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RAJAB 26, 1431 AH

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Petacchi strikes again as ‘Manx express’ delayed

Swiss solar plane flying high in crucial test PAGE 27


BP chief in UAE to meet ‘partners’ Kuwait won’t raise stake ABU DHABI: BP chief executive Tony Hayward was in oil-rich Abu Dhabi yesterday amid speculation the British giant is seeking support from sovereign wealth funds following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. BP officials declined to give details of Hayward’s visit to the United Arab Emirates capital but said he had been engaged in a series of meetings. “We cannot comment about the content of the meetings. All we can say is that (Hayward) met key business partners and BP staff” in Abu Dhabi, Sheila Williams, a BP press officer in London, told AFP. BP is reportedly seeking the support of foreign sovereign wealth funds (SWF) in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the result-

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ing collapse in its share price to stave off possible takeover bids by rivals. Dow Jones Newswires said that Hayward held talks with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed AlNahayan, and discussed the possibility of the emirate taking a 10 percent equity stake in BP. There was no immediate official confirmation of the meeting. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is considered the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with assets of more than $600 billion. An ADIA spokesman, contacted by AFP, too declined to comment on Hayward’s meetings in luxury palaces from which journalists were barred access. Continued on Page 14

Hyundai, Kharafi seal port deal KUWAIT: Kuwait signed a $1.1 billion deal with South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co and local firm Kharafi Group to design and build a port near the Iraqi border. The commercial port on Boubyan Island is expected to be operating with an initial four berths in 2015, the ministry of public works and municipal affairs said in a statement yesterday. The facility is part of a plan to develop the island into a commercial seaport in a bid to position the state as a main gateway for Iraq’s reconstruction and to regain its 1970s status as a regional hub. The contract with the South Korean and the Kuwaiti companies includes dredging works, designing 16 berths and building four of them, the statement said. The project is being offered to contractors in phases, and is envisaged to eventually have 60 berths, it added. Boubyan Island measures 850 sq km in low tide and 400 sq km in high tide. Parts of it will be a natural reserve, and there are plans for building tourist attractions on it, according

to the ministry. OPEC-member Kuwait, which is looking to diversify its oil-dominated economy, has three oil ports and three commercial ports. In the presence of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the contract was signed by Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar and several officials of Hyundai and Al Kharafi. Addressing the signing ceremony, the premier said he was happy to see more development projects put up for execution, vowing that Kuwait would regain its position as a “Gulf pearl”. He hailed the Boubyan port as a giant project that is part of the country’s national development drive. However, he called on all state agencies involved to exert more effort to push forward development projects in Kuwait under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlJaber Al-Sabah (second right), Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al-Sabah (left), Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar (right) and a Hyundai official (center) are seen during the Boubyan port signing ceremony. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

PM outlines development plan Govt seeks to turn Kuwait into an int’l commercial, financial hub

DURBAN: Spain’s Carles Puyol heads the ball to score a goal during the World Cup semifinal football match between Germany and Spain at the stadium yesterday. – AP (See Pages 19 & 20)

From A-list to jail for sobbing Lohan

BEVERLY HILLS, California: Actress Lindsay Lohan cries after her sentencing by Superior Court Judge Marsha Reve during a hearing Tuesday. Lohan’s attorney Shawn Chapman Holley is seen at right. — AP (See Page 40)

LOS ANGELES: Troubled Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan sobbed and pleaded in court but a judge still slapped her with 90 days in jail for violating probation in two 2007 drunken driving cases. The actress, 24, also was ordered Tuesday to participate in a 90-day in-patient substance abuse program. “I’m not taking this as a joke and this is my life. This is my career and everything I’ve worked for my whole life,” Lohan pleaded with Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel. “If I had known I had to be here every week, I would’ve balanced it work and everything.... It’s just been such a long haul.” The judge however would Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: The Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah stressed the government is keen on accomplishing the state’s set development plan and is stressing cooperation among all state bodies and diligent effort to work out difficulties as means towards that end. He was addressing a press conference he held with editors-in-chief of local papers, and stressed all due effort shall be exerted and all due cooperation shall be made within the framework of the constitution. The government shall respect all supervisory tools used by MPs and would cooperate with them “and would not allow differences and conflicts stall development or cause tension in the relationship between the two authorities, and we have relentless determination to overcome all hurdles”. Sheikh Nasser expressed thanks to the Almighty for blessing the state “with guidance and strength to utilize constitutional tools and coordinate their usage as well as coordinate efforts by the civil community institutions and all groups within Kuwaiti society, and investing all that to serve the homeland and push forward development and bring about prosperity”. Sheikh Nasser also expressed appreciation to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for their great and continued support to all authorities and for Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah meets editors-in-chief of local dailies yesterday. —KUNA

US, Russia plan spy swap MOSCOW: The Cold Warstyle intrigue over a reputed spy ring nabbed in the United States deepened yesterday as word emerged of a possible scheme to swap Russians who hid in American suburbia for an imprisoned arms-control researcher and others who passed secrets to the US.

Dmitry Sutyagin says his brother Igor, who is serving a 14-year prison term, was told he is among convicted spies who are to be exchanged for Russians arrested by the FBI. Officials from both the United States and Russia refused to comment on the claim, but Dmitry Sutyagin said his

brother could be whisked off to Vienna and then to London for a planned exchange as early as today. In the US, American officials met with the Russian ambassador in Washington and a hearing for three alleged spies was canceled in Virginia. They were ordered to New

York along with two other alleged spies who waived their right to a local hearing in Boston. The other five defendants were already in custody in New York. Igor Sutyagin was told by Russian officials that he and other convicted spies are to be exchanged for Continued on Page 14

Mossad agent to be handed to Germany

WARSAW: Israeli citizen and alleged Mossad agent Uri Brodsky covers his face as he is escorted into court yesterday. –— AP

WARSAW: An Israeli man suspected of involvement in the slaying of a Hamas operative will be extradited to Germany, a Polish court ruled yesterday. Suspected Mossad agent Uri Brodsky is wanted by Germany, which accuses him of the crimes of spying and of helping falsely obtain a German passport allegedly used in connection with the assassination of Mahmoud AlMabhouh in a Dubai hotel in January. Suspicion immediately fell on the Mossad, but Israel has never commented on the killing and has refused comment on Brodsky. The Polish judge, Tomasz

Calkiewicz, ruled yesterday that Brodsky can be extradited based on suspicion of forgery. That means that Germany can only charge him with that crime, which carries a sentence of three years. Calkiewicz said that Poland cannot extradite him on espionage charges because espionage against Germany is not a punishable crime in Poland. The German federal prosecutor’s office said it cannot comment on the case because it has not officially been informed of the details of the decision. One of Brodsky’s lawyers, Anna Mika-Kopec, Continued on Page 14



A yoga session in progress

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two participants enjoy coloring

Kids acquire skills, share valuable experiences at summer camps By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: With the summer heat continuing to scorch Kuwait, large numbers of the small but dynamic country’s population have already left or are leaving for a break. For those families who choose or are compelled, for one reason or another, to stay in the country, however, there are a wide number of activities to keep the kids entertained and occupied during the summer holidays. A large number of schools and other educational institutions are now offering valuable summer courses for kids and teens, enabling parents to ensure that their children’s summer is spent dynamically if not productively by enrolling them in summer camps. While the schools and institutions running camps charge every child a small amount in exchange for fun and adventure, a number of religious institutions sometimes offer summer camps free of charge.

A file photo of pearl diving session

A file photo of a singing lesson at the Kuwait Sea Sports Club in Salmiya

The K-Camp Among the best-known of Kuwait’s summer camps is the K-Camp. The K (standing for Kuwait or Kids) Camp was first established in 2001, growing from an idea put forward during a brainstorming session into an increasingly popular reality. From 20 participants in 2001, the numbers attending the camp increased fivefold over just four years to over one hundred in 2005 and have continued to rise, with over 300 kids participating in this year’s camp events. Roy Nimatala, a member of the KCamp’s administrative staff, said that most of the children attending the camp are Kuwaiti, but that they welcome expatriates too. “We have about 99 percent Kuwaitis at the summer camp. We hold indoor sports activities, such as swimming and fun games, as well as storytelling. The summer camp lasts for one month and in fact [today, Thursday] will be our last day,” he said. KCamp’s choice of venues varies from year to year, with this year’s summer camp being

held at the American School of Kuwait in the Hawally area. Pearl-diving festival Another famous and unique summer camp-type event in Kuwait is the annual pearl diving expedition for Kuwaiti boys aged between 15 and 19. The participants are trained in all types of associated activities, from rigorous swimming coaching to prepare them for deep-water diving to various aspects of life aboard a ship and how to cope with long voyages, amongst other things. They are also trained in how to repair dhows and battle homesickness, as well as learning seafaring songs and dances. The annual expedition, which takes place under the auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, is held to remind young Kuwaitis of one of their forefathers’ principal occupations prior to the discovery of oil. “I love being in the company of my friends; they are all here, so I joined the pearl-diving expedition. I’m learning a lot but also having fun with the rest of the group,” said one 14-year-old diver speaking at the headquarters of the Kuwait Sea Sports Club in Salmiya, which organizes the event. IES summer camps The Indian Educational School (IES), meanwhile, is holding its first summer camp this year. Richa Khandelwal, the summer camp’s chief coordinator, said that expatriate kids should have the same enjoyable holiday opportunities as Kuwaiti children. In the past, he explained, “every summer holiday, expatriate kids would only spend their time watching TV since they find it difficult to play outside due to the hot weather. Hence, we feel that summer camps provide a great venue for kids to have fun, learn and at the same time keep themselves busy in a fun but productive atmosphere. So we arranged this summer camp for the first time at our school; we want it to be mostly

300-plus birth certificates issued for bedoon children KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has officially begun receiving birth certificate applications from the Kuwaiti fathers of children born to bedoon (stateless) mothers. The new birth certificates will see the space on the certificate listing the mother’s nationality left blank, following a recent cabinet decision on the matter. The parents in this group faced problems previously in obtaining birth certificates for their children due to the unresolved status of Kuwait’s bedoon residents, which meant that there was no way of obtaining birth certificates since some of the necessary data was missing. Since it began receiving birth certificate applications from par-

ents in this group, the MoH’s births, deaths and marriages registration office has dealt with more than 300 applications, a senior health ministry official revealed. The ministry will continue receiving applications for those in this category until it is instructed otherwise, the official continued, adding that all the Kuwaiti and bedoon parents assisted under the new scheme had expressed satisfaction at the new arrangement. The official also voiced hope that this would be the first step on the road to finding a comprehensive and fair solution to the problems of Kuwait’s bedoon residents, which would put an end to their long suffering.

A file photo of pearl diving participants during Dasha or send-off ceremony

about fun, but also an unforgettable experiences for kids - though not stressful as studying!” she explained. Kids and teenagers alike are encouraged to join in the fun by participating in the various activities organized for them at the IES’ indoor venue. “We carefully plan various activities to cater to the needs of children,” Khandelwal explained. “We want it to be pleasurable for kids yet dynamic, and it can help stimulate their young minds to let them learn various concepts without feeling they are in a school studying.” One 12-year-old participant having a great time at the IES summer camp told the Kuwait Times, “I am really enjoying the camp. I love doing coloring worksheets, singing rhymes and watching movies with my friends.” Another eight-year-old participant noted, “I love singing, and watching movies with the other campers.” The IES summer camp’s theme is ‘Learn

While Having Fun,’ with the wide variety of activities including ‘Yoga for a healthy mind and body,’ as well as singing, poetry recitals, reading stories aloud to improve participants’ listening skills and increase their vocabulary, debates, elocution lessons, drama workshops, group interaction and all sorts of creative activities. As if all these weren’t enough, there are also creative games to improve mathematics skills, arts and crafts to bring out kids’ self-expression and creativity, as well as honing their motor and coordination skills, as well as more sports-oriented activities like swimming and other sporting pastimes. The IES is also organizing a number of field trips for the young participants to stimulate their minds and inspire their curiosity about various aspects of arts and business. “All these activities are provided to children in the three-to-six, six-to-nine, and nine-totwelve age groups, with the camps beginning in June and lasting until September 2.

Kids enjoy watching Lion King DVD at their camp

kuwait digest

Bank’s essential role By Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NBK t’s a notable coincidence that the Kuwait Airlines Corporation recently announced that they have finished paying back a loan from NBK to finance a Boeing B777 aircraft deal in 1998 while people accuse banks of closing financing doors in the face of local companies. A bank’s duty is to provide finance. Without being able to provide financial support there would be no reason for a bank to exist. The process of providing financial support is standardized by monitoring authorities and banks themselves. KAC’s recent announcement proves the profound role banks have played in providing financial support to public and local firms. These projects have helped revive Kuwait’s economy before and after the Iraqi Invasion. Local banks have never hesitated to provide


loans for certain projects and have approved loan requests for projects such as the EQUATE projects (1 & 2), infrastructure and sewage treatment plant projects, and others, in addition to financing private sector projects. Furthermore, it’s important to note the significant role local banks have played in financing Kuwait’s rebuilding process following the Iraqi Invasion. They started financing operations as soon as the country was liberated, some of which were launched by NBK even before the liberation. In the meantime, local banks continue this role while the country is entering into the starting stages of its five year development plan. They have the stability and liquidity required to finance the plan’s projects. The Central Bank of Kuwait’s statistics further prove that local banks are still committed to financing the country’s economic development. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Autism Center yesterday held the closing ceremony for its academic year. Staff and pupils, as well as the center’s advisory committee, participated in the event, which included a presentation by pupils on the theme of Kuwait’s marine heritage. At the end of the ceremony, the pupils enjoyed a sailing trip aboard a local ferry.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

3 A complicated procedure

Marriage committee eases matrimony with foreigners By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Marrying a foreigner in Kuwait is a complicated procedure that involves many steps. Any Kuwaiti married to a foreigner, seeking a valid marriage certificate, should receive an approval from several different authorities. Should the foreigner be residing abroad, the procedure becomes even more complicated. In that case, the approval should be given by the ministries of Interior, Justice, Social Affairs and Labor, and Foreign Affairs. However, these steps apply to ordinary civil cases. If a Kuwaiti is an employee with the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Interior, his marriage to a foreigner most probably will not be legally sanctioned, a source from the Marriage Council Bureau in Kuwait said.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Bayan Palace yesterday the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun accompanied by Director General of the Kuwait Stock Exchange Saleh Mubarak Al-Falah, and head of the legal department at the market Jamal Fahad Al-Rshaid.

local spotlight

Business challenges in Kuwait By Muna Al-Fuzai


onducting business in K u w a i t today is not as easy as many think or assume. It is not mission impossible for those who can draw up a plan and make objectives clear and easy to implement. Of course, any theory which you cannot implement is wasteful. So, for those who follow a clear-cut strategy and a vision about what is really going on in the local market and how to achieve their aims, yes, businesses would be easy. Two main thoughts here, first, that these are old business owners. They have been present in the local market for ages. They know how to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. They know when to move how and where. Secondly, it is a fact that Kuwaiti society is small and there is a code that makes everything happen. For instance, if you do not follow the rules and try to fool someone, this marks the end of

your reputation as decent business owners. Companies that are good will not accept to conduct business with you. I believe that any new company needs to prepare its homework well and study their objectives in the local market before establishing businesses and starting usual procedures by renting offices and hiring staff to avoid major challenges. These are the usual concerns to expand business. Maybe hiring a consultant or a financial adviser would not be a bad idea to avoid making extra payment. Also, a huge difference exists between small and big companies in term of size. Financial capability as well as the power of influence wielded by competitors and decision makers wil be able to expedite the process itself. Many think it is slow in Kuwait when compared to many other countries in the region. This tool can be easily used to affect others negatively and create non-existent fears. Another issue is the possible problems that arise from government regulations and local rules. This is an issue that should not be undermined or ignored. For example, every foreign

investor here requires a local Kuwaiti sponsor. The laws cannot be circumvented. Governmental rules are a challenge when it comes to establishing a business. So, understanding the local system is a challenge. When you get to understand its needs and how it works, everything runs smoothly. There is another subject matter here, that is the product quality. It is the unspoken challenge. In fact, to import a high quality product is great but not easy. However, meeting international standards are possible. It requires commitment to supply a product that exceeds expectations. As no fierce competition exists, enforcement of laws and country regulations are needed to keep everything under control and supervised. This is to avoid fraudulence and cheating . Challenges posed by businesses can be a real burden to any business owners. I advise new companies to prepare a strategy and create clear objectives when it comes to performing business in Kuwait. In this manner, all challenges turn into a success.

Rarely do Kuwaiti women marry a nonKuwaiti, even though there have been few cases. The number of Kuwaiti men who have foreign spouses is much higher. Overall, statistics show that Kuwaitis prefer marrying their compatriots. Also, the government encourages marriages between Kuwaitis by granting every Kuwaiti man marriage loans of KD 4,000. In the 1980s, the number of Kuwaitis married to foreign women had increased and many problems had arisen, especially with marriages registered abroad (especially in Egypt and Syria). Many men left their wives in their native countries. They could not or did not want to bring them to Kuwait. Some of those who entered into such wedlock were students while others were tourists. Many of these problems affected Kuwait’s reputation. The government found a solution to eliminate these problems by setting up a committee for Organizing Marriage between Kuwaitis and Foreigners. This operates under the umbrella of the Council of Ministers, “The main purpose of this committee is to help Kuwaitis organize their marriage procedure with a non-Kuwaiti,” said Sami Al-Rubaian, First Secretary, Head of Authentication and Centers at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Kuwait Times. Each of the committee’s centers receive a large number of applications. For instance,

the Shuwaikh branch received 794 authentication applications within one week. “The Kuwaiti government has no objection to a Kuwaiti marrying a foreigner. However, this should be done in accordance with certain rules. It’s not only about two people getting married. This couple will build a family, and this is part of the society,” he added. He further explained that the ministry has issued instructions to the Kuwaiti embassies abroad to inform the authorities in charge not to certify or authenticate the marriage certificates issued in this country without the approval of Kuwait, “A Kuwaiti will need the authentication when he attempts to issue a visit visa to Kuwait for his wife. Here, he will face the problem. The problem will be even worse if he has kids,” Al-Rubaian stressed. The story in numbers: According to a study performed by the Legal Authentication Department at the Ministry of Justice in 2009 alone, some 14,155 marriages were held by ‘Mathoun’ outside of the department, in front of the judge, and some by the court. Some 904 marriages were conducted outside of Kuwait and were authenticated in Kuwait. In 2009, there were some 5,965 divorce cases. In the same year (2009) the marriages between Kuwaitis were 7,581 in number. Another 292 divorced during the same period. The number of Kuwaiti men married to

non-Kuwaiti women were 1,984. Between Kuwaitis married to non-Kuwaitis, there were some 91 divorce cases. The number of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaiti men touched 740. Some 44 Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis were divorced during the same period. While there were no divorce cases out of the 94 marriages contracted between the stateless (beedon) in the same year. When compared to the years 2007 and 2008, marriages have decreased in 2008 from 13,315 in 2007 to 12,810 in 2008. The total number of marriages held in years 2004-2008 reached 12,700. The percentages of Kuwaitis married to Kuwaitis is 72.1 percent out of the total number of marriages that have taken place in Kuwait. While it is 15.2 percent when the couple are expats. Some 8.7 percent of marriages take place between a Kuwaiti man and a non-Kuwaiti woman. And some four percent of the marriages take place between a Kuwaiti woman and a non-Kuwaiti man. The Family Consultation Department plays an important role in bringing together couples that plan to divorce. The highest percentage of reunion cases took place between Kuwaiti men and non-Kuwaiti women, which reached 62.3 percent. The study also provided future expectations of the average annual marriage cases to 13,265, with the limits of 11,338 as the lowest possible and 15,192 as the highest number expected for the years 2010-2013.

in the news Bedoon nurses’ pay KUWAIT: The Kuwait Nursing Association is considering increasing pay and bonuses and improving conditions for nursing personnel, particularly bedoon (stateless) nurses who currently work without contracts and are paid on a per-shift basis, making them ineligible for annual leave or end-ofservice pensions. In a press release issued following a recent meeting with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Assistant Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs

Zaid Al-Nawaf, KNA chairman Canaan AlEnezi indicated that the senior CSC official had stressed the commission’s commitment to revising the current regulations on nurses’ pay and condition. AlEnezi further revealed that the meeting also focused on improving the conditions of bedoon nurses, reported Al-Qabas, with discussions centering on the need to introduce employment contracts which would entitle those in this group to the aforementioned benefits.

Son robs mother KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti woman has accused her 20-year-old son of breaking into her bedroom in the family home in Sulaibikhat and damaging a number of items of furniture before stealing valuable jewelry and fleeing to an unknown location. The woman has lodged charges of theft and property damage against her son and a police search is underway for him, reported Al-Rai.

Info Ministry mulls monitoring blogs KUWAIT: The Parliamentary committee to study the negative effects of foreign phenomena in Kuwait received assurances from the Minister of Information to enforce stricter measures regarding monitoring local satellite TV channels. The announcement was made by the head of the committee following their latest meeting, which also featured participation from the Information Minister, reported Al-Qabas. Minister Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah asserted that the ministry will do everything in its power to curb attempts to strike against the country’s

KUWAIT: A fire broke out in a warehouse situated on Canada Dry Street yesterday. The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined. No injuries were reported.—Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Kuwaiti annual divorce rate up 4.4% since ’90s KUWAIT: According to a newly released study by the parliamentary general secretariat’s research department, the annual divorce rate among Kuwaitis has increased from an annual average of 31 percent of all

marriages throughout the 1980s and ‘90s to 35.4 percent of marriages in the past decade, a rise of 4.4 percent. Although an average of 30 Kuwaiti men and women have been marrying every day for the past few years,

the study, based on Ministry of Justice records found that one-third of this number have filed for divorce daily over the same period, reported AlQabas. The study also noted that 65 percent of divorces take

place in the first five years of marriage, with its authors attributing the rise at least partially to the recent introduction of civil legislation which increased the benefits available to Kuwaiti divorcees, who are now able

to claim a car, housemaid and chauffeur, as well as alimony and housing payments, from their former husbands following divorce. The study also stressed the negative societal impact of divorce, particularly on the

children of divorced parents, and called for the introduction of more premarital counseling programs for engaged couples to increase awareness of the aspects of commitment and duty in marriage.

national unity. He noted that the Cabinet is keen on implementing the law on that regard. On a more interesting note, the minister - who is also the Minister of Oil - revealed that the information ministry is still studying the possibility of monitoring online blogs. He also noted that the ministry’s legal committee is still studying the amendments proposed by the Cabinet on the audio-visual law. The minister vowed during the meeting to resign from his post should he fail to fully implement the law against those who strike against national unity.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Accreditation list

Vague MoE report causes confusion By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) earlier this w eek published a statement listing the names of the universities and educational institutes officially accredited by it. The list, w hich only includes the names of institutes in Qatar, Egypt One student, 26-year-old Mona AlQahtani, voiced concern that the new policy would mean that wasta would become the only criterion: “There are numerous people who study abroad nowadays and who come back with degrees they don’t deserve. By limiting the number, the ministry is creating more possibilities for wasta to be the controlling factor in who goes to study abroad and who doesn’t. It’s really bad, and I hope the ministry issues a clarification soon,” she said. Al-Qahtani, a Kuwait University law graduate, intends to continue her studies abroad but has been experiencing difficulties in dealing with the education ministry’s bureaucracy and red tape. Adel Al-Sharrah, a 31-year-old student, said that the MoE’s decision to limit the

KUWAIT: The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters held the Seventh Summer Formative Exhibition at Ahmad Al-Adwani halls in Dhahiyat Abdallah Al-Salem. NCCAL Secretary General Bader Sayyed Abdelwahab Al-Rifae along with other dignitaries and a large number of arts fans attended the event. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh ERRATUM

Question No. 14 of the World Cup quiz was incorrect and should have read ‘How many times has the US team reached the Confederations Cup? Printed below is the revised version.

KUWAIT: A veteran lawmaker recently referred a series of questions to three ministers concerning a letter referred by the General Manager of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) to the head of the Kuwait Municipality on March 21, 2010. The matter refers to an area in Ashbiliya where a football field is established as per a

4 5

By A. Saleh


KUWAIT: The head of the parliamentary committee on negative phenomena, MP Mohammed Hayef, has criticized the Ministry of Interior’s lackluster performance in cracking down on these harmful phenomena alien to Kuwaiti society which could damage the national fabric. “The interior ministry’s performance in pursuing and subduing alien phenomena has been weak,” Hayef insisted. The MP stated that Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh has a large number of illegal alcohol production facilities, with the damaging effects of these venues spreading to neighboring areas, calling on the Ministry of Interior to evaluate its own performance and on the interior minister Sheikh Jaber AlKhalid Al-Sabah to revise his estimates of the ministry’s success in this field. Hayef also condemned the ministry for deploying female police officers outside those areas where it was previously agreed they would be allowed to work.




How many times did the US team reach the Confederations Cup?

28 14783 Thursday, July 8, 2010

number of students per faculty is inexplicable. “Usually governments are encouraging about sending students abroad. By putting up hurdles, I don’t see the benefit honestly. If they fear idleness and unemployment, shouldn’t they allow youngsters to go abroad and study for a better quality of education?” Al-Sharrah asked. He added that because of the deteriorating status of Kuwait University and all the other local universities, as well as the poor programs they offer, it is only to be expected that a large number of students will choose to go abroad. “The government, before applying restrictions, should create a better alternative. Otherwise it has no right interfering with people’s choices in regard to what they should or shouldn’t study,” he said. Another student with a very different

opinion, 25-year-old Salman Al-Najdi, believes, however, that the MoE must be implementing this policy to counter a specific problem it has encountered: “Lately there have been accusations that many students are able to go abroad because of how much they have in their bank accounts,” he said. “If the ministry wants to limit the number of students, it also wants to ensure that they work hard to earn seats in schools abroad. I see this as a very positive step, and even though the reports published are vague I believe that the ministry will soon clarify the articles that are vague.” The Kuwait Times attempted to contact an education ministry spokesperson to enquire about the matter, but was informed that nobody was available.

MP inquires about construction licenses

MoI performance in targeting negative phenomena ‘weak’


and the United Kingdom, w as, how ever, accompanied by a number of rules, most of them extremely vague and problematic in nature, one of w hich limits the number of students per faculty to a maximum of 50. The ambiguous new policy document does not even specify w hich criteria are to be used to distribute the students to each faculty.

request referred by a citizen. In his inquisition, MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun asked the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi about the authorities to which the PAYS has to issue licenses so that citizens can build facilities on state property. He also asked the Head of the Kuwait

Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar about the manner in which the municipality dealt with the request, reported Al-Rai. Also, AlSaadoun asked Safar about the legality of the procedures pertinent with allocating the location of the ‘Boulevard’ project. It will be established through the BuildOperate-Transfer system.

in the news MEW power plans KUWAIT: With their determination to solve the country’s power shortage crisis, the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is consulting meteorologists so as to predict days when the demand on the country’s power board will be high, reported Al-Watan. As soon as meteorologist, Essa Ramadan predicted a new heat wave, everyone’s concern turned toward how the current power units will hold. MEW officials stressed that they were in direct contact with meteorologists and that they have made timetables to predict potential high temperature days so as to stay ahead of a power shortage problem. Officials refused to announce the timetable’s details but stressed that most of the forecast’s hottest days would fall on the weekend. He pointed out that such an indication means that power consumption loads will be less than critical. MEW replaces water pipes KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water has finished replacing asbestos water pipes with ductile pipes throughout the country, except for in Sulaibiya where operations are still ongoing, reported Al-Rai. The operation, which has been in progress for several years, aims to enhance the quality of the country’s water pipe network by replacing old pipes with new ones made from a higher quality material. Furthermore, the ministry made sure to use wider pipes that will have extra water capacity and help meet increased demands following construction. On a separate note, the water production average has surpassed the production rates in the past couple of years, resulting in a 12 million gallon surplus. ‘Prices under control’ KUWAIT: Prices of 1,224 items sold at cooperative societies in the country have been unified, said an official concerned with the situation. He

said that the prices of 850 new items have been fixed after comparing them with the prices of similar products. In a statement made to the press, Head of Prices Monitoring Committee of the Kuwait Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUSSC) Mohammad Al-Jabri noted that the committee closely monitors the weight-to-price ratio of products. This is done in order to ensure that prices of products are reduced in case of weight reduction. Al-Jabri further indicated that strict measures are being taken to prevent abrupt price increase. This includes terminating the contract of a supplier if it is detected that prices have been altered in an unjustifiable manner. He noted that offenses of varying degrees were registered at eight cooperative societies. This is after several cases of price increase were discovered there, reported Al-Rai. Al-Jabri explained that requests made by six companies to enforce price raise for 54 items, that did not exceed the 10 percent minimum limit, have been implemented. PAAAFR uncovers manipulation KUWAIT: A recent case of manipulation carried out by advisory offices was discovered by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), reported Al-Qabas. The office is required to conduct economic feasibility studies regarding food security but an investigation revealed that the reports were identical to ones submitted previously. In a statement they made regarding this issue, PAAAFR warned citizens against falling into a trap and urged an investigation into the credibility of advisory offices and demanded the performance of feasibility studies. On a separate note, PAAAFR repeated their notification to farmers that subsidization will be exclusively for products loaded at the new vegetable market in Sulaibiya.

28 14783 Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who was selected as Algeria's best player in 2009? Madjid Bougherra Karim Ziani Nadir Belhadj

KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) made a financial contribution to the Labor Union of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), with the aim of supporting social activities held by the Union’s General Assembly. This step comes as part of the bank’s commitment to performing its duties toward society. The CBK’s Banking Services Regional Manager Bader Al-Aamer handed over the cheque to the union’s CEO, Rajab Al-Refaei, in an event that was attended by MP Jamaal Habash. Al-Rafaei expressed gratitude for the bank’s support, and acknowledged its continuous efforts in securing commitment to society.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Waste management spending falls KUWAIT: Kuwait's spending on waste management and public cleaning has fallen steeply, with the country now spending the least of all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations on waste management, recycling and cleaning operations, according to the head of the Kuwait Cleaning Companies Association Ali Al-

Jaber. "Should Kuwait fail to increase its spending on cleaning work, the situation will continue to deteriorate," Al-Jaber warned. The association's study also showed that the increase in minimum wages for cleaning workers had affected the costs of cleaning

contracts for state facilities, reported AlQabas. After the minimum monthly wage for these workers was increased to KD 60 ($207) earlier this year, he said, the charges for the Ministry of Health (MoH) cleaning contracts alone had risen by 300 percent on the amount charged in 2007.

in the news Salary gap KUWAIT: Kuwait's Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) is currently conducting a field study in coordination with the state's executive body on civil servants' salaries. The resulting report aims to identify whether the recently introduced performance-related bonuses and other incentives for public sector workers have created a gap between the salaries on offer in the public and private sectors. One MGRP official said that further salary increases for state employees will be subject to studies conducted by various authorities, as well as several variable factors, such as the nature of the work being undertaken and economic changes, reported Al-Jarida. The official explained that any proposed increase in Kuwaiti private sector workers' salaries must be comprehensively studied beforehand in order to ensure that it achieves the desired effect and that the government and budget are not put under unreasonable pressure. New opera house KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is planning the construction of a 200,000-square meter opera house in the Capital area, as well as six new state-ofthe-art theaters, each no smaller than 50,000 square meters, one in each of the country's governorates. Khalid Al-Khazi, the Undersecretary of the MPW's Health Engineering department, has asked Kuwait Municipality Director General Ahmad AlSabeeh to allocate sites for all the new venues, reported Annahar. Al-Khazi also recommended that the locations should be accessible and have outstanding views.

GAZA: Some of the houses reconstructed by the Kuwait Red Crescent Society in Gaza Strip.

UNRWA hails contributions of KRCS to Gaza projects KUWAIT: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) hailed yesterday the support of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) to the agency's projects in Gaza Strip. UNRWA representative Peter Ford addressed the KRCS Chairman Barjas Humoud Al-Barjas in a letter which particularly noted the contribution of $200,000 to help fund reconstruction and restoration of Palestinian homes demolished and damaged during the Israeli war on Gaza, particularly homes housing widows and orphans.

Ford said this contribution is in harmony with the society's stance on all projects aiming to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in diaspora, and particularly in Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Lebanon. The Kuwaiti contribution went to the work needed for 30 family homes, he pointed out. "The UNRWA extends its appreciation to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society and its staff for their continuous support of the Palestinian people, and wish to see fruitful partnership with this distinguished body," Ford said. — KUNA

Inaccurate data KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) recently singled out a number of security companies that had placed a tender to supply security guards to schools. This is after discovering that some information provided in the application forms were inaccurate. The Ministry had placed a tender to recruit security guards to be employed at schools and other facilities of the ministry. While reviewing the proposed bids, it was discovered that some companies provided data that was found to be untrue, mainly pertinent with low salaries that are paid. It was discovered that some companies had provided data that is inaccurate, reported Al-Qabas.

5 Complete anonymity for callers

Addiction help hotline up and running By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: An official at the newly established drug addiction hotline said that they are filling in an important gap in the war against drug usage. Speaking to Kuwait Times, a social service researcher of addiction hotlines revealed the several challenges facing people with drug addiction problems. "We provide instructions for the best ways to deal with addiction, whether it's for the caller's addiction or a member of his family," said Salem Al-Nesafi, a social service researcher taking part in the help hotline. Al-Nesafi said that in the best cases, an addict asks for help by himself but added that doesn't happen very often. "We try to tell people what to do for their family members because many people don't know that there is a legal procedure called 'addict reporting,'" he said, explaining that it is a legal case filed by the addict's family members. According to the procedure, parents or brothers are allowed to admit a family member who is a drug addict to a rehabilitation center. According to Al-Nesafi, the Alcohol and Drug Prosecution takes the person in for drug rehabilitation, no matter how many drugs he is found to be in possession of. The drugs will be destroyed and he will be dealt with as an addict who turned himself in voluntarily. "This is very important because yesterday for example, I got a call from a man saying that he only heard about how things are done from someone and didn't completely understand how the procedure is done. He went to the police station and reported his relative who was then sent to jail," he added.

The hotline was launched on July 1. "The first two days, due to the lack of appropriate media coverage, we received only two or three calls a day. After the fourth day, the average number of calls a day has reached about 13," he noted. Al-Nesafi said that the hotline guarantees complete anonymity for callers. "We don't take any of the caller's information, we just listen to their cases and answer their questions. We don't ask about name, status, address or anything else, we just evaluate the situation and let people know what their options are," he said. He added that the hotline coordinates with government authorized rehabilitation centers. The hotline provides help for drug addicts themselves, providing general information about the harmful effects of drug use. They also help addicts learn what they can do to confront their addiction and provide them

with suggestions on what they can do to help themselves. The social service representative said that the most common calls they receive are from heroin addicts and for calls related to hashish and keptagon usage, especially from teenagers. "Sometimes we receive bizarre cases," Al-Nesafi said. "For example, yesterday we received a call from one family regarding an older brother with an addiction problem and a younger brother who was just beginning to use the drug. Afterwards, it turned out the two were from a Satanist sect. Since yesterday we were working on this and trying to find a way to help these people, even though this is not part of my specialty. I am just a social services researcher. We are trying to get help to solve this problems." Al-Nesafi added that Satanism is becoming a popular way for youngsters to be introduced to drugs. The hotline number is 94928282.

kuwait digest

Kuwait University goes decent! By Dr Khaled Al-Qahs


he recent decision made by Kuwait University's dean's committee, headed by KU director Dr Abdullah Al-Fuhaid, to ban all improper clothes got controversial responses from many. As usual in Kuwait, the issue was politicized and MPs became involved. We heard statements such as; "violating personal freedom" and "these are the orders of the commission for the propagation of virtue and prevention of vice." I personally approve of the decision and thank the KU administration for it, though it took too long to issue. Clear implementation procedures should be put in place and collaborated upon between student

affairs committees, the national union for university students and staff members. We should not overreact to this decision. Nobody is actually questioning university students' behavior. The decision is only meant to regulate students in accordance to our traditions and values. We are not talking religiously about decency. It's only a matter of regulation and we have seen many places worldwide, including some restaurants, that prevent entry without wearing a suit. In two months, enshallah, I will have completed ten years at KU, of which I'm very proud. Like my fellow professors I have taught scores or students of both genders and I can frankly say that it was the way some of them dressed that led to

such a decision. It's very disgusting to see a student enter class in shorts. It becomes even more embarrassing when the class includes both male and female students. Things have gone way too far and some students are wearing clothes that might not even be suitable to wear at home. I don't think female students should wear worn out or very tight jeans, short skirts or transparent clothes with too much make-up even around her family. A university is a solemn place that requires clothing that matches the rules and regulations that stem from our traditions and values. Otherwise, students are absolutely free outside of the campus.— Al-Watan



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Unsuccessful attempt to escape

Asian drug dealer caught in Ahmadi KUWAIT: Ahmadi police who pulled a Pakistani motorist over for a routine check in the Fahaheel area became suspicious when he attempted to flee on foot, searching the vehicle and finding three envelopes full of heroin. The man’s escape attempt was unsuccessful, reported Al-Qabas, and he subsequently told officers when questioned that he had been selling the drug on behalf of an inmate in Central Prison. He explained that he had been dropping the heroin off at prearranged locations, including in certain abandoned cars or under trees, for the customers to pick up. He was referred to the relevant authorities.

kuwait digest

Premier exercised his civil rights By Madhi Al-Khamees he country is currently living a case of political kidnap by a group that claims to have adopted patriotism as its main goal while quelling popular opinion. This is the main approach they adopt while oppressing all other opinion and executing the Five-Year plan. This group made use of their approach to achieve personal gains. In the meantime, this group exercises its right to expression freely. It criticizes whoever it wants, without limitations. This will cause nothing but more chaos. Contradictions are clearly evident in the Kuwaiti political situation. At one point, we find a part of the society exercising its right that was protected by the law and Constitution, to seek legal action against those who attack them either through the media or via other means. However, these same people lodged protests against actions carried out by HH


the Prime Minister in which he exercised his right as a citizen to prosecute a person who verbally assaulted him. There is no justification for the uproar created in relation to the case that was filed by HH the PM. He might have made mistakes throughout political history. However, history shows that Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah has worked toward developing Kuwait and its people as a prime minister. Therefore, it’s unfair to attack his image for personal reasons. Moreover, HH the PM chose the most respectful and legal manner to address defamation charges; by taking legal action in total respect to the country’s laws and confidence. We should all be equally confident, even if someone questions judges’ loyalty. This will open the door for more skeptics such as questioning the cases in which court orders were ruled in favor of MPs. Throughout his tenure as the country’s

prime minister, HH Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah took a number of questionable steps mainly that affected certain ministers’ appointment, especially those pertinent with projects that later failed. However, the criticism directed against him were clearly defamatory in nature. Therefore, HH the PM has the right to seek legal action against his attacker. We should all comply with law and order. After all, if a court convicts a journalist who attacked an officer on the street, would that also be considered as abrupt apprehension? The answer is no. But the reason why the PM was criticized for exercising his right against his ‘attacker’ is because there are clear tactics being plotted that aim at causing the Cabinet to fail. These are carried out by parties that use all means necessary to achieve its main goal. This is only to show that Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah is incapable of tackling the country’s issues. — Al-Rai

Mustafa Al-Najjar leads a competition.

Grim discovery Worshippers leaving a mosque in Khaitan found the body of a 64-year-old Egyptian man behind the building. Initially, they believed that the man had fallen unconscious, but the emergency workers who rushed to the scene discovered that he had been dead for some time, with his body in an advanced stage of decomposition, reported Al-Watan. The body was removed for autopsy in order to determine the cause of death, while crime scene officers removed evidence from the location to help in the police investigation. Fatal crash A 40-year-old Kuwaiti man died shortly after his vehicle crashed headfirst into a lamppost beside the Sulaibikhat

coastal road after he lost control of the steering. Although paramedics rushed to the scene, they were unable to revive him, reported AlWatan. The body was removed for autopsy, while an investigation is underway into the reason for the crash. Street mugging A Pakistani man was attacked and robbed by five unidentified assailants while walking along a street in Saad Al-Abdullah. The muggers got away with the victim’s cell phone, as well as KD 200 in cash, which he was carrying in his wallet, reported AlSessayah. After going to hospital for medical treatment and obtaining a medical report detailing his injuries, the man immediately went to the local police station to report the incident. A hunt is underway

for the attackers. Fight club A Kuwaiti adolescent suffered a stab wound to his back in a fight with three bedoon (stateless) youths in Sulaibiya. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene, with the boy’s assailants fleeing before they arrived, reported Al-Seyassah. The injured teen was quickly taken to hospital and police are waiting for his medical condition to stabilize in order to take his statement about the incident. Jail assault foiled Central Prison warders thwarted an attempt by a Kuwaiti inmate to sexually assault a bedoon (stateless) prisoner. The attacker had apparently lured his victim to an empty cell in order to carry out the assault, but the

warders’ quick response foiled his plans, reported Annahar. The assailant was taken for questioning and faces further charges related to the assault. Bootlegger busted A bootlegger was caught in the Capital area in a police operation following a tip-off from an informant, who revealed that the man used a trash dumpster outside a local cafe as a hiding place for illicit alcohol he was selling. After he was arrested, the man admitted that he had been manufacturing the alcohol in his flat in Khaitan, reported Al-Anba. He further revealed that his illicit business had been flourishing during the current World Cup tournament. He was referred to the relevant authorities for legal action.

United Arab effort to fight forgery CAIRO: The newly elected President of the Arab Federation Against Counterfeit and Forgery Adel Al-Hadad pointed out yesterday the significance of activating the work of the Union, especially with the increase in crime. Al-Hadad was elected as president of the Arab Federation after a meeting of the union here on Monday. “The Arab Federation reflects the Arabs keenness to establish a bright future in fighting forgery and fraud,” Al-

Al-Boloushi participates in a competition.

Hadad said. He stressed the importance of Arab and international cooperation in providing educational programs to raise awareness on the prevention of crimes of forgery. “The Union is a way to achieve economic security and provide safety in daily transactions,” he added. Participants in the meeting agreed that the main headquarter of the Federation to be established in Cairo, while regional offices were to open in Kuwait and Jordan,

and other Arab countries, he noted. “The meeting also approved the establishment of committees to combat fraud and counterfeit in cooperation with central banks and Arab customs, ports and airports,” he added. The Federation aims at maintaining the risk of fraud in Arab organizations, governmental and private sectors, as well as cooperation with international institutions to gain knowledge in the field of combating fraud and counterfeit. — KUNA

Badriya Ali from the United Bank awards a winner with prize.

KBC holds Open Day at Aquapark

A fun-filled competition.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Banks Club (KBC) recently organized an Open Day for staff members of the banking sector and families at Aquapark. More than 3,000 employees and families took part in entertainment programs that are held in cooperation with the Fantasy Company. Furthermore, participants took part in competitions that were held as part of the Open Day. Prizes were distributed to winners by KBC’s Assistant General Manager, Abbas AlBoloushi and Aquapark’s Public Relations Manager, Abdullatif AlShemmari. Al-Boloushi expressed gratitude to Aquapark’s General Manager, Mohammad Khoursheed for hosting the event.

The KBC’s social committee poses with a number of winners.

Al-Shemmari shakes hands with a winner after awarding him with his prize.

A group photo of winners.

Crowd enjoying held as part of the Open Day

Al-Shemmari and Al-Boloushi pose with social committee members.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Netanyahu bodyguards’ guns go missing on US visit JERUSALEM: Four handguns belonging to the bodyguards of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have disappeared from airline cargo during a US visit, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said yesterday. “The pistols were part of the equipment sent ahead to Washington, and got lost,” a Shin Bet spokesman said, adding that Israeli and US authorities were investigating. The American news network NBC reported that the guns may have been mistakenly flown to Los Angeles and stolen. After meeting US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, Netanyahu was scheduled to continue to New York. The Shin Bet spokesman said the missing pistols had not forced any change to his schedule or security measures. Meanwhile, after warm White House talks, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, before heading to the UN for talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon. Israel was hailing a new chapter of warm ties with its ally the United States after the upbeat summit between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.

“A president now working with the premier, not against him,” thrilled the right-wing Jerusalem Post. “This time, publicly at least, there were none of the harsh demands, none of the hectoring, none of the patronizing.” But the Israeli premier may find the UN secretary general less forthcoming during their talks later yesterday. Ban said Tuesday that while Israel’s easing of its blockade of the Gaza Strip was welcome, more needed to be done to ease Palestinian hardships. There are also calls at the United Nations for a full inquiry into the deaths of nine Turkish activists during an Israeli commando raid on May 31 on an aid flotilla trying to break the four-year blockade. Israel has set up a commission of inquiry into the events with the participation of British and Canadian observers, but some nations are calling for a fuller international probe. Israeli officials say that they do not expect such calls to win the support of the Security Council, but they expect criticism at other UN bodies where they say there is at times a majority hostile to Israel. Israel has also given the go-ahead for the international

community to import construction materials into Gaza, controlled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The United States has been leading moves to try to kickstart the long stalled Middle East peace talks, and has so far been hosting indirect proximity talks. But after the White House meeting Tuesday, Obama said he hoped for direct peace talks to start before the end of September when an Israeli freeze on settlement building is due to expire. “I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace. I think he’s willing to take risks for peace,” Obama told reporters. He also strongly disputed suggestions that he had distanced the United States from Israel, sharing a prolonged handshake with the visiting Israeli leader for the cameras. Netanyahu says he is ready to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at any time, and said he and Obama had discussed “concrete” steps which could be taken now. “When I say ‘the next few weeks,’ that’s what I mean. The president means that too,” he said. Obama also promised to help prevent a September session of the UN’s International

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Robert Gates meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Blair House yesterday. — AP

Atomic Energy Agency from singling Israel out for harsh criticism. The Quartet of Middle East peacemakersthe United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia-will also meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September with members of the Security Council and the Arab League. At his meeting with Ban, Netanyahu is expected to repeat his call for global support of US-led efforts to keep up diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran, already facing a fourth set of UN sanctions for refusing to rein in its nuclear program. Western powers accuse Tehran of seeking to build an atomic bomb, charges vehemently denied by the Islamic republic. Late Wednesday, Netanyahu will address Jewish leaders in New York and on Thursday will give a speech to the Council for Foreign Relations and meet with former president Bill Clinton. The two men did not get along during Clinton’s presidency, when Netanyahu served a previous term as premier and exasperated the White House with his policy encouraging Jewish settlement in occupied Palestinian territories. — Agencies

Suicide bombers blow up police homes, 3 die Shiite pilgrims stream into Baghdad amid high security

BAGHDAD: Men and women, Shiite pilgrims pray at the Imam Moussa Kadhim shrine for the annual commemoration of the saint’s death, in the Shiite district of Kazimiyah yesterday. — AP

BAGHDAD: Militants targeted the homes of Iraq’s security forces west of Baghdad yesterday, blowing them up and killing three family members despite heightened security around the capital for a Shiite religious occasion. Though violence has dropped across Iraq, security forces, religious processions and holy sites are still regularly targeted by insurgents trying to destabilize the country and reignite sectarian bloodshed as US troops head home. Police officials said militants attacked the homes of two police officers, two members of an antiAl-Qaeda Awakening Council and that of an ambulance driver in the dawn attacks in Baghdad’s western suburb of Abu Ghraib. None

of the targeted men were at home at the time of the attacks, but three of the men’s family members were killed, police and hospital officials in Abu Ghraib said. In a separate attack in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora in southern Baghdad, police Maj Abdul-Rahman Sobhi was killed when a bomb attached to his car detonated as he drove to work on Wednesday morning, police said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The attacks occurred even as security forces were on high alert in Baghdad where Shiite pilgrims from all over Iraq converged on a mosque in the northern Kazimiyah neighbor-

hood to mark the anniversary of the death of Moussa Al-Kadhim, the seventh imam. The huge religious processions of Iraq’s majority Shiite sect have often been targeted by Sunni insurgents. Sectarian bloodshed had the nation teetering on the brink of civil war from 2005 to 2007. A vehicle ban was in place across Kazimiyah neighborhood and 200,000 members of security forces were deployed along the way to the shrine. As pilgrims walked through the city, they were searched for weapons at checkpoints and advised to cross bridges in small groups to prevent stampedes. In 2005, more than 900 people died in a stampede sparked by a rumor that a suicide bomber was among the more than

1 million people who had gathered at the Kazimiyah shrine to mark the date of the imam’s death. In another development, tens of thousands of Shiite worshippers streamed into the Iraqi capital yesterday amid heightened security for a major pilgrimage, a day after six people were killed in a string of attacks. Around 25 people were also wounded in Tuesday’s mortar and bomb attacks as they travelled to the mausoleum of Musa Kadhim, the seventh of the 12 revered imams in Shiite Islam, in Kadhimiyah, a district named in his honor. Hundreds of tents have been erected in Baghdad to feed people as they pour into the city for the event, which reaches a cli-

max on Wednesday night and early Thursday. The mausoleum has previously been targeted by bombers. Traffic was banned on Tuesday on several bridges spanning the Tigris River, increasing already bad congestion in the Iraqi capital, where traffic control is already complicated by hundreds of security checkpoints. “Everything is going very well today,” Major General Qassim Atta, a Baghdad security forces spokesman said, referring to special safety measures such as road closures put in place to protect worshippers. “We continue to organise transport for pilgrims and air surveillance for their benefit,” he said. —Agencies



Thursday, July 8, 2010

French right counter-attacks in Bettencourt affair Critics accused of witch hunt against labor minister

PARIS: Frontpages of main European newspapers show pictures of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, France's richest woman Liliane Bettencourt and Labor Minister Eric Woerth yesterday. — AFP

PARIS: France's governing centre-right went on the offensive yesterday against allegations of taking illegal campaign donations, accusing investigative media of "fascist methods" and the opposition Socialists of a "cabal". The furor over alleged cash donations by France's richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, and her late husband, to conservative politicians has shaken President Nicolas Sarkozy's government and driven his approval rating to a record low. Labour Minister Eric Woerth, at the centre of the storm in his double role as a cabinet member and treasurer of the ruling UMP party, denounced what he called an "outpouring of hatred" against himself in an emotional television interview on Tuesday. Government supporters flooded the airwaves to support him, reject calls for his resignation and blame the whole affair on a media web site which has published a string of revelations on the Bettencourt affair, and on the Socialists who have pressed in parliament for explanations.

Xavier Bertrand, leader of the UMP party, called the Mediapart website "a site that uses fascist methods", accusing it of publishing recordings of private conversations between Bettencourt and her wealth manager he said were taped illegally. Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said the methods used by Mediapart reminded him of "a certain press in the 1930s"-a reference to extreme-right newspapers which denounced France's political class as rotten to the core. Woerth is a key Sarkozy ally in charge of leading a major pensions reform vital to reducing France's public debt and deficit. Some analysts say the scandal has weakened his ability to spearhead the reform and could fuel trade union protests against it in September. "This may reinforce the willingness of large parts of the public opinion to fight the pension reform after the summer recess," said Dominique Barbet of BNP Paribas. 'WE CANNOT CAPITULATE' Despite isolated calls for Woerth to

Angry protesters and police clash in Rome 'Government has forgotten us'

ROME: Demonstrators from Italy's Abruzzo protest in Rome yesterday. Thousands of demonstrators led by mayors from various city and L'Aquila, the medieval city devastated by an earthquake last year, took the streets of central Rome yesterday to demand tax exemptions and aid for their regions.—AFP

Serbia, Kosovo clash at UN over explosion United States, Russia renew discord over Kosovo UNITED NATIONS: Serbia and its former province of Kosovo clashed in the UN Security Council on Tuesday over who was to blame for an explosion that killed one person in an ethnically divided Kosovo town last week. The dispute also reopened old fault lines in the council between the West, which broadly supported a 2008 independence declaration by Kosovo's Albanian majority, and Belgrade's long-standing ally, Russia, which opposed it. Serbian President Boris Tadic, who called the Security Council meeting to discuss last Friday's blast in Mitrovica, which wounded 10 minority Serbs and killed a Bosnian Muslim pediatrician, blamed it on Albanians.Mitrovica remains divided along the Ibar river between Albanians in the south and some 20,000 Serbs in the north. The blast occurred during a Serb rally to protest the opening of an government office that they saw as representing Albanians. "Serbs came in peace, yet they were met with unprovoked violence," Tadic said. He said two high-intensity bombs were thrown into the crowd from within courtyards of homes owned by ethnic Albanian supporters of Kosovo independence. But Kosovo's foreign

minister, Skender Hyseni, said Serbs themselves might have been responsible. Hyseni told reporters that police were investigating on the blast, but that based on a conversation he had with Kosovo's interior minister "it is not impossible ... that the explosive device was thrown from within the protesters' groups." He had earlier made a similar charge in a speech to the council. EU PRESSURE Hyseni also said the gunshot wounding on Monday of an ethnic Serb member of the Kosovo parliament-a post seen by some Serbs as collaboration with the Albanian authoritiesshowed that Belgrade was "misusing and manipulating a number of the Serb community members in Kosovo." Goran Bogdanovic, Serbia's minister for Kosovo, said on Monday there was no evidence of who was behind the attack on the parliamentarian, Petar Miletic. Half of Kosovo's 120,000 Serbs live in a region north of the Ibar, which is linked with Serbia by roads. They refuse to accept institutions run from the Kosovo capital, Pristina, and see Belgrade as their capital. Several Western countries, while voicing no view on

who was behind the two attacks, took a proKosovo line in the debate. In remarks echoed by Hyseni, US envoy Alejandro Wolff said, "We frankly do not see that an isolated criminal act such as the one on July 2 warrants an emergency Security Council meeting." But Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Serbia was right to bring the matter before the council. Wolff also said the decision by Pristina to open a citizens' service center in Mitrovica "was the right one." Tadic, however, described the office as illegal and said the international community should ensure it remained closed. Kosovo guerrillas launched an armed rebellion in the late 1990s, prompting a brutal crackdown by Belgrade's army and police that lasted until NATO bombing in 1999 that forced Serbia to withdraw its forces. Serbia is under pressure from the European Union to take a "more constructive" role on Kosovo if it wants to advance its membership bid, but has vowed never to accept Pristina's declaration of independence. It has asked the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of the move. A ruling is expected this month. — Reuters

ROME: Demonstrators from the quake-stricken city of L'Aquila clashed with police yesterday before reaching Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's house to demand more state help to rebuild their lives. The protest by some 5,000 people paralyzed the centre of the Rome and was a major blow for Berlusconi, who has repeatedly presented his hands-on response to the April 2009 quake as one of the main successes of his two-year-old government. Two people were slightly injured as police in riot gear tried to control the crowd, which managed to bring their protest right outside Berlusconi's private residence. "Shame on you!" the demonstrators shouted. "We came here to collectively ask for help and we are being beaten," said L'Aquila mayor Massimo Cialente. Residents of L'Aquila, where more than 300 people were killed in the disaster, complain about the slow reconstruction of their medieval city and want the government to extend tax exemptions for the victims. Berlusconi, who has built his political career as Italy's "Mr Fix It", often boasts on television that new houses in the devastated city were built in record time. He hosted last year's G8 summit in L'Aquila in a show of solidarity for the victims. But residents say that after an initial flurry of headline-grabbing initiatives many have been left to fend for themselves as reconstruction money ran out. "The "House Project" is a joke. Only a few people were given new homes. The rest of us are still in the same situation. There are no projects to rebuild the historic centre. L'Aquila is a dead city and we have been forgotten," said one demonstrator. Pierluigi Bersani, the head of the largest opposition party, and former anti-graft magistrate Antonio Di Pietro, who now heads a smaller opposition party, came out of parliament to show their support for the protesters. The demonstrators also fear that a government austerity budget aimed at reducing the deficit will be a double blow to them because it plans to cut funds to Italy's regions. "We lost everything and they took us for a ride," another demonstrator shouted.— Reuters

resign, or for Sarkozy to bring forward a cabinet reshuffle planned for October, the president seems determined to tough it out in the hope that the story will die away during the summer holidays. Budget Minister Francois Baroin said he expected to receive tomorrow a report of finance ministry inspectors on Woerth's role in Bettencourt's tax affairs, which the government expects will clear him of any impropriety. Sarkozy's aides said the president will make a statement on Tuesday after the cabinet adopts a bill on the pension reform designed to raise the retirement age to 62 from 60 rom 2018, increase the contribution years required for a full pension and raise civil servants' contributions to the private sector level. At a cabinet meeting yesterday, the president asked ministers to concentrate on their jobs, support each other and "don't feed the rumor mill", Immigration Minister Eric Besson said. Government supporters sought to discredit a bookkeeper for the

Bettencourts who told police and Mediapart that she withdrew wads of cash to be given to Woerth as part of a 150,000 euro illegal cash donation for Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign. Woerth himself said he never met the bookkeeper and she had no proof to back up her accusations. Bettencourt's lawyer has declined comment on the allegations. UMP parliamentary floor leader JeanFrancois Cope acknowledged that the government was going through a very difficult period but said: "We cannot capitulate in the face of such violent personal attacks." The Socialists have largely refrained from seeking Woerth's resignation and focused instead on questioning whether he solicited donations from tax exiles, whether he helped get his wife a job with Bettencourt's wealth manager, whether he failed to act on a prosecutor's letter raising suspicions about Bettencourt's tax affairs. Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry said it was time for Sarkozy to tell the nation the truth. — Reuters

in the news changes. "It is good news. We have campaigned for quite a long time for these clarifications," NUT Assistant Secretary John Bangs told BBC TV.

WISBY: Sweden's Labor Minister Sven Otto Littorin announces his resignation yesterday, during a press conference in Wisby. — AP Minister quit in tears VISBY: The Swedish minister responsible for the politically-sensitive area of jobs quit in tears yesterday for personal reasons, just two months before an election, but analysts saw little damage to the government. One analyst said Employment Minister Sven Otto Littorin was not a key personality in the election. But the jobs issue will remain vital for voters in campaigning for the Sept 19 general election, which polls signal will be a close race between the centre-right government and the centre-left opposition. Littorin, a member of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's Moderate Party, told reporters he was unable to cope with media attention surrounding a child custody battle with his ex-wife. "This is where I draw the line," said a sobbing Littorin, making the announcement at an annual meeting of political parties on the island of Gotland, off Sweden's southeast coast. Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy Tobias Billstrom will take over as acting Employment Minister, the government said at a news conference in Stockholm. Teachers to grab more powers LONDON: Teachers are to be given wider powers to search pupils for items like mobile phones and pornography and greater protection from "malicious" allegations against them, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said yesterday. The need to give 24 hours' notice of detentions will also be lifted. "Today we are removing red tape so that teachers can ensure discipline in the classroom and promote good behavior," said Gibb. "Teachers should feel confident in exercising their authority, and pupils should not have to suffer disruption to their learning caused by the poor behavior of others." New guidance on the use of force against pupils for safety or restraint will also be issued. "Schools should not have 'no touch' policies and teachers should feel able to use force when they need to," the Department for Education said. The National Union of Teachers welcomed the

'Terror recruiter' arrested BERLIN: German authorities said yesterday they arrested a Syrian suspected recruiter for AlQaeda who allegedly used the Internet to fish for new members for the militant Islamist network. The federal prosecutor's office said in a statement that the accused, identified only as Hussam S, had been detained Sunday in the western German town of Montabaur. "The accused is strongly suspected of working to recruit members or supporters for Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic Jihad Union," the statement said. "The purpose of his activities was allegedly to recruit new members and supporters for the cited organizations and their 'jihad'." Hussam S is believed to have used Internet forums and blogs belonging to the German section of the "Global Islamic Media Front" and the "Al-Ansar Media Battalion" since 2007 to attract militants to the various Al-Qaeda groups. Noriega sentenced to 7 years PARIS: Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was sentenced to seven years' jail in France for money laundering, a judge ruled yesterday. The 76-year-old former general was retried after being extradited from the United States to France in April. He was convicted in absentia in 1999 of laundering money from Colombian drug cartels. Born in the slums, Manuel Noriega muscled his way to the top of Panama's military in the early 1980s and maintained a firm grip on power until being ousted by US forces in 1989. He was tried and imprisoned for drug trafficking in the US. Noriega had been held pending his trial at the Sante prison in Paris, already home to another famous foreign inmate, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal-a Venezuelan radical sentenced to a life term for murder. EU targets illegal timber BRUSSELS: Companies in the EU will be unable to sell wood or wood products from illegally felled trees under new rules approved by the European Parliament. Lawmakers voted 644-25 yesterday for requirements likely to come into effect in late 2012 that will require importers to check where wood products come from. EU governments have already agreed to the rules and must still authorize them formally. Companies will be fined if they import timber from illegal logging, with fines set individually by EU nations. Around 20 percent of wood and wood products sold in the EU come from unauthorized felling of trees, often from ancient forests in developing nations. EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said the vote showed that the EU would "no longer serve as a market to illegally harvested timber."

Muslim N Caucasus inching away from Kremlin control MOSCOW: The pricetag on a bride in Russia's Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia law eclipses Russian. Against the backdrop of a bubbling Islamist insurgency, the revival of Islam in the North Caucasus following the break-up of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago has brought sharia law to the region, revered by both rebels and ordinary citizens alike. The issue of the 'kalym', a price paid by a groom to the family of the woman he chooses to marry, is the latest example of a broader trend that has troubled the Kremlin. "The increase of the kalym was decided by the residents themselves," the Kremlin-backed leader of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on

Tuesday. At an Ingush conference for Muslim scholars and elders this week, attended by Yevkurov, the money a groom must pay the bride's family for her hand was increased from 12,500 roubles ($401.9) to 40,000 roubles ($1,286), the local government said on official website "It is time to raise the rates, and with them the responsibility of the groom," a statement on the site said. Wary of the dangers of separatism after two bloody wars with Chechnya since the mid-1990s, the Kremlin has watched uneasily as central power yields to Islamic tenets in the region. Polygamy, illegal under Russian law, is encouraged by local authorities in the region. Last month rights workers blamed police for paintball attacks on Chechen women for not

wearing headscarves, and Islamist fighters in Ingushetia have gunned down kiosk workers for selling vodka. During their meeting, Putin looked concerned as he told Yevkurov that the price rise for a bride did not correspond to Russian inflation. Putin added he was not sure if the practice, widespread in the Caucasus and Central Asia, was Muslim in its nature. "We have yet to thoroughly examine this," he told Yevkurov. At this week's Ingush conference, it was also decided to raise ten-fold the price for settling a blood feud, to 1 million roubles ($32,150), with the aim of decreasing the centuries-old practice that is widespread across the North Caucasus. "Of course, it is better to move away from all this," Putin quipped to Yevkurov after he proudly announced the new price. One of Russia's most popular

newspapers, Moskovsky Komsomolets, splashed the bride price increase on its front page on Wednesday, jocularly headlined "Camel Rate". "This erodes Russian security. If sharia is higher than the (Russian) constitution, it means that it is alright to kill policemen, soldiers and simply infidels," the paper wrote, referring to the near-daily attacks on law enforcement staged by rebels in the region. Yevkurov, who narrowly survived a suicide bomb attack on his life last year, is widely seen as a moderate secular leader, unlike Chechen firebrand boss Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov, a devout Sufi Muslim, has been allowed by the Kremlin to usher in Muslim-inspired rules such as periodic alcohol bans and headscarves in state buildings, in exchange for maintaining a shaky peace in the volatile region. — Reuters

MADRID: Two grizzly bears fight at Madrid’s zoo yesterday on a hot summer day. — AFP


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Venezuela to send terror Salvadorean suspect to Cuba CARACAS: Venezuela will hand over to Cuba a Salvadorean man wanted for allegedly carrying out bombings of Cuban tourist hotels in 1997, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said. Francisco Chavez Abarca was arrested by Venezuelan authorities last Thursday when he arrived at Caracas’ international airport. Venezuelan officials said Chavez Abarca was a member of an anti-com-

munist group trained and led by Cuban exile and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles, who is also wanted in Cuba and Venezuela on terrorism charges. Chavez Abarca was detained under an Interpol arrest warrant requested by Cuba and was carrying a false Guatemalan passport, President Chavez said. “In the next few hours, he’ll be sent to Cuba,” Chavez said in

comments broadcast by state television. The Venezuelan leader, a close ally of Cuba’s communist rulers, called Chavez Abarca a “terrorist.” Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said last week that Chavez Abarca was accused by Cuban officials of being one of several Central Americans who carried out the 1997 bombings in an operation allegedly masterminded by Posada

Carriles, who lives in the United States. Cuba and Venezuela have repeatedly demanded Washington extradite Posada Carriles, whom they also accuse of being behind the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. Posada Carriles escaped from a high security prison in Venezuela in 1985. He was arrested in the United States on immigration charges a

decade later but was freed in 2007, provoking anger in Havana and Caracas. In a separate case, Chavez said Venezuela would extradite to the United States an accused Colombian drug-trafficker, Carlos Alberto Renteria, alias “Beto”, who was arrested in Caracas on Monday. A Venezuelan Justice Ministry source told Reuters that Renteria, a leader of the former

Norte del Valle Colombian drug cartel, was captured with the help of British intelligence experts. Narcotics experts say Venezuela is a major transit point for Colombian cocaine being transported by traffickers to US and European markets. Chavez has rejected US accusations that his government does not do enough to halt the trafficking. — Reuters

White House sues Arizona over ‘abusive, divisive’ law The law will fuel ethnic profiling: Critics WASHINGTON: The US government has filed suit against Arizona in a bid to block the state’s controversial immigration law which President Barack Obama’s administration has slammed as abusive and divisive. A Justice Department statement said the state law hampered the authority of the Obama administration to enforce national immigration policy. Federal laws do not permit the development of a “patchwork of state and local immigration policies,” it said. “Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement.

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks to the press during the meeting of the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries of the Latin American and Caribbean Summit (CALC) in this file photo. — AFP

Colombian ‘drug lord’ nabbed in Venezuela Suspect to be extradited to US CARACAS: The last remaining fugitive capo of Colombia’s Norte del Valle drug cartel has been captured in Venezuela and will be extradited to the United States, President Hugo Chavez announced. Carlos Alberto “Beto” Renteria, 65, was arrested Monday after he traveled to Venezuela’s Margarita Island, Chavez said during a speech. He provided no further details. The United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Renteria, whose cartel is accused in a 2004 US indictment of shipping some 500 metric tons of cocaine to the US beginning in 1990. Chavez said Renteria could be extradited as soon as possible. Renteria is the second major Colombian drug trafficker wanted by US authorities to be caught in Venezuela within the last month. Authorities arrested Luis Frank Tello on June 24. Venezuela has in the more than 11 years since Chavez was first elected president become a major hub for traffickers smuggling Colombian cocaine to the United States and Europe. US and Colombian officials have frequently accused Chavez’s government of lax anti-drug efforts, including allowing Venezuela to become a safe haven for Colombian drug lords. One senior law enforcement official in Colombia, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity, said Renteria had long been living in Venezuela. “He is the last of the original Norte del Valle cartel leadership to be captured,” the official said. Another top Norte del Valle cartel boss, Wilber Varela, spent most of

the last five years of his life in Venezuela before he was slain there in January 2008, according to a former Venezuelan anti-drug chief, Mildred Camero. The Norte del Valle cartel was Colombia’s last major drug gang, though its command structure was far less centrally organized than its forerunners, the Cali and Medellin cartels. It eventually split into two major warring factions, one of which Varela commanded. Like many fugitive traffickers, Renteria underwent plastic surgery to change his appearance and make it more difficult to identify him, the law enforcement official in Colombia said. Chavez accuses Washington and Bogota of unfairly labeling his country a drug haven for political reasons, arguing his government is doing everything possible to stem the flow of drugs through Venezuela. But US and Colombian officials say his government’s counterdrug efforts became bullish only in recent months, perhaps because Chavez recognizes what a serious national security threat drug-related corruption can be. A report released last month by the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime identified Venezuela as the departure point for just over half of all sea shipments of cocaine headed for Europe. The report also said “many undocumented air flights leave the South American country, and all the clandestine air shipments of cocaine detected in West Africa appear to have originated in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” It also said much of the cocaine flown to Honduras in Central America comes from Venezuela. — AP

Journalist shot dead Eighth so far this year in Mexico MORELIA: The body of a crime reporter was found with bullet wounds to the head in western Mexico on Tuesday, justice officials said. Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, where at least eight reporters have been killed this year alone, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Hugo Olivera, 27, a journalist and co-owner with his father of the daily El Dia de Michoacan, disappeared on Monday afternoon, according to a statement from his family to police. His body was found inside his car, in front of a shooting range, in the small town of Buenavista Tomatlan in Michoacan state, prosecutors said. The body of another journalist was found in the same place four years ago, according to Ricardo Gonzalez, a spokesman for the global campaign for free expression Article 19. Olivera had worked for national and local media in the state where four journalists have been killed or gone missing since 2006, Gonzalez said. A computer was stolen in a raid on his newspaper’s offices on Tuesday, Gonzalez added. Michoacan, home to the notorious La Familia drug gang, has seen some of the most gruesome attacks amid a wave of drug-related violence across Mexico. Some 23,000 people have died in suspected drug violence in the past three and a half years, since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on organized crime. — AFP

Mexican reporter Hugo Olivera at an unidentified location. — AP

Pentagon defends stricter rules on media relations WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has defended stricter rules on media relations for the US military, saying the department needed to better manage its contacts with reporters. The new rules, laid out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a July 2 memo, drew criticism from the media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and concern from journalists at a Pentagon briefing. Press Secretary Geoff Morrell acknowledged that the Pentagon public affairs office would have the authority to vet and veto some interviews as necessary, but insisted that the rules would not stifle media coverage. “Hopefully, if we do this right, you will not notice the impact of this memo,” Morrell told reporters. The secretary’s guidelines, first reported in the New York Times, came only days after the commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, was forced to step down over a Rolling Stone magazine profile, in which he and his aides made disparaging remarks about administration officials. —AFP

Arizona, the Justice Department said, “crossed a constitutional line.” The suit sets up a major legal showdown between the administration and the state of Arizona, just months before crucial legislative elections in November. The Arizona law, due to take effect on July 29, makes it a crime to be in the state, which borders Mexico, without proper immigration papers. It also requires local police, who are not federal agents responsible for immigration matters, to determine if people are in the country legally. Many critics charge that will fuel ethnic profiling. US officials said they took the action after consulting with various law enforcement departments, chiefs of police, civil rights groups and other local officials. Many said they were concerned the law would make victims of crimes or witnesses “less likely to contact or cooperate with law enforcement” if they did not possess proper legal papers. Critics also charge the law will prod local police to single out for questioning people they think appear not to be American. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer reacted swiftly to the suit, dismissing it as “nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds.” “It is wrong that our own federal government is suing the people of Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law,” she said in a statement. “As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels.” Officials in Arizona argue they have been overrun by illegal immigrants leading to a spike in the crime rate and straining state resources. They say the measure was necessary only because of lax federal enforcement of the southern US border. “Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns,” Holder said. But “diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country’s safety.” Meanwhile, Arizona’s two US senators slammed the lawsuit. “The American people must wonder whether the Obama administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law,” Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl said in a joint statement. US voters broadly back tough enforcement of laws. But traditionally, Americans-most descended from immigrants or immigrants themselves-were willing to look the other way in cases of non-compliance with immigration laws. That old truism appears to have faded since the September 11 terror strikes. More than 60 percent of the US population supports Arizona’s new immigration law, according to a recent opinion survey. About 30 percent of Arizona’s 6.6 million people are Hispanic, one third of whom are foreign born, including 460,000 illegal immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union was among groups praising the suit, calling it “a cannon shot across the bow of other states that may be tempted to follow Arizona’s misguided approach.” —AFP

PHOENIX: Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox speaks during a news conference supporting the Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging an Arizona Immigration law in Phoenix. — AP

Drug submarine seized QUITO: Authorities seized a large, homebuilt submarine in a marsh near the Colombian border that was designed to carry as much as 12 tons of cocaine to Mexico, Ecuador’s Antinarcotics Police chief Joel Loaiza said. Measuring 25 meters, the air conditioned, fiberglass sub is big enough for a crew of six, has an electronic navigation system, a hybrid electric-diesel engine, periscope, bathroom and could remain under water 12 days at a time. It was under construction in a makeshift

shipyard hidden in a mangrove swamp in Esmeraldas province near the Colombian border. When it was seized on Friday, it just needed its hatch to be finished, Loaiza said. The sub cost an estimated four million dollars to build and needed the help of naval technicians, he added. The sub was located thanks to “special information from abroad,” Loaiza said, adding that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) took part in the police-military operation. One person was arrested during the raid,

he added. “Mexico was the final destination” of the clandestine sub that could carry as much as 12 tons of cocaine-possibly from neighboring Colombia, Loaiza said. Homebuilt submarines represent a new challenge to maritime drug interdiction operations, top DEA official for South America’s Andean region Jay Bergman said in a statement given to AFP by the US embassy in Quito. Ecuador’s Attorney General Washington Pesantez said Ecuador “is still a transshipment point for drugs... although that’s no consolation.” — AFP



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Politics meets plumbing on Thai reconciliation hotline BANGKOK: It was billed as a campaign to bridge the deep divide in Thai society after the worst political violence in decades, but the lady calling about her faulty plumbing apparently didn’t get the memo. And maybe the man asking for a 10,000 baht (308 dollar) loan and the use of an “old car” thought he was providing an important contribution to the debate on how to achieve national reconciliation af ter deadly street protests. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was joined by his ministers and movie stars manning the phones for the “Six days, 63 million ideas” project, which got off to a shaky

start last week when some calls taken by Abhisit were disconnected. Thousands of ordinary Thais have rung in to suggest, cajole, beg and even threaten those on the other end of the hotline. In the end not all of Thailand’s official population of 63 million people responded to the request to share their views. Of the more than 60,000 who did call in, about one quarter discussed personal finances-mainly debts to loan sharks-while 14 percent talked about politics and three percent about national security. Abhisit has said the project would

enable the government to listen directly to people’s needs and their suggestions would be used as part of his five-point road map to reconciliation after the antigovernment protests. “We will collect all the information we received and see which problems can be solved,” Abhisit said after the six-day campaign wrapped up. On Tuesday when the telephones fell silent and the volunteers packed up to go home, Thailand extended its state of emergency across about a quarter of the country for a further three months, saying fears of violence persisted. Ninety people were killed and nearly

1,900 were injured in violence triggered by the two-month-long mass rally in Bangkok by the anti-government “Red Shirts”, ending with a deadly military crackdown in May. Human rights group say the government may be fanning the crisis as it clamps down on and censors the protest movement-which broadly supports fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra-rather than addressing its grievances. At the call centre in the heart of the government compound, the electronic mewing of 300 softly ringing phones hung in the air this week.

Volunteers, mainly government supporters, listened with varying degrees of interest to the opinions of the Thai masses. Sriphuphan Suphanchaimat, 28, who works for the cabinet, said some callers found it difficult to concentrate on the task in hand. “One man asked me for a date but I cut him off urgently,” she said. Other callers included a man furious at having to pay a 20 baht (62 US cents) police bribe, somebody being threatened by gangsters and a desperate husband who was worried his wife would kill herself over money worries.

A brief summary of each call was jotted down on paper, to be entered later into a computer database by an army of government workers. While critics have denounced the project as a meaningless publicity stunt, those manning the phones seemed to have confidence that it will make a difference. Pasaree Newlove, who lives in Britain, said she could not resist giving up her time to volunteer while visiting her mother in Bangkok. “I think this is the best idea for democracy because this country has been damaged for a long time,” said the 53-year-old. —AFP

N Korea warns of ‘do-or-die’ battle Relatives of currency reformers jailed SEOUL: North Korea w a rned yesterda y of a “do-or-die” ba ttle if the UN Security Council a dop ts sta tem ent condem ning it for a dea dly a tta ck on a South Korea n w a rship ea rlier this yea r. I f the council a dopts a document “pulling up (North Korea ) even a bit through sordid collusion a nd nexus,” the North w ill rega rd this a s “a n intolera ble a nd

gra ve infringement” on its dignity, a sta te committee sa id. The North’s a rmy a nd people “w ill not rule out a just, do-or-die ba ttle to protect t h e sov ereign t y of t h e c ou n t r y,” t h e Com m it t ee f or t h e Pea c ef u l Unifica tion of the Fa therla nd sa id in a sta tem ent ca rried by sta te media .

SERANG: Photo shows Sri Lankan asylum-seekers on board their boat moored at Merak seaport in Serang District on Indonesia’s Java island, after they were stopped by Indonesian authorities on their way to Australia. — AFP

East Timor leader cautiously backs Australia refugee plan SYDNEY: East Timor’s president said yesterday he supports in principle an Australian plan to turn his country into a regional center for processing asylum seekers but does not want his tiny, impoverished nation to become an “island prison.” Jose Ramos Horta said yesterday that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had raised the proposal with him but that there were few details so far. He told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television he supported the plan in principle, but only if East Timor’s government agrees and if the facility were a temporary stop for people who would be resettled in other countries. Ramos Horta, awarded the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for helping end Indonesia’s brutal rule of East Timor, serves in the largely ceremonial role of president, while

the government is led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. “I would never turn my back on people who plead violence in Afghanistan, or whatever,” Ramos Horta said. “But on a temporary basis, so that they can be sent to a third country where they can start life with dignity and with promise of a better future.” “I wouldn’t want Timor-Leste to become an island prison for displaced persons fleeing violence,” Ramos Horta said, using the country’s official name. East Timor, which has a population of just 1 million, has faced political turmoil and chronic unemployment since gaining independence in 2002 after nearly four centuries of foreign domination. The halfisland nation would need financial help to manage a center. It would also need assistance to feed, house and clothe asylum

seekers and give them medical care and jobs in the community. East Timor’s Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres said Tuesday he doubted his country had the capacity to run such a center. Gillard on Tuesday proposed that East Timor would become a UN-approved processing hub for asylum seekers as a way to stem a recent influx of boat people trying to reach Australia from Afghanistan and other countries. The asylum seekers have become an issue in elections expected to be held within months. Yesterday, Gillard announced a $21 million (25 million Australian dollar) package to help Asian countries combat people-smuggling. Indonesia will get patrol boats and planes, while police in Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will get surveillance and other equipment. —AP

Japan protests Russian drill on disputed island TOKYO: Japan has lodged a protest against a Russian military drill on a group of islands disputed by the two countries and controlled by Moscow, a government official said yesterday. “The Japanese government confirmed Monday that Russia conducted a drill on Etorofu Island,” said a foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Etorofu, known as Iturup in Russian, is one of four disputed islands off Japan’s northern coast, collectively referred to by Tokyo as the Northern Territories. “The Japanese embassy in Moscow immediately delivered a protest, within

the day, saying it was extremely regrettable and unacceptable for Japan’s position towards the Northern Territories,” he said. The two nations have never signed a treaty to formally end World War II because of Japan’s claims to the four islands, which are known as the South Kurils by Russia. They were seized by Soviet troops, who expelled Japanese residents, in the last days of the conflict. The drill on Etorofu was part of the Vostok 2010 strategic exercises in the Russian Far East and Siberia that lasted several days starting June 29, the Japanese official

said, citing the Russian defense ministry. About 10,000 servicemen were taking part in the drill, which involved all the fleets of Russia’s navy-the Pacific, North, Black Sea and Baltic fleets-as well as Air Force units, said Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency. Japan’s Kyodo said the drill on Etorofu involved about 1,500 soldiers and a total of 200 military and specialpurpose vehicles. Japan has balked at past suggestions that Russia hand over two of the four islands or that the nations jointly develop them, insisting on the return of all four islands. — AFP

South Korea, pointing to the findings of a multinational investigation, has accused its communist neighbor of torpedoing the 1,200-ton corvette with the loss of 46 sailors near the disputed Yellow Sea border on March 26. The South has announced its own reprisals, including cutting off most trade, with strong US support. It has also asked the 15-member Security Council to condemn its neighbor. Unlike many other nations, China and Russia, two of the council’s five permanent members, have not publicly accused Pyongyang of being behind the sinking. The North has denied any involvement in sinking the corvette and has previously threatened a military response to any UN censure. The nuclear-armed state said last week it would bolster its nuclear weaponry with an unspecified new method in response to what it called US hostility. L ast September Pyongyang announced it had reached the final stage of enriching uranium, a second way of making nuclear bombs in addition to the country’s plutonium-based operation. 34 jailed North Korea sent nearly three dozen relatives of former economic officials to a prison camp over the country’s botched currency reform, a South Korean aid group said. North Korea’s Ministry of State Security last month sent 34 relatives of former economic official Pak Nam Gi and others to a prison camp on the outskirts of the northern city of Hoeryong, Seoul-based Good Friends said on its website. The communist North redenominated its currency late last year to fight inflation and reassert control over its burgeoning market economy. The measure, however, reportedly sparked unrest as it left many North Koreans stuck with piles of worthless bills. Pak spearheaded the reform as the former finance and planning department chief of the ruling Workers’ Party. He and an unidentified senior official were reportedly executed by a firing squad at a Pyongyang stadium in March as punishment for the policy failure. On June 14, the relatives of Pak and other officials were collected and forcibly loaded into a wagon before being sent to the prison camp, the organization reported, citing an unidentified official at the North’s security ministry. The authorities transported the relatives in the middle of night in part to keep it a secret from the rest of the world to avoid international criticism, the official was quoted as saying. South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, said it could not immediately confirm the report. The National Intelligence Service - the country’s main spy agency said it is checking the report. North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated nations and its radios and TV sets receive only broadcasts by state media. —Agencies

PATTAYA: Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Vasillievich Pletnev (center) is questioned by a Thai police officer in front of his residence in Pattaya, Thailand. — AP

Russian pianist accused of child rape in Thailand PATTAYA: Internationally acclaimed Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Vasillievich Pletnev has been charged with raping a 14year-old boy at a Thai beach resort, police said yesterday. Pletnev said the charges were the result of a misunderstanding. Pletnev, the founder of the Russian National Orchestra, was arrested Monday evening at a restaurant in Pattaya and brought to court Tuesday to face rape charges, said police Lt Col Omsin Sukkanka. He was released on 300,000 baht ($9,000) bail, ordered to report to the court every 12 days and banned from contacting witnesses in the case. He could face up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,200) if found guilty. In telephone interviews with The Associated Press, Pletnev described what happened to him as a “misunderstanding.” “I have no idea how the charges came about,” he said. “But I more or less know where they came from.” A business associate who gave only his first name, Sompong, said Pletnev was a victim of blackmail, but did not elaborate. Thailand has long been known as a haven for sex tourists and pedophiles because of widespread prostitution and lax law enforcement. Authorities have voiced intentions to crack down on such offenses, and Pletnev’s arrest is one of the most prominent cases to date. Police said the musician was detained Monday evening following a tip from Traipob Boonmasong, a Thai national who was charged with child rape for alleged involvement in a child prostitution ring. Police said they confiscated pictures of young boys, some alongside foreigners. Evidence against Pletnev included a statement from the alleged victim, Omsin

said. “The boy said he had lived in Traipob’s house for a year and was raped by Pletnev twice. The first time was in the middle of last year and the second early this year,” Omsin said. He added that Pletnev had appeared in some photographs with the alleged victim, but no suspicious activity was depicted. In Moscow, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, Pavel Astakhov, was quoted by the state news agency RIA Novosti as saying he believes the Investigative Committee, Russia’s top investigative body, “should look into the possibility of a criminal case.” “I would advise our investigative bodies to undertake an examination of this matter, exchanging information with the Thais,” it quoted him as saying. Pletnev founded the Russian National Orchestra, the country’s first independent orchestra, after befriending Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at conference in Washington, DC, in 1988, and was its first principal conductor, according to the orchestra’s website. Today, he is the orchestra’s artistic director. Internationally known as a pianist, conductor and composer, Pletnev won a 2005 Grammy for an arrangement of Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” which was recorded with him and Martha Argerich on piano. Alexander Mikhailov of the Kazan State Conservatoire said the allegations were “nothing but a brazen lie.” “This is not true,” the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted him as saying. “I can’t believe this happened.” In Thailand, Pletnev has performed as a guest conductor with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. He also owns a restaurant and the Euro Club, which includes a swimming pool and badminton courts - in Pattaya. —AP

Japan’s policy at risk if DPJ misses the election target TOKYO: Japan’s ruling Democratic Party could fall far short of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s target in Sunday’s upper house election, media said, a result that could trigger infighting and hamper efforts to curb a huge public debt. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will almost certainly stay in power regardless of the outcome of the vote because of their huge majority in parliament’s lower house, but it needs an upper house majority to pass bills and smooth policymaking. Below are scenarios for the election outcome and policy implications. DEMOCRATS WIN OUTRIGHT MAJ ORITY (HIGHLY UNLIKELY) The resignations of Kan’s unpopular predecessor Yukio Hatoyama and powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa as party No. 2 last month lifted support for the government, but voter ratings have slid to under 50 percent since Kan proposed a sales tax rise. To win an outright majority in the 242-member chamber, the Democrats need to win 60 of the 121 seats up for grabs, but no media surveys showed the DPJ winning that many seats. If the Democrats win a majority, they would no longer have to rely on the tiny, pro-spending People’s New Party (PNP), their coalition ally, to pass bills in the upper house. The Democrats themselves, however, remain a party of diverse policies, from pro-market reformers to proponents of big government, so effective decision-making needs strong leadership. DPJ HITS PM’S TARGET (POSSIBLE) If the Democrats hit Kan’s own target of

54 he can claim success and probably fend off any challenge from party rivals in a leadership vote set for September, and avoid becoming the latest of revolving-door premiers. This is partly because finding extra lawmakers to make up a majority might not be that hard. The DPJ and the PNP need to win 56 seats to keep a bare majority. But if, as now seems more likely, they fall short of that, the DPJ would need to find new allies, most likely on a policy-by-policy basis rather than by giving away cabinet posts in a formal coalition. Several potential partners have said they don’t plan to help out. While some analysts predict they will change their tune after the vote, political maneuvering would absorb energy after the election, risking delay on key policy decisions. Possible allies include the small pro-reform Your Party, set up by defectors from the then-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) before last year’s lower house poll, and the New Komeito, a Buddhistbacked party that partnered with the LDP until last year’s election defeat. The New Komeito stresses tax reform to bolster social welfare policies, while the Your Party insists more waste must be cut before raising taxes. Some lawmakers might also jump ship from the main opposition, the LDP. A tieup with the Your Party would push the government towards more market-friendly policies. But juggling divergent policy priorities among allies would complicate decisions, as was the case during the Democrats’ first eight months in power when they had to deal with the PNP and a small leftist party, the Social Democrats, who left the coalition in a feud over a US base in southern Japan. —Reuters


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Pakistan woos Chinese investors, eye nuke deal

BEIJING: Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari (2nd right) and Chinese President Hu Jintao (right) shake hands as Zardari's daughters stand behind, at the Great Hall of the People yesterday. — AFP

BEIJING: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appealed yesterday to Chinese business leaders for help in developing his country's ailing energy sector, pointing to nuclear power as one area of growth but making no public mention of a deal with China that has alarmed the US and others. The weeklong visit to China is Zardari's fifth since he came to office in September 2008, underscoring the robust diplomatic, military and commercial ties between the neighbors. Zardari met with business leaders in industries ranging from banking to defense in a bid to attract investment to Pakistan, according to a statement from his spokesman, Farhatullah Babar. He singled out energy as a growth industry in Pakistan, where some areas experience electricity outages of up to 18 hours a day. Authorities planned to feed the grid though "hydro, coal, gas, nuclear and renewable energy sources," he said, without elaborating on the growth of nuclear energy. Zardari met Wednesday evening with Chinese President Hu Jintao and signed six agreements, including one on economic and technology cooperation. "I believe your trip will help further consolidate the traditional friendship between our two countries and take our strategic partnership to higher levels," Hu said.

India army deployed in insurgency-hit Kashmir Separatist politicians fume over army's deployment SRINAGAR: Indian army soldiers joined police and paramilitary troops enforcing a curfew across much of Kashmir yesterday, in a bid to help authorities quell violent protests in the insurgency-hit region. The curfew was imposed Tuesday after two men and one woman died when security personnel opened fire to contain angry separatist demonstrations that have been fuelled by the deaths of several protesters over the past month. Curfew orders have been widely ignored in recent days, and the presence of the Indian army was seen as a show of force designed to end the increasingly violent protests. "We have conducted flag marches through the streets of Srinagar," Indian army spokesman J S Brar said. Military trucks and jeeps carrying soldiers in full battle-gear passed through tense and empty roads of Srinagar as police and paramilitary forces dotted the streets. Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, has been the focus of protests since June 11, when a 17-year-old student died from a police tear-gas shell. The three deaths on Tuesday also occurred in Srinagar. The recent demonstrations are the biggest since 2008 when violent protests

KASHMIR: An Indian Army jeep patrols a deserted street during a curfew in Srinagar yesterday. India's regular army patrolled the violence-hit streets of Kashmir to enforce a round-the-clock curfew for the first time two decades after weeks of deadly unrest in the Muslim-majority region.— AP killed over 40 people. For the first time in years the army has been called in to quell protests in Srinagar. "In order to save human lives we had to request the army's help," senior state minister Ali Mohammed Sagar said. "The move is aimed at controlling the situation." The army's deployment annoyed separatist politicians

fighting to end Indian rule in the scenic Himalayan region. "Unfortunately, the army has always been India's first and last resort in handling Kashmir," top separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said in a statement. "It's ever-increasing presence in the state has been with the intention of consolidating its control over the terri-

NATO 'friendly fire' leaves five Afghan soldiers dead KABUL: NATO mistakenly killed five of its Afghan army allies in an airstrike yesterday while they were attacking insurgents in the country's east, officials said. Three American soldiers were also reported killed yesterday in a roadside bombing in the south. An Afghan defense official condemned the latest "friendly fire" deaths, which came at a time when international troops are trying to improve coordination with Afghan security forces in hopes of handing over more responsibility to them nearly nine years into the war. The Afghan soldiers were launching an ambush before dawn against insurgents reportedly on the move in Ghazni province when NATO aircraft began firing on them without warning, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi said. Five Afghan soldiers died and two more were wounded in the airstrike in Ghazni's Andar district, he said. "This is not the first time such an incident has happened, but we wish that at least this would be the last one," Azimi said. NATO spokesman Josef Blotz confirmed the botched airstrike. He said he regretted the Afghan National Army deaths, telling a news briefing that a joint investigation has been launched. "The reason for this is perhaps a coordination issue," Blotz said. "We were obviously not absolutely clear whether there were Afghan national security forces in the area." He extended the personal condolences of US Gen David Petraeus, the newly arrived commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, to the families of the victims. The Afghan soldiers' deaths at the hands of their allies was another setback in the US-led force's goal of training and coordinating with the Afghans, one of the cornerstones of its counterinsurgency strategy. NATO is counting on the strategy to beat back the insurgents' recent gains, nearly nine years after US-backed forces toppled the Taleban's hard-line Islamist regime. The aim is to win over the population by limiting Afghan casualties while securing new areas, eventually turning control over to local army and police and allowing

foreign troops to withdraw. Violence has been increasing across Afghanistan, coinciding with the arrival of thousands of American soldiers for a new push to try to establish Afghan government control in the south, one of the Taleban's strongest areas of influence. Yesterday, NATO said three American troops were killed by a roadside bomb in the south Tuesday. It did not identify them or give any other details. Last month was the deadliest for international forces since the war began, with 103 killed, including 60 Americans. Britain announced yesterday that it will withdraw its troops from a volatile district in the south, turning over responsibility to US forces. The Sangin valley in Helmand province has been one of the deadliest for British forces, accounting for 99 of the 312 soldiers killed since 2001. Defense Secretary Liam Fox made the announcement in a statement to the House of Commons on the deployment of British troops. Britain's military said US forces would move into Sangin from October. "In Sangin, UK forces have made huge progress in the face of great adversity," Fox told the lawmakers. Britain has about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, most based in Helmand. Another NATO airstrike on Tuesday in Paktika province killed several suspected insurgents and led to the arrest of several others. NATO said a coalition aircraft fired a precisionguided munition to repel militants who were firing at Afghan and coalition forces from an area near an unmarked mosque in Yahya Khel district. Windows of the mosque were broken in the fighting. When the clash ended, the patrol recovered six hand grenades, three AK-47 assault rifles, a sniper rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade and a book on how to make improvised explosive devices, NATO said. It said the combined force later discussed the incident with local elders and government officials. Two times in the past five weeks, coalition and Afghan forces have been engaged in fights with insurgents in or near mosques. — AP

tory," he said. Indian police and paramilitary forces, who have been struggling to control the wave of protests in the Muslimmajority Kashmir valley, have been accused of killing 15 civilians in less than a month. Each death has sparked a new cycle of violence despite appeals for calm from the state's Chief Minister Omar

Abdullah. The cabinet committee on security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, met in New Delhi to discuss the surge of tension in Kashmir, and Home Secretary G K Pillai flew to the region to assess law and order. Pillai arrived in Srinagar along with Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General A M Verma and held meetings with state police chief and head of Indian army in the Kashmir valley, a police source said. Police said Srinagar and six other towns were under strict curfew. In rural areas where the curfew was not in force, defiant protesters returned to the streets and were involved in fresh clashes with security personnel. There were no reports of injuries. The insurgency against New Delhi's rule over Kashmir has claimed tens of thousands of lives, though the recent unrest is the worst for two years. Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan each hold Kashmir in part but claim it in full. They have fought two of their three wars over the region since the subcontinent's partition in 1947. Two Indian guards were killed in Kashmir over the last two days in exchanges of fire across the border with Pakistan, officials said yesterday. — AFP

China agreed in 2008 to build two nuclear power plants for its neighbor, a deal that critics said violated international nonproliferation agreements. Pakistan, which has leaked sensitive nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the main international agreement meant to stem the spread of nuclear weapons technology. China signed the treaty in the 1990s. The deal came about after a wide-ranging agreement that allowed the US to sell nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India, which like Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nonproliferation Treaty. China, a major arms supplier for Pakistan, shares Islamabad's fierce regional rivalry with India. So far the plan to build two new reactors at the Chashma site in Pakistan's Punjab province has apparently gone forward. But the US and other countries have said it does not have the necessary approval from the 46-country Nuclear Suppliers Group, which seeks to limit the spread of nuclear-related equipment. "The United States and other NSG states may object to the pending transaction but they cannot prevent China from exporting the reactors," Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in an April report.

Britain to withdraw troops from violent Afghan district Cameron wants soldiers home within 5 years LONDON: Britain is to withdraw its 1,000 troops from the Sangin region of Afghanistan where they have suffered heavy losses and allow US forces to take charge there, Defense Secretary Liam Fox said yesterday. Prime Minister David Cameron, who has made Afghanistan his top foreign priority, also confirmed that he wanted to bring British combat troops home within five years. Sangin, a valley in the north of Helmand province, has been one of the deadliest areas for British forces, accounting for about a third of the 312 British dead in the nine-year-old war. The British military describes Sangin as an area with deep Taleban affiliation, riven by tribal conflict and a major centre for opium production. The British soldiers who are leaving Sangin will focus on operations in central Helmand where they will work with Danish and Estonian allies, Fox said. Around 300 troops from a reserve battalion based in Cyprus would temporarily reinforce central Helmand until the changes had taken effect later this year. Cameron, who took office in May, said it was time for a push in Afghanistan so that Afghans could ultimately take charge of their own

Srinivasan. "The firing was precise, but at this stage we cannot say for sure who fired at us," he added. The flare-up comes ahead of Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna's trip to Pakistan next week to meet with his counterpart in a renewed bid to normalize ties. Relations between the neighbors, who have fought three wars since 1947, were frozen when Pakistan-based militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, killing 166 people. A late 2003 ceasefire between the two sides across the ceasefire line in Kashmir has largely held although there have been several exchanges of fire over the past year. Raza said Pakistani forces returned fire after Indian forces "did not respond to the call for a flag-meeting" and continued firing. He said it was the third violation of a ceasefire in that area in a month. India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants fighting Indian security forces in the Himalayan region of Kashmir. Pakistan supports what it calls a freedom struggle by the people of Kashmir against what it sees as the brutal and illegitimate Indian occupation of the region. But it denies arming the guerrillas, who have been fighting Indian forces since 1989. —Reuters

security. "This is the time to get the job done and the plan we have envisages making sure that we wouldn't be in Afghanistan in 2015," he told parliament. "It's time to maximize the pressure now, and then to bring our forces home as we train up the Afghan army and police force to do the job that needs to be done which is to keep that country secure." Concerns about the costly US-dominated Afghan mission have grown as governments slash spending to rein in budget deficits, and as the death toll has risen. June was the deadliest month for foreign troops since the conflict began. TROOP SURGE Nearly all of Britain's 9,500 troops in the country are based in Helmand, scene of the Afghan war's worst fighting. British forces account for about a third of foreign troops in Helmand, but are responsible for protecting a larger share of the province's population. The withdrawal of British troops from Sangin would help to redress the imbalance. British troops have already turned over other mountain valleys in Helmand to US Marines who arrived in large numbers in the province last year. — Reuters

in the news Development (IGAD) announced Monday in Addis Ababa it had decided to rapidly deploy the 2,000 extra troops still needed for AMISOM to reach its intended strength of 8,100.

Exchange of fire at India-Pak border leaves 2 Indians dead ISLAMABAD: An exchange of fire at the Indian-Pakistan border near Pakistan's Punjab province has killed two Indian troops, and wounded a Pakistani soldier and several villagers, officials said yesterday. The neighbors have in the past exchanged almost daily fire across what is known as the Line of Control separating the two armies in Kashmir, but the latest incident occurred in the Sialkot sector of Pakistan which rarely experiences trouble. A spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers said Indian border security forces fired automatic weapons and mortars at a village along the Sialkot working boundary, north of the Pakistani city of Lahore. "First they fired yesterday morning and then again in the evening and the firing continued sporadically throughout the night until yesterday morning," said Nadeem Raza. "One of our soldiers and several villagers have been wounded in the Indian firing." A senior Indian border official confirmed the incident but said Indian forces retaliated for "unprovoked firing" from the Pakistani side. "We were facing unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side for the last two days, resulting in the death of two of our men. We were forced to retaliate," said K

Other countries are not only concerned about leaking nuclear information to rogue states but also the risk of attack from insurgents battling the Pakistani military in the country's northwest tribal areas adjacent to Afghanistan, said Adnan Bukhari, an associate research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. "The more you expand your nuclear programs or installations, there is more threat of attacks on them or maybe stealing of your equipment or your weapons," he said. China has said the deal would be carried out in line with "international obligations" and subject to international safeguards and supervision. Military cooperation is also a focal point in ties between the countries, which held a third round of joint counterterrorism drills this week in western China's Ningxia region. Zardari, during his meeting with business leaders, thanked the CEO of China Northern Industries Corp. "for its cooperation with the defense forces of Pakistan," his statement said. The company has supplied tanks, artillery guns, air defense systems and vehicles to Pakistani military. Zardari also is to meet with Premier Wen Jiabao and top political adviser Jia Qinglin and tour the Shanghai World Expo. — AP

SANAA: Two convicted Al-Qaeda militants, 23-year-old Mubarak ElShabawni (front right) and 18-yearold Mansour Salem (rear right) are escorted by Yemeni policemen out of the court house after their trial session yesterday. — AP 2 Al-Qaeda members sentenced to death SANAA: A Yemeni court yesterday convicted two Al-Qaeda militants for the killing of senior police and army officers and sentenced them to death. The swift trial, held in the capital Sanaa, took place without attorneys for the defendants. Dressed in dark prison T-shirts and pants, 23year-old Mubarak El-Shabawni and 18-year-old Mansour Salem, denounced the verdict and shouted 'God is Great' afterward. Arrested in December, the two were charged with carrying out attacks in 2009, including one that claimed the lives of top Yemeni intelligence officials in the south. Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, has strong Al-Qaeda presence, which the government has struggled to confront. Shebab steps up jihad BELEDWEYN: Hundreds of Shebab supporters vowed yesterday in the central Somali town of Beledweyn to intensify the Al-Qaeda-inspired group's jihad against African Union troops. The demonstration was the Islamist insurgent group's reply to a pledge made Monday at a summit of regional states for 2,000 more troops to beef up the beleaguered African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM). "The enemies of Allah met in Ethiopia days ago and agreed to fight against the Holy Quran of Allah," Sheikh Yusuf Said Ugas, Shebab leader for Somalia's Hiran region, told the crowd. "Now we are meeting to unite and fight against them. We will fight to death, until we raise the Islamic flag over this country and establish the greater Islamic state," he said. The six-member Inter-Governmental Authority on

Bangladesh police battle protesters DHAKA: An activist died and more than 100 were wounded when Bangladesh riot police broke up anti-government protests across the country yesterday, police and witnesses said, with demonstrators calling for early elections. The activist died in a stampede when police clashed with demonstrators in Naogaon town, 250 km northwest of the capital, Dhaka. Police said the cause of death was a heart attack, but the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) blamed police for causing the stampede. Hundreds of protesters from the BNP, of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia and its main ally Jamaat-e-Islami, formed human chains in the capital and elsewhere. At least 30 people were hurt in Dhaka, and the rest in several cities and district headquarters including Chittagong port, where police arrested nearly 100 activists. Witnesses and officials said yesterday's protests were the most violent and widespread since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office in January last year. Iran summons Swiss envoy TEHRAN: Iran has summoned the Swiss charge d'affaires to protest the "abduction" of a nuclear scientist by US intelligence agents, state television's website reported yesterday. The Swiss mission in Tehran handles US interests as Washington has had no diplomatic ties with Iran for more than 30 years. "The Swiss charge d'affaires (Georg Steiner) was summoned on Tuesday following the release of new documents relating to the abduction of Shahram Amiri by American security forces," the report said, quoting a foreign ministry statement. Iran's foreign ministry said on July 4 it had presented to the Swiss embassy "evidence" that Amiri, who has been missing since last year, was abducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Iranian television on June 29 screened a video of a man claiming to be Amiri and saying that he had managed to escape from the hands of US intelligence agents in Virginia. "I could be re-arrested at any time by US agents... I am not free and I'm not allowed to contact my family. Egypt kills migrant EL-ARISH: Egyptian police shot and killed an Eritrean migrant as he tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official said. Police had warned the 36-year-old man to stop and when he refused they fired shots, the official said. He was shot in the pelvis and died from internal bleeding. His body was then taken to the nearby El-Arish hospital, the official added. The man's death brings to 20 the number of African migrants killed so far this year when attempting the crossing in search of a better life and job prospects in Israel. Cairo has rejected harsh criticism from human rights groups of its policy of using potentially lethal force against the migrants along the 250-kilometre border.



Thursday, July 8, 2010


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Irish govt looks shaky over stags By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Padraic Halpin


reland's coalition government came together last year to pass pioneering austerity measures but a seemingly minor squabble over animal welfare laws has shown its unity may be wearing thin. After months of rumblings over record low opinion poll ratings, two pieces of legislation proposed by the Greens have exposed frictions with the larger Fianna Fail party and raised questions about Prime Minister Brian Cowen's leadership. Among its major legislation, Fianna Fail believes it can push through another 3 billion euros in budget savings in December to tackle a huge deficit which inflated after the "Celtic Tiger" boom collapsed. However, after that the survival of the coalition, which usually relies on support from independents, is uncertain and some analysts believe it could fall at any time. Last week the government won one of the two welfare votes, on banning stag hunting, but two independent MPs who normally vote with the coalition broke ranks for the first time, along with one of Fianna Fail's own MPs. Both the independents and the Fianna Fail MP, who was punished by having party privileges revoked, indicated their loyalties still lay with the coalition and the contentious "Dog Breeding Establishment Law" was expected to be approved today before parliament breaks for the summer. But the coalition has a slim majority. With just six votes more than the opposition at 84 versus 78 - four of those from independents - such breaches in solidarity are ominous before elections due in 2012. Some say the coalition might not even make it that far. "At this stage it's possible that the government could fall at any time, it's become quite unstable," said Theresa Reidy, a lecturer in Irish politics at University College Cork. "It could struggle on for a year but ... the sense of instability will perpetuate." Cowen is praised abroad as a leader of fiscal reform but pilloried at home for his part in the dramatic fall from booming "Celtic Tiger" to one of Europe's most vulnerable economies. Opinion polls now show Fianna Fail in third place behind opposition Fine Gael and Labour, and with further fiscal cuts looming, more MPs may want to distance themselves from an unpopular premier before the 2012 campaign. Labour said it was determined to bring the government down and, like Fine Gael, it is waiting to call a noconfidence motion if Cowen loses a significant vote. "The biggest political priority at the moment is to get rid of the worst government that we've ever had. In our view this was

the best opportunity to do that," justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte told local media, referring to last week's vote. While Fianna Fail is confident of pushing through the 3 billion euros in savings in its fourth successive austerity budget in December, what happens after is less certain. "We'll definitely be okay for the budget but it's once we get into January that people start getting jittery," a senior Fianna Fail source told Reuters. "That's when people start to position themselves for the next election." Investors are already demanding a hefty premium for holding Irish bonds and they could flee if a snap poll brought in a Fine Gael-Labour team opposed to some policies started to cut Europe's proportionally biggest budget deficit and rescue banks. Another wildcard is what will happen to three vacant seats in the 166-seat parliament, which the Greens, seeking to boost their popularity, want to see filled this year but Fianna Fail wants to delay for fear they will go to the opposition. Ruling parties have not won a byelection since 1982 and Cowen is likely to make use of his legal right to delay filling the seats indefinitely. The last two Fianna Fail-led governments are among just four to finish five-year terms since elections officially began in 1922 and bookmaker Paddy Power said it was nearly odds on that a parliamentary poll would be held this year. Irish media have speculated about a possible revolt against Cowen, who took over in 2008 after his predecessor Bertie Ahern resigned to face a corruption tribunal. "The country never needed leadership and hope as much as now and the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) isn't providing them," said one angry junior Fianna Fail MP Sean Power this week. However, the MPs calling for change have also admitted that they have no challenger to back. The most favoured candidate, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, is being treated for cancer but were he to make a full recovery, he would come under pressure to make a leadership challenge from MPs fretting over their own political future. "If he (Lenihan) comes back to full health in September or October, it completely changes the ball game," the senior Fianna Fail source said. Cowen has said his party had shown "extraordinary discipline" and Lenihan has said he fully backed the leader. However, MPs know that as one of the few popular Fianna Fail politicians having garnered respect as the architect of Ireland's fiscal reforms, Lenihan could give the party an unlikely fighting chance come election time if he took over. "It would alter the next election completely," the Fianna Fail source said. — Reuters

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Islam, the Founding Fathers and the 4th of July By Frankie Martin


his Fourth of July, Americans gathered at barbeques, watched firework displays and remembered the men who assembled in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776. For many, the celebrations serve as a reminder of the value of freedom, of a country forged by the people in direct opposition to monarchy and tyranny. It is sometimes easy to forget, however, that America's founders were also concerned with another kind of freedom: the freedom to worship. For the Founding Fathers, religious freedom was at the very core of being American. As America's first president George Washington wrote, America was open to receive "the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions", including Christians, Jews and Muslims. However, throughout its history America has sometimes failed to live up to this ideal, most recently after the 9/11 attacks.

I saw this firsthand when I travelled as part of a research team headed by Professor Akbar Ahmed of American University to 75 American cities and 100 mosques for the new book, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, which explores how Muslim Americans are assimilating into American society and consequently delves into the question of American identity. We met Muslim American citizens who had been imprisoned on suspicion of planning or partaking in terrorist activities without trial and held in inhuman conditions, those whose mosques had been firebombed, and many others who had been subjected to attack and harassment by fellow members of their local communities. And one has only to turn on the television to see that the media is full of commentators who ridicule and malign Islam's holy book and prophet (PBUH). Some Americans even told me that Muslims cannot be American. These Americans should read the works of our own Founding Fathers.

These great scholars and statesmen showed an immense respect for Islam and went out of their way to welcome Muslims. John Adams, America's second president, named Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) one of the world's great truth seekers alongside Socrates and Confucius. Thomas Jefferson, the country's third president and the author of the Declaration of Independence, learned Arabic using his copy of the Holy Quran and hosted the first presidential iftar, marking the end of the daily fast during Ramadan. The Founding Fathers also drew upon principles from Muslim civilisations, among many others, in fashioning the American political and judicial system. But perhaps the most striking writings on Islam by the Founding Fathers come from Benjamin Franklin, America's great philosopher and scientist. Franklin expressed his respect for Islam and his strong belief in religious freedom when he wrote of his desire to see the Mufti of Istanbul preach Islam

from a Philadelphia pulpit. But he faced a challenge from his own countrymen in convincing them to be as tolerant. In Dec 1763, a group of 50 Pennsylvania frontiersmen, seeking to prevent Native American attacks on their homes and frustrated that the government had not taken action against hostile tribes, tortured, mutilated and murdered a group of peaceful Christian Native Americans in the most horrific fashion. The supposedly Christian frontiersmen, wrote an outraged Franklin, were more barbaric than those to which they claimed superiority. Franklin went on to assert that Native Americans would have been safer had they been living in a Muslim country, as Islam shows even prisoners more humanity than the frontiersmen had shown free men. Franklin praised the compassion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), writing that the Prophet (PBUH) had applauded the humaneness of soldiers who treated their captives well. Franklin also spoke of his admiration for the 12th century sultan

Saladin as a ruler who demonstrated both justice and compassion. In a country where feelings against Islam are precarious, the outlook of the Founding Fathers could not be more significant. And at a time of tension between some people in the United States and the Muslim world, both Muslims and non-Muslims can benefit by considering both the American ideals of the Founding Fathers and the Islamic ideals for which they had such admiration. These complementary ideals have been challenged to the core by post9/11 confrontations. So as we settle back into our routines after the Fourth of July holiday, I hope we take time to remember the true America as envisioned by those extraordinary men in 1776 and work to make it a reality. The Founding Fathers would expect nothing less. NOTE: Frankie Martin is the Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University's School of International Service — CGNews

Against odds, Iraq's Sunnis insist on PM post By Rania El Gamal


he key to peace in Iraq, many say, is to ensure minority Sunnis are satisfied with their place and power under Shiite rule. But the political cards since a March election have not been falling in their favour. Sunnis hoped the March 7 vote would restore a good part of their clout under Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, and voted overwhelmingly for ex-Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a Shiite who they felt promised a return to the strongman days of Saddam. They were elated when his secular Iraqiya bloc took a two-seat lead over nearest rival, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Yet, four months after the otherwise inconclusive vote, there is little sign Allawi will become prime minister, even if Iraqiya plays a meaningful role in a coalition government. "If Allawi doesn't become prime minister, then nothing will change ... but they (the Shiite blocs) will not let him become prime minister," said Abu Ali, a street seller in Baghdad's Sunni neighbourhood of Adhamiya. Iraq's Sunnis have felt marginalised since the 2003 US-led invasion, which gave the once oppressed Shiite majority a chance to govern. Many are seething now at the possibility that the two main Shiite blocs will claim the right to form the government after merging, and shut Sunnis out again. Their anger raises a difficult question for Iraq - what would it take to satisfy Sunnis, who make up perhaps a fifth of the population, if Allawi is not named prime minister? "Do you know what the problem is of the Sunnis in

Iraq?" said analyst Ibrahim AlSumaidaie. "The problem is that those who ruled the country for 1,000 years think that four Sunnis can just go in a tank or with Ottoman swords and take control of the presidential palace," he said. "This situation just can't happen in Iraq now." Overall violence has plunged since the all-out sectarian fighting in 2006-07, but Sunni

Islamist insurgents continue a campaign of suicide bombs and shootings. Weary of war, most Iraqis - no matter their sect want jobs, services, security and an end to political wrangling. But lingering Sunni resentment and any sense that they might have been cheated after the March election could be dangerous for Iraq as it emerges from the worst of the violence. "I find

it difficult to see that Iraqiya supporters would accept a situation in which Allawi does not have a first stab at forming the government," IHS Global Insight Middle East analyst Gala Riani said. The Shiite blocs face their own problems in trying to form a government. Some of Maliki's partners in the Iranian-backed Iraqi National Alliance, with

which his State of Law coalition merged, oppose his demand to be given a second term. Last week, Maliki and Allawi met for the second time since the vote, prompting speculation they might do a deal instead. Yet few Shiites believe their leaders would sacrifice Shiite unity for personal political goals. After decades under the thumb of a Sunni minority, the political

US Vice President Joe Biden (left) meets on July 4, 2010 in Baghdad with Iyad Allawi, a former Iraqi prime minister who narrowly beat incumbent premier Nouri Al-Maliki into second place in the March 7 election — AFP

dominance they achieved after Saddam's fall is simply too precious. Iraqiya leaders say they will keep on insisting on what they perceive as their electoral right as the top vote winner to name Allawi as prime minister. Iraqiya has 91 seats in the 325-seat parliament to State of Law's 89 while the merged Shiite bloc controls 159 - just four short of a working majority. "We have and still insist that Dr Iyad Allawi is the prime minister according to (our) electoral right," said Mohammed Allawi, a member of Iraqiya's coalition negotiation team. Osama Al-Nujaifi, a senior Sunni leader in Iraqiya, said the bloc now sees itself as stronger than ever. "Iraqiya will not take the premiership only. It will also take other ministries according to its electoral rights," he said. The ministries Iraqiya wants are at least one so-called sovereign ministry - defence, interior, finance, foreign affairs, or oil, favouring the security and finance portfolios. What if Iraqiya doesn't get the prime minister's post? It's possible Iraqiya and the Sunnis who backed it might settle for the presidency or the speaker's role in parliament, and a sovereign ministry, said Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group. "The question is whether they would accept Allawi as an 'honorary' Sunni if Allawi were to take the presidency, with the prime ministry going to a Shiite, and the speakership to a Kurd," he said. "I have my doubts about that. Iraqi politicians have not yet given a clear indication they are able and willing to rise above the ethno-sectarian muhasasa (quota) system." — Reuters


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Netanyahu comes away smiling Sordid family affair focus

By Steve Weizman


sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brief visit to Washington seems to have left him with everything he could have wanted from US President Barack Obama, and then some. In 80 minutes of one-on-one talks in the White House on Tuesday, Netanyahu won praise for his recent easing of Israel's embargo on the Gaza Strip and reaffirmation of the strong ties between his country and the United States. In marked contrast to the chilly atmosphere during his last visit, this time he was greeted at the White House door by Obama. The two sat close together as they spoke to reporters in the Oval Office and they staged a long and vigorous handshake for the cameras. Netanyahu got a US pledge to try to deflect motions against Israel at a September session of the International Atomic Energy Agency and an assurance that a proposed 2012 conference on establishing a Middle East free of nuclear weapons would not be allowed to single out Israel. At a conference in New York last month, participants called on Israel to sign the NonProliferation Treaty and open its facilities to inspection, but made no mention of Iran's controversial nuclear program. Israel is widely reported to have around 200 warheads but refuses to confirm or deny its capability, a policy of which is said to date back to a secret agreement reached in the 1960s between Israeli premier Golda Meir and US president Richard Nixon. Published accounts say that Nixon agreed to turn a blind eye to Israel's nuclear arsenal as long as it did not test a nuclear missile or publicly admit to having one. It could be that understanding that Obama was alluding to when he sat next to Netanyahu in front of reporters on Tuesday. "We discussed issues that arose out of the nuclear non-proliferation conference and I reiterated to the prime minister that there is no change in US policy when it comes to this issue," Obama said. "We strongly believe that given its size, its history, the region it's in and the threats that are leveled against it that Israel has unique security requirements." There was one area where it had been thought that Obama might try to pressure his visitor; the approaching end of a 10-month Israeli freeze on

US President Barack Obama walks with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Tuesday as Netanyahu departs following talks. – AFP

Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank. Successive US administrations have described settlements as an obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians and Obama would have loved to see the moratorium extended beyond its September end. But it seems that the president accepted that Netanyahu, who heads a coalition government dependent on hawks, would be unable to deliver an extension. Instead Obama said that Israel and the Palestinians should move, before the moratorium runs out, from their current US-mediated talks to direct negotiations on the issues at the heart of their dispute. A senior US official said that as it had become clear that Israel would let the freeze expire, the United States hoped to use the deadline to motivate progress on launching talks, rendering the freeze issue obsolete. "It's a way to add some leverage to this situation," the official said on condition of anonymity. "My hope is that once direct talks have begun, well before the moratorium has expired, that that will create a climate in which everybody feels a greater investment in success," Obama said. Netanyahu says he is ready to meet Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at any time, but the Palestinians have yet to commit to direct talks, accusing Israel of undermining the atmosphere with continuing settlement activity. Tuesday's White House meeting, just a few hours after Netanyahu flew in from Israel, was all about laying to rest past impressions of a chilly relationship. In March, Netanyahu was denied even a photo-op with Obama as a row raged over settlement expansion. This time, reporters were invited to watch the US leader see the premier to his limousine and wave him goodbye as marines in dress uniform stood to attention. Sweetening the tone still further, US First Lady Michelle Obama invited Netanyahu's wife Sara for afternoon tea. An Israeli official said the two women spoke about their children and their husbands and played with the Obama family dog when he wandered into the room in which they were sitting. After spending Tuesday night in Blair House, the presidential guest residence next to the White House, Netanyahu flew to New York yesterday for meetings with United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, former president Bill Clinton and American Jewish leaders. — AFP

A critical US-Israel issue is left open By Steven R Hurst


President Barack Obama played the good cop in his latest face-to-face with Benjamin Netanyahu, seeking to bolster the Israeli prime minister's standing at home with honeyed praise for his readiness to make peace with the Palestinians. Obama's declarations Tuesday about the "unbreakable" bond that links the United States and Israel should boost Netanyahu's standing among Israelis. The warm words also could help Obama rebut domestic critics who complain he has been too tough on the Israelis and his Mideast policy is tilting toward the Arabs. Yet, the hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition government will probably not be won over. They have no interest in answering Palestinian demands for a freeze on settlement building in return for direct peace talks. And that's still

the critical issue between the US and Israel, one neither Netanyahu nor Obama addressed after their fifth meeting since Obama took office 17 months ago. Netanyuhu sidestepped that question again Wednesday in an interview broadcast on ABC television. "The simplest way to advance peace is to put aside all the grievances and all the preconditions," he said, asserting he's "ready to sit down" with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to discuss peace "without preconditions". Asked what concrete steps he was willing to take to set the framework for new talks, Netanyahu said his government already had relaxed "hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints" in addition to its decision to ease the Gaza Strip blockade. But he also told ABC that "we have to have very strong security arrangements so that the areas that we vacate do not turn into Iranian strongholds.

We have some very clear requirements. ... The Palestinians will have very clear requirements". Speaking to reporters in the White House's Oval Office Tuesday, both Netanyahu and Obama had ducked a question about the Israeli leader's plans for extending a limited freeze on West Bank settlements. The moratorium expires in September. While stark differences remain, the tone was far warmer than it was when Obama and Netanyahu were last together. That was in the spring and Obama was upset over Israeli policies in disputed East Jerusalem. He had Netanyahu to the White House in the evening, out of sight of reporters. After this meeting, however, the leaders' Oval Office remarks were expansive, but - when carefully studied - held little or nothing new. Obama praised Israel for easing its Gaza blockade, allowing in consumer

goods, after heated international criticism for the deadly interception of a Turkish aid flotilla. The president said he believed Netanyahu "was willing to take risks for peace", and heatedly rejected the premise of a question about having given the Israeli leader the cold shoulder in recent months. Netanyahu said he was "committed" to peace with the Palestinians and said it was "high time to begin direct talks." He praised Obama for leading the UN Security Council to a new round of sanctions against Iran over its suspected nuclear arms program. He was fulsome in thanking Obama "for reaffirming to me in private and now in public as you did the long-standing US commitments to Israel on matters of vital strategic importance". "To paraphrase Mark Twain," the Israeli leader said, "reports about the demise of the special US-Israel ... relationship aren't just premature, they're just flat

wrong." The two leaders had gotten off on the wrong foot right from the start when Netanyahu - in their first White House meeting soon after Obama was sworn in - publicly rebuffed the new president's call for a freeze on settlements. The Netanyahu government compounded that negative start when it announced, during a fence-mending visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, plans for a large settlement expansion in east Jerusalem. Regardless of that history, Netanyahu and Obama were emphatic that relations had never gone sour. What's more, they agreed, it was time for the Palestinians to come to the table again for yet another try at face-to-face peace talks. At the Palestinian mission in Washington, officials said there would be no response for at least a day, not long in the context of nearly six decades of conflict since Israel was established. — AP

Dalai Lama turns 75 amid succession worries By Siddhartha Kumar


he Dalai Lama, arguably the world's most celebrated monk, turned 75 Tuesday amid rising suspense over his successor as the leader of the Tibetan movement and Beijing's claim that it has the right to decide the issue. Thousands of Tibetans braved heavy rains to join celebrations of his birthday in India's northern hill town of Dharamsala, home to their spiritual leader and his exiled government. As their leader grows old, Tibetans in Dharamsala, who are usually tight-lipped on the issue, admitted that his succession is a matter of concern. They expressed worries that the successor would not match the Dalai Lama's charisma and appeal to keep the Tibetan issue alive in the international arena. The Dalai Lama himself has kept everyone guessing about his successor, sometimes saying he might be the last reincarnation, at other times asserting the reincarnation would not be born under Chinese control but "in the free world" to safeguard his people. In a recent interview with India's NDTV network, the Dalai Lama said his succes-

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gives a traditional greeting as he celebrates his 75th birthday at Tsuglakhang Temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala on Tuesday. — AFP sor need not be a reincarnation but someone appointed by him during his lifetime. China, which invaded Tibet in 1950, has other plans. It indicated it would appoint the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama after the current one dies in an apparent plan to curb the Tibetan movement. It did so in 1995 with the Panchen Lama, the second-highest lama. The Dalai Lama named a

competing incarnation, who promptly vanished. China said the boy was put into protective custody. The Dalai Lama said any Dalai Lama chosen by China would have no moral legitimacy or following. Asked whether he would appoint someone in his lifetime, Dalai Lama told NDTV that he would continue to guide his community in the coming years. "I have not

much concern about these things," he said. "Sometimes I think the Chinese communists have more concern about Dalai Lama's successor than me. Silly, silly thinking, like that, so doesn't matter." "On the practical level, no hurry," he added. "I am quite healthy, so for another 10 to 20 years, I think, no problem." On Tuesday, the Dalai Lama attended prayers at

Dharamsala's main Tsuglagkhang temple and blessed his followers at the function attended by Tibetan ministers and officials. "Special prayers were held for the wellbeing and long life of his holiness," Tibetan government spokesman Thubten Samphel said. As the exiled community planned celebrations worldwide, the Tibetan cabinet, or Kashag, underscored the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" policy, which renounces independence in favour of "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet within China, saying it was the only way to resolve the friction with Beijing. "For over 50 years, Tibetans in and outside Tibet have been able to withstand the unbearable circumstances and emergencies with great courage and strength, and for over four generations, the Tibetans have been able to maintain their religion, culture and tradition," it said. "This is solely due to the grace of his holiness." Beijing has faced allegations from human rights groups that it has systematically persecuted Tibetans and suppressed their culture since it established the Tibetan Autonomous Region 40 years ago. The smiling and soft-spo-

ken Dalai Lama has become a symbol of Tibetan non-violent resistance against China. Born on July 6, 1935, in Tibet's north-eastern Amdo province, the monk has been in the global spotlight since the age of 4 when he was enthroned as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. He fled to India in 1959, disguised as a soldier, while Chinese troops cracked down on a Tibetan uprising against the occupation of their homeland. He has endeared himself to millions of people worldwide in subsequent decades by propagating Buddhist thought, peace and compassion in the face of personal barbs by Beijing, which has described him as a "splittist" and a "wolf in monk's robes". The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, known for his self-effacing humour, draws thousands as he travels around the globe giving spiritual talks. The Dalai Lama has few health complaints, which his followers attribute to his spiritual power and humility. Even at this age, the Dalai Lama shows no signs of slowing down and in an average year spends half the time travelling abroad and meeting heads of states in an untiring campaign for his people. — dpa

threatens Sarkozy By Siegfried Mortkowitz


he affair began as a sordid family squabble surrounding Europe's richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, and has now turned into a political firestorm threatening France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy. On Tuesday, the online daily MediaPart printed an interview with Bettencourt's former accountant, identified as Claire T, who said that the heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune contributed 150,000 ($188,000) to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign. If confirmed, that would make those responsible for soliciting and accepting the money - allegedly the campaign's financial director, Eric Woerth, currently Sarkozy's minister for labour and social affairs - liable for criminal contribution and cast a cloud over Sarkozy's plan to run again for president in 2012. The French law on political donations is quite strict. It limits campaign contributions by individuals to 4,600. In addition, cash contributions cannot exceed 150. All private campaign contributions above that amount must be paid by check or online, with the donor clearly identified. Claire T told MediaPart that she was asked to withdraw the 150,000 from the bank by the manager of Bettencourt's fortune, Patrice de Maistre. But she refused, because her line of credit was limited to 50,000 a week. She said that Maistre then grew irritated and said, "But, look, it's to finance Sarkozy's presidential campaign. I must give the money to the person who deals with the financing of the campaign, Eric Woerth. And 50,000 euros is not enough." Claire T said she handed 50,000 to Bettencourt and personally saw her employer give the money to Maistre. "And I filled out the account book, writing 'Bettencourt' next to the amount," she said. "I always did it like this when it

concerned money for politicians, because we did not want to leave a written trace (of the contribution)." She said that Maistre took the remaining 100,000 from one of Bettencourt's Swiss bank accounts. He told her that he would give the 150,000 "discreetly" to Woerth at a private dinner. "And the dinner did take place very quickly," she said. According to Bettencourt's former accountant, the family generosity to Sarkozy dates back several decades, to when he was mayor of the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, from 1983 to 2002. She said that Sarkozy and his former wife, Cecilia, were frequent guests for lunch or dinner at the Bettencourt mansion. "Nicolas Sarkozy also received his envelope," she said. "That occurred in one of the small salons on the ground floor, near the dining room. It usually took place after the meal." Because the Bettencourts were somewhat deaf and therefore spoke very loudly, "everyone in the house knew Sarkozy also came to see the Bettencourts to pick up money. He was a regular." This information has come to light because of the recent discovery of some 21 hours of secret recordings of conversations between Bettencourt and her friends and advisers. The recordings were made by Bettencourt's former butler, Pascal Bennefoy, and made public by the online daily MediaPart. And the tapes were discovered because of the trial of a close friend of the 87-year-old Bettencourt, celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier. Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise BettencourtMeyers, has charged Banier with abusing the feebleness of her mother to manipulate her into presenting him with gifts, such as cash, artworks and life insurance, worth nearly 1 billion.— dpa

In S'pore, safety for foreign laborers lax By Kai Portmann


he men on the back of the lorry had no chance. When the vehicle skidded and tipped over off Singapore's PanIsland Expressway in the morning rush hour of June 22, the workers were thrown from the lorry. Three Chinese nationals died, 14 of their colleagues were injured on their way to work. The fatal accident - the most recent in a spate of similar calamities - has once again stirred a debate in Singapore, where foreign workers crammed on the rear deck of open lorries, shielded from the blazing sun or torrential rain only by plastic bags, are a common sight. "It's a gross anomaly that firstworld Singapore is so third world in this respect," said a comment in the mainstream Business Times newspaper, adding that "even Bahrain ... has banned commuting in the back of open lorries". "How many foreign lives need to be lost before we do something?" asked a Singapore resident in a web forum. "Stop companies from killing any more workers," said another. An estimated 200,000 foreign workers mainly from Bangladesh and India - are being transported on lorries daily on Singapore's streets, according to the Ministry of Transport. Last year, 166 rear passengers had been killed or injured in open lorries or on cargo decks of pickups - down from 210 in 2008, according to police statistics, but no details were given for foreign workers involved. The Transport Ministry said that both fatality and injury rates of workers on lorries in the past several years "were about six times lower than the average annual rates of all road accidents". In Sept 2009, however, the authorities tightened the safety rules for the transport of foreign workers, lowering, for example, the maximum allowable height of a seated worker and implementing harsher penalties for breaching the regulations. Further measures, including the installation of higher side railings and canopies on lorries, are set to be implemented in Sept 2012. But following the June 22 accident, legislatures and workerwelfare groups put some pres-

sure on the government, saying the new rules should kick in much sooner. "The new safety measures should be implemented earlier," said Halimah Yacob, chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee for Manpower. She said that 2012 "is no longer a feasible date and the authorities should act quickly." Jolovan Wham, executive director of the worker's advocacy group Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics, agreed. "Every day that these measures are not in place means increased risk and potential loss of lives for workers," he said, adding that the latest accident was "a strong wake-up call". The safety of foreign workers on Singapore streets "is a very complex issue," senior parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Teo Ser Luck, told parliament when presenting the new rules last year. "We have to address not only the safety concerns, but also the concerns of the business sector," he said, noting that ferrying workers on lorries "has helped companies control business costs." The authorities, therefore, gave employers three years to fully comply with the stepped-up measures. But Halimah said it was reasonable to put all new rules in place by the end of this year, because businesses had been given ample notice of the changes. "So long as the law is not in place, the rules are not mandatory and companies will drag their feet to the detriment of the workers," she said, adding that companies "must be prepared to pay for the safe transportation of their workers." Halimah also called for more stringent requirements "before foreigners are allowed to drive such lorries, as this has been identified as one of the causes of the accidents". Singapore's Land Transport Authority signalled it would consider doing more, "including bringing forward the implementation of the remaining measures." Transport Minister Raymond Lim said that, in the long run, the government should consider phasing out the use of lorries for ferrying workers. Halimah agreed, saying that the use of buses should be the ultimate goal, as "lorries are designed to carry goods and not people."— dpa



Thursday, July 8, 2010

PM outlines development plan Continued from Page 1 their wise counsel that bolsters national action and protects it against shortcomings that could lead to deviation from the set path. The premier also expressed appreciation for the constructive effort of MPs and the time they put in “to enable as much achievement as possible”. The judicial authority’s efforts also merit appreciation, as it maintains law and order and justice even in the face of challenge. As for the role of media, Sheikh Nasser hailed the achievement, performance and pioneering role of media in Kuwait. He specifically hailed media institutions’ cooperation to support and maintain the political track. “I address you here today as we look back on a very sensitive stage, and the last few months saw great and most serious and keen effort to maintain the homeland’s best interest in the long run. It is crucial now to look back and assess what has been achieved throughout last year before we all go on summer break; the achievements have been unique and of great weight if considered within the perspective of Kuwait’s political history,” Sheikh Nasser remarked. “For the first time, we have an agreed strategic vision that shall guide our policies till the year 2035, drafted in consultation with His Highness the Amir and by national and international experts. This shall serve as framework for the efforts of the current and coming governments as they seek to meet the expectations of the people,” he said. “This is the first time in our legislative history for parliament to unanimously pass the development plan for the next four years,” and “the process of realizing this blueprint is to go according to a clear methodology approved by the constitutional institutions and realized through cooperation and integration of initiatives by all economic and social sectors. The approved plan would put us on the right path towards economic development and help achieve our ambitions. And through the plan, we would determine and fund several hundred projects and initiatives, and the state treasury would spend great sums, and all would, God willing, lead to improvement in the state’s infrastructure and improve general services.” Sheikh Nasser pointed out several legislations passed to meet the demands of development and the challenge facing the state, including laws on the monetary authority, privatization, rights of those with special needs, and labor. Cooperation between the government and MPs was manifested when the government did not oppose several grilling requests, though some had crossed the lines set by the constitution and the constitutional court, and the government passed all grillings, which were both frequent and serious. The premier finally prayed the Almighty to bless all in the state with wisdom and continued resolve to best serve the homeland and the people’s interests under the wise leadership of HH the Amir and the Crown Prince. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Sheikh Ahmad Fahd AlSabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah, Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali, Minister of Communication and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mohammad Al-Busairi, Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Al-Haroun, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar, Minister of Electricity and Water Dr Bader Al-Shuraian and Minister of Health Dr Helal Al-Sayer. For his part, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd said the meeting is a follow-up to previous meetings that have been regularly held by the HH

the prime minister with “the media family and the fourth authority,” indicating that it is intended for “consultations and relay of information regarding the government’s recent activities”. He affirmed that the talks dealt with the government “road map” for integrated development schemes aimed at restoring Kuwait’s leading status in the region so “it might become a financial and commercial hub”. The government has succeeded, in coordination with the parliament, in thrashing out various legislative issues related to infrastructure, he said. “We hope that we have taken the first step on the path of the one-thousand-mile journey,” he added. The minister indicated at the adoption of the government’s long-term and medium term plans, the 2010-2011 development scheme, backed with the necessary legislations, as well several laws related to privatization, the cases of special needs and housing during the latest legislative term of the National Assembly. The ministers have worked collectively dividing the 2010-2011 strategy into three subplans, topped by the strategic projects, Sheikh Ahmad said. Dealing with the implementation of the development plan, he said: “Before talking about the advantages, let’s talk about the obstacles lying ahead. Bureaucracy always constitutes a real bottleneck for carrying out any development project. Yet, we have adopted a new approach which, God willing will help overcome these obstacles and facilitate the implementation of a range of key projects in the areas of housing, healthcare, transport and ports. The government has finalized the building of four housing cities, namely Sheikh Saad, Sheikh Sabah, Sheikh Jaber, and West Sulaibkhat.” Sheikh Ahmad highly appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Public Works in carrying out the major projects in the transport and ports domains. “Today, in the presence of HH the prime minister, we celebrate the signing of contracts on launching the Mubarak Al-Kabir and the Boubyan ports,” he said. “We also inspected the expansion of Sheikh Jaber Hospital where the developer is striving to finalize the project at an early date. The Minister of Health instructed the senior leaders of his ministry to step up the launching of 11 hospitals which will be put up for tendering late this year. The Ministry of Public Works and global consultancy firms signed contracts on launching four other hospitals, the first of which, with a bed capacity ranging between 350 and 400, will be cast for tendering in October”. The four hospitals and the Police Hospital will relieve the burdens on the country’s current 11 hospitals, Sheikh Ahmad revealed. As for the transport projects, he said a contract has been signed on building the United Nations Road. The upgrading of Jamal Abdul-Nasser Road, the First and Fifth Ring Roads and AlSubiyah Road is in the offing. “The capacity of the air and sea ports has been expanded through ambitious projects involving Kuwait International Airport and Boubyan Seaport. The Ministry of Communication scaled up efforts to finalize the draft bill on the launching of a transport authority,” Sheikh Ahmad disclosed. Regarding industry, he said: “It is an essential part of the development plan. The country will depend on the manufacturing industry as one of the most important sources of non-oil income in the period ahead. The government is building the infrastructure of new industrial zones. The development plan envisages launching 14 major construction projects. We expect that contracts of the development of such projects to take place by next February. The plan also envisages setting up five public shareholding companies and a shareholding company for low-cost housing projects. We are

studying the funding for these projects.” Dealing with the issue of power supplies, Sheikh Ahmad said: “The construction of AlSubiya power station has been completed. We will get the first 1,000 megawatts from the station in early 2011. We are poised to put up for tendering a public shareholding company for launching Al-Zour station. This could take place by the end of 2010. There are other medium-size projects which will add 6,300 megawatts to the country’s power generating capacity and 300 million gallons to water supplies daily.” As for tourist and leisure facilities, Sheikh Ahmad said they constituted an integral part of the development plan. “We coordinated with the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) for launching 14 touristic projects in the coming three years after raising the capital of TEC from KD 15 million to KD 50 million,” the minister pointed out. “Coordination is also underway with Kuwait International Fair Company and the Public Utilities Co for launching the fairground project and other key projects under the BOT system. Kuwait is competing with other sisterly GCC countries to become an international commercial and financial hub as per the instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ,” he added. Commenting on the law to restructure state departments, Sheikh Ahmad said the process will start only after finalizing the semiannual report as per the provisions of the law. “We are about to finalize the quarterly report which will be turned over to the Cabinet in mid-July. When complete, the report will be made public in a transparent way according to the instructions of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad AlSabah. The report, to serve as nucleus for the semi-annual report, will then be referred to brother MPs who will debate it before developing the necessary administrative and legislative measures,” he noted. Sheikh Ahmad added that the government was working out new tools for financing the projects involving shareholding companies, noting that five out of the 14 such companies envisaged in the development plan would come to existence soon. “Due to funding strains brought about by the global financial crisis, we are trying to leverage the returns of all the new projects to 16 percent. As the public would own up to 50 percent of the stocks of these projects, the projects would be of great benefit for both the country and citizen investors. This is why we try to find out new tools to support the banks funding the projects. The issue is being discussed by the members of the parliamentary committee on financial and economic affairs,” he explained. Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works Safar said the implementation of the infrastructure and development projects is going very well as per schedule. “The Ministry of Public Works is receiving bids to develop and run a range of new projects under the BOT system in the domain of services, complexes, drainage and waste recycling. These projects are expected to have positive impacts on the state revenues,” the minister pointed out. On his part, Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Roudhan said the government sticks to the principle of separation between jurisdiction of the legislative, executive and judiciary authorities according to Article 50 of the Constitution. “Despite the emergence of some disagreements, the executive authority is keen on pursuing cooperation with the legislative authority while exercising its mandate,” Al-Roudhan affirmed. Asked about the purported overlap between the mandates of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Kuwait, Minister of Finance Al-Shamali said: “There is

Hyundai, Kharafi seal port deal Continued from Page 1 Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al-Sabah said the launch of the second part of the Boubyan port project is conducive to Kuwait’s blueprint for communication and border points, which are a key ele-

ment for an ambitious plan to transform Kuwait into a regional financial and trade hub. The port project comes within the framework of planned major projects for the 2010-2011 development drive in the country, he added. Boubyan port will be a springboard for the planned Silk City, the minister said. Safar said local companies would join giant world businesses in the implementation of his ministry’s projects as

“It’s obvious the Gulf sovereign funds are interested in BP,” said Dubai-based analyst Ibrahim Khayat. “It’s an opportunity not to be missed, especially as the group’s current financial difficulties do not put into question the strategic value of its assets around the world,” he said. “Traditionally, Middle East SWFs invest for the long term... especially in developed markets and when stocks can be picked up at large discounts,” said Saud Masud, head of research at the UBS financial services group in Dubai. Kuwait, however, ruled out an increase in its holdings in BP. “We are not currently considering increasing our stake in this company,” an official of the Kuwait sovereign wealth fund, which already holds a 2.8 percent share in BP, told AFP yesterday. A member of Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum

Council, Ali Mohammed Akbar, told AFP it took a view on all oil-related investments even though it was ultimately an issue for the Kuwait Investment Authority. “We do not see a need to invest in BP,” Akbar said. Hayward was in Baku on Tuesday where he reassured Azerbaijan of BP’s commitment to energy projects in that country despite costs from the oil spill that have risen to more than three billion dollars. BP has said it can cope with the soaring cost without asking existing shareholders for cash but the company has also indicated that it would welcome new shareholders. In Saudi Arabia, the economic daily AlIqtissadiya said yesterday that Saudi investors were in London for direct negotiations with BP on a possible 10 to 15 percent share ownership. The BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig sank on April 22, two days after an explosion that killed 11 workers, unleashing the worst environmental disas-

part of the country’s development drive. The project provides for setting up four out of the 60 berths for container ships, a railway for imports and exports from and to north Kuwait and other areas, together with several other facilities, he said. The second part of the first stage of the harbor project would cost around KD 328 million and take 1,260 days to complete, he noted. — Agencies

ter in US history. The company has now spent about $3.12 billion on the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. BP agreed last month to create a $20-billion fund for costs arising from the spill and is selling non-core assets to raise $10 billion. The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday that BP was an “opportunity” for investors, after the oil major’s shares fell in value by half since April. “BP currently represents an opportunity for any investor,” NOC president Chokri Ghanem told AFP. A BP spokeswoman said “we are not issuing any new equity,” denying weekend reports that BP was planning to sell new stock to a strategic investor. “We welcome new shareholders ... and we welcome existing shareholders who want to take a bigger amount of shares,” the spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday. — AFP

From A-list to jail for sobbing Lohan Continued from Page 1 have none of it. Revel likened Lohan to “someone who cheats and only thinks it’s cheating if she gets caught.” Revel announced: “the court doesn’t buy that this time.” Once a promising young A-list actress whose career since has spun off course, Lohan has been known to audiences for years. After working as a child model, the freckle-faced redhead earned big breaks to become a Disney star in movies like “Freaky Friday”, the remake of the kids’ classic “Parent Trap” and “Herbie Fully Loaded”. Lohan wowed fellow actors and many critics, swiftly acting her way up the Hollywood food chain to A-list work with the likes of Oscar-winners Meryl Streep in “Prairie Home Companion” and Jane Fonda in “Georgia Rule”. She is currently working on a film about porn star Linda Lovelace. Af ter Revel sentenced Lohan, the actress, sometime singer and fashion muse burst into tears, plunging her face into her hands or sobbing on her lawyer’s shoulder. Lohan was ordered not to drink alcohol, drive a vehicle with any drugs or alcohol in her system, drive without a valid driver’s license and insurance, or deny any field sobriety tests. The judge ordered Lohan to

begin serving her jail term July 20. She was also ordered to maintain her alcohol-monitoring SCRAM bracelet until then. Lohan’s father, Michael Lohan, told CNN that his reaction to the sentence was “dismay, but at the same time, a little satisfaction that she is going to rehab.” The Los Angeles Times reported that Lohan would probably serve just a fraction of the 90 days in the overcrowded jail system, citing Los Angeles County Sheriff spokesman Steve Whitmore, who said women sentenced for nonviolent crimes usually serve 25 percent or less of their sentence. Tabloids have covered her hard-partying lifestyle, her busy social life dating men and women, her run-ins with the law, and now her latest move: to a correctional facility. The actress had a stormy and endlessly chronicled relationship with celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson. Most recently she reportedly has been romantically linked to an Israeli woman, Eilat Anschel, who was seen exiting the court Tuesday after the sentencing. Lohan was ordered to wear the bracelet - which detects alcohol use by analyzing perspiration of the wearer - at a hearing on May 24 after she had failed to appear for an earlier court date. On June 8, the judge issued an arrest warrant for Lohan after the

fourth authority (media) and the legislative as well as the Kuwaiti citizen is required for keeping national unity intact,” he argued. Acknowledging that national unity is now apparently in jeopardy, the minister vowed that relevant fears would be squelched soon. On Kuwait’s national development drive, he said the government has spent a lot of money on planned development projects by signing multimillion contracts with executors, adding that the government is going to spend a total of KD five billion on development enterprises. Regarding the state of the stock market, AlHaroun said the government attached great importance to the KSE which “is reflective of many things”. “The KSE does not operate remotely of the world’s stock markets. The entire world has been suffering from the impacts of the economic downturn since mid2008. The 220 KSE-listed investors made excellent results in 2008 but the results of the following year reflected the challenging conditions undergone by the firms,” Al-Haroun recalled. “The KSE suspended trading in stocks of 66 firms which failed to announce their financial results,” he said, noting that the stock market pinned hopes on a range of regulatory measures including the launching of the Capital Market Authority (CMA). “The planned authority will be equipped with legal tools to solve the numerous problems of the market. The law establishing CMA consists of 45 penal articles which will enable the authority exercise its regulatory and legislative mandate and bring to book the law-violating traders. The authority will have a positive impact on the stock market,” Al-Haroun said. Asked about the impacts of industry on environment, he said: “Under the instructions of HH the Amir and HH the Prime Minister, the government licensed the launching of 110 new environment-friendly industrial firms with investments amounting to KD 600 million.” He added the development plan envisaged raising the percentage of industry in the GDP from 5.6 to 12 percent in the coming four years. “Planning is underway for launching an industrial zone in Subhan Area housing some 112 firms by the end of this year in addition to 1,062 firms in Al-Shaddadiya Area,” Al-Haroun said, noting that Kuwait has 875 such firms at present. Asked about a power network expansion and control center, the minister of electricity said a contract was signed on Dec 24 to link new power plants together through three phases. Concerning the control center, AlShuraiaan said: “It is a screen that shows main points of high voltage.” Responding to a question about BOT projects to be set up according to five-year, 10-year and long-term plans, the minister of finance said the projects are suggested upon initiatives or proposals from businessmen in Kuwait. But he emphasized that only serious investors would be given the opportunity to join such projects. Al-Shamali said projects put up by the state, including northern Al-Zour electricity station, “have a priority and clear-cut plans”. All relevant procedures have been taken for carrying out development projects, he said, noting that only a special law is yet to be passed for the purpose. The Higher Committee for Development Project is reflecting on a large number of such projects, mostly suggested by electricity, municipal and communication agencies, he noted. On the economic situation in the country and alleged governmental failure to shore up the market, like the US and French governments did, the minister said: “It unacceptable to say today after all this time that the government has done nothing.” He added that other countries which tackled the problems by the global financial crisis “didn’t do so through the bourse or shares, rather through their financial

institutions”. “They tried to create a catalyst for these institutions to work to avoidance stoppage,” Al-Shamali said. In this context, he called for approving the financial stability bill, which he said would lead to an appropriate solution to the turbulent situation of the KSE. The minister also stressed the necessity of corporate amalgamation involving small-sized companies that deal in the bourse in order to help them become stronger financially. Minister of Public Works Safar said there are six projects, including six labor cities, Sulaibikhat and Jahra beaches, a central slaughterhouse at Shuwaikh and three waste treatment sites for electricity generation, in addition to several other entertainment parks in the works. He said Al-Jahra road will link AlJahra roundabout with the UN roundabout and goes across Shuwaikh. As for the role of the private sector in the development plan, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd said the private sector would be a major player in the economic process. “There are three ways to bring into full play the role of the private sector - firstly, to launch public shareholding companies; secondly, to step up the privatization drive; and thirdly to expand the adoption of the BOT system. The financing tools include government funding, the banking sector in which Kuwait is one of the pioneering countries, and the issuance of bonds and stocks,” he said, noting that the government turned over to the Assembly a host of draft legislations on bond and stock issuance. Sheikh Ahmad added that the planned launching of an electricity company would not be based on the BOT system unlike the Failaka Island restructuring project. He highlighted the prospects of success of the private sector in areas such as landline phones and post, saying that the Ministry of Communication was probing privatization initiatives in these areas. He categorically refuted speculation about privatization of vital projects such as power generating stations, healthcare and education, saying “we will start with medium-size projects”. On the formation of the CMA, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser said, “we’ll not push this matter through because the authority should be made up of highly-qualified experts in legal, financial and administrative affairs. No favoritism will be followed in the formation of the authority.” Noting that some of the candidates for the CMA’s membership apologized to take part, he voiced appreciation for them and understood the reasons which prevented the nominees from coming forward. On national unity, Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah said the government is all for raising the ceiling of freedoms within law, stressing that the government told the parliamentary committee on negative phenomena “that the media shall not be utilized to tarnish others, as such a matter is unacceptable to begin with”. “I’m abiding by and implementing the law endorsed by the parliament itself and what proves it is more than 450 detailed cases I followed since the law was put in action.” The minister’s remarks were referring to the audio-visual and publications code. “We showed seriousness in implementing the law despite the fact that the ministry of information is not solely concerned with the matter, but other bodies also have responsibilities to shoulder in this regard,” Sheikh Ahmad pointed out. He added that the government is irritated by some material some satellite TV channels are putting on air, which puts down Kuwaiti society, “and that is why the ministry is seeking to add a few amendments to the code without limiting freedoms, but rather expand them even further”. Meanwhile, HH Sheikh Nasser said, “we are a country of constitution and laws, as we consider them our ‘safety pins’.” —KUNA

US, Russia plan spy swap

BP chief in UAE to meet ‘partners’ Continued from Page 1

close coordination between the two sides regarding the fiscal policy of the country.” Admitting that some of the planned projects are too huge to be developed by small firms or contractors, the minister said the government was mulling involving large-size firms instead of launching new shareholding companies. “The projects, to be developed under the BOT system, will not be open for the developers listed on Kuwait Stock Exchange only as they could require the involvement of a strategic partner from inside or outside Kuwait,” he noted. Al-Shamali added that the projects would have high financial returns, particularly the planned power company to be cast for tendering in the coming four or five years. Minister of Electricity and Water AlShuraiaan said his ministry has an old study pertinent to the category system as regards the estimation of power and water consumption cost. He said the study in question would “see light shortly”, noting that the said system is put in place in all other Gulf nations. The study, in its final shape, would be taken to the Cabinet soon as a prelude to sending it to the Assembly for further deliberations and then approval in the form of a law, he said. But, he said the premier had instructed that the category system, once put in place, should not touch low-income groups. “The citizens will continue paying just a couple of fils for electricity and water consumption, while the second category will apply to some investment and trade facilities,” he said. Asked about the use of public shareholding companies in running power plans, the minister said most world countries, together with all other Gulf countries, allow their public sector to manage their power plants, or ask the private sector to do the job under the ITT or IWTT systems. The first project to be subject to Law 39/2010 on public shareholding companies for power and water production is the northern Al-Zour electricity station, which will be carried out through four stages, he said. The plant will generate 1,500 megawatts in the first and second stages, 1,800 megawatts in the third stage and 4,800 megawatts in the fourth stage, the minister said. The plant, once operational, will produce 200 million water gallons, up 50 percent over the country’s current 400 million megawatt production, he pointed out. Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce and Industry Al-Haroun, elaborating on the position of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), believed that an injection of funds, even by 10 percent, into the market would be fruitless, given that some companies have lost roughly 75 percent of their capital. But, he said the government would seek to find a set of solutions to corporate bankruptcies through the Capital Market Authority. “Although we are convinced that the market will improve by one way or another through our legal and legislative tools, in addition to other diverse market instruments, a package of edicts is still to be made in an effort to shore up those companies which have positive cash sufficiency,” Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd said. A congenial atmosphere should be provided for real estate, service, banking and productive sectors in order to be able to recover immediately, he requested. Asked about national unity, he said: “It is the main concern of the government, HH the Amir and HH the Prime Minister.” He quoted the country’s high-level leadership as calling for, on several occasions, maintaining and safeguarding national unity. He said national unity can be protected by taking adequate legal measures against anybody that seeks to jeopardize the country’s national fabric. A relevant committee involving competent figures is to be set up, Sheikh Ahmad revealed. “A joint action involving the government,

alarm on her monitoring device was triggered. But on Tuesday Revel stressed it was complying with the alcohol-education program that was her top priority for Lohan. Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers said Lohan had repeatedly thumbed her nose at the court, ignoring strict orders to attend the program once a week. “As the court indicated, this has been going on since 2007 and we are yet to have compliance,” Meyers said, noting that the actress missed the weekly classes seven times since late December. Revel said she was explicitly clear in orders to Lohan, and that the actress should have known what she needed to do and what the penalties are for violating her probation. “Nowhere did I say substantial compliance would be good enough,” the judge said. Lohan was arrested for driving under the influence three years ago. After a stay in rehab, she was caught two months later for drunk driving and cocaine possession. She served a mere 84 minutes in jail after the arrests. In May 2007, the actress was in a Mercedes-Benz that crashed into a hedge on Sunset Boulevard near the Beverly Hills Hotel, and two months later she was arrested in Santa Monica on suspicion of drunken driving. — AFP

Continued from Page 1 the 10 Russians arrested by the FBI last month, his brother said. US officials were also at the meeting held Monday at a prison in Arkhangelsk, in northwestern Russia, his brother said. The spy swap, if confirmed, would continue a pattern of spy exchanges began during the Cold War. In one of those most famous cases, downed US U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for KGB spy Col Rudolph Abel in 1962. Sutyagin said he was forced to sign a confession, although he maintains his innocence and does not want to leave Russia, his homeland, his brother said. “For him this all was a huge shock, totally unexpected,” his brother said at a news conference. “For the first time in all these years I see him so depressed. He is mostly upset because of two things: he had to sign that paper, basically admit his guilt, and that he has to leave the country.” After the meeting, Sutyagin was transferred to Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, which is run by the main KGB successor agency. “Regardless of this exchange, Sutyagin knows that he is not guilty, he did not commit those crimes, and for him it is very painful that he is accused of it and found guilty,” said his lawyer Anna Stavitskaya. “He is very upset that because of this situation his good name could be put in doubt.” Sutyagin’s mother, Svetlana Sutyagina said that he also realized that rejecting the swap offer would mean keeping some of the alleged Russian spies in custody. According to his brother, Sutyagin said the Russian officials had shown him a list of 11 people to be included in the swap. The brother said Sutyagin only remembered one other person on the list - Sergei Skripal - a colonel in the Russian military intelligence who in 2006 was sentenced to 13 years on charges of spying for Britain. The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Penitentiary Service said they had no comment on the claim and a spokesman for the

US Embassy was not immediately available for comment. In Washington, both FBI spokesman William Carter and the State Department declined to comment. However, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, a former American ambassador to Moscow, met yesterday with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Kislyak’s residence. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Burns and Kislyak did talk about the spy case but their main purpose was to review Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit to this country. Toner refused to provide further details and referred questions about a possible swap to the Justice Department, where spokesman Dean Boyd also declined to comment. A former spokesman for the Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Yury Kobaladze, told Echo of Moscow radio that an exchange would be a “wonderful way out of a very complex situation”. But ex-head of the FSB internal security service, Nikolai Kovalev, poured scorn on the idea. “A person who had been forgotten reminded us of his existence,” he told the RIA Novosti news agency. Sutyagin, who worked as an arms control and military analyst at the Moscow-based USA and Canada Institute, a top think tank, was arrested in 1999 and convicted in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that investigators claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin has all along denied that he was spying, saying the information he provided was available from open sources. His case was one of several incidents of Russian academics and scientists being targeted by Russia’s Federal Security Service and accused of misusing classified information, revealing state secrets or, in some cases, espionage. The United States arrested 10 people on June 27 and charged them with being in an alleged spy ring and trying to obtain information about American business, scientific and political affairs. Prosecutors say

for the last decade the alleged spies engaged in secret global travel with false passports, secret code words, fake names, invisible ink and encrypted radio. They have been charged with acting as unregistered foreign agents. All of those arrested in the US are still being detained and the US government has opposed granting them bail. Anna Chapman, 28, was denied bail. US citizen Vicky Pelaez was granted $250,000 bail with electronic monitoring and home detention but the government is appealing the decision. A scheduled court hearing yesterday in Alexandria, Virginia, for three suspects in the Russia spying case - Michael Zottoli, Patricia Mills and Mikhail Semenko - was canceled and the trio was ordered to New York. At another US hearing yesterday, a Boston-area couple in the case - Donald Heathfield and his wife, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, waived their right to identity and detention hearings there and were being sent to New York as well. An 11th suspect in the spy ring, Christopher Metsos, was arrested in Cyprus last week, but disappeared after being released on bail, triggering a manhunt by embarrassed Cypriot authorities. The indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan yesterday charges all 11 defendants with conspiring to act as secret agents in the United States on behalf of Russia. Nine of the defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Chapman’s mother, the 50-year-old Irina Kushchenko, said her daughter is “no Mata Hari” and has done nothing wrong. “She has the normal life of a 28-year-old woman,” Kushchenko said in a video interview posted on Russian online news site “As an ex-teacher, I can say she never quite shined among her peers. But she was good, close to the top of her class.” Anna Chapman’s ex-husband Alex has alleged in interviews with the British press that she was recruited by her father, Vasily Kushchenko, who he said posed as a Russian diplomat but was in fact a KGB agent. —Agencies

Mossad agent to be handed to Germany Continued from Page 1 said that his legal team has not yet decided whether to appeal. But she said the ruling could be good for him because his potential sentence is less than he would face if he were tried and convicted of forgery and spying. Spying could carry up to an additional five years. She stressed that the Warsaw court did not examine the matter of Brodsky’s innocence or guilt, focusing only on whether the German request was valid. Another lawyer for Brodsky, Krzysztof Stepinski, said his client would make a decision on whether to appeal after he receives a Hebrew translation of the court documents.

The Brodsky case has put Poland in a predicament because it is close allies with both Germany, its western neighbor and its largest trade partner, and Israel. Officials refused to comment on the political dimension of yesterday’s ruling, though it appears to be something of a compromise - Poland will extradite him to Germany but has ensured that he will face lesser charges. Nazi Germany invaded Poland, rounding up Polish Jews and transporting many others from around Europe to Nazi death camps on Polish soil. The postwar years were also marred by sometimes murderous Polish anti-Semitism. Today, Germany and Poland both put special importance on their relationship with Israel and are considered two of the Jewish state’s strongest supporters in

Europe. Brodsky was escorted into court yesterday by masked police officers wielding machine guns. He wore a navy jacket with a hood that he pulled tightly over his head and covered his face in his hands, hunching slightly as he entered the courtroom. The hearing was held behind closed doors but reporters were allowed in at the end to hear the judge’s ruling. During the verdict, Brodsky sat with his back to journalists, his head bent forward. The court also extended his detention until September. Brodsky was arrested June 4 at Warsaw’s international airport, where he had hoped to take a flight to Tel Aviv. The Dubai assassins also used fake passports from Britain, Ireland, France and Australia. — AP

Thursday, July 8, 2010



Mets blank Reds, Braves pound Phillies NEW YORK: New York’s ace pitcher Johan Santana hit his first major league homer, while pitching a shutout as the Mets blanked the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the National League on Tuesday. Santana, a .166 lifetime hitter, steamed around the bases after capping a tenacious 12pitch at-bat with his first homer in 182 career at-bats. From the mound, Santana (6-5) struck out five in his seventh career shutout and first since 2008. He’d won only one of his previous seven starts. Cincinnati starter Matt Maloney (0-1) lost in his first game for the Reds this season, after being called up from the minors earlier in the day and striking out the first seven batters.

MLB results/standings

Braves 6, Phillies 3 In Philadelphia, Matt Diaz hit a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning then Eric Hinske added a two-run homer as Atlanta saw off Philadelphia. Yunel Escobar singled off David Herndon (0-2) to start the 11th and scored when Diaz ripped a liner to the gap in right-center. Hinske connected two outs later. Jesse Chavez (1-1) pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the win. Billy Wagner finished for his 18th save. Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer for Philadelphia, which managed just three hits and fell five games behind the NL East-leading Braves. Rockies 12, Cardinals 9 In Denver, Seth Smith’s three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth capped a nine-run rally for Colorado against St. Louis — the biggest ninth-inning comeback in Rockies history. The Rockies trailed 9-2 after Matt Holliday’s three-run shot in the sixth and got one run in the seventh. Chris Iannetta hit a three-run homer off Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin (3-1), who allowed six runs while retiring just one batter. Colorado’s Manny Corpas (3-5) got the win with two perfect innings of relief. Nationals 6, Padres 5 In Washington, Ryan Zimmerman’s second homer of the game, leading off the bottom of the ninth, gave Washington victory over San Diego. Zimmerman hit a fastball from Luke Gregerson (2-4) over the wall in center. He had earlier homered in the fourth. Ian Desmond also connected, giving the Nationals their fourth three-homer game of the season. Matt Capps (3-3) worked the ninth for his third victory in six days. Washington claimed its 10th victory in its last at-bat. Michael Morse broke out of a 2-for-22 slump and matched a career-high with three hits for the Nationals. Dodgers 7, Marlins 3 In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp hit his fourth homer in six games as Los Angeles overcame Florida. Vicente Padilla (3-2) allowed two runs over 6 2-3 innings and struck out nine. He is 21 with a 3.12 ERA in four outings since returning from the disabled list. Rafael Furcal had three RBIs for Los Angeles, which moved within three games of NL West-leading San Diego. Marlins rookie Mike Stanton chased Padilla with a two-run homer. Stanton added an RBI single in the ninth but Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton got the final two outs for his 18th save. Florida starter Chris Volstad (4-8) gave up five runs over three-plus innings in his shortest outing of the season. Giants 6, Brewers 1 In Milwaukee, San Francisco’s heralded rookie Madison Bumgarner notched his first win in the majors, steering San Francisco past Milwaukee. Bumgarner (1-2) pitched eight shutout innings, striking out five. He also picked up his first career RBI as part of a five-run Giants sixth. Milwaukee’s Randy Wolf (6-8) gave up only one earned run in seven innings, but took the loss as Craig Counsell’s two-run throwing error opened the door to San Francisco’s big inning. Milwaukee’s Corey Hart had his 20-game hitting streak snapped. Joe Inglett’s RBI single in the ninth avoided a shutout.

WASHINGTON: Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez ( right) tags out San Diego Padres Jerry Hairston, Jr., (15) during the ninth inning of their baseball game at Nationals Park. — AP

Rays shut down Red Sox, Yankees beat A’s ST. PETERSBURG: Tampa Bay’s bullpen shut down the Boston Red Sox for the second day in a row as the Rays won 3-2 in the American League on Tuesday. Tampa Bay starter Jeff Niemann (7-2) pitched six strong innings, giving up only one unearned run, to notch his first win in a month. Jason Bartlett drove in Tampa Bay’s first run with a single off Felix Doubront (1-1) in the third. Sean Rodriguez tripled and scored on John Jaso’s grounder, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Carl Crawford’s solo homer added an insurance run in the eighth. Daniel Nava drove in Boston’s first run with a single off Niemann in the fourth. Four relievers held the Red Sox to one hit until Bill Hall walked and scored on Eric Patterson’s two-out triple in the ninth off Rafel Soriano, who earned his 23rd save. Yankees 6, Athletics 1 In Oakland, New York’s Alex Rodriguez hit his 21st career grand slam and added a solo shot for his 597th home run, helping

beat Oakland. Rodriguez connected with the bases loaded in the third inning to tie Manny Ramirez for the second most slams, then went deep again in the sixth off Trevor Cahill (8-3) to lead the Yankees to their fourth straight win. A-Rod has 21 home runs at the Coliseum, the most by a visiting player. New York starter CC Sabathia (11-3) won his seventh straight, allowing only one run in 7 2-3 innings. A’s starter Cahill (83), who had won seven straight decisions, allowed six runs, the most he has given up since his first start of the season New York’s nine season grand slams are one shy of the club record set in 1987. White Sox 4, Angels 1 In Chicago, Andruw Jones hit his 399th career home run as Chicago beat Los Angeles. The White Sox won despite losing starter Jake Peavy in the second inning because of a back injury. Alex Rios added a solo homer and drove in two runs for Chicago, which moved to a

season-high six games over .500. White Sox reliever Tony Pena (2-1) picked up the win, allowing one run in 4 1-3 innings. Torii Hunter had three singles for the Angels. Twins 7, Blue Jays 6 In Toronto, Denard Span drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning for Minnesota to edge Toronto. Delmon Young led off the eighth with a single off Jason Frasor (3-2). After a sacrifice, Scott Downs came on to face Span and allowed his RBI single to center. Young went 3 for 3 with an RBI and an intentional walk and is batting .363 since June 3. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel homered for the Twins. Minnesota reliever Jose Mijares (1-0) retired two batters for the win. Jon Rauch worked the ninth for his 19th save. Edwin Encarnacion, Lyle Overbay and Dewayne Wise homered for the Blue Jays, who lead the major leagues with 123.

Rangers 12, Indians 1 In Arlington, Josh Hamilton homered to stretch his home hitting streak to 26 games as Texas thrashed Cleveland. CJ Wilson (7-4) pitched six strong innings for Texas, allowing one run. Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy also went deep, and Joaquin Arias had a career-high four RBIs for Texas. The game was delayed for 16 minutes in the fifth inning when a fan fell about 30 feet from the second deck while attempting to catch a foul ball. The team said he was “able to move all his extremities and was responsive to paramedics.” Jayson Nix homered for Cleveland, going long for the third time in a span of five at-bats. Royals 3, Mariners 2 In Seattle, Kansas City starter Zack Greinke allowed two hits over seven innings and continued his mastery of Seattle. Greinke (5-8) is 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 10 career appearances against

the Mariners. Wilson Betemit drove in all the runs for the Royals on a fifthinning home run, a two-out, basesloaded infield single in the sixth and a two-out RBI single in the eighth. Joakim Soria worked the ninth to pick up his major league-leading 24th save. Tigers 7, Orioles 5 In Detroit, Johnny Damon followed his 2,500th career hit with a game-winning homer in the 11th inning to lift Detroit over Baltimore. Austin Jackson led off the inning with a single off David Hernandez (3-7) and Damon followed with a long homer to right. Damon singled in the third inning for his 2,500th hit. Detroit’s Ryan Perry (2-4) got the win with a scoreless inning of relief. The Tigers trailed 4-1 going into the eighth, but Miguel Cabrera led off with a triple and scored on Brennan Boesch’s single. Brandon Inge’s oneout triple scored Boesch to make it 43. — AP

Japanese police raid sumo stables

Cubs 6, D’backs 4 In Phoenix, Aramis Ramirez homered twice as Chicago beat Arizona, completing its first road series victory in six weeks. Ramirez, hitting .178 going into the game, had his first two-homer game since 2008. He has 22 multi-homer games in his career. He hit a two-run homer off DBacks starter Barry Enright (1-1) in the sixth to put Chicago up 3-1 and another two-run shot to make it 6-2 in the eighth. Kosuke Fukudome also homered for the Cubs. Chicago starter Carlos Silva (9-2) earned his first victory in five starts. He allowed two runs through six innings. Kelly Johnson drove in two runs with a home run and single for the Diamondbacks, who lost their fourth straight. Astros 6, Pirates 2 In Houston, Wandy Rodriguez struck out 10 as Houston ended a three-game losing skid by beating Pittsburgh. Rodriguez (6-10) finished one strikeout shy of his career-high, which was a year ago against Pittsburgh. He allowed only four singles in seven innings and won his third straight start. Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman homered and Michael Bourn scored two runs for the Astros, who have won all four meetings with the Pirates this season. Pittsburgh starter Brad Lincoln (1-3) took the loss. — AP

MLB results and standings on Tuesday: Detroit 7, Baltimore 5 (11 Innings); Washington 6, San Diego 5; Atlanta 6, Philadelphia 3 (11 Innings); Minnesota 7, Toronto 6; Tampa Bay 3, Boston 2; NY Mets 3, Cincinnati 0; Houston 6, Pittsburgh 2; Texas 12, Cleveland 1; Chicago White Sox 4, LA Angels 1; San Francisco 6, Milwaukee 1; Colorado 12, St Louis 9; Chicago Cubs 6, Arizona 4; NY Yankees 6, Oakland 1; Kansas City 3, Seattle 2; LA Dodgers 7, Florida 3. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB NY Yankees 52 31 .627 Tampa Bay 50 33 .602 2 Boston 49 35 .583 3.5 Toronto 41 43 .488 11.5 Baltimore 25 58 .301 27 Central Division Detroit 45 37 .549 Minnesota 45 38 .542 .5 Chicago White Sox 44 38 .537 1 Kansas City 38 46 .452 8 Cleveland 33 50 .398 12.5 Western Division Texas 49 34 .590 LA Angels 46 40 .535 4.5 Oakland 41 44 .482 9 Seattle 34 49 .410 15 National League Eastern Division Atlanta 49 35 .583 NY Mets 47 37 .560 2 Philadelphia 43 39 .524 5 Florida 39 44 .470 9.5 Washington 33 47 .440 12 Central Division Cincinnati 48 37 .565 St Louis 45 38 .542 2 Milwaukee 37 47 .440 10.5 Chicago Cubs 37 47 .440 10.5 Houston 33 51 .393 14.5 Pittsburgh 30 53 .361 17 Western Division San Diego 49 34 .590 LA Dodgers 46 37 .554 3 Colorado 45 38 .542 4 San Francisco 43 40 .518 6 Arizona 32 52 .381 17.5

CHICAGO: White Sox second baseman Brent Lillibridge (front) collides with Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Napoli after forcing him out at second base in the fourth inning of a baseball game. — AP

TOKYO: Japanese police raided about 30 sumo stables and locations yesterday for evidence of illegal gambling linked to yakuza organised crime groups, the biggest scandal to rock the ancient sport in years. Police officers in dark suits scoured the Onomatsu and Tokitsukaze stables in greater Tokyo, where wrestlers have been involved in illegal betting on baseball and other sports, and took out paper bags with unknown materials. They also searched lodges and training facilities in the central city of Nagoya, where a two-week sumo tournament starts under a cloud Sunday. The Japan Sumo Association has banned more than 10 wrestlers from the event, and, for the first time since 1953, public broadcaster NHK has refused to air the tournament live, following a barrage of complaints from viewers. Stable master Onomatsu told reporters in Nagoya, where his charges were tuning up for the tournament: “I’m sorry for causing all the trouble. I can’t tell you anything in detail as the investigation is in progress.” The sport’s governing body has admitted that at least 27 wrestlers, stablemasters and others from 13 stables had admitted to gambling. Betting in Japan is permitted only on horse racing and certain motor sports.

The association’s president, Musashigawa, has suspended himself from his duty for the time being to show repentance for the scandal. “I have instructed all members of the association to fully cooperate with the investigation,” said Hiroyoshi Murayama, a former public prosecutor serving as acting chairman of the association. “We wish to take further necessary measures against anti-social forces after the investigation produces results.” The association has fired wrestler Kotomitsuki, 34, a high-ranking “ozeki” second only to “yokozuna” grand champions, along with his stablemaster Otake, 42, for taking part in illegal gambling on baseball. Otake has told investigators that he had taken part in betting on baseball games since 2007 and betted 200,000-300,000 yen (2,200-3,300 dollars) each time, according to the business daily Nikkei. Police last month arrested a former wrestler-turned-gangster, Mitsutomo Furuichi, 38, on extortion charges after he had allegedly blackmailed Kotomitsuki, threatening to expose his gambling. The scandal has shocked the Japanese public, which expects sumo wrestlers and their masters to act as role models. — AFP



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ishikawa looking to make history at Loch Lomond LOCH LOMOND: Japanese teen sensation Ryo Ishikawa will be looking to make history by becoming the youngest winner of the Scottish Open which gets underway at Loch Lomond today. The 18-year-old is bidding to improve on his first visit to Scotland which saw him miss the cut in the Open Championship at Turnberry last summer. “I was playing with Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood and it was very difficult,” said Ishikawa, who became the youngest money leader on any of the world’s six major tours last year. “I was very ner-

vous. It is a big challenge playing in Scotland but I am looking forward to it.” The Japanese teen will have his work cut out against seasoned campaigners including Martin Kaymer who is hopeful he can repeat last year’s heroics when he begins his defence. The big-hitting German is aiming to make history by becoming the first back to back winner of the event which has now been a fixture on the European tour for 14 years. His 15-under par total - which included a gutsy final-day 69 - was good enough in 2009 and he is look-

ing forward to returning to Scotland and one of the most picturesque settings in golf. “To win in Scotland, the home of golf, was very special to me,” he said. “I really enjoyed it, especially the last two days. Those two days were amazing, the field was good and the spectators really supported all the players - it was unbelievable. “I remember after making the last putt the bagpipes suddenly started to play. I loved that and having the piper lead me down to the green made it even more special. “The sound of the bagpipes is the memory that comes into my

head whenever I think of the Scottish Open. I hope my return inspires me again.” Kaymer - who won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January this year - will be joined on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond by some of the biggest names in golf. World number two Phil Mickelson returns after missing last year’s event - and hopes to finally land the trophy after losing in a play-off to Frenchman Gregory Havret in 2007. “To be successful in Scotland is something that every player would love to have on his resume,” he

said. “And I am no different. “I have been close to winning The Barclays Scottish Open in the past, and it would be great to go one better than in 2007 when I narrowly missed out on the trophy in a play-off.” Graeme McDowell, fresh from his US Open win at Pebble Beach last month, will also tee it up around the challenging par-71 course. Ernie Els will be looking to win the title for the third time, while Fiji’s Vijay Singh and South African Retief Goosen are also set to compete for the trophy.

While the 7,100-yard course offers scenic surroundings, its playing conditions, particularly the greens, will also come under scrutiny over the next four days. Englishman Paul Casey withdrew from the competition two weeks ago over fears the newly relaid putting surfaces could wreck his stroke ahead of next week’s Open Championship. Casey’s fellow Ryder Cup hopeful Rory McIlroy has also pulled out at the last minute - although the Northern Ireland sensation has yet to offer an explanation for his withdrawal.

While Casey and McIlroy will be dreaming of Open glory next week, when the championship marks its 150th anniversary, others will be hoping their trip to Loch Lomond will help them book their place at St Andrews. As well as the three million pound (3.7 million dollar) prize money on offer, a top-five finish could be enough to secure a spot in next week’s major at the home of golf. But after a balmy start to the summer, the competitors could face stern conditions with rain and wind forecast during the four days. —AFP

Kerr ready for another major

OAKMONT: Hee Young Park of South Korea hits out of the bunker on the eighth hole during a practice round for the US Women’s Open golf tournament. —AP

Mickelson heads Scottish Open LUSS: The Scottish Open has this year lost some of its chief attractions as the warmup event before the British Open. Only one player from the top 10 in the world has entered the $4 million event which starts at the exclusive Loch Lomond resort Thursday. However, the fact that it is the American left hander Phil Mickelson, the winner of this years Masters, is significant. For also in the field is Graeme McDowell, the new US Open champion, providing the tournament with the presence of 2010s two Major winners. And Mickelson intends to use his first week in Scotland as a launching pad to adding the British Open to his career total of four Major titles. Mickelson looked slightly out of sorts at his press conference yesterday with a small cut by his temple. Initially he joked when explaining it, saying: “One of the other players and I just got in a little tiff”. But then he added: “I don’t know what happened. I just scratched myself accidentally.” He then got down to more serious matters. “I always look forward to these two weeks. I really enjoy this tournament and obviously really enjoy next week’s event, too.

“I think the best way to get in playing condition for The Open is to play well, get into contention and compete on Sunday for the title here. Having lost a couple of times in close matches here, I would like to win this tournament. It would mean a lot for me to win here.” A win on Sunday night could also see Mickelson climb above Tiger Woods to No.1 in the world going into the third major of 2010 at St. Andrews. However he insisted that reaching the pinnacle of world golf is not his priority this week. “It would be cool to go to the home of golf as No. 1 but it’s not something I’m thinking about yet. “I’m just trying to get my game sharp. I always felt like if I play well enough, the results would happen. It would mean a lot to me to break through and finally win.” The absence of a full-strength field in Loch Lomond can be explained on two counts. At the start of the week Woods and many top European players assembled at Limerick in Ireland for the two-day JP McManus pro-am. Many felt that raising around $40 million for charity should be their focus rather than playing six rounds of golf before going

to St. Andrews. McDowell of Northern Ireland, who had not played since his win at Pebble Beach, felt rested enough to take on both. Meanwhile world No. 3 Lee Westwood is resting while attempting to recover from the calf and ankle injury which severely impeded him at last weekends French Open. But among other absentees, Paul Casey of England said the condition of the greens for the Scottish Open would not suit his preparations for St. Andrews. During the past unusually cold winter in Scotland, the putting surfaces at Loch Lomond were under a sheet of snow and ice without a break for two months, causing widespread damage. Recently the three worst affected greens were hastily relaid, but for several weeks the tournament organizers have been e-mailing European Tour members with updates of their progress amid fears that the greens may fall short of the standard required. After being kept abreast of the situation Casey withdrew from the tournament. “The last thing you want to do in the week before The Open is to lose any confidence with your putting stroke,” Casey said.—AP

Phil Mickelson in action in this file photo

OAKMONT: Women’s number one Cristie Kerr is ready for a second major title in three weeks at the US Women’s Open starting on Thursday after her overpowering triumph at last month’s LPGA Championship. “It’s just kind of my time now,” the 32-year-old American told reporters at Oakmont Country Club. “And I feel like I’m at the maturity point in my life where I’m ready to do that, I’m ready to handle all the stuff that comes with it.” Kerr claimed the top ranking with a record 12-shot victory by going 19 under par at Locust Hill at the LPGA Championship. “It took me almost a whole week to get back to feeling normal and to kind of come down from cloud nine,” said Kerr, whose grip on the top spot could be challenged this week. “But I recognize what a monumental win that was, what a performance it was. “It kind of made everybody pay attention and brought a lot of attention to me. I think American golf really needed that.” In recent years, US golfers have toiled in the shadow of Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam and then Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, and were passed in a surge by Asian players, most notably South Koreans. Americans have won just six of the last 36 LPGA Tour events and Kerr has three of those victories. Kerr, the 2007 US champion, said the women’s circuit, which lost sponsors and a number of tournaments in the economic downturn, would benefit from her establishing “the American force on our tour again.” World number two Ai Miyazato of Japan, winner of four events this season, KraftNabisco champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan and defending champion Ji Eun-hee of South Korea are among the international contenders in a 156-player field. The field, which also includes 15-year-old American Alexis Thompson playing in her first major as a professional, is expected to be tested by the heavy bunkering and complex greens at Oakmont. The last major held at the classic Oakmont course outside Pittsburgh was the 2007 US Open, won by Angel Cabrera of Argentina, who held off Tiger Woods to claim victory. The 1992 US Women’s Open was staged at Oakmont with the silver trophy going to Patty Sheehan, who beat fellowAmerican Juli Inkster in an 18hole playoff. Inkster, who turned 50 during the LPGA Championship, is once again in the field for this week’s Open at Oakmont. —Reuters

Rossi back on two wheels LONDON: MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will get back on two wheels late yesterday, barely a month after breaking his leg, his Yamaha team said. The Italian showman had made an excellent recovery since his accident at his home Grand Prix at Mugello on June 5, Yamaha said, adding that Rossi would ride a world superbike machine at a private test in Misano, Italy. “He has decided to proceed with the test ride today in order to better understand his current physical condition,” the team said in a statement. “Riding a racing motorcycle will help Valentino and his doctors to plan the next stage of his rehabilitation programme in order that he may return to racing as soon as he feels confident to do so.” Rossi, 31, said in June that he hoped to return to racing at the Czech Grand Prix on Aug. 15. He has been walking on crutches since the end of last month. —Reuters

BIRMINGHAM: Australia’s James Hopes (left) bats watched by Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal during the second international T20 cricket match against Australia at Edgbaston. —AFP

Waqar buoyed by T20 wins BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis was delighted with the morale-boost his side gained ahead of their Test series against Australia by sealing a 2-0 Twenty20 series win here at Edgbaston. Tuesday’s 11-run victory meant Pakistan had beaten Australia twice in two days after Monday’s 23-run success at Warwickshire’s headquarters. It was a remarkable turnaround for Pakistan, now fielding a largely youthful side, after they’d lost all 12 of their previous matches against Australia across all formats, including a heart-breaking Twenty20 semi-final defeat in the Caribbean in May. Pakistan’s preceding winless tour of Australia led to several players being either banned or fined, with former captains Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan frozen out. But in their absence the likes of 20-year-old Umar Akmal, who made a match-winning 64 against Australia on Monday, and teenage left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer, whose returns of three wickets for 27 runs in both Edgbaston Twenty20s were crucial to the outcome, have grabbed a chance to shine. Pakistan face Australia in the first of a two Test series at Lord’s next week and, while former fast bowler Waqar knows the five-day format is a different game, the coach believes the team can take justifiable confidence from their back-toback victories. “I think these two wins are really going to help us to get into the momentum,” he told reporters. “Test matches are a different ball game fair enough, but with victory behind you it always helps. “Umar Akmal is extraordinary then we also have Mohammad Aamer.” Pakistan have been forced to play their home games abroad ever since an armed attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March 2009 turned the country into a no-go zone for international cricket. But, with Birmingham boasting one of the largest Asian populations in England, they were roared on to victory in both games by an overwhelmingly pro-Pakistan crowd. “It’s been a while we’ve had such a crowd backing us,” Waqar said. “It’s good to see. We get good support here in England and it always helps.” Australia, as in the first match, appeared to hold their opponents to a gettable total (162 for nine) only for their batsmen to be undone by a well-balanced Pakistan attack featuring fit-again seamer Umar Gul, who missed the World Twenty20 through injury. It left Australia Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke anticipating a close two-Test series that concludes at Yorkshire’s Headingley headquarters ground in Leeds, where another sizeable Asian community is also likely to generate a partisan crowd. And top-order batsman Clarke suggested overcast conditions could suit Pakistan’s pace attack. “If it’s overcast in England, it generally swings all day,” he said. “Umar Gul is outstanding and they are going to be tough opposition in the Tests. —AFP

Scoreboard BIRMINGHAM, England: Final scoreboard in the second Twenty20 international between Pakistan and Australia at Edgbaston here yesterday: Pakistan Shazaib Hasan lbw b D Hussey 0 Salman Butt c White b O’Keefe 31 Kamran Akmal c Clarke b Johnson 33 Shoaib Malik c O’Keefe b Nannes 12 Umar Akmal c and b Nannes 25 Shahid Afridi c Paine b Nannes 18 Abdul Razzaq run out (D Hussey) 3 Mohammad Aamer not out 21 Umar Gul b O’Keefe 0 Shoaib Akhtar b O’Keefe 0 Saeed Ajmal not out 6 Extras (b2, lb1, w9, nb1) 13 Total (9 wkts, 20 overs) 162 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Shazaib), 2-61 (Butt), 3-78 (K Akmal), 4-100 (Malik), 5-130 (U Akmal), 6-130 (Afridi), 7-140 (Razzaq), 8-146 (Gul), 9-154 (Akhtar) Bowling: D Hussey 3-1-16-1 (1nb); Tait 4-0-37-0 (3w); Nannes 4-0-30-3; Johnson 4-0-39-1 (1w); O’Keefe 4-0-29-3 (5w); Hopes 1-0-8-0

Australia D. Warner lbw b Aamer 1 M. Clarke b Aamer 30 T. Paine c Gul b Akhtar 0 J. Hopes st K Akmal b Afridi 30 D. Hussey c and b Ajmal 33 C. White c Malik b Afridi 7 M. Hussey lbw b Gul 25 S. O’Keefe run out (K Akmal/Ajmal) 5 M. Johnson lbw b Aamer 0 D. Nannes not out 12 S. Tait run out (Gul) 2 Extras (lb3, w2, nb1) 6 Total (all out, 19.4 overs) 151 Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Warner), 2-22 (Paine), 3-33 (Clarke), 4-83 (Hopes), 5-104 (White), 6-113 (D Hussey), 7-127 (O’Keefe), 8-136 (M Hussey), 9-139 (Johnson), 10-151 (Tait) Bowling: Akhtar 4-0-29-1 (1nb, 1w); Aamer 4-0-273; Ajmal 4-0-26-1; Gul 3.4-0-36-1 (1w); Afridi 4-030-2 Result: Pakistan won by 11 runs

Strauss says England can cope without Pietersen NOTTINGHAM: England captain Andrew Strauss insists he has no qualms about leading a side without Kevin Pietersen. The star batsman will miss the three one-dayers against Bangladesh, starting at Trent Bridge here today, with a thigh injury - although England selection chief Geoff Miller said the South Africa-born shotmaker would have been rested in any event. Pietersen has gone 16 ODI innings without a fifty and while his place, when fit, is not yet under threat, the loss of arguably their most talented player means England are set to give one of the Warwickshire duo of Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott a chance to fill the gap. “He (Pietersen) is a loss because he’s a world-class player but he’s being replaced by people with proven track records in international cricket,” Strauss told reporters at Trent Bridge here yesterday. “It’s not as if we’re blooding a youngster on the back of losing our biggest player. I’m entirely confident we’ve got the reserves in place to cope with that loss,” Strauss added. Bell, 28, has played 79

one-dayers for England but hasn’t featured in one since facing India in Bangalore back in November 2008. However, he restated his one-day case with a limited overs best 158, off 143 balls, for the second string England Lions in their dramatic triangular series tied match against India A in Worcester on Tuesday. Bell, who averages just over 35 in ODIS, has been accused of scoring too slowly to be an effective batsman in the one-day game. Strauss though said: “His form this year has been excellent. He’s played, by all accounts, very positively and very aggressively for both Warwickshire and the Lions. “He’s a good package and potentially he is a worldclass player. It’s fantastic to have the likes of him to call upon and Jonathan Trott as well, who has never let anyone down in an England shirt in one-day cricket and has been in outstanding form for Warwickshire as well. “They are two very, very high-quality replacements and that bodes well.” Turning to Bell, who has also played 57 Tests, opening batsman Strauss added: “I think he has made a conscious effort to be more

aggressive. “He’s always had the shots, the key is always when to use them. At the moment, he’s taking on the shots more and finding he’s a good enough player they’ll come off more times than not.” “He’s really maturing as a cricketer. I don’t think he’s trying to prove to people he can play. He’s more comfortable with his game and I think that’s why his results have been better.” Bell has been criticised throughout his England career for not making runs when they are most needed but innings of 72 against Australia on the first day of last year’s final Ashes Test and 140 in Durban that set up a second Test victory away to South Africa went some way to answering that charge. “He was very keen to play an innings of real substance when England were under pressure and he’s been able to do that a couple of times in the last six months, which is a nice step forward for him,” Strauss said. Asked if Bell would fill Pietersen’s position at No 3, a coy Strauss replied: “There’s a chance, let’s put it that way”. —AFP


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Coach: Semenya targeting European return JOHANNESBURG: Caster Semenya will make her comeback at a European meet but is not fit enough to compete at the world junior championships in Canada, the 800meter world champion’s coach said yesterday. Michael Seme said the 19-year-old South African athlete is looking to run in “one or two” meets in Europe before making her return to major competition at the African championships in Kenya, which begin July 28. “We can’t go straight to a big meeting,” Seme said, “so we are preparing for one or two races before that.” “It will be European competition,” he said. Semenya’s agent will

decide at which event Semenya will make her long-awaited return, Seme said. Semenya was cleared to return Tuesday by the International Association of Athletics Federations, ending an 11-month stalemate over her status following gender verification tests. Semenya, who can continue running as a woman, has not raced competitively since winning the 800-meter world title in Berlin in August 2009. “It is not easy,” Seme said, “but just to be there is important and get the body used to it again.” “Caster is happy that she will be back in action but we must make sure she is training properly,” Seme said. Seme said

the world junior championships in the Canadian city of Moncton, beginning July 19, were too early for Semenya. “She is not fit enough for the junior championships,” Seme said. “She has not failed, but she was not prepared for the junior championships.” Semenya ran two 600-meter trials at her training base in Pretoria yesterday but her times were “not good enough for an 800-meter runner,” according to her coach. Seme said Semenya ran times of 1 minute, 35 seconds and 1:38 in the trials. He said he expected her to be running around 1:30 over 600 meters. South Africa’s national federation,

Athletics South Africa, said it had requested that Semenya undergo a fitness test to see if she was ready to compete in Canada. Semenya’s dramatic improvement in times and muscular build led the IAAF to order gender verification tests last year. The IAAF said Tuesday that it accepted the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that Semenya could return with immediate effect. The IAAF said the medical details of her case would remain confidential, leaving it unclear if she has had any medical procedure or treatment during her time away. Her lawyers said that “due to the nature of the matter the parties resolved to keep the negotiations confidential.” British run-

ner Jenny Meadows, who finished third behind Semenya in the 800 final in Berlin, said she will be happy to race against the South African again. “I think the announcement that she would be allowed to run was always going to happen,” Meadows said. “I think we’ll never know what the situation was in Berlin. That’s gone.” “We’ll never know what’s happened in these 11 months,” Meadows said. “The medical team say that the place she’s at now she’s a female. If they say she’s a female I’m happy to compete against her.” Last year, news of the gender tests and Australian media reports claiming Semenya had both male and female sex organs caused

outrage in her home country — and led to accusations of racism. The Young Communist League of South Africa reignited the debate over how Semenya was treated Wednesday, saying “this whole debacle was affirmation that there are still deeply entrenched stereotypes about how a woman is supposed to look like in accordance to European standards.” “The IAAF should hang their heads in shame for putting Caster Semenya through such torment and humiliation,” the league said in its statement, and called for a public apology from both Athletics South Africa and the IAAF. —AP

Queensland hold off NSW challenge SYDNEY: Queensland held off a spirited New South Wales second half comeback to win the third State of Origin rugby league match 23-18 and claim their first series clean sweep since 1995 here yesterday. After leading 13-6 at halftime, Queensland fell behind in the second period before regrouping and scoring two tries in the last 10 minutes to wrap up the match in front of 61,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium. Queensland dominated the first two matches against an out of form and dispirited New South Wales, but they faced a different opponent in the third match and were fortunate to come away with a win. “They really played a lot of good footy and our kicking game was under pressure,” Queensland captain Darren Lockyer said. “It wasn’t looking great with 10 minutes to go. We were struggling, but in the end we came back.” The much maligned New South Wales team went into the match with plenty to prove after poor performances in the first two matches, and for the opening 20 minutes they kept pace with Queensland. But gradually the Blues began to slip off tackles and allow the Queenslanders to unload their passes. The pressure eventually told when after some sustained attack the New South Welshmen ran out of defenders out wide, with winger Darius Boyd sliding over in the corner and Johnathan Thurston converting to make it 6-0. Queensland had all the ball and most of the territory and it was only a matter of time before they were in again, Lockyer slipping a ball to Nate Myles who strolled through a gap to cross next to the posts. New South Wales were out on their feet and another big defeat looked on the cards, but surprisingly they were next to score when halfback Mitchell Pearce slipped an inside ball to a charging Paul Gallen, who crashed over under the posts. With 60 seconds to go until the break Lockyer rubbed some salt into the NSW wounds when he booted a 45-metre field goal to give the visitors a 13-6 lead at the break. However, it was a very different NSW in the second half as Queensland seemed to go off the boil. The home side crossed after six minutes when Kurt Gidley crashed over and suddenly NSW were well on top as they lay siege to the Queensland line, only being denied by some poor finishing and some brilliant defence. The inevitable happened with 12 minutes left on the clock as Michael Ennis stabbed a grubber kick through and Greg Bird touched down next to the posts to give NSW the lead for the first time in the match. But the try seemed to spark Queensland back into life and the vastly experienced Lockyer began to take control. With five minutes to go Lockyer drew the defence and slipped an inside ball to fullback Billy Slater who crossed to put Queensland back in front 19-18, before Willie Tonga touched down again in the last minute to make the game safe. —AFP

FRANCE: Combo made in Reims shows, (from top, left to right), A helicopter flying over the pack, France’s Dimitri Champion leading the breakaway, Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi celebrating on the finish line and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara putting his Yellow jersey of overall leader on the podium at the end of the 153,5 km and fourth stage of the 2010 Tour de France cycling race. —AFP

Petacchi takes second stage REIMS: Italian Alessandro Petacchi rolled back the years for the second time on the Tour de France here yesterday to claim his second stage win from a bunch sprint. Lampre rider Petacchi has not competed on the race since 2004, a year after claiming a hat-trick of sprint victories. But he showed that absence simply makes the heart grow fonder as he outsprinted a bunch of younger rivals, including misfiring Isle of Man sprinter Mark Cavendish, with yet another late manoeuvre late on the race’s home straight. Swiss Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara retained the race leader’s yellow jersey after the 153km stage from Cambrai, during which the peloton caught a small breakaway only four kilometres from the finish.

That left the way open for the sprinters’ teams to get organised, and although Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia team were leading in the final few hundred metres Petacchi surprised them all with a swift move to the left. He took a few men with him, including Australia’s Robbie McEwen and New Zealander Julian Dean, and held on unchallenged to the finish. Petacchi then hit back at claims by some media that, in what had been a fallow season, he is over the hill at 36 years old. “I’m not like a little old man, as some have said. This win is really important for me and for the team,” said Petacchi, who played down claims he only won Sunday’s opening stage because a crash took out many rivals. “I’ve

come here to win stages and I’ve shown twice that I’m not here to make up the numbers. “In the over 200 sprints I’ve done I’ve learned a thing or two. But today I have to say thanks to my team, they really anticipated things despite the fact they don’t have a lot of experience trying to set up sprints.” Dean was given carte blanche to go for the sprint because Garmin-Transitions’ main sprinter, Tyler Farrar, is trying to recover from a wrist fracture. And the Kiwi, who also picked up injuries in the many crashes which marred stage two, did justice to that decision by finishing second ahead of Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen. “I didn’t feel super but I’ve been around a long time, I know how to follow wheels and get myself in the right position and that’s what

Pennetta, Rezai in q-finals BASTAD: Flavia Pennetta cruised into the quarterfinals of the Swedish Open with a straightsets victory over Sloane Stephens of the United States yesterday. The top-seeded Italian produced a dominant display to brush aside newcomer Stephens 6-1, 6-1. Pennetta, who has given up only four games in the first two rounds of the WTA clay-court tournament, will face veteran Jill Craybas next, after the American defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. Also advancing was second-seeded Aravane Rezai. The Frenchwoman beat Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 on center court. It was the second time the pair have faced off, and like in their first match, Rezai comfortably beat the player ranked more than 60 places below her. Rezai is likely to face more of a test in the quarterfinals when she plays fifth-seeded Arantxa Parra Santonja, who beat fellow Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-4, 6-3. Also, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic had to come from behind to beat Karolina Sprem of Croatia 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. It was a hard-fought victory for third-seeded Safarova, who rallied at the end of the second set to save the match, before winning the third. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic won the final match of the day against Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. —AP

I did - and ended up with second place,” said Dean. “It was alright considering I only came out of hospital two days ago.” Boasson Hagen, who is making his race debut, was even happier with third place on the podium. “It was a very good job from the team to get me in the right position. It was good to get third - I’m really happy,” said Boasson Hagen, who won the final stage on the Dauphine Criterium last month. Multiple stage winner McEwen won the stage to Reims the last time the Tour visited in 2002 but had to settle for fourth place. “I was on the wheel of Petacchi all the way. I tried to come off him, but got next to himthat was it,” said the Aussie. “Went backwards and I even lost a few places on the

line.” ‘Manx Express’ Cavendish, the winner of six stages last year and the self-styled fastest man on the planet, has yet to win a stage on the race. The Manxman’s frustration at his 12th place, and with few sprint stages remaining, was taken out on his bike, which he threw to the ground at his team bus. In showing that he is far from past it, Petacchi was also kind enough not to pour more fuel to the fire. “I don’t think he’s got things to learn from me, or anybody else,” added the Italian. “He won six stages last year, so he knows perfectly how to sprint. But that’s sprinting. I’ve won twice here, but that doesn’t mean I’m faster than him, or he’s faster than me. “Each sprint is different.” —AFP

Croatia, Serbia meeting for 1st time in Davis Cup

Flavia Pennetta in action at the Swedish Open

LONDON: Croatia and Serbia meet for the first time in Davis Cup competition this weekend in what is sure to be an emotional quarterfinal matchup between the former Yugoslav republics. Croatia, Davis Cup champion in 2005, will host the best-of-five series in Split. Serbia has won only once in Davis Cup away from home since 2007, when it began playing on its own. In the other quarterfinals starting on Friday, two-time defending champion Spain takes on France in Clermont-Ferrand, Russia hosts Argentina in Moscow, and 2009 runner-up the Czech Republic plays Chile in Coquimbo. Croatia and Serbia have played down the war they fought in the early 1990s, with Serbia even turning away an offer of extra security in Split as the team says it feels safe. About 1,000 fans are expected from Serbia, “and security will be

arranged in line with that,” Croatian Interior Ministry spokesman Krunoslav Borovec said. He said police were “ready” for the event at the 10,000-seat Spaladium Arena. Novak Djokovic, who has moved up to No. 2 in the world rankings since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, leads a strong Serbian side that includes Viktor Troicki, top-ranked doubles player Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic. Serbia beat the United States in the first round in Belgrade in March, its first win in the World Group. “Croatia has been more successful than us in the Davis Cup,” Djokovic said this week. “But we have a team that can get through to the finals.” Injuries to top Croatians Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic led Ivan Ljubicic to cancel a vacation and make himself available for Davis Cup for the first time since 2007. —AP



Edwin Tavares of Gulf Cable and Electrical Co. receiving a memento from Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CRC Chinchinim President Bosco Leitao receiving a trophy from KIFF president.

KIFF conducts memorable finale KUWAIT: In one of the best finals conducted by the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) for the JP D’Mello Memorial KIFF League Trophy sponsored by Gulf Cable and Electrical Co., neither hot weather nor the humidity prevented a dramatic finish to the grand finale. United Friends Club (UFC) came from behind from a two-goal deficit to equalize (2-2) and clinch the title in the tie-breaker (4-2) against the young Curtorcares United. Curtorcares United’s star players Zico and Roland Fernandes put their team forward early into the match but UFC equalized both the goals before the breather through Rosario and Godwin Fernandes. UFC won the tie-breaker after a grueling goalless extra-time. Cajetan Godinho, one of the iconic players of Kuwait playing since the inception of the league, was among the shooters spot on target for the winners. The grand finale was played under floodlights on 2nd July 2010 at the Peace & Friendship Kazma Stadium, Adeliya, Kuwait. Earlier, a group of young girls called Crazy Girls performed a dance to the beats of the World Cup theme. Later, the finalists were escorted on the ground by the school teams and children with balloons and the Special Guest His Excellency Shri Ajai Malhotra was introduced to the players by KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes. Shri Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India was the Special Guest at the event. Speaking on the occasion Malhotra said it was indeed commendable to have a full-fledged league running throughout the year outside India and applauded the KIFF for their marvelous efforts in promoting Indian football. Malhotra was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Mrs. Merlyn Fernandes. Later Malhotra released a colorful 44 page souvenir handed over by Ms Karen Nelsa Fernandes to mark the event. Fidelis Fernandes, President of KIFF, in his speech was all praise for the tremendous support accorded by his KIFF colleagues while he thanked Gulf Cable and Electrical Company’s Bader Naser Al Kharafi, Chairman and Director, in a special way for fully sponsoring KIFF league finale and Asad Al Banwan Chairman of Kazma Sports club for providing the stadium which is one of the best in Kuwait. The final was officiated by FIFA Referee Mr. Franky Fernandes especially flown in for the finals by KIFF. He was assisted by Derick Gomindes, Jerry Mello and P.A. Tony. Earlier, Delhi Public School (DPS),

abroad. The Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) established in 1984 controls the League and Tournaments organized by clubs affiliated to KIFF. The JP Memorial Rolling Trophy - KIFF League is named after late Jerome Pascoal D’Mello (popularly known in India and Kuwait as JP). The late JP D’Mello, founder President of the Association was the one instrumental in forming the current Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF). His memory has been justly kept alive by KIFF through its affiliated Indian football teams/clubs/associations by naming the KIFF League after him. D’Mello was an ex-FIFA referee, Member of Asian Football Confederation Referees Committee and Ex-Hon. Secretary and Member of Bombay Referees’ Association. A prime architect in conceiving the idea of forming KIFF, D’Mello who lived in Andheri East, Bombay left for a heavenly abode in 1994.

JP D’Mello League 2009-10

KIFF League Champions United Friends Club Fahaheel beat Indian Central School, Abbasiya 3-1 in the finals of the Schools Invitation Football tournament. Prizes and Awards It was a feast of prizes, awards and mementos, and quality ones at that, presented during the half-time and at the presentation ceremony. There were trophies, certificates, commemorative plaques, medals, etc. The event would surely remain memorable to many youngsters as the prestige of these awards holds value and status of the awarder the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF). Past KIFF Presidents honored “History is written by the victors,” is a famous quote by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It was nice to see the past presidents of KIFF being honored with commemorative plaques at the hands of Shri Ajai Malhotra. The historical presidents were VK Vohra (1984~1989 & 1992~1998), Agnelo Fernandes (1989~1990), Anselmo Furtado

Mrs. Aretha Fernandes presenting a memento to KIFF Managing Committee member.

(1998~1999), A.E. D’Souza (1999~2000), Inacio Faleiro (2000~2001), Victor Mesquita (2001~2002), Lawry M. Pinto (2002~2003), Tony Correia (2003~2004), Tony Dias (2004~2005), Manuel D’Costa (2005~2006), B.M. Viegas (2006~2009) and Fidelis Fernandes (2009~2010) Mementos to Club Presidents affiliated with KIFF Presidents of the 10 clubs affiliated with KIFF were also honored on the occasion. They were Raymond D’Sa (Goa Maroons), Lawry Pinto (Y.R.C Rising Stars), Salvador Dias (Kuwait Goan Association), Agnello Fernandes (Navelim YC), Rajesh Bernard (Indian Strikers), Pascoal Alphonso (United Goans Centre), Bosco Leitao (CRC Chinchinim), Cajetan Pereira (United Friends Club), Amaldo Fernandes (Curtorcares United) and Tony Dias (Santos Football Club). Other Awards Commemorative plaques were presented to the KIFF Managing Committee members at

the hands of Mrs. Aretha Fernandes, wife of KIFF President Fidelis while KIFF VicePresident Tony Correia presented the honors to players above the age of 50 years and still playing under KIFF. The icon players awarded for their contribution towards the game were James Figueira, Mauricio Costa, Julio Cardozo, Cajetan Godinho, Inacio Pinto and Anthony Viegas. Mementos were also presented to Jose Rod and Christovam Colaco, players who have made a mark with their game but are not able to continue playing. Bernard Fernandes did the honors of presenting a special commemorative plaque to FIFA referee Franky Fernandes along with all the KIFF appointed referees. Fair Play Award and Seasons Champions The prestigious Fair Play Award and the Seasons Champions Trophy was won by CRC Chinchinim. Trophies, medals and certificates were awarded to all the participating School teams, affiliated clubs. Jose Anthony Cardozo of Curtorcares

Edwin Tavares handing over an award to UFC player.

KIFF Vice President Tony Correia handing over the runners-up trophy.

KIFF Managing Committee Members for 2009-2010: President - Fidelis Fernandes (Kuwait Goan Association) Vice President - Tony Correia (GOA Maroons) Treasurer - Pascoal Alphonso (United Goans Centre) Sports Secretary - Bernard Fernandes (Navelim Youth Centre) Registrar - Nicholas Rodrigues (United Friends Club) PRO - Seby Dias (Curtorcares United) Reliever - Nester Coutinho (CRC Chinchinim)

United was awarded the top scorer of the season. He was awarded at the hands of Mr. V.K. Vohra who also gifted the player with a personal award. Remedio Fernandes of UFC was declared KIFF League Final Man of the Match. The glittering trophies were distributed at the hands of the KIFF President Mr. Fidelis Fernandes, KIFF Managing Committee and Mr. Edwin Tavares representing Gulf Cable and Electrical Co. Earlier Mr. Tony Correia proposed a vote of thanks. DJ Mario provided scintillating music throughout the evening while the function was compared by Gasper Crasto.

The Champions: United Friends Club: Joaquim Pillai, Peter D’souza, Maurice Simoes (captain), Teotonio Fernandes, Darwin D’cruz, Joaquim Rodrigues, Antonio Fernandes, Remedio Fernandes, Godwin Fernandes, Rosario Fernandes, Ubed Karakhil, Cajetan Godinho, James Rebello, Alino Mendes, Filipino Vaz, Derrick, etc. Team Manager: Mr. Nicholas Rodrigues

KIFF League The KIFF League played under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) and officiated by KIFF referees provides Indian players with the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition, while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play—in perhaps one of India’s only 11-aside recognized league

Runners-up Curtorcares United: Francis Fernandes, Savio Rebello, Roland Fernandes, Rony Dias, Minguel Mouro, Sebastiao Fernandes, Zico Fernandes (Captain), Jose Cardozo, Francisco, Christovam Vaz, Felton, Olave, Clinton Coelho, John Vaz, Benjamin, RV Murthy, Mario Viegas, Camilo and Laurent Furtado. Team Manager: Mr. Seby Dias

KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes presenting the prestigious trophy.

Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra honoring the KIFF president.

19 Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Cup

Europe wins World Cup

Photo gallery

DURBAN: A Spain fan holding a flag waits for the start of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Germany and Spain at the stadium in Durban.—AP

DURBAN: A German fan sticks his tongue out prior to the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Germany and Spain at the stadium in Durban. —AP

BERLIN: German fans react while watching the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Germany and Spain, at a public viewing area in Berlin, Germany.—AP

SOUTH AFRICA: A Spain’s supporter cheers prior to the 2010 World Cup semifinal match Germany vs. Spain yesterday at Durban stadium. —AFP

CAPE TOWN: The World Cup champions will be European. Either Dutch, Spanish or German, to be precise. Hang on a second, the old continent hogging the summit of world football, haven’t we seen that before? Well, yes. Four years ago, in fact. Remember Italy winning and the head-butt that rocked the world by French captain Zinedine Zidane? And the truth is, we shouldn’t be surprised. Four weeks and 61 matches into the first World Cup in Africa — there’s just one semifinal, Sunday’s final and the third-place game still to play — have reaffirmed a cold, hard fact: The sport’s center of gravity is still, and perhaps more than ever, in Europe. Africa proved at this World Cup that it is more than capable of hosting the biggest single event in sport but that it also is nowhere close to winning it. Ghana was the only country to make a real impression and even it got no further than the quarterfinals. Africa has fine players, competing across Europe in some of the biggest clubs. It also has passion, as evidenced by the way the continent swung behind the Ghanaians after the other five African sides failed to get out of the group stage. But Africa doesn’t have the decades of experience, the coaching expertise, and the wealth that make Europe’s giants so strong. For a while at this World Cup of relatively few goals but also genuine upsets, South America strung us along with the illusion that it would be a dominant force. But that, too, wasn’t to be. Four of the eight quarterfinalists were South American. None will be in the final. Thank you, Brazil, for letting someone else win for a change. The five-time champions were nowhere near their dancing, awesome best in South Africa. The Brazilians are organizing the next World Cup in 2014 and must regroup, perhaps unearth a new Pele if possible, if they want to win it and add a sixth gold star to their bright yellow jerseys. Thanks, too, to Argentina for a bundle of goals and for lighting up the World Cup with the passion and quirkiness of Diego Maradona, Argentina’s greatest player who discovered that coaching wasn’t as easy as he used to make scoring seem. His philosophy of swashbuckling attacking football was the necessary antidote to the dull defensive fare served by teams so unambitious that we’ve already forgotten who there were. Switzerland, Algeria, any others? And gracias Uruguay, for giving the World Cup its pantomime villain, Luis Suarez. At the very end of an absorbing quarterfinal, he illegally used his hands to block what would have been a match-winning goal for Ghana. But that cheat also proved to be a Pyrrhic victory for Uruguay. As punishment, football’s governing body FIFA made him sit out Tuesday’s semifinal against the Netherlands at Cape Town’s ghostly white and brand new Green Point Stadium. Deprived of Suarez’s goal-scoring talents, Uruguay never looked likely to win. There was a measure of poetic justice for Ghana and Africa in the scoreline _ Netherlands 3 Uruguay 2. The Dutch captain, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, lit up the match with a moment of beauty. His goal after 18 minutes of constricted and flat football — neither side wanted to make a mistake in a game of such importance — whooshed into the top corner of Uruguay’s net. He thwacked the ball from 36 meters (yards) out, top speed: 109 kilometers (67 miles) per hour. So often at this World Cup similar shots have zoomed frustratingly over the crossbar. Players have blamed their lack of control on the Jabulani ball, said by some to be too fast and too light, and the high altitude of some of the stadiums, where shots cut quicker through the thin air. Maybe Cape Town’s muggy, denser sea air was a factor in van Bronckhorst finding the back of the net so sweetly against Uruguay. Of all the goals at this World Cup, only the very first of the tournament was better. Siphiwe Tshabalala’s shot on the run for South Africa was both athletic and the perfect start. The Netherlands will play either Spain or the most impressive side of the tournament, Germany, in Sunday’s final at the cooking pot-shaped Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Germany’s young side has played with such verve and teamwork that it is the favorite. But Spain is the European champion and, unlike three-time world champion Germany, has never won a World Cup. —AP

DURBAN: Germany’s Miroslav Klose (back) competes for the ball with Spain’s Carles Puyol (front) during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Germany and Spain.—AP

Dutch put mental strength ahead of skill CAPE TOWN: After defeat in their country’s two previous World Cup finals, the Netherlands’ players are determined not to put lavish skill ahead of single-minded focus a third time on Sunday. The Dutch reached the 1974 and ‘78 finals with some of the football’s greatest players, but each time the host nation overturned the strutting Oranje. After Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Uruguay, coach Bert van Marwijk is determined to make sure that a six-game winning streak at this tournament does not bring out the traditional Dutch weakness of assuming the next victory is a foregone conclusion. “We know we can play football,” captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst said. “To be mentally strong is now most important.” Van Marwijk’s memories of the 1974 tournament, when the Dutch thrilled the world only to then be beaten 2-1 by a single-minded German team, are too strong for him to let his players fall to the same weakness. If they lose at Johannesburg’s Soccer City, it

won’t be through lack of preparation. “Often when we start beating people, we become overly confident and then we are sent home,” Van Marwijk said. “We did lose the match whereas we should have won it because we played wonderfully well. “Johan Cruyff was the best football player that ever existed.” Van Marwijk now wears winning ugly as a badge of honor. The Dutch on a record 25-game unbeaten streak that includes 10 straight wins. Assistant coach Frank de Boer was there in 1998 as a defender when the Dutch last reached the semifinals only to be eliminated by Germany in a penalty shootout. He also senses much has changed. “In 98, we were happy just to get in the semis and could play Brazil,” he said. He noticed the same in the Uruguay players and already knew victory was coming when the players first put foot on the pitch a few hours ahead of the semifinal. “Let me give you a small example: I’d knew we’d win when a saw a half dozen of their

players come onto the field with their cameras — and I am talking starting lineup players. They filmed the stadium, filmed the players,” showing they were happy just to be there. “Then I knew our approach was much better. That is why it is that important to keep that focus.” And De Boer and Van Marwijk have the support from players who usually love nothing better than flaunt their skills. Striker Robin van Persie said the players won’t get carried away by an occasion marked by millions back home painting villages and cities in the team’s orange color. “I will only realize it looking back,” Van Persie said. “Now I have this tunnel vision, and you just do what you have to do.” Forward Dirk Kuyt knows how bad it is to lose a final after going down to AC Milan while playing for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League showpiece. “I was there and I know what it is,” Kuyt said. “It is not going to happen to me a second time.”—AP

BERLIN: A German fan reacts while watching the World Cup soccer match between Germany and Spain at a public viewing area in Berlin.—AP

Proposal for Maradona monument BUENOS AIRES: An Argentine legislator has proposed building a monument to honor Diego Maradona, whose future as Argentina coach has been uncertain since the team was eliminated by Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals. Juan Cabandie, a member of the lower house of the Argentine congress, sponsored a bill Tuesday to honor Maradona “as an icon of popular Argentine culture.” One of Maradona’s assistant coaches has publicly urged him to stay in the job after the team was thrashed 4-0 by Germany on Saturday.

A senior member of the Argentine Football Association has said the decision rests with Maradona, who has yet to make his plans clear. Maradona has also received encouragement from Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, and on Tuesday two of his players — starting midfielder Angel Di Maria and substitute goalkeeper Mariano Andujar — offered their public support. “The Argentine people have shown that, when it comes to Maradona, the results are not important,” Cabandie said. “Having been

eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa, in a lopsided loss, thousands of people came to the streets to meet him and his 23 players.” Maradona is reported to be shut away in his house in the Buenos Aires suburb of Ezeiza. Some newspaper reports suggest he is depressed and wants to quit. But his unpredictable nature leads few to say for certain he will step away, with the South American continental championship — the Copa America — just a year away and Argentina the host nation.—AP

Spain end final pain Tactical battle freezes goal thirsty stars DURBAN: It had been billed as a shoot-out between two goalthirsty gunslingers. Miroslav Klose, Germany’s epitome of the clinical finisher, against David Villa, the all-action star of Spain’s campaign in whom Barcelona had just invested 40 million euros. Klose’s four goals in his four appearances here had left him needing one more goal to equal Ronaldo’s World Cup finals record record of 15; Villa’s five accounted for all but one of the goals Spain had scored in South Africa and made him the tournament’s leading marksman. As it turned out, the two men who had done so much to propel their sides into the last four were afforded few opportunities to influence the outcome of a cagey semi-final. Instead, it was a mighty leap and unstoppable header from Carles Puyol, Spain’s warrior centre-back, that settled a match whose pattern was dictated by Germany’s decision to attempt to contain their opponents by defending deep and in numbers. That in itself was a back-handed compliment to the potency of the threat represented by Villa. With Fernando Torres restricted to the bench until the final ten minutes of the match, Villa returned to the central striking role he mostly occupied at Valencia. He only needed five minutes to demonstrate the predatory instincts that had rendered Torres dispensable in the eyes of Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque. —AFP

DURBAN: Germany’s Miroslav Klose (left) outjumps Spain’s Xabi Alonso (right) during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Germany and Spain at the stadium in Durban.—AP

DURBAN: Carles Puyol scored the only goal of the game to send Spain into the World Cup final against Holland following a 1-0 victory against Germany yesterday. The Barcelona centreback powered home a header from 10 yards from Xavi’s corner 17 minutes from time to send the reigning European champions into their first ever World Cup final. Holland reached the title game by beating Uruguay 32 in Cape Town on Tuesday. It means there will be a new name on the trophy for the first time since France claimed victory on home soil in 1998. “All of our players were extraordinary - but we still have a match to play,” said Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque. “We know Dutch football and it will be very tough in the final.” Del Bosque had sprung a surprise before kick-off by dropping out-of-form Liverpool forward Fernando Torres and replacing him with Barcelona youngster Pedro. That move allowed tournament top scorer David Villa to play through the middle and the switch almost paid dividends six minutes into the game. Pedro came in off his wing and slipped a delightful ball in behind the Germany defence which Villa ran on to but he had to slide in to shoot before Manuel Neuer arrived and he succeeded only in prodding the ball into the goalkeeper’s chest. Spain should have gone ahead on 14 minutes after a cleverly-worked corner routine left Andres Iniesta free to cross from the right, but Puyol got too much purchase on his diving header and sent the ball over the bar. Germany were stretched again on 19 minutes as a great crossfield ball from Xabi Alonso found the marauding Sergio Ramos but after an exquisite piece of control his shot was wild and high. Germany finally threatened on 32 minutes when Piotr Trochowski, in for the suspended Thomas Mueller, shot from distance and forced Iker Casillas into a sprawling save low to his left. Mesut Ozil thought he should have had a penalty on the stroke of half-time when he went down under a challenge from Ramos but his appeals were waved away by referee Viktor Kassai. For all their pretty approach play, Spain were struggling to get into the box and started hitting pot shots from distance with Alonso, twice, and Villa shooting wide. Neuer then saved from Pedro, who moments later shot wide while Villa was inches away from a tap-in after Iniesta jinked into the box and squared the ball across goal. Up the other end substitute Marcell Jansen’s cross was flicked on by a Spanish head, but on the turn Miroslav Klose could only volley high. And on 69 minutes Germany created possibly their best chance of the match as substitute Toni Kroos arrived unmarked at the back post onto Lukas Podolski’s cross but his finish was weak and straight at Casillas. But then came Puyol’s great leap to propel Spain into the final. Spain had several chances on the counter attack late on but Pedro wasted the best of those as he tried to turn Arne Friedrich once too often instead of squaring to the unmarked substitute Torres - on for Villa. “I am very happy - we played our best match of the World Cup. Now we have to win it,” said a delighted Villa.—AFP

World Cup

Photo gallery

DRESDEN: A combination of two pictures shows a fan with her face painted in the German and Spanish flags during a public viewing event on the banks of the river Elbe in Dresden.—AFP

BERLIN: A German fan reacts while watching the World Cup soccer match between Germany and Spain at a public viewing area in Germany yesterday. —AP

BERLIN: Fans of the German national football team watch during the public viewing at the “Fanmeile” (Fan Mile) in Berlin of the FIFA World Cup semifinal match Germany vs Spain.—AFP

DURBAN: A Spain supporter smiles after the 2010 World Cup semifinal football match Germany vs. Spain yesterday at Moses Mabidha Stadium in Durban. Spain won the match 1-0. —AFP

Positive action by Moody’s on GIC’s credit rating

Ogilvy PR’s global heavyweights come to Cairo



Hong Kong luxury flat deal raises questions


Thursday, July 8, 2010

KIPCO eyes 10-year benchmark bond: Report DUBAI: Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) is considering a benchmark-sized bond issue with a 10-year tenor, lead arrangers said yesterday, making it the first offering from a Kuwaiti corporate this year. KIPCO is Kuwait’s largest investment company and its core investments are in financial services, with stakes in Burgan Bank and Bahrain based United Gulf Bank. Two market sources said early yield guidance is between 9 and 9.5 percent, and one European fund manager said the order book currently stood at $200 million. Joint lead managers on the deal are HSBC, Citi, and BNP Paribas. Pricing is expected this week depending on investor response. The bond roadshow closed on Tuesday. KIPCO declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Shares in KIPCO were trading 3.2 percent higher at 0815 GMT. Kuwaiti investment firms have been badly hit by the financial crisis and some have said they would sell down international assets. There is a pipeline of Gulf Arab bond sales waiting to come to market but volatility due to Europe’s debt crisis has slowed issuance from the region, with issuers wary of higher pricing and jittery global investors. Much of the issuance so far this year has been from government-linked issuers, but capital needs for the region’s corporates should move more companies to issue in the second half of the year, market conditions permitting. — Reuters

Gulf issuers seeking windows to issue; pipeline strong

Qatar Telecom seeking new acquisitions DUBAI: Qatar-owned telecoms provider Qatar Telecom will seek acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia despite mounting debt, the company’s chief executive said in a newspaper report yesterday. Chief executive Nasser Marafih told the Financial Times that the company, which has already expanded into 17 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, benefits from its lucrative business in Qatar and the backing of its wealthy government, allowing it to continue to expand. “We’re still on the lookout for good acquisition opportunities,” Marafih said. “Scale is important and I think we will see more consolidation in the Middle East.” Marafih said that its debt to earnings ratio has declined since 2007, making its debt load “reasonable now.” Moody’s estimates that its net debt is $9.9 billion and put the company on review for a downgrade in March. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s raised its rating on Qatar Telecom on Tuesday based on its upgrade of the emirate but warned that its ratings are constrained by the company’s relatively high leverage. — Reuters

Gas powers may cut output individually The Total headquarters building, outside Paris. French energy giant Total SA will acquire a 20 per cent share of Suncor’s Fort Hills oilsands project under a proposed takeover of UTS Energy Corp, a deal that could spark interest among other players in the Alberta oil patch. — AP

Lebanon unveils $5bn plan to overhaul power sector BEIRUT: Lebanon unveiled yesterday an ambitious $5 billion plan to overhaul its decaying power sector and provide it with 24-hour electricity in four years. Lebanon’s electricity sector is saddled with old power plants, insufficient infrastructure and inefficient supply lines. The loss-making sector adds $1.5 billion to the budget deficit annually, and the cost to the wider economy from poor power supply is at least $2.5 billion, according to government figures. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the plan calls for the production of 4,000 megawatts of electricity by 2014 at a total cost of $4.87 billion. The government will provide $1.5 billion, the private sector $2.32 billion and international donors will contribute $1 billion. The state-owned Electricite du Liban (EdL) can only meet two-thirds of peak demand of 1,650 megawatts, which means the average supply of electricity per day is 18 hours. Central Beirut, where the majority of businesses and

banks are located, faces daily power cuts of three hours while greater Beirut and towns and cities further away experience longer cuts, some up to 9 hours. Homes and businesses are forced to depend on power generators, adding extra electricity costs. Lebanese across the country have held protests, blocking roads with burning tyres, to demand a solution to the problem, especially with high summer temperatures approaching. Between 1992-2009 only $1.6 billion had been invested in the sector. “The time for negotiations should now be behind us, and we should start with implementing the plan. And I hope we start working, that we don’t go back to pointless negotiations that people have no patience for anymore,” Bassil said in Beirut. The plan envisages building pipelines for transporting natural gas along the coast, an LNG terminal and upgrading power plants or building new ones in more accessible areas. Bassil said Turkey was ready to provide natural gas and Russia and the CIS countries were

other supply options. An LNG terminal would allow producers such as Qatar and Algeria to provide liquefied natural gas carried on tankers. Bassil said part of the funding would come from donations made at an international conference in 2007 after the Hezbollah-Israeli war a year earlier. In some of Lebanon’s power plants the production cost of electricity is 22 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), while tariffs stand at 9.6 cents per kWh. Bassil said there was no plan to increase tariffs for the moment until the sector was fully revitalized, but that there would be gradual increase in conjunction with improvements in the service. In 2009, consumers paid about $700 million to EdL and $1.4 billion to use of generators. In 2010, Bassil expected payments to EdL to total $800 million and $1.76 billion to generators. “You can’t live in your home with no generator. The President and Prime Minister cannot live in their palace

with no generator. So we can’t go and increase the tariff, without decreasing the extra cost the Lebanese citizen has to pay.” A key component of the plan was to revamp EdL, a state-owned, crumbling entity which is a massive burden on state finances, partly through outsourcing. The average age of an employee at EdL is 52 and many of the 2,000 “contractual and daily” workers the firm employs are “political appointees and unqualified workers”. “The challenge is in implementing the plan. If we don’t translate it to people into ‘there will be electricity 24/24’ then in the end we won’t have achieved anything,” Bassil said. “If there’s one minute of power cuts, then I say that the electricity problem in Lebanon has not been solved,” Bassil said shortly after-in a sign of the long road ahead-the lights went out in the auditorium. — Reuters

Russia emerging from crisis, looks to private investment

Markets mixed as banks lift Qatar; Saudi, Dubai decline MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Middle East markets were mixed yesterday, with some investors using renewed declines in world equities as a signal to book profits from early-week gains. Doha’s index rose for a third day, bolstered by Qatar National Bank’s above-forecast 35 percent surge in second-quarter profit. The lender’s shares rose 0.8 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank added 1.1 percent. “We had quite bad results last year, so banks should see a good rise in earnings year-on-year, with provisioning coming down and assets and loans continuing to do well,” said Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at Doha’s The First Investor. National Leasing Holding Company rose 6.1 percent after its first-half net profit nearly quadrupled. “Results so far have been slightly better than expected and that’s good for the market because trading volumes are really low,” added Pramberger. “We believe Q2 will be better than Q1 as the economy rebounds from 2009. This momentum has continued into Q2, but will be more limited in the third and fourth quarters.” Global equities slipped, giving up Tuesday’s gains, following fresh signs of a faltering US economic recovery, weighing on some Middle East markets as investors worldwide become more risk averse. “Global market sentiment and increasing concerns over a double-dip global recession and the sustainability of Chinese growth engine will be more critical to regional markets than Q2 results,” said Jithesh Gopi, head of research at SICO bank. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) lost 3.7 percent, having gained 6.3 percent in the previous two

days. The Saudi index fell 1.1 percent to 6,056 points, its first decline for three days as volumes slipped to a six-month low. “6,000 points is a psychological prop for the index,” said Saleh Al-Onazi, vice-president of principal investment at Swicorp in Riyadh. “I speak to a lot of traders and they say they’re just looking to make 2 to 3 riyals on say SABIC for a short-term profit.” Volumes are down, Onazi said, because trading rules prevent large investors from trading stocks during earnings season. Oman hit a two-week high as Bank Muscat rose 0.8 percent and Oman Cement gained 0.9 percent. “We witnessed very strong buying from local asset managers as we get a clearer view of what Q2 results might be like- people believe the bank sector will post very good numbers,” Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager. “Oman Cement saw strong buying from institutions-they are the main drivers for the market-it’s not retailers, traders or foreign funds.” Emaar Properties dipped 2.5 percent as Dubai’s index fell for a first day in three. Analysts are unsure what impact second-quarter earnings will have on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses, with both in negative territory for the year. “Q2 consensus forecasts are quite conservative because of the general economic conditions, so there’s a chance some companies could outperform,” said Hesham Bakry, Prime Emirates senior relationship manager. “But it’s hard to tell whether Q2 numbers will affect stocks, because results are often in the market before they’re made public.” — Reuters

DOHA: Gas producers may cut output to steady prices, but would do so on an individual basis rather than collectively, the secretary general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) was reported as saying yesterday. The GECF, whose members hold about 70 percent of the world’s conventional gas reserves, is a developing but still loose collection of many of the world’s largest gas powers. It has yet to make an attempt to coordinate supply policy in a market more fragmented than oil, where producer group OPEC wields heavy influence over prices through supply policy. “Not to increase but to stabilize them,” Leonid Bokhanovsky told the Qatar-based Gulf Times in an interview, when asked about the possibility of gas producers using output cuts to raise prices. “The world economic situation is recovering slowly but surely. There is a theoretical possibility for such cuts on an individual basis, but the longer-term trend (for the gas market) is optimistic.” Gas prices slid in 2008, hit by both the global economic slowdown and an increase in supply of shale gas in the United States. Gas prices have lagged the recovery in oil since, although maintenance in Qatar and shaky supply from the North Sea have bolstered prices since Spring. Bokhanovsky became the GECF’s first secretary general in December. — Reuters

BERLIN: German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schaeuble holds a paper during the news conference to present the 2011 budget plan, in Berlin, yesterday. Germany’s Cabinet has approved a 2011 budget that foresees a 3.8 percent cut to spending from this year and lower new borrowing as the country moves to reduce its debt. The words read: ‘Budget plan 2011 and financial concept until 2014’. — AP

MOSCOW: Russia’s Finance Minister called yesterday for more private sector investment, arguing that heavy state spending will only hurt the economic recovery in the long run through higher inflation and a stronger ruble. But there were signs Alexei Kudrin will struggle to win over politicians in the Duma lower house, whom he was addressing. “In the place of the President, I would have torn off your ears, together with the head,” Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov told Kudrin, calling for higher budget spending. Russia has returned to growth after its worst recession in 15 years. But the recovery is a slow one, and while consumer confidence data published yesterday hit a 21-month high, it remained below its pre-crisis range. Modernization is a key goal of President Dmitry Medvedev, who wants to encourage high technology sectors in a country whose dependency on oil and gas, accounting for 60 percent of budget revenues, was a key reason for it being the worst performer in the G20 during the latest economic crisis. “The government’s task is to create conditions for private investment. We will not modernize with budget funds. Those funds can be used only to support innovation projects, to give the economy a leg up,” Kudrin told the Duma. “The main volume, 80 percent of all investment in the country on modernization, will be private investment. Now our concern is to create the conditions for private investment.” Bank lending-key to domestic investment-started to pick up in the second quarter, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev told the Duma, but here

too the pace is slow. “Lending activity was restrained by high credit risks and the comparatively low level of demand for loans from borrowers at the available level of interest rates,” he said. Russia is seeking to double foreign direct investment over the next 3-4 years and also encourage greater involvement from domestic companies. But active measures to encourage investorsespecially foreign ones-remain few, while years of state-dominated Soviet rule have created the mindset that the government should be the economy’s chief bank-roller. Kudrin, a 10-year veteran at the helm of the Finance Ministry known for his fiscal prudence, said that it was imperative to keep a lid on spending in order to halve the budget deficit to under 3 percent by 2013. “If we support demand with big (stimulus) packages it can support growth in the near term, within a year, but in 2-3 years it will, to the contrary, reduce economic growth,” Kudrin said. “It can create inflation, appreciation of the exchange rate, state borrowing and thus a reduction of corporate borrowing. So our task is to reduce the deficit in the next few years.” For now inflation remains tame, while global risk aversion has put a lid on the ruble. Central bank chairman Sergei Ignatyev said yesterday that Russia is ready to act if necessary on big inflows of capital, but will stop short of reintroducing controls on capital movement. He added that the move towards a more flexible ruble exchange rate was already making it harder for speculators to put on one-way bets for ruble appreciation. — Reuters



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pioneer in offering first Blackberry devices in installments in Kuwait

Wataniya’s exciting offers: Own a Blackberry starting from KD6! KUWAIT: Standing true to its promise of just getting started, and being the pioneer in offering Blackberry subscription with installments in the country, Wataniya Telecom is offering its post-paid customers a Blackberry handset, one month of free subscription and two free applications, all starting at just KD6! As part of their aim to treat its customers with exciting promotions and the best of services, Wataniya Telecom customers can now afford and enjoy Blackberry services at one year installments with the latest BlackBerry devices! Commenting at the launch of the promotion, Abdol Aziz Al-Balool, PR Manager of Wataniya Telecom said,

Abdol Aziz Al-Balool

“Wataniya has always strived to lead the way in offering ground-breaking solutions at efficient prices. We have been cautious to exceed our consumer’s expectations by providing them with a diverse range of our products and services”. He further added, “With this promotion, Wataniya has made Blackberry accessible to all our post-paid customers at the lowest prices in the market in addition to a flexible payment plan.” Catering to the recent Blackberry obsession in Kuwait, Wataniya has made sure all its customers are upto-date and not missing out anything as the offer allows customers not buy the Blackberry devices fully in

cash but pay in monthly installments all priced below KD15, Gemini at KD6, Javelin KD7 and Onyx at KD12. Always wanting to own a Blackberry handset? And be part of the engaging social network? Hurry down to the closest Wataniya or Fono store and own a latest Blackberry device along with a one month free subscription, two very useful applications and enjoy a wide range of social networking, all made available to you with Wataniya Telecom. For more information about the promotion please visit or visit us in any of our Wataniya stores or call customer service at 121. It will be our delight to assist you.

Goal promotion second winner with Al-Sayer KUWAIT: Mohamad Naser Al-Sayer & Sons Automotive Co held the draw of its goal promotion campaign on July 6 at 7 pm in sync with the 19th World Cup, at Al-Jahra showroom. Al-Sayer continues to run the electronic raffle draw to ensure that all AlSayer’s customers have an equal and fair chance in the draw. The event was attended by a representative from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Positive action by Moody’s on GIC’s credit rating KUWAIT: Moody’s upgraded the Outlook on Gulf Investment Corporation’s credit rating to Stable from Negative, while reaffirming its Baa2 Long Term rating. This enhancement on GIC’s credit rating is a reflection of the significant improvement on all key parameters, including profitability, financial strength, leverage, capitalization and liquidity. The solid investmentgrade ratings also reflect the strong support from shareholders and GIC’s standing in the region. GIC posted a profit of $91 million in 2009, and as of midyear 2010, the corporation is well on target to achieve its

financial goals. From a financial strength perspective, the Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio is a solid 28% and leverage at a conservative 3.1 times. In terms of liquidity, GIC has maintained ample liquidity, even after paying out in full the $700 million term financing due in 2010. Commenting on the recent action by Moody’s, Hisham AlRazzuqi, CEO, said “We have worked extremely hard to improve GIC’s risk profile, capital adequacy and liquidity, while at the same time ensuring significant growth in terms of profitability. These efforts have borne fruit. We will continue to strengthen our finan-

cial position and grow our business.” With the positive action from Moody’s, GIC now has reaffirmations from Fitch (BBB/Stable), Rating Agency Malaysia RAM (AAA/stable), and Moody’s (Baa2/Stable). GIC was established in 1983 by the Gulf Cooperation Council and is owned equally by the six member states of the oil rich bloc - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The Corporation focuses on developing private enterprise and economic growth in the Gulf market by offering financial products and services.

Dubai World, Nakheel’s owner, agreed with its core creditor banks on a proposal to restructure $23.5 billion in debt in May. A Nakheel spokeswoman declined to confirm the payment timeframe. Nakheel said in late June it had started making cash payments to trade creditors, who have laid off thousands of workers in Dubai as developers fell behind on paying bills. Arabtec, the largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by market value, said in late June it expected payments in cash to be made soon while payment in the form of a bond will take a few months. Arabtec received a token payment from Nakheel of 500,000 UAE dirhams ($136,200) in June. Some analysts have put the figure Nakheel owes Arabtec at around 2 billion dirhams. —Reuters

The 1st lucky winner is: Bader Mohamed Fahed (Coupon number 16090). While the next draws are going to be held as planned: Al-Ahmadi on 20th July at 7 pm. Al-Rai on 8th August at 7 pm. Mohamad Naser AlSayer & Sons congratulates all winners and thanks all customers for their wise choice of Toyota genuine spare parts and their trust in Toyota service centers.

Muamalat shareholders to take up rights plan Hisham Al-Razzuqi

Nakheel moving to clear debt logjam DUBAI: Dubai’s Nakheel will complete paying out the cash portion of overdue debt to contractors by the end of July, a source told Reuters, in a sign the deeply indebted developer is clearing a logjam of obligations. The July end-date puts a timeline for the first time on the long-awaited payout and should offer some relief to the trade creditors left awaiting the $1.09 billion in cash. Palm-builder Nakheel has become the poster child for Dubai’s debt dilemma. It also opens the door to the second step in Nakheel’s debt restructuring plan, in which creditors will receive 60 percent of the obligations in the form of an Islamic bond or sukuk and receive a 10 percent annual return. The source, who has direct knowledge of the debt deal, declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

From Al-Sayer MNSS Riyad Mohammad AlSalem (Al-Jahra Showroom representative) was present. The promotion is available at all Toyota showrooms from June 6 until July 31, 2010 to win 1 of 4 Fabulous FJ Cruisers, and a Free Third Party Insurance + Free Car registration + Accessories, for every KD 500/- customers spend towards a new Toyota purchased at Al Sayer.

Dubai’s Drake wins $125m contract in Saudi Arabia DUBAI: Dubai’s Drake & Scull International said it won a 460 million dirham ($125.3 million) contract in Riyadh, its second win in Saudi Arabia this week, as taps huge demand for infrastructure and property there. The contractor will be working in partnership with Saudi conglomerate Al-Zamil Group on mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) works for the Information Technology and Communications Centre (ITCC) in

the kingdom’s capital, it said in a statement yesterday. On Sunday, Drake was awarded a 450 million riyal contract in Jeddah. The firm is planning to buy two Saudi companies this year. With a growing population of over 25 million, 70 percent of which is under the age of 30, the world’s largest oil exporter will need to build one million new homes by 2014, HSBC said in a report last year. —Reuters

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s Bank Muamalat, the country’s second largest sharia lender, said yesterday that its existing shareholders will take up all its 952 billion rupiah ($105.2 million) rights issue that is set to close today. This is potentially delivering a blow to Malaysia’s Bank Islam, which has been eyeing getting a stake in Muamalat through the rights issue to tap Indonesia’s potentially vast Islamic banking market. “All of our major existing shareholders have given their commitment to take part in the rights issue,” said Andi Buchari, Muamalat’s finance director, in an interview with Reuters. Muamalat’s major shareholders are Saudibased Islamic Development Bank with 28.01 percent, Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank with 21.28 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Sedco Group with 21.28 percent. The rest is owned by institutional and retail investors. The bank aims to sell 850 million new shares, higher than its previous statement of 820 million, at 1,161 rupiah a piece. Muamalat, which is the country’s oldest sharia bank, is eyeing 2010 full year profit of 240 billion rupiah, more than double last year’s 109.07 billion rupiah, Buchari said. Planned loan disbursement is 16 trillion rupiah by the end of the year. “We aim to increase our assets up to 19 trillion rupiah this year by pushing up loan growth into industry,” said Buchari, adding the bank’s assets in 2009 were at 16 trillion rupiah.

Shareholders are keen to see how Muamalat can grow in the next two to three years, said Buchari. He said Bank Islam’s only chance now to buy a stake was to talk with existing shareholders. Bank Islam declined to comment. Bank Muamalat said in February it wanted to raise 1 trillion rupiah from a share sale to double its capital base and allow it to attract new business. Buchari said that after the rights issue the company’s capital adequacy ratio will rise to 16 percent from 10 percent now. The company is also eyeing dollar sukuk bonds next year to further strengthen its capital. However, he declined to give details as the plan is still at an early stage. Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is seen as the next big market for the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry as growth matures in its traditional base of the Middle East and Malaysia. Buchari said the sharia banking sector’s growth will be above 30 percent, continuing a trend last year as many conventional banks open new sharia units. “It’s higher than the conventional banking sector which will only grow about 10 percent this year,” Buchari said. However, he acknowledged assets are still small and urged Indonesia’s tax office to give sharia banks some tax incentives, adding the central bank could also give an exemption on the level of capital adequacy ratio needed. —Reuters

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

.2850000 .4350000 .3610000 .2700000 .2710000 .2420000 .0045000 .0020000 .0784650 .7644610 .4020000 .0750000 .7494210 .0045000 .0500000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2889500 .4372140 .3636420 .2719200 .2736720 .0487840 .0378940 .2448120 .0370760 .2076290 .0033040 .0061800 .0025510 .0033990 .0042120 .0787080 .7668250 .4086500 .0770920 .7508870 .0062470 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2910500 .4403010 .2738460 .0775830

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees


.2940000 .4460000 .3700000 .2790000 .2800000 .2510000 .0075000 .0035000 .0792540 .7721440 .4180000 .0790000 .7569530 .0072000 .0580000 .2910500 .4403010 .3662100 .2738460 .2756100 .0491300 .0381620 .2465400 .0373390 .2090990 .0033280 .0062240 .0025690 .0034230 .0042410 .0792100 .7717140 .4115430 .0775830 .7556740 .0062910

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

3.389 2.554 3.885 208.910 37.263 4.184 6.239 8.253 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.448 Qatari Riyal 79.791 Omani Riyal 754.460 Bahraini Dinar 771.300 UAE Dirham 79.080 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 54.050 Egyptian Pound 51.037 Yemen Riyal 1.285 Tunisian Dinar 196.670 Jordanian Dinar 410.000 Lebanese Lira 194.800 Syrian Lier 6.215 Morocco Dirham 33.636 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 290.280 Euro 366.910 Sterling Pound 440.790 Canadian dollar 276.330 Turkish lire 186.750 Swiss Franc 274.630 Australian dollar 245.750 US Dollar Buying 289.395 GOLD 20 Gram 240.000 10 Gram 122.000 5 Gram 63.000

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

SELL CASH 249.700 771.700 4.290 278.800 569.800 14.100 49.800 167.800 53.790

366.000 37.810 6.180

410.190 0.195 92.800 3.880 203.300 753.630 3.405 6.240 79.820 77.480 209.880 40.020 2.554 441.500 275.500 9.130 79.080 290.200

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

369.500 37.980 6.510 0.038 0.275 0.256 3.410 412.070 0.196 92.800 48.200 4.540 204.800 1.977 46.200 753.810 3.510 6.570 80.250 77.480 209.880 40.020 2.750 443.500 39.000 277.000 6.400 9.310 198.263 79.180 290.600 1.320 GOLD 1,295.780 TRAVELLER?S CHEQUE 441.500 290.200

SELL DRAFT 248.200 771.700 4.185 277.100

209.900 51.0537

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

290.100 277.257 441.460 367.693 272.896 711.058 767.866 79.963 79.662 77.329 409.373 51.006 6.182 3.397

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

2.556 4.195 6.236 3.314 8.936 6.328 3.864

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

290.100 3.400 6.180 2.565 4.190 6.270 79.060 77.570 771.200 51.030 443.400 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 412.100 5.750 371.100 280.700

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 289.900 367.800 441.250 277.000 3.340 6.160 51.010 2.554 4.179 6.245 3.400 771.500 79.030 77.350


Thursday, July 8, 2010



GCC banks: Excess cash and slow credit growth KUWAIT: In late 2009, one year following the eruption of the global financial crisis, a widespread consensus emerged that risks facing GCC economies and banks were dissipating and that a solid recovery would be underway. At that time, most major indicators across the region - including oil prices, consumer and business

affecting profitability, but also is expected to weigh on growth of the private sector. Bank lending remains weak As of March 2010, credit extended by GCC banks to the private sector was up only 1.2% y/y, much slower than the 18% of a year ago. This deceleration took place despite the absence

risky, forcing regional banks to remain ultra cautious about taking on new risks, competing only for the narrow segment of high quality loans. This behavior makes sense as banks focus on restoring the health of their balance sheets. Second, banks are willing to substitute risky loans for lower risk investments. This is evidenced by the

GCC banks-Credit to private sector

confidence surveys, and equity prices - gave support to that view. Up until now, and despite pressures facing Greece and other highly indebted countries in Europe, the GCC region’s positive economic outlook seems unlikely to be significantly derailed and the recovery should stay on track. The GCC economies are expected to post over 4% real growth in 2010, following an estimated 0.5% contraction last year. In that context, GCC regional banks outperformed in 2009 relative to their peers elsewhere. The anticipated recovery of regional economies, as well as the comfortable levels of liquidity, is supposed to boost the performance of banks in 2010, especially on the lending side, after the sharp slowdown in 2009. Unfortunately, recent data on credit do not support this view and still reflect continued weakness in bank lending as well as in financial results. The banks continue to hold excess idle cash as a result of slow lending activity. This is not only

of any new regulatory constraints and despite the reported improvement in overall confidence. Since December of last year, credit growth ranges from a negative 1.1% in Bahrain to +2.7% for Qatar. Though modest, the aggregate growth in GCC credit is at its strongest since October 2009, providing a small sense of potential recovery. Meanwhile, deposits at regional banks rose by an aggregate 5.3% during the same period, as a result of 7% growth in private deposits and a 3.9% drop in government deposits. Accordingly, the simple ratio of loans to total deposits (LDR) dropped by 3 percentage points to 73%, which is well below the regulatory ceilings imposed by a number of countries, ranging from 85% to 100%. It is worth noting though that many countries include government deposits in calculating regulatory LDR measures. The disappointing growth in credit may signal three things. First, the banking environment remains very

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Oil prices rise in volatile trade LONDON: World oil prices firmed yesterday as traders tracked the strengthening dollar and assessed the global energy demand outlook on the eve of a crucial US crude inventories report. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, added 39 cents to $72.37 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude, also for August deliv-

ery, gained 52 cents to $71.97. “Crude oil prices fluctuated around $72 area amid fairly volatile trading conditions, struggling for some direction,” said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou. “It seems that it is a US dollar move that affects the energy market right now. Yesterday, a weakening US dollar helped crude oil prices moving higher

and testing the $74 area. “Today the US dollar rebounded and it is currently pushing commodity prices lower, with crude oil prices re-testing a one-month low near $71.” The euro slipped yesterday after news of a surprise drop in German industrial orders, while the dollar was further boosted by its safe-haven status amid downbeat US data. —AFP

25% increase in banks’ investments in government securities, claims on GCC central banks, and credit to government last year, and another 1.2% during the first quarter of this year. Finally, a decent recovery in bank lending may take longer than originally anticipated and it may not materialize until later this year. As a result, we expect credit to the private sector to expand in the range of 3 to 5 percent this year, down from the 8% we anticipated at the beginning of the year. Profits continue to suffer The weak growth in credit has no doubt affected banks profitability across the region. Aggregate profits of the top 60 GCC banks were down 1.9% (y/y) in the first quarter of 2010, totaling $5 billion. Looking at individual countries, we see a slight increase in profits in Qatar and Kuwait of 3% and 1.8%, respectively. Declines ranged between 0.9% in Saudi Arabia and 25.6% in Oman. Divergence in performance can also be observed at the bank level with 25 banks reporting improved performance, with the remaining 35 banks seeing a deterioration in their profitability. Indeed, banks also differed widely in terms of financial strength, capital, market share, as well as in terms of business model. The sharp growth in provisioning during the first quarter of this year also played a major role in the drop in

profits. Consolidated provisions set aside reached $2 billion in the first three months of 2010, up 85% y/y. The bulk of these provisions came against non-performing loans, while a smaller portion may have been precautionary or judgmental against unanticipated potential deterioration in the loan portfolios of some banks.

Sizable provisioning was more apparent in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Each of these faced country-specific challenges that necessitated the buildup of extra provisions. In the UAE, for example, the Dubai World debt problems played a major role, while the repercussions from the defaults of Saad

markets and have wiped out all the year’s gains. Losses during the second quarter ranged between 8% in Qatar to 13% in Kuwait and 14% in Abu Dhabi. Renewed turmoil in financial markets is expected to weigh negatively on sentiment. Similar weakness is noted in most regional real estate markets. With

Claims on govts and central banks

and Al-Gosaibi conglomerates pressured Saudi banks. In Kuwait, investment companies were an issue and the central bank (CBK) has just issued new regulatory measures for them. While there may still be a need for regional banks to set aside more provisions, we expect these to be smaller. The first quarter of 2010 was a good month for all equity markets in the region, despite the high volatility. The markets benefitted from positive sentiment, high oil prices, and the huge injection of liquidity by most GCC governments to stimulate their economies. The stock market indices were up between 5% in Oman and 11% in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter. On a y/y basis, such gains reach 53% in Qatar, 45% in both Saudi Arabia and Oman, and 12% in Kuwait. More recently, however, the negative news from Greece and the worries about a wider contagion across Europe and beyond, have had a severe impact on regional equity

GCC banks-Net profits

the exception of Saudi Arabia, real estate markets did not reflect the improvement in economic conditions. Indeed, further deterioration in the UAE real estate market is possible this year, though at a much lower pace than last year. Improvements in both household and corporate net asset positions are likely to remain subdued, unless a major improvement takes place in equity and real estate markets, which is not very likely in the near term. Similarly, the investment portfolios of banks may continue to show weak performance this year. The NBK report concluded: GCC banks enjoy a surplus of cash and other liquid assets, but not too many sound investment or lending opportunities, at least for now. In line with the economic recovery, improvement for the banks is likely to be moderate and gradual, while at the same time providing banks with an opportunity to nurse their balance sheets back to health.

Ogilvy PR’s global heavyweights come to Cairo for regional meet BEIRUT: Memac Ogilvy Public Relations - one of the region’s leading communications agencies - held its first annual Middle East and North Africa conference in Cairo. The conference brought together PR professionals of various stripes from around the Middle East and North Africa who spent two full days in workshops and seminars conducted by the Ogilvy network’s best and brightest. The conference’s primary aim was to further strengthen ties within the regional network while providing global context and plan the implementation of a five-year plan to raise the bar on public relations practice in the Middle East. Participants relished the opportunity to truly engage with professionals outside of their home markets and share best practice. Additionally, a large part of the agenda was dedicated to learning and discussing new market trends and innovative communications services that each participant will take back to his/her home market to implement. A prestigious line-up of Ogilvy PR Worldwide executives attended and led these trainings. Saada Hammad, Memac Ogilvy PR Middle East and North Africa director, said: “It is quite a privilege to be part of such a successful global network and we are lucky

Memac Ogilvy PR teams representing different countries at the annual Ogilvy PR conference in Cairo. to be able to learn from the best in the industry. It is essential that we help our people sharpen their skills to deliver the most effective and creative PR solutions to our clients and add value to their businesses. With our continued growth and expansion in the region, we want to ensure

that our staff are fully prepared to deal with all communications challenges.” Chris Graves, Global CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, attended the conference and gave his trademark story telling workshop as well as a session on crisis management. It was Mr.

Graves’ first meeting with the Memac Ogilvy team. Workshops were also hosted by Jamie Moeller, Managing Director of the Global Public Affairs practice at Ogilvy PR; Luca Penati, Managing Director of the Global Technology practice; Bryan Callahan, Vice

President of the Global Social Marketing practice and John Studdert, Managing Director of Ogilvy PR Worldwide in Australia. Ghassan Maraqa, Chief Financial Officer, and Leyla Chammas, Group HR manager of Memac Ogilvy also addressed the conference.

Marks & Spencer UK sales up 3.6% LONDON: British retailer Marks & Spencer Group PLC said yesterday that sales rose 3.6 percent in the 13 weeks ending July 3, but it was cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year. The figure does not account for new store space opened during the period. Including new stores, total UK sales were up 4.8 percent, with

general merchandise up 7 percent and food up 2.9 percent. International sales were up 0.9 percent, affected by adverse currency movements and “difficult trading conditions in certain markets,” the company said. “We are cautious about the outlook for consumer confidence and spending,” the company said, citing the government’s austerity drive and

next year’s rise in sales tax. Marks & Spencer shares were down 2.2 percent at 345 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange. “The update is solid if a little unexciting, with sales marginally outpacing expectations,” said Richard Hunter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers. “In the background, concerns still linger around the staff

pension deficit and ongoing pressure on margins,” Hunter added. Kate Calvert at Shore Capital agreed it was a strong update, but rated the shares as “sell” because general consumer demand is expected to be weak and because she believe M&S may have to invest more heavily in its food business. —AP



KSE stocks rally as govt steps in to curb freefall KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) continued its positive performance for the last two sessions on account of the renewed confidence traders and portfolios managers have in the market after the government took serious measures to limit the sharp declines. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, the Minister of Finance and the KSE Director met to discuss the reasons behind KSE’s decline and to approve feasible solutions. Global General Index (GGI) increased by 4.25 points (2.37 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 183.66 points. The KSE Price Index also rose 84.00 points (1.32 percent) yesterday and closed at 6,448.70 points. Market capitalization went down by KD702.20mn yesterday to reach KD30.36bn. Market breadth During the session, 131 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers, as 18 equities retreated versus 95 that advanced. A total of 99 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 31.90 percent to reach 409.21mn shares, and value of shares traded increased by 78.86 percent to stand at KD63.48mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader, for the second consecutive day, accounting for 38.44 percent of total market volume. The Banking Sector was also the value leader, for the second consecutive day, accounting for 37.74 percent of total market value. Investors Holding Group Company was the volume leader, for the third consecutive day, with a total traded volume of 73.60mn shares. Large-Cap Zain was the value leader with a total traded value of KD10.51mn.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

World stock markets fall despite Wall Street gains LONDON: World markets retreated yesterday after a disappointing survey of the US services sector rekindled worries that the recovery in the world’s largest economy will be anemic. After losses across most of Asia, major indexes in Europe traded lower. Britain’s FTSE of leading shares was down 0.7 percent at 4,929.73. Germany’s DAX was 0.6 percent lower at 5,904.99 and France’s CAC-40 was off 0.8 percent to 3,395.91. US futures augured a weak open on Wall Street. Dow futures were down 0.2 percent at 9,663 while the Standard and Poor’s 500 futures lost 0.3 percent to 1,020.70. After rallying Tuesday due to bargain-hunting, markets reversed course after a US survey showed the services sector there was growing at a weaker pace, mostly because of concerns about a slowdown in the global economy — particularly due to the European debt crisis. Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said US economic growth was already expected to be hurt by the

withdrawal of stimulus measures and a relapse in the house market. “It now appears that the slowdown in global growth will be an additional restraint on the US economy,” he said, although he does not forecast this will be severe enough to cause a double-dip recession. In Europe, investors will be preparing for a European Central Bank policy announcement on Thursday. While interest rates are expected to be left at a record low, the focus will be on any comments about lending conditions and the results from the EU’s stress tests on banks. Those results, due to be published later this month, will be parsed for hints about the health of the European banking sector and its exposure to the debt crisis — the value of some government debt has fallen sharply — and tight liquidity. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 0.6 percent at 9,279.65 as a strong yen kept pressure on exporter shares. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.1 percent to 19,857.07 and Seoul’s Kospi

lost 0.6 percent to 1,675.65. Benchmarks in Taiwan, India and Australia also declined, while those in Thailand and New Zealand were higher. “There are not many people buying stocks right now,” said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong. “I have given up hope on Europe. Europe will be mired in recession because of deficit-cutting.” Lun also called the US economic recovery “anemic” and said softening export orders in China hit market sentiment hard. The exception was the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which edged up 0.5 percent to close at 2,421.12 on reports that the government social security fund was buying shares to help boost the market. Strains on liquidity also eased as Agricultural Bank of China wrapped up subscriptions for a record share offering expected to raise a total $22.1 billion. In currencies, the dollar was trading at 87.25 yen, down from 87.54 yen late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.2572 from $1.2625. —AP

Egypt’s annual inflation rises In terms of top gainers, Investors Holding Group Co increased its gains as it took the top spot, adding 10.00 percent and closed at KD0.022. Followed by Jazeera Airways Co, increasing by 9.26 percent during the session, and closed at KD0.118. On the other hand, Kuwait Cable Vision Co was the biggest loser, shedding 10.98 percent, and closed at KD0.073. Sector-wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, all seven indices ended the day on a positive note. Global Food Index was the biggest gainer, adding 3.45 percent to its

value, backed by Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana), up 4.35 percent, closing at KD1.440. Global Services Index added 2.95 percent to its value, backed by Jazeera Airways Co, up 9.26 percent, closing at KD0.118. Global’s special indices, ended the day on a mixed note, however, with Global Islamic Index being the biggest gainer, adding 3.22 percent to its value, backed by Kuwait Finance House, up 4.30 percent, closing at KD0.970. On the other hand, Global Small Cap Index was the only loser, losing 0.15 percent of its value, backed by Kuwait

Cable Vision Company, down 10.98 percent, closing at KD0.073. The price of the Kuwaiti crude was up 17 cents in Tuesday’s transactions to settle for $67.81 per barrel (pb) compared to the previous price of $67.64 pb, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation yesterday. Market news Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) announced that that Kipco Asset Management Co (KAMCO) has divested its 23.63 percent direct and indirect stake in United Health Care Co (UHC) for KD21,300,000, generating no profit.

CAIRO: Economists are looking for signs of whether the annual urban inflation rate - Egypt’s most closely watched indicator of prices - continues to slide, and the implications for the central bank’s key overnight interest rates, which it left unchanged on June 17. Four of seven analysts polled by Reuters forecast a rise in annual urban inflation on the back of higher consumer spending during the summer holidays and ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Three saw it slipping to its lowest since September. The central bank’s decision in June marks the sixth pause since the bank began a series of rate cuts more than a year ago. The annual urban inflation rate slipped to a nine-month low year-on-year in May. Five analysts forecast core annual inflation to inch down to an average of 6.86 percent in the year to June compared to 6.69 percent in

May. Forecasts ranged from 6.6 percent to 7.1 percent. Core inflation strips out subsidized goods and volatile items including fruit and vegetables. Inflation has been on a downtrend since peaking at 23.6 percent in August 2008, but it has fluctuated somewhat. This year it has fallen since hitting 13.6 percent in January. Some analysts say a declining inflation rate indicates the central bank will keep interest rates steady in 2010. However, others say Egypt is likely to hike rates towards the end of 2010 as inflationary pressures weigh, ending the loose monetary policy in place since February 2009. Hany Genena, senior economist at Pharos, said he expected the phase of disinflation to end after the government raised the sales tax on steel, cement and cigarettes to help tackle its budget deficit. —Reuters


Thursday, July 8, 2010


China defends forex reserves investment strategy BEIJING: China yesterday defended the way it invests its massive foreign exchange reserves, saying concerns were unwarranted and it invested the money in a responsible manner. The comments from the State Administration for Foreign Exchange came in response to a question on whether China's huge stockpile of foreign currency could be used as an "atomic weapon". "Facts have proven that the wor-

ries and concerns were definitely unnecessary," the regulator said on its website. "We will actively deepen cooperation with countries that welcome our investment. If they have any doubts or worries, we will slow down the pace and enhance communication with an aim to achieve consensus." China has the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, worth $2.447 trillion at the end of March.

The regulator said any adjustment to its huge US Treasury bond holdings was a "normal market operation" and should not be "interpreted politically"-as it tried to allay fears China could use the holdings as a means of retaliation. China has invested a large portion of its reserves in US dollar assets, such as safe low-yielding US Treasury bonds, but amid the financial crisis has tried to diversify its investments

to improve returns. The nation's holdings of US debt reached 900.2 billion dollars in April, their highest level since November 2009 and the second consecutive monthly rise, according to a report on international capital flows. The monthly gain in April and the previous month came after six straight months in which China appeared to reduce its Treasury holdings, or keep them flat, fuelling fears it was

diversifying away from US bonds. The comments from SAFE were part of a series of statements released by the regulator this week in a question-and-answer format, offering a rare glimpse into the way it manages the country's foreign exchange reserves. The regulator said gold would not be a key investment for China's foreign exchange reserves given the poor returns from the precious metal

in the past 30 years. China currently has 1,054 tons of gold and will alter its holdings according to "market conditions", SAFE said. While gold bars provided a buffer against inflation, there were other assets that offered similar protection, the regulator said. Other reasons for limiting investment in gold included the high cost of storing the metal and volatility in international prices, it added.

It also said limited supplies of gold-annual global production stands at 2,400 tons-meant large purchases by China could drive up prices of gold jewelry and other products, hurting domestic consumers. On Tuesday, SAFE said the country's foreign exchange reserves would continue to bring reasonable returns and pledged to widen investments to include more emerging nations' currencies. — AFP

Share sale could raise $22.1bn

China's mega ABC IPO seen as confidence vote on economy SHANGHAI: Agricultural Bank of China's (ABC) massive initial public offering is on track to set a world record and reflects continued confidence in the world's third largest economy, analysts said yesterday. AgBank-the last of China's big four lenders to float-is set to raise $22.1 billion this month if over-

ATHENS: Thousands of Communist-affiliated PAME union supporters gather at central Athens’ Syntagma square to attend a live concert against austerity measures. —AFP

Greece hitting fiscal targets, risks remain ATHENS: Greece is on track with its fiscal and broader economic reforms and hopes to return to bond markets in 2011 after a milder than expected recession this year, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said yesterday. But its efforts to manage a debilitating debt crisis are still tinged with risk, mainly in spending on healthcare and pension funds, and the country must avoid reform fatigue, he told Reuters in an interview. "Our goal is to finish the year with triple good news: A deficit-reducing effort which is convincing and on target, a structural reform effort which is convincing and fully successful and a better than expected growth rate," Papaconstantinou said. "These three I think will change perceptions, convince those who find it hard to be convinced that we are on the right track and it will make it easier some time in 2011 to return to (bond) markets." Greece has taken draconian fiscal measures to exit a debt crisis that has rattled the whole euro zone, many set as conditions for a 110 billion euro aid deal clinched with the IMF and the European Union. Papaconstantinou ruled out any restructuring of the country's debt-a measure many market professionals have already priced in. "As I have often said, restructuring is completely off the table. What we are focusing on is successful program implementation." He said reforms were paying off and no new ones were planned but risks should not be underestimated. "There are two things which are always a potential risk. One is expenditure overruns ... and the second is reform fatigue. The good results we have been having should not make us think that we have finished the reform process. We haven't. There is a lot to be done," he said. Hospital bills and some pension funds were the main concerns, but would not endanger the aim of cutting the budget deficit to 8.1 percent of GDP this year from 13.6 in 2009. He said signals on GDP, which has been forecast to shrink by 4 percent this year, were encouraging, though inflation, projected at 1.9 percent, would probably overshoot this year. "We hope to close the year with a better (growth) performance than that projected," he said. "It's hard to predict, anything between 3 and 4 percent ... It will depend on whether the third

quarter sees a drop as the measures hit or ... is the beginning of a return to confidence." Given such good signals, Papaconstantinou would like Greece to return to bond markets next year, although the EU/IMF 3-year deal affords more time. Some rating agencies have cut Greek bonds to junk status and spreads have been prohibitive. Greece will issue shorter-term T-bills to cover paper maturing in July, the first sortie since the deal was clinched in May. Papaconstantinou said two auctions, on July 13 and 20, will aim to raise just over 4 billion euros, the sums expiring. "I don't see at this point that we will try to go for more," he said. "It's going to be a plain vanilla mechanical exercise." He said a Spanish bond issue on Tuesday, which drew solid investor interest, was a good sign for Greece. He said structural reforms ahead included the liberalisation of closed professions, laws improving the business environment and a big privatization agenda. He dismissed reports that a one-off corporate tax would be extended beyond 2013. He was confident Greek banks would do well in stress tests being prepared for publication by European authorities but should consider mergers to weather the financial crisis. "It's clear that the only point where there can be criticism is their exposure to Greek sovereign debt. Apart from that they continue to be very solvent," he said. "At the same time ... Greek banks need to think of the next day, strategic moves, they need to think about possible partnerships." On tourism, a main pillar of the economy, he expects revenues to drop by 10-15 percent this year, in line with industry forecasts. He said he was confident a controversial bill raising the retirement age and cutting pensions would clear parliament this week and weather legal challenges. Unions have staged protests, and a general strike against the bill is planned today. "There is no alternative to creating a viable pension system," he said. Analysts say social equilibrium is key to Greece's success and many fear more intense protests in the autumn. Opinion polls show declining support for the government, although it still heads the opposition, which most people blame for the crisis. —Reuters

White House touts US export success WASHINGTON: The White House announced yesterday a surge in US exports of almost 17 percent in the first four months of 2010, touting success in President Barack Obama's strategy to double exports within five years. It said the National Export Initiative (NEI), announced by Obama during his January State of the Union speech as part of a broad economic plan to shave down double digit unemployment, had achieved major milestones including a doubling of loans to American exporters. "This puts the US on track to reach the president's goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years," the White House said in a statement. It cited analysis by Obama's Council of Economic Advisers that an increase in US exports over the past nine months has contributed more than one percentage point to the growth rate as the country claws out of the deepest recession in generations."During our recovery, exports have contributed as much as domestic consumption to our growth," the White House said. Obama said exports played a critical role in supporting job growth and creating American prosperity. "Boosting America's exports strengthens our

economic growth and supports millions of good, high-paying American jobs," Obama said in a statement. "My administration has worked to improve advocacy for our exporters, remove trade barriers, and enforce trade rules in an effort to ensure that the benefits of global trade are broadly shared." Washington has launched an all-out trade assault as "we continue working to open new markets for American goods, boost our exports and level the playing field for American workers," Obama added. Part of the process involved dispatching "an unprecedented 18 trade missions" to foreign countries since February, the White House said. It also said the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has more than doubled loan deals in the first half of fiscal year 2010, to 13.2 billion dollars, and helping support nearly 110,000 jobs. After announcing his export goal in January, Obama launched the NEI in March, the first time the United States has debuted a single, comprehensive strategy to promote American exports. Obama said at the time he was putting his credibility on the line for the strategy to succeed. — AFP

"European banks could only dream of raising this much capital at the moment." AgBank has set a price in Hong Kong of 3.20 Hong Kong dollars (41 US cents) per share, just above the middle of the expected range, Dow Jones Newswires reported. In Shanghai, the price has been set at 2.68 yuan (39 US cents) the top of the expected range, the report said. AgBank looked set to surpass previous IPO record holder Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's $21.9-billion offering in 2006, but may fall short of its $23.2billion target. "It is on track to be the largest IPO in the world this year due to the weak market sentiment domestically and internationally," Shanghai Securities analyst Cai Junyi said. "But whether it can overtake ICBC, we need to see how many shares will be issued in the end." The bank in recent weeks scaled back its original 30-billion-dollar target due to market volatility tied to concerns about the global economy and questions about a balance sheet dented by bad loans. But Shanghai-based Orient Securities analyst Jin Lin said the bank's exposure to inland China, which has economically

allotment options are exercised in both Hong Kong and Shanghai. "If you need any evidence where the future of capital markets" lies, "it is the Agricultural Bank of China set to announce a record amount raised in an IPO," Royal Bank of Scotland said in a research note.

SHANGHAI: Chinese tourists wearing red caps wait for their bus in front of a historical building housing a Shanghai branch of the Agricultural Bank of China located on the Bund, in Shanghai yesterday.—AFP lagged behind coastal regions, could also be seen as providing huge growth potential. "AgBank has its advantage in rural China, which is different from the other major banks, making its shares attractive to some investors," Jin said. AgBank had said the stock would be priced between 2.88

and 3.48 Hong Kong dollars a share. In Shanghai, the rural lender's share sale had a price range of 2.52-2.68 yuan. The bank said it would publicly announce the price on Friday. Agbank aims to float 15 percent of its enlarged share capital. But if it fully exercises its over-allotment options, it

could float 16.87 percent, according to its prospectus. AgBank will also offer Japanese investors a portion of its shares ahead of its listings in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Nomura Securities, one of the two lead underwriters in Japan, said Wednesday."The offering will start on Monday, targeting

Hong Kong luxury flat deal raises questions HONG KONG: As the rest of the world smarted from the global financial crisis, it seemed that boisterously capitalist Hong Kong had landed a blockbuster property deal. In October, Henderson Land Development Co signed agreements to sell 25 units at a luxury apartment building with an expansive view of the city's harbor -including a 6,158 square feet fivebedroom duplex with a whopping price tag of nearly $57 million. At the time, it was believed to be Asia's most expensive property by square foot at nearly $9,200. Eight months later, Henderson, whose chairman Lee Shau-kee was ranked No. 22 on this year's Forbes billionaire list with a net worth of $18.5 billion, announced in mid-June that 20 of the 25 deals, including the recordbreaking flat, fell through. Documents obtained by Hong Kong legislators and released on Monday showed that the developer refunded $22.4 million of the $46 million in deposits it received from the 20 buyers -- 20 shell companies that used the same law firm. Now some are wondering if the October sales were simply a sham to prop up property prices. Police in the semiautonomous Chinese financial hub are investigating and legislators have summoned Henderson executives to a special hearing on Monday in a brewing controversy that shines the spotlight on the high-stakes game of Hong Kong real estate. The abandoned deals have generated outrage in this crowded coastal city of 7 million, where less than a quarter of its mountainous land is developed, opposition lawmaker James To said. One of the most expensive places in the world to live, some 47 percent of Hong Kongers live in government-subsidized housing -- so locals are naturally upset at the suggestion that the territory's already ultra-rich property tycoons are manipulating the market to make an even bigger profit. To said the transactions are

HONG KONG: A luxurious residential building named " 39 Conduit Road " is seen from the Peak in Hong Kong. In October, Hong Kong developer Henderson Land Development Co sold 25 flats in a luxury apartment block with an unobstructed view of Victoria Harbour. — AP highly dubious, from Henderson's willingness to delay their closing dates to its apparent generosity to the buyers. "There are so many suspicious aspects. There needs to be an investigation. This involves the integrity of the system," he said. Hong Kong's Apple Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday that the mass back-outs are "extremely unusual" and questioned why Henderson didn't seek further damages from the buyers in addition to keeping part of the deposit. "For a private enterprise that cares about every penny, for a listed company that's supposed to maximize shareholder profit, this is too weird, too inconceivable," the newspaper said. The luxury property at 39 Conduit Road in the hilly MidLevels neighborhood on Hong Kong Island has been dogged by questions since its debut. Lawmakers accused Henderson of going overboard with its marketing tactics by relabeling the

floors in the 46-story building with numbers that sound auspicious in Chinese. The top level was named the 88th floor -- the number "8" rhymes with "prosperity." Dubbed "Tian Hui" in Chinese -- which translates into "meeting in the skies" -- the apartment building is touted as "exclusive for the city's Who's Who" on its official Web site, which features a picture of Caucasian men in tuxedo and women in ball gowns sipping drinks in the complex's "Esquire Lounge." Residents can "savor a vintage Claret" or "spend some quiet time with great books, reflecting on the far-reaching insights of Warren Buffett or losing yourself in the timeless classics of William Shakespeare." Henderson has denied wrongdoing. A Henderson spokeswoman said Wednesday the developer has no business dealings with the 20 buyers other than the flat sales and that it granted extensions on the closing dates at their request. The company kept 5 percent of

the value of each property and refunded the rest of the deposits as dictated in government-sanctioned property contracts, she said. The spokeswoman, who declined to give her name in line with company policy, said it makes more business sense to put the flats back on the market immediately instead of seeking damages in court. She said the relabeling of floors was approved by fire safety, housing and planning officials. Hong Kong police spokesman T K Ng said yesterday the department won't comment on their investigation. The usually critical corporate governance activist David Webb said this is likely a case of real-estate speculation -not illegal behavior. Webb said a middleman likely snapped up the 20 properties but failed to find buyers for them. "Unless someone can prove collusion or a connection between the buyers and the seller, I don't see any issue," he said. — AP

Japanese investors," said Nomura spokesman Kenji Yamashita. The size of the Japan sale has yet to be decided, he said, adding thatDaiwa Securities Capital Markets would be the other lead underwriter. Citing an unnamed source, the Nikkei business daily reported that AgBank hoped to raise up to 50 billion yen ($570 million) in Japan, where many wealthy investors are also following the growth outlook of the Chinese market. Francis Lun, general manager of Hong Kong's Fulbright Securities, said Beijing was determined to make a success of the state-owned bank's IPO. "The central government is going all out to make sure (AgBank's) IPO is a success," he told AFP. "They're determined to make a good show. Otherwise they would lose face." AgBank may ditch its longheld mandate to focus on lending to poor farmers after it becomes a public company, Lun predicted. "I think they will junk that policy and become more like a commercial bank," he said. The lender's stock is set to begin trading in Shanghai on July 15, and in Hong Kong a day later. —AFP

South Africa CB says recovery still fragile JOHANNESBURG: South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus yesterday painted a dim picture of local economic growth but refused to give an indication of how the next policy meeting later this month would go. The bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) has added a half-day to its traditionally 2-day deliberations which it holds every other month, and will announce a decision on interest rates on July 22. Marcus said economic growth was expected to average around 3 percent in 2010 after last year's recession but the recovery, which started in the third quarter of 2009, remained fragile owing to developments in Europe and weak demand. "The (local) recovery is taking place but it is hesitant, fragile and uneven. The sustainability will be dependent on global recovery in general and Europe in particular," she said at a business meeting, noting the country's Purchasing Managers' Index suggested private sector activity faltered in June. The Reserve Bank has cut the repo rate by 550 basis points to a three-decade low of 6.5 percent since December 2008. Some analysts are now pencilling in another 50 basis point cut as recent data has pointed to stuttering growth. But Marcus described the rand currency's volatility as a big challenge that made planning difficult, and said it was not possible to have loose monetary and fiscal policy and a weaker exchange rate because these could translate into higher inflation. "There's no question that the level of currency, its volatility and strength is an issue. We know it's an issue but solutions are not so simple and all we are saying is: we will look at opportunity to build reserves when possible," she said. — Reuters



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bigger role seen for emerging financial centers SAO PAULO: London and New York are not about to lose their spots as the world’s leading financial centers but they are being challenged by emerging market upstarts in a potentially lucrative area: the management of funds moving between developing economies. With developed economies struggling and emerging markets thriving, more and more financial deals are being cut well away from the traditional centers. Rising trade between emerging economies, cross-border mergers, acquisitions by Indian and Chinese companies and moves by developing world businesses to raise capital in each other’s markets will spur growth of financial centers in the fastest growing economies, according to industry experts who addressed the Reuters Emerging Markets Summit in Sao Paulo last week. For the bankers clustering

Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Shanghai among newcomers in cities like Sao Paulo and Mumbai, the intra-emerging markets movement of funds represents an alluring chance to make money. “We see flows between Africa and India, India and China, India and Korea being much bigger,” said Neeraj Swaroop, CEO of Standard Chartered’s India business. “Not just big companies but also small- and medium-sized companies are making outbound investments. For banks like Standard Chartered, these are immense opportunities to pursue.” Stephen Jennings, CEO of Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank focused on developing economies, said he is already seeing a rapid integration of capital flows in emerging markets. “In our M&A

practice, 80 percent of our deals don’t have a Western face. And the same thing will happen with financial flows,” he told the Reuters summit. “London cannot possibly retain its role as a primary capital markets center for emerging markets ... I think it will be displaced totally over the next two to three years,” he said, adding that high taxes, intensifying regulation and unfavorable immigration policies all work against the City. While other industry experts expect New York and London to remain dominant for years to come, examples of the world’s changing investment flows abound. Chinese investment is surging in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Russian

and central Asian resources companies are lining up to list shares in Hong Kong. Jennings says UC Rusal’s $2.2 billion IPO in Hong Kong in January was “the tip of a massive iceberg”. Chinese banks are also making big loans across the developing world, such as $1 billion in financing South Africa’s Standard Bank obtained from a consortium of Chinese lenders in 2009. And Brazilian companies will soon tap debt markets in South Africa and Russia, said Eduardo Centola, CEO of Standard Bank’s Latin American operations. “There is interest in issuing bonds for Brazilian companies in rand, and there’s a huge appetite for rand bonds in Africa,” said Centola. “We also find there is an appetite

for Brazilian companies to issue in rubles.” Both New York and London have a long list of advantages over emerging market rivals, ranging from loose capital controls and the strong rule of law to sound infrastructure and high quality schools and universities. Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs’ head of global economic research and the man who coined the term BRICs, says it will take many years before the traditional financial powerhouses are overtaken by emerging market rivals. “For any of these emerging markets to truly be an international financial center, they have to do something about the basic ingredients, including the use of English and adopting very credible and acceptable rules of business law,” he said. “Without those two basic things, these countries have no chance.” Nevertheless, some of the new

centers may soon dominate lucrative niches. Singapore is challenging Switzerland for the world’s wealth management business, Hong Kong-which led the world in IPOs last year-is becoming an equity hub for Asia’s growing resources companies and Shanghai, not New York, is coordinating the financial resources driving China’s private sector. To Jennings, these are the seeds of a new model: one in which the savings of emerging markets no longer flow to the United States and Europe, but rather to the areas with the highest growth rates. “In the last 10 years, emerging markets savings have, through the dollar as the reserve currency, been intermediated through the West,” he said. “But that capital is much more efficiently deployed in emerging markets because returns are higher and in some cases risk is lower. — Reuters

New rules send strong political message to banks

EU lawmakers OK tough curbs on bank bonuses STRASBOURG: The European Parliament approved yesterday the world’s toughest curbs on bank bonuses as part of wider efforts to limit risk in a sector shored up by taxpayers. EU finance ministers are set to endorse the new law next Tuesday with the curbs taking effect from the start of next year so that only 30 percent of a bonus can be paid up front, with the rest deferred by up to five years. The bloc’s financial services chief who drafted the law said the new rules sent a strong political message to banks.

KABUL: Mohammad Nabi, 57, rides his ice cream tricycle in the streets of Kabul yesterday. Nabi makes around 150 afghanis (about $4) a day selling ice cream from early morning to sunset. Despite the post-invasion influx of billions of aid dollars the number of jobless increases every day. —AFP

BOE to keep interest rates on hold: Analysts LONDON: The Bank of England is expected today to keep its key interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent as it mulls the impact of the government’s austerity measures on Britain’s fragile economic recovery. The central bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) is predicted by most economists to hold its key lending rate after a two-day meeting despite stubbornly high inflation that sparked dissent from one policymaker last month. Britain’s coalition government last month delivered a deficit-slashing emergency budget which contained a package of higher taxation and spending cuts amid intense concern about soaring state debt levels in Europe. “The risks to a still-fragile UK recovery coming from the intensified tightening of fiscal policy that will increasingly kick in ... mean that most members of the MPC are likely to maintain the view that it is premature to raise interest rates despite persistently above-target and sticky consumer price inflation,” said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer. Archer said the policymakers would also anticipate that the budget measures “could negatively impact on consumer and business behavior.” The economy clawed its way out of a record-length recession late last year but market concerns remain over the potential of a so-called “double dip” or second phase of economic downturn.

Last month, a single MPC policymaker voted to lift hike the central bank rate to 0.75 percent, according to minutes from the June 10 gathering. Andrew Sentance argued that an increase was necessary due to a spike to inflation-the first time for almost two years that an MPC member had voted for tightening. In the event, the MPC voted 7-1 to keep borrowing costs at 0.50 percent.

“The MPC is getting increasingly nervous about the current rise in inflation, as evidenced by Andrew Sentance’s vote for an interest rate rise last month,” said Capital Economics economist Vicky Redwood. “However, most members still seem prepared to wait and see if the spare capacity in the economy starts to pull inflation back down.” Worries persist about inflation, which softened in May but

German industry suffers drop in orders in May FRANKFURT: Orders placed with German industry, a pivotal exporting force in the euro-zone, fell unexpectedly in May by 0.5 percent, official data showed yesterday. The fall from the level the previous month,, reported by the economy ministry, spotlights the risk of a “double dip” recession in the 16-nation euro-zone amidst tough austerity drives by governments to correct public finances. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an increase of 0.5 percent in May following what was initially said to be a rise of 2.8 percent in April. The economy ministry revised the April figure higher yesterday however, to an increase of 3.2 percent from March. Economists are watching European economic data closely amid signs that the continent’s recovery might be near the top of its cycle. In June, a key leading indicator of euro-zone growth, the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) compiled by data and research group Markit, slowed for the second month in a row amid weaker exports, waning domestic demand and a slowdown in orders. The euro-zone economy grew by a slight 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, official European Union data showed yesterday as tough spending cuts began to bite across the crisis-hit bloc. Growth across the wider 27-nation EU, which includes Britain and Poland, was also 0.2 percent between January and March compared to the previous quarter, according to the Eurostat statistics agency. —AFP

held above the BoE’s government-set target of 2.0 percent. Consumer Price Index (CPI) 12-month inflation, the government’s target measure, fell to 3.4 percent in May from a 17month peak of 3.7 percent in April, official data showed. Most economists predict that inflation will spike in the longer term after finance minister George Osborne last month announced a sharp hike in tax on goods and services. —AFP

“There will be no return to business as usual. The EU is leading the way in curbing unsound remuneration practices in banks,” EU Internal Market Commissioner, Michel Barnier said in a statement. “Banks will need to change radically their practices and the mentality that has led in many cases to excessive risk-taking and contributed to the financial crisis,” he said. The EU assembly voted by 625 in favour of the new law, with 28 against and 37 abstentions. The new rules also force banks to set aside more capital against repackaged securities held on their trading books. The aim is to learn from the financial crisis when the value of securities linked to defaulting home loans crashed, forcing governments to step in with rescue packages. “It’s good news. From January 1, the bonuses of bankers will be curbed,” French Green Party member Pascal Canfin told Reuters. Austrian centre right lawmaker Othmar Karas said: “We want to make sure that bonus payments don’t support risk taking but dampen it.” Arlene McCarthy, the British Labor MEP who steered the measure through parliament, said governments and taxpayers bailed out the banks with 3.9 trillion euros of support but banks have failed to take appropriate action. “Despite the claims by banks that they have learned lessons, they have actually increased salaries and bonuses as a proportion of revenues,” McCarthy said. Tougher trading book capital rules from the end of 2011 will also ensure the whole banking sector can withstand shocks better in future, Barnier said. “The tougher capital requirements for banks’ trading books and their investments in securitizations-the kind of highly complex products that have caused huge losses for bankswill ensure that banks hold significantly more capital to cover their risks,” he said. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani (left) and Reliance Power Chairman Anil Ambani (right). India’s billionaire Ambani brothers are inking deals and planning future growth after calling a truce in their very public, five-year feud over the spoils of their father’s business empire. — AFP

Bank stress tests in focus as ECB meets FRANKFURT: European ‘stress tests’ to determine the health of the major banks will be the main talking point when analysts seek clear guidance from the European Central Bank today. “Stress tests will be an important part of the question and answer session,” UniCredit economist Marco Valli said, referring to a press conference by ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet after the bank’s governing council meets. On July 21, Trichet is to meet European bank executives to look at results of tests compiled by the London-based Committee of European Banking Supervisors in cooperation with national bank regulators, a banking source told AFP Tuesday. The results are to be released publicly a few days later and the markets are keen to know which banks can still withstand major shocks and which cannot. The ECB has been the lender of last resort for many banks during the global economic slump, with many reluctant to lend to their peers for fear of not getting repaid, and the markets are concerned that that should continue. Any threat to that role, or any sign that the banking system is under fresh or unexpected stress could badly dent investor confidence and so hurt what is already a slowing recovery. Persistent concern also hangs over Greece, which some economists believe will have to restructure its debt at some point despite denials by Trichet and other European leaders. “There is a growing feeling that the ECB’s liquidity measures do not tackle the heart of the problem,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said. “The ECB can do a lot but it cannot solve solvency problems for either banks or governments,” he added. UniCredit’s Valli said the

stress tests must satisfy several key criteria. “The critical points are homogeneity across countries, the inclusion of periphery stress, the number of institutions that will publish results and the plausibility of these results,” Valli said. By periphery stress he means the threat of a default by Greece or another country on the eurozone’s rim despite massive aid provided by European peers and the International Monetary Fund. As for euro-zone banks, the most recent ECB loan operations appear to show most can obtain sufficient funding via a combination of central bank funds and borrowing on interbank money markets. As for monetary policy, the ECB governing council is widely expected to keep its main interest rate at a record low of 1.0 percent as the euro-zone pursues its uneven economic recovery. On Sunday, Trichet ruled out the risk of a new recession even though soft economic data has raised speculation that the bloc could tumble back into recession. “At a global level it is clear that we are experiencing a recovery, which is confirmed particularly in the emerging world but also in the industrialized world,” he told an economics conference in the south of France. Euro-zone unemployment is stuck at a record 10 percent, however, and a leading growth indicator slowed for the second consecutive month in June amid weaker exports, waning domestic demand and a slowdown in industrial orders. Inflation has fallen to 1.4 percent meanwhile and most economists expect the ECB to keep its main lending rate unchanged until well into 2011. — AFP

Swisscanto slashes banks; focuses on pharma, energy LONDON: Zurich-based Swisscanto Asset Management has cut its positions in financial stocks to bet more on capital goods, energy and pharmaceutical shares for strong returns, its fund manager said. Patrik Scheuber, the head of equities at Swisscanto, said the fund had become underweight on the financial sector as it expected regulatory changes to hit the banks hard. “In terms of credit costs, the banks have indeed passed the worst with the exception of Greece and Spain. Nevertheless, the future regulatory changes-capital and funding requirements and possible banking taxes-for banks are still unclear,” Scheuber said. “It is likely that as a consequence their balance sheets will have to shrink further or there will be additional capital raising exercises. Second, any further weakness in the sovereign debt markets would put additional pressure on their balance

sheets,” he said. “Overall we stay cautious on banks.” Best positioned would be banks with strong balance sheets and exposure to the fast growing parts of the world, Scheuber told Reuters, adding Banco Santander and HSBC were interesting picks and also priced cheaply. “The European insurance sector is also cheap, but it is suffering from the ultra-low interest rate environment. This depresses their solvency ratio and makes their saving products less appealing,” he said. Scheuber said he was overweight the pharmaceutical sector on the grounds the valuation was reflecting an overly negative outlook. “We do not argue that there are not serious structural issues facing the industry-state reforms to lower health care costs, competition from lower-priced generics and a lack of R&D efficiency to name a few-but this seems to be priced in to a large degree,” he said. —Reuters

NEW YORK: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke a seven-day losing streak, stocks are set to resume that slide. —AP


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Facebook tops in online evidence: Divorce lawyers NEW YORK: Forgot to de-friend your wife on Facebook while posting vacation shots of your mistress? Her divorce lawyer will be thrilled. Over sharing on social networks has led to an overabundance of evidence in divorce cases. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites, including YouTube and LinkedIn, over the last five years. “Oh, I’ve had some fun ones,” said Linda Lea Viken, president-elect of the 1,600-member group. “It’s very, very common in my new cases.” Facebook is the unrivaled leader for turning virtual reality into real-life divorce drama, Viken said. Sixty-six percent of the lawyers surveyed cited Facebook foibles as the source of

online evidence, she said. MySpace followed with 15 percent, followed by Twitter at 5 percent. About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. But it is not just kissy pix with the manstress or mistress that show up as evidence. Think of Dad forcing son to de-friend mom, bolstering her alienation of affection claim against him. “This sort of evidence has gone from nothing to a large percentage of my cases coming in, and it’s pretty darn easy,” Viken said. “It’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?”‘ Neither Viken, in South Dakota, nor other divorce attorneys would besmirch the attorneyclient privilege by revealing the identities of clients, but they spoke in broad terms about some of the goofs they have encountered: ● Husband goes on and

declares his single, childless status while seeking primary custody of said nonexistent children. ● Husband denies anger management issues but posts on Facebook in his “write something about yourself” section: “If you have the balls to get in my face, I’ll kick your ass into submission.” Father seeks custody of the kids, claiming (among other things) that his ex-wife never attends the events of their young ones. Subpoenaed evidence from the gaming site World of Warcraft tracks her there with her boyfriend at the precise time she was supposed to be out with the children. Mom loves Facebook’s Farmville, too, at all the wrong times. ● Mom denies in court that she smokes marijuana but posts partying, pot-smoking photos of herself on

Facebook. The disconnect between real life and online is hardly unique to partners de-coupling in the United States. A DIY divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported the word “Facebook” appeared late last year in about one in five of the petitions it was handling. (The company’s caseload now amounts to about 7,000.) Divorce attorneys Ken and Leslie Matthews, a husband and wife team in Denver, Colorado, do not see quite as many online gems. They estimated 1 in 10 of their cases involves such evidence, compared to a rare case or no cases at all in each of the last three years. Regardless, it is powerful evidence to plunk down before a judge, they said. “You’re finding information that you just never get in the normal discovery process , ever,” Leslie Matthews said. “People are just blabbing things

all over Facebook. People don’t yet quite connect what they’re saying in their divorce cases is completely different from what they’re saying on Facebook. It doesn’t even occur to them that they’d be found out.” Social networks are also ripe for divorcerelated hate and smear campaigns among battling spousal camps, sometimes spawning legal cases of their own. “It’s all pretty good evidence,” Viken said. “You can’t really fake a page off of Facebook. The judges don’t really have any problems letting it in.” The attorneys offer these tips for making sure your out-loud personal life online does not wind up in divorce court: What you say can and will be held against you If you plan to lie under oath, do not load up social networks with evidence

to the contrary. “We tell our clients when they come in, ‘I want to see your Facebook page. I want you to remember that the judge can read that stuff so never write anything you don’t want the judge to hear,”‘ Viken said. Beware your frenemies Going through a divorce is about as emotional as it gets for many couples. The desire to talk trash is great, but so is the pull for friends to take sides. “They think these people can help get them through it,” said Marlene Eskind Moses, a family law expert in Nashville, Tennessee, and current president of the elite academy of divorce attorneys. “It’s the worst possible time to share your feelings online.” A picture may be worth... big bucks Grown-ups on a good day should know better than to post boozy, carousing or sexually explicit photos

of themselves online, but in the middle of a contentious divorce? Ken Matthews recalls photos of a client’s partially naked estranged wife alongside pictures of their kids on Facebook. “He was hearing bizarre stories from his kids. Guys around the house all the time. Men running in and out. And there were these pictures,” Matthews said. Privacy, Privacy, Privacy They’re called privacy settings for a reason. Find them. Get to know them. Use them. Keep up when Facebook decides to change them. Viken tells a familiar story: A client accused her spouse of adultery and he denied it in court. “The guy testified he didn’t have a relationship with this woman. They were just friends. The girlfriend hadn’t put security on her page and there they were. ‘Gee judge, who lied to you?”‘ —AP

Deal worth more than $100m per year

Netflix adds to online movies with Relativity PAYERNE: Experimental aircraft “Solar Impulse” takes off with pilot Andre Borschberg onboard from Payerne’s Swiss airbase yesterday on the first attempt to fly around the clock fuelled by nothing but the energy of the sun. —AFP

Green vision drives solar-powered flight PAYERNE: When the Solar Impulse airplane took off on its pioneering round the clock flight yesterday, the solar panels spread over a wing similar in size to that of an Airbus generated a tiny fraction of an airliner’s power. Each of the prototype’s four solar-powered electric propeller motors produces barely more thrust than the flimsy petrol engine that helped the Wright Brothers make history with the world’s first powered flight in 1903. “We’re rather far from commercial aviation,” acknowledged Pascal Vuilliomenet of the Swiss federal institute of technology in Lausanne (EPFL), a technical university that is heavily involved in the solar powered aircraft. Despite its limitations, the Swiss venture is attracting some of the best engineering brains around, industrial support, cutting-edge aviation technology and electronics, as well as the experience of an ex-astronaut, a former NASA test pilot and ballooning adventurers. The 70-strong team are driven by the belief that a historic night flight fuelled by stored energy from the sun will be the first step in proving that more widespread use of solar energy is feasible today, not simply in aviation. Team chief Bertrand Piccard believes that if an aircraft can fly day and night without fuel, no one could challenge the wider value of such technology in the household or at work. “Solar Impulse is as much a message as an airplane,” said Piccard yesterday. Flight control chief and former space shuttle astronaut Claude Nicollier told AFP that he does not see airliners running on solar energy in the foreseeable future. “One of the engines of the Airbus A380 has about 25,000 kilowatts of power, here we have 6 kw (10 horsepower) on average with a huge set of solar panels on a huge wing, so it’s orders of magnitude of difference,” he explained. Nicollier believes minor electronic equipment onboard air-

liners might become solar powered, but that the future for jumbo jet engines lies with new generation biofuels and subsequently hydrogen fuel cells. His colleagues argue that the key to their prototype lies in highlighting and developing the technology: the solar panels, the batteries and the motors, as well as the ultra lightweight construction. Vuilliomenet, the link man between the EPFL and Solar Impulse, said technological spin-offs from the components developed and refined with the prototype and its successor could reach the car industry. Anil Sethi, chief executive of advanced “thin film” solar panel firm Flisom, said projects like Solar Impulse can feed into space flight or ground-borne transport. “You’ll never have flight powered by solar energy from Zurich to New York in a reasonable timeframe,” added Sethi, although he did not rule out solar powered light aircraft for enthusiasts. The single seater Solar Impulse prototype carries 12,000 solar cells across the wingspan of an Airbus A340 (63.4 meters) and weighs as much as an average family car (1,600 kg). The 400 kg of lithium-polymer batteries have just enough capacity to store energy for an eight hour flight through pitch darkness in perfect conditions. Piccard said the solar cells have gained in efficiency and become twice as thin in the seven years since the project was launched. But he tacitly admits that technological limits have scaled back thoughts of a non-stop, solarpowered circumnavigation of the globe, leaving the crew to dream of a series of five day hops around the world. “To make it nonstop with a two seater we’d need a leap in technology to another level, and that’s not in sight despite billions spent (worldwide) on research,” said Piccard. “The aim for industry research on batteries and solar panels now is to move from a linear growth in performance to exponential growth,” he added. —AFP

YouTube to gather videos for ‘Life in a Day’ movie NEW YORK: With the help of director Kevin Macdonald, producer Ridley Scott and a few hundred other filmmakers, YouTube is making a movie. YouTube, owned by Mountain View, Californiabased Google Inc, is organizing the creation of “Life in a Day,” a project that plans to document July 24 with user-submitted videos from around the world. YouTube is asking people to upload footage of their daily lives. Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) serves as director and will edit together a feature-length documentary from the submitted material. Scott (“Gladiator,” “Robin Hood”) will produce.“I hope it will be something that will open people’s eyes to the possibilities of user-generated film,” Macdonald said. “Of course, it’s a risk. It could be that I won’t get anything interesting back. But I don’t think that will be the case. I’m sure there will be some real gems, some real

magic, which is what I’m looking for.” The film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It will simultaneously be streamed on YouTube for free. Those whose footage makes it into the film will be credited as co-directors, and 20 of them will be flown to Sundance for the premiere. The project mirrors YouTube’s two previous crowd-sourcing efforts to marry its enormous community with professionals.The YouTube Symphony Orchestra gathered classical musicians from YouTube with the help of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and composer Tan Dun. The recently launched YouTube Play partners with the Guggenheim Museum to create a “biennial of creative video.” “We really feel that YouTube over the past five years has definitely changed the way that content is created and consumed,” said YouTube’s film and animation manager, Sara Pollack. “Each of these programs continues to deliv-

er against that , empowering regular people who have visions, who have voices, who have opinions, who have talent.” Macdonald says he expects the film to be a kind of time capsule. The filmmaker, whose credits also include the mountain-climbing documentary “Touching the Void,” said he’s particularly inspired by the 1930s and ‘40s British documentary filmmaker Humphrey Jennings.Macdonald made a 2000 documentary about Jennings, who co-founded the Mass Observation movement, which sought to record everyday life by turning several hundred diaries into a book. “It’s not a mainstream film I’m going to make, it’s an experimental film,” Macdonald said. “I don’t think that everybody can write a great novel, and I don’t believe that everybody can paint a great picture. But in this instance, people can contribute to what I hope is going to be a great film by giving something of themselves.” —AP

LOS ANGELES: Netflix Inc is snatching away several movies a year that would $100 million per year, highlights Netflix’ strategy to migrate customers from have gone to pay TV outlets such as HBO or Showtime, under a deal with film ordering DVDs by mail to accessing them online over personal computers, game financier Relativity Media LLC announced Tuesday. The deal, worth more than consoles, Blu-ray players, mobile devices and TVs. Relativity plans to supply 12 to 15 films per year starting in early 2011, although the deal accommodates up to 30, with Netflix paying per movie. The initial movies include “The Fighter,” starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams, and “Season of the Witch,” starring Nicolas Cage. Both movies are set to hit theaters later this year. Netflix’s online streaming service already offers newer movies from The Walt Disney Co. and Sony Corp. through a 2-year-old deal with Starz Entertainment LLC, a cable channel that has sublicensed some of its movie rights to Netflix. Netflix’s popularity has grown while DVD sales have fallen, so it has had to adjust its relations with Hollywood studios. It recently agreed to delay renting movies from 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures until 28 days after their release on DVD to help the studios protect those DVD sales. While Relativity’s movies do not include major studio blockbusters, streaming newer movies during periods usually reserved for pay TV could put new pressure on premium cable channels such as HBO, whose parent, Time Warner Inc., also owns movie studio Warner Bros. However, the premium channels have shifted some of their focus away from movies and to original content such as HBO’s “True Blood” or Showtime’s “Dexter.” HBO, Epix and Starz also have online streaming verSAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc has booted a users unwittingly had their accounts used to cations for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. sions of their product, which they developer and his apps from its applications buy Nguyen’s book apps, which at one point Muller said iTunes’ servers, which hold credoffer to subscribers for free. In store after hundreds of hijacked user accounts occupied 42 of the top 50 book apps sold in the it card information for iTunes’ 150 million HBO’s case, losing one or two Relativity-produced movies a year were used to push his titles to best sellers store. “A vast majority of these book apps users, were not compromised. will put only a small dent in its Security on iTunes is being bolstered by were released in April, have little to no cusover the weekend. business, as HBO receives about Developer Thuat Nguyen has been banned tomer ratings or reviews, appear to be in requiring users to enter their credit cards half of Hollywood’s output every for violating an Apple license agreement, Vietnamese ... and may or may not be infring- security code more often when making puryear. Although DVDs by mail “including fraudulent purchases,” Apple ing on copyrighted work ,we’re noticing a lot chases or entering the site from a new comremain the largest part of Netflix’s spokeswoman Trudy Muller said Tuesday. of Dragon Ball art here,” the blog puter, she said. She noted that developers do business, the company aims to not get any confidential iTunes customer data About 400 iTunes users were affected, she said on Sunday. expand its online service to save Apple’s app store offers paid and free appli- when an app is downloaded. —AP said. Technology blogs said some iTunes on postage costs and gain new customers. The company has 13 million members paying at least $8.99 a month to get DVDs by mail and unlimited access to the streaming catalog. It aims to have 15 million subscribers by the end of the year. Netflix says that 60 million US homes have Netflixready devices and a broadband LONDON:US Online retailer Internet connection needed to Inc has launched an EU looking carefully stream video to TVs. “Now we’ve Internet grocery service in Britain, just got to give them a reason to at Google allegations it said yesterday, joining a fastconnect all the wires,” said Ted growing but competitive market. BRUSSELS: The European Sarandos, Netflix’ chief content The move poses a challenge to Union’s antitrust chief said officer. Although Relativity cosupermarket groups Tesco, Walyesterday he is looking finances a wide range of pictures Mart’s Asda and J Sainsbury, as well “very carefully” at allegafrom Universal Pictures and Sony as online specialist Ocado, though tions that Google Inc unfairPictures, only movies that it has Amazon will not offer the one to ly demotes rivals’ sites in financed fully on its own or made two-hour delivery slots provided by search results. Joaquin through its subsidiary Rogue these operators. Almunia said in a speech Pictures are included in the deal. It also comes a day after Ocado that the EU investigation is That would include the romantic said it was aiming for a heady valuastill at an early stage but drama “Dear John,” but exclude tion of over 1 billion pounds ($1.5 that officials were aware of some studio-backed films such as billion) in an initial public offering the “importance of search “Robin Hood” and “Get Him to later this month. Online sales of groto a competitive online marthe Greek.” Relativity’s movies ceries are booming in Britain and, ketplace.” He appeared to will be made available for streamalthough they account for only a accept Google’s arguments ing on Netflix during the traditionsmall percentage of the overall marthat it is hard to behave as a al “pay TV” window , starting ket, grocery specialists IGD forecast monopoly on the web, sayabout a year after a title opens in they will almost double to 7.2 billion ing the fluid nature of the theaters. That’s a few months pounds ($10.9 billion) by 2014. Internet may make it more later than the movies’ availability Amazon, which already sells grodifficult for powerful compaon DVDs and in rental outlets. ceries online in the United States nies to elbow out other Netflix is paying more than and recently launched in Germany, companies in new markets. pay TV outlets generally do for said it would sell over 22,000 prodBritish price comparison movies, according to a person ucts from brands like Kraft, Pepsi site Foundem and French familiar with the deal, who was and Procter & Gamble. An undislegal search engine ejusnot authorized to speak publicly closed number of the products will and did so on condition of complained to the EU be provided by third-party members SHIZUOKA: A statue of cult cartoon and comic book of its Amazon Marketplace. The anonymity. The person said that they were ranked low Relativity also is allowed to sell in Google searches, claimrobot ‘Gundam’ stands at a park in Shizuoka city, service will offer’s digital copies of movies through ing that this may be because full range of delivery options, which west of Tokyo on Tuesday. The statue is being disoutlets such as Apple Inc.’s they offer rival services to include free delivery for an annual played in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of membership fee of 49 pounds, and iTunes store and Google. —AP the Gundam plastic models.—AFP Inc. —AP next day delivery. —Reuters

Apple says developer booted from app store Amazon launches grocery website



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not eating, but still cooking: Ebert cookbook CHICAGO: Cancer may have robbed Roger Ebert of the ability to eat, but it won’t stop him from dishing out cooking advice. Four years after cancer surgery left the famed film critic unable to speak or eat, Ebert is publishing a cookbook dedicated to rice cookers, a kitchen appliance he lovingly calls “The Pot” and champions as an answer for those strapped for cash, time and counter space. “To be sure, health problems have prevented me from eating,” Ebert writes in the book. “That did not discourage my cooking. It became an exercise more pure, freed of biological compulsion.” The idea for the book came after a 2008 blog post he wrote about rice cookers prompted hundreds of comments, with many readers including their favorite recipes. “I think I was somewhat frustrated by not being able to eat and I wanted to live vicariously,” the 68-yearold said during an interview at his Chicago home, his laptop computer speaking his typed answers. The book includes many of those comments, as well as more than two dozen recipes for dishes such as chili, risotto, jambalaya and oatmeal, Ebert’s favorite. He took a witty and funny tone

when writing it; he says he didn’t want it to sound too specialized or difficult. “The basic recipe is throw everything in the pot and slam on the lid,” said Ebert, who has battled cancer in his thyroid

and salivary gland over the last eight years. He now uses a feeding tube for nourishment. His book, “The Pot and How to Use It. The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker,” will be

released Sept 21. During his recovery, Ebert turned to social media such as Twitter and his blog, cultivating a tremendous following. And increasingly he’s reached out to mainstream media to tell his story. In February, for example, he talked to Esquire magazine about missing his former late movie review show co-star Gene Siskel, who died in 1999 from complications following surgery to remove a growth from his brain. And in March, Ebert appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” During the appearance, he made his Oscar predictions using a computer voice patterned after his own. Ebert fell in love with the rice cooker after receiving one as a present for his 1992 wedding. The Chicago Sun-Times critic says he even took the rice cooker with him to the Sundance Film Festival, where he would cook with it during his busy movie-viewing schedule. “We used to take the rice cooker almost everywhere we went,” his wife, Chaz Ebert, said. Ebert urges his readers to improvise with the recipes and ingredients, saying there are no rules. He also says it is easy to adapt recipes not written for the rice cooker. Someone could go a week using

the rice cooker three meals a day, he said. And how do you learn to use a rice cooker? “With experience you develop a sixth sense,” he said. But writing a cookbook when you can’t eat? It isn’t as sad as one might imagine that he is unable to eat or drink, he wrote in a blog post earlier this year. Rather, he misses the loss of dining with friends and family, rather than the loss of the food itself. “The food and drink I can do without easily,” Ebert wrote. “The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss.” And his memory for flavor hasn’t faded. He wrote he has vivid memories of “an entire meal at Steak ‘n Shake, bite by bite” and for the “taste and texture of cheap candy.” Anna Thomas, author of the cookbook “The Vegetarian Epicure,” wrote an introduction to Ebert’s book. She calls Ebert, who won a Pulitzer in 1975 for his newspaper film criticism, “a Renaissance man” who combines elements of standup comedy and memoir. “Cooking, for him, I think in the last few years has become a very selfless act,” Thomas said. “This really tells you about Roger. He doesn’t stop living, doing things or being interested in things or having a good time because in a way

something changes. But Roger does not get discouraged. He has such a zest for life.” That zest is reflected in the book’s many small quips: “Grind it fresh in a mortar and pestle,” he writes about cooking with flax seeds. “You don’t have a mortar and pestle? People these days want everything done for them. Do like the Indians did and grind it with the end of a stick in the depression of a boulder.” Thomas said she sees Ebert enjoying the social aspect of food, the kitchen and cooking. “It’s something that he has always loved, so it’s not for him that if ‘I can’t taste it and eat it and swallow it then I’m not interested,”‘ she said. “For Roger, it’s very much his family, his friends and the people around him. He’s there’s for it. He loves it.” Ebert even says in his book that he wrote it “simply to establish that I enjoy cooking.” Chaz Ebert says though her husband doesn’t cook as much as he used to, he still spends time in the kitchen. She said he chops apples into thin slices for her. “I think it’s more of an art form for you and the kitchen is such a relaxing place for you,” she told Ebert. Ebert explains it more simply saying the reason he cooks “Satisfaction.”— AP

Deal to speed up drug development

Anti-TB compounds could fight neglected diseases GENEVA: Compounds being developed against tuberculosis also show promise against deadly tropical diseases threatening millions of people, tw o not-for-profits groups said yesterday, announcing a deal to speed up drug development. The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development has granted the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) rights to develop a class of “There are innovative ways to share knowledge, to avoid duplication in research, thereby saving costs and speeding up the R & D process for the benefit of the patients,” said Bernard Pecoul, DNDi’s executive director. One of the furthest advanced and most promising TB drug candidates covered by the agreement, PA-824, is in Phase II testing, the drug developers said. The compound is from the nitroimidazole drug class. Many pathogens causing neglected dis-

potential anti-TB compounds offering hope of treating Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis. It is the “first-ever royalty-free licence agreement betw een tw o not-for-profit drug developers,” according to a statement from the New York based TB Alliance and the Geneva-based DNDi about the deal backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

eases are susceptible to compounds in this class, they added. Chagas, a disease caused by a parasite found mainly in rural areas of Latin America, kills some 14,000 people annually and an estimated 8 million are infected. Infection is lifelong and can lead to heart disease and heart failure. Some 100 million people are deemed at risk of the disease. Leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness, formally known as human African trypanosomiasis, each kill roughly 50,000 people a year

and pose a threat to a combined total of 400 million people. The Gates Foundation is providing a $1.5 million grant to DNDi for preclinical assessments of compounds specifically for use against visceral leishmaniasis, a deadly parasitic infection spread by the bite of a sandfly. Though found in Europe, Asia and Africa, leishmaniasis is most concentrated in India. An estimated 350 million people worldwide are deemed at risk from infection. — Reuters

Study finds wealthier is not necessarily healthier

SHANXI: Chinese keepers show off four newly-born white tiger cubs at a wild animal zoo in Taiyuan, north China’s Shanxi province yesterday. White tigers have been known to inhabit many parts of East Asia, including India and China. However their current range has been much reduced due to excessive poaching. — AFP

Couples in Catholic Croatia seek fertility help abroad ZAGREB: Faced with some of Europe’s most restrictive reproduction laws, Croatian couples with fertility problems are finding they may need to go abroad to have a baby. “It is really hard and sad that someone can limit your instinctive wish for a child,” says Ksenija Puskaric, 31, referring to the law on medically assisted reproduction that sparked outrage when it was adopted a year ago. After undergoing two unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in Croatia, Puskaric and her husband have been forced to seek medical help in neighboring Slovenia to realize their dream of a family. Croatia’s law, slammed by rights groups, bans the freezing of embryos and allows fertilization of only three eggs per attempt. The remaining eggs harvested during the procedure are frozen for later use, but couples say this drastically reduces their chances of a positive outcome. “I have no need to enter a Croatian clinic anymore,” said Puskaric, a journalist. “I simply don’t want to put my health at risk due to some experimental procedure that someone is pushing as a standard, which it is certainly not,” she said. Until the new law came into force, Croatia was still working under old rules on IVF adopted in 1978 when it was part of the now-defunct Yugoslavia and when the world’s first “test-tube baby” was born. Because the law had become so outdated, it did not cover new technologies-such as embryo freezing-which clin-

ics in Croatia took to utilizing freely. Proposed reforms had circulated since the late 1990s, but they did not reach parliament because of strong opposition from the Catholic Church, a powerful voice in Croatian society. Nearly 90 percent of Croatia’s 4.4 million people are Roman Catholics. The law that was finally passed in 2009 is seen as the ruling conservatives’ concession to the Church, which holds that the life starts at the moment of conception. “An embryo is a living being so we are not allowing embryo-freezing,” Health Minister Darko Milinovic has said. But critics say the law’s limitations go against current medical standards. “This is restrictive since it does not provide a possibility for treatment that couples should have according to medical standards,” says Karmen Rivoseki-Simic of the RODA parents’ rights group. No other country in Europe limits fertilization to three eggs, since there is no way to determine which eggs have the best potential, nor do they completely ban the freezing of embryos, she said. Egg-freezing, more sophisticated than embryofreezing, is generally used for women with cancer who want to preserve their fertility before undergoing cancer treatment. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) says that at this stage egg-freezing should be regarded as experimental. The Croatian law was slightly amended in

October mainly to make the treatment easier for non-married couples, but the main controversial stipulations have remained. Last month a national association of reproductive health specialists adopted a proposal to change the law to enable freezing of embryos and fertilization of more than three eggs in particular cases, accounting for about 15 percent of the overall number. “The Church had an unacceptable influence here, and the law is actually violating human rights,” Mirjana Krizmanic, a social psychologist, told AFP. “The right to parenthood is one of the basic human rights and if it has to be achieved with medical help it should be done in the best possible way,” she adds. The first statistics over the impact of the law, released in May, have also caused debate. While the government and doctors have claimed that number of pregnancies increased by some 20 percent since the law was introduced, RODA has argued that their number had actually decreased by 12 percent.”I am a very good example of why the law is bad,” says a 26-year-old woman, who gave only her first name, Jelena. During Jelena’s first unsuccessful IVF treatment in a Zagreb hospital three eggs were fertilized and five had to be frozen in accordance with the law. In the second attempt, only three eggs survived thawing but none got fertilized as they were damaged during the process. —AFP

LONDON: The suggestion by one of US President Barack Obama’s key economic advisers that wealthier nations are also healthier is not necessarily true, according to a team of British social scientists .The research team studied data from 22 countries over almost 50 years to test the principle that stimulating economic growth automatically improves levels of public health, particularly in the developing world. Their findings suggest the idea is over-simplistic, they said, and in some cases the health of a population has worsened even as the country’s national income was rising. This was because issues of poverty and inequality were ignored by policymakers more worried about economic growth, a strategy that may ultimately cost lives, the researchers said. “The ‘wealthier is healthier’ argument is the idea that if you have economic growth, you are acquiring the resources that will help society’s health to improve as a whole,” said Larry King, of Cambridge University’s sociology department, whose study was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. “Our study found that wealth is not enough. If policymakers want to improve health, they need to look more closely at the impact that they are having on individual living standards.” King said the link between economic growth and improving public health was first made in an influential paper in 1996 co-authored by Larry Summers, now director of the National Economic Council in the United States and a leading presidential adviser. Since then it has been a “guiding formula” for both health ministries and many of the global financial bodies that support international development. The Cambridge-led research team looked at the effects of poverty and inequality in 22 Latin American countries from 1960 to 2007. Their study analyzed three standard measures of public health-life expectancy, infant mortality rates and tuberculosis mortality rates-against gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as a measure of economic growth. Initial results appeared to vindicate the traditional theory, the researchers said. They showed that each one percent rise in GDP was linked to a 1.2 percent reduction in infant death rates and an increase in life expectancy of about 22 days. But when the relationship between wealth and health was examined across the entire period, and including the distribution of wealth, a different pattern emerged. During periods when inequality widened, for example, the study found that a 1 percent rise in GDP led to a lower decrease in infant death rates of just 0.9 percent, and had no effect at all on tuberculosis (TB) mortality rates or life expectancy. When inequality in the same countries was narrowing, a rise in wealth had a much larger effect, the study found. At these times, a one percent increase in GDP was linked to a 1.5 percent fall in child death rates, a 1.8 percent drop in TB death rates, and an increase in average life expectancy of 51 days. “The current economic crisis has led to great concern among politicians, central banks and international financial organizations for restoring high rates of growth,” King said. “According to these results, focusing on growth rather than poverty reduction and reducing inequality may lead to substantial loss of life.” — Reuters

OBERHAUSEN: Visitors watch sharks and other fish swimming in an aquarium tunnel Tuesday at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. — AFP

32,000 lives could be saved with colonoscopy WASHINGTON: Around 32,000 lives could be saved each year if people over 50 got regular colorectal cancer screening as recommended, the US Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday. The disease is the second leading cause of deaths in the United States after lung cancer, but millions of people “still have not had recommended screening,” according to the new CDC report. “Tragically, one in three people who should be screened for colorectal cancer have not yet done so; and rates are even lower among Hispanics and blacks,” said CDC director Thomas Frieden in a statement. “Each year about 12,000 lives are saved as a result of mammography, and an additional 32,000 lives could be saved if every adult aged 50 years or older got tested regularly for colorectal cancer,” he said.

Plague infected rats in Myanmar’s capital YANGON: Myanmar’s health ministry has circulated a warning among government departments about rat-borne plague after finding infected dead rodents in a compound of a government office, an official said. Half a dozen dead rats were found in a ministry in the new capital, Naypyitaw, an official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The warning called on other ministries to look out for dead rodents at their offices and at living quarters, urging civil servants to report cases to the nearest health office. Villagers and motorists between Yangon, the former capital, and Naypyitaw reported seeing thousands of field mice on the move and squashed on the highway in what could possibly be a mass migration away from an affected area. “I saw hundreds of dead mice killed after being driven over by vehicles scattered on the highway when I drove back to Yangon last week,” Min Kyaw, a Yangon-based travel agent, said. Thai-based Irrawaddy magazine said an unspecified number of Yangon residents had been diagnosed with plague in June, citing an epidemiologist. The report said all were treated and had since recovered. A senior health ministry official told Reuters the authorities were alert to the dangers of the contagious disease primarily transmitted by rodents and had taken measures, but insisted there had been no humans affected. State-owned Myanmar language newspapers carried a public notice about the danger of bubonic plague spread by infected rat fleas on July 1, calling on civilians to report cases to the nearest health department. — Reuters

Comparing the rates to screening for breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths among US women, but also the most commonly found, the CDC noted that “more than 22 million men and women have not had a potentially lifesaving screening test for colorectal cancer.” While the signs are encouraging, that more adults are undergoing their recommended screenings, Frieden insisted: “We have more to do, especially when it comes to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer, which kills more American non-smokers than any other cancer.” In 2008, adult Americans who have health insurance had the highest rate of people receiving a colonoscopy, at 66 percent, compared to just 36 percent for those without insurance. — AFP

Kenya’s slum women risk health to avoid violence NAIROBI: Kenya’s poorest women risk the deadly diseases related to poor sanitation because “endemic” sexual violence in the capital’s sprawling slums keeps them away from its communal toilets, a rights group said yesterday. About 60 percent of Nairobi residents, or some 2 million people, live in shantytowns with limited access to water, sanitation and other vital services. Sewage runs though ditches and pathways are littered with garbage and human waste. “Women and girls in Nairobi’s slums live under the constant threat of sexual violence,” Amnesty International said in a statement attached to its new report on Kenyan women in slums. “Unable to leave their one-roomed houses after dark, many women in informal settlements resort to ‘flying toilets’ using plastic bags thrown from the home to dispose of waste.” Amnesty International said these women were at high risk of communicable diseases such as cholera and dysentery. The group criticized the slum’s lack of police and the government’s failure to enforce planning laws and regulations in the settlements. “There is a huge gap between what the government commits to do, and what is going on in the slums every day,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty International’s east Africa researcher. Kenya is east Africa’s largest economy and the population of its capital is seen doubling to nearly six million by 2025. This is seen heaping pressure on the city’s slums. Already, Nairobi’s slum-dwellers live on just 5 percent of the city’s residential area. During the violent crisis that engulfed Kenya following its disputed 2007 election, the shantytowns with their huge numbers of marginalized youths became notorious ethnic battlegrounds. Aid workers say they are “ticking time bombs” ahead of the country’s next poll in 2012. — Reuters

Thursday, July 8, 2010



This time it's oil trouble for Lake Pontchartrain NEW ORLEANS: Oil from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans, threatening another environmental disaster for the huge body of water that was rescued from pollution in the 1990s. The lake rebounded then to once again become a bountiful fishing ground and a popular spot for boating and swimming. "Even the people involved in the restoration didn't believe it could be restored. It was completely written off. It was thought to be an impossible task," said John Lopez, a scientist with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, which led the restoration effort. "It has been a dramatic turnabout." It is threatened again after a weekend when tar balls and an oil sheen pushed by strong winds from faraway Hurricane Alex slipped past lines of barges that were supposed to block the passes connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the lake. "Our universe is getting very small," said Pete Gerica, president of the Lake Pontchartrain Fishermen's Association. The oil could be the second setback in

five years. Hurricane Katrina knocked out seafood docks and lakeside restaurants in 2005. The lake's water quality also took a hit when the Army Corps of Engineers drained New Orleans' contaminated floodwaters into the lake. "So far, this stuff has been offshore for the majority of the population in the southeastern portion of Louisiana," Anne Rheams, executive director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, said of the oil spill. "This is bringing it closer to home." State authorities closed the lake's eastern reaches to fishing Monday, though most of it remained open. Barges were lined up at bayous and passes to stop the oil from coming in, and cleanup crews Tuesday used nets to collect tar balls from marinas and docks. They also planned to lay 9,000 feet (2,750 meters) of special permeable booms, but the lake was too choppy for skimmer vessels to operate. About 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms) of oily waste has been collected, said Suzanne Parsons Stymiest, a spokeswoman for St. Tammany Parish.

The amount of oil infiltrating 600square-mile (1,550-square-kilometer) Lake Pontchartrain appears small so far. And tests on seafood have not turned up any oil contamination, said Brian Lezina, a state biologist. But the pollution is distressing to the many people in Louisiana who have a deep attachment to the lake. "You won't hear songs about a lot of the marshes in south Louisiana, but you will hear songs about Lake Pontchartrain," Lezina said. Out in the Gulf, meanwhile, stormy weather kept skimmers from working offshore Tuesday for yet another day and delayed the hookup of a big new ship intended to suck more crude from the gushing blown-out well a mile underwater. Also, the arrival of a Navy blimp intended to hover above the relief effort was delayed until tomorrow. Tar balls from the spill also washed up on Texas beaches over the holiday weekend, meaning the disaster now touches all five Gulf Coast states, spanning more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of coastline. Lake Pontchartrain, named for the

French count of Pontchartrain during the reign of Louis XIV, is on the northern edge of the city. It is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by two main passes: the Rigolets, a winding passage of about 10 miles (16 kilometers), and around nine miles (15 kilometers) long. For centuries, it has been a playground, a source of seafood and a backdoor route to New Orleans for invading British troops and hurricane storm surge. Until the 1970s, its shores were a top destination for city folks who took streetcars and buses to the lake to swim and to dine at restaurants that cooked up the lake's crabs and other seafood. They played in penny arcades and rode the Zephyr roller coaster at the Pontchartrain Beach amusement park. But pollution shut down the swimming and chased away marine life, and the amusement park closed in the early 1980s. Slowly, the lake revived. In recent years, sightings of dolphins and manatees have delighted locals, and commercial and recreational fishing is thriving.—AP

LOUISIANA: Rigging on idle shrimp boats is seen at sunset next to lake Pontchartrain in the Bucktown section of Metairie, La on Tuesday. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has infiltrated Lake Pontchartrain for the first time. —AP



Thursday, July 8, 2010

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

Al Noukhaza restaurant celebrates 1st anniversary


aving opened in 1995, Al Noukhaza restaurant is one of the very well known seafood restaurants in Kuwait, famous for its mouthwatering buffet with varieties of delicious seafood platters. The success story of the restaurant led to the opening of its 2nd branch in Abu Halifa in the year 2006, and it came closer to home when the Shaab branch opened last year. To make the first anniversary a spe-

cial one, Al Noukhaza Seafood restaurant invited the Kuwait Riders to celebrate the occasion in an atmosphere filled with warmth and extraordinary tastes. Kuwait Riders enjoyed delicious seafood platters starting with appetizers, main course and desserts. They also had a good chit chat time with the restaurant manager Ezz Eldein who was a great host. He spoke about Al Noukhaza restaurant, its branches as well as its

offers and promotions. They also availed the benefits of their newly acquired membership cards, seeing a whole new world of privileges open up before them. The landscape of Al Noukhaza seafood restaurant features a creative architecture that takes you on a diving trip into the oceans. The floor of the restaurant is a live aquarium full of captivating fishes; the ceiling is decorated with floating wooden boats and bright

colorful jelly fishes that lighten up the restaurant elegantly adding to the scenic beauty of the place. It’s a piece of art that is a sight to behold! Al Noukhaza buffets serves hot and cold platters starting from salads and appetizers to desserts. At Al Noukhaza you can also select from the fresh fish display at the live station and the chef would be pleased to cook it the way you like it. The restaurant occupies an area

of 350m2 which accommodates up to 120 persons. The restaurant also offers a private room for 10 to12 persons. The Kuwait Riders left the restaurant, taking away with them nostalgic memories of excellent food, and valuable benefits to be gained with the Privilege Club cards. Sail away at Al Noukhaza seafood restaurant and taste the delicious food from the Oceans at its all new outlet.

Global hosts university students in summer


lobal Investment House (Global) has hosted several students from various universities in its offices in Kuwait during the summer, in accordance with the company’s social responsibility program, which aims to develop the youths’ skills. Global regularly organizes internships for students as the company recognizes the significance of education and learning, particularly in the area of finance and investment. Khawla Al Roomi, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Administration in Global said, “Our internship program is designed to provide undergraduate students with on-the-job learning knowledge to enhance their chances for early career success. It offers a realistic work preview and provides a valuable learning experience.” Global’s internship program offers students firsthand experience of professional life and gives them the opportunity to experience how the company’s various departments function and provides them with a realistic preview and a means to compare career choices when they graduate. Al Roomi added, “The students spent time in various departments throughout their internship, during which they are exposed to various tasks and are updated on the latest developments in the region in light of the world economy.” Al Roomi concluded by saying, “We at Global encourage all intern students and those interested in the investment sector to reinforce their experience that serves them both at the personal and practical level.” Global’s internship program conforms with the company’s commitment to the youths of Kuwait and its on-going efforts to develop the students’ skills and encouraging them to expand their horizons, continuously seek new knowledge and work hard in order to achieve their aspirations.

KAS opens its doors for its Grand Summer Camp registration


o you want to offer your kids a fun, exciting and educational summer in Kuwait but you are not sure where to take them? Now with Kuwait American School’s (KAS) Grand Summer Camp you will find your ultimate destination where you can keep your kids entertained while making sure they are improving their English skills and being more productive during the summer vacation. The KAS grand summer camp offers the kids Young Learners English (YLE) course; a certified English course from Cambridge University in which it strengthens the student’s English language and teaches them new skills in a more fun and enjoyable manner. In addition to the YLE course, the students can register to one or all of the following classes: Swimming, Music, Art, Ice skating, Table manners, Personality development tips and enjoy a variety of Trips. “We have worked on different schemes and came up with

the best variety of classes and learning environment to offer the students enrolled in the grand summer camp an opportunity to learn while having a good time,” Mrs. Ali from KAS expressed. Mrs. Ali also added: “We are trying our best to help parents in Kuwait to find the best options to keep their kids entertained during the summer. At our summer camp we pay attention to details and make sure we provide the kids with a fruitful and unforgettable experience.” The grand summer camp is for the age group 5-15 years old and starts on July 8th and ends August 8th for five days a week from 9:00 AM to 12:30 AM. Registration process is very easy and simple; we are available from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Kuwait American School located in Salmiya, Blajat Street, Block 3 on Street 3. Please visit our website for more information or call us on 25720920. Or hotline 67656460.

Interior’s children visit Watan TV


group of children of Ministry of Interior employees, retirees as well as Kuwaiti martyrs and prisoners of war, took part in a visit to the Al-Watan TV headquarters, organized by the public relations department of the ministry as part of its summer activities program. The group was welcomed by Al-Watan TV public relations officer Bader Al-Ajmi, who took them on a tour across the building, before they took part in entertaining activities.

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed on Sunday, 11 2010 on the occasion of Holy Shab-e Me’raz. EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF THE KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the general public that the Embassy will remain closed on Sunday 11th July 2010, on the occasion of Isra Wal Miraj anniversary. Normal office operations will resume on Monday 12th July 2010. EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to invite all Nigerians residing in Kuwait to come and register with the Embassy. The registration is compulsory for all Nigerians residing /visiting Kuwait. Kindly bring the following documents along with you: • A photocopy of the Nigerian passport • One passport photograph • Copy of the civil identification card or visa For additional information please call: 25620278 or visit the Embassy at Block, 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, Along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya. The Consular Section opens Sunday - Thursday from 9 am - 3 pm Your prompt response is highly solicited. EMBASSY OF TURKEY The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey announces that Turkish language course will restart at the Embassy’s Tourism, Culture and Information Office 4 October 2010. The lessons will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. For further details and registration please contact. * The Embassy at Tel: 22531785 (only from 9 am to 3 pm) * Or fill the application form on and send it to the email:

Thursday, July 8, 2010



ACK sheds light on its students’ eBusiness plans


he Australian College of Kuwait hosted its annual Top 6 eBusiness Plan Competition for students in their final semester of their Diploma of Business Management at ACK’s Auditorium on Monday 27th June, 2010. Professor

Vishy Karri, President of the college, gave the opening speech for the event and mentioned that “our students have worked hard and learned necessary skills to establish run businesses. He also added that the passion and belief in what you do is very

important in order to be successful in life. Our staff members have worked hard to pass on their knowledge and expertise to all of our students. We are indeed very proud of our student projects and the quality of staff on campus.” He concluded by thanking

all the parents for their trust in ACK. Six top eBusiness plans were selected for assessment to present before a panel of 4 industry leaders in Kuwait including Khalid Al-Zanki, Laith Essa, Zeina Mukaddam, and Rana Kamshad. These six students

were chosen based on the structured quality of their plans, creativity, and how well they presented them to an internal instructor panel. Their efforts were judged the best out of over 180 plans submitted by semester 4 students as part of their final

assessment in their Business Program. The eBusiness plans and ideas presented illustrated a collection of the knowledge and skills the students had gained during the 4 semesters of their Diploma studies at ACK. This

event exhibits the practical nature of student learning at ACK, which follows an Australian system of Competency-Based Training. The business planning unit is the culmination of 4 semesters’ learning undertaken by ACK management students.

Ansari, Jhansi Rani, Ananda Ravi, Anbalagan, Yaqoob Ali, Gopal, Prof Paul Manuvel and Christopher were among the dignitaries who graced the function. Association’s Singers

Muruganantham, Ganesh, Dr Kumar, Kalibullah cherished the occasion with their melodious voices. Tamil quiz competition was won by the vice-president Francis who also conducted the music party. To celebrate

the forthcoming Independence day of India in the next month, the agenda was discussed and planned during the program. The meet ended in a fine touch with delicious lunch served to all of the attendees.

Tamilosai conducts monthly meet


uwait Tamilosai Poets Association convened its 51st monthly meeting on 2nd July 2010, at old Thanjai Restaurant, Mirqab, Kuwait. The gathering began with the recitation

of Tamil Anthem, presided over by Pattukkottai Sathya in the presence of the association’s president U K Sivakumar and former president Karunkulam Sivamani as front liners in the dais. Many of the members

hailed the grand celebration of recently held World Classical Language Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, India. Poets delivered mind provoking Tamil poems and Singers offered

ear-sweetening songs during the course of the event. The Association’s honourable president Sadhiq, Treasurer Ajizuddin, former treasurer Vittukatti Masthan, PRO Devi Ravi, Seynthai Ravi, Atlas

Hobbies & activities KAYAKING Kuwait Surf-Ski Kayak Club 99706742 Sea kayaking is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world today. MOTOR SPORTS Kuwait Motor Bike Motorbike track (for trail/dirt bikes) and rally car-racing centre located behind the Science Club on the northern side of the 6th Ring Road (between roads 401 and 50).

and the teams frequently travel to participate in AGRFU tournaments. Any interested child between the ages of 5-17 can participate in the Minis rugby. RUNNING For anyone who likes walking, jogging or cycling in Kuwait there is a very good track around the area of Mishref. The track is 4.9km long and is marked out in distances of 100m. There are also a number of outdoor exercise machines located near the start and the end of the track.

for 6, 8 or 14 passengers.


Dive Centre 9964 9482 The Palms Hotel, Salwa A full service PADI 5 Star Dive Centre catering for all of your diving requirements.

Ahmadi Softball Located at the softball grounds situated behind the Governorate Building in Ahmadi

KIM Dive Centre 2371 6002 Villa 365, Hilton Kuwait Resort Kuwait International Marine (KIM) Centre is a full service PADI 5 Star Dive Centre catering for all of your diving requirements..

Squash courts are available at a few of the 5-star hotels as well as at the Salmiya Club. There are a number of squash leagues and tournaments are held throughout the year.

NETBALL Kuwait Netball RUGBY Kuwait Nomads The rugby season in Kuwait runs from September to May. Men, ladies and minis rugby are played


Catamaran Sailing 6658 7737 Dive Caroline Beach Fafaheel The Kuwait Catamaran Club is a group of enthusiasts who love sailing on fast cats in the Arabian Gulf’s waters around Kuwait. Usually an informal group sail on Friday afternoons.

Hunting & Equestrian Club 24739199 Shooters can sharpen their skills at the range. Members aren’t charged any fee but have to bear the costs of the cartridges while guns are provided by the club.

Fahaheel Sailing Club 2371 9289 KOSA 2398 3365 9974 5383 The Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association (KOSA) meets on the first Tuesday of each month (except July and August) at the Dive Caroline clubhouse, which is located at the Fahaheel Sea Club. Fortnightly racing plus International events in Bahrain and Dubai. Boats often require crew and will take you if you turn up! SCUBA DIVING The Arabian Gulf is the perfect place in which to learn to scuba dive. Although dive sites are not as spectacular as those in the Red Sea and Thailand, the local environment

is conducive to teaching youngsters who wish to do fairly shallow dives and build up their confidence. It is a good idea for adults to attend the theory classes with their children. Dive Caroline 2371 9289 Fahaheel Sea Club, Fahaheel Dive Caroline is a friendly sailing and diving club with pool, beach, sauna, steam room, fitness and social areas. Scuba diving training and equipment sales; skippered sailing yacht charter for up to 8 passengers; fishing charters (up to 6 passengers with a max. of 2 trawling lines); skippered power boat hire

Shooting Range Complex 2475 9999 Off the 6th Ring road and drive past the Hunting and Equestrian Club.


Duffers League 9970 1720 The League comprises about 25 players of all standards. Players are placed in groups of 4 which means you play three games per month. The rules of standard squash apply with all matches being best of five. Games are arranged by mutual agreement between the players. Contact Philip Anderson at Kuwait Squash Federation2263 4618 Sheikha Squash www.

Gallery picks of the week Bousharhri Gallery is located in Salmiya on Baghdad street, building 36, in front of Al-Laheeb Mosque. For more information call: 25621119. Dar Al-Funoon is located in the Behbehani Compound, house No. 28. For more information call: 22433138. Sultan Gallery, located in South Subhan, Block 8, Street 105, building 168. For more information call: 24714325 ext. 110

Scientific Center launches annual membership program


he Scientific Center has announced their annual membership program, through which visitors can subscribe for free entrance during the summer for as low as KD13. The membership allows subscribers to have unlimited visits to the aquarium, the discovery hall and two IMAX shows free of charge, in addition to other privileges. The membership includes four categories: ● Students membership (KD13) : for visitors from three to twenty one years of age. ● Adults membership (KD19): for visitors over twenty one years of age. ● Couples membership (KD32): for married couples. ● Family membership (KD59): for two parents and three children. For subscription or enquiry, visitors can call the center’s subscription center at: 22240309



Thursday, July 8, 2010

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

00:00 Ugly Betty 01:00 Inside the Actors Studio 02:00 ER 03:00 Sons of Anarchy 04:00 Inside the Actors Studio 05:00 Dawson’s Creek 06:00 Bones 07:00 Ugly Betty 08:00 Lie to Me 09:00 Law & Order 10:00 ER 11:00 Dawson’s Creek 12:00 Bones 13:00 Burn Notice 14:00 ER 15:00 Without a Trace 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 My Own Worst Enemy 19:00 Bones 20:00 Defying Gravity 21:00 Warehouse 13 22:00 Sons of Anarchy 23:00 Janice Dickinson

00:45 Animal Cops South Africa 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 The Animals’ Guide to Survival 03:30 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 03:55 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 04:25 Cats of Claw Hill 04:50 Cats of Claw Hill 05:20 Wildlife SOS 05:45 Gorilla School 06:10 SSPCA: On the Wildside 06:35 Vet on the Loose 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:15 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Cats of Claw Hill 09:10 Cats of Claw Hill 09:40 Wildlife SOS 10:05 Lions and Giants 10:55 Gorilla School 11:20 SSPCA: On the Wildside 11:50 Animal Precinct 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Phoenix 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 SSPCA: On the Wildside 15:30 Lions and Giants 16:25 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Breed All About It 17:45 Breed All About It 18:15 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 19:10 Seven Deadly Strikes 20:10 Animal Cops South Africa 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 22:55 Animal Cops Phoenix 23:50 Seven Deadly Strikes

00:25 Inspector Lynley Mysteries 01:15 Mastermind 2006 01:45 The Weakest Link 02:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:00 Teletubbies 03:25 Me Too 03:45 Tellytales 03:55 Tweenies 04:15 Teletubbies 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Tellytales 05:10 Tweenies 05:30 Teletubbies 05:55 Me Too 06:15 Teletubbies 06:40 Me Too 07:00 Tellytales 07:10 Tweenies 07:30 Teletubbies 07:55 Me Too 08:15 Tellytales 08:25 Tweenies 08:45 Teletubbies 09:10 Me Too 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Coast 11:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 11:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Coast 15:15 Last Of The Summer Wine 15:45 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Casualty 18:50 Casualty 19:45 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Green Green Grass 22:15 Ideal 22:45 Extras 23:15 The League Of Gentlemen 23:45 The League Of Gentlemen

00:00 Masterchef Goes Large 00:25 James Martin’s Brittany 00:50 What To Eat Now - Summer 01:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 02:00 The Home Show 02:50 Come Dine With Me 03:40 Hidden Potential 04:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 04:20 Bargain Hunt 05:05 James Martin’s Brittany 05:30 What To Eat Now - Summer 05:55 Masterchef Goes Large 06:25 Masterchef Goes Large 07:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 07:20 Antiques Roadshow 08:10 Living In The Sun 09:00 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Hidden Potential 10:10 Cash In The Attic Usa 10:35 James Martin’s Brittany 10:55 What To Eat Now - Summer 11:25 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 12:10 The Home Show 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:45 Antiques Roadshow 14:35 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 17:05 The Home Show 17:55 Antiques Roadshow 18:50 Come Dine With Me 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:10 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 20:35 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 21:00 The Home Show 21:50 Home For Life 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:30 Masterchef Goes Large

01:30 Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas-18 03:30 Charlotte Gray-PG15 05:30 Who The #$&% Is Jackson PollockPG15

Multiple Sarcasms on Show Movies 07:00 CJ7-PG 09:00 Looking For Richard-PG15 11:00 Jump Tomorrow-PG15 13:00 Wendy And Lucy-PG15 15:00 The Truman Show-PG15 17:00 Mes Stars Et Moi-PG15 18:45 We Are Marshall-PG15 21:00 Wall Street-18 23:15 The Babysitters-PG15

00:00 Rampage! 01:00 Street Customs 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Breaking Point 03:50 Really Big Things 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Really Big Things 07:55 Wreck Rescue 08:20 Street Customs 09:15 Mythbusters 10:10 Ultimate Survival 11:05 Overhaulin’ 12:00 Border Security 12:30 How Stuff’s Made 12:55 How It’s Made 13:20 Mythbusters 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Ultimate Survival 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Deadliest Catch 18:00 Destroyed in Seconds 18:30 Border Security 19:00 How It’s Made 19:30 How Stuff’s Made 20:00 Mythbusters 21:00 Destroyed in Seconds 21:30 Destroyed in Seconds 22:00 Undercover 23:00 Deadly Women

00:30 What’s That About? 01:20 Space Pioneer 02:10 Engineered 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Junkyard Mega-Wars 04:45 How Stuff’s Made 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 What’s That About? 07:00 Junkyard Mega-Wars 08:00 Ten Ways 09:00 What’s That About? 09:55 What’s That About? 10:50 What’s That About? 11:45 What’s That About? 12:40 What’s That About? 13:35 What’s That About? 14:30 What’s That About? 15:25 What’s That About? 16:20 How Stuff’s Made 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 Mythbusters 18:40 The Future of... 19:30 Science of the Movies 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Mega World 22:00 The Future of... 22:50 Science of the Movies 23:40 Mega World

00:15 Hannah Montana 00:35 Hannah Montana 01:00 Sonny With A Chance 01:25 Hannah Montana 01:50 Hannah Montana 02:15 Jonas 02:35 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 03:00 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 03:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 03:50 Replacements 04:15 Phineas & Ferb 04:40 Hannah Montana 05:05 Kim Possible 05:30 A KIND OF MAGIC 05:55 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 06:20 Replacements 06:40 STITCH 07:05 Wizards of Waverly Place 07:25 Hannah Montana 07:50 Sonny With A Chance 08:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:35 Phineas & Ferb 09:00 TIMMY TIME 09:10 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 09:35 HANDY MANNY 10:00 IMAGINATION MOVERS 10:20 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:45 JUNGLE JUNCTION 11:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 11:25 Phineas & Ferb 11:50 Wizards of Waverly Place 12:15 Sonny With A Chance 12:40 Hannah Montana 13:00 Hannah Montana 13:25 Jonas 13:50 Sonny With A Chance 14:15 Wizards of Waverly Place 14:35 SUITE LIFE ON DECK 15:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 15:25 Replacements 15:50 Phineas & Ferb 16:15 Hannah Montana 16:40 Kim Possible 17:05 A KIND OF MAGIC 17:30 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 17:55 Replacements 18:15 STITCH 18:40 Wizards of Waverly Place 19:00 Hannah Montana 19:25 Sonny With A Chance

19:45 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 20:10 Phineas & Ferb 20:35 Suite Life On Deck 21:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:25 Hannah Montana 21:45 Jonas 22:10 Suite Life On Deck 22:35 Sonny With A Chance 23:00 Hannah Montana 23:25 Wizards of Waverly Place 23:50 Wizards of Waverly Place

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

00:00 Wicked Wheels 00:30 Wicked Wheels 01:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 02:00 Fight Girls Series 2 03:00 Gumball 3000:2008 03:30 Gumball 3000:2008 04:00 Untracked Series 2 04:30 Untracked Series 2 05:00 I-Ex 05:30 I-Ex 06:00 I-Ex 06:30 I-Ex 07:00 I-Ex 07:30 I-Ex 08:00 Tread Bmx 08:30 Tread Bmx 09:00 Tread Bmx 09:30 Tread Bmx 10:00 Tread Bmx 10:30 Tread Bmx 10:55 High Life 12:10 Untracked Series 2 12:35 Untracked Series 2 13:00 I-Ex 13:30 I-Ex 14:00 Gumball 3000:2008 14:25 Gumball 3000:2008 14:50 High Life 16:05 Untracked Series 2 16:30 Untracked Series 2 17:00 Tread Bmx 17:30 Tread Bmx 18:00 Tread Bmx 18:30 Tread Bmx 19:00 Tread Bmx 19:30 Tread Bmx 20:00 Untracked Series 2 20:25 Untracked Series 2 20:55 High Life 22:10 Bad Boy Racers 23:00 Fight Girls Series 2 23:45 High Life

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

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:05 Murder Shift 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Amsterdam Vice 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Royal Inquest 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 The Prosecutors 12:50 On the Case with Paula Zahn 13:40 CSU 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Royal Inquest 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 The Prosecutors 20:20 On the Case with Paula Zahn 21:10 CSU 22:00 Dr G: Medical Examiner 22:50 Disappeared 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

NAT GEO ADVENTURE 00:30 Banged Up Abroad 01:30 Banged Up Abroad 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Bondi Rescue 04:00 Banged Up Abroad 05:00 Take Away My Takeaway 05:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 06:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Bondi Rescue 10:00 Banged Up Abroad 11:00 Pressure Cook 11:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 12:30 Banged Up Abroad 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 Bondi Rescue 14:30 The Best Job In The World 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Bondi Rescue 16:00 Madventures 16:30 Madventures 17:00 Pressure Cook 17:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Banged Up Abroad 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 Bondi Rescue 20:30 The Best Job In The World 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Bondi Rescue 22:00 Madventures 22:30 Madventures 23:00 Pressure Cook 23:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cleveland Show 03:30 The Book Group 04:00 South park 04:30 George Lopez 05:00 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Eight Simple Rules 07:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 09:00 George Lopez 09:30 The Drew Carey show 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Eight Simple Rules 11:00 Frasier 11:30 Seinfeld 12:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 George Lopez 14:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Seinfeld 18:30 Eight Simple Rules 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Til Death 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Inbetweeners 22:30 Plus one 23:00 South park 23:30 Seinfeld

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

01:05 Body of Evidence 02:45 Born Romantic 04:20 Straight out of Brooklyn 05:40 Betrayed 07:45 Fatal Instinct 09:15 Jiminy Glick In Lala Wood 10:45 The Spikes Gang 12:20 The Cutting Edge

14:00 Madison 15:35 Man in the Moon 17:10 Mr. Accident 18:40 Untamed Heart 20:20 The Winter People 22:00 100 Films & A Funeral 23:25 The Madness Of King George

03:00 Russia: Land of the Tsars 03:55 Lost Worlds 04:50 Cities of the Underworld 05:40 Egypt: Land of the Gods 06:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 07:20 Modern Marvels 08:10 Dinosaur Secrets 09:00 Russia: Land of the Tsars 09:55 Lost Worlds 10:50 Cities of the Underworld 11:40 Egypt: Land of the Gods 12:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 13:20 Modern Marvels 14:10 Dinosaur Secrets 15:00 Russia: Land of the Tsars 15:55 Lost Worlds 16:50 Cities of the Underworld 17:40 Egypt: Land of the Gods 18:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 19:20 Modern Marvels 20:10 Dinosaur Secrets 21:00 Declassified 21:55 Mega Disasters 22:50 Engineering Disasters 23:40 Ax Men 2

00:15 The Bank Job-PG15 02:15 Multiple Sarcasms-18 04:00 Saving God-PG15 06:00 Ghost Town-PG15 08:00 Swing Vote-PG15 10:00 Valkyrie-PG15 12:00 College Road Trip-PG 14:00 Red Riding 1974-PG15 16:00 Swing Vote-PG15 18:00 Eagle Eye-PG15 20:00 Revolutionary Road-PG15 22:00 Step Brothers-PG15

01:00 Red Sands-18 03:00 X-Men Origins: Wolverine-PG15 05:00 Resident Evil: Degeneration-PG15 07:00 Twins Effect 2-PG15 09:00 Monster Ark-18 11:00 Circle-PG15 13:00 Street Fighter-PG 15:00 Monster Ark-18 17:00 Room 6-PG15 19:00 Vacancy 2: The First Cut-18 21:00 Alien Raiders-18 23:00 Bronson-R

Cherrybomb on Super Movies 00:00 Satellites And Meteorites-PG15 02:00 Mystic Pizza-PG15 04:00 Adventures Of Power-PG15 06:00 Parenthood-PG15 08:00 The Coneheads-PG15 10:00 First Kid-PG 12:00 Going Berserk-PG15 14:00 Ping Pong Playa-PG15 16:00 Satellites And Meteorites-PG15 18:00 Kettle Of Fish-18 20:00 Breaking Up-18 22:00 Surfer Dude-PG15 23:30 Sabrina-PG

00:00 Barbie Of Swan Lake-FAM 02:00 How To Eat Fried Worms-FAM 04:00 Mucha Lucha! Return Of El Malefico-FAM 06:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 08:00 Snow 2: Brain Freeze-FAM 10:00 Mucha Lucha! Return Of El Malefico-FAM 12:00 Gulliver’s Travel-PG 14:00 How To Eat Fried Worms-FAM 16:00 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian-PG 18:30 Sunshine Barry And The Disco Worms-PG 20:00 Little Hercules In 3-D-PG15 22:00 Gulliver’s Travel-PG

00:00 Lost 02:00 Without A Trace 03:00 Dawson’s Creek 04:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Survivor 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Without A Trace 08:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Dawson’s Creek 10:00 Survivor 11:00 Without A Trace 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Every Body Loves Raymond 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Lost 15:00 Lost 16:00 Survivor 17:00 Dawson’s Creek 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Grey’s Anatomy 21:00 Private Practice

01:00 State of Origin 03:00 NRL Full Time 03:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 04:00 Futbol Mundial 04:30 European Tour Weekly 05:00 World Match Racing Tour 06:00 Triatholn 07:00 State of Origin 09:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 09:30 NRL Full Time 10:00 Archery World Cup 10:30 Sea Master 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Futbol Mundial 12:30 Brazil League Highlights 13:00 Triatholn 14:00 European Tour Weekly 14:30 World Hockey 15:00 FEI Equestrain World 15:30 Sea Master 16:00 ICC Cricket World 16:30 Live Cricket One Day International

00:30 AFL Highlights 01:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 02:00 European Tour Weekly 02:30 World Hockey 03:00 Sea Master 03:30 NRL Premiership 05:30 FEI Equestrain World 06:00 Spirit of the Open 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Futbol Mundial 08:00 World Hockey 08:30 FEI Equestrain World 09:00 World Match Tour Racing 10:00 Spirit of the Open 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 State of Origin 14:00 AFL Highlights 15:00 Spirit of the Open 15:30 European Tour Weekly 16:00 Live PGA European Tour 20:00 Spirit of the Open 20:30 World Sport 21:00 Total Rugby 21:30 PGA European Tour

00:00 V8 Supercars 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC 116

06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Smackdown 09:00 WWE Vintage Collection 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 11:00 FIM World Cup 11:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 V8 Supercars 14:00 V8 Supercars 15:00 FIM World Cup 15:30 NFL Full Time 16:00 UAE National Race Day 17:00 UFC 116 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 Cherrybomb-18 03:00 The Boy In The Striped PyjamasPG15 05:00 Taking A Chance On Love-PG15 07:00 The Longshots-PG15 09:00 Hannah Montana Movie-PG 11:00 Monsters Vs. Aliens-PG 12:45 The Firm-PG15 14:30 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button-PG15 17:15 Hannah Montana Movie-PG 19:00 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 21:00 Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithson-PG 23:15 Miracle At St. Anna-18

00:25 Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams 01:50 The Split 03:20 The Screening Room 04:00 The Dirty Dozen 06:30 The Screening Room 07:00 The Prize 09:10 The Philadelphia Story 11:00 Quo Vadis 13:45 The Dirty Dozen 16:10 A Hole In The Head 18:10 The Yellow Rolls-Royce 20:10 The Glass Bottom Boat 22:00 American Friends 23:40 Vampira

00:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 01:20 Modern Marvels 02:10 Dinosaur Secrets

00:00 Dr 90210 01:00 Millennium Fashion: The Year In Fashion 02:00 Split Ends 03:00 Dude, Where’s Your Style? 04:00 Millennium Fashion: The Year In Fashion 05:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 05:30 Area 06:00 How Do I Look? 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Style Her Famous 08:00 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Style Star 09:30 Dress My Nest 10:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Ruby 12:30 Giuliana & Bill 13:00 Clean House 14:00 Clean House Comes Clean 14:30 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 17:00 Tacky House 18:00 Dallas Divas & Daughters 18:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House 21:00 How Do I Look? 22:00 Jerseylicious 23:00 Jerseylicious

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

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood and Vines 01:30 Floyd Uncorked 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 People of the Sea 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Food 06:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Culture Shock 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Hollywood and Vines 09:30 Essential 10:00 Planet Food



he Malibu bachelor, the chiropractor and the all-grown-up kid continue their lives under one roof in the hilarious Emmy award winning sitcom TWO AND A HALF MEN which returns with a seventh season from Friday, 9th July at 19:30 KSA exclusively on OSN COMEDY. After months of speculation that Charlie Sheen may exit the award winning sitcom he has delighted fans by signing on for the next two seasons. However, this return has not proved cheap for Warner Bros, it’s been rumoured that Sheen will get more than $2 million per episode. And when it comes to the highest paid child actors it’s none other than Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones who tops the list. For those who have been on another planet for the past 7 years TWO AND A HALF MEN is a comedy about men, women, sex, dating, divorce, mothers, single parenthood, sibling relations, surrogate families, money and, most importantly, love. More specifically, it’s about the lives of two brothers (Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer), a son/nephew (Angus T. Jones) and the many women who surround them all. Unsurprisingly, season seven begins with Charlie (Charlie Sheen) having woman problems. He’s trying to decide whether he wants to be with his fiancée, Chelsea, or his old flame, Mia.

In the US alone this season, the show has charmed 14.7 million per show, making it the top-rated comedy on the air. And the most popular sitcom in America is showing no signs of slowing down.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Airlines

Arrival Flights Wednesday 08/07/2010 Flt Route

Jordanian Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Bangladesh Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Turkish Ethiopian Air Arabia Egypt Egypt Air Jazeera DHL Emirates Etihad Qatari Kuwait Falcon Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera British Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Arabia Qatari Etihad Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Middle East Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Kuwait Syrian Air Jazeera Almasria Universal Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait Jordanian United Wataniya Airways Egypt Air Fly Dubai Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Saudia Kuwait Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Mihin Etihad Emirates Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Saudia Kuwait Arabia Iran Air Jazeera Jazeera Srilankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Wataniya Airways Rovos Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Singapore Bahrain Air Almasria Universal Fly Dubai Jazeera Oman Air Middle East Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Rovos Egypt Air KLM Wataniya Airways DHL Jazeera Gulf Air Emirates Qatari Kuwait United Kuwait Indian 22:05 Jazeera Lufthansa Jazeera Egypt Air Bangladesh Middle East India Express Egypt Air Pakistan Wataniya Airways


802 188 306 045 211 408 772 620 551 614 267 370 853 305 138 802 201 637 503 412 527 157 529 613 204 605 302 053 332 676 284 362 855 121 132 301 2114 182 213 404 113 102 447 772 341 171 407 422 219 610 457 672 800 982 432 621 057 257 332 525 500 552 1542 745 134 546 678 173 118 403 303 857 402 215 510 562 125 617 493 129 227 304 104 106 093 502 542 618 786 202 177 433 614 674 458 344 109 061 459 647 402 612 572 081 618 0445 404 372 183 217 859 136 178 981 554 981

Amman 00:05 Bahrain 00:30 Cairo 00:50 Dhaka/Bahrain 01:05 Bahrain 01:05 Beirut 01:05 Istanbul 01:15 Addis Ababa 01:45 Alexandria 02:00 Cairo 02:05 Beirut 02:10 Bahrain 02:15 Dubai 02:25 Abu Dhabi 02:55 Doha 03:25 Cairo 04:45 Dubai 05:25 Aleppo 05:45 Luxor 05:30 Manila/Bangkok 06:15 Alexandria 06:20 London 06:30 Assiut 06:40 Lahore 07:40 Lahore 07:10 Isfahan 07:45 Mumbai 07:50 Dubai 07:55 Trivandrum 07:55 Dubai 08:00 Dhaka 08:10 Colombo 08:20 Dubai 08:25 Sharjah 08:40 Doha 09:00 Abu Dhabi 09:25 Cairo 10:30 Bahrain 10:45 Bahrain 10:45 Beirut 10:50 Abu Dhabi 11:10 Dubai 11:05 Doha 11:20 Riyadh 12:05 Damascus 12:05 Dubai 12:50 Alexandria 12:45 Amman 12:50 Bahrain 12:50 Cairo 12:55 Damascus 13:10 Dubai 13:15 Amman 13:35 Washington DC Dulles 13:35 Damascus 13:35 Assiut 13:40 Dubai 13:50 Beirut 14:05 Alexandria 14:05 Alexandria 14:10 Jeddah 14:30 Damascus 14:35 Cairo 14:50 Jeddah 14:55 Doha 15:05 Alexandria 15:30 Muscat/Abu Dhabi 15:35 Dubai 16:05 New York 16:15 Colombo/Dubai 16:40 Abu Dhabi 16:50 Dubai 16:55 Beirut 17:15 Bahrain 17:15 Riyadh 17:20 Amman 17:30 Sharjah 17:40 Ahwaz 17:40 Jeddah 17:40 Bahrain 17:55 Colombo/Dubai 18:00 Cairo 18:35 London 18:35 Dubai 18:45 Kandahar/Dubai 18:45 Beirut 18:50 Cairo 18:50 Doha 18:55 Jeddah 18:55 Jeddah 18:55 Dubai 19:05 Mashad 19:20 Bahrain 19:20 Dubai 19:20 Singapore/Abu Dhabi 19:25 Bahrain 19:25 Assiut 19:50 Dubai 20:05 Damascus 20:10 Muscat 20:15 Beirut 20:20 Sabiha 20:20 Mumbai 20:30 Baghdad 20:30 Alexandria 20:50 Amsterdam 20:40 Beirut 20:50 Bahrain 21:00 Dubai 21:00 Bahrain 21:05 Dubai 21:15 Doha 21:35 Geneva/Frankfurt 21:40 Bahrain 21:55 Damascus 22:00 Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad

429 636 117 612 043 406 389 606 205 108

Bahrain Frankfurt Abu Dhabi Cairo Dhaka Beirut Kozhikode/Mangalore Luxor Lahore Dubai

22:10 22:30 22:45 22:55 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:15 23:55 23:55

Departure Flights on Thursday 08/07/2010 Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Pakistan 216 Karachi Turkish 773 Istanbul Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria Egypt Air 615 Cairo DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 112 Abu Dhabi Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 524 Alexandria Jazeera 331 Alexandria Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Jazeera 456 Damascus Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 1541 Cairo Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Iran Air 606 Mashad Kuwait 771 Riyadh Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Egypt Air 2115 Cairo Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Middle East 405 Beirut Jazeera 172 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Syrian Air 342 Damascus Jazeer 432 Mashad Kuwait 785 Jeddah Almasria Universal 408 Assiut Gulf Air 220 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jordanian 801 Amman Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Egypt Air 622 Assiut Jazeera 458 Damascus United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Jazeera 128 Bahrain Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 617 Doha Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 505 Jeddah Kuwait 773 Riyadh Kuwait 613 Bahrain Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 553 Damascus Jazeera 182 Dubai Rovos 082 Baghdad Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin 404 Dubai/Colombo Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudia 511 Riyadh Jazeera 116 Abu Dhabi Iran Air 616 Ahwaz Kuwait 285 Chittagong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Jazeera 266 Beirut Kuwait 283 Dhaka Kuwait 361 Colombo Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Almasria Universal 110 Assiut Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Jazeera 186 Dubai Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh Kuwait 351 Cochin Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain Jazeera 240 Amman DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Jazeera 502 Luxor United 981 Washington DC Dulles Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Egypt Air 613 Cairo


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

Sharing accommodation available in Bneid Al Gar one room for family or working ladies near coop. Please call 99436573, 66326557. (C 2457) Single room for rent in 2 bedroom flat, Khaitan near Kuwait Finance House. Tel: 66141908 after 4 pm. (C 2454) Spacious and independent room for rent in Farwaniya near Metro Cinema in a new building. Tel: 24716975/ 66625901. (C 2458) 8-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available in fully furnished flat for bachelors in Salmiya, B.No. 24, flat No. 1 near Bestow supermarket. Please contact: 66737466. Email: (C 2453) Sharing accommodation one room in central A/C flat completely furnished with all facilities available from 0108-2010, interested please contact: 66212821. (C 2450) Room for rent in Maidan Hawally with Sri Lankan family. Preferred 1 person only, water and electricity free. Tel: 94068316. (C 2451) 6-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available for bachelors or family. Please call 66332653. Salwa block 10, 1 big room, separate entrance, attached toilet and kitchen, good for family or two single persons. Also 1 big room for single person or couples (only Indians). Call 99468765. (C 2446) Hall portioned room available with Kerala family in Mangaf block-3 for nonsmoking executive decent bachelor and working ladies, rent KD 65. Contact: 67008764, 99468018. (C 2447) 5-7-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Echo, driven by a female diplomat is available for sale. Model 2004, light green, mileage 50,000 km, excellent condition, for details contact: 99817386. Mercedes Benz E-230, 1996 model in good condition, silver color with black interior. Single owner, regularly maintained by company staff. Price KD 1650. Contact: 97953426. (C 2455) 8-7-2010 Lancer 2005 1600cc, 60000 km, KD 1,750, excellent condition. Contact: 97980216. (C 2448) Household items for sale: 3-door cupboard, IKEA TV rack, sofa cum bed, IKEA bunk bed, dining table, dressing table. All items in very good condition. Tel: 99437398. 6-7-2010

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited from good looking and fair Christian girls for a 27- year-old (174 cm) Marthomite, MBA graduate working in a reputed shipping co in Kuwait. (Preferred post graduate, professional deg holders, BSc nurses). Contact: (C 2445) 4-7-2010


We are looking for live in maid, any nationality, for Kuwaiti family. Tel: 66104141. (C 2456) SITUATION WANTED

Immediately experienced

available M.Com

No: 14783

accountant, well versed in preparing trial balance, profit and loss A/C, balance sheet, L/C, bank dealings, bank reconciliation, secretarial works, with Arabic experience. Salary expected KD 275. Please call 97664236/24315927. (C 2449) 6-7-2010

Male Secretary is looking for immediate placement, 12 years Kuwait experience, complete secretarial/ documentation works, tendering/ quantity survey works/ office administration & independent correspondence (Transferable residency). Call 66597087/ 24349364. (C 2433) 5-7-2010



Thursday, July 8, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are aggressive in the pursuit of gaining insight into all that is new, different and out of the ordinary. You communicate with consummate skill and it is stimulating just being with you. You could be most persuasive with others. A record-breaking sales contract or decision-making agreement is in the works. Good, productive conversations happen all day long; with co-workers, friends and neighbors. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. There could not be a better time to be assertive and to move forward in your career decisions. You have all the drive and energy to accomplish what is necessary today. The path is open and clear. Surround yourself with soft colors and good music--relax. Taurus (April 20-May 20) This day will bring opportunities for you to respond to two, three or more people in some problem-solving scenario. You would make a good coordinator of events. You are a natural diplomat, always courteous and concerned with the comfort and welfare of others. You stay in the background, but are able to manipulate and bring out cooperation in others every time. You are very motivated when it comes to matters of care and service-taking care of details. You are up for any task that requires careful analysis. There is an urge to salvage everything. You love other people, large and small groups and relationships in general. You may want to enjoy your hobby this evening--leave room for your loved ones as well.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant. 4. A power unit equal to the power dissipated when 1 abampere flows across a potential difference of 1 abvolt (one ten-thousandth of a milliwatt). 10. Of southern Europe. 13. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 14. Someone who operates a barge. 15. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 16. An associate degree in applied science. 17. (psychology) Characterized by avoidance or withdrawal. 18. Tag the base runner to get him out. 19. (informal) Exceptionally good. 21. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 22. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 24. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 27. A contestant who loses the contest. 30. A town in western Kentucky on the Ohio River. 34. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 36. At or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time. 37. Seed of a pea plant. 41. The sign language used in the United States. 42. A genus of Ploceidae. 44. One species. 47. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 50. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 51. A town in southern Texas on the Rio Grande. 54. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 58. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 59. Lower in esteem. 62. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 63. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 64. Italian painter and art historian (1511-1574). 66. Government agency created in 1974 to license and regulate nuclear power plants. 67. A young woman making her debut into society. 68. A port city in southwestern Iran. 69. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. DOWN 1. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 2. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 3. A city in Tuscany. 4. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 5. An imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children. 6. Produce a literary work. 7. American novelist (1909-1955). 8. Being one more than nine. 9. A thermionic tube having four electrodes. 10. God of fire. 11. Singing jazz. 12. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 20. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 23. Largest known toad species. 25. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 26. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 28. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily one-seeded fruits. 29. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 31. A capacity unit used for measuring fresh herring. 32. In addition. 33. Type genus of the Hylidae. 35. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 38. Rich Middle Eastern cake made of thin layers of flaky pastry filled with nuts and honey. 39. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 40. God of the earth. 43. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 45. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 46. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 48. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 49. Squash bugs. 50. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 52. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 53. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 55. A stick that people can lean on to help them walk. 56. The lean flesh of a fish that is often farmed. 57. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 60. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 61. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 65. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) There is a time to be with your friends this afternoon and to show your appreciation toward others. For now, it's full speed ahead in the work world. Be wise to take your brakes and get away from the workplace during the noon meal. Stressful situations could cause a switch effect: you may alternate between very conventional behavior and sudden rebellious lapses. At these times, your nonconformity and refusal to go along works against your own best interests--it could be difficult to get ahead. There is an opportunity to show your obvious sense of love and compassion for others today. This is coupled with a real feel for the arts; music, poetry, painting and the like. Also, there is sensitivity for matters of value and of the heart. Love is present.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) Today you are able to tackle tasks that require real discipline. You find yourself in a very practical mood; working with, instead of against yourself. You may have some serious or contemplative moments. You can really communicate and convey yourself to others. You are very career-oriented and your personal reputation and honor are of the utmost importance. You possess a natural sense of organization and practical insight and may excel at managing or supervising others. You love large-scale organization and career or business will always be close to your heart. You have a lot of energy and can sometimes come across as assertive and dominant. Get outside this afternoon and work off some of that energy with a friend-exercise. Leo (July 23-August 22) Your sense of duty and the responsibilities you may have could cause you to ignore some of your actual ideals--the things about which you have dreamed. A conservative streak sets you against anything that is not realistic. Remember the slow and steady--this will leave time for fun. You have no patience for pie-in-the-sky and things that are not secured. Mysticism, psychic phenomena and the imagination in general intrigue you despite your convictions to the contrary. You could take a vacation from your responsibilities and explore some more imaginative regions. Short trips or some hobby activity will help you to relax and regain some realistic focus. Your creative abilities may help you problem-solve in the work field. Love fills the air this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You value stability and security in all things and possess good business sense. You are, by nature, very domestic and enjoy nice surroundings. You may become an expert at search and inquiry into the nature of a subject--be it life, scientific research, etc. You have a passion for searching, finding out and communicating. You may be sought after for your advice and counsel regarding very personal and emotional issues. You are able to cut through the red tape and get at what is beneath and behind a problem. There are opportunities to speak to a group this afternoon--perhaps young people. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others. You are in a good position to make life for others more pleasant and memorable.

Libra (September 23-October 22) In-depth discussions and probing conversations find you at your mental best. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. This could be a good time to come to grips with any negative thinking that you might have and take control of the forces within you that thwart your progress. In other words--negative moods and plans that slow you down could be worked through--let go and move forward. Do not stop to complain, just keep moving forward. Learn now that the only thing we truly can control are ourselves. This afternoon is a good time to spend some time in thinking or progress toward better organization. When supervisors see your success, you may be given more responsibilities. There is a tendency towards isolation this evening--rest.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) There is a sense of emotional coolness or detachment at the personal level, combined with an emphasis on humanitarianism: such is the nature of the cycle you are now entering. It is ideas that count for you now, more than narrowly personal concerns. Progress is inevitable. This is a time of good fortune when things open up in a very natural way. Situations seem to be set up just so that you can see which path is the best one to take. Work, relationships and financial difficulties are beginning to heal. There are plenty of opportunities when you may find yourself able to do almost everything. Relationships, partnerships and the social scene are very important just now. Networking will create important avenues of growth. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You have a strong love of the law and working things through and you are not put off by problems this day. You may be working with others regarding vocation or career guidance. You can wisely inform and guide in matters requiring work-related decisions. Many find you a generous and loving person. There is a sense of emotional coolness or detachment when you become focused but you have a special affinity with helping others. Your work has your attention this afternoon and it is ideas that count for you now, more than narrowly personal concerns. You may have little tolerance for people who do not operate at this level. The new and the unusual may grab your attention. It is time to go fishing, hiking, etc.; make your plans.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) New ways to communicate or an easy manner will make conversations and interactions go well. You may find yourself more talkative than otherwise. A dialogue with an older person or someone in authority may take place. You have an unusual ability to motivate other people, especially in group work. Your enthusiasm and drive is catching and this makes you an ideal teacher or group leader, especially with young people. You will want to be aware that you sometimes push too hard. A tremendous drive to succeed, plus some sheer good luck, brings about some real accomplishments now. You have a lot of physical energy this evening and may enjoy some form of outdoor exercise. A romantic involvement will improve a great deal now.

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

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Quick answers, great wit and plenty of solutions are just building inside your head--waiting for the opportunity to be helpful. Inventions and breakthroughs are possible. You have ideas about how you could be helpful. The new, the unusual and the unorthodox are the things that instinctively appeal to you now. You sense what others can only guess. This is nothing that you have already accomplished or labored with--you were born with this ability, this information and intuitiveness. Others sense this and learn about themselves from being with you. They soak up the information you radiate so effortlessly. You are successful in finding ways to secure your financial investments this evening. You may also enjoy playful animals this evening--relaxation.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may feel blocked or frustrated emotionally by someone or by your own life situation. You might feel that some avenues of support have been cut off or blocked. Do not take these problems personally as arguments of an emotional kind could be easy to find. Your inner self-confidence may be lacking and you could try to overcome this by defensive aggressiveness. You probably wish you had more of the self-assurance your fiery acquaintances have. Do not forget that you are very gifted, having great magnetism and warmth and also a keen and powerful mind. You can do anything you want to do in this life, if you can manage to get moving in one direction and keep at it. There are possibilities for a romantic and fun evening this evening.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

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

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Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

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Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

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

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

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Dr Anil Thomas


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Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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Thursday, July 8, 2010


Lions, and tigers, and bears....

Oh Chanel! By Jenny Barchfield

According to the rumor mill, it was either a money saving measure or aimed at preventing the label’s ultra-wealthy clients from being targeted by kidnappers. But the real answer, top staffers insisted, was much simpler: It was to allow potential clients and the media to appreciate the astounding intricacy of the hand-sewn, handembroidered pieces, some of which had taken nearly 1,000 hours to construct. It’s true the collection’s 10 looks are impressively elaborate. Loosely inspired by Mexico’s el Dia de los Muertos celebrations, they’re featherlight confections of Chantilly lace and tulle, wispy ostrich feathers and duchess silks, given a hard edge by zippers, blinding gold crystals, alabaster beads and little chains that wind through the fabric. A translucent bodysuit in buff tulle was embellished with cutout lace appliques mapping out the bones of the human body-the most expensive Halloween skeleton costume of all time. A jacket in bone white leather was covered in beaded corazones sagrados, the bloody heart icons from Mexico’s Roman Catholic iconography. An evening gown with a built-in corset glinted with golden crystals. It took 30 people working together two weeks to complete-the kind of embroidery work that demands much closer inspection than is possible as the looks go whizzing by in a runway show. Following Tuesday’s media presentation, clients will get to give the collection a close inspection during one-on-one appointments with the label’s couture coordinator Wednesday. Get out your magnifying glasses, folks. The looks were presented on mannequins dangling from a metal structure, like at an art exhibition-which was appropriate enough. A good, close look was all it took to confirm that outfits, born of the creative genius of designer Tisci and the skill of his seamstresses and embroiderers, were wearable art.

several-story-tall golden lion-a modest homage to Chanel founder Coco, a Leopresided over the luxury giant’s over-thetop fall-winter 2011 haute couture display Tuesday, where models in sequin-covered sheath dresses and cropped jackets emerged from inside a giant pearl to trace figure eights between the towering feline’s oversized paws. Cross-town rival Givenchy went in the completely opposite direction, opting against a runway show and presenting designer Riccardo Tisci’s Mexican Day of the Dead-inspired collection of feather light tulle, lace and silk in a museum-like setting. Givenchy’s decision touched off rampant rumors, with fashion insiders speculating that the choice of a presentation was a costcutting measure or aimed at protecting potential clients from unwanted publicity. The house insisted it was mainly in order to allow the collection’s meticulously workmanship to shine. Extraordinary craftsmanshipthe pillar of the wildly expensive, made-tomeasure couture collections-was also on magnificent display at Stephane Rolland’s sea soaked collection. In deep blues and studded with rhinestoneencrusted stone shaped appliques, Rolland’s liquid silk dresses were technical and design marvels. Another pitch-perfect collection-of plain-front pant suits in a neutral palettegraced the Armani Prive catwalk. The only flaw, really, was that there was none and that everything was tasteful and nothing was surprising. Surprises emerged with almost each look at French designer Julien Fournie’s living dead display, where one model, her face a smudge of white and charcoal paint, wore a halter-dress with built -in breasts in flesh colored leather with button nipples. Haute couture wraps up with a bang on Wednesday, with shows by Valentino and France’s former enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier, whose theatrical high jinks is the stuff of fashion legend.


CHANEL The French luxury supernova is known for its monumental sets, which recently included a giant bottle of its best-selling No. 5 perfume or a life-size barn with real-and really smelly-hay. But a gigantic golden lion sculpture? That was spectacular, even by Chanel’s standards. Uberdesigner Karl Lagerfeld explained it was an homage to the house’s late founder, who was born in August under the sign of Leo. The beast, the creation of set designers from the Paris opera, snarled overhead as the models emerged in A-line dresses and sheaths fitted with cropped squareshaped jackets with half sleeves. “Those shapes make you look thin,” Lagerfeld told The AP in a post-show interview. “Plus they don’t pinch so they’re comfortable.” Many of the looks, in rich reds, purples and chocolate browns, were entirely covered in sequins that glinted wildly under the flashes of hundreds of cameras. “I tried to take a picture with my I-Phone but for this I definitely needed a Leica,” model Milla Jovovich, one of a bevy of A-list beauties gracing the front row, told The Associated Press. Other celebrity guests included “Gossip Girl” Leighton Meester and Jessica Alba. The show concluded with Lagerfeld’s favorite male model of the moment, Baptiste Giabiconi, escorting the bride-who traditionally closes couture shows-wearing a stuffed lion-head mask with his impeccable tuxedo. GIVENCHY Why did Givenchy abandon the catwalk?

Models present creations by German designer Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel during the Fall-Winter 2010/2011 Haute Couture Collection Show, on July 6, 2010, at the Grand Palais in Paris. — AFP photos

STEPHANE ROLLAND It was a pareddown collection for Rolland, who last season delivered dresses that bristled with mosaics of plexiglass spikes, like a dinosaur’s armor. Where that collection was all hard lines and edges, Tuesday’s was about fluidity and liquidity. Floor-length capes that were built into the long-sleeve sheath dresses fluttered like gently running water as the models walked. The train on a slate-colored evening gown jiggled like liquid mercury. A short navy dress covered at the hemline and the cuffs by glinting black oblong shapes-made from rhinestone-studded plastic-looked like the deep blue sea washing up on a volcanic beach. Rolland, who is among the most artistic of Paris couturiers, said he looked for inspiration to the rounded, hermetic creations of Indian-born sculptor Anish Kapoor, as well as to memories of a youth spent on France’s Cote d’Azur. “As a kid, I collected everything, and I used to come back from trips to the beach with my pockets full of these round stones, whose smoothness I really liked,” he told The AP in a preview in his

atelier. Asked if a recent trip to the sea had brought back the childhood memories, Rolland responded. “It’s in me, so deep inside me that I don’t need anything to jog my memory.” JULIEN FOURNIE Night of the living dead has rarely looked as

good. With transfixed upward gazes and their smudged palms held forward like sleepwalkers, the models minced around the catwalk in long, lean gowns in translucent fabric, with strategically placed opaque paneling and covered in dark ink smudges. Scarlet Swarovski crystals glinted like fresh bloodstains dripping down the shoulders of one dress, while terrible scenes of Medieval torture-showing little figures on the stake-enlivened its hemline. “It’s about violence against women and the strength it takes to overcome that and turn it into something beautiful,” Fournie told The AP. The young Frenchman, who’s showing on the sidelines of the haute couture displays, was ontrend with his second-skin beige pants and a molded jacket covered in anatomical sketches that recalled Givenchy’s skeleton jumpsuits and his palette was steeped in the same somber shades of navy blue and black as Stephane Rolland’s. ARMANI PRIVE The man who’s built an empire on his impeccable taste turned out yet more refined elegance. An army of blondes in identical honey-colored wigs minced their way down the catwalk in pencil skirts and second-skin evening gowns so slim they constricted the models’ gait. Plain-front trousers in caramel, taupe and gray were paired with swingy daycoats in matching hues and artfully folded paneling embellished lean bustier dresses. Though less blingy than in seasons past, when it seemed that every conceivable surface was smothered in Swarovski crystals, the collection had just the right dose of sparkle. Rhinestones dressed up the collar of a cropped blazer-its shoulders standing at attention in the hallmark Armani salute-and a black A-line dress shot through with silver Lurex gleamed blindingly under the spotlights. Still, the downside of a collection that stayed so close to the label’s hallmark style was that it was absolutely lacking in surprise: There was not a single look that could have raised eyebrows-even if there had been a non-Botoxed eyebrow still capable of being raised in attendance. —AP

Models present creations by French designer Stephane Rolland during the Winter 2010/2011 Haute Couture Collection Show, on July 6, 2010, in Paris.


Thursday, July 8, 2010



Models present creations by Giorgio Armani Prive. —AFP photos

Lebanese red-carpet pleasers in Paris couture week By Sarah Shard ebanese red-carpet pleasers are increasingly filling the gaps in the haute couture calendar left by French houses pulling out of fashion’s most extravagant manifestation. While Givenchy decided this week to stage a scaled down presentation to a privileged few,


Models wear creations by Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab as part of his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, yesterday. —AP photos

Lebanon’s Elie Saab, Georges Chakra, Basil Soda, Georges Hobeika, and the house of Rabih Kayrouz all opted for catwalk shows. Only Elie Saab is a member of the elite club and Rabih Kayrouz a guest, the others showing outside the official program, but their collections are all the more welcome as only three big French names-Chanel, Dior and Jean-Paul Gaultier-and Italians Giorgio Armani and Valentino were presenting runway shows for autumn-winter 2011. Lebanese designers are naturally drawn to Paris like moths to a flame, Basil Soda told AFP. “In Lebanon we call France our mother. The cultural influence is very strong.” But Soda, Chakra and Saab draw their clientele from all over the world, notably across the Atlantic, and among royalty. The Crown Princess of Sweden wore Saab twice last month on her wedding day. Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Kate Perry, Scarlett Johannsson and Helen Mirren are among the A-list actresses and celebrities to have chosen a Lebanese design for their red carpet moments. Chakra dedicated his collection on Monday to silver screen goddesses: “I was thinking of Rita Hayworth, Greta

Garbo, 1950s Hollywood glamour-at times like this we need to dream for 15 minutes.” He showed sumptuous ballgowns with lots of whorls and bows, designed “so the dress dances as the wearer moves.” He used lots of gold “flattering to a skin that is slightly tanned” but avoided bling, for example by adding a sheer top layer of iridescent violent and yellow tulle, or combining gold and silver in a cloqued lame. A crimson lacquered satin looked like deep pile velvet, while marron glace shot satin had hues of blue and green. One cocktail frock twinkled with fringes of pearly sequins, another had a

top embroidered with crimson flowers and flounced sunray-pleated skirts. There’s no missing the Chakra woman. In body-hugging goddess gowns in metallic fabrics bedazzled with sequins and rhinestones, the Lebanese designer’s girl could inadvertently blind you from a mile away. Chakra looked to old-school Hollywood glamour for his collection of high-shine looks that were all but begging for the red carpet. He served up nip-waisted cocktail dresses with strands of white sequins that swayed and jangled as the models walked and bustier gowns in bronze lame with mermaid tails and over sided plum-colored bows-gowns, in short, that almost uncannily resembled the Oscar statuettes they were meant for receiving. “It’s like watching those old black and white movies from old-time Hollywood, but this time it’s in color,” Chakra told The AP in a pre-show interview. And what color. The asymmetrical cocktail dresses shone darkly in iridescent emerald, prune and maroon, and jewel tone silks shone beneath swishy panels on some of the lame dresses. Refrains from the “Mad Men” soundtrack and the Radiohead song “No Surprises” played over and over, and both were a kind of shorthand for a collection. Steeped in the kind of classy glamour that has become Chakra’s calling card, the lovely collection stayed in familiar territory, presenting, as it were, no surprises at all. Ahead of his show yesterday Soda told AFP his collection was designed for “strong, confident women, who have travelled a lot, but are also inaccessible, idolized.” He favored mostly neutral colors-black, grey, white and flesh tones, with flashes of zircon-and a structured but feminine silhouette, with lots of big shoulders and emphasized waists. There was very little stand-alone embroidery, the decoration being part of the overall concept, as with his grand entrance black organza ballgown with its myriad of zippers snaking round, dictating its shape. Corsets, jackets and frocks were all complicated constructions of grey python, lace, gros grain ribbons, strass and zippers, all intermingled. Instead of draping, he used very precise layering to achieve a trompe l’oeil effect, “which is much more challenging and

labor intensive.” One of his favorite pieces this season is a sleeveless cocktail frock consisting in layer upon layer of micro-pleated flesh-colored organza, with a few jewels nestling among them. A veritable tourde-force, it took 600 hours’ labor to make and has an extraordinary tactile sensuality akin to animal fur. —AFP



Thursday, July 8, 2010


ften when traveling, how you get to your destination is just as important as the destination itself. Living in the Middle East, of course, is no exception. With the region’s reputation for airport delays, crowded terminals and long waits, an airline that avoids the cliche troubles of traveling abroad while offering excellent services deserves to be recognized. When contemplating a trip to the region’s newest and most popular destinations, how best to get there can be answered quite simply; Etihad. The airline’s comfortable seating and professional service makes a trip to their host city, Abu Dhabi, a real treat. Though the trip from Kuwait may be short, flying Etihad is never a disappointment. The record breaking airline has served more than 17 million guests in its five year history and offers a fleet that is modern, spacious and accommodating. It’s no wonder that the world’s fastest growing airline was recognized by World Travel Awards Middle East as the Middle East’s leading airline and first class airline for 2010.


Business Centre

Chocolate Gallery Interior

Fairmont Abu Dhabi: Bab Al-Bahr Traveling to Abu Dhabi by way of Etihad ensures a relaxed, stylish trip and the airport experience can quite literally be described as a walk in the park. Upon arriving at the airport we were able to maneuver through customs, collect our luggage and find our shuttle to the hotel in no time at all. The whole travel experience was complimented well by the presence of Fairmont Hotel’s shuttle service staff. Professional, courteous and fresh, the shuttle service set a tone for what is to be expected from a Fairmont Hotel experience. In no time at all, my bags were collected and I was on my way to Faimont’s Bab Al-Bahr hotel in Abu Dhabi, just 20 minutes away from the airport and strategically located between two of the city’s bridges to the main island. Appropriately named, Bab Al-Bahr, or ‘Gateway to the Sea,’ it is situated in what is referred to as Abu Dhabi’s ‘new’ city. The five star beach front property boasts an excellent view of the city and is practically

Fairmont View Guest Room


Saker Grand Ballroom right across Abu Dhabi Creek from Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The hotel is located in what is quickly emerging as one of the capital city’s busiest business and residential areas and is perfectly located between Abu Dhabi’s City Center, Conriche and airport. With 369 guest rooms or suites to choose from, there is no doubt that the Bab Al-Bahr can meet the varying needs of a business traveler, a vacationing couple, or a family looking to experience one of the most exciting cities in the region. Regardless of which room a guest chooses, each one comes luxuriously furnished and gracefully designed. Wall sized windows offer guests an impressive view of the creek and enough sunlight to complete the organic feeling of each room. The hotel also makes good use of its beach front property and provides guests with a private, classic-styled sandy beach and a deluxe sized outdoor swimming pool. By day, visitors can dip into either the pool or the beach to escape the sun’s heat and in the evening take a stroll along the hotel’s terraces or enjoy an outdoor meal. Many of the hotel’s entertainment venues offer outdoor seating and provide diners with one of the best views Abu Dhabi has to offer. The hotel also features eight separate entertainment venues, from a chocolate lounge to a world renowned steakhouse, and their quality guarantees guests will be impressed. The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill, owned by the celebrity three star Michelin Chef with the same name, is a steakhouse offering traditional British cuisine and is accompanied by one of the city’s largest selections of wines. It is also only one of the few restaurants owned by White located out of the UK. Frankie’s Italian Restaurant and Bar is also one of White’s famous restaurant collab-

orations. White and Frankie Dettori, the legendary Italian thoroughbred racehorse jockey, opened a branch of their family restaurant in Bab Al-Bahr. It offers an elegant dining experience where guests can enjoy authentic Italian fare. Both restaurants offer five star quality food, service and are designed so well that sitting in them and soaking up the atmosphere is just as important as tasting the food. The restaurant staff is friendly and accommodating, ready with a recommendation to make the most of any dining experience. Aside from luxurious rooms and restaurants, the hotel offers more than 2,500 square meters of meeting space, making it an excellent location to meet the needs of any social function. The meeting spaces are outfitted with the most up to date technological services and a team of staff members are on hand to meet the needs of any social gathering. The function spaces are versatile, able to accommodate a small gathering for an intimate business luncheon or a conference styled assembly. They are also accessible from a separate entrance, making it easy for visitors to enter the business wing of the hotel, and have an excellent view of the creek with a beach front terrace. Having opened less than a year ago, Fairmont’s Bab Al-Bahr is a perfect blend of contemporary elegance and state of the art amenities. The hotel not only has the ability to meet the needs of a leisure vacationer or a business traveler but can do so while giving them the luxury and comfort of a five star facility. With internationally acclaimed restaurants, advanced technological resources, expertly accommodating staff and a striking modern design, Bab Al-Bahr is at the top of Abu Dhabi’s not to miss hotel destinations.


hen traveling with a business class ticket on board an Etihad flight, you can expect a lot more than just comfort, spaciousness and tasty in-flight meals. They understand that traveling business means much more than just a little extra space and a seat that leans further back, it means peace of mind. Etihad encourages this concept by making business class customers feel preferential before they even get on an airplane by offering them efficient check-out counters and separate lounges with catering, expert services and technological amenities to meet any of your business needs. Etihad has managed to take much of the anxiety out of airport travel. Waiting for a flight in their Pearl Business Class lounge is nothing short of relaxing. Free of the constant drone of flight announcements and crowds either looking for their gate or rushing to make a last minute purchase at the duty free, the lounge is personalized. Employees are available to inform you, in person, on the status of your flight and on hand to help you unwind while waiting for your flight. With 15-minute treatments at the Six Senses Spa, a family lounge for those traveling with children and a resting room with a shower and butler services, its easy to appreciate the features of Etihad’s business class. That is what makes Etihad’s services stand out; that they are willing to go the extra mile to make sure your stay with them is comfortable, memorable and well-worth repeating. It is also what makes coupling an Etihad business ticket with a Fairmont Gold experience such a quality combination. The Fairmont Gold experience is best described as a hotel within a hotel. It features personalized services and amenities such as a private reception, an exclusive lounge and access to complimentary wireless internet services. Checking into a Fairmont Gold experience means having the attention of a crew of well-trained and attentive staff members ready to accommodate your every need. Some of the complimentary services that accompany the Gold experience are deluxe continental breakfasts, afternoon and evening hors d’ oeuvres, a variety of magazines and newspapers, shoe-shining services, light secretarial services and personalized wake-up calls with coffee or tea and orange juice. Above all this however, is the sincerity with which Fairmont staff members are interested in making sure a guest’s stay is as relaxed and comfortable as possible. It is worth noting that the hotel, both in its Gold area and various restaurants, are capable of accommodate those with specific food allergies, intolerances or needs. The hotel staff is even known to go so far as to prepare special menus and food items for those with specific requirements. A personal connection is always at the center of a good stay in a new place and the staff at the Fairmont understands that. They incorporate it into their experience and guarantee any visitor a stay worth remembering.

A view of Sheikh Zayed Mosque’s courtyard

Sheikh Zayed Mosque: Broadcasting Abu-Dhabi’s identity f you’re in Abu Dhabi, the mosque, quite literally, cannot be missed. It is one of the largest sites in the city and having been made of so much white marble, it practically glows in broad daylight. The mosque was named after the late United Arab Emirates founder and first president, Sheikh Zayed bins Sultan Al-Nahyan, but is commonly referred to by locals as the Grand Mosque. Plans to build the mosque were first conceived in the 80’s and much thought was put into the location, design and material to be used in the mosque by the late Sheikh Zayed himself. Decades worth of additional planning and construction was put into the mosque with more than 3,000 laborers and 38 construction companies working on it before it was finally opened in 2007. Thought of as an opportunity to unite the world in a single structure, it was made with the use of artisans, professionals and materials from Italy, Germany, Morocco, India Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE. Its design is also international, with Turkish styled exterior walls, Moorish archways and classic Arab minarets. Its design has been described as a fusion of Arab,


Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Mughal and Moorish architecture. At 22,412 square meters, the Grand Mosque is recognized as one of the world’s largest mosques and can accommodate more than 40,000 worshipers. The main prayer hall is capped by what has been recognized by the Turkey Research Center for Islamic History and Culture as the largest dome of its kind at 32.8 meters in diameter, 70 meters in height from the inside and 85 meters in height from the outside. At 15 meters in height, 10 meters in diameter, hanging from that dome is the world’s largest chandelier. The German made chandelier is gold in color, tipped with vibrant jewels, and adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals. It is estimated to weight more than nine tons. Also in the main hall, which itself can house around 7,126 worshipers, is the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. The carpet was made in small villages throughout Mashhadin, Iran, an area world renown for its carpet making expertise, and employed the use of more than 1,000 handicraftsmen. The carpet consists of around 2,268,000 knots and is estimated to cost $8.2 million.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

or the past eight years, Fairmont Dubai has provided guests with first-class award winning accommodations and dining services. Being the first of Fairmont Hotel and Resorts international properties, no expense was spared to ensure that Fairmont Dubai stand out above the competition. With 394 guest rooms, 1,205 square meters of meeting space, 18 meeting rooms and 10 dining venues, Fairmont Dubai is wellequipped to give those coming to Dubai exactly what they are looking for; a luxurious destination in a cosmopolitan setting capable of accommodating a guest’s personal or professional needs. The stunning 34-storey building houses 128 suites and penthouses as well as residential apartments, offices, a lavish spa and two rooftop pools. The hotel recently underwent a $9.5 million renovation in every single one of its guestrooms and suites, allowing the hotel to look brand new and be outfitted with the latest in technological facilities while still being able to offer eight years worth of award-winning experience and expertise. The restoration, which took place during Dubai’s recent recession, portrays Fairmont’s commitment to luxury, style and professionalism. Meeting the needs of guest’s expectations, rooms at the Fairmont Dubai are functional and elegant. A blend of comfort and style, the rooms include a lounge area, multiple bathrooms, internet services and a business desk. Guests can expect to feel the pleasant contradiction of feeling right at home while being indulged by the hotel’s expert services. Fairmont Dubai features six penthouse suites on the top two floors of its multi-storey building. Available in three separate styles, Arabic, modern and contemporary chic, each 548 meter suite features floor to ceiling windows that provide a spectacular view of the city, contributing to the room’s spacious and generous theme. Each room comes with a Bose home entertainment system, an indoor Jacuzzi and a rooftop terrace, perfect for outdoor dining. Located on the 33rd floor, away from the bustle and distraction of leisure travelers, those visiting for professional purposes can take advantage of the business floor’s high-quality and versatile amenities. The multi-purpose business center provides a variety of managerial services as well as private work stations and an executive board room. High-speed internet access is also available throughout the floor, as are a team of caters known for their service and willing to accommodate any professional need. The hotel’s 40,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa provides guests with gender segregated health club facilities and a luxurious spa. The health club features two impressively sized outdoor terrace pools, each with a stunning view of either the sunrise or the sunset. The health club’s gym is well-equipped with up to date exercise equipment, personal trainers and aerobics classes. With Turkish hammam-inspired steam rooms, ice showers, relaxing footbaths and eight treatment and relaxation rooms, Willow Stream’s spa area is well-equipped for those needing a little extra help to unwind. Well-designed and Romanesque in theme, the spa is an excellent


Fairmont Dubai Hotel

Sunset pool

location for those looking for a break and an opportunity to feel revitalized. Those looking for culinary restoration or an excellent dining experience have plenty to choose from when staying at the Fairmont Dubai. With a variety of international cuisines available and kitchens commanded by superior chefs and staff members, guests can rest assured that no matter where they choose to sit for a meal they will not be disappointed. An excellent place for a guest to start their tour of the hotel’s restaurants is on a Friday afternoon between 12:00 and 3:00 pm at Spectrum on One. A display of culinary creativity and variety is demonstrated by the hotel’s multi-award winning unique dining concept. A buffet style brunch featuring the cuisines of India, Thailand, the Middle East, Japan, Europe and China are presented and prepared by a slew of chefs and their assistants working in eight separate open-air kitchens that allow patrons to watch food be prepared. The intimate dining experience is impressive to say the least and very popular. Those that are interested should make their reservations in advance. Also benefitting from the hotel’s several million dollar refurbishment was the award-winning restaurant The Exchange Grill. Atmospheric and perfectly fashionable, the steakhouse’s interior was given a new look and is well suited for hosting business meetings. Just this year, TimeOut Dubai recognized The Exchange Grill as the city’s best steakhouse for the third year in a row and was awarded Best Business Lunch by them in 2009. Featuring such tantalizing menu items as Wagyu beef burgers, open face New York strip loin sandwiches, and sesame seared Ahi tuna, the restaurant is unflinchingly grill oriented, providing patrons with the choicest cuts of meat and serving it splendidly. The Fairmont property houses and manages several other restaurants and cafes as well, including the cocktail lounge Bridges, The Cigar Bar, Cafe Sushi, Cascades, the bar Cin Cin and Pronto. Like the hotel itself, each location is known for its excellent service and superior quality. Staying at the hotel, or just dining at one of their restaurants, is sure to be a treat.

Willow Stream Spa

The Exchange Grill

his season, Fairmont’s Bab Al-Bahr and Dubai hotels have invited travelers to experience their world class facilities and dining locations with a range of leisure summer packages. The summer promotions are a great opportunity to enjoy the peace and pleasure of vacationing without the hassle of traveling far from home. The offers last until August 9, 2010, are available at both Fairmont locations and start at a price of AED 699 (approx KD 58).


The ‘Fairmont Friday Brunch’ package is based on double occupancy and is available on Thursdays and Fridays. It is perfect for those experiencing either city for the first time. Package includes: One night accommodation Friday brunch for two adults Complimentary use of indoor and outdoor swimming, gym and jacuzzi facilities. Early check-in (12 noon) and late check-out (5:00 pm). The ‘Choice is Yours’ package is an opportunity for vacationers to experience dining at Fairmont’s excellent culinary locations including Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill, Frankie’s Restaurant & Bar and Elements at Bab Al-Bahr as well as the multi-award winning Spectrum on One and The Exchange Grill restaurants at Fairmont Dubai. Package includes: One night accommodation AED 200 (Approx KD 17) food and beverage credit to use at any Fairmont managed restaurant for every night stayed. Complimentary use of indoor and outdoor swimming, gym and jacuzzi facilities. Early check-in (12 noon) and late check-out (5:00 pm).

lacing Dubai on the map yet again is another top-notch and unique hotel that should not be missed by anyone who happens to be in Dubai this summer. The Meydan Hotel is the world’s first five-star trackside hotel and is an outstanding location for sports fans and corporate travelers. The hotel offers guests world class dining experiences and is an exceptional venue for hosting a range of conferences or gatherings. The Meydan Hotel is at the center of what is quickly emerging as Dubai’s newest business, lifestyle and sport location. Capturing the spirit of Dubai’s vision for development and success, the hotel conveys luxury and professionalism. Just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, the Meydan is perfectly situated to accommodate the needs of those looking to take advantage of the


The ‘Family Fun Package’ accommodates a family of two adults and two children and offers spacious accommodation and complimentary meals for children 12 years of age or younger. Package includes: One night accommodation for two adults and two children in either a two bedroom suite or adjoining guestrooms. Complimentary meals for children 12 years of age or younger at select Fairmont managed restaurants. Behind the scenes tour of the hotel. Complimentary use of indoor and outdoor swimming, gym and jacuzzi facilities. Early check-in (12 noon) and late check-out (5:00 pm).

hotel’s superior amenities for personal or professional purposes. With the racetrack as its focal point, each of the hotel’s 255 Grand Deluxe Balcony Rooms have an excellent view of the arena, giving visitors the option to enjoy sporting events in a private location. Additionally, Meydan’s Panoramic Suites, Presidential Suites and their Royal Suite also feature exclusive views of the track. Each of the hotel’s 285 lavishly decorated rooms are spacious and unique. Guests can expect ample accommodation that are accompanied by hightech facilities and professional service. The Meydan hosts three excellent and unique restaurants, each of course with a striking view of the racetrack. Shiba; an authentic Japanese restaurant, Prime; a traditional Wagyu and Angus

beef steakhouse and Farriers; an international buffet style restaurant that guarantees guests will not be disappointed when it comes to an in-house dining experience. With cigar bars, Japanese style grills and juice bars, these first-class restaurants provide environments just as exciting as their menus. Guests are certain to appreciate the quality, dÈcor and service of each location. Meydan’s event hosting and business facilities include a 460 meter square ballroom capable of accommodating up to 400 guests, state-of-the art technology and equipment for multimedia and teleconferencing needs, wireless internet throughout the hotel, additional ballrooms, atriums and trackside terraces that can be used jointly and each with superb view of the racetrack. Meydan Hotel’s current promotions include a

discounted rate for GCC residents starting at AED 750 (approx KD 62). The promotion includes a 24 hour reception service that allows guests to check-in at a time convenient for them and check-out a full 24 hours later, unlimited internet access, unlimited beach and water park access and complimentary shuttles to Dubai Mall and the Dubai International Convention Center. Also starting at AED 750, the hotel is promoting their ‘Ladies Floor;’ a complete level of the hotel designed exclusively for female guests. The special includes an in-room 24-hour check-in and check-out service, complimentary breakfasts, two-way airport transportation, limousine transportation to Dubai Mall, access to Wild Wadi Water Park and 25 percent off on spa treatments.


The Infiniti Pool

Lohan’s future on hold until jail, rehab are done By Sandy Cohen


indsay Lohan’s future includes a new fashion line, two new movies, some time in jail and another stint in rehab. The actress was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail and 90 days in a residential substance-abuse program for violating her probation stemming from two separate 2007 cases of driving under the influence of cocaine and alcohol. She is to surrender and begin her jail sentence July 20. Rehab will follow. The punishment, levied by Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel, will keep Lohan from promoting “Machete,” the Robert Rodriguez action film due in theaters in September. Fox, which is releasing the film, had no comment Tuesday. Lohan’s jail and rehab sentence will also delay production on “Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story,” in which the 24-year-old actress plays the starring role. Writer-director Matthew Wilder said after the ruling that he and his crew remain “100 percent behind Lindsay.” “We are proud to have this remarkable artist work on our film,” he said. Lohan’s sentence may also prevent her from further promoting her new fashion line, 6126. The first items from the 280-piece collection are shipping out to department stores nationwide this month. Lohan was instrumental in the line’s design and marketing plans and is featured in its promotional materials. Her business partner, Kristi Kaylor, did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment. Lohan’s agent, Nick Styne, declined to comment Tuesday. Her manager, Jason Weinberg, did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. Kerry Wallum, a producer with Lucky Films, said Lohan was in negotiations for a role in the upcoming Willie Nelson flick, “The Dry Gulch Kid,” and that the production would wait for her if she wanted the part. “We’re behind her,” he said Tuesday. “We’ll wait until all of this blows over.” Revel chastised Lohan for missing a court hearing in May while at the Cannes Film Festival and repeatedly skipping out on court-mandated alcohol-edu-

cation classes. She said Lohan lied about using drugs and tried to blame others for the two driving offenses when the original charges were filed. A tearful Lohan pleaded with the judge before the sentencing, saying she did the best she could to juggle jobs and the court-ordered classes and really tried to comply with the terms of her probation. “I’m not taking this as a joke,” Lohan said. “It’s my life. It’s my career I’ve worked for my entire life.” Revel said she found the starlet’s apology insincere, comparing it to “somebody who cheats and thinks it isn’t cheating if she doesn’t get caught.” Lohan burst into tears upon hearing the terms of her punishment. Her sister, Ali, and father, Michael, were also in the courtroom and cried after the ruling. Lohan spent 84 minutes in jail in 2007 after she pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of cocaine and no contest to two counts of driving with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent and one count of reckless driving. The plea came after a pair of high-profile arrests earlier that year. Lohan was sentenced to three years of probation but had to ask for a yearlong extension in October after she failed to complete her alcohol-education courses on time. Prosecutor Danette Meyers argued Tuesday that Lohan wasn’t taking the charges or her punishment seriously and

urged jail time for the actress. “You have not caught her attention,” Meyers told the judge. “I appreciate the tears, but I don’t think you’ve got it.” Lohan’s attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, claimed that the actress had adhered to the spirit of the law, if not the letter. “She has gotten it together,” Holley said. “She changed her conduct and is now in compliance with the court’s overall order.” Lohan may serve less than her 90-day sentence, thanks to jail overcrowding and a state program that credits inmates for good behavior, said Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. Nonviolent female misdemeanor offenders typically serve about 25 percent of their sentences, he said. Lohan will be taken to the Century Regional Detention Center-the same jail that housed Paris Hilton for 23 days in 2007 after she was found guilty of driving on a suspended license while on probation in an alcohol-related, reckless-driving case. Lohan’s jail sentence could impact a civil lawsuit filed after Lohan’s second arrest in 2007. A woman in a car chased by the actress sued for infliction of emotional distress and the case is scheduled to begin trial a week after Lohan surrenders. It is unclear how much of the trial Lohan would have attended, although she is listed as a potential witness in the case. A hearing was set for Wednesday in Beverly Hills.—AP

Lindsay Lohan discreetly gives judge ‘the finger’ in court


he sobbed and pleaded in court not to be thrown in jail, but troubled Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan had another, far less plaintive message for the judge, written on the fingernail of her middle finger. Photographers using telephoto lenses captured photos showing that Lohan, hand pressed against her mouth, had the words “*****” carefully written over a multicolored pastiche of pastel nail polish.

The judge ordered Lohan, 24, to spend 90 days in jail for violating probation in two 2007 drunken driving cases. She also was ordered to take part in a 90-day in-patient substance abuse program. Lohan was ordered not to drink alcohol, drive a vehicle with any drugs or alcohol in her system, drive without a valid driver’s license and insurance, or deny any field sobriety tests. The judge ordered Lohan to begin serving her jail term July 20.—AFP

Lindsay Lohan leaves the building after being sentenced to 90 days jail by Judge Marsha Revel during her hearing at the Beverly Hills Courthouse on July 6, 2010.—AP

Princess Diana’s family sells Rubens work for 9m pounds


rincess Diana’s family on Tuesday sold an important Old Master painting by Peter Paul Rubens for nine million pounds (13.6 million dollars, 10.8 million euros) at auction. “A Commander Being Armed For Battle”, which is thought to depict the 16th-century Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, was sold to an anonymous bidder at Christie’s auction house in London. The work by the Flemish artist, completed between 16121614, used to hang in Althorp which is the ancestral seat of Diana’s family and the late princess’s childhood home in central England. It was one of the first items to be bought as the family sells off an array of

items including furniture and horsedrawn carriages. Diana, who died after a Paris car crash in 1997, is buried in the grounds of Althorp. There is also an exhibition about her life at the house. A painting by Italian artist Il Guercino also sold at Tuesday’s auction for 5.2 million pounds, said Christie’s. “King David”, completed in 1651, depicts the Old Testament Hebrew monarch, and was acquired by the family in the 18th century for Spencer House, their historic London residence. The trustees of the estate are hoping to raise 20 million pounds from the sales to help with work on Althorp. Part of a

14,000-acre country estate, the stately home is undergoing a 10-million-pound re-roofing and restoration project. The trustees say the sales will help the estate “thrive for generations to come.” A treasure trove of items from Althorp will go under the hammer at Christie’s in the coming days, including butlers’ trays, riding whips and saddles. The family’s collection of 19th century carriages, which includes one used at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, will also be offered at the auction house. On Thursday, furniture, art and porcelain from Spencer House will be offered for sale. The building is still owned by the family but leased to tenants.—AFP

Dannii Minogue has first child


Photo shows appetizers are lined up on a table of Yu Bo’s restaurant in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.—AP

A picture shows Chinese chef Yu Bo cooks in his restaurant “Yu’s Family Kitchen” in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.—AFP

ustralian singer Kylie Minogue’s sister Dannii has given birth to her first child, her spokesman said yesterday. Dannii Minogue, 38, a judge on the hit British TV talent show “X-Factor” alongside media mogul Simon Cowell, had a son with her partner Kris Smith on Monday. They named him Ethan Edward Smith. Her spokesman Simon Jones said: “Mother and baby are doing well and Dad is very proud. They request their privacy at this special time to adjust as new parents.” According to reports, the baby was born in Melbourne. Kylie, who is four years older than her sister, has been busy promoting her new album “Aphrodite” but is reported to be planning to visit her new nephew in the near future. Dannii Minogue’s pregnancy has forced her to miss the recent “XFactor” auditions, with stand-ins including Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Nicole Scherzinger from pop group Pussycat Dolls.—AP

Chinese city aims to become next gourmet hotspot By Marianne Barriaux


A visitor stands in front of the installation “adieu homme” by German artist Georg Herold during the “The Luminous West” (Der Westen Leuchtet) exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, western Germany, yesterday. The exhibition, taking place from July 10 to October 24, 2010, brings 33 artists from two generations together to shows a site assessment of the art landscape in the Rhineland and North Rhine-Westphalia.—AFP

t Yu Bo’s restaurant, tea-and-camphorsmoked duck shares table space with calligraphy brushes made of puff pastry and minced beef, and sea cucumber paired with fried rice and foie gras. The adventurous chef serves traditional food with a twist at his Yu’s Family Kitchen, one of several topend eateries in the southwestern city of Chengdu, which is looking to become the next global gourmet hotspot. The capital of Sichuan province-a region known as the ‘land of abundance’ for its produce and famous for its beloved pandasplans to capitalize on a recent distinction from the UN’s cultural body to attract the world’s foodies. “Sichuan food has so many flavors and cooking methods, which means that people from any country can enjoy it,” said Yu, sitting in his restaurant which is modeled on official houses of the past, where diners had their own rooms. Sichuan cuisine is one of eight major culinary traditions in China and is already well known abroad, with popular restaurants in L ondon and New York serving up dishes with quirky names such as pock-marked old woman’s

tofu. In Febr uar y, UNESCO granted Chengdu the title of City of Gastronomy for “being the birthplace of many culinar y traditions, home to a vibrant community of gastronomic professionals who are actively promoting innovation in food.” Gong Bao chicken, Zhong dumplings in spicy, garlic sauce, and green beans in ginger sauce are some dishes popular with locals who enjoy food stalls on street corners just as much as more formal restaurants. The distinction, shared by only one other city in the world- Popayan in Colombia-is part of a program set up by UNESCO in 2004 to support social, economic and cultural development in cities around the world. Wang Zhonglin, the vicemayor of Chengdu, has said authorities aim to leverage the award to “build the city into an inter nationallyrenowned gourmet capital”. They are discussing various means of promoting the city’s culinar y heritage, including promotion campaigns and linking up with other gourmet cities abroad, according to Ye L ang, spokesman for the Chengdu government. Chengdu, which has already been the host of

several gour met festivals, also plans to try to attract foodies at an exhibition in Paris-home to UNESCO headquarters-later this year. Food critics say Sichuan cuisine is misunderstood. Often known only for its special type of mouth-numbing pepper and spiciness, it encompasses a wide range of flavors native to a province almost as big as Thailand. Fuchsia Dunlop, a Londonbased food writer and expert on Sichuan cooking, says the pleasure lies in the “rollercoaster ride” of flavorssmoky, sweet and salty, gingery. “The whole point is its contrast and excitement,” she told AFP. And according to Yu, who has travelled abroad to see how his native cuisine is served elsewhere, Sichuan food in other countries is misrepresented. “It’s all about pepper, more pepper, things with heavy flavors and lots of oil, but Sichuan dishes are not like that and people must make this known,” he said. Dunlop says plans to attract foreign foodies to Chengdu could hit a snag as a result of the constant redevelopment of the city, which has seen many quaint, old buildings replaced by modern highrises.

“When I lived there in the 1990s, the whole city was a war ren of little lanes with wooden houses and there were many street vendors and small snack shops,” she said. “There’s not really any of that lef t, so whereas you might go to Italy and you can hang out in beautiful old cities while eating fine food, in China, it’s just food.” Dunlop is also concerned that the tradition of rich home cooking is gradually being lost as the modern age creeps in. “People used to eat so well at home-the older generation were all making their own winter wind-dried sausages and bacon they would hang up on the eaves of the houses, they were all making their own pickles and preserves,” she said. “But what seems to happen now, the grandparents look after the children, and the adult, professional generation are all out in restaurants or being fed by their parents, and they’re not learning how to cook.” Yu, however, says he is not going to let that happen to his own daughter. “I teach my daughter to make breakfast ever y day when she gets up-I’m training her, as I hope she will become a cook,” he said.—AFP

In this Monday, Feb 22, 2010 file picture Australian TV presenter Danni Minogue arrives for the Elle Style 2010 Awards in central London.—AP

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