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Dozens die in new wave of Kyrgyz unrest

Wife of Lebanese psychic appeals for his release



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150 FILS

Africa’s first WCup kicks off in style Grieving Mandela misses emotional WCup opener JOHANNESBURG: Africa’s first World Cup kicked off yesterday with unfancied hosts South Africa taking on Mexico in front of 95,000 spectators in a packed Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Before the kick-off, hundreds of dancers filled the stadium with the colors of the African continent and the air was filled with the sound of thousands of the vuvuzela trumpets which are set to be a feature of the tournament. One heartbroken absentee from the crowd was Nelson Mandela, who decided he could not join the festivities following the death of his great granddaughter in a car crash. The country’s first post-apartheid president pulled out of the festivities as he mourned 13-year-old Zenani Mandela, who died as she was being driven home from a pre-tournament concert. The tragedy throws a shadow over an event which is about far more than just football. South Africa’s pride in making history as the first African hosts has shone through as the Rainbow Nation rides a wave of euphoria not seen since the collapse of apartheid and Mandela’s subsequent election. What the organizers fear now is that the South African team - ranked just 83rd by FIFA - will become the first World Cup host nation in history to fail to progress through the group stages. Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face a tough task in a group including 1998 winners and

2006 runners-up France, and World Cup old hands Mexico and Uruguay. Steven Pienaar, one of South Africa’s few recognized stars, said the players will be as excited as the fans when the match starts at 1400 GMT. “We have waited so long for this moment,” said the midfielder who plays for Everton in the English Premier League. “As children we dreamt of the day South Africa would play in the World Cup.” The captain, Aaron Mokoena, said: “Some South Africans do not give us a chance at this level and we are desperate to prove them wrong and hold our own. “I believe we can surprise some people by qualifying for the second round.” France’s talented but inconsistent team open their Group A campaign against the Uruguayans in Cape Town in the opening day’s other fixture at 1830 GMT. The talismanic Zinedine Zidane has retired, and Franck Ribery, Nicolas Anelka and Patrice Evra will be keen to avoid the humiliation of France’s defeat to minnows Senegal on the opening day of the 2002 tournament in South Korea. The signs are not promising - poor results in build-up matches and a tussle between the team, the French media and eccentric coach Raymond Domenech have created an uneasy atmosphere around the French camp. The action yesterday starts a 64-match bonanza. Today, the fabulously talented Lionel Messi and his Continued on Page 19

Saudi flag ‘abused’ New UN climate text under fire BONN: UN climate negotiators agreed to an investigation yesterday after protesters smashed a sign emblazoned “Saudi Arabia” and dropped it in toilet after Riyadh blocked a study of deeper cuts in greenhouse gases. Many countries condemned the protest, after Saudi Arabia blocked a request by small island states at the May 31June 11 talks for a study of tougher cuts in greenhouse gases to help slow a rise in world sea levels. Mexico’s delegate Luis Alfonso de Alba, whose country will host the main climate talks in late 2010, said he was initiating an investigation by the UN Climate Change Secretariat. Pieces of the smashed Saudi Arabia signabout 30 cm and placed on a

table to identify the delegation during negotiations were dropped in a toilet and then photographed, delegates said. The pictures were then put up on some walls. “This is a serious incident. We should fully support that the secretariat should carry out an investigation and the result should be informed to the parties,” Chinese delegate Su Wei said. Lebanon’s delegate also said that the Saudi flag was abused during a protest in the conference hall after Saudi Arabia blocked the small island state’s push. Saudi Arabia has often expressed worries at UN climate negotiations that a shift towards renewable energies will undermine its oil export earnings. Continued on Page 19

JAMMU: An Indian boy swims in water covered with moss on the outskirts of Jammu, India. India’s greenhouse gas emissions grew by 3.3 percent between 1994 and 2007. — AP

JOHANNESBURG: Artists perform during the World Cup opening ceremony at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday. — AP

Iran blasts foes; UN, West rain sanctions Russia freezes missile sale to Iran, EU targets energy sector SHANGHAI: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday Israel was “doomed” and singled out US President Barack Obama for scorn, blaming Washington for orchestrating new nuclear sanctions against Tehran. Speaking during a visit to the World Expo in Shanghai, Ahmadinejad denounced the UN Security Council’s sanctions resolution adopted Wednesday with Chinese and Russian backing as “worthless paper”.

The firebrand leader accused global nuclear powers of “monopolizing” atomic technology and said the new sanctions would “have no effect”-reserving most of his tough rhetoric for the United States, not his ally Beijing. Swatting aside the US leader’s offers of dialogue and rapprochement if Iran relents on its nuclear ambitions, Ahmadinejad said: “I think President Obama has made a big mistake... he knows the resolution will have no

effect. “Very soon he will come to understand he has not made the right choice and he has blocked the way to having friendly ties with the Iranian people.” Ahmadinejad chose a visit to his country’s national pavilion during “Iran Day” at the Shanghai Expo over an appearance at a regional security summit in Uzbekistan attended by the Chinese and Russian leaders. Continued on Page 19

Dubai in the frontline of Iran sanctions DUBAI: On the concrete wharfs of the creek that divides Dubai, bundles of goods wait to be loaded aboard vessels bound for Iran, the Gulf emirate’s largest trading partner. Three rounds of UN sanctions since 2006 failed to strangle this flourishing trade, which reached 4.8 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) in May according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. But the measures did have an adverse effect. The UN Security Council on Wednesday imposed a fourth round of sanctions after Iran refused to stop enriching uranium. Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but the West and others suspect it may be aimed at building an atom bomb. Iran does an estimated 10 billion dollars of trade per year with Dubai, a major centre for reexports. Continued on Page 19

Tehran accuses US of kidnapping Iranians GENEVA: Iran’s top human rights official accused the United States yesterday of kidnapping and illegally detaining Iranians, but ruled out exchanging them for three US detainees whose trial he expected to start soon. Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, said US authorities were holding six or seven Iranians, including a nuclear scientist who disappeared a year ago. “The United States should be accountable for kidnapping our citizens here and there,” Larijani told reporters in Geneva, a day after addressing the UN Human Rights Council. “Our first objection is the way they are detained. Secondly, they are totally in exclusion and there is no contact with them, neither the family nor the government,” he said.

Iranian television broadcast a video on Monday of a man who said he was Shahram Amiri and had been drugged, abducted and tortured by the CIA. Amiri, a university researcher working for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. In March, ABC News said he had defected and was helping the CIA. US intelligence has declined to comment. The video was made on April 5 in Arizona, the man in the video says. There was no explanation of how the video was made or how the Iranian broadcaster obtained it. “He was in intense interrogation in isolation for nine months. It is a flagrant violation of human rights of our citizen,” Larijani said. “Unfortunately, it is becoming routine in the United States.” Continued on Page 19

‘Remarriage’ debate sparks fear in Egypt

DUBAI: An Iranian man working on a shipping boat, dries his clothes at Dubai creek. On the concrete wharfs of the creek that divides Dubai, bundles of goods wait to be loaded aboard vessels bound for Iran, the Gulf emirate’s largest trading partner. — AFP

CAIRO: “They want to empty Egypt of Copts,” exclaims Girgis Guebrail about a court order that the Coptic Church must remarry divorcees, seeing it as an attack on minority Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. Protests and sermons have multiplied in recent days, denouncing state “interference” in the business of the ultra-conservative Coptic Orthodox Church. The church would “not accept anything that goes against the Bible,” Pope Shenuda III said after Egypt’s High Administrative Court last

month ordered his church to allow its faithful to divorce or remarry, quashing his appeal. “The court returned a civil judgment, but marriage is a religious act,” said the 86-yearold leader, whose community accounts for about 10 percent of Egypt’s 80-million largely Muslim population and is the Middle East’s biggest Christian society. Several hundred Copts demonstrated against the ruling in Cairo on Wednesday, gathering before the capital’s St Mark’s Cathedral. Continued on Page 19



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Closure of factories planned

Sports issue, pollution top agenda of cabinet meeting By A. Saleh KUWAIT: More than one issue will feature on the agenda of tomorrow's weekly cabinet meeting, with the sports issue, MPs' threat to grill the premier and the Um Al-Hayman pollution case all likely to be the subject of intensive discussion. One insider said that the government is likely to

express its satisfaction at the support it received regarding the proposed grilling over the Um Al-Hayman pollution issue. The insider also indicated that responsibility for further action on this matter, including closure of factories in the area, will be given to the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al-Sabah, who will be expected to take action before the end of this year at the latest.

The latest ruling, which is expected to come into effect shortly, will see the licenses withdrawn from any factories which do not comply with the warnings issued. The insider also revealed that during its meeting tomorrow, the government will emphasize the need to strictly implement the relevant sports-related legislation for the sake of Kuwait's interests in such a way that international laws governing sports are met, so that Kuwait will not be suspended from participating in international sports events. The cabinet will also be briefed on the latest developments in the ongoing negotiations between National Assembly (parliament) Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi, the government and the National Bloc MPs who are threatening to present a grilling motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah over the sports issue. The cabinet insider said that the government is implementing the

tender was completed more than five months ago. The cabinet insider also revealed that summer's cabinet meetings will include weekly revision of work on the country's mega-projects, to ensure that the work is being completed on time without delays. Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah will present the reports on this matter in cooperation with the other ministers and senior officials involved. Meanwhile, the cabinet has issued an official memorandum to all ministries and government departments ordering the cancellation of any unsatisfactory contracts if suitable justification for doing so exists, and stating that legal action should be pursued against any contractors found to be breaching their contract terms. A government insider said that the measure is being taken to ensure that projects are carried out as planned and to hold those who are not showing the proper degree of commitment accountable for their actions and penalize the underperforming con-

sports laws already approved by the parliamentary sports affairs council in a way that will not contradict the International Olympic Committee's regulations, while complying with the recent court verdict overturning previous rulings by the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS). The cabinet will reportedly give the courts the final authority over resolving the differences between the various bodies involved in the sports issue. The cabinet will also review the recent action taken by the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) in forming subsidiary electricity firms, according to the rules approved by the Council of Ministers, the insider added. The project to establish the country's first private sector electricity firms is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2011, with this company to manage the Northern AlZour power station, with the cabinet's discussions tomorrow also focusing on what steps have been taken regarding Al-Sabiya power station, whose

in the news Cancer treatment costs KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health (MoH) is considering exempting certain non-Kuwaitis, including bedoon (stateless) residents and expatriates, from having to pay for cancer treatment, according to a senior ministry official. MoH Undersecretary Dr. Ibrahim Al-Abdulhadi revealed that the exemptions will include the cost of x-rays, lab tests, ultrasound treatment, medicines and all forms of therapy, reported Annahar. Dr. Al-Abdulhadi said that the ministry is investigating the issue, stressing that the MoH cares deeply about humanitarian cases, whether of Kuwaitis or expatriates. In other health-related news, an Adan Hospital insider revealed that a 35-year-old Kuwaiti woman suffering from meningitis has been admitted to an isolation unit there for treatment.

Detective catches laptop thief KUWAIT: A detective working at the office which coordinates surveillance for the Wafra and Manageesh oilfields and Al-Zour power station immediately called police after discovering on his arrival at work that five laptop computers had gone missing. The detective also conducted his own investigation of the theft, quickly finding out that the culprit was an Egyptian IT engineer who worked for the company which supplies the computers. Police quickly arrested the suspect, who has been charged with the thefts.

Grilling motion discussed

KUWAIT: The Argentinean Ambassador to Kuwait Jorge Biga recently held a reception ceremony at the JW Marriott Hotel to mark his country's National Day. The event was attended by diplomats and other dignitaries. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: National Assembly (Parliament) Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi on Thursday met with National Bloc members to discuss the bloc's proposed grilling motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. An insider revealed that the meeting ended with the bloc members still expressing their determination to go through with the grilling, reported Al-Anba. Al-Khorafi later met with Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah to discuss ways of resolving the problem. Later, the speaker told reporters that attempts are continuing to find a satisfactory solution to the issue, although none has been found to date. National Bloc member MP Saleh Al-Mulla said that the bloc's members are coordinating on putting the final touches to the grilling motion, adding that it will possibly be officially submitted this week. Al-Saleh stressed that the bloc would not accept a 'middle' solution.

tractors accordingly. The measure will also help to strengthen the legal aspects of the contracts in question and reduce Audit Bureau intervention, as well as demonstrating transparency in dealing with corruption, the insider explained. In the memorandum, the Council of Ministers insisted that the government bodies in charge of implementing contracts should ensure that the contractors are meeting the general and specific conditions laid down in the contracts and provide feedback on any cases in which they are failing to do so. The government bodies and contractors should coordinate closely with the concerned ministry bodies from the start to ensure that there are no financial penalties in cases of extensions or delays in tenders. The memorandum further warned of placing additional burdens on contracts and asserted that they should be limited to certain essential conditions, as per the requirements of the job to avoid extra penalties being incurred.

kuwait digest

Sports and politics By Thaar Al-Rashidi


he logical political analysis of the results of the proposed grilling of His Highness the Prime Minister regarding the sports issue means that it would end up as a closed session, with the withdrawal of the National Bloc members who oppose such sessions meaning that the result will be similar to the Popular Action Bloc's recent grilling motion. The surprise is that National Bloc members have announced their readiness to attend the session even it is held in camera. Their agreement to this, despite their opposition to closed sessions, will make it difficult for the government to answer the questions, with this conclusion being supported by a 45-minute video. What makes the situation more difficult is the political damage will be different than the last grilling motion put forward by MP Khalid Al Tahous. The Popular Action Bloc played alone in the last grilling motion, but the National Bloc has the support of the PAB, in addition to other MPs, which will embarrass the government and weaken its position, specially since this grilling will come down to a no-confidence vote. The worst thing for the government, is that it will be

obliged to form a coalition with influential figures for political expediency in the upcoming fight, despite the issue appearing purely 'sportsrelated' from the outside. But from the inside it is 100% political. Regardless of the result of the grilling, it will definitely bring the National Bloc back to having massive public support, as has been pointed by writer Yousef Al-Mubaraki. My history with football is complicated, as I've been a 'Qadsawi' since the first time I kicked a football. In the eighties, I played for the Kuwait amateurs club, but this didn't go far. Since 1982, I've supported the Italians in international tournaments, though in spite of this I still can't remember their the names of their teams' players. With football, I don't know anything about which club is in which group or which are in the opposing or opposite groups, let alone their political affiliations. I've only started reading about this issue in Kuwait since the proposed grilling of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah over the matter was first mooted. The only certain thing I've found out is that we'll never reach the World Cup until the oil dries up! — Al-Anba


Azerbaijan's irreversible path of democratic development By Shahin Abdullayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan


oncerning the Associated Press report published in Kuwait Times June 7, 2010, which demonstrated a biased attitude and unsuccessfully attempted to depict a false image of Azerbaijan, I feel it is necessary to refute certain preposterous and pervasive claims contained there regarding my country. Building on the traditions of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which was proclaimed in 1918 as the first republic of the Near East, Azerbaijan is a democratic republic with efficient and functional executive, legislative and judiciary branches of governance. Having integrated into the European legal space Azerbaijan is a fully-fledged member of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe, and is steadfast in her commitment to the values and principles that these institutions stand for. It needs to be recalled that membership of the Council of Europe is not granted automatically, but rather is based on a performance-based process measured through the respect for human rights and firm commitment to the democratic governance shown by the candidate country. Thus, nothing else but Azerbaijan's democratic performance and considerable achievements in democratization and protection of human rights have guaranteed its place in the CoE family. Even if not these institutions, preceding from the will and desire of its people, Azerbaijan has chosen an irreversible path of democratic development through explicit assertion of the rule of law, ensuring freedom of expression and other fundamental rights, increasing the capacity of democratic institutions and the promotion of civil society. To put it more explicitly, in the best interest of its citizens the Azerbaijani Government conscientiously continues its persistent democratic reform agenda as is dictated by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Contrary to the arguments of the report on alleged suffocation of mass media, it is sufficient to note that more than 3,500 mass media outlets currently operate

in Azerbaijan. There are more than 30 information agencies and 44 electronic mass media outlets complemented by operation of seven nationwide and 14 regional TV channels, 12 cable channels and 11 radio stations. Except for in criminal cases, the mass media representatives are not pursued for their professional activities. Azerbaijan takes pride in being a place where all the conditions have been provided for all faiths and ethnic groups to freely exercise their customs and traditions for centuries. With respect to the unjustified allegations contained in the report on the 2008 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan, I would like to underscore that according to the conclusions of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament (EP), these elections marked considerable progress and reflected the principles of a meaningful and pluralistic democratic election. Furthermore, the provision of a peaceful environment, robust competition, equitable conditions for candidates and vibrant political discourse for running of election were particularly highlighted by the international observers. As regards March 18, 2009, the date of the referendum on the amendments to the constitution, it should be noted that the nationwide voting was aimed at improving and strengthening the constitutional foundations of the state in the light of significant developments that had taken place since the adoption of the present Constitution in 1995. More than 47,000 local, as well as 177 international, observers representing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and a number of foreign countries observed the referendum. International observers positively assessed the referendum, noting that the voting process was transparent and well organized. In preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections, an action plan to support the elections was adopted in cooperation with the Council of Europe in March 2010. The aim of this programme is to deal with the most important issues, such as improvements to legislation, training of election administration staff, ques-

tions concerning the media, raising voter awareness on electoral issues, and the organization of public debates. On the part of international media outlets it would be fair enough to highlight the rights of the one million refugees and internally displaces persons of Azerbaijan, as well who were deprived from the basic freedoms as the result of Armenian aggression, while touching upon the issue of human rights in Azerbaijan. However, it is ironic that some of the media outlets prefer to pass in silence over the rights of refugees and IDPs of Azerbaijan and over the Armenian occupation and aggression under which Azerbaijan has developed its democratic institutions. It is crystal clear that sometimes, envy for the independent and balanced foreign policy of Azerbaijan and its utter determination to ensure its territorial integrity and sovereignty is manifested in the form of fabricated propaganda and the inflammation of individual human rights cases. By means of such unsuccessful instruments some seek the goal of putting pressure or casting doubt on the progress of Azerbaijan. Of course, they will never prevail. As far as the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is concerned, it needs to be reiterated that to date Azerbaijan remains committed to the negotiations process carried out within the OSCE Minsk Group framework. Azerbaijan envisages the settlement process through the withdrawal of all Armenian troops from all occupied Azerbaijani territories, return of the displaced population to their places of origin, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. However, it is regrettable to say that, hitherto, the efforts undertaken by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs have not brought about any tangible results to put an end to Armenian aggression and occupation against Azerbaijan. Therefore Azerbaijan has legitimate and fair expectations of all members of the OSCE Minsk Group CoChairs, including the United States, to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles of international law with particular respect to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.

RABAT: Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed AlHaroun and his accompanying delegation arrive in Rabat.

Kuwait supports closer commercial ties with Morocco: Al-Haroun RABAT: - Kuwait's Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun arrived here on Thursday for a two-day official visit. The minister is accompanied on his trip by a high-level delegation which includes economists, investors, real estate and bank officials. Upon his arrival, Al-Haroun said that his visit comes in response to an invitation from Moroccan Minister of Foreign Trade Abdullatif Mazouz. The visit will include signing an agreement to increase trade exchanges between Kuwait and Morocco, the Kuwaiti minister added. Earlier, the minister said that his trip also aims to enhance the volume of trade between the two countries in order to serve the economic interests of both. "The visit will provide a good chance for the Kuwaiti business delegation, representing the private sector, to explore the investment opportunities available in the North African kingdom," AlHaroun explained. For his part, the Moroccan minister expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of bolstering trade and economic relations to reflect the excellent political bilateral relations between the two nations. The minister also said that he would be signing an agreement to increase the level of trade

exchange between Kuwait and Morocco. "The visit will provide a good chance for the Kuwaiti business delegation, representing the private sector, to explore the investment opportunities available in the North African kingdom," the minister said. "The mutual investments can advance the economic cooperation between the two sides," he affirmed. "The visit will open new horizons for the Kuwaiti investors and leading businesspeople to meet their Moroccan counterparts and explore possible joint ventures," Al-Haroun pointed out. "The Kuwaiti delegation is looking for fruitful talks with the Moroccan side to promote the movement of goods and capital and commercial and economic ties in general, based on the special bilateral political ties," he added. Led by Al-Haroun, the delegation includes two members of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mohammad Al-Fajji and Khaled Al-Khaled, as well as the chairman of Kuwait Industries Union (KIU) Hussein Al-Kharafi, the chairman of Al-Massaleh Real Estate Group Najib Al-Saleh, and the deputy chairman of the Kuwait Banks Union Naji Al-Ojail. — KUNA


Saturday, June 12, 2010

3 3,350 bottles of liquor found

Fugitive smuggler in police custody KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man who went on the run after being sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for alcohol-smuggling didn’t let his fugitive status stop him from involvement in another booze-smuggling attempt. The man was found out after customs officials at Shuwaikh Port were tipped off that 14 of the large gas cylinders insider a container on a vessel that arrived from another Gulf nation were actually packed with 3,350 bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label. It took firemen, called to the port for the purpose, over two hours to cut Driver kills cook An Asian driver killed the cook, also Asian, in the home where they both worked, stabbing him fatally following a row between them. The killer was arrested, while the victim’s body was removed for autopsy. Meanwhile, a 43-year-old Kuwaiti man was taken to hospital after suffering various injuries in a fight in a Jahra cafe, in which he was apparently assaulted with various parts of a shisha pipe. He and his adversary reportedly began fighting as soon as they saw one another in the cafe over a previous dispute before other customers separated the combatants. An investigation is underway.

kuwait digest

Modern-day Robin Hoods By Suleiman Al-Fahad


hen I first saw the various flags flying from car windows and decorating homes, buildings and lampposts across Lebanon, I thought that they must be promoting the candidates in the municipal elections taking part there. When I asked about the secret behind the decorations everywhere, however, I discovered that they’ve been put out in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Lebanese people are festive to the bone and well known for their partiality, with neutrality being widely rejected. Because of this one finds a carnival of flags everywhere one goes, indicating the presence of the France party, the Brazil party, the Argentinean party and so on...with truly fanatical devotion shown to one’s team. Like everyone else who’s fond of this

global ball game beloved by millions, I tried to subscribe to Al-Jazeera Sports, the exclusive World Cup broadcaster for the Middle East, only to find out to my surprise that the only available subscription is the pirated one, as in Kuwait, Egypt and other Arab nations. Indeed, in Kuwait and the surrounding nations, services which will illegally unscramble scrambled channels are openly advertised in free advertising papers and daily newspapers! Many people feel absolutely no shame at illicitly accessing these channels. Perhaps this is because theft has become a standard part of our daily lives; thieves of public and private funds are safe from earthly punishment, after all, with those who don’t fear any sort of punishment becoming deeply involved in every sort of theft and sticking their tongue out at mentions of prison or other deterrents, which in reality have no effect at all on them.

We can also point to the astronomical numbers committing theft of intellectual property rights globally which continues to grow year after year, despite the constant raids by police and government bodies on the spaces and areas where this ‘piracy’ is committed. The raids seem to be purely for show, as if the police and governments can’t see the piracy ads that we see every day. The pirates themselves, meanwhile, are viewed in much the same way as movie heroes, modern-day Robin Hoods stealing from the rich to give to the poor who don’t have enough to buy their daily sustenance. The astonishing thing is that none of the fatwa contractors has yet come up with a fatwa against piracy, as if it were halal and the wrongdoing involved didn’t need to be explained and it were just another minor everyday infringement. What can I say, other than what was once said in the old days: loose money

in the news MEW transformers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) intends to add 500 electrical transformers to its network annually, along with upgrading 100 of its existing transformers every year, according to a senior ministry official. MEW Assistant Undersecretary for Distribution Networks Saleh Al-Musallam further revealed that the ministry has already replaced 435 of its existing transformers at a cost of KD 10,000 each in the first half of this year, reported Al-Watan. Musallam explained that the recent repeated power cuts were caused by the high temperatures, which increased the power load required, as well as putting pressure on Jahra’s electricity network.

Disability rights law

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Arts Association hosted last week an exhibition of art works by Nesreen Salama Al-Shathely under the patronage and in the presence of the Egyptian ambassador to Kuwait Taher Farhat. It was attended by a number of diplomats and a large number of arts fans. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The rights of Kuwait’s disabled population will be respected in compliance with the recently introduced laws, said Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mohammad Al-Afasi on Thursday, revealing that the laws will be applied retroactively. The minister also explained the structural plan for the new body that will be responsible for handling disability-related issues, the Public Authority for Disabled Affairs, has been prepared and referred to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for approval, reported Al-Rai. A copy of the documents has also been submitted to First Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, he added. Speaking to the families of individuals with special needs, the minister urged them not to worry about the implementation of the new legislation, adding that only procedural steps are delaying the introduction of the laws, which he said would benefit their loved ones. Al-Afasi stressed that Kuwait’s political leadership pays close attention to the needs of the disabled and is keen to meet all their needs.

Two fatal accidents A Kuwaiti man in his thirties died instantly when a fast-moving car hit him while he was crossing the road between Ferdous and Ardiya. The driver said that although he had swerved, he was unable to avoid hitting the victim. A police investigation is underway. Meanwhile, a garbage collector also died instantaneously when the driver of the dumpster truck inadvertently backed the vehicle over him, not realizing that he was behind it. Police are investigating the incident in Al-Qusoor. Maid beats boss An Asian maid beat her female employer with a cane, breaking bones in one of the woman’s hands before escaping. The maid apparently snapped at unreasonable treatment and grabbed the stick, hitting her employer repeatedly before fleeing. After going to Mubarak Hospital for treatment, the employer went to the local police station to file a complaint. Child abuse Salmiya police have arrested a worker at a local restaurant on charges of molesting a three-year-old Syrian girl. The toddler had

open each of the 3.5-meter cylinders using specialist equipment. The tip-off came from the General Department for Drugs Control (GDDC), who in turn were informed about the operation by a local commercial licensee. An undercover operation was launched, with the licensee arranging to meet the fugitive and smuggler, who did not realize he had been found out, at the entrance to the port. The man has been taken into custody and now faces more charges in addition to his original prison sentence.

apparently been playing with her nine-yearold sister in the yard outside the restaurant and on their return home the older girl told her father that the man had hugged her little sister before touching her genitals, at which point the older sister screamed and the man put the little girl down and fled. The father immediately contacted the police, who are questioning the accused man. Abortionist held A Bangladeshi man who was performing illegal abortions for prostitutes was arrested in a raid on his flat in Mahboula. The man was apparently working as a tailor during the day and performing his backstreet abortionist role at night. Interviewed by police who recovered equipment and medicines used to carry out the operations from the flat, the man admitted that he had performed abortions for eight women there, charging between KD 150 and KD 250 each. Mubarak Al-Kabeer police are hunting for the women who used his services. Border arrest An Asian man was arrested at Abdalli border crossing on his return from Iraq after customs officials discovered that he had left the country illegally and was wanted in connection with a criminal case. Trapped under car A 24-year-old Syrian mechanic was rushed to hospital by colleagues after sustaining serious head injuries when the car he was repairing fell on him after he failed to use the jack properly. Corrupt official A senior official with a Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) labor department has been arrested by immigration detectives and charged with forging a work permit for an Egyptian man who enabled the recipient to obtain a driver’s license without having the

necessary documents. An investigation was launched into the departmental assistant director’s activities after Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality and Travel Document Affairs Major General Abdullah AlRashid received a tip-off. He ordered that a team be formed to look into the accusations, with officials first speaking to the Egyptian man who had obtained the driving license. The man told the MSAL officials that his papers were all in order but that his original work permit had classified him as a ‘light’ laborer. He explained that he wanted to change his employment status to become a driver and needed to obtain a Kuwait driving license. After being rejected by the traffic department due to the status listed on his work permit, he said, a Lebanese friend had taken him to see the assistant director at the labor department, asking the official if it would be possible to alter his professional status on his documents to help him obtain the license. The assistant director obliged, issuing him with a new work permit listing his profession as driver. The recipient insisted that he did not realize that this action was illegal and had assumed that the MSAL’s records had been altered accordingly. Subsequent investigations revealed that the MSAL official had a history of forging such transactions and had also listed extra ‘ghost’ workers in his brother’s company, which is one of 12 that the ministry has asked detectives to investigate. When the assistant director was summoned for questioning, he did not respond, leading the immigration department to contact the Public Prosecution Service, which has issued an arrest warrant for him.

Bad business practice An Iranian expatriate has filed a complaint with Abu Halifa police accusing two men, a Kuwaiti and an Iraqi, of threatening to harm him and kidnap his wife after he withdrew from a business project with them. An investigation has been launched.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Shiite blocs in Iraq merge under new name BAGHDAD: Iraq’s two main Shiite electoral blocs announced their merger yesterday under a new name, National Alliance, but have yet to resolve differences over their nominee for prime minister. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc, which came second in Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election, and the third-placed Iraqi National Alliance (INA), had declared in early May that they intended to merge. A cross-sectarian coalition led by secularist former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi eked out a two-seat win in the election with strong support from minority Sunnis.

But because no bloc won an outright majority, political factions have had to negotiate alliances to gain enough seats to form a government. “We have decided to merge in a single bloc and the name of our new bloc will be National Alliance,” Khalid al-Attiya, deputy speaker of the last parliament and a senior member of Maliki’s State of Law, said in announcing the union. Officials said the two blocs would enter parliament together with 159 seats, just short of the 163 needed to form a government in Iraq’s new 325-seat Council of Representatives. Karim al-Yaqoubi, a member of INA, said the

Kurdish Alliance, which won more than 40 seats, would join the merged Shi’ite parties to give them enough seats to form a government. Maliki’s bloc won 89 seats, finishing two seats behind Allawi’s Iraqiya. INA, which has close ties to Shi’ite neighbour Iran, won 70. President Jalal Talabani has scheduled the first session of parliament for Monday, more than three months after an election Iraqis hoped would bring stable governance but instead deepened sectarian divisions and opened the door to insurgents determined to disrupt Iraq’s fragile democracy. State of Law and INA have so far failed to agree on

a candidate for prime minister or a leader for the new coalition. Party officials indicated on Thursday those differences had not yet been completely resolved. “Talks are going on to select the head of the bloc in parliament and, within days, the name of the prime minister,” said Yaqoubi. Allawi has warned that a merger of Shi’ite blocs that sought to exclude Iraqiya from government could rekindle sectarian warfare as Washington moves ahead with plans to formally end combat operations in Iraq by the end of August. The union raised concerns that Sunnis who felt

marginalised when Shi’ites rose to power following the ouster of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein would be pushed to the sidelines after turning out in force at the polls. Two Iraqiya politicians, one of them a winning candidate, have been killed since the election. Iraqiya leaders have accused Maliki’s government of failing to protect its members. Yaqoubi said Allawi’s bloc would be a “fundamental element” in the next government but offered no details. “This is the principle of the National Alliance,” he said. “There will be no exclusion of any bloc.” — Reuters

‘An interesting starting point’

UN sanctions unlikely to slow Iran’s nuclear drive: Experts WASHINGTON: The harshest UN sanctions ordered against Iran so far may fall short in their aim to curb the Islamic republic’s nuclear ambitions and secure further transparency, experts w arned. In the short term, the measures w ill make it more difficult for President Barack Obama and the other international leaders to achieve their goals, said

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. He also expressed doubts for the long-term objectives to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment for its suspect nuclear program, w hich the West fears is a bid to produce nuclear w eapons despite Iran’s insistence otherw ise.

TEHRAN: A group of Iranian worshippers chant slogans as they attend a pro-government gathering after their Friday prayers in Tehran yesterday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday dismissed new sanctions aimed at punishing his country for failing to halt part of its nuclear program, calling the latest UN resolution ‘a worthless paper.’ — AP

Blast kills 2 Americans, 3 Iraqis Ex-UN arms inspector to face Iraq war inquiry BAGHDAD: A car bomb struck a US-Iraqi military convoy north of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least five people, including two American troops. Iraqi officials said a suicide attacker hit the patrol of Humvees and Stryker vehicles in the town of Jalula, about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad, not far from the Iranian border. American forces responsible for operations in Iraq’s north confirmed the casualties in Diyala province. Names of the casualties were not released, pending notification of family members. They said three Iraqis, including one police officer, were also killed, and about 22 were wounded in the blast. A man who was watching the patrol from his doorway when the bomber struck said he believed troops were search-

ing for weapons after a dispute among residents brandishing hand grenades and firearms the previous day. The man, who gave his name as Abu Kowyan, said the assailant attacked from a nearby alley, ramming his car into the joint patrol as troops were getting out of their vehicles. He said he counted about seven or eight American soldiers lying on the ground shortly after the blast. The fiery explosion shattered windows in his house 20 yards away. Iraqi police, hospital and local officials said the blast killed five Iraqis, including a policeman and a woman, and wounded 14 others. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information. Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the confusion after an attack.

US forces have largely pulled back from urban areas in Iraq as Iraqis take responsibility for securing their country before a full American withdrawal by the end of next year. The number of Americans dying in Iraq has dropped sharply, but attacks continue. Yesterday’s attack raised to at least four the number of American deaths this month, but the two earlier ones were not related to combat, according to an Associated Press tally. The Jalula bombing was the second deadly attack in Iraq yesterday. A bomb hidden in a pile of trash exploded at a market in southern Baghdad, killing three people. That explosion, in the capital’s Dora neighborhood, wounded 10 people. Meanwhile, a former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix

and former British political and military leaders have been called for questioning by a panel investigating the Iraq war. The 35 witnesses to testify before Britain’s Iraq war inquiry panel later this month include former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of the country’s domestic spy agency MI5. The panel will hear evidence from Blix on whether his team of inspectors were given long enough to establish whether Saddam Hussein was hiding illicit arms. Also due to testify are Britain’s former defense secretary, Bob Ainsworth, and two former army chiefs. The inquiry investigating mistakes made in the 2003 US-led invasion will resume June 29 in London. — Agencies

Kurdish rebel car bomb attack foiled ANKARA: Police foiled an alleged car bomb plot in western Turkey by detaining four Kurdish militants in possession of explosives, while a roadside bomb detonated in the east and wounded 13 soldiers and a boy yesterday, authorities said. Both incidents were blamed on rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which have intensified attacks across Turkey after imprisoned rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan last month abandoned efforts to seek dialogue with the government, accusing it of ignoring his calls. Turkey refuses to negotiate with the rebels and, like the US and EU, calls them terrorists. The remote-controlled roadside bomb attack occurred Friday as soldiers

were passing in a bus along a road linking the eastern cities of Tunceli and Elazig, local authorities said. The son of the bus driver was also injured, they said. The soldiers were in civilian clothing, the state-run Anatolia news agency said. Dogan news agency said some had been discharged after completing their compulsory service, while others were on leave. In western Turkey, police said they prevented a car bomb attack by detaining four suspects riding in a car to which a bomb had been attached to the liquefied petroleum gas tank to magnify its impact. The suspects had been driving near the town of Buca and planned to stage a bombing in Turkey’s third-

largest city of Izmir, on the Aegean, police said. Bomb disposal experts deactivated the explosive device. Late Thursday, rebels fired a rocket on a military housing complex near the southern city of Osmaniye and wounded the wife of a lieutenant, authorities said. The autonomy-seeking PKK took up arms in 1984 in an effort to carve out a Kurdish homeland in Turkey’s southeast. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in fighting since then. The government has said it will press ahead with reforms to grant Kurdish citizens more cultural rights such as broadcasts in the once-banned Kurdish language on state television. But Kurdish politicians say the measures were too little too late. — AP

The United States should not have dismissed the nuclear fuel swap deal that Brazil and Turkey agreed with Iran last month, Kimball said, calling the plan “an interesting starting point.” In announcing agreement on a draft for the latest round of sanctions just a day after Turkey and Brazil announced their plan, Washington and its allies also rebuked the very diplomatic path they claim to support, the expert added. In the end, Turkey and Brazil-both non-permanent members of the 15-state Security Council-voted against the sanctions while Lebanon abstained. Those votes will encourage the Iran to respond “with more defiance and bluster,” said James Lindsay, senior vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations thinktank. The fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran bars Tehran from sensitive activities such as uranium mining and authorizes states to conduct high-sea inspections of vessels believed to be ferrying banned items for Iran. It also expands an arms embargo and adds 40 entities to a list of people and groups subject to travel restrictions and financial sanctions. US President Barack Obama said these were “toughest-ever” sanctions to target Iran. It was also the first set of measures to hit Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards. “There is no silver bullet (but) things have a cumulative effect over time,” British diplomats said in Washington. They predicted that it would not be the UN measures that would have a real impact on Iran, but any future sanctions implemented by the European Union, the United States or other countries. Overall, the diplomats said the cost of Iranian exports could jump by 20 to 25 percent, which would cause “major discontent in Iran about the state of the economy.” But Kimball warned that if ordinary Iranians take a hit, the punitive measures would backfire, punishing the very people they want to support. “If the general population begins to feel the effect of the sanctions, the regime can easily turn the anger of the general population against the West,” he noted. But the Emirati news website BEDigest said the new sanctions were unlikely to have any major impact on the Iranian economy beyond arms and nuclear activities. “Under US pressure, banks are already forced to limit their transactions with Iranians, but international companies continue their businesses with the country,” the Middle East and North Africa energy sector website said. “This should not have an additional effect on the current situation.” —- AFP

CAIRO: An Egyptian woman wrapped in a Palestinian flag waits with other pro-Gaza Egyptian activists as they prepare to depart in buses carrying food aid intended for delivery to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing, in downtown Cairo yesterday. Egypt has cooperated with Israel in enforcing the Gaza blockade, partly because it is fighting homegrown Islamic radicals and fears Hamas’ militancy could spill into Egyptian territory, but in the aftermath of last week’s deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, Egypt eased its part in the blockade and opened the border for aid and some travel, although some Egyptian activists say it has not gone far enough. — AP

EU set to raise pressure on Israel over Gaza blockade BRUSSELS: European Union foreign ministers will call on Israel next week to lift a three-yearold blockade of Gaza which they describe as “unacceptable and counterproductive”-including to Israel’s security. In a draft statement prepared for a meeting on Monday, the foreign ministers will condemn the use of violence during Israel’s operation to stop a flotilla of aid ships reaching Gaza in which Israeli forces killed nine Turks. They will also call for a “credible, impartial and independent” investigation. The EU also says it is prepared to contribute to a new mechanism for getting goods in and out of Gaza, which would be based on more regular land access and possibly sea crossings to the coastal territory of 1.5 million people. “The policy of closure is unacceptable and counterproductive, including from the point of view of Israel’s security,” a copy of the draft seen by Reuters reads. “The EU calls for a change of policy leading to an unfettered flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons” into Gaza in line with a U.N. resolution. Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza since mid-2007, when the Hamas militant movement took full control of the territory from its rival Fatah, a year after winning a parliamentary election. Israel says the measures are designed to prevent arms being smuggled to Hamas and other militant groups. CALL FOR POLICY CHANGE The EU is the biggest supplier of aid to the Palestinian territories, with member states and

the executive European Commission providing about 600 million euros ($722.3 million) a year. The EU is pushing to free up trade with the territories. In an opinion piece published in European papers on Friday, the foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain said Israel needed to turn its blockade policy on its head by opening the borders and blocking some listed items, rather than completely closing the borders and allowing in only a few goods. “To guarantee full security of supplies, we propose that inspections supported and funded by the EU should be put in place there in conditions acceptable to all in order to ensure that consignments bound for Gaza contain neither weapons nor explosives,” the three foreign ministers wrote. “A similar regime could be considered for maritime consignments bound for Gaza, for example, by deploying EU monitoring teams in Cyprus.” In their statement on Monday, the foreign ministers of all 27 EU countries will reiterate that a two-state solution-a Palestinian state made up of Gaza and the West Bank living side by side with Israel-remains the only long-term solution to the conflict, in which the peace process has stalled. “The aim is a peace deal within 24 months as agreed by the Quartet (in March),” the draft statement says, referring to the United States, Russia, the EU and the United Nations, who monitor Middle East peace efforts. “All efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation must be accelerated. Comprehensive peace must include a settlement between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon.” — Reuters

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian youth jumps over sand on the beachfront of Shatie refugee camp, in Gaza City, yesterday. Three years after Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza, banning all exports and allowing in only basic humanitarian and consumer items, in hopes of squeezing the territory’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers, those suffering most are ordinary Gazans. — AP



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Key weapon against Al-Qaeda

US missiles kill 15 in NW Pakistan

CALIFORNIA: In this Jan 23, 2010 file photo, Abby Sunderland, 16, looks out from her sailboat, Wild Eyes, as she leaves for her world record attempting journey at the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California.— AP

US girl sailor found safe in Indian Ocean CANBERRA: A 16-year-old California girl trying to sail solo around the world is safe and well after a massive search and rescue was launched in the Indian Ocean when she triggered distress signals, her parents and Australian authorities said yesterday. Her parents had lost contact with teenage adventurer Abby Sunderland on Thursday as her yacht Wild Eyes was pounded by huge waves in the remote southern Indian Ocean, but an Australian plane flew over her yesterday and made contact with the girl, Australian authorities said. A French fishing vessel was on the way to rescue the young American, who began her trip in January, her parents said. “The aircraft spoke to her, they told her that help was on the way, and she sounds like she is in good health,” said Mick Kinley of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. “She is going to hang in there until the vessel can get to her in about 24 hours,” Kinley told a news conference. The search for Sunderland involved Australia, U.S. and French rescue authorities sending ships and a commercial airliner to an area about 2,000 miles (3,219 km) southeast of Madagascar and 2,000 miles southwest of Australia. “The boat is upright but the rigging is all

down, which means she was probably rolled by a rogue wave. But she reported that she was fine. She seems to be in good spirits, but that is all we really know for sure,” Marianne Sunderland, the girl’s mother, told U.S. cable television network CNN. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said conditions in the area were poor, with 56 mph (90 kph) winds and an 18 foot (six metre) swell. “It’s a huge relief, obviously. There is a great deal of jubilation and elation that Abigail is safe,” Laurence Sunderland, her father, told CNN. “The severe weather conditions that she was experiencing the day before this all happened have abated. We’re confident that when the fishing vessel arrives alongside that she’ll have about 10 to 15 knots of wind and there will be a successful rescue,” Laurence Sunderland added. Sunderland had hoped to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe alone nonstop but had to give up her chance at that record when she was forced to pull into a port at Cape Town, South Africa, for repairs to her boat. “Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!” her parents posted

on her blog ( The Australian aircraft flew over Sunderland yesterday, reporting the yacht had been dismast and the keel apparently had been detached. Laurence Sunderland said his daughter had all of the safety equipment she needed, including a cold water survival suit, life raft and bag with emergency supplies. Her parents have been criticised by some in the media for allowing her to undertake the solo voyage at age 16. Sailing experts have said that she was ill-advised to leave California in January because she risked arriving in the Indian Ocean at the start of the winter season. The area is one of toughest parts of the world to launch rescue operations. British solo sailor Tony Bullimore had to be rescued by an Australian navy frigate in 1996 after his yacht capsized during a race in which another competitor died. Veteran Australian sailor Ian Kiernan, who held the Australian record for solo circumnavigation of the world, said Sunderland’s trip was badly planned, given the mountainous seas and huge wind strengths of winter in the area. “I don’t know what she’s doing in the Southern Ocean as a 16-year-old in the middle of winter. It’s foolhardy,” Kiernan said. —Reuters

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan: A volley of US missiles killed 15 alleged militants in an extremist stronghold in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, the second such strike in less than 12 hours, officials said. The Obama administration regards missile attacks from drone aircraft as a key weapon against Al-Qaeda and the Taleban close to the Afghan border. Last month, Al-Qaeda’s reputed No. 3 official, Mustafa al-Yazid, was reported killed in a similar

strike in the North Waziristan region. Six missiles were fired in yesterday’s attack on a house in a village close to the border, two intelligence officers said. They were not authorized to give their names. Yousaf Khan, a government administrator in the region’s main town of Miran Shah, said 15 alleged militants were killed. He said officers were still gathering information about the identities of the victims.

Late Thursday, two people were killed in another strike in North Waziristan. Officials did not say whether they were believed to be militants. Pakistan is under pressure to launch a military offensive in the region, but the army says it is too stretched and committed to other parts of the border region to do so anytime soon. There have been more than 35 suspected missile strikes this year alone, the highest tempo since the attacks began in earnest in 2008. The attacks have killed many hundreds of people, most identified by Pakistani officials after the strikes as suspected militants. There have also been many accounts of civilian deaths. Washington does not acknowledge firing the missiles, let alone say who they are killing. Critics say the attacks may violate international law and amount to extrajudicial killings. Pakistan’s government publicly opposes the strikes to prevent domestic critics from accusing it of conspiring with United States in killing its own citizens. But it is widely believed to provide intelligence assistance for at least some of the strikes. The

Pakistani capital, police said. The attackers struck as the former officer was in his car and preparing to leave his Islamabad home. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear, police

Friday, June 11, 2010

drones either take off from bases across the border in Afghanistan or reportedly from secret bases within Pakistan. Also yesterday, gunmen shot and wounded a retired army colonel in the

spokesman Naeem Iqbal said. However, targeted assaults on military brass have occurred at least three other times in Islamabad over the past year, killing one officer. — AP

Sri Lanka moves to allow president to run again COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government has approved lifting the two-term limit for presidents in a move that would allow incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse to run for office again, an official said yesterday. Rajapakse, 64, came to power in 2005 and


Friday, June 11, 2010 Which is the country which holds the most number of appearances at the final match of the world cup?

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani truckers gather as the burnt-out wrecks of NATO supply trucks used for carrying military vehicles are removed on the outskirts of Islamabad. An unprecedented assault on at least 30 trucks packed with military vehicles and NATO supplies on the outskirts of Islamabad killed seven people this week and renewed fears about insecurity in nuclear-armed Pakistan. — AFP

has increased his firm grip on power since defeating the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year after nearly four decades of bloody ethnic conflict. The president’s family hold key positions on the island, with three brothers taking the roles of defence secretary,


Saturday, June 12, 2010 Which player holds the most number of World Cup title wins?

Brazil's Pele

Brazil - Germany Argentina- Urugay

Germany's Lothar Matthåus

England - France

--Italy's Paolo Maldini


Speaker of parliament and economic development minister. His son was also elected to parliament in April. The cabinet endorsed the statute change on Wednesday, a spokesman for the government information department said. —AFP




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Race against time to sanitize lead-epidemic hit Nigeria DARETA, Nigeria: Armed with hoes and shovels, men clad in protective suits carefully and steadily excavate a layer of soil contaminated with dangerous levels of lead around a homestead in northern Nigeria. The farming village, one of six hit by a lead poisoning epidemic linked to illegal gold mining in northern Nigeria, has lost 61 children in recent weeks. Foreign environmental experts aided by dozens of young men from the village have slowly started the painstaking exercise to clean up homes with high lead contamination. The plan is to decontaminate six villages in northern Nigeria's Zamfara state affected by lead poisoning which has killed hundreds of people, especially children in recent

months. "It is a simple process of taking off five centimetres of the soil and replacing it with clean soil because the lead is still on the surface," Ian von Linden of the US-based environmental engineering firm Terra Graphics, who is heading the operation, told AFP. Workers stuff the lead-bearing soil into plastic grain sacks and heap it outside the mud huts awaiting disposal. As simple as the cleaning up process may appear, experts and villagers fear it could be stalled by a four-month long rainy season which has just started. "We are in a good-bad situation. Rains in some sense might help us by washing away some of the lead but the real downside is that

it can push the lead deeper than the soil thickness we are taking off and if that happens we have to wait till the end of the season," said Linden. At least 70 of the 112 homes in this 2,000strong remote village with lead levels up to 125 times higher than the standard amount of lead exposure accepted for residential soil have been slated for clean up, but nine days into the exercise work has started in only two homes. "We are under a kind of pressure," said Linden. And the decontaminators need to move faster. Already the neighbouring Abare village which lost over 100 children to the lead poisoning is "crying for urgent attention", one of the environmentalists said. "We have a bigger problem than we know,

surveillance is very poor. The two villages are just a tip of the iceberg," the expert said on condition of anonymity, adding that the official casualty figure has been underestimated. Nigerian health officials maintain that 355 people have been poisoned since the start of year out of whom 163 died, 111 of them children below the age of five. "There have been more deaths from lead poisoning here than in the whole world combined in the last 40 years," Linden said. Remote and with a rough terrain, Dareta village, like most villages in the area, is only accessible by four-wheel drive cars. Village ruler Muhammad Bello is disturbed at the prospect that the village might be rendered

totally inaccessible, should the rains intensify. High heaps of clean soil just delivered dot parts of the village and more deliveries are coming in. The region recorded its first heavy rains late this week which muddied the roads, making it more difficult to traverse by even by all-terrain cars. "We hope the work is finished in less than a month otherwise the village will be cut off because we have no bridges to cross the streams that fill up with the heavy rains," Bello said. In addition to the dead, there are over 300 children with high lead contamination well above hospitalization levels, according to Linden. At least 20 of the children have shown

signs of neurological disorder and been seized by occasional bouts of mental imbalance and abnormal behaviour, said residents. Survivors are at risk of various degrees of brain damage and the longer it takes to treat them the worse they could get, said Linden. Here children still play around the ponds and the open wells used for the final stages of gold extracting processes and already identified to have high lead levels. Medecin Sans Frontiers (MSF) which has set up a clinic at Bukkuyum, 80 kilometres away to treat lead-poisoned children from nearby Yargalma village, where over 100 toddlers died, plan to set up one in Dareta in coming weeks, according to its project leader, Andreas Haggstrom.— AFP

26 killed in ethnic clashes

Kyrgyzstan imposes state of emergency BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan's interim government declared a state of emergency and slapped a curfew on southern parts of the country yesterday after ethnic clashes left at least 26 people dead and over 300 wounded. Interim President Roza Otunbayeva-whose government has struggled to assert its rule over the ex-Soviet state since taking power amid unrest in April-backed off earlier statements that authorities had regained control. "The situation remains tense. Similar conflicts occurred in the month of May. Then we were able to bring the situation under control by imposing a state of emergency," she said in a statement. "Now again we are forced to impose a curfew." Witnesses reached in Kyrgyzstan's southern capital Osh by telephone described chaotic scenes, with gunfire ringing out throughout the day and heavily armed helicopters swooping low over the centre of the city. "I can't leave the city. There are no flights, no cars, no public transport whatsoever," Andrea Berg, Central Asia researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch, said by phone from a guest house where she remained trapped. "There is still shooting going on. While I'm talking to you I hear shooting and it's really not far away," she said. Brawls had broken out overnight between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek groups in the southern city, once the stronghold of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown in April, witnesses said. Buildings and cars were set alight and shop windows smashed across Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second largest city, as groups of armed men battled in the streets with guns and improvised weapons. "About a thousand youths armed with batons and stones gathered Thursday evening in the centre of Osh," Azamat

Ussmanov, a local resident, said. "They broke shop windows and the windows of residential buildings, burned cars. Several fires broke out in the town." The leaders of Russia and China called for calm in Kyrgyzstan as growing unrest there topped talks at a regional security summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in neighbouring Uzbekistan. "We sincerely hope that this phase of internal turmoil is overcome as soon as possible," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at the meeting of the group led by Russia and China. "China and other neighbours will continue to offer Kyrgyzstan all possible help," Chinese President Hu Jintao said through a Russian translator, calling for "a swift stabilisation of the situation." The United States, which maintains a key airbase outside the capital Bishkek seen as vital to ongoing coalition military operations in Afghanistan, also appealed for stability. "The United States Embassy in Bishkek is deeply saddened about the reports of injuries and loss of life due to violence in Osh. We urge everyone to resolve differ-

ences peacefully," the US embassy said in a statement. It added it was "in contact with the government to discuss the importance of a quick return to peace in Osh." The US base at Manas, outside Bishkek in the north, is a key hub for US air refueling tankers and the giant transport planes that ferry US troops and supplies to and from Afghanistan. NATO has increasingly relied on the base as 30,000 additional US forces deploy to Afghanistan. The authorities had sent armoured vehicles to Osh in a bid to restore order, government spokesman Farid Niyazov said. Since last April's uprising, which ousted Bakiyev and left 87 people dead, foreign and international leaders have warned of the danger of civil war in this strategically important country. The latest clashes came just days after the government lifted a state of emergency in the neighbouring district of Suzak. The interim authorities had imposed restrictions there from May 19 to June 1 following violent demonstrations. They also cancelled presidential elections, which had been scheduled for this autumn.— AFP

Rwandan sentenced to life for genocide in Finland HELSINKI: A Finnish court sentenced a former Rwandan pastor, Francois Bazaramba, to life imprisonment yesterday for committing genocide against the Tutsi minority in his home country in 1994. The 59-year-old member of the Hutu tribe, who has lived in Finland since 2003, was found guilty of intending to "destroy in whole or part the Rwandan Tutsis as a group," according to the verdict. The Porvoo District Court said Bazaramba had spread anti-Tutsi propaganda and incited Hutus "to killings through fomenting anger and contempt towards Tutsis." The 115-page ruling, which was delivered as a written statement, said Bazaramba had forced Tutsis to leave their homes and had ordered Hutus to burn down their homes. "The court has found Bazaramba guilty of an offense which ... would be judged as murder or incitement to murder," the ruling said. "For those crimes the only possible punishment is life imprisonment." Bazaramba had denied all the charges. His lawyer, Ville Hoikkala, said Bazaramba would appeal. "Naturally, it was disappointing that some of the charges were accepted ... but a majority of them were dropped because some of the evidence was obtained through torture," Hoikkala said. "We will take the case to the court of appeals." The 1994 genocide was carried out by Hutu extremists against the Tutsi minority and Hutu moderates. During 100 days, more than 500,000 people were killed.

The court in Porvoo put the death toll at 800,000. Bazaramba lives in the southern Finnish town of Porvoo, 50 km east of the capital, Helsinki. He has been in police custody since April 2007 while the National Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation, mostly in Rwanda and neighboring countries. The trial opened in September 2009 in Porvoo, and several sessions were also held in Rwanda and Tanzania. During the case, the court heard 68 witnesses, mostly in Africa. Rwandan officials also provided evidence, including witness statements. Last year, Finland declined a request by Rwanda to extradite Bazaramba, saying he might not receive a fair trial in his home country. The Justice Ministry said its decision was based on a ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal, which has prohibited referring similar cases to Rwandan courts. The governments of Germany, France and Britain have also rejected extradition demands from Rwanda, the ministry said on Friday. It was the first genocide trial in Finland and was held here because the Nordic country has signed international agreements to investigate and try cases of genocide, if a suspect is living in Finland or has been apprehended here. The Justice Ministry said the government had allocated funds in its 2009 and 2010 budgets to cover the cost of the trial, estimated at more than §1.5 million ($1.8 million).— AP

Australian woman freed SANAA: An Australian woman detained last month in Yemen on suspected links to al Qaeda was released yesterday and was flying to Sydney with her two children, her Yemeni lawyer said. "Yemeni security came and took her and her children to the Sanaa airport, where they handed them over to representatives from Australian intelligence," Abdel Rahman Barman said. Shyloh Giddens, who was detained in April, was never formally charged with a crime, but it is believed she was held over suspected links to al Qaeda, Barman said. Giddens'two children, aged 5 and 7, had been kept under house arrest under the care of her housemates. The children will be accompanied by an Australian embassy representative on the flight to Sydney. Yemeni government officials announced shortly after her detention was made public that they were holding several U.S. and French students of Arabic on security grounds. — AP

OSH: Kyrgyz soldiers stand on an armoured vehicle in the streets of Osh yesterday. Ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan left 26 people dead and hundreds injured, the country's health ministry said. — AFP

Russia wants high-tech French warships PARIS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday as Moscow pressed demands that French warships it wants to buy should come with high-tech equipment. The sale of the Mistral-class assault ships is widely seen as France's most ambitious bid yet to reach out to Russia, but negotiations have stumbled, notably over Moscow's demands for a transfer of technology. The deal would be the first sale of advanced military hardware to Russia by a NATO country. Speaking in central Paris at the opening of a big exhibition showcasing Franco-Russian cooperation, Putin said France and Russia must work together to keep their competitive edge in science and technology. "The world is going through a difficult time and we have to stand together to remain competitive," Putin said at the event, standing alongside Prime Minister Francois Fillon. "In scientific and technological areas, we must unite our efforts," he said before heading to the Elysee palace for talks and lunch with Sarkozy. Putin told AFP in an interview on the eve of his visit that a deal on the Mistral, now under negotiation for more than five months, is possible only if the vessel comes equipped with cutting-edge technology. France has said it will not lump sophisticated navigation systems and other sensitive technology into the deal for the ships, that cost about 500 million euros (600 million dollars) each. "For us the most impor-

PARIS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the "Russian national exhibition" showcasing Franco-Russian ties yesterday at the Grand Palais in Paris. Putin is on an official visit in France, including talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy expected to touch on the controversial sale of a French warship to Moscow. — AFP tant thing is to buy technology. That is the future," reiterated Russian Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko on Friday. The sale of the Mistral warships, which can carry 16 helicopters and a 750-strong landing force, has also run into complications over Moscow's insistence that three of the four vessels be built in Russia. "For us, this deal is interesting only if it is accomplished with a parallel transfer of technology," Putin told AFP. Russia's neighbours in the Baltics and Georgia, along with the United States, have raised objections over the sale but France has countered that

Russia must be treated like a partner and not a threat in Europe. There have been concerns that the warships could be deployed in the Black Sea, where tensions are high following the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia and among ethnic Russians living in Ukraine's Crimea region. Russia's military chief of staff, General Nikolai Makarov, said in Moscow this week that the vessel could be used to patrol waters near Pacific islands that are the subject of a long-running dispute with Japan. The Russian leader met with his former French counter-

part, Sarkozy's predecessor Jacques Chirac, first thing on Friday and was to have talks later with the head of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie. Two other major French energy companies are involved in Russian-led projects to bring gas to Europe: EDF in the South Stream gas pipeline and GDF in another known as North Stream. The prime minister is leading a delegation of top businessmen from Russian aerospace, energy and transport who will be looking at prospects for new partnerships during a series of round-table discussions. — AFP

Pope begs forgiveness, promises action on abuse

VATICAN: Priests pray during a meeting in St Peter's Square at the Vatican attended by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the end of the Church's year of the priest on Thursday. Thousands of priest from around the world gathered in St Peter's square in a major show of support for Pope Benedict XVI amid the clerical abuse scandal. — AP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness yesterday from clerical abuse victims for the sins of priests and promised to "do everything possible" to ensure that prelates don't rape or molest children ever again. Benedict's pledge was similar to comments he has made in the past. But it was uttered in the highly symbolic setting of a Mass in St. Peter's Square concelebrated by 15,000 white-robed priests, all marking the end of the Vatican's Year of the Priest — a year marred by revelations of hundreds of new cases of clerical abuse, cover-ups in several nations and Vatican inaction to root out pedophiles. In his homily, Benedict lamented that during what should have been a year of joy for the priesthood the "sins of priests came to light — partic-

ularly the abuse of the little ones." "We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again," he said. He said in admitting men into the priesthood and in forming them as clergymen "we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life's dangers." His comments were similar to those reported by the Vatican during his private meeting with abuse victims in Malta in April, during which the pontiff had tears in his eyes as he heard the stories of

men molested by priests as children. Benedict also made similar comments last month en route to Portugal, in which he acknowledged that the "sins from within the church" were responsible for the scandal, not the media or some outside anti-Catholic lobby. As such, yesterday's comments were a public admission of the sins of priests, a request for forgiveness from their victims and God, and pledge to take action _ all delivered before priests who came to Rome from around the world to support the pontiff and the priesthood itself amid the scandal. Victims groups who had been hoping for a mea cupla and clear-cut action plan to protect children weren't satisfied. "A promise is nominally more helpful than an apology.

But promises are usually easy to make, hard to keep and broken often if there's no oversight or penalties," said Barbara Blaine, president of the U.S. victims group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. She said the crux of the problem remained the "nearly limitless power" of bishops and a church structure and culture that allows them to be "virtually answerable to no one." She said that had allowed abusive priests to remain in the ministry for decades. Benedict's own legacy has been tarnished by the scandal, since he was archbishop of Munich in the 1980s when he approved therapy for a suspected pedophile who was allowed to resume pastoral duties while being treated. The priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, later was handed

a suspended sentence for molesting a boy. In addition, Benedict's legacy at the Vatican office that dealt with sex abuse has come under scrutiny. Benedict said the scandal had shown the need for a purification of the church. "Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events," he said. "But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: We grew in gratitude for God's gift." A Spanish priest who attended Friday's Mass, the Rev. Davide Torrijus, concurred. "We have all suffered during the year of the priests" because of the scandal, he said. "It was good for the pope to show also the positive aspects — gratitude for the gift." — AP


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Egyptian yields rise on euro zone, domestic concerns CAIRO: Egyptian Treasury bill yields have jumped since May and may rise further as foreign investors have become more risk averse due to fears the euro zone debt crisis could deepen, analysts and Egyptian bond traders say. Though inflation has slowed, investors have also become more wary of Egyptian securities, especially longer-maturity T-bills, because of high domestic borrowing and questions about succession after President Hosni Mubarak, 82, the traders say. The average yield on 357-day Treasury bills auctioned on Sunday rose 35 basis points to 10.915 percent from last auction on May 13. The yield on 182-day and 364-day bills has also climbed.

Economy seen strong with 5.8% growth "It started when the dollar began appreciating against the euro, causing an ouflow of investments by foreign investors in T-bills and stocks," said Mostafa Assal, a fixed income analyst at Beltone Securities. "The dollar's appreciation against the pound led to corrective action in yields. The foreigners that went out then came back," he added. "But yields are still going up." An Egyptian bond trader said foreign investors had become more averse to emerging market debt in general since the euro crisis. But he said

political concerns about a transition after Mubarak were also making investors more cautious. Mubarak had gallbladder surgery in Germany in March. He has returned to a full work schedule, meeting a stream of visiting dignitaries, but questions about whether he will run in the 2011 presidential race have become more frequent. "First there's the political concern, and then the deficit," the trader said, referring to Egypt's budget deficit, which the government aims to keep at 7.9 percent of gross domestic prod-

uct in the 2010/11 financial year, which begins July 1. ECONOMY SEEN TO BE STRONG Despite concerns about how the government will tackle its deficit, a $1.5 billion Euro bond issue in April was several times oversubscribed, and economists say Egypt will not face difficulties financing its shortfall. Egypt's economy grew by rapid 4.7 percent in 2008/09 when the global crisis was at its peak. Growth in the first quarter of 2010 was 5.8 percent. The bond trader also said euro

zone worries had been the main force driving foreign investors out of Egyptian securities, although some were starting to return slowly even if not in large enough numbers to change the direction of yields. T-bills with a maturity of 364 days auctioned on June 3 rose 22 basis points from yields on bills of the same maturities sold four weeks earlier, while 182day bills auctioned on June 6 rose 19 basis points over two weeks. Another trader at an Egyptian bank said yields had mostly increased a month ago when the Egyptian

pound started its sharpest slide against the dollar in recent months. The pound has weakened steadily against the dollar, and was trading at 5.6750 to the greenback on Thursday, moving closer to a more than fouryear low of more than 5.7025. "Foreigners think the pound will weaken, and that yields will get higher," Assal said. "I think rates will still go up on nine-month and one-year bills." Yields have also been pushed higher in part because Egyptian banks, who are the main holders of domestic

Egyptian government debt, do not have as much liquidity as they did. State banks, which still dominate the market, close their annual balance sheets at the end of the month with the financial year, reducing their liquidity to buy debt instruments. "Because inflation went down, it's a little unusual" that T-bill yields have risen, the bond trader said. But he said this reflected concerns that price rises were not yet under control. The state statistics agency said on Thursday that urban inflation dipped in May to an annual 10.5 percent, its lowest level since August. But the central bank's core inflation rate edged up to 6.69 percent in May from 6.62 percent in April. — Reuters

Total wins Putin support for Qatar in Russian LNG Qatar could join joint LNG project with Novatek

MUMBAI: Standard Chartered bank Chairman John Peace (left) gestures during a ceremony to mark the listing of the bank on the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai yesterday. British banking major Standard Chartered made its debut in the Indian stock market yesterday at 105 rupees (US$2) a share against its issue price of 104 rupees per unit, according to a new agency. — AP

World stocks, euro rise for the 4th day LONDON: World equities extended their relief rally into a fourth day yesterday on optimism over global economic growth, while the euro rose and was on track to post its biggest weekly gain this year. Copper also rose for the fourth day in a row, though crude slipped to trade below $75 a barrel. After Belgium, Portugal and Spain found good demand for their bonds this week, Italy carried out a successful sale yesterday, easing immediate concerns about funding problems on the euro zone periphery and boosting appetite for the euro, banking shares and battered Spanish stocks in particular. Investors were also optimistic about China's growth, even though fresh data showed inflation in the world's third-largest economy quickened to a 19-month high in May while its factory output and capital spending moderated. On Thursday, Beijing announced a sharp jump in May exports, boosting investors' confidence about its economy's strength as Europe grapples with a sovereign debt problem. "The flight to safety that we have seen out of euro and out of many euro bonds into gilts and into US Treasuries suggests to me there is not a lot of value in bonds," said Neil Dwane, chief investment officer at Allianz's RCM. "When people have maybe seen some of these rather fat tail events settle down again, they could well come back to equities market because the market looks very attractive." World stocks measured by the MSCI AllCountry World Index advanced 0.6 percent,

helped by a 1.7-percent rise in Tokyo's Nikkei average. The World Index has gained 1.6 percent this week but is still down 7.6 percent this year. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 put on 0.6 percent, with oil major BP recovering 7.3 percent amid an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index added 2.4 percent. US stock index futures were flat to 0.2 percent higher, indicating a firmer start for Wall Street. EURO STEADY The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.213X, extending a rebound to the fourth day. The single-currency is up 1.6 percent this week, on track for its best weekly gains this year. "Euro/dollar is approaching an important level at $1.2150 - above that point could see the ongoing correction extend to the upside," said Dag Muller, technical analyst at SEB in Stockholm. "Should we fail to take it out, the market could start to sell, and we can easily get back to those lows." The euro fell to a more than four-year low earlier this week. German government bond prices fell for a third successive day yesterday as investors bought 7 billion euros of newly issued Italian debt in a week that saw strong demand for fringe euro zone paper. The twoyear Schatz yield eased 0.9 basis points to 0.510 percent, while the 10-year Bund yielded 2.628 percent, up 1 basis point. Crude eased 0.8 percent to trade below $75 a barrel, though copper rose 1.5 percent. — Reuters

Australia tax may force Rio investment rethink PARIS: Global miner Rio Tinto would be forced to look at investing outside Australia if Canberra pushes ahead with 40 percent tax on so-called super profits, the company's chief executive said yesterday. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd earlier yesterday denied talk of a swift deal with miners over his controversial mining tax, as global miner BHP Billiton rejected a rumored compromise affecting the nation's top export sector. "I fear under the proposed super tax, conditions for investment will be reversed and we will be put in a position where to protect our shareholder interest we'll be forced to look elsewhere," Rio CEO Tom Albanese told Reuters in an interview. More than $20 billion of new resource investment in Australia has already been put on hold by global miners due to the tax, set to start in 2012. "I urge Australian policy makers to revisit their proposed super tax and recognize it's not in best interest of all Australians to create an envi-

ronment of sovereign risk or a disincentive to invest in Australia," Albanese said on the sidelines of an African economic conference in Paris. The conservative opposition has said it would kill the tax if it wins the next election, expected in October, and voter support for Prime Minister Rudd's Labour government fell to its lowest level since his election in 2007 in a Reuters Poll Trend released on Thursday. Australia, which accounts for the bulk of Rio's revenue from iron ore, coal and other commodities, had been considered a top safe-haven investment destination for miners hunting the raw materials to fuel Asia's growth. When asked about whether its proposed joint venture (JV) with BHP Billiton in Western Australia would be anti-competitive, Albanese said Rio was ready to respond to any questions regulatory bodies had about the tie-up. The proposed joint venture has upset major customers of both companies, particularly in China, and has prompted inves-

tigations by regulators in both Australia and the European Union. "We do respect those regulatory processes and we do say this is a production JV only and not a merger ... We are happy to address all questions and concerns raised during a variety of competition reviews and specifically within Europe," Albanese said. Albanese said Rio and Chinese metals group Chinalco were working on concluding a definitive deal to develop an iron ore mine in Simandou, Guinea, and "was happy to work" with the state-owned Chinese conglomerate. The two companies signed a $2.9 billion pact in March. Last year, a $19.5 billion tie-up between the two groups was scrapped, bruising Sino-Australian ties. "It's got to be done with rigor and no short cuts," Albanese said about the Simandou project. "It's in the early engineering stage. I'd like to see mining over the next few years, "he said, adding that this would ideally be before the end of five years. — Reuters

PARIS: Oil major Total yesterday won Moscow's support to bring Qatar into gas projects on Russia's Yamal while pledging to tolerate no more delays with the launch of the giant Shtokman field, despite weak gas demand. "I told (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin the Qatar government wants to be partner with Novatek in Yamal LNG projects," Total's Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said after a meeting with Putin. "Putin is totally in favor of it. He said on commercial terms it is up to Novatek but as a company, as a partner I support you," he said. Kremlin's approval is key to any energy deal in Russia. Last year, Total won Moscow's approval to sign a deal to partner Russia's top independent gas producer Novatek to invest $1 billion in the Termokarstovoye gas condensate field in the far northern region of Yamal-Nenets. Total is also talking to Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom on participating in liquefied natural gas projects on Yamal in addition to their partnership on Shtokman in Russia's Arctic Barents Sea. "You have possibilities to expand your activities in Russia," Putin told de Margerie.

PARIS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) meets with oil company Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, in Paris yesterday. — AP Gazprom, the world's largest gas reserves holder and a supplier of a quarter of Europe's gas, has been looking itself to expand cooperation with Qatar, the world's No 3 gas reserves holder and a major producer of liquefied natural gas. Gazprom says cooperation

would allow it to expand further into LNG. Some analysts have said the move could also allow major producers to cooperate more closely on prices to emulate the role of OPEC in the oil market. De Margerie did not specify whether he was proposing bringing Qatar into

Oil firms ignore politics to deploy in Iraqi south DUBAI: Rumaila, the workhorse of Iraq's oil industry and its largest producing oilfield, is buzzing with activity as executives, engineers and drillers begin a massive overhaul to nearly triple its million barrels per day output. At the airport in Basra, capital of southern Iraq, officials struggle to process the unprecedented numbers arriving to join the country's nascent oil boom. Iraq may be struggling to form a new government almost three months after elections, but oil firms chosen to carry out the largest oilfield development projects on the planet are ploughing ahead with investments that could take the country into the elite of global oil producers. And, though the old administration failed to pass a new law to govern an energy sector vital to rebuilding the country after years of war and sanctions, Iraq's oil industry is booming. "The companies are not going to sit back and just wait," said Raad Alkadiri of Washington-based PFC Energy. "Iraq's government has itself encouraged this by saying 'keep going and the politics will sort itself out'." The Rumaila project is the most advanced and was the first Baghdad signed, with BP and China's CNPC taking it on. Oil service company Weatherford International is already up and running on the ground there. It was one of the firms that won part of a $500 million deal to drill wells at the field and already has 300 people working in Iraq. "It's still very early days," said Alex Munton of Edinburghbased consultancy Wood Mackenzie. "But the drilling contract's in place and the pace of activity so far is an indicator of them hitting the ground running, as they said they would do." Iraq sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves and has signed contracts that would boost its output by around 10 million barrels per day by 2017, generating an additional $700 million a day in oil revenues at current prices. Though it may never reach that target and output gains over the next year or so are expected to be much more modest at around 600,000 bpd, the contracts themselves have encouraged companies to move ahead as quickly as possible. To start recuperating investment, oil companies need to boost output at producing fields by 10 percent. From Iraq's untapped fields, firms have an early target called first commercial output to trigger cost recovery. Hitting the targets fast reduces capital investment exposure to Iraq by allowing oil firms to recycle money already invested. The faster oil firms hit the targets, the faster they can begin recycling investments, reducing the need for new exposure. "The reality is that the quicker you can get to commercial output on these contracts, the quicker you can recover investment and begin receiving remuneration," Alkadiri said. While the outgoing government failed to pass a new oil law to provide a framework for investment, it said the deals were legal under existing legislation.

So far, legal uncertainty has done little discourage investment, said Hadeed Hassan, a Baghdad-based lawyer for Al-Tamimi & Co, who worked on the deals. "It's not enough to stop them," said Hassan. "They're already signing subcontracts, they wouldn't be signing such contracts if they weren't ready to go ahead and move down south." IN THE FIELD In the political vacuum that has emerged from an inconclusive election, neither leading contender Iyad Allawi nor Prime Minister Nuri Al-Mailiki has indicated he would embark on what would be a political nightmare for the oil companies - a full review and overhaul of the deals. Iraq's take of revenues from the deals is among the highest in the world. It would be hard for the government to squeeze more out of the contracts, oil industry executives say. With so much at stake, a new administration would be reluctant to turn back the tide of activity the contracts has unleashed. Seven years after the US-led invasion, the country is still pumping below pre-war levels. "Iraq has no choice but to move ahead with these contracts," said Luay Al-Khatteeb, of the London-based Iraq Energy Institute. "Any government will honor them, not because they are perfect, but because they have no choice. They've already wasted too much time." Iraq faces huge challenges building the capacity to deal with the size of the oil projects underway. Many of Iraq's most skilled workers and bureaucrats left the country during the years of sectarian violence after the war. That has left its administration and its national oil company with little capacity to deal with the megaprojects at most of its largest oilfields. Already, oil firms were finding Iraq's South Oil Company a frustrating partner, industry sources said. "These are some of the biggest projects on the planet," said one source familiar with operations in Basra. "And Iraq's strategic planning capacity is showing the wear and tear of years of decline and brain drain." Across the administration, efforts are underway to train bureaucrats to handle the surge of activity ahead. "There is an unprecedented level of activity right now in Basra," said Andrew Doust, of Coffey International Development, which has been involved in training over 100,000 Iraqi public sector workers since the war. "This will certainly place greater demands on Iraqi systems than they have ever had before." At Basra airport, the old Iraq is already struggling to deal with the new. People arriving to join the nascent oil boom crowd around a counter for hours staffed by one official approving visas that have already been granted by Baghdad, a consultant who just visited the region said on condition of anonymity. "They can't even staff and manage properly the one gateway to the country for a few hundred billion dollars," he said. — Reuters

Termokarstovoye or some other projects. "Today we participate in the bid as Total. The bidding has been done, we await the results to see if we are qualified," he said. "There are other projects which we are considering with Novatek." Termokarstovoye in the far

northern region of YamalNenets has reserves of 47.3 billion cubic meters-enough to meet France's gas consumption for a year - and 10.3 million tons of liquids. That is dwarfed by Shtokman, which has over 3.7 trillion bcm of gas in reserves. The field is controlled by Gazprom while Total has 25 percent and Norway's Statoil 24 percent. "We need to stick to the agreed timetable. We should not delay anymore," de Margerie told Putin. The consortium, which plans to invest $15 billion in the first phase of Shtokman, delayed the project by three years with pipeline gas expected to flow in 2016 and LNG in 2017. "It is possible we will need help from you (Putin) and (Deputy Prime Minister Igor) Sechin to put pressure on other participants of the project," said de Margerie, without saying if he meant Gazprom or Statoil. "I think Shtokman and projects with Novatek complement each other. There are some people trying to prove that one cannot participate in both. I do not share this opinion. This is why we decided to take part in tenders organized by Novatek," he added. — Reuters

UK factories make weak start to second quarter LONDON: British manufacturing output fell unexpectedly in April, suggesting the recovering economy made a slow start to the second quarter although most analysts said it was too soon to say growth was stalling. Producer price inflation data were mixed but a separate survey by the Bank of England, showing the public's expectations for inflation jumped to a 2-year high, raised concerns higher prices are becoming entrenched. Yesterday's figures embody the dilemma facing monetary policymakers trying to balance a spike in consumer price inflation against fragile economic conditions. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent in April, more than reversing March's 2.2 percent rise and confounding forecasts for a 0.5 percent gain. The wider measure of industrial output also fell 0.4 percent after a strong rise in March and against forecasts for a rise of 0.4 percent. The declines were the first since January but analysts- most of whom had expected a rise-said they should be taken in the context of other survey evidence, which points to a recovery in manufacturing. There was no market reaction. "The setback in the April manufacturing performance is likely to be temporary blip in what is a global rebound that is still in large part just a correction after the plunge in output in 2008-09," said Amit Kara, an economist at UKBS. "Even with the recovery so far, manufacturing output today is still at the same level as 1994, suggesting that there is still plenty of scope to catch up." However, the outlook remains uncertain due to the ongoing debt troubles in the euro zone-the destination for half of Britain's exports-and an impending fiscal squeeze which will dent demand at home. MIXED PRICE OUTLOOK Yesterday's data also showed producers toned down the prices they charge at the factory gate slightly faster than expected, even though their input costs fell less sharply than forecast. "Manufacturers do appear in recent months to have been taking advantage of improved activity to push through some price increases," said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight. "May's reduced increase in producer prices suggests that they may be starting to find it more difficult to do this." The ONS said annual producer input price inflation eased to 11.2 percent in May from 13.1 percent in April, above forecasts for a sharper slowdown to 10.7 percent. Factory gate inflation same in slightly below expectations at 5.7 percent, and core output prices-which exclude food, drink, tobacco and petrol-eased to 4.4 percent, confounding expectations for a pick-up to 4.8 percent. But hopes that consumer price inflation will also ease were dealt a blow by a survey by the Bank of England, which showed people expected inflation to remain well above the 2 percent target in 12 months' time. The survey showed Britons' inflation expectations jumped to 3.3 percent in May, the highest level in nearly two years, from 2.5 percent in February. Consumer price inflation is currently running at almost double the BoE's target, triggering some concerns among policymakers, and raising the risk the central bank may start to tighten policy sooner than most people think. The central bank has held interest rates at their record low 0.5 percent for more than a year. But the BoE's central view is that price pressures will be short-lived and that the large degree of slack in the economy resulting from its deepest downturn since World War Two, will help inflation return to target before the year is out. "Consumer price inflation could well start heading down as soon as in the May data out next week and, hopefully, that should lead to consumers' inflation expectations waning," Archer said. — Reuters



Saturday, June 12, 2010

China's inflation outstrips government target

BEIJING: A Chinese man in a wheelchair search through a trash bin to salvage recyclable materials in Beijing yesterday. China's inflation rose in May amid signs its rebound from the global slump is slowing, adding to pressure on Beijing to keep growth on track and control politically sensitive prices. — AP

Oil falls below $75 on China growth doubts Chinese industrial output falls LONDON: Oil prices fell below $75 a barrel yesterday after gaining about 5 percent this week as investors weighed prospects that the European debt crisis could slow fuel demand growth even in emerging markets such as China. News that the world's No 2 oil consumer China saw overall exports surge 48.5 percent last month helped boost prices in the previous session. But data yesterday showed that China's industrial output slowed in May from April, reviving concerns that economic growth could be flattening. Most analysts are poised for a slowdown in the pace of fuel demand recovery in the euro zone, making the market increasingly reliant on China as the growth driver, while at the same time hindering its potential to play such a role. US crude for July fell 50 cents to $74.98 a barrel by 1035 GMT, despite an early rally in European equities. ICE Brent rose 19 cents to $75.45 a barrel. "We are currently stabilizing towards the

top end of the recent range but it seems to be having trouble getting higher than this," said Christopher Bellew of Bache Commodities. "Sentiment is still fairly fragile and people are worried about the depth of the European crisis." MID-RANGE At near $75 a barrel, oil prices are now in the middle of what Saudi Arabia's oil minister calls the "ideal realm" between $70$80 a barrel. Oil prices have risen for the past three sessions and are now around $10 above the low touched in May during the steep sell-off across the energy complex. But prices are still nearly 15 percent below the 19-month high of $87.15 touched in early May. Technical analysts expect oil US crude prices to retrace to around $73.70 a barrel. Sentiment improved briefly on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) revised up its 2010 demand growth forecast on better US demand for

EMEA lending flat on euro zone volatility LONDON: Lending volume in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in May was near-flat month-on-month at $58.0 billion as euro zone volatility deterred companies from taking new loans, Thomson Reuters LPC (TRLPC) data showed. May's loan volume, which compared with $58.12 billion in April and $44.8 billion the previous year, brings EMEA syndicated lending to $246 billion for the year so far - 21 percent lower than the first five months of 2009. The syndicated loan market remained liquid and open for business in May but was overshadowed by the euro zone crisis which effectively closed the corporate bond and highyield bond markets. Bank funding costs started to rise in late May, capping any further declines in loan pricing as volatility increased in the wider capital markets. Average high-grade loan pricing dropped to 176 basis points (bps) in May from 180 bps in April and 212 bps in the first quarter, according to TRLPC data. "Banks are still very keen to lend, but people are becoming ever more conscious of problems in the wider markets. The recent decline in loan pricing is probably at an end,

so there is less incentive to come to the loan market now," a banker said. LOANS OUTSTRIP BONDS Lending to investment-grade companies dipped 3 percent month-on-month to $41.3 billion in May, whereas lending to more heavily indebted leveraged companies rose by 8 percent to $9.7 billion as a flow of smaller transactions built. Activity in the loan market far exceeded the bond market which saw only $1.4 billion of corporate bonds issued in May, down from $8.7 billion in April, according to Thomson Reuters SDC data, as bond investors spooked by the sovereign debt crisis turned the funding tap off. Meanwhile, high-yield bond volume plummeted 72.8 percent month-on month to $2.1 billion in the same period as rising volatility discouraged issuance, SDC data shows. The outlook remains muted as the end of the second half approaches with just $84.35 billion of loans for non-leveraged companies in the pipeline -- 52 percent lower than last May- and $12.1 billion of leveraged loans for more highly indebted companies showing a 59 percent decrease from the previous year. — Reuters

Sales at US retailers fall, fanning recovery fears WASHINGTON: Sales at US retailers unexpectedly fell in May for the first time since September following a record slump in purchases of building materials, adding to fears the economic recovery was losing some steam. The Commerce Department said total retail sales dropped 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September, after rising by an upwardly revised 0.6 percent in April. Sales in April were previously reported to have increased 0.4 percent. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.2 percent last month. Retail sales, which had risen for seven straight months, were up 6.9 percent compared to May last year. US stock index futures fell on the report, while Treasury debt prices rose. The US dollar fell broadly. "There's no getting around the fact you saw some consumer retrenchment in the month of May. The number is going to call into question the strength of consumer spending for the second quarter," said Kevin Flanagan, chief fixed income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Purchase, New York. The decline in sales follows a report last week showing private businesses unexpectedly held back on hiring in May

after expanding payrolls for two months, a trend which could undermine recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s. Restoring the economy to health is a key priority for President Barack Obama and voter anguish over the slow pace of the recovery could inflict heavy losses on the Democratic Party in November's Congressional elections. Sales last month were dragged downed by a record 9.3 percent drop in receipts from building materials and garden equipment suppliers, which could reflect a drop in construction following the end of a popular homebuyer tax credit. Motor vehicle and parts receipts also fell 1.7 percent, although dealers reported a rise in sales. Excluding autos, sales fell 1.1 percent in May, the largest decline in 14 months, after rising 0.6 percent in April. Markets had expected sales excluding autos to gain 0.1 percent. However, core retail sales-which exclude autos, gasoline and building materials-rose 0.1 percent after falling 0.2 percent in April. Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government's gross domestic product report. —Reuters

diesel and ongoing strength in the Chinese economy. The IEA is more optimistic than the other two main forecasters the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Energy Information Administration. On the supply side, concerns about the impact of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill on future underwater oil development are also supporting oil prices, analysts said. The IEA estimates that between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of new projects could be delayed by 2015 if there were an extended moratorium on new drilling. The flow rate from the spill could be as high as 40,000 bpd twice as much as previously thought-according to US scientists. Separately, OPEC member Nigeria's main militant group said its fighters clashed with soldiers in the creeks of the oil-producing Niger Delta on Thursday, but the military denied that any such shoot-out had taken place. — Reuters

Japanese PM warns of 'risk of collapse' from debt mountain TOKYO: Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday pledged a fiscal policy overhaul to reduce the country's massive public debt mountain, warning of a Greece-style meltdown. "Our country's outstanding public debt is huge," the centre-left leader said in his first policy address since taking office Tuesday. "Our public finances have become the worst of any developed country." After decades of stimulus spending and feeble tax receipts, Japan's public debt is now nearly double its gross domestic product, forcing governments to issue ever more bonds to pay for their hefty outlays. "It is difficult to continue our fiscal policies by heavily relying on the issuance of government bonds," said Kan, the former finance minister. "Like the confusion in the eurozone triggered by Greece, there is a risk of collapse if we leave the increase of the public debt untouched and then lose the trust of the bond markets." Kan has in the past advocated increasing Japan's sales tax, although he has not specified plans that may prove unpopular with voters ahead of upper house elections planned for July 11. "It is unavoidable to launch a full reform of the tax system," he said, also calling for a bipartisan debate on fiscal reform. "If we maintain the current level of issuance of new bonds, outstanding debt will surpass 200 percent of GDP in a few years," he said. Pledging to revitalize the world's second biggest economy after its long stagnation, Kan said: "The duty my cabinet must meet is to break the standstill that has lasted for nearly 20 years and create a vigorous Japan." He targeted average real GDP growth of two percent a year until 2020. Kan said his government would announce a growth strategy by the end of June to promote green technology and biotechology, encourage exporters to find new markets in emerging Asian countries, and support tourism. "It's been 20 years since the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Because the Japanese economy had been in the doldrums, people have lost the trust they had and fear the uncertainty of the future," he said. Kan also promised to revive the spirit of his centre-left party which in elections last year ended a half-century of conservative rule but saw its first premier resign after less than nine months in office. "My biggest duty is to go back to the starting point of the historic power change, overcome the setback and regain the people's trust," Kan said, admitting that "early expectations of the government were rocked massively". Kan took over from premier Yukio Hatoyama who resigned over damaging money scandals and after giving in to Washington and reneging on an election promise to move an unpopular US airbase off the island of Okinawa. Reiterating earlier comments on foreign policy, Kan said he would "strengthen relations with Asian countries while regarding the Japan-US alliance as the cornerstone" of Japan's diplomacy. — AFP

BEIJING: China said yesterday that consumer prices surpassed its official target in May while factory output and investment slowed, complicating government efforts to maintain steady economic growth. New loans issued by Chinese banks also eased in May, suggesting Beijing's moves to prevent the world's third-largest economy overheating were starting to work, but analysts expressed concern about growing inflationary pressures. The consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rose a surprising 3.1 percent year on year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The increase outpaced the 2.8 percent rise in April and overtook Beijing's target of 3.0 percent for the year, potentially increasing pressure on policymakers to hike interest rates. "We have a foundation for price increases to be controlled at around three percent this year. The pressure is rather big but the target can still be realized with continued efforts," NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun told reporters. Sheng said a low base from last year and higher food and housing costs were to blame, adding that price pressures could ease later in the year. Stagflation-a damaging combination of slow growth and rising prices-was not a concern as the economy was still "growing

at a relatively fast pace", Sheng added. Producer prices, a gauge of prices at the factory and farm gate, rose a faster-than-expected 7.1 percent in May and 5.9 percent over January-May. Despite rising prices, Beijing will likely delay a move on rates until later this year to gauge the impact of recent policy tightening and Europe's debt crisis, said Brian Jackson, a senior analyst at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong. "Beijing would like to delay tightening policy until it gets a clearer read of the property market and the fallout from euro-area weakness, but this strategy is risky given the near-term outlook for inflation," he said. Amid growing signs China's economy was slowing, policymakers would not make a "knee-jerk" response to rising prices, said Bank of America-Merrill Lynch chief economist Lu Ting. China has kept rates on hold, preferring more targeted measures to curb the property speculation and bank lending that have fanned inflation. The measures appear to be working. Property prices slowed in May from April while banks issued 639.4 billion yuan (93.6 billion dollars) in new loans in May, down from the previous month, official data showed. New yuan lending in May was less than the 774 billion yuan extended in April.

"China's May data confirmed a modest slowing in growth," said Ben Simpfendorfer, a China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong. Urban fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure and a key economic driver, rose 25.9 percent in January-May. Industrial output from the country's millions of factories and workshops rose 16.5 percent in May, slower than the 17.8 percent increase in April, while retail sales accelerated to 18.7 percent, the NBS said. Worries that the economy could be hit hard by the European debt crisis eased after data released Thursday showed exports soared 48.5 percent year-on-year in May on strong foreign demand for Chinese-made products. While Beijing was expected to keep rates and other tightening measures on hold for now, strong exports meant a revaluation of the yuan was likely in the coming months, said Wang Qing, an economist at Morgan Stanley. "We maintain our long-standing call for a renminbi de-peg from, and revaluation against, the US dollar during the summer, especially in view of the strong trade data," said Wang. Beijing has effectively pegged the yuan at about 6.8 to the dollar since mid-2008 to support exporters during the global financial crisis. — AFP

UK backing lifts BP shares Spill flow rate 'much higher than thought' LONDON: Supportive comments from the UK government helped lift BP Plc's battered shares yesterday, outweighing news that the British oil company's Gulf of Mexico spill is much bigger than previously estimated. Responding to moves by US officials to grab more BP cash for the cleanup, British ministers heeded calls to defend the UK's biggest payer of share dividends and stand up to perceived Britainbashing by President Barack Obama. "We are all concerned about the human and environmental impact and as the Prime Minister has said we understand the concerns of the US administration," Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said after speaking to BP chief executive Tony Hayward by telephone. "The Prime Minister is also clear that we need constructive solutions and that we remember the economic value BP brings to people in Britain and America," Osborne added after calls from business leaders, politicians and newspapers to defend BP. A cartoon in the right of centre Daily Telegraph showed Britannia, an emblem of national pride, dropping her shield and clutching her helmet as Obama delivers a kick to her behind. An editorial in the newspaper said Britain should avoid a diplomatic rift with its long-term ally but defend itself against Obama's "distinctly unhelpful" and "aggressively jingoistic" language. "I don't frankly think we're going to reach a solution, stopping the release of oil into the ocean any quicker, by allowing this to spiral into a tit for tat diplomatic and political spat," Britain's deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told delegates at a business forum during a visit to Spain. Shares in BP, which has lost tens of billions of dollars in value since the well exploded on April 20, gained 7.8 percent to 394 pence, rebounding from Thursday's 13-year low and extending a rally that began in New York overnight. Some bond investors also took the view the time to buy back in had come. "Possibly people have taken heart from the fact that the political rhetoric is not just one side of the Atlantic," said Barclays Capital analyst

Lucy Haskins. A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters he was looking forward to a call with Obama planned for Saturday and expected it to be "statesmanlike and workmanlike". Investors appeared unfazed by news after the US market closed on Thursday that the well's flow rate may be as high 40,000 barrels (1.68 million gallons/6.36 million liters) per day-twice as much as previously estimated. Separately, analysts at Credit Suisse said BP now estimated the clean-up cost at $3-6 billion. BP, which has previously said the cost is impossible to predict until the well is capped, declined immediate comment on that estimate. Worries over BP's dividend payments have also contributed to severe pressure on the company's stock. US politicians want BP to suspend it and divert cash to cover the cost of the clean up, even though the company has said repeatedly that it will foot the bill for tackling the biggest spill in US history. "We are considering all options on the dividend. But no decision has been made," BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper said BP-once Britain's biggest company by market value-may cut or defer the dividend due to be announced on July 27 or offer scrip-an IOU to shareholders. Yesterday's share rise does little to mend damage done to BP shares over the last two months-the company is currently worth just over 70 billion pounds ($102 billion) versus over 120 billion pounds when the spill hit. US scientists said on Thursday that between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day (840,000 and 1.7 million gallons/3.2 million and 6.4 million liters) of oil flowed from the well before June 3, when BP's remotely operated robots sawed through an underwater pipe to clear the way for a capping procedure. That is twice the level of previously estimated-although many experts had predicted a sharp increase in the estimate. US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a congressional panel on Wednesday that the cut itself may have increased the rate by a further 4 to 5 percent.

'CRISIS JUST BEGINNING' Based on a rate of 40,000 barrels per day, the stricken well could have spewed as much as 2 million barrels (84 million gallons/317 million of liters) of oil since it ruptured on April 20, eight times the amount that the Exxon Valdez spilled into Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989. BP says it has collected 73,324 barrels (3.1 million gallons/11.7 million liters) of oil since installing the capping system. "Even if BP were to shut off the flow today, this crisis is just beginning," said John Hocevar, the Oceans Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA. The new estimates, in which BP had no input, could have huge financial implications because under the Clean Water Act, BP and others could face fines up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked . The wide variation in the estimates in the flow rate points to the difficulty in estimating a flow 1 mile beneath the surface and reachable only by remotely operated robots. BP says it is capturing more of the torrent of oil that has gushed from the sea bottom since the April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers and set the disaster in motion. But the almost 16,000 barrels it said on Thursday it had collected in the previous 24 hours was triple its initial estimates of the leak's total flow rate, a point that will not be lost on critics as U.S. public and political anger mount. As the spill spread, heavier concentrations of oil began washing up on Florida seashores late on Wednesday. Until then, debris from the spill had been limited in the state to relatively small tar balls. The spill has soiled 120 miles of coastline and threatens lucrative fishing and tourist industries. Images of oiled pelicans and other wildlife are further stoking public anger with both the government and BP. Despite its huge environmental impact, the amount of oil spewing into the sea is small in terms of daily crude needs. The United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil every day- 10 times more than the total spilt since April 20. — Reuters

ALABAMA: Activity at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the Alabama coast is seen from a Coast Guard HC-144A plane yesterday. — AP

Saturday, June 12, 2010



More than 100,000 email addresses believed exposed

FBI begins probe into AT&T iPad security breach

KUSATSU: This file picture, taken on March 8, 2007 shows a prototype model of the micro medical robot which enables it to stay and move inside a human body to remove or treat the affected part of disease at the Ritsumeikan University in Kusatsu city, Shiga. Doraemon, a blue robot cat from the 22nd century, has been an icon of Japan's manga comic world, but now some of its coolest sci-fi gadgets exist in the real world. — AFP

Robot cat Doraemon's gadgets come to life in Japan show TOKYO: For four decades Doraemon, a blue robot cat from the 22nd century, has been an icon of Japan's manga comic world-but now some of its coolest sci-fi gadgets exist in the real world. Invisibility cloaks, micro-robots and brain scanners reminiscent of the cat's "Dream TV" are just some of the cutting-edge, Doraemon-style inventions going on show at Tokyo's Miraikan museum from today until September 27. Mamoru Mori, a former astronaut who heads the museum, said the earless feline has been beloved of generations of comic fans, including his three sons who have "lived by the thought 'Doraemon will come and rescue me'." Doraemon's world also "became the dream of many researchers and scientists, who have contributed to creating a world that is a little bit more convenient", Mori said at a media preview of the show. One piece of gear that could be straight from the cat's gadget pouch is a "retro-reflective fabric" that makes the wearer appear invisible-essentially a movie screen that, chameleon-style, shows the image behind the wearer. The real-time image transmission gives the illusion that the person wearing the coat is seethrough-an innovation that has not yet been commercialized but could have a variety of applications in future. If applied to the interior of a car, for example, it could allow drivers to effectively "see through" their doors to get a clearer view of the traffic. "Developers also say this could be used by sur-

geons whose own hands block their view of the organs beneath," museum curator Asako Ogita said. Another new gizmo on display could be inspired by Doraemon's "small light" which, when beamed at someone, shrinks them to miniature size-a prototype "medical micro robot" that measures just three centimetres (1.2 inches). Such micro-bots will soon be used inside patients' bodies to illuminate their innards and take pictures, administer drugs and collect tissue samples, say its developers from Ritsumeikan University in western Japan. Another technological marvel is a brain-wave sensor that, organisers say, is reminiscent of Doraemon's "Dream TV", which helped the manga tabby glimpse other people's dreams on a screen. The device by Silicon Valley firm NeuroSky, with a headband that measures brain waves, can tell how hard the wearer is concentrating and shows the result by bringing into a focus an image of flowers on a screen. Despite the wonders of science on show, those who are waiting for a reallife Doraemon will have to wait just a little longer, said Shinichi Hirose, science communicator at the museum. "However, robots that could live in harmony with humans are being developed," he said, as he pointed at another of Japan's latest inventionsmock plants that nod in agreement as humans talk to them. Mori said he could imagine how he might wield the latest technology. "If I wear an invisible cloak, nobody would ask me for an autograph on a crowded train," he said.— AFP

Twitter launches own site for World Cup WASHINGTON: A number of World Cup teams have banned their players from using Twitter during the tournament but the micro-blogging service is getting in on the act with its own site for the event. "We've put together a special site to capture the spirit of the World Cup and it's already pulsing with activity," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone said in a blog post. The site, @worldcup, features a continuous stream of "Top Tweets"-messages from players, teams

and others about the tournament. Users can also isolate messages from regular Twitter users by individual match or team although the feature appeared to be coming under attack from spam. Twitter also published a list of suggested accounts to follow during the tournament which begins yesterday. The Spanish and Dutch teams are among those which have banned their players from using Twitter during the World Cup.— AFP

TOKYO: Japan's Tokyo University professor Yasuo Kuniyoshi unveils a ninemonth-old baby robot "Noby", that is 71 cm in height and weighs 7.9kg, at his laboratory at the Tokyo University yesterday. The baby robot has two cameras and two microphones on its head and also equipped with some 600 touch-sensors under its skin. —AFP

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a probe into a security breach of Apple Inc's iPad that exposed personal information of AT&T Inc customers, including those of several high-ranking government officials. The breach, first reported by the website Gawker, occurred when a group calling itself Goatse Security hacked into AT&T's iPad subscriber data, obtaining a list of email addresses that also included celebrities, chief executives and politicians. "The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyber threat," FBI spokesman Jason Pack said on Thursday. AT&T, which has exclusive U.S. rights to carry the iPad and the popular iPhone, has acknowledged the security breach but said it had corrected the flaw and that only email addresses were exposed to hackers who identified a security weakness. It declined to comment on the FBI investigation. The quick FBI probe into the security flaw came amid reports of several high-ranking government officials on the list of iPad owners with compromised personal information. In all, more than 100,000 email addresses are believed to have been exposed. Goatse could not immediately be reached for comment. One source in the telecommunications industry said it was not surprising that the FBI was looking at the breach. "If there's a high profile data compromise it's not unusual to get a phone call from government officials," said the executive, who asked not to be named. The iPad, launched in April, has already sold more than 2 million units worldwide. The iPad, launched in April, has already sold more than 2 million units worldwide. Buzz around the devicewhich alongside the iPhone will form a pivotal part of the company's international growth strategy-helped propel Apple past Microsoft Corp in May to become the world's most valuable technology stock. But rivals from Dell Inc to Hewlett-Packard Co are scrambling to get rival offerings onto the fledgling market, and the security breach could pose a potential embarrassment for Apple's 2month-old device. Security experts said it was unlikely that other information besides email addresses had been compromised. Charlie Miller, an analyst with Independent Security Evaluators, argued that the breach had nothing to do the iPad's security. "The actual vulnerability is pretty basic, but the loss of data is not serious, in my opinion. The data on the iPad and the devices themselves were never compromised or vulnerable," Miller said via e-mail. George Kurtz, chief technology officer for security software company McAfee, also downplayed the severity of the breach. "I would guess that this application vulnerability gained so much attention because, after all, it is Apple we are talking about," Kurtz wrote in a blog post. "The hype around Apple products-like the new iPhone and iPad-is amazing. However, the reality is this type of vulnerability isn't really news and happens all day long." But the security gaffe isn't likely help AT&T win any friends among Apple customers. The carrier has been criticized by iPhone users for the quality its network. Still, few people thought the security snafu would hurt AT&T's relationship with Apple. "Everybody realizes security is an issue all companies have to deal with," BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said. "Apple has endured the reputation of AT&T's network, which seems to be a much bigger deal."— Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO: In this April 3, 2010 file photo, a customer uses an Apple iPad at an Apple store in San Francisco. AT&T Inc. on Wednesday acknowledged a security weak spot that exposed the e-mail addresses of apparently more than 100,000 users of the iPad, a breach that could make those people vulnerable to precision-targeted hacking attacks.— AP

The Facebook Effect shows site's origin and its impact The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World" (Simon & Schuster, 372 pages, $26), by David Kirkpatrick: Many of us use Facebook nearly every day, some of us multiple times a day, without giving much thought to how the world's most popular social network came to be. As it turns out, the story is fascinating, and somewhat complicated. Fortunately, journalist David Kirkpatrick is an able guide, taking readers on a mostly swift tour of the company that started as "TheFacebook" in founder Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard University dormitory room back in 2004 and has since mushroomed into a global company connecting a community that now approaches 500 million users. "The Facebook Effect" opens not with Zuckerberg but with the tale of Oscar Morales, a civil engineer from Barranquilla, Colombia, who in 2008 formed a Facebook group protesting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The Facebook activity quickly inspired massive, real-life protests against the leftist rebels the U.S. State Department calls a terror group. Although the story may sound a bit dramatic to the average Facebook user, it helps Kirkpatrick make an important point even before delving into the main narrative: In just a few years, Facebook has had a huge impact on people and institutions around the world, fundamentally changing how people communicate. From there, Kirkpatrick backtracks to Zuckerberg, circa September 2003, when the then-sophomore installed an 8foot whiteboard , "the geek's consummate brainstorming tool," as Kirkpatrick puts it ,

in the hallway of his four-student suite. At the time, Zuckerberg was experimenting with several online projects: Course Match, a way to let students choose classes according to who was already signed up for them; and Facemash, which let people compare two people and decide who was more attractive. The winner would then be compared to increasingly more attractive people. These programs got some attention, and criticism, at Harvard, but it was in early 2004 that Zuckerberg really lit a fire by launching TheFacebook. According to Kirkpatrick, Harvard had said it would build something like that itself, by stitching together the different "facebooks" that houses at Harvard printed with photos of their students. But since the school had not gotten around to it, Zuckerberg did it himself. As Kirkpatrick recounts, the website quickly spread throughout Harvard's student body, and then Zuckerberg and sometimes-forgotten co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin feverishly rolled it out at other schools. In 2006, it was expanded beyond universities and high schools to the general population. Kirkpatrick's telling of the early days of Facebook is exciting, packed with details like an early offer for the site ($10 million from an unknown financier four months after its launch) and a cringe-inducing description of the broken glass in the pool and zip line above it at the first house Zuckerberg rented in Palo Alto, California, in the summer of 2004. Kirkpatrick, a longtime reporter for Fortune magazine, is not always the most spellbinding storyteller, "The Facebook

Effect" loses steam in the last 100 pages, and the immense number of interview subjects can be overwhelming and confusing at times, but his reporting skills are impressive. The book is packed with interviews from all the key players, including Zuckerberg and Moskovitz. Kirkpatrick's subjects open up about everything from Zuckerberg's personality quirks to Facebook's dealings with investors including Microsoft Corp. and billionaire Li Ka-shing. You get the impression that all, including Zuckerberg, are earnestly trying to be as transparent as the social network they have built. Zuckerberg, 26, is, of course, both the face of Facebook and of "The Facebook Effect." Through Kirkpatrick's eyes, he comes across as sympathetic, incredibly smart and committed both to getting users to share their lives openly on Facebook and protecting their privacy, a contrast from the Zuckerberg that has been portrayed recently in the media as being cavalier about privacy. Kirkpatrick does not shy away from conflict, though, detailing Facebook users' often outraged reactions to changes on the site, as well as a lawsuit (settled in 2008) in which three former classmates accused Zuckerberg of hijacking the idea for Facebook from another social site he was helping them build. "The Facebook Effect" is about much more than Zuckerberg's and Facebook's growing pains, though: It wants to show over and over again how the social network is changing the world rapidly, helping us be more open but also presenting questions about how much we really want to share.— AP

Google calls Vietnam's Internet rules restrictive HANOI: Google Inc. says new Internet regulations in Vietnam raise disturbing concerns that the government may be working to block access to websites and track user activity. An entry posted Thursday on Google's online public policy blog said new regulations passed in April require that all retail Internet locations in the capital of Hanoi must install special software on their server computers by 2011. "The implementation of an application like this one would choke off access to information for many in Hanoi, given how popular Internet cafes are among Internet users in Vietnam," Google policy analyst Dorothy Chou wrote in the blog. "If the regulation spreads beyond Hanoi, it will impose these vague and non-transparent restrictions on users all over the country." It is not clear what type of soft-

ware would be installed, but the blog linked to an English translation of the regulations posted by Viet Tan, a pro-democracy group with members inside Vietnam and abroad. It said the computers must have government-approved "Internet Retailers Management Software" installed on them. The regulations apply to all Internet retailers and businesses providing Web service, such as hotels and Internet cafes, it said. The Vietnamese government considers Viet Tan a terrorist group, but the US has said there is no evidence to support that allegation. Vietnamese officials in Hanoi did not immediately respond to questions about the regulations yesterday. The Communist government does not tolerate any form of dissent or challenge to its

one-party rule. Dozens of dissidents have been jailed for using the Internet to promote democracy. In March, Google said the computers of "potentially tens of thousands" of Vietnamese users had been infected by malicious software that spied on them and also launched Internet attacks on sites criticizing a government-backed bauxite mining project to be built by a Chinese company in Vietnam's Central Highlands. The project has generated heated debate among some Vietnamese who fear it will create environmental problems or lead to Chinese workers flooding into the strategically sensitive region. The government has intermittently blocked Facebook since late last year, and other social networking sites also have been shut down, including one devoted to the bauxite issue.— AP



Saturday, June 12, 2010

10 million fear worst as Sahel faces new food crisis

DAKORO: Photo shows a cattle carcass lying in the sand in northern Niger. Only five years after a severe food shortage north-central Africa is again fearing the worst before the September harvest, with 10 million people threatened in this arid region known as the Sahel. — AFP

NIAMEY: Only five years after a severe food shortage north-central Africa is again fearing the worst before the September harvest, with 10 million people threatened in this arid region known as the Sahel. In Niger alone, the country hardest hit, more than seven million residents-nearly half the population-are in need of food, and both Niger and neighboring Chad have declared states of emergency. Niger's south-central Maradi region is a testament to things again gone wrong: villages and schools lie deserted after hundreds of people fled drought and hunger, some moving to the cities while others headed south to Nigeria. Animals are dying from lack of fodder and water. "This is the worst crisis in 30 years", worse than 1984 or 2005, Alio Mahamane, a member of Niger's farmers organization said. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad and Mali are similarly affected, after last year's insufficient or irregular rains left poor crops and a desperate shortage of cattle feed in a region already suffering endemic malnutrition. The situation has triggered appeals for international aid for this belt spanning the southern flank of the Sahara Desert. While the main planting season for regional staples-millet,

sorghum and notably maize-starts in June, the coming months up to harvest time will be the most difficult, as people try to cope with already sparse food supplies for themselves and their animals. In hard-hit Niger, the situation continues to worsen. EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva warned last week that more than three of the country's seven million hungry suffered from "severe" food insecurity, as the EU allocated an extra 24 million euros (29 million dollars) for the Sahel. Georgieva, who is in charge of the bloc's humanitarian aid, said Niger's hungry include 139,000 children with acute signs of malnutrition. Overall, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 300,000 children under five die in the Sahel each year directly or indirectly from malnutrition. The EU's extra 24 million will go towards diagnosing and treating malnutrition along with other food and health projects, including mobile health units for pastoral communities. It brings total EU aid to the Sahel to 44 million euros this year, up from 33 million in 2009. 'Without aid I'd already be buried' Regional food prices meanwhile have soared amid speculation linked to the shortage of staple goods. After accusations of not anticipating the

food crisis five years ago, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have reacted more quickly this time around. International aid for Niger started flowing in last month, with 21,000 tons of free cereals distributed to 1.5 million people with government assistance. "Without this aid, I would no doubt already be buried," said a farmer in Tahoua in western Niger, as he loaded his cart with sacks of cereal distributed by aid workers. But the World Food Program's (WFP) deputy director for Niger, Gianluca Ferrera, warned of a shortfall of up to 40 million dollars (33 million euros) for Niger alone to make ends meet until September. In Chad, where up to two million people need assistance, the United Nations is working to avert "disaster" and the WFP has launched an emergency operation for more than 700,000 people. "We estimate our needs at 100,000 tons of cereals," said Chadian Agriculture Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke. "So far, we have received 55,000." At Mao, capital of Chad's worst-hit western Kanem region, Mayor Mallah Adji said the situation was becoming "more and more critical" as no rain had been reported yet.

Sixty kilometers from Mao, at Nokou, people make do with whatever dates they can find near dry river beds to survive, said a member of the Action contre la faim (Action against Hunger) NGO. Younger people also leave for oil-rich Libya hoping for a better life. In Cameroon a health ministry official called the food situation extremely critical in the north, where some 339,000 people were being assisted by the United Nations. And in northern Mali, more than 250,000 people are receiving emergency aid from the international community and the central government after scarce rainfall over the last two years. The food situation has been aggravated by a pastoral crisis that has compelled increased nomads' migration southward and increased conflicts between them and farmers, a statement by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said in May before a special meeting on the food crisis. Local representatives meanwhile cite global warming as a cause for the encroaching desert. But in neighboring Burkina Faso where authorities have started selling cereals at lower prices the NGO Afrique Verte's (Green Africa) Philippe Ki said the crisis was "contained" even though "pockets of drought" still existed. — AFP

Indian broadband auction throws up surprise winner New Delhi-based Infotel wins spectrum in all 22 zones NEW DELHI: Privately-held Infotel Broadband Services, which is being courted by India's Reliance Industries, unexpectedly emerged as the only firm to win nationwide licenses to offer broadband in a booming market. US chipmaker Qualcomm and India's biggest mobile operator Bharti Airtel also won wireless broadband spectrum in some zones. New Delhi-based Infotel won spectrum in all 22 zones and will pay 128.48 billion rupees ($2.75 billion). The broadband radio airwaves auction, along with the third-generation airwaves auction is one of the biggest such spectrum auctions globally in recent years. Yesterday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said Reliance Industries, India's largest-listed conglomerate, was in talks to buy Infotel as it looks to re-enter the telecoms sector. Infotel is owned by the son of Mahendra Nahata, managing director of Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) and is unconnected with HFCL, Nahata told Reuters.

Infotel could not be immediately reached for comment and Reliance Industries, controlled by Mukesh Ambani, the world's fourth-richest man, declined comment. Vodafone's India unit, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular, three of the country's biggest cellular operators, did not win broadband spectrum in any of the zones in an auction that, like last month's 3G auction, saw bids that exceeded expectations. India will earn 385.4 billion rupees from selling three all-India licences to six private sector operators who participated in the auction, including Aircel, plus two government carriers. Together, revenue from the two auctions will touch 1.06 trillion rupees ($22.7 billion), about three times New Dehli's initial estimates-a welcome windfall for a deficit-strapped government, although it puts pressure on telecoms firms. To fund its fiscal deficit, projected at 5.5 percent of 2010/11 GDP, the government is due to borrow a record 4.57 trillion rupees ($97 billion) in the year.

But it had assumed revenue of 350 billion rupees from the spectrum auctions while preparing estimates and some analysts have said the bonanza could cut the deficit to 4.5 percent, reducing market borrowings. RETURN OF MUKESH? While 3G allows high-speed Internet access and data transfer on mobile phones, broadband spectrum would enable firms to provide high-speed wireless data links with better coverage than fixed-line broadband-key for Internet penetration in India's rural hinterlands, which have poor last-mile fibre connectivity. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani was freed to enter the telecoms sector after ending a pact last month with his longestranged brother Anil Ambani that prevented them from competing on each other's turf. When the brothers split up the family empire in 2005, Anil Ambani gained control of Reliance Communications, and his brother is widely seen to covet a return to the

industry. Debt-laden Reliance Comm, which recently said it may sell up to 26 percent of the firm, exited the wireless broadband spectrum auction a week ago as bid prices significantly exceeded its business case estimates. Eleven firms bid for broadband spectrum. Cellular market leader Bharti Airtel, which won spectrum in four of the country's 22 zones, said scarcity of slots and the auction format resulted in extremely high prices. Bharti will pay 33.14 billion rupees for the spectrum it won. Bharti, Vodafone and Reliance Comm had paid about $7 billion in total for 3G spectrum in an auction that ended last month. There is no restriction on the technology companies can use to provide services for wireless broadband, be it WiMax or its rival LTE (long-term evolution) technology. Qualcomm had said its interest in the auction was aimed at faster deployment of LTE in India, as it bets on "inter-operability" between 3G and wireless broadband. — Reuters

South Korea, Russia probe rocket failure

VITERBO: A handout picture shows the heart of Santa Rosa next to a metric reference in the main church of Viterbo, near Rome. The teenage saint whose 750-year old mummified body lay for centuries in a church in central Italy probably died of a congenital heart defect revealed by a low-intensity radiograph of the heart. — AFP

Heart defect likely killed 13th-century teen saint PARIS: A teenage saint whose 750-year-old mummified body lay for centuries in a church in central Italy probably died of a congenital heart defect, scientists said. The mummy of Santa Rosa of Viterbo, the patron saint of people in exile, is venerated by devout Roman Catholics and celebrated in a festive procession through the town centre every September. Earlier analysis of her exceptionally well-preserved remains suggested that the 18- or 19-year old died in 1251 of tuberculosis. "But when we analyzed samples from tissue from the lungs, we didn't find any evidence of DNA of mirco-bacterial origin," said Ruggero D'Anastasio, a professor at State University G d'Annunzio in Chieti, Italy and lead author of the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet. A low-intensity radiograph of the heart, however, revealed a structural defect inside the left

ventricle consistent with a rare condition called Cantrell's syndrome, which likewise causes malformations of the diaphragm, lower sternum and abdominal wall. The X-ray also showed signs of a thrombus, or blockage, in the heart. "This is the most probable cause of death," D'Anastasio said by phone. According to legend, Rosa was already performing miracles and preaching penance as a small child in her native town of Viterbo, then under the control of a Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, frequently in conflict with the pope. Viterbo was restored to papal power shortly after Rosa correctly predicted the Emperor's death in 1250. She died a year later, and was canonized in 1457. "We were entrusted by the church with the preservation of the mummy body in 1995," D'Anastasio said. Many faithful believe her body is uncorrupted by the passage of time. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean and Russian experts launched an investigation yesterday after the spectacular failure of the Asian country's latest rocket launch, with some researchers blaming inadequate testing. The Naro-1 rocket, which was Russian-made but assembled in South Korea, veered off course and exploded 137 seconds after blastoff on Thursday. The mishap came after a first rocket failure last year, thwarting South Korea's plans to launch a scientific satellite and setting back its dreams of joining Asia's space race. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said the debris fell into the sea, some 470 kilometers south of the Naro Space Centre's launch pad off the southern coast. KARI yesterday convened a meeting of a joint investigation committee of the two countries to determine the cause of the failure, a spokesman of the Education, Science and Technology Ministry said. "It went wrong after the first-stage rocket completed two-thirds of its work," KARI research fellow Chae Yeon-Seok said. Researchers said this was verified by video footage from a camera mounted on the rocket as well as live TV footage, which both showed a sudden brightening and orange flames of an explosion. South Korea was trying to join an exclusive club currently numbering nine nations that have put a satellite into orbit using a domestically assembled rocket. Its first attempt failed last August when fairings on the nose cone of the Naro-1 did not open properly to release the satellite. "It is very regretful that we were unable to verify whether the faulty aspects that caused last year's failure were properly addressed this time, as we lost the rocket too early in flight," Chae said. He and other South Korean researchers noted that the Russian rocket was a new vehicle that was still under development and whose performance was not fully tested through flights. "When we launched the rocket in the first attempt last year, that was the only flight test before this launch. We have not had many chances to verify its credibility," Chae said. The government put a brave face on the second failure. "Though we humbly accept the results, we shall not give up on our dream of becoming a space power," Science and Technology Minister Ahn Byong-Man said Thursday. — AFP

TOKYO: This imaginary image shows Japan's space probe "Hayabusa" (Falcon) and an asteroid, called Itokawa in the space. — AFP

Japan asteroid-chaser set for Outback touchdown SYDNEY: The inky skies over Australia's Outback will, for a brief moment on Sunday night, light up with a flash brighter than Venus as an asteroid-chasing Japanese space probe makes its delayed return to Earth. The battered Hayabusa will complete a seven-year, five-billion-kilometer journey in spectacular fashion shortly before midnight (1400 GMT), breaking up and incinerating as it re-enters the atmosphere. Down below, scientists will wait to see whether Hayabusa, three years behind schedule and hit by technical problems, has managed to gather the first ever fragments from a moving asteroid, yielding vital clues about the universe. "Hayabusa will be the first space mission to have made physical contact with an asteroid and returned to Earth," said Tommy Thompson, NASA's Hayabusa project manager based in California. "The mission and its team have faced and overcome several challenges over the past seven years. This round-trip journey is a significant space achievement." Hayabusa ("peregrine falcon" in Japanese) will dissolve into a fireball above Australia after releasing its sample canister, which is designed to withstand temperatures hotter than the sun's surface before floating down on a parachute. It blasted into space in May 2003 bound for Itokawa, a potato-shaped asteroid 300 million kilometers from Earth, to collect dust samples believed to yield unprecedented information about the evolution of the solar system. "Hayabusa is hurtling toward Earth at an immense speed, comparable to that of an asteroid impact," NASA's Peter Jenniskens said this week. "The spacecraft will break into numerous pieces, essentially making it a man-made meteor." Jenniskens and a team of international astronomers will watch from a NASA jet at 39,000 feet as the 18 kilogram canister re-enters at a blistering 7.58 miles per second. Hayabusa became the world's first spacecraft to land on and lift off a celestial body other than the moon after touching down on Itokawa, a "rubble-pile" asteroid, in September 2005. But Japan's space agency JAXA is uncertain

what, if anything, the 40cm by 20cm (16 inch by 8 inch) sample pod will contain, after systems designed to fire a pellet to stir up dust on the asteroid's surface malfunctioned. NASA's Michael Zolensky said there was good reason to believe that the landing process alone would have kicked up enough dust for a sample, though he admitted the capsule was likely to return "less than a gram". "When we open it up, I think it is not going to be empty," he said. JAXA's early observations, using Hayabusa's on-board devices, show Itokawa's fragments smashed away from a larger body during a crash, and its parent body was formed in the solar system's embryonic stages. "It's a primitive celestial body that contains elements of an ancient era,' JAXA said. "It was born between several tens of millions and hundreds of millions of years ago." Once the dust pod is 10 kilometers above the ground it will shed its heat shield and deploy a parachute and homing beacon to signal its exact landing location in the Woomera rocket-testing range, in the central Australian desert. Australian authorities will escort JAXA scientists to the touchdown site, and the capsule will be retrieved by helicopter, for air-freighting by jet to ground control at Sagamihara, west of Tokyo. There, it will be x-rayed, analyzed and finally opened by scientists from Japan, Australia and US. JAXA will then have a one-year exclusivity period to study the sample under microscope and infrared spectrometer, as well as to analyze its chemical and mineralogical composition. Zolensky said space dust from Itokawa could provide valuable insights into the development of the solar system and information which could help minimize potential asteroid impacts with Earth. Hayabusa's mission was hit by serious technical troubles. It spun out of control and lost communication with JAXA for seven weeks, delaying its return for three years until the asteroid and Earth again aligned. It is limping home on broken engines with wonky positional adjusters and faulty batteries, but Japan will welcome its return with thousands of devout fans lauding Hayabusa a national hero. —AFP

BP row pollutes Anglo-US ties LONDON: US anger at oil giant BP is clouding ties with Britain's new government only weeks after it took office, but poses little long-term threat to the 'special relationship', analysts say. US President Barack Obama has ramped up the pressure on BP over the disaster, summoning chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to Washington, criticizing chief executive Tony Hayward and firing a warning over shareholder payouts. BP's share price tanked this week under the strain and business leaders and politicians in London expressed concern about the impact on British pension fund that invest in BP as well as any backlash against other British firms. "There is also growing concern that the president's

angry rhetoric is going over the top and risks dividing the United States and the United Kingdom," former Conservative foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind wrote in The Times. Newspapers here demanded Prime Minister David Cameron stand up to Obama when the two leaders speak Saturday ahead of England's World Cup opener against the USA-which could itself strain ties further. However, US State Department and Cameron's government played down suggestions of a rift, while analysts say the allies' primary concern remains their joint efforts in Afghanistan and over Iran's nuclear program. Much hailed in the British press, the historic "special relationship" with the United States has

cooled since the close personal ties forged between ex-British premier Tony Blair and former US president George W. Bush. The Obama administration has stressed its close relations with a number of foreign nations, while Cameron's government promised a close but "frank" relationship with Washington when it took office last month. "This crisis has heightened that sense of distance, but I don't think in the end it'll have long-term damaging consequences," said Michael Cox, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics (LSE). He acknowledged the pressure on BP was taking on a patriotic bent, noting the

"peculiar" use of BP's old name, "British Petroleum", by the White House. BP is far from a British firm any more-it employs 22,000 people in the United States and only 10,000 in Britain, while six of its directors are American and six British. But Cox noted that Obama was under "a huge amount of domestic pressure" and "it's easier to direct attention to an apparently foreign company". Amid fears of what BP will have to pay out for the oil-spill, US officials are looking to suspend shareholder dividends until compensation is paid. But analysts at investment bank UBS say it is Obama's pressure as much as any economic fallout from the spill that caused the share price to collapse this week. — AFP

Saturday, June 12, 2010



Amid climate war, US Senate upholds greenhouse gas rules WASHINGTON: The US Senate on Thursday narrowly beat back an effort led by President Barack Obama’s Republican foes to curb the US government’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming. After a bitter debate focused on stalled efforts to advance comprehensive legislation to battle climate change, lawmakers voted 53-47 to block action on a resolution authored by Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of oilrich Alaska. Murkowski’s measure would have barred the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving to restrict carbon emissions from vehicles and industrial activity-notably power plants-under the US Clean Air Act. Obama praised the vote, calling it “yet another reminder” of the need for a comprehensive energy and climate bill. “Today, the Senate chose to move America forward, towards that clean energy economy - not backward to the same failed policies that have left our nation increasingly dependent on foreign oil,” he said in a statement. The legislative battle stemmed from a 2007 decision by the US Supreme Court requiring the government to decide whether carbon dioxide gas emissions pose a threat to human health.

The EPA subsequently issued an “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. But with November mid-term elections dominating the US political landscape, the debate over the resolution centered on potential job-losses from EPA action and on the pros and cons of a more sweeping effort to fight climate change. The White House and supporters of the regulation both argued that they would prefer the US Congress act on comprehensive energy legislation, but split on whether government agencies could or should act on climate change until then. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid branded Murkowski’s resolution “a great, big gift to big oil” firms that would “increase pollution, increase our dependence on foreign oil, and stall our efforts to create jobs and, in doing so, move to a clean-energy economy.” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell denounced EPA action as a “blatant power grab” stemming from Democratic inability to push through a comprehensive energy bill, which he branded as a new tax measure. “Now that it’s clear Congress won’t pass this new national energy tax this year, the administration has shifted course and

is now trying to get done through the back door what they haven’t been able to get through the front door,” he charged. Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s number two Democrat, said lawmakers faced “a choice between real science and political science”-the global scientific consensus on climate change versus pre-election politicking. Republicans said that efforts by the government to impose new regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions would hamper big business and severely harm the economy as it recovers from the worst economic crisis on record. Obama has been pushing Democrats in Congress to use the Gulf oil disaster, which he says shows the folly of over-reliance on fossil fuels, to launch a new bid to pass climate change legislation that is mired in the Senate. The White House had warned Obama would veto the measure if it cleared the Congress. Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace reacted with alarm to the vote, which saw six Democrats join Republicans in seeking to block the planned EPA rules, warning the result “was nowhere near a blowout in our favor.” “It is a sign that Congress is not prioritizing clean energy,” the group said in a statement. — AFP

MADUO: Ice melts in the source region of China’s Yellow River outside of Maduo on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, known as the “Roof of the World, in northwestern Qinghai province. Global warming and environmental degradation on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau are cutting into water resources for Asia’s mightiest rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong, experts say, as melting glaciers and permafrost along the mountain ranges are leading to erosion of the plateau’s grasslands and wetlands. — AFP



Saturday, June 12, 2010

va Longoria Parker is being sued for $10,000 by the former managers of her restaurant Beso Vegas on the Las Vegas strip. The ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress has reportedly been accused of using scare tactics to push part owners Ronan and Mali Nachum out of their job at the restaurant and attached nightclub Eve. As well as accusing them of stealing cash, the pair were also said to have assaulted a server and punched a female patron in a document sent out by Eva and other part-owners including Jonas Lowrance. The actress also is said to have written an email to the couple saying she needed to “discuss where my money is” before arranging a meeting, which was attended by six large men who handed them a restraining order asking them to leave or be arrested. Co-owner Jonas even filed for a protection order against Mali, claiming he was “repeatedly put in fear of the immediate threat of harm to my person and property interest at Beso,” and that her presence at the restaurant put his “physical and mental safety at grave risk.” In addition,Ronan and Mali claim an email was sent out with racial undertones, suggesting acts such as P. Diddy and Kelis playing at the venue and other “ghetto events” would “scare off the high-end customers in the night club. The pair are suing for $10,000 for breach of contract and abuse of process and civil conspiracy against both Eva and Jonas. They are also hoping to win their jobs back.


essica Biel sometimes feels “tortured” by fashion. The stunning actress - who is dating heartthrob singer Justin Timberlake - admits she’s not a natural style icon and wears whatever she feels comfortable in but sometimes worries she doesn’t look good enough. She said: “I’m not someone who has this amazing instinct about fashion. Sometimes I cannot be bothered, kind of like today. I just throw on whatever is comfortable. Other days I will torture myself - do I want to do funky and cool, or feminine?”


ori Spelling always thinks her husband is cheating on her. The actress - who met spouse Dean McDermott when he was still married - admits she can’t control her jealousy and regularly thinks female callers to their home are sleeping with her partner. She said: “We’re a loving couple, but were human and definitely not perfect. Given our history I often get worried that Dean is going to cheat on me. If the phone rings and it’s a girl’s voice I have to ask if he’s having an affair.” Tori - who has two children, Liam,


im Kardashian is refusing to let her love of chocolate ruin her newly-slim figure. The reality TV star recently shed 15lbs in weight but is determined to keep her curves in check by making sure she exercises regularly to make up for her indulging in the occasional treat. She said: “I do love my sweet things and my chocolate but that only means I have to work out harder and more often. That’s the trick - you can have a little of what you like but then you have to balance that in some way. For me that’s exercise so it’s no problem.” While she is happy to undergo regular workouts, Kim recently revealed she always needs to look stylish when she goes to the gym. The 29year-old socialite - who recently launched her own work-out apparel brand Bravada International - said: “The line is something that I’ve aligned myself with because it’s something that I wear all the time. “I mean, it’s really hard for me to find fitness clothes and the sports bras sometimes don’t fit, or the


ihanna doesn’t think there are enough black women in fashion. The ‘Russian Roulette’ singer believes her advertising campaign for fashion house Gucci was a “big deal” because it was such a break from convention. She said: “It’s clear there are definitely fewer black women in the high-fashion industry. One of the things I respected most about Gucci was that they did a print campaign with me. I’m a black girl on a fashion spread for Gucci - that was a big deal.” The Barbados-born beauty also spoke of her “respect” for designers who refuse to stick to using slender, white women models and promote diversity on the catwalk. She added to America’s Elle magazine: “I respect designers who aren’t afraid to go outside the box. I went to a Jean Paul Gaultier show, and I saw girls who are thicker than me, beautiful and voluptuous and different ethnicities. That made me so excited. I thought, ‘Okay, I can work that, for sure.’ “Rihanna, 22, has previously spoken about how “fun” she finds fashion. She said: “Fashion is not a burden for me. It’s quite the opposite. Fashion is just like music a great way to show my creativity. Style and design are very important for my development as an artist. And it’s of course extremely fun.”

three, and two-year-old Stella, with the actor - admits Dean constantly reassures her that he is faithful, and though she believes him, she can’t stop herself from making the accusations. She added to People magazine: “Dean has never been anything but devoted, and he tells me over and over again that he would never do that. Deep down I believe him. But I can’t stop myself. For some reason I’m compelled to accuse him of cheating. “I apologise to Dean constantly and it drives him crazy and rightfully so.”

pants are all different sizes - this line is all only one size and it really does fit all my sisters and they’re all different sizes. It’s so stretchy, and it’s stylish. You wanna look good when you go to the gym. You wanna feel your best.”

om Cruise knew he wanted to marry Katie Holmes after the first day he met her. The 47-year-old actor - who has a four-year-old daughter, Suri, with the brunette actress realized Katie was his dream woman almost instantly and was convinced she would be his wife. He told Britain’s OK! magazine: “I knew that I wanted to marry her after the first day I met her. “What’s even more interesting is that Katie confessed that when she was a teenager she dreamt of marrying me. Doesn’t it seem incredible?” Katie is not the only person the father-ofthree immediately knew he had a connection with, he also felt close to England soccer superstar David Beckham from the first time they met. He explained: “David and I became friends from the very start. I really admire him as a person, father, husband, and athlete. He’s absolutely fantastic. “He’s got a great competitive spirit and he’s a tireless worker with a clear mind and a solid body.” Tom and Katie, 31, are now reportedly trying for another baby to give Suri a sibling, as the former ‘Dawson’s Creek’ star feels now is the right time in her life. A friend of the couple revealed: “She no longer feels like she’s just Mrs. Cruise. She’s her own person again.”



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— Bang Showbiz

Jessica admits she’s quite a tomboy and has always liked wearing casual clothes. She told America’s Glamour magazine: “Yeah. I literally spent most of my teenage years in Umbro shorts and No Fear T-shirts.” Jessica is known for her slender figure and says it’s a result of regular exercise. She said: “I like to do a couple of yoga classes during the week, mixed in with weight training sessions for strength. And yoga for me is more of an elongating thing. I hike and walk my dogs a lot. It keeps me very clear-headed.”



Saturday, June 12, 2010

A security guard (R) watches as employees pose for photographers with Andre Derain’s ‘Arbes a Collioure’ (L), Edouard Manet’s ‘Self-Portrait with a Palette’ (C), and Henri Matisse’s ‘Odaliques jouant aux dames’ during a photocall for the forthcoming Impressionist & Modern Art sales, at Sotheby’s in London yesterday. The paintings are set to be auctioned on June 22 & 23. — AFP


hen a movie hits big, almost no one cares what was spent; when a release fails to make opening-weekend estimates or has a 60% drop-off during its second week, everyone begins pointing fingers. Consider MGM’s $30 million to tub-thump “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which cost about $35 million to make: First-week gross was $20 million, dropping 60% the following week and winding up with $50 million in domestic gross. Or Disney’s $200 million production “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” which has raked in $63 million domestically to date against a prints-and-advertising spend stateside of $75 million. On the other hand, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” similar in cost and marketing budget to “Prince,” has grossed $334 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide. In short, there might not be a more daunting challenge than opening a major motion picture: Create an internationally recognized brand name that lasts a lifetime, and do it in a couple of weeks with no second chances to course-correct. It’s little wonder that the average P&A (prints and advertising) spend for major releases last year topped $37 million, according to Baseline Intelligence, the highest number since 2003, when the six largest studios spent an estimated average of $39.5 million on P&A in North America. For the past seven years, domestic P&A has

accounted for 34%-37% of combined production and domestic-releasing costs for movies released by the six big studios. In fact, after taking a big jump in 2003, the combined negative plus domestic P&A has hovered around the $100 million-a-film mark, with last year hitting $102.3 million, up from $87.9 million in 2008, according to Baseline Intelligence. Looked at another way, for every dollar spent on producing a major film, the studios have been spending 51 cents-58 cents to release and market it in the United States and Canada. Assuming distributors get an average of 55% of domestic ticket sales, the average 2009 release had to gross $186 million to recoup production and domestic-releasing costs-an unrealistic goal for all but a handful of titles-which is where the international brand-building challenge kicks in. The connection between production budgets and P&A spend is repeated at the individual studio level. Last year, Paramount had the highest average negative cost ($87.7 million) and highest P&A average ($50 million a release). Universal had the lowest average negative cost ($51.7 million) and lowest P&A ($30.4 million). The “P” portion of prints and advertising represents less than 10% of the overall spend, and with digital distribution becoming more widespread it is heading downward. The actual cost of a print can vary widely depending on the volume of prints ordered,

talian designers Dolce & Gabbana have teamed up with Bacardi’s vermouth brand Martini to launch their first cobranded drink this month in a rare diversification move for the fashion duo. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have designed and tested the drink which will be unveiled during Milan’s upcoming menswear fashion week, the fashion house said on Thursday. “As a result of a joint commitment, this new co-branding project strengthens a partnership started more than 10 years ago,” Dolce & Gabbana said in a statement.


Fashion duo worked on design, packaging, taste Unlike many fashion groups which branched out into jewellery, tableware or hotels to tap a wider client base amid the global financial downturn, the fashion duo has been cautious over diversification. The drink marks the debut of Dolce & Gabbana in the wines and spirits sector and is their second cobranded product after launching a mobile phone with Motorola five years ago. As part of their partnership with Martini, the designers have opened bars at their stores in Milan and Shanghai and launched a menswear line. Privately-owned Bermuda-based Bacardi, which owns the Martini vermouth brand, will produce and sell the drink. Dolce & Gabbana celebrate the 20th anniversary of their menswear line on June 19-20 in Milan. — Reuters

the film-release stock chosen, length of the movie and quality-control considerations. Prices can range from less than $1,000 to more than $3,000, but what the majors pay is based on volume deals cut in aggressive negotiations between high-level studio and lab executives and might include rebates from such film-stock manufacturers as Kodak and Fuji. Through the years, there have been periodic attempts to control escalating P&A spending, which can soar to the $85 million range on big “tentpole” releases involving 4,000 screens. This includes finger-pointing at ego-driven demands by actors and directors to blanket major-city skylines with giant billboards and lavish creative campaigns. But Nielsen Ad*Views data suggest that the overwhelming portion of the spend is on television advertising. Last year, Nielsen estimates that of the $26.5 million in media spent on the opening weekend of a 2,000- to 5,000-screen release, 80% went to network, cable and spot TV buys. In contrast to just about every other product release, a movie faces a singular challenge: It must create near-instant national brandname recognition within a span of a few days to a couple of weeks. The only way to do this, especially with a highly visual product like a film, is with a well-crafted TV spot campaign. While overall TV viewership is at record levels, it also is increasingly fragmented across dozens of

ver a synth-heavy dance track, Christina Aguilera sings on her new album: “Every day I see myself I love me even more. ... Let us not forget who owns the throne.” Then, her son Max’s voice pipes up: “You do, Mommy.” Does she? Aguilera is returning to music after four years away from stadium tours and Billboard charts: The multiplatinum Grammy-winner took some time to just “be married,” as she says, and spent the last two years raising her son with husband Jordan Bratman. And while she is confident she will regain her old spot at the top of the pop world, the comeback so far has not gone exactly according to plan. First single “Not Myself Tonight” peaked at 23 on the Hot 100 and is now at 73. Its black leather-and-lace, S&M themed-video was picked apart as hewing too close to clips from current pop queen Lady Gaga. A summer tour was announced but canceled within weeks. In an interview, the 29-year-old singer makes no apologies. Aguilera says she ruled out the tour to gain more time to prepare and gauge which songs on “Bionic” fans will want to hear live. “I put on a big show. I create sets, costumes. There’s major choreography and dance numbers. All of that goes along with a huge production. And I started to feel this is not the right time,” she said. “It’ll be a much better and bigger show when I have time to properly plan.” She notes that she has sported big, bold hairstyles, fashion and makeup since 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” and says this of the 24-year-old Gaga: “I’ve always done what I’ve done as far as push boundaries and take risks. ... I think now more than ever, it’s being accepted to do those kinds of things. So more power to her. And she’s obviously a hard-


channels. Spending on network TV actually has increased, from 35% of opening-weekend budgets in 2006 to 41% last year, in addition to an increase from 26% to 28% in cable-network spend. These increases have come largely at the expense of spot TV, down from 18% to 11%, and newspapers, down from 12% to 9%, Nielsen said. At various points along the way, especially with the ascent of social media, there have been calls to shift a larger portion of media budgets to the Internet, especially given that medium’s lower ad rates, massive inventory and ability to target key demographics. This certainly has happened with limited- and medium-release movies. Those bowing on fewer than 500 screens have seen onlinemedia spend jump from 5% in 2006 to 12% last year; 500- to 2,000-screen releases allocated 6% to the Web last year, double the 3% mark in 2006. Industry peer pressure and second-guessing also play a part in keeping P&A spending trending upward. “When a studio like Disney tries to rein in these costs, they are second-guessed and doubted for trying a new media mix and paradigm,” says Jim Lukowitsch, product manager at Baseline Intelligence. Web-delivered over-the-top (OTT) television might open additional opportunities for movie marketers, but at present the Internet remains a text-driven medium, and usage is so fragmented across tens of thousands of sites that it is difficult to

working, focused young woman. And I have nothing but respect for that work ethic.” “I’m no stranger to comparisons in this business and being pit(ted) up against other female artists unfairly,” Aguilera adds. She says the two have not met “but I’m sure that we would get along.” Aguilera says she got along grandly with the likes of Cher and Stanley Tucci last year on the set of her first movie, “Burlesque.” Set for Thanksgiving release, it follows a small-town girl who joins a Hollywood burlesque club, with a focus on sexuality that Aguilera says was right up her alley. But the shoot knocked her out of her comfort zone. “Being the star of the film, it was a lot of hours for me. A very demanding schedule and a completely different animal as far as a creative world,” she said. “All of a sudden you’re thrown into expressing someone else’s vision and someone else as a character, instead of me being so used to releasing myself and my words and my lyrics and my sound and my ideas onto paper and onto audio.” Among those helping release ideas on “Bionic”: Australian singer-songwriter Sia and dancefriendly artists like Ladytron, Santigold and M.I.A. The album is more diverse than 2006’s soulful double disc, “Back to Basics.” It veers between the playful, bass-filled tease “Woohoo” featuring Nicki Minaj and the stripped-down ballad “You Lost Me,” which she performed on the “American Idol” finale. Aguilera says the electro sound that dominates the album was inspired by “play” with her son and a desire to go beyond her reputation as a once-in-a-generation singing voice. “It’s no question at this point. It’s like yawn, yawn, boring, boring,” she says, pantomiming a wide-mouthed, sleepy yawn. “OK, I can sit down

buy in the massive tidal wave needed to create overnight brand awareness-which is where TV outshines all other media, albeit for a premium price. Indeed, TV spot rates are likely to rise as the economy improves and midterm elections, which could draw record TV campaign spending, further drive up spot pricing. The big question facing movie marketers is how to deal with the declining DVD window. Conventional wisdom has been that the massive spend around the opening theatrical window could be justified by the “afterglow” effect lasting into the DVD and even PPV/VOD windows. This was further justified by steady shrinkage of the theatricalto-DVD window, lessening the need for a second big spend to promote the home video release. With Google TV entering the OTT fray-all of which have movie rentals and subscriptions as core offerings-it would be logical to see a further shift of ad spend to online. What isn’t likely to happen is a change in the need to create that initial brand awareness in the theatrical window. Although a small-budget release might bet on multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations to give it a promotional push, that type of strategy is simply too risky for larger-budget movies. It might be the ultimate example of that old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” With movies, it is an impression that lasts a lifetime. — Reuters

and sing a ballad. But let’s have some fun thrown into the mix. ... There’s a side of me that wants to get up with all my dancers , which have now become like family to me after all these years , and put on a song and dance to it and sing to it but not have to go to these crazy insane vocal places. And you don’t have to try so hard on every song to be vocally acrobatic or whatever you want to call it.” But by moving into territory already crowded with the likes of Ke$ha, Katy Perry and, yes, Gaga, Aguilera risks losing her edge, her niche. “To me, what Christina Aguilera has that most other people don’t have is an unmistakable voice,” says producer Jonathan “JR” Rotem, who has worked with Rihanna and Britney Spears, but not Spears’ fellow former “Mickey Mouse Club” member Aguilera. “If I was producing Christina Aguilera, I would want to capitalize on that amazing voice. That’s what she has. With that voice, I’m sure she can sing the dance stuff but she can also sing the timeless ballads.” She’s certainly faced down critics before. The sexually charged video for 2002’s “Dirrty” was initially derided as trampy but aided the former teen princess’ move into grown-up themes and images. (It’s the same road taken recently by Miley Cyrus with “Can’t Be Tamed” as she departs Disney and “Hannah Montana.”) “I don’t do anything that I’m going to regret, basically,” Aguilera said. “Would I do certain things again? No. But there was a time and a place for it when I did it. So that’s always how I go in looking at things. I can never look back. I won’t ever look back. And I won’t ever take anything too close to heart. There are certain things that can be said that can be hurtful and mean-spirited, but at this point in my life ... I have a decade under my belt that I’m very proud of.”— AP

In this photo provided by StarPix, singer Christina Aguilera attends her “Bionic” CD release party in New York Wednesday. —AP

Aiken finds comfort in old songs, new life or Clay Aiken, life now is about being comfortable, from the songs he sings to the life he lives. Aiken’s CD “Tried and True,” released last week, is a collection of 13 songs from the 1950s and 1960s, all of which predate the 31-year-old Aiken. But Aiken feels intimately familiar with the music that he heard as a child, while riding in the car with his mother. The songs, including “Mack the Knife,” “Unchained Melody” and “Moon River,” are not merely standards, but songs Aiken wants to sing live. And since many singers make their bread and butter from touring these days, Aiken says he never wants to record another song that he won’t perform live in concert. “There are certain songs I’ve recorded that I’ve never sung since the studio,” says Aiken, who starts a tour in July with good friend Ruben Studdard, to whom he came in second on “American Idol” in 2003. “So every song on this album is a song that I enjoy singing and love doing live.” The cover for the album features a different look for Aiken: He’s pictured with slicked-back blond hair, not his usual red, in a photo that hearkens another era. Still, there is something comfortable about it: He is sitting in a well-known restaurant in Raleigh, where he grew up (he


US singer Katy Perry performs during the final of the TV-show “Germany’s Next Top Model” on Thursday at the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne, western Germany. The competition is hosted by German supermodel Heidi Klum. —AFP

lives in an area nearby). “I wanted everything to be about being at home,” says Aiken, his hair back to red, as he sits beside his mother, Faye Parker, at her home in Raleigh. Aiken is equally as comfortable talking about his homosexuality as he is

about his music. He came out in September 2008 after the birth of his son, Parker, who was born through in-vitro fertilization to a friend, Jaymes Foster. His newly redesigned Website still has promotions for his favorite projects, UNICEF and The Inclusion Project. But now it also includes GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which focuses on safe schools for all students. Aiken chose GLSEN because of the teasing and name-calling he endured on school buses and classroom hallways. “But the truth is, when I look back on it, I absolutely know that (being gay) is why I got picked on. People said it, we heard it,” Aiken says, glancing at his mother. Even though his mother knew about the bullying, Parker says she did not acknowledge Aiken was gay until he told her at the end of 2004. “I heard the kids call him names,” she said. “I knew some things about him were a little bit more effeminate than others. But parents engage in denial.” Aiken wonders if his endorsement for GLSEN will make a difference for gay kids. “I don’t know what it would have done for me,” he says. “But I feel like there’s a potential impact there.” The 2009 student advocate of the year for GLSEN,

Austin Laufersweiler, says gay teens do care when a famous person acknowledges their sexuality. “The face that significant people identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender gives this cause credibility and it certainly allows one to be more courageous,” said Laufersweiler, 18, of Marietta, Georgia, who just graduated from high school. “It really spreads the message that I can come out in school if this person can come out to the whole world.” The GLSN promotion is another step in gay rights advocacy for Aiken, who spoke in February at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas gala in Raleigh. He also has taken to his blog to criticize anti-gay statements and legislation. Aiken credits his increased advocacy to his son Parker, who Aiken hopes grows up in a different kind of world as far as treatment of homosexuals (Aiken and Foster share custody of Parker, who visits Aiken’s home in two- to threeweek stints typically). “If he’s gay, I want him to not even think about the fact or have to worry about the things I had to worry about,” Aiken says. He adds: “I’m not going to pound the pavement as much as some folks would like. ... But I also think there’s a place for deliberate, thoughtful advocacy.”— AP



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spectators watch the premiere of World of Color water show at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif, in Anaheim, Calif Thursday. —AP

ndia’s Bollywood film industry, famous for its lipsynched singing, exuberant dancing and wet sari scenes, is set to stray into unfamiliar dark territory with a film on Adolf Hitler. According to the director’s description, the movie appears to have more than a passing resemblance to the critically acclaimed 2004 German film “Downfall” starring Bruno Ganz. “The film will recapture the last days of Adolf Hitler, including his life in his Berlin bunker and Germany after his death in 1945,” Rakesh Ranjan Kumar, who is directing the movie, told the Mumbai Mirror this week.


The film will focus on the German dictator’s personality as well as his relationships with his lover and other close associates during the final days of the Nazi regime. Its makers say the title”Dear Friend Hitler”-alludes to two letters written to him by India’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi. Hitler will be played by veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, who once played Gandhi on television, while former Miss India Neha Dhupia portrays Eva Braun, whom Hitler married hours before they committed suicide in April 1945. “Yes I play him. Shoot starts in August,” Kher

wrote on his Twitter feed while on his way back from last weekend’s Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Sri Lanka. He asked fans to send him suggestions for books to read on the German leader. Anil Sharma, the biopic’s producer, said it was “an analytical portrayal of the ideologies followed by Hitler”. “We will try to show his fears, insecurities and pressures he faced while taking crucial decisions,” Sharma said, adding that though the movie would have some similarities to “Downfall” it would be an entirely original work. Sharma said he was still

uncertain whether to include any song and dance routines, but ruled out any musical-style routines by Hitler or Braun. The film, budgeted at between two and three million dollars, will be shot in studio and on location in India’s forests and mountains. No release date has been set, but the movie is intended for international release. Bollywood often reprises the theme of a foreign film with virtually identical plots and characters, but intense material such as Oscarnominated “Downfall” rarely attracts Indian producers.

n the Broadway show “Memphis,” Chad Kimball plays a lackadaisical guy who floats through jobs before wandering into the music biz. In real life, Kimball has two successful careers , at once. The Tony-nominated actor is half of Obvious Clothing, a line of upscale T-shirts that recently launched Lolly Cashmere, a sort of hipster take on the traditional cashmere sweater. Kimball performs six shows a week in “Memphis,” at the Shubert Theatre, a musical about a great female singer in the 1950s and attempts to get her , and other black music , played on the radio. The show won a Drama Desk award for best musical and has been nominated for eight Tonys, including Kimball as best actor for his performance as Huey, the man behind the music. “It’s been trying,” he says of balancing two professions. “But at the same time it’s really fantastic and lucky and I’m really excited about it.” Kimball studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music and has been performing in musicals and plays on Broadway and around the country for several years. His older brother, Todd, was working in insurance when they went into business together in 2006. They had always talked about a partnership as a way to raise money so they could hang on to a piece of property in their family known as “Home Place,” a parcel of about 10 acres (4 hectares) on Vashon Island near Seattle. “We wanted to keep it for our family, our great aunt lives there now,” Kimball said. “So we’d dream up ways to do that.” Todd, the business brain, came up with the idea of selling T-shirts. With Chad as the creative force they created the line , though neither had any experience in fashion. Kimball was working with the show but it hadn’t yet hit Broadway. “The great thing about going into business in a field you’re not familiar with is that you don’t ever know that you’re doing something wrong,” Kimball says. “A lot of times in fashion, people will say, ‘How did you do this? You had no idea.’ I think it’s precisely that. There are no limits.” The T-shirts have a worn-out look. The idea is to take a simple pattern and twist it a little , a blue houndstooth with a flower splashed across the front, or a short-sleeve yellow hoodie with a silvery edge. The design worked and their shirts are now sold in about 250 boutiques around the country, as well as Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The company grew nearly 200 percent last year.


t Canada’s prism-shaped World Expo pavilion in Shanghai, dayglo-suited businessmen juggle bowling pins, royal guards march in “bearskin” hats made of flowers and hockey players zoom on roller blades. After going into orbit last year when founder Guy Laliberte orchestrated a multimedia show from the International Space Station featuring U2, Cirque du Soleil is reimagining its homeland for the millions of Chinese visiting Expo. “We like these kinds of challenges. That’s one of the great things about this company: you can challenge us with crazy things,” executive producer Jacques Methe told AFP during a visit to survey the work in Shanghai. Canada’s collaboration with Cirque du Soleil marks the first time it has commissioned a private company to create a pavilion and cultural programme at a World Expo. For the company, which has grown from a ragtag troupe of street performers in 1984 to a 5,000-employee entertainment giant presenting 20 circus shows simultaneously around the world, it is the biggest step yet in


a new direction: designing and creating standalone venues separate from its performances. Cirque du Soleil, which has long designed its own theatres, is now applying its creativity to bars, galleries and restaurants such as the Beatles-themed Revolution Lounge at the MGM Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. “We are expanding this kind of activity. It will not replace our core business, needless to say, but we’re very interested in diversifying into this,” Methe said. The company is playing the role of creator and curator for the 56-million-US-dollar pavilion, which has been receiving about 30,000 visitors a day since Expo opened on May 1. Cirque brought together acrobats, architects, and filmmakers to bring its ideas to life, assembling an eclectic line-up of dancers, musicians and visual artists for the ongoing cultural programming. It also brought in Canadian corporate heavyweights like Blackberry maker Research In Motion, transportation giant Bombardier, conglomerate Power Corp and mining company Teck as sponsors to help finance it all, Methe said. “Given our reputa-

tion and our track record, we have access to the best guys in the world in all fields. That opens very luxurious possibilities for us,” he said. To create the pavilion, which has red cedar slats fanning out in triangles to suggest Canada’s emblematic maple leaves, Cirque sought help from Montreal architecture firm Saia Barbarese Topouzanov. It enlisted music video directors Felix and Paul for an animated film featuring a Cirque character flying whimsical contraptions across Canada-which visitors control by pedalling stationary bicycles. The creative process begins with gathering “people that you would not expect” to throw out ideas, Methe said-a musical score might start with a composer or an office secretary. “Cirque’s approach is if you have great ideas and you have been doing all sorts of interesting things in a certain field maybe you can join us and bring this out of the box approach to something else,” he said. The Cirque characters who interact with Expo visitors sprang from national motifsnature, hockey and royal regiments, said

A visitor poses with performers of Cirque du Soleil at the Canadian pavilion at the site of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on May 6, 2010. — AFP

Veronique Dussault, who creates Cirque events. “At the beginning it’s a drawing. Then with guards for example, you just add the idea putting in flowers and the rifles become confetti cannons,” she said. “We’re just wrapping poetry around the message we want to bring here.” Cirque performers mingle with the crowd at the pavilion on a regular basis as it would be impossible to do full performances for the duration of the six-month Expo, Methe says. But acrobats from “Zaia”, Cirque’s Macau show, did appear at the first of six gala Canadian cultural events planned during Expo. Ottawa is not the first to ask Cirque to reinterpret its story. Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr-along with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison-as well as the estates of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson have turned to Cirque to create colourful shows and multimedia experiences. “Canada looked at us as a creative company-as somebody who had a very different outlook-and trusted us,” Cirque spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard said. — AFP

In this file picture taken on May 1, 2010 a member of Cirque de Soleil performs at the Canada pavilion on the first day of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. — AFP

In 2008 Bollywood released a film called “Hari Puttar” despite a lawsuit by Hollywood studio Warner Bros, which owns the rights to the blockbuster “Harry Potter” movies. Confusingly, the film was loose remake of “Home Alone”. Bollywood has also moved into more realistic, hardhitting subjects such as terrorism, Internet privacy and physical disability in recent years, but with limited success. In 2006, a Nazi-themed restaurant called “Hitler’s Cross” opened in Mumbai, but was soon closed after a storm of protest from Jews in India and abroad. — AFP

Todd Kimball says the success of the line is due in part to his brother’s success on Broadway. “It really helps to have a Tony-nominated spokesman,” he said. “Chad and I have a good system and we work really well together. We’re family first, and I think that helps us.” Their take on the T-shirt is popular because it can sass up any outfit. Boutique owners say the shirts, which retail from $70 to 90, are great for under blazers, paired with jeans. “They have some really nice burn-outs. ... T-shirt that are in tatters, where you can wear something underneath,” said Kristy Wolfson of the Bella Blue boutique in Murphy, North Carolina. “It’s pretty contemporary. It’s great with blue jeans, slip on a cute pair of flats and a blazer and you’re downtown cool. With Chad in New York and Todd in Seattle, the brothers hired a third person, Naomi Hunt, to look over the company’s day-to-day operations from Los Angeles. Chad Kimball says he remains highly involved and hopes to keep it that way. Last fall, they started Lolly Cashmere, named for their grandmother. “Lush, buttery soft and simply sexy, Lolly is not your mother’s cashmere,” the ad slogan reads. The concept is the same , printed, faded images juxtaposed on oh-so-soft cashmere hoodies, sweaters and shirts. They retail at $150 to $210. Kimball, talking in his one-bedroom apartment near the Theater District, said ideas for the fashion come from everywhere. He compiles little notes while riding the subway and has a file called “images of interest” on his computer where he stores anything he sees that catches his eye. “Just put the stuff that’s been around for ages, I’m talking thousands of years, just put it through your own filter and it’s going to come out different and cool,” he said. He drags out of his closet plastic bags full of Obvious T-shirts and cashmere: a V-neck with a splashy butterfly, a long, slim T with a faded print, another houndstooth, this one a hoodie cashmere sweater. “We don’t put too much stock in trending,” Kimball says. “It comes from us, from our ideas of what we think looks good. And Naomi really has her finger on the pulse. She knows what’s hot.” Adds Todd Kimball: “We really do work hard to create a high quality product. That sounds so totally cliche, but it’s really true.” They’re hoping to grow into baby clothing and a men’s line. Meanwhile, “Memphis” has been a huge success leading up to the Tonys on June 14. —AP



Saturday, June 12, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) You find it easy to work with other people and may pour a lot of energy into those around you. You are able to find assistance in whatever career changes you decide to make, whether it be to a different area in the work place or a total new change. Success is indicated in areas of education, politics or the law. You know how to attack and solve problems, whether they are personal or public. Chances are that your social skills make you popular with almost everyone. You have a natural grasp for the political and for handling the public. Because your passion can be so intense at times, you may experience some power struggles--careful. You may be coaching young people this afternoon and really having fun. You will motivate and inspire others. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You like your life ordinary and you find little value in new trends and inventions. However, today may be a day for change--easy does it. Any sort of change threatens you more than most and you do all you can to adjust to a change you know must happen. Every so often, like those earthquake faults, life is shaken a bit and the ordinary may transform to out-of-the-ordinary. You however, will do well with your decisions and understanding. The changes that are scheduled for today will be more conducive to work production and you will eventually grow to appreciate the new changes. You enjoy searching out and defining points of transformation, areas for growth. You are able to adjust to the day much better than most and will set a good example for others.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. East Indian tree bearing a profusion of intense vermilion velvettextured blooms and yielding a yellow dye. 5. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. 8. An honorary degree in science. 11. A feeling of intense anger. 12. An extension at the end and at right angles to the main building. 13. An actor's line that immediately precedes and serves as a reminder for some action or speech. 14. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 15. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 16. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 17. A hard brittle gray polyvalent metallic element that resembles iron but is not magnetic. 18. An associate degree in nursing. 20. A port city in southwestern Iran. 22. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 24. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 27. Liquid containing proteins and electrolytes including the liquid in blood plasma and interstitial fluid. 29. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 33. (informal) Exceptionally good. 35. An edge tool used to cut and shape wood. 37. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 38. The cry made by sheep. 39. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 43. A unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampere-turns. 46. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 47. The habitation of wild animals. 51. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 52. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 53. A solution containing a phosphate buffer. 54. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 55. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 56. Consisting of or made of wood of the oak tree. DOWN 1. A unit of apothecary weight equal to an eighth of an ounce or to 60 grains. 2. German chemist who was co-discoverer with Lise Meitner of nuclear fission (1879-1968). 3. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 4. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 5. Flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes. 6. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 7. Divulge information or secrets. 8. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 9. A communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba. 10. An administrator in charge of a division of a university or college. 19. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 21. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 23. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 25. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 26. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 28. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 30. (informal) Of the highest quality. 31. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 32. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 34. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 36. The capital of Croatia. 40. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 41. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 42. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 44. A small cake leavened with yeast. 45. The quantity a cask will hold. 48. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 49. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 50. A corporation's first offer to sell stock to the public. 51. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) The way you think and the way you express yourself are crucial to the way you function in the work place. Higher ups do not miss the extra effort you put into most everything you do. This is a time of good fortune when things open up naturally way. Situations are almost perfect and it is easy to see which path is the one for you. Concentrate on balance and work at creating a balance one day at a time. Trade business is beneficial to the economic growth and you may consider a business in import/export companies. Opportunities increase and you find that you want to do almost everything. Partnerships, personal relationships or the social scene, are very important during this time. This is a good evening to enjoy friends.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) You work with real understanding in areas of the mind. Idealism is an innate talent and you are in love with grand gestures and deep thoughts. Religion, politics and philosophy are enjoyed at this time. You communicate with fair, just, frank and broad-minded persons. You are sociable and sports-minded. You dare to dream big. You like new philosophies, long novels and may find yourself in bookstores this afternoon/weekend. You are very imaginative when it comes to your health, the food you eat and how you take care of yourself. Quick to get the picture, you may be helping others see the benefits that proper care can bring--mental, physical and such. Go easy; not everyone needs the same health techniques that you might find beneficial. Leo (July 23-August 22) Perhaps you are teaching, counseling or giving some sort of advice today; your intensity is obvious. Some people may prefer to keep their distance. You will however, make a difference; it is just that many people, especially the young, find it easier to complain than to do the work themselves. You might be able to show others how to think in advance so they will have some idea about the results of their actions. Your analytical powers are superb and you enjoy finding new avenues for your own inner growth as well. This afternoon you respond to e-mail, snail mail and all other sort of communications. Get the word out on some newfound ideas or large purchase. You write a thoughtful letter to a sibling. Bicycle riding is in for this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your inner self and your goals are the most active facets of your personality. They receive more stress and attention than other areas of your life. There is an instinctive imperative to be powerful and in control--pulling the strings, as it were. All of this may lead to a greater interest or experience in investing. Compare, ask questions and use your intuitive insight before plopping down large sums of money. You may want to spend some of your time this upcoming weekend in researching financial trends and potentials. You should eventually do quite well with your investment choices. Others may find you especially witty this afternoon as you join friends in an after-work get-together. A good sense of humor will lift many spirits this day.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Libra (September 23-October 22) You could make a career out of group or community work. Anything involving attempts to bring large-scale and humanitarian dreams and ideas to reality will be easy for you now. Your ideas; support-team; and the type of profession you choose, will help you achieve your goals. Your ideals and inner vision keeps what is best for everyone, ever on your mind. You are charming and always manage to enchant others with your words and manner. You bring a sense of the beyond and mystical to most conversations. You are like a fish in water when in the limelight or in a group--you have an innate social charm. Political and lucky too! Law or education could be where you will find your enthusiasm the highest. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are very original when it comes to home and surroundings--particularly in the environment you build around you. This could also manifest in unusual ways of supporting yourself. You find it easy and fun to create an unusual environment for yourself and your family. Of course, many years of thought went into your designs. You enjoy surrounding yourself with what is new and different. There is a sense of harmony. You can appreciate the difficulties of others and are understanding of the problems they may be having. Music is invigorating and you enjoy attending concerts or performances of friends. Some event comes to your attention and you make sure to provide as many people as you can with tickets. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You enjoy working with your mind and your sharp perceptions make finding new solutions easy. Today you make discoveries. You always bring an unexpected twist or insight into a situation and quickly find answers. You are able to teach or help others to be more original when it comes to words or thoughts than most. Your laser-like mind makes conversations fast-paced and illuminating. You are an effective worker, citizen and family person. Many close communications are enjoyed after work with friends. A very good story comes to your attention this evening; a joke, an experience, a book or a poem. You are lifted. You will make a difference while you are on this planet. Now, go forth and motivate others.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Professional associates push you to be the best you can be. You rise to the occasion and meet the challenge. If you can wait until after the noon break to make your final decision, then do so. Things are working with rather than against you this afternoon. Ambition and achievement are qualities you hold in special regard. This is a time for getting ahead, a time for combining business and pleasure, a time to savor some rewards as well. The social graces pave your path to success. Your networking abilities are fine-tuned as you weave in and out of the crowd to find the right people to be on your team. You will help them as much as they help you. An instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of you through diet, exercise and work are important now.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) An irresistible force meets an immovable object today. Proceed with caution! There is a lot of energy available for disciplined work. You appreciate your particular situation and enjoy support from those around you. A brilliant idea today may need more work but will eventually bring you some recognition. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling/s later today keeps friends and family close and you like that feeling of closeness. This is a good time for planning a weekend excursion or surrounding yourself with friends and young people--having a good time. You teach others how to create peacefulness within themselves. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts and then extend outward. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may becoming less interested in being recognized for your hard work than usual. This may mean a deeper satisfaction of just who you are and how you plan to live your life. Besides, life has become quite interesting on the home front. In a hobby group, you may be expected to sit in on a meeting and take notes or give a report. Later today, you return the favor of a friend. You bring order and organization to areas where new development is taking place. You can teach and help others to do this as well. You have a natural talent for finding your way past the pitfalls of life. You may be setting dates for travel soon. Rest this evening comes after a little play on your personal computer or in reading a new chapter in your current book.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

17 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Saturday 12/06/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jordanian 802 Amman Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Turkish 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 551 Alexandria Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Pakistan 239 Sialkot DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Kuwait 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Jazeera 529 Assiut Falcon 201 Bahrain Jazeera 613 Lahore Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Alnaser 711 Baghdad/Najaf Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 171 Dubai Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 457 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai Kuwait 774 Riyadh Almasriya Universal 407 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Jordanian 800 Amman United 982 Washington DC Dulles Egypt Air 621 Assiut Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 332 Alexandria Jazeera 525 Alexandria Saudia 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Mahan Air 5066 Mashad Kuwait 786 Jeddah Iran Aseman 6791 Mashad Jazeera 173 Dubai Kuwait 118 New York Nas Air 703 Medinah Mihin 403 Colombo/Dubai Rovos 061 Baghdad/Najaf Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Cargolux 792 Luxembourg Saudia 510 Riyadh Jazeera 493 Jeddah Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 129 Bahrain Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Syrian Air 341 Damascus Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Kuwait 104 London Rovos 093 Kandahar/Dubai Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 502 Beirut Wataniya Airways 202 Jeddah Kuwait 618 Doha Kuwait 548 Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 177 Dubai Iran Air 607 Mashad Kuwait 674 Dubai Singapore 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 614 Bahrain Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Jazeera 459 Damascus Oman Air 647 Muscat Indian 993 Chennai/Mumbai Wataniya Airways 612 Sabiha Middle East 402 Beirut Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Egypt Air 618 Alexandria KLM 0445 Amsterdam Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut Jazeera 183 Dubai DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Jazeera 433 Mashad Emirates 859 Dubai Qatari 136 Doha Kuwait 178 Geneva/Frankfurt United 981 Bahrain Jazeera 429 Bahrain Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 117 Abu Dhabi Egypt Air 612 Cairo Bangladesh 043 Dhaka India Express 393 Kozhikode/Cochin Egypt Air 606 Luxor Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Saturday 12/06/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor KLM 0447 Amsterdam Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Turkish 773 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Pakistan 240 Sialkot/Islamabad Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 164 Dubai Jazeera 524 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 331 Alexandria 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 Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Kuwait 773 Riyadh Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 785 Jeddah Kuwait 547 Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Middle East 405 Beirut Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Jazeera 172 Dubai Rovos 062 Baghdad Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Alnaser 712 Najaf/Baghdad Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 501 Beirut Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Almasaria Universal 408 Alexandria Jordanian 801 Amman Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Kuwait 561 Amman Egypt Air 622 Assiut Jazeera 458 Damascus United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Jazeera 128 Bahrain Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Jazeera 432 Mashad Kuwait 617 Doha Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 505 Jeddah Qatari 135 Doha Mahan Air 5065 Mashad Jazeera 182 Dubai Kuwait 613 Bahrain Iran Aseman 6792 Mashad Nas Air 704 Riyadh 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 Jazeera 116 Abu Dhabi Cargolux 792 Hong Kong Kuwait 285 Chittagong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Syrian Air 342 Damascus Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Kuwait 283 Dhaka Iran Air 604 Isfahan Jazeera 266 Beirut Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Kuwait 331 Trivandrum Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Jazeera 240 Amman Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Kuwait 381 Delhi Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria United 981 Washington DC Dulles Jazeera 502 Luxor Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Egypt Air 613 Cairo


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

One room available, two bedroom flat, two bathrooms, opp German Clinic main road, family or bachelor. Please contact: 94423928. (C 2384) 12-6-2010 Accommodation available for bachelors or couples at Bneid Al Gar (Sharq) to share with an Indian family. Contact: 22543185/ 99249903. (C 2374) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom C-AC flat, fully furnished with car parking for couple or working ladies or visiting family with Keralite family. Contact: 66013882. (C 2383) Spacious room for rent bachelors/small family from 25th June or 1st - July 10 in Jleeb Al Shuyuokh, near schools and Touristic Park on 6th Ring Road. Please contact: 99317817. (C 2379) 10-6-2010 Sharing accommodation available in a 2 big bedroom flat, opposite Al Rashid Hospital in Salmiya. Please contact: 66577745. (C 2376) A fully furnished flat for sharing during summer vacations from mid-June to mid-Aug CA/C, nice location bldg, prefer families on visit. Phone: 66702685, 66674242. (C 2377) Sharing accommodation available for family near Indian Central School, Abbassiya from 25 June.

Contact: 99853244. (C 2375) 9-6-2010 Sharing accommodation available for two working ladies with a small Keralite family near Neethi store Abbassiya. Phone: 65730628. (C 2370)

FOR SALE Jeep Cherokee, 2002 model, lady driven, excellent condition, dark blue, mileage 18,000. Contact: 97447513, 66038947, 99848794. 12-6-2010 Pajero model 92, golden + brown, V6 3000, full automatic, engine, gear, AC, interior & exterior all in excellent condition, passing till 25/11/10, price KD 750. Call 99322585. (C 2381) PC IBM, P4 Intel 3.0, Ram

No: 14757

256 & HD 40 GB with Dell 15” LCD & IBM laptop. All in excellent condition, for details call: 99322585. (C 2382) 10-6-2010 Mercedes Benz car, model 2005, S350 L, full option + navigation, black color, kilometer: 170,000, used by diplomat, excellent condition, maintained since purchased by Al-Bishr & AlKazemi workshop. Contact: 66420301, 99774390. (C 2371) Audi - A6 - 2000 model, 6 cylinder, sun roof, leather seats, well maintained. Tel: 97416536, 55880927. (C 2380) P4, Intel Celeron, 2.4 GHz, 40 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, soundcard, speakers, 17” CRT monitor, ready for Internet KD 25. PIII, Intel, with 17” CRT monitor KD

12. Contact: 66244192. (C 2378) 9-6-2010 Pajero 2007, color red, 3.8 GLS, 6-cylinder, sun roof, leather seats, only 37,000 kms, expat leaving, KD 4,500 neg. Tel: 94449173. (C 2372) One year Internet card, original price KD 55, sale price KD 15. Tel: 55451465, 66451465. (C 2350) Indoor plants, KD 10 to KD 2, great deal, also bunk bed, leather sofa, recliner, table football etc, expat leaving, priced to sell. Call 94449173. (C 2373) Engineer leaving Kuwait 30-06-2010, spacious flat, 2BHK + maid room, opp. Mughal Mahal, Salmiya, rent KD 270, good quality furniture and appliances KD 575 ono. Can sell separately. Call 66228644. (C 2366) 8-6-2010



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 18:50 THS 19:40 THS 20:30 THS 21:20 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Kendra 23:25 Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami 23:50 25 Most Stylish

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 Kathy Griffin 02:00 Hawthorne 03:00 The Closer 04:00 Kathy Griffin 05:00 Inside the Actors Studio 06:00 Ghost Whisperer 07:00 Burn Notice 08:00 The Deep End 09:00 Big Love 10:00 Hawthorne 11:00 Inside the Actors Studio 12:00 Ghost Whisperer 13:00 The Closer 14:00 Hawthorne 15:00 Psych 16:00 The Deep End 17:00 Big Love 18:00 Burn Notice 19:00 The Ex-List 20:00 Glee 21:00 Drop Dead Diva 22:00 The Closer 23:00 Janice Dickinson

00:15 Dark Days in Monkey City 00:45 Animal Cops South Africa 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Whale Wars 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 Vet on the Loose 07:00 Lemur Street 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:15 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Animal Cops South Africa 09:40 Beverly Hills Groomer 10:05 New Breed Vets with Steve Irwin 10:55 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 11:50 A Nose for Crime 12:45 Dogs 101 13:40 Escape to Chimp Eden 14:05 Escape to Chimp Eden 14:35 Escape to Chimp Eden 15:00 Escape to Chimp Eden 15:30 Escape to Chimp Eden 15:55 Escape to Chimp Eden 16:25 Escape to Chimp Eden 16:50 Escape to Chimp Eden 17:20 Escape to Chimp Eden 17:45 Escape to Chimp Eden 18:15 Planet Wild 18:40 Planet Wild 19:10 Orangutan Island 19:40 Going Ape 20:10 Pit Bulls and Parolees 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Untamed & Uncut 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 23:50 Orangutan Island

00:35 A Thing Called Love 01:35 The Weakest Link Sporting Stars 02:30 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 Coast 11:00 Eastenders 11:30 Eastenders 12:00 Eastenders 12:30 Eastenders 13:00 Coast 14:00 Coast 15:00 The Life Of Mammals 16:00 The Weakest Link 16:50 The Weakest Link Classic Sitcom Stars 17:35 The Weakest Link 18:20 Holby City 19:20 Holby City 20:20 Doctor Who 21:05 Doctor Who Confidential 21:20 Robin Hood 22:05 Green Green Grass 22:35 Green Green Grass 23:05 The Omid Djalili Show 23:35 Keith Barret Show, The

00:20 Masterchef Goes Large 00:45 Sweet Baby James 01:10 Living In The Sun 02:00 What Not To Wear 02:50 The Restaurant Uk 03:40 Hidden Potential 04:05 Diy Sos 04:35 Bargain Hunt 05:20 What Not To Wear 06:10 Masterchef Goes Large 07:00 Antiques Roadshow 07:50 Antiques Roadshow 08:40 Antiques Roadshow 09:30 Antiques Roadshow 10:20 Antiques Roadshow 11:10 Antiques Roadshow 12:00 Saturday Kitchen 12:25 Saturday Kitchen

Igor on Show Movies 12:50 Living In The Sun 13:40 Cash In The Attic 14:25 Cash In The Attic 15:10 Cash In The Attic 16:00 Bargain Hunt 16:45 Come Dine With Me 17:35 Come Dine With Me 18:25 James Martin’s Brittany 18:50 What To Eat Now - Summer 19:20 The Hairy Bakers 19:50 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 20:15 James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 20:40 Dolce Vito: Dream Restaurant 21:05 Dolce Vito: Dream Restaurant 21:30 The Restaurant Uk 22:20 The Restaurant Uk 23:10 The Restaurant Uk

01:00 Unfaithful-18 03:00 Stories Usa-18 05:00 Reservation Road-PG15 07:00 Save The Last Dance-PG 09:00 Stolen Summer-PG 11:00 The Truman Show-PG15 13:00 Cj7-PG 15:00 All Hat-PG15 17:00 Brassed Off-PG15 19:00 Mamma Mia-PG15 21:00 We Are Marshall-PG15 23:15 Downloading Nancy-18

00:00 Moments of Terror 01:00 Street Customs 2008 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Wheeler Dealers 03:20 Wheeler Dealers 03:50 Extreme Engineering 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Nextworld 07:55 Brainiac 08:50 Mythbusters 09:45 How It’s Made 10:10 Extreme Fishing 11:05 River Monsters 12:00 Fifth Gear 12:30 Fifth Gear 12:55 Heartland Thunder 13:50 Battle Machine Bros 14:45 Mega Builders 15:40 Mighty Ships 16:35 Extreme Engineering 17:30 How It’s Made 18:00 Destroyed in Seconds 18:30 Destroyed in Seconds 19:00 Tornado Road 20:00 American Loggers 21:00 Extreme Fishing 22:00 Deadliest Catch 23:00 Swamp Loggers

00:30 The Colony 01:20 The Gadget Show 01:45 The Gadget Show 02:10 Space Pioneer 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Thunder Races 04:45 How Does That Work? 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 The Colony 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 Robotica 09:00 Science of the Movies 09:55 The Future of... 10:50 The Future of... 11:45 The Future of... 12:40 The Future of... 13:35 The Future of... 14:30 The Future of... 15:25 Savage Planet 15:55 Science of Storm Chasing 16:50 How It’s Made 17:15 How It’s Made 17:45 Da Vinci’s Machines 18:40 NYC: Inside Out 19:30 Nextworld

20:20 The Gadget Show 20:45 The Gadget Show 21:10 Speed Junkie 22:00 Mythbusters 22:50 Mythbusters 23:40 Nextworld

00:00 The Suite Life of Zack and Cody 00:25 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 00:50 Fairly Odd Parents 01:15 A Kind of Magic 01:35 I Got A Rocket 02:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 02:25 Phineas and Ferb 02:50 Suite Life On Deck 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 Lazytown 06:25 Imagination Movers 06:45 Handy Manny 07:10 Jungle Junction 07:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:00 Fairly Odd Parents 08:25 Suite Life On Deck 08:50 Wizards of Waverly Place 09:15 JONAS 09:40 Hannah Montana 10:00 Sonny With A Chance 10:30 Cheetah Girls 12:00 Hannah Montana 12:25 JONAS 12:50 Replacements 13:15 Fairly Odd Parents 13:40 Sonny With A Chance 14:00 Suite Life On Deck 14:25 A Kind of Magic 14:50 Phineas and Ferb 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:35 Replacements 16:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 16:25 Hannah Montana 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Suite Life On Deck 17:30 Wizards of Waverly Place 17:55 JONAS 18:20 Hannah Montana 18:45 Sonny With A Chance 19:10 The Return Of Jafar 20:35 Hannah Montana 21:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:25 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:50 Suite Life On Deck 22:15 Suite Life On Deck 22:40 Sonny With A Chance 23:05 JONAS 23:30 Hannah Montana 23:55 Hannah Montana

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 E! Investigates 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets of Hollywood 06:00 50 Most Shocking Celebrity Confessions 07:45 Bank of Hollywood 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 THS 10:40 E!ES 11:05 Kendra 11:30 Kendra 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 13:40 THS 14:30 Giuliana & Bill 15:25 THS 16:15 E!ES 17:10 THS 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10

00:00 Strikeforce 01:00 Winter X Games 13 02:00 M1selection 2010 03:00 Lucas Oil Motorcross Championships 2009 04:00 Lucas Oil Motorcross Championships 2009 05:00 I-Ex 05:30 I-Ex 06:00 I-Ex 06:30 I-Ex 07:00 Quattro Int Events: Swatch Profile Beach Volleyball 07:30 Quattro Int Events: Nissan Outdoor Games 08:00 Quattro Int Events: Rb Surftrip Mentawais 08:30 Quattro Int Events: Profile Robbie Maddison 09:00 Quattro Int Events: Red Bull Cliffdiving: La Rochelle 09:30 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Cwc, South Africa 10:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 11:00 Fim World Motocross Championships 2009 12:00 Fim World Motocross Championships 2009 13:00 Fantasy Factory 13:30 Fantasy Factory 14:00 Lg Action Sports World Championships 2008 15:00 Man’s Work 15:30 Man’s Work 16:00 Untracked Series 2 16:30 Untracked Series 2 17:00 Untracked Series 2 17:30 Untracked Series 2 18:00 Fight Girls Series 2 19:00 Man’s Work 19:30 Man’s Work 20:00 Eurodip 1 21:00 Very best of maverick’s Best Surf 22:00 Untracked Series 2 22:30 Untracked Series 2 23:00 Untracked Series 2 23:30 Untracked Series 2

00:00 Food Network Challenge 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 Food Network Challenge 16:00 Food Network Challenge 17:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 17:30 Guys Big Bite 18:00 Iron Chef America 18:30 30 Minute Meals 19:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 19:30 Food Network Challenge 20:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:00 Everyday Italian 22:00 Food Network Challenge 23:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 23:30 Guys Big Bite

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 Extreme Forensics 03:05 Extreme Forensics 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 Undercover 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Code of Silence 12:50 Disappeared 13:40 Royal Inquest 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Undercover 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Code of Silence 20:20 Disappeared 21:10 Ghost Lab 22:00 A Haunting 22:50 A Haunting 23:40 Psychic Witness

14:00 Get Smart-PG15 16:00 Cassandra’s Dream-PG15 18:00 Nights In Rodanthe-PG15 20:00 The Cell 2-PG15 22:00 X-men Origins: Wolverine-PG15 02:10 Candyman II: Farewell To The Flesh 03:45 Spree, The 05:20 Woman’s Tale, A 06:55 Dublin Murders 08:20 The Bridge At Remagen 10:15 True Heart 11:50 Huckleberry Finn 13:45 Mac And Me 15:25 Hennessy 17:10 Nobody’s Fool 18:55 Madison 20:35 Boris And Natasha 22:00 In The Heat Of The Night 23:50 Taking Of Pelham 1,2,3, The (Tv Movie)

00:00 Bondi Rescue 00:30 Lonely Planet 01:30 Racing To America 02:30 4Real 03:00 First Ascent 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:30 Madventures 05:00 Exploring The Vine 05:30 Surfer’s Journal 06:00 Bondi Rescue 06:30 Lonely Planet 07:30 Racing To America 08:30 4Real 09:00 First Ascent 09:30 Banged Up Abroad 10:30 Madventures 11:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 11:30 Banged Up Abroad 12:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 13:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 16:30 Bondi Rescue - Bali 17:30 Banged Up Abroad 18:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 19:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 22:30 Bondi Rescue - Bali 23:30 Banged Up Abroad

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

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

00:00 Friday The 13th-18 02:00 Saving God-PG15 04:00 Igor-PG 06:00 Definitely Maybe-PG15 08:00 Cassandra’s Dream-PG15 10:00 Sarah Landon And The Paranormal Hour-PG 12:00 Frost / Nixon-PG15

01:00 Dark Ride-18 03:00 Shoot ‘em Up-18 05:00 The Art Of War III: RetributionPG15 07:00 Ghost Image-PG15 09:00 The Glass House-PG15 11:00 Shadows In Paradise-PG15 13:00 Redline-PG15 15:00 The Glass House-PG15 17:00 The Mist-PG15 19:10 The Tournament-18 21:00 Anaconda: Trail Of Blood-R 23:00 Bitch Slap-18

00:00 Skills Like This-PG15 02:00 The Deal-PG15 04:00 The Promotion-PG15 06:00 Another Cinderella Story-PG 08:00 Trapped In Paradise-PG15 10:00 City Slickers-PG15 12:00 Kingdom Come-PG 14:00 Parenthood-PG15 16:00 Skills Like This-PG15 18:00 High Heels And Low Lifes-PG15 20:00 Bob Roberts-18 22:00 College-18

00:00 Bugs Bunny 1001 Rabbit TalesFAM 02:00 Scruff A Christmas Tale-FAM 04:00 First Kid-PG 06:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 08:00 Chill Out: Scooby-Doo-FAM 10:00 First Kid-PG 12:00 Taina II-PG 14:00 Scruff A Christmas Tale-FAM 16:00 Basket Fever-FAM 18:00 Madagascar 2-PG 20:00 Tommy And The Cool Mule-PG 22:00 Taina II-PG

00:00 24 01:00 24 02:00 Flash Forwards 03:00 Parkinson 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Lie to Me 06:00 Better off Ted 06:30 Billable Hours 07:00 Flash Forwards 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Parkinson 10:00 Lie to Me 11:00 Flash Forwards 12:00 Better off Ted 12:30 Billable Hours 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 24 15:00 24 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Dawson’s Creek 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 CSI 20:00 Parkinson 21:00 Without A Trace 22:00 Beauty and the Geek 23:00 Dawson’s Creek

01:00 ATP Tennis 03:00 ATP Tennis 05:00 ATP Tennis 07:00 Live AFL Premiership 10:00 Total Rugby 10:30 Live International Rugby Union 12:30 Total Rugby 13:00 Live International Rugby Union 15:00 Live International Rugby Union 17:00 International Rugby Union 19:15 Live Rugby League 21:15 Total Rugby 21:45 Live International Rugby Union

08:00 WWE NXT 09:00 WWE Smackdown 11:00 WWE Vintage Collection 12:00 V8 Supercars Extra 12:30 Live NRL Premiership 14:30 NFL Full Time 15:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 15:30 Live Le Mans 24 Hour Race 20:00 V8 Supercars Extra 20:30 Live Le Mans 24 Hour Race 21:30 UFC Countdown 22:30 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 23:30 Live Le Mans 24 Hour Race

01:00 Hunger-18 03:00 Yes Man-PG15 05:00 Over Her Dead Body-PG15 07:00 Hoot-PG 09:00 Tennessee-PG15 10:45 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button-PG15 13:45 Greetings From The Shore-PG 15:45 The Loss Of A Teardrop DiamondPG15 17:30 Tennessee-PG15 19:15 Captain Drake-PG 21:00 Marley And Me-PG15 23:00 Vicky Cristina Barcelona-PG15

02:05 The V.I.P.s 04:00 Where Eagles Dare 06:30 The Screening Room 07:00 To Have And Have Not 08:40 Bachelor In Paradise 10:30 The Screening Room 11:00 Captain Nemo And The Underwater City 12:45 The Time Machine 14:30 Meet Me In St. Louis 16:20 All The Fine Young Cannibals 18:15 The Screening Room 18:40 Jailhouse Rock 20:15 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof 22:00 Kelly’s Heroes

00:30 Battlefield Detectives 01:20 Mega Movers 02:10 Cities Of The Underworld 03:00 The Doomsday Flu 03:55 Dead Men’s Secrets 04:50 Cities Of The Underworld 05:40 UFO Files 06:30 Battlefield Detectives 07:20 Mega Movers 08:10 Cities Of The Underworld 09:00 The Doomsday Flu 09:55 Dead Men’s Secrets 10:50 Cities Of The Underworld 11:40 UFO Files 12:30 Battlefield Detectives 13:20 Mega Movers 14:10 Cities Of The Underworld 15:00 The Doomsday Flu 15:55 Dead Men’s Secrets 16:50 Cities Of The Underworld 17:40 UFO Files 18:30 Battlefield Detectives 19:20 Mega Movers 20:10 Cities Of The Underworld 21:00 Jack The Ripper 21:55 Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree 22:50 Monster Quest 23:40 Conspiracy?

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 Clean House 09:00 What I Hate About Me 10:00 Ruby 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Clean House 13:00 Split Ends 20:00 E!ES 21:00 Giuliana & Bill 21:30 The Dish 22:00 Jerseylicious 23:00 What I Hate About Me

00:00 Intrepid Journeys 01:00 Chef Abroad 01:30 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 Top Travel 03:30 Destination Art 04:00 Distant Shores 06:00 Down the Line 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Spring 08:30 Top Travel 09:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 10:00 Distant Shores 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Chef Abroad 15:00 Short History of Convict Australia 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Safari Stopovers 18:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 19:00 Floyd On Africa 19:30 Chef Abroad 20:30 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 21:00 Planet Food 22:00 Top Travel 22:30 Destination Art 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Tokyo Revealed 02:00 Cruising the Spirit of Adventure 03:00 Warner Bros Movie WorldAustralia 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 Travel Today 17:30 Taste Takes Off 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 20:00 Tokyo Revealed 21:00 Cruising the Spirit of Adventure 22:00 Warner Bros Movie WorldAustralia 23:00 Globe Trekker

01:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out 07:00 Smooth Wake Up 09:00 Vh1 Music 11:00 VH1 Weekly Album Chart 12:00 Top 10 Rock Riffs Ever 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 Summer Sounds Weekend 17:00 Final Countdown Best Love Songs 21:00 Simon Cowell’s All Time Top 50 Pt1 22:00 Simon Cowell’s All Time Top 50 Pt2 23:00 Saturday Night Fever

01:30 ICC Cricket World 02:00 Total Rugby 02:30 Rugby Churchill Cup 04:30 Rugby Churchill Cup 06:30 Futbol Mundial 07:00 PGA European Tour Golf 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 NRL Premiership 13:00 World Sport 13:30 ICC Cricket World 14:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 14:30 Futbol Mundial 15:00 Live ATP Tennis 17:00 Live ATP Tennis 19:00 PGA European Tour 23:00 ATP Tennis

00:00 WWE Smackdown 02:00 WWE Bottom Line 03:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 04:00 WWE NXT 05:00 V8 Supercars Extra 05:30 UFC All Access 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Bottom Line

Yes Man on Super Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 20:50 Wyvern 22:20 Phantom Racer 23:45 Yeti 01:10 Carny 02:40 Someone Like You 04:15 Finding Amanda 05:45 Phantom Racer 07:10 In Tranzit 09:00 Someone Like You 10:35 Carny 12:05 Perfect Assistant, The 13:40 Savages, The 15:35 Great Train Robbery, The 17:30 Wild Hogs 19:10 Gone Baby Gone STAR World 20:00 Prison Break 20:50 Starsky & Hutch 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 Ugly Betty 03:00 Scrubs 03:30 Scrubs 04:00 BOSTON LEGAL 05:00 Cops S19

05:30 Cops S19 06:00 Grey’s Anatomy 06:50 Starsky & Hutch 07:00 BONES 08:00 Prison Break 09:00 The King Of Queens 09:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 10:00 [V] TUNES 11:00 Grey’s Anatomy 11:50 Who’s The Boss? 12:00 Ugly Betty 12:50 Starsky & Hutch 13:00 BONES 14:00 Scrubs 14:30 Scrubs 15:00 BOSTON LEGAL 16:00 Samantha Who? 16:30 Rules Of Engagement 17:00 Desperate Housewives 18:00 Dirty Sexy Money 19:00 Asia Uncut Granada TV 20:00 What Katie Did Next (Series 1) 21:00 Filthy Homes From Hell 22:00 Emmerdale 22:30 Coronation Street 23:00 Filthy Homes From Hell 00:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 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 Essex Wives 11:00 Emmerdale 11:30 Coronation Street 12:00 Million Dollar Traders 13:00 Action Thursday: Vincent (Series 1) 14:30 Strange But True? (Series 4) 15:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 16:00 Emmerdale 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 Million Dollar Traders 18:00 Action Thursday: Vincent (Series 1) 19:30 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 Backtracks 07:30 Double Shot 08:00 Loop 08:30 [V] Tunes 09:00 [V] Plug 09:30 Loop 10:00 Backtracks 11:00 XO 11:30 [V] Tunes 12:00 [V] Plug 12:30 The Playlist 13:00 Videoscope 14:00 [V] Tunes 14:30 [V] Tunes 15:00 Backtracks 15:30 Double Shot 16:00 Loop 16:30 [V] Tunes 17:00 [V] Plug 17:30 Loop 18:00 Backtracks 19:00 XO 19:30 [V] Tunes 20:00 [V] Plug 20:30 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 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 02:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 03:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 04:00 The O’Reilly Factor 05:00 Hannity 06:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 07:00 The O’Reilly Factor 08:00 Hannity 09:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 10:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 11:00 Fox Report 12:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 13:00 The O’Reilly Factor 14:00 FOX & Friends First Live 15:00 FOX & Friends Live 17:00 America’s Newsroom 18:00 America’s Newsroom 19:00 Happening Now National Geographic Channel 20:00 Superhuman : Steroids 21:00 Wild Wednesday -Dangerous Encounters With Brad : Shocking S5-4 22:00 Wild Wednesday -Hooked : Fish Gone Wild 23:00 Theme Week -Aftermath : Population Overload 00:00 Seconds From Disaster -Space Shuttle

Explosion S3-13 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -Sudden Death 02:00 Interpol Investigates -Tracks of a Stalker 03:00 Rescue Ink -House Of Horror 4 04:00 Hollywood Fox 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -Sudden Death 06:00 Lonely Planet -Lonely Planet- Roads Less Trav : China 7 07:00 DogTown -New Beginnings S2-1 08:00 Interpol Investigates -Tracks of a Stalker 09:00 Monkey Thieves -Searching For Sanctuary 16 09:30 Weddings & Funerals -5 Weddings Couple of funeral : Malay Wedding 4 10:00 Theme Week -Aftermath : When The Earth Stops Spinning 11:00 Seconds From Disaster -Space Shuttle Explosion S3-13 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -Sudden Death 13:00 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Paris 5 13:30 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Sao Paulo 6 14:00 Mega Thursday -Build Up To The Cup : Train 15:00 Theme Week -Aftermath : When The Earth Stops Spinning 16:00 Inside -Inside:Sumo’s Ultimate Clash 17:00 Seconds From Disaster -Space Shuttle Explosion S3-13 18:00 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Paris 5 18:30 Mega Thursday -Megacities : Sao Paulo 6 19:00 Mega Thursday -Build Up To The Cup : Train

Saturday, June 12, 2010



Dubai in the frontline of Iran sanctions Continued from Page 1 Goods land in the tiny emirate from around the world and are loaded onto waiting dhows, the traditional sailing boats that head daily for Iran’s southern Gulf ports. But Morteza Masoumzadeh, vice-president of the Iranian Business Council in Dubai, says business has been taking a hit. “Over the past six months our company’s business has gone down by 60 percent,” said Masoumzadeh, who owns one of Dubai’s oldest shipping companies. “This is due to the (global) economic crisis as well as the sanctions,” he said, adding that banking and financial restrictions imposed by two sets of sanctions in 2008 and the previous year have had an adverse impact on trade. Besides the official trade figures, there is also an “informal trade by the dhows,” said a Western diplomat of a system where businessmen buy goods in Dubai and load them aboard Iran-bound vessels without leaving a paper trail. He said that another paperless trail that “is not counted in the official figures is the ‘hawala’ system, which does not go through

banks or identifiable means and will always function.” Hawala is a traditional, paperless “moneygram” system where an agent accepts money from a client in one country, then tells a relative, friend or business associate in another country to deliver the equivalent amount to the intended recipient. Dubai authorities succumbed to US pressure on the federal government in Abu Dhabi to prohibit any goods bound for Iran that could have dual civilian and military use, said the diplomat, who was speaking on condition of anonymity. “It is impossible to cut trade between Dubai and Iran because there is a human element,” he said, noting that about 400,000 Iranians are based in the United Arab Emirates. Analysts in Gulf Arab countries believe that the latest sanctions, affecting trade in nuclear power generation, ballistics, heavy arms and banking, should have a limited impact. “The Iranians are prepared for the sanctions,” said Ibrahim Khayat, a Gulfbased analyst. “Their overland trade with (neighboring) Iraq reached four billion dollars, whereas with certain Asian countries they have recourse to barter, which is a way

of circumventing the hurdles.” The sanctions prohibit the sale to Iran of several types of heavy armaments, but Iran “does not need to import weapons-it exports to some 67 countries,” said Khayat, an expert in strategic analysis. Tehran “has enough experts and capacities to develop armaments,” he said. The new sanctions also allow inspection on the high seas of Iran-bound vessels suspected of carrying banned items, but Khayat said care was needed in Gulf waters patrolled by the Iranian navy. “Nobody wants a war with Iran and nobody wants to cause an incident that ignites a powderkeg,” he said, echoing the sentiments of Gulf countries that have no wish for a confrontation. But Mustafa Alani of the Dubai-based GULF Research Centre fears a long-term escalation, and does not rule out a strike against Iran by Israel, Tehran’s arch-foe. “The Gulf countries will be the victims in either case: if the military option is retained the Iranian response could be against these (Gulf) countries, and if Iran continues its military program it will become a regional superpower,” he said. — AFP

‘Remarriage’ debate sparks fear in Egypt Continued from Page 1

BEIRUT: Samira Rahmoon (center) the wife of Lebanese TV psychic Ali Sibat who was arrested by the Saudi religious police in May 2008 and sentenced to death last November on charges of practicing witchcraft, tries to block the road with her daughter Jamal during a sit-in in front of the Government House in Beirut yesterday. — AP

Wife of Lebanese psychic appeals for his release BEIRUT: The wife of a Lebanese TV psychic convicted in Saudi Arabia on charges of witchcraft appealed for her husband’s release yesterday, just months after he escaped beheading in the kingdom. Samira Rahmoon, 46, said Lebanese officials promised her in April that her husband would soon come home, two years after Saudi religious police arrested him during a pilgrimage there. He was sentenced to death last November, but Saudi officials decided not to behead him after a public outcry this year. “We are lost,” said Rahmoon, clutching a cracked frame holding a photograph of her husband, 49-year-old Ali Sibat, during a

small protest outside the prime minister’s office in Beirut. Saudi Arabia, which enforces a strict version of Islamic law, arrests dozens of people a year on sorcery charges, and the last known execution was in 2007 with the beheading of an Egyptian pharmacist, according to human rights groups. The charges are often vague - covering anything from fortunetelling to astrology to making charms and talismans believed to bring love, health or pregnancy. Saudi judges cite Quranic verses forbidding witchcraft, but such practices remain popular as a folk tradition. In Sibat’s case, the charges seem to center on a call-in talk show he

hosted on a Lebanese satellite station where he would tell fortunes and give advice. His supporters point out that the show was aired from Lebanon, not Saudi Arabia. The Sibat family’s lawyer in Lebanon, May Al-Khansa, said the family - including two teenage children and a 5-year-old daughter - is suffering. “We have been promised by Lebanese officials that he will come back to his family,” Al-Khansa said. “This is a miserable situation.” Prime Minister Saad Hariri was traveling outside the country Friday on a regional tour and was not available to comment. Saudi officials could not be reached for comment. — AP

Tehran accuses US of kidnapping Iranians Continued from Page 1 Iran has no diplomatic relations with the United States and US interests in Tehran are handled by the Swiss embassy. Larijani said neither Swiss nor Iranian officials nor the Iranian detainees’ families had had access to them. Regarding the three detained Americans accused of spying, he said: “Our approach is let us be fair on both sides rather than to swap the people. We don’t believe in the legitimacy of this kind of action.” Larijani was echoing remarks by the foreign minister’s spokesman on Tuesday. Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, say they strayed over the border while hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq. Iran’s intelligence minister says they are spies. “We hope this court procedure will start as soon as possible,” Larijani said, noting it was up to the prosecutor. The mothers of the three US detainees visited their children in May. They said they were being treated well but had had no access to a lawyer. “Our security people are definitely anxious to see what was behind the intrusion of our borders,” Larijani said. “We think they should have a fair approach. My recommendation is let us assume they are innocent and see what is against this assumption.” Asked if fresh sanctions

imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council this week would complicate the detainee issue, Larijani said: “The issue of detainees should be pursued on the humanitarian level, it should not be meddled with other issues.” In another development, an Iranian dissident who went missing for almost two weeks in Germany said he was kidnapped by four Arabic-speaking men who threatened to kill him for a film he made that is critical of the Iranian regime. In his first interview since his ordeal, Daryush Shokof said he thought the kidnapping was orchestrated by the regime in Tehran even though his captors didn’t speak in Farsi, which is spoken in Iran. “I am convinced that there is a connection between my kidnapping and the Iranian regime,” Shokof said in a phone interview from Cologne, where he under police protection. “This was the act of this horrendous regime.” The Iranian Embassy in Berlin did not respond to requests for comment, but in Geneva yesterday Iran’s top human rights official denied his country had any involvement in Shokof’s abduction and suggested the filmmaker fabricated the story. “We don’t know anything about that. We are not aware,” Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary general of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, told reporters.

“My general guess is that he tried to promote his film by making these allegations.” Cologne prosecutor Guenter Oehme, who is in charge of the investigation into Shokof’s disappearance, said he could not provide any details because the case is ongoing. “I can’t say anything because it would threaten our investigations,” Oehme said. Shokof, a 55-year-old Berlin resident, said Thursday that one of his captors accused him of blasphemy. “‘You have insulted Islam, you have insulted the regime, we’re going to kill you, you have to stop the release of your film,’ - that’s what he said to me,” Shokof said. He described the man as about 40 years old and speaking English with a heavy Arabic accent. He said he told his kidnapper he was not trying to hurt Islam, but criticizing only the Iranian government. “I told him what happens in Iran has nothing to do with Islam,” he said. Shokof disappeared May 24 in Cologne, the day he planned to board a train to Paris to promote his new film “Iran Zendan,” or “Iran Prison.” The small independent movie is highly critical of the Iranian regime and shows scenes of torture and rape in an Iranian prison. It was shown once last month to a closed audience of friends at a Berlin theater and then posted on YouTube, but has since been removed. — Agencies

Argentine teammates coached by the unpredictable Diego Maradona enter the fray against Nigeria and Wayne Rooney leads England in search of their first world crown since 1966. England’s Italian coach Fabio Capello is confident that Rooney will prove against the United States in Rustenburg that he can be one of the tournament’s leading players. “He is in a good moment, he trains very well and he scores goals during training, which is important for him,” Capello said. “I think he will play a fantastic World Cup.” European champions Spain, bidding to lift the World Cup for the first time in their history, were due to arrive in South Africa yesterday, the last of the 32 teams to do so. Bookmakers have installed the gifted

Spanish team of Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Xavi as the favorites, but they have failed at this level before, and many observers believe Brazil could add a sixth title to their record haul. Kaka and his Brazilian teammates open their challenge against surprise qualifers North Korea on Tuesday, while Spain take to the pitch for the first time on Wednesday against Switzerland. Meanwhile, national euphoria at the start of the World Cup drew tens of thousands of South Africans into stadiums and fan parks, blurring the often sharp racial divide in a common celebration of football. Vuvuzela trumpets blasted from all corners at the kick-off between the hosts and Mexico, overcoming the shock news early in the day that Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter was killed in a car accident after a World Cup concert. The Super 14 rugby final last

organization for secular Copts that has several thousand members. Allowing civil weddings without religious obligations “would reduce the pressure on the church, which could then be less defensive regarding divorce,” he says. Divorced Copts also admit they are affected by the polemic. “It is difficult for me to make (the church) apply the judgment. I cannot oblige the church to yield with the decision of the court,” says Magdi William. Although present in government and in parliament, Copts feel threatened and marginalized by a rising fundamentalist Islam, represented by the powerful and influential Muslim Brotherhood. They also complain of discrimination in some key positions inside the army, police, justice system or universities. Since gunmen in Upper Egypt killed six Copts during the Orthodox Christian Christmas on January 6 the Copts feel even more fearful and targeted, even though authorities have said the killings were nonsectarian. — AFP

Iran blasts foes; UN, West rain sanctions Continued from Page 1 Presidents Hu Jintao of China and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia were in Tashkent yesterday for the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO yesterday snubbed Iran’s membership bid, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the group’s new guidelines did not allow countries under UN sanctions to join, leaving Tehran increasingly isolated over its refusal to renounce uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad’s visit to the Expo comes at a delicate time in Tehran’s relations with China, one of the Council’s five permanent veto-wielding members. His government had earlier reacted furiously to China’s decision to fall into line with the United States and other powers that accuse Iran of covertly trying to build nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad nevertheless shied away from criticizing Beijing, which has emerged as Iran’s closest trading partner. “The main problem is the US administration, and we have no problem with others,” he told reporters, accusing the United States of seeking to “swallow” the Middle East. “Not only China but others also announced the resolution is going to open a way for diplomacy.” The UN resolution expands an arms embargo and bars Iran from sensitive activities such as uranium mining. It also authorizes states to conduct high-seas inspections of vessels believed to be ferrying banned items for Iran and adds 40 entities to a list of people and groups subject to travel restrictions and financial sanctions. Not for the first time, Ahmadinejad reserved his harshest rhetoric for Israel. “It is clear the United States is not against nuclear bombs because they have a Zionist regime with nuclear bombs in the region,” he said. “They are trying to save the Zionist regime, but the Zionist regime will not survive. It is doomed.” Israel, which has the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, regards Iran as its principal threat after repeated predictions by Ahmadinejad of the Jewish state’s demise. Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has told France that Moscow will freeze a delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran after passage of extended

UN sanctions against Tehran, the French president’s office said yesterday. Russia had earlier insisted on its right to carry out the air defense contract. Its rethink underlined how the tolerance of nonWestern big powers for Iran’s disputed nuclear activity is fading, and could deny Iran formidable protection against any military attacks on its atomic installations. Western intelligence indicates Iran is 1-3 years away from the capability to produce a nuclear weapon, giving the world some time to rein in its uranium enrichment program with sanctions, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said. Parts of Iran’s oil and gas industry could be targeted by an extra layer of European Union sanctions reaching substantially those approved by the UN Security Council on Wednesday, according to a document prepared for EU leaders. Hardline Iranian leaders have greeted the Security Council’s action with defiance and contempt, vowing to pursue an escalating enrichment program and review already tense relations with UN nuclear inspectors. But the Kremlin shift on the S-300s, a deal first disclosed by Iran in 2007, pointed to Tehran’s increased diplomatic isolation over its secretive campaign for nuclear capability. The S-300 is a mobile, long-range air defense system that can detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft. The United States and Israel, Iran’s two arch-foes and rivals for predominance in the Middle East, have long fiercely opposed such a sale because it could give Iran the means to withstand air strikes aimed at knocking out its nuclear sites. After conflicting signals from Moscow, Putin confirmed Russia would shelve the delivery, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said after talks between the two men yesterday. A Sarkozy spokesman quoted the Russian leader as saying Iran was “very unhappy” and wanted to impose penalties on Moscow. A Kremlin source had told Reuters earlier in the day that “S-300 supplies to Iran fall under UN sanctions”. Security Council diplomats said the resolution’s call for “vigilance and restraint” from UN member states on arms sales to Iran meant that Moscow was being strongly discouraged from

delivering the sophisticated S-300s. The sanctions resolution, initiated by the United States and major European allies and co-sponsored by Russia and China, expands existing measures targeting Iranian banks and arms imports, and also calls for setting up a cargo inspection regime similar to one in place for North Korea. A senior Iranian lawmaker warned yesterday that Iran would start inspecting foreign vessels in the Gulf, a waterway crucial for global oil supplies, if its ships received such treatment under the new UN sanctions. Iran says it is refining uranium only to the low level of purity needed for electricity generation or medical isotopes. But its record of hiding sensitive activity from UN inspectors and recent launch of higher-grade enrichment has raised international suspicions of a camouflaged quest to produce material and components for nuclear warheads. Increasingly impatient Israeli officials have mooted military action should sanctions and diplomacy, both ineffectual for years, prove incapable of reining in Iran. But Israel is unlikely to hit Iran without US support, and both remain publicly committed to sanctions and diplomacy. However, it has become exasperated with Iran’s restrictions on UN nuclear inspections and its refusal to accept Russianbacked proposals to help dispel suspicions about its nuclear program. Gates, asked by reporters after a NATO meeting in Brussels how long the United States and its allies were prepared to wait for UN sanctions on Iran to bite, said: “Most people believe that the Iranians could not really have any nuclear weapons for at least another year or two. I would say the intelligence estimates range from one to three years.” Even if Iran got that far, it would still have to produce a nuclear missile delivery system capable of menacing neighbors or enemies further afield. The EU measures would not restrict Iranian oil and gas exports or imports but would seek to shut off new investment in the industry, as well as transfer of technology, equipment and services to a sector that is economically vital to Iran. Iran is the world’s fifth largest crude oil exporter. The EU restrictions are contained in a draft prepared for a June 17 summit. — Agencies

curbs by the poor, not the rich. Among rich nations, the United States said it would study the text but that some elements were “unacceptable”. The European Union also expressed “concerns” about the text, which updates a previous 42-page draft rejected last week. The new text outlines a goal of cutting world emissions of greenhouse gases by “at least 50-85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050” and for developed nations to reduce emissions by at least 80-95 percent from 1990 levels by mid-century. It drops far more radical options, some championed by Bolivia, for a cut of at least 95 percent in world emissions by 2050 as part of a fight to slow droughts, floods, a spread of disease and rising sea levels. Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe, who chairs the UN talks on action by all nations to slow global warming, said the text would be updated for a next meeting in Bonn in

August. Yvo de Boer, the departing head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, said he felt the main reaction to the text was that, “yes, it has shortcomings...but that people are willing to take it as the basis for future work.” Many delegates say that a new legally binding deal is out of reach for 2010 and now more likely in 2011. Apart from deep splits over negotiating texts, US legislation on cutting emissions is stalled in the Senate. The May 31-June 11 session was the biggest since Copenhagen, where more than 120 nations agreed a non-binding deal to limit a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial times. But it lacked details of how to reach this goal. “This session has made important progress...Countries have been talking to each other rather than at each other,” de Boer said of the Bonn talks. — Agencies

Saudi flag ‘abused’

Africa’s first WCup kicks off in style Continued from Page 1

They carried placards exclaiming “‘no’ to remarriage; we follow the teachings of the Bible” or “we are all behind our holy patriarch in rejecting a judgment that runs counter to Christian precepts.” The ruling related to the case of Hani Wasfi, who complained against the pope’s refusal to let him remarry after divorce. Copts forbid divorce or remarriage except in proven cases of adultery, or if a spouse converts to another religion or branch of Christianity. Civil marriage alone, without a religious ceremony, is not recognized in Egypt, where Muslims are allowed to remarry. The remarriage debate, launched by secular or divorced Copts and civil rights organizations, is caught up in religious tensions and the rise of religious fundamentalism. “Apart from divorcees, the other Copts think this is a battle against them and support Shenuda,” says Karima Kamal, who has written about divorce among the Copts. “The debate is

held hostage to the growing religious radicalization in Egypt,” she says. Some Copts do feel persecuted or marginalized by the state. “Why can’t we build churches freely?” cries Guebrail, who works for a metals company in the northern Nile Delta and travelled to Cairo for Wednesday’s demonstration in support of Shenuda. Under Egyptian law, church building permits are strictly regulated, while those for mosques are more easily obtained. For Cairo-based Coptic lawyer Magdi Sabry it does not matter that the court ruling followed a complaint by a divorced Copt wishing to remarry, and not by an Islamist or anyone else. Egyptian justice “would never have dared interfere in Sharia,” or Islamic law, he says. “Then why did they do this for the Coptic religion?” he asks. Copts of a liberal persuasion admit it is hard to have their voices heard. “These protests signal the growing religiosity among the Copts as well as the Muslims,” says Kamal Sakhar, who heads an

month was forced to move to Orlando Stadium in Soweto as their home pitch readied for football, bringing large numbers of white fans into the township for the first time. Many returned to Orlando for the kickoff concert late Thursday, and some made a repeat visit yesterday to watch the football from a Soweto stadium. “It’s my first time in Soweto. My friends were here two weeks ago for the rugby and they had fun,” said Charlotte Delmont who came with six friends-all white. “I am here to support my country.” Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist K’Naanwhose “Waving Flag” has become an anthem for the games-also swung by the Soweto park, sending thousands into cheers and at least partially making up for a power failure that meant the crowd missed the end of the opening ceremony. — Agencies

Continued from Page 1 It opposed the small island state’s push for a study of limiting global warming, saying that wider issues such as the impact on exporters, also had to be taken into account. Meanwhile, rich and poor nations alike criticized a new blueprint for a UN climate treaty yesterday as two weeks of talks among 185 countries ended with small steps towards an elusive deal. A streamlined climate draft, meant to help talks on a new pact, cut out some of the most draconian options for greenhouse gas and dropped all references to “Copenhagen”-where a UN summit in December fell short of agreeing a treaty. “The group is dismayed that the ... text is unbalanced,” developing nations in the Group of 77 and China said in a statement. Several of them said the 22-page text wrongly put emphasis on greenhouse gas



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nadal, Murray crash out

BOSTON: Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown (left), Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen (front) and Celtics forward Glen Davis (rear) fight for the ball during the fourth quarter in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals.—AP

Celtics roll over Lakers BOSTON: The Boston Celtics tied the NBA finals by using their dominant size inside against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 to notch a 96-89 victory on Thursday. Backup Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored half of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics bench pulled away from the Lakers while their starting center Andrew Bynum did not play in the second half while he rested his sore knee. “Just will, that’s all it is,” Davis said. “This is what legends are made of, this is where you grasp the moment. ... Just play in the moment.” Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and Pau Gasol had 21 for the Lakers. Game 5 is on Sunday in Boston. The Celtics’ win guaranteed them a trip back to Los Angeles and averted a 3-1 deficit that has never been overcome in NBA finals history. “We know what to do. We know how to play. We know how to get it done,” Gasol said. “And we know how important Game 5 will be, so we’ve just got to get ourselves mentally and physically ready ... to accomplish our mission.” Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Kevin Garnett had 13 and Ray Allen bounced back from a seven-quarter shooting slump to score 12 points for Boston. But the new Big Three that led the Celtics to their unprecedented 17th NBA title in 2008 — beating the Lakers in the finals — was on the bench for much of the fourth-quarter run that gave Boston the lead for good. And that was fine with them. “I don’t think guys really care and that’s why we’re here, it really is,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “(Rajon) Rondo and the rest of them, they were begging me to keep guys in. ‘Don’t take them out! Don’t take them out!’ It was great. That’s the loudest I’ve seen our bench, and it was the starters cheering from the bench.” Boston’s starters were back in the game when Bryant scored 10 of the Lakers’ last 12 points, hit-

ting all three free throws to make it 92-86 after he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with 1:08 left. But then Rondo stole a pass from Bryant and took it the length of the court for a layup that made it an eight-point lead with 32 seconds left. And this time, the reserves were cheering for the starters. “All I’m thinking about is, ‘Let’s win,”‘ Davis said. “I’m not thinking about anything else. I’m not even thinking about Kobe making all these shots, worried about this or worried about that. I’m just worried about winning, whatever it takes to win, and just making sure that I give my teammates positive energy to finish out the game.” Bryant hit three straight 3-pointers to give the Lakers a 62-58 lead with 1:25 left in the third. Davis’ putback left the Celtics trailing by two points heading into the final quarter, and he scored on a reverse layup in the opening minute of the fourth to tie it. Gasol made a basket to give LA the lead — its last of the game — before Allen scored. Davis followed, Allen made another basket and Davis followed with a three-point play that made it 71-64 with 8:22 left. “They got all the energy points, the hustle points, second chance points, points in the paint, beat us to the loose balls,” Bryant said. “I mean, that’s how the game turned around.” In all, the Celtics scored 13 of 15 points during a five-minute span when Allen was the only starter on the court, mostly with Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nate Robinson and Tony Allen. Asked if he was surprised to see his bench extend the lead, Rivers said: “I’m happy. I don’t know about surprised.” “We’ve done that during the season, but this is the finals,” Rivers said. “So it’s obviously different against such a quality team.” Asked for his team’s strategy in stopping the Celtics’ bench, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, “No, I don’t want to talk about that.”—AP

Button clocks fastest time MONTREAL: World champion Jenson Button dominated yesterday’s opening free practice session by setting the fastest time ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Briton, who won last year’s world title with Brawn before switching to McLaren this season, lapped the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in one minute 18.127 seconds during a largely uneventful 90-minute session. Germany’s Michael Schumacher was second fastest in his Mercedes with a best time of 1:18.285 while Button’s British team mate Lewis Hamilton was third in 1:18.352.

Championship leader, Australia’s Mark Webber, was 14th overall, nine places behind his German Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel, who came perilously close to touching the walls during his trips around the high-speed street circuit. A handful of drivers, including Schumacher and Vettel, spun or slid off the track but there were no accidents as most teams used the opening session to refamiliarise themselves with the tricky Montreal circuit, which is back on the Formula One calendar after a year’s absence. A second 90-minute session was scheduled later Friday with official qualifying today.—Reuters

MONTREAL: McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain takes part in the first practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. —AP

Woods grouped with Els, Westwood at US Open LOS ANGELES: World number one Tiger Woods will launch his bid for a 15th major golf title at next week’s US Open in high-profile company with thirdranked Briton Lee Westwood and South African Ernie Els. American Woods, Englishman Westwood and three-times major champion Els are scheduled to tee off on the first hole in Thursday’s opening round at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. The heavyweight trio will start from the 10th tee at 0806 in Friday’s second round. Woods, who romped to a 15-stroke victory when the US Open was last held at Pebble Beach in 2000, has several question marks hovering over his form

next week. He has played in only four PGA Tour events this season, with a best finish of joint fourth at the U.S. Masters in April and a missed cut at Quail Hollow, after he took nearly five months off following revelations of his marital infidelity. Comfortably the best player of his generation, he has struggled for accuracy off the tee and recently parted company with his long-time swing coach Hank Haney. “When you get off, you’ve got to retrace your steps,” the 34-year-old told reporters after tying for 19th at last week’s Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio. “You’ve got to go back and take it step by step. It’s a process.” —Reuters

LONDON: Rafael Nadal suffered his first defeat in 25 matches as he was beaten by Feliciano Lopez in the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club yesterday, while defending champion Andy Murray also crashed out. Not since Andy Roddick beat Nadal in the Miami semi-finals in March had the Spaniard walked off court a loser, but his compatriot and close friend Lopez brought that magnificent run to an end in emphatic fashion. Nadal had needed treatment for a hamstring strain during his victory over Denis Istomin on Thursday and the French Open champion never seemed completely comfortable against Lopez. The world number one’s 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 defeat and Murray’s exit to Mardy Fish earlier in the day meant none of the top six seeds made it to the semi-finals of the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event. Four-time Queen’s champion Roddick, second seed Novak Djokovic, fifth seed Marin Cilic and Gael Monfils, the sixth seed, had all bowed out already and Nadal fared no better. Nadal lacked rhythm right from the start as Lopez, the world number 31, dictated the tempo with a sturdy baseline game. The first set went to a tiebreak and Lopez’s nerve held impressively as he earned the crucial mini-break that settled the set in his favor. That kind of blow is usually the signal for Nadal to double his intensity and secure a gritty victory. But he never got going as Lopez made an early break in the second set. Nadal did break back but another poor service game presented Lopez with the chance to convert his second match point. Concerned that he might aggrevate his injury, Nadal has decided to pull out of the doubles at Queen’s and he didn’t seem too worried about going out of the singles either. “I had too many missed opportunities and made an amazing mistake in the tiebreak so that was the first set,” Nadal said. “And after that I played worse in the second set and he did well. I just congratulate him.” Fish enjoyed a remarkable day as he ended Murray’s reign with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/2) win in their controversial third round clash. The American, ranked 90th in the world, followed that triumph with another strong display just two hours later as he beat France’s Michael Llodra 64, 6-4 in the last eight to set up a semi-final meeting with Lopez. The other semi-final will be between American seventh seed Sam Querrey, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Rainer Schuettler, who defeated Israel’s Dudi Sela 7-5, 6-4. Murray had been left raging at Queen’s officials on Thursday evening after the tie was suspended due to bad light with the score 3-3 in the final set. The world number four felt he should have been consulted by umpire Cedric Mourier and supervisor Tom Barnes before the decision was made to halt play. Although there was no visible sign of discord between the players when play resumed on Friday, both were determined not to give an inch and a succession of easily held service games sent the match to a tiebreak. A tame forehand into the net from Murray gave Fish four match points and he was soon celebrating as the British number one sent a backhand long. Murray admitted he had been well below his best but he was still irked by the decision to suspend play. “The thing I was just disappointed with was that no-one said a word to me about it,” Murray said. “The supervisor apologised to me afterwards because they should have said something to me at the time and they didn’t.” Fish added to the debate, saying: “If it’s really dark, then stop. It definitely affected my play. You just couldn’t see anymore.”—AFP

LONDON: Andy Murray of Britain serves to Mardy Fish of the US during their third round tennis match at the Queen’s Club grass court Championships.—AP

Mets roll over Padres NEW YORK: Jonathon Niese pitched a one-hitter for his first career complete game and the New York Mets overcame a triple play to beat the San Diego Padres 30 on Thursday night for a doubleheader split. Niese (3-2) allowed only Chris Denorfia’s leadoff double in the third inning, his second stellar start since coming off the disabled list Saturday. He faced 28 batters, one more than the minimum, in New York’s first complete game this season. Jon Garland (6-4) took the loss for San Diego. Mat Latos (6-4) outpitched Johan Santana (4-3) in the opener, and San Diego stopped New York’s nine-game home winning streak with a 4-2 victory. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits for the Padres, including a go-ahead single. David Eckstein and Chase Headley added RBI doubles.

Marlins 2, Phillies 0 At Philadelphia, Josh Johnson outdueled Roy Halladay in their perfect game rematch, pitching eight dominant innings as Florida beat Philadelphia. Johnson and Halladay last met on May 29 in Miami, when the Phillies ace threw the 20th perfect game in major league history in a 1-0 win. This time, Johnson (7-2) gave up three hits, walked one and struck out five as the Marlins ended a four-game losing streak. Halladay (8-4) was sharp, too, allowing one run and six hits in eight innings. He fanned eight and walked one. Both Halladay and Johnson finished the

outings with ERAs under 2.00.

Reds 7, Giants 6 At Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips had four hits, including a two-run triple in the eighth inning that rallied Cincinnati to yet another comeback win. Phillips’ triple off Guillermo Mota (0-2) tied it at 6. Joey Votto’s single up the middle gave the Reds their 12th win in their final at-bat, the most in the majors. Left-hander Arthur Rhodes (2-1) retired five batters — his longest appearance in two years — for the win.

Astros 5, Rockies 4 At Denver, Roy Oswalt struck out nine, Humberto Quintero homered and Houston won its third straight. Quintero got three hits and Tommy Manzella drove in a career-high three runs. Oswalt (4-8) gave up four hits over seven innings and left with a 5-2 lead. Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki had two hits each for Colorado, which has lost six of eight.

Brewers 5, Cubs 4 At Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez raced home from first base on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error in the 10th inning, giving Milwaukee a wild victory over Chicago. Gomez pinch-hit and drew a leadoff walk from Bob Howry (1-1). Craig Counsell followed with a bunt and the speedy Gomez rounded second base and just kept going. First baseman Xavier Nady’s frantic throw to third sailed wild, allowing Gomez to score. Milwaukee’s Corey Hart hit his NL-leading 16th homer in the second

inning _ ignoring the roar of the Navy Blue Angels, who are in town for a weekend air show and were flying over Miller Park.

Nationals 4, Pirates 2 At Washington, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham homered in the fourth inning to support Livan Hernandez as Washington beat Pittsburgh. The Nationals became the last team this season to sweep a series, after Stephen Strasburg won his big league debut Tuesday night before a sellout crowd of 40,315. The next two nights were tame events by comparison — drawing 40,637 for both games combined — but all three count equally as wins for a Nationals team that has pulled within a game of .500. Hernandez (5-3) allowed two runs over six innings for his first win in more than a month despite a respectable string of starts. The Pirates lost their fifth in a row.

Braves 11, D’backs 7 At Phoenix, Brooks Conrad scrambled home to break a ninth-inning tie as Atlanta beat Arizona despite blowing a five-run lead. The speedy Conrad hit for David Ross, who had a double, single and two RBIs. Conrad singled, stole second and made a headfirst slide to score on pinch-hitter Brian McCann’s one-out single off closer Chad Qualls (1-3). Jason Heyward and Eric Hinske also had RBI singles off Qualls. A sacrifice fly by Troy Glaus off Carlos Rosa capped the late burst. Peter Moylan (3-1) got the final out of the eighth for the win.—AP

NEW YORK: San Diego Padres’ David Eckstein scores on a Chase Headley double during the seventh inning of the first game of a doubleheader baseball game.—AP

21 Saturday, June 12, 2010

Argentina’s bold plan to shoot down Super Eagles JOHANNESBURG: Diego Maradona is set to unleash his formidable trio of goal poachers to get Argentina off to a flying start at the World Cup against Nigeria here today. The two-time world champions boast a salivating forward line of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain and coach Maradona in tinkering with pitching in all three in an attacking 3-4-3 formation at Ellis Park. Between them the dazzling trio netted more than 80 league goals last term for Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid. Argentine fans’ favourite Tevez said he hoped to “get the chance to show the coach what I can do. We have great players (and) don’t feel my place is assured.” The Argentines may have stumbled across the finish line

in qualification for South Africa 2010, but Maradona has at his disposal a squad of sumptuous talent in his first World Cup as coach. Indications are that Maradona, who inspired Argentina as the world’s greatest player to World Cup triumph in 1986, will go with a three-man backline enabling him to field a three-man strikeforce. Marseille centre-half Gabriel Heinze said this week that “Argentina will always go after the game” and not sit tight and be ultra-cautious. Today’s opening Group B game offers Messi, the world’s best player, the ideal stage to stake an early claim as the star of the tournament, given his sensa-

Maradona worried about Nigerian ‘fair-play’ PRETORIA: Argentina coach Diego Maradona yesterday admitted he is concerned about the physical threat Nigeria will pose in their Group B World Cup opener in Johannesburg today. The 49-year-old, who lifted the World Cup as Argentina captain in 1986, having infamously scored a goal with his hand against England in the quarterfinals, said he hoped the referees would ensure the Africans play fair. “We know how Nigeria play and they know how we play. We don’t expect to play a rough and tough team, although we’re ready to play any team,” said Maradona, whose international career ended in disgrace when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup finals when Nigeria were also in their group. “But the only thing I can say right now is those looking for fair-play should not stand alone. “Let’s really look for fair-play and referees should understand what fair-play is. “When fair-play started in 1990 (four years after Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’) I got a kick from a Cameroon player (in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup, that the Africans won 1-0) who nearly kicked my head off. “(Claudio) Caniggia got a yellow card for a small kick and I nearly got kicked in the head. “We’ve been through that but we want good football, we want fair-play, we want to enjoy the match. “If you don’t want to play clean football, go into the stands. People want to see football and we want people to watch football peacefully without violence.” Although he may be worried about Nigeria’s physical presence, he did have a word of warning for the Super Eagles’ Swedish coach Lars Lagerback, who only took over on a five-month deal in February. “I don’t think it’s a good thing to change a coach on such short notice but perhaps he can introduce some good elements, such as set-pieces,” said Maradona. “But it all depends on the players and he’ll have to plan his matches according to the players he has. “But in football you need continuity and I wish him all the best but he has very little time to work on many things he should be doing as a coach.” The controversial Maradona - who had people calling for his head as Argentina struggled to qualify and his selection policy became more and more erratic admitted that his players are nervous ahead of their World Cup opener. “We have many players who are tense, there’s a particular tension that builds up when you come to the World Cup and they know perfectly well that many (other)

Fans make it to Cup the hard way

players could have qualified (instead of them) for this competition,” he said before adding that he himself is calm. “I was much more nervous when I was a player. I was telling (captain Javier) Mascherano yesterday (Thursday) that I had sweaty palms. “I live just as intensely today but I’m not as nervous because I firmly believe in these 23 players I have. I’m going to live or die with these 23. “I know what people back home are expecting and feeling and I just love to see them that way and tomorrow I believe we’ll start building a dream. “Many of us cherish this dream and it’s not come true for quite some time.” Argentina will begin as favourites against Nigeria but they haven’t forgotten what happened in their opening match in Italy in 1990 when a Francois Omam-Biyik goal gave Cameroon a shock victory. And Maradona believes that even if they were to suffer a similar fate this time, his team would be able to recover. “It’s always the same thing, you always have surprises in the first matches but when the tournament is narrowed down I guess we’ll always have the same teams basically.” However, he did warn perennial rivals Brazil that they face the biggest dangers. “I’ve liked two teams so far in the warm-ups: Ivory Coast for instance and Po r t u g a l , ” he said of Brazil’s group G rivals. “They are willing to put up a fight and will do so against Brazil who will have a hard time I believe, we’ll see how they cope with that.”— AFP

tional club form with Barcelona. “Player for player, there is no better national team than ours,” Messi said. “At this stage I don’t have to prove anything. I’ve come there to do things well for me and for my teammates.” Heinze moved to ease the enormous burden of expectations on Messi to perform, saying that Argentina is not dependent on the diminutive playmaker. “Everybody expects something whenever Lionel touches the ball, that’s normal, he’s the best in the world and is in his best moment, but Argentina do not depend on him but on the group,” Heinze said. “It’s incredible what he does but he is one more player and he can make mistakes. “I believe it’s the team that makes you win these very difficult tournaments.” Argentina have beaten Nigeria twice at the World Cup — 1-0 in 2002 and 2-1 in 1994 — and will be favoured to do so again. The mood inside Africa’s most populous nation is not overly optimistic about the Super Eagles’ chances against Argentina. But their veteran Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu holds out hope that Nigeria will not be intimidated in what will be their first competitive game under Swedish coach Lars Lagerback. “Argentina have the big-name players and everyone respects them. We also acknowledge that they are good and great playArgentina’s ers,” forward he said. Lionel Messi

World Cup Photo gallery

CAPE TOWN: A football fan blows a vuvuzela horn on the first day of the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town. Africa’s first World Cup kicked off with hosts South Africa taking on Mexico. — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa supporters kiss a mockup trophy prior to the kick-off of the Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match against Mexico. —AFP

“But Argentina also have the same respect for us because they know the quality of our team and know that there is plenty that we can come up with at anytime.” All the same the pressure will be on Argentina to come through their opening match in South Africa with a win to set a platform for a crack at a third world title. Everton defender Yobo faces one of the most challenging assignments in world football-trying to stop Messi. The reigning world footballer of the year possesses all the skills and is a real handful. How Yobo and the Nigerian defence cope with his threat will play a major part in the outcome. — AFP

Tranquil Potch pulses to a Spanish beat

POTCHEFSTROOM: The tranquil university town of Potchefstroom normally JOHANNESBURG: For most resounds to the thwack of cricket bat on soccer fans, the journey to ball or the grunts of scrummaging rugby the World Cup will be no players. more eventful than a taxi to the But with the Spanish World Cup squad airport and a touch of turbulence descending late yesterday on this town of on the long-haul flight to South Africa. around 130,000 people an hour’s drive to the For an adventurous few, however, it south-west of Johannesburg, the focus for the will be the ultimate road-trip-an epic ride next few weeks will very much be on soccer. from Africa’s top to toe, with big game, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas and their team stunning scenery and a glimpse into the mates will be staying at the North West soul of a continent along the way. University’s new sports village, training on a “Africa is like beauty and the beast,” freshly-laid pitch surrounded by seven rugby Dutch fan Maurits Rodermond, part of a fields and below the towering floodlights 22-vehicle convoy that left Amsterdam of the Senwes Park cricket stadium. 10 weeks ago, told Reuters by teleEven the grass on the new phone from the South Africa-Botswana training pitch was specialborder near the final leg of the odyssey. ly selected for the “It’s unbelievably beautiful but it European champialso has a dangerous side. It makes you ons, the tough realise-you live more in Africa.” The kikuyu turf harsh realities of the poorest continent used for hit hard in Malawi, the eighth African rugby country on Rodermond’s “Oranje fields Trophy” tour itinerary, when a 60-year-old member of their 100-strong group drowned while swimming in a lake. replaced The tragedy was the worst but not the only with more finelysetback as shattering roads, especially between textured ryegrass. The Ethiopia and Kenya, took their toll on everySpanish chose thing from brand new Toyota Land Cruisers to a Potchefstroom, which 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. “All of our vehicles broke is around 1,350 down but they all made it in one piece in the end,” he metres (4,430 feet) said. above sea level, partly Even though it was probably the biggest, as a place where the players can practice at Rodermond’s was not the only “Great Trek” to altitude and partly because Africa’s first World Cup. of the quality of the North West England fan and self-professed hitch-hikUniversity facilities. ing guru Andrew Grady decided to go Some 1,000 top athletes come here overland via West Africa armed with litevery year to use its High Performance tle more than a tent, backpack, camera, Institute of Sport (HPI), and former passport-and what he called his patrons include British Olympians “magic” hitchhiking thumb. Linford Christie and Paula Radcliffe. His more unusual encounAnother was Kelly Holmes, who ters included brushes with bought a house in Potchefstroom and overzealous security guards at lived there while training at the HPI in Nigerian the Mauritanian embassy in build-up to her double-gold medal Morocco and a supposedly forward Osaze the triumph at the 2004 Olympic Games in clairvoyant tortoise called Odemwingie Athens. The new sports village where Fred in the Malian capital, the 70-odd Spanish players, coaching staff, Bamako.—Reuters

officials and two chefs will stay, opened in April and cost the university 45 million rand ($5.8 million), according to Annette Combrink, a former rector and head of the local World Cup organising committee. Jean Verster, an ex-middle distance runner for South Africa who now manages the HPI, said Spain’s decision to choose Potchefstroom, or “Potch” as the town is known locally, had helped accelerate the planning and building process. “A lot of the red tape, such as rezoning and infrastructure issues, was rushed through,” he told Reuters on Thursday. “What we are trying to do here is create a complete system that allows athletes to train at their best level and the World Cup has meant we have really increased the pace of developing and upgrading the facilities,” he added. Although soccer, which is much more popular among black South Africans than whites, is not one of the university’s main sports, it still has around 40 teams, who Verster said will benefit from the upgraded facilities. The floodlit training pitch cost 6 million rand there are new changing rooms. The university also has a partnership with the Mamelodi Sundowns, a Pretoria-based club who play in South Africa’s top league, and their junior players who come to train here will be able to take advantage once the World Cup is over, Verster said. “Football will be the main winner in terms of the legacy the World Cup leaves behind,” he said. Potchefstroom was previously an important base for the South African Defence Force (SADF) and the Spanish squad will be flying in and out of the town’s military airport. The government of North West province has spent 26 million rand ($3.35 million) lengthening the runway to allow commercial use and air traffic controllers and emergency staff have been brought in especially for the tournament. “We had been talking about having a commercial airport here for a long time and nothing came of it but we were galvanised into action by the World Cup,” Combrink told Reuters. Parts of the town are already decked out with Spanish flags and welcome messages in Castilian and when the players arrive they will be taken by coach to the sports village along a route lined with flag-waving children.A local newspaper, the Herald, published a special World Cup section on Thursday, including articles in Spanish, English and Afrikaans about the town’s history and the Spanish team, who are one of the favourites to claim the trophy for the first time. “Feel at home, you have arrived in the home of sports,” executive mayor Maphetle Maphetle wrote. —Reuters

SOUTH AFRICA: A Mexico supporter cheers prior to the kick-off of the Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match at Soccer City stadium in Soweto. — AFP

SOUTH AFRICA: A Brazil fan holding a tambourine with the design of the Brazilian flag on it, smiles before the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup yesterday. — AFP

22 Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Photo gallery

England wary of US threat

SOUTH AFRICA: Football fans cheer before the start of the first 2010 World Cup football match yesterday at Soccer City stadium in Soweto. — AFP

SYDNEY: A young fan joins a mascot as they watch a large screen at the site of the Sydney International FIFA Fan Fest prior to the opening ceremony of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. — AFP

RUSTENBURG: Fabio Capello, just a child when England last met the United States at the World Cup 60 years ago, is acutely aware a repeat of that famous result today would create another sensation. As a three-year-old growing up in Friuli, close to the border with Slovenia in north-eastern Italy, he heard of the Americans’ 1-0 win in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 29, 1950, from his football-mad friends and family. This time, in his first appearance as a team manager at the World Cup, the 63year-old Capello knows the whole world is waiting to see if England might lose again in their opening Group C fixture at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. For a coach whose career is littered with honours from AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus, it is a potential banana skin he is determined to overcome against a nation that has made giant strides over the last 20 years and beat Spain during an impressive display at the Confederations Cup last year. “I understand this is a really, really important moment for the country but I am relaxed,” he said on Thursday. “This team has improved a lot. We’ve found a spirit. Things are good now.” In 24 matches in charge, Capello has led England to 18 wins, but he knows his transformation of the team from European alsorans to one of the pre-tournament favorites will be no defence against media uproar if the US secure a third triumph in 10 meetings with their transAtlantic rivals. England won the other seven although they have rarely looked convincing, or played with any fluency, in recent months since qualification for these finals was secured. Capello has remained defiant but has several questions to answer including which of his goalkeepers will be first choice behind a rebuilt central defence and recrafted central midfield. The loss of captain Rio Ferdinand required Michael Dawson to fly from London and meant Ledley King was promoted as the likely partner for Terry in central defence. In the absence of injured midfielder Gareth Barry, Capello will partner new skipper Steven Gerrard with Frank Lampard, despite mediocre showings together in the past. He may also spring a surprise with his keeper selection, having tested Joe Hart and Robert Green in the last warm-up game, if David James, 39, is considered unfit. US coach Bob Bradley has also rotated his lineup in the last three warm-ups but is expected to start with striker Jozy Altidore, who missed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Australia due to an ankle injury which has healed.

The key tactical question is whether Altidore plays with a partner and if he does then in-form Edson Buddle is favourite for the role. However, as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are essentially attacking players, in wide midfield positions, there is a lot of responsibility on the two defence-minded central midfielders.

SOUTH AFRICA: A Mexico supporter sings his national anthem prior to the kick-off of the Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match South Africa vs. Mexico. — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: South African fan enters the stadium prior to the kick-off of the Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match South Africa vs. Mexico. —AFP

confident. “Our leadership is strong. We understand that when we play as a team, when everybody’s committed the right way, we can play with top teams,” he said. A first draw between the nations is the most likely outcome of a battle of attrition between two sides coached to press, contain and counterattack. — Reuters

Rooney ready to rule World Cup RUSTENBURG: Steven Gerrard believes Wayne Rooney can be the player who defines Africa’s first World Cup. All the reports emanating from England’s base camp at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus indicate that the Manchester United striker is chomping at the bit in the final countdown to his side’s opener against the United States here today. “Unbelievable” was the adjective Gerrard opted for. Fabio Capello, the England coach, has been equally free with the superlatives in assessing Rooney’s form and fitness ahead of a tournament

which offers the 24year-old the perfect opportunity to banish painful memories from the last World Cup. Having arrived in Germany struggling for match fitness after breaking a metatarsal bone, Rooney was a shadow of the forward who had, as an 18-year-old, terrorised defences at Euro 2004. He departed Germany goalless and in disgrace, his involvement ended by a red card issued for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in the quarterfinal against Portugal, which England ultimately lost on penalties.The hangover from that defeat still lingers and England’s players, while bullish about their hopes for the tournament, now accept that their strength in depth is not quite a match for the world’s best. They know that their chances are entwined with Rooney’s capacity to perform at his best and claim the goals they will need to carry them deep into the knockout stages. Gerrard believes Rooney is already worthy of comparison with the world’s current best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The challenge for him now is for him to prove it by making the kind of impact on a World Cup finals that Diego Maradona — who was sent-off in the 1982 edition

Fans welcome at Uncle Tom’s cabin RUSTENBURG: US fans may need to pinch themselves, and smile at the irony when they arrive at the Royal Bafokeng stadium today-and see Uncle Tom’s Restaurant 500 metres from the main entrance gates. Amid the newly-erected steel barriers, trimmed grass and freshly-planted shrubs and trees, close to a rural township in the red-soiled savannah landscape, Uncle Tom’s is a symbol that cannot be ignored. His red-painted sign is emblazoned across his bar, shop and restaurant, an unavoidable reminder of America’s history of enslavement of African Americans, the 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and the usage of Uncle Tom as a pejorative term. In a country where apartheid ended only 16 years ago, it is both surprising and uplifting to see this food cabin surviving across the steel-fenced road from the stadium. But “Uncle” Tom Molofe, 53, a wiry and humorous man with a twinkle in his eye, has no idea of the significance of his name as he prepares to welcome fans and visitors ahead of Saturday’s opening Group C clash between England and the United States. “I have no idea what it

One alternative option is to leave Altidore alone up front and play an extra midfielder, giving the US a five-man midfield against England’s four. At the back, Bradley must decide between centre-back Ogyuchi Onyewu, who has not played a full match for seven months, and Clarence Goodson. Bradley, like Capello, has said he is

means for Americans,” he told Reuters. “I just hope we are all blessed by God and I am happy the World Cup is coming here-and the Americans will spend some money. It will be good for business.” Molofe took over the business, founded in 1963, from his parents. “My three sisters have 15 children,” he said. “And they all came here one day and shouted to me “Uncle Tom, Uncle Tom” and that is when I named the place after my name. They wanted it.” Now he sells newspapers, drinks and food to other local Bafokeng people and hopes English and American fans will come to watch games on his prize possession, a flatscreen television in a back room bar. “Yes, come to me,” he said. “Everyone must come and enjoy themselves. I serve drinks and stay open until 2 a.m.. But remember-no money, no beer!”— Reuters

against Brazil — had when Argentina triumphed in Mexico in 1986. “We have been working very hard and each day we are getting sharper and better and dealing with this altitude more and more and I can see that in Rooney myself,” Gerrard reported. “The last couple of days he has been unbelievable in training.” The England captain added: “The stage is set for Wayne. He is a fantastic age, he is in great shape and he is coming off the back of an unbelievable season, probably his best. He is in the category of those players like

England's Wayne Rooney

Ronaldo and Messi. “I’m just delighted he is English and he is going to be leading us out there. Hopefully he can be our main goalscorer and score the goals that spur us on to victory.” Both born and brought up in deprived districts of a deprived city, Liverpool, Rooney and Gerrard are close off the pitch as well as enjoying a good understanding on it. In that context, it is significant that the Liverpool midfielder recog-

nises that Rooney’s chances of greatness depend on him keeping a lid on the emotions which fuel his drive for success. “People talk about the yellow card he got the other day (for abusing a referee in a warm-up match) but that’s Wayne Rooney,” Gerrard said. “He is always on the edge, he has got that fire in his belly. I think if Wayne channels his frustrations in the right way he can be one of the players of this tournament.” Gerrard will also be seeking to channel his personal frustrations in a positive sense. In an 80-cap international career, he acknowledges that he has failed to consistently perform for his country at the kind of level he reaches week in, week out for Liverpool. Having missed the 2002 finals through injury, Gerrard had a good Euro 2004 but failed to enhance his reputation in Germany four years ago. Now 30, he knows time is running out for him to make the kind of impact on a major tournament that will earn him a place among the world’s greats. “All the players in the squad recognise this is the stage and everyone wants to prove that they can go to a World Cup and shine and be a top player,” he said. “I have shown signs that I can do it at this level by scoring goals and putting in decent performances but for me the challenge is: “Can I lead a group of players all the way to the final and can I perform consistently in every game at a major tournament?’ That is what I will be aiming to do. “I think I’m in a good moment. Physically I’m in great shape. Mentally I’m fine. I’m chomping at the bit and I can’t wait to get going.” — AFP

Vuvuzela — no sin to make a din CAPE TOWN: When choosing a vuvuzela at the World Cup you put your money where your mouth is. The ubiquitous plastic trumpet, embraced as an emblem of the World Cup by South Africans and visitors alike, sells for between 20 rand ($2.6) for a simple Chinese import to 60 rand for a more

contoured instrument, produced in South Africa. “Our vuvuzelas have the purest sound and they are the easiest to blow. A two-year-old could play it,” said Cape Townbased Neil van Schalkwyk, who PHILADELPHIA: developed the vuvuzela seven years ago and whose sales have US Landon grown from 500 a month to Donovan on May 50,000. 29, 2010 in “Our vuvuzelas also have a much more comfortable mouthPhiladelphia. piece. I think at the end of the England plays World Cup we’ll see a lot of against USA today people with cut, sore lips,” he in Rustenburg added. Watching the horn sold their first round match of the 2010 everywhere from street corners airport duty free shops and World Cup football to listening to the cacophony of tournament host- vuvuzela blasts ringing out ed by South through the city, Van Schalkwyk, a plastics expert Africa. and mould maker, says he feels — AFP very proud. With a background in toolmaking, the 37-year-old football

fan watched people taking home-made tin horns to games in the 1990s and decided to try producing his own in plastic. Van Schalkwyk initially named his horn the boogie-blaster, but fans dubbed it the vuvuzela-which means ‘pump’ or ‘lift up’-and the fad was born. Today the vuvuzela industry is worth 50 million rand ($6.45 million) in South Africa and Europe, he estimates. He declined to say how much he had made from his invention. “The vuvuzela is a symbol of the way we can celebrate and how we would like the rest of the world to enjoy their celebrations as well.” The fact it has been much copied does not irk him, he says. “We were never under the illusion we’d have a monopoly on the product and we couldn’t patent the design. When we started out we were told a horn is a horn and it has been around for centuries!” Horns have always played a part in South African culture, from the earliest kudu horns, traditionally used to announce a ceremony or a major event. The latest version of the horn is made from three pieces of injection-moulded plastic, and the mouthpiece has been modified to reduce the noise level by 20 decibels, a concession to those who have complained about the din generated by vuvuzelas. “They have become so popular, it has surpassed my wildest expectations,” said Van Schalkwyk. — Reuters

23 Saturday, June 12, 2010

South Korea, Greece test World Cup water PORT ELIZABETH: South Korea and Greece dip their toes into the World Cup water at this Eastern Cape port today anxious to get precious points on board with Argentina and Nigeria facing off later up in Ellis Park. While by no means one of the first round glamour games an intriguing clash of styles is nevertheless in store at the brand new Nelson Mandela Bay stadium overlooking the Indian Ocean for this early 1130 GMT kick-off. Speed and astute tactical awareness are the calling cards of a Korean side that tore up the World Cup formbook when making it through to the semi-finals in 2002. Greece, who also turned football’s natural order on its head when belying their status as rank outsiders to waltz off with Euro 2004, will be relying on their height advantage and set-piece superiority. South Korea’s splendid showing on home turf eight years ago has inevitably led to the cranking up of expectations from their supporters, expectations that Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng has tried to dampen. “Since Korea got to the semifinal in 2002, many people expect the same result,” he said. “I was in Australia at the time, I was 13

and just a fan then. No one in Korea expected the national team to go to the semifinal so now the expectations are too much. “But we will try our best and our squad is getting stronger. If we try our best we can qualify for the group stage and then who knows, we could maybe go onto the quarter-final.” Greece’s build-up was marred on Tuesday when the players were robbed of around 1500 euros in cash at their team hotel in Umhanga north of Durban, a police spokesman reported. Greece’s fortunes plummeted after the madness

of Euro 2004. Otto Rehhagel’s side failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup (where the Koreans went out in the first round), and then put up a limp defence of their European crown in 2008. After a wobbly start to qualifying for South Africa they hit form and sealed their ticket with a notable play-off success over 2006 quarter-finalists Ukraine. They, like their Asian opponents, are des-

Republic of Korea’s Park Ji-Sung

perate to emerge from this fixture with three points to have a chance of joining expected Group B winners Argentina in the last 16. Panathinaikos defender Nikos Spyropoulos admitted: “As everybody knows, the first match is the crunch match. It’s essential to get a winning result.” Midfielder Christos Patsatzoglou echoed that, saying: “We know we have a key game against South Korea. If we win, we are in a position to try to qualify for the next round.” The Cyprus-based Patsatzoglou identified Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung as the Koreans’ main threat. He said: “We’ve seen lots of DVDs of South Korea, Park is definitely their top player.” Former Middlesbrough striker Lee Dong-Gook will likely be joining Park in attack after recovering from a hamstring injury quicker than expected. Greece will be without Vangelis Moras, the Bologna defender. The Greek team can expect to feel at home in Port Elizabeth where a vociferous 1,000-strong expat community is preparing a warm welcome. If Bayer Leverkusen forward Theo Gekas, top scorer in European qualifying, set piece specialist Giorgios Karagounis and this pair’s towering teammate and star of Euro 2004 Angelos Charisteas are on form, South Korea are likely to find the going tough.—AFP

Pay attention, Rehhagel instructs Greek students PORT ELIZABETH: Greece coach Otto Rehhagel donned his headmaster spectacles here yesterday and instructed his World Cup pupils to pay attention in class or get punished by South Korea. Rehhagel, who has been involved in over 1,000 Bundesliga games in his long career but Saturday’s opening Group B fixture will be his first World Cup finals tie, told a press conference: “I spoke to my players this morning. “I told them to do their best but to be careful, to be attentive, be focussed, and above all pay attention. “In school if you didn’t pay attention you had to write out two pages of extra homework. “I told them if you think for a fraction of a second and you don’t pay attention you will be badly punished.” The shock Euro 2004 champions are gunning for all three points against South Korea to give them every chance of making it into the last 16 from a group that includes Argentina and Nigeria, who face off up in Ellis Park later yesterday. Rehhagel added: “This is a huge story for Greece, this World Cup, when you think about countries like the Czech Republic and Russia who aren’t here. “Now we are here we want to be successful.”

He suggested that a repeat of Greece’s remarkable run to the Euro 2004 title was highly unlikely. “Things don’t repeat themselves in life.” Of his feelings on the eve of his first ever World Cup game the 72-year-old German said: “Some things take their time, everything comes in due course, I’m pleased to take on such a huge challenge now.” Turning to the nature of the threat posed by South Korea he added: “They are very fast and very strong. “They follow strict instructions. If the coach says start running, they start running, if the coach says stand still, they stand still. “Tactically South Korea are very clever, they run like panthers, and they’re disciplined.” Team captain Giorgios Karagounis stressed Greece were ready to punch hard in South Africa. “We’ve worked our best in the past 25 days training to set up a strong team from the cook to the coach to the players - everyone has done their best. “I believe in this team, we’ve proved this is a great team but the past is the past. Now we have to prove ourselves again, we’ve very ambitious, we proved that by beating Ukraine in the playoff to get here.”—AFP

World Cup Photo gallery

SOUTH KOREA: Cheerleaders walk through a street rallying South Korean soccer fans in a popular shopping district yesterday prior to the World Cup soccer tournament. —AP

CAPE TOWN: A soccer supporter waits for the start of the World Cup Group A soccer match between Uruguay and France in Cape Town.—AP

Huh: Team can deal with tall Greece side PORT ELIZABETH: South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo has been working on combating Greece’s height advantage when the teams meet in their opening World Cup match today. Greece’s height at set pieces was one of the key features of its surprise 2004 European Championship title, but Huh said Friday that he isn’t overly concerned ahead of the Group B match in Port Elizabeth. “If height were the main factor, we would have to have all basketball players,” Huh said. “We are fully prepared. There is a risk, but we have our strong points.” South Korea’s strongest suit at the 2002 tournament it co-hosted with Japan was its fitness. The hosts outlasted Italy and Spain to surge into the semifinals against all expectations. But after an opening 2-1 win over Togo in 2006 for its first World Cup victory outside Asia, South Korea went out in the first round after drawing 1-1 with France and losing 2-0 to Switzerland. With teams now aware of the running power of the likes of Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung, Huh is having to take another tactical approach against a team that has failed to make an impact at major championships since its Euro 2004 triumph. Huh has also given his players two sets of instructions on how to lineup: one to deal with a four-man Greek defense and another for a more aggressive three-man back line. “It can change any minute,” Huh said. “I have told my players that, if Greece come out with a four back formation, how they have to react and if they have a three back as well. We are well prepared.” Huh would not divulge his starting lineup until an hour before kickoff but said most of his players knew what the team would be without having to be told. The biggest problem his players face, he said, is not Greece but staying calm under the weight of expectations from traveling supporters. “Everybody is Greece’s working to win Theofanis the matches,” Huh said. “When we Gekas get to the match, the players, if they feel pressure or are afraid, they will not be able to perform to

their true capability.” That shouldn’t be a problem for Park, who has won three Premier League titles with Manchester United and appeared in the 2009 Champions League final. “It has given me a lot of experience and I could get a feel for the atmosphere in big games,” Park said. “It will help me relax a bit more since I’ve played in a lot of major matches.” Park said his teammates would look to exploit Sotiros Kyrgiakos, who drew criticism for his ponderous performances in central defense for Liverpool this season. “He is a very good athlete and player but we looked at a lot of data so we know his strengths and weaknesses,” Park said. This will be Greece’s second World Cup appearance. In 1994 it exited at the group stage without a point, with no goals scored and 10 conceded. Greece failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and becoming

the first defending European champion not to pick up a point in the subsequent edition of the tournament. Greece’s chances Saturday have been hit by the absence of central defender Vangelis Moras with a persistent groin injury. Moras had been receiving daily physiotherapy instead of training in an attempt to overcome the nagging injury. Tests Wednesday showed he was fully recovered, but he said it is too early to be plunged into a World Cup match. “I don’t want to risk it,” Moras said. “I want to be fit for Nigeria.” Greece, which faces Nigeria on June 17 and Group B favorite Argentina on June 22, should know what to expect from South Korea, according to midfielder Giorgos Karagounis. “They cover each other very well and they play as a real team, especially in defense,” Karagounis said. “They mark the opposing team with at least two players. They play like Greece in this respect. The two teams are similar in more than one respect. “If tomorrow we play as good as we can play, the match will be decided on the other qualities in each team.” Karagounis said that, despite attacking talent including his fellow 2004 champion Angelos Charisteas and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Fanis Gekas, fans might not get much excitement in 2010 either. —AP

And the winner is... Zulu sangoma reveals it all PORT ELIZABETH: A Zulu sangoma, after a night of dreams and consultations with the ancestors, looks into the future to see the winner of the 2010 World Cup. The 70-year-old fortune teller, a cheerful lady called Constance, plays a critical role in Zulu culture, blessed with special powers to heal and divine the future. But she was mighty hard to find. A two-day search aided by street sellers and shop owners in the southern city of Port Elizabeth had produced nothing but a series of false dawns. It appeared one needed a sangoma to find a sangoma. Then a toothless lady of indeterminate age kneading dough on a pavement beside a taxi rank suggested trying a muthi herbal specialist off Govan Mbeki Road. The shop, an Aladdin’s cave of pills and potions and ointments, had a high counter behind which were two people. One, a man, had his face painted in tribal war paint. The other, a woman, was Constance. “You’ve made it,” she smiled, as if she had been expecting the visit all the time. After negotiating her fee, Constance opened a door into a storeroom packed with sacks of dried roots and animal hides hanging from a makeshift washing line.

Through a curtain at the back was her “office”-with a frayed floral couch, more bags of herbs and plant extracts, and shelves crammed with somewhat incongruous tins of Jeyes Fluid household cleaner. “I use all this to make my medicines,” she said, easing her generous frame into a chair beside which was a small table with incense and a yellow candle. “When someone comes to me and wants me to help them with trouble in their life or look into the future, I get them to light this candle. That way I can see through them, I can see what the problem is,” she explained. “I help cure people who are mad or who have AIDS using ‘muthi’.” Constance has been a sangoma for 12 years. “My father and my sister were sangomas, and when they died they came to me in a dream and told me ‘you have to be a sangoma now’,” she said. “I didn’t want to, but they made me ill. They hit me with sticks, I couldn’t walk. “They sent me into the sea for seven days to sleep. When I woke up I accepted to become a sangoma. “I went away to train for one year. Then my ancestors came back to me and said ‘you can finish the training now, you are a sangoma’. “I then slaughtered five goats and one cow.” —AFP

CAPE TOWN: A France supporter shows a miniature trophy to his rooster prior to the kick-off of the Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match Uruguay vs. France.—AFP

INDIA: A South African football fan reacts as she watches the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2010 at the South African High Commissone r’s residence in New Delhi.—AFP

World Cup Photo gallery

Mexico fight back to hold S Africa

JOHANNESBURG: A South Africa supporter cheers before the World Cup Group A soccer match between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City.—AP

CAPE TOWN: A soccer fan, whose face is painted in the colors of the Uruguayan flag, waits for the kickoff of the World Cup Group A soccer match between Uruguay and France.—AP

CAPE TOWN: A French soccer supporter waves the national flag before the World Cup Group A soccer match between Uruguay and France in Cape Town.—AP

LONDON: Pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School with their faces painted in the US flag (bottom) and a Argentinian flag wait for a special event to mark the start of South Africa World Cup Soccer at Trafalgar Square.—AP

JOHANNESBURG: Hosts South Africa almost got a dream start to their World Cup finals campaign yesterday before being held to a 1-1 draw by Mexico in the opening match after Barcelona midfielder Rafael Marquez struck with a late equaliser for the Mexicans. South Africa had looked to be on course for a surprise win thanks to Siphiwe Tshabalala’s superb 55th minute strike but it was cancelled out by Marquez. The hosts, though, went agonisingly close to regaining the lead in the Group A clash and taking the three points right at the death when striker Katlego Mphela hit the post after outpacing two defenders. After a nervy opening half in front of 84,490 fans at Soccer City, South Africa finally found their rhythm to take the lead as Mexico failed to make their first-half domination count. The Bafana Bafana were lucky to go into the half-time break at 0-0 after Mexico dominated the opening 45 minutes, but Carlos Vela’s 38th minute effort was ruled offside. South Africa had a let off after just four minutes when Mexico captain Gerardo Torrado whipped in a cross which goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune fumbled into the path of Giovani Dos Santos, but his shot was blocked. Galatasaray’s Dos Santos was a constant threat in the opening stages as the Mexicans attacked relentlessly. Mexican midfielder Efrain Juarez was shown the tournament’s first yellow card on 18 minutes, but South African play-maker Steven Pienaar sent the freekick sailing over the crossbar. Bafana Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi was then shown a yellow card for the hosts after fouling Dos Santos on 27 minutes, but Marquez fired the free-kick high. After the break, a perfectlytimed through ball from Pienaar split the Mexican defence and put Tshabalala into acres of space for the Kaizer Chiefs’ star to slam home his shot giving Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez no chance. With 20 minutes left, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre made some changes to push his side forward and they were rewarded with Marquez’s goal. Marquez was left unmarked at the far post and he wasted no time in drilling his shot past Khune. South Africa now face Uruguay in Pretoria on June 16, while Mexico take on France in Polokwane on June 17. Meanwhile, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre said his side must beat France in their next World Cup match to keep alive their hopes of making the knockout phase. Aguirre was bitterly disappointed his side failed to convert their first-half domination into goals while South Africa grew in confidence in front of 84,490 supporters at a packed Soccer City stadium in the Group A clash. “Both teams will go away with a bittersweet taste and now we are forced to beat France,” said Aguirre, whose side face the French in Polokwane on June 17. “I think we had a very good first half, but we weren’t capable of really finishing our chances,” said the 60-year-old. “The team was confident we could score and win the match, but we missed a few chances and things got complicated after they scored. “The South African goalkeeper was really great and I wouldn’t say we panicked, but we definitely got a little anxious after conceding the goal.” Despite South Africa being 66 places below their opponents in the world rankings, Aguirre believes the home side were buoyed by playing in front of their own supporters. “The FIFA rankings are relative, they give you an idea, but South Africa were playing at home with all their fans behind them, so I wasn’t surprised by their good performance,” said Aguirre. The coach said his side’s inability to convert their numerous chances into goals hurt them as the Bafana Bafana grew in strength after they get over their initial nervy start playing in front of a passionate crowd.—AFP

JOHANNESBURG: Mexico’s Rafael Marquez (second from right at top) scores a goal against South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune (left) during the World Cup Group A soccer match between South Africa and Mexico.—AP

France struggle to draw with Uruguay CAPE TOWN: Former champions France failed to set the World Cup alight yesterday as they struggled to a 0-0 draw against 10man Uruguay in an uninspiring start to their campaign. Rarely can a team have arrived at a World Cup with more baggage than France, unsettled by rumoured internal strife and criticised at home for poor form. They did little to appease their detractors against the South Americans, with neither side able to take the early initiative in Group A after South Africa and Mexico drew 1-1 in the opening match of the tournament. France coach Raymond Domenech raised a few more eyebrows by leaving not just Thierry Henry on the bench but also Chelsea’s Florent Malouda. Nicolas Anelka was tasked with the main goalscoring duties and Arsenal’s Abou Diaby drafted in for Malouda. But they looked far from convincing at a packed Green Point Stadium. Both sides started lively enough with France having a great opportunity to take an early lead on six minutes when the dangerous Franck Ribery gave his defender the slip down the left. The Bayern Munich star sent a low cross into the box with Sidney Govou’s outstretched foot sending the ball just past the post, a chance he should have buried. France came into the match under huge pressure after a string of average perfor-

mances and they looked like they wanted to prove a point, with Diaby keeping the momentum going with a long range drive soon after. Uruguay were struggling to find their groove until Diego Forlan found space just outside the penalty area and curled in a shot that forced a fine save from Hugo Lloris. The game began opening up and minutes later Yoann Gourcuff tested the Uruguay keeper with a swinging free-kick that Fernando Muslera did well to punch away. But just as suddenly the match got bogged down in midfield and the chances dried up, with the teams going to the break all-square. The second half started as the first finished and it was becoming a turgid affair. Forlan showed glimpses of the form that bagged him so many goals last season, effortlessly bringing down a ball on his chest before blasting wide early in the second period. But the goalkeepers were hardly troubled with Anelka all at sea as France’s lone striker. He paid the price with Henry replacing him for his 121st cap with 19 minutes left. Malouda also came on for Gourcuff as Domenech threw his last dice, but to no avail with France failing to capitalise when substitute Nicolas Lodeiro was shown a red card for a wild challenge on Bakary Sagna with eight minutes left.—AFP

World Cup Group A table JOHANNESBURG: World Cup Group A table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Results: South Africa 1 Mexico 1 Uruguay 0 France 0 Group A Mexico S Africa France Uruguay

1 1 1 1

0 0 0 0

1 1 1 1

0 0 0 0

1 1 0 0

1 1 0 0

1 1 1 1

World Cup matches (local timings) South Korea v Greece .............................14:30 Al Jazeera 1 HD Al Jazeera +10 Al Jazeera World Cup Argentina v Nigeria ......................................17:00 Al Jazeera 1 HD Al Jazeera +9 Al Jazeera World Cup England v United States............................. 21:30 Al Jazeera 1 HD Al Jazeera +9 Al Jazeera World Cup

CAPE TOWN: France’s Thierry Henry (right) challenges Uruguay’s Diego Godin during the World Cup Group A soccer match between Uruguay and France.—AP

12th June 2010  

Kuwait Times

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