak is relief well

Effort to contain oil stalls with stuck saw LOUISIANA: The risky effort to contain the worst US oil spill hit a snag yesterday when a diamond-edged saw became stuck in a thick pipe on a blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the goal was to free the saw and finish the cut later in the day. This is the latest attempt to contain, not plug, the gusher. The best chance at stopping the leak is a relief well, which is at least two months from completion. "I don't think the issue is whether or not we can make the second cut. It's about how fine we can make it, how smooth we can make it," Allen said. If crews make the cut, they will try to place a cap on top of the oil spewing out. This cut-and-cap effort could temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent, though Allen said officials wouldn't know whether that had happened until the cut could be completed. Engineers may have to bring in a second saw if the delay continues, and they are shooting chemical dispersants at the oil leaking out of the new cut. Allen said once the cut is made, crews will inspect it and the cap could be placed over the spill as early as yesterday. The effort underwater was going on as oil drifted close to northwestern Florida's white sand beaches for the first time and investors ran from BP's stock for a second day, reacting to the company's failure to plug the leak by shooting mud and cement into the well, known as the top kill. The Justice Department also has announced it started criminal and civil probes into the spill, although the department did not name specific targets for prosecution. Shares in Britishbased BP PLC were down 3 percent yesterday morning in London trading after a 13 percent fall the day before. BP has lost $75 billion in market value since the spill started with an April 20 oil rig explosion and analysts expect damage claims to total billions more. In Florida, Allen said oil was about seven miles (11 kilometers) south of Pensacola beach, where the summer tourism season was just getting started. Winds were forecast to blow from the south and west, pushing the slick closer to beaches along Florida's "Panhandle" on its northwestern coast. Emergency crews began scouring the beaches for oil and

In this image made from video provided by British Petroleum (BP PLC) yesterday shows the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. —AP shoring up miles of boom. County officials will use it to block oil from reaching inland waterways but plan to leave beaches unprotected because they are too difficult to protect and easier to clean up. "It's inevitable that we will see it on the beaches," said Keith Wilkins, deputy chief of neighborhood and community services for Escambia County. The oil has been spreading in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded six weeks ago, killing 11 workers and eventually sinking. The rig was being operated for BP, the largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf. Crude has already been reported along barrier islands in Alabama and Mississippi, and it has polluted some 125 miles (200 kilometers) of Louisiana coastline. Earlier this week, BP officials said they were concentrating cleanup efforts in Louisiana because they did not expect oil to reach other states. More federal fishing waters were closed, too, another setback for one of the region's most important industries. More than one-third of federal waters were off-limits for fishing, along with hundreds of square miles of

Chavez: Rotten food at state-run port stinks CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez urged prosecutors on Tuesday to bring charges against those responsible for the putrefaction of roughly 20,000 metric tons of food inside a seaport under the administration of the federal government. "Debacles like this cannot be forgiven," Chavez said during a televised speech. "Justice must come into play with a well-sharpened sword." "I've been informed that they detained one of those who must face up, the one responsible for bringing that food and having forgotten it there," he added without elaborating. Chavez's comments came shortly after the Attorney General's Office announced the arrest of Luis Enrique Pulido, the former president of Venezuela's state-run food production and distribution company. The rotting food was discovered on May 25 inside a warehouse within Puerto Cabello, the country's busiest port, according to a statement released by the prosecutors office. Intelligence agents confirmed that the expiration dates on many of the decaying foodstuffs, including rice, flour, milk, sugar and cooking oil, were "presumably expired," it said. The state-run food production and distribution company, known as PDVAL, is part of an expanding network of government-funded food markets, which manage approximately 20 percent of the nation's food sales. Critics of Chavez have pointed to the decomposed food as an example of costly government inefficiency.—AP

state waters. Fisherman Hong Le, who came to the US from Vietnam, had rebuilt his home and business after Hurricane Katrina wiped him out. Now he's facing a similar situation. "I'm going to be bankrupt very soon," Le, 53, said as he attended a meeting for fishermen hoping for help. "Everything is financed, how can I pay? No fishing, no welding. I weld on commercial fishing boats and they aren't going out now, so nothing breaks." Le, like other of the fishermen, received $5,000 from BP PLC, but it was quickly gone. "I call that 'Shut your mouth money,"' said Murray Volk, 46, who's been fishing for nearly 30 years. "That won't pay the insurance on my boat and house. They say there'll be more later, but do you think the electric company will wait for that?" BP may have bigger problems, though. Attorney General Eric Holder, who visited the Gulf on Tuesday, would not say who might be targeted in the probes into the largest oil spill in US history. "We will closely examine the actions of those involved in the spill. If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be

extremely forceful in our response," Holder said in New Orleans. The federal government also ramped up its response to the spill with President Barack Obama ordering the co-chairmen of an independent commission investigating the spill to thoroughly examine the disaster, "to follow the facts wherever they lead, without fear or favor." The president said that if laws are insufficient, they'll be changed. He said that if government oversight wasn't tough enough, that will change, too. BP has tried and failed repeatedly to halt the flow of the oil, and the latest attempt like others has never been tried before a mile beneath the ocean. Experts warned it could be even riskier than the others because slicing open the 20-inch (51centimeter) riser could unleash more oil if there was a kink in the pipe that restricted some of the flow. "It is an engineer's nightmare," said Ed Overton, a Louisiana State University professor of environmental sciences. "They're trying to fit a 21-inch cap over a 20-inch pipe a mile away. That's just horrendously hard to do. It's not like

you and I standing on the ground pushing, they're using little robots to do this." Engineers have put underwater robots and equipment in place this week after a bold attempt to plug the well by force-feeding it heavy mud and cement, called a "top kill", was aborted over the weekend. Crews pumped thousands of gallons of the mud into the well but were unable to overcome the pressure of the oil. The company said if the small dome is successful it could capture and siphon a majority of the gushing oil to the surface. But the cut and cap will not halt the oil flow, just capture some of it and funnel it to vessels waiting at the surface. BP's best chance to permanently plug the leak rests with a pair of relief wells but those won't likely be completed until August. Bluestein reported from Covington, Louisiana. Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Pete Yost from Washington, Curt Anderson from Miami, Kevin McGill in Schriever, Brian Skoloff in Port Fourchon, Mary Foster in Boothville, and Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans also contributed to this report.—AP



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thai PM survives no-confidence vote after turmoil BANGKOK: Thailand’s prime minister survived a no-confidence vote yesterday that was called after anti-government protests crippled the capital and 89 people were killed in street battles. Opposition lawmakers accused Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of brutally suppressing the protests. Abhisit defended himself during debate in Parliament on Tuesday, promising an independent investigation into whether the army used undue force to clear demonstrators from Bangkok’s streets. The lower house of Parliament voted 246-186 to reject the no-confidence motion against Abhisit, who needed at least 238 votes to survive the motion. Street clashes, grenade attacks and sniper fire killed 89 people and wounded some 1,800 over 10 weeks of protests in the capital. The political turmoil also cost the economy billions of dollars. The thousands of Red Shirt protesters had been calling for Abhisit to dissolve Parliament immediately and call new elections, saying his government came to power illegitimately and represented a

Bangkok elite indifferent to the plight of the rural and urban poor. The prime minister has yet to set a date for elections, saying stability has to be restored before they can be held. The state of emergency imposed during the crisis will remain in place for the time being, the special security body that was formed during the protest said yesterday. The emergency decree suspends some civil liberties, allows censorship and makes it easier to use the military to keep the peace. Abhisit told reporters the decree is still needed because an underground of Red Shirt supporters remains active. In what was thought to be a political action, a huge firecracker was set off in the northern city of Chiang Mai on Sunday on a street popular with tourists. No one was injured. The Department of Special Investigation, Thailand’s FBI, is seeking court warrants to arrest Red Shirt organizers and guards in addition to the top leaders already detained. During two days of acrimonious parliamentary debate, the opposition Puea Thai Party charged the

BANGKOK: Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, right, and his deputy Suthep Thuagsuban watch the voting scores on a screen from their seats during a vote on censure motion against both of them at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.—AP

army’s use of live ammunition and armored personnel carriers to break up the protests was excessive and caused civilian casualties. As the military moved in to clear the protest area on May 19, rioters set fires at the country’s biggest shopping mall, the stock exchange and more than two dozen other places. No side could claim victory when faced with such losses, Abhisit said Tuesday. “In the end, for reconciliation’s sake, Parliament has to investigate the matter further,” he said. His government has accused a small minority of the protesters of being responsible for the violence and labeled them terrorists. Some analysts said they were skeptical that the country’s deepening rifts could be healed in the political arena. Fears remain that the political crisis in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will worsen despite the latest unrest being put down. “For the past 50 years, the Parliament has been inept at solving political conflicts. There’s no general acceptance from the ruling class of the parliamentary process,” political historian Charnvit Kasetsiri said.

He said anti-government movements would now “go underground and go cyberspace,” dismissing that new elections would pacify the Red Shirts. “Those who believe in the government would continue to believe. And those who do not trust the government would continue their resistance: This is clear. The middle ground is shrinking,” he said. The Red Shirts consist mainly of rural supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and pro-democracy activists who opposed the military coup that ousted him in 2006 on corruption allegations. They believe Abhisit’s government is illegitimate because it came to power as a result of military pressure and back-room deals after court rulings ousted two elected pro-Thaksin governments. Speaking after the first day of the debate, Jatuporn Prompan, a Red Shirt leader and lawmaker for the opposition Puea Thai Party, accused the government of framing members of his movement. “If the government said that (Red Shirts) are behind the arson attacks, then why hasn’t it arrested and charged anyone yet?” asked Jatuporn.—AP

10 Indonesians freed by Israel Help for two activists sought

JAKARTA: A Muslim activist kicks a handmade Israeli flag during a rally denouncing Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, outside the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday.—AP

Philippines set to confirm Aquino poll win next week MANILA: Senator Benigno Aquino III could be officially declared the next Philippine president on Monday, four weeks after his landslide win in the May 10 polls, with lawmakers set to soon complete their canvass of votes. Aquino, only son of the country’s revered democracy icon, Cory Aquino, has an insurmountable lead of more than 5 million votes over his nearest rival, former President Joseph Estrada, based on unofficial tallies from the election commission. The deadline for Congress to declare the winners in the presidential and vice-presidential elections is June 30. “It’s safe to say that we’ll be able to proclaim by Monday,” Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate majority floor leader and a close ally of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, told reporters. By Tuesday, lawmakers had confirmed 203 vote tallies out of a total of 278 from provinces, cities, embassies and consulates. The canvass showed Aquino had 9.6 million votes, or 42.5 percent of more than 22.5 million votes counted, and Estrada had 5.9 million or 26.3 percent. The election commission has estimated around 38 million people voted on May 10. Zubiri said 50 to 60 tallies could be canvassed yesterday, with the main risk of delay coming from Congress’s move to seek an explanation of the failure of about a dozen provinces and

cities outside Manila to electronically transmit vote results. “I can’t make promises, but our best effort is to complete our job by today evening and proclaim winners next week,” said Zubiri. “We’re not trying to railroad the process. We’ve deferred tallies from provinces and cities which submitted incomplete documents, or those with discrepancies. But,

we’ll tabulate them as soon as election officials give us valid explanations.” In the vice presidential race, Jejomar Binay, Estrada’s running mate and longtime mayor of Manila’s financial district, leads Manuel Roxas, Aquino’s running mate, by less than 300,000 votes. The election commission’s unofficial tally showed, with more than 90 per-

cent of votes counted, Binay led Roxas by about 800,000 votes. Roxas’ lawyers have claimed he was cheated because up to 2.6 million votes were nullified due to ambiguous marks on ballots. Binay’s lawyers said that should not delay the proclamation of vicepresident, and said Roxas could file an election protest before the Supreme Court. —Reuters

MANILA: Philippine Congressman Eduardo Zialcita, left, falls asleep while Congressman Arturo Defensor covers his face as the official canvassing of votes for the country’s new president and vice president continues yesterday at the House of Representatives in Quezon City north of Manila, Philippines. —AP

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s president asked for help for two activists shot during the deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla heading for Gaza because the world’s most populous Islamic nation does not have diplomatic ties with Israel. Two Indonesian men were seriously wounded and being treated in a hospital in Israel after one was shot in the chest and the other in the leg and hand, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a news conference in the capital Jakarta. “We don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel, but we have asked the Jordanian government and other parties to ensure that they will be well taken care of,” Yudhoyono said. Ten Indonesians were among 124 activists from Muslim nations without diplomatic relations with Israel deported to Jordan before sunrise yesterday. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the government asked for help for the two men through diplomatic channels, and requested assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations. Indonesia has strongly condemned the Monday attack on a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The raid by Israeli commandos killed nine people. Israel claimed some of the passengers attacked the commandos with knives, iron rods, sticks and with two pistols wrested from soldiers. Yudhoyono also called for international pressure on Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip and stop its construction of West Bank settlements. Indonesia has long supported Palestinians in the conflict with Israel. “Indonesia believes the world’s peace is strongly influenced by the political and security situation in the Middle East,” he said. “I call on world leaders and the UN secretary-general to seriously address the problems in Palestine.” Hundreds of people staged anti-Israel rallies yesterday in at least six major cities and towns across the country. Most of Indonesia’s nearly 200 million Muslims practice a moderate form of the faith, though anti-American and anti-Israeli rallies are common.—AP

HONG KONG: A worker from Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China loads down the “Goddess of Democracy” statue as it is returned by police at a park in Hong Kong Tuesday. —AP

Hong Kong sculptor democracy statue HONG KONG: Hong Kong has deported the sculptor of a statue at the centre of scuffles between pro-democracy activists and police, a legislator said yesterday, ahead of the city’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil. Local media said police arrested 13 people Saturday in clashes with demonstrators who erected the “Goddess of Democracy”-a replica of a statue built by students during the Beijing protests 21 years ago. Chen Weiming, a New Zealand national who lives in the United States, arrived in Hong Kong late Tuesday to check on his statue’s condition and was detained and deported, said legislator James To. “(Chen) came here on his own initiative to inspect the condition of his creation,” To told AFP. Immigration department officials questioned Chen about his visit, To said. The sculptor was then asked to sign a document saying he agreed to leave and was deported when he declined, To added, saying authorities denied him access to his deportation order until it was too late to fight the decision in court.

“They used dirty tricks to ensure his deportation,” To said, calling Chen an “ordinary sculptor”. “It’s very clear-this is because of the June 4 (Tiananmen) anniversary. Hong Kong and the government in Beijing want to suppress any political activities.” The immigration department said in a statement it would not comment on individual cases, adding that it “handles all entry applications in accordance with the law and prevailing policies and having due regard to individual circumstances”. The statue was removed from a city centre shopping district at the weekend but authorities have since agreed to return it. The city will hold an annual candlelit vigil this Friday-which last year drew about 150,000 people-to mark the political crackdown’s anniversary. Chinese authorities keep a tight lid on details about the Tiananmen protests but Hong Kong activists frequently cite the violent episode in their criticism of Beijing, which assumed control of the former British colony in 1997.—AFP

China’s Premier visits Myanmar YANGON: Premier Wen Jiabao arrived yesterday in military-ruled Myanmar for a two-day official visit, the first by such a high-ranking Chinese figure in almost a decade. Wen is scheduled to meet junta chief Senior Gen Than Shwe, Prime Minister Thein Sein and other top leaders today in Naypyitaw, the country’s capital. The visit wraps up Wen’s four-nation Asia tour after previous stops in South Korea, Japan and Mongolia. China is Myanmar’s main ally, giving diplomatic and economic support. Myanmar is shunned by the West because of its poor human rights record and failure to hand over

power to a democratically elected government. The trip comes at a politically sensitive time as the ruling generals prepare for elections being boycotted by the party of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The polls are part of the government’s “roadmap to democracy,” which critics have dismissed as a sham. They say the military, which has been in power since 1962, shows little sign of relinquishing control, and note the government has made every effort to prevent Suu Kyi from taking part. Wen will sign a trade package that will strengthen bilateral economic cooperation, according to

China’s state Xinhua News Agency, quoting Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Ye Dabo. Ye said China wanted to expand cooperation in hydropower, energy, mining, communications, fisheries, manufacturing and infrastructure. China is now Myanmar’s third largest trading partner and investor after Thailand and Singapore, with bilateral trade totaling $2.907 billion in 2009. Up to January 2010, China had invested $1.848 billion in Myanmar, or 11.5 percent of Myanmar’s total foreign direct investment. China’s thenPresident Jiang Zemin visited Myanmar in December 2001, and then-Premier Li Peng came in 1994.—AP

Philippines: 15 killed in minibus fall into ravine MANILA: Police say an overloaded minibus fell into a ravine in northern Philippines, killing 15 people and injuring 15 others after a mountain road partially collapsed due to heavy rains. Senior Supt. Fortunato Albas says the victims were traveling from a local official’s election victory party when heavy rains dislodged a part of the narrow dirt road in Mountain Province’s Besao township.

The minibus plunged into the 250-foot-deep (75meter-deep) ravine Tuesday. Albas said yesterday that nine people died on the spot, three died before reaching hospital and three others died later. Poor vehicle maintenance and bad roads are blamed for many accidents in the Philippines, and Mountain Province’s roads are particularly dangerous.—AP


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Dozen militants killed in Pakistan clashes: Officials PESHAWAR: More than a dozen militants were killed yesterday in a district where Pakistan declared an end to major combat operations hours earlier after a twomonth assault, security officials said. Helicopter gunships shelled suspected Taleban hideouts near the towns of Kaasha and Toti Mela in the northwest Orakzai tribal district, killing seven militants, local administration official Sajjad Ahmed told AFP.

More than a dozen militants attacked an army checkpost in the Shahu Khel area in which two soldiers were wounded, the official said. “Troops retaliated killing six militants and wounding eight. The attack was launched by a group of 15-20 militants,” Ahmed said. Other security officials said 20 militants were killed and 12 wounded in helicopter gunship attacks and ground clashes in upper parts of Orakzai.

It is impossible, however, to confirm casualty statistics independently in what is a closed military zone inaccessible to aid workers and journalists. A military spokesman in the northwest said there was “complete peace” in the lower reaches of Orakzai, where displaced families had started to return over the past two weeks, he said. Intelligence sources said upper Orakzai was more volatile and troops were engaged against militants in

Ghalju and Dabori towns. Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP that major operations in Orakzai were over, although “stabilisation” operations may continue. “There are very small pockets of resistance which are being cleared, but the major population centres have been cleared and that includes the passes that were connected to the Tirah valley in the north,” he said. Since March 26, 46 sol-

diers and 106 militants had been killed in Orakzai, Abbas said. Around 333 suspects were arrested and 200 military personnel wounded, he added. Pakistani forces opened a new front in Orakzai on March 24 in a bid to flush out Taleban who escaped a major assault last year on South Waziristan, which the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) leadership turned into its headquarters. The TTP, a key architect in a bombing cam-

paign that has killed 3,400 people across Pakistan in three years, grabbed the global spotlight after the United States accused the group over a failed car bomb plot in New York on May 1. Washington says Pakistan’s tribal belt, which lies outside direct government control, is an Al-Qaeda headquarters and a stronghold for militants plotting attacks on US-led troops fighting against the Taleban in Afghanistan.—AFP

Militants attack as Afghan peace conference starts President’s opening remarks interrupted KABUL: Taleban militants launched a suicide attack on Afghanistan’s national peace conference yesterday as President Hamid Karzai interrupted his opening remarks to reassure nervous delegates hearing the thump of

DHAKA: Bangladehsi firefighters search through the rubble of a collapsed building in Dhaka yesterday. At least 20 people were killed and 25 injured when a four-storey building collapsed onto tin-roofed shanties in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, police and officials said. —AFP

20 killed in Bangladesh building collapse DHAKA: At least 20 people were killed and 25 injured when a four-storey building collapsed onto tin-roofed shanties in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, police and officials said yesterday. The structure, which was built on columns on the edge of a canal, toppled over late Tuesday, flattening three flimsy homes where scores of low-paid garment workers and labourers lived. “So far, we have recovered 20 dead bodies from the rubble,” the director of the fire brigade, Sheikh Mohammad Shahjalal, told AFP. “There are still four people confirmed missing, based on the report of a man who hasn’t found his three children and his wife. But more could be buried under the debris.” Army engineers struggled to remove large chunks of debris from the canal as they searched for more bodies, Shahjalal said, warning the operation could take several days. “I thought it was a storm. But I came out and saw that the building had fallen spectacularly from its raised columns and landed on the shanties making a terrible noise,” one resident told Bangla Vision television. “People sleeping inside the shanties and in

the building didn’t have time to escape,” said city official Muhibul Haque. “Twelve people were rescued alive this morning. The injured were sent to hospital.” Fire officials said rescue work was hampered by live electricity wires and leaking gas pipes. Authorities blamed shoddy construction. The building, owned by a former government official had additional floors on top of the original structure in defiance of building regulations, Brigadier General Sharafat Hossain said. “The building’s centre of gravity changed and eventually it broke down,” Hossain, who was involved in the rescue effort, told reporters. Building collapses are common in the Bangladeshi capital, where construction laws are seldom enforced. In one of the worst such incidents, at least 70 people were killed when a garment factory collapsed outside Dhaka in 2005. Experts have said more than half of Dhaka’s buildings and high-rises would collapse if the country is hit by a powerful earthquake, with the last major quake hitting the disaster-prone South Asian nation over 100 years ago.—AFP

Maoist-hit India has massive police shortage, says minister RAIPUR: India’s home minister yesterday said at least 335,000 police posts were vacant across the country as the government struggles to tackle a spreading Maoist insurgency. P Chidambaram told a security conference held in one area hit by deadly Maoist activity that India even lacked police stations in some regions that were in the grip of raging left-wing violence. “And there are police stations where men do not hold any weapons for the fear of their weapons being looted,” he said in Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh state where

Maoists massacred 76 policemen in an ambush in April. Chidambaram has taken a hard stand against the outlawed guerrillas, pumping tens of millions of dollars into police programs to re-arm men battling the rebels. “The total number of sanctioned posts in all ranks is about 2.1 million and of these about 335,000 posts are vacant,” said the minister, who is under pressure to deploy the armed forces to battle the Maoists. The comments came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was

determined to enforce “the writ of the state” in areas under Maoist control. Last week the rebels were blamed for derailing a passenger train, causing a crash that left 151 people dead. Chidambaram launched a coordinated offensive against the Maoists in November last year, involving more than 60,000 paramilitary and state police. The operation has produced few tangible results and Maoist attacks have stepped up. The Maoist rebellion began in West Bengal in 1967 and has since spread to 20 of India’s 29 states.— AFP

The Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to The Associated Press. The conference, known as a peace jirga, continued. Karzai hopes it will bolster him politically by endorsing his strategy of offering incentives to individual Taleban fighters and reaching out to the insurgent leadership, despite skepticism in Washington about whether the time is right for an overture to militant leaders. But the attack underscored the weak grip of Karzai’s government in the face of the Taleban insurgency, which has strengthened despite record numbers of US forces in country. “My dear Taleban, you are welcome in your own soil. Do not hurt this country, and don’t destroy or kill yourselves,” Karzai told the some 1,600 delegates in his opening address, which was broadcast nationally on state television. But he said militants who caused the deaths of Afghans , an apparent reference to alQaida leaders , deserved no sympathy. “Those people who are killing innocents, punish them,” Karzai said. Karzai said years of violence and infighting had driven thousands of Afghans to join the Taleban and another major insurgent group, Hizb-i-Islami, out of fear. He said continuing fighting would only prevent the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan. “Make peace with me and there will be no need for foreigners here,” Karzai said. About 10 minutes into his speech, Karzai was briefly interrupted by an explosion outside, which police said was a rocket. Karzai heard the thud, but dismissed it, telling delegates, “Don’t worry. We’ve heard this kind of thing before.” An AP reporter nearby heard a loud explosion and saw smoke rising from a second apparent rocket that struck about 100 meters (yards) from the venue. Bursts of gunfire could be heard to the south of the tent. Farooq Wardak, a govern-

KABUL: Afghan security forces stand guard as a Taleban detainee sits on the ground following clashes near the ‘National Consultive Peace Jirga’ tent in Kabul yesterday.—AFP ment minister who is jirga chairman, said three militants dressed in burqas, carrying explosives and armed with guns and at least one grenade launched the attack from a building about one mile (1.5 kilometers) from the venue. Two died in fighting and one was captured, he said. However, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said all three attackers were killed. Kamaluddin, a police officer in the area where the conflict happened who uses one name, said one of the attackers blew himself up during the battle. Abdul Gaffar Saidzada, chief of criminal investigation for Kabul police, said three police were wounded in the fighting. Hospital official Sayed Kabir

India too protective of India government ally Sonia Gandhi’s image wins West Bengal poll MUMBAI: Indian authorities have tried to crack down on portrayals of Sonia Gandhi in movies, books and cartoons, triggering criticism that the world’s largest democracy is too reverent towards its most powerful politician. Gandhi is a member of a family of Congress leaders that has dominated Indian politics since independence in 1947. As head of the ruling Congress party, she is widely seen as the power behind- -the-scenes in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government. An upcoming Bollywood film “Rajneeti” (Politics), a political saga featuring a woman politician said to resemble Sonia Gandhi, has had trouble with the censor. Filmmaker Prakash Jha denies his lead actor in “Rajneeti” seen in promotional material draped in a saree like Sonia Gandhi-is modeled after her. Jha said he had had difficulty getting his film classified “U/A” (universal) after first receiving an adult certification that would have drawn smaller audiences. A new controversy threatens to overshadow the movie’s premiere on Friday. A Spanish novel “El Sari Rojo” (The Red Sari), purporting to dramatise the “tale of the Nehru-Gandhi family told through the story of Sonia Gandhi”, has recently come under fire from the powerful Congress party. There have been moves to block the English publication of the novel, which in some editions has pic-

tures of Sonia Gandhi on the cover with folded hands. Congress party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi was cited in the Indian Express daily as saying the work was “completely unauthorised, defamatory and salacious”. Congress has been blamed for shutting down the office of an Urdu-language newspaper in Kashmir over a caption under a picture of Sonia Gandhi deemed derogatory by local officials. The main Hindu nationalist opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, says such censorship moves are a throwback to the Emergency in the 1970s when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banned books, movies and newspapers seen as anti-government. Political observers say the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi is not quite the autocrat her mother-in-law was reputed to be and that the new censorship is a result of the Congress party’s protective nature over the Gandhi family. “It is the culture of sycophancy in the party that is to blame,” said Suhel Seth, managing partner of marketing consultancy Counselage India. “The eager beavers in the party take it upon themselves to be custodians of what they perceive to be Brand Sonia to curry favour.” Sonia Gandhi has recently stepped up to a more public role after years of running the Congress party from the wings, with a cabinet-ranked post that gives her greater clout. — Reuters

KOLKATA: A major ally in India’s coalition government won municipal elections in the swing state of West Bengal yesterday, dealing a blow to the ruling Congress party in a possible voter backlash over high inflation. The Trinamool Congress, a regional party based in West Bengal and the biggest ally of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, won 27 out of 81 seats, becoming the biggest single party in the eastern state, according to the latest results from election commission. While it was not an outright win for 53-year-old Mamata Banerjee, head of Trinamool, it signalled her party’s growing political momentum and could give her more weight within the ruling federal coalition. The ruling Congress party won only seven seats in what many analysts said was a vote against high inflation, currently at nearly 10 percent. Food inflation reached an 11year high of 20 percent last December, although it has since cooled. “I accept the failure of Congress to come up to the expectation which we had,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after the results came through. Banerjee is railway minister and her party holds 20 seats in parliament, helping give Prime

rockets and rattle of gunfire outside. No delegates were harmed but at least two attackers were killed in fighting with Afghan security forces near the giant tent erected for the three-day gathering, officials said.

Minister Singh a majority. In the first year of the government, Banerjee has proved a difficult ally and has opposed major policy moves such as relaxing acquisition of farmlands and rises in state-regulated fuel prices. The vote was also a defeat for the communists of West Bengal, who won 18 seats. They lost last year’s parliamentary elections in the state and they are widely expected to lose a state vote next year after being in power for nearly four decades. Congress and Trinamool joined together for the 2009 national elections. In this municipal election they ran on separate tickets after differences over seat allocations. “Inflation was one issue in the election that cost the Congress votes. They also suffered for fighting these elections on their own,” said Amulya Ganguli, a political analyst. Prime Minister Singh is facing immense political pressure to tackle inflation which is threatening to undermine its support among India’s poor who helped the coalition return to power for a second straight term a year ago. “The results show the Congress government has to think very carefully about rapid reforms and ways to counter inflation,” added Mahesh Rangarajan, another analyst. — Reuters

Amiry said two civilians were admitted with wounds inflicted in yesterday’s attack. Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid gave a slightly different account of the attack , that four suicide attackers disguised in Afghan army uniforms had opened fire in an attempt “to sabotage and destroy this peace jirga.” While militants are strongest in the volatile south of the country, where NATO forces are preparing a major operation in the Taleban stronghold of Kandahar, insurgents have repeatedly shown they can strike in the heavily defended capital as well. “Unfortunately this shows the weakness of the government, and the weakness of the security forces, that they were

unable to provide enough security for this consultative peace jirga,” said Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a lawmaker attending from Parwan province. One prominent rights activist was skeptical the conference could help bring peace. Delegates include individuals with links to militants but not active members of insurgent groups. “I’m not very hopeful that we will come up with a workable mechanism to go for peace. The reason is we don’t have the opposition with us. It’s obvious from their attacks,” said Sima Samar, the head of the Afghan Human Rights Commission. Wardak rejected Taleban claims the jirga was stacked with Karzai supporters and designed to

rubber-stamp the president’s plans for reconciliation. “This jirga is to advise the government who we can talk to and who we cannot talk to,” he said. The Obama administration supports overtures to rank-and-file insurgents but has been skeptical of a major political initiative with insurgent leaders, believing that should wait until accelerated military operations have weakened the Taleban on the battlefield. US officials believe Taleban leaders have little reason to negotiate because it believes it is winning the war. NATO announced it had captured the Taleban’s “shadow governor” of northeastern Baghlan province on Monday, one day after killing his predecessor in an airstrike. — AP



Thursday, June 3, 2010


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'Red shirts' not yet finished, need time By Ambika Ahuja


hai anti-government protesters have vowed to return to the streets after an army crackdown ended their nine-week protest, but with most of their leaders detained or in hiding, it could take months to revive their campaign. Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy is still recovering from modern Thailand's worst political violence, which killed 88 people and wounded more than 1,800 as troops dispersed protesters from central Bangkok. The occupation of an upscale commercial district by thousands of red-shirted protesters representing the rural and urban poor decimated the vital tourism industry, sent foreign investors fleeing Thailand's capital markets, and will shave a point or two from projected economic growth this year, the government says. Calm has returned since troops forcibly dislodged protesters demanding immediate elections from their fortified encampment in ritzy central Bangkok on May 19, providing a window of opportunity to dip back into what had been one of Asia's hottest emerging markets. The window might not stay open for long. Thailand remains fundamentally divided between what some analysts see as a peasant and proletariat movement largely backing ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and what they call an aristocratic "establishment elite" of royalists, military brass, bureaucrats and the educated middle class. Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, or his proxy parties have won every election in Thailand over the past decade, and would most likely win the next one, whenever that is. But critics of the graft-convicted and self-exiled Thaksin say he and his allies are manipulating protesters' discontent over genuine grievances to engineer his comeback. The government has suggested Thaksin may have been behind recent violence which authorities blamed on shadowy gunmen who were lurking behind unarmed protesters. He and protest leaders have denied any link with the gunmen. The markets are no longer churning, but foreign investors remain on the sidelines awaiting political clarity. Five-year credit default swaps, a measure of sovereign risk, are trading at a spread of around 145 after going widening to 170 in May, their highest in a year, driven up by tremors in the euro zone as well as the political instability. "Investors with a shorttime horizon will see an opportunity in the current relative calm and move back into the market," said Bill Witherell, chief global economist with Cumberland Advisors. "Investors that take a longer-term perspective ... would like to see some movement towards improving the underlying situation, some reason to believe that greater

stability can be achieved." "As long as alternative Asian markets offer greater stability and at least equal expected returns, Thailand is going to find it difficult to get international investors to return, particularly when global risk aversion is as high as it seems to be," he said. Foreign investors sold a net $2.04 billion of stocks between April 10 - the first major clash between troops and protesters - and May 31. Compare that to a $1.8 billion wave of foreign buying from mid-February to April 9, a day before the gunbattle in the heart of old Bangkok that killed 25 people. For now, the "red shirt" movement appears in disarray. "Our grassroot activities will continue but it may take months before the organisation as a whole recovers," said Pongsak Phusitsakul, a doctor who helped organise "red shirt" rallies. "The movement is in no way dead. But I have no desire to rot in a military detention camp." After top leaders surrendered and were taken into military detention, others, like Pongsak, went underground. A state of emergency is in place in Bangkok and elsewhere banning rallies. Many activists have turned off their phones. Some have slipped away from home and shut down community radio stations that were instrumental in mobilising support. Karn Yuenyong, director of the independent Siam Intelligence Unit think tank, said financial sanctions on protest leaders, censorship of "red shirt" media and the beginning of the rice-planting season meant there would be no quick return to the streets. With images of rioting, arson, and looting constantly replayed by the media, a stigma of being associated with the "red shirts" is compounding problems facing the movement. "We have a lot of sympathisers, but there are people who want to distance themselves for now," said Sriwan Janhong, a disc jockey for a red-shirt radio in the northern city of Chiang Mai. "They are scared they will be labelled uneducated and violent thugs so they give money and support but ask to stay anonymous. Some people think twice these days before identifying themselves as red shirt." Some analysts say that since the recent violence, the government is more willing to take a hard line with the disparate movement of Thaksin supporters, democracy activists and leftists. "The government is keeping the state of emergency. It has closed newspapers, radios, websites, and tracks the movement of regional leaders," said Charnvit Kasertsiri, a prominent political historian. "They are comfortable doing this in the name of fighting terrorism and republicanism." Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had offered a November election in a failed bid to negotiate an end to the protest. But he is now in no rush to call polls. — Reuters

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Muslim allies vs Obama over Israeli raid By Steven R Hurst


resident Barack Obama is being slammed by Muslim countries, even US allies Turkey and Egypt, about his measured reaction to Israel's raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip. The diplomatic crisis hits at a particularly delicate moment, confronting Obama with a second major test by Israeli leaders and yet another blow to his goal of brokering peace with the Palestinians and improving the US image among the Arabs. Egypt already has spoken, breaking ranks with Israel, at least temporarily, in their joint blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza. Still to be seen: will Cairo permanently open its border with Gaza. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared, going into a State Department meeting with Hillary Rodham Clinton, his US counterpart, that Ankara was deeply dissatisfied with the American response. Thus, Turkey, by sanctioning the aid flotilla and putting one of its flagged vessels in the lead, and Israel, by launching the bloody confrontation with the convoy, are testing American diplomacy to the utmost. The aid convoy was intent on breaking Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, imposed after the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized control of the tiny Mediterranean territory in 2007. The blockade, along with Israel's fierce offensive against Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 to stop Hamas rocket fire on Israeli villages, already had fueled anti-Israeli sentiment among the Arabs and in some quarters in Europe. At the same time, the convoy, led by a Turkish-flagged ship and condoned by that non-Arab country's government, clearly was a provocation. Israel took the bait, then argued the botched raid was a matter of selfdefense. So far, Obama has voiced "deep regret," and a White House state-

ment said he "expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances" surrounding the incident. However, Alejandro Wolff, the Deputy US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, argued overnight that Israel already had in place a system for accepting such aid and passing it on to Gaza. That would insure that weapons did not reach Iranian-backed Hamas leaders in Gaza. Speaking after a presidential statement was adopted at the UN Security Council, Wolff asserted that the top UN body's call for an investigation of what happened in the raid should be carried out by Israel. That was certain to further inflame the Muslims. Immediately after the raid, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused Israel of "state terrorism," and the government recalled its ambassador and called off military exercises with the Jewish state. His anger did not abate on Tuesday when he told his parliament the Israeli assault violated "international law, the conscience of humanity and world peace". "Today is a turning point in history. Nothing will be same again," Erdogan said, demanding that Israel immediately halt its "inhumane" blockade of Gaza. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said four Turkish citizens were confirmed slain by Israeli commandos and five other Turks were believed to round out the total of nine killed. Obama took office declaring that Israeli-Palestinian peace stood atop his agenda. He demanded that Israel help by stopping construction of West Bank settlements and ending expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, lands the Palestinians envision as part of their future state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no and poured salt in that wound when his government announced a major east Jerusalem project as Vice President Joe Biden was visiting to reassure Israel of U.S. support.

After a deep chill, Obama said he recognized that neither side was ready for peace talks. Even so, Netanyahu and the Palestinians subsequently agreed to open indirect negotiations brokered by US special envoy George

Mitchell. With Netanyahu having canceled a Tuesday meeting in Washington with Obama, the fate of that small move forward was uncertain. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the ship raid as a "sinful

massacre" but signaled he would continue the indirect talks. Difficult USTurkish relations are bound to be set back seriously if Obama does not issue a strong statement on the Israeli ship raid. —AP

Labour unrest good for China, world By Aileen Wang and Simon Rabinovitch


rare burst of labour unrest in China has been resolved with hefty pay increases, illustrating how the balance of power in the country's vast factories is slowly but surely tilting towards workers. Rising wages in the workshop of the world might seem to pose unsettling implications for the global economy in the form of thinning profits for companies and cost inflation for consumers. But this disregards more important, positive developments. By spreading the fruits of the China's stunning growth more evenly, higher incomes will help to boost domestic consumption and rectify imbalances that have dogged the global economy."If China wants to build up a new growth model driven by consumption, you have to find a channel to redistribute GDP more to labour, especially to the low-income class," Ting Lu, an economist with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, said. "Now this is being not just driven by politics, but by a natural changing balance in the demand and supply of labour." Honda Motor Co this week gave a 24 percent pay raise to striking workers at a car parts factory in southern China. The plant resumed full production yesterday. Foxconn yesterday said its workers in a different part of southern China would get 30 percent raises after a spate of suicides cast a troubling light on conditions at its factory which churns out top-tier electronic products, including Apple's iPhone. The Honda and Foxconn stories have been sensational in a country that stamps out strikes and suppresses unflattering news, but they are just a small part of a much broader wave of wage increases in the Chinese manufacturing sector. Pay for China's 150 million or so migrant workers increased 19 percent in 2008 and 16 percent in 2009, even though exporters were hit hard by the global financial crisis, according to Cai Fang, head of the Institute of Population and Labour Economics with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Overall Chinese income levels, especially for blue-collar workers, are expected to grow faster than before because fewer new workers will enter the labour force every year," said Maggie Li, an analyst at Mercer, a human

resource consultancy. This trend will accelerate from about 2012, she said. In economic terms, China has arrived at its Lewis turning point, a period in development when the economy shifts from a labour surplus to a labour shortage and wages start to increase more rapidly, especially for the unskilled. Chinese workers have made big strides in recent years in absolute terms as their wages rose about 8 percent a year. The problem is that these increases have not kept up with the broader economy, which has boomed at a double-digit pace. Labour's share of national income declined to 39.7 percent in 2007 from 53.4 percent in 1996. During that same time, the corporate share rose to 31.3 percent from 21.2 percent, official statistics show. "China's wage level has stayed very low for a long time despite some increases in recent years and this has depressed domestic demand," said Yang Yiyong, a research director of a think-tank under the National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful economic planning agency. Beijing has declared the promotion of private consumption to be a priority as it seeks to reorient the economy away from a model that has relied too heavily on investment and exports. The central government has launched a flurry of incentive programs to encourage people to buy home appliances in the countryside and cars in cities. It is also building up the social safety net to stimulate more discretionary spending. And some cities have even started offering shopping vouchers. But nothing will be as powerful as income growth. "A 100 percent increase in wages of lower-income earners will generate about a 70 to 90 percent increase in consumption," said Wang Han, an economist with research firm CEBM. Huang Yiping, an economist at Peking University, cautioned that the government cannot sit back and wait for higher incomes alone to boost consumption. It will have to craft policies that promote the service and skilled-labour sectors to ensure the continued creation of jobs as wages increase. For the world economy, the conclusion is more unambiguously positive. Rising Chinese wages point to an inexorable, if gradual, reduction of its whopping trade surplus. — Reuters

Putin, eyeing polls, burnishes democratic image By Michael Stott


ladimir Putin, Russia's most powerful man, leaves little to chance. So when the Prime Minister, normally treated with great deference on state media, was lectured on television by one of the country's best-known rock stars about democracy, Kremlin-watchers suspected there was more to it than met the eye. The government portrayed the incident, at a weekend charity evening for cancer children in St Petersburg, as a spontaneous exchange of views between outspoken singer Yuri Shevchuk and an animated but attentive Putin. Shevchuk asked Putin if he had a plan for "serious, sincere, honest liberalisation and democratisation" in Russia. Putin replied that "without normal, democratic development, the country has no future". "Only in a free society can an individual fulfil himself," the former KGB spy went on. And far from wanting to ban demonstrations, protests about "concrete, relevant things" were welcome and "actually help" the government, he added. So was this verbal duel a surprisingly open exchange of views between Russia's most powerful man and a daring, provocative opposition figure? "Of course the fact that Shevchuk was invited and then asked these tough questions in front of the cameras was not an accident," said Lev Gudkov,

director of the independent pollster Levada Centre. Gudkov said the encounter was almost certainly a carefully arranged attempt to portray Putin with a softer, more liberal face and not put him at a disadvantage to his protege and junior partner in Russia's ruling "tandem", President Dmitry Medvedev. Putin, 57, has the final say in a Russian political system carefully controlled from the top. Kremlin-watchers believe he has not yet decided whether

to return to the presidency in 2012 elections or to allow his protege Medvedev, 44, a second term. "This is disinformation from the top," Gudkov added. "The idea is to create a slightly more liberal edge to Putin ... because his image-makers are concerned that he's looking too hard and authoritarian next to Medvedev." Since taking office two years ago as Putin's anointed successor, Medvedev has repeatedly called for more open-

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seen in this file photo. – AP

ness and democracy in Russia, though human rights groups and diplomats say little has changed in practice. "This is about the rebranding of the regime," one senior Western diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Putin wanted an opportunity to say...'It's not that Medvedev is the open, liberal guy and I'm the dark, bad guy. He doesn't want to be painted into a corner ahead of the election." Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the weekend encounter as a "free-flowing conversation" and rejected the idea that the event was staged or that the prime minister wanted to show a more liberal face. "No, neither more nor less liberal, that is absolutely incorrect," he said. "He answered the questions people were interested in. Shevchuk was interested in that question." Diplomats said the authorities clearly knew what to expect when they invited Shevchuk to the event. The rock singer first clashed with the Soviet KGB when he started an underground rock group in the 1980s. He protested against Russia's 2008 war with Georgia and has marched with the opposition in public demonstrations. One of his best-known songs - which is not played on state radio - has the lyrics: "When the oil runs out, our president will die" "And the world will become a little freer". Staged events would be no novelty to Russian politics. Soviet leaders routinely staged fer-

vent pro-Party rallies, or spontaneous shows of public anger against illegal dissident protests or US "imperialism". Television lauded economic successes with carefully engineered visits to 'model farms'. Whatever the motives for the St Petersburg encounter, Putin's encouraging words about democracy and freedom seemed to have little practical effect. His spokesman quickly explained that the prime minister was not giving permission for opposition demonstrations, because only local authorities had the power to decide whether to grant permits. Two days later, police arrested up to 200 demonstrators at opposition protests in Moscow and St Petersburg which were called to defend the constitutional right to free speech. "One thing is intentions and another thing is what happens in practice," said political commentator Leonid Radzikhovsky. "In any case, I really don't understand who they wanted to show (the Shevchuk meeting) to, because the West doesn't care at all and inside the country, people care even less." "The 2012 campaign will depend on only one thing: which direction the majority of the ruling class go in - the military, the security services, heads of state enterprises, the ruling party...the opinion of the liberal intelligentsia will not influence in the least who is named president". — Reuters


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cabbie kills 12 in UK rampage


Japan PM quits after base row

Continued from Page 1 Continued from Page 1 children’s author Beatrix Potter. “We can... confirm that from our current indications that 12 people have lost their lives, plus Derrick Bird (the gunman),” Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde told reporters in the coastal town of Whitehaven. Emergency services were attending around 30 different crime scenes and had recovered two guns, Hyde said. “We are not able to understand at this stage the real motivation behind it or establish whether this was a premeditated or a random attack,” he added, describing it as “probably the blackest day in our community’s history.” People who knew Bird described him as a quiet man who lived alone and was nicknamed “Birdy”. “He was a very placid, very quiet man, kept himself to himself, so I do believe something pushed him over the edge,” John Kane, a local resident who knew Bird, told the BBC. A doctor, Barrie Walker, told of “blood flowing in the streets” as he attended to victims, while the local ambulance service said it received 51 emergency calls as the tragedy unfolded. One resident, Gary Toomey, recounted how he found one victim bleeding on the doorstep of his home. “I saw a car screeching off and a man saying ‘help me’. He was bleeding heavily from the side of his face,” he told local media. “He said he dived out of the way of the shot, and the man in the car pointed the gun down and shot him again in

CUMBRIA, Britain: Police stand next to a body following a shooting on Duke Street in the town of Whitehaven in northwest England yesterday. — AP the back from about six feet away as he lay on the floor.” Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his condolences in a statement at the start of his first weekly grilling in parliament since taking office, saying he was “alarmed and shocked” by the shootings. “When lives and communities are suddenly shattered in this way, our thoughts should be with all those caught up with these tragic events,” he added. Britain has tight controls on gun ownership introduced after two previous mass shootings in recent years. In 1987, 27-year-

old Michael Ryan shot 14 people dead in the town of Hungerford in Berkshire, southern England. And in 1996, 16 children aged five and six plus their teacher were shot dead in the gym of a primary school in Dunblane, central Scotland, by 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton. Registration is now mandatory for shotguns and firearms, which must be kept in secure storage. Nearly 600,000 people in Britain legally own a shotgun, and just over 100,000 a firearm. Handguns were banned in 1997, and semiautomatic and pump-action rifles are also outlawed.

The Lake District shooting spree came barely a week after another local tragedy, a bus crash involving children from a school in nearby Keswick in which three people including two teenagers died. “We are still reeling from the disaster with the Keswick school bus,” said priest John Bannister from St James Church in Whitehaven, calling it “an awful time” for the town. “The majority of children on that bus were from here in Whitehaven and surrounding villages and to be faced with this in such a short time is truly dreadful,” he said. — AFP

Calling the Israelis “high seas pirates”, Tabtabaei said he refused to answer any questions directed at him aboard the ship. “Israeli commandos started shooting from the air without warning,” lawyer Mubarak Al-Mutawa, who was also on the Mavi Mar mara, told repor ters. “They killed a number of volunteers even before landing aboard the ship,” he said. Young activist Ali Buhamd claimed he saw an “Israeli soldier shooting and killing a wounded Turk in the head” and that “soldiers left another wounded Turk to bleed to death despite repeated appeals for help.” Israel has blamed activists on board the Mavi Marmara for Monday’s confrontation in international waters, saying its troops were attacked as they boarded the ship and that nine passengers were killed in the fighting. “I assure you that no one from the aid volunteers had any firearms. We had no other weapons, except kitchenware, and the volunteers did not start any resistance,” Mutawa said. Another Kuwaiti activist compared their subsequent detention by Israeli authorities to Guantanamo, the controversial US detention centre for terrorism suspects in Cuba. “We experienced the Zionist crimes in the true meaning of the word. We lived two days as if we were in Guantanamo,” Abdulrahman AlKharraz said. Women activists Sundus Al-Abduljader and Senan Al-Ahmad said they were handcuffed, mistreated by Israelis and forced to go to the bathroom while still in handcuffs. “They kept us confined inside the ship for 24 hours, handcuffed and with a number of the dead bodies with us. Five of the group were made to stay on top of the ship under the sun for hours,” she said. Tabtabaei said he was kicked by soldiers, who prevented him from going to the toilet for 24 hours, while Mutawa, in his 60s, said his left hand was almost paralysed because of the tight cuffs. “With God’s will, we will not rest until Gaza and all of Palestine is free from the Zionist death grip” Mutawa added. The 18 men and women, some of whom looked exhausted, were received by Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, senior officials and a large number of relatives, carrying Kuwaiti and Turkish flags. The Kuwaitis arrived home on an Amiri plane sent by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah at 10:45 am at the ministerial protocol hall where they were welcomed by National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi at the moment and their families who preferred waiting in the hot sun rather than inside the hall. Tears of joy and cries of “Allah is Greatest” greeted the landing plane as families ran over rope barriers to hug their imprisoned relatives and welcome them back home while holding Kuwaiti and Turkish flags. Abdul Rahman Failakawee, a Kuwaiti, said the Israelis had used an array of weaponry to subdue those on board the convoy. “The attack was totally barbaric,” he said by telephone from a bus taking the freed activists to Amman. “They used legitimate and maybe illegitimate weapons: rubber bullets, live ammunition, sound bombs and tear gas bombs. They also used batons as they landed to beat those on board to control the ship.” Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reporter Muna Shashter, who was one of the women detainees, called on all Arabs and all Muslims to take similar actions, urging them to be a part of freeing Gaza

and stopping all the inhumane actions against fellow Arabs and Muslims by the Israeli forces. Shashter added that one day in detention by the Israeli forces is more than enough to show how much the people of Palestine are suffering and how brutal and cruel their treatment of Palestinians is. Shashter described the Israelis as “terrorists, liars, and brutal animals” that don’t consider others who are not Israelis humans. Shashter said the attack on the aid flotilla took place in international waters with three boats and a helicopter ordering the captains to turn back, all of whom refused and continued ahead. “After that, each boat was surrounded by vessels and a helicopter deployed men in black, armed from head to toe, who asked no questions and killed two Turkish men immediately,” Shashter added. She said things got worse when they were forced to stand for five hours under the sun with their hands tied without allowing them to make any phone calls. Shashter thanked the people of Kuwait for their support along with officials who helped them get back home safely by starting a major campaign, while thanking people around the world who stood against the Israeli actions and their vicious acts. Four Bahraini activists from the aid flotilla also arrived home yesterday. Sheikh Jalal Al-Sharqi, a Bahraini who was on the Mavi Marmara, said in a telephone call from Amman that activists were “not allowed to go to the bathroom, nor to pray”. Other activists expelled to Jordan early yesterday accused Israeli commandos who carried out the raid of killing passengers cold-bloodedly. “What happened was unbelievable. The way the criminal Israeli soldiers beat us and killed Turkish activists in cold blood was like a bloody movie. They could have ar rested them,” Mor rocan MP Abdelqader Amara, 47, told AFP in a hotel in Amman. “The Israelis used live ammunition and showed us all the barbarism and cruelty in the world although all of us were unarmed. The Israelis beat some of them up with the butts of their rifles before they shot them dead.” The Jewish state early yesterday deported to Jordan 126 people it held after Monday’s raid, among them 30 Jordanians as well as nationals from Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Mauritania, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Azerbaijan. Turkish nationals made up the bulk of the more than 600 passengers on the fleet, and four were killed in the attack, diplomats in Ankara have said, dragging Israel’s relations with Turkey to a new low. Amara said the attempt by the “Peace Flotilla” to breach the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip had served to highlight the “crimes” of the Jewish state. “What we did has exposed the Zionist entity to the world because its crimes took place in international waters. They did not warn us at all before storming the ship. It was a nightmare,” said Amara. He added that he and seven other Moroccans were to head home later yesterday. “We were beaten, humiliated, insulted and stripped of our clothes. An Algerian MP nearly lost his eyes after the Israelis beat him,” said another passenger, Salha Nuweisreyh, 51, of Algeria. Najwa Sultan, 48, also from Algeria, said Israel “treated the activists as if they were ter rorists”. “We were deprived of basic rights. They handcuffed us after the raid and kept us waiting under the sun for many hours. It was

identified the funding scandals and the Okinawa issue as the two main reasons for his demise. “I have caused trouble for the people of Okinawa,” he said. “Cooperation between Japan and the United States is inevitable for peace and security in East Asia, so I had to ask Okinawans, with regret, to bear the burden.” Japan will honour the latest accord struck with Washington, to relocate the base within Okinawa, under a new premier, the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, said at a press conference. Apart from the finance minister, other potential successors include Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Transport Minister Seiji Maehara and Deputy Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda. But several senior DPJ lawmakers, especially those who distanced themselves from Ozawa, began openly expressing their support for Kan. Tokyo share prices rallied immediately after Hatoyama’s exit but later fell. “The PM’s resignation will provide some stability to the market short-term as it removes big uncertainties” regarding overall policies, Citigroup trader Mattia Ciancaleoni told Dow Jones Newswires. —AFP

Cyclone churns towards Oman Continued from Page 1 Hormuz, used by ships carrying 17 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, 40 percent of all seaborne oil, and may disrupt shipping moving from the Gulf towards the Indian Ocean. Phet strengthened to a Category 4 storm earlier in the day, with sustained winds of over 143 mph. It was expected to become a Category 5 storm, the most powerful category with winds of

over 156 mph, in the next 12 hours. It will move through eastern Oman tomorrow and then head northeast, probably weakening to a tropical storm before coming ashore again near Ormara in Pakistan on Sunday. Most Omani oil exports move from Mina Al-Fahal port near the capital Muscat. The storm should turn northeast before reaching Muscat, but hurricane-strength winds are likely in the capital. Operations at Oman LNG, the

liquefied natural gas export facility, are so far unaffected, “but we are in touch with the authorities to see if there will be any change,” Nasser Al-Kindy, head of Oman LNG corporate communications, told Reuters. The three LNG production facilities, known as trains, are in Sur in the east, close to the path of the storm. They produce about 8 million tonnes per year of LNG. The east is also home to Oman’s protected green back turtle. — Reuters

Israel deports all activists

‘Gaza heroes’ welcomed home Continued from Page 1

declared his intention to take over the party leadership in a vote Friday. Kan, a former grassroots civic activist, achieved popularity in the mid-1990s when as health minister he admitted government culpability in a scandal over HIV-tainted blood products. The new DPJ chief must be elected as prime minister by parliament in a vote expected later Friday. On Monday the new premier is expected to give a policy address and formally launch his new cabinet, said the DPJ. Speculation had swirled for days that Hatoyama would quit as his approval ratings, once above 70 percent, crashed below the 20-percent mark. The premier’s rapid demise since he took office in mid-September was driven by the festering dispute over a US Marine Corps airbase on Okinawa island that badly strained ties with the United States, Tokyo’s bedrock ally. Hatoyama, a Stanford-trained engineering scholar, took power vowing less subservient ties with Washington and closer engagement with Asia, worrying many Japan watchers in the United States. He promised to move the US base off

Okinawa, to ease the burden for locals who have long complained of aircraft noise, pollution and crime associated with a heavy American military presence since World War II. But, after failing to find an alternative location for the base in Japan, the premier backtracked and decided to keep it on the island, enraging Okinawans and his pacifist coalition partners the Social Democrats. The left-leaning group quit his threeparty coalition on Sunday, weakening the government in parliament’s upper house ahead of elections for the chamber expected on July 11, in which the DPJ expects to take a beating. The DPJ’s most influential figure, secretary general Ichiro Ozawa, quit after Hatoyama asked him to step down. Both men have been embroiled in political funding scandals. Hatoyama’s wealthy mother handed large donations to his electoral war chest, triggering a criminal investigation that saw a close aide receive suspended jail terms. Ozawa, described as the “Shadow Shogun” for his power behind the throne, has seen three of his current and former aides indicted for cooking the books. Prosecutors have also questioned Ozawa himself and raided his offices. Hatoyama

inhuman,” said Sultan. “I think we have achieved our goal and broke the blockade despite all what happened. Israel has gone mad and it will not continue to exist forever.” Around 28 Algerian nationals are expected to head home today. Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday instructed his government to facilitate the transfer to the kingdom of those wounded in the attack “and provide them with necessary treatment and care before sending them to their countries”. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. The Israeli operation has sparked global outrage, with many countries calling for international probe, and yesterday Nicaragua became the first country to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel over the incident. Greece said several of its citizens were badly treated, reports emerged of an Australian journalist being Tasered and volunteers described Israeli “crimes”. Top Swedish author Henning Mankell - who was on board the fleet of six boats towed to Israel after the offensive on Monday that left nine people dead and dozens injured - accused the Jewish state of “brutality”. “What will happen next year when we come back with hundreds of boats? Will they fire a nuclear bomb?” the author of the Wallander crime series said when he retur ned to Gothenburg airpor t on Tuesday night. In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald said its photographer Kate Geraghty may have been hit with a stun gun by Israeli forces during the raid. On its website, the newspaper said Geraghty had told Australian Consular officials on Tuesday she had been hit in the upper arm with what she believed to be a Taser and had subsequently suffered a minor burn and felt nauseous. The photographer and Herald journalist Paul McGeough have been in Israeli detention since Monday. “I did not see her being Tasered, but when we were all finally gathered into a room and they had subdued all of us and taken over the boat she did show us her wound on her arm and she said that she wasn’t feeling well and that she was hurt,” said Palestinian activist Huwaida Arraf, who was on the same boat. “The Israelis just attacked us without warning af ter dawn prayer,” said Norazma Abdullah, a Malaysian who crossed into Jordan. “They fired with some rubber bullets but after some time they used live ammunition. Five were dead on the spot and after that we surrendered,” said Abdullah, who was on the Marmara where most of the violence took place. Abdullah, speaking to Reuters near a Jordan river bridge, said the Israeli commandos had then kept the activists tied up for 15 hours until they reached the Israeli port of Ashdod. Abdullah said the Turkish-backed flotilla had been more than 68 miles off the Gaza coast when it was intercepted. “Our original plan was to stop there and ask for Israeli permission before we entered and, if they refused, to stay at sea in protest ... but they attacked us before we had a chance to do that,” Abdullah added. Archbishop Hilarian Capucci, a Greek Catholic prelate from Jerusalem who was imprisoned by Israel in 1974 and later deported, said the maritime attack was unwarranted. “Our trip to Gaza was a trip of love and God was with us. Israel by its actions had rightly drawn world outrage over its br utality against unarmed people carrying a message of love to an innocent occupied people under siege,” Capucci said. — Agencies

C o n t i n u e d f ro m Pa g e 1 Davutoglu spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday to discuss the diplomatic crisis, and had been in New York a day earlier for a UN Security Council meeting called by Turkey to pass a resolution condemning Israel’s actions. Turkey was awaiting the repatriation yesterday of hundreds of activists from Israel, after sending civilian and military aircraft to bring them home. “I told Mrs Clinton on the phone that we would review all ties with Israel if our citizens were not released within 24 hours, which is tonight,” Davutoglu said, though he noted two of them were too badly wounded to travel. Davutoglu called for the United Nations to investigate the incident, and was scathing about the prospects for an Israeli probe. “We want a detailed investigation by the United Nations into Israel’s rogue state actions,” Davutoglu said. “What can be expected from an investigation run by a state in criminal status? It’s Israel’s actions that need to be investigated.” Once a close ally of Israel, Turkey became a harsh critic after the Israeli offensive in Gaza in Dec 2008. But the killings of Turks on a Turkish-flagged ship in international waters has brought the strained relationship between the Jewish state and Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government close to breaking point. Protests have been held outside Israeli diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul since Monday. “It’s time that calm replaced anger in reaction to Israel, people should avoid impulsive behavior,” Davutoglu said. “The security of families of Israeli diplomats, Israeli tourists and Jewish Turks is our nation’s honour. We will be making sure they are safe.” “Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased r ush to judgment,” Netanyahu said of his international critics, as he defended the actions of Israeli marines who, he said, fired in selfdefence after boarding Turkish cruise liner Mavi Marmara. “The international community cannot afford an Iranian port on the Mediterranean...The same countries that are criticising us today, should know that they could be targeted tomorrow.” His key backer the United States has

been less outspoken and has called for calm between its Turkish and Israeli allies. Dismissing complaints from the United Nations and other agencies on which Gaza’s 1.5 million people depend for aid, he said Israel was letting in civilian goods but must halt weapons. He noted Israel’s previous capture of ships carrying arms to its enemies Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian groups. Israel said it was deporting all 682 activists from more than 35 countries detained after the assault in international waters on the six ships it commandeered. All but nine wounded prisoners were expected to be gone by the end of the day. Attor ney General Yehuda Weinstein said Israel decided not to prosecute any of them, writing in an order yesterday that “keeping them here would do more damage to the country’s vital interests than good”. Israel said the marines who rappelled onto the Mavi Marmara, fired in selfdefence after activists attacked them with clubs, knives and two pistols snatched from the boarding par ty. Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told parliament that two of the activists killed during the takeover were shot after they used the two handguns to wound two commandos. In Turkey, Yavuz Dede, the vice-president of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, or IHH, alleged that Israel had failed to account for all the passengers and crew on the six ships, and was deliberately delaying the activists’ departure to cover up the missing persons. “We see this delay in the planes’ (taking off) as an attempt to disguise the loss of people,” Dede told a press conference at IHH headquar ters in Istanbul. The Israeli Interior Ministry however, said all those on board the aid convoy had been accounted for. The captain of the Turkish-flagged Gazze, a freighter carrying the bulk of the aid, said the convoy was 110 km outside Israeli territorial waters when he saw lights in the sea and sky and helicopters approaching. Israeli commandos then boarded his ship and subdued his crew. “They pointed two guns to the head of each of us,” Captain Huseyin Tokalak told a news conference in Istanbul af ter Israel released him.

There were no casualties on his vessel. Vilnai said warnings were issued by radio to the six captains that they were entering a “blockaded area” and could instead dock in Israel and unload their aid for transfer to the Gaza Strip. He said the navy had recordings of the captains swearing in response. “I didn’t know there were so many curse words in foreign languages,” Vilnai said. Turkey said three of the nine dead had been identified as Turks and a fourth had a Turkish credit card. Israel has not named publicly any of those killed. An opinion poll in Israel’s Maariv newspaper showed that more than 60 percent of Israelis believed the interception was flawed operationally. But few question the Gaza blockade. Israeli military affairs experts have described the assault as a blunder because the strength of the resistance on board was underestimated. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak visited commandos who took part in the raid and told them: “I came in the name of the Israeli government to say thank you.” Another attempt to bust the blockade loomed on the horizon: The MV Rachel Cor rie, a conver ted merchant ship bought by pro-Palestinian activists and named after an American woman killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003, set off on Monday from Malta. It is carrying 15 activists, including a Northern Irish Nobel Peace laureate, and expects to be at the point of Monday’s interception between Friday evening and Saturday morning, crew member Derek Graham told Irish state broadcaster RTE. Asked how Israel planned to deal with any new attempt to steam into Gaza, Tzachi Hanegbi, head of parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, said: “We cannot let them blur the red line Israel has set. Letting them in to help Hamas is not an option.” Egypt, which has kept its own Gaza border largely closed since Hamas, an offshoot of the opposition Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, seized the territory in 2007, reopened the frontier crossing on Tuesday. The move was widely seen as an attempt to deflect criticism of its blockade, and hundreds of Palestinians flocked to the frontier terminal at Rafah yesterday. It is the only Gaza crossing not controlled by Israel.— Agencies

Bloc threatens to grill PM on sports Continued from Page 1 Fahad Al-Sabah took over the premises of Kuwait Football Association late last month after winning a lawsuit he filed in the Geneva-based international sports tribunal. The tribunal ruled that a five-member board of directors headed by Sheikh Talal which was elected last November but was never recognized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and the sports and youth authority, is legitimate. The main controversy rages over a sports law passed in 2007 and opposed by leading sports figures including Sheikh Talal in addition to a number of sports clubs and federations. If submitted, it will be the second grilling against the prime minister in a week after MP Khaled AlTahous submitted on Sunday a request to grill the prime minister over pollution in Umm Al-Haiman area. MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah meanwhile criticized grilling the prime minister directly without first using the constitutional tools against the concerned minis-

ter. He said in a statement that the grilling should be directed to the minister who is responsible for sports or the minister of social affairs and labour and to the minister responsible for environment or the defence minister. Several other MPs have stressed that grillings against the prime minister are untimely and they will only help to obstruct development and the functioning of the National Assembly. In another development, a recommendation passed by the Assembly on Tuesday calling on the government to pull out of the Arab peace initiative has stirred controversy. The recommendation was passed by 32 votes against six after a special session to debate the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound air flotilla in which 18 Kuwaitis took part. Such recommendations passed after sessions like that are non-binding and it is left for the government to accept or reject them without any obligation. Government spokesman and Communications Minister Mohammad Al-Busairi said after the session that the

government will deal positively with the recommendations and will implement most of them. That made some media to think that Busairi’s statement is a government acceptance of the recommendation. Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi however clarified that such recommendations are non-binding, adding that the government has not voted in favour of the recommendation. “It is left up to the government to decide on the issue,” Khorafi told reporters late Tuesday night at airport while he was waiting for the arrival of Kuwaiti volunteers whose return was later delayed until yesterday. But Islamist MPs Faisal Al-Mislem and Jamaan Al-Harbash stressed that the Assembly had taken a decision not a recommendation and the government did not object and accordingly must implement it. The Arab peace initiative was approved at the Arab Beirut summit in 2002 and offers Israel full normalization of relations in exchange for Israel’s full withdrawal from occupied Arab territories.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Tuesday: NY Yankees 3, Baltimore 1; Cleveland 3, Detroit 2; Pittsburgh 3, Chicago Cubs 2; Tampa Bay 7, Toronto 6; Boston 9, Oakland 4; Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 3; Florida 6, Milwaukee 4; Houston 8, Washington 7; Texas 9, Chicago White Sox 6; Kansas City 6, LA Angels 3; Cincinnati 9, St Louis 8; NY Mets 4, San Diego 2; Seattle 7, Minnesota 1; La Dodgers 1, Arizona 0 (10 innings); Colorado 2, San Francisco 1 (11 innings). American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB Tampa Bay 35 18 .660 NY Yankees 32 20 .615 2.5 Toronto 31 23 .574 4.5 Boston 30 23 .566 5 Baltimore 15 37 .288 19.5 Central Division Minnesota 31 21 Detroit 26 25 Chicago White Sox 22 29 Kansas City 22 31 Cleveland 19 31

.596 .510 .431 .415 .380

4.5 8.5 9.5 11

Western Division Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

.529 .528 .481 .392

2.5 7

Atlanta Philadelphia Florida NY Mets Washington

National League Eastern Division 30 22 28 23 27 26 27 26 26 27

.577 .549 .509 .509 .491

1.5 3.5 3.5 4.5

Cincinnati St. Louis Chicago Cubs Pittsburgh Milwaukee Houston

Central Division 31 22 30 23 24 29 22 31 21 31 18 34

.585 .566 .453 .415 .404 .346

1 7 9 9.5 12.5

San Diego LA Dodgers Colorado San Francisco Arizona

Western Division 31 21 30 22 28 24 27 24 20 33

.596 .577 .538 .529 .377

1 3 3.5 11.5

27 28 26 20

24 25 28 31

DETROIT: Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen throws out Cleveland Indians’ Jason Donald in the fifth inning of a baseball game.—AP

Tejada’s error gives Yanks win over Orioles NEW YORK: Miguel Tejada’s two-out, tworun throwing error allowed Javier Vazquez to win a stellar matchup with Brian Matusz as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 Tuesday. Tejada, playing his first season at third base, fielded Alex Rodriguez’s sharp ground ball off reliever David Hernandez in the seventh inning, but his throw to first bounced in the dirt and Ty Wigginton couldn’t stretch far enough to scoop it. Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer in the fifth inning. Baltimore lost its sixth in a row.

innings. Chris Perez stranded two runners in the eighth by getting Magglio Ordonez to pop up. Kerry Wood gave up an unearned run on Alex Avila’s RBI single after Branyan’s twoout error, letting the Tigers pull within a run before earning his third save in four chances. Jeremy Bonderman (2-3) didn’t allow a run until Branyan hit a solo home run in the fifth. Choo followed with a solo shot the next inning. Mark Grudzielanek’s RBI single in the eighth gave Cleveland a two-run cushion it needed.

Indians 3, Tigers 2 At Detroit, Russell Branyan and Choo Shin-soo hit home runs to lift Cleveland over Detroit. Jake Westbrook (3-3) gave up a run on five hits and a walk over 7 2-3

Royals 6, Angels 3 At Kansas City, Missouri, David DeJesus hit a two-run triple, Jose Guillen homered and reliever Robinson Tejeda escaped a jam

in the sixth inning to lift Kansas City over the Los Angeles Angels. Brian Bannister (5-3) worked into the sixth inning for his fourth straight win and the bullpen pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings to end Kansas City’s three-game losing streak. Tejeda got the two biggest outs, stopping the Angels with runners on second and third, and Joakim Soria pitched a dominating ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

He was nearly picked off second, but ended up at third after Gregg’s throwing error sent the ball into center field. Evan Longoria walked to put runners on the corners for Carlos Pena, who struck out looking after he was denied a timeout call by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Rays manager Joe Maddon came out to argue and was ejected by Hernandez.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 6

At Boston, Victor Martinez had five hits, including a career-high four doubles as Boston rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Oakland. John Lackey (6-3) spotted the A’s a 4-0 lead before Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer in the fifth. In the sixth, Bill Hall reached on a leadoff walk and then Darnell

Red Sox 9, Athletics 4 At Toronto, Sean Rodriguez hit a goahead, three-run double in a wild ninth inning that featured two ejections as Tampa Bay rallied to beat Toronto. The Blue Jays led 5-3 to begin the inning, but Carl Crawford drew a one-out walk and stole second.

McDonald and Marco Scutaro both tried to sacrifice bunt but wound up walking as well. Hall scored to tie it on Dustin Pedroia’s double-play grounder, then Martinez’s line drive one-hopped into the stands to make it 5-4. The Red Sox added a run in the seventh and three in the eighth.

Rangers 9, White Sox 6 At Chicago, Ian Kinsler had two hits and drove in three runs, and Craig Gentry hit a two-run single to lead Texas to a comeback victory over Chicago. Josh Hamilton and David Murphy each had three hits for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Rangers starter Rich Harden (3-1) hung around long enough to get the victory, allowing four runs on seven hits. He struck out one and allowed

Reds 9, Cardinals 8 At St. Louis, Scott Rolen homered twice as Cincinnati overcame a rough outing by Johnny Cueto to beat St. Louis. Jonny Gomes’ RBI single and Drew Stubbs’ goahead sacrifice fly off Blake Hawksworth put the Reds ahead to stay in the seventh inning after Brendan Ryan’s two-run double put the Cardinals ahead 8-7 the inning before. Joey Votto homered and had four hits, showing no rust from a six-game absence due to a sore neck, and helped the Reds rally after blowing a four-run lead to reclaim first place in the NL Central.

Pirates 3, Cubs 2 At



Walker hit his first major league home run to put the Pirates ahead in the eighth as Pittsburgh beat the Chicago Cubs for the seventh time this season, 3-2 on Tuesday. Walker, who grew up in Pittsburgh’s suburbs and was the Pirates’ first-round draft choice in 2004, hit a pitch from Ted Lilly (1-5) into the seats in the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center with Andrew McCutchen on and one out. Joel Hanrahan (2-1) pitched a perfect top of the eighth and Octavio Dotel worked the ninth for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

Marlins 6, Brewers 4 At Miami, Jorge Cantu hit a go-ahead double in the seventh inning as Florida became the latest team to rough up Trevor Hoffman, in a win over Milwaukee. Hoffman, baseball’s career saves leader, took over with the score 3-all. Chris Coghlan led off with a double and scored on Cantu’s hit, and Ronny Paulino added a tworun single. Hoffman allowed three runs in one inning, leaving the struggling closer with an 11.65 ERA.

Astros 8, Nationals 7 At Houston, Lance Berkman singled in two runs with two out in the ninth against NL saves leader Matt Capps as Houston answered Washington’s late rally with one of their own. The Nationals grabbed a 76 lead with a two-run rally against Houston closer Matt Lidstrom on RBI singles from Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond. But Pedro Feliz reached on Ryan Zimmerman’s field-

Mariners 7, Twins 1 At Seattle, Jose Lopez homered and drove in three runs, and Chone Figgins had two hits including an RBI double in Seattle’s four-run fourth as the Mariners downed Minnesota. Jason Vargas (4-2) ended a string of three consecutive no-decisions while stopping Seattle’s losing streak at three games. He allowed Justin Morneau’s solo home run on a 3-0 gift pitch in the third — and just five other hits in seven innings. Minnesota’s winning streak ended at a season high-tying five games.—AP

Flyers face yet another uphill climb vs. Hawks

Braves defeat Phillies, Reds win over Cards ATLANTA: Troy Glaus stayed hit a three-run homer and Tim Hudson pitched six strong innings around a rain delay as the Atlanta Braves extended their lead in the National League East with a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. The Braves moved to 1 1/2 games ahead of two-time reigning NL champion Philadelphia with their 17th win in the last 21 games, including seven in a row. They haven’t been in first this late in the season since 2005, the last of their record 14 straight division titles. Philadelphia is heading in the opposite direction. The Phillies have lost eight of 10 and are really struggling at the plate, though Ryan Howard’s tworun homer prevented them from being shut out for the sixth time in the last 10 games.

three walks. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (3-6) couldn’t hold on to an early 40 lead. Buehrle was tagged for four runs on four hits in the sixth inning.

PITTSBURGH: Chicago Cubs’ Xavier Nady singles in the seventh inning for his fourth hit of the baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates won 3-2.—AP ing error to start Houston’s ninth. He was sacrificed to second by Kevin Cash and pinch hitter Cory Sullivan’s double off the wall in left field put runners on second and third. Capps (0-2) intentionally walked Michael Bourn to load the bases, but after getting a second out, Berkman drove the ball to left to win it. He finished with five RBIs.

Mets 4, Padres 2 At San Diego, David Wright and Ike Davis homered to lead the New York Mets to a win over San

Diego. Mike Pelfrey (8-1) won his fourth straight start by holding San Diego to one run and four hits in eight innings while striking out eight and walking two. On Monday night, the Padres had 19 hits in an 18-6 victory. Wright’s homer to leftcenter leading off the fifth was one of his three hits. He also had an RBI single in the first off Wade LeBlanc (2-4). Davis hit a two-run shot to straightaway center with two outs in the seventh off Edward Mujica.

Dodgers 1, D’backs 0 At Los Angeles, Matt Kemp greeted reliever Juan Gutierrez with a leadoff home run in the 10th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a victory over Arizona. Kemp worked the count to 2-2 against Gutierrez (0-5) before driving his 11th homer into the left field pavilion. It was the 12th consecutive game in which the Diamondbacks’ staff had given up a home run. loss.

Rockies 2, Giants 1 At San Francisco, Clint

Barmes hit a two-out RBI double in the 11th inning as Colorado won its season-high fourth straight road game by beating San Francisco. The Rockies had runners thrown out at the plate in the ninth and 10th innings before finally breaking through in the 11th. Santiago Casilla (1-1) retired the first two batters before allowing a single to Miguel Olivo and walking Melvin Mora. Barmes then lined a double just inside the left-field line that scored Olivo with the go-ahead run. —AP

PHILADELPHIA: Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Philadelphia Flyers’ Stanley Cup hopes are in big trouble. Concern has again enveloped the growing legion of ice hockey fans who have embraced the Flyers during this most unexpected rollercoaster ride through the NHL playoffs. While the city of Philadelphia — with its fatalistic attitude toward its sports teams — is worried as the Flyers return following a pair of road losses to the Chicago Blackhawks, there seems to be no reason to panic. After all, this team has been down and nearly all the way out several times along the way and still managed to survive and advance. And Games 3 and 4 will be played late yesterday and tomorrow in Philadelphia, where the Flyers have a 7-1 win-loss record in these playoffs. That’s one of the only stats currently in the Flyers’ favor. “We’re glad that we’re back home now,” forward Simon Gagne. “Sure, we’re not really happy the way things went in Chicago. We’re down 2-0. “We’ve been there before. We’ve been down 2-0, even 3-0. So it’s not like it’s a new situation for us.” The Flyers are used to do-or-die pressure. At least outwardly, they show no signs of fear even though only two of 33 teams to lose the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals on the road have rallied to capture the championship. Chicago is also 7-1 away from home in the playoffs. “The Blackhawks did what they were supposed to do and they defended home ice,” defenseman Chris Pronger said. “Now it’s up to us to do the same thing. “Although many of you folk might not give us much of a chance, we’re not too worried about what you guys think. We’re worried about what we think in the locker room. We think we can win.” The Blackhawks lost the Stanley Cup in 1971 against Montreal after grabbing a 2-0 lead

at home. Last year, Pittsburgh recovered from 2-0 and 3-2 down to claim the Cup in a rematch with Detroit. Before the Flyers could even dream about reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1997, they had to do away with the rival New York Rangers on the final weekend of the regular season. The playoff match went to overtime and then to a shootout. Brian Boucher made the season-saving save and got the Flyers into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The sigh of relief that followed was hardly just for that day. It was the release of a season full of angst and frustration that featured a coaching change from John Stevens to Peter Laviolette and a recovery from a drop to 14th place in the 15-team conference. They weren’t expected to last long in the playoffs. Undeterred against the second-seeded New Jersey Devils, who owned a starladen roster, the now-relaxed Flyers ran through them in five games. Then they rallied against the Boston Bruins after losing the first three games, winning Game 7 in Boston, and becoming only the third team in playoffs history to recover from 3-0 down. No rally was needed in the Eastern Conference finals for the Flyers, who took out Montreal in five games. Returning home for the Stanley Cup, Philadelphia can be bolstered by the fact it lost a pair of one-goal decisions that could have gone either way in Chicago — 6-5 and 2-1 — and didn’t play poorly. “We did a great job against Boston, just focusing on the onegame-at-a-time mentality and not look forward at the big picture,” captain Mike Richards said. “Not too many people have done it, but not too many people have come back from 0-3, either. “We’re obviously a confident group. It’s a situation that’s familiar with us. It’s unfortunate that we’re in the situation, but ... we have to play the cards we’re dealt right now and move on.”—AP


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Bangladesh ready for wild World Cup-despite no team DHAKA: Bangladesh sit a lowly 157th in football’s national rankings, but the World Cup excites wild rivalry as the country splits down the middle-are you batty about Brazil, or ardent about Argentina? For the South Asian nation’s tailors, such passion is good for business with fans proving their die-hard allegiance with counterfeit team shirts and large, colourful flags draped from houses, offices and street lamps. “For the last seven days I’ve been selling 2,000 flags a day,” said Foyez Ahmed Titu, a tailor who sews flags and shirts at a small shop in Dhaka, the capital of a country normally focused on cricket. “I’ve hired more than a dozen extra workers to keep up with demand and none of us have slept properly for weeks,” he said. Bangladesh, which has never qualified for the World Cup, first developed its obsession with Brazil and Argentina in 1982 when

television began broadcasting the tournament matches live across the country. “People instantly fell in love with Brazil because of their stylish football. But in 1986, Maradona’s victorious Argentina snatched the young generation support,” said Motaher Hossain Masum, a sports writer. “Since then, when the World Cup kicks off, we become a nation divided into Brazil’s yellow and green versus Argentina’s blue and white. The rivalry is now in every family, village and town,” he said. For flag and shirt makers, the upturn in business is a major relief. “My garment factory has bled cash over the last few months as we lacked export orders due to the global meltdown,” said Abdul Kahhar Palash, an apparel manufacturer based at Fatullah, just outside the capital. “But over the last two weeks, I have used 50 workers to sew World Cup flags and

made a great profit. Next month, I’ll be able to pay workers on time,” he said. Mohammad Yousuf, another tailor in central Dhaka, said he downloaded the flag designs of each of the 32 countries playing in the World Cup and will sew any flag design to order-but two are proving by far the most popular. “I’ve sold a few Italian, English and German flags and there’s the odd Portugal fan, but almost all of the flags I’m selling are Brazilian and Argentinian,” he told AFP. In Bardi town, northwest of Dhaka, almost all of the 10,000 residents appear to be flying either a Brazilian or Argentinian flag, with some measuring more than 30 feet (10 metres) across. “The flags are a symbol, telling people which side you belong to. You are not a true supporter if you don’t have any flags,” said one Bardi resident. On the busy streets of downtown Dhaka,

former mechanic Mohamad Salim, one of over a hundred hawkers selling Brazil and Argentina flags on bamboo poles, was deeply grateful for the rivalry. “Today, I made 3,000 taka (43 dollars) by selling flags. It’s the most I’ve earned in one day for ages. Thank God-I made a whole year’s earnings in the last two weeks,” he said. The month-long World Cup, which is being held in South Africa from June 11, is expected to draw record television audiences in Bangladesh. Advertisers are hoping half the 150 million population will watch if Brazil and Argentina, who are drawn in separate qualifying groups, clash in the final rounds. Leading companies like Swiss food giant Nestle have special World Cup advertisements, showing Bangladeshi fans of the two South American nations yelling at each other over who is going to win the tourna-

ment. Neither Brazil nor Argentina are the bookies’ favourites this year but this doesn’t bother local fans-to them, soccer is Brazil and Argentina, and Diego Maradona’s presence as a coach adds a new dimension to the decades-old obsession. “I am a great fan of Maradona. He is a demi-God,” said Russel Ahmed, a bus ticket seller who has hoisted a giant 20-foot-high Argentina flag on the roof of his modest Dhaka house. “He will take Argentina back to their glory days,” he said. But his friend Raju, who has bought a Brazilian flag, claims this is the year that Brazil will triumph once more. “Kaka is still the best player in the world,” he said. However all the hype over the World Cup is tinged with sadness for the country’s former soccer great Sheikh Mohammad Aslam and football officials who said the number of spectators watching local league

Paraguay too strong for sluggish Greece

1966 — The year North Korea shocked football

ATHENS: Paraguay sealed a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Greece yesterday as the two World Cup finalists clashed in Winterthur, Switzerland in their last warm-up game before flying to South Africa. Paraguay took the initiative from the kick-off and Greece goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas made a good early save with his legs from Lucas Barrios. The Greek defence was in total disarray and Paraguay took the lead in the ninth minute, Enrique Vera tapping gleefully home after Roque Santa Cruz’s shot came back off the post. Paraguay continued to dominate and Barrios made it 2-0 in the 25th minute after Santa Cruz’s header was well saved. Otto Rehhagel’s Greece team, who looked one-paced when they were held to a 2-2 draw by World Cup finalists North Korea last week, struggled again and their play was characterised by wayward passing, poor movement and a lack of creativity. Greece did put the ball in the net with their first shot on target in the 33rd minute but Dimitris Salpingidis’s tap-in from a Sotiris Ninis cross was correctly ruled out for offside. The 2004 European champions begin their World Cup campaign against South Korea on June 12 in Group B which also includes Argentina and Nigeria. Paraguay face reigning champions Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia in Group F. Meanwhile, Honduras drew with Azerbaijan 00 yesterday in a World Cup warmup game on a soaking wet field due to persistent rainfall. Honduras dominated throughout but created few chances and saw an early first-half goal disallowed for offside. Honduras plays Romania on Saturday in its last match before the World Cup, where it meets Chile, Spain and Switzerland in Group H. Azerbaijan failed to qualify for the tournament in South Africa.—Agencies

HONG KONG: North Korea 1 Italy 0. Four decades on, the sensational defeat of the twotime world champions by a team of unknowns from the insular nation ranks as perhaps the greatest shock in World Cup history. The North, heading to South Africa for only their second appearance in football’s showpiece, scripted their own fairytale in a remarkable campaign 44 years ago that gripped the imagination of the English public. Largely written off as exotic no-hopers, fans took the “Chollima” to their hearts as they reached the last eight, threatening another huge upset in the quarter-finals before bowing out. Coming into the 1966 tournament, there was little to suggest that North Korea were about to rock the boat. They reached the finals by beating Australia in a play-off after African nations withdrew from qualifying, protesting against a decision to allow only one qualifier from Africa, Asia and Oceania. South Korea also pulled out. The run-up to the finals in England had its glitches, with a design for a Post Office stamp to commemorate the tournament banned by the Foreign Office because it featured the flag of North Korea, not recognised by Britain just 13 years after the end of the Korean War. There were also to-ings and fro-ings over the flying of the flag and the playing of anthems. When they did finally arrive in Europe, Britain’s Times newspaper gave them no hope. “Unless the Koreans turn out to be jugglers, with some unexpected ploy like running with the ball cushioned in the crook of their necks, it looks as though Italy and Russia should have the run of the place,” its correspondent said. But Rim Jung-Son, who appeared in a 2002 documentary “The Game of Their Lives,” telling the story of the 1966 team, said North Korea had left with the words of the “eternal” president Kim Il-Sung ringing in their ears. “He embraced us lovingly and said ‘European and South American nations dominate international football. As representatives of the Asian and African region, as coloured people, I urge you to win one or two matches,” Rim said in the film. Their first match, against Russia, resulted in a 3-0 defeat with The Times unimpressed with the “little orientals” from the “land of the Morning Calm.” In their second outing North Korea drew 11 with Chile, and the Times reported: “Rarely have supporters taken a team to their hearts as the football followers of Middlesbrough have taken these whimsical orientals.” But the match that defined their campaign was their 1-0 defeat of 10-man Italy, who lost their skipper, Giacomo Bulgarelli, to injury, through Pak Doo-Ik’s solitary goal at Ayresome Park. Followed to Liverpool by swarms of fans from the northeast, North Korea were not done yet, almost penning an even more dramatic chapter at Goodison Park when they raced into a 3-0 lead before a Eusebio-inspired Portugal hit back to win 5-3. Nick Bonner, an associate producer of the 2002 documentary, said to this day the team is feted in North Korea and members were involved in football until recent years. “I think this was a team that was recast in the limelight when we made the documentary but they’ve always been well known,” he said. “When the current team came back after they’d qualified to go through there was a massive reception for them and there were the players of 1966 in the front row,” he added. For the team of 1966 it was more than just a game. “I learned that football is not only about the winning,” said Pak in the film. “Wherever we go, playing football can improve diplomatic relations and promote peace.”—AFP

Spain, Korea face off in replay of 2002 WCup VIENNA: European champions Spain will be seeking to erase painful memories when they play a warm-up match today against South Korea, to whom they lost the 2002 World Cup quarter-final. This will also be a chance to make up for a lacklustre performance against Saudi Arabia on Saturday in Innsbruck, Austria, where the Spaniards scraped a 3-2 victory against a side which did not qualify for the upcoming tournament in South Africa. Plagued with injuries, many of Spain’s key players will be looking for playing time a week before the World Cup kicks off. The game will serve “to give chances to almost all those who did not play (against Saudi Arabia),” coach Vicente del Bosque said yesterday. “It’s one more step in our preparation,” he said. Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who fractured his tibia in March, is due to make his comeback at Innsbruck’s Tivoli stadium. Injured Barcelona midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez were also fully recovered, Del Bosque said. But Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will probably be rested until Spain face Switzerland in their first group stage match in South Africa on June 16. “The important thing is that he is ok that day, not whether he plays tomorrow. We won’t take any risks,” said Del Bosque. Spain will also be hoping to exorcise the ghosts of the 2002 World Cup, when La Furia Roja lost to South Korea in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out, after a disputed game in which two Spanish goals were disallowed. South Korea, which ended top of its group in the qualifying stage without losing a single game, also has some catching up to do after losing 0-1 to Belarus in a warm-up match in Kufstein, in Austrian Tyrol, on Sunday. The Taeguk Warriors became the first Asian team to reach the semi-finals with their 2002 defeat of Spain and are making their seventh consecutive World Cup appearance this year. Although they have a decent chance of getting into the knockout rounds, another appearance in the last four may be beyond them, however. Today’s friendly match will be the last for South Korea before they head south for their first group stage game against Greece on June 12. Spain play one last warm-up match against Poland in Spain on June 8 in Murcia before flying to South Africa. —AFP

matches is derisory. In the 1980s and 1990s when soccer was far more popular, Aslam was treated like a super-star. “Fans would line up in front of my club since dawn to have a glimpse of me. I could not go shopping,” Aslam told AFP. A Dhaka derby between the then-leading Mohammedan and Abahani clubs would bring 80,000 fans flocking to the stadium hours before the match would start. “Now only a few hundred people turn up for big matches. These days nobody knows a national (football) team player. By contrast, cricketers are feted like Bollywood heroes,” Aslam said. Aslam, who is also an official at the national football federation, said they plan to capitalise on the World Cup’s popularity to lure young supporters into the domestic scene. “We are racing against time to restore soccer’s rightful place in the country,” he said.—AFP

Germany’s rising stars eye World Cup glory BERLIN: Germany’s rising stars Thomas Mueller and Holger Badstuber both admit they sometimes have to pinch themselves to make sure their path to the World Cup is not just a dream. In the space of a year, the pair have gone from Bayern Munich’s reserves to the brink of World Cup glory with the national side. Both played a significant role in German league and cup double winners Bayern reaching the Champions

League final this season and refer to the last 12 months by using words like “mad”, “crazy” and “amazing”. “If I was to rub my eyes in disbelief, I’d get an infection,” said Mueller. “I try not to think about everything that’s happened. I never thought it would happen like this. It’s every boy’s dream. I’m not sure I’ll make sense of it all for another two or three years.” They have both earned their place in the national set-up and were con-

firmed among Germany’s final 23man squad on June 1. In his first season, attacking midfielder Mueller, 20, played in all 34 Bundesliga games last season, scored 13 league goals and created 10. He finished the season with 19 goals in all competitions for Bayern and made his Germany debut in March against Argentina in the 1-0 defeat. Badstuber missed just one league match all season and was at the heart of Bayern’s defence.

“When you look back to where we were a year ago, it’s been a lot of fun,” said Badstuber who came off the bench to win his first cap in the 30 win against Hungary in Budapest last Saturday in a World Cup friendly. Plucked from the reserves by Bayern coach Louis van Gaal at the start of the season, Mueller will only turn 21 in September, but has already played in a Champions League final and says the experience has served him well.

“I see it more as an advantage that we played the final, it shows we have certain qualities and reached a certain level,” he said when the pair gave their first Germany press conference at the World Cup training camp in north Italy. Mueller is set to play an attacking role behind the strikers in South Africa, while Badstuber is likely to be used as cover at left-back, but is the only left-footed player amongst the centre-backs.

After the withdrawal of both captain Michael Ballack and fellow midfielder Christian Traesch, Mueller came close to being the third German casualty when he tumbled from his mountain bike last Wednesday. Sporting stitches and cuts across his chin, the youngster said a buckled bike was hardly going to ruin his World Cup dream. “We just want to have fun and help Germany play well at the World Cup,” he said. —AFP



Thursday, June 3, 2010

of S Africans learn tongue twister anthem for World Cup JOHANNESBURG: Before every South African football match, fans and players put their hands on their chest and with serious faces belt out the national anthem. But mid-song some keep quiet or fumble the words. The South African national anthem includes verses in five of the country’s 11 official languages, a tongue twister which has prompted the culture ministry to devise ways of encouraging everyone to sing the whole song. Lerato Matshikiza, 25, from Johannesburg said that she only sings the Xhosa, Zulu and English parts of the anthem, humming through the Sotho and Afrikaans lines. But she decided to learn all the lyrics after she attended a church function with American priests in December. “It was so embarrassing.

When we sang the national anthem, everyone sang on a high note at the beginning, but when it came to the Afrikaans bit no one knew the lyrics. So we made up the words and the song picked up again on the English part.” Themba Mabaso, of the national culture department, said come the June 11 opening World Cup game between Bafana Bafana and Mexico, South Africans will sing all the lyrics. “In our research, we found people didn’t sing the lyrics because they were in a language they did not understand. So we designed literature that would unpack the content and meaning of the song in all languages,” he said. The booklets simplify the spelling of the words to make them easier to pronounce, he said. The department also teamed with

community organisations around the country to hold rehearsal sessions to teach the song, which is available as a CD or MP3 file, or even a cell phone ringtone, so people can practise at home. Although many South Africans can’t sing the national anthem, reggae singer Ras Dumisani drew national outrage with his off-key rendition before a rugby match in France last year. South Africans were also up in arms when the anthem was cut to two verses at the opening match of last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup. No explanation was ever given for the cut. Under white-minority rule, which ended in 1994, the official anthem was “Die Stem” (The Voice of South Africa). Most blacks sang “Nkosi

Sikelel’iAfrika” (God Bless Africa) at anti-apartheid rallies as a symbol of independence and resistance to white rule. The two anthems were merged into one in 1997 in a sign of unity. But last year Afro-pop singer Thandiswa Mazawi refused to sing the Afrikaans verses at a youth day function, saying on social networking site Facebook that she hated the anthem. “How can it be that the anthem and prayer for Africa is now so blatantly joined with the anthem which systematically raped this land and its people of all its value and pride?” Many South Africans simply don’t know the verses that aren’t in their own language. Despite the end of forced segregation, South African sport remains divided along colour lines, with football seen as a black sport and rugby for

whites. Football players are often silent on the Afrikaans lyrics, while rugby players skip the first three verses in African languages. Mabaso hopes the anthem will emerge as a unifying force, like during the 1995 rugby World Cup when the winning team of mostly white Afrikaakners attended music lessons to learn the Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho lyrics. “The anthem is meant to unite the country and showcase South Africa’s identity. Of all the national symbols we found, the national anthem to be the one people emotionally connected to,” Mabaso said. “We are really fortunate to be given a second chance by hosting the World Cup, so we can cement our nationalism and identity,” he said.—AFP

Greece return to set the record straight ATHENS: Greece enter their second World Cup determined to avoid a repeat of their appearance in 1994 which ended in complete failure. The Greeks lost all three group matches against Nigeria, Argentina and Bulgaria, conceding 10 goals and scoring none. It was mocked as the ‘4-4-2 system’, letting in four goals in the first and second matches and two in the last game. Fast forward 16 years and Greece are back in a World Cup Group with Argentina and Nigeria. South Korea are their other group opponents. This time though they are no rookies. Having stunned the soccer world with their Euro 2004 victory, Greece have managed to qualify for three of the last four major tournaments, all under the guidance of 71-year-old German coach Otto Rehhagel. Euro 2004 veterans such as Kostas Katsouranis and Giorgos Karagounis are driven by the thought of crowning their international careers with a successful World Cup campaign. For gifted younger players like Sotiris Ninis and Sokratis Papastathopoulos it is a chance to show their skills on a stage they could only dream of a few years back. “Our aim is to have a decent display in South Africa,” said playmaker Ninis, who is said to be a transfer target for several major European clubs. “But if we can grab a good result in the first game or even the second then the door is open.” The current squad is arguably the best Rehhagel has assembled in Greece. Defensive order has been restored after some two years, with Papastathopoulos and Vangelis Moras emerging as Rehhagel’s new “twin towers”. Their midfield, with Karagounis, Katsouranis and Ninis, is brimming with skill and their front line includes Fanis Gekas, the top scorer in all European qualifying groups with 10 goals. Moving into the next round would be exceeding the country’s expectations but ruling out Greece too early has been risky in the past. Meanwhile, Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis is a man with a mission. The 33-yearold midfielder could not have hoped for a better climax to his international career than playing in a World Cup finals and he is not going to waste his chance. “Do you know what it means for me to play in a World Cup after playing for every age-group national team since the age of 13?” he asked Reuters on the flight back from Ukraine following the team’s qualification via the playoffs. A few days later the trophy was in Athens and Karagounis touched it, turning to the Greek federation chief and saying with a huge grin: “We could win this, you know.” While winning the World Cup does not appear a rational target for Greece, neither was winning the 2004 European Championship. Karagounis, who missed the final in Portugal six years ago, is determined to make amends for Greece’s dismal showing in their only other World Cup appearance, in 1994, when they lost all three group matches, conceding 10 goals and scoring none. Capped 91 times, he is the natural leader of a team that is more driven by passion than tactics. Any and all of Greece’s attacking moves start from the agile central midfielder, who is also a free kick specialist. After a successful career at Inter Milan and Benfica, Karagounis opted to return to Greece in 2007 and this season steered Panathinaikos to the Greek league and Cup double. Equipped with a never-say-die attitude, Karagounis wants to restore Greece’s reputation after their disappointing showing at Euro 2008 when the defending champions exited in the group stage. “I am optimistic,” he said. “If we remain in such good shape then we will do well at the World Cup. We are well prepared and have everything we ask for, from coaches to physios. It was not always like that.” —Reuters

ATHENS: His Greek experience is one of those feel-good stories that are made into blockbuster movies. Otto Rehhagel’s term as coach of Greece has brought both him and the team more success than anyone could possibly have imagined, raising him to the status of national hero. Rehhagel guided Greece to one of the sport’s biggest upsets when the rank outsiders won the 2004 European Championship, and he has now steered the national team to more major tournaments than all of his predecessors combined. Yet, with his contract up after the tournament, it looks highly unlikely that the 71-year-old German will stay on after his World Cup debut. In his nine years in charge he has nurtured a new

Factbox Colors: White shirts, white shorts and white socks. Nickname: I Ethniki (the National) Previous World Cup appearances: 1994 Best World Cup performance: Group stage 1994 Coach: Otto Rehhagel Most capped player: Theodoros Zagorakis 120 Top goalscorer: Nikos Anastopoulos 29 Talking points: Greece are eager to redeem themselves for a disappointing appearance at the 1994 World Cup, their only other appearance. It could also be coach Otto Rehhagel’s last tournament in charge after nine years because the 71-year-old German is rumoured to be leaving after the tournament. Player to watch: Greek hopes rest on striker Theofanis Gekas. The former Bundesliga top scorer has been back in form, scoring in a bid to save Hertha Berlin from relegation af ter switching in mid-season from Bayer Leverkusen. His speed and goal instinct are eye-popping and he was the top scorer in all of the Eurozone’s World Cup qualifying groups, with 10 goals. —Reuters

generation of players who share his thirst for success instead of resting on their domestic laurels as previous generations had done. Rehhagel had enjoyed considerable club success with Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern before taking over Greece in 2001. Against all the odds they won Euro 2004 but then failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. A dismal defence of their Euro title in 2008 led to their exit in the group stage and critics dismissed Rehhagel’s coaching style as outdated and called for him to resign. The former tough-tackling Bundesliga defender defied his critics and stayed on to see Greece qualify for their second World Cup. “I am not thinking about my first time at the World Cup,” Rehhagel told Reuters after his team qualified by beating Ukraine in the playoffs. “This is not an issue for me, not in my mind.” However, after almost 40 years in the coaching business, Rehhagel could be excused for cracking a big smile on June 12 when he enters Nelson Mandela Bay stadium for Greece’s first Group B match against South Korea. —Reuters

Gekas looks to WCup for recognition ATHENS: Greece striker Fanis Gekas must have imagined his World Cup year quite differently. Top scorer across all the European World Cup qualification groups with 10 goals, he is ending his fourth season in the Bundesliga with his current club, Hertha Berlin, relegated to the second division. Since joining Bayer Leverkusen as the Bundesliga’s top scorer in 2007, the centre forward has struggled to hold down a starting spot, spending some time on loan at Portsmouth before being loaned to Hertha earlier this year. “There is no way I am going back to Leverkusen,” Gekas said recently. He still has one year on his deal with Bayer but it looks ever more likely that he will have to use the World Cup

Dimtris Salpingidis of Greece reacts after scoring a goal against Ukraine during their World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. —AP

as his springboard to a brighter future. That should not be too hard for the speedy, hard-working forward who is among only a handful of outstanding individual players in a Greece squad that relies heavily on teamwork. Gekas is often underrated despite a consistently superb goal-scoring record and his positioning inside the box has led to comparisons with former Germany striker Gerd Mueller. The 29-year-old established himself as a dependable goalscorer in his early 20s but could not stay at Panathinaikos because the club wanted to trade him for a bigger name. He took a risk with a loan spell at relegation-threatened VfL Bochum. The Bundesliga club could not have spent their 700,000 euros ($900,000) more wisely as the striker

was crowned Bundesliga top scorer in his first season and Bochum managed to stay up thanks to his goals. His move to Leverkusen, however, has not been so successful. Gekas is aware time is running out and the World Cup is his last major chance to showcase his goal-scoring instincts to a global audience and get that elusive big-club deal. —Reuters

Transport ‘nightmare’ JOHANNESBURG: World Cup organisers on Tuesday urged fans to leave early for the tournament’s June 11 kick-off, saying they feared a “nightmare” traffic situation following two dress rehearsal matches. Jerome Valcke, general secretary of football governing body FIFA, said fans should arrive at least an hour early for the 2 pm (1200 GMT) opening ceremony ahead of the tournament’s first match between South Africa and Mexico. “We must and we have to start this World Cup with a full stadium. It would be sad if the stadium is (only) full by the time Bafana Bafana already scored two goals against Mexico,” Valcke told reporters following the final pre-World Cup meeting of South Africa’s organising committee. Highways leading to the 94,700-seat Soccer City, venue for the opening and final matches, were jammed with more than five kilometres (three miles) of traffic Thursday as fans made their way to a friendly between the national team and Colombia. The bottleneck was a repeat of the previous

Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final, the stadium’s first professional match, which was delayed by half an hour because of traffic. “After the Nedbank Cup final we immediately asked for a meeting with all the people involved in the municipality and the province,” Valcke said. “The plan we got was, I have to say, a good plan,” he added. Johannesburg officials said Friday that private cars would be blocked from World Cup stadiums to ease traffic. To get inside the 800-metre (half-mile) security perimetre around stadiums, fans will have to take park-and-ride buses or enter on foot. Valcke said organisers were also trying to arrange for Soccer City to open four hours ahead of the opening ceremony instead of two. —AFP

Greece's Sotiris Kyrgiakos plays with the ball during a training session of the national soccer team of Greece in Salzburg, Austria, Friday, June 13, 2008. —AP



Thursday, June 3, 2010

of Witch-doctors put the magic in African team spirit JOHANNESBURG: If Sebenzile Nsukwini’s bones are anything to go by, the World Cup is going to pass off without a hitch and hosts South Africa are destined for great things. “Eish, it is looking very good for South Africa,” the 33-year-old Zulu witch-doctor said after casting her eyes over a seemingly random scattering of animal bones and sea shells during a seance in downtown Johannesburg. “Look, the trouble is far, far away. No bombs,” she added, pointing to a polished and highly decorated knucklebone lying apart from the mass of trinkets strewn across the concrete floor in the corner of a dingy bus station. A weekend newspaper report, vehemently denied by the South African government, of an “80 percent chance” of a terrorist attack during the June 11July 11 soccer spectacular suggests her

confidence is not universally shared. But in Africa, where mysticism and magic play a part in many people’s lives, pronouncements from a ‘sangoma’ such as Nsukwini can carry as much weight as those from governments, especially when it comes to the murky world of security agencies. In sport, too, sangomas have been a regular but unofficial fixture on the African team sheet, using their ability to commune with the dead to determine a player’s fortunes and whether a dose of sympathetic magic and traditional ‘muti’ potion is in order. Predicting the outcome of a World Cup is beyond a sangoma’s normal remit, although Nkuswini was confident enough to say South Africa would “be strong” despite being a lowly 83rd in the FIFA rankings and 125-1 outsiders according to the bookmakers.

Coaching change makes life hard for Super Eagles ABUJA: With arguably the best draw of the six African nations at the World Cup, Nigeria should have high hopes of progressing into the second round. A change of coach only months before the finals in South Africa, however, disrupted preparations for the Super Eagles and the incoming Lars Lagerback had little time to get to know his squad. Lagerback, who took his native Sweden to the last two World Cups, has been charged with giving Nigeria back a winning edge, something that was missing at their last tournament, the African Nations Cup finals in January in Angola. There they limped along, devoid of confidence and disjointed in their approach. It took several turns of good fortune for them to reach the semi-finals but they never looked potential winners. When they went home with bronze medals, coach Shaibu Amodu was fired. Nigeria have advanced past the opening group stage twice in their three previous World Cup finals appearances, evidence of the potential of Africa’s most populous nation. This time they are drawn in Group B, where Argentina are the favourites but both Greece and South Korea are seen as beatable. Nigeria demolished the Greeks in the United States in 1994 when both countries were making their maiden World Cup finals appearance. Nigeria have been unable to find anyone to successfully fill the midfield playmaking role previously occupied by JayJay Okocha and Sunday Oliseh. The current squad have an excess of defensively-minded, ball-winning, holding midfielders but none who have the ability to dictate the pace of the game from behind the forward line, spray incisive passes and set up clever opportunities. This leaves the formidable strike pairing of Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Obafemi Martins without the service to match their ability. Nigeria does have strong attacking players on the flanks to unlock defences and a tough defensive unit, albeit prone to the occasional extravagant gaffe. Fullback Taye Taiwo, who lost his place during the Nations Cup but is still expected to be a starter for Nigeria’s opener against Argentina on June 12, has a formidable shot that is most effective at free kicks. Meanwhile, Peter Odemwingie was spoilt for choice when it came to playing international football but has opted for Nigeria and the winger has been key to the Super Eagles’ World Cup plans. Born to a Russian mother and a Nigerian father in Tashkent, then part of the Soviet Union but now the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, the young Odemwingie shaped his early footballing career on both continents. As a 15-year-old he was signed by CSKA Moscow and spent two years in an academy in the Russian capital but when his doctor father decided to return to Nigeria, the family followed. Odemwingie took two more years to break into the top flight in Nigeria, playing at Bendel Insurance where his father had found employment as the club doctor. An immediate impact, with nine goals in 10 matches, led to Odemwingie being named on the shortlist of players for the 2002 World Cup, but he was dropped from the final squad. The exposure he received in the pre-World Cup training camp led to trials at Anderlecht but they found him too slight of build and Odemwingie signed for another Belgian club, La Louviere, instead. His first break for the Super Eagles came in 2004 at the Nations Cup finals in Tunisia where two goals against South Africa, after he came on as a substitute, confirmed his growing reputation. Now 28 and playing for Lokomotiv Moscow, he has been a perennial member of the national squad since 2004 and is closing in on 50 caps. His club career has gone from Belgium to Lille in France and then back to the city where he first realised he had the potential to become a professional footballer. “When I started playing in Tashkent, it was the dream of every young player to go to Moscow. My parents were less enthusiastic that I would be 3,500 kilometres away from home. But they eventually let me go and it was the start of what has been a very enjoyable career,” he told Reuters during January’s African Nations Cup final in Angola. —Reuters

There was more certainty from 78year-old Nigerian soothsayer John Adatiri, who was able to make a precise call on the outcome despite admitting it was the first time he had analysed a soccer tournament in his 50 years as a mystic. After a brief but intense stare into a two-sided mirror pulled from an old wash bag in his zinc-roofed hut in Lagos, Adatiri declared: “Nigeria go play quarter final. Brazil go win.” In Ivory Coast, another West African nation with big World Cup hopes, fans have been going to juju priests and a charmed grove near the capital to conjure up some magic on the pitch. “We are visiting our sacred forest two or three times a week to support the fight,” said Gnahouleou Emile, president of the national side’s supporters’ club.

South Africa’s sangomas have also done their bit, slaughtering a cow at the new 95,000-seater Soccer City stadium near Johannesburg to bless the pitch and give national side Bafana Bafana (The Boys) a spiritual boost. However, insiders say traditional beliefs might be on the wane at top domestic clubs due to an influx of nonAfrican coaches who prefer to get their team spirit from the training manual rather than the afterlife. “All the muti stuff was before my time,” said Linda Moreotsene, a soccer reporter at the Sowetan newspaper. “I can’t say I’ve seen any smoke or herbs being burnt in the changing rooms. Many of the top sides have got European coaches now and they don’t think much of that sort of thing.” Nevertheless, for many ordinary South Africans, muti- derived from the

Zulu word for ‘tree’-is a potent force and ‘muti killings’, in which a child or old person is murdered for their body parts, are not unheard of in remote areas. Muti markets boast a stomachchurning array of decaying animals and aromatic herbs said to cure everything from dodgy knees to marital mishapsafflictions common to many of the players now landing on South African soil. “This one here is for sore legs,” said 56-year-old muti merchant Lawrence Mkise, pointing to a sack of powdered orange bark. “And this will make you strong, just like a donkey,” he said, with a wink and suggestive thrust of his fist. “And this one will get your wife back. You rub it on your hand and call out her name. But it is very expensive.” —Reuters

Obi Mikel’s knee injury makes Nigeria anxious ABUJA: For a player with a confused identity, John Obi Mikel has certainly made a name for himself. As the tough-tackling midfield destroyer for Chelsea, the young Nigerian is among Africa’s top footballers and has won worldwide recognition while playing in the English Premier League. If he overcomes a knee injury, which kept him out of the final match that secured Chelsea’s Premier League title and last weekend’s FA Cup-winning game, his reputation is likely to be further enhanced in South Africa, where he will be key to Nigeria’s hopes of advancing past the first round. Born John Michael Obinna 23 years ago, he has been known as John Obi Mikel since a mix-up on forms submitted to FIFA when he played for Nigeria at the World Youth Championships in 2005. Until that point, he had failed to convince anyone of his potential. The South African club Ajax Cape Town did not sign him after a trial period and several clubs in Europe turned him down before he arrived in Norway and got a contract with Lyn Oslo. The Norwegian club were to profit considerably after the under-20 tournament, although they became embroiled in a messy tug-of-war over him with Chelsea and Manchester United. Mikel first arrived in England in the colours of Manchester United, professing his delight at signing at Old Trafford, only to turn up at Chelsea days later, saying Nigeria's he had been coerced by an agent into signing with Alex Ferguson’s team. John Obi Chelsea eventually paid Manchester Mikel during United a 12-million-pound ($17.49-miltheir African lion) settlement fee and Lyn Oslo a further four million pounds for his Cup of services, allowing him to debut in Nations the 2006 Charity Shield defeat to Group C Liverpool. Obi Mikel quickly slotted into soccer match Jose Mourinho’s line-up and when against Egypt Ghana’s Michael Essien was injured at the for much of the 2008/2009 season, Obi Mikel came into his own. Ombaka His impact with Nigeria was National impressive and he scored with a Stadium in long-range shot in his second international during the African Nations Benguela, Cup finals in Egypt four years ago. Angola, However, he has since clashed with officials when he said he did Tuesday Jan. not want to play for Nigeria’s under12, 2010. 23 side in the qualifying campaign for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. —Reuters

ABUJA: Lars Lagerback beat off competition from Glenn Hoddle to win the nod as Nigeria’s hastily appointed coach for the World Cup in South Africa. Parachuted in after Nigeria fired his predecessor Shaibu Amodu in early February, Lagerback will be coaching at his third successive World Cup, but in circumstances far removed from his previous two assignments. His Scandinavian sensibilities are sure to be tested in the hurly burly of the animated Nigerian camp. Already since he took charge there has been a mini crisis over where the team would be based for the finals and he has had a government commission poring over the preparations. It is the first overseas job for Lagerback, who came through the

ranks of the Swedish football association, coaching first the junior teams and then the national B side. Former Sweden coach Tommy Soderberg took him on as his assistant at the national team in 1998 and the pair began a joint coaching arrangement the following year. After a miserable Euro 2000, where Sweden failed to survive the group stage, they qualified for the 2002 World Cup in Asia. In Japan, Sweden topped a group featuring England, Nigeria and Argentina, only to exit in the second round after losing to upstarts Senegal on

Factbox Colors: Green shirts, socks and shorts, all with white trim Nickname: Super Eagles Previous World Cup appearances: 3: 1994, 1998, 2002 Best World Cup performance: Reached the second round in 1994 and 1998 Coach: Lars Lagerback Most capped player: Nwankwo Kanu 83 Top goalscorer: Rashidi Yekini 37 Talking points: Nigeria changed their coach yet again at the end of February, giving the new incumbent, Swede Lagerback, little time to prepare for the World Cup. His predecessor, Shaibu Amodu, was sacked after the team lost to Ghana in the African Nations Cup semi-finals. The same fate befell Amodu in 2002 when he was fired months before the World Cup and replaced by Festus Onigbinde. Nigeria have always been a country of much potential but the kneejerk reaction of officials to setbacks means there is little chance to build continuity. Players to watch: A powerful strike force gives Nigeria fearsome potential with Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Obafemi Martins having the potential to unlock any defence, and they are supplemented by the wing play of Chinedu Obasi and Peter Odemwingie. John Obi Mikel should recover from injury in time and be the key midfielder, although Nigeria make him push too far forward where his lack of pace and incisive passing counts against him. —Reuters

World Cup travels in style PARIS: Whoever the World Cup trophy ends up with, it will be travelling in style. Luxury handbag and luggage maker, Louis Vuitton, has designed and crafted the trophy case for the cup. The leather case was unveiled on Tuesday along with the replica World Cup which is given to winners. The original cup itself remains the permanent property of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body. British supermodel Naomi Campbell installed the trophy in the luxur y case, handing it with gloves as tradition requires only winners of the cup may touch it. “I think what this cup symbolises to all children all over the world is hopes and dreams of their passion that can come true and the blood, sweat and tears is going to go into this, to kick in balls to get this cup is going to be amazing,” Campbell told reporters at the unveiling. The World Cup trophy was previously transported in an aluminium trunk but FIFA went to Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH, and asked for packaging for the World Cup trophy. The new, more stylish trophy case was handcrafted over 100 hours at Louis Vuitton’s workshop in Asnieres, just outside Paris. In signature Louis Vuitton brown, it features the famous LV monogram and the distinctive locks invented by Georges Vuitton, son of Louis. The luxury goods house is accustomed to making bespoke items, creating around 450 hand-made pieces to order every year. The case was set to leave

a golden goal. The pattern repeated itself two years later at the European Championship in Portugal where Sweden again headed a tough group, which included Italy, then went out on penalties in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands. Soderberg stepped down from the dual role to take over the under-21 side, leaving Lagerback to successfully take Sweden into the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, where they again made the knockout round but got beaten by the hosts. That was followed by qualification for Euro 2008 but elimination in the group phase. When Sweden failed to reach this year’s World Cup finals, Lagerback resigned, leaving him free to take up a five-month contract with Nigeria. Though he was given only weeks to get to know his new squad, the 61-yearold Lagerback was confident, saying last month: “In three weeks you can do a lot.” —Reuters



Thursday, June 3, 2010

of Argentina have much to prove BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s path to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was littered with obstacles yet, led by a genius called Diego Maradona, they built a title-winning side over the course of the tournament. In 2002, Argentina travelled to Asia as overwhelming favorites after a brilliant qualifying campaign but they flopped in Japan and left without getting out of their group. Maradona, now their coach, likes to say that the path to South Africa is similar to the one that led to glory in Mexico and that he prefers to go as underdogs. He believes he has the players to go all the way and help him become the second man to have captained and coached his country to the world title after the former West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer. “I’m confident, otherwise I wouldn’t be here (in charge),” Maradona told a tele-

vision chat show hostess recently. “Despite everything, I’m still here standing firm, we have a very good future,” added Maradona, whose team’s erratic qualifying campaign had fans and media fearing the worst. Maradona says Argentina are going to South Africa with much greater potential than they had in Mexico in 1986, the second and last time they won the title. What he has to prove in the finals, where they are drawn in Group B with Nigeria, South Korea and Greece, is that he can mould a fine generation of players into the team that failed to materialise during the qualifiers and only just scraped through. Maradona’s side have since lost 2-1 away to Spain in a friendly in Madrid in November, playing poorly. He evidently decided that far back to

discard players such as Esteban Cambiasso and Fernando Gago, highly regarded in Europe, from the provisional World Cup squad of 30 he named this month. A 1-0 win away to Germany in March gave him the certainty that he would start the World Cup with a back four made up of four central defenders. In front of them, he has captain Javier Mascherano and Juan Sebastian Veron in the middle with Jonas Gutierrez and Angel Di Maria on the wings. He believes that is the framework in which to allow Lionel Messi and his strike partner Gonzalo “Pipa” Higuain, or Carlos Tevez, to flourish. “It’s clear to me there is no national team in the world with a Beckenbauer who would come out (of defence) playing and opened up the game with his head always high, except Lucio of Brazil, of course,” Maradona said. “I ask Lio and Pipa to conserve their energy to attack our rivals and that Lio should never stay still...Messi is impossible to stop because he’s so fast.” Meanwhile, Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain could have been going to the World Cup with France.

Factbox Colors: Light blue and white striped shirt, black shorts, white or black socks. Nickname: La albiceleste (the white and light blue) Previous World Cup appearances - 14: 1930, 1934, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 Best World Cup performance: Winners 1978, 1986 Coach: Diego Maradona Most capped player: Javier Zanetti 136 Top goalscorer: Gabriel Batistuta 56 Talking points Maradona’s lack of coaching experience and Lionel Messi’s failure to reproduce his Barcelona form for his country were major topics of discussion throughout last year’s qualifiers. Argentina have a major share of the European game’s leading scorers but there are questions marks about the midfield and, in particular, what happens if the 35year-old Juan Sebastian Veron is injured. Maradona seems set on playing four central defenders across the back, begging the question whether they are vulnerable to attacks from wide out. Players to watch Those capable of a match-winning performance-Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Juan Sebastian Veron, Angel Di Maria, all in brilliant form for their clubs. The leading players could carry them through but it will be a rollercoaster ride and their prospects are as unpredictable as their temperamental coach. — Reuters

The 22-year-old was born in Finisterre, a department in the far northwestern corner of France, in December 1987 when his father Jorge “Pipa” Higuain was playing for Brest. The Higuain family moved back to Buenos Aires when Gonzalo, “Pipita” (little Pipa), was a few months old and Jorge was signed by River Plate, and the youngster grew up in Argentina. France coach Raymond Domenech had Higuain pencilled in for a friendly two years ago but the striker was confident he could play international football in Argentina’s colors. At first

Higuain met resistance from coach Diego Maradona, who was angry he had turned down a call to play for Argentina at the 2007 Youth World Cup in Canada. The coach can have no doubts now that he made the right choice in accepting the evidence of Higuain’s brilliant goalscoring form in La Liga and picking him for Argentina’s final two door-die World Cup qualifiers last October.

Older, wiser Veron regains fans’ trust BUENOS AIRES: There were just a few minutes left as Juan Sebastian Veron strolled to the flag to take a corner with Argentina staring at World Cup elimination. Argentina managed to draw 1-1 with Sweden that day in Japan in 2002 but it was not enough. The favourites were on their way home after Argentina’s worst World Cup since 1958. The strolling image, following an indifferent performance in the 10 defeat by England five days earlier, earned Veron the opprobrium of Argentina’s fans. However today, at the age of 35, Veron is captain of South American club champions Estudiantes and one of the leaders of the Argentina team going to the finals in South Africa. The shaven-headed midfielder, who had indifferent spells at Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan, has won

back the respect of Argentine fans in the 2-1/2 years since he earned a second chance with the team. At the 2007 Copa America he was partner to Juan Roman Riquelme in the playmaking department. Now he is Argentina’s chief orchestrator after Riquelme fell out with coach Diego Maradona. Argentina’s hopes of victory rest as much on Veron’s midfield and dead ball skills as they do on the genius of Lionel Messi. The fear is that age might catch up with Veron at any moment, that he might not last the pace of 90 minutes at the World Cup, and there is no obvious replacement. Veron is hoping to carry with him the enthusiasm he felt going for the summit with Estudiantes at the Club World Cup. “I have the head of a man of 34 and the strength of a 20-year-old, today I feel that way,” he said in Abu Dhabi in December. “There is no best moment (to do things) and this is my moment and I’m enjoying it as if I were 20,” added Veron, who plans to work his way up to becoming Estudiantes president once he retires as a player. — Reuters

The X-factor to Group B Argentina's Juan Sebastian Veron in action against Brazil during a World Cup qualifying soccer match in Rosario. — AP

Higuain scored on his debut against Peru and displayed both his ability to find and run into space on to passes from deep, and the finishing that has brought him 27 goals in La Liga this season. In the second qualifier in Montevideo, Higuain led the attack alone for a very defensive Argentina, playing mainly with his back to goal and holding up the ball to keep the Uruguay back four busy. His quality on both occasions should be highly reassuring for Argentina fans, who had been concerned the national team did not have an adequate replacement up front for Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo. — Reuters

Argentina make first media contact PRETORIA: Argentina’s first contact with media on Tuesday did little to dispel the uncertainty surrounding the team since they bunkered up at their World Cup base after arriving in South Africa on Saturday. Coach Diego Maradona and captain Javier Mascherano reassured fans that the squad were in good spirits and all 23 players were vying for a place in the team to face Nigeria in their Group B opener in Johannesburg on June 12. But Maradona’s supposed certainties about having found his team and tactics when Argentina beat Germany 1-0 in a March 3 warm-up in Munich no longer appear to be absolutes. “The team will come out (of the practices) very few days before (the Nigeria match),” Maradona told a news conference at the squad’s University of Pretoria base. “I have 23 wild cats prepared to leave their skins on the pitch. With each training session it gets harder to decide.” Maradona said it did not bother him not to have any warm-up games arranged in the coming days before the tournament starts on June 11. “I’m not concerned because our practices carry you to a level you might not reach in a match risking injury to one or other (player),” he said. The less experienced players were making “a very big leap in quality” while the veterans were in optimum shape. “We’re going to reach a level that the (Argentina light blue and white striped) shirt deserves... Argentines should relax because to beat this team (rivals) will have to put all their beef on the grill,” said Maradona using favourite imagery.—Reuters

PARIS: All eyes will be on Group B in South Africa thanks to the presence in the Argentina dugout of one Diego Armando Maradona. The star of the 1986 World Cup and one of the greatest players ever, the colorful and controversial 49-year-old is sure to attract his fair share of headlines in his new guise as national coach. Having endured a turbulent qualifying campaign, Maradona has overseen a marked improvement since his side snatched a berth at the finals in their last qualifying game against Uruguay. The impressive nature of their 1-0 friendly win in Germany in March prompted critics to reassess their preconceptions about Argentina’s chances of success, while in European Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi they boast the world’s best player. Their squad is also thick with guile and experience, despite the surprising omissions of Inter Milan pair Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso. Argentina will face Greece, Nigeria and South Korea in the group phase and captain Javier Mascherano believes there will be no need to worry if the two-time champions don’t click immediately. “In the long run what really matters is not what the pundits say but how well you do during that month,” said the Liverpool holding midfielder. “Spain and Brazil look a cut above the rest because they’ve both won trophies in the last couple of years, but experience tells me that the World Cup is won by the team that improves through the tournament, not necessarily the one who plays the best.” Maradona, meanwhile, is confident that his team can go all the way. “I tell my players that 30 days of sacrifice for the chance to kiss the World Cup is nothing in the life of a man,” he said. “An achievement like that is like touching the sky. I played in World Cups and I reached two finals. I know what it takes.” Argentina qualified despite a humiliating 6-1 loss at altitude in Bolivia and a first ever home qualifying defeat to Brazil, but underwhelming pre-tournament form is something of a feature in Group B. South Korea, semi-finalists on home soil in 2002, overcame a sluggish start under new coach Huh Jung-Moo but eventually qualified with two games to spare to reach their eighth finals-an Asian record. “We were drawn in the so-called Group of Death in Asian qualifying and we made it through,” said Huh. “We believe we can do the job again in South Africa.” Nigeria are not the force that captivated the world at the 1998 tournament, when players like Jay-Jay Okocha and Sunday Oliseh illuminated their participation, but in Everton’s Joseph Yobo, Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi and Wolfsburg’s Obafemi Martins they possess a steely spine.

Greece edged Ukraine by a single goal in their qualifying play-off after finishing behind Switzerland in European qualifying Group 2. Otto Rehhagel, the man who masterminded their stunning Euro 2004 success, remains at the helm and can call upon seasoned veterans from the Euro adventure as well as 10-goal European qualifying zone top scorer Theofanis Gekas. Favourites: Argentina Fancied: South Korea and Nigeria Underdogs: Greece. —AFP

ARGENTINA: Argentina's Lionel Messi in action against Brazil during a World Cup qualifying soccer match in Rosario. —AP


Maradona’s WCup quest begins another chapter BUENOS AIRES: Diego Maradona’s World Cup career has been marked above all else by Argentina’s 1986 victory in Mexico and his expulsion for doping from the 1994 finals in the United States. In between, there were tears of frustration and despair in Rome after Argentina’s defeat in the 1990 final. Maradona has pursued the World Cup since he told an interviewer as a 10-year-old that it was his dream to win the trophy. He goes to South Africa with that goal in mind once again, hoping to emulate Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer by winning the trophy as coach having done so as captain. It is remarkable to see the sprightly 49-year-old, keen to get on with the job and impervious to criticism of his selection choices and tactics, compared with the bloated beast who almost died of heart failure due to drug abuse six years ago. Maradona is the arch survivor who also believes he is the man for the job, saying: “I know how to win the

World Cup.” No one doubts his experience as a player but few have faith in his ability, with minimal coaching experience, to get a talented squad of players to act as a coherent unit, something that was lacking during the qualifiers. He is criticised for believing that winning the World Cup is all about spirit. “You have to put all your heart (in it), you’ve got to give your life,” he said on a recent television chat show. When Maradona was appointed to succeed the ageing Alfio Basile, who quit, in late 2008, many Argentines believed, once the shock of the decision had passed, that he had the charisma to imbue his team with a winning spirit. Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona also named the 1986 World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo as technical director of national teams in a move seen as giving the inexperienced Maradona coaching back-up. However, the proud Maradona likes to do things his way and has not wanted to take advice or help from Bilardo, preferring as he has done all his life to surround himself with yesmen. Argentina could go all the way, or a well-drilled team with the right tactics could dump Maradona’s side out early on. Maradona’s reaction to such an outcome is anybody’s guess but he has the safety net of having signed up until next year’s Copa America, the South American championship, in Argentina. — Reuters



Thursday, June 3, 2010

of World Cup betting big business in Asia SINGAPORE: People like a flutter and betting on football matches is big business, but in parts of Asia it is illegal and police across the region are cracking down ahead of the World Cup. Tens of millions of dollars is expected to be wagered over the month-long football festival in South Africa on everything from who will win, to who scores the first goal or gets booked. A large slice of this will change hands at market stalls or in underground gambling dens, often run by organised crime syndicates, and more still on online gambling websites, with thousands now available. In Malaysia, where European football is hugely pop-

ular, sports betting was made legal this month to the ire of conservative Islamists, but the licences will not be ready in time for the World Cup. With the Malaysian illegal sports betting market thought to be as much as 20 billion ringgit per annum (6.2 billion US), huge sums will be wagered during the tournament. Police have set up a special taskforce to monitor online gambling activities. “We will conduct raids on any outlet offering online betting. Such raids will be conducted regularly,” Zainuddin Yaakob, a local police chief in southern Johor state said. Zainuddin said from January to early April some

1,700 computers were seized and 32 people arrested following raids in the state capital Johor Baharu. In South Korea, government-listed firm Sports Toto holds the only license for betting on sports events, including the World Cup, handing over 25 percent of sales to the government. But illegal activities still take place, particularly online. “Illegal betting has been done mainly through private websites, and big money changes hands,” a culture and sports ministry official said, without giving an estimate. “In cooperation with police, the government has cracked down on illegal betting sites, but it has been

hard to eradicate them because of technical problems. Some sites are run through servers abroad.” Some of Asia’s biggest betters are in China where underground rings are rife. According to Titan Sports Weekly, the nation spent up to 500 billion yuan (73 billion dollars) on online gambling during 2006, the last time the World Cup was held. This amounted to about two percent of China’s GDP. But over the last six months, police have embarked on a huge crackdown after corruption in the game was blown wide open with the arrest of China Football Association chief Nan Yong.

Betting is also illegal in India, except for horse-racing, but it is flourishing, with the industry worth an estimated one billion US dollars a year. India may not have qualified for the World Cup, but the betting market will still be buzzing. Rajan Bhagat, from the Delhi police, said bookies were picked up every other day, but admitted that gambling never really stops. “We do keep a watch at special events like the World Cup and will do the same this time too,” he said, but declined to reveal the measures being adopted to curb illegal betting. “It is not easy to get rid of the menace.”—AFP

Unbeaten run makes South Korea confident SEOUL: South Korea swaggered through Asian qualifying with an unblemished record and will head to the World Cup finals with an air of confidence not seen since the wonder years of Guus Hiddink. While skipper Park Ji-sung remains the beating heart of the team, the dynamic Manchester United midfielder now has a supporting cast that should help South Korea to advance from Group B and reach the last 16. Surprise semi-finalists on home soil in 2002, the Koreans stumbled at the group stage in Germany four years ago but have enjoyed a purple patch under coach Huh Jung-moo, going 27 games unbeaten until a 1-0 loss to Serbia in November. While some feared the appointment of Huh marked a return to the ‘Old Guard’ and would undo years of progress under coaches such as Hiddink, Dick Advocaat and Pim Verbeek, the hard-nosed 55-year-old has been quick to embrace the youth and zest coursing through the squad. Park Chu-young, the foal-like striker once thought too frail to make the grade, is banging in goals with AS Monaco while a midfield duo dubbed “Double Dragon” have made fiery debuts in Europe. Lee Chungyong and Ki Sung-yong’s partnership at FC Seoul earned them lucrative transfers to Bolton and Glasgow Celtic. The 21-year-olds share the Chinese character “yong” (dragon) in their names and will hope to rekindle their fire in South Africa. South Korea will be targeting maximum

points from Greece and Nigeria but getting anything from Argentina will be a tall order. The Koreans were brushed aside 3-1 by Argentina at the 1986 World Cup, a game Diego Maradona remembers as being more like taekwondo than football thanks to the heavy-handed tactics employed by the Asian side. Maradona’s marker that day, a certain Huh Jung-moo, makes no apologies for their approach and suggested Lionel Messi and his team mates could be in for a rough ride when they meet in Johannesburg on June 17. “If I am asked to play Maradona and Argentina again, I will do the same thing,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) website ( quoted Huh as saying. “I don’t want to give them an easy win. I will stop them. I will fight them. “We will try to cut down their speed and reduce their tempo. Counter-attacks are crucial. They will be the key.” South Korea, who stand to earn $150,000 per man for reaching the second round, kick off their World Cup finals campaign against Greece in Port Elizabeth on June 12 and meet Nigeria 10 days later in Durban. Meanwhile, for a boy who used to drink frog juice to help him grow, Park Ji-sung has come a long way. The shaggy-haired South Korean, once judged too frail to make the grade at college level, has muscled his way into the mix at Manchester United and punches above his weight in England’s ultra-competitive Premier League. Park’s career took off under the guidance of Guus Hiddink, the Dutch master

who led South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals on home soil. Nicknamed “Three-lunged Park” for his boundless energy and terrier-like tenacity, he followed Hiddink to PSV Eindhoven after the World Cup and in his book credits the Dutchman with transforming his career. “If it was not for coach Hiddink I would

Factbox Colors: Red shirts, blue shorts, red socks. Nickname: Taeguk Chunsa (Korean Warriors) Previous World Cup appearances: 7: 1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 Best World Cup performance: Fourth, 2002

Huh Jung-moo

Coach: Huh Jung-moo Most capped player: Hong Myung-bo (136) Top goalscorer: Cha Bum-keun (55)

Talking points Park Ji-sung has been the focal point of South Korean soccer since his breakthrough at the 2002 World Cup, but he finally has strong team mates to share the load. The burgeoning potential of Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung-yong and Park Chu-young has blossomed in Europe and given the South Koreans the cutting edge they have lacked for years. Whether coach Huh Jung-moo will boldly play to his side’s attacking strengths remains to be seen.

Player to watch Park Ji-sung. The South Korean skipper burst on to the world stage in 2002 and has gone from strength to strength since joining Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in 2005. Nicknamed “Three-lunged Park”, his boundless energy and terrier-like tenacity have endeared him to Alex Ferguson and the Old Trafford faithful.—Reuters

‘Spider Hands’ returns from exile

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea's Park Ji-sung of Mancheter United of England controls the ball against Saudi Arabia during their 2010 FIFA World Cup Asia group 2 qualifying soccer match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. —AP not be where I am now,” he wrote in his autobiography ‘Never-ending Challenge’. “I owe him everything and I will never be able to repay it in my lifetime.” Since moving to Manchester United in 2005, Park has developed further under the tutelage of another father figure, Alex Ferguson, and taken his game to a new level. While the sceptics initially labelled him “Park Bench”, predicting he would rarely make the first 11, Park has endeared himself to the Old Trafford fans with his high-octane performances. Park’s father was so worried about his lack of size as a boy he made him drink boiled frog extract, a potion that would supposedly help him to grow. It must have worked-he now stands head and shoulders above the best South Korea has to offer. — Reuters

Huh proves critics wrong

SEOUL: Goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae has been on top of the world with South Korea. He has also been to hell and back. The 37-year-old Lee, dubbed ‘Spider Hands’ at home, broke Spanish hearts in a 2002 World Cup quarter-final in the South Korean city of Gwangju with a series of sublime saves that kept the Koreans in the game. He then stopped Joaquin’s penalty in the shootout to help South Korea become the first Asian side to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup. However, Lee’s career almost crumbled in 2007 when he was banned from the national team for a year after taking three team mates to a questionable bar for a late-night drinking session at the Asian Cup in Jakarta. At his lowest ebb, Lee appeared at a tear-filled news conference to ask the nation’s forgiveness. After his year in exile, Lee returned to the national squad during South Korea’s qualifiers for next month’s World Cup and quickly showed he had lost none of his shot-stopping abilities. After making it through qualifying unbeaten, Lee says South Korea are determined to overcome the challenges of playing at the World Cup finals on foreign soil. “I was so glad that we made it to the finals for the seventh time in a row, and we know that the fans are counting on us to do well over in South Africa,” he said in an interview. “Coming off the 2002 World Cup finals where we reached the quarters, there was a bit of a burden heading into 2006 in Germany. Now there’s no great pressure.” Lee has been under the microscope lately thanks to a series of average performanc-

es in the K-League, but it is unlikely coach Huh Jungmoo will countenance a goalkeeping switch. —Reuters

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea's Park Chu-young controls a ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Asia group 2 qualifying soccer match against Iran at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. — AP

SEOUL: After two World Cups under the guidance of Dutch coaches, South Korea go to South Africa under the leadership of one of their own — Huh Jung-moo. In his second spell as national team head coach, many believed Huh’s appointment reflected a lack of vision on the part of the Korea Football Association (KFA) and would set the side back years in terms of tactics and team culture. However, Huh has confounded his critics by embracing the youth and dynamism currently found in South Korean soccer and the superb form of his Europe-based players has given the side an attacking edge they have lacked for years. The South Koreans flourished under Dutch coaches Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat but Huh has won over his sceptics by leading the team through qualifying with an unbeaten record. The 2010 World Cup finals will be an opportunity for Huh to reacquaint himself with Argentina coach Diego Maradona. Huh was assigned to mark Maradona during the 1986 finals in Mexico, a bruising encounter the Argentine recalls none too fondly. “I remember Huh very well, of course,” Maradona said. “In 1986 the Koreans played taekwondo, not football, against us.” Huh scored a goal against Italy at the 1986 finals and went to the following two editions of the World Cup, first as the team’s fitness trainer and then as assistant coach. — Reuters

Nadal rolls, Melzer shocks Djokovic PARIS: Rafael Nadal moved a step nearer recapturing his French Open crown yesterday by once again dominating Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3), 64 in a quarter-final tie. It was the seventh time in seven matches that Nadal has seen off Amalgro and means that he has reached the semifinals without losing a set yet again. Austrian journeyman Jurgen Melzer fought back from two sets down to beat third seed Novak Djokovic 36, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 yesterday and set-up a French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal. After dropping the first two sets, the 29-year-old Melzer was also a break down in the third before he staged a spectacular recovery to become the first Austrian to reach the last four since former winner Thomas Muster in 1995. The 22nd seeded Melzer has made his staggering breakthrough at his 32nd Grand Slam, having never got beyond the third round of a major before. “It was a tough match and I was more nervous than I usually am at the start and found myself 3-0 down,” Nadal said. “But in the tie-break I was more aggressive and that helped me to get in control of the match. “Anything can happen now. All the players at this stage of tournament are there because they are the best. “I saw the Federer-Soderling match and Soderling was impressive. He was serving great and getting everything back from the back of the court.” Almagro, who was seeking to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam for the first time, was quick out of the blocks going for winners off both flanks, while Nadal worked his way slowly into the match. From 0-3 down, the second seed pulled back to 3-3 and serves stayed on top until the tie-break which Nadal won with some ease as mistakes started to tarnish Almagro’s go-for-broke tactics. He stuck grimly to the task though in the second set staying with Nadal and even had a break point at 4-4. Nadal though warded this off with a brave serve and volley. It needed another tie-break to separate the two and again it was Nadal who dominated from the start moving 4-0 up on the back of three crunching forehand drives that left Almagro gasping. It was more of the same in the third set with serves on top, but the pressure of Nadal’s relentless groundstrokes eventually wore down Almagro and he finally conceded his serve for just the second time in the match in the ninth game. That left Nadal serving for the match and he made no mistake despite Almagro saving one match point.—AFP

Rafael Nadal

PARIS: Australia’s Samantha Stosur serves the ball to USA’s Serena Williams during their quarterfinal match for the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium.—AP

Stosur dumps Serena out of French Open PARIS: Top-ranked Serena Williams was eliminated in the French Open quarterfinals yesterday, squandering a match point and losing to Australian spoiler Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 8-6. The upset was the second in a row for the No. 7-seeded Stosur, and the third in as many days at Roland Garros. Four-time champion Rafael Nadal defied the trend, beating No. 19 Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in an all-Spanish quarterfinal. Stosur ended four-time champion Justine Henin’s Roland Garros winning streak at 24 matches in the fourth round. On Tuesday, topranked Roger Federer lost to Robin Soderling. Then Williams made her exit, with stretches of brilliant tennis by Stosur hastening the departure. The Australian, long regarded as a

doubles specialist, used her forceful forehand to build a lead, winning 17 consecutive points during one stretch. Williams mounted one of her patented comebacks, and as the tension built in an error-filled third set, she needed only one point in the 10th game for the victory. Her forehand sailed an inch long. Stosur then regained her early form. She hit consecutive crosscourt winners to break for a 7-6 lead, then served out the victory, hitting service winners on the final three points. “I’ve calmed down a little bit since walking off the court,” a smiling Stosur said 90 minutes after the match. “But I’m pretty happy with myself.” It was Williams’ first Grand Slam

loss since her meltdown in the semifinals of the US Open last September against Kim Clijsters. This time she directed any anger only at herself — and her shoes. Stosur, a semifinalist for the second year in a row, will play Thursday against No. 4 Jelena Jankovic, who beat unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5, 6-4. Jankovic, who rallied three times from a service break down in the second set, also reached the semifinals in 2007 and 2008, then lost each time. The No. 2-seeded Nadal improved to 36-1 at Roland Garros, where he has yet to lose a set this year. He’s 20-0 on clay in 2010 and a heavy title favorite now that defending champion Federer has been eliminated. “Sorry for him,” Nadal said in broken English, “because he did amaz-

ing last year, and he deserved this title more than no one. Right now there is no one favorite.” With sunshine returning at Roland Garros, Stosur wore her distinctive sunglasses and looked especially spiffy at the start, embracing the role of underdog. In contrast, Williams often seemed hesitant, indecisive and on the defensive, pinned deep by Stosur’s heavy topspin forehand and slice backhand. Williams hit one feeble backhand that barely reached the bottom of the net, took an awkward swing at an overhead and flubbed a forehand putaway in the forecourt. “I didn’t want to let her try and dictate the points,” Stosur said. “I tried to do that straight back to her. You definitely have to go after her.” Williams hit 13 aces but also nine

double-faults and committed 46 unforced errors to 24 for Stosur. Williams was serving at 2-3, 30-all in the first set when her game began to unravel. She committed unforced errors on the next two points to lose serve, and Stosur won the next three games at love, a shocking streak against the world’s No. 1 player. Stosur looked nervous for the first time serving for the match at 53 in the second set. She double-faulted for the first time, hit the net post with a forehand and fell down chasing a ball on break point. Several tentative shots cost her in the tiebreaker, and the ever-resilient Williams evened the match. “In the third set, I just tried to hang in there, waited for another opportunity, and I took it,” Stosur said. At the finish, she hit a flurry of winners that had

Brazil on song but worry over goalkeeper Cesar LONDON: Brazil gave a glimpse of the Latin American flair they will bring to the World Cup in South Africa with a 3-0 warm-up win over Zimbabwe yesterday, a victory tempered by an injury to goalkeeper Julio Cesar. While Brazil enjoyed a rapturous reception at the 60,000 capacity national stadium in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was attending the official handing-over of the showpiece Soccer City stadium near Soweto, venue for the World Cup’s opening match on June 11 and final on July 11. Blatter marked the occasion by calling former South Africa president Nelson Mandela “the most charismatic humanist alive”. The Swiss head of soccer’s governing body also described the 90,000-capacity stadium as a magnificent flagship for Africa. Mandela, 91 is expected to be among the VIPs at the opening match between South Africa and Mexico although illhealth could prevent him from attending. “The right legacy for this event will be ‘let’s celebrate Africa’s humanity’,” Blatter said. “Let’s celebrate the most charismatic humanist aliveNelson Mandela. We do hope Nelson Mandela will be here at the beginning of the World Cup in this stadium. This will be the highlight.” Brazil, who will attempt to win the World Cup for the sixth time, were given a decent workout by Zimbabwe, ranked a lowly 110th in the world. “In friendlies, the result is the least important,” midfielder Elano told reporters. “The important thing today was that

we played well and I think the fans were satisfied with the spectacle.” Michel Bastos, Robinho and Elano scored for Dunga’s side although the coach would have been concerned by the sight of keeper Julio Cesar being substituted in the 26th minute. Brazil doctor Jose Luis Runco said the Inter Milan player, rated as one of the world’s top goalkeepers, had been taken off as a precaution after hurting his back. England’s World Cup hopes received a boost with coach Fabio Capello agreeing to remain in charge until 2012. The Italian, linked in Italian and British newspapers with the vacant manager’s job at Inter Milan, has signed an amended contract which removed a break clause option, the English FA said. With the deadline for naming 23-man squads for the finals now passed, Italy coach Marcello Lippi was mulling over taking midfielder Andrea Cossu as a 24th man if Mauro Camoranesi’s knee injury does not improve. Camoranesi was included in the world champions’ 23man squad but can be replaced before the first match. European champions Spain, fancied by many to win a first World Cup, plan to give midfielder Cesc Fabregas a runout in a warm-up against South Korea today. The midfielder has been recovering from a cracked bone in his right leg and has not played for two months. Striker Fernando Torres is close to a return from a knee injury but must wait a little longer for playing time, coach Vicente del Bosque said.—Reuters

the center court crowd roaring. When her final serve didn’t come back, she raised her arms in triumph and took off her glasses, giving a fans a good look at the surprise semifinalist. But perhaps not that surprising: Stosur has the most wins on clay this year on the women’s tour, with a record of 19-2. A two-time Grand Slam champion in women’s doubles, she’s ranked a career-best No. 7. The Williams sisters were seeded No. 1 and 2 at Roland Garros, but the family has only that single French Open title won by Serena. Venus was eliminated in the fourth round by Nadia Petrova. The other semifinal will be between No. 5 Elena Dementieva and No. 17 Francesca Schiavone, the first Italian woman to reach the final four at Roland Garros since 1954.—AP

If S Africa fails, home fans will back Brazil

HARARE: Brazil’s Michel Bastos (back) fights for a ball with Zimbabwe’s Knowledge Musona, during a friendly match in Harare. Brazilian team is preparing for the upcoming South Africa World Cup, which gets underway on June 11.—AP

JOHANNESBURG: If the Bafana Bafana are eliminated at the World Cup, look for South Africans to turn their support to five-time champion Brazil. A local survey shows that 26 percent of South Africans will pick Brazil as their second-choice team if South Africa is out. England was next, with 11 percent. The independent sport and sponsorship research company BMI Sport Info told The Associated Press yesterday that the hosts are the first-choice team of 71 percent of those interviewed, while Brazil had 11 percent of the votes and England 3 percent. The South African company said it interviewed 2,400 adults in February and March in metropolitan areas across South Africa. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points. It was first published in late March. “We like how Brazil plays,” said Edward Eland, a 44-year-old nurse in Johannesburg. “Brazil has style, we don’t see that in many of the other teams.” The Brazilians received huge support from the local crowd when they won the Confederations Cup in South Africa last year, when it won all five matches, including 10 over Bafana Bafana in the semifinals. “Hopefully we will get the same support we got during the Confederations Cup,” Brazil coach Dunga said. “Without a doubt that’s going to help us. We are happy that our work is recognized here.” Spain was picked as the second-choice team of 8

percent of those interviewed, while Italy got 7 percent and Argentina 6 percent. Ghana is the African side with the most support from South Africans, being voted as the second-choice team of 6 percent of those surveyed. Support for the South Africans reached 81 percent among the black population, and only 52 percent among the white, the research company said. The Brazilians wear a yellow jersey like the South Africans, but that’s not the only thing the countries have in common. A significant portion of the two countries’ populations is comprised of blacks, and racism is an aspect they have had to deal with throughout their history. There are a lot of African roots in Brazil, going back centuries. The Brazilian colony was one of the main destinations of African slaves during the Atlantic slave trade from the 16th century until the 19th century. Among the blacks only, Brazil is the secondchoice team of 30 percent of those interviewed. Brazil has been in Johannesburg since last Thursday preparing for the monthlong tournament. Seeking a record sixth world title, Brazil will debut on June 15 against North Korea and then will face the Ivory Coast and Portugal. “There are so many great players in the Brazilian team,” 20-yearold Luthando Khosa said. “That’s what makes a difference. We like to see them play.” Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.—AP

Asian stocks fall, yen dips


BP spill woes drag down energy sector


Honda plant restarts


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tata Motors opens new factory for Nano car SANAND: Tata Motors inaugurated a factory yesterday to produce its super-cheap compact Nano car, some 21 months after violent farmer protests forced the company to relocate. The new factory in India's businessfriendly Gujarat state promises to unleash production of the pintsized car, which Tata plans to export to Europe, and eventually the US. Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi together drove the first car - a sunshine yellow Nano - off the assembly line shortly before 1 pm. "We owe you a great debt of gratitude for having made this happen," Tata said to Modi. Politically charged farmer protests, led by opposition leader Mamata Banerjee, forced Tata Motors to abandon its original factory in the communist-ruled state of West Bengal. Until now, Tata Motors has only been able to make small quantities at an existing factory. Tata Motors said it would ramp up production in phases at Sanand to 250,000 cars a year, which will be easily expandable to 350,000 cars. Deliveries from the plant will begin this month. Next to the 725 acre factory located on former state grazing land, is a 375 acre park where 41 key component vendors are already setting up shop, officials said. The plant employs 2,400 workers directly, many of whom were recruited from local technical training institutes. Tata Motors expects the factory will eventually lead to the creation of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. Since its March 2009 launch, just 30,763 Nanos, which sell for just over $2,000 in India - have hit the streets. The Nano was meant to herald a new era of car making, in which even the rising poor could afford to trade dangerous motorbikes for a safe car. Nano's initial momentum faded after two brand-new Nanos caught fire, raising safety questions. The company says the incidents were unrelated and revealed no safety design flaws. Tata Motors is adding additional protection to the fuel lines of all existing Nanos as a preventive measure, spokesman Debasis Ray said. To celebrate the factory, a fleet of Nanos will be driven across 15,000 miles of India by a group of contest winners. For the most part, locals have welcomed the Nano with open arms, though some complain they haven't gotten jobs. "Everyone in Sanand would like to keep a photograph of Mamata Banerjee in our home to do puja," said Bahadurbhai Majithiya, editor of the Gujarat Aarsi newspaper, using the Hindi word for a prayer ceremony. "Such a high profile project would never have come here were it not for her agitation. We are eternally grateful to her." — AP

Etisalat eyeing 25% of Reliance Comm Reliance shares jump 11%

SANAND: Employees of Tata Motors work on the assembly line of a Nano car during the inauguration of the Nano plant in Sanand, about 40 kilometers from Ahmadabad, India yesterday. — AP

Iran to convert 45 billion DIB may take over Tamweel euros into dollars, gold Move would be reversal of Iran's move away from dollar TEHRAN: Iran's central bank will sell 45 billion euros from its reserves to buy dollars and gold ingots, a report on the website of state-owned Press TV said yesterday. There was no announcement of the sale on the bank's website and officials at the bank declined comment. Following the report, the euro eased slightly versus the dollar from around $1.2227 to $1.2213. Traders said the news was having limited impact on the euro, and some in the market were skeptical about whether Tehran would be able to buy significant amounts of dollars, given that US depository institutions are banned from processing transfers involving the country. Last month Iran's central bank governor hinted at a move away from the euro, reversing several years of Tehran publicly shunning the US currency in keeping with its political hostility towards Washington. "Considering that the value of the euro is plummeting and that of the dollar is increasing, we will be examining the issue of changing the composition of Iran's hard currency basket," Mahmoud Bahmani was quoted as saying in the May 18 edition of Hezbollah daily. Iran does not usually disclose the value of its reserves, though state television reported last December they exceeded $80 billion. The report on the sale broke after official sources said some of the world's richest central banks would continue investing in Europe's ailing single currency, supporting its reserve status despite the sovereign debt crisis plaguing the region. The liquidity of both the euro and the dollar and the difficulty of switching large portfolios to other currencies mean there are no alternatives to them in the near term, the sources in Brazil, India, Japan and South Korea said in sepa-

rate interviews. Last November, Bahmani said Iran's then policy of moving away from the dollar, both in its reserves and in the currency it received for its oil exports, had been beneficial. At a 2007 OPEC summit, Iran-the world's fifth-largest oil exporter-suggested oil should be priced in a basket of currencies rather than dollars, but it failed to win over other member states except Venezuela. Ahmadinejad told reporters at that time the dollar was a "worthless piece of paper". —Reuters

BRUSSELS: Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki grimaces as he answers journalists’ questions yesterday during a press conference at the Iranian embassy in Brussels. — AP

DUBAI: Dubai Islamic Bank, which owns a stake in Tamweel, may take over the troubled United Arab Emirates (UAE) mortgage lender and is in talks with creditors to restructure its debt, a newspaper said. Arabic language daily Alrroya Aleqtissadiya, citing sources familiar with the matter, said yesterday the longplanned merger between Tamweel and rival Islamic mortgage lender Amlak had been scrapped. "A proposal to merge the two companies has been dropped to be replaced with the option of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) stepping in to save Tamweel," the paper said, citing sources familiar with the matter. "While other information suggested that a Dubai government-linked company could take a similar step towards Amlak," it added. Dubai Islamic Bank owns a 19.8 percent stake in Tamweel. Tamweel's chairman and a Dubai Islamic Bank spokesman both declined to comment. Amlak officials could not immediately be reached. Tamweel and Amlak have been hit hard by the collapse of Dubai's once-booming property sector and shares in both were suspended in 2008 and have not traded on the Dubai Financial Market since. Talks to boost DIB's stake in Tamweel have begun and are conditional on creditors agreeing to reschedule the mortgage lender's debt, according to a letter seen by the newspaper. The report said DIB proposed Tamweel creditors agree to a minimum five-year moratorium on their debt, with a 4 percent annual return. "Sources said that Dubai Islamic's next step is the full acquisition of the company," the newspaper said. "If these transactions help facilitate financing then it will be a positive move," said Saud Masud, head of research and senior real estate analyst at UBS in Dubai. "But I don't see how DIB adding more exposure to Tamweel would help putting financing back in the market. We still have concerns about Dubai and UAE banking in general," he said. — Reuters

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi's Etisalat confirmed it is looking to buy a stake in an Indian mobile operator, after a report that it was in talks with cashhungry Reliance Communications for a $3.8 billion deal. Buying a stake in India's second-biggest mobile operator would give Emirates Telecommunications Corp or Etisalat, a vital presence in the world's fastestgrowing mobile market, where it owns a stake in a start-up telecoms firm. For Reliance Comm, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, this would bring in much-needed funds, especially as the company is caught in a margin-destroying price war and is paying billions of dollars for next-generation licenses. Reliance Comm, one of the worst performing shares in Mumbai's 30-share index so far this year, closed 11 percent higher yesterday, while Etisalat stock was down 0.5 percent. KK Mital, head of portfolio management services at Globe Capital in New Delhi said: "Not only Reliance Communications but some other players will also be looking at selling some stake to raise funds to cut debt." "Players like Etisalat are looking at long-term opportunities of the Indian telecoms market despite the shortterm pain due to competitive pressure," he said. India has more than 600 million subscribers and nine of the fifteen operators already have foreign partners. Reliance Comm is the only big telecom firm not to have a direct foreign stake. Call rates have slumped to as low as 0.4 U.S. cents per minute in the world's largest market after China. Etisalat's Chairman told Reuters his firm could decide within weeks about a deal in India. Reliance Comm said it has been receiving proposals from time to time from international telecom companies expressing interest in acquiring a strategic equity stake in it. The Times of India newspaper said the Gulf region's biggest provider of telecoms services was in advanced talks to buy a quarter of Reliance Comm for 180 billion rupees ($3.8 billion). The market is currently valuing the Indian company at about $7 billion. The stake sale could mean a change in strategy for ambitious Ambani, who made several smaller acquisitions to expand his firm overseas, and in 2008 set his sight for a tie up with South Africa's MTN in an ultimately thwarted deal. Last month, Anil Ambani ended an agreement not

to compete in businesses with his long-estranged brother Mukesh, which also frees him to bring outside investors into his firm. A person close to Reliance Comm, who declined to be identified, said the report was speculative. ETISALAT TALKING TO SEVERAL INDIAN FIRMS Etisalat's Mohammad Omran said: "We are talking to several Indian operators and are evaluating several Indian operators but have not reached a final decision." Omran declined to comment specifically about the Reliance report and said Etisalat had not taken any final decisions. "It may take a few weeks or it may take a few months," he said. If the deal is finalized, Etisalat will make an open offer to acquire an additional 20 percent stake in the Indian firm from the public, the newspaper said, citing market sources. "We think the Indian market is ready for consolidation," Omran said. Etisalat bought a stake in an Indian telecoms firm in 2008, which has been since renamed to Etisalat DB Telecom India. The company launched services in March. Indian rules prohibit a company from holding a more than 10 percent stake in two operators competing in the same telecom zone, which might force Etisalat either to sell its holding in the startup Etisalat DB, or merge it with Reliance. "Maybe you could see a two-step transaction, first an initial investment of less than 25 percent and then a merger of Etisalat DB Telecom with an incumbent," said Simon Siminion, telecoms analyst at Shuaa Capital in Dubai. "If the speculation is true that Etisalat is partnering Reliance, we could see a small investment (about 10 percent) to comply with current regulations in India and a second stage merger of Etisalat DB Telecom with Reliance," he said. India's top mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, has already sealed a $9 billion deal for the African assets of Kuwait's Zain. On Tuesday, another media report linked Reliance Comm reviving tie-up talks with MTN. The deal was thwarted two years ago after Mukesh asserted a right of first refusal on the Indian carrier's shares. In a frenzied industry auction for 3G mobile licenses Reliance Communications forked out about $1.8 billion in May for its licences, while Etisalat did not win any license. —Reuters

Hindujas targets $1 bn Saudi IPO of Petromin MUMBAI: The Hinduja Group plans an $800 million to $1 billion Saudi initial public offering (IPO) this year of lubricants maker Petromin, an official with the Indian family conglomerate said yesterday. Saudi Arabiabased Petromin is an equal joint venture between the Gulf Oil International Group, owned by the Hinduja Group, and the Dabbagh Group of Saudi Arabia. "Soon, we will be finalising the timeline and the exact valuations," Sanjay Hinduja, chairman of Gulf Oil International, told reporters, adding the group is aiming for a listing in 2010 or at the latest in the first quarter of 2011. Saudi British Bank, HSBC's affiliate in the kingdom, is managing Petromin's IPO, Hinduja said. Hinduja also said the group was planning an IPO in Hong Kong for Gulf Oil Marine, another unit of Gulf Oil International that provides the shipping industry with marine lubricants and technical services, in two to three years. Both listings require various approvals. A listing of Gulf's European business is another eventual possibility, he said. Petromin's owners plan to sell 30 percent of Petromin, the mini-

mum float required in Saudi Arabia, through the IPO, Hinduja said. The lubricants maker has a 38 percent share of the downstream oil products business in Saudi Arabia and has $500 million in annual revenue, Hinduja said, adding that Petromin is looking for acquisitions in the region to boost its business. Gulf Oil International and the Dabbagh Group paid $200 million in 2007 to buy Petromin from a 71-29 percent joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Mobil Investments, an affiliate of ExxonMobil. It has a production capacity of 300,000 metric tons for lubricants and greases combined, it said. Separately, Gulf Oil is planning a tie-up with a British firm to enter the defense business in India, Hinduja said, without giving details. The Hinduja Group also plans to build 10,000 megawatts of thermal power in India over five years, another Hinduja official said. The Hinduja Group, which also has interests in the financial and automobile businesses, last month acquired Belgian banking and insurance group KBC's private banking arm KBL European Private Bankers for $1.7 billion. — Reuters



Thursday, June 3, 2010

AUB announces results of Weekly Draw KUWAIT: AUB has announced the results of the Weekly draw of its AlHassad Islamic savings scheme. The lucky customers, A Amir S Baqer Ali Al Wedaie & Warda Jaffar Ali Makki Al Baqali win the Grand Weekly prize worth KD 20,000 each at the draws held on May 26th and June 2nd. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each: -Draw held on May 26th are:- Abdulqader Mohamed Alami, Ibrahim Abdulshakour, Giancarlo Parolo, Sundos Salim Ali Al Sanafi and Hanan Hisham Abdulrazzaq Razzuqi.

Draw held on June 2nd are: Salman Mohammed Shubber, Hasan Abdulla Yousif Ahmed, Gulam Mohd Yusuf, Sundararaj Reddi Vivekanandan and Noor Ahmed Mohammed Sultan. The biggest-ever Al-Hassad Islamic savings scheme features 6000 prizes worth KD 10 million in total. The scheme's structure gives eligible customers the opportunity to win KD 1 million in two quarterly prize draws, offering a single 'Grand Salary for Life' prize of KD 4000 a month for the next 250 months. Other 'Salary for Life' prizes include

quarterly KD 500,000 prizes (KD 2,000 paid out every month) and KD 250,000 prizes (KD 1,000 paid out every month). With a total of three winners announced each quarter, all prizes convert to a stable source of monthly income for the winner over the next 250 months. Apart from the quarterly prizes, one Grand Weekly prize of KD 20,000 and five weekly cash prizes of KD 1,000 each are given away every week. Customers with KD 1000 and above invested in the AlHassad Islamic scheme are eligible to win KD 500,000 in each of the four loy-

alty draws held over the scheme period. The concept behind the savings scheme is giving customers the opportunity to win a "salary for life". AUB's objective has been to create a lifetime change for the winners and allow them to invest their winnings in things that will make a lasting difference to the well being of their families. For more information on the Al-Hassad Islamic investment savings account, its prize structure and eligibility criteria, customers may visit any AUB Kuwait branch or call Hayakom 181 2000.

Gulf Bank launches innovative online HR assessment system KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced the launch of an updated Online HR assessment and development system that is aimed at improving the bank's human resources, recruitment and development processes. The new system, which was acquired from SHL, the world's leading talent assessment solutions provider, will enable senior HR executives to efficiently manage the system and provide effective and prompt feedback. The new online HR assessment and development system will help Gulf Bank Leaders identify key skills areas requiring further training and development amongst existing employees. It will also assess potential candidates on various competencies using a number of assessment tools including personality questionnaires, verbal, numerical and management assessments. Omar Al-Bassam, Executive Manager of Learning & Talent Development at Gulf Bank said: "A well designed competency framework is a key link between the skills, attitudes and attributes required by the

Canon revolutionizes world of consumer photography Capture stunning stills and HD video with the Canon EOS 550D DUBAI: Canon Middle East yesterday revolutionized the world of consumer photography with the launch of the new EOS 550D - a lightweight Digital SLR (DSLR) that enables users to broaden their photographic horizons in stills and Full HD video. The latest addition to Canon's globallyacclaimed EOS range, the EOS 550D is perfect for capturing memories in stunning detail and color. Canon's most advanced consumer DSLR to date the camera blends an extensive range of features with a compact, easy-to-use body - providing users with the perfect tool to explore and develop their creative vision. Shoot everything in detail Large prints are provided by an 18 Megapixel resolution and a 9-point Auto Focus (AF) system, offering extraordinary detail in every shot. Powerful DIGIC 4 processing complements the optical excellence with both speed and intelligence, delivering vivid images with little noise, whether shooting stunning holiday landscapes or the sprint relay at sports day. A range of pre-set shooting modes also makes the EOS 550D extremely easy to operate, allowing users to focus solely on the subjects they want to capture. Shoot in the dark Shooting in low light is made easy thanks to the advanced ISO range of up to 6400. Summer parties, weddings and barbeques can be difficult to capture when light levels drop, but the EOS 550D makes it simple to capture excellent images in the dark without using the flash. ISO can even be extended to 12800 in the darkest conditions, allowing users to shoot evening events or dimlylit scenes with ease. Explore and experiment with EOS Movie

As well as being an excellent stills camera, the EOS 550D also shoots High Definition videos in full 1080p resolution. Full manual control allows users to creatively tune settings to suit the subject, providing the flexibility to capture all kinds of action, from family gatherings to fast-moving sports. A sensor similar in size to those used in high end cinema cameras also enables users to utilize aperture to control how much of the image is in focus, providing the ability to create a wide range of impressive visual effects. Users can also get closer to the action with a new Movie Crop function, which magnifies focal length by seven times without the need to change the lens, making long-range video possible without having to move an inch. Shoot and share A new 7.7cm (3.0") 3:2 Clear View high-resolution LCD screen provides a great facility to share pictures as they are taken. The 3:2 aspect ratio perfectly matches images captured by the camera, displaying shots without black borders, while wide viewing angles and an anti-reflective coating makes viewing images easy, even in bright sunlight. For those who want to share their images on the big screen, HDMI connectivity provides the facility to hook-up to compatible HDready TVs for instant playback of stills and video. The compact and robust design makes it easy to shoot anywhere, and a user-friendly button layout makes the camera comfortable to both hold and use. Perfect for beginners and those with artistic aspirations, the EOS 550D allows photographers to take their creativity to the next level regardless of experience - shooting exceptional quality video and stills side-by-side.

individual and the tasks required by the job. Taking time to identify these competencies can save you time and money by helping you recruit the right people for the job and ensure existing staff are working in the areas of your business where they can be most effective. This new online system will help improve the speed and quality of our assessment and development tools. The program will be able to proficiently assess a large number of individuals automatically integrating the results within the program. This will provide a platform for HR executives to make well informed decisions about hiring and developing new candidates." As one of Kuwait's leading employers and recruiters, Gulf Bank is committed to opening up further opportunities to aspiring young Kuwaitis into the private sector. At the heart of the Bank's success is a highly motivated and experienced workforce that thrives in a corporate culture, combining superb teamwork and a passion for excellence to continually deliver the best possible service and product range.

Omar Al-Bassam, Executive Manager of Learning & Talent Development

Wataniya Airways flies to World's Most Livable City KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways, Kuwait's premium service airline, yesterday launched scheduled services to the magical Austrian capital, Vienna, with an inaugural flight from Sheikh Saad Terminal to Vienna International airport. To help celebrate the new bridge between Kuwait and Austria, Wataniya Airways transformed Sheikh Saad Terminal into a celebration venue for this occasion, with Austrian and Kuwaiti flags around the building. Guests were welcomed by hosts dressed in Austrian national costume and were offered coffee and traditional apple strudel pastries and other canapĂŠs while being entertained by a concert pianist with music from Mozart, Haydn and Strauss, who all lived and composed music in the city. The launch was attended by the Austrian State Minister of Finance, Dr Reinhold Lapatka, His Excellency the Ambassador of Austria, Marian Wrba, Wataniya Airways Chairman and Managing Director, Abdulsalam Al Bahr, Chief Executive Officer, George Cooper as well as senior members of the Wataniya Airways executive management team. Vienna is Wataniya Airways' eleventh destination and the second European destination city after Istanbul, since the launch of the airline's

scheduled operations in January 2009. The premium service carrier will run three weekly scheduled flights scheduled to Vienna, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. All flights will be from Wataniya Airways' exclusive Sheikh Saad Terminal to Vienna International Airport, with convenient daytime flight times. Vienna is one of the world's most attractive tourist cities and has recently been voted the world's top city for quality of living for the fifth year running. It is also world famous for its musical culture, of exquisite Sacher Torte, great coffee, pastries and architectural heritage, which include Opera House, St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Hofburg Imperial Palace and the elegant Ringstrasse, a road which boasts an impressive array of Vienna's major sites, such as the Burgtheater Imperial Court Theatre and the City Hall. Vienna also represents an efficient transit point to other cities in the region, especially with the convenient arrival timing of Wataniya Airways' flights at 2:05 PM. Guests wishing to travel on Wataniya Airways can book their tickets by logging on to or calling the Kuwait Guest Contact Centre on 118 or +965 24379999 or make their reservation through their preferred travel agent.

VIVA Kuwait launches Playstation competition KUWAIT: World Cup fever is in the air and in preparation for the WC 2010, VIVA Kuwait launched a Playstation football competition. VIVA Kuwait will be setting up a booth at Marina Mall and another one at Avenues from. Shoppers will have a unique opportunity to compete against each other remotely using the Playstation version of the World Cup 2010. These interactive matches will be powered by VIVA Kuwait's live streaming Internet service. Come and showcase your best Playstation football talent and be eligible to win special prizes. "We are always looking to interact with our customers in an engaging way. Using our advanced technology and what better way to celebrate the World Cup, with a fun and interactive activity," said Rana Al Rasheed VIVA Kuwait's Marketing Director. To celebrate the World Cup

'Celebrating World Cup 2010'

season, VIVA Kuwait will also introduce a football shaped USB, with a speed of 7.2Mb, that will be available at all VIVA Kuwait

stores soon. However, it will be for a limited time only, so be prepared and get your own football USB before it's too late.

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 .4250000 .3530000 .2490000 .2730000 .2390000 .0045000 .0020000 .0789120 .7688160 .4020000 .0750000 .7539500 .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 .2908000 .4273030 .3549180 .2511220 .2753950 .0477050 .0370630 .2412440 .0373030 .2057040 .0031830 .0062200 .0025670 .0034210 .0042390 .0792110 .7717260 .4112620 .0775840 .7556860 .0062870

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2928000 .4303180 .2529000 .0780790

.2950000 .4350000 .3610000 .2570000 .2820000 .24900000 .0075000 .0035000 .0797050 .7765420 .4180000 .0790000 .7615270 .0072000 .0580000

277.930 184.500 253.340 242.030 289.250 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

3.210 6.180 3.427 2.563 3.883 207.020 37.490 4.214 6.261 8.995 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES

.2929000 .4303180 .3574230 .2529000 .2773440 .0480430 .0373260 .2429470 .0375670 .2071600 .0032050 .0062640 .0025860 .0034450 .0042690 .0797160 .7766440 .4141730 .0780790 .7605020 .0063310

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

77.934 80.290 759.200 776.140 79.580 ARAB COUNTRIES

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

54.750 51.600 1.295 194.220 412.700 196.400 6.272 33.010 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

236.000 118.000 60.500

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

292.100 358.110 431.600

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

SELL CASH 245.900 776.610 4.390 280.900 573.400 15.800 49.200 167.800 54.530 361.200

SELL DRAFT 245.400 776.610 4.215 279.400

209.400 51.613 359.700

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

38.190 6.580 0.035 0.289 0.258 3.300 414.100 0.198 91.110 45.200 4.290 201.700 1.989 45.800 758.360 3.540 6.570 80.730 77.950 209.350 40.340 2.765 427.500 38.100 256.500 6.400 9.340 217.900 79.660 292.300 1.340

38.040 6.210

412.660 0.197 91.110 3.930 200.200

Sterling Pound US Dollar

255.000 9.170 79.560 291.900

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 432.000 292.000

292.150 3.435 6.195 2.575 4.210 6.295 79.595 78.080 776.200 51.595 435.400 0.0000328000 3.990 1.550 414.700 5.750 362.000 283.500

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

2.563 4.222 6.253 3.190 8.942 6.369 3.858

Currency 758.180 3.435 6.285 80.300 77.950 209.350 40.340 2.583 425.500

GOLD 1,337.880

10 Tola

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

291.950 277.520 430.748 358.831 251.784 715.600 772.771 79.467 80.171 77.822 411.987 51.627 6.208 3.425

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 291.700 360.000 431.500 279.000 3.200 6.210 51.600 2.563 4.212 6.265 3.425 775.400 79.450 77.810


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Osaka Exchange probes Deutsche’s $182 bn mistrade TOKYO: The Osaka Securities Exchange will review its monitoring system after a 16.7 trillion yen ($182 billion) mistrade by Deutsche Bank almost brought chaos to Japanese markets. A mistake by Deutsche Bank’s proprietary trading unit triggered the outlandish order of Nikkei 225 futures on the Osaka Exchange on Tuesday, raising questions about the lender’s risk management systems and proprietary trading strategy.

Osaka exchange to review trade-monitoring system Although the error was promptly spotted by the bank, so that only 0.3 percent of the orders were executed, the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) is investigating the matter, an OSE spokesman said. “We will ask for a prevention of any recurrence,” said Masahiro Yada, deputy general manager of public relations for the

Osaka Securities Exchange. The OSE will also examine whether the exchange itself needs to take any measures, such as improving the OSE’s tools for monitoring algorithmic-type trades, and will also investigate whether the incident had any impact on market pricing, he said. “We would like to ascertain the

characteristics of algorithmic trading and apply that to our future monitoring,” Yada said. The OSE will consider whether any action such as penalties against Deutsche Securities will be needed based on the results of its investigation, Yada said. “Deutsche Securities Inc (DSI) identified an internal trad-

ing system error that caused a limited number of Nikkei 225 futures and Nikkei 225 mini futures orders to be repeatedly sent to the exchange,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement. Deutsche Bank said it was taking “all steps” to ensure such a glitch was not repeated. At the market open on Tuesday, Deutsche’s trading sys-

tem erroneously sent 6,910 orders for Nikkei 225 futures contracts and 558 orders for Nikkei mini futures to the exchange, a person close to the matter told Reuters. Based on market statistics and prices, that amounts to approximately 16.7 trillion yen worth of orders. The 0.3 percent worth of orders exe-

cuted amounts to around 50 billion yen. “These erroneous trades were executed by DSI’s proprietary trading unit through its own trading system, independent of client activity,” Deutsche further said. Because the trade was the result of a system error on a customized trading system, the error is unlikely to be repeated at other Deutsche Bank locations, the person close to the matter said. —Reuters

Asian stocks fall, gold eases Yen dips after Japanese PM says to resign

TOKYO: Photo shows a 20.34-carat yellow diamond necklace by US luxury jeweler Tiffany with a price of 359 million yen ($3.86 million), in Tokyo. —AFP

Prudential shares fall as AIA deal collapses HONG KONG: Prudential’s newly listed shares in Hong Kong and Singapore fell yesterday after the British insurance giant abandoned a controversial takeover of AIG’s Asian unit. Investors marked down the insurer’s Hong Kong share price by 0.47 percent to 63.20 Hong Kong dollars (8.10 US dollars), while the stock was down 10 cents, or 1.20 percent, to 8.22 US dollars in Singapore. Wooing Asian investors, Prudential last week took out secondary listings in Hong Kong and Singapore ahead of a rights issue worth 21 billion US dollars to help fund the deal for AIA, the Asian arm of American

International Group. Despite the share price falls, one Hong Kong analyst said there could well be relief that the AIA deal had fallen through after Prudential’s institutional investors rebelled at the price tag of 35.5 billion US dollars. “AIA is three times bigger than Prudential-it’s too big for Prudential to swallow,” Fulbright Securities general manager Francis Lun said. The monster takeover cratered after AIG refused Prudential’s request to cut the price to nearer 30 billion dollars. But David Cohen, director of Asian forecasting of Action Economics in Singapore, said there might be life in the deal yet.

“Frequently in these sorts of transactions, there’s a bit of back and forth,” he said. “It’s a poker game-I think the story is not finished yet.” The takeover would have been the biggest ever in the insurance sector and would have transformed Prudential into the world’s top nonChinese insurer by market capitalization, ahead of major competitors Allianz and AXA. But Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath acknowledged that after AIG’s refusal Tuesday to renegotiate the takeover terms, “we feel it is in the best interest of our shareholders not to pursue this opportunity”. —AFP

Kuwait Costa Coffee grabs new best franchise award KUWAIT: HMB Est Chairman, Hussein Morad Behbehani and the Commercial General Manager, Habib Koya, received the prestigious award at the international leadership summit where all the Costa franchises from around the world where gathered. It is known that Costa International offers this annual franchise award to one of its representatives out in the world on the basis of achievement during the year. The Chairman Hussein Morad Behbehani Commenting on the award said “We see this award as one of the important step towards the goals set by us in the beginning of this year”. Habib Koya the Commercial General

Manager, expressed his happiness and honor for obtaining this award which reflects the continues efforts done by Costa Coffee Kuwait team and their willingness to provide the best for the coffee lovers, he also added, “Based on a profound responsibility at all levels and a clear vision of the objectives of the brand, we were able to raise the standard of service, quality and provide the best coffee there is made by experienced baristas”. He also expressed full confidence that this award is only the beginning for Costa Coffee Kuwait and that there will be many more awards and challenges in the future.

SINGAPORE: Asian stocks followed Wall Street down yesterday as jitters broadly after Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he would resign, over the euro zone’s debt crisis prompted investors to keep cutting riskier reflecting the view that the front runner to replace him, Finance Minister positions, while the euro steadied after hitting a four-year low. The yen fell Naoto Kan, is seen as preferring a weaker yen. The sell baton is expected to be passed on to Europe. Financial spreadbetters see Britain’s FTSE 100 opening as much as 1.6 percent lower and Germany’s DAX falling as much as 1.3 percent. The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan, which has underperformed world equity markets so far this year, fell 0.9 percent. Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell nearly 1 percent, surrendering some early gains. The euro area’s debt crisis has prompted investors to shed riskier investments, including Asian stocks. In the latest investor scare, the European Central Bank said on Monday, a holiday in Britain and the United States, that banks in the bloc could suffer 195 billion euros of write downs by the end of 2011 in a second wave of losses from the global financial crisis. Shanghai shares slipped 1.6 percent, extending lossSHANGHAI: An investor looks at stock price monitor at a private securities company yesterday in Shanghai, es for the week, as banks’ China. —AP fundraising plans weighed on sentiment which also dampened Hong Kong stocks. Bank of China, which is raising 40 billion yuan SYDNEY: Australian growth product (GDP) was up 0.5 per- not wading through the rubble sumer spending pick up in the ($5.9 billion) by selling conslowed to 0.5 percent in the cent quarter on quarter, under- of capital destruction, small- second quarter, dwelling activivertible bonds in Shanghai, March quarter despite the with- pinned by an 11.6 percent jump business closures and prolonged ty will pick up and so will busisaid on Tuesday it may condrawal of large-scale stimulus in public investment and 0.6 and high unemployment as we ness investment, and that sider new fundraising plans. spending, official figures percent growth in household set about building for the should push GDP back up to 0.8 Taiwan stocks fell just over percent to 0.9 percent growth.” showed yesterday, raising spending. The economy expand- future.” 1.3 percent, with iPhone UBS economist Scott Swan said the withdrawal of hopes the recovery is self-sus- ed 2.7 percent over the 12 maker Hon Hai Precision taining. Treasurer Wayne Swan months to March 2010, while stimulus subtracted about 0.10 Haslem said rising terms of Industry slumping 4 percent called the data, including 2.7 growth for the December quar- percentage points from quarter- trade and domestic incomes after the company said it percent expansion in the 12 ter was revised up from 0.9 per- ly growth, but the data showed meant the “most reasonable would raise wages at its to 1.1 percent. “tentative signs that a self-sus- central case seems to be further months to March, a “solid out- cent Foxconn unit in China by 30 in growth come” that reflected Australia’s Government spending on build- taining private sector recovery strengthening percent following a string of performance as the only ings and infrastructure-part of a is in prospect”. He also pointed through the year as the private deaths at the plant. advanced economy to defy 50 billion US dollar stimulus- to a 4.2 percent rise in resource- sector gathers much greater recession during the global was the main growth driver, rich Australia’s terms of trade in momentum.” Australia’s central YEN FALLS adding 0.7 percentage points the quarter. “With demand for bank this week held interest downturn. The dollar rose as much commodities accelerating and rates at 4.50 percent, pausing an “Australians should have over the quarter. as 0.9 percent to 91.78 yen, But growth slowed overall, export prices expected to con- aggressive series of hikes since great confidence in the fact that its highest since May 20, we have another very solid out- dropping from 1.1 percent in the tinue to rise, the prospects for it became the first advanced after news of Hatoyama’s come for an economy which December quarter and 0.6 per- exports are very positive,” economy to shift away from resignation. “The market stimulatory settings in October. continues to be one of the best cent in the same period last Swan said. may become cautious over Instead of contracting 0.5 Analysts said the growth in the developed world,” he told year, following the unwinding of the possibility of governreporters. “This is more evi- stimulus and a series of rate slowdown was not as sharp as percent as forecast in last year’s ment moves to restrain yen dence that we got in and we did hikes. “We’ve had a far shallow- feared, and noted that the budget, Australia’s economy strength because Kan has what was necessary during the er downturn than major underlying fundamentals looked grew 2.0 percent in 2009-10 and shown his preference for a global recession and we now are advanced economies and we’re strong. “On an annual basis, it Swan flagged a powerful weaker yen,” said Masafumi recovering from a position of still looks pretty good,” said rebound in growth to 3.25 perseeing the fruits of that again.” The Australian Bureau of strength,” said Swan. “Unlike AMP economist Shane Oliver. cent in 2010-11 in last month’s Yamamoto, chief FX strateStatistics said gross domestic many other economies we are “My feeling is we’ll see con- annual budget. —AFP gist in Japan at Barclays Capital. “But given no signs that business leaders have complained to the current government about a higher yen, the chance of Japanese curKUWAIT: The 12-month follow up state- (KEC) averaged USD 68.3 pb during oil revenues would have been flat. rency intervention remains Demand-impacting Expenditures ment for the fiscal year 2009/10 (FY09/10) FY2009/10, well ahead of the USD 35 pb Spending on “development projects, reveals a preliminary surplus of KD 8.2 bil- number assumed in the budget. As a very low,” Yamamoto said. lion (bn), compared to the KD 4 bn deficit result, oil revenues came at 243% of the maintenance, and land purchases” was The euro briefly hit $1.2263, projected in the budget. We expect the amount budgeted, reaching KD 16.8 bn. running faster than usual and contributed buoyed by its gain against a final number to be near KD 6.0 billion Compared to FY2008/09, however, oil rev- to the stronger spending picture. weak yen. But it later pulled when the closing accounts are released enues were down 15.2% as oil prices and Despite being cut 24% in the budget, back to $1.2205 after a very soon. The surplus would be the 11th production fell last year. These revenues, “Chapter 4” expenditures were actually report that ECB board memwhich reflect only the value of crude oil up 4.7% y/y (KD 989 million). More consecutive surplus for Kuwait. ber Christian Noyer said the Total revenues reached KD 17.9 bn, produced, represented 94% of total rev- importantly, they were running at 78% of exchange rate of the euro the amount budgeted compared to their more than double the amount expected, enues, in line with the previous 5 years. against the US dollar was Reflecting the slump in economic activ- 43% average of the past five years. We thanks to higher than assumed oil prices. not unusually low. The euro At KD 9.7 billion, preliminary expendi- ity last year, non-oil revenues were also expect the closing accounts to show an hit a four-year low of tures were 81% of budgeted, versus a his- down, 14.3% y/y. By the end of 2009 even higher spending rate as this chapter $1.2110 on Tuesday after receives the largest adjustments in relatorical average of 74%, indicating better tive terms. Capital spending is set to reporting and/or faster disbursement by the ECB’s warning of a new grow further in FY10/11 as the governgovernment agencies. Though total wave of bank losses. ment has budgeted KD 2.1 bn (perhaps reported expenditures were down 35% Traders said euro selling from a year ago, the drop reflects the (3QFY2009/10), however, these revenues more) for this chapter (+66%) and has pressure is likely to continabsence of an extra-ordinary transfer to had been down 26%. The apparent reiterated its dedication and commitue as the market grows the social security fund that amounted to “improvement” in non-oil revenues in the ment to development projects and their more confident that the US first quarter of 2010 may indicate improv- execution. “Wages and salaries” saw the KD 5.5 bn in the previous fiscal year. economy and its banking Excluding this transfer, and all other ing business conditions, especially in the largest increase in spending this year, up system are in much better transfers and spending categories that do real estate market. For the whole fiscal 25% y/y (to KD 2.7 bn). shape than Europe’s. Oil fell Capital Expenditures not affect domestic demand, such as year, “income tax revenues” (-23%) were 0.8 percent to $72 a barrel, In conclusion, much higher-thanspending on military hardware and the cost hit by lower proceeds from corporate continuing a recent slide off of fuel used in power generation, demand- income taxes (-42%). “Property fees” fell expected revenues and lower-than-prothe back of a strong dollar impacting expenditures saw a significant 9.3%, reflecting waning real estate activity jected expenditures led to a KD 8.2 bn and Chinese and European surplus in FY2009/10, before allocations increase of 18% (y/y). These expenditures, last year. In contrast, “Service charges”, more of 10% of revenues to the Reserve Fund which have more impact on economic data that raised concerns growth, represented roughly two thirds of related to consumer activity, ended the for Future Generations (RFFG). about the prospects for the the total. The final accounts are likely to fiscal year up 11%. We know the con- However, we reiterate that the official global economy. Spot gold reveal significantly different figures since sumer sector held out relatively well closing numbers for the fiscal year are fell to $1,223.20 an ounce, most categories of expenditure are typical- throughout the slowdown. The major con- due soon and are likely to show upward down 0.6 percent from a twoly revised higher when the closing figures tributor to the drop in non-oil revenues revisions to spending. We could end up week high hit on Tuesday was “miscellaneous revenues and fees”, with a surplus close to KD 6 bn, or 19% are released. after the ECB’s report on The price of Kuwait Export Crude down 44%. In fact, excluding those, non- of our estimate of 2009 GDP. bank losses. —Reuters

Australian growth slows to ‘solid’ 0.5%

11th consecutive surplus for Kuwait

NBK Economic Brief

Hussein Muraad



KSE records marginal gains

Thursday, June 3, 2010

HP launches new generation of ProLiant Servers in Kuwait By Islam Al-Sharaa

KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) continued recording marginal gains for the second straight session, with the support of the banking sector. Some of the stocks offset some of the losses experienced over the last period recorded increased during the past couple of sessions. Global General Index (GGI) rose 0.43 points (0.22 percent) during yesterday's session to reach 193.96 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index increased by 5.20 points (0.08 percent) yesterday and closed at 6,709.20 points. Market capitalization was up KD71.89mn yesterday to reach KD32.04bn. Market Breadth During yesterday's session, 96 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners, as 37 equities retreated versus 28 that advanced. A total of 147 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday's trading session. Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 32.52 percent to reach 213.89mn shares, and value of shares traded decreased by 23.98 percent to stand at KD24.33mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader yesterday accounting for 35.71 percent, and the Banking Sector the value leader accounting for 29.69 percent, respectively. Kuwait Real Estate Co was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 34.60mn shares. National Bank of Kuwait was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD5.22mn. Top Gainers and Biggest Decliners In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Company for Process Plant Construction & Contracting took the top spot again yesterday, adding 8.06 percent and closed at KD0.335. On the other hand, Kuwait Dubai for Real Estate Co shed 8.33 percent and closed at KD0.028, making it the biggest

decliner in the market. Sectors Wise Regarding Global's sectoral indices, they ended the day on a mixed note, with Global Investment Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day down 0.43 percent, backed by Kuwait Investment Co. down 7.81 percent closing at KD0.118. Global Banking Index was the biggest advancer, up 0.79 percent during yesterday's session, backed by National Bank of Kuwait up 1.69 percent, closing at KD1.20. Global's special indices

also ended on a mixed note, with Global Islamic Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day down 1.10 percent. Market News Agility has inked $17 million worth of contract to provide fourth party logistics (4PL) services in Khafji Joint Operations (KJO), located in the Divided Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. KJO is a partnership between Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. (KGOC) and ARAMCO Gulf Operations Co. (AGOC). Under the five-year agreement, the

KSE-listed company would provide all inclusive on-site warehousing management and operation services, including material receiving and handling services, as well as opening, inspecting, labeling, marking, bar coding, transferring, storing, issuing and transporting materials to users at different units within KJO. In addition, housekeeping of yards and warehouses, documentation and inventory assistance, and technical and administrative support services, also form part of the contract.

Updating its previous announcement dated March 02, 2010, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) declares that Combined Group Contracting Co. (CGC) has received the letter of award from the Central Tenders Committee for Tender No 230/T/KS launched by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW). The KD1,231,500 contract, for which CGC had submitted the lowest bid, is related to conducting urgent maintenance of roads in Al Farwaniyah Governorate over 24 months.

KUWAIT: Designed to support the growth of businesses in Kuwait through an efficient IT system, HP yesterday introduced three HP ProLiant G7 server platforms that offer a significant performance boost and enhanced power savings. For local businesses this means a higher return on investments (ROI) and seamless management of these systems. HP ProLiant G7 servers with AMD Opteron(tm) 6100 Series processors increase operational efficiencies, paying for themselves in as little as two months. The line includes the HP ProLiant DL165 G7 and HP ProLiant DL385 G7 rack-optimized servers, as well as the HP ProLiant SL165z G7 scale-out "skinless" server. HP ProLiant servers are part of the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio, which integrates servers, storage, network devices and facility resources into a common environment, allowing IT to rapidly respond to business demands. HP ProLiant servers provide modular, standards-based building blocks that advance clients toward a converged infrastructure. "HP has a complete Converged Infrastructure portfolio that integrates the customer's existing silos of servers, storage, network, management and facility resources into a common converged environment. As the leader of the x86 market for 54 consecutive quarters as per IDC's WorldWide Q409 Quarterly Server Tracker, HP continues to innovate and deliver radical performance improvement and Return on Investment for customers," said Ahmed Rashad, ISS business unit and sales manager,

HP Middle East. "HP has set the trend for today's server portfolio and we continue the path of innovation beyond industry standards with our next generation servers for businesses in Kuwait." HP ProLiant servers include HP Thermal Logic technologies to reduce power consumption by as much as 96 percent. Power savings are achieved through the combination of the following energysaving features such as HP Sea of Sensors - optimizes system cooling and increases efficiency by automatically tracking thermal activity through a collection of up to 32 smart sensors placed strategically throughout the server. The sensors automatically adjust system components such as fans, memory and input/output processing to reduce energy usage. The HP Power Advisor enables clients to improve energy efficiency by more accurately configuring systems based on real-time power guidance for their specific workloads. In addition, energy-efficiency innovations in the HP ProLiant platforms, combined with the new AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors, deliver a 27 times performance-per-watt increase.

The HP ProLiant platform offers a comprehensive set of embedded technologies and flexible tools to maximize the productivity of an IT infrastructure, including HP Insight Control software that improves management productivity while reducing operational expenses up to $48,000 for every 100 users by allowing clients to control the management and monitoring of the server infrastructure onsite or remotely. HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) Advanced enables clients to simplify server management and troubleshoot problems from any location, regardless of the server's operating state while the HP Insight Remote Support software reduces issue resolution time by 20 percent with secure remote support for HP servers and storage, including monitoring for hardware failure to avoid problems before they occur. Pricing and availability The new HP ProLiant DL165, DL385 and SL165z G7 platforms are expected to be available next month worldwide. Prices for HP ProLiant G7 servers start at USD 965 and vary based on specific configurations.

Thursday, June 3, 2010



Germany expands controversial naked short selling ban BERLIN: The German government yesterday approved a draft law expanding a ban on highly speculative trades that caused uproar internationally when it was announced last month. The ban on so-called naked short selling has been extended to include all stocks traded in Germany, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said, presenting the controversial legislation. Previously the ban was only in place for the biggest financial stocks and euro area government securities. “The financial markets urgently need more efficient regulation,” he told reporters. “Everything that functions

BERLIN: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks during a press conference in Berlin yesterday. Germany pressed ahead with its drive for tougher market regulation as the Cabinet approved a bill that would cement in law curbs on speculative trading practices. — AP

Mixed UK lending data point to stagnant housing market Mortgage approvals up but still below recent average LONDON: British mortgage approvals rose slightly more than expected in April but net mortgage lending growth lagged, according to Bank of England data yesterday, suggesting a durable housing market recovery is still some way off. But there were signs that the central bank’s 200 billion pound cash injection into the economy was bearing fruit, with money growth to private non-financial firms rising at its fastest rate on record. The Bank of England said mortgage approvals edged up to 49,871 in April from 49,008 in March and the highest since December. That was above analysts’ forecasts for a reading of 49,250 but still some 15 percent below their November peak. And net mortgage lending rose less than expected, up 490 million pounds in April from 168 million in March and below forecasts for a rise of 700 million pounds. The mixed mortgage figures reinforced the view that house prices may do no better than stagnate this year, and analysts said weak consumer lending threatened to limit Britain’s recovery from its deepest downturn since World War Two. “The latest figures suggest that housing market activity is still languishing at relatively low levels,” said Vicky Redwood at Capital Economics. House prices have rebounded by around 9 percent from their trough in spring 2009, according to the Halifax house price index, but monthly price growth has slowed this year, partly due to the expiry of a tax break for cheaper properties at the end of 2009. Moreover, last year’s price gains were mainly due to a lack of properties being put on the market, but that is now changing and most experts reckon the market will show little growth this year. The Council of Mortgage Lenders, whose members account for more than 90 percent of the residential mortgage lending, said the BoE data highlighted the downside risks to its forecast for net lending of 15 billion pounds this year. And the prospect of deep spending cuts by Britain’s new coalition government will also make people think twice before taking on large borrowing commitments, Capital’s Rewood said. “What’s more, with consumer confidence weakening again, credit conditions slow to loosen and a fiscal squeeze looming, we still

think that approvals will struggle to rise any more quickly than this,” Redwood added. The government has already announced 6 billion pounds in spending cuts for the current fiscal year and tougher measures are expected to be unveiled in an emergency budget on June 22. The austerity program is likely to result in thousands of job losses in the public sectorwhich employs around a fifth of Britain’s workforce-at a time when unemployment is already running at a 14-year high. The downward impact of fiscal tightening on the economy is likely to encourage the Bank of England to keep borrowing costs at their record low of 0.5 percent for the rest of this year at least. But there are already signs that consumers are starting to worry about how the spending cuts will affect them, and that could be one reason why people are seeking to pay down their debts now rather than rack up new borrowing. Yesterday’s data showed consumers repaid a net 136 million pounds in unsecured credit-the first since November 2009 - confounding forecasts for net lending to rise to 300 million pounds. “The fact that both mortgage lending and consumer credit remain so weak will be a key factor constraining the UK recovery this year,” said Hetal Mehta, economist at the Ernst & Young ITEM Club. And she said that the latest strains on financial markets could encourage banks to further tighten up on lending, limiting the spending and investment that are crucial to spur recovery. “Not only are consumers cautious, but banks remain wary about lending to all but the safest of borrowers.” Nonetheless, other data showed that the supply of credit to private businesses was continuing to pick up and suggested the BoE’s 200 billion pounds of quantitative easing is still working through the system. The BoE’s preferred money supply gaugeM4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations-accelerated to a 3-month annualized rate of 6.6 percent from 5.4 percent in March the highest since the series began in September 2009. Still, headline M4 money supply growth was flat on the month in April, leaving the annual growth rate at 3.3 percent-the weakest since September 1999. — Reuters

European debt woes to dominate G20 talks SEOUL: Europe’s debt woes are set to dominate talks as finance mandarins from the newly powerful G-20 group of rich and developing nations meet this week to push ahead with reforms of the global economy. The continent’s sovereign debt crisis has seemed like an echo of 2008 when a banking system breakdown in the United States pushed the world into its most serious economic crisis in eight decades and raised fears of another Great Depression. World markets have tanked amid uncertainty over Europe’s government finances. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 7.9 percent in May and has further extended losses in June while the euro has sharply weakened amid fears for the single currency’s viability. Still, the volatility has not been on the scale of the market mayhem in 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings. But it serves as a reminder of the massive task the G-20 has set for itself: reforming the global financial system to prevent another crisis and ensure economic stability. South Korea, which assumed the rotating Group of 20 chair this year, is hosting the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in the southern port city of Busan on Friday and Saturday. The G-20 is working on policy recommendations aimed at achieving what it calls “strong, sustainable and balanced growth” to hand to leaders at a pair of summits scheduled for this year - one in Canada later this month and another in Seoul in November. The forum has been trying to come up with a new financial architecture to manage the global economy in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Proposals include a bank tax, setting new capital standards and establishing “financial safety nets” to help bolster countries such as host South Korea, which have been vulnerable to the whims of traders who can send billions of dollars across borders at the press of a button. The G-20 has agreed at a series of summits in

the United States and Britain since late 2008 on the need for tighter financial regulation to prevent the kind of Lehman-induced turmoil that could potentially sink the global economy. Coming up with solutions, however, has proved a challenge. The issue of a bank tax to pay for future bailouts has proved divisive. The US and European countries favor the move, while others such as Canada and Australia - whose banks survived the global crisis intact - oppose it. The G-20, founded in 1999, consists of rich countries such as the United States, Japan, and Germany, emerging powers China, Brazil and India, and developing economies Indonesia and South Africa. Top oil producer Saudi Arabia is also a member. It maintained a relatively low profile until the shock of 2008, when the disparate grouping shot into the limelight as the key international forum for managing the global financial system, largely stealing the crown from the exclusive Group of Seven after developing countries demanded more say. Besides following up on issues discussed at their last finance meeting in Washington in April, the G-20 will talk about the European debt crisis, said Yim Jong-yong, a top official at South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance. They will also be “sending some message of the G-20 to the market regarding the European risk,” Yim said in an interview last month. Some, however, are skeptical the G-20 can accomplish anything regarding Europe’s economic problems. Stephen Lewis, senior economist at London-based Monument Securities, said the key problem for the nations using the euro is that they are hamstrung by the inflexibility imposed by the single currency. “But G-20 finance ministers cannot afford to recognize this, mindful as they must be of the potentially destabilizing influence, not only in Europe but in the rest of the world, of any widespread loss of confidence in the euro arrangements,” he said. — AP

without boundaries and rules can eventually destroy itself. We learned this in the banking crisis and then in the crisis affecting the member states of the European currency union,” he added. Naked short selling is effectively a bet that a certain stock or government bond will go down on the markets. But unlike conventional short selling, a trader does not even borrow the stock or bond before it is traded. The practice came under fire as the Greek debt crisis escalated. Many analysts said that such trades artificially inflated Greece’s funding costs. Critics of the practice also say it can create highly damag-

ing volatility on financial markets. However, most short selling takes place in London and it is not a common practice in Germany. Schaeuble said the ban was “a necessary and important consequence of the crisis.” The law also encompasses certain trades on currencies not used for hedging, although a ban on these can be implemented in times of crisis but not as a permanent measure. The move marks a slight watering-down of the original proposals as a previous version had envisaged a complete ban. Last month, Germany rocked its European partners

and roiled markets worldwide by unveiling, out of the blue, a ban on naked short selling of sovereign bonds and credit default swaps. The surprise move, by Germany’s financial regulator, was introduced unilaterally and without informing other G20 countries. Schaeuble defended this approach, arguing that other countries had similar bans already in force against short selling. This time, however, he said he had circulated a draft of the legislation to other EU finance ministries. He said he hoped the German law would spur EU-wide regulation on the issue.

The European Commission is due to present proposals in October and Berlin decided “to go ahead ... in order to accelerate the European approach,” he said. The minister also stressed that the ban would in practice only affect Austrian and German government bonds, as they are traded in Germany, although in theory it extends to all eurozone government debt. The draft bill now passes to the German parliament, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition holds a clear majority. Schaeuble said he hoped the law would pass by an accelerated parliamentary procedure.—AFP

Ireland unemployment rate hits 16-year high Ireland to bail out Anglo Irish again DUBLIN: Ireland’s unemployment rate has reached a 16-year high and the total number of welfare claimants has climbed to a new record high, government statisticians reported yesterday in the latest sign that the country remains in the grip of recession. The Central Statistics Office said unemployment rose in May

to 13.7 percent from the previous rate of 13.4 percent, a level that had held firm through the first four months of the year. Economists had voiced hope that the unemployment rate would remain stable before slowly reversing later this year, but now appears likely to crack 14 percent, a level last reached in 1994.

The number of people claiming state benefits for joblessness last month rose 1.2 percent to a new all-time high of 437,922. The figure, which includes people in part-time or casual work who remain eligible for unemployment payments had fallen in March and April from Ireland’s previous record high of 437,000 set in February. When Ireland previously suffered double-digit unemployment in the early 1990s, its labor force was a third smaller than its current level of 2 million. Ireland’s work force swelled during the Celtic Tiger boom of 1994-2007 when hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa settled here, helping to reversing Ireland’s own tradition of mass emigration for the first time. Net emigration has resumed over the past two years. Unemployment is rising, in part, because of government cutbacks as it strives to control a runaway budget deficit projected to run at 14.3 percent of gross domestic product this year. Credit remains tight amid Ireland’s ongoing efforts to transfer more than $97 billion in toxic property-related debts to a new state-run “bad bank.” The inability of loss-making businesses to keep borrowing funds has led to a surge in closures over the past year. A leading Irish insolvency law firm, Kavanagh Fennell, reported yesterday that 652 businesses have shut down this year, including 112 last month, chiefly in Dublin. The firm said closures were running 25 percent higher than in the same period of 2009 and the hardesthit sectors have been construction, hospitality, manufacturing and car sales. Anglo Irish Bank bailout Ireland expects to provide more capital to nationalized Anglo Irish Bank this year on top of the 4 billion euros ($4.86 billion) paid in 2009 and 10.3 billion so far this year, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said. “The current estimate is that the overall capital requirement could be of the order of a further 8 billion euros,” Cowen told parliament yesterday. It wasn’t immediately clear if all of that sum would be provided this year. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, who gave Anglo 8.3 billion euros in March and another 2 billion on Monday this week, already said in March a further 10 billion could be required but did not give any timeframe. Anglo Irish, which was nationalized last year after deposit and loan scandals and exposure to a property market crash, wants to be split into a “good” and a “bad” bank, but the option of a wind-down is also being considered in talks with the European Commission. Cowen said an immediate liquidation of the bank, which some opposition parties are demanding, would mean a fire sale of assets and capital losses of at least 40 billion euros to the state. If the bank was immediately wound up, the government would also need to provide 70 billion euros of cash to meet deposits, bondholders and liabilities to the European Central Bank, Cowen added. —Agencies

Noyer: Credit insurers could challenge ratings agencies

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: A giant symbol of the European Union’s currency the Euro stands outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the central German city of Frankfurt am Main yesterday. The ECB has come under fire for its unprecedented move in May 2010 to buy up government debt in an effort to halt speculative attacks on eurozone members and restore stability to bond markets. — AFP

RANKFURT: Credit insurers have what it takes to be fullyfledged financial ratings agencies and compete with existing ones, French central bank governor Christian Noyer said yesterday in a press interview. Groups that insure credit “have the know-how and experience, and they are even made to pay if they are wrong,” Noyer said told the German business daily Handelsblatt. “They could easily conquer the ratings market.” Credit insurers, like the German group Euler-Hermes, owned by insurance giant Allianz, or France’s Coface, owned by the Natixis group, sell companies insurance against client defaults and must thus accurately evaluate risks. Noyer’s comments come as the major international ratings agencies located in the United States and Britain countries have been criticized for their role in the global financial crisis. Agencies on which much finance currently depends for information failed to assess the dangers of complex instruments that contributed to the sub-prime crisis and are allegedly too close to some of the companies they evaluate. Groups like Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch also issue ratings for the debt of sovereign countries, and have downgraded those for countries like Greece and Spain, fuelling concern about stability in the 16-nation eurozone. “We need clear rules for ratings agencies,” Noyer said, such as a ban on using the same scale for both complex financial instruments and classic investments such as sovereign bonds. He also warned about allowing agencies to offer advisory services to the same companies they are rating. Further, the timing of agency decisions and their communication to the public should come under closer control, Noyer said. — AFP

Oil spill woes drag down energy sector Banks, miners fall; US launches oil spill criminal probe LONDON: Britain’s top shares fell yesterday as BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill woes weighed on the energy sector, and pessimism over global economic growth dragged risk-sensitive miners and banks lower. By 1052 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 48.49 points, or 0.9 percent at 5,114.81, having ended 0.5 percent down on Tuesday, its lowest close since May 26. BP fell 2.3 percent, adding to Tuesday’s 13 percent drop, as the United States launched criminal and civil probes into the six-week-old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has lost more than a third of its market value, or about 46 billion pounds ($67 billion), since the crisis began. “The FTSE seems to be trading on raw emotion at the moment - most notably that of fear,” Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index said. “Today’s wide-ranging losses testify to a general bearishness, with the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico simply amplifying widespread pessimism in markets.” Concerns over the longterm implications of the catastrophe hit other energy issues. Crude oil shed 0.5 percent,

while Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group dropped 1.7 and 2.3 percent respectively. Oil explorer Cairn Energy was down 2.3 percent, while Tullow Oil lost 1.0 percent, its fall cushioned by a Citigroup upgrade to “buy”. Meanwhile, West African-focused oil explorer Afren was a strong mid-cap gainer, up 1.6 percent, supported by rumors that BG Group could launch a 140-pence-a-share cash offer, the Daily Mail’s Market report said. Miners were weaker as metal prices fell and investors shied away from economy sensitive companies. Kazahkmys, BHP Billiton and Anglo American lost 1.7 to 2.2 percent. Banks, blighted by recent euro zone debt problems, lost more ground, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group down 2.1 to 2.7 percent. Prudential fell 2.9 percent after it abandoned its plan to buy AIG’s Asian life unit AIA for $35.5 billion, bowing to shareholder criticism over the price it had agreed to pay and leaving its management under pressure. Exdividend factors knocked 14.73 points off the FTSE 100 index, mainly due to heavyweight

Vodafone losing its payout attractions, with National Grid, Marks & Spencer, AB Foods, and Intertek Group also trading ex-dividend yesterday. On the upside, defensively perceived issues-stocks that tend to remain stable under difficult economic conditions- made up the few blue-chip gainers. Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline added 1.6 percent, helped by an upgrade to “buy” from “hold” by Jeffries. Peers AstraZeneca and Shire added 0.8 and 1 percent respectively. Imperial Tobacco climbed 1.9 percent, while Compass Group, the world’s biggest caterer, rose 1.6 percent. Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits group, gained 0.7 percent, with JP Morgan upping its target price. British mortgage approvals rose slightly more than expected in April, suggesting housing market activity may be starting to pick up again after a slowdown at the start of this year. US stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street yesterday, following the previous session’s steep losses, ahead of the May US Challenger layoffs report, due at 1130 GMT, a precursor to Friday’s US non farm payrolls. — Reuters



Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's a bee market as insects swarm Wall Street NEW YORK: Forget bears and bulls. It's bees that are making waves on Wall Street. About 15,000 of them buzzed the posh Cipriani Wall Street restaurant this week, blanketing an elegant front door and forcing police to cordon off the block. "We had 15,000 girls who wanted to get in and have a nice, fresh Bellini on a hot, sunny day," general manager Eric Bonnetain joked Tuesday. At noon Monday, with the markets closed for Memorial Day and

tourists filling Wall Street, Bonnetain was outside when he suddenly saw "thousands of bees flying around." Pedestrians stopped in wonder; some ran in fear. Soon, the female worker bees landed at Cipriani. "They could sting, but they were pretty quiet because they were following the queen bee, which was trying to get in," he said. The queen had disappeared into a crack of the closed portal. He called police, who summoned

Officer Anthony Planakis, their bee handler. Wearing a white jacket and gloves, he used a vacuum to suck up the bees into a container. Even though they weren't successful in New York, they're getting a country place - on a bee farm in Connecticut. Bee swarms have popped up in the city for years in spring, usually in search of homes after a new queen emerges and an existing hive becomes overcrowded. It was the third time in a year

that a swarm swept through Manhattan. On a Saturday afternoon in May in Union Square, one of the city's busiest shopping areas, a sign in the window of the GameStop announced: "Closed due to bee infestation." Upstate New York became their country abode. And last June, bees tried to settle on Manhattan's Upper East Side. One Sunday, at least 8,000 of them were spotted flying up busy Lexington Avenue. They had built a hive in a tree, and

when the queen went sightseeing, the entire swarm followed. Again, Planakis came to the rescue, with onlookers applauding. That winged colony also was hauled off to Connecticut. Planakis, who works in the New York Police Department's building maintenance department, became the resident bee expert after learning the skill from his father. Not everyone wants to deport bees from New York. Some denizens

are inviting them to settle here. In March, bee enthusiasts scored when the Board of Health voted to lift a ban on beekeeping, legalizing hundreds of existing hives that were part of an underground honeybee world. The activity previously carried fines of up to $2,000. While bees were banned as dangerous in the city's original health code, the Board of Health now considers "responsible urban beekeeping" as sustainable agriculture that

"does not pose a public health issue," according to a statement issued Tuesday by the city's Department of Health. And while large swarms are chased away, a bee-loving Brooklyn group with more than 760 members is trying to pique New Yorkers' interest in the subject. "Want to bring bees to your garden or rooftop, or to adopt a hive?" asks the New York City Beekeeping Meetup Group on its website. — AP

Citi to close 330 branches 500 to 600 job cuts across 48 US states NEW YORK: Citigroup Inc is closing 330 branches of its US consumer finance business as part of a restructuring aimed at finding a buyer for the unit, the bank said yesterday. The branch closures at CitiFinancial will result in about 500 to 600 job cuts across 48 US states, the bank said. The US business of CitiFinancial will also be split into two parts, one offering personal, home equi-

ty and refinancing loans and the other handling loan modifications and restructuring, Citigroup said. CitiFinancial will be renamed after the reorganization is complete. The restructuring "will provide a lot of clarity" into CitiFinancial's operations for potential buyers of the business, CitiFinancial CEO Mary McDowell said in an interview. Citigroup split itself into

two parts last year - Citicorp and Citi Holdings, the division holding noncore, riskier assets including the mortgagebacked securities that undermined the bank and other financial institutions. CitiFinancial is a part of Citi Holdings. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit said earlier this year that the bank would continue selling off Citi Holdings, which had $547 billion worth of assets at the

end of 2009. Citigroup received $45 billion in government bailout money at the height of the financial crisis. It raised $20 billion in December to help repay the money it received as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The remaining $25 billion was converted to stock last fall, giving the government what is now a 22 percent ownership stake. — AP

Canada economy to grow 3.3% in 2010 Europe sovereign debt crisis still volatile SHANGHAI: Canada expects its economy to grow by 3.3 percent in 2010, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said yesterday, adding that inflation remained a concern and might eventually force additional interest rate hikes. "There is no firm plan to go forward this year with respect to interest rates. We just have to watch and wait and see," Flaherty told Reuters Insider in an interview in Shanghai. "We have a relatively modest situation in Canada, but interest rates have been very low. They couldn't really be any lower, so people should expect over time that interest rates will go up and

that there are inflationary pressures over time." He said Canada's gross domestic product was expected to grow 3.3 percent this year, up from an expectation of about 2.9-3.0 percent previously. The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate on Tuesday, the first G7 industrialized economy to do so after the global recession, but it said the European debt crisis made its next move highly unpredictable. The rate hike, to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent, was a response to two quarters of extraordinarily strong growth. Flaherty added that the euro

zone's debt crisis was still volatile but noted it had not changed pressure on China to let the yuan become more flexible. "In order to increase trade and create wealth, flexibility in currencies has proven to be beneficial for those currencies that permit flexibilities." EURO CRISIS TOP PRIORITY AT G20 Flaherty, who was in Shanghai to visit Canada's pavilion at the World Expo, said the euro zone crisis would be the top topic of discussion at the G20 summit, with key issues including monetary policy, sustainable growth and

financial sector reform. "The concern is that Europeans make sure they fix their banks, to put it bluntly," Flaherty said. "Those countries that are vulnerable need to proceed with fiscal consolidation plans, get them done, get whatever parliamentary approvals they need so Europe can get back on a firm footing." Flaherty added that while Canada was in a strong economic position compared to its G7 counterparts it would continue to monitor Canadian household debts. "We watch Canadian household debt carefully. It is manageable. There is no evidence of a housing bubble in Canada."— Reuters

NEW DELHI: A rickshaw cart transports plastic luggage bags though a congested section of a whole sale market in New Delhi. A rebound in manufacturing and recovering farm output drove India's quarterly economic growth to 8.6 percent, the best in two years as Asia's third-largest economy returns to pre-crisis levels of expansion. — AP

India, Indonesia, Philippines 'worst' for red tape in Asia SINGAPORE: India, Indonesia and the Philippines have Asia's most inefficient bureaucracies, with red tape a constant blight to citizens and deterrent to foreign investment, a survey said yesterday. Regional financial centers Singapore and Hong Kong have the most efficient bureaucracies, according to the survey of expatriate business executives by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC). Government bureaucracies in some Asian countries have become "power centers" in their own right, allowing them to effectively resist efforts toward reforms by politicians and appointed officials, the Hong Kong-based firm said. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's failure to carry out reforms

contributed to the resignation last month of respected finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who accepted a senior position at the World Bank, PERC said. "Despite President Susilo's strong election mandate, he lacks the power to really shake up Indonesia's bureaucracy," the consultancy said. Ranking 12 key countries and territories on a scale from one to 10, with 10 as the worst possible score, the business executives in the survey rated India as having the region's most inefficient bureaucracy. India had a score of 9.41, followed by Indonesia (8.59), the Philippines (8.37), Vietnam (8.13) and China (7.93). Malaysia was in sixth place from the bottom with a score of 6.97, followed by

Taiwan (6.60), Japan (6.57), South Korea (6.13) and Thailand (5.53). Singapore was ranked as having the most efficient bureaucracy, with a score of 2.53, followed by Hong Kong with 3.49. PERC said 1,373 middle and senior expatriate executives took part in the survey carried out earlier this year. Singapore was also number one and Hong Kong was in third place globally in the World Bank's latest survey on the ease of doing business, which covered 183 economies. In India, "politicians frequently promise to reform and revitalize the Indian bureaucracy, but they have been ineffective in doing so-mainly because the civil service is a power centre in its own right," PERC said. Dealing with India's bureaucracy "can

be one of the most frustrating experiences for any Indian, let alone a foreign investor," it added. Bureaucratic red tape is both a "serious problem" in China and India, "but the differences in the political systems of these two countries have made inertia much worse in India than in China," it said. In the Philippines, the government "goes through the motion" of addressing problems of bureaucratic red tape "but nothing has really made a dent in the problem," PERC said. "Illegal fixing is well-entrenched in the Philippine bureaucracy," it said, referring to people called "fixers" who offer to facilitate transactions with government offices for a fee and often in collaboration with corrupt employees. — AFP

FOSHAN: A worker walks at the Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Plant at Nanhai in Foshan, in south China's Guangdong province.— AP

Honda plant restarts, walkout threatened Honda faces Friday deadline FOSHAN: Honda Motor said a key car parts factory in south China resumed full production yesterday, ending more than two weeks of disruption after workers downed tools to demand higher wages in a high-profile and sometimes violent strike. But the resumption did not mark a clean end to the prolonged labour dispute, with part of the workforce agreeing to return only until tomorrow, when they expect the company to respond to a list of as-yet unmet demands. Japan's No 2 automaker has had to suspend vehicle production in the world's biggest and fastest-growing car market since last week after workers at the 1,900strong wholly owned parts factory, in Foshan, Guangdong province, refused to work until their demands for more pay and other conditions were met. Although not technically illegal, strikes in China are often seen as a threat to social order and are quickly stamped out. More disputes have been erupting lately between workers resentful of large income disparities and harsh working conditions, and employers trying to rein in rising costs. Yesterday, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry said it plans to raise workers' salaries by 30 percent at its Foxconn manufacturing hub in southern China, following a string of suicides there. In the northern city of Shenyang, a trade union representing workers for US fast food chain KFC said on Wednesday that the company had not responded to demands for a pay hike, according to local media. FRIDAY DEADLINE Honda said its four Chinese car factories, with combined annual output capacity of 650,000 units, would remain idled as planned at least through. The maker of the Accord and Civic models was to decide yesterday whether to restart production tomorrow. Honda has put the politically sensitive negotiations in the hands of local government experts and government-backed union members, some of whom clashed with factory workers on Monday. Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando said most of the workers at the parts factory had agreed to come back to work for the company's offer for a 24 percent hike in starting salary. She added that some were still holding out but their numbers were decreasing. A day earlier, Zeng Qinghong, a member of the National People's Congress and

vice chairman of a Honda joint venture partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group, visited the factory to negotiate with the workers on behalf of the company, Honda said. It declined to provide details. But some workers have agreed only to a temporary return, said one 18-year-old intern from the southern city of Changsha. "Management told us that they will respond to our demands by tomorrow. If they don't, we'll go back on strike," said the intern, who added there was a 70 percent chance of another walkout. About a third of the plant's workforce are interns, who as vocational students typically receive lower wages and fewer benefits than regular employees. Many factories in southern China employ interns, who are required by their schools to complete a stint at manufacturing sites. INTERNS Interns at the plant are seeking, among other demands, an 800 yuan ($117.2) monthly salary hike, an annual salary increase of no less than 15 percent, year-end bonuses no less than the preceding year's, salaries during the strike period, and a new chairman to lead a restructured union. The intern told Reuters that the company had offered to raise wages from 900 yuan per month for interns to between 1,300 and 1,400 yuan. Regular workers will receive 1,900 yuan before deductions for insurance, the intern said. The legal minimum wage is 920 yuan. Two guards standing outside the factory-a large complex of tidy, low-rise buildings-said employees had come back to work as usual on Wednesday morning. A woman working at one of the factory's restaurants also said things had returned to normal inside the plant. That was a sharp contrast to Monday, when a tussle between angry workers union representatives resulting in several injuries, according to factory employees. Honda sold about 580,000 cars in China last year, about 17 percent of its global sales. Even as workers at the parts plant went on strike last week, the automaker announced expansion fresh plans to lift production capacity in China to 830,000 units a year as it aims to catch up with rivals including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co. Shares in Honda closed down 1.9 percent on Wednesday in a , broader market down 1.1 percent. — Reuters

Oil prices rebound LONDON: World oil prices bounced higher yesterday, reversing earlier losses in jittery trade on the back of improving global financial markets, traders said. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, rose 1.04 dollars to 73.62 dollars a barrel. London's Brent North Sea crude for July gained 1.65 dollars to 74.36 dollars. "Jittery trading (in the oil market) is here to stay for now as we continue to track the broader markets and swings in global risk sentiment," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov. Wall Street rebounded yesterday and European equities clawed back some of their losses as investors went bargain hunting for shares that had fallen sharply on eurozone debt and global economic recovery concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.31 percent at the open, one day after tumbling on fears of new European bank problems and a slowdown in Chinese growth, as well as the mounting cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Meanwhile, US pending home sales rose for the third month running in April as home buyers rushed to sign contracts before the end of a government tax credit. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said pending home sales rose 6.0 percent in April, well above forecasts for a 4.3 percent rise. Traders will have to wait until today for the weekly snapshot of energy inventories in

the United States, the world's biggest energy consuming nation. The report, normally published yesterday, was delayed by the US Memorial Day public holiday on Monday. Oil drifted lower earlier yesterday, with sentiment dampened by fears that the eurozone debt and deficit crisis could derail the global economic recovery and dent energy demand. "The driver for oil prices at the moment is economic recovery-there's some evidence of it in the US and UK, but overall the concern is the eurozone debt crisis," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. "We're looking at pared-back growth forecasts for the eurozone and where this will lead for energy demand." Market sentiment was hit this week after the European Central Bank suggested that eurozone banks might have to reduce the value of their assets by a total of 195 billion euros by 2011. The ECB said in its twice-yearly Financial Stability Review that banks faced several challenges, including exposure to a weakening commercial real estate market, hundreds of billions of euros in bad debts, and a possible competition for refinancing with governments with swollen sovereign debt. Oil fell sharply on Tuesday after a series of sluggish European and Chinese economic indicators sparked concerns about energy demand. — AFP


Thursday, June 3, 2010


AT&T caps phone data usage with new wireless plans NEW YORK: In time for the widely expected launch of a new iPhone model, carrier AT&T Inc. is pulling in the reins on data usage by its customers with smart phones and iPads. The sole US carrier of the iPhone is introducing two new data plans, starting June 7, with limits on data consumption. They'll replace the $30 per month plan with unlimited usage that it has required for all smart phones, including the iPhone. With the change AT&T is adopting a carrot-and-stick approach to assuage the data congestion on its network, which has been a source of complaints, especially in cities such as New York and San Francisco that are thick with iPhone users. The new plans will take effect just as Apple is expected to

unveil the next generation of its iPhone at an event Monday in San Francisco. Subscribers who use little data or learn to limit their consumption will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with extra consumption fees. One new plan will cost $25 per month and offer 2 gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each. A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 megabytes. With that plan and voice service, a smart

phone could cost as little as $55 per month before taxes and add-on fees, down from $70 per month. Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's consumer business, said that means smart phones can become accessible to more people. "Customers are getting a good deal, and if they can understand their usage, they can save some money," de la Vega said in an interview. Current AT&T subscribers will be allowed to keep the unlimited plan, even if they renew their contracts. But all new subscribers will have to choose one of the two new plans. Figuring out which one to choose may not be easy, given that many people have only a hazy notion of the size of a gigabyte and how many they use now. A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and

Web pages, but it's quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing. De la Vega said AT&T is doing its part to educate consumers, by letting them track their usage online. The iPhone contains a data usage tracking tool. The carrier will also text-message subscribers to let them know they're getting close their limits. Data usage over Wi-Fi, including AT&T's public Wi-Fi hot spots, will not count toward the limits. The new $25-per-month plan will replace the current $30 plan with unlimited usage that is available for the iPad, the tablet computer Apple Inc. released just a few months ago, though iPad owners can keep the old plan as long as they keep paying $30 per month, AT&T said. Paradoxically, the data caps arrive at time

when carriers have started to lift the limits on other forms of wireless use, by selling plans with unlimited calling and unlimited text messaging. That's not a big gamble, because not many people have the time to talk phone for eight hours a day or spend every waking minute sending text messages. But smart phones can draw a lot of data, depending one where and how they're used. With the new plans, de la Vega hopes to see high-consumption applications like Internet video being steered toward hot spots, where they don't clog up AT&T's cellular network. Consumers have rebelled against the idea of data usage caps on home broadband, at least when the limits are set low enough to make online video consumption expen-

sive. Time Warner Cable Inc. was forced to back away from trials of data caps last year after consumer protests and threats of legislative action. In the wireless world, where data capacity is more constrained, usage caps are more common. Most wireless carriers, for instance, limit data cards for laptops to 5 gigabytes per month. But with intense competition for smart phone users, phone companies have been reluctant to impose similar limits on those devices, although Sprint Nextel Corp. reserves the right to slow down or disconnect users who exceed 5 gigabytes per month. It remains to be seen whether AT&T's rivals will join it in imposing caps or use their own "unlimited" plans as a marketing advantage. — AP

Blasts Adobe's Flash again

Apple's CEO Jobs finds Foxconn deaths 'troubling' RANCHO PALOS VERDES: Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs finds "troubling" a string of worker deaths at Foxconn, the contract manufacturer that assembles the company's iPhones and iPads, but said its factory in China "is

SYDNEY: Carl Rose, the managing director of Sony Australia and New Zealand, wears Sony's battery-powered 3D glasses during the official Australian launch of Sony 3D World in Sydney yesterday. Sony Australia announced that, due to unprecedented demand, a special shipment of its BRAVIA 3D TVs is being rushed into Australia in time for the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on June 11. — AFP

Yahoo! email gingerly growing more social SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo! is gingerly expanding Twitter-like social-networking features while trying to avoid privacy stumbles made by titans Facebook and Google. Yahoo! Updates launched nearly two years ago to let people stream updates about their lives, thoughts or activities at its free Web services such as email and instant messaging but sharing has been limited. In coming weeks, Yahoo! will expand the feature in its email service to include public updates sent from Messenger and Contacts, according to Anne Toth and Cody Simms of Yahoo!. "Before long, we'll also allow you to start sharing your Updates with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks," Toth and Simms said in a blog post, call-

ing the move a "big step forward." Yahoo! is urging users to thoughtfully manage privacy controls that let them dictate what information gets shared and with whom. "You can easily limit who sees your Updates stream," wrote Simms and Toth, head of privacy at Yahoo!. "We've made sure this control is easy to find by putting it at the top of the page and that there is a single on/off checkbox, with more granular controls for people who want their settings somewhere in between." Google was blasted in February after it launched a Buzz feature in Gmail that automatically set up social networks based on contacts people messaged often. Facing a slew of privacy complaints, Google swiftly modified Buzz.

Google Buzz allows Gmail users to get updates about what friends are doing online and offers ways to share video, photos and other digitized snippets in a challenge to social networking stars Facebook and Twitter. Facebook last week began overhauling privacy controls in the face of a barrage of criticism that it is betraying the trust which has made it the world's biggest social network. Facebook redesigned its privacy settings page to provide a single control for content and "significantly reduce" the amount of information that is always visible to everyone. Facebook also gave its more than 400 million members increased control over how outside applications or websites access information at the service. — AFP

ROMA: Photo taken on January 27, 2010 of a technician testing a secondgeneration Globalstar satellites, at the Thales Alenia Space offices in Roma. The European group, Thales Alenia Space has won a contract worth 2.1 billion dollars (1.7 billion euros) for a giant program to build 81 communications satellites for US group Iridium, Iridium said yesterday. — AFP

Microsoft sticks up for Windows operating system SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft publicly defended Windows in the face of unconfirmed reports that Google was shunning the operating system due to security concerns. Google declined to respond to an AFP inquiry, saying only: "As a rule, we don't comment on operational matters." Microsoft, however, felt that stories published in the Financial Times and elsewhere warranted a fast, firm rebuttal. Unnamed sources at Google were quoted in the Times as saying that new hires at the US Internet colossus have been given the option of using Apple Macintosh computers or machines running on Linux open-source software. Sanctioning moves away from Windows operating systems was described as part of a "security effort" triggered by an attack from China-based hackers that led to Google shutting down its filtered search engine in that country. Google is also believed to be interest-

ed in shifting to a Chrome operating system it is building as a rival to Windows. "There's been some coverage overnight about the security of Windows and whether or not one particular company is reducing its use of Windows," Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft said in a blog post at the technology giant's website. "We thought this was a good opportunity to set the record straight." LeBlanc touted Windows safeguards and noted that security concerns have also been aimed at software built by Google and Apple. "When it comes to security, even hackers admit we're doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else," he said. "And it's not just the hackers; third-party influentials and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others." Windows is the foundation of Microsoft's global software empire. — AFP

At this year's D8, an annual gathering of A-list technology and media executives in California, Jobs sniped at Adobe Systems Inc's. "waning" Flash technology, vowed not to get into a search battle with Google, and waxed lyrical about the future of tablet PCs. Jobs also talked about how he conceived of the iPad even before the iPhone. Apple released the iPad in April and it has quickly defined the tablet computer market, selling more than 2 million units in the first 60 days. But a string of deaths at Foxconn's base in southern China, which critics blame on stressful working conditions, threatens to cast a shadow over the device's success. "It's a difficult situation," Jobs, dressed in his customary black turtleneck and jeans, said on stage. "We're trying to understand right now, before we go in and say we know the solution." The iPad's momentum has helped drive share gains. Apple last week overtook long-time nemesis Microsoft to become the world's largest technology company by market value an event unthinkable a decade ago-and Apple's shares have spent much of 2010 hitting new highs. Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple rose 1.5 percent on Tuesday to end at $260.8 on the Nasdaq. "For those of us that have been in the industry a long time, it's surreal. But it doesn't matter very much, it's not what's important," Jobs said. "It's not what makes you come to work every morning." Jobs has appeared at the D8 event in previous years, but not since 2007. Much has changed for Apple-and its helmsman -- in that period. A pancreatic cancer survivor, the company's founder underwent a liver transplant a year ago. Since returning from medical leave, the Apple CEO has been everywhere: posing for magazine profiles, responding personally to emails from customers, and lobbing verbal hand grenades in a high-profile spat with software maker Adobe. Jobs got in a few more swipes on Tuesday, saying Adobe had to get its technology up to speed before he will consider its "Flash" technology for iPhones or iPads. Flash-based video and games are found on many Internet sites. Hostility between Apple and Adobe has been brewing for months. Apple has criticized Flash as a buggy battery hog, while Adobe has accused Apple of exerting tyrannical control over developers creating programs for the iPhone and iPad. "We didn't start off to have a war with Flash or anything else. We just made a technical decision," he said. Adobe's Flash multimedia technology allows video and interactive media on the Web. Apple's iPhone is still the standard-bearer in the smartphone market, but it faces growing competition particularly from handsets running Google's Android platform. Apple is widely expected to unveil its newest iPhone next Monday, when Jobs delivers his keynote address at its developers conference in San Francisco. But the company's ascendance has invited scrutiny and criticism. The U.S. Justice Department is making preliminary inquiries into whether Apple unfairly dominates the digital music market through its iTunes store, sources say. — Reuters

not a sweatshop". Jobs was making his first public comments about apparent employees' suicides at a complex operated by the unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry, which also counts Hewlett-Packard and Dell among its clients.

PALO ALTO: In this April 7, 2010 file photo, an Apple customer displays the new iPad, left, next to his iPhone in Palo Alto, Calif. In time for the widely expected launch of a new iPhone model, carrier AT&T Inc. is pulling in the reins on data usage by its customers with smart phones and iPads. — AP

Apple chief believes people will pay for online news RANCHO PALOS VERDES: Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said he believes that democracy hinges on a healthy press and that people will pay for news delivered on iPads and other Internet-linked gadgets. "I don't want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers," Jobs said Tuesday during an on-stage interview at an All Things Digital conference in the Southern California coastal town of Rancho Palos Verdes. "One of my beliefs very strongly is that any democracy depends on a free, healthy press." Jobs said he is "all for" anything Apple can do to help news gathering organizations find new ways of expressing themselves and getting paid so they can keep news gathering operations intact. Apple's vision for its iPad tablet comput-

ers includes the devices serving as Digital Age platforms on which newspapers and magazines can build profitable new business models. "We all know what has happened to the economics of those businesses, and some of them are in real trouble," Jobs said of traditional journalism operations. "This is a potential opportunity to provide even more value than just a Web page and start to charge a little bit for that. I think people are willing to pay for content. I believe in media and I believe in news content."Jobs had some advice for news operations regarding how to wring revenue out of stories hawked online. "Price it aggressively and go for volume," Jobs said. "I'm trying to get these folks to take more aggressive postures than what they charge traditionally for print."

Apple, now the largest US technology company by stock market value, said Monday it had sold two million of its iPad tablet computers, outdoing even the iconic iPhone on its launch. Apple said it had sold 1.4 million iPads since it went on sale exclusively in the United States on April 3. On Friday, the iPad-a flat, 10-inch (25centimeter) black tablet computer that Apple claims will revolutionize the industrywent on sale in Australia, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Demand in the United States was so strong that the company pushed back the global roll-out. The iPad goes on sale in nine additional countries in July, including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. — AFP

TAIPEI: A woman plays music on a flat panel screen using multiple-touch technologies at a booth of the Taipei World Trade Centre, where Computex Taipei, Asia's biggest information technology trade fair is being staged yesterday. — AFP



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Go veggie, cut fossil fuels to aid planet: Study OSLO: An overhaul of world farming and more vegetarianism should be top priorities to protect the environment, along with curbs on fossil fuel use, a UNbacked study said yesterday. The report said food production and fossil fuel use caused pollution, greenhouse gases, diseases and forest destruction. “How the world is fed and fuelled will in large part define development in the 21st century,” said the 112-page report by the International Panel for

Sustainable Resource Management. “Agricultural production accounts for a staggering 70 percent of the global freshwater consumption, 38 percent of the total land use and 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme. The report said consumers could help by cutting down on meat consumption and use of fossil fuels in heating or travel. “Animal products are important because more than half of the world’s crops are used

to feed animals, not people,” it said. “A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.” Researchers said it was no surprise fossil fuels were a top concern. “More surprising was food production-agriculture, fishing and pasture,” Edgar Hertwich, lead author at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told Reuters.

Reform “will be a titanic task, but one that is essential for our future prosperity and quality of life”, Janez Potocnik, European Environment Commissioner, said in a statement. Increasing wealth in developing nations could mean more damage, such as more demand for meat. “Meat consumption per capita in China rose by 42 percent over eight years from 1995 to 2003,” said Sangwon Suh of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The study also said that the world should focus on improving use of materials such as plastics, iron, steel and aluminium. Janet Salem of UNEP said the report should remind people in urban areas that clearance of distant forests-making way for farmland and destroying habitats of animals and plants-could be traced to their choice of food in supermarkets. “Faraway environmental impacts are related to people in cities,” she said. — Reuters

Common genetic risks not affected by lifestyle

Genes, lifestyle pose breast cancer risks LONDON: Common genetic differences have a limited role in causing breast cancer and work independently of lifestyle factors such as weight, diet and breastfeeding which are still more important, British scientists said yesterday.

In a study of more than 17,000 women, researchers found that although certain common gene variants raise the risk of developing breast cancer, they add to, but do not multiply, the risks posed by lifestyle factors like obesity or drinking.

Butt test shows American cigarettes high in chemicals WASHINGTON: Americans inhale more cancer-causing agents with their cigarettes, probably because of the tobacco blend, while smokers in Canada, Britain and Australia get less, US researchers reported on Tuesday. Their unique study also demonstrated that the amounts of these carcinogens in a smoker’s cigarette butts directly correlated with tell-tale compounds in the smoker’s urine. The study, published in the June issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, can help researchers trying to trace the harmful effects of smoking. “We know that cigarettes from around the world vary in their ingredients and the way they are produced,” said Dr. Jim Pirkle of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who heads a lab using a mass spectrometer to measure levels of chemicals in people’s bodies. “All of these cigarettes contain harmful levels of carcinogens, but these findings show that amounts of tobacco-specific

nitrosamines differ from country to country, and US brands are the highest in the study,” Pirkle said in a statement. CDC’s David Ashley and colleagues did in-depth tests using 126 smokers in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. “Seventeen eligible cigarette brands (between 3 and 5 brands from each country) were selected on the basis of national sales and nicotine yield to identify popular brands with a range of ventilation,” the researchers wrote. Ventilation is how much air is mixed in with the smoke from the cigarette as it is inhaled. The volunteers had their saliva and urine tested and also turned over their used cigarette butts to the researchers. These were all tested for nicotine and for the chemicals 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK for short) and the breakdown product of NNK in the body, called NNAL. These cancer-causing agents are known as tobacco-specific nitrosamines or TSNAs. “We have shown a direct association

between the 24-hour mouth-level exposure of NNK resulting from cigarette smoking and the concentration of its primary metabolite, NNAL, in the urine of smokers,” the researchers wrote. “Internal dose concentrations of urinary NNAL are significantly lower in smokers in countries that have lower TSNA levels in cigarettes such as Canada and Australia in contrast to countries that have high levels of these carcinogens in cigarettes, such as the United States.” The popular US cigarette brands studied contained “American blend” tobacco, known to contain higher TSNA levels than the “bright” tobacco used in the most popular Australian, Canadian, and British brands. Australian and Canadian smokers got more nicotine than US and British smokers, but not of TSNAs. The World Health Organizations says 5 million people die every year from tobaccorelated heart attacks, strokes and cancers. Another 430,000 adults die annually from breathing second-hand smoke. — Reuters

The findings did not include the breast cancer genes known as BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 that occur much more rarely but which confer a high risk on women who have them. “This is reassuring means that whatever you inherit in terms of common gene variants, the effect of things such as maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and being careful about HRT are still really important for reducing breast cancer risk,” Ruth Travis of Oxford University’s cancer epidemiology unit said in telephone interview. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in wealthy nations. Worldwide, it kills around half a million people each year. British scientists said last month they had found five common genetic factors linked to the risk of developing breast cancer, adding to 13 other common genetic risk variants. Combined, these common gene factors explain around eight percent of the risk of getting the disease. Travis worked with Jane Green, also of Oxford University, and colleagues to study 7,160 women with breast cancer and 10,196 women without. The women gave blood samples for genetic testing and information about their lifestyles. The researchers looked at the risk of breast cancer for 12 genetic variants-known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, (SNPs) — in the women’s DNA. They related these to 10 known environmental breast cancer risk factors: age at puberty onset, number of births, age at first birth, breastfeeding, menopausal status, age at menopause, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), weight, height, and alcohol consumption. “None of the 120 comparisons yielded significant evidence of gene-environment interactions,” they wrote in their study, which was published in The Lancet medical journal. “Genes account for only a small proportion of breast cancers,” Green said. “The main risk factors remain the lifestyle factors such as childbearing, use of HRT, obesity and alcohol consumption.” “The good news is that some of these are modifiable, so by changing their behaviour women can alter their risk of breast cancer,” she added. A study published in the United States last year found that nearly 40 percent of all breast cancer cases there could be prevented if women kept a healthy weight, drank less alcohol, exercised more and breastfed their babies. — Reuters

CUXHAVEN: Picture taken on August 7, 2008 shows an overweight man refreshing with a bath in the North Sea in Cuxhaven, northwestern Germany. Germans are getting fatter, official figures showed yesterday, with 51 percent of adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 25 percent.— AFP

Germans getting fatter BERLIN: Germans are getting fatter, official figures showed yesterday, with 51 percent of adults in Europe’s most populous country now classed as overweight. Sixty percent of men and 43 percent of women have a Body Mass Index (BMI) — a measure computing body weight and height-of more than 25, up from 56 percent and 40 percent respectively in 1999, the statistics office said. Some 16 percent of men and 14 percent of women are classified as obese with a BMI of more than 30, figures from a microcensus conducted in 1999 showed. The figures compare unfavourably with those in France, where 38.5 percent of men and 26 percent of women are overweight, but

Germans are clearly thinner than Britons. Data from Britain’s National Heart Forum in February suggested that eight out of 10 men and nearly seven out of 10 women in England will be too fat by 2020, with 41 percent of men forecast to be obese. Nearly 20 percent of US children between the ages of six and 19 are estimated to suffer from obesity, which can encourage diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. And in China, there are more than 60 million obese people, and another 200 million who are overweight, according to a Chinese health ministry statement in November that cited a 2004 nationwide survey. — AFP

DZHEZKAZGAN: Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi reacts shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz TMA-17 space capsule about 150 km (80 miles) south-east of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan yesterday. The Soyuz capsule, which carried the three astronauts safely returned to Earth after a half-year stint on the international space station, with a landing in the Kazakh steppe. — AFP

Soyuz returns to Earth safely KOROLYOV: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft with three astronauts on board landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan yesterday, Russia’s Mission Control said. Russian Oleg Kotov, NASA’s Timothy Creamer and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi arrived near the town of Zhezkazgan as planned, at 0725 Moscow time (0325 GMT), an announcer at Mission Control outside Moscow said. “There has been a soft landing,” the announcer said to applause from observers in the goldlined, Soviet-era Mission Control building. The trio of astronauts, who make up Russian Expedition 23 and are commanded by Kotov, left Earth in December of last year for the $100 bil-

lion, 16-nation International Space Station (ISS). In April, US astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko docked with the ISS, replacing a Russian-US duo who returned to Earth in March. Russia will ferry all crews to the ISS aboard its single-use Soyuz spaceships after the U.S. space agency NASA mothballs its fleet by the end of this year. Earlier this year, Russia announced a halt to space tourism to free capacity for ISS flights. It has said it plans to double the number of launches to four this year as permanent crews of professionals aboard the expanded ISS are set to rise to six. — Reuters

FDA clears bone strengthening drug

ZHEJIANG: A Chinese girl screams when she takes part in a “Who has the loudest voice” competition, in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, as locals celebrate Children’s Day yesterday. A dramatic rise in prosperity has created “previously unheard-off possibilities for upward mobility” and in turn stoked pressures on children to do well at school. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen’s bone strengthening drug, Prolia, for postmenopausal women at risk for fractures, a potential blockbuster market. The injectable drug is given once every six months to increase bone mass and strength. Analysts think Prolia should bring Amgen billions in revenue after it is launched. Sales of the company’s former top sellers, the anemia drugs, Aranesp and Epogen, have dropped in recent years due to safety concerns and label restrictions. Pill-based osteoporosis drugs, such as Fosamax and Zometa, have been available for more than a decade. But Amgen

Executive Vice President Dr. Roger Perlmutter said many women can’t tolerate those drugs or have trouble remembering to take a daily medication. Amgen said in a statement that Prolia is the first drug to target a cellular pathway that breaks down bones. One out of every two women over age 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle, according to an FDA statement. An analysis cited by Amgen estimates that osteoporosis-related fractures will cost the US health care system $25 billion annually by 2025. FDA approved the drug based on a 7,000 patient study conducted by Amgen that showed reduced vertebrae and hip fractures in postmenopausal women.

Common side effects with the drug included back pain, high cholesterol and urinary bladder infections. Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen will be required to distribute patient guides explaining the drug’s risks. Global sales of osteoporosis treatments topped $8 billion last year, including hundreds of vitamin brands and drugs like GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Boniva and Merck & Co. Inc.’s Fosamax. With eight other pills and injectable medicines on the market, analysts say Prolia’s success likely will hinge on its price. Prolia will cost $825 per injection, which the Amgen says is competitive with existing treatments. Shares of Amgen rose $1.74, or 3.4 percent, to $50.76 in afterhours trading. — AP


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Migrant workforce, poor living conditions increase risk African mining may be driving TB epidemic LONDON: Poor living and working conditions for miners of gold, diamonds and other precious metals have contributed significantly to tuberculosis (TB) epidemics across Africa, scientists said yesterday. Researchers from Britain and the United States said their study suggested that crowded living and working conditions, dust in mines, and the spread of HIV mean Africa’s mining industry may figure in up to 760,000 new cases of TB each year. Men travelling from afar to work in mines, such as from Botswana to South Africa, are at the greatest risk of getting TB, the researchers wrote in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. But their wives, children and friends are also at high risk of catching the disease when miners travel back and forth to work, often many times a year. “Improving living and healthcare conditions for miners may be necessary not only for the miners, but for controlling tuberculosis epidemics throughout sub-Saharan

Africa,” said Dr David Stuckler from the Department of Sociology at Oxford University, who led the study. Tuberculosis killed 1.8 million people worldwide in 2008, or nearly 5,000 people a day. The disease can be cured with antibiotics, but they must be taken daily for months to be effective, and scarce health funds in some countries mean fewer drugs are available. TB has been on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years, with a doubling of the annual incidence from 173 to 351 per 100,000 population between 1990 and 2007. These rises are largely the result of a growing epidemic of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. But Stuckler and colleagues said data shows that HIV is only one of several factors involved in TB’s spread in the region. HIV increases the risk of TB because it weakens the body’s immune system.

Miners are also known to spread tuberculosis to their families and communities, the researchers said, since nearly half of workers in large mining countries like South Africa are foreign and routinely travel across large distances. The scientists took data on mining between 2001 and 2005 and compared them with TB incidence and death rates for 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. They found evidence that mining had a significant impact on the spread of TB, and that the risk appeared to be worst in countries with high levels of HIV. The risks were associated with the living conditions around mines, they said, and with mining for gold, which is believed to expose miners to more potentially harmful silica dust than any other mineral. The study also found that when countries reduced their mining activity, TB rates fell more quickly, or rose less, than in neighbouring nations where mining rates were stable or increased. — Reuters

Surgery can boost bowel cancer survival rates LONDON: Patients with bowel cancer that has spread to the liver are around five times more likely to survive if they undergo surgery, experts said here yesterday. Not all people will benefit from an operation but survival rates are boosted dramatically in those whose cancer is operable, a study found. Only nine percent of patients will survive for five years or more if their cancer is stage four and has spread but they do not have surger y. A new study from the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) shows that liver resection - removing the cancerous part of the liver and a small part of healthy tissue around it - can boost this five-year survival to 46 percent. This means patients with stage four disease have similar survival rates as people with stage three disease - before the cancer has spread - who have a 48 percent chance of surviving. The surgery has now become the gold standard across the UK for patients with this type of cancer. Lead author Dr Eva Morris, a Cancer Research UK

scientist from the University of L eeds, nor ther n England, said, “The difference this surgery can make is remarkable. Cancer that has spread is often very hard to treat, so it’s good to see that there’s an effective treatment option for some patients with advanced bowel cancer. “Smaller trials have shown us that this technique is effective, but this is the first time we’ve been able to say just how successful it is on a national scale. This surgery is very skilled and should be undertaken by expert surgeons working in specialist liver units.”Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK and more than 37,400 cases are diagnosed each year. Up to a quarter of these will have spread to the liver at the time of diagnosis. The study, published in the British Journal of Surgery, followed more than 114,000 people who had undergone surgery for bowel cancer and more than 3,000 who also had liver resections. — KUNA



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Embassy informa-

ICSK - Junior branch stages


he Indian Community School, Kuwait - Junior Branch enthralled the audience at the over packed auditorium of the senior school, when they staged their cultural programme “Expressions” on 23rd May 2010. Honorary Chairman, Board of Trustees Ashok Kalra was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The other guests who graced the occasion were the Honorary Secretary Board of Trustees Rajan Daniel, Board members, Branch Parent Representatives in the Board of Trustees, Branch Principals, Branch Vice Principals, Parent Council members and a huge turn out of parents. The students of classes I to V were on the stage to mesmerize the audience with their amazing performances. The entire programme was based on the theme ‘Expressions’. The loud applause and cheers

echoed in the auditorium when the little vibrant boys and girls rocked the stage to showcase their artistic talent through a variety of events. Mesmerizing school orchestra and the invocation dance to invoke blessing of God the connoisseur of music and dance and the dance number pleading for peace based on very popular number ‘Krishna’ by veteran singer Hariharan, simply kept the audience glued to their seats. The skit ‘The Jungle Verdict” followed by pantomime on the typical mannerism and habits of their favourite animals based on the theme save the animals and Trees which received resounding applause from everyone present. The students of Class III dared to present the play “Belmond Beauty’ based on the famous Shakespearian play ‘The merchant of Venice”, which held the audience captivated with their artis-

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.


tic talent. This was followed by heart warming items such as fashion show, goan dance and bhangra and gidha. The tiny tots of Class-I presented a colourful programme ‘An Evening with Genie’ which was appreciated by one and all. A befitting finale to the show was also theme based and gave out a message ‘Save the Environment; keep the earth green and clean; and save the animals’ - was a step in the right direction. The show was compeered by two students of class V who held the audience captivated with their witty dialogues and informative chatter. In her welcome speech Principal Fathima Mohideen welcomed all the guests and stressed on the need to create the awareness among the students about keeping this world peaceful, green and clean and train-

ing children in this direction. She also thanked the management and the parents for their support. In his address, Chairman Board of Trustees Mr.Ashok Kalra empha-

sized on the all round development of the students. He congratulated all the participants on their amazing performances. Everyone left the auditorium

after such an astounding show with their dreams and aspirations at all time high on having celebrated the event together in the true spirit of community.

ICSK Amman shines at the Shaastrotsav


ducation is not answering the question, but questioning the answers. The alumni of the NSS college of engineering, having understood this fact, gave the opportunity to the youngsters to demonstrate their scientific inquisitiveness by organizing Shaastrotsav at the Gulf University of Science and Technology (GUST).The event was graced by many eminent personalities in the field of Science and Technology. Ajay Malhotra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait was the chief guest. The competition was organized in two categories. The open category and school wise representation. The young scientists from Amman participated in both the categories. Jay Chidambaram, Sandeep Govindan Prasad

and Sachin T.Pai from class XII A participated in the school wise representation and they demonstrated the principle of Van de Graaf generator which they had ingeniously built using waste materials. Atul Mohan, Kunal Kriplani and Jibin Jose, of XII B participated in the open category and designed a hovercraft. Both the teams gave a wonderful explanation of the model’s working. The judges were highly impressed by the resourcefulness and the techniques of improvisation of the students. Indian Community School Kuwait, Amman Branch’s young Scientists secured the third Place in both categories. Congratulations to the teachers and students who have added another feather in the cap of ICSK’s academic glory.


result in the Class X examination conducted by the CBSE for the year 2009-2010. In spite of unconditional

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, AlAbraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday.

JIS holds investiture ceremony


he Investiture Ceremony of Jabriya Indian School was held on May 20 to formally invest the school Student Council. The Chief Guest R. Kuppanna, the General Manager of Kuwait India International Exchange Company, graced the occasion. In keeping with the sanctity of the ceremony a verse from the Holy Quran, was followed by the rendering of the National Anthems of Kuwait and India. A melodious and inspirational song, ‘You are the Sunshine’, was sung by the school choir, specially written and composed for the occasion. Principal Mrs. Usha Varkey, welcomed the gathering. In her speech

she advised the council members to be good leaders, who should be role models for the other students, reminding them this was their opportunity to test and mould their personalities. “Each of them should be a hero” she opined. Later the sixty member council were administered the oath of office by the Principal, in the presence of the School Chairman, M. Mathews, distinguished guests and parents. The Student Council led by the Head Boy, Yonas Mehari and the Head Girl, Deema Kamal were invested with the insignia of office by the Chief Guest, followed by other

esteemed guests. The core-council members were also invested with a badge and a sash, with their respective designation by the different dignitaries. The ex-head boy, Omyr Faisal and House Captains handed over the flags to the newly elected members in an impressive handing-over ceremony. In his address, the Chief Guest, Mr. R. Kuppanna, exhorted the students to strike a balance between academics and their duties as office bearers. He advised the students to succeed brilliantly, whatever their capabilities were, to work to their potential and to be productive. He further urged, to

orchestrate one’s activity in the right time and in the right manner, which is the ‘Essence of youthfulness.’ The Principal then presented a beautiful memento to the chief guest as a token of appreciation. The Head Boy Yonas Mehari proposed the vote of thanks. His speech reflected not only the aspirations of the newly sworn-in Student Council but it very firmly stated his dictum to his fellow council members that their actions should go beyond the badges they wear. The council members infused with new energy, promised to rise to the task ahead and to lead their fellow students by example.

IIS proves its mettle he zealous candidates of Integrated Indian School won laurels once again with cent percent

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.

promotion of all candidates from class IX to X without any sort of filtration, the achievement of cent percent result is

really laudable. Out of the 37 candidates appearing, A1 grade (91-100) was awarded in the following subjects Hindi - Nimmy Parsad Matahematics - 1. Nimmy Prasad 2. Rhea Cherian A2 grade (81-100) was earned by students as shown below: English 1. Palayam Muzammil Ahmed 2. Nimmy Prasad French 1. Athira Roy 2. Rhea Cherian Hindi: Gurpal Singh Mathematics 1. Fakhruddin Akber Ali Taheri 2. Mohammed Shafiuddin Shoeb 3 . Palayam Muzamm Il Ahmed 4 . Nagaraja Nidashan Arun Science: Rhea Cherian

Social Science: Ahmed Munib Ahmed The results of class XII were marvellous with the school securing top positions in the following subjects among all Indian Schools of Kuwait. Commerce - Sindhu V. Srinivasan 94.6% English - Sindhu V. Srinivasan 95% Economics - Sindhu V. Srinivasan 95% The excellent result is an indication of the power of integration of the various factors at the Integrated Indian School. Congratulations to the Students for their hard work and perseverance, to the Parents for their Guidance and Co-operation, to the teachers, for their dedication and involvement, to the Management, Principal Mrs. Ritu Mathur for their disciplined administration.


anjana Roy pictured with Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra, BSK Director Vera Al Mutawa and her father Anindy Roy at a ceremony at the Indian Embassy. Sanjana received a book as a mark of her excellence in Hindi. She is presently sitting for her A Level examinations in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics and has already claimed a place at Cornell for summer 2010 on the basis of her transcript which covered her academic achievements to date as well as her participation in a wide range of activities including Global Changemakers Conference London 2009, International Gold Award, 2010, Key member of BSK’s MUN team 2010 and a volunteer at at paediatric cancer hospital in Kuwait for children aged 6 to 12 years of age.

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 petitionbased, 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 SLOVAKIA The Embassy of the Slovak Republic with cooperation with Piestany Spa in Slovak Republic would like to kindly invite who are interested to attend the presentation on the Slovak Spa Tourism, Piestany Spa Treatment which will be hold at the premises of the Embassy as mentioned above on Monday, June 07, 2010 from 19:00 till 21:00.

Thursday, June 3, 2010



University of Waterloo maths competitions


he mathematics department at Kuwait English School has been running the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) competitions, across the whole Senior School, for more than 8 years now. They have proved extremely popular

for pupils of all ages. Refreshingly, the problems posed do offer a different type of question, to really challenge the pupils. Any child who is capable of “thinking outside of the box” has a good chance of doing well. Pupils who excel in the competi-


tions receive recognition from Waterloo University, via special certificates or, as has happened recently, medals that are beautifully presented with silk ribbons. Pupils at Kuwait English School have regularly received such medals. Past medal-

lists include Adam Halski (now at Cambridge University, UK) and Ayan Dutta (previously Head Boy - now at Waterloo University itself). Peter Unsworth, Head of Mathematics, said, “One of the main reasons we as a department continue

to run these events is so that we can give pupils that enjoy the challenge of mathematics the chance to try something a little different. The fact that a strong performance will look good on their resume is a welcome bonus. I can envisage many pupils’

participation in the years to come.” Mr. ElHusain ElSharif has been running the events for the last two years. The recent presentations of certificates were for outstanding performances from the Year 7 and 8 pupils

who took part in the Gauss competition on 13th May. Many of them will continue to participate in the events that take place during the next academic year, the best of whom will probably receive medals from the University.

Kuwait takes part in Dubai summer surprises apprenticeship prog


Neena Kurian, student of Indian Central School, secured A 1 Grade (CGPA: 10) in all subjects for the Xth standard examination held in 2010. Best wishes from relatives and friends.

Congratulation to our dear daughter Veronica. We are proud of you with your outstanding performance in CBSE Class X by scoring 9.2% marks. Keep up your hard work. We love you. Best wishes from loving parents, sister Christina, all family members & friends from Kuwait & Sri Lanka. God bless you always.

360 Mall hosts Lycee Francais


60 Mall, Kuwait’s latest luxury shopping centre recently hosted a field trip by a group of students from the Lycee Francais School in Kuwait. During the visit, students toured around the mall, and explored its unique zones. They were also introduced to a wide selection of stores along with the mall’s innovative facilities using the Mall Directory as a guide. Claudia Lopusinska, 360 Mall’s Marketing Manager said: “We are delighted to host such trips and show people 360 Mall. The latest visit by the Lycee Francais School served as a platform for students to find out more about the retail industry, stores’ operations, get a sense of direction and understand the basics of money and trading.” After the tour, all the guests were treated to a delicious meal at Lets Burger, an American inspired burgeria that is specializes in mouth-watering, traditional style homemade burgers, located at the 3rd level of the mall. 360 Mall continually challenges the benchmarks in the country’s retail sector. This unique shopping centre has been created to give its visitors a uniquely sophisticated and elegant retail experience in the heart of Kuwait, and is becoming regarded as Kuwait’s most exciting retail destination.

he Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) and organizers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), announced the addition of Syria in this year’s roster of countries participating in the award-winning Apprenticeship Programme, an annual training and industry-exposure programme for the best and brightest university students throughout the Middle East & North Africa. Now in its fifth year, the Apprenticeship Programme 2010 invites a total of 50 universities across 10 key countries in the region, including UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. Each of the ten participating countries including Kuwait will be represented by a Business Administration or Marketing student who will emerge at the top following a highly competitive selection process. The winning apprentice gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on DSS - one of the biggest tourism marketing success stories in the region. Since its inception in 2006, when the programme started with only four participating universities in two countries, the programme has expanded in coverage and scope and was one of the primary reasons cited by the IPRA Golden World Awards, the Oscars of the public relations industry, in awarding the Travel and Tourism Award 2008 to the Dubai Shopping Festival Office. As in past editions, universities and colleges have been invited to nominate six of their brightest senior students from the Marketing & Business Administration streams to participate in the selection process, which this year includes an essay writing component inviting students to share their ideas on how they would promote DSS in their local markets. A special jury comprising key DSS staff and other marketing professionals will evalu-

ate the applications and select the winning apprentice for each country. The apprenticeship covers return flights to Dubai and accommodation at Qamardeen Hotel, a Southern Sun operated property conveniently situated in the Downtown Dubai district. The winners will work closely with the DSS team throughout their two-week internship, gaining valuable training and exposure to best practices in business administration, marketing and events management in a real-life situation, executing campaign strategies and working directly on one of the biggest tourist and commercial events in the world. The DSS Apprenticeship

Programme will also present winners with a unique and valuable opportunity to establish a great network of potential future employers and corporate mentors. “The DSS Apprenticeship Programme is one of the most successful initiatives to be developed and launched by DEPE. The success of the programme is not just linked to the ever-increasing number of participating universities, but to the growing prestige of the programme and massive regional media interest generated each year. The programme plays a key role in demonstrating Dubai’s position as a key hub for talent and innovative ideas and embraces the creative

spirit that has driven the development of many of Dubai’s key initiatives,” said Laila Suhail, CEO, DEPE. Suhail added that the 2010 edition will witness Syria’s participation in the DSS Apprenticeship Programme for the first time - an addition that is expected to add further value to the advantages the programme offers participants on account of the strong academic reputation of Syrian universities and educational institutions. “We look forward to welcoming the winner from Syria who will join the student delegates from the nine other MENA countries in order to enhance the value of this year’s edition

Kala launches Free Malayalam program?


nder the guidance of Kerala Art Lovers Association (Kala Kuwait) which has been conducting free Malayalam classes, for the past 20 years, formed the ‘Mathrubhasha Samithi”. Kala president J. Albert presided over the meeting held at Abbassiya Kala Center. General Secretary J. Saji gave a detailed explanation of the current year plan. Various suggestions were put forward by John Mathew, Abdul Razak, Joy Munakkad, Jacob Mathew, Iqbal Kuttamangalm, Manoj Mavelikara and Ashok Kumar. Thereafter the meeting chose John Mathew, Malayil Mooskoya & Raghunathan Nair as patrons Sam Pynummodu as the General Convener, T.V Hikmath & Manoj Mavelikkara as joint conveners of the “Mathrubhasha Samithi”. The meeting also nominated Naganadhan, Jyothidas, Aziz Thikkodi, Babuji Batheri, Abul Razak, Joy Mundakkadan, Jacob Mathew, Iqbal Kuttamangalam, Raju Sakhariya, John Arts, S.A. Labba, Chalanam Mohanan, Krishnakumar, Adv. Razak Payyoli, Dileep Naderi, Chessil Ramapuram, Hameed Kolothu, Hamza Payyannur & V.M John as members of the advisory committee. The meeting decided to convene regional committees in different areas of Kuwait for the smooth functioning of the programme. Those who would like come forward voluntarily as Malayalam teachers or to provide class room space may kindly contact 24347875, 66656642, 99122884, 67765810, 67765810

among participants. We also hope to further expand the list of participating countries to include other important and emerging markets from the region in future editions of the DSS Apprenticeship Programme.” Students have been busy over the last one month preparing their submission material where a jury will select winners based on the quality of their essays and completion of required documents, as well as their character, ambition, energy, and potential to make a valuable contribution to the continual enhancement of DSS. Winners from each of the ten markets will be announced shortly.

Kalpak presents Indian drama


alpak, a prominent theater troupe presented its annual theater production, a Malayalam feature drama last Thursday at Indian Central School, Abbassiya before a delighted audience. The 2 and a half-hour drama named ‘Sargakshethram’, written and directed by Joseph Chetupuzha was well received by the packed audience. The play, a criticism on social evils, was staged after three months of rehearsals and practices. All male actors are Indian expats residing in Kuwait among them was Anu Anand, a popular actor who shot to fame as a child artiste in films. The actress, Geeja Surendran, well-known TV serial and film actress came to Kuwait to participate in this drama. Babu Chakkola, a famous actor among Indians in Kuwait took the lead role. The other crew of the drama is as follows: stage design: Artist Sujathan; lyrics: GK Pallth; music: Trichur David; singers: Freddy and Shobha; sound: Sasi Kozhanchery; light: Chirackal raju; coordinator: Idikkula Mathew; assistant director: Babu Chakkola.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets of Hollywood 06:00 20 Acts of Love Gone Wrong 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kourtney & Khlo√© Take Miami 14:30 Dr 90210 15:25 E!ES 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Kendra 17:35 Kendra 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Wildest TV Show Moments 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 THS 20:30 THS 21:20 Pretty Wild 21:45 Pretty Wild 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 23:25 Kourtney & Khlo√© Take Miami 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 Life 02:00 One Tree Hill 03:00 CSI Miami 04:00 Life 05:00 Dawson’s Creek 06:00 Doctor Who 07:00 Burn Notice 08:00 Lie to Me 09:00 Law & Order 10:00 One Tree Hill 11:00 Dawson’s Creek 12:00 Doctor Who 13:00 CSI Miami 14:00 One Tree Hill 15:00 Life 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 Burn Notice 19:00 Doctor Who 20:00 Defying Gravity 21:00 Ghost Whisperer 22:00 CSI Miami 23:00 Supernatural

00:15 Dark Days in Monkey City 00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 The Animals’ Guide to Survival 03:30 Animal Cops Philadelphia 04:25 Animal Precinct 05:20 Animal Battlegrounds 05:45 Monkey Business 06:10 E-Vets: The Interns 06:35 Aussie Animal Rescue 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 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 All New 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 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Monkey Business 17:45 Monkey Life 18:15 Going Ape 18:40 Going Ape 19:10 Orangutan Island 19:40 Dark Days in Monkey City 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Going Ape 22:25 Going Ape 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 23:50 Orangutan Island

00:25 Doctor Who Confidential 00:40 A Thing Called Love 01:40 The Weakest Link 02:25 Last of the Summer Wine 03:00 Teletubbies 03:25 Me Too 03:45 Tikkabilla 04:15 Teletubbies 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Tikkabilla 05:30 Teletubbies 05:55 Me Too 06:15 Teletubbies 06:40 Me Too 07:00 Tikkabilla 07:30 Teletubbies 07:55 Me Too 08:15 Tikkabilla 08:45 Teletubbies 09:10 Me Too 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Egypt 11:00 Last of the Summer Wine 11:30 Last of the Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Egypt 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 Casualty 18:50 Casualty 19:45 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Blackadder The Third 22:15 Supernova 22:45 The Omid Djalili Show 23:15 Red Dwarf (re-mastered) 23:45 Red Dwarf (re-mastered)

00:20 The Hairy Bakers 00:45 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 01:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 02:00 Here’s Looking At You 02:25 Here’s Looking At You 02:50 The Restaurant Uk 03:40 Hidden Potential 04:05 Diy Sos 04:35 Bargain Hunt

Madagascar on Super Movies 05:15 Here’s Looking At You 05:40 Here’s Looking At You 06:00 Masterchef Goes Large 06:30 Masterchef Goes Large 07:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 07:20 Antiques Roadshow 08:10 Bargain Hunt 08:55 Bargain Hunt 09:40 Hidden Potential 10:05 Diy Sos 10:30 The Hairy Bakers 10:55 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 11:20 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 12:10 Here’s Looking At You 12:35 Here’s Looking At You 13:00 The Restaurant Uk 13:50 Hidden Potential 14:15 Diy Sos 14:45 Bargain Hunt 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 The Hairy Bakers 16:45 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 17:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 17:55 Hidden Potential 18:20 Diy Sos 18:50 The Restaurant Uk 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:10 Indian Food Made Easy 20:35 Ching’s Kitchen 21:00 Colin And Justin’s Home Show 21:50 Little Angels 22:15 Little Angels 22:40 The Restaurant Uk 23:30 Masterchef Goes Large 23:55 Masterchef Goes Large

01:00 A Clockwork Orange-18 03:15 Julia-18 05:30 Welcome To Sarajevo-18 07:15 Janis-PG 09:00 Quand J’etais Chanteur-PG15 11:00 Moll Flanders-PG15 13:00 Run Papa Run-PG15 15:00 Meet Joe Black-PG15 18:00 Jump Tomorrow-PG15 19:45 Ce Soir Je Dors Chez Toi-18 21:15 Elegy-18 23:00 Killing Me Softly-18

00:00 Border Security 00:30 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Street Customs 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 X-Machines 03:50 Extreme Engineering 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Stuff Works 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Extreme Engineering 07:55 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 08:20 Street Customs 09:15 Mythbusters 10:10 Ultimate Survival 11:05 Overhaulin’ 12:00 Border Security 12:30 How Stuff Works 12:55 How It’s Made 13:20 Mythbusters 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Ultimate Survival 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Deadliest Catch 18:00 Destroyed in Seconds 18:30 Border Security 19:00 How It’s Made 19:30 How Stuff Works 20:00 Mythbusters 21:00 Heart of the Machine 22:00 Undercover 23:00 Deadly Women

00:30 Engineered 01:20 Space Pioneer 02:10 What’s That About? 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Thunder Races 04:45 Cool Stuff & How it Works

05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 NASA’s Greatest Missions 09:00 What’s That About? 09:55 Stunt Junkies 10:20 Weird Connections 10:50 Engineered 11:45 Cool Stuff & How it Works 12:15 The Greatest Ever 13:10 One Step Beyond 13:35 What’s That About? 14:30 Perfect Disaster 15:25 Cool Stuff & How it Works 15:55 NASA’s Greatest Missions 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 The Greatest Ever 18:40 Science of the Movies 19:30 Brainiac 20:20 How It’s Made 21:10 Mythbusters 22:00 Science of the Movies 22:50 Brainiac 23:40 The Greatest Ever

00:00 The Suite Life of Zack and Cody 00:25 Fairly Odd Parents 01:15 Phineas and Ferb 02:00 Suite Life On Deck 02:50 Wizards of Waverly Place 03:15 Replacements 03:35 Hannah Montana 04:00 Kim Possible 04:25 Famous Five 04:50 Fairly Odd Parents 05:15 Phineas and Ferb 05:35 Replacements 06:00 Special Agent OSO 06:10 Timmy Time 06:25 Jungle Junction 06:35 Special Agent OSO 07:00 Handy Manny 07:20 Imagination Movers 07:45 Jungle Junction 08:00 Timmy Time 08:10 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 and Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 Hannah Montana 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 Famous Five 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas and 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 and Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 JONAS 19:10 Suite Life On Deck 19:30 Sonny With A Chance 19:55 Hannah Montana 20:20 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:10 Suite Life On Deck 21:35 Suite Life On Deck 22:00 Hannah Montana 22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:15 JONAS 23:35 The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 E! Investigates

00:00 Untracked Series 2 01:00 Kick Ass Miracles 02:00 M1 Challange 03:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 04:00 Fantasy Factory 04:30 Fantasy Factory 05:00 I-Ex 07:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 08:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 09:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 10:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 11:00 Untracked Series 2 11:30 Untracked Series 2 12:00 Fantasy Factory 12:30 Fantasy Factory 13:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 14:00 Ride Guide Mountain Bike 2007 15:00 Untracked Series 2 16:00 Fantasy Factory 16:30 Fantasy Factory 17:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 18:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 19:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 20:00 Fantasy Factory 20:30 Fantasy Factory 21:00 Untracked Series 2 21:30 Untracked Series 2 22:00 Bad Boy Racers 23:00 M1 Challange

00:00 Iron Chef America 01:00 30 Minute Meals 01:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 02:00 Guys Big Bite 03:00 Barefoot Contessa 03:30 Everyday Italian 04:00 30 Minute Meals 05:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 05:30 Guys Big Bite 06:00 Barefoot Contessa 07:00 Everyday Italian 07:25 Food Network Challenge 07:50 30 Minute Meals 08:15 Tyler’s Ultimate 08:40 Guys Big Bite 09:05 Barefoot Contessa 09:30 Everyday Italian 10:00 30 Minute Meals 10:30 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 11:00 Iron Chef America 11:30 Barefoot Contessa 12:30 Everyday Italian 13:00 30 Minute Meals 13:30 Guys Big Bite 14:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 14:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 15:00 Food Network Challenge 15:30 Barefoot Contessa 16:00 Everyday Italian 17:00 Iron Chef America 17:30 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 18:00 Guys Big Bite 18:30 Chopped 19:00 30 Minute Meals 19:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 20:00 Food Network Challenge 21:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:30 Everyday Italian 22:00 Iron Chef America 23:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 23:30 Guys Big Bite

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:05 Murder Shift 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Real Emergency Calls 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Royal Inquest 09:30 Mystery ER 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 The Prosecutors

12:50 On the Case with Paula Zahn 13:40 CSU 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Royal Inquest 17:00 Mystery ER 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 The Prosecutors 20:20 On the Case with Paula Zahn 21:10 CSU 22:00 Dr G: Medical Examiner 22:50 Disappeared 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:30 End, The 03:10 Return To Me 05:05 Cohen & Tate 06:30 Woman’s Tale, A 08:05 Lost Brigade, The 09:24 Modern Girls 10:50 The Cure 12:25 Vigilante Force 13:54 Interiors 15:25 Tom Sawyer (Animated) 16:55 True Heart 18:25 Return Of A Man Called Horse 20:30 High Noon 22:00 Clean Slate 23:45 The Boyfriend School

00:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 00:30 Lonely Planet 01:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 05:00 Food School 05:30 Surfer’s Journal 06:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 06:30 Lonely Planet 07:30 Banged Up Abroad 10:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 11:00 Food School 11:30 Surfer’s Journal 12:00 Bondi Rescue 12:30 Lonely Planet 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:30 The Best Job In The World 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Banged Up Abroad 16:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 17:00 Food School 17:30 Surfer’s Journal 18:00 Bondi Rescue 18:30 Lonely Planet 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:30 The Best Job In The World 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Banged Up Abroad 22:30 The Ride: Alaska to Patagonia 23:00 Food School 23:30 Surfer’s Journal

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cleveland Show 03:30 Bored to Death 04:00 Saturday Night Live 05:00 Drew Carey 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Just Shoot me! 07:30 Simpsons 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 09:00 Married with Children 09:30 Drew Carey 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Just Shoot me! 11:00 Frasier 11:30 Hope & Faith 12:00 Saturday Night Live 13:00 Rita Rocks 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 Married with Children 14:30 Simpsons 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Hope & Faith 18:30 Just Shoot me! 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 New adventures of old Christine 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Inbetweeners 22:30 Plus one 23:00 Saturday Night Live

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Look A Like 02:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Look A Like 09:30 10 Years Younger 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 What’s Good For You 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 18:00 Look A Like 18:30 10 Years Younger

19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

00:15 Outlander-PG15 02:15 Genova-PG15 04:00 A Plumm Summer-PG15 05:45 Shine A Light-PG15 08:00 Bolt-FAM 10:00 Mostly Ghostly-PG 12:00 Welcome Home Roscoe JenkinsPG15 14:00 Quid Pro Quo-PG15 15:30 Bolt-FAM 17:30 Speed Racer-PG 20:00 The House Bunny-18 22:00 The Wrestler-18

01:00 The Objective-PG15 03:00 The Escapist-18 05:00 Street Fighter Alpha-PG 07:00 Kung Fu Hustle-PG15 09:00 Smokey And The Bandit-PG 11:00 Circus-PG15 13:00 The Vanishing-PG15 15:00 Smokey And The Bandit-PG 17:00 Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead-18 19:00 Mutant Chronicles-PG15 21:00 The Tattooist-18 23:00 Autopsy-18

00:00 The Break-Up Artist-PG15 02:00 Callback-PG15 04:00 Faintheart-PG15 06:00 Legally Blondes-PG 08:00 Slap Shots 3-PG15 10:00 Pretty In Pink-PG15 12:00 King’s Ransom-PG15 14:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 16:00 The Break-Up Artist-PG15 18:00 Dream For An Insomniac-PG15 20:00 Separation City-18 22:00 Not Another Teen Movie-18

00:00 Papelucho And The Martian-FAM 02:00 Sunshine Barry And The Disco Worms-PG 04:00 The Missing Lynx-PG 06:00 Ghatothkach - Master Of MagicFAM 08:00 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs-FAM 10:00 The Missing Lynx-PG 12:00 Santa Buddies-PG 14:00 Sunshine Barry And The Disco Worms-PG 16:00 The Jungle Book I-FAM 18:00 D2: The Mighty Ducks-PG 20:00 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 22:00 Santa Buddies-PG

00:00 Grey’s Anatomy 01:00 Private Practice 02:00 Criminal Minds 03:00 In Plain Sight 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Law and order 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Criminal Minds 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 In Plain Sight 10:00 Law and order 11:00 Criminal Minds 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Grey’s Anatomy 15:00 Private Practice 16:00 Law and order 17:00 Parkinson 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 19:00 Heroes 20:00 Hotel Babylon 21:00 Cold Case 22:00 Lie to Me 23:00 Parkinson

06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Smackdown 09:00 WWE Vintage Collection 10:00 Red Bull X Fighters 11:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 V8 Supercars Championship 15:00 V8 Supercars 15:30 NRL Full time 16:00 UAE National Race 17:00 UFC 114 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 UFC Unleashed

01:15 The Uninvited-18 02:45 Stan Lee: Mosaic-PG 04:00 Australia-PG 07:00 Madagascar 2-PG 09:00 Son Of The Mask-PG 11:00 Rendition-18 13:00 Living Out Loud-PG15 15:00 Into The Storm-PG15 17:00 Son Of The Mask-PG 19:00 High School Musical 3: Senior YearPG 21:00 State Of Play-PG15 23:15 Saw V-R

01:15 Grand Prix 04:00 Return To Macon County 05:30 My Favorite Year 07:00 Echoes Of A Summer 08:40 The Yellow Rolls-Royce 10:40 After The Fox 12:25 The Screening Room 12:55 Caveman 14:30 Viva Las Vegas 15:55 Eight On The Lam 17:45 The Screening Room 18:15 A Hole In The Head 20:15 Butterfield 8 22:00 Skyjacked 23:40 Cisco Pike

00:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 01:20 UFO Files 02:10 Dinosaur Secrets 03:00 Nostradamus Effect 03:55 Nostradamus: 2012 05:40 B-25 Down: Hunt for a Hero 06:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 07:20 UFO Files 08:10 Dinosaur Secrets 09:00 Nostradamus Effect 09:55 Nostradamus: 2012 11:40 B-25 Down: Hunt for a Hero 12:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 13:20 UFO Files 14:10 Dinosaur Secrets 15:00 Nostradamus Effect 15:55 Nostradamus: 2012 17:40 B-25 Down: Hunt for a Hero 18:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 19:20 UFO Files 20:10 Dinosaur Secrets 21:00 How the Earth Was Made 21:55 Mega Disasters 22:50 Engineering Disasters 23:40 Ax Men 2

00:00 Dr 90210 01:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 01:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 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 Clean House 14:00 Clean House Comes Clean 14:30 Dress My Nest 15:00 What I Hate About Me 16:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 17:00 Giuliana & Bill 18:00 Dallas Divas & Daughters 19:00 My Celebrity Wedding With The Knot 20:00 Clean House 21:00 Clean House Comes Clean 21:30 Dress My Nest 22:00 Jerseylicious

01:04 Latina 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:04 Legend 06:00 Playlist 08:04 Latina 08:45 Playlist 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 14:00 Trace Video Mix 15:00 Playlist 16:04 RNB 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:04 Sound System 20:45 Playlist 21:00 Guest Star 21:15 Playlist 22:00 Code Compilation 22:24 Playlist

00:00 Intrepid Journeys 01:00 Secrets of Ancient China 02:00 Distant Shores 02:30 Wild At Heart 03:00 Safari Stopovers 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Food 06:00 Intrepid Journeys 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Essential 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Intrepid Journeys 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Taste Takes Off 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 A Taste of California 14:30 Entrada 15:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Destination Cuba 17:30 Taste Takes Off 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Secrets of Ancient China 21:00 Distant Shores 21:30 Wild At Heart 22:00 Safari Stopovers 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 VH1 Rocks 00:30 So 80’s 01:00 Greatest Hits 02:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out

00:30 AFL Highlights 01:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 02:00 Futbol Mundial 02:30 European Tour Weekly 03:00 Premier League Darts 07:00 AFL Highlights 08:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 08:30 Rugby League Challenge Cup 10:30 NRL Full Time 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Countdown to South Africa 12:30 Futbol Mundial 13:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 14:00 ICC Cricket World 14:30 Masters Football 17:30 FEI Equestrain World 18:00 Countdown to South Africa 18:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 19:00 AFL Highlights 20:00 World Sport 20:30 Total Rugby 21:00 Countdown to South Africa 21:30 PGA European Tour

00:00 V8 Supercars Championship 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC 114

Speed Racer on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 20:40 Frank Mcklusky, C.I. 22:05 Joshua 23:50 Tuck Everlasting 01:20 Hellhounds 02:50 Annapolis 04:35 Frank Mcklusky, C.I. 06:00 Hollywoodland 08:05 Tuck Everlasting 09:40 Hellhounds 11:10 Flying Scotsman, The 12:55 Dim Sum Funeral 14:30 Wyvern 16:00 Good Boy! 17:30 There Will Be Blood STAR World 21:00 Cops S19 21:25 Cops S19 21:50 Who’s The Boss? 22:00 Grey’s Anatomy 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 Kyle XY 03:00 Scrubs 03:30 Scrubs 04:00 BOSTON LEGAL 05:00 American Idol 07:00 American Idol 09:00 The King Of Queens

09:30 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00

The Bold and the Beautiful Kyle XY Starsky & Hutch Grey’s Anatomy Who’s The Boss? [V] TUNES American Idol BOSTON LEGAL Samantha Who? Rules Of Engagement Desperate Housewives Dirty Sexy Money Asia Uncut

Granada TV 20:00 What Katie Did Next (Series 1) 21:00 Dates From Hell 22:00 Emmerdale 22:30 Coronation Street 23:00 Dates From Hell 00:00 The Walk 01:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 02:00 Action Thursday: Lenny Blue 03:30 Strange But True? (Series 4) 04:00 Essex Wives 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 07:00 Action Thursday: Lenny Blue 08:30 Strange But True? (Series 4) 09:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show

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

Essex Wives Emmerdale Coronation Street Million Dollar Traders Action Thursday: Lenny Blue Strange But True? (Series 4) The Jeremy Kyle Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Million Dollar Traders Action Thursday: Lenny Blue Strange But True? (Series 4)

Channel [V] 21:00 Keys To The VIP Double Bill 22:00 [V] Tunes 22:30 [V] Tunes 23:00 Backtracks 23:30 Double Shot 00:00 Loop 00:30 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Plug 01:30 Loop 02:00 Backtracks 03:00 XO 03:30 [V] Tunes 04:00 [V] Plug 04:30 The Playlist 05:00 Keys To The VIP Double Bill 06:00 [V] Tunes 06:30 [V] Tunes

07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30

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

Fox News 20:00 Happening Now 21:00 The Live Desk 23:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 00:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto

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

Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck Special Report with Bret Baier The FOX Report with Shepard Smith The O’Reilly Factor Hannity On the Record with Greta Van Susteren The O’Reilly Factor Hannity On the Record with Greta Van Susteren Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck Fox Report Special Report with Bret Baier The O’Reilly Factor FOX & Friends First Live FOX & Friends Live America’s Newsroom America’s Newsroom Happening Now

National Geographical Channel 20:00 Across Asia -ShowReal Asia : Kung Fu Monk 21:00 Wild Wednesday -Dangerous Encounters With Brad : Wild West S5-3 22:00 Rescue Ink -No Bull 5 23:00 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Chicago Air Crash S3-9 23:30 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Collision on the Runway 12 00:00 Seconds From Disaster -Plane Crash in Queens S3-1 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -China’s Great Wall : Protecting The Dragon

02:00 Interpol Investigates -The Serpent 03:00 Rescue Ink -In Your Face 3 04:00 Hippos: Africa’s River Beast 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -China’s Great Wall : Protecting The Dragon 06:00 Lonely Planet -Lonely Planet- Roads Less Trav : Cambodia 5 07:00 Hunter Hunted -Outback Attack S2-2 08:00 Interpol Investigates -The Serpent 09:00 Monkey Thieves -Hard Times 15 09:30 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Zulu Wedding 3 10:00 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Columbia’s Last Flight S2-1 10:30 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Comet Air Crash S3-8 11:00 Seconds From Disaster -Plane Crash in Queens S3-1 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -China’s Great Wall : Protecting The Dragon 13:00 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Mumbai 8 13:30 Mega Thursday -Megacities : New York 7 14:00 Mega Thursday -Build Up To The Cup : Stadiums 15:00 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Columbia’s Last Flight S2-1 15:30 Theme Week 30m -Seconds From Disaster : Comet Air Crash S3-8 16:00 Across Asia -ShowReal Asia : Kung Fu Killers 17:00 Seconds From Disaster -Plane Crash in Queens S3-1 18:00 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Mumbai 8 18:30 Mega Thursday -Megacities : New York 7 19:00 Mega Thursday -Build Up To The Cup : Stadiums

Thursday, June 3, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Thursday 03/06/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jordanian 802 Amman Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish 772 Istanbul Air Arabia Egypt 551 Alexandria Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Kuwait 802 Cairo Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Jazeera 529 Assiut Jazeera 613 Lahore Kuwait 204 Lahore Iran Air 605 Isfahan Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 113 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 447 Doha Syrian Air 341 Damascus Jazeera 171 Dubai Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 457 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai Kuwait 772 Riyadh Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Jordanian 800 Amman United 982 Washington Dc Dulles Egypt Air 621 Assiut Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Wataniya Airways 332 Alexandria Jazeera 257 Beirut Jazeera 125 Bahrain Saudia 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Kuwait 546 Alexandria Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Jazeera 173 Dubai Kuwait 118 New York Mihin 403 Colombo/Dubai Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudia 510 Riyadh Kuwait 562 Amman Arabia 125 Sharjah Iran Air 617 Ahwaz Jazeera 493 Jeddah Jazeera 129 Bahrain Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Kuwait 104 London Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 618 Doha Wataniya Airways 202 Jeddah Kuwait 786 Jeddah Jazeera 177 Dubai Kuwait 614 Bahrain Kuwait 674 Dubai Singapore 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Kuwait 774 Riyadh Jazeera 433 Mashad Rovos 093 Kandahar/Dubai Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Jazeera 459 Damascus Oman Air 647 Muscat Middle East 402 Beirut Wataniya Airways A 612 Sabiha Jet A/W 572 Mumbai KLM 0445 Amsterdam Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut Egypt Air 618 Alexandria Jazeera 183 Dubai DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Qatari 136 Doha Kuwait 178 Geneva/Frankfurt United 981 Bahrain Indian 981 Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad Jazeera 429 Bahrain Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 117 Abu Dhabi Egypt Air 612 Cairo Bangladesh 043 Dhaka India Express 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore Pakistan 205 Lahore Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Fights on Thursday 03/06/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Pakistan 216 Karachi Turkish 773 Istanbul Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria DHL 371 Bahrain Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 112 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 331 Alexandria Jazeera 446 Doha Jazeera 456 Damascus Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Iran Air 606 Mashad Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Kuwait 771 Riyadh Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 124 Bahrain Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Middle East 405 Beirut Jazeera 172 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Syrian Air 342 Damascus Kuwait 785 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jazeera 432 Mashad Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Jordanian 801 Amman Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Egypt Air 622 Assiut Jazeera 458 Damascus United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Jazeera 128 Bahrain Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 617 Doha Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 505 Jeddah Kuwait 773 Riyadh Kuwait 613 Bahrain Qatari 135 Doha Jazeera 182 Dubai Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin 404 Dubai/Colombo Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudia 511 Riyadh Iran Air 616 Ahwaz Jazeera 116 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 285 Chittagong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Kuwait 283 Dhaka Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Jazeera 266 Beirut Kuwait 361 Colombo Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Jazeera 186 Dubai Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh Kuwait 351 Cochin Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Jazeera 240 Amman Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahra1n Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria United 981 Washington Dc Dulles Jazeera 502 Luxor Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Egypt Air 613 Cairo


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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing family accommodation available from June end, in Abbassiya near Integrated Indian School for small family or couples in 2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms CA/C flat. Contact: 67068072. (C 2360) 3-6-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for visiting family or two working ladies or couples in new CAC fully furnished two bedroom, two bathroom (attached) flat from 7th June 2010. Contact: 99494359. (C 2351) 2-6-2010

FOR SALE Silver color 2003 model Mitsubishi Gallant (registration no. 201115) Price: KD 66 monthly installment for Ayan agency (total price: KD 945) Tel.: 90002450/99977472. Audi A6 2007 V6, color white, km 37,000, very great condition, requested 6500 KD under warranty. Tel: 99993108. (C 2358) PC IBM P4, Intel 3.0, RAM 256, HD 40 GB, DVD, Windows XP, LCD 15� Dell, excellent condition, price KD 50. Call 99322585. (C 2361) 3-6-2010

Decent room in a flat in Salwa for single person only, two big windows, cool place, English toilet, rent KD 60. Contact: 99468765. (C 2347)

Toyota Corolla 1.8, model 2005, color white, 4 cylinder, 2,000 kilometer, price KD 2,250, excellent condition. Tel: 55107856. (C 2352)

To let one big room with separate toilet to a decent bachelor from 1/6/10, near the city, rent KD 75 only. Please call 60046720 for more details. (C 2345)

Black, off white Maserati, Gran Tiresmo, model 2004, mileage 38,000 KW agency, system Ferrari F430, new mager service, 4 new wheels, price KD 7,800. Tel: 97117535. (C 2355)


Required live-in Indian housemaid. Contact: 66574800. (C 2346) 1-6-2010

Motorbike Kawazaki ZX lor, model 2007, green color, best condition, mileage 7,000 km, price KD 2,600. Tel: 99985544. (C 2354) 1 year Internet subscription

card, price KD 15, original price KD 55. Tel: 66451465/55451465.

TRANSPORT Transport available from Abbassiya to Salmiya, Hawally, Shaab, Al Seef hospital (Ras Salmiya), Maidan Hawally, Farwaniya, Mina Abdulla, (available every half-an-hour). Contact: 99262556, 55204127, 99305742, 55568346. (C 2348) A lady needs transport from Salmiya SAS restaurant to international clinic near Sultan Centre Salmiya, office timings reaching office by 8 am and return from office by 5 pm starting date from 6th June onwards. Please call for details 66329575. (C 2349) 1-6-2010

MISCELLANEOUS Fat loss package, start summer on a fitness high. Powerful effective program with proven results. Includes excellent physical training and scientifically supported nutrition structuring. For reservations 65859449. (C 2359) 3-6-2010


Qualified accountant seeks employment with 20 years of Kuwait experience, handle up to finalizaiton, audit, MIS, advices, tax, investment for all kind of industry. Please call: 66577069. (C 2356) 2-6-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Mohammad Rajan Khan, holder of Indian Passport No. F3274603, hereby change my name to Mohammad Lateef Khan, son of Sohan Khan. (C 2353) I, Alphonso Albin Fernandes Anand, Passport No: Z1447802 issued in Kuwait, hereby confirm that I have changed name as follows Anand Alphonso Albin Fernandes. (C 2357) 2-6-2010



Thursday, June 3, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) Even if you feel that you might lose your mind under the current mental pressure, you will not. You will want to examine ideas, thoughts and concepts in order to eliminate the things that do not work. Searching, research and detective work may be what is necessary now. You may find that both your personal growth and your career may depend upon how you can handle the very sensitive material that may be coming up now. You will benefit from analytical insights, getting to the heart of things. This is a real time to strengthen your career. Circumstances may enhance and stimulate appreciation and enjoyment of your life situation. Your system of values may deepen, providing you with a better sense of discrimination and good taste. Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is a great time, when good fortune and plain old luck surrounds you. It is easy for you to make the correct decisions, find the right path and move forward where career and success are concerned. Life's problems seem manageable. The state of your affairs just now may stimulate appreciation of your life situation. Your system of values may deepen, providing you with a better sense of discrimination and good taste. Purchasing that particular item you have been wanting may be a possibility soon. This is a time when you are open to the new and unexpected, things that are happening in your living situation or surroundings. There could be talk of an address change. There are opportunities to pick your entertainment this evening.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (Scotland) A small loaf or roll of soft bread. 4. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 8. The syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization. 11. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 12. Make anew. 13. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 14. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 16. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 17. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 20. A rectangular block of hewn stone used for building purposes. 23. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 25. A periodic paperback publication. 26. A heavy ductile magnetic metallic element. 27. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 29. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 31. A belt-shaped region in the heavens on either side to the ecliptic. 34. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 38. The azimuth of a celestial body is the angle between the vertical plane containing it and the plane of the meridian. 39. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 41. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 42. Used of men. 44. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 46. A bloody and prolonged operation in which American marines landed and defeated Japanese defenders (February and March 1945). 47. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 49. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 50. An associate degree in applied science. 51. (informal) Of the highest quality. 52. Tiny insectivorous West Indian bird having red-and-green plumage and a long straight bill. DOWN 1. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 2. A French abbot. 3. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 4. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 5. A unit of resistance equal to one million ohms. 6. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 7. Extinct flightless bird of New Zealand. 8. Tropical woody herb with showy yellow flowers and flat pods. 9. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 10. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 18. A river of southwestern Africa that rises in central Angola and flows east and then north (forming part of the border between Angola and Congo) and continuing northwest through Congo to empty into the Congo River on the border between Congo and Republic of the Congo. 19. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 21. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 22. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 24. (informal) Roused to anger. 28. Shrubby plant with aromatic grayish-green leaves used as a cooking herb. 30. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 32. United States conductor (born in Japan in 1935). 33. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 35. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 36. A Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the siege of Troy. 37. A special loved one. 40. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 43. Ratio of the adjacent side to the hypotenuse. 45. An antiviral drug used in the treatment of AIDS. 46. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 100 liters. 48. A radioactive element of the actinide series.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) With your professional life running along fairly well, you may feel more like entertaining or being entertained. Known as the life of the party, you are able to loosen up even the most sober, day or night. You are great at bringing out the best qualities of others and discovering hidden talents. Take this day to think about using those talents of yours to influence and encourage teammates. If you are not in charge, you might suggest to the one that is in charge to have a rewards sort of challenge from time to time that will encourage enthusiastic and productive employees. New and innovative ideas regarding the social scene are available to you now. You are a free spirit when it comes to friends, lovers and tastes. Family situations are in a state of growth.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) You may have some trouble accepting responsibilities that are not of your own making. Set a fair time limit, considering the circumstances and find a time to let higher ups know that you would prefer quality over quantity; then be patient. As you complete the requested tasks, you will be able to seek out some way to relax this afternoon. It could very well be that some form of exercise will help you relieve any lingering stress from the workday. There is an opportunity later today to enjoy the company of a new friend or to chat with a new neighbor. It is extremely smart to reinforce all your relationships. Poetry and art may be possible this evening. All forms of healthy fun could prove very enjoyable. Leo (July 23-August 22) You could be most persuasive with others. Some situation or some desire has threatened to overwhelm your mind. Any of us can become overly involved in any subject such as love, anger, jealousy, control, etc. Find a way to excuse yourself a short while, perhaps to take a break and give some thought to moving forward. If possible, get away from any negative and create a new, positive atmosphere. This could be a walk around a building or a run up and down stairs or any number of distractions. When you return to whatever subject has you frustrated, you will have some positive answers or new insight. Your workday ends successfully and you are appreciative and grateful for many things. Your evening is relaxing.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Some of your expectations are too high with regard to some of your business goals. It may be, however, that you just need to slow yourself down a little. All is good, you are on the right track; just give yourself a little more time. You are in a strong position to make long-term commitments in the business world. You are very competitive--even pushy-when it comes to partners and other people. You may enjoy working in a group or with close friends. Your own independence and sense of personal freedom may challenge authorities--pace yourself. You are most original when concentrating on areas of family--especially when you feel secure. Close relationships may take on more depth that is emotional, powerful and important. Libra (September 23-October 22) Your career and life direction are putting some real pressure on your home and emotional life. Obviously, you cannot live without both, so some kind of self-control on your part is indicated. You can relate to almost all types of people with equal ease and should not have any trouble in settling problems, however. All things pale beside your basic drive and the emotions you so freely exhibit. Your world revolves around feelings and the meaning you give to things. The way you feel about something is crucial and if someone does not have the right atmosphere or feel right to you, they might have difficulty getting your attention. Take care in giving yourself and others the time to think through desired outcomes. A loved one brings joy this evening.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Keep moving forward by making a list of three things that you can do now to help you toward your goals. You love the working world and if someone suggested another opportunity to work a second job, you would probably jump in with both feet. Your talents are many and you are able to take on many tasks. Make sure these additional jobs are temporary, as you will want to turn your attention to travel or talents or family within a few short years. You may discover news about a special sale or an estate auction and you make your plans. Take notes today, you may find a special talent you can build upon later that will always bring in a little extra income. You are conservative and will not exceed a certain budget. Smile, your finances will multiply. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You have a sunny disposition and when you are not smiling and having fun, you are the first to feel the push or the need for change. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air--enjoy a joke with friends at the noon break. You may be moved to discover and appreciate the beauty in your life and in those around you. At the same time, everything could take on added value and importance. Be careful that you do not overspend or indulge too much just now as a financial offer that sounds too good to be true may very well be . . . too good to be true. Family energy seems to flow smoothly this afternoon. A new idea for dinner and a few candles can be quite fun; be creative. Enjoy some leisure time along with a little romance 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 can be the perfect manager at this time: conservative and professional. It may be time to let higher-ups know of your potential-perhaps through a written request. Your career is allimportant. You have learned to think in practical ways and this is most important for the job market. You are quick to get the outline of a project and see how things work. You could excel in a career that involves understanding and self-sacrifice. Psychology, counseling--encouraging and guiding others may be a specialty of yours. Work with mental patients, prison inmates, etc., is possible. You are born lucky! A natural when it comes to finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow--very generous with others. You have an urge to spread good cheer.

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 could be seen by others as just the person to be put in charge of some project. Work will go much better today and a sense of accomplishment can be felt by workday's end. Marriage and other close relationships give rise to great expectations as a new cycle gets underway in your life. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate your ties to others and to seek and promote harmony between people. Someone may bring your attention to some sort of social work--and you are interested in helping others. You have a love of what is beyond the surface: religion, psychology, and mysticism. Intuitive and sensitive to emotions and sympathetic; you are always giving of self. You and your loved one will give each other support in life.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may find that both your personal growth and your career depend on how you can handle some difficult task today. You may feel the need to ask many questions; however, you find ways to accomplish difficult tasks on your own. You will benefit from analytical insights, getting to the heart of things. Things are happening and your future depends on your own ambition and drive, which are strong now. You are able to use good common sense and make the right choices. Growth and success could be tied to the way you respond to the various ideas and impulses operating in your life now. Sounds in the neighborhood or your home may not be as pleasant as you like and you may enjoy a headphone full of music this evening.


Thursday, June 3, 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


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Adan Hospital


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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






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Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


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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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he reality TV star - who married Los Angeles Lakers player Lamar Odom in September 2009 after just one month of dating - is said to be two months into her first pregnancy after being inspired to start a family by her sister Kourtney Kardashian, who has a five-month-old son Mason with boyfriend Scott Disick. A source close to the Kardashian family revealed: “Khloe was inspired by Kourtney having a baby. Lamar is happy and ecstatic about having a baby with Khloe.” It is believed the 25-year-old socialite’s pregnancy


Thursday, June 3, 2010

will be formally announced on her show ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’, but according to the insider, the basketball player is concerned about his child’s life being played out on television. The source added to RadarOnline: “They’re really happy, but Lamar is a little weary of exposing his baby on TV. He already doesn’t like his life being played out for everyone to see eight months of the year.” Khloe has previously spoken about her and Lamar’s plans to have children together, admitting in January that they had stopped using

contraception. She said: “I’m not rushing it, but I’m also not doing anything to prevent it. We both want to have children together and I think we’re in an ideal situation. We’re just happy together. “Lamar wants to start having children tomorrow. He already has two beautiful children, Destiny and Lamar Jr., but he can’t wait for me to have kids and form this new family. I know how happy he would be, and I’d love to have kids. But ideally I want to wait at least until we’ve settled into our new house.”

Danes likes the natural look laire Danes admits she’s lazy when it comes to her appearance. The stunning actress was recently announced as the new face of eyelash-growing product Latisse and admits it’s a perfect role for her because she doesn’t like to wear too much make-up. She said: “I don’t typically wear make-up during the day. I’m so accustomed to wearing makeup in my work - it’s probably the reason why I am less inclined to wear make-up in life. “I’m pretty low-maintenance, which is another reason why Latisse is so great, I can afford to be lazier - it does all the work for me.” Thanks to her career as an actress, Claire


he 49-year-old actress - who plays cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on US TV show ‘Glee’ - tied the knot with long-term partner Dr Lara Embry in an intimate ceremony at the Blue Heron restaurant in Massachusetts on Monday. The eatery’s manager, Scott Mercure, said: “They were very happy. There was lots of smiling.” Just 19 guests attended the nuptials and after the 20-minute ceremony, they were treated to a lavish meal which included seabass and duck. The restaurant’s co-owner Deborah Snow said: “There were no celebrities or recognisable faces there. Lara’s daughter was there, along with close, close friends of the couple. It was small, warm, intimate and very sweet. You could feel the love and friendship amongst the group.” After the food, the wedding party danced to some “upbeat” music before the reception ended at 10pm. Jane and Lara announced their engagement in April but said they were yet to start planning their big day. Jane said: “Yes, yes, it’s true! We don’t have any plans at all yet. But I have a ring and everything. We’re very happy and very excited!” Lara - who is a psychologist - has two children from a previous relationship to another woman.


has worked with some of the world’s top make-up artists and confesses she is a bit lost without them. Claire - whose basic beauty routine consists of a light foundation, lip balm and a little shimmer - told People magazine: “I’ve worked with such skilful makeup artists and hairdressers that, ironically, I’m that much more ignorant about how to apply make-up myself.” Claire stars in the Latisse adverts with Brooke Shields and admits the pair became very close while filming. She said: “We’re doing these shots where our faces were very close and we’re literally giving each other butterfly kisses.”

Winehouse has got a new boyfriend he ‘Rehab’ star has been spotted on a dinner date with film director Reg Traviss and was later seen kissing him outside her London home A source told The Sun newspaper: “Amy really likes Reg. They’ve been seeing each other for a good few weeks now. He’s a decent guy with his feet firmly on the ground. He’s cultured and talented and they talk and laugh about all sorts. And they’re openly affectionate in front of friends and


risten Stewart thinks she’s lucky not to be like Lindsay Lohan. The ‘Twilight Saga’ actress is pleased to have had the support of her family during her rise to fame, and admits it is easy for young stars to lose their way in life. She said: “My family are amazing. I had, like, the perfect upbringing. It sucks for people like Lindsay Lohan, but it’s not her fault that she’s so off the rails - and she’s smart, very smart.” ‘Mean Girls’ actress Lindsay, 23, has had a turbulent few years as she battled problems with drink and drugs. Although Kristen is thrilled she has remained level-headed, she hates the intrusion into her life and believes it is similar to “rape”. She told Britain’s Elle


he ‘Rich Girl’ singer - who has sons Kingston, four, and 21-month-old Zuma with husband Gavin Rossdale - has admitted she is hapless in the kitchen and relies on her spouse to feed their family. She said: “I don’t cook. I can toast in the toaster. I can pour and set the table. No, Gavin is the one. It’s not even an option, he is so passionate about it. He cooks every day. He loves to go grocery shopping and find different things. I’m really lucky. It’s actually lucky and hard at the same time, because sometimes you want to be fit and not eat it, but you have to eat it.” Gwen also praised her rock star husband’s “creativity” when it comes to spoiling her with gifts. She told Britain’s InStyle magazine: “Does he ask what I want? Oh, no, we’re not allowed to do that. It’s just old-fashioned gift giving. He goes all out, you know? He’s a romantic, so it’s


family now too.” News of Amy’s new romance comes just weeks after she split from Blake Fielder-Civil, her ex-husband who she had reunited with at the beginning of this year. One fan of the 26-yearold singer’s new romance is her father Mitch Winehouse, who has previously blamed Blake for her drug addiction struggles. Speaking about Reg, Mitch said: “I’m happy she’s got a new boyfriend. I’m happy she’s moving on with her life. He’s

a normal guy, very nice.” Amy recently splashed out on a £2.5 million home in Camden, north London, to live in with Blake once the conditions of his release from jail allowed him to reside in the English capital again. However, cracks appeared in their romance over the singer’s “flirtatious” behaviour and Blake was believed to have ordered her to join him in Sheffield, North England, sparking their split. — Bang Showbiz

magazine: “What you don’t see are the cameras shoved in my face and the bizarre intrusive questions being asked, or the people falling over themselves, screaming and taunting to get a reaction. The photos are so... I feel like I’m looking at someone being raped. A lot of the time I can’t handle it.” Since she first appeared in the ‘Twilight’ movies, Kristen and her hunky co-star Robert Pattinson have been continually questioned about the status of their relationship. However, the 20year-old starlet has vowed to remain secretive on the subject. She added: “What I say is that why would I want anything that’s private to become entertainment for other people?”

good. He is a creative guy and he’s amazingly inspiring with that creativity. We had a really good Christmas last year; it was fun getting gifts for the kids.” The 40-year-old star - who recently denied rumours she is pregnant - admitted she finds it “weird” not to have a daughter but worries having three children would affect her ability to be a good parent. She explained: “It does seem weird that I don’t have a girl, but I feel like I’m running out of time. I also don’t want to spread myself so thin that I can’t even be good for them.”

Gwen Stefani can’t cook


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Music & Movies

Gaga reveals she would have opened for Jackson By Monica Herrera ady Gaga revealed that she was set to open for Michael Jackson in London before his death, in an interview with CNN’s Larry King scheduled to air Tuesday night that also touched upon the pop star’s “borderline positive” lupus diagnosis. Gaga-who wore sequined suspenders and a tie in a nod to her interviewer’s signature style (or perhaps the King of Pop) shared that she was among several artists who would have opened for Jackson during his “This Is It” shows at London’s O2 arena. “I was actually asked to open for Michael on his tour,” Gaga said. “We were going to open for him at the O2, and we were working on making it happen ... I believe there was some talk about us, lots of the openers, doing duets with Michael onstage. “But Michael’s death was devastating for me, regardless of whether or not I was supposed to go on tour with him,” Gaga added. “He was such an inspiration and a remarkable human being.” Gaga also addressed recent rumors that she has lupus, an autoimmune disease that she says runs in her family. “The truth is I don’t show any signs, any symptoms of lupus, but I have tested borderline positive for the


Musician Paul McCartney speaks at a news conference at the Library of Congress on June 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Library of Congress announced that McCartney has won the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. —AFP

US library honors Paul McCartney for pop music By Brett Zongker


hen it comes to popular music, it doesn’t get much bigger than the tunes Paul McCartney has written and sung over the past five decades with the Beatles and on his own. McCartney, who has been knighted by the queen of England, is being honored with Washington’s highest award for pop music this week by the Library of Congress. The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is named for the US songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin, whose collections are housed at the library. “Some of the songs you write, you don’t know where they come from,” McCartney said on stage Tuesday night. “So I have to believe in the magic.” The tune for “Yesterday” came to him in a dream, he said. Nobody could place it, so he claimed it as his own. McCartney joked the original lyrics were “Scrambled egg. Oh my baby how I love your legs.” Then he took his guitar and said “Here goes nothin,” before he sang the familiar tune for a Washington crowd at a private concert at the library. The audience included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Stevie Wonder and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. He also sang an encore of “Blackbird.” The 67-year-old McCartney said he’s “slightly nervous” about per-

forming about 3 feet (1 meter) in front of President Barack Obama in the East Room at the White House yesterday, when he will be presented the award. “For an English kid growing up in Liverpool, the White House-that’s pretty special,” he said Tuesday. “He’s a great guy,” McCartney said of Obama, “so lay off him.” The former Beatle says it’s very special to win the Gershwin Prize because he grew up listening to music by the Gershwin brothers. Wonder and Paul Simon previously won the Gershwin prize. Librarian of Congress James Billington said McCartney made an impact beyond music, “symbolizing and humanizing the global soundscape,” and with his activism around the world. Faced with the Washington press corps, McCartney was quizzed on his inspiration for songwriting, his opinion on whether performers should earn royalties for when their work is played on the radio (he thinks they should) and even got a few autograph requests. This is McCartney’s first major lifetime achievement award from the US government. He was slated to win a Kennedy Center Honor, the nation’s top prize for performing artists, in 2002, but backed out because of a scheduling conflict. In 1990, McCartney won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Stevie Wonder and Seinfeld are part of an allstar lineup that will honor McCartney at the White House concert. The concert will be televised July 28 nationwide on PBS. Performers also will include White Stripes singer and guitarist Jack White, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, singers Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello and others. McCartney was knighted as Sir Paul in 1997 for his service to music. Thirty years earlier, he and the rest of the Fab Four were dubbed Members of the Order of the British Empire, a step below knighthood and an honor that drew some protests. The one-time teen idol has since made his name as an environmentalist and animal rights supporter. He said the Gulf Coast oil spill is “a disgrace” and those responsible must know how to cap a gusher if they’re allowed to drill at the sea floor in the future. On Tuesday, he performed “Yesterday” with the Loma Mar Quartet, which played string instruments from the library’s Stradivari collection dating back to the late 1600s. Pianist Lang Lang also performed on George Gershwin’s piano. Pelosi went gaga over the former Beatle. “Congratulations, Sir Paul,” Pelosi said. She thanked him for letting Americans travel with him “down the long and winding road,” and added “PS We love you.”—AP

S Annie Lennox

Sheen ready to go to jail for domestic abuse A


Hawaii?s Maui Film Festival to honor Efron een heartthrob Zac Efron will be honored by the Maui Film Festival in Hawaii later this month with its Shining Star Award. The star of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” and “17 Again” will accept it on June 16, the festival’s opening night. Festival director Barry Rivers says the 22-year-old actor “is an exemplary shining star.” Rivers says this year’s mantra is “Trust the Future,” and Efron is an actor with an extraordinary career behind him and an even more brilliant one ahead of him. —AP


King asked whether she thinks the law will be repealed, Gaga responded, “I hope so. There’s so many archaic things floating around in the government right now that are so misinformed and so wrong. It’s very confusing for young people.”—Reuters

cottish rock singer Annie Lennox has become a spokeswoman for the UN agency fighting HIV/AIDS. Her appointment as UNAIDS goodwill ambassador was yesterday, and she pledged to address the “daily brutality faced by millions of women and girls” suffering from the disease. The 55year-old musician achieved fame with The Eurythmics, whose “Sweet Dreams” reached No 1 in the United States in 1983. She has since performed as a solo artist and spoken out on political issues. Her “SING” campaign raises awareness for AIDS-infected women in southern Africa. Lennox said: “If we are to end the cycle of human devastation triggered by the AIDS epidemic, we must address the rights of women and girls and challenge their second class citizen status, which puts them at greater risk of HIV.” —AP

By Jennifer Peltz

Actress Kirsten Dunst exits Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday. —AP

disease,” she told King. “So as of right now I do not have it, but I have to take good care of myself.” Another subject Gaga addressed was the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that forces gay men and women serving in the military to stay closeted. When

Annie Lennox named UNAIDS goodwill ambassador

Dunst reprises her role as witness in NYC trial t was witness stand, the sequel, for Kirsten Dunst. The “Spider-Man” star reprised her role Tuesday as a star witness against a mechanic being tried-for the second time-on charges of helping steal her designer purse from a Manhattan hotel suite during a 2007 movie shoot. Wearing a demure, loose black dress and a sometimes weary expression, the actress gave jurors a clipped, subdued account of returning from filming to find her $2,000 Balenciaga handbag gone from a SoHo Grand Hotel penthouse suite. Her assistant’s bag and co-star Simon Pegg’s cell phone and other possessions also were taken from the room, which was being used as an actors’ lounge while the 2008 comedy “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” was shot downstairs. “All our belongings were gone. I thought that my assistant had taken them and put them somewhere else, but everything was gone,” Dunst testified. Inside the bag were her wallet, credit and other cards, vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and $2,000 in cash, she said. Besides calling hotel security staffers and police, “We even went outside to look for our bags, like maybe it was dumped in a Dumpster,” she added. The mechanic, James Jimenez, was convicted last fall of trespassing, but jurors deadlocked on a more serious burglary charge. He’s being retried on that charge. Defense lawyer Robert Parker said Jimenez, 36, just tagged along with a codefendant he believed had permission to be there. Dunst, 28, played her part in the real-life court drama Tuesday in a noticeably more somber, matter-of-fact manner than she did at Jimenez’ first trial in September, when she greeted judge and jurors with a chipper “Hi!” She rebuffed Parker’s suggestion of a party atmosphere surrounding the overnight shoot on Aug 8 and Aug 9, 2007, which concluded her filming obligations for the movie. Parker has noted that co-defendant Jarrod Beinerman has a drug history, including pleading guilty in the 1990s to playing a part in a drug-dealing ring. Beinerman wasn’t charged with any drug-related offenses in the SoHo Grand episode; he pleaded guilty in 2008 to attempted burglary and was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. His lawyer, Mitchell Elman, declined to comment Tuesday on the Jimenez case. Dunst’s assistant, Liat Baruch, testified last week that she had a small amount of marijuana in her own bag and was planning to smoke it after the shoot. But she and Dunst testified that Dunst knew nothing of that, and Dunst said she doesn’t smoke the drug. “We wrapped at 5:30 in the morning and found our bags were stolen, so we went home,” having celebrated with nothing more decadent than a takeout dinner order from the posh sushi restaurant Nobu, the actress said. Her bag, wallet and cards were eventually returned to her manager’s office, but she never recovered the cash and sunglasses, she said. —AP

Lady Gaga

Charlie Sheen

ctor Charlie Sheen is ready to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges related to alleged domestic violence against his wife and serve a 30-day jail sentence, US media has reported. Sheen’s publicist, Stan Rosenfeld, declined to comment, telling AFP, “I hear the same rumors everyone else is hearing.” A source close to the actor’s negotiations with prosecutors told the online edition of People magazine Tuesday that the star of the popular TV series “Two and a Half Men” will enter a guilty

plea at a hearing in Aspen, Colorado on June 7. The 44year-old comedian will seek a 30-day sentence for a misdemeanor charge stemming from his wife Brooke Mueller’s accusation in December that he threatened her with a knife during an argument. “Charlie intends to go to court on June 7 (to) plead to a misdemeanor and immediately begin serving his 30 days in jail,” People quoted the source as saying. “With good behavior, he could end up doing 15 or so days.” Sheen’s lawyer confirmed Monday to the Aspen Times newspaper that

the hearing was scheduled for next Monday afternoon, while other media also reported the possibility of a plea bargain. Sheen had pleaded not guilty to abuse charges in March and was supposed to go to trial next month. He was arrested on Christmas Day at the posh ski resort following his wife’s charges, and released a short time later. Both Sheen and his wife went into rehabilitation clinics af ter the incident. The actor, who is the son of actor Martin Sheen and the b ro t h e r o f a c t o r E m i l i o Estevez, also was supposed to receive anger manage-

Go boldly to the palace and arise, Sir Patrick atrick Stewart has been upgraded from captain-to knight. The actor-famous for playing Capt Jean-Luc Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” — officially became Sir Patrick Stewart when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace yesterday. While “Star Trek” introduced him to a different group of fans, Stewart is also a widely respected stage actor.


The 69-year-old actor discovered the theater as a child, and said “my heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Alec Guinness.” Being “in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me.” Stewart joined Britain’s storied Royal Shakespeare Company in his 20s, and in 2008 was nominated for a Tony award for the leading role in “Macbeth.” —AP

Director Stone praises Brazil for Iran mediation ilmmaker Oliver Stone on Tuesday praised Brazil’s efforts to mediate with Iran on its nuclear program, as he visited the South American nation. Stone was in Brazil to promote his documentary “South of the Border” about leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his allies. He met Tuesday in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia with presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, who polls favor to succeed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “This Iran situation could be another Iraq,” Stone said, according to a transcript of comments provided by Rousseff’s staff. “Seems to me the United States is interested in another march to war. I love what Lula and Brazil are doing.” —AP


Actor Sir Patrick Stewart is knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture at Buckingham Palace in London, yesterday. —AP



Thursday, June 3, 2010


By Samantha Critchell here’s a telling scene early in “Sex and the City 2” when 52-year-old Samantha, played by 53-year-old Kim Cattrall, spots a gold, beaded bustier minidress that she thinks will be perfect for a big red-carpet moment. The saleswoman is the first doubter. “Is it maybe a little young?” she asks. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda have fashion confidence like few others — on film or in real life. But the sequined armor these women wear along with their microminis, harem pants and stiletto heels suffers a few chinks over one issue: Do they dress their age? Samantha’s friends question the minidress, too. But an even more important movie moment is when Samantha rocks the dress, putting conventionalists and teenager Miley Cyrus, who is on the same red carpet in the same dress, in their place. Throughout the movie the posse parades around in the most au courant clothes, seemingly not deterred at all by the fact that designers often use lithe, lean teenage runway models as muses instead of the 40-plus successful shopaholics the characters now represent. Some of the outfits are knockouts and incredibly flattering _ like the pleated, flame-colored sundress worn by Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) on the beach, and the plunging V-neck gown with metallic studs worn by Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) to a wedding _ but there also are the misses. It shouldn’t be assumed, though, that Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis) dorky strapless candy-cane get-up or Carrie’s ill-conceived logo-T-and-poufy-ballskirt combination


(From left) US actress Sarah Jessica-Parker, US actress Kristin Davis, English actress Kim Cattrall and US actress Cynthia Nixon pose as they arrive for the British Premiere of ‘Sex and the City II’ in London’s Leicester Square on May 27, 2010.—AFP

Beauty experts sing the praises of salt-for skin

This undated photo provided by Ahava shows the Dead Sea.—AP By Samantha Critchell each beauty has an almost endless appeal-a little sun, a little surf, a little sand, a little salt. That’s right, salt. While there’s an ongoing crusade by the likes of first lady Michelle Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce the amount of salt people ingest, the beauty industry is promoting the benefits of using salt externally. Salt has been used as a skin scrub “since practically the beginning of time,” says Allure magazine Editor-in-Chief Linda Wells. “It’s something that’s a great exfoliant. And it feels really good on the skin. There’s also relaxing bath salts, Epsom salt-you can just soak in thoseand they have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s good if you’re feeling puffy.” Lush, a botanical-heavy beauty brand, reports salt products to be a consistent best-seller. The appeal lies in effective skin-smoothing scrubs as well as the soft suppleness that’s left afterward, says Erica Vega, a Lush educational trainer. “There’s a softness to the skin after using salt, but not a greasy softness. If in the winter you want to pack on the moisturizer, in the warmer weather you want to try salt, which isn’t drying,” Vega says. Vega encourages ocean-inspired combinations, such as a bath product that mixes salt with seaweed and coconut oil. Lush’s salt-a coarse one for exfoliating and a finer one for replenishing mineralscomes straight from the coasts of Spain and Portugal. “We collect it from the ocean in pans, let the water evaporate and take the salt,” Vega says. “It’s so simple.” Beauty company Ahava gets its salt from the Dead Sea, but it’s not just the salt, which has a comparable look and feel to rock salt, that’s important, says Dawn DiOrio, the brand’s national education director. The minerals from the unique water and mud there play a role, too. “Now, the Dead Sea is basically like a lake, but it has all the minerals of its original form of a millennium ago,” she says. “There’s 10 times more saline than any other salted body of water.” The water there has an almost oily texture, and it doesn’t drip-instead it sticks to the skin and glistens, DiOrio says. Minerals from the Dead Sea, including magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium, are all believed to be soothing and relaxing. The minerals also send a message to skin cells to regenerate. For Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, it’s


the texture of the salt-maybe not its origin-that’s the key. “When you use a finegrade salt in a scrub, it scrubs in a gentle kind of way. It helps to cleanse and shed dead skin cells, and it balances with oil so scrubbing and moisturizing at the same time.” You can do things with salt that you couldn’t do with, say, sugar, another popular scrub ingredient, Price says. Salt will work as a better cleanser-just don’t use it on the face, where the skin is too delicate. “You need the right grade salt. You want to polish, not scratch. As a consumer, even if a product says ‘sea salt,’ you should test and touch. You want to rub your fingers through it and make sure if feels soft.” Salt-based beauty products are also very stable and have a long shelf life since, again, unlike sugar, it doesn’t dissolve, Price says. Massage a salt scrub in a circular motion, she suggests, paying particular attention to elbows, heels and feet. “I can’t decide if a salt scrub is invigorating or relaxing. ... But the texture of the salt penetrates deeper than a washcloth and it just feels so good,” Price says. And, salt isn’t just for skin. Allure’s Wells points to an increasing number of salt-based hair products that give you the day-at-the-beach tousled look. Think of it as spritzing a little ocean water on the hair-without the seaweed, she describes. “It will take away some shine-that’s trendy now, though,” Wells says. She warns, however, that the salt can be drying, especially for color treated hair. “But it makes the hair look great temporarily and it washes out.” Carol’s Daughter often incorporates a beach theme into its salt products, creating Ocean, Mango and Jamaican Punch flavors. The mental association with vacations, gentle waves and sun-soaked days can only add to salt’s appeal, agrees Lush’s Vega. “People have a primal reaction sitting by the ocean and being lulled by it.” Two homemade salt scrub “recipes” from Allure: 1 cup almond, sesame, olive or vegetable oil 1 cup kosher, table or Epsom salt Heat oil in microwave for 45 seconds. Consistency should be like a paste; add or lessen salt accordingly. 1 lemon Coarse sea salt Cut lemon in half, sprinkle salt over each half. Grind salt-covered lemons into elbows, heels and knees. — AP

would look any better on a 25 year old. “I think it’s all about where the individual is in what they are comfortable and confident wearing,” says accessories designer Brian Atwood, who crafted two pairs of 6-inch (15centimeter) heels for Carrie’s closet, including studded, purple-suede peeptoes. “I don’t like to dictate boundaries to anyone. I think it’s the whole package. I’ve seen older women in their ‘80s-style rhinestone jackets with short miniskirts, but anyone would look ridiculous in that.” A chic, sophisticated stiletto is another story, Atwood says. “Some women just like high heels. They help give you great legs and they give you height. Women like how they feel in heels and what it projects.” An honest analysis of one’s assets _ and trouble spots — as well as lifestyle and personal style will get you farther in developing a flattering, appropriate wardrobe than counting birthday candles, say the experts. “You need to know what parts of your body should be shown off,” advises Deborah Lloyd, co-president and creative director of Kate Spade New York. The actresses in “Sex and the City” surely work hard at keeping their figures in good shape so they can pull off some daring things, she says, but they also stay true to their characters’ fashion personalities. Lloyd points to first lady Michelle Obama as an example of a woman who highlights her strengths _ those toned arms, in particular — and maintains a youthful, modern look with interesting silhouettes and bright colors, while never trying to dress too young. “Fashion as you get older is about an evolution, not just about changing your look because you’re older. You can’t get stuck,”

Models wear designs by Andrea Marques collection at the Fashion Rio Summer 2010/2011 event in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday.—AP

Lloyd says. “It will never be an exact science on how to dress to flatter as we age, regardless of lifestyle and budget,” says Avril Graham, executive fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. “However, women should always consider that elegance and good taste generally go hand in hand, regardless of age. And common sense should always prevail. The best dressed women, past and present, all seem to have embraced that sensibility.” Charla Krupp, author of the books “How Not To Look Old” and “How To Never Look Fat Again,” draws a sharp line between fashionforward and trashy. Tops that are too low cut, skirts that are too short, dresses that are too tight are fashion don’ts —period, Krupp says. But, she notes, the reality of getting older is that what’s considered the appropriate neckline or hemline is indeed a little more covered up. “You don’t want to be so obvious. I’m not saying you can’t be sexy when you’re older — Sarah Jessica Parker succeeds in this, and so does the Miranda character,” Krupp says. “They are classy, grown-up, sophisticated and sexy women. What you don’t want is to look like you raided daughter’s closet.” Also, steer clear of anything too trendy, advises Atwood. “You’ve already done that in your life.” Graham, however, doesn’t want women to be afraid of fashion or trying something new. “Strict guidelines and formality are very much a thing of the past. Women of every age and budget have more choices to have freedom of expression with their clothing choices and arguably it has resulted in women having a more youthful appearance than previous generations at the same age.”— AP



Thursday, June 3, 2010


By Zeliha Chaffin all and dapper at 78, Yvon Castaing is not your average grandpa: the Frenchman is a professional model, a second career he stumbled on 15 years ago af ter retiring from his first. Advertising used to focus almost exclusively on the young, the nubile, the energetic. But as Western populations age better and better, models over 60 — sometimes way over 60 — have become increasingly bankable. Castaing is, well, straight from central casting, the perfect gentleman in a blue-and-white striped shirt matched to his blue eyes, and as crisp as his diction is clear. “I am a dandy, I admit it,” he says disarmingly. Born into a large family in 1932, Castaing started his career with a brief stint in the hotel business


but found his calling selling perfume at the esteemed French luxury house Hermes. “I was a good salesman,” he said with a smile. “I guess that’s why I also like modeling-you have to sell yourself.” His new career started in 1994 after a chance encounter with Beatrice Costantini, an actress who also heads Agence Di, a Paris-based agency specialized in actors that offers a large selection of seniors. “When I started my agency there was a demand for grandmother types-little old ladies with grey hair, tiny grannies who made jam and biscuits,” Costantini told AFP. “But over the years the traditional grandma is no longer true to type. People now want healthy dynamic seniors,” explains Costantini. Castaing had long flirted with the idea of becoming an actor, even taking lessons and appearing in a few

amateur plays. So when Costantini asked if he wanted to cast for an advertisement, it didn’t seem like too big a leap. Over the next couple of years, he had walk-on roles in movies for Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese and French director Claude Lelouch, but today he only does commercials and print ads. Old is gold Business is booming. Having wrinkles, it seems, is no longer a taboo. “There is definitely a market for seniors today,” said Costantini, whose agency has more than 500 models on tap in its “Young Forever” department. Nearly 30 percent of people in France are over 55, demographically typical of many rich nations. So old is becoming gold, and ads for stair lifts and dentures adhesive just don’t cut it anymore. FranÁoise de Stael, also 78 and one of the

leading lights on France’s seniors modeling scene, has seen the profession become far more competitive as brands look to corner the seniors market. “You have to struggle every day to keep your place in this milieu,” she said. “There are a limited number of opportunities, and there are more and more people showing up for senior castings, some of them only 50. You need a lot of patience.” A former fashion model, De Stael says that apart from the cash “it’s good for morale.” “We remain young because we work with young people. That’s what I really love about this job.” But a sunsetyears career on the catwalk or in front of a camera can have its perils. “I did a shoot on my 60th birthday in which they asked me to jump on a trampoline,” Castaing recalled. “I did it, but it wasn’t easy and I wound up with an acute inflammation of the

knee.”“Sometimes they ask us to do very stupid things to give an image of dynamic seniors, able to do the same things as youths”, De Stael said. Paradoxically, working behind a camera well into their 70s has made both models less self-conscious about their looks. “I used to be too narcissistic. But at some point, you really do realize that beauty is only skin deep,” Castaing said. “Being young is all in your mind.” De Stael says she won’t invest in cosmetic surgery or rejuvenation shots just to stay competitive. Being philosophical about looks doesn’t mean letting oneself go, however. Castaing cycles and swims every day, and is careful about what he eats. De Stael walks vigorously, and takes special care of her hair and nails. “The engine gets tired but the bodywork’s still OK,” said Castaing.—AFP

Models display creations of Japanese designer Kamishima Chinami during a fashion show held by German kitchenware maker Fissler in Tokyo yesterday. —AFP

Luxury giant completes buy up of web fashion retailer lobal luxury goods giant Richemont said yesterday that it had completed the acquisition of a pioneering 10-year-old web-based women’s fashion retailer, Net-a-porter. “As a consequence, Richemont will hold an effective economic interest of more than 93 per cent in the issued ordinary capital of Net-aporter,” the Swiss-based group said in a statement. The business, which employs 600 staff in London and New York, was created by former fashion journalist Natalie Massenet and recently racked


up its one millionth order, according to Richemont. The luxury group had previously owned about one third of the web retailer, which had annual turnover for the financial year to the end January of 120 million pounds. Richemont did not reveal the cost of the acquisition of the remaining shares, but it had valued Net-a-porter’s equity at 350 million pounds (525 million dollars, 390 million euros) in April. Net-a-porter, which sells more than 300 women’s designer

brands, will operate as an independent entity alongside Richemont’s other standalone businesses such as Cartier, Dunhill, IWC, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels. Massenet reportedly had an 18-percent stake in the website and stands to make a substantial profit on her holding, estimated in some media reports at 50 million pounds. She vowed in April to “build the 21st century model for luxury fashion retailing” along with Richemont. — AFP

Richemont owns some of the world’s most prestigious brand names such as Cartier. —AFP

In this undated photo, a room in one of the late actress Ruth Ford’s apartments at “The Dakota” is shown. In this photo provided by Sotheby’s, actress Ruth Ford is surrounded by art in a room of her Dakota apartment in New York in 1967.

Another room in one of the late actress Ruth Ford’s apartments at ‘The Dakota’. — AP photos

Loyalty takes butler from poor Nepal villa By Verena Dobnik e was a young farmer raised in a straw, mud and stone house in Nepal who became a jet-setter meeting the likes of Andy Warhol and John Lennon. Indra Tamang now owns two apartments in the famed Dakota building off New York City’s Central Park and a collection of Russian surrealist art inherited from his employers. For 36 years, Ruth Ford and her brother Charles Ford relied on “Indra darling” — as she often called him-to serve them on three continents. Tamang was ever present in the apartments he now owns, available around the clock as Ruth Ford’s health deteriorated. She died in August at 98, leaving nothing to her estranged daughter and two grandchildren. “Between Charles and Ruth and me, it was a friendship,” Tamang said. “I wasn’t just a butler; our bonds were more than that.” Charles Ford noticed Tamang’s skills as a waiter in a Nepalese hotel, and hired him in 1973. Starting out fetching groceries and mail, Tamang learned to cook and then how to use a camera. Becoming a sort of surrogate son, Tamang shared Ford’s adventures, once traveling from Istanbul to Katmandu via Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in a Volkswagen minibus. In Paris, home was a studio on the Ile St Louis. And there was a house on Crete, where Tamang learned some Greek from local fishermen. In New York, Ford and Tamang had in a small apartment at the Dakota four floors above Ford’s sister, who starred on Broadway in William Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun” and was the widow of actor Zachary Scott. Tamang was there at celebrity-studded parties the Fords hosted or attended, taking pictures of famous figures that were later published in Charles Ford’s books and exhibited in Manhattan galleries. Charles Ford died in 2002. In recent years, Tamang was on call even at home in New York’s borough of Queens with his wife and children. He skipped family vacations to take care of bills and appointments, organize papers and supervise Ford’s home, though she had a maid.


In this May 26, 2010 photo, Indra Tamang, the Nepalese-born butler who inherited two apartments in The Dakota building, background, from his wealthy employer, stands near the building in New York.

Another room in one of the late actress Ruth Ford’s apartments. Ruth Ford’s daughter, Shelley Scott, received a settlement negotiated with the estate, said Arnie Herz, Scott’s lawyer. Tamang agreed to the resolution, whose details remain confidential, Herz said. Scott is “very happy” for Tamang, Herz said, and she “personally did not make a penny out of the modest settlement, because she gave it all away.” Tamang organized Buddhist funeral rites for Charles, who followed the Buddhist philosophy, and then for Ruth, after her Christian funeral in an Anglican church. While the Fords lived, Tamang said his salary was so modest his wife had to work to help

support the family. The Fords’ assets were mostly in property and art, not cash, Tamang said. Until the estate liquidates more assets and inheritance taxes are subtracted, “I don’t have more money now than I did before,” he said. “I still have to live, pay my mortgage. ... and relax a little bit.” Ruth Ford’s three-bedroom apartment is on the market for $4.5 million. The art collection includes works by Pavel Tchelitchew, Charles’ longtime partner who died in 1957. Tchelitchew’s portrait of Ruth Ford sold in April at Sotheby’s for nearly $1 million. Another auction is scheduled for Thursday in Paris,

followed by three more Manhattan sales in the coming year. Tamang’s first wife, who died in 1986, never left Phakhel, their village of several thousand people a two-hour drive southwest of Katmandu. Tamang visited often over the years and sent money to his wife and children, and to his parents and five younger siblings. He moved his two older daughters to the United States a dozen years ago after he remarried. Tamang says he’s grateful for his Nepalese heritage, which taught him that “if you work and you’re honest and earn people’s trust, maybe something good will come to you.”— AP

Food art: Archeologists dig Churchill?s cigar under hammer in Lon up 30-year-old last supper A By Claire Rosemberg moked udders or veal lungs? French archeologists this week begin examining the remains of an open-air banquet shoveled underground almost 30 years ago as an art performance. Supervised by the creme-de-la-creme of French archeology, a bunch of dusty diggers are unearthing the leftovers from a work now known as “Lunch Under The Grass”-a meal for 80 in sumptuous gardens south of Paris where the star course was offal. On April 23, 1983, Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri, one of the central figures of post-war European art, invited dozens of artists, galleryowners, critics and friends for a lunch held by a 40-metre (-yard) long trench. The meal over, the 80-odd participants trundled tables laden with plates, glasses and leftover tripe into the trench to be buried for posterity. “This is what you could call garbage archeology,” one of France’s top archeologists, Jean-Paul Demoule, told AFP, referring to schemes underway across the world to examine society by perusing its rubbish. “What will these remains tell us about the way artists lived in the 1980s, what will they say about our society?” Demoule, who is leading the


project and is former head of the National Institute of Preventive Archeological Research (INRAP), asked. Spoerri himself was one of the founders of the 1960s New Realism movement, artists active in the post World War II boom years who drew their inspiration and drive from the thriving consumerism of industrial society. Born in Romania and now living in Austria, Spoerri became best known for his so-called “snare” pictures, fixing a group of objects or the remains of a meal left haphazardly on a horizontal board, and then hanging them vertically on a wall. “I wanted this meal to be bourgeois, in pinks and lilac,” the 80-year-old artist said at the digging site. “I’d brought cloth tablecloths, there were vases of flowers.” Working on a tiny portion of the old trench, archeologists so far have scraped away plates and glasses, including a plastic goblet, but the tablecloth has been eaten by time and the flowers disintegrated into pollen. The remains are to be analyzed by a dozen specialist laboratories and the parts of the trench already dug up will be re-filled again for posterity. “In 20, 30 or 50 years, science will have made new inroads and archeologists will be able to take a new improved peek at all this,” Demoule said.—AFP

Picture taken yesterday at Jouy-en-Josas, of the remains of an open-air banquet shoveled underground almost 30 years ago by Switzerland’s artist Daniel Spoerri at an art performance. —AFP

huge collection of diaries, letters and even a pristine cigar belonging to Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War II prime minister, was up for auction in London yesterday. The sale, which is expected to raise around one million pounds (1.2 million euros, 1.5 million dollars), is being billed by auctioneers Christie’s as part of the most important private Churchill collection in the world. It features his engagement diary for 1939 to 1945 which records meetings with leaders including US President Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin of Russia and

Britain’s King George VI. It could fetch up to 120,000 pounds. The Havana cigar-which along with the “V for victory” sign was Churchill’s trademark-is unsmoked and dates from 1963, when it was given by Churchill to a fellow diner at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. It is tipped to sell for up to 1,500 pounds. “Winston Churchill is one of the most famous historical figures of the 20th century and his feats as a politician, and as the wartime prime minister of Great Britain in particular, continue to attract

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5.—

One careful owner... James Bond’s Aston Martin up for sale ames Bond’s famous Aston Martin car from the films “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” is expected to raise more than five million dollars when it goes on sale, auctioneers said yesterday. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was driven by Sean Connery when he played the fictional British spy. The customized car, which had the original British registration number FMP 7B, is one of two and the sole remaining DB5 featured in “Goldfinger” (1964) and “Thunderball” (1965). It is expected to raise more than 3.5 million pounds (5.1 million dollars, 4.2 million euros) when it is sold by RM Auctions in London on October 27. Bond’s motor has around 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) on the clock. “This authentic Bond movie car


is factory-fitted with the full complement of operational ‘QBranch’ gadgets,” RM said. They include machine guns, a bulletproof shield, revolving number plates, a tracking device, a removable roof panel, an oil slick sprayer, a nail spreader and a smoke screen. The gadgets are controlled by “toggles and switches hidden in the centre arm-rest”. Its US owner, Pennsylvania broadcaster Jerry Lee, bought the car for 12,000 dollars in 1969 and hopes the sale will raise money for his charitable foundation. “The James Bond car has brought me much enjoyment for some 40 years,” he said. “The car will continue to give me great pleasure as it furthers the mission of the foundation to do good around the world.”— AFP

Actress Zoe Saldana accepts the 2010 Max Mara ‘Face of the Future’ award onstage at the 2010 Crystal + Lucy Awards: A New Era at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 1, 2010 in Century City, California. —AFP

great attention and admiration,” said Thomas Venning, Christie’s London director of books and manuscripts. “This outstanding collection presents an exceptional and fascinating insight into his personality, character, sharp wit and his distinctive way with words, with letters, photographs and books spanning his entire life”. The collection was amassed by US publisher Steve Forbes. Christie’s is holding a second Churchill sale in New York in December and a third in 2011 in London. — AFP

3 June  

Kuwait Times

3 June  

Kuwait Times