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RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF

40 PAGES

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010

SHAABAN 7, 1431 AH

Paris Hilton caught with marijuana

Clinton woos Pakistan on aid, security PAGE 11

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150 FILS

Boeing’s Dreamliner completes first flight outside US

British Open glory for South Africa’s Oosthuizen

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MP: Iraq can do without Kuwait

Arabs demand written pledges Bibi, Abbas meet Mubarak RO: Arab League chief Amr Moussa said yesterday the Palestinians could not resume direct talks with Israel without guarantees, as the Palestinian and Israeli leaders met separately with Egypt’s president. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who are taking part in US-brokered indirect talks, left the meetings with President Hosni Mubarak without making any statements. US Middle East envoy George Mitchell met with Mubarak earlier and then held talks with Moussa, who later told reporters the Palestinians could not move automatically from the indirect talks to face-to-face negotiations. “We cannot automatically move from one negotiation to another without written guarantees,” said Moussa. “I felt the Palestinian president was committed to the decisions of the ministerial council that the automatic transition from indirect to direct negotiations is not feasible,” he said about his meeting with Abbas on Saturday. The Egyptian state news agency MENA reported that Mubarak’s talks with all three men focused on “efforts to create the conditions necessary to advance the peace process and achieve a two-state solution”. It did not elaborate. The Arab League backed the indirect talks in March but supported their suspension after Israel said it would build more Jewish homes in annexed east Jerusalem. It backed the talks again in May af ter the Palestinians said they received unspecified guarantees, but said direct negotiations would come only after a complete end to settlement building in occupied Palestinian lands. Netanyahu had told reporters before flying to Cairo that he would discuss the prospects for direct talks with Mubarak. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Mubarak told his visitors “Israel had to take a strong, strategic move that would deepen the Palestinians’ trust towards Israel’s intentions, and consequently we could encourage a move to direct negotiations,” MENA reported. The Palestinian leadership restated the conditions for the direct talks, suspended since Israel’s offensive on Gaza in Dec 2008, after a meeting between the US envoy and Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Saturday. Senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo called for greater clarity from Washington about its position on new negotiations, insisting the Palestinians wanted to address the core issues of the Middle East conflict. “The threehour meeting between Abbas and Mitchell was important but there are several issues, most important among them the settlements and the situation in Jerusalem, that need more clarity,” Abed Rabbo told reporters. Continued on Page 14

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Oil official accuses Kuwait of violating border By A Saleh

HAVANA: Kuwaiti Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Jose Marti monument where an image of Cuba’s revolutionary hero Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara is seen behind on Saturday. — AP (See Page 5)

KUWAIT: “Iraq will not suffer economically if Kuwait severs relations with it since it enjoys economic relations with a large number of major countries around the world,” an Iraqi MP said yesterday, while another Iraqi official accused Kuwait of searching for oil in Iraqi territory for the past four months. Wael Abellatif, a member of the Iraq National Alliance, said, “Iraq would not be affected at all if its relations with Kuwait were completely severed, as Kuwait has become negligent in its stance towards Iraq. The reason behind such Kuwaiti policies is [Kuwait’s] fear of the success of Iraq’s democracy, which adversely affects [Kuwait’s] political system.” He insisted, “Iraq has longterm economic relations with the United States, Japan, Germany, China, Turkey, Britain and other major economic powers.” Claiming that Kuwait has been prospecting for oil in Iraqi territories, a source in Iraq’s Southern Oil firm said, “The aim is to search and prospect for oil, and we have maps that prove it. The Southern Oil Company is responsible for this issue and must put an end to all violations perpetrated, since this a trespass on Iraq’s oil wealth.” The director of the Southern Oil Company Jafar Hojam AlMusawi however denied the official’s comments on Kuwait’s alleged violations of the Iraqi border, calling the statement “inaccurate”. The Aknews agency recently quoted Iraq’s ambassador to Continued on Page 14

BAGHDAD: An injured Iraqi man is wheeled into a local hospital in the capital after a suicide bombing yesterday. — AFP

48 killed in attacks on anti-Qaeda militiamen BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber ripped through a line of anti-Al-Qaeda Sunni fighters waiting to collect their paychecks near an Iraqi military base as nearly 50 people were killed in violence west of Baghdad. The attack is the deadliest this year against the groups that turned against the terror network amid an apparent campaign by insurgents to undermine confidence in the government security forces and their allies. The attacks on the Awakening Council members highlighted the daunting security challenges the country faces as the US works to withdraw all combat troops in Iraq. The first attack yesterday morning by a single bomber with an explosive

vest killed at least 45 people and wounded more than 40 at a checkpoint near a military base in the mostly Sunni district of Radwaniya southwest of Baghdad. Some 150 Sunni fighters had lined up to collect their paychecks when the bomber struck, according to witnesses. “I ran, thinking that I was a dead man,” said Uday Khamis, 24, speaking outside the Mahmoudiyah hospital where many of the wounded were taken. His left hand was bandaged and his clothes were stained with blood. At least a dozen men, dressed in military-style uniforms were seen laying in pools of blood in front of a blast wall in footage obtained by AP Television shortly after the blast. Continued on Page 14

Microneedles to make getting flu shots easier

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela cuts the cake at his 92nd birthday celebrations yesterday as he is surrounded by his grandchildren and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (top right) at his home. — AFP

Mandela turns 92, world pays tribute JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela turned 92 yesterday as US President Barack Obama and other world leaders hailed the anti-apartheid icon’s contribution to global politics and the fight for human rights. “We are grateful to continue to be blessed with his extraordinary vision, leadership, and spirit,” Obama said in Washington as an increasingly frail Mandela celebrated quietly with extended family at his home in Johannesburg. “We strive to build upon his example of tolerance, compassion and reconciliation,” said the US president. Former Zambian president Kenneth

Kaunda was among the few invited guests who joined a private family gathering, Mandela’s office said, adding that his grandchildren presented him with a three-tier cake and sang “happy birthday dear granddad”. “He is very well...he is healthy and taking into account the kind of life he had, it is really heartening... he is getting old, he is getting frail but he is absolutely healthy, full of life, spirits high,” Mandela’s wife Graca Machel told BBC. “We will gather at home, we will sit around, give him a lot of love,” said Machel. Continued on Page 14

WASHINGTON: One day your annual flu shot could come in the mail. At least that’s the hope of researchers developing a new method of vaccine delivery that people could even use at home: a patch with microneedles. Microneedles? That’s right, tiny little needles so small you don’t even feel them. Attached to a patch like a BandAid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine. Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in yesterday’s edition of Nature Medicine. The business side of the patch feels like fine sandpaper, he said. In tests of microneedles without vaccine, people rated the discomfort at one-tenth to one-twentieth that of getting a standard injection, he said. Nearly everyone said it was painless. Some medications are already delivered by patches, such as nicotine patches for people trying to quit smoking. That’s simply absorbed through the skin. But attempts to develop patches with the flu vaccine absorbed through the skin have not been successful so far. In the Georgia Tech work, the vaccine is still injected. But the needles are so small that they don’t hurt and it doesn’t take any special training to use this

A microscopic image of dissolving microneedles is seen, encapsulating a pink dye to simulate how a vaccine would be incorporated into the needles. — AP kind of patch. So two problems are solved right away - fear of needles, and disposal of leftover hypodermic needles. “The goal has been a means to administer the vaccine that is patient friendly,” Mark R Prausnitz of Georgia Tech said in a telephone interview. That means “not only not hurting or looking scary, but that patients could self-administer,” he said, and people would be more likely to get the flu vaccine. By developing needles that dissolve, there are no leftover sharp needles, especially

important for people who might give themselves the vaccine at home, he said. The patch, which has been tested on mice, was developed in collaboration by researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University, Prausnitz said. The researchers are now seeking funds to begin tests in people and, if all goes well, the patch could be in use in five years, he said. Flu vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, every year, and that’s a big burden on the public health network, Prausnitz noted. Many people don’t get the shot because it’s inconvenient, but if they could get in the mail or at the pharmacy they might do so, he said. The patch is placed on the skin and left for 5 minutes to 15 minutes, he said. It can remain longer without doing any damage, he said. In tests on mice, the miocroneedles delivered a correct dose of the flu vaccine. The little needles are 650 microns (three-hundredths of an inch) in length and there are 100 on the patch used in the mouse study. Asked if the term “microneedle” might still frighten some folks averse to shots, Prausnitz said he was confident that marketers would come up with a better term before any sales began. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health. —AP

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian woman smokes a water pipe as she checks the Internet at a cafe yesterday. — AP

Hamas bans women from smoking shisha in public GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Hamas rulers have banned women from smoking water pipes in cafes, calling it a practice that destroys marriages and sullies the image of the Palestinian people. The ban marks the Islamist militant group’s latest effort to impose Muslim lifestyle in the seaside strip on an often resistant public. While Muslim law does not technically ban women from smoking the traditional tobacco-infused pipes, tradition frowns upon the habit. Hamas frequently mixes its strict interpretation of Islamic law with conservative Gaza tradition, and over the weekend, the two dovetailed to produce the smoking ban. “It is inappropriate for a woman

to sit cross-legged and smoke in public. It harms the image of our people,” Ihab Ghussein, Hamas interior ministry spokesman, said in a statement released yesterday. “Many women who smoke in public were divorced when their husbands saw them, or found out about them,” said Hamas police spokesman, Ayman Batneiji, without substantiating his claim. The ban was handed down by plainclothes security officials who marched through a strip of popular cafes by Gaza’s seashore over the weekend, ordering owners not to serve water pipes to female customers. Continued on Page 14


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Monday, July 19, 2010

A hostile location for animals

Heat wave takes its toll on mini-zoo in Ahmadi By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The animals in Ahmadi's mini-zoo are the latest casualties of the heat wave, said a self-proclaimed animal rights activist yesterday. Animal rights campaigner Anjana Sharma called the living conditions of several creatures in the KOC's mini zoo "pathetic," more especially in light of this

KUWAIT: Photographs of the mini-zoo provided by Anjana Sharma

kuwait digest

Kuwaiti-Iraqi borders By Meshary Al-Anjari

T

he denial of several Iraqi officials, led by permanent Arab League envoy Qais AlAzawi, about reports which suggest that Iraq may reopen its borders with Kuwait, is an antidote to this disease which is usually brought to the fore once in a while. This subject, which most recently unleashed heavy criticism against members of the Kuwaiti parliament led the Kuwaiti government to ask for a formal clarification about what has been reported in the media. It was unfortunately often brought up by Iraqi politicians or activists, who claim that the borders should be re-evaluated to settle this issue once and for all, despite the fact that the issue has already been settled. Regardless of what intentions these activists might have had for raising this subject, it is important for them and all people in Iraq to understand that Kuwaitis have long suffered from border conflicts that was fabricated by a regime that had destroyed Iraq and resorted to exporting problems that helped in Iraq's creation. The former Iraqi regime chose to create the border problem with its smallest neighbor, in an attempt to drive attention away from its civil issues. All these problems escalated and has ultimately led to the situation that Iraq is in today. Iraqis these days face a huge challenge of uplifting their country. This is in order to achieve a better future by achieving security and stability, while placing the issue that is related to borders between the two countries. It was already asserted as per the United Nations' resolutions that cannot be modified. Given that fact, Kuwait does not have the

right to ask the United Nations to alter the resolutions related to one's borders. Moreover, would it be logical for Kuwait to ask for this subject to be reopened after it already has been settled? Would it be logical for Kuwait to ask for a reassessment of UN resolutions which ended people's suffering as a result of this issue; suffering that at one point escalated into an invasion of their country? The boundary resolution which set the borders between Kuwait and Iraq was put by the UN's Security Council under charter number seven, allows using force against any breach of agreement, and classifying such breach as a threat to international peace and security. This is to ensure that the subject is not modified even with the help of International Court of Justice. Furthermore, Iraqi-Kuwaiti border settlement is stronger than border settlements carried out between Iraq and its neighboring countries. Back in 1976, the border agreement between Iraq and Iran was modified to divide the Shat Al-Arab between the two countries, after it was included within the Iraqi borders before that date. This agreement was annulled by Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War with Iran in 1980, before it was reinstated in 1990 upon the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. However, unlike the issue with Kuwait's borders, the Iraqi borders with Iran or any of its other neighboring countries for that matter - it was never brought up. Moreover, the Iraqi government should abstain from raising issues related to its borders with neighboring countries, instead of focusing on rebuilding their nation. —Al-Qabas

According to Sharma, however, it's bleakly ironic that just a few feet away from the minizoo sits a billboard sign proclaiming: "Ahmadi is a good model of health, safety and the environment.' "It's pathetic," she said. "I cannot see how they live the way they profess to." She claimed that animals are being maltreated by not having proper living space or conditions. Sharma contrasted the treatment of animals in Ahmadi with those in other, poorer nations, stating that in India, whose government is financially poor in comparison to Kuwait's, animals are treated with much greater respect and care. "The zoo animals in India are at least taken care of properly; they are kept in a cage or places similar to their natural habitat. They are well-maintained; [the zoo staff] put big fans and cooling systems out for them during hot summers. They have water pools and each cage has clean water in it for animals to bathe in. This Ahmadi mini-zoo has zero." In a bid to verify her claim, this Kuwait Times reporter visited the small zoo in person and confirmed her words, witnessing the appalling conditions of most of the animals who are kept in noticeably small cages, hardly large enough to have water put inside. They survive without proper ventilation or any defense from the scorching summer heat, with a few casually erected shades rather than any cooling system offering their only paltry protection. Some of the animals are directly exposed to Kuwait's searing summer heat without any means of escaping into shade, looking wretched and exhausted, as well as dehydrated, while ducks and geese there are homed in a dry pond with no water. When we contacted the head of KOC's horticulture department Jerry Thomas, he asserted that if there seemed to be any problems, the department staff would be happy to rectify them immediately. Thomas refused to answer any more questions from the Kuwait Times, however, insisting that his position there is solely a temporary one. Asked whether the facility has any vets in residence to ensure the animals wellbeing, Thomas said, "I can answer your questions tomorrow [today, Tuesday]." Sharma, who is a regular visitor to the zoo, said that the number of animals there has dramatically declined recently, with large numbers dying due to negligence. The Kuwait Times failed to verify that claim. Sharma said, "I respectfully recommend that if they cannot take good care of the animals, they would be better to return these animals to their place of origin or at least keep them in a suitable place for living beings. We talk about human rights; we should include the rights of these animals who hadn't dreamt of being zoo displays but die miserably."

summer seeing the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Kuwait. Sharma said the animals at the zoo "are awaiting death with every breath." She claimed, "Their conditions are miserable. I can hardly imagine how these animals live in such terrible conditions." Ahmadi, an oasis-like environment of parks and greenery, is usually hailed as one of Kuwait's most environmentally-friendly areas.

KU to accept bedoons' applications KUWAIT: Kuwait University (KU) will start accepting applications to study there from candidates with bedoon fathers and Kuwaiti mothers from July 26, revealed a senior official on Saturday. Hind Al-Salem, the Acting General Manager of the university's Admissions Department, also noted that 186 applicants with Kuwaiti mothers and non-Kuwaiti fathers have already been accepted, report-

ed Al-Qabas. Al-Salem also revealed that the university has already received a total of 4,700 applications for places on courses beginning in the next academic year, with 836 of these being approved immediately. On a separate issue, the university is set to increase the number of CCTV surveillance cameras on its campuses in order to maintain security, in light of a recent increase in the number of incidents involv-

ing violence among students. The head of the university's security department Qais Al-Tourah announced the forthcoming move in a press release issued on Saturday. Al-Tourah revealed last week that in the admissions period alone there had been ten complaints about student violence received, saying that this calls for stronger security measures to be introduced.

'112' second training course concludes KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) recently concluded its second training course in which 41 female police officers were trained to receive calls made to the emergency number 112 and take necessary follow up

action. The course was held at the operations sector of the Central Department of Operations, and supervised by the General Department of Training. The final session of the

course was attended by the Ministry's Assistant Undersecretary for Operations Affairs Maj Gen Dr Mustafa Al-Zuabi, and the Interim Managing Director of the Central Department of Operations, Brig Gen Fahad

Al-Shuwaia. The trainees received commemorative certificates during a ceremony held at the end of the event. The ministry intends to organize more courses to train as many qualified personnel as possible.

MoJ suspends approval of foreign marriage certificates KUWAIT: The Ministry of Justice has temporarily suspended its authentication of the marriage certificates for Kuwaitis marrying abroad until new regulations covering the verification of these documents are finalized. A ministry committee is currently working on updating the regulations as part of a government initiative to minimize the number of Kuwaitis marrying abroad. Among the issues being investigated are why so many male citizens choose to marry women from other Arab nations or elsewhere in the world. The government decided to take this step after statis-

tics indicated an increase in the numbers of unmarried women in Kuwait, reported Al-Qabas. The justice ministry is reportedly working closely with similar bodies in other Gulf nations to benefit from their experience in limiting the spread of marriages between citizens and expatriates, and is also looking into which nation most of the expatriate wives of Kuwaiti men come from. After the committee concludes its work on the regulations, the resulting recommendations will be submitted to justice minister Rashid AlHamad for consideration and approval.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Achievements of female MPs

Interior Ministry introduces sponsorship amendments By Raw an Khalid KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has announced the introduction of a new ruling under w hich Kuw aiti w omen married to non-Kuw aitis w ill be able to sponsor their husbands and children, a move w hich one prominent local w omen’s rights activist said had been pending for tw o decades. Lulw a Al-Mulla, the Secretary General of the Women’s “We’ve been waiting for these new laws and rulings since the liberation [from the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation] for some 20 years now,” Al-Mulla said. “We’d just been hearing statements without any deeds. This continued until women got into parliament, then a lot of things began to change.” The new ruling was also warmly welcomed by the Kuwaiti women who will be affected. Fayza S, a Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti doctor, said, “I think it’s my right as a Kuwaiti to have the ability to sponsor my husband because this way we won’t be forced to separate in old age,” she said, talking about the law that compels expatriates over 60 to leave the country. Under the old law, she explained, “when my husband turned 60 he would need to leave and I’d have to travel with

Cultural and Social Society, hailed the new ruling, attributed its implementation to the election last year of four female MPs to the Kuw aiti parliament. “I am so proud of the a chievements of the four fema le MPs in the Na tiona l Assembly in just one year,” she told the Kuw ait Times, also praising the parliamentary w omen’s committee and its achievements, including the legislative amendments it had pushed through.

him because I wouldn’t leave him along after this long relationship. That’s why I’m grateful for the new legislation, which won’t force us to move away from our home.” Fayza, who’s a mother of five children, said that the decision will also benefit her children. “When my youngest child graduates from high school, my husband will be sixty years old, which means that he’ll retire and we won’t be able to pay the university fees [via his wages],” she explained. The new law, however, will give them some breathing space, she said. “At least my children will be free from having to pay health insurance fees.” Fayza insisted that it’s as much her right as a Kuwaiti to own a home in Kuwait as it is the right of her male compatriots.

“I’m a citizen and I have the right to own a house just like the men,” she said. “Why should I pay KD 400 every month for rent when I could pay nothing and own a home like others?” Another Kuwaiti woman, Nehal, an unemployed divorcee whose ex-husband was not Kuwaiti, also welcomed the new decision, pointing out that it would benefit her children and others in their position. Nehal, who has two sons and one daughter, all of whom are now married themselves, said that, although she was divorced from their father 18 years ago when the children were young, the law was still a great step forward: “I know the ruling’s a bit late to benefit me now, but thank God that it’s passed so that I’ll be able to sponsor my daughter or sons if anything happens to them.”

MBABANE: Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah leaving Swaziland yesterday.

Sheikha Amthal concludes Swazi visit MBABANE: Swaziland’s King Mswati III held a banquet on Saturday evening in honor of the visiting delegations taking part in the birthday celebrations for his daughter held at the Royal Palace. The representative of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and her accompanying delegation, attended the banquet, along with other senior state official and diplomats. Swaziland’s Queen Mother, Queen Ntombi and King Mswati III himself both delivered speeches during the event in

which they lauded the interest and care that Their Highnesses the Amir, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister had given to their granddaughter, Princess Temaswati. They also expressed their appreciation to the Kuwaiti Amir for sending a representative to take part in these celebrations, saying that Kuwait has a special place in the hearts of Swaziland’s government and people, given the special role played by the Gulf state in the development of their country and offering their

prayers for the continued wellbeing of the Kuwaiti ruling family, and for the greater prosperity of the Kuwaiti people. Sheikha Amthal left Swaziland to return to Kuwait yesterday morning. She was bade farewell at the airport by the country’s Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Princess Tsandizile, along with other members of the Swazi royal family, the Swazi Ambassador to Kuwait, and Kuwait’s Ambassador to South Africa and Non-Resident Ambassador to Swaziland Hassan Bader Al-Oqab. — KUNA

CAIRO: Rashid Al-Hamad opening the Ali Al-Naqi charity complex yesterday.

Kuwait opens charity complex near Cairo CAIRO: Kuwait is well aware of the power of charity in building bridges amongst nations; thus, the Gulf country is working on this aspect at the regional and international level, said Ambassador to Egypt Rashid Al-Hamad yesterday. The statement came during opening of the Ali Al-Naqi charity complex Dakahlia Governorate northeast of Cairo with the structure being part of the Kuwaiti-sponsored charities in Egypt. Al-Hamad said that the project was funded by Mohammad Ali Al-Naqi, adding that it would provide charity for the people of Dakahlia Governorate. Kuwait would continue its efforts to support the Egyptian people within all possible sectors and that would include the charitable and aid domains, affirmed the Ambassador. The Ali Al-Naqi complex, a two-story building that consists of a celebration hall as well as a mosque, has cost around KD 66,000. — KUNA

CAIRO: The Ali Al-Naqi charity complex

US army official gets jail for $30,000 bribery in Kuwait VIRGINIA: A US army official was sentenced for 42 months in jail based on charges that he received a bribe of $30,000 and other payments from an Egyptian businessman in Kuwait. The US Army contracting official was charged in February with bribery and unlawful salary supplementation in connection with two schemes to solicit more than $30,000 in bribes from an Egyptian businessman in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and US Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia. William Rondell Collins, 46, of Bartlett, Tenn., was charged yesterday in a four-count indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, with two counts of soliciting and accepting bribes as a public official and two counts of unlawful salary supplementation from a source other than the US government. According to the indictment, the US Army Area Support Group-Kuwait (ASG-KU) is responsible for maintaining Camp Arifjan, a US military installation providing support for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the Southwest Asian Theater. As part of those responsibilities, the ASG-KU maintains an off-post housing office in downtown Kuwait City, which procures, leases and supervises off-post housing for government employees and military service members stationed at Camp Arifjan. According to the indictment, Collins was employed in the ASGKU’s off-post housing office as a housing

Correction KUWAIT: In a correction to the Kuwait Times article, ‘Paper claims to have won US Ambassador’s $5,000 wager,’ published on July 18, we wish to publish the following transcript of an interview between local newspaper Al-Rai and the US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones conducted on July 14, which appeared in Al-Rai on July 17: Al-Rai: We want to ask you about the case of human rights, which you criticized Kuwait regarding the case of imprisonment of the journalist Mohammed Al-Jassem. Ambassador Jones: I did not criticize that. Al-Rai: But the U.S. Government did; meanwhile, an employee from CNN was fired just because she wrote one sentence in which she praised Mohammed Hussain Fadhlallah. Why the contradiction? Ambassador Jones: I don’t think that they would take that employee to prison. You have to ask CNN about its policies; it is not a government agency. Al-Rai: But both cases are related to human rights? Ambassador Jones: CNN, as a private institution, has the right to hire or fire anyone based on the level of commitment to its own policy ... next time when an American court puts anyone in jail for expressing a political opinion, then you would have the right to ask me this question. If that does happen one day, I will pay you $5000.

specialist responsible for supervising private contractors and procuring offpost apartment rentals. The indictment alleges that, in January 2009, a company owned by an Egyptian businessman was awarded a fixed-price US government contract to provide maintenance services for offpost housing managed by Collins and the ASG-KU off-post housing office. According to the indictment, in July 2009, Collins allegedly solicited a monthly fee of approximately $1,400 from the Egyptian businessman in return for Collins’s agreement to provide favorable and preferential treatment and advice to the Egyptian businessman’s company on the performance and renewal of the contract. Collins also allegedly agreed to conceal from his supervisors the existence and nature of the monthly fee arrangement. According to the indictment, Collins allegedly accepted five $1,400 payments from the Egyptian businessman between July and December 2009. The indictment also alleges that, between July and December 2009, Collins solicited a monthly payment of approximately $962 from the Egyptian businessman in exchange for drafting and submitting an inflated off-post apartment lease to the United States for approval. According to the indictment, Collins allegedly received approximately $5,775 from the Egyptian businessman on Dec. 13, 2009, representing a sixmonth advance on the scheme. The bribery counts each carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a

fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The unlawful salary supplementation counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant US Attorney Steve A. Linick, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section; and Fraud Section Trial Attorneys James J. Graham and Ryan S. Faulconer. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the US Army Criminal Investigative Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and members of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and the International Contract Corruption Task Force (ICCTF). The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention, and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The ICCTF is a joint law enforcement agency task force that seeks to detect, investigate, and dismantle corruption and contract fraud resulting from US Overseas Contingency Operations, including in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Liver transplant operation to be held at Amiri Hospital KUWAIT: The Amiri hospital is set to feature the first hepatic transplant operation to be carried out in a public hospital in Kuwait, announced a senior official on Saturday. Dr. Afrah Al-Sarraf, the hospital’s Assistant Manager, indicated that the hospital is currently preparing the specialist medical team that will carry out the operation. The Ministry of Health (MoH) hopes that carrying out such procedures in Kuwait’s public hospitals will help to reduce the number of patients who have to be sent abroad for such surgery, reported Al-Rai. The move is part of the hospital’s plan to expand the range of medical services which it provides and improve their quality, Dr. Al-Sarraf

explained. This will include strengthening the emergency procedures plan in place in case of unscheduled emergencies such as power cuts. The hospital recently launched its own website, www.amirihospital.com where patients and prospective patients can find out more about the services offered there. In the meantime, said, Dr. Al-Sarraf, the hospital’s administration team is working to replace the archived patients’ files with an electronic archiving system. A total of 3,884 patients were admitted to the Amiri Hospital in the first quarter of 2010, while a total of 42,987 patients were treated at the hospital’s various clinics and 1,058 surgical operations were performed there.

Journalists to attend pearl diving KUWAIT: Media representatives have been invited to attend an event to cover the activities of the 22nd Annual Traditional Pearl Diving Trip today, held by the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC) between July 15 and 24 under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Journalists will drive this afternoon from KSSC’s headquarters in Salmiya to the diving location at Khairan’s Bandar (port). They will be welcomed by 190 young sailors on board 15 ships that will be docked there before their trip at dawn. Journalists will also be invited to take part in a traditional trip to observe procedures closely and will return in special boats tomorrow at noon time, announced KSSC’s Head of Public Relations and Media Committee, Mahmoud Abu Al-Qassim. The KSSC’s Secretary General Khalid AlFoudari acknowledged the efforts put in by the Sea Heritage Committee to ensure a successful traditional pearl diving trip, while commending sponsoring companies’ support.

Khalid Al-Foudari


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Busy time for organisations

IPC to introduce Islam to foreigners during Ramadan By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: The Holy Month of Ramadan is soon approaching. Many associations and committees are preparing activities and gatherings to observe this fasting month. It is a busy time for Islamic organizations in particular. One of these organizations is the IPC (Islamic Presentation Committee) which has a busy schedule for the month of Ramadan. The IPC is an Islamic committee which aims to introduce the basic tenets of the religion to those who have converted newly to Islam. Kuwait Times spoke to the Media Department Chief of the Committee Mohammad Taha who explained a list of activities that the committee has planned to prepare and work during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Taha mentioned that an event will be held during Ramadan to inaugurate an awareness center which aims to introduce foreigners to Islam. They will be encouraged to participate in traditional activities, weddings and cultural ceremonies that take a lot from Islamic culture. This will be performed at the Center

KUWAIT: Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Housing Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah receiving the Youth and Sports Minister of the Republic of Laos yesterday.

in my view

One new thing every day By Fouad Al-Obaid

W

e don’t k n o w h o w much time we have left. There is one thing we know for sure; each day that comes by is one less day we have on this blessed earth! Day after day, we lose time. How many of us constantly postpone beginning our major lifetime projects with the hope that later on we will have more time to carry out such projects? Projects such as buying ‘the house’, marrying ‘the woman’, starting a family, shifting to a new job, launching our very own business are some examples of things that we could do today, that we for some reason tend to postpone. Those who have taken the step today, Congratulations! Overall, as human beings, we are fallible, we are unknowledgeable; we are many things that are far from being good. However, I for one, believe that even the most evil of us have in some

place, hidden deep beneath the filth, kindness and compassion that is a trade mark of our humanity. If nurtured properly, we all have the ability to succeed. We can all aspire to become honest, respectable, citizens of the countries we inhabit. If given the chance and properly mentored, there should be no reason for any one not to become a useful individual working towards the betterment of oneself and humanity as a whole. Yes, I acknowledge that we do have our differences, and that religion has historically led to many conflicts. However, when placed in the wider scope of contemporary life, our differences can easily crumble when we learn to communicate with the ‘other.’ We are the products of societies that have had a hard time defining their sense of belonging. Who are we? To whom do we owe our highest loyalty to? Not being patriotic is the question. For, I am in no doubt that all citizens should they be required would come to the rescue. However, the reaction to state decisions by non-state parities, that is, citizens’ has sparked controversy over many issues. Of the given issues and

central to the past few weeks is the deployment of female police officers and policewomen. Though granted, the sight of fellow citizens taking on such a role for the first time may come as a shock to many. Nevertheless, just like with most things in life, once the novelty fades things will be back to normal. Ultimately, I believe that monotony brings boredom, and boredom leads to all sorts of vices and potentially crime. Should one not have things to look forward to that excite him/her - in the nonsexual sense of the term obviously then there is not much hope or aspiration that such a person can cling to. Void of new challenges; void of inspiration; void of hope for a better tomorrow, the human soul lounges in life aimlessly and in pity. The solution to such a major issue, would be to encourage citizen’s creativity, whereby it should become a State policy to encourage people to do one new exciting thing a day - that does not breach the confines of law and public order. By doing so, people would look forward to living and enjoying life. fouad@kuwaittimes.net

New Customs Dept structure to be revealed KUWAIT: The Customs Department’s new organizational structure will be revealed after the end of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday at the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan, said a senior customs department official on Saturday. Ibrahim Al-Ghanim, the general manager of the department, explained that the restructuring of the new department involved a number of procedures, including the establishment of several new sec-

tions dealing with development, planning, emergency management and other issues, which will enable the department to cope with the country’s developmentoriented aspirations. Al-Ghanim also revealed that the department is currently seeking to recruit a number of female customs inspectors to work at border checkpoints, saying that candidates must have attained at least a high school diploma.

The department is at present suffering from a lack of female inspectors, he said, with few women wishing to take the job, while the Kuwaitization policy means that there are no intentions of offering these positions to non-Kuwaitis. The senior official also urged the Civil Service Commission to provide more chemical engineers who could help to strengthen the department’s ability to detect hazardous materials.

for Developing Arab Western Relationships located at Al-Surra. A special Iftar will be prepared exclusively for foreigners. This, in addition to what is called Kiyam Al-Leil, is a kind of prayer that is performed during Ramadan. This prayer will be performed collectively with the participation of foreigners who have converted to Islam. He also said that special diwaniyas will be held to introduce them to Islam which are prepared by the core committee. Lectures will be held before Iftar between sunset and dinner during Ramadan

for new converts. In addition to this, 120,000 Iftar meals will be distributed by the committee. This committee has 15 branches in Kuwait and managed to convert 3,727 people to Islam in 2009. The Islam Presentation Committee is the only charity society in Kuwait that specializes in presenting Islam and offers services to non-Muslims. During this holy month, a continuation of the previous achievements garnered by the committee in presenting Islam’s religious tenets to new converts will be strived for so as to develop itself to reach high levels on this regard.

Two dead in traffic accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 40-year-old Kuwaiti man was killed, while a 37-year-old compatriot sustained head injuries in a car crash in Salmi. The injured man was rushed to Jahra Hospital, while the body of the deceased was removed for autopsy. In a separate incident, a 24-year-old Saudi man succumbed to his injuries shortly after another car accident in Salmi. His body was removed for autopsy. In another accident, a 43-year-old Saudi man suffered a broken collarbone in a collision near the UN Roundabout. He was taken to Sabah Hospital. Meanwhile, a 35-year-old Kuwaiti man was taken to Adan Hospital after sustain-

ing fractured bones in his left hand in a crash on the Sixth Ring Road near Farwaniya. In a separate incident, an unidentified man suffered head wounds and a fractured left arm when he was hit by a car. He was rushed to Adan Hospital. In another case, a 25-year-old Egyptian expatriate was taken to Amiri Hospital after suffering a compound fracture to his left arm in a crash on Fahad Al-Salem Street. Body found The body of a 42-year-old male Burmese expatriate was discovered in Shuwaikh Port’s quarantine area. The body was removed for autopsy.

Escape attempt A 23-year-old Indonesian domestic worker suffered spinal fractures and severe bruising to her head when she fell to the ground while climbing from a second-floor window at her sponsors’ home in Al-Qusour in an attempt to escape. She was rushed to Adan Hospital. Fight club A 38-year-old Pakistani man suffered injuries to his genitals, while a 34-yearold compatriot complained of severe back pain following a fight in the Amghara Scrapyard area. Both were taken to Jahra Hospital.

Report submitted on bedoon driving license problems KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) is reportedly studying proposals to resolve the current situation whereby bedoon (stateless) residents of Kuwait are unable to obtain driving licenses. MoI Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Lt Gen Mahmoud AlDousari has submitted a report on the obstacles that prevent bedoon people from attaining licenses to Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid AlSabah, along with recommendations on how best to resolve the situation, reported Al-Anba. The main problem currently

facing traffic department staff in issuing driving licenses to bedoon people is the lack of personal information on these residents, who are not issued with the passports approved in accordance with Article 17 of the constitution that orders that the person’s name be included in Latin script, which does not apply to bedoons. The more recently introduced licenses with magnetic strips containing personal information are also unsuitable for bedoons since the bearer’s name must be included in both Arabic and English.

KSE ‘clean-up’ to get underway shortly KUWAIT: A series of steps to ‘clean up’ trading activities at the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) are expected to get underway shortly, with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to hold poorly performing companies to account. The Central Bank of Kuwait, meanwhile, has already begun to implement stricter standards for investment firms, which could see the membership of those com-

KUWAIT: One of the items displayed at the Treasury Of the World Exhibition.

Treasury of the World moving to Malaysia KUWAIT: Under the auspices of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah, Treasury Of the World Exhibition, in Singapore will move to Malaysia (Islamic museum) within the Asian tour from July 2010 until December 2010. Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah AlJaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Minister for Oil and Information will be opening of the exhibition on July 30 along with Munther Al-Essa, Kuwaiti ambassador in Malaysia. From Malaysian side, King of Malaysia Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin and his wife will attend it. Treasury Of the World includes 507 pieces dating from the Mughal period in India 1526-1858, representing the arts of Mughal India.

Mughal rulers were deeply interested in the art of carving their images of precious stones an example of which is the stone showing Shah Jihan holding a precious stone. The exhibition started its global tour from the British museum in London, May 2001, metropolitan in NY October 2001, in Cleveland February 2002, Houston June 2002, Saint Louise October 2002 and then the Royal Palace in Madrid October 2004. Moreover, the Islamic art in Berlin February 2005 and then Louvre Museum in Paris July 2006 and then Kremlin Moscow February 2009, Hermitage Saint Petersburg august 2009 and last stop was in Asian heritage in Singapore 2010.


NATIONAL

Monday, July 19, 2010

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Premier signs agreements in Havana

Kuwait, Cuba enter new era in bilateral relations HAVANA: His Highness the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah held official talks with the First Vice President of the Council of State, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, on Saturday. The top officials met in presence of members of the

HAVANA: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah accompanied by Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Marcos Rodriguez visited yesterday the Statue of Jose Marti, a Cuban liberty figure. During his visit to the museum where the statue is located, His Highness the Prime Minister was briefed on the role Marti played in pursuit of Cuban independence and liberty and given a review of landmarks in Cuban history.

The officials also discussed regional issues topped by the Palestinian cause and Israeli settlement expansion and desecration of Muslim sanctities and holy places and international issues including the global financial crisis and the global effort to counter terrorism. In press remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah described the talks as "fruitful and constructive" and also wide-ranging in theme. He also said the two parties announced a new era of bilateral relations with the appointment of a resident Kuwaiti Ambassador in the Cuban capital, Havana, a move met favorably in Cuba. Sheikh Mohammad said he was to visit Santiago de Cuba City's water system rehabilitation project, which is financed by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and is due for completion soon. The minister noted the fund takes pride in the project which is to supply potable water for a third of the Cuban population, particularly poor communities. The two sides followed the talks with signing of three agreements; a foreign ministries bilateral consultation agreement signed by Sheikh Mohammad and Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla; a culture and arts cooperation agreement signed by Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali and Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto Jimenez; a trade cooperation

kuwait digest

Protecting the communication network By Saud Al-Asfour

T

he Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has finally taken action to rebuild the main Sabahiya phone station. It was destroyed by Iraqi forces during the 1990 invasion. For twenty years, the ruins at the telephone exchange's place, located at the southern part of the country, remained untouched throughout the rebuilding and development process.

The government's lackadaisical approach was directed at improving services (not to mention that it is an indication of how easy was it for Iraqi troops to attack a vital facility shortly after entering the country from the north). Speaking of which, it is important to inquire about the ministry's preparations to face similar cases of emergency, as a result of an outside attack or chaos. During invasion, Iraqi forces intentionally targeted Kuwait's main communication lines.

This is in order to cut all means of communication between people. Therefore, the ministry should have an emergency plan on hold to protect the phone network. Moreover, I learned from a friend of mine who is an employee at the Ministry of Communications that the country's fiber optics network is connected to a single control point. If it is damaged or out of service, it can cause an entire network to disconnect. Does the ministry have a back up emergency plan to face such threats? — Al-Rai

Gas unit installed

Nabila Al-Anjari

Support for policewomen KUWAIT: Political activist Nabila Al-Anjari recently asserted on the significant role played by policewomen to maintain order in a civilized society such as Kuwait's. They indicated that deploying female police officers at shopping malls will help provide more security as they are apt at dealing with family and children. In a statement recently made to the press, Al-Anjari pointed out that similar successful ventures were carried out in Saudi Arabia where policewomen helped maintain law and order at Al-Masjid AlHaram in Makkah and the Prophet's mosque in Madinah. Furthermore, Al-Anjari addressed the incident where female police officers were harassed at shopping malls, indicating that these incidents were personal and should not be taken as a reason to term this experience as a failure. She also indicated that

Kuwaiti women have proved themselves successful in various work fields in society like teaching, medicine and architecture. They have shown that they are capable of working under pressure, while also making their way to top positions at ministries and other public firms. Al-Anjari urged those who object Kuwaiti policewomen to come up with alternative effective measures to address cases of violation, laws and corruption. This is not to mention the power shortage crisis, health and educational problems in addition to other issues that currently persist in the country. She further expressed her disappointment at some parliament members' attitude. They reject women's recruitment to new fields of work. The activist concluded her statement by urging Kuwaiti policewomen to carry on with their daily activities in a responsible manner.

KUWAIT: The first power unit at Sabbiyah station will be in operation in the middle of next year hiking the electric output 1,300 megawatts, an official said on Saturday. Speaking to journalists after attending an inauguration ceremony for installing the first gas unit at the station, Ali Al-Wazzan, the assistant undersecretary of electricity and water, affirmed importance of "this step," since the Minister, Bader Al-Shuraiaan, signed the contract for building the plant last September. The unit capacity is 220 MW. Al-Sabbiyah plant will be the first power station in Kuwait that operates with a 400 MW network. The director of the station, Muhi-Eddine Najm, said the second gas unit would be set up in two weeks. Al-Shuraiaan, the minister of electricity and water, signed the contract for building and operating the station with General Electric and Hyundai in September. The plant will supply the national electric network with 2,000 MW, 20 percent of the current overall power output. —KUNA

Kuwaiti accompanying delegation as well as Cuban ministers and other officials.The officials reviewed the strong brotherly relations, which span three decades, and cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade and culture.

HAVANA: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah pictured during his visit to the museum. agreement signed by Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashid AlHaroun and Cuban First Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and

Investment Antonio Carricarte Corona. Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce Al-Haroun said the new trade cooperation agreement would open wide horizons

for cooperation, especially as Cuba increases its investment appeal. Meetings would be held to work out the technical aspects,

and the Kuwaiti side showed willingness to venture into investment as well as boost cooperation in trade and industry, the minister noted. —KUNA


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Bootlegger in police net

Two brothels busted in Jahra, 17 arrested KUWAIT: Jahra police raided two flats in the area which were being used as brothels, arresting ten Asian women working as prostitutes there and seven men procuring for them. Subsequent investigations revealed that a number of the women had previously fled from their sponsors, while others were still working as maids with local families, reported Al-Rai. All those arrested were taken to the local police station to be booked and have been referred to the relevant authorities. Meanwhile, a Sri Lankan man was arrested after police received a tip-off that he was using the chalet in Bnaider which he was employed to look after to make illicit alcohol in while his sponsor was abroad on his summer holidays. The bootlegger was taken into custody and a quantity of equipment used to distill alcohol was recovered from the property, reported Al-Watan. Fatal crash A woman in her fifties died, while her brother and son were seriously injured when their vehicle overturned on the Salmi Road close to the Saudi border as they were returning from an Umra pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The injured were rushed to Jahra Hospital, while the woman’s body was removed for autopsy, reported Al-Rai. An investigation has been launched into the accident.

Missing teen’s family optimistic KUWAIT: The family of a Kuwaiti teenager currently missing in the US, whose first name has been revealed as Iman, are confident that she will be found safe and well shortly, indicating that they have received assurances from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials in regards to the ongoing search operation. “US security authorities informed us that they have pictures of Iman where she has been seen at a train station, and in front of an ATM machine,” said the girl’s uncle, adding that the FBI also informed them about information they received, which indicated that she had spent a night alone at a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. The girl went missing while on vacation with her mother and her two younger siblings in Florida. As soon as he heard about her disappearance, the girl’s father - who is

divorced from her mother and had been unaware that she and their children were on vacation abroad - took the first available flight from Kuwait to the US. The uncle explained that the Kuwaiti Embassy in the US had informed them that the girl’s mother had instructed them not to inform the father of the incident, since she has custody of the children. During their investigations, FBI personnel have questioned a distant relative of the family who had been living in Nebraska for some years, who denied any knowledge of the girl’s whereabouts. The family member was released, having told the FBI that the last time he saw the missing girl was when she was a baby. The girl’s father only discovered that his daughter was missing after heading to his exwife’s home in Kuwait to visit the children.

On speaking to his former wife on the phone, she explained that their daughter had left the holiday villa in Florida following a disagreement between them, adding that they had been set to return to Kuwait on July 27. Based on the information obtained to date, the FBI have concluded that Iman has run away from her family and decided to seek her independence in typical teenage style. The girl’s uncle also told Al-Rai that the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington is liaising closely with all the official bodies involved in the search and is keeping the family regularly updated. He added that the authorities in Kuwait had immediately facilitated the issuing of a visa for the girl’s father, allowing him to travel immediately to the US.

Parliament Speakers to discuss key issues

Fareah Al-Saqqaf and Markus Wildi

Dow Chemical Foundation pledges $325,000 to LoYAC KUWAIT: The Dow Chemical Company - a leader in science and technology - has committed $325,000 to the Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LoYAC) through its charitable arm, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. The sponsorship reflects Dow’s ongoing commitment to empower and support youth in Kuwait. In line with the company’s aspirations to aid and support the Kuwaiti community, Dow and LoYAC collaborated to introduce the ‘With Pleasure’ program, a community services initiative which allows LoYAC volunteers to reach out to local community service institutes; such as autism centers, orphanages and elderly care centers, to help and support people in need. The program also encourages LoYAC volunteers to socialize with residents and engage them in extracurricular and social activities. In addition, Dow’s sponsorship of LoYAC will also include educational training and summer internship programs as well as the sole sponsorship of ‘Omar Khayyam’ theatrical performance. Scheduled for performance in Kuwait, ‘Omar Khayyam’ is a production about the life of the famous mathematician and philosopher by the ‘LoYAC Academy of Performing Arts.’ “We are delighted to receive Dow’s support for our 2010 initiatives. At LoYAC we aim to constantly promote critical thinking, innovation and community service work among the youth of Kuwait,” Fareah Al-Saqqaf Vice- Chairperson and Managing Director. “Dow’s continuous commitment to LoYAC will allow us to further establish our programs to cater to the evolving needs of Kuwaiti young talents and more importantly play an active role in their development.” “We are very proud to be playing a critical role in empowering youth and supporting the growth of young talents in Kuwait,” said Markus Wildi, President of Dow Middle East and Vice President of Corporate Development in Kuwait. “LoYAC is one of Kuwait’s noted NGOs which understands the importance of developing young minds and talents and we are pleased to continue working with LoYAC to encourage creativity and innovation among the youth of Kuwait as they evolve into successful leaders of tomorrow.” Dow has always been a strong supporter of LoYAC’s educational programs and initiatives. In 2008, Dow’s support ranged from a sole partnership of the ‘F1 Schools Challenge’, to supporting

LoYAC’s award winning drama club’s “Beware” production. Dow also supported LoYAC’s PartTime Program for work internships, as well as various interactive activities by LoYAC that focus on Music. Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of technologybased products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted For nearly 15 years, Dow and Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C. (PIC) of Kuwait have shared one successful milestone after another, partnering on six industry-leading joint ventures: EQUATE Petrochemical Company, MEGlobal, Equipolymers, EQUATE Marketing Company, The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC), and The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC). As the largest foreign investor, and the largest private employer of Kuwaiti nationals, through its JVs, in the petrochemicals industry in Kuwait, Dow has consistently promoted economic development and prosperity. Dow and PIC’s joint ventures combine Dow’s strong existing asset base, technology position and market presence. Dow’s partnership with Kuwait’s noted NGO, LoYAC is in line with Dow’s commitment to the communities in which it operates. LoYAC is noted in Kuwait for its inspired, innovative youth education and activities program, such as Dow’s sole partnership of the F1 Schools Challenge, support of LoYAC’s award winning Drama Club and other youth developmental programs in Kuwait and abroad.

GENEVA: Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi said yesterday that the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament is set to discuss a number of crucial issues at this intricate period in time. Al-Kharafi, in his first statement since arriving in Geneva to attend the event, said that Gulf Cooperation Council states were to meet yesterday to coordinate a unified position - notably on the Palestinian issue - to a gathering of 150 parliament speakers from around the world. The leading Kuwaiti parliamentarian was also set to attend a meeting of the Inter-Arab Parliamentary Union yesterday. Al-Kharafi expressed his gratitude and thanks to the Swiss government for their hosting of the event, after attending delegations of the last two sessions in New York found it hard to obtain visa entries into the United States. Receiving the National Assembly speaker was the Kuwaiti permanent envoy to the UN, Ambassador Dhirar Rezougi and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Switzerland Suhail Shehaiber, among other Kuwaiti diplomats in Geneva. The World Conference of Speakers of Parliament is set to kick off early tosay, with the attendance of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The conference aims to discuss issues related to global crises and means to solve them, along with the relation between parliaments and the UN, namely on security, peace, comprehensive development challenges and the dialogue of nations and cultures. The conference will also discuss a number of reports related to current international affairs and reforms presented by the UN. —KUNA

Druggie attack Police arrested a Kuwaiti drug user who physically assaulted a number of family members at their home in Sulaibikhat. Arriving at the scene after receiving an emergency call, police found the man’s wife and children cowering outside the house after he had beaten them and stabbed two of the children, reported Al-Watan. Officers quickly restrained and arrested the man, taking him into custody and confiscating a quantity of hashish from his possession. House fire A Kuwaiti man and two of his children were rushed to Jahra Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation after a blaze broke out at the family’s home in Sulaibiya. Firefighters speedily evacuated all the occupants of the house before tackling the blaze,

reported Al-Rai. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire. Family trouble A policeman narrowly escaped being run over by an elderly Kuwaiti man after the officer had told the man’s son that his car was to be impounded for the illegal decals in the back window, reported Al-Anba. The incident took place on a street in Salmiya after the young man had called his father to inform him about the police action, with the elderly man turning up shortly after in his own car and instructing his son to get into the vehicle before fleeing the scene, purposefully attempting to run the policeman over during his escape. A hunt is underway for the father and son. Official nabbed A Ministry of Interior (MoI) official has been taken into custody for questioning after it was discovered that he had approved the issuing of 200 work visas for four local beauty salons, reported Al-Rai. The official was arrested after fellow ministry staff raised suspicions that he might be involved facilitating in illegal transactions. Fugitive maids A policeman arrested two Asian women in Fahad Al-Salem Street after discovering

that both were fugitives who had fled from their employers. The officer became suspicious of the women after spotting them looking very lost after getting out of a taxi there and approached them to ask for their ID. On checking their cards, he quickly discovered that both were wanted for absconding from their sponsors, and quickly took them to Salhiya police station, reported AlRai. While they were being held pending questioning, the women offered to bribe the officer to release them, and they now face further charges of attempting to bribe a security official. Suspected witchcraft Detectives in Hawally are hunting for an unidentified woman who is suspected to have been planning to carry out acts of witchcraft at a mosque in Hiteen. A Kuwaiti man who approached the niqab-clad woman after spotting her wandering in the mosque and becoming suspicious of her behavior called police after she fled, leaving a number of bags, when he asked her what she was doing there. On arriving at the scene, police discovered that the ten bags she had left behind in various parts of the mosque contained a number of items connected with witchcraft. Crime scene investigators removed fingerprints from the scene and are hunting for the woman.

Disability rights law still not enforced KUWAIT: With the cabinet’s promise to enforce the new disability rights legislation within three months of its being adopted passing on May 28, with no sign to date of the law being put into effect, a prominent disability rights campaigner has condemned the government’s tardiness in the matter. Mahdi Al-Azmi, the head of the Kuwaiti Disabled Sports Association and board member of the Public Authority for Disabled Citizens’ Affairs, also condemned

the government’s failure to appoint a chairman to the authority’s management board, as well as censuring MPs for not putting pressure on the cabinet to enforce the legislation. “Disabled citizens cannot benefit from the privileges of the new law, such as retirement and reduced working hours, due to the fact that it has yet to be put into effect,” said Al-Azmi, speaking at a press conference held to highlight the issue. He added that the legislation cannot be enforced until the government appoints a

chairman to the authority’s management board, reported Al-Qabas. “Disabled citizens’ excitement at the new law soon turned to disappointment after realizing that the legislation is still struggling to find its way to enforcement,” Al-Azmi continued, adding that disabled Kuwaitis currently actually face more problems than they did previously since the former disability rights legislation had already been suspended to allow the enforcement of the new law.

MPs pushing for special session on govt’s failure to push through laws

CAIRO: Ahmad Al-Mershed addressing the meeting (top) and the video footage (above).

Focus on voluntary work CAIRO: Kuwait is always on the vanguard of voluntary work on a regional and international level, said an official here yesterday on the sideline of the Arab voluntary work federation meeting held in Sharm El-Sheikh. Head of the Kuwaiti delegation to the meeting undersecretary at the Ministry of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Kuwaiti voluntary work center Ahmad AlMershed said that Kuwait was keen on participating in the event. He added the delegation had submitted two papers on Kuwaiti voluntary

works activities, as well as a paper from Senyar center for environment protection. The Senyar paper had focused on how the team dealt with the Meshref plant incident, said Al-Mershed, adding that the document was backed up by video footage. The meeting’s final communique called for increasing voluntary efforts throughout the Arab world, said the official. Kuwait voluntary work center is headed by Sheikha Amthal Al-Sabah. The center joined the Arab federation in 2006. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A large number of MPs are pushing for the holding of a special session at the start of the next parliamentary term for discussion of the government’s failure to implement laws passed in parliament. A number of the laws passed by parliament in the last three years have yet to be enforced, said one insider, adding that the government’s failure to take any action towards their implementation means that it is fully accountable, especially since the enforcement of legislation is the executive authority’s principal responsibility. Among the most important articles of legislation which the government has failed to implement are the laws to create public shareholding firms to oversee consumer foodstuff prices and to develop the country’s border security systems, reported Al-Anba. The first article of legislation was passed in 2008, said the parliamentary insider, but so far no action had been taken to establish any shareholding firm, leading to increases in the prices of consumer goods due to the high costs of storage. The insider asserted that, despite the fact that this law could have helped to restrict prices, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had ignored it. Another law passed by parliament that the parliamentary source said had subsequently been sidelined and disregarded is the BOT legislation, which the insider controversially alleged had been intentionally ignored after influential figures intervened to argue that its strict regulations deterred potential investors. The parliamentary insider also cited the antimonopolies legislation passed in 2008, which has still not been implemented by the MCI despite its vital importance.


Monday, July 19, 2010

INTERNATIONAL

7

Gaza family struggles to survive in a tent BEIT LAHIYA: The few dozen yards (meters) of fraying blue tarpaulin and dirt-stained canvas that define the Awaja family’s living space can’t keep out the cold in winter, or the dust and heat in summer. And when a strong wind blows at night, the shelter caves in on the six children sleeping inside. The Awajas are among thousands whose houses were destroyed during Israel’s three-week military offensive against Hamasruled Gaza, launched in December 2008 with the aim of halting Palestinian rocket

GAZA STRIP: Palestinian Wafa Awaja, 34, jokes with her daughters Hala, 8, left, and Omsyat, 13, as they stand near the makeshift structures that house the family in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, June 10, 2010. A portrait of Wafa’s late 8-year-old son Ibrahim — killed during an Israeli army operation — is attached to the tent at right. — AP

Hariri in Syria, focus on economy, demarcation of border not resolved DAMASCUS: Syria and Lebanon signed economic agreements yesterday, signalling further improvement in ties, but did not resolve a border demarcation issue the Lebanese government views as central to asserting its sovereignty. The deals, signed by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri with his counterpart in the Syrian capital, were the first since the 2005 assassination in Beirut of his father Rafik alHariri. The elder Hariri was a member of parliament and a former premier whose killing heralded international pressure that forced Syria to end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon. “We want the ties between Syria and Lebanon to form a model for an Arab common market,” Hariri said at a news conference with Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otri. The agreements included investment protection, pharmaceutical products, shipping, tourism and taxation. Hariri, who also met President Bashar alAssad, said a committee set up by the two countries to demarcate the border “has to begin its work and finish it as soon as possible.” Otri said cooperation between Syria and its smaller neighbour had to extend to security. Damascus had hinted it was concerned about infiltration by Islamist militants from Lebanon after a 2008 bombing targeted a security compound in Damascus. Syria agreed with Lebanon in 2008 to

demarcate the border, two years after a United Nations resolution recommended Syria work on the issue. Damascus has since said its technical teams were busy finishing border demarcation with Jordan and that a small Lebanese region occupied by Israel and bordering Syria complicated any demarcation. The United States and France had demanded the border demarcation, but the issue has not prevented their ties with Damascus from improving. Like several Middle East nations, Lebanon and Syria are a product of a deal between France and Britain that established the two countries along ethnic and religious lines in 1920, but the border was not demarcated. Western calls on Syria mounted to demarcate the border after Hariri’s assassination. A UN investigation implicated Lebanese and Syrian security officials in the killing. Syria denied any involvement and the younger Hariri has visited Syria several times since he became prime minister last year. Trade between Lebanon and Syria fell to $459 million in 2009 from $495 million the previous year. The volumes are regarded as low, comprising a quarter of trade between Syria and its northern neighbour Turkey. Syria, however, is Lebanon’s only open land transport route, and Lebanese banks have spearheaded the entry of foreign banks into the Syrian market after the state relinquished its monopoly on the sector. — Reuters

DAMASCUS: A handout picture released by the Lebanese photo agency Dalati and Nohra shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) speaking to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri upon the latter’s arrival for a meeting in Damascus yesterday. — AFP

Pakistanis among 20 held after Uganda bombings KAMPALA: Ugandan authorities have arrested 20 people, including several Pakistanis, after last week’s attacks in the capital which they believe were carried out by two suicide bombers, police said yesterday. The two blasts tore into a restaurant and a busy bar on July 11, killing at least 73 people in crowds gathered to watch the football World Cup final held in South Africa. “In terms of those who are in custody, certainly it is more than 20,” Ugandan police chief Kale Kayihura told reporters. Among them were Pakistanis who had a shop in a Kampala suburb, Kayihura said. “They are being questioned.... They have to explain themselves,” the police chief said. The blasts were claimed by the Al-Qaedainspired Shebab insurgent group in Somalia. They were the deadliest attacks in the region since the 1998 bombings against the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam also linked to Islamist militants. One of the arrested Pakistanis had been mentioned in an email sent by a presumed Shebab spokesman as having links with the Islamist group, the police chief said. He said police believed the attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers and that facial reconstructions of the suspected attackers sug-

gested one was of Somali origin and the other a black African of undetermined origin. “There is strong evidence that these attacks were carried out by suicide bombers,” Kayihura said. The bodies “have remained unclaimed and unidentified,” he added. A senior official had said previously at least one of the blasts was a suicide attack. Interpol announced meanwhile it had published facial reconstructions of the suspected bombers at the request of the Ugandan police in a bid to identify them. Police said a suicide vest laden with explosives and fitted with a detonator was found packed into a black laptop bag at a disco in Kampala a day after the blasts. The Shebab said the attacks were in retaliation for the presence of about 3,000 Ugandan troops in an African Union force deployed in Somalia to prop up its fragile Western-backed transitional government. Shebab has vowed further attacks, including on Burundi which has around 2,500 troops in the embattled AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). “What happened in Kampala is just the beginning,” elusive Shebab leader Mohamed Abdi Godane said in an audio message broadcast on several Mogadishu radio stations on Thursday. —AFP

attacks. More than 18 months later, most displaced families have found apartments or moved in with relatives. But about 225 families remain homeless, according to UN figures, caught in a mix of poverty, bureaucracy, and a border blockade that has left them in limbo. A bulldozer flattened the Awajas’ house on the first full day of Israel’s ground offensive, when tanks and troops swept into Gaza neighborhoods near the Israeli border. As the family fled, bullets hit Kamal, 49, his

wife Wafa, 34, and their 8-yearold son Ibrahim — who bled to death in the street. After a brief stay with Kamal’s first wife — he has two, but is separated from the first — and her seven children in their tiny apartment in Gaza City, the Awajas pitched a tent on government land near Beit Lahiya. Municipal officials told them to vacate. “I told them I’m not leaving... I’m afraid to go back there, close to the border,” Kamal said. They now occupy three tents and have had a sixth child, a

baby girl named Leyali. They tether the tent to the ground with cinderblocks and rugs. They siphon electricity from nearby lines to power a refrigerator, microwave, oven, TV and computer, all salvaged from their old home or smuggled through underground tunnels that connect Gaza to Egypt. Wafa is constantly busy cleaning wind-blown dust off dishes and clothes, chasing away rats and stray dogs, and protecting belongings from thieves. Israel’s blockade, imposed three years ago after Hamas

overran Gaza, is meant to keep weapons out of the territory. But it has hampered repair of the destruction caused by Israel’s offensive by barring most construction materials. Following an international outcry over its deadly naval raid on a blockade-busting flotilla, Israel has agreed to loosen the embargo — the first step, potentially, toward rebuilding the Awaja’s home. “There is no place to go,” Kamal said. “So I’m staying here, until they help us build our house.” — AP

EU envoy calls for open borders on Gaza visit EU willing to send monitors to help operate the crossings GAZA CITY: The European Union’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton called for the further easing of Israel’s four-year blockade of the Gaza Strip during a visit to the impoverished Hamas-run enclave yesterday. “The answ er here is “People here recognise and understand the security needs of Israel,” she said at a press conference held at a UN-run school for Palestinian refugees. “But that should not prevent the ability to be able to see the free flow of goods into and out of Gaza in order that houses can be rebuilt, children can go to fully functioning schools and businesses can flourish.” She said the European Union was willing to send monitors to help operate the crossings, but they would have to have a clear role and work alongside the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which Hamas drove out of Gaza in 2007. She said, however, there was “no proposal on the table” to reopen Gaza’s sole port. At the height of the international uproar that followed the flotilla raid, in which nine Turkish activists were shot dead, Israel said it would begin allowing all purely civilian goods into Gaza. It said it would also allow building materials into the territory but only for internationally supervised projects and that its naval blockade would remain in place to keep the Islamist Hamas movement from importing military-grade rockets and other weapons. The European Union welcomed the changes but has pressed Israel to allow for freer travel and the export of goods manufactured in Gaza, where the near-collapse of the private sector has spawned 40 percent unemployment. “What we have today is 75 percent less (volume of traffic) than what we had in the first half of 2007... That’s not what we are looking for,” the Western-backed Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said on Saturday. “The economy of Gaza cannot be sustained only by importation. There needs to be exports,” Fayyad told a joint press conference with Ashton. Ashton was to press those concerns throughout her threeday Middle East trip, which also includes meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting US envoy George Mitchell and other officials. She had no plans to meet anyone from Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by the West because of its refusal to recognise Israel and its commitment to armed struggle. In Gaza, Ashton visited the UN-run school, which now serves as a summer camp, as well as factories damaged during a devastating Israeli offensive at the turn of 2009. She was also to visit local businesses co-financed by the EU through its private sector reconstruction programme and a school for the deaf. The British baroness was named last year as the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, a new position that was created to give the 27-nation bloc a single voice on the world stage. Her visit came as Mitchell held a sixth round of indirect peace talks between Israel and the West Bank Palestinian leadership in a bid to relaunch direct talks suspended after the Gaza war erupted in December 2008. —AFP

opening the crossings,” Ashton told reporters on her first visit since Israel’s deadly May 31 seizure of a Gaza-bound aid fleet sparked international demands to lift the closure.

GAZA STRIP: European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, center, visits a cement factory in east of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, yesterday. The international community must pressure Israel to go beyond easing its Gaza blockade and throw open the territory’s long-blockaded borders, the EU foreign policy chief said after a tour of the Hamas-run coastal strip. — AP

Jailed Tareq Aziz on trial over public funds AMMAN: The lawyer of Iraq’s jailed former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz said yesterday his client has gone on trial on new charges related to “wasting public funds.” “I have been contacted by the Iraqi justice ministry, which informed me that Aziz and around 15 other people were taken to court yesterday (Saturday) to face trial on new charges related to wasting public funds,” Amman-based Badie Aref told AFP. “I don’t know what they are

talking about. They told me I can’t go now to Iraq to visit Aziz and they will get in touch with me later.” Aref said on Saturday he had secured Baghdad’s permission to visit his client in prison and was scheduled to leave for Iraq today. He added he had requested permission for the visit from the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as well as guarantees of safe passage. Aziz was among 26 convicts, several of them prominent

members of Saddam Hussein’s ousted regime, who were moved to the Iraqi-run Kadhimiyah jail in north Baghdad ahead of Washington’s handover on Thursday of its Camp Cropper detention facility at the airport. “The Americans handed Aziz over to his enemies, and they will come up with all sorts of accusations and charge him with anything, which might lead to his execution,” Aref said. “The international community should understand

what’s happening to Aziz.” Aziz, 73, turned himself in to US forces in April 2003 and is one of Saddam’s few surviving top cohorts. He was appointed deputy premier in 1991, having previously served as foreign minister. In 2009, he was jailed for 15 years for murder and given a seven-year term in August 2009 for his role in expelling Kurds from Iraq’s north. Aziz’s family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds. — AFP

JERUSALEM: Israelis wearing masks bearing the image of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit sit next to cardboard cutouts of Schalit during a demonstration calling for his release in front of the Prime Minister’s office yesterday. Schalit was captured by Hamas-allied militants in Gaza on June 25, 2006. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Kenya police arrest two men found with explosives NAIROBI: Kenyan police have arrested two people, one of them a pastor, found with materials capable of making an explosive device, the police spokesman said. Eric Kiraithe said they seized the two in Nairobi on Saturday afternoon after being tipped off. “Police officers ... intercepted two per-

sons in possession of materials capable of making (an) improvised explosive device,” he said in a statement late on Saturday. “Pastor John Kamau of Mission Church ... and an accomplice, Samuel Chege Gitau, were arrested and a substance believed to be prilled ammonium

nitrate, a detonator and a safety fuse were also recovered from them,” he said. Prills are small beads. Kiraithe said they were investigating the duo’s motives and establishing if they had other accomplices. In mid-June, grenade attacks at a rally organised by church leaders opposed to a new constitution killed at least six people

and injured dozens. Kenyans are due to vote on the new charter at a referendum on August 4. The new constitution will replace one that has been in use since independence from British colonial rule in 1963. “Police are taking all possible measures to ensure law and order is observed

during the referendum campaigns and on the voting day,” Kiraithe said. Almost two-thirds of Kenyans intend to vote for the new constitution next month although just as many say it need some amendments, an independent poll released on Friday showed. Saturday’s arrests were made barely a

week after twin bomb attacks in Kampala killed 73. Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents linked to al Qaeda said they had carried out the attacks, on a crowded restaurant and a rugby club in the Ugandan capital while fans watched the World Cup final on television. —Reuters

Merkel woes worsen with loss of Hamburg mayor Sixth CDU state leader to leave in last year BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered another setback yesterday when Hamburg’s popular mayor Ole von Beust resigned abruptly, the sixth state leader in her conservative party to abandon ship within the last year.

The charismatic 55-year-old von Beust has been a pillar of strength for Merkel and her Christian Democrats (CDU) for the last decade in the leftleaning northern port of Hamburg, one of Germany’s 16 federal states.

BERLIN: The Feb 25, 2008 file photo shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hamburg mayor Ole von Beust after a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Berlin, Germany. The state governor from chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party said he will resign next month. Hamburg governor Ole von Beust said yesterday his resignation would take effect August 25. The 55-year-old’s resignation comes as another blow to the chancellor, who has already been rocked by the abrupt resignation of the conservative president and two prominent state governors in the past two months. — AP

Nigerian kidnappers free four journalists LAGOS: Nigerian gunmen who kidnapped four journalists last week in the country’s oil-rich south freed them yesterday without a ransom being paid, the head of the reporters’ union and police said. The July 11 abduction of the newsmen, the second this year, sparked outrage in Africa’s most populous country of 150 million people. “They put a call through to us saying that they have been released unconditionally,” said Nigerian Union of Journalists head Usman Leman. Police met up with the journalists after their release, Leman said, and they were making their way out of a remote area in Abia State. Abia State police spokesman Ali Okechukwu confirmed the release. “The journalists have been released. They are with us right now at the police headquarters in Umuahia, hale and hearty,” he told AFP. Okechukwu refused to give details of how the newsmen were freed after seven days in captivity, saying the head of the country’s police Ogbonna Onovo was to address the issue later yesterday. A state government official, who asked not to be named, told AFP the journalists were dropped off in a forest by their captors.

“We picked them up at a location in a forest in a remote area of the state. They were not hurt,” the official said. A police special task force had combed the forests and bushes of Abia State for days in search of the journalists who were abducted last Sunday while returning from a conference in nearby Akwa Ibom State. The journalists are Abdulwahab Oba, NUJ chairman in Lagos, Sylva Okereke, the union’s assistant secretary, Adolphus Okonkwo, a regional secretary of the union and Shola Oyeyipo, a Lagos-based reporter. The kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of 250 million naira (1.6 million dollars, 1.3 million euros) before the journalists could be released, but they later reduced it to 30 million naira. Okechukwu said no ransom was paid. Information Minister Dora Akunyili welcomed the release and told the staterun News Agency of Nigeria that Nigerians should stand up against kidnappers by refusing to pay ransom money. Kidnappings occur frequently in Nigeria’s south, but oil workers have traditionally been the victims. The abduction of the journalists illustrated a widening of the target profiles in recent months. Officials and media rights groups,

including global organisation Reporters Without Borders, also called for their immediate release. The kidnappings were the second involving journalists in the volatile region this year. In March, three M-Net Supersport television crew members-a South African and two Nigerians-were seized in Imo state, which neighbours the oil hub of Rivers State. They were freed about a week later. While many of the kidnappings of oil workers have been claimed by militants who say they are seeking a fairer distribution of oil revenues, other abductions have been carried out to collect cash through ransom payments. The independent ThisDay newspaper condemned the rising spate of kidnappings in an editorial on Sunday. “What Nigerians want is a concerted fight against forces behind this heinous crime. Government must shed its seeming indifference to what is clearly a national embarrassment,” it said. The paper urged government to equip the police and create jobs for unemployed youths as part of measures to fight the scourge. “The growing insecurity in the country should stop,” it added. —AFP

Spain to take 9 more Cuban political prisoners MADRID: Spain’s Foreign Minister says nine more Cuban political prisoners will fly to freedom in Madrid this week along with around 50 of their relatives. Miguel Angel Moratinos says the freed dissidents would arrive tomorrow to join 11 others recently released and now in

Spain. The liberation of 20 Cuban dissidents to Spain is part of a commitment made by the Castro regime to release 52 opponents imprisoned since 2003 under an agreement reached with the Spanish government and Catholic Church. Moratinos

did not identify the prisoners but said all were traveling of their own free will. He asked that Spaniards and Cubans show understanding. Moratinos was speaking during a visit to Kazakhstan in an interview broadcast on Cadena Ser’s website yesterday. — AP

The loss of yet another CDU state leader was another blow to Merkel at a time when opinion polls have tracked a steep erosion in support for her and her centre-right coalition. Many Germans fault Merkel and her government for failing to make tangible progress on badly needed economic and financial reforms as the budget deficit rose to record levels. Squabbling between the CDU and Free Democrats has deepened the woes. The departure of von Beust further compounds her problems, analysts say, because it extends the party’s loss of potentially strong, popular leaders and leaves her more isolated at the top. In late June, rebels within Merkel’s coalition made her endure three rounds of voting before securing the presidency for her candidate in a sign of disenchantment with her leadership. “I’ll be stepping down as mayor effective August 25,” von Beust said in an address broadcast on national television. “We’ve accomplished a lot for Hamburg-the global economic crisis has left Hamburg largely unscathed,” von Beust added. “I’m sure the good work will continue even without me.” Media said fatigue was the main reason behind von Beust’s departure after nine years running Germany’s second largest city. His exit also raised critical questions about Merkel. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, 67, tried to deflect the criticism, telling the Welt am Sonntag newspaper yesterday that changes in leadership were good for the party. “In other countries it’s far more normal for political leaders to switch careers at some point,” Schaeuble said. “If there weren’t any change, everyone would say: ‘Oh, those are always the same people and there’s no innovation’.” But with five other CDU state leaders having quit in the last 10 months, columnist C.C. Malzahn wrote in the conservative Welt am Sonntag that Merkel was partially responsible for the loss of so many talented politicians. “It might not be entirely accurate to blame the chancellor for all these losses but at the same time you have to ask if she did enough to keep her key players on the team-and the answer is: No, she didn’t,” Malzahn wrote. Von Beust, a close ally of Merkel, engineered the first CDU-Greens coalition ever in 2008 — establishing a precedent with Merkel’s blessing for the right-left coalition and possible model for such a government at the federal level at some point. Von Beust was long seen as one of the CDU’s most influential leaders.Openly gay, he has been a leading moderate voice in the CDU and helped make important inroads into new voter groups, especially in urban areas, that conservatives had long ignored. German media said von Beust longed to spend more time on Germany’s chic North Sea island Sylt. He was also alarmed by a rise in left-wing violence as well as strained public finances. Other CDU state leaders to leave in the last year include Thuringia state premier Dieter Althaus, Baden-Wuerttenberg’s Guenther Oettinger, Christian Wulff of Lower Saxony, Hesse’s Roland Koch and Juergen Ruettgers of North RhineWestphalia. — Reuters

ASTANA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) walks behind guards during her visit to Kazakhstan in Astana yesterday. — AFP

Spain parliament debate ban on public burqas MADRID: Spanish lawmakers will debate barring burqas in public, joining other European countries considering similar moves on the grounds that the body-covering garments are degrading to women, the leading opposition party said yesterday. Top officials of the ruling Socialist Party have indicated they will support the proposal by the opposition Popular Party, making a ban likely unless the country’s highest court rules it unconstitutional. A debate in Spain’s lower house has been set by the Popular Party for Tuesday or Wednesday, the party said. No vote will be scheduled until after the debate, and Spain’s Parliament usually goes on vacation for a month starting in late July or early August. Justice Minister Francisco Caamano said on June 15 that garments like the burqa are “hardly compatible with human dignity.” Head-covering veils would not be included in a ban as they form apart of traditional Spanish dress, with women often covering their heads with a garment called a mantilla, especially during church services in the south of the country. Other European nations that have debated regulating the use of body-covering burqas or facecovering niqabs include Belgium, the Netherlands and France. France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils on July 13 in an effort to define and protect French values, a move that

angered many in the country’s large Muslim community. The French ban on burqas and niqabs goes before Senate in September amid predictions it will pass, but its biggest hurdle could come when France’s constitutional watchdog scrutinizes it later. Belgium’s lower house approved a ban on facecovering veils, but it must still be ratified by its upper chamber. The Netherlands debated banning burqas four years ago and may yet outlaw attire that is considered as demeaning to women. Switzerland last year banned minarets from where Muslim are called to prayer following a national referendum last year. Spain has about 1 million Muslims in the nation of 47 million, with most living in the northeastern region of Catalonia and the southern region Andalucia. However, burqas are rarely seen. Spain’s second-largest city of Barcelona in June banned the use of burqas and niqabs in municipal buildings, joining a handful of small towns and cities nearby that have taken similar steps. Mansur Escudero, spokesman for Spain’s Islamic Commission, said in June that there is no religious mandate for Muslim women to wear burqas and the garment was “extravagant,” but criticized government efforts to ban the outfit because he said women should be able to exercise free choice in how they dress. —AP

Strong earthquake shakes Alaska island ANCHORAGE: A powerful earthquake shook an Aleutian Island region of Alaska but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury, and no threat of a tsunami, officials said. The 6.7-magnitude temblor struck at 9:56 p.m. Saturday (0456 GMT Sunday) and was centered in the Bering Sea about 155 miles (249 kilometers) southwest of Dutch Harbor, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake hit about 21 miles (34 kilometers) beneath the seabed. There was no danger of a tsunami, the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said. The quake was felt in both Dutch Harbor and nearby Unalaska, the nearest communities of any size to the epicenter. Police in Unalaska, situated just across a bay from Dutch Harbor, said they had no reports of damage or injury. USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala said residents of the Dutch Harbor — a port

community of about 2,000 people situated 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) west of Anchorage — reported feeling a “weak shaking” from the quake. Several aftershocks, one as strong as magnitude 4.1, struck in the region in the hours after the large quake, according to USGS. Alaska’s Earthquake Information center said there have been no report of injury or damage. A magnitude 6 quake is capable of causing severe damage. The quake, though in a fairly remote area, was one of the largest in recent years in Alaska, the country’s most seismically active region. A 5.0-magnitude temblor shook Anchorage and other communities in southcentral Alaska 10 days ago but caused no damage. In May, two quakes measuring about 6.0-magnitude rumbled under the Bering Sea off Alaska but were too far from land to be felt. — AP

ROME: A girl refreshes herself in a fountain by central Rome’s Ara Pacis monument as central and east Europe continue to swelter in a heatwave that has seen temperatures move into the 40 degrees celsius. In Rome, the perceived temperature (taking into account humidity levels) on Friday and Saturday was 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) before the hot spell was forecast to ease. — AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, July 19, 2010

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Man with neo-Nazi ties leading patrols in Arizona PHOENIX: Minutemen groups, a surge in Border Patrol agents, and a tough new immigration law aren't enough for a reputed neo-Nazi who's now leading a militia in the Arizona desert. Jason "J.T." Ready is taking matters into his own hands, declaring war on "narco-terrorists" and keeping an eye out for illegal immigrants. So far, he says his patrols have only found a few border crossers who were given water and handed over to the Border Patrol. Once, they also found a decaying body in a wash, and alerted authorities. But local law enforcement authorities are nervous given that Ready's group is heavily armed and identifies with the National Socialist Movement, an organization that believes only non-Jewish, white heterosexuals should be American citizens and that everyone who isn't white should leave the country "peacefully or by force." "We're not going to sit around and wait for the govern-

ment anymore," Ready said. "This is what our founding fathers did." An escalation of civilian border watches have taken root in Arizona in recent years, including the Minutemen movement. Various groups patrol the desert on foot, horseback and in airplanes and report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, and generally, they have not caused problems for law enforcement. But Ready, a 37-year-old ex-Marine, is different. He and his friends are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor and gas masks, and carry assault rifles. Ready takes offense at the term "neo-Nazi," but admits he identifies with the National Socialist Movement. "These are explicit Nazis," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "These are people who wear swastikas on their sleeves." Ready is a reflection of the anger over illegal immigration in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial new

immigration law in April, which requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally. But Brewer hasn't done enough, Ready said, and he's not satisfied with President Barack Obama's decision to beef up security at the border. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said there haven't been any incidents with Ready's group as they patrol his jurisdiction, which includes several busy immigrant smuggling corridors. But Babeu is concerned because an untrained group acting without the authority of the law could cause "extreme problems," and put themselves and others in danger. "I'm not inviting them. And in fact, I'd rather they not come," Babeu said. "Especially those who espouse hatred or bigotry such as his." Law enforcement offi-

cials said patrols like Ready's could undercut the work of the thousands of officers on duty every day across the border, especially if they try to enforce the law themselves in carrying out vigilante justice. Ready said his group has been patrolling in the desert about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Phoenix, in an area where a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy reported he was shot by drug smugglers in April. Bureau of Land Management rangers met Ready's group during one patrol, and they weren't violating any laws or looking for a confrontation, said spokesman Dennis Godfrey. The patrols have been occurring on public land, and militia members have no real restrictions on their weaponry because of Arizona's loose gun laws. The militia is an outgrowth of border watch groups that have been part of the immigration debate in Arizona. Patrols in the Arizona desert by Minutemen organiza-

tions brought national attention to illegal immigration in 2004 and 2005. Such groups continue to operate in Arizona, and law enforcement officials generally don't take issue with them as long as they don't take matters into their own hands. Border Patrol spokesman Omar Candelaria said the agency appreciates the extra eyes and ears but they would prefer actual law enforcement be left to professionals. Former Minutemen leader Al Garza recently created the Patriot's Coalition, which uses scouts and searchand-rescue teams to alert the Border Patrol and provide first aid to illegal immigrants. Depending on the availability of volunteers and the scouts' evidence of border crossers, patrols can vary from several times a week to once a month, Garza said. The operation is about 500 people, and includes a neighborhood watch program, legislative advisers and a horseback patrol,

he said. Technology, rather than manpower, is the focus of Glenn Spencer's American Border Patrol. The group is based at his ranch near the border. The five-man operation flies three small airplanes to ensure that his American Border Patrol is present and visible along the international line. Spencer also uses Internet-controlled cameras and works with a group called Border Invasion Pics, which posts photos of people they suspect are crossing illegally. "Sitting out there with a bunch of volunteers looking for people is generally a tremendous waste of people and time," Spencer said. "And it's also dangerous." Ready said he's planning patrols throughout the summer. "If they don't want my people out there, then there's an easy way to send us home: Secure the border," he said. "We'll put our guns back on the shelf, and that'll be the end of that."— AP

Iraq combat mission on track for August end

Biden brushes off talk of big Dem losses in fall WASHINGTON: Vice President Joe Biden has a warning for the pundits: Democrats are going to shock everybody with how well they do in the November election. And he's paraphrasing Mark Twain in saying reports of the Democrats' demise "are premature." "We're going to win the House and we're going to win the Senate," Biden told ABC television's "This Week" in an

US Vice President Joe Biden

in the news Expo shootings INDIANAPOLIS: Police say eight people were wounded in a burst of gunfire in downtown Indianapolis during the Indiana Black Expo and two more in separate shootings that followed. Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said early yesterday that authorities made no immediate arrests directly tied to the shootings and were seeking those responsible. He says none of the injuries was life-threatening. Police say the victims were males ages 10 to 18. Duhamell says hundreds in a crowd scattered when shots first erupted about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, adding a man was wounded nearby in another shooting minutes later and the last man in a shooting about 11:30 pm. Duhamell says investigators were trying to determine if the shootings were gang-related. None occurred at the event's venues. Park shoot-out SEATTLE: A shooting in a U.S. state park just east of Seattle has left two men dead and four others wounded. King County Sheriff's deputy John Urquhat says several people are in custody fol-

lowing the violence that erupted Saturday night as a group of people were having "a party" in Lake Sammamish State Park. The Washington State Patrol tells KOMO-TV that two in custody are believe to have been the attackers. Urquhat says authorities still don't know what led the shooting. He said the wounded were taken to a Seattle hospital, but he gave no information about their conditions or the names of the dead and injured. Bus crash MOSCOW: A Russian news agency reports that a bus crash in a breakaway Georgian region has killed at least 8 and left 16 hurt. ITAR Tass said that the bus with 24 passengers aboard tumbled down a steep ravine in South Ossetia, a Moscowbacked separatist region. The agency quoted emergency officials as saying that the bus traversed the high-altitude Transcaucasian Highway that links southern Russia with Georgia. South Ossetia proclaimed independence following the brief Russian-Georgian war in August 2008. Moscow and three other countries recognize the region as independent.

Drug violence kills 15 in northern Mexico CIUDAD JUAREZ: The latest spate of drug-related violence in Mexico left 19 people dead, including five factory workers near the US border and four police officers in Acapulco, officials said Saturday. The Chihuahua state prosecutor said the workers were gunned down when armed men burst into a party at a house in Ciudad Juarez late Friday. Ciudad Juarez, which borders El Paso, Texas, is a key battleground for drug traffickers seeking routes to the United States. It is also home to many factories, called maquiladoras, for US firms that can use Mexican workers. Six other violent deaths were recorded in Ciudad Juarez, including a man and his daughter, who were shot by gunmen who entered his home early Saturday, authorities said. In other municipalities of Chihuahua, which

shares a long border with Texas, there were four killings late Friday, prosecutors said. Separately in Acapulco, four policemen were shot dead Saturday by unknown assailants on a rural road near the port in the Mexican resort, state officials said. The port of Acapulco and the surrounding area and other regions of the state of Guerrero, have been caught in a spiral of violence linked to turf battles of drug cartels. Violence linked to drug cartels has left 7,000 people dead so far this year in Mexico, compared with 9,000 killed in all of 2009. Nearly 25,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on organized crime three and a half years ago, according to official figures released Friday. — AFP

ACAPULCO: The grandmother of police officer Jose Ramirez grieves over his body after he was killed by unidentified gunmen while on patrol in Las Joyas neighborhood in Acapulco, Mexico, Saturday. Ramirez's grandmother did not give her name, citing security reasons. Three other officers in the vehicle were also killed in the attack. — AP

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats were angered by Gibbs' remark; Gibbs later said he thinks Democrats will retain their House majority. "I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody," Biden said. Predictions that the Republicans will rout the party in power, he said, rely on polls taken pretty early in the campaign season, before voters start focusing on the Republican candidates who will be on the ballot. "This is July," Biden said. "The most vulnerable time any public official finds himself in is when they have no opponent." Polls for both President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have shown declining support through the spring and early summer as the economic recovery has sputtered, BP's oil well has gushed in the Gulf of Mexico and US casualties in Afghanistan have kept rising. Republicans contend voters are furious about Obama's health care and stimulus plans among the examples of what they say is a federal government run amok. "These are gigantic packages to deal with a gigantic problem we inherited," Biden said. He blamed most of the voter angst seen in the polls on the still struggling economy and widespread misunderstanding of big administration initiatives. "I don't think they know the detail of what's going on," he said. The vice president predicted that as voters start to understand those details and begin considering the alternative policies that Republican candidates are offering, they'll start to come around. Republicans, he said, "are about repeal and repeat -- repeal what we're doing and go back" to policies of the past decade that have been tried and found wanting. Biden said the end of US combat missions in Iraq was on schedule for August and would not be delayed if the country failed to form a new government by that deadline. "There is a transition government. There is a government in place that's working. Iraqi security is being provided by the Iraqis, with our assistance. We're going to have-still have 50,000 troops there," Biden told ABC News' "This Week" program in an interview. Iraq's political parties have been deadlocked since an inconclusive March election over who should form the coalition government and serve as prime minister and president. "I don't have a doubt in my mind that we'll be able to meet the commitment of having only 50,000 troops there and it will not in any way affect the physical stability of Iraq," Biden said. US troops intend to end combat operations on Aug. 31 before a full withdrawal by the end of 2011. Iraqis had hoped the election would lead to stability and economic recovery seven years after the 2003 US-led invasion. But coalition talks could last several more months, exposing Iraq to a risky vacuum as it emerges from sectarian war but struggles to contain a stubborn insurgency. The sectarian war between once dominant Sunnis and majority Shi'ites that kicked off after the 2003 invasion has largely subsided but a Sunni Islamist insurgency persists. Suicide bombers killed 43 people yesterday in two separate attacks against governmentbacked Sunni militias, Iraqi security sources said.— Agencies

interview that aired yesterday. "I don't think the losses are going to be bad at all. ... We're going to be in great shape." Biden's cheery prediction was in stark contrast to last weekend's talk show comment by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs that enough House seats are "in play" that Republicans could gain control of the House of Representatives.

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE: An Army team carries a coffin containing the remains of Pfc. Jacob A. Dennis Saturday, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Dennis, of Powder Springs, Ga., died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. — AP

Feds nab alleged PR drug lord after 10-year hunt SAN JUAN: Federal authorities arrested a fugitive alleged drug kingpin Saturday after a decadelong chase through the Caribbean marked by his narrow escapes and public taunting that he paid off police to remain free. Known as the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean, Jose Figueroa Agosto was caught wearing a wig while driving through a working-class Dominican neighborhood of San Juan. When he realized he was being followed, he tried to run on foot as he had last September in the Dominican Republic after a pursuing vice squad shot out a tire on his Jeep. But this time US Marshals, FBI, drug enforcement agents and Puerto Rican police caught up. "We asked him his name, and he simply answered that we knew who he was," said Antonio Torres, who heads the US Marshal Service's fugitive task force in Puerto Rico. "It is a tremendous arrest, definitely," US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told a news conference Saturday, where she was surrounded by other cheerful federal authorities.

Escobar, the Colombian drug lord of the 1980s, was an escaped convict who died in a shootout with police in 1993. Figueroa, who was 45 in March, is suspected of shipping Colombian drugs to the US mainland through Puerto Rico, where he escaped from prison in 1999 after presenting a forged release order. He had served only four years of a 209-year sentence for killing a man suspected of stealing a cocaine shipment. He moved to the Dominican Republic a month later and was briefly detained during a 2001 drug investigation, but was let go because he was using an alias. Though no one can say exactly how much cocaine he moved, the scale of Figueroa's empire emerged following the botched September raid, which netted several cars, including an armored Mercedes Benz with $4.6 million in cash inside, and a laptop computer full of evidence. With leads on several new aliases, police intensified the search. Six of his properties were confiscated -- among

them a million-dollar apartment in the Dominican resort area of Puerto Plata and a ranch outside Santo Domingo with a small zoo. A man claiming to be Figueroa called a popular Dominican radio show in December to say he got away after paying police $1 million. He called again in February and pledged $800,000 to anyone who would kill one of two top Dominican police officers. US and Dominican officials said the man probably was Figueroa. US Attorney General Eric Holder personally pledged full cooperation to capture the fugitive, who was wanted on a US Marshals warrant for his prison escape and for filing a false passport application. He also was the target of a US task force focusing on major drug suppliers to the US. He is wanted in the Dominican Republic on kidnapping, money-laundering, drugtrafficking and murder charges. Summoned by President Leonel Fernandez, Dominican officials met behind closed doors for more than two hours after

Figeroa's capture. They said they would announce what actions they will take against him. "This had been the Dominican state's biggest challenge," Police Chief Rafael Guillermo Guzman said, referring to the hunt for Figueroa. Wanted posters are plastered across Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, for Figueroa and his lover Sobeida Morel, the country's second-most wanted fugitive, who was detained on money-laundering charges last year. She posted bail and vanished before the extent of her alleged involvement with Figueroa became clear. Morel is still at large. Federal authorities said the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests could be announced. "We know that the tentacles of Mr. Figueroa Agosto are long," said Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico. Added Javier Pena, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Caribbean division: "We have a message for fugitives: Sooner or later you will be caught." — AP


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INTERNATIONAL

Monday, July 19, 2010

Malaysia busts child trafficking syndicate, rescues victims KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have smashed a child trafficking racket and rescued eight children and babies, an official said yesterday. Police also detained 16 suspects, including four Indonesian women, in a sting operation after an Indonesian woman was nabbed on Monday when she tried to sell a 23-day-old baby girl for 10,000 ringgit (3,120 dollars). In the latest operation on Friday, police rescued a four-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl and detained two Indonesian sisters, said

to be the caretakers of the children. Police said they are yet to determine who is behind the group or whether the eight rescued children involved any foreigners. The eight children, including three infants, are aged between 23 days and 12 years. "We are still investigating the case," Huzir Mohamad, the criminal investigation department chief of eastern Sarawak state on Malaysia's Borneo, where the syndicate was busted, told AFP. He said the police may seek coop-

eration from its Indonesian counterpart to ascertain the role of the Indonesian women. In December last year, Malaysian police busted a baby-selling syndicate which had been operating for more than five years and arrested 13 people, including a doctor, and rescued five infants. A woman and her two daughters were later charged with trafficking in babies. They face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty. The syndicates usually bought

the babies from poor local women, from neighbouring countries or from foreign maids in the country who were talked out of having abortions. They then sold them to childless couples. Meanwhile, authorities arrested a Malaysian accused of recruiting university students for the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, human rights activists and a news report said yesterday. Mohamad Fadzullah Abbul Razak was taken into custody at his home in Kuala

Lumpur on Thursday under the Internal Security Act, which provides for indefinite detention without trial, said Nalini Elumalai, a rights activist who monitors arrests under the act. The Star newspaper, citing unidentified security officials, described the 28-year-old engineer as one of Malaysia's most wanted terror suspects. He had recently returned from a trip to Thailand, but the reason and length of his visit were not known, Nalini said. Police

had been hunting for Mohamad Fadzullah since 2007 because he allegedly persuaded students at various Malaysian universities to join Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been blamed for attacks in Southeast Asia including the 2002 bombings on Indonesia's Bali island, The Star added. Home Ministry and police officials who could comment on the arrest were not immediately available. Malaysian human rights groups and lawyers will file a court appeal for Mohamad Fadzullah to be

released if authorities do not plan to charge him in court, said Nalini. His family is shocked over his arrest and have indicated they believe he is innocent, Nalini said. Government authorities do not regularly release information on security detentions, but activists estimate about 15 people accused of being threats to national security are currently held under the Internal Security Act. They include militant suspects and alleged document forgers. — Agencies

Rescuers retrieved three more bodies from the sea

68 dead in Philippines, three missing in Vietnam after storm

MARIVELES: A fishing vessel capsized in Mariveles, Bataan. Troops yesterday scoured jagged coastlines on the Philippines' eastern seaboard in search of dozens of fishermen who went missing after a ferocious typhoon battered the country, killing dozens. — AFP

North Korea warns it may release dam water to South SEOUL: North Korea warned it may have to release dam water into a river flowing to South Korea because of heavy rains, Seoul's government said yesterday. A similar, unannounced incident last year killed six people, straining ties between the testy neighbors. The South's Unification Ministry said it was making necessary preparations. The government sped up construction of a large, anti-flooding dam -which has been in operation since June 30 -- in response to the construction of the North Korean dam, blamed for last year's deadly surge. "There won't be any problem," said Moon Kwang-hyuk, a Land

Ministry official. "We can just store the released water in our dam." When the North Korean dam discharged an estimated 40 million tons of water into the Imjin River last September, killing six people, some South Korean media speculated Pyongyang possibly meant it as an attack. The North, however, later said it had to release water because levels at its own dam were dangerously high. It promised to warn Seoul of similar surges in the future. The North told the South through a military hot line that it may have to release dammed water after 8 pm (1100 GMT) yesterday if there was no letup in torrential

rain that has pounded the peninsula in recent days, the Unification Ministry said. The North's notice came amid persistent tension in the wake of the March sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang. An international investigation said in May that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the warship Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors. The North flatly denies that it launched an attack and has warned any punishment would trigger war. The two Koreas are still technically at war because their conflict in the 1950s ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. — AP

Russian pianist on child sex charge in Thailand BANGKOK: Acclaimed Russian conductor and pianist Mikhail Pletnev has arrived in Thailand, where he is due to appear in court after being charged with raping a teenage boy, an embassy official said yesterday. "I can confirm for sure that he is in Thailand," Andrei Dvornikov, chief of the consular section at the Russian Embassy in Bangkok told AFP. The conductor and pianist was charged in early July with the rape of a 14-year-old boy at the southern beach resort of Pattaya, where the musician has a house, a restaurant and a music school. Pletnev, artistic director of the Russian National Orchestra, denies the charge, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in jail. A Thai court allowed him to travel overseas after he posted extra bail, but required him to report back to the court every 12 days, starting from today, although it was unclear when he would appear in court. Dvornikov said he understood the musician would go to the court with his lawyer yesterday, but the musician had not contacted the embassy, and legal sources in Pattaya said the hearing was likely to be postponed to today. After leaving Thailand

Pletnev told a press conference in Macedonia-where he travelled with his orchestra for a music festival-that the affair was a "set up". "A big company wants to present me as a criminal, which I am not," Pletnev said, without elaborating. "Nowhere in the world I did anything wrong. On the contrary, I have done a lot of good things in Thailand, which

inhabitants there could tell about," Pletnev said, adding hopes that "justice will prevail". The conductor was arrested after police began investigating allegations by the victim that he had been raped by a Thai man and procured on behalf of many foreigners. The investigation uncovered photos of Thai boys with foreigners, including Pletnev, according to the police. The Thai man has

been charged with trafficking, procurement and rape of underage boys. Thailand is infamous for its flourishing prostitution and child sex trafficking. It has made efforts to clean up its image and in 2008 expelled former glam rocker and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter to his native Britain after he had served nearly three years in a Vietnamese prison. — AFP

BANGKOK: Thai buddhist novices hold lotus flowers and candles while walking around a temple during a ceremony to mark their passage into monkhood in the run up to buddhist lent at Marble temple in Bangkok yesterday. Buddhist Lent is a time devoted to meditation where Buddhist monks retreat into their temple grounds and do not venture out for a period of three months. — AFP

HANOI: Three people were missing in Vietnam as tropical storm Conson hit the country, officials said yesterday, after leaving 68 dead in the Philippines when it roared in as a typhoon. A woman went missing in the north of Vietnam and two fishermen disappeared in waters off the impoverished central provinces, an official in Hanoi from the national committee to fight storms and flooding told AFP. Conson swept onto the shores of Vietnam late on Saturday and was downgraded to a tropical depression, the official said. "It continues to cause rainfall in parts of northern and central regions. We have not yet been able to calculate the amount of damage," he said, but added the storm "has destroyed basic infrastructure, especially water works". Thousands of Vietnamese soldiers have been mobilised to help people living in areas affected by Conson and about 30,000 people were evacuated before the storm blew in. Conson slammed into the Philippines on Tuesday, directly hitting the capital Manila as it cut westward into the South China Sea with a ferocity that caught weather forecasters by surprise. Rescuers retrieved three more bodies from the sea yesterday, raising the death toll to 68 in the Philippines, but more bad weather was hampering search operations. "Three more bodies were recovered from a sunken fishing vessel," Benito Ramos, chief of the Office of Civil Defence in Manila, said on DZBB radio. "The death toll is now 68." He said rescuers, including volunteers and troops, continued to scour coastal areas in the country's southeastern seaboard Sunday, where the majority of the 84 still missing were reported. "We are still hoping that they are still alive," Ramos said. However, he said fresh rains brought on by a new weather disturbance east of the main island of Luzon were hampering search and rescue operations. State weather forecasters said the rains were unlikely to develop into a full-blown storm. The Philippines is in the so-called typhoon belt of the Pacific. Up to 20 typhoons sweep through the country each year, killing hundreds of people. After slamming into the Philippines, Typhoon Conson, the first of the season, brushed past the southeastern Chinese island of Hainan and barreled its way into Vietnam on Saturday. It killed least two people, tore down trees and ripped up electricity pylons when it hit Hainan Friday evening, local officials said. Authorities on the popular tourist island evacuated around 40,000 people from the most vulnerable areas before the storm headed inland. Two men, a security guard and a motorcyclist, died after being struck by advertising hoardings unhinged by strong winds, an official from the local typhoon warning centre said. — AFP

BRISBANE: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (R) laughs as she holds 5-month-old Hope Gibson (L) in Brisbane yesterday. Prime Minister Gillard attending treasurer Wayne Swan's "Greet the Babies" day on the first day of the election campaign, was hit by a surprise drop in opinion polls as a "knifeedge" election season started with taunts over her new slogan and controversial rise to power. — AFP

Australian polls on 'knife-edge' as election campaigning starts SYDNEY: Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard was hit by a surprise drop in opinion polls yesterday as a "knife-edge" election season started with taunts over her new slogan and controversial rise to power. A Galaxy poll taken in the 24 hours since Gillard set August 21 elections on Saturday showed the government level at 50-50 percent with the opposition, after narrowly leading by two percent just a day earlier. Gillard, who deposed Kevin Rudd as leader just three weeks ago, remained the clear choice as preferred prime minister over the opposition's Tony Abbott but at 44-35 percent was well down on the earlier figure of 58-32 percent. The survey was released at the end of the first full day of campaigning which Gillard kicked off in Queensland, a key battleground state and home of the ousted Rudd. "I genuinely believe this election is on a knifeedge. A knife-edge right around the country, a knifeedge here in Queensland," Gillard told reporters. Australia's first woman prime minister cuddled a baby during a walkabout while opposition leader Abbott sat down for a cup of tea with voters in western Sydney, in between a frenetic round of media engagements. Gillard deflected questions about her deposing of Rudd in a sudden party coup, after the earlier Galaxy poll showed some 57 percent of voters believed the unceremonious axing could hurt the government's election chances. Abbott, who had predicted a "filthy" campaign, said it was no surprise Gillard's slogan was "Moving

Australia Forward", which she referenced nearly 40 times in her election announcement and press conference. "'Moving Australia Forward' is utterly contentfree," Abbott said. "And the reason why she's desperate to talk about the future is because Julia Gillard's recent past is littered with failures, including the political corpse of an elected prime minister." Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan was also taken to task about the frequent repetition of the phrase, as Nine Network journalist Laurie Oakes asked if voters were "too thick" not to understand it the first time. "It's all about the policies, and the policies that we are putting forward to create a strong economy to spread opportunity are sensible policies which are opposed by the Liberal Party," Swan said. Elsewhere, campaigning started in bruising fashion when an opposition Liberal candidate and a volunteer were physically attacked over the party's immigration policies while handing out flyers at a supermarket. Voting in the first winter polls since 1987 looks set to hinge on the touchstone issues of people-smuggling, the economy and global warming, echoing the themes of the last election in 2007. The centre-left Gillard will aim to portray the coalition as harking back to the 11-year rule of John Howard, while the right-leaning Coalition will try to show the prime minister as someone who cannot be trusted.— AFP

PHNOM PENH: People look at statues during a handing over ceremony of seven Khmer carved stone artifacts from the US to the Cambodian government at the National Museum in Phnom Penh yesterday. Senior US envoy William Burns is in Phnom Penh for events marking the 60th anniversary of relations between Cambodia and the United States before heading to Indonesia, with whom President Barack Obama has been seeking stronger ties.—AFP

27 missing after bus plunges off road in southwest China BEIJING: At least 27 people were missing feared dead yesterday when a passenger bus fell off a mountainous road and into a river in southwest China, a local official and state media said. The accident occurred in Sichuan province's Aba prefecture, a region largely populated by ethnic Tibetans and other minorities, a Danba county government official who declined to be named told AFP. The cause of the Sunday morning accident, in which 11 people were also injured, is under investigation, she said. Xinhua news agency earlier reported that 23 people were killed in the accident before updating the report to 11 injured and 27 missing. "Due to the very deep waters where the bus

fell in, there was no possibility of the survival of those missing," Xinhua said. The official refused to comment on the chances of finding survivors, only saying that a search was ongoing. The bus was travelling from Aba's Maerkang county to the provincial capital of Chengdu when the accident occurred, Xinhua said. It was forced to take a detour on a secondary road due to repairs on the main road, it said. China's roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with traffic laws widely flouted. Almost 70,000 people died in road accidents in 2009, or around 190 fatalities per day, according to police statistics. — AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, July 19, 2010

11

Horror tales behind Australia’s refugee influx SYDNEY: Cowering in the dark bowels of a leaky fishing boat, surrounded by grown men vomiting and catatonic with fear, Sri Lankan refugee Tharumalingam Punniyamoorthy was too weak to cry. He shudders as he recalls the “hell” of his voyage, when he became one of thousands of poor Asian asylum-seekers fleeing to Australia-unwittingly setting off a public backlash which will dominate next month’s elections. Punniyamoorthy, 30, now locked in an immigration centre, said he spent 18 days with 42 other Tamil men in the hold of a 36-foot (11 metres) trawler normally used for dried fish, with no fresh water and just a pinch of rice to eat every few days. They had been promised a short journey to Australia by peoplesmuggling agents, and had little more than the clothes on their backs as their ramshackle craft struggled across the vast Indian Ocean from Sri L anka last September. Diarrhoea and chicken pox were rife. One man had gone into deep shock, wetting himself constantly, his eyes rolled back into his head and rocking back and forth. Punniyamoorthy said most believed he would soon be dead. “We would take turns tapping him, opening his eyes, making sure he was still alive,” he told AFP from Sydney’s Villawood detention centre.

“I remember suddenly thinking I’m going to die in the middle of the ocean. I had no strength even to cry.” A friend, who wished to be known only as J, said he was coughing up blood and passing in and out of consciousness as extreme hunger and weakness reduced passengers to eating their own vomit. “People were praying in their own languages, their only hope that they would survive, but everyone was ready to die,” he said. Nobody died on that particular voyage, but others on equally perilous journeys were not so fortunate. Another Villawood inmate, N, is all too familiar with the fatal dangers of the journey: after 25 days at sea his ship sank in the middle of the Indian Ocean last November, killing 12 on board. He was among the 27 who were rescued by a nearby British ship, and arrived in Australia with nothing but his underpants. “Only one body was recovered,” he said, adding that he would never undertake the voyage again. “It was a fight between life and death.” The men, who like other ethnic Tamils were fleeing Sri Lanka’s bloody civil conflict, said they were driven only by desperation and had no idea of the horrors of the journey, or that they would be locked up on arrival. These tales, and thousands like

In a picture taken on July 16, 2010 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees Gowri Gowreeswaran (L) and Arul Raj (R) speak in Sydney of what they call their horrific ordeal travelling in an overcrowded boat from Malaysia to Australia, after fleeing the bloody civil war in their native Sri Lanka. Gowreeswaran, 29, spent months trying to register as a refugee in Malaysia, often shadowed by immigration police, before he paid 1.8 million rupees — about 16,000 US dollars — for passage on a crowded leaky boat that took 18 days to reach Australia. — AFP them, of ten go unheard by Australian voters, whose concern over the dozens of asylum boats arriving each year has returned as a major election issue.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has sought to soothe conservative voters by promising to detain refugees abroad, with East Timor as her preferred destination.

The opposition meanwhile has promised to reinstate the “Pacific Solution” of conservative former leader John Howard, which left refugees including women and chil-

dren languishing for years in foreign camps and was criticised by the UN. Afghan refugee Chaman Shah Nasiri is a veteran of the “Pacific Solution”, which kept hundreds of his fellow countrymen and women, and children, detained on remote, barren Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. The ethnic Hazara fled war-torn Afghanistan in 2001, the same year that Howard won elections promising to crack down on people-smuggling after the SIEV-X disaster, when an overloaded boat capsized drowning 353 refugees. “It was horrible,” he told AFP of his three years in the Nauru camp, after a perilous sea journey from Indonesia with 222 other Hazaras. “Even if you give me a million dollars I wouldn’t do it (again) because I know how hard it is.” Chaman said the detainees were kept in complete isolation behind razor wire, without access to the outside world. Without legal or humanitarian assistance, his pleas for a refugee visa were rejected three times before he became so desperate he resorted to hunger strikes. “When you are outside Australia anything could happen... You are out of sight, no one would want to find out what would happen,” he explained. “Sitting inside those camps, in limbo where there is no hope, you can’t go back, you can’t go forward. It tortures you mentally every single day.” “At the end of the day you

came to save your family (by sending remittances or bringing them over to join you), but you want to kill yourself,” Chaman adds. “It’s something not many people would understand.” Sri L ankan Gowri Gowreeswaran, 29, spent months trying to register as a refugee in Malaysia, often shadowed by immigration police, before he paid 1.8 million rupees-about 16,000 US dollars — for passage on a crowded boat. “There were 193 people inside the 70-foot craft, and they were told it would take just 18 hours to get to Australia. The voyage lasted 18 nauseating days, in a boat which first lost engine power and then sprung a leak. “We had no idea whatsoever that Australia had these kinds of systems when we embarked on the boat,” he said of his six months locked up on Christmas Island, 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) off Australia’s west coast. “We didn’t come as thieves or criminals, the only reason is to save our lives.” Behind the fences of Villawood, Punniyamoorthy and his friends long for just one thing: freedom. They have mixed feelings about whether, in hindsight, their ordeal was worth the risk. “Without a real chance of death I wouldn’t recommend anyone to undertake this,” said N, a shadow crossing his face as he remembers his fateful ocean voyage. “It’s too much.” — AFP

Deadly Kabul suicide attack strikes ahead of conference Bomb kills US service member KABUL: A suicide bomber on a bicycle struck a bustling street in the Afghan capital yesterday, killing three people and w ounding dozens more tw o days ahead of a major international conference. NATO and Afghan

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, walks on the red carpet upon her arrival at PAF Base Chakala in Islamabad for meetings with leaders and officials yesterday. US Secretary of State Clinton started a South Asia tour yesterday aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old war in Afghanistan and pushing neighboring nations to work together in the fight against Al-Qaeda and Taleban extremists. — AP

Hillary Clinton woos Pakistan on security, aid ISLAMABAD: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan yesterday, hoping to buttress a shaky partnership that US officials say is key to the escalating war in neighbouring Afghanistan. Clinton’s two-day visit will include talks with top military and civilian leaders as well as pledges of economic aid which Washington hopes will demonstrate to a sceptical public that the United States is a trustworthy partner in the struggle against Taleban insurgents on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. US officials kept details of Clinton’s visit secret prior to her arrival amid sharp security concerns following a wave of suicide bombings and militant attacks in Pakistan itself. One day before she arrived, suspected militants in a tribal region on the Afghan border ambushed a convoy of vehicles being escorted by security forces, killing 18 people. Security will be equally tight during her next stop in Afghanistan, where she will take part in an international

conference on Tuesday as the US-led war effort runs into mounting doubts in the US Congress. The conference is aimed at fleshing out Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s pledge to assume more responsibility for both security and governance ahead of US President Barack Obama’s July 2011 target date to begin drawing down US forces. The Obama administration sees nuclear-armed Pakistan as a pivotal player in the struggle against militant Islamist groups in both countries, but the two sides are divided by a history of distrust and sometimes diverging goals over a war that is increasingly unpopular. Public opinion polls have shown many Pakistanis doubtful about long-term US intentions, citing examples of abandonment particularly after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan. US officials, meanwhile, are wary of the role that Pakistan is playing in Afghanistan and believe it needs to do more to fight its own homegrown Taleban mili-

tants, which Washington blames for the attempted bombing in New York’s Times Square on May 1. Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said there was a “dramatic acceleration” in cooperation between the two governments, but conceded Pakistani public opinion was lagging. “We only have small indications of improvement in the polls, but significant examples of improvements in the government,” Holbrooke told reporters in Islamabad, adding Pakistan’s own fragile political structure was also stabilising. “This change is of strategic importance because it’s enabling us to move forward in our additional efforts on counter-terrorism,” he said. Clinton’s meetings with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and military chief General Ashfaq Kayani build on talks held in Washington in March aimed at speeding the flow of both security information and billions of dollars in US aid. — Reuters

Bangladesh supreme court lifts ban on newspaper DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court yesterday lifted a government ban on the publication of a pro-opposition newspaper, but the daily’s editor remained in police custody. Authorities last month banned the Amar Desh newspaper, considered a mouthpiece of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and detained its editor Mahmudur Rahman. “A full bench led by Chief Justice Mohammed Fazlul Karim in a ruling scrapped the ban,” a registrar of the Supreme Court told reporters.

The publication was banned following a complaint by a businessman who had accused its editor of cheating him by continuing to list him as a publisher even though he resigned from that post in December 2008. Rahman, a former energy adviser to the BNP government between 2001-06, was charged with graft and was denied bail by a lower court. The BNP accused the government of halting publication after the daily ran articles critical of the government and the prime minister. — Reuters

Yesterday’s bombing was the deadliest suicide attack in the Afghan capital since May 18, when a bomber killed at least 18 people, including five US soldiers, in an attack on a NATO convoy. The blast shattered windows, gutted nearby vehicles and left the street littered with body parts, said an AFP photographer. Describing the powerful explosion witness Jawid Wardak said: “It was heavy, it shattered the windows of buildings on both sides of the road. “I saw four or five people wounded. They were taken to hospital in civilian vehicles.” The government said a suicide bomber on a bicycle carried out the attack. “He was trying to get to a specific area but because of high security the bomber was forced to detonate on a street where there is little activity,” interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP. The public health ministry said three people were killed and 35 wounded. A child was among the dead, ministry spokesman Kargar Norghli told AFP. Kabul is to host a major gathering of its international partners including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and about 40 foreign ministers-on Tuesday, when the government will lay out is plan for the future. Security forces have thrown a ring of steel around the city to head off any Taliban attacks, with police stationed every few metres (yards) along key streets and thousands of extra police officers on duty, authorities said. Up to 70 international representatives are due to attend the conference, to be cochaired by President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It has been presented as a bid by the Afghan government to start a process of transition from dependence on Western backers to running the country alone. After the Taleban attacked a major peace conference in early June-which led to the dismissal of the interior minister and the head of the intelligence agency-authorities said they were taking no chances. Bashary said “thousands” of police, soldiers and intelligence agents had been deployed “in vulnerable areas” to thwart any Taleban attack plans. NATO’s civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill, said attacks on the conference cannot be ruled out. —AFP

security forces are stepping up security in Kabul to guard against possible attack in the lead-up to w hat has been billed as the biggest international meeting in the city since the 2001 US-led invasion.

KABUL: Afghan police and officials are at the scene of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. A suicide bombing in eastern Kabul killed three civilians yesterday, two days before an international conference that will host representatives from about 60 nations, an Afghan official said. The bomber was on foot and his target was unclear, police official Abdul Ghafor Sayedzada said. — AP

Tense Kashmir towns under curfew again SRINAGAR: Tens of thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled the largely deserted streets of Indian Kashmir yesterday, warning residents to stay indoors in Srinagar and other major towns to thwar t any protests. The curfew comes amid a call by separatists for renewed rallies against Indian rule following three weeks of civil unrest that left 15 people dead. The mostly Muslim region, where resistance to being governed by predominantly Hindu India is strong, has been under a rolling curfew to clamp down on street protests and clashes. Yesterday, troops laid razor wire and erected steel barricades in Srinagar as shops and businesses remained closed and vehicles stayed off the roads. There were no reports of protests. Authorities postponed all scheduled college examinations until July 24. The All Par ties Hur riyat Conference, the region’s main grouping of separatist parties, called for weeklong public protests in the region to begin Saturday. It also called on shops and businesses to stay open for a half-day to allow residents to stock up on supplies. The government kept offices open for a few hours, as well. By late Saturday,

protests and clashes erupted in many par ts of the region. Demonstrators chanting, “Go India, go back. We want freedom,” hurled stones at police and

paramilitary soldiers who responded by firing tear gas, said a police officer on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters. —AP

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Muslim children stand near a barbed wire set-up as road blockade by paramilitary soldiers during a strike in Srinagar, India, yesterday. Authorities re-imposed restrictions in parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday as separatists called for a strike against the Indian rule and the recent killing of youths. — AP


OPINION

12

Monday, July 19, 2010

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Whitman's outreach puts Brown on heels By Dan Whitcomb

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epublican Meg Whitman has caught Democrat Jerry Brown flat-footed with an aggressive push for Latino voters in the California governor's race, making quick inroads with a traditionally Democratic constituency in an incendiary year for US immigration politics. Whitman, a billionaire political novice making her first run for office in a campaign with national implications, seemingly stunned Brown with a Spanish-language TV-and-billboard ad blitz. That netted her a 14-point gain since March to 39 percent support among the state's Latinos, according to a Field Poll. Whitman, a former eBay chief executive, needs only about a third of Latino voters to form a winning coalition that would also include conservatives in Orange and San Diego counties, the Central Valley and Inland Empire, one analyst calculated. "Jerry Brown will win the Latino vote, let's get that out there right now. He will get the majority of the Latino vote. What Meg Whitman needs to do is get 33 to 35 percent of it," said Alan Hoffenblum, a Republican political strategist and publisher of the California Target Book. Republicans nationwide are licking their chops at the idea of Whitman beating Brown, a popular former governor running in what is considered a reliably Democratic state, and she pulled ahead of Brown in a recent poll. Whitman, 53, hopes to capitalize on her political outsider status and self-financed deep pockets in a year when the still-lagging US economy has left Democrats and incumbents vulnerable. Brown, a brainy, maverick political veteran and former California governor whose father also served in that role, enjoys strong name recognition and is supported by the state's public employee unions, which wield unmatched political influence. Whoever is the next governor will inherit a state burdened by double-digit unemployment, a budget tens of billions of dollars in the red and a profoundly unpopular, polarized legislature. And this year Latinos, who make up a third of Californians and 17 percent of the electorate, may be especially leery of Republicans because of a controversial law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in neighboring Arizona that has reignited an often bitter national debate over the issue. Arizona's law, signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April, requires police to investigate the immigration status of suspects they stop for other offenses if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the United

States illegally. Whitman also must make up ground from a divisive primary battle over which Republican candidate would do the best job of stopping illegal immigration. Her strategy has been to focus on the economy and distance herself from hardline measures like the Arizona law and a 1994 California ballot proposition barring illegal aliens from using state services, such as healthcare and schools, that was backed by Republicans but overturned in court. The first ads ran on Spanish-language stations during a World Cup football match between Mexico and France and centered on jobs and the economy, which Whitman sees as the No. 1 issue for voters, including Latinos. Spanish-language billboards said she opposes both the Arizona law and Proposition 187. "Part of our strategy has been making sure we got out early and communicated our message to this constituency as early as possible, before the Jerry Brown campaign tried to define us," Whitman campaign spokesman Hector Barajas told Reuters. Barajas said Whitman has also gone into Latino communities for one-on-one meetings with voters, stressing that she was a working mom like many of them. "When Election Day comes, if we were to look back, I think people are going to say 'She didn't give up on any constituency,'" he said. Some Democrats have worried publicly that Brown, already at a fund-raising disadvantage to Whitman, has made a slow start to the campaign and taken the Latino vote for granted. He responded to Whitman's ad blitz with a press conference in Los Angeles flanked by more than a dozen statewide Latino lawmakers and officials, who reminded voters that Brown marched with labor rights activist Cesar Chavez in the 1970s and gave farm workers the right to organize during the first of his two terms as governor. But missing from the event was Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, considered the country's bestknown Latino politician, whose office is just down the freeway. Both Brown and Villaraigosa's offices described the mayor's absence as a scheduling conflict. Brown, 72, has dismissed criticism of his campaign's slow start, saying that it was still early in a race that wouldn't be decided until November and that Latinos would not be misled by Whitman's Spanishlanguage ads. "Listen, you can put up your billboard in Spanish and you can buy stuff on Spanish television but the people aren't fooled, the people know the truth," he said. — Reuters

All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: opinion@kuwaittimes.net or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Dialogue demands more courage than war By Haider Al-Mosawi

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he recent controversy over the Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza with humanitarian aid has sparked heated debates in every venue where people exchange their opinions, online and off. However, it isn't only the violence that occurred on the flotilla that deserves our attention, but also the attitude with which people throughout the world approach the Arab-Israeli conflict. Following this incident, I had a few discussions with several of my Facebook friends from both sides of the conflict. Unfortunately in these discussions the only commonality I saw was the refusal to acknowledge other points of view. Members of each side select only certain facts that support their own perspectives and conveniently ignore everything else. Those who support the Palestinians stressed the facts that the flotilla was in international waters and those on board were humanitarian aid workers. On the other hand, those who support the Israelis pointed to the video of Israeli soldiers being beaten by the flotilla's activists once they boarded the ship. Rather than listening to what the other side has to say, both sides assume that they already know what the other side thinks so they invest no effort in listening and engaging in constructive dialogue. It's not that we can't have civil discussions where we listen to others and reconsider our own ideas. It's that we refuse to have civil discussions. This is something that my friends who I discussed the flotilla situation with readily admitted to. "This is war," they said. We can't

engage in dialogue "while people are starving for supplies in the Gaza strip" or when the "Palestinians pose a threat to Israel's security". "It's time for action, not time to talk." This is a common attitude in conflict situations and, not surprisingly, it's also what makes them worse. It's important to empathise with those directly involved in and influenced by conflict, but we can't assume that we live in the same conditions. A widow in Gaza worrying about how she will keep her children safe will certainly not be thinking of ways to convince Israeli soldiers to sit at a table for constructive dialogue. Likewise, an Israeli Defence Forces soldier instructed to land on a ship will not think of asking club-waving passengers: "Can't we all just get along?" But just because the people living in the heart of conflicts do not have opportunities to engage in dialogue does not mean that people across the globe cannot make a positive contribution in promoting understanding. Every individual belongs to a number of social circles: friends, colleagues or community members. We encounter many opportunities for fruitful dialogue on a daily basis, and it's important to make the most of these opportunities to advance a peaceful approach to conflict situations. Dialogue demands more courage than waging war. It takes you to that uncomfortable space where you have to question your own assumptions and, rather than speak on other people's behalf, truly listen to what they have to say, take it into consideration, and present your own views in a way that addresses the misunderstandings that have arisen.

It is all too common for friends to avoid speaking about politics and religion out of fear of offending others and losing friendships. However, by engaging in respectful discussion you not only help foster understanding and contribute to conflict resolution, you

strengthen your social ties through demonstrating your tolerance and understanding of other people's points of view. If we can't approach our own friends and promote dialogue, what makes us think it's easier for politicians to sit at a table with their adversaries?

NOTE: Haider Al-Mosawi is a blogger and social activist interested in promoting dialogue between the Muslim world and the West and addressing the misunderstandings that arise from both sides of the cultural divide — CGNews

Abused African women demand justice By Evelyn Kiapi

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race Lagulu was 15 years old when she was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army. She was forced to become a sex slave and bore two sons by a rebel commander, who is now dead. "I was abducted along with my brother, who was later killed in captivity. I was severely beaten," she said. Even after regaining her freedom, Lagulu was stigmatized by her community. Recently, she was diagnosed as HIV positive. "I don't see a future ahead of me. I don't know what will happen to my children when I die," she said. More than anything else, however, Lagulu wants those who kidnapped and abused her to be brought to justice. "I am now calling for justice," she said. "I feel the perpetrators should be punished." Women's rights groups agree. At the recent conference reviewing the impact of the International Criminal Court, the Women's Initiative for Gender Justice, a non-governmental organization, demanded the court prosecute those accused of sexual violence. "Women want national and international prosecutions for gender-based crimes," said Brigid Inder, executive director of the organization. Women's rights groups have expressed disappointment that Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, currently on trial in The Hague on war-crimes charges, was never charged with sexual violence crimes. Last year, victims' lawyers tried to introduce the charge of sexual slavery to Lubanga's existing charges of conscripting child soldiers, but the judges ruled that such a charge would prejudice the defendant's right to a fair trial.

The ruling was particularly disappointing for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rape has been widely deployed as a weapon of war. "For many women, (the ICC) is their greatest hope, for some perhaps their only chance for justice, for someone to be held accountable for what happened to them, with the hope that this should not happen to others," Inder said. Gladys Oyat Ayot, a member of the Greater North Women's Voices for Peace, a non-governmental organization in northern Uganda, said that being able to access justice is an important part of the recovery process for women who have suffered gender-based crimes. "Women in armed conflicts suffer physical, psychological and emotional pain, which they live with for many years, long after the conflict has ended," she said. "In most cases, such suffering is increased when the women fail to get redress." To date, the ICC has opened investigations in the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, the Congo and Kenya. Although the majority of cases before the ICC include some form of gender-based crime, Inder complains that many of the charges have been watered down and that the underlying ICC strategy for gender crimes is not robust enough. "So long as the perpetrators are out there, these women sleep with one eye open and the other one closed," said Jane Adong, legal officer for Women's Initiative for Gender Justice. "They know that any time these perpetrators can come back." NOTE: Evelyn Kiapi is a reporter in Uganda who writes for The Institute for War & Peace Reporting, a nonprofit organization that trains journalists in areas of conflict — MCT

BP oil spill hangs over Cameron mission to US By Anna Tomforde

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nfortunately for David Cameron, Britain's new prime minister, it will not be all smiles when he touches down for his first visit to Washington since taking office two months ago. Despite signs of a possible breakthrough in the battle to contain the massive BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the dark clouds of the huge environmental disaster are likely to overshadow Cameron's talks with US President Barack Obama. It was also confirmed in London that Cameron will travel without his wife, Samantha, who is heavily pregnant with the couple's third child. Her absence - and planned first encounter with US First Lady Michelle Obama - is depriving the visit of a much-needed touch of glamour. The oil spill, which started three months to the day when Cameron lands in Washington on July 20, has placed a heavy burden on Anglo-US relations. It has dampened the enthusi-

asm expressed by Obama being the first foreign leader to congratulate Cameron, and extending the invitation to the White House. Which is perhaps why Cameron, aware of the gravity and deep sensitivity surrounding the oil issue, has not said much about the disaster in public. The uncertain future of BP, Britain's biggest company, is likely to trouble him as much as the disaster itself. At the height of the BP crisis in June, following chief executive Tony Hayward's disastrous Congressional hearing, Cameron was accused by business leaders and some commentators of failing to respond adequately to the "anti-British hysteria" in the United States. There were calls for a "measured intervention" by the prime minister. But the British leader, well aware both of the importance of BP for Britain and the danger of inflaming the highly charged atmosphere any further, remained restrained in his comments. He responded to the criticism by saying that

he understood the US government's frustration, and that the issue had nothing to with national identity. "First of all this is an environmental catastrophe. We need to be clear about that," said Cameron, in the direct and straightforward manner that has become a hallmark of his leadership. However, commentators in Britain doubt that Cameron's open style will be enough to ease the "climate of distrust" that has been created by the BP disaster. Much will, therefore, depend on the "personal chemistry" the two leaders will be able to build up during their talks, a diplomat said. "President Obama and I have a very good relationship, we are getting on well," Cameron said in a Time magazine interview ahead of his trip. But the talks are not going to be easy. Speaking after a recent meeting with BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg,

Cameron said BP wanted "more certainty" that it would not be held liable for problems it had not caused. "They want to clean up the mess, they want to pay compensation to the fishermen and the farmers and the hotel owners and everyone who has been affected," said Cameron. "But they do need some sort of certainty that the compensation claims won't go into tertiary and sort of further claims which aren't really related to the mistakes that BP made." Cameron is also expected to brief his US hosts on the contingency plans prepared by the British government in the event of a collapse of BP through a possible takeover, break-up or corporate failure. Officials have stressed that while they do not expect BP to fail under the strain of the oil spill, the government was required to be "prepared for every eventuality." BP, meanwhile, is due to give a "strategic update" on costs, and on its operational and financial position, on July 27, when the publication of

second-quarter results is due. Up to now, the company has worked on the assumption that it will be able to fund its spill-related liabilities from its strong cash flow and a wideranging asset disposal program. But it has also always stressed that it is "far too early" to assess the total costs. These are, however, expected to escalate, prompting concern that BP could be forced to raise more capital - at vastly increased costs. With potential liabilities estimated to reach up to $70 billion, reassuring investors of its ability to survive will not be an easy task, analysts said. Among the lingering doubts, however, one thing seems to be certain: Given the "reputational damage" BP has suffered from the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the company will have to build a new public image. "There is no question that top management will have to be changed following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill," wrote the Financial Times recently a view that is widely accepted in London. — dpa


ANALYSIS

Monday, July 19, 2010

13

Obama's summer of recovery can't shake discontent By Emily Kaiser and Caren Bohan

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he White House is trumpeting a "summer of economic recovery" but it could soon be facing a winter of discontent. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and other officials have visited far-flung locales such as Holland, Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky, and Barre, Vermont, to see first-hand some of the projects financed by an $862 billion stimulus package passed last year. While economists generally agree that the recession would have been worse without the government's spending spree, that is a hard sell with voters facing unemployment at 9.5 percent and unlikely to fall much by November congressional elections. "I think it's a very risky strategy to use the term 'recovery' and the promise and claim of recovery when for many Americans, the evidence is simply not there," said Julian Zelizer, a history professor at Princeton University. White House officials are trying to frame the midterm elections as a choice between Republicans, whose policies the administration says caused the economic mess, and Democrats, who are trying to dig the country out. Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist, pointed out this wasn't exactly the stuff of catchy bumper sticker slogans. "Vote Democratic. Things might have been even worse without us" probably won't sway voters, he wrote. The recovery theme cropped up often in the adminis-

Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele leads US President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha during their visit to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine, on July 16, 2010. — AP tration's recent tours of taxpayer-funded projects. "This summer is sure to be a Summer of Economic Recovery," Ron Sims, deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development, wrote on the White House blog last month after visiting a senior citizen apartment complex being built in Baltimore. The White House says the "Recovery Summer" slogan was not a promise that unemployment would fall rapidly. Rather,

it was intended to draw attention to the variety of stimulusfunded projects that were now up and running. "We understand that we aren't always going to get credit for digging us out of a ditch until we're out of the ditch," said White House deputy communications director Jen Psaki. "What we have to keep our focus on is telling people what we are doing and talking about the success of the cleanenergy projects and the battery investments and the small busi-

nesses that are working again," she said. The upbeat message doesn't seem to be resonating. Consumer confidence is weakening with less than four months to go until the congressional elections. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index released on Friday sank to its lowest level in 11 months in July, a much steeper decline than economists had predicted. The survey's gauge of con-

sumer expectations slid to the lowest level since March 2009, when stock markets were at their weakest point of the recession amid fears of another Great Depression. "This is bad news, clearly," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "We need job growth now more than ever." Indeed, the poor job market lies at the heart of public dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of the economy. The administration did not do itself any

favors when it released a report on Wednesday saying the stimulus package created or saved millions of jobs. "Does the White House really think we are buying that unicorn poop?" was one reader's comment on reuters.com. Republicans pounced on the report at a congressional hearing on Wednesday with White House economic adviser Christina Romer. They pointed out that Romer had co-authored a paper, released in Jan 2009, predicting that stimulus spending would cap the jobless rate at 8 percent. In fact, unemployment peaked at 10.1 percent last October. Romer said that forecast error stemmed from a steeper-than-expected drop in economic activity in late 2008 and early 2009 and was not an indication the stimulus failed. "Before the stimulus could have done anything, the economy deteriorated rapidly," she said. While her employment target was off, Romer's 2010 economic growth forecast - which earned her the derisive nickname "Rosy Scenario" among those who thought she was wildly optimistic - has proved accurate. Back in February 2009, when Obama presented his first budget proposal, the administration's forecast called for 2010 growth of 3.2 percent. At the time the "Blue Chip" consensus of leading economists was just 2.1 percent. Those forecasts have since come up and are now in line with the White House's view. Unfortunately for the White House, the economy is still not creating enough jobs to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate. — Reuters

Obama may not see big boost from Wall St reform By Caren Bohan

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President Barack Obama may struggle to reap political rewards from his big win on Wall Street reform - at least in the near term. Passage of the most sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression of the 1930s comes as Obama is trying to bolster his sinking poll numbers and avert an election catastrophe for his Democrats. The financial bill could prove more helpful to Obama when he seeks re-election in 2012 than for Democratic lawmakers trying to keep their seats this November. Wall Street reform marks the latest in a series of major legislative achievements for the president, who campaigned on a promise of change. Americans are focused on high unemployment and ballooning budget deficits, and some worry Obama is overreaching with his agenda. That has prevented Obama from gaining a lot of traction from two other signature initiatives: health care reform and the $862 billion stimulus package.

Financial reform could fit the same pattern. "It will have relatively little positive effect on 2010," said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University. "It's something Obama can take to the voters in 2012." The complexity of the 2,300-page financial reform bill is one reason Baker says it might not help Democrats much in the November congressional elections. "It has yet to play out and affect the lives of Americans," Baker said. "It will be a long time before people get a sense that somehow their debit cards are better protected than they were before financial regulation reform was passed." Many US voters are unfamiliar with the financial overhaul, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs online poll. The poll found 38 percent of Americans had never heard of the overhaul and 33 percent had heard of it but knew almost nothing about the legislation. Another 18 percent said they knew "a little bit" about it. The healthcare measure is also complex, though Baker said voters might come to better appreciate both pieces of legislation by

the time Obama seeks re-election in two years. For now, the jobless rate, which stands at 9.5 percent, trumps healthcare and financial reform. "If he can get job creation going and we start seeing a decline in unemployment, that's really the only thing that's going to rescue Obama and the Democrats," said Chris Arterton, a political scientist at George Washington University. That may be why Obama focused his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday on his push for extensions in jobless benefits and a program to spur lending to small businesses. The Senate scheduled a vote on the unemployment benefits tomorrow the day before the signing of financial reform. The White House has openly expressed fear that Democrats could lose their dominance in the House of Representatives. Democrats are seen as having a better chance of holding onto the Senate though they are expected to lose seats. That would make it harder for Obama to tackle other items on his agenda like energy and immigration legislation.

The White House depicts the financial reform debate as a choice: Setting responsible rules of the road for Wall Street versus allowing greed and recklessness to run rampant. Obama has argued Wall Street must be reined in to protect consumers and prevent a repeat of the financial implosion that plunged the country into its longest recession in decades. Senior Obama aide David Axelrod disagreed with those who see the financial bill as too complex to resonate with voters. "I don't think it's complicated to tell credit card holders that they have new rights relative to their credit card companies or mortgage holders that their prepayment penalties are now limited," Axelrod said. "I understand that not everybody is steeped in the knowledge of derivatives and all of this kind of exotic instruments that were part of the saga of the financial crisis," he added. "But everybody in America deals with the headache of credit card fine print and variable mortgages." The Wall Street measure passed almost entirely along party lines, with

only three Republicans breaking ranks to back it. One obstacle for Democrats is a dampening of liberal enthusiasm because of concerns that industry lobbyists won too many concessions and loopholes in the final bill. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, an outside adviser to Obama, was disappointed in a rule named after him to prohibit banks with federal deposit insurance from betting with their own money. Volcker felt the rule was too watered-down. But Republicans are prepared to attack the financial bill from a different vantage point. They hope that the bill and Obama's populist, anti-Wall Street rhetoric will reinforce an "anti-business" image they are trying to pin on him. House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner has called the financial legislation ill-conceived and said he wants to repeal it. "It's going to make credit harder for the American people to get, clearly harder for businesses to get," Boehner said. "It's going to punish every banker in America for the sins of a few on Wall Street." — Reuters

Dems enacted much of Obama's agenda By David Espo

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ar-reaching legislation aimed at reining in Wall Street marks the latest and likely the last major achievement by US President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, an 18-month partnership that strove simultaneously to fix a battered economy and enact sweeping changes to health care, education and more. Whatever the longer term impact - the most far-reaching changes in the healthcare legislation won't start until 2014 - the immediate aftermath is unemployment that scrapes double digits and deficits far deeper than Obama and his allies inherited in Jan 2009. The Republicans who worked ceaselessly to thwart the president's agenda are emboldened, while Democrats who voted it into law brace for majority-threatening election losses. "Did they do the right thing for the public interest? I think so, but that depends on your values," said James Thurber, professor and director of the Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies at American University. "You are elected, you get power, you govern and you change things the way you said you would." That doesn't mean you'll be rewarded. "They're going to get punished for it," Thurber said, in part because the economy has not responded strongly, but also because midterm elections are rarely kind to the party in control of the White House. That's the long view - the political pendulum swings - a perspective rarely if ever in fashion in Congress and certainly not in the run-up to an election. It also masks a perennial debate about the proper role of government in the economy, in health care, in the auto industry, in energy policy and other areas. "If we had healthcare sooner, if we had energy sooner, if we had the education bill sooner, they were all three pillars of job creation, and that would have

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (right), accompanied by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen Christopher Dodd, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington July 15, 2010 after Congress passed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression. – AP resulted in more jobs created by now," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference on Thursday. The 2009 economic stimulus legislation has created or saved 3.6 million jobs, she added, using an estimate that Republicans challenge. "Without it, we would never have dug out of the deep recession that the Bush administration had taken us in," Pelosi said. It was anything but an apology for the policies she, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others have pursued relentlessly but something of a lament that the Senate can't act as quickly as the House. Frustrated, House Democrats compiled a list of bills that they have cleared but still await action in the Senate. It runs to 345 items. Not surprisingly, there are

far fewer if-onlys at the moment among Republicans, politically ascendant after losing seats in two straight elections. "In every case, the administration saw a crisis and used it to achieve some other long-desired goal of the left. And the crisis remained," Sen Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a speech a few hours before the financial regulation bill won final approval. "The trillion dollar stimulus that promised to keep unemployment at 8 percent didn't prevent 9.5 percent unemployment and a loss of nearly 3 million more American jobs," he told the Young Republican Leadership Conference. "The new healthcare law, according to the administration's own actuary, will bring us higher, not lower healthcare costs.

The financial regulation bill doesn't do a thing to reform the two institutions that played what may have been the leading role in creating the financial mess in the first place," a reference to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. McConnell, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio and nearly all fellow Republicans voted against that bill, as well as the other major measures that Obama, Pelosi and Reid pushed to passage: the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, the $1 trillion healthcare measure designed to extend coverage to millions who now lack it, the more generous student loans made possible by stripping banks of their lucrative role as lending middlemen. A separate measure, passed in 2009,

expanded healthcare for children of lower- and middle-income families. After eight years of a Republican presidency, the Democrats pursued numerous other priorities over 18 months. Obama signed legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate advertising, marketing and manufacturing of tobacco products. Another bill overrode a Supreme Court ruling, strengthening the rights of women and others who allege they were victims of discrimination on the job. Democrats also enacted hate crime legislation. With less than four months remaining until the elections and a lame-duck session of Congress likely this fall, Obama is on track to win confirmation for Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, his second pick in two years. An extension of unemployment benefits is all but certain. Democrats hope to overturn the Pentagon policy against gays serving openly in the military. Reid intends to seek passage of a slimmeddown energy bill that includes greater liability for BP in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But even if it passes, it will fall far short of the sweeping plan Obama outlined to control carbon emissions. That's one of the 345 stalled measures on the House list, and one that some rank-and-file moderates would like to have back. Democrats may also yet attempt to roll back tax cuts from the Bush era that benefit those at the highest income levels. For the most part, though, the major legislative record is complete for Democrats who took office 18 months ago. But not the argument. "I think it ought to be repealed," Boehner said of the financial legislation, even before it had cleared. The bill "gives far too much authority to federal bureaucrats to bail out virtually any company in America they decide ought to be bailed out," he added. Obama rebutted from the White House: "We can't afford another financial crisis, just as we're digging out from the last one." — AP

focus

Wives of Qaeda leaders speak up By Martin Chulov

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he last Hasna Ali Yehye Hussain heard of her husband was a shattering explosion which hung heavy in the cold desert air of an Iraqi night. Cowering in the sand 200 m from her house, she had listened, terrified, as American and Iraqi commandos closed in on the home where, in the cellar, her husband had been hiding. Abu Ayyub Al-Masri - an Egyptian who was a warlord, Al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, and the man responsible for promoting three years of sectarian war had known he was surrounded. Indeed he had prepared for what would happen should the Americans storm the gates. The blast thundered through the house and over to the sand berm where Hussain and her children trembled. It signalled their father's end blown to pieces by a suicide bomb. He was not alone in that moment: killed with him was Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, himself an Al-Qaeda leader. No sooner had the blast subsided than Hussain, Baghdadi's wife, Wathi AlJassem, and their children were swept away on helicopters to a world which has become more forbidding and foreign with each day. Three months after that night Hussain is led to meet the Guardian in a secure building in the heart of Baghdad. Her husband's death had since been trumpeted by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, as a crippling blow to Al-Qaeda. Hussain, 31, seemed lost but circumspect. "You are the first man I have willingly spoken to apart from my husband or father for the past seven years," she said, her uncovered face revealing thick round spectacles, and the granting of a rare opportunity of insight into life as a terrorist leader's spouse. The petite Yemeni had spent five years being shuttled from one safe house to another between summonses from her husband, with whom she had three children. She had raised them alone. They now share her prison cell in the Iraqi capital, but they will soon be made wards of a state that they do not belong to. Hussain's fate seems even more uncertain. "I made no choices in my marriage," she said, tears welling. "I brought up my children in Tarmiyeh and Mosul [both cities caught in the Sunni insurgency]. Even when I was with him in the house, I was on the first floor and he was living in the cellar. I was not allowed to talk on the telephone, or to listen to music or watch TV. There was one TV in the house, but it was in a private room used only by my husband and his group." She said she did not know her husband's allegiances. From early 2004, however, she had a sense that he was fighting the Americans. "We were in Fallujah then, and when the fighting started for the first time that year, I started to have doubts about my husband. After that, I thought he was probably involved in killing Americans," she added, suggesting she supported the notion of violent jihad against an occupying army. "But when they told me [during interrogations last month] that he had been involved in killing innocent people, my son was screaming, saying: 'Mama, mama, listen to what they are saying about him, it's impossible.'" She added: "I will lose my children soon - and for what? What have I done, and what have they done to live their life without a mother? All I want is to take them back to my father in Yemen and forget about Iraq. Yes, I have regrets. Of course I do." Women are rarely jailed in Iraq; but when they are, there are few legal protections for them. There are 400 women jailed across the country. Those linked to terror

offences have next to no protection, and there seems little intent to distinguish the actions of wives from those of their husbands. Baghdadi's wife, Jassem, 39, is held along with Hussain. Officials in the building readily confirm that both potentially face a death sentence after an investigative process. Jassem told the Guardian that she had been aware her husband was no longer the pious poor man she had been forced to marry in Baghdad. "I knew he was the emir of the Islamic state of Iraq," she said warily. Her plump face was also uncovered as she outlined her life on the run and her inability to do otherwise. "I would have been killed if I had tried, and so would my children," she said. "The Americans, the Iraqi forces, Al-Qaeda - all of them would have killed me if they could. Anyone who even thought about leaving this world would have been executed instantly. Women get executed even for complaining here." By the end of 2006, she came to believe her husband had become central to the violence in Iraq, by then spiralling out of control. "He was a taxi driver before then, and we lived all around Baghdad. But we moved to all the flashpoint areas, Fallujah, Haditha. For three and a half years it was a very hard life. "He did not listen to anyone, including his wife. He did his own thing. All I did was raise children and prepare food. For nine months before the raid I did not even step outside the house." Both Jassem and Hussain had lived among violent men in an atmosphere that cast as apostates deserving slaughter anyone who did not take the Quran as incontrovertible and literal lawbook for life. They appeared to adhere to a strict version of Sunni Islam that avoided all western trappings. There were, however, concessions to the modern world. "There was one television in the house and there was a computer," said Hussain. "But I was never allowed to see it, and the volume was always turned down for the introduction to the news bulletins [because of the risk of hearing un-Islamic music]." Despite their humble beginnings, the two men rose through the ranks of the insurgency and assumed outright control for much of the violence in Iraq from mid2006. After the Al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan, they were the most hunted pair in the world. American investigators say evidence of direct links to Osama bin Laden and his deputy in south Asia were found on the house's computer hard drive. Both widows insisted they were on the sidelines, kept out of sight of almost all visitors and only told what to prepare for meals. Iraqi investigators and judicial figures are attempting to take a harder line - interpreting their silence as complicity in a terrorist insurgency that still threatens the fragile state. Both women have been appointed a lawyer, whom they have so far seen once each. For now, Hussain has her three children, Mohammed, Marian and Fatima, with her in her cell. They will soon be taken away. "I just want to go back to Yemen now to see my family, but they say I could be here for 20 years," she said, weeping quietly. "If he really was a person that was killing innocent women and children, then of course I have big regrets. But my children, how can I live without them?" Jassem seems more sanguine, more resigned to her fate. "I am Iraqi, I know what it's like here. Since I got married I have had a very hard life. All my life has been evasion and hardship. I'm tired. I'm sad about how my life has ended up, but for my husband I'm not sad at all." — Guardian


NEWS

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Monday, July 19, 2010

ABU DHABI: Emirati men perform a local traditional bedouin folklore dance during the fourth Liwa Date Festival 2010 yesterday. — AFP

Amiri says US sought ‘spy’ swap for hikers TEHRAN: An Iranian scientist, who returned home last week charging he had been held by US agents for more than a year, has said that they pressed him to agree to be exchanged in a “spy” swap for three US hikers in custody in Tehran. In a lengthy interview aired by state television late on Saturday, Shahram Amiri claimed that the US agents had acknowledged that the three Americans, detained on the Iran-Iraq border in July last year, were indeed “spies”. Challenged by the interviewer about the agents’ description of the trio, who have consistently maintained that they were on a hiking holiday, Amiri insisted: “That is the term they used.” Washington has repeatedly called on Tehran to release Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah

Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, insisting that they were holidaymakers who had innocently strayed across an unmarked border. US media have questioned whether the three were even in Iranian territory at the time of their arrest. Iranian officials have raised the possibility of trying the trio for espionage, but no official charges have been announced, and the affair has become an added irritant to already tense US-Iranian relations. Amiri returned to Tehran on Thursday just over a year after he mysteriously disappeared from the Saudi city of Madinah while on a pilgrimage. He had resurfaced at the Iranian interests section in the Pakistani embassy in Washington maintaining that he had been kidnapped by US agents and held against his will. Amiri said in the interview

that the “spy swap” offer emerged after US agents holding him discovered he had been in touch with Iranian agents while in the United States. “They (US agents) wanted me to say that ‘I was an Iranian intelligence agent infiltrating the CIA’”, Amiri said. “If I said this, they said I could be part of a spy exchange programme, whereby I could be handed over to Iran in return for the three American spies arrested near the Iraqi border.” In previous interviews Amiri has said he was kidnapped at gunpoint by two Farsi speaking agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency in Madinah. US officials have repeatedly denied that Amiri was abducted, insisting he was in the United States of his own free will while acknowl-

the Arab League Qais Al-Azzawi as telling reporters that the Kuwait-Iraq borders must be redrawn. Azzawi later retracted his remarks. Separately, MP Musallam Al-Barrak

yesterday demanded an official apology from the Iraqi government and not just a denial, “in respect of Kuwaiti people’s dignity”. Barrak said that the Iraqi foreign minister’s snubbing of his Kuwaiti counterpart after the latter called him is a form of

mockery, “which the Iraqi government has practiced and still practicing”. He said even if the government has accepted this “mockery”, the Kuwaiti people cannot be forced to accept it, and there should be an apology and not just a denial.

Arabs demand written pledges Continued from Page 1 The Palestinians have demanded a complete freeze on Israeli settlement expansion ahead of direct talks and have accused Israel of undermining the process by approving new settler homes in mainly Arab east Jerusalem, which they want as the capital of their promised state. Earlier this month, during a visit to Washington by Netanyahu, Obama said he hoped to see direct talks begin before a partial Israeli moratorium on the expansion of Jewish

settlements in the occupied West Bank ends in September. In recent weeks, Abbas had appeared to back away from his previous demand for a full settlement freeze as a condition for opening direct talks, instead insisting on “progress” on the issue of borders and security. In an interview published on Saturday, he said he would meet Netanyahu if Israel agreed in principle to a Palestinian state based on the borders before Israel’s occupation of the West Bank during the 1967 war, with equal land swaps

and the presence of an international security force. “Israel must accept that the Palestinian territory in question be that of the 1967 borders and with the presence of a third party,” he told Jordan’s Al-Ghad newspaper, referring to Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem. “This will push us to embark on direct negotiations,” Abbas said. In an indication of the domestic pressure facing Abbas, his own Fatah party on Thursday told him not to join direct talks with Israel without showing progress in the indirect talks. —AFP

Hamas bans women from smoking shisha in public Continued from Page 1 Confused owners initially thought the ban applied to both men and women, killing most of their evening business. The Hamas government swiftly issued a statement reassuring residents the ban only applied to women. Smoking water pipes is a popular habit among both sexes in the impoverished Gaza Strip. Although it is considered culturally inappropriate for women to be seen smoking them in public, some middle-class ladies smoke the pipes openly, often in mixed company. Even more conservative women can be seen taking an occasional puff of their husbands’ water pipes. “This is silly,” fumed Haya Ahmed, a 29year-old accountant who said she has smoked water pipes for 10 years. “We are not smoking in the streets but in restaurants where only a few people can enter.” She predicted the ban would have the opposite effect of its intention and make water pipes more tempting for rebellious young women. “Everything forbidden becomes desirable. The decision will lead to more smokers,” Ahmed said. Many Palestinians see the water pipe as inappropriate for women because of its sexual innuendo, and because it looks crass for ladies to smoke, said Palestinian anthropologist Ali Qleibo. It is not clear how strict Hamas will be in enforcing the ban. Many residents are deeply sensitive to any effort by Hamas to infringe on the few forms of entertainment available to Gaza’s 1.5 million people. For three years, they have lived under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade that

has penned them into the tiny coastal territory. Many Gazans pile into beach cafes in the evenings to puff on water pipes well into the early hours. A cafe and restaurant union representative in Gaza, Ayman Abu Khair, estimated the ban would cost cafe owners some 10 percent of their income. He said owners were not warned before Hamas police barged into their establishments Friday night issuing the verbal order. Abu Khair said the union hoped to challenge the ruling. The militant group has backed down in the past when it senses resistance to its harsh rules. A ban on men working in female hair salons was never enforced, and a demand that female lawyers cover their hair before they enter courtrooms was quietly rescinded. But Hamas has successfully banned women from riding motorbikes, arguing it was culturally inappropriate. It also instructed teachers to pressure teenage girls to cover up in long, loose robes and headscarves. Last year the group cracked down on Gaza’s tiny number of moonshiners and banned foreigners from bringing alcohol into the blockaded territory. For Ahmed, the ban has been a damper. “I smoked (in public) with my family around,” she said. “Now, I will smoke at home.” “We received orders from the police to stop serving shisha without any further details,” said Abu Ahmad, the owner of one cafe who asked not to be identified, adding that he is not currently serving shisha to anyone. “We are in favour of a shisha ban for children and young people, but women

wise and that their scheme to abduct me had been defeated.” He said that he was shown documents “explaining the process of making nuclear weapons which they wanted me to say I had brought to America”. Amiri said the US agents were angry when they discovered Iranian agents had contacted him by “methods and codes” which helped him recognise that they were from Iranian intelligence. “These are issues which I can’t talk about as they could hurt national interests,” he said without elaborating on how Iranian agents contacted him inside the United States. Amiri said that he was “handed over” to the Iranian interests section in Washington by US agents. “They reached a conclusion that they wanted to close the

case and wanted to send me back to Iran,” he said. “I did not go to the interests section on my own... it is better to say I did not enter the interests section but was handed over. They ordered a taxi for me and in reality escorted this taxi. They were in a surveillance mode until the end.” Amiri also rejected reports in the US media that he had been paid five million dollars to defect. Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast meanwhile denied a New York Times report that Amiri had operated as a CIA agent inside Iran for several years. “We perceive that all this propaganda was directed... at not allowing the Iran nuclear issue to take its normal course,” Mehmanparast told the ILNA news agency. —AFP

Mandela turns 92, world pays tribute

MP: Iraq can do without Kuwait Continued from Page 1

edging that Washington “had been in contact with him” during his stay. In his latest interview, Amiri said the US agents had “reached wrong conclusions” about his research work which was in the area of health physics in Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University of Technology. “They wanted to see if the university was conducting nuclear research. They kept asking irrelevant questions and wanted to link Iran’s peaceful nuclear work to that of weaponisation,” Amiri said. He said after his “negative” answers, the US agents put him through a lie detector test. “A lie detection machine was attached to me when they thought I was dodging their questions,” he said. “In the end they realised that it was worthless intelligence-

should be able to smoke inside a tent,” he said, referring to the semi-private areas of the outdoor cafes usually reserved for families. Nashat Al-Hamarna, the owner of a popular beach club north of Gaza, said he continued serving shisha to men but distributed notices with his menus saying, “Because of a government decision it is forbidden to serve shisha to women.” He says he still lost 30 percent of his normal weekend business. Even Gaza’s most luxurious hotels, which largely cater to diplomats, foreign aid workers and journalists, have extinguished their coals. A police officer speaking on condition of anonymity insisted the ruling only applied to women and children but said there may have been a “misunderstanding” by some over-zealous policemen. Gazans flock to the territory’s beaches during the summer break, packing into dozens of outdoor restaurants and cafes that serve non-alcoholic drinks. Most of Gaza’s cinemas and bars were torched af ter the outbreak of the 2000 Palestinian uprising, or intifada, and alcohol is strictly banned. Few women in Gaza’s conservative society smoked water pipes in public even before the ban, though some would indulge at hotel restaurants or in private. “The decision is not good because everything becomes more desirable when it is forbidden,” said Ayman Salih, a 25-year-old accountant. “They impose their decisions without preparing the people or compensating the owners of cafes and restaurants... We want respect.” — Agencies

Continued from Page 1 The occasion marked the first annual Nelson Mandela International Day. Ordinary people in South Africa and abroad have committed to devoting 67 minutes of their time to community service, to mark the number of years Mandela spent in politics, an initiative backed by global figures like former US president Jimmy Carter and Martti Ahtisaari of Finland. “I encourage us all to heed the call to engage in some form of service to others, in honor of the 67 years of sacrifice and service Madiba gave to us,” said Obama, referring to South Africa’s first black president by his nickname. A group of 30 bikers including Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman have taken a road-trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, engaging in community service along the way, to mark the birthday. The group built a security fence at a centre for people living with AIDS in the impoverished Khayelitsha township, out-

side Cape Town. “I take it as my connection to Madiba. We should do it every day,” said Freeman, who played Mandela in the movie “Invictus”. The UN celebrated with various activities at its centres around the world from African countries like Zambia and Sudan to Kazakhstan in central Asia. Communities in Sudan were to participate in a “Football for Peace” tournament in El-Fasher, with the winning team awarded the Nelson Mandela Cup. In Spain a 6.7 kilometer charity walk in Retiro Park, Madrid was being held late yesterday to mark the day. “Nelson Mandela is a towering figure. He embodies the highest values of humanity, and of the United Nations,” said UN secretarygeneral, Ban Ki-moon. “Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments came at great personal cost to himself and his family. Today, on the first Nelson Mandela International Day, we thank him for everything he has done for freedom, for justice and for democracy,” said Ban. Neighbours who gathered outside the

high perimeter walls of Mandela’s Johannesburg home, some clutching “Happy Birthday Madiba” signs, went away disappointed after police relayed the family’s request for privacy. However, thousands of people turned out to celebrate at Mandela’s birthplace in Mvezo, hundreds of miles away in the Eastern Cape, where in a speech President Jacob Zuma described Mandela as a symbol of unity and tolerance. “Of all the things that Madiba cherishes up to this day, it is the love of all humanity, freedom, justice and compassion for all people,” said Zuma. Jailed for 27 years by the country’s white minority government for resisting apartheid rule, Mandela was released in 1990 and led negotiations with the government that culminated in his election as the country’s first black president in 1994. He stepped down as president in 1999, after serving one term in office. He has made few public appearances since he retired from public life in 2004. —AFP

48 killed in attacks on anti-Qaeda militiamen Continued from Page 1 An officer at the scene said the attacker was a male in his 20s. The bomber, who wore a dishdasha, or traditional long robe, was acting strangely and approached the base quickly, said an Iraqi soldier who asked not to be identified. He added that another soldier who was wounded in the attack yelled at the bomber and fired shots in the air to try to stop him, but he exploded instead. There were conflicting reports as to how many of the dead were Iraqi soldiers and whether accountants who were killed as they were handing out money were civilian or military. In the second attack, a suspected militant stormed into a local Awakening Council headquarters in the far western town of Qaim near the Syrian border and opened fire on those inside. The town and the vast desert province of Anbar, were for years the epicenter of the Sunni Arab insurgency and a sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. The fighters returned fire, wounding the attacker, who then blew himself up as they gathered around him, killing three and wounding six others, police officials said on condition of anonymity. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Two other

members of the Sunni militia were also wounded in other minor attacks south of Baghdad. While violence has dropped dramatically over the past two years in the country, Iraqi security forces remain a favorite target for insurgents bent on destabilizing the country and its Shiiteled government. The attack also raised to the surface the festering resentment on the part of some Awakening Council members toward a government they said has largely marginalized them, even though their decision to fight alongside the Americans has made them targets for Sunni extremists. The complaints take on greater urgency given Iraq’s current political stalemate and the scheduled withdrawal of all US combat forces by the end of August. More than four months after March’s inconclusive parliamentary election, Iraq has yet to form a new government as politicians bicker over who will lead the country. The impasse has raised fears that militants will try to exploit the political vacuum to re-ignite sectarian tensions that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007. While the Awakening Councils played a key role in reducing the overall level of violence in Iraq, their future role in the Shiite-dominated government is uncer-

tain. The US used to pay the monthly salaries of about $300 to the nearly 100,000-strong militias. Last year, the Iraqi government took over paying their salaries and, after heavy pressure from the Americans, agreed to absorb up to 20 percent of the fighters into its security forces, while giving the others government jobs. “The government has not provided job opportunities to the heroes who fought Al-Qaeda,” Sheik Efan Saadoun, a member of the provincial council in Anbar said. “Therefore, these heroes are not willing to fight Al-Qaeda because they have not received what they deserved.” Others appeared to imply that the government was at least complicit in the attacks yesterday. Khamis, the bombing victim, said while men are usually searched at the checkpoint where the bomber struck, yesterday they were allowed to line up without any checks. Hassan Ali, who was waiting at the hospital with his wounded nephew, said also this was the fifth day they had gone to the base to try and collect their paychecks. “Every time they went to receive their salary, they told them to come the next day and they did that for four days and now in the fifth day this explosion took place,” he said. — AP


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Monday, July 19, 2010

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball Results On Saturday. Philadelphia 4, Chicago Cubs 1; Cleveland 4, Detroit 3 (1st Game); Cleveland 2, Detroit 1 (2nd Game, 11 Innings); ST. Louis 2, LA Dodgers 0; Tampa Bay 10, NY Yankees 5; Toronto 3, Baltimore 2; Pittsburgh 12, Houston 6; Boston 3, Texas 2 (11 Innings); Milwaukee 6, Atlanta 3; Florida 2, Washington 0; Cincinnati 8, Colorado 1; Oakland 6, Kansas City 5; Minnesota 3, Chicago White Sox 2; San Diego 8, Arizona 5; LA Angels 7, Seattle 6; San Francisco 8, NY Mets 4. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB NY Yankees 57 33 .633 Tampa Bay 55 35 .611 2 Boston 52 39 .571 5.5 Toronto 46 45 .505 11.5 Baltimore 29 61 .322 28 Central Division Chicago White Sox 50 40 .556 Detroit 48 41 .539 1.5 Minnesota 48 43 .527 2.5 Kansas City 39 51 .433 11 Cleveland 37 54 .407 13.5 Western Division Texas 52 39 .571 LA Angels 50 44 .532 3.5 Oakland 45 46 .495 7 Seattle 35 56 .385 17 National League Eastern Division Atlanta 53 38 .582 Philadelphia 48 42 .533 4.5 NY Mets 48 43 .527 5 Florida 43 47 .478 9.5 Washington 40 51 .440 13 Central Division Cincinnati 51 41 .554 St. Louis 50 41 .549 .5 Milwaukee 42 50 .457 9 Chicago Cubs 41 51 .446 10 Houston 37 54 .407 13.5 Pittsburgh 31 59 .344 19 Western Division San Diego 53 37 .589 San Francisco 50 41 .549 3.5 Colorado 49 41 .544 4 LA Dodgers 49 42 .538 4.5 Arizona 34 57 .374 19.5

CINCINNATI: Dexter Fowler No. 24 of the Colorado Rockies slides safely in front of the tag by Orlando Cabrera No. 2 of the Cincinnati Reds during the game at Great American Ball Park.— AFP

Wainright helps Cardinals down Dodgers ST. LOUIS: Adam Wainwright pitched six sharp innings to remain unbeaten at home and Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan each drove in a run as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in the National League on Saturday. Wainwright (14-5) has allowed just one earned run in his last 29 1-3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.02. He improved to 10-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 10 starts at Busch Stadium. The All-Star right-hander gave up five hits and walked one while winning his fourth consecutive start and sixth in the last seven. St. Louis has won four in a row and has outscored Los Angeles 17-5 while winning the first three games of the fourgame series. Kyle McClellan followed Wainwright with two innings of one-hit relief. With a runner on first and two outs in the ninth, Ryan Franklin came on to retire Casey Blake for his 17th save in 18 opportunities. Hiroki Kuroda (7-8) gave up one run and four hits over six innings for Los Angeles. Giants 8, Mets 4 At San Francisco, Buster Posey and Andres Torres homered to stake San Francisco to an early lead on the way to an easy victory over New York.

The drives by Posey and Torres against Hisanori Takahashi (7-4) helped give the Giants a 6-0 lead after three innings. New York finally scored for the first time since the AllStar break when Ike Davis hit a two-run homer off Matt Cain (7-8) in the seventh to cut San Francisco’s lead to 6-2. That snapped the longest scoreless streak for the Mets since they went 30 innings without a run July 24-28, 1992. Davis added a solo shot in the ninth for his second career multihomer game — both against San Francisco. Brian Wilson struck out Angel Pagan with two on in the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances. Reds 8, Rockies 1 At Cincinnati, Edinson Volquez gave a starring performance in his return from elbow surgery, guiding the Cincinnati Reds to a victory over the Colorado Rockies. Volquez (1-0) made it back ahead of schedule from surgery last Aug. 3 to rebuild his right elbow. The Reds’ former ace pitched like one, striking out nine while hitting 152 kph (95 mph) with his fastball. Cincinnati hit four homers: Drew Stubbs homered in his first two at-bats against Colorado left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (3-2), who was hit hard in his second outing since he

recovered from a torn finger tendon. Brandon Phillips added a three-run shot, and Jonny Gomes also went long. Carlos Gonzalez hit an RBI single for the Rockies in the first. Brewers 6, Braves 3 At Atlanta, Corey Hart hit a three-run double in Milwaukee’s five-run seventh inning, sinking Atlanta. Prince Fielder hit his 21st homer in the Brewers’ big seventh and was hit by a pitch in the eighth, leading to ejections for Braves reliever Jonny Venters and manager Bobby Cox. Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson (8-6) allowed only two runs in six innings. Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske homered for Atlanta, while starter Tim Hudson (9-5) gave up a season-worst six runs in 6 2-3 innings and walked three batters in the seventh. Marlins 2, Nationals 0 At Miami, Josh Johnson and three relievers combined on an 11-hit shutout, leading Florida to a win over Washington. Johnson (10-3) struck out seven and walked none in six innings, lowering his NL-leading ERA to 1.62. The All-Star pitcher has not allowed more than two runs in his past 12 starts, pitching at least six innings each time. Ronny Paulino drove in the only runs with a single in the

second off Livan Hernandez (6-6). Washington had plenty of scoring chances, with at least one hit in seven innings. But the Nationals went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. Padres 8, D’backs 5 At San Diego, Tony Gwynn Jr. hit another inside-thepark homer and Yorvit Torrealba drove in four runs as San Diego beat Arizona. Torrealba’s two-run shot gave the NL West leaders a 43 lead in the third inning. All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez broke a 4-all tie with his 20th home run in the fifth, a solo shot. Jerry Hairston Jr. also went deep for the Padres, who matched a season high with four homers. Torrealba also had RBI singles in the first and seventh as San Diego beat the Diamondbacks for the sixth time in eight games this season, including five straight at home. Clayton Richard (7-4) pitched 6 1-3 innings for San Diego, yielding five runs and nine hits. All-Star closer Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances. Phillies 4, Cubs 1 At Chicago, Placido Polanco, just off the disabled list, hit

a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning as Philadelphia rallied for four runs to beat Chicago. Chad Durbin (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Chicago appeared on its way to making it three straight with a 1-0 lead, but closer Carlos Marmol (2-2) gave up Polanco’s hit and Ross Gloard scored on a wild pitch. Jayson Werth then walked to force in a run and Raul Ibanez had a run-scoring infield hit. The Cubs had gone ahead in the seventh on Ryan Theriot’s bunt single. Pirates 12, Astros 6 At Pittsburgh, Neil Walker had three hits, drove in two runs and scored three times, helping Pittsburgh thrash Houston and snap a seven-game losing streak. Jose Tabata and Lastings Milledge each had two hits and two RBIs as all but one Pittsburgh position player drove in at least one run. The Pirates beat Houston for the first time in eight meetings this season. The game, matching two of the National League’s worst teams, featured four lead changes and 12 pitchers. Hunter Pence homered and Michael Bourn hit a two-run double during a four-run second inning for the Astros. Pittsburgh’s Javier Lopez (2-1) got the win, and Houston’s Bud Norris (27) picked up the loss. — AP

Rays win as Yankees mourn RBIs for the Athletics, who won their fourth in a row. Craig Breslow (4-2) pitched one inning for the victory and Andrew Bailey worked the ninth for his 19th save in 22 opportunities, striking out Jason Kendall with the potential tying run on third. Kansas City’s Yuniesky Betancourt hit a grand slam in the second.

NEW YORK: On the day George Steinbrenner was laid to rest in Florida, the New York Yankees gave a performance that would’ve riled up The Boss as the Tampa Bay Rays won 10-5 in the American League on Saturday. Reid Brignac had his first two-homer game and drove in a career-high five runs and Carlos Pena homered and had three RBIs, helping the Rays silence the Yankee Stadium crowd. Hours earlier, the Yankees paid tribute to longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard during Old-Timers Day festivities. Sheppard died last Sunday at 99. New York starter A.J. Burnett (7-8) was pulled in the third inning with cuts on his pitching hand, sustained when he shoved open a set of doors in the New York clubhouse in a bout of frustration. Tampa Bay’s Jeff Niemann (8-2) pitched 6 1-3 solid innings, helping the Rays pull within two games of the AL East-leading Yankees. Red Sox 3, Rangers 2 At Boston, Kevin Youkilis doubled home the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning, then drove in the winner with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 11th as Boston edged Texas. A leadoff walk and a throwing error by Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando (3-1) helped the Red Sox rally in the 11th. Boston’s Manny Delcarmen (3-2) pitched a perfect inning to take the win after being activated from the disabled list.

NEW YORK: Dustin Moseley No. 40 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City. — AFP

Twins 3, White Sox 2 At Minneapolis, Carl Pavano picked up where he left off before the All-Star break, pitching a complete game to guide Minnesota past Chicago. Pavano (11-6) got a rousing ovation from the sellout home crowd when he returned to the mound for the ninth inning, and he got out of a jam to finish his fourth complete game this season. Chicago’s Omar Vizquel started the inning with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Paul Konerko, who had

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 2 At Baltimore, Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 25th homer in the eighth inning, a two-run shot that provided Toronto with a comeback victory over Baltimore. The Blue Jays trailed 21 when newcomer Yunel Escobar led off the eighth with a single off Jason Berken (2-2), setting the stage for Bautista’s winner. The Orioles loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Shawn Camp retired Cesar Izturis to earn his first save. Fred Lewis homered on the first pitch of the game for the Blue Jays, who improved to 8-0 against the Orioles this season. Toronto leads the majors with 139 homers and has hit at least one in 10 straight games. Toronto’s Brandon Morrow (6-6) allowed two runs in seven innings to earn his first road win in 10 starts.

CINCINNATI: Edinson Volquez No. 36 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park. — AFP hit an RBI single in the first and smacked his 21st homer in the fourth, struck out on three pitches. Pavano pumped his fist, and the fans went wild. Carlos Quentin grounded out to end the duel between Pavano and Mark Buehrle (8-8) — who also threw a complete game — in a contest that last only 1 hour, 52 minutes. Indians 4, Tigers 3 At Cleveland, Austin Kearns hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Cleveland a doubleheader sweep over Detroit. Fausto Carmona (9-7) outlasted

Justin Verlander in a matchup of AllStar right-handers in the opener while Rafael Perez (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings in the second game for the win. Jayson Nix singled off Robbie Weinhardt (0-1) to start Cleveland’s two-out rally in the nightcap, which was halted for 1 hour, 53 minutes by rain in the top of the ninth. Weinhardt then walked Carlos Santana and Kearns, with the runners in motion on a 3-2 pitch, lined a single to left, easily scoring Nix. In the opener, Trevor Crowe’s RBI single off Phil Coke (5-1) broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and Chris Perez

worked a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances. He closed in place of Kerry Wood, who was placed on the disabled list before the game with a blister on his right index finger. Athletics 6, Royals 5 At Kansas City, Missouri, Adam Rosales drove in the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning with his third single, leading Oakland past Kansas City. Kurt Suzuki doubled with one out in the ninth against Joakim Soria (0-2), who started the ninth. With two outs, Rosales delivered the winner up the middle. Kevin Kouzmanoff had three

Angels 7, Mariners 6 At Anaheim, California, Juan Rivera hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, Mike Napoli also went deep as Los Angeles beat Seattle despite blowing a five-run lead. Brian Sweeney (11), working his second inning of relief, retired his first two batters in the seventh before Rivera drove a 1-0 pitch to left-center for his 11th home run. Angels left-hander Joe Saunders went six innings and left with a 6-5 lead before Kevin Jepsen gave up a tying homer to Josh Bard leading off the seventh. Jepsen (2-1) pitched one inning for the win, and Brian Fuentes followed Fernando Rodney out of the bullpen with a hitless ninth for his 18th save in 22 attempts. — AP


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Monday, July 19, 2010

TORONTO: Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 22 Team Z-Line Designs/DRR Dreyer&Reinbold Racing Dallara Honda, drives during the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto. (Insed) Justin Wilson of England smiles after winning the pole award for the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto.—AFP

Justin Wilson takes Toronto pole TORONTO: Justin Wilson of England won his first IndyCar Series pole to end Team Penske’s streak at eight, turning a series track-record lap of 104.827 mph (168.69 kph) on the Toronto street circuit on Saturday. Wilson, the winner from the pole in the 2006 Champ Car race at the tight and bumpy Exhibition Place track, gave owner Dreyer & Reinbold its first IndyCar pole since Sarah Fisher led the field at Kentucky Speedway in 2002. “We’ve had a couple of tough races, so to come back and get the pole here is just fantastic,” Wilson said. “Everyone at Dreyer & Reinbold has worked so hard. “It’s a good weekend so far. We have to keep it up. We’ll keep pushing for the race. It’s easy in this

stage to sit back and relax, but we have a lot of work to do.” Wilson saved a set of red-lined tires — the softer and less durable of the two Firestone models — for the 10-minute, sixcar qualifying finale. “That was the move of the day,” said Ryan Hunter-Reay of the United States, the fourth-place qualifier. “We couldn’t beat him after that.” Wilson is the first driver to reach the final six-car session — called the Fast Six — without using a set of the red tires in the first two segments since the alternate-tire program was introduced last season. “I was OK with the first round,” the Englishman said. “The second round, I was a little nervous, but the car was that fast that we pulled it off.” The teams are required to

use both the red and harder black-lined tires in the 85-lap race on Sunday. They are limited to three sets of reds and six blacks for the three days of practice, qualifying and racing. Will Power of Australia, the series leader and a three-time winner this season on street and road courses, qualified second. “We definitely got the car better for qualifying, but Justin was very quick and tough to beat,” Power said. “I’m not sure I could have beaten him this time. I know I made a mistake at the end of my lap, but that was a tough qualifying session. I’m exhausted. ... I feel good about tomorrow. I’m not sure what will happen with the weather. Rain always stirs things up, but we will take it as it comes.” His Penske teammate Helio

Castroneves of Brazil qualified third. “We ended up being more safe than taking a chance using our second set of reds on qualifying,” Castroneves said. Scotland’s Dario Franchitti, the winner last year in Toronto en route to the season title, qualified fifth. He also won a Champ Car race in Toronto in 1999. “I normally wouldn’t be happy with my position, but after practice yesterday and today, I’m very happy to be in the position I’m in,” said Franchitti, the Indianapolis 500 winner in late May for Chip Ganassi Racing.-”Unfortunately, when it came to the Fast Six, we had already used our reds.” Meanwhile, IndyCar Series chief executive officer Randy Bernard says they are

closely monitoring the dangerously slow Milka Duno. “I’m going to get myself in trouble on this one, but I’m going to tell you,” Bernard said on Saturday at the Honda Indy Toronto. “It’s very, very important for the credibility of the IndyCar Series that fans know they’re (the drivers) the best in the world. And if someone can’t maintain and compete with that, I really think that’s what we have a ladder system for. “I’m behind our chief steward, Brian Barnhart. He has to make the assessment who is allowed on and who isn’t. I’m sure at the end of this year, Brian and I will sit down and determine what’s in the best interest of the sport.” In practice on Saturday, Duno averaged 91.118 mph (146.63 kph) — 12.145 mph

Pedrosa wins German GP SACHSENRING: Dani Pedrosa won an eventful German MotoGP here yesterday, with reigning world champion Valentino Rossi taking fourth in his first race since breaking his leg six weeks ago. Spaniard Pedrosa on a Honda came in clear of Yamaha’s championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, with Australia’s Casey Stoner pipping comeback king Rossi for third. Pedrosa’s win completed a clean sweep for Spain at the Sachsensring circuit near Dresden, as his fellow countrymen Marc Marquez and Toni Elias won the Moto2 and 125cc races respectively. In the big one, only a late lunge on the final corner by Stoner denied the 98,000 spectators the remarkable sight of Rossi hobbling onto the podium on crutches. The rider known as ‘The Doctor’ has missed four races since his crash in Mugello 42 days ago, but even with one and a half legs in full working order, his brilliance was there for all to see as he battled with Stoner for third. The race was marred by a threebike pile-up on lap ten that resulted in a 30-minute delay and French rider Randy de Puniet suffering a double left leg fracture. Pedrosa, registering his second win of the season, reflected on the interruption, saying: “When they stopped I wasn’t sure about the restart. When you stop and restart it’s never the same thing, but for me it was good.” Lorenzo was satisfied with his runner-up spot. “This race was a bit crazy with the crash and the restart,” he said. “Pedrosa got more pace than me, it was impossible to follow him. He’s done a splendid race, so I’m happy with second place, it’s very positive for the championship.” Stoner reported that he had struggled with the setup on his Ducati. “In qualifying on Saturday we had a

problem with the front end of the bike, with either too much or too little weight,” he said. “I did the best I could this afternoon. I thought Valentino was going to get me but I dragged everything I could out of my bike to get past him.” A spectacular crash in the tenth lap involving de Puniet, Alvaro Bautista and Aleix Esparagaro, forced a temporary halt to this eighth leg of the 2010 season. Honda rider de Puniet fell first, with Bautista’s Suzuki clipping his wheels and Esparagaro (Ducati) hot on their heels unable to take avoiding action. De Puniet’s bike burst into flames. It was the second tumble of the weekend for de Puniet, who also fell in qualifying on Saturday. After marshalls had cleared the track of debris the race restarted half an hour later, with the riders in the positions they were in when the red flag went up. Earlier Elias on a Moriwaki won the Moto2 race, with Italian duo Andrea Iannone (Speed Up) and Roberto Rolfo (Suter) in second and third. This was the third win of the season for Elias after victories at Jerez and Le Mans, and it lifted him 42 points clear of his Swiss team-mate Thomas Luthi in the overall standings. Marquez set the tone for Spain when winning the opening 125cc race with Japan’s Tomoyoshi Koyama (Aprilia) in second and Germany’s Sandro Cortese (Derbi) third. It was the Derbi rider’s fifth successive win, a feat that was last accomplished in 1997 by Rossi in the same category. Marquez leads the riders’ standings by 26 points from Espargaro and 39 from third-placed Aprilia rider Nicolas Terol, an absentee here after suffering an injury when crashing on the final lap in the last race in Barcelona.—AFP

(19.54 kph) behind leader Justin Wilson — on the fastest of her 12 laps. She then skipped qualifying, leaving the Venezuelan’s Dale Coyne Racing entry 25th in the 26-car field yesterday. Duno was ordered off the track last month at Iowa Speedway when she dropped more than 2 seconds off the leader’s pace, double the allowed limit on the short, highspeed oval. She also drew attention two weeks ago at Watkins Glen, hindering Ryan Hunter-Reay’s qualifying effort by running more than 7 seconds off the pace. “If she’s going to drive in this series, she’s going to have to drive with her mirrors,” Hunter-Reay said at Watkins Glen. “There are 15 turns on this course and she’s the 16th.”—AP

World Series of Poker to determine on table

GERMANY: Spain’s Dani Pedrosa of the Repsol Honda team celebrates his victory after the race of the Moto Grand Prix of Germany at Sachsenring Circuit.—AFP

LAS VEGAS: Six eliminations stood between the remaining 15 players and a spot at the final table of the World Series of Poker main event after a chaotic day Saturday. Those remaining were guaranteed at least half-amillion dollars each but were all eyeing off a chance to make the final nine, which will return in November to play the final table and decided the winner of the $8.94 million first prize. Benjamin Statz, a 32-year-old trader from New York, was eliminated in 16th place taking $396,967 prizemoney. He gambled all his chips on an ace-five and was called by Matthew Jarvis with a king-queen. The flop came king, king, queen, giving the 25year-old Jarvis a full house. A king came on the river to give him four of a kind. Filippo Candio, a 29-year-old Italian poker player, knocked out two players and later raked in a huge pot on a bad beat against then-leader Joseph Cheong to take an early lead in the session with 27 million chips. But it lasted less than one level as Jarvis and fellow Canadian Jonathan Duhamel were neck and neck with the top two chip stacks by the dinner break, each with about 29 million chips. Candio built most of his stack calling Cheong’s all-in bet with about a 13 percent chance to win. His two pair, fives and sixes, were behind Cheong’s aces and sixes. But running cards — an eight and a four — saved Candio’s tournament with a straight and sent the Cagliari, Italy-native into a frenzy as he scurried around tableside and kneeled and pointed upward in celebration. Cheong, a 24-year-old pro, was dropped from the chip lead to the middle of the pack. Candio had dropped to 21 million chips two hours later. Jarvis picked up 4.9 million chips by eliminating two-time gold bracelet winner Scott Clements, who moved all-in with ace-queen. Jarvis moved allin over the top of Clements to push out Michael Mizrachi, who had opened the betting with a raise. Mizrachi folded, and Clements didn’t improve. Ronnie Bardah, Johnny Lodden, Matthew Bucaric, Mads Wissing, William Thorson, Robert Pisano, Redmond Lee, Patrick Eskandar and Michiel Sijpkens each were eliminated, winning $317,161. Michael Mizrachi, the biggest name left in the tournament who won a $50,000 buy-in mixed game tournament at the series earlier this summer, chipped up early to 7.2 million chips but was down to less than 4 million chips by the dinner break.—AP


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Monday, July 19, 2010

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Joint picture of officials and shooters

Shooting tournament concludes KUWAIT: Tournament of the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah concluded Thursday under the patronage of the President of the Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations Sheikh Salman Sabah AlSalem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. President of the Arab shooting Federation Eng Duaij Al-Otaibi, KSSC Secretary General Obeid AlOsaimi, KSSC treasurer Essa Bu Taiban, Assistant Treasurer Adnan

Al-Ibrahim and other officials, along with the head of the Iraqi shooting delegation Hishmat Raheem attended the ceremony. The tournament included the skeet, trap, rifle and 10m pistol events. Kuwait Shooting Sports Club also organized the second joint tournament between Kuwait National Shooting team and the Iraqi Central Shooting team. KSSC Secretary General Obeid

Al-Osaimi welcomed members of the board and shooters of Saad AlAbdallah Olympic Shooting Academy as well as technical and administrative officials who played major role in the success of the tournament. He also welcomed the Iraqi delegation. Al-Osaimi thanked Sheikh Salman and his brothers for sponsoring the tournament and their contribution to the sport. Al-Osaimi said Kuwait’s shooting

Academy had accepted applications from Kuwaitis aged 15 to 21 years since last May. He said Sheikh Saad Olympic Shooting Academy proved successful through the large number of those seeking enrolment, and the door is still open. Al-Osaimi congratulated the shooters, who proved worthy of winning and welcomed them to the national teams.

Sheikh Salman hands Iraqi head of delegation a shield. Results of the tournament are as follow s: 10 meter air rifle - men 1. Abdallah Al-Harby (Kwt) 2. Khalid Al-Subaie (Kwt) 3. Muhallab Hamid (Iraq) 10 meter air pistol - men: 1. Muammar Mahmoud (Iraq) 2. Mideth Al-Sahly (Kwt) 3. Saif Abdallah (Iraq) 50 meter pistol - men: 1. Muammar Mahmoud (Iraq) 2. Bader Al Tayyar (Kwt) 3. Ammar Saleh (Iraq) 10 m air rifle (juniors):

1. Ali Al-Mutairi (kwt) 2. Mohammad Abdelrahman (Kwt) 3. Yousuf Yacoub (Kwt) 10 m air pistol - juniors 1, Ahmad Al-Obeidan (Kwt) 2. Sultan Al-Enezi (Kwt) 3. Bader Al-Tayyar (Kwt) 10m air rifle - men - shooting school: 1. Mohammad Al-Subaie (Kwt) 2. Mubarak Al-Subaie (Kwt) 3. Talal Al-Osaimi (Kwt) 10m air rifle - women shooting school: 1. Fatima Bu Hamad (Kwt)

2. Munira Al-Anjari (Kwt) 3. Kindah Al-Zayed (Kwt) 10m air pistol - men - shooting school: 1. Abdallah Ghufran (Kwt) 2. Salem Al-Zamnan (Kwt) 3. Abdelaziz Al-Zamanan (Kwt) 10m air pistol - women - shooting school: 1. Asmaa Al-Enezi (Kwt) 2. Israa Bahman (Kwt) 3. Shamayel Juai (Kwt) Skeet - men - juniors: 1. Ali Al-Ajmi 2. Thamer Al-Mutairi

UNCASVILLE: Tina Charles had 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Atlanta Dream 96-80 on Saturday. Kara Lawson scored 18 points, Asjha Jones added 15 and Sandrine Gruda 14 as the Sun (12-8) improved to 8-1 at home. With their first victory in three meetings against the Dream this season, Connecticut moved one game behind first-place Washington and Atlanta in the Eastern Conference. Angel McCoughtry scored 27 points to lead Atlanta (148), which lost its third straight and dropped percentage points behind the Mystics. Sancho Lyttle added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Mercury 97, Shock 88 At Phoenix, Penny Taylor had 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead

Skeet - men - shooting school 1. Jassim Bu Abbas 2. Mohammad Bassim 3. Bandar Al-Mutairi Trap - men - juniors: 1. Abdelaziz Al-Najdi 2. Jassim Al-Sane 3. Abdallah Al-Mutairi Trap - men - shooting school: 1. Mansour Al-Ajmi 2. Ahmad Al-Shimmari 3. Saad Al-Hudba.

One of the competitors receiving her trophy.

Semenya celebrates second win

Sun scorch Dream

Storm 73, Lynx 71 At Minneapolis, Tanisha Wright’s 3-pointer with 52.6 seconds remaining lifted Seattle past Minnesota. Lauren Jackson scored 14 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the Storm (18-2) rally from a sevenpoint deficit and overcome a season-high 23 turnovers to win their ninth straight. Swin Cash had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Sue Bird added 10 points. Rebekkah Brunson scored 19 points, and Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen added 13 each for the Lynx (7-12), who dropped into a tie for second place in the Western Conference — 10 1/2 games behind the Storm. Minnesota had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Augustus missed a hook shot on the final possession and Bird held on to the rebound.

3. Mishal Al-Ajmi

Tina Charles of Sun in action against Dream Phoenix over Tulsa. Candice Dupree added 26 points and six rebounds for the Mercury (8-12), who have won three of their last four and seem to have the Shock figured out. Phoenix has defeated Tulsa by an average of 23 points in their previous two meetings,

scoring more than 110 points both times. Scholanda Robinson had 15 points and five rebounds for the Shock (4-16), who snapped a seasonworst 12-game skid Friday at San Antonio but is 0-4 on the second night of back-to-back games. —AP

HELSINKI: South African world champion Caster Semenya crowned her comeback week following an 11-month absence caused by a gender controversy with an easy victory in the 800m at a low-key meeting yesterday. Semenya clocked 2min 02.42sec in her favoured event at the Lapinlahti meet, improving by almost two seconds the time she set in her first outing since her lengthy break three days earlier. Stepping on the gas over the last 250m, the 19-year-old world champion was too good for second-placed Sofia Oberg of Sweden, who timed 2min 04.27sec and Russia’s Anna Verkhovskaya, who came third in 2min 04.41sec. Following her win, a smiling Semenya completed a lap of honour although the hard work still lies ahead with yesterday’s time a long way off her world title winning run of 1min 55.45sec in Berlin in 2009. On Thursday, Semenya returned to action at Lappeenrenta, a small town 30km from the Russian border and 150km east of Helsinki, a deliberate low-profile choice aimed at keeping as many as the international media as possible off the scent. She won that race in 2min 04.22sec. Yesterday, she faced a more challenging task with three runners in the field having already gone faster than that Thursday time this season. Semenya was given the green light to run again last week, after a review of gender-verification tests by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). She hopes to take part in two or three races in Europe between the end of August and the start of September to finalise her preparations for the Commonwealth Games in India in October. Meanwhile, American world 400 metres champion Sanya Richards-Ross announced yesterday that she is bringing her season to a premature end to recover from a series of injuries. “I have been plagued with flares from my Behcet’s disease, struggled with injuries, and have had unfortunate mishaps that have resulted in me having to take the remainder of the season off to recover,” Richards-Ross told the IAAF website. The 25-year-old American, named Female Athlete of the Year in 2006 and 2009, injured her quadriceps in April and started her season at the American Championships at the end of June. She qualified for the final but had to pull out shortly before the race after twisting her ankle in the stands and has not run competitively since. —AFP

South African athlete Caster Semenya

Back to the gym for Bolt after Paris win PARIS: Sprint star Usain Bolt will head home to Jamaica for two weeks of intensive core strengthening as his comeback from a nagging Achilles tendon injury saw him notch up another 100m victory. Bolt, the reigning world record holder in the 100 and 200m, ran a meet record of 9.84 seconds at Friday’s Paris Diamond League, with Asafa Powell 0.07sec back and another Jamaican, Yohan Blake, in third on 9.95. But the 23-year-old triple Olympic and double world sprint champion did not look at his very best and was matched by the fast-starting Powell through to the last 20 metres of the race. “I’m happy to get through the race having won and suffered no injuries,” said Bolt. “I’m definitely satisfied, but I’m a little bit weak and need some work on my core strength. “My drive phase was weak and I had no power,” he said in reference to his key strength over the blue riband

event-the phase from the start through to the 50-metre mark when a sprinter uses his power to build up acceleration. “I have to go to the gym to do more abdominal and back work. I have two weeks in Jamaica, that should be enough... to get in decent shape and come back. “It wasn’t the best race I’ve run. I thought it was going to be quicker.” Bolt added: “Over the first 40 to 50 metres, I think he (Powell) had me. “The last 50 metres are the best part of my race but it didn’t show today. “If the first 50 are right, automatically the second 50 show as the best part of the race, but it wasn’t the case.” Bolt said he had not been hampered by his Achilles tendon, an injury which saw him miss several meets, the Jamaican making his comeback only last week in Lausanne. “In my stride-outs, I felt nothing,” he said. “But I’m still a little bit stiff in the mornings. “My doctor has told me that in two or three more weeks I

should be good and ready to go.” Bolt also lamented the fact that he would be missing the London Diamond League meet in Crystal Palace on August 13-14. With a training camp in London for the summer’s European circuit and a large Jamaican population based there, Bolt said the British capital felt like a “second home”. But tough British tax laws now mean that it would not be financially viable for Bolt to run there. “I’m definitely disappointed not to be competing there,” he said. “That’s where we’re based. “It’s like a second home. All Jamaicans come to Crystal Palace to watch me. “My agent says it will cost more for me to run there than I will get paid. It makes no sense. This is my job. I have to put food on the table and I can’t do that if I have to pay them to compete.” Asked whether the taxation regulations would mean him not running competitively in Britain until the 2012 London Olympics, Bolt said: “I’ve no idea.” —AFP


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Without Woods conducting, Open has different tune ST. ANDREWS: It’s already been a rocky year for American golfers, even those not named Tiger Woods. Little that’s happened at the British Open so far suggests that’s about to change. By the end of the third round, there were five Yanks among the 18 names atop the leaderboard at a venue they’ve practically owned stretching back more than 40 years. The highest place belonged to Dustin Johnson, who was seventh and eight strokes behind South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen heading into Sunday. Woods won the last two times the Open was held at the Old Course. But with this generation’s alphaalpha golfing male still searching for his mojo out in the gorse bushes and rough of the Old Course, it’s almost certainly the end of a run that has seen Woods and his countrymen win three straight and six of the last eight at St. Andrews.

The rest of the world hasn’t just taken note. They’re practically giddy with anticipation. Englishman Ian Poulter kicked things off on the eve of the Open by saying the best Americans were getting long in the tooth — perhaps a backhanded slap at Woods, who is still just 34 — and noted that the talented kids who were supposed to replace them were still stuck in the pipeline. “So,” Poulter reasoned, invoking the royal pronoun, “we have a 15-year window.” Fellow Englishman Lee Westwood used the occasion of the British golf writers’ dinner on Tuesday to pile on. First he lauded American Steve Stricker for winning the John Deere Classic in Illinois only two days earlier. Then he locked his gaze on Tim Finchem, commissioner of the US PGA Tour, where Europeans

have won an unprecedented three tournaments in a row — including the US Open — and four in a fiveweek span. “It’s always nice,” said Westwood, who claimed one of those tour victories, “to see an American win on your tour.” But it isn’t just Europeans stepping into the void, and it’s not limited to the US PGA Tour. Americans still hold down four of the first five spots in the world golf rankings, but Woods is the only one younger than 40. And only two more Yanks are in the top 20. Small wonder pronunciation guides have become hot items in TV network booths on both sides of the Atlantic. Queuing up behind Oosthuizen by the end of Saturday was a veritable United Nations — a fellow South African, two Englishmen, two Swedes, two Spaniards, a German, an Irishman, a Northern

Irishman and a South Korean amateur. “Given the dominance of the Americans here over the recent past,” someone asked Woods after his round of 73, “are you surprised there’s not a little more red, white and blue on the board?” “I haven’t even looked,” Woods replied. “We all know them as just players.” That’s easy for him to say — Woods is practically a country unto himself when it comes to majors. He’s won a dozen of the 42 already in the books since 2000, just one fewer than all of his countrymen combined. The rest of the world has 17 over that span. But there’s a feeling that unless or until Woods becomes Woods again, the balance of power could shift. There’s no easy explanation beyond the cyclical nature of the game, much the way that Englishman Nick Faldo and Spaniard Seve Ballesteros led an

international cast of characters picking off majors once America’s dominant quartet of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino started sliding toward the senior tour. “It comes and goes. Form comes and goes,” said Swede Henrik Stenson, who is tied for fourth. “If you look at all the players over a long perspective, everybody goes through ups and downs. “But sure,” he added, “it’s been a good summer for Europe.” It could be an even better autumn. The Ryder Cup is set for Wales in October, where the same cold, wet and windy conditions often encountered by golfers on the European Tour _ and every single day so far at St. Andrews _ could be a big factor. “I hope,” Germany’s Martin Kaymer, who’s in third place, said with an impish smile, “it’s going to be bad weather, to be honest.”—AP

Oosthuizen grabs British Open glory

SCOTLAND: South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen holds his trophy aloft after winning the British Open Golf Championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews. — AP

Almagro wins Swedish Open BAASTAD: Spain’s Nicolas Almagro came through a tough three-setter to beat top seed and defending champion Robin Soderling in the final of the claycourt ATP Swedish Open yesterday. The 24-year-old survived dropping the second set to win 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in just under two hours. It was his sixth ATP title and his first of 2010. “It’s a great feeling to win here,” said Almagro. “It’s always amazing to win a final and I’m very happy with the week. I’m going to enjoy this moment and then prepare for next week in Hamburg.” The first set saw the match going with serve until 5-5 when Soderling, the home favourite, came under pressure from the clay court specialist.

The Swede saved three break points before giving Almagro the advantage. The Spaniard held to go one set up. Soderling, though, stepped up his game in the second set to level the match before handing over the advantage again in the third. The Swede had already beaten the Italian Andreas Seppi and Spaniard David Ferrer in three sets to get to the final but this was a match too far as he dropped his service twice in succession to hand the title to Almagro. “I didn’t play my best tennis,” said the disconsolate Swede who in May lost the final of the French Open to Rafael Nadal. — AFP

SWEDEN: Spain’s Nicolas Almagro (right) receives the trophy after winning the Skistar Swedish Open tennis tournament in Baastad. — AFP

ST. ANDREWS: Rank outsider Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open yesterday, capturing golf’s biggest prize by a stunning seven strokes with an accomplished display of front-running. It was the biggest winning margin in the world’s oldest and most prestigious tournament since Tiger Woods won here by eight strokes in 2000. The 27-year-old South African, a 200-1 betting shot on Wednesday, started the day on 15-under par, four strokes ahead of England’s Paul Casey and with the rest of the field already left trailing in his wake. Plotting his way around the Old Course links, Oosthuizen was never really threatened as he carded a closing 71 for a 17-under total of 272. The runner-up spot, a distant seven strokes back, went to England’s Lee Westwood who closed with a 70 with three players in a tie for third a stroke further back - Rory McIlroy (68), Henrik Stenson (67) and Casey (75). “It’s unbelievable,” said Oosthuizen. “It was difficult having such a big lead to keep calm and focussed, but I kept calm all the way. It’s just amazing. “I felt like I played really well all week.” It was just the second top-level tournament win of Oosthuizen’s career after the lowly Andalucia Open in March and it came on a day of celebration back home for Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday. Ranked 54th in the world coming into St Andrews, Oosthuizen was the fourth South African to win the Open after Bobby Locke (1949, 1950, 1952, 1957), Gary Player (1954, 1968, 1974) and Ernie Els (2002). It was the biggest upset win in an Open at the Home of Golf since American Tony Lema won on his debut at the Old Course in 1964. Oosthuizen carded superb rounds of 65, 67 and 69 to set up his winning position and only Casey with rounds of 69, 69 and 67 managed to hang onto his coattails. Casey had an immediate chance to crank up the pressure on his more inexperienced playing partner when he hit his approach to within five feet at the first, but he pushed his putt wide. The Englishman then bogeyed the second to provide Oosthuizen with the perfect start as he himself held firm with two pars to stretch his lead to five. Casey had another chance to pull one back at the par-five fifth but again failed to sink a makeable birdie putt. Ahead of them, no-one among the chasing pack was able to mount a charge. Martin Kaymer of Germany, who had been in third place overnight at eight over, bogeyed the first, while Stenson of Sweden, Westwood and Alejandro Canizares of Spain all parred the first four holes when it was birdies they needed to stand any chance of reeling in the leader. Casey did cut the lead to three when he birdied the sixth and Oosthuizen had his first of two bogeys on the day after over-hitting his tee-shot at the par-three eighth. But on the next hole, Oosthuizen drove the short, parfour green and sunk a 30-footer for a crucial eagle, while Casey had to settle for a birdie. The lead was back to where it started at four over. When Casey clattered his drive into thick gorse on the tricky par-four 12th minutes later and limped off with a triple bogey seven to Oosthuizen’s birdie three, it was all over.—AFP

RENO: Woody Austin hits out of the greenside bunker on the 10th hole during the third round of the Reno-Tahoe Open held at the Montreux Golf and Country Club. — AP

McCarron leads Reno-Tahoe RENO: Scott McCarron’s decision to skip the British Open to host the Reno-Tahoe Open on his home course started to make sense Saturday as he shot a 5under 67 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round. McCarron was at 10 under through three rounds at Montreux Golf & Country Club. He birdie four of his first seven holes before chipping in for eagle on the par-5 ninth, as he bids for his fourth PGA Tour victory and first since 2001. “It would be absolutely huge,” McCarron said. “To win a tournament that you’re hosting would be — I can’t even describe that, so I’m not going to go there right now.” Robert Garrigus, who started the day tied for the lead with Matt Bettencourt, bogeyed the 18th to finish with a 1-over 73 and slip into a tie with John Mallinger (71) at 9 under. Graham DeLaet, a native of Canada in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, tied the course record with a 10-under 62 and was another stroke back along with Australian Rod Pampling and Nevada native Craig Barlow. Both shot 67 in the third round. McCarron, a former Reno resident who now lives in California, said it was a difficult decision to skip the British Open and serve as the formal host in Reno. Part of the job involves helping to secure the 12-year-old tournament a title sponsor. “The British Open is one of my favorite tournaments and you can’t win major tournaments if you’re not playing them,” said McCarron, who hosted about 80 people at a beach party about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away at Lake Tahoe on Friday night. “Playing St. Andrews was something that I certainly was going to miss, but I knew how important it was to the community to get behind this tournament. We need to get a title sponsor to keep this tournament going and the only way to do that, I felt, was to get more involved.” “I’m very happy with my choice being here,” McCarron added. “Hosting the tournament has gone extremely well and I’ve played pretty well so far, so I’d just like to finish this off. McCarron has $11.5 million in career winnings, but he’s only

No. 134 on this year’s money list with $389,807. The last time he held a 54-hole lead was in 2002, when he finished tied for third at the Nissan Open. The only other times he led after three rounds, he won the BellSouth Classic in 2001 and 1997, and the FreeportMcDermott in 1996. DeLaet had six of his 10

birdies on the front nine and finished without a bogey for his 62, matching the course record most recently tied by John Rollins during his victory last year. “It was just one of those days,” said the 28-year-old DeLaet, who only realized he was on pace to break the course record after his birdie try on No.

18 came up short. “I figured it would be probably close, but when you’re playing so well, you don’t really think about anything like that,” he said. Stuart Appleby (68), Chris DiMarco (72), Jonathan Kaye (70) and Kevin Stadler (73) were among those another stroke back at 6 under. — AP

Meli, Wellens inspire St Helens to easy win LONDON: Former New Zealand international Francis Meli and Paul Wellens were both in fine form as St Helens kept up the pressure on the Super League top two with a 32-18 victory over Harlequins yesterday. Shaun Magennis set the ball rolling for Saints with a try after six minutes before Meli notched two tries in the space of 13 first-half minutes. Wellens picked up where Meli left off, completing his two-try haul with five minutes remaining, while Chris Dean also chipped in with a try of his own after the restart. Jonny Lomax booted four all-important goals for the hosts and three goals from Danny Orr, as well as tries from Jason Golden, Jamie O’Callaghan and Ryan Esders proved to be no more than consolations for Harlequins. St Helens now sit six points behind Wigan, who saw their lead at the top narrowed after slumping 23-16 to Warrington at the DW Stadium on Friday. Despite a poor start the Wolves found their feet to battle past Wigan with former Manly Sea Eagles wing Chris Hicks, Richie Myler, Ryan Atkins and Ben Westwood all scoring tries. Westwood also booted three well-taken goals as a try and two kicks from ex-Wests Tigers wing Pat Richards fell in vain for the Warriors. Wigan still head the table with 36 points but are looking over their shoulder at Warrington, who cut the gap from four points to two. Daniel Holdsworth kicked five goals and Jodie Broughton scored two tries as Salford City Reds claimed the scalp of Bradford 3026. Castleford demolished mid-table rivals

Wakefield 40-16 in the Jungle and picked up their tenth win of the season after running seven tries. Centre Kirk Dixon and Australian second-row Dean Widders did the damage with doubles while Joe Westerman booted five goals in the win. Elsewhere, Kevin Sinfield spared Leeds a second straight defeat as his last-gasp drop goal ensured the Rhinos earned the bragging rights over Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. Leeds ran out narrow 21-20 winners at Headingley Carnegie with Sinfield holding his nerve to slot home with a less than a minute until the full-time hooter. Earlier the Giants thought they had done enough at the start of the second half to set themselves up for a win Shaun Lunt crossing and David Hodgson bagging a double by then. However scores from Ryan Hall and Danny McGuire - in between Larne Patrick’s for Huddersfield - and four goals from Sinfield swayed the momentum Leeds’s way. Sinfield completed the win at the death as the Rhinos recovered from last weekend’s 25-6 loss to Hull KR, who couldn’t build on that and slumped 20-16 to rivals Hull on Thursday. At the bottom, Catalans fell again this time 26-22 to the Crusaders. Thomas Bosc and former Canberra Raiders full-back Clinton Schifcofske traded five goals each but it was the try count that cost the Catalans as they managed three to the Crusaders four. New Zealand second-row Weller Hauraki scored the first of the Crusaders four, with Jason Chan, Rhys Hanbury and Peter Lupton all chipping in with one each.—AFP


SPORTS

Monday, July 19, 2010

19

Illegal WCup betting surged in Asia despite risks HONG KONG: Illegal betting on World Cup matches surged across Asia during the month-long tournament even as punters risked arrest, or faced worse at the hands of bookmakers frequently linked to crime syndicates. Police in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China-including Hong Kong and the glitzy gambling hub Macau-arrested more than 5,000 people during the global tournament which wrapped up earlier this month, according to Interpol. The raids, which Interpol helped coordinate, saw local police swoop on more than 800 illegal gambling dens which handled more than 155 million US dollars in bets, the international policing agency said Friday. The operation ran between June 11 and

July 11, during a time when hundreds of millions of fans around the globe were glued to their television screens, following the action from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. “The results we have seen are impressive,” Jean-Michel Louboutin, Interpol’s executive director for police services, said in a statement. “As well as having clear connections to organised crime gangs, illegal soccer gambling is also linked with corruption, money laundering and prostitution.” In Malaysia, illegal sports betting was prevalent partly due to easy access to bookies while some syndicates double as loan sharks in providing quick cash, but impose high compounding interest rates, to gam-

blers. “There are a lot of bookies around, and some are getting as high as 40 percent commission from the bet they collected-for every 10 dollars bet they collected, they get four dollars in return immediately,” Philip Goh, treasurer of the Gamblers Rehab Centre (GRC), told AFP. “The easy access to illegal bookies are making it convenient for people to participate in this illegal activity.” Betting of all kinds is hugely popular across Asia with casino revenues in the former Portuguese colony of Macau now having overtaken Las Vegas and industry experts predicting the region will soon eclipse the US gaming market. Illicit gambling remains a problem even in Hong Kong and Singapore where punters can bet legally on football through state-

sanctioned operators. Part of the allure for punters may be easier credit terms and better odds, a “hasslefree” scenario where punters are not required to pay the money outright when placing a wager. They pay only when they lose. But failure to cough up money owed to gambling syndicates can bring horrific punishment with police warning that some of Hong Kong’s illegal bookies have connections to the city’s notorious triads. Punters in the football and horse racingmad former British colony, which was returned to China in 1997, can bet legally on a variety of sports events including the World Cup through the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The Club handled about 35 billion

Hong Kong dollars in legal football bets last year. But police in the southern Chinese territory still arrested hundreds of people and seized betting slips worth about 361 million Hong Kong dollars (46 million US dollars) during the World Cup. That was an almost five-fold increase from the 2006 World Cup when police seized gambling slips worth 74 million Hong Kong dollars. The region-wide raids also netted cars, bank cards, computers and mobile phones. In Malaysia, Mohammad Bakri Zinin, chief of the Criminal Investigation Department said arrest records were being broken. “The number of arrests that we made in this World Cup is a record and it

represents a 300 percent increase compared to the number of arrests we made during the European Championships two years ago,” he said. In Thailand, the job of catching illegal bookies has become tougher as punters flock to online gambling, said Major General Boonsong Panichattra, who spearheaded Bangkok’s crackdown on football betting. In the Thai capital alone, almost 1,800 people were arrested during the tournament, compared to 700 four years ago. But fewer bookies have been arrested because punters preferred to gamble online. Police in India were also struggling to eradicate illegal football betting. “It is not easy to get rid of the menace,” said Rajan Bhagat, from the Delhi police. —AFP

City open US tour with 3-0 victory

HONG KONG: Birmingham City’s Kevin Phillips (right) battles for the ball with Hong Kong League XI’s Chan Wai Ho during an exhibition match in Hong Kong. Birmingham City won 3-0. — AP

Birmingham toil to victory HONG KONG: English Premier League side Birmingham City endured an awkward afternoon in a hot and sticky Hong Kong yesterday, laboring to a 3-2 win in the opening game of their Far East tour. In an uneventful first quarter of what was a typically disjointed pre-season friendly, the Hong Kong League XI should have taken a shock lead in the stifling humidity but Christian Annan fired over when through on goal. Birmingham continued to toil as temperatures at Hong Kong Stadium nudged above 30 degrees centigrade (86 Fahrenheit), but they took an undeserved lead on 21 minutes when Scott Dann headed home unchallenged from a corner. But four minutes later the makeshift

Hong Kong side were level in a first-half that they shaded in terms of possession and chances in front of a watching Carson Yeung, City’s owner and a Hong Kong businessman. Sebastian Larsson made a mess of his clearance and Sandro Leonardo fired home from close range, giving Ben Foster - making his Birmingham debut - no chance, though the England international did well to get a glove to it. If that was bad for the English side, things got worse as they went behind in injury time at the end of the first 45 minutes. The visitors’ defence stood off Annan, allowing him time and space to curl the ball past Foster from just outside the box, the

former Manchester United keeper rooted to the spot. With the Blues making six changes at half-time, Foster’s final act of the afternoon was to pick the ball out of his net. New signing Nikola Zigic came on midway through the second-half for Birmingham and he played a pivotal role in the face of some increasingly desperate and dogged home defending. Craig Gardner finally made the pressure tell for Birmingham in the 74th minute, heading home unchallenged to pull Birmingham level. Then towering Serb Zigic knocked the ball down with his head for Garry O’Connor to slot the ball home from close range and save Birmingham’s blushes. —AFP

Davies helps Bolton beat Battery CHARLESTON: Kevin Davies scored and set up another goal to give Bolton Wanderers a 2-0 win over Charleston Battery in a friendly on Saturday. Bolton went ahead in the 29th minute after a Charleston turnover in midfield. Bolton’s Matt Taylor seized on the loose ball and slid it to new signing Martin Petrov making a strong run left flank. Petrov took the ball to the corner and made a beautiful cross to a wide-open Davies, who easily volleyed it past Charleston keeper Keith Wiggans. Charleston-which plays in the USL Second Division which is the third tier of professional football in the US-responded with pressure and possession and almost equalized in the 41st.

Striker Tom Heinemann shouldered his way past central defender Zat Knight and blasted a shot on net that Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen stopped. Tamir Cohen scored for Wanderers in the 52nd. Midfielder Ricardo Gardner picked up a loose ball about 40 yards out and chipped it forward to Davies, who passed for Cohen to chip past Wiggans. Another new signing, Robbie Blake, had a chance to make it 3-0 in the 78th but his shot was saved. The third and last game of Bolton’s North American tour will be against Toronto on Wednesday. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini made six saves as the Tottenham Hotspur played to a scoreless tie with the San Jose Earthquakes in an exhibition game on

Saturday. Cudicini had a strong game in Tottenham’s first tune-up before the start of the English Premier League on August 14. Cudicini, who missed a good portion of last season following a motorcycle accident, made three saves in the first half. The Hotspurs, which finished fourth in the Premier League last season, played without strikers Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Giovani Dos Santos, all of whom took part in the World Cup. Tottenham managed just four shots on goal including three in the second half in front of a crowd of 10,712 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The London club looked rusty after arriving in the USA late Wednesday following a 10-hour flight.— Agencies

SOUTH AFRICA: Youths play soccer as a community once riven by anti-foreigner violence came together yesterday in Attridgeville, South Africa, in the spirit of former South Africa Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday to play a little soccer. The ‘goodwill games’ were among activities around the world marking Mandela Day. — AP

PORTLAND: Manchester City kicked off its summer exhibition tour of the United States with a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers. Stephen Ireland and Emmanuel Adebayor scored quick back-to-back goals Saturday night for City, which has been training at the Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton for the past week. It was the fourth international friendly this season for the Timbers, who will make the leap to Major League Soccer next season. The game, played at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field, was sold out. Manchester City’s travel roster included defender Kolo Toure and midfielder Yaya Toure, brothers who played in the World Cup for the Ivory Coast, as well as French midfielder Patrick Vieira and striker Adebayor of Togo. The Toure brothers did not play against the Timbers, but Vieira and Adebayor started. Joe Hart was in goal. Ireland scored in the 43rd minute and Adebayor added a header in the 44th minute to give City the lead. Adam Johnson assisted on both goals, which drained the enthusiasm of the green-andwhite clad Timbers Army. Brazilian striker Jo added a goal in the 68th minute. “It’s good for my confidence to score goals,” Adebayor said. “That was really the first length of a game we’ve done,” assistant manager Brian Kidd said. “I thought it was a terrific workout for the boys.” Despite the lopsided loss, Portland coach Gavin Wilkinson said he hoped his players learned from the experience and said the team would go over the film to find ways to improve. “I’m delighted that we played them,” Wilkinson said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the team, the city and the fans.” Earlier this week, Spanish winger David Silva signed a fouryear contract with City worth $36.6 million. He was not with the team in Portland. There were also rumors that Manchester City could be interested in Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, although MLS commissioner Don Garber said this week that the league has no intention of accepting transfer offers for the midfielder. Donovan was the best US player at the World Cup, scoring three goals to become the American career leader with five. He agreed in December to a fouryear contract with MLS that pays him a base salary this year of $2.05 million. Donovan attracted attention in Europe when MLS loaned him to Everton for 10 weeks in January. He scored two goals in 13 matches. Donovan has said he was open to possibilities when he returned to the Galaxy from the World Cup on July 2. “Right now, I want to be in America,” he said. “If there’s something serious to look at, then I will. I never say never to anything. But for now, I’m very excited to be home.” Next weekend, the New York Red Bulls will host Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting Lisbon in the New York Football Challenge at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. City also will play Club America at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on July 28 and Inter Milan in Baltimore on July 31. Manchester City finished fifth last season in the Premier League, missing out on a place in this season’s Champions League, and will play in the Europa League. — AP

PORTLAND: Portland Timbers forward Takayuki Suzuki (right) holds off Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland during the first half of their exhibition game in Portland. — AP

Mazembe defeat Dynamos JOHANNESBURG: Given Singuluma celebrated his birthday a day early by scoring both goals yesterday as African Champions League holders TP Mazembe of DR Congo defeated Dynamos of Zimbabwe 2-0 in Harare. The Zambian goal poacher turns 24 today and his strikes 16 and 32 minutes into the first half at the National Stadium gave Mazembe the perfect start in Group A with the win taking them to the top of the table. Mazembe, who edged Heartland of Nigeria on away goals in the 2009 final, are seeking a fourth African title, the 1,5-million-dollar first prize and a ticket to the year-end FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. After a win and three draws during a warm-up tour of Zambia, the Congolese ‘Crows’ flew south to the Zimbabwean capital confident they would put the Harare Glamour Boys in their place.

Singuluma, who failed to score in four qualifiers for the mini-league phase of the premier African club competition, tormented a Dynamos defence boosted by the return of goalkeeper Washington Arubi from trials in South Africa. The result vindicated the pre-match boast of FrancoItalian coach Diego Garzitto that he and Mazembe, whose other titles came in 1967 and 1968, can conquer the continent again. “I have confidence in my players and our hopes are very high. There are a few new players in the squad this year and it appears stronger on paper, although we have to prove it on the pitch,” he said. Dynamos lost the 1998 final to ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast and reached the semifinals two years ago before failing at home and away against Cotonsport Garoua of Cameroon. The other Group A game

also produced an away win with Wajdi Bouazzi scoring soon after half-time to give Esperance of Tunisia a 1-0 victory over Entente Setif of Algeria Friday. Bouazzi struck on 52 minutes for his fifth goal of the 2010 competition which makes him joint leading scorer with Mandela Ocansey from eliminated Burkina Faso club ASFA Yennenga. Oussama Darragi, a disappointment as Tunisia made a first-round 2010 African Nations Cup exit in Angola, created the goal that settled a clash of former title holders with Setif winning in 1988 and Esperance six years later. Esperance host Dynamos on July 31 and Mazembe have home advantage over Setif one day later in the second series of matches in a six-round minileague phase with group winners and runners-up qualifying for the semi-finals. —AFP


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Shouldn’t Armstrong just quit Tour de France? PARIS: On the long road into Paris, nearly every day still left on this Tour de France is going to be a reminder of the champion that Lance Armstrong once was but no longer is. Take, for example, stage 14 when the Tour will clamber high into the Pyrenees mountains to Ax-3 Domaines. That ski station was the setting for a vintage Armstrong performance in 2005, when he was still a genuine, no-holds-barred competitor, not the haggard has-been — as a rider, at least — he has become. His rivals threw everything they had at Armstrong that day. On a long, steep climb up to the Port de Pailheres pass — which the Tour will cross again — they brutally wore down Armstrong’s teammates by riding furiously. Without his support riders to help him, the six-, going on seven-time champion, was forced to fend for himself. Not that isolating him made any differ-

ence. “In that situation you either fight back or you run away,” Armstrong said. He, of course, fought. Yet again, he trumped them all. That was the Armstrong of old — in control, seemingly invulnerable, never ready to surrender. Had they ever met faceto-face, it is hard to imagine the Armstrong of then having much time or sympathy for the ersatz version of himself now. Over the years, the Tour has seen many facets of Armstrong: angry, funny, courteous, prickly, triumphant, gracious, mean, considerate and, most of all, determined. Frighteningly determined — sometimes to the expense of everything else. But we had to wait until this Tour, Armstrong’s 13th and last, to see the man who defeated cancer simply capitulate, put his hands on his hips in resignation and ruefully shake his head. It was a giant shock when that happened

on stage 8, on the Tour’s very first day in the high mountains. Because it was so unexpected, so unthinkable, the day that Armstrong surrendered will become part of Tour lore, along with all those times when he was so dominant. Armstrong can justifiably point to a host of reasons why his final Tour fell flat. There was the punctured tire on day 4 that hobbled him when the race veered over cobblestones. There was intense summer heat, which he has never liked. There were relentless questions, again, about whether he has ever doped. And there were crashes, nasty ones that left Armstrong with cuts and bruises. But most of all, 38-year-old Armstrong just looks past it, jaded, almost uninterested. As early as day 3, he already was joking that he perhaps should have stayed retired. Four stages later, as he picked through

an unappetizing snack of rice, eggs and peas to recharge his energy after another hard day of riding, Armstrong was looking forward to soon never again having to put his body through the discomforts of the Tour. It is to Armstrong’s credit that he still aims to reach the finish in Paris even though he is no longer in contention for the podium or even for a top 10 place. That is a mark of respect not only for his sponsors and teammates but also to his fans and, most of all, to the race that made him fabulously wealthy and famous. In that way, Armstrong is proving to be more gracious as a loser than he sometimes was as a boorish and arrogant winner. On Friday, as the Tour pedaled hard through the hills of south-central France, Armstrong playfully stuck out a tongue for the camera. The message: I’m more human than perhaps I seemed when I was beating

everyone. “It would be easy to say I’ve had some bad luck, I’ve had some crashes, I’m outta the race and I’m going to go home,” Armstrong said earlier this week. “But that’s not the commitment I made to my team. That’s not the commitment I made to RadioShack. You know, I had a lot of good luck over seven years, and I guess it caught up with me.” Going home early might have made it easier for him to duck reporters’ inquiries about the federal probe in the United States looking into allegations that Armstrong and other riders doped. From the comfort of his mansion, Armstrong could simply have ordered his lawyers to rattle off yet another statement dismissing Floyd Landis’ accusations as garbage. Instead, Armstrong spent 15 minutes with reporters before stage 10 answering dozens of questions about the probe.

Granted, his answers have now led to more questions. But at least he didn’t try to hide. Perhaps the investigation will prove that Armstrong cheated when he was at the height of his powers. Or perhaps, as he insists, there’s no wrongdoing on his part to prove. Either way, now just eight days of Armstrong’s era remain. They will take him and the millions of us who have followed his fortunes over the years back through some of his old stomping grounds — the Pyrenees, of course, but also to Bordeaux, through which he passed on the narrowest of his Tour wins in 2003, and finally to Paris. Armstrong could, by now, already have been sunning himself on that beach he has been talking about. But instead he is seeing out his story to its bitter end. For that, he should be applauded.—AP

Riblon clinches stage, Schleck retains lead

GALLE: Sri Lankan batsman Tharanga Paranavitana celebrates after completing a century on the first Test cricket match against India in Sri Lanka. —AP

Sri Lanka flay India GALLE: Tharanga Paranavitana and skipper Kumar Sangakkara hit centuries as Sri Lanka dominated the rain-hit opening day of the first Test against India yesterday. The left-handed duo put on 181 for the second wicket to lead Sri Lanka to 256 for two in their first innings before heavy rain stopped play 22 overs early at the Galle International Stadium. Sangakkara made 103, his 22nd Test century and fourth against India, while Paranavitana notched up his maiden ton to remain unbeaten on 110 at the close. Some 15,000 home fans were on hand to watch the final Test match for world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan, who needs eight more scalps to reach the 800-wicket mark. Sri Lanka’s sports minister Chandrasiri Ratnayake presented Muralitharan with a silver plaque before the start of play, which was delayed by 30 minutes due to a wet outfield caused by heavy overnight rain. Posters hailing Sri Lanka’s favourite cricketing son as the ‘greatest bowler ever’ were plastered around the ground alongside giant pictures of the off-spinner.

SCOREBOARD GALLE, Sri Lanka: Scoreboard at stumps on the opening day of the first cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium yesterday: Sri Lanka 1st innings: T. Paranavitana not out T. Dilshan c Dhoni b Mithun K. Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Sehwag M. Jayawardene not out Extras: (lb6, nb4)

India’s depleted bowling attack, missing the injured pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, proved ineffective on the easypaced wicket after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat. Paranavitana and his opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan made use of good batting conditions to smash 55 runs in 10 overs. India’s new seamer Abhimanyu Mithun was the only bowler to escape the onslaught, conceding just six runs from his first four overs. Mithun, a 20-year-old rightarm seamer from Karnataka, was rewarded for his steady bowling when Dilshan edged a pull shot to

110 25 103 8 10

Total (for two wickets, 68 overs) 256 Fall of wickets: 1-55 (Dilshan), 2-236 (Sangakkara). Bowling: Sharma 14-3-79-0 (nb4), Mithun 13-241-1, Harbhajan 17-3-41-0, Ojha 17-1-66-0, Sehwag 7-0-23-1.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps. “I think Mithun bowled really well in his first Test,” said Indian coach Gary Kirsten, before revealing that spin spearhead Harbhajan Singh played despite not being fully fit. “Harbhajan is a gutsy cricketer and said he will play even though he was feeling weak due to fever over the last few days. Without him, the bowling would have been even more inexperienced. “We have still to bat, so this match is not one-sided by any means. It is a very good batting wicket and did not have the life we expected from a first day pitch.”

Sangakkara overcame India’s defensive field placements-there were six fielders on the leg-side on most occasions - to earn himself a well-deserved century. The Sri Lankan captain, who hit 12 boundaries, fell against the run of play after tea when he pulled a short ball from part-time spinner Virender Sehwag to Sachin Tendulkar at deep midwicket. Seamer Ishant Sharma conceded 79 runs in 14 overs, while Harbhajan went for 0-41 from 17 overs and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha gave away 66 runs in 17 overs. Mithun, the most impressive of the Indian bowlers, finished the day at 1-41 from 13 overs. —AFP

Argentina win Champions Trophy

NOTTINGHAM: Argentina hockey team players gather as they hold the trophy aloft, after winning the final against The Netherlands, in the Samsung Women’s Champions Trophy Final. —AP

NOTTINGHAM: Argentina won their third successive Champions Trophy, and fourth in all, with a 4-2 defeat of the Netherlands yesterday. Argentina’s goals came from three drag-flicks by Noel Barrionuevo and a field goal by Carla Rebecchi. Kelly Jonker scored for the Dutch midway through the first half while Maartje Goderie netted a second-half consolation. “We played well in all the six fantastic games of hockey here,” said Argentina coach Carlos Retegui. “We countered the Netherlands’ press and forced penalty corners when we could and the penalty corner conversions by Barrionuevo were on target every time.” Netherlands coach Herman Kruis believed his side had played well. “I think we played a

good match using a good structure, but we were not sharp enough and not clever enough in Argentina’s circle,” said Kruis. England took bronze, their first Champions Trophy medal, by defeating Germany 2-1 to improve on their previous best fifth place while New Zealand beat China 4-3 to take fifth place. Germany held an early first half advantage from Maike Stockel’s field goal despite four penalty corner chances to England. England had five penalty corner opportunities in the second half, scoring from Susie Gilbert, volleying in a rebound off the pads of Germany goalkeeper Barbara Vogel, and Crista Cullen, flicking low through Vogel’s pads. —AFP

FRANCE: Frenchman Christophe Riblon claimed a deserved maiden Tour de France victory on the race’s 14th stage here yesterday as an anticipated yellow jersey battle failed to materialise. Race leader Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank retained the race lead with his 31-sec lead on main rival Alberto Contador of Spain intact after the pair stubbornly played poker games with each other on the race’s two difficult climbs. Instead, podium hopefuls Samuel Sanchez of Spain and Russian Denis Menchov were given unexpected freedom in the final third of the 7.8km climb to the summit finish here to close their respective deficits. As Riblon finished off an impressive solo performance to claim his first success on the race, Sanchez and Menchov crossed the line together at 52secs adrift. Schleck and Contador came over the finish around 15secs later. Riblon, who also has a parallel career as a track cyclist, had been part of an eight-man breakaway which formed early in the stage and which held a lead of over 10 minutes on the peloton. As their lead steadily dropped as Contador’s Astana team upped the pace in the chasing peloton, Riblon broke free of compatriot Amael Moinard with 2km to race to the summit of the 15.5km Port de Pailheres. After the long descent, he began the final climb with Moinard chasing but he upped the pace again on the 7.8km climb to give himself a sufficient cushion to complete the climb unchallenged. “I don’t know what to say, I’m just too emotional,” said Riblon, who was congratulated by Schleck after the Luxemburger’s arrival. “Today I felt like I really had good legs, and so I went for it. Given the fact that Astana were chasing hard behind the breakaway, my victory feels even more valuable. “I did a good climb. It’s the kind of result I’ve been after for a long time.” Schleck admitted to playing mind games with Contador. But the Luxemburger said he is happy to wait to take more time off the Spanish ace if it means finishing the race in Paris with the yellow jersey. “He played poker, I played poker, we both played poker today,” said Schleck. “I can afford to lose time to the others but I had to play the game today. Tomorrow will be different. “I want to win this Tour.” Contador tried to shake Schleck off his wheel at the 5km then 4km to go marks, although his accelerations were brief and lacked conviction. In the end Menchov and Sanchez benefited from the poker games to attack unchallenged. It was only in the final two kilometres that Contador and Schleck threw in their cards in a bid to limit the damage being done ahead of them. “We toyed with each other, but I think I finished the day on top,” said Contador, who could decide simply to limit his time losses to Schleck throughout the Pyrenees ahead of Saturday’s 50km time trial, a discipline in which he is superior to Schleck. —AFP

FRANCE: France’s Christophe Riblon celebrates on the finish line as he wins the 184,5 km and 14th stage of the 2010 Tour de France cycling race run between Revel and Ax-Trois-Domaines, southern France in Pyrenees region. —AFP

LeMond says, probe could ‘end’ Armstrong FRANCE: Greg LeMond believes a federal probe into fellow Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong should not be taken lightly, and could even bring about the downfall of the world’s most famous cyclist. “Up until now, he has achieved great things, if you consider he did it fairly, which I don’t believe,” LeMond said in an interview conducted in French with the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper. “For him, it’s the beginning of the end.” Seventime champion Armstrong is racing his final Tour campaign amid damaging accusations by former teammate Floyd Landis that their former team, US Postal, was involved in systematic doping practices. A federal investigation into Landis’s claims has been launched and is being led by Jeff Novitzky, the same federal agent whose probe into the BALCO doping scandal brought about the downfall of athletics star Marion Jones. Grand jury subpoenas were issued to potential witnesses in the probe this week in a move that demonstrates how seriously the authorities are taking allegations made by Landis. LeMond, along with several of Armstrong’s former teammates, is one of several witnesses who has been issued a subpoena. Although he has “yet to decide” on whether he will go, his testimony could be valuable. The three-time yellow jersey champion has been an advocate of clean cycling for the past decade, and subsequent questioning of Armstrong’s recordsetting performances have led to the pair having a turbulent relationship.

Some fans claim LeMond is bitter because Armstrong went on to surpass his record for an American on the race, but he has not limited his queries to Armstrong. Last year he questioned whether Spain’s reigning champion, Alberto Contador, was riding clean. LeMond said he has taken no particular enjoyment from seeing Armstrong suffer on what has been a disastrous farewell campaign. He believes the Texan faces more pressing concerns than the multiple crashes he has suffered in the past two weeks. “Seeing him suffer doesn’t affect me at all. I would even have preferred it if he hadn’t crashed,” added LeMond, who won the race in 1986, 1989 and 1990. He added: “The federal investigation is very serious, more than people believe. “Given everything that he has been accused of recently, I’m even surprised he decided to race the Tour. I don’t know how he’s managed to stay concentrated on the race. “It will be interesting to see if he collaborates with the investigation.” Armstrong said earlier this week he would be prepared to cooperate with any investigation, provided it did not become a “witch hunt”. “Like I said, as long as we have a legitimate and credible and fair investigation, we’ll be happy to cooperate, but I’m not going to participate in any kind of witch hunt,” he said. And while Armstrong continues to question the credibility of Landis, who denied for four years that he had doped before finally confessing two months ago in a bid to “clear his conscience”, LeMond has no doubts. —AFP


ALAFCO posts net profit of KD7.8 million

Samsung rolls out world’s sleekest TV

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Europe gets a breather before bank stress tests

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Monday, July 19, 2010

www.kuwaittimes.net

Dreamliner makes first overseas landing FARNBOROUGH: Boeing Co’s new 787 Dreamliner touched down in Britain yesterday on its first trip outside the United States, thrilling hordes of eager planespotters who came out to see the breakthrough carbon-composite plane. A media circus ensued as Boeing executives, including CEO Jim McNerney, emerged smiling from the plane-though McNerney did not actually fly to England with the plane, instead getting on board after landing. Social media was active with blow-by-blow coverage of the arrival, pointing to the intense interest in the plane not only within the business but also in the flight-enthusiast community. The 787 is expected to take the spotlight at next week’s Farnborough Airshow. Lastminute technical issues had raised fears in recent weeks that the plane might not make its long-anticipated trip to the show, but the plane arrived doing a flyover with a “tilt and wave” before landing. Test pilot Mike Bryan told reporters that landing on Farnborough’s “short” runway after the nine-hour flight reminded him of his time landing on aircraft carriers in the Navy. But he was full of praise for the plane, which he flew from Seattle

with 16 crew and a full compliment of flight-testing systems. “One thing I can say right now is we could literally put fuel in it and passengers could go flying in it,” he said. The plane he flewDreamliner No. 3 — will never see regular passenger service, though. It is one of three test planes strictly for that purpose. The next three test planes to be built, however, are expected to eventually be sold. The aircraf t promises greater fuel efficiency and its lightweight materials and innovative design have captured the imagination of the industry. Yet flight testing has been going more slowly than expected af ter the twinengined passenger plane made an inaugural flight last December-which itself was the subject of frenetic global media coverage. Deliveries of the longrange passenger jet to the first Japanese customer have been delayed by more than two years due to production problems. Boeing executives have said they aim to deliver the first Dreamliner to Japan’s All Nippon Airways by the end of 2010, but they have cautioned that the delivery could be delayed to early 2011. — Reuters

Plane does ‘tilt and wave’ flyover before landing

FARNBOROUGH: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner lands for the first time outside the US, at the Farnborough International Airshow, Farnborough yesterday. —AP

Farnborough tests health of aircraft market FARNBOROUGH: Plane manufacturers, airlines, government ministers and military top brass were gathering yesterday for the Farnborough International Airshow amid hopes that the two-year downturn in the aviation and defense industry is nearing a bottom. The arrival of Boeing Co’s long-awaited — and longdelayed — 787 jet at Farnborough’s airfield yesterday helped generate a buzz for the start of the industry’s premier event “This is the way planes are going to be built for the next 80 years,” Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney told reporters after the jet landed. But he acknowledged that delivery of the aircraft — already more than two years overdue because of production problems — could slip into 2011. “End of the year is the plan,” he said. “There could be some paperwork that pushes it into next year.” Concerns remain about the slow global economic recovery and sharp cuts to national defense budgets. New orders for commer-

cial aircraft are likely to be restrained and restricted to buyers from strong emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia, while activity on the defense side of the show is expected to be muted. Boeing and its arch rival Airbus, meanwhile, head into the event facing growing challenges to their duopoly in the mid-sized civilian jet market from smaller manufacturers, including Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer. Analysts, who are looking to Farnborough to take the pulse of the industry’s health, expect the event to be more upbeat than last year’s sister show in Le Bourget outside Paris, but they aren’t holding their breath for commercial plane orders anywhere near the record-breaking $88.7 billion worth announced in Farnborough in 2008. “A lot depends on if the economic recovery continues, if there is a double dip in the recession, then all bets are off,” Forecast International analyst Raymond Jaworowski. “We should start to see orders accelerate late this year.” The Geneva-based

FARNBOROUGH: Chief Executive Officer of Boeing, Jim McNerney (right) and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Airline, Jim Albaugh react as they pose with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner after it landed in Farnborough. — AP

Abu Dhabi’s Aabar surges on higher buyout offer MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Shares in Abu Dhabi’s Aabar surged yesterday after the UAE securities regulator told the company to raise its buyout offer to minority shareholders by over a third. The government-controlled investment fund is in the process of delisting from the Abu Dhabi stock exchange and its initial buyout offer of 1.45 dirhams per share was considered too low by investors. Shares in Aabar, which owns around 9 percent in German carmaker Daimler, rose 8.3 percent to 1.59 dirhams. The securities regulator asked the company to raise its buyback price to 1.95 dirhams per share. “The fact there are no clear rules and regulations for such events didn’t help anybody,” said Zahed Chowdhury of Al-Mal Capital. Aabar’s shares helped lift Abu Dhabi’s index rise 0.1 percent to 2,526 points. Overall trading volumes remained low, slightly above the level of the previous yesterday. In Dubai, the benchmark fell 0.8 percent to 1,508 points. Property-related stocks were sold off following a downbeat report from Fitch Ratings, which warned the credit outlook for the sector remains negative. Emaar Properties and Arabtec fell 0.6 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. “Despite signs that conditions may be sta-

bilizing, as well as a recent round of debt restructurings and extensions, Fitch believes that the credit outlook for the sector remains negative,” said Bashar Al Natoor, Director in Fitch’s EMEA Corporates team, Dubai. “Without a significant improvement in market conditions, sizeable disposals or additional equity raising, and significant government support, it is unlikely that developers will deleverage quickly enough to repay the upcoming 2011/2012 maturities from internal resources,” according to Fitch. Elsewhere in the Gulf, trading was mixed with Bahrain and Oman edging higher, while Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia fell, mainly due to a drop in oil prices and in the absence of any major positive catalysts. “Overall volumes and turnover for the market are lower, impacted by global markets sluggish performance and downward movement of oil prices,” said Gunjan Gupta, head of research at Oman Arab Bank. Banks led Saudi Arabia’s index 0.3 percent lower, its fifth consecutive loss. Second-quarter earnings could provide more direction, analysts said, who overall expect trading to remain subdued. “In the short-to-medium term we still see negative sentiment dominating,” a Kuwait-based trader said. — Reuters

International Air Transport Association has forecast that global industry profits will reach $2.5 billion this year, an upturn from the huge $9.4 billion loss in 2009. Analysts expect Asia and North America to lead the recovery, with Europe lagging behind. Strikes at some airlines, the debt crisis and the volcanic ash cloud that caused major disruptions this spring are all hurting Europe’s recovery. More than 1,000 exhibitors from 38 countries have signed up for Farnborough with delegations from Egpyt, Taiwan and Morocco will be attending for the first time. Organizers also cited stronger interest from major players China and Russia. Among likely buyers at Farnborough are Emirates airline, the largest in the Gulf states and Qatar Airways, which is looking to equip a new low-cost carrier in the region. ATR, an ItalianFrench aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse and owned by EADS parent Airbus and Finmeccanica, may announce some turboprop orders. —AP

UAE’s Aabar to raise minority buyout price DUBAI: UAE government officials have told Aabar Investments to raise its buyout offer to minority shareholders by over a third after the Abu Dhabi company angered investors with a lowball bid. Aabar, controlled by government investment vehicle International Petroleum Investment Corp (IPIC), must increase the price to 1.95 dirhams per share from the 1.45 announced last week, the United Arab Emirates’ bourse watchdog said in a statement yesterday, citing the ruling of a panel that included officials from the UAE economy ministry. The announcement from the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority (ESCA) sent Aabar’s share price up 9.7 percent to 1.59 dirhams, near the 10 percent limit on daily share movements, and drew renewed criticism from an investment community already angry that the initial offer was so low. “The timing has been unfortunate. The suggestion that 1.45 would be the trade price would have caused investors to sell around that level,” says Zahed Chowdhury of Al-Mal Capital. “The fact there are no clear rules and regulations for such events didn’t help anybody.” Another investor said trading in the investment firm, whose holdings include about 9 percent of German carmaker Daimler and 4.99 percent of Italian bank UniCredit, should have been halted after news on July 12 that the government panel would study the offer. “Who will profit and who will lose and who will compensate (those) who had to sell last week between 1.42 and 1.45?” said Mohamed Ali Yasin, CEO of Shuaa Securities. “I believe that the small investor got mostly hurt in this, and he is the one the regulator is trying to protect the most in this market, and that is not what happened here.” —Reuters

MARKETS OUTLOOK

It’s all about earnings By Christian Tegllund Blaabjerg e expect a strong Q2 earnings season - best sectors in terms of surprises to the upside should be consumer discretionary, industrials and technology. It’s now all about earnings. Soft macroeconomic data coming from the Euro-Zone, USA and China has made this earnings season more important than usual. Given the low expectations when we entered the Q1 earnings season it was clear to most that companies would surprise the upside and this triggered a rally in equities. But since then earnings estimates have been revised up (a bit lower lately though) and we are entering this season with more realistic assessment of the future earnings potential in companies. If the earnings season is strong we expect a short term rally on the back of this and if the earnings season is weak then slow sell-off in risk related assets will continue. Our base case is that we should expect a strong earnings season. Contrary to the Q1 earnings season this time around it is not going to be fueled by big upside surprises from financials. We should instead direct our look towards sectors like consumer discretionary, industrials and technology for upside surprises. Why? Historically there has been a relationship between management guidance on earnings and surprises in either direction. The guidance ratio defined as positive to negative guidance by management, has for the last 3 months been at 1.1 which in historical terms are quite good before for the Q2 earnings season with an average for the last 10 years of 0.6. The relationship between management earnings guidance and earnings surprise is that companies issuing a positive guidance are twice as likely to surprise in the upcoming earnings season. The main reason for this, we suspect, is that management tends to be conservative in their estimates of performance. When using this indicator we arrive at the conclusion that we are in for a strong earnings season with above average surprises to the upside. Going a level deeper we expect sectors like technology, consumer discretionary and industrials to be the performers in terms of surprises to the upside and sectors like telecom, energy and materials are the most likely candidates for surprises to the downside. Earnings outlook Global corporate earnings have rebounded strongly from their recessionary lows and few now dispute the likelihood of 30-40% global EPS growth being achieved in 2010. So far, this has been a very forceful V-shaped profits recovery. However the focus now shifts towards 2011. In particular, equity markets appear to be increasingly worried that there will be a doubledip in global corporate profits led by a global double dip in the economy. With analysts currently predicting EPS growth of 19% next year, this would clearly imply that forecasts are much too

W

high. Some worry that the recent rollover in leading indicators is the beginning of something as nasty as that seen back in 2008. We do forecast a high risk of a double dip globally, but still recognizing that a rollover in leading indicators is normal in year 2 of the cycle. A wholesale shift towards downgrades of 2008style magnitude has previously been accompanied by an inverted yield curve, high inventory levels and peak-level profitability. None of these are present right now. Another major profits downturn from here would be unprecedented. So we think that the current rollover in revisions predicts an early-cycle moderation in the corporate profits cycle rather than an end-cycle collapse. And even if there is a double dip in the global economy, we think that EPS will be more resilient than investors might expect. We estimate that the global corporate cost base is currently 11% lower than it was back in 2007-08. We think this will be helpful in protecting the global EPS from the effects of any global economic slowdown in 2011. Our base case is a weak recovery and that is clearly not enough to meet analyst EPS growth expectations of 20% for 2011. Rather we believe we are in for an almost flat EPS growth for 2011, while picking up again in 2012. Regions and sectors As recovery develops, we think it is appropriate to shift our preferences towards those stocks, sectors or regions that are generating the best earnings momentum (for now). Earnings momentum strategies tend to outperform in midcycle years and underperform around major economic turning points. Although the market may be calling another major turning point (down) right now, we consider these double-dip fears to be overdone due to the our expected resilience in global EPS. We therefore think that earnings momentum strategies (identified here as changes in 12m forward EPS forecasts, so a mixture of forward-looking growth and analyst forecast changes) remain appropriate. Emerging markets look like a secular growth story, with earnings outperforming other regions in the downturn and upturn. Japan looks like a classic cyclical. Earnings momentum collapsed in the recession but is now outperforming the recovery. UK earnings momentum looks good compared to economic performance, supporting our view that the UK equity market is more of a play on the global than UK economy. The two weaker regions are the US and Europe ex-UK. Sector vise an earnings momentum investor would favor Consumer Discretionary, Industrials and Materials. There are signs that the cyclical rebound in IT and Financials is leveling out. Earnings momentum for the global Energy sector continues to disappoint. So there is now a mixed earnings momentum message amongst the more economically sensitive sectors. However, the trends are still clear amongst the defensives. Earnings underperformance is not because of specific downgrades, but more reflects continued recovery elsewhere in our view. We would expect this trend to continue for now.

* Christian Tegllund Blaabjerg, chief equity strategist, Saxo Bank.


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BUSINESS

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funds reflect team's long expertise in regional markets

Notable performance by GIC investment funds in H1 2010 KUWAIT: Gulf Investment Corporation's (GIC) portfolio of Funds specialized in Gulf bonds and equities reveal a positive performance in the first half of 2010 where Year-to-Date (YTD) returns of GIC's Bond Fund in Kuwaiti dinar and Gulf Bond Fund in US dollar reached approximately 8.20% and 6.79% respectively. GIC's conventional Equity Fund, the Gulf Premier Fund generSuccess factors Elaborating on these results, Malek Issa Al-Ajeel, Head of Business Development at GIC said: "These results and other remarkable returns achieved by these funds are based on a number of important factors, the most prominent of them being GIC's expertise in the regional markets and its major sectors for the last 26 years. The efficient performance and elite caliber of the GCC Equities and Bond teams, with enduring experience in the financial and investment fields, is the driving force behind this achievement. In addition to this, the support from the comprehensive analysis and market research conducted by the GCC Research team aids the Fund Managers in making integrated decisions in a constant and systematic manner". Bond funds Al-Ajeel also highlighted the importance of the results achieved by the bond funds managed by GIC stating: “The total asset value of the managed funds in US Dollar and Kuwaiti Dinars is approximately $235 million. This places GIC ahead of all specialized institutions in managing investment products in the bond sector". He also asserted that "GIC stands first in the region in introducing specialized investment management tools, thus earning the trust of its clientele with the specific aim of investing their

ated YTD returns of around 3.14% during the first half of this year while its Islamic Equity Fund, the Gulf Islamic Fund exceeded in its performance over the MSCI index. The performance of these funds reflect the Gulf economy's robust position, against the background of the financial crisis that has enveloped global financial markets.

Malek Issa Al-Ajeel savings in bonds launched by public and private sectors in the Gulf Region". Following is the performance highlights of the bond funds: GIC Bond Fund in Kuwaiti Dinar: The Assets under Management (AUM) for this fund reached around $115 million as of the first half of 2010. The YTD returns were 8.2% for the same period compared to around 3.22% achieved during the first half of the previous

year. That this fund achieved positive returns becomes clearer once compared to the interest rate percentage on mid term deposits in Kuwaiti Dinars estimated at approximately 1.25%. Considering such remarkable performance, the fund is contemplating the distribution of cash profits of 5% for the year ending 2009, after being granted approval from the concerned bodies. Established in 2003 and targeted to achieve the highest returns, the fund aims at bene-

fiting from opportunities in the GCC bond markets, while preserving capital through the application of rigorous risk management methodologies and practices. Gulf Bond Fund in US Dollar: This fund maintained good performance during the first half of 2010 achieving returns of 6.79% compared to approximately 2.96% of the same period in the previous year, whereas the interest rate on short term deposits in US dollar stood at 0.50%. Returns since inception of the fund aggregated to 17.9% and its AUM rose to $120 million during the first half of 2010 compared to about $76 million in the first half of 2009, recording a growth of approximately 58%. Established in 2005 and targeted to increase investment returns, the fund aims at investing in public and private bond issuance, while preserving capital through the application of rigorous risk management methodologies and practices. Equity Funds: Despite the negative impact of the financial crisis on the global markets, and its fallout on the region, GIC managed to protect its products against significant downside impact. In this context Al-Ajeel remarked: "Such drawbacks restricted the overall performance of GIC's equity products. Against this background, GIC's capabilities

are clearly reflected in the performance of GIC's equity investments through Gulf Premier fund and Gulf Islamic fund". Gulf Premier fund: The fund generated YTD returns of 3.14% in the first half of 2010, in comparison with 1.25% on the MSCI GCC Index, indicating outperformance of 1.89%. Returns since inception of the fund aggregated to 84.92%, with the annualized returns since inception estimated at 8.5%. Meanwhile, the fund's AUM recorded a growth of 11.4%. Established in 2003 as the first pan-GCC equity fund in the region, and targeted to achieve appreciation on capital, the fund invests in the Gulf equity markets and is benchmarked against the MSCI GCC Index. Gulf Islamic Fund: The fund outperformed the MSCI GCC index by approximately 1% during the first half of 2010, and distributed cash dividends of 5% in 2009, despite the financial crunch witnessed by the global markets. It may be noted that the fund was ranked as the best-performing Islamic Fund by Zawya for its performance amongst its GCC peers for 2009, through achieving returns amounting to 24.6%. The fund was launched in 2008 as a key product within GIC's GCC portfolio, and targets investment in shares of Shariacompliant GCC companies.

Prizes include a trip to Beirut! Ibrahim Ershoud AlRshoud, and Naser Mahdi Abdalla AlSaffar, who each received an iPod 160GB with a sound system docking station. Gulf Bank's new red program caters to University and College students aged 17 to 24 years old and is the only student package in Kuwait now offering monthly draws to all its customers. All red customers will automatically be eligible for the draw once they transfer their student allowance into their red account. Customers also have the

Aircraft leasing firm continues to deliver good results KUWAIT: ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company reported a net profit of KD 7.8 million ($27.1 million) for the 9 months of its current fiscal year that ended 30 June 2010. Operating profit rose 45% to KD14.4 million ($50 million), while earnings per share reached 10.45fils. The company's total assets increased 42% reaching KD 480 million ($1.7 billion) and shareholders' equity rose 11% to KD 103 million ($353.3 million) during the period. In a press statement issued after the board meeting, company Chairman and CEO Ahmad A Alzabin, said the net profit is 7% less compared to same period last year. However, ALAFCO continues to deliver good results in accordance with its operating plan during these tough economic times. The company is confident to surpass the last year's net profit figure of KD10.2 for the year ended 30 September 2010. The company continues to execute its plan of acquiring new aircraft from manufacturers and delivering them to airlines globally on long-term leases. Alzabin said during the current year ALAFCO successfully delivered total of 10 aircraft up to now, two Airbus A320-200 aircraft to Greek carrier Olympic Air, 7 A320200 aircraft to Saudi Arabian

Ahmad A Alzabin Airlines and one A320-200 aircraft to Kuwait-based Wataniya Airways. He highlighted that financing during the first 9 months for the acquisition of new aircraft from local and international banks amounted to $350 million. The ability to obtain financing to fund aircraft purchases in these times when liquidity is tight is a reflection of the confidence financiers have in ALAFCO's opera-

tions and its growth plan. Alzabin said ALAFCO is on track to reach a fleet of 59 owned and managed aircraft by the end of this year. ALAFCO is a Kuwaitbased aircraft leasing company and has been listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since October 2006. The company leases Airbus and Boeing aircraft to various airlines in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Bahrain govt sees 4% growth in 2010

Gulf Bank announces winners of second red monthly draw KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced the six lucky winners of the second red(tm) monthly draw, which was held on 12th of July 2010. The winner of the 1st Prize, Sara Abdullah Mohamad Jaber won an allexclusive trip to Beirut including a stay at a five star hotel with daily breakfast and transportation. There were five second prize winners: Sama Adel Salem Alabduljader, Shaimaa Yaseen Ramadan Saif, Sarah Abdulaziz Ibraim Alnabhan, Mohammed

ALAFCO posts net profit of KD7.8m for 9 months

opportunity to manage their account through online banking, mobile banking or Telebanking, providing them convenience and 24/7 accessibility. To join red, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank's 51 branches or contact the Telebanking service 1805805 for assistance and guidance. They can also log on to www.e-gulfbank.com, Gulf Bank's bilingual website, to find all the information they need regarding the red Program and its benefits.

Nasser Aldaihani, Assistant Manager at the Marketing Department of Gulf Bank congratulating a draw winner, Mohammed Ibrahim Ershoud Al-Rshoud.

MANAMA: Bahrain's economy is expected to grow by slightly more than 4 percent this year, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said yesterday, while it sees the country's financial sector recovering only slowly. "The EDB expects the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Bahrain in the current year of 2010 to increase a little bit more than 4 percent," it said in a statement. EDB's forecast is in line with the central bank's expectation of about 4 percent economic growth in Bahrain this year, compared with 3.2 percent in 2009. The EDB, a government body responsible for setting Bahrain's economic policies, also said that GDP grew 5.2 percent during the first quarter year-on-year and 1.4 percent compared to the last quarter of 2009. It said that growth over the coming years would be driven by household consumption, while investments would remain subdued as

investors are still suffering from a regional property crash late in 2008. The EDB also said in its statement it expected the country's financial sector to recover only slowly, in a rare official acknowledgement of the troubles at Bahraini investment houses. Companies such as Arcapita and Ithmaar were badly hit by the property crash and the subsequent freeze in regional investment markets as they relied on raising money for property and private equity projects. "Given the weight of offshore property development in the portfolio of the Bahrain-based wholesale banking sector, the EDB expects the finance sector to recover only slowly from the downturn," the EDB said. Bahrain has established itself as an off-shore financial hub for the oil wealth accumulated in particular in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and the financial industry accounts for around a quarter of its GDP. —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

.2830000 .4370000 .3690000 .2710000 .2690000 .2470000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780040 .7599740 .4020000 .0750000 .7450220 .0045000 .0500000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2873500 .4393230 .3715880 .2733890 .2716320 .0498640 .0391740 .2496070 .0369540 .2086550 .0033170 .0061860 .0025520 .0033700 .0041640 .0782730 .7625870 .4063910 .0766650 .7467360 .0062460

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2894500 .4424250 .2753260 .0771540

.2930000 .4470000 .3770000 .2790000 .2780000 .2560000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787880 .7676120 .4180000 .0790000 .7525100 .0072000 .0580000

277.040 188.080 278.920 250.570 287.345 ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.356 6.187 3.370 2.555 3.871 210.410 37.146 4.161 6.227 8.958 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES

.2894500 .4424250 .3742120 .2753260 .2735560 .0502180 .0394560 .2513700 .0372160 .2101330 .0033400 .0062290 .0025700 .0033940 .0041940 .0787720 .7674490 .4092690 .0771540 .7514980 .0062900

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

77.022 79.351 750.310 767.050 78.644 ARAB COUNTRIES

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

54.000 50.700 1.266 198.680 407.830 193.700 6.168 34.123 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

235.000 120.000 62.000

Bahrain Exchange Company

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

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

288.680 377.300 445.720

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

SELL CASH 254.700 787.460 4.270 277.600 566.700 14.100 49.300 167.800 53.510 376.000

SELL DRAFT 253.200 767.460 4.160 276.100

211.100 50.711 376.500

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

37.820 6.510 0.035 0.273 0.255 3.430 409.600 0.195 92.440 48.000 4.510 209.500 1.966 46.600 749.650 3.540 6.540 79.820 77.050 211.070 40.550 2.735 446.000 39.500 278.600 277.100 6.400 9.290 198.263 78.740 289.000 1.320

37.670 6.170

407.930 0.194 92.440 3.880 208.000

9.140 78.640 288.600

1,286.490

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

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

TRAVELLER'S CHEQUE 444.000 288.600

288.500 3.385 6.180 2.565 4.165 6.265 78.650 77.140 767.900 50.695 445.500 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 409.800 5.750 378.700 279.300

Al Mulla Exchange

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

2.555 4.172 6.227 3.326 8.940 6.293 3.863

Currency 749.470 3.380 6.225 79.390 77.050 211.070 40.550 2.554 444.000

GOLD 10 Tola

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

288.500 275.525 445.193 377.054 274.386 707.130 763.625 78.527 79.223 76.902 407.112 50.680 6.183 3.378

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 289.200 378.000 447.350 280.000 3.350 6.205 50.850 2.564 4.169 6.255 3.390 769.000 78.720 77.260


BUSINESS

Monday, July 19, 2010

23

Dollar losing ground as risk appetite mounts KUWAIT: The US dollar’s weakening against other major currencies continued last week as risk appetite mounted and investors traded the safety of the greenback for other riskier assets, especially after the positive corporate earnings figures. The US dollar’s weakness was also due to the FOMC meeting minutes which showed that policymakers were concerned the US recovery may be slowing. The euro opened on Monday around 1.2640 and strengthened throughout the week. Portugal’s credit downgrade by Moody’s had little effect on the currency’s momentum, and the currency was able to reach a high of 1.3008 after successful bond auctions in Greece and Spain. The euro ended the week at 1.2930. The Sterling Pound also had a bullish week, starting at 1.5064 and reaching a high of 1.5465 on Wednesday. The currency benefited from a weakening US dollar, and from good unemployment and inflation figures during the week. The sterling pound closed at 1.5301 on Friday. The Swiss franc was flattish for the week, reaching a low of 1.0400 and ending sessions at 1.0510. The Japanese yen started the week on a weak tone after the elections results showed uncertainty for Japan. However, the Yen was able to strengthen afterwards and break the 87.00 level, and closed at 86.60. Corporate earnings The earnings reporting season started on an exceptionally strong and positive note, with the Intel results far exceeding market expectations, provid-

ing a boost to global equity markets, and fuelling risk appetite among investors. JPMorgan Chase & Co kicked off earnings season for the United States big banks with news of a strong gain in second-quarter profit. The bank said its net income rose 78%, from $2.7 billion in 2009 to $4.8 billion. The results, although exceeding earnings forecast, benefited from a one-time release of $1.5 billion in loan loss reserves and executives warned that they were uncertain about the economic outlook for the rest of the year. Bank of America’s second-quarter net income rose 15% to $2.78 billion as improvements in the company’s consumer loan businesses made up for a drop in trading revenue. The bank’s results beat expectations and provided further evidence that losses from loans at the nation’s big banks may have peaked in the first half of 2010. FOMC meeting minutes The Federal Reserve released the minutes from their June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting which revealed the expectation of the committee for a modest economic recovery to continue all the way through 2011. The minutes also showed that, according to most of the participants, the overall economic conditions in the United States are enhancing and improving, but the pace of the recovery had slowed down at a moderate pace throughout the second quarter. The major economic obstruction remains the labor market, which has eased only fairly as the jobless rate

NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT

remains high and as the private sector is not adding jobs to the economy. Overall, the minutes showed a somewhat dim outlook for world’s largest economy. Inflation The cost of living in the US, excluding food and energy prices, climbed in June more than forecasted, easing concerns that a slowdown in growth will spur deflation. The core Consumer Price Index rose 0.2%, the most since October, exceeding the expected 0.1% gain. The Consumer Price Index, which includes food and energy prices, fell 0.1% as lower gasoline costs accounted for most of the decline. Portugal debt The ratings agency Moody’s cut

Portugal’s credit rating by two notches from Aa2 to A1 citing a deterioration in public finances and stalled economic growth as factors behind the decision. Moody’s projected Portugal’s financial situation to worsen at least for the next two to three years and the public debt portion to reach close to 90% of the country’s GDP. However, the agency confirmed to have a stable outlook for the country, showing confidence in the nation’s efforts to deal with the growing debt burden, although it showed concern that the indebted country needs to impose further austerity measures in conjunction to those already announced. For the first time since being bailed out in May, Greece sold treasury bills

last week at an interest rate lower than the 5% charged by the European Union when it rescued the country from default. The country sold EUR 1.625 billion in treasury bills due on January 14, which were sold at a yield of 4.65%. Investors had bid 3.64 times the bills offered, easing concerns that the country faces penalizing costs to borrow. Similarly, Spain succeeded in raising EUR 3 billion from issuance of 15-year bonds at a rate of 5.116%. Bids outstripped the amount available by 2.57 times, up from 1.79 times for an April auction of the same issue. Inflation slows Euro-zone inflation slowed in June, as expected, in a sign that inflationary

pressures were small. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 1.4% year-onyear in June from an earlier 1.6% in May. The annual inflation rate was boosted mainly by more expensive fuel, heating oil and cigarettes. Without the volatile energy and food prices, the Core CPI rose 0.9% year-on-year. The European Central Bank (ECB) targets inflation rates of “below, but close to, 2.0%” over the medium term, and since June’s figure is in line with this target, it gives no reason for the ECB to change its monetary policy. The United Kingdom’s economy grew by only 0.3% in the first quarter of 2010, in line with the preliminary release of the GDP. The figure was delayed for 2 weeks because of “potential errors” in the calculation published in May. On the year, GDP fell 0.2%, in line with economists’ forecasts. As part of a major annual revision of GDP data, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said the British economy contracted by 6.4% between the second quarter of 2008, representing the peak, and the third quarter of 2009, when the U.K. exited the recession. Inflation in the UK slowed less than economists forecasted in June, as higher costs of goods from fuel to food kept the price increases above the government’s 3.0% limit. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.2% from a year earlier, compared to 3.4% in May. The gain in the inflation rate was led by transport because of higher fuel and lubricant costs, and because of higher prices at

restaurants and hotels. All categories of prices increased apart from clothing and footwear, which were discounted during seasonal sales. Excluding the effects of volatile prices, the Core CPI rose by 3.1%. Unemployment in the United Kingdom fell and the number of jobless benefit claimants dropped to the lowest level in a year, a sign that the economy is picking up slowly in the aftermath of the recession. Unemployment, as measured by the International Labor Organization (ILO) methods, dropped by 34,000 to reach 2.47 million. The unemployment rate fell 0.1% to 7.8% in the quarter through May. Moreover, the number of people claiming jobless benefits dropped by 20,800. Bank of England surveys show that the labor market has stabilized and demand in the private sector may be picking up. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) held their monetary policy meeting last week, and kept their key interest rate at the current level of 0.10%. The Bond Purchase program was also unchanged at that last meeting by a unanimous vote by all the central bank’s members. The BOJ said the country’s economy “shows further signs of a moderate recovery”, maintaining its overall economic assessment. The central bank also raised its view for the country’s economic growth, as Japan caught a tailwind from neighboring emerging markets. Kuwait Dinar at 0.28790 The USDKWD opened at 0.28790 yesterday morning.

Dubai realty firms face refinancing risks: Fitch Upcoming debt maturities seen pointers DUBAI/LONDON: Fitch Ratings says that the Dubai real-estate market will likely remain under pressure, at least until 2012/2013, and therefore that corporates may face significant refinancing risks given upcoming debt maturities in 2011/12. “Despite signs that conditions may be stabilizing, as well as a recent

Full HD 3D LED TV 9000 series unveils new category of luxury TVs

Samsung rolls out world’s sleekest TV in the region DUBAI: Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd, a market leader and award-wining innovator in consumer electronics, has globally released the world’s sleekest premium full HD 3D LED TV. Samsung’s 9000 series premium full HD 3D LED TV is the ultimate marriage between high artistic design and high technology, providing a highclass entertainment experience, made possible by Samsung’s award-winning technology. Designed to be visually as beautiful and inspiring as the images you view on the television, the Samsung 9000 series’ is the most impressive full HD 3D LED TV to-date with an ultra-thin profile at 7.98milimeters thick with a built-in tuner, making it the world’s sleekest TV. Samsung also unveiled the world’s first premium touch-screen remote control with display “Touch Control,” which comes with 9000 series and allows people to continue their TV viewing experience anywhere in the home. “The full HD 3D LED TV 9000 series is the ultimate symbol of classic living that offers top-of-the-line performance, stunning beauty and elegance and meets every sense of emotional satisfaction so you can lead a visually inspired life,” said Ram Modak, General Manager of Digital Media Business at Samsung Gulf Electronics. Design leadership To create the LED 9000, Samsung’s designers harnessed the best innovations for the TVs design to express emotional and sensational slimness. By using a structure of stainless steel and crafting an artistic hairline edge of the product, the team sought to create an emotional attachment and premium appeal. World’s sleekest The high-end 9000 series LED TV features an eye-catching, ultra-sleek, stainless-steel bezel and backside. The effect maximizes the slim line of the TV, which is kept thin with a built in tuner, speakers embedded in the stand, translucent neck, and an auto-sliding touchpad. The 9000 series also comes equipped with four HDMI ports, including a USB port to

play various multi-media files directly from the flash drive or USB HDD. Touch-screen remote control The 9000 series comes equipped with a premium touch-screen remote control with three-inch, color display, featuring a live feed of the channel you’re currently watching or the live feed of the channel you want to watch while watching a Blu-ray title and a DVD title - and which looks as well as acts like a smartphone using quick and easy content navigation. The remote comes complete with an earphone jack and Twin View, which lets you watch TV or Blu-ray DVD titles simultaneously. The remote includes AllShare control and a QWERTY keyboard, and at 2.4 Ghz, its integrated Wi-Fi and infrared technology controls the TV, STB and AV devices with onscreen buttons. Top of line performance Samsung continues to be the leader in providing quality, top-of-the-line performance with its built-in 3D, WiFi connectivity, DLNA-compatible media streamer, Samsung Apps, Internet@TV and Planet First Built-in 3D The 9000 series features Clear Motion Rate 800, which is the new motion clarity stan-

dard based on the actual measurement of resolution in a moving scene, 3D Hyper Real Engine and Samsung’s proprietary built-in 3D processer. The first-of-its-kind 3D processor is optimized for, and enables compatibility with multiple 3D formats including half resolution formats, both sideby-side, and top-to-bottom, as well as the full resolution Bluray 3D standard. In addition, Samsung’s 3D technology delivers a picture using a fullcolor spectrum for an unbelievable immersive viewing experience. The processing can even be applied to broadcast TV, gaming content and legacy DVDs to automatically convert 2D viewing to 3D in real time. When not in the 3D mode, you’re back to watching one of the best quality full HD TVs on the market with the push of a button. Connected content Internet@TV connectivity, which includes Samsung Apps, comes included in the 9000 series. These features allow users to download and view an ever-expanding portal of their favorite digital content on their TV screen. Samsung Apps provides consumers with a broad selection of content and applications from leading services such as Facebook and Picasa web albums. Also included is AllShare for wireless connectivity and multimedia sharing across devices, allowing consumers to wirelessly transfer photos, movies and music from PCs, mobile phones and digital cameras to their TV for big-screen viewing at home with friends and family. Through ConnectShare(tm) Movie consumers can also connect a thumb drive or digital camera quickly and easily to access videos, music, playlists and pictures via the remote. Green efficiency All these functionalities are delivered without compromising the energy efficiency that Samsung LED TVs are known for and meet even higher standards of sustainability. The 9000 series is the most ecoconscious full HD LED TV products Samsung has ever released. Samsung LED 9000 series is now available in major electronics outlets across the region.

Without a significant improvement in market conditions, sizeable disposals or additional equity raising, and significant government support, it is unlikely that developers will deleverage quickly enough to repay the upcoming 2011/2012 maturities from internal resources. Whilst the world economy now slowly begins to recover from recession, Fitch expects Dubai’s real estate and construction fundamentals to continue weakening, with increasing customer delinquencies, limited liquidity, and a continued historical reliance on short-term maturities. Oversupply, limited mortgage availability and rising interest rates will also pose significant constraints for real estate companies and buyers. The availability and the cost of debt for Dubai, and subsequently the corporate sector, is also likely to deteriorate and result in investors demanding higher risk premiums. This trend is already being reflected in credit default swaps, which have increased in the GCC states, with Dubai being the worst affected. Fitch also notes The Land Department in Dubai’s new ‘Tayseer’ initiative, announced on 10 July 2010. This is a Dubai government real estate project rating initiative. Tayseer qualified projects should meet a required criteria to be classified as ‘tier one’ and the UAE’s leading financial institutions will now join the exclusive list of bankers authorized to offer funding to Tayseer ‘tier one’ rated Dubai real estate projects. Fitch also notes that Dubai will be offering Government guarantee, through the Land Department, for Tayseer qualified projects. The agency will continue monitoring this new development and, upon receiving more details, will asses its impact as it could enhance liquidity and transparency in the real estate sector. Fitch expects Dubai market rents to continue to decline for the next 12 to 18 months. A weak residential, office and retail environment has caused developers to reduce rents to prevent tenant defaults. Weak demand has led to a substantial decrease in developer earnings, cash flows and asset values, and in turn created covenant problems and liquidity pressures. This has severely impacted some of the industry’s largest players, such as Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC’s and, more severely, has forced Dubai World to restructure their debt. — Reuters

round of debt restructurings and extensions, Fitch believes that the credit outlook for the sector remains negative,” says Bashar Al-Natoor, Director in Fitch’s EMEA Corporates team, Dubai. “The sector is likely to see a period of stagnant growth at best, and a ‘double-dip’ contraction at worst,” Al Natoor added.

The right quality for IKEA products KUWAIT: IKEA the globally renowned Swedish furnishing store is known for the right quality furniture it’s the very basic fundamental at IKEA. That is why it is so important that products sold at the store maybe of the lowest prices due to economies of scale and flat pack transportation but will never be compromised when it comes to right quality. It’s simple, IKEA bases its assessment of “the right quality” on the needs of its customers. Explaining the right quality concept implemented across all IKEA stores, IKEA Kuwait Store Manager Emile Al-Shaar says “The determining factor here is the way in which the products will be used. To make sure that all IKEA home furnishing products meet the expectations and requirements of the customers as well as all the mandatory standards and norms, the products are pretested over in the IKEA Test Laboratory.” IKEA has a fully accredited test lab in

lmhult (Sweden) which tests both textiles and furniture. Some 50,000 tests are carried out in accordance with current norms and standards each year. For several years in succession the IKEA Test Lab has been accredited for its quality system and test methods in accordance with the international standard ISO 17 025. In some cases where no EUstandard exists, Mbelfakta (Swedish Furniture Research institute) is adapted to ISO Standards. The IKEA Test Lab examines almost all types of products and materials used in the IKEA range. At IKEA great emphasis is laid on the functionality of products and their safety as well. Thus ultimately IKEA adheres to Swedish and all other industry standards on product safety and quality ensuring that the customer comes back not just for low prices but for the right quality products that the Swedish retailer has to offer.

IKEA products must meet the customers’ demands not only in terms of design, function and price, but also with regard to safety, stability and durability. To take one example, a table-top is usually subjected to a great deal of more wear and tear than a bookshelf. That’s why a table-top may require four coats of protective lacquer, while two are generally enough for a bookshelf. In this way IKEA saves on materials, and customers can buy their bookshelves at a lower price. The quality of IKEA products is also evident in the guarantees the IKEA Store provides for a wide range of its products ranging from 5 years on most of its sofas to 15 years on kitchens and much more. Ultimately the goal of IKEA is to adhere to all safety standards and ensure that the customer comes back not just for low prices but for the good quality product that this Swedish store offers.

Flydubai begins flights to its first Iraqi destination, Erbil KUWAIT: Flydubai, Dubai’s first low-cost airline, launched services to its first Iraqi city and 22nd destination overall, when the airline’s inaugural flight landed in Erbil late yesterday. FZ201 took off from Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2 at 1830hrs on Friday evening and landed in Iraq’s third largest city, the capital of the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq, three hours later at 2030hrs local time. Flydubai’s Chief Commercial Officer, Hamad Obaidalla, said: “Stability and prosperity is returning to Iraq and particularly the Kurdistan region, and this makes Erbil an important gateway into the country. “Erbil has seen encouraging development in recent years with many strategic projects being implemented across infrastructure, energy and commerce. Our new direct service will further

strengthen the growth of the city by offering affordable and quality air links between the UAE and Iraq.” Abdul Hadi Osman, Commercial Attache of the Republic of Iraq in Dubai said: “The start of flydubai flights to Erbil is another indication of the continued development of economic relations between Iraq and the UAE. It highlights how the relations between both countries are rapidly improving, moving towards a brighter future. “The flydubai service will contribute to and accelerate the turnover of the Iraqi economy,” he said. “We hope other, similar partnerships with the UAE will help highlight the continued building of the new Iraq.” According to recent reports, Iraq’s GDP was $112 billion in 2009 and the country’s economy is expected to grow by approximately 7% in 2010, 7.9% in 2011 and at

similar rates for the next few years. This is above the average projected growth for the Middle East. A one-way flight fare from Dubai to Erbil is priced at AED1,225 which can be purchased from the website (www.flydubai.com), call centre (+9714 301 0800) and travel agents. Flights to Erbil operate twice a week on Fridays and Mondays. On Fridays, FZ201 departs Dubai at 1830hrs, arriving in Erbil at 2030hrs local time. FZ202 departs from Erbil at 2115hrs, landing in Dubai at 0055hrs local time. On Mondays, FZ201 leaves Dubai at 1130hrs arriving in Erbil at 1330hrs local time and the return flight, FZ202, takes off at 1415hrs landing in Dubai at 1800hrs local time. Flydubai operates from a modernized and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.


BUSINESS

24 GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Global economy concerns, oil prices hit KSE equities KUWAIT: Kuwaiti equities ended the first trading session of the week sideways as lower oil prices and investors’ concern about the pace of the economic recovery tightened the market’s activity yesterday. Global General Index (GGI) marginally rose by 0.01 points (0.005 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 187.02 points. While, KSE Price Index, shed 20.10 points (-0.31 percent) today and closed at 6,492.60 points. Market capitalization remained almost the same at KD30.916bn. Market breadth During the session, 104 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners, as 53 equities retreated versus 28 that advanced. A total of 131 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a mixed note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 8.66 percent to reach 283.84mn shares, and value of shares traded shed 14.45 percent to stand at KD25.63mn as most of the transactions were seen on small cap stocks. The Real Estate Sector continued to be volume leader, accounting for 46.91 percent of total market volume. The Services Sector remained to be the value leader for the third consecutive day, accounting for 28.09 percent of total market value. Investors Holding Group Company topped the volume leaders’ list, with a total traded volume of 412mn shares. While, Agility appeared in the value leaders’ list with a

total traded value of KD1.65mn. In terms of top gainers, MENA Real Estate Company took the top spot, adding 9.62 percent and closed at KD0.057. On the other hand, Housing Finance Company (ISKAN) sharply decreased by 12.05 percent during the session, to be the biggest loser. The scrip closed at KD0.146. Sector-wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they were almost balanced with 4 sectors reporting daily gains and 3 recorded daily losses, while, Insurance sector

remained unchanged. On the same front, Global Banking Index was the major catalyst in the market adding 0.19 percent to its value. Boubyan Bank was the highest gainer among the sector soaring 7.22 percent. Also, Kuwait Finance House rose by 2.08 percent. On decliners’ front, Global Investment Index was the biggest decliner shedding 0.75 percent. All the decliners witnessed massive losses and two of the index components topped the decliners’ list for the day. ISKAN, as mentioned above and Al-Salam Group Holding, plunged by 7.55 per-

cent by the end of the day. Global’s special indices also ended the day on a mixed note, with Global Small Cap Index losing all its previous gains shedding 0.75 percent. While, Global L arge Cap Index regained part of its losses adding 0.12 percent to its value. Also, Global Islamic Index rose by 1.87 percent as it was lifted by the Islamic lender’s (Kuwait Finance House) daily gains. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $73.26 a barrel on Thursday,

compared with $73.93 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) announced cash dividends for the second quarter of 2010 ending on June 30. KFH distributed competitive dividends on the deposits in foreign currencies as the returns of the USD deposits grew by 0.86 percent. The returns of the KD deposits maintained their leading positions thanks to the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) which helped boost the KD exchange rate vis-a-vis foreign currencies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jordan GDP to grow at 3.5% in 2010, says IMF AMMAN: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts Jordan’s economic growth at 3.5 percent this year but rising in 2011 as its economy recovers from the impact of the global downturn, an IMF official said. “We can see it in the orbit of 3.5 percent, something like that,” Paul Cashin, head of the IMF mission to Jordan, told reporters on Saturday af ter meeting Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour. The economy expanded 2.3 percent in 2009 as a whole, slowing from 7.8 percent growth in 2008 and its weakest performance since an economic crisis in 1989 when the country was forced to seek help from the IMF. The government and the IMF had in December forecast around 4 percent growth in 2010 on the back of stronger capital inflows and private investments. Jordan’s Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour said a higher growth forecast for 2010 compared with last year illustrated the economy

was on the path of recovery despite a regional outlook that still weighed on the kingdom. The kingdom has close business and economic ties to Gulf Arab governments which have been hard hit by a drop in oil prices. “Jordan as we all know is a very open economy and has been subject to quite a deal of shocks, particularly those emanating from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which had their growth slowdown, and that’s definitely affected the path of growth here in Jordan,” Cashin said. “It’s more Jordan’s trading partners just pure and simply growing slower, it’s taking longer for them to accelerate growth,” Cashin added. L ast year the aiddependent country ran up a record budget deficit of 1.45 billion dinars ($2 bln) or 9 percent of GDP, much bigger than expected, as public finances came under strain after the global downturn hurt domestic demand and foreign cash flows, including remittances from expatriates

in the Gulf. It has announced budget cuts of $1.4 billion this year, aiming to slash the deficit to 6.3 percent of GDP. While Jordan’s economy has weathered the global economic downturn better than most Western economies, domestic demand and remittances from abroad have been hit. Economists say although economic growth in Jordan should accelerate this year, uncertainties remain due to a continuing decline in foreign aid and weak domestic demand. The IMF official said Jordan’s prospects were in many ways tied to the region’s fortunes. “We are expecting growth to be rising in the near and medium term, so in a sense the current sort of below-average growth is not really idiosyncratic to Jordan, its affecting many countries in the region and certainly many emerging market countries,” Cashin added. GDP rose to 9.61 billion dinars ($13.5 billion) in 2009 from 9.35 billion in 2008. — Reuters

UAE’s Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Q2 profit jumps ABU DHABI: UAE lender Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank reported a 56 percent increase in second quarter profit as it recorded lower credit provisions, beating analysts’ forecasts. The bank, the second largest Islamic lender in the UAE, made a profit of 301.6 million UAE dirhams ($82.1 million) in the three months to

June 30, up from 193.1 million dirhams in the same period last year, it said in a statement yesterday. Analysts at EFGHermes had estimated second quarter profit of 251 million dirhams. ADIB also said total credit provisions in the second quarter fell to 134.6 million dirhams from 171.4 million a year ago and that total provisions stood at 1.93 billion

dirhams as at the end of the quarter. Shares in ADIB had closed before the announcement was made, ending down 0.4 percent on the day at 2.45 dirhams. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank reported a 9.3 percent jump in first quarter profit, but said it may need to take further credit impairments in 2010. — Reuters


BUSINESS

Monday, July 19, 2010

Average Deposits Rates with Local Banks ( percent)

25

Average Weekly Spot Oil Prices for OPEC Basket, Kuwait, & Brent

CBK assists banks on liquidity, boosts credit growth KAMCO MONEY AND OIL MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: During the month of June-10, the CBK has issued no Treasury Bonds; however, since the beginning of the year, CBK has continued its policy of helping banks, who have excess liquidity, to find short-term investment opportunities that could contribute in compensating for the slowdown in credit growth. In this context, the CBK has announced during the first half of the year 2010 the issuance of multiple tranches of 1-year Treasury Bonds for a total value of KD 870 million and carrying a coupon of 1.25 percent per annum. As well, 1-year and 2-year Treasury Bonds worth of KD 60 million and KD 33 million was issued during 1H-10, carrying a coupon of 1.5 percent and 1.35 percent per annum, respectively. Treasury Bonds issues by the CBK serve to wipe off excess cash with local banks and to create investment opportunities for riskaverse banks that are reluctant to extend credit or invest amid the global credit crunch. Kuwait Inter-bank Offered Rates (KIBOR) across different maturities sustained the same level for the fourth consecutive month this year. The downward trend seen in 2009 and first 2 month of 2010 is mainly affected by the CBK's monetary tools to spur the local economy, solve for the liquidity squeeze problems, and enhance the tight credit market through discount and repo rate cuts as well as the issuance of T-bonds. The above chart shows the changes in KIBOR across different maturities. In its meeting on the 23rd of June 2010, the Federal Open Market Committee stated that it will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. As well, the Committee will continue to

monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability. Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, The governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided in its meeting on June 10th, to leave the key ECB interest rates unchanged as the current rates remain appropriate. Taking into account all the new information which has become available since the last meeting on 6 May 2010, ECB announced that they continue to expect price developments to remain moderate over the policy-relevant medium-term horizon. Moreover, global inflationary pressures may persist, while domestic price pressures are expected to remain low. The latest information has also confirmed that the economic recovery in the Euro area continued in the first half of 2010, but quarterly growth rates are likely to be rather uneven. Looking ahead, the Euro area economy is expected to grow at a moderate pace, in an environment of continued tensions in some financial market segments and of unusually high uncertainty. ECB's monetary analysis confirms that inflationary pressures over the medium term remain contained, as suggested by weak money and credit growth. London Interbank offered rate (LIBOR) that banks charge each other for 3-month loans saw a marginal increase of 8 bps during June-10 and recorded a monthly average of 0.54 percent; Similarly, the longer-term rates, 6-month and 12-month LIBOR saw a minor increase of around 9 bps and 6 bps respectively to average around 0.75 percent and 1.19 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the spread between the average daily KIBOR and LIBOR narrowed during the month with the spread between the 3M KIBOR and 3M LIBOR recording 34 basis

Average Daily KIBOR Figures (June-09 to June-10) points as compared to 42 basis points during the previous month. Interest rates on KWD showed a slight variation from last month across different maturities; the 1-month KWD deposit rate was stable at last month's level to end the month of May at 1.08 percent. So far this year, the rate saw a drop of 29 bps from Dec-09 compared to the plunge of 87 bps during 2009. On the other hand, the 1-month USD rate dropped by a marginal 2 bps to reach 0.26 percent at the end of May; the rate saw around 78 bps slash during 2009 from 1.03 percent in December-08, yet stabilized at 0.25 percent during 2010. On the other hand, interest rate on the 6-month and 12-month KWD deposits shed around 26 and 16 bps since December 2009 to end the month of May at 1.50 percent and 1.78 percent respectively. The 6-month and 12-month USD deposit rates, which shared a similar plunge since the beginning of the crisis, increased from last month by 3 bps and 6 bps to stand at 0.54 percent and 0.82 per-

cent, respectively. During June, US Treasury yields continued the overall downward trend across all maturities compared to last month except for the 1month and 3-month treasury yields which closed the month at 0.17 percent and 0.18 percent, showing a monthly increase of 2 bps each; on the other hand, the 1-year yield saw a drop of 2 bps. Furthermore, longer maturity yields witnessed a significant decline as compared to May as the rates for 5 years, 10 years and 20 years dropped by 31 bps, 34 bps and 31 bps to stand at 1.79 percent, 2.97 percent and 3.74 percent as of the end of June respectively. Treasury yields sharp drop is mainly attributed to the fears about Europe's ability to address its large debts fuelled by a massive flight-to safety shift towards U.S. debt and away from assets considered to be riskier. Oil Market The recent drop in prices to the low $70/b appears to reflect a shift in sentiment about

the world economic recovery following the emergence of the sovereign debt crisis in the Euro zone and initial signs of moderation in the pace of economic growth in China, as the government seeks to prevent overheating. OPEC Reference Basket showed lower fluctuating prices during June, as the Basket moved to a low of $69.64/b after reaching a high of $75.96/b during the third week of the month. On a monthly basis, OPEC oil prices averaged $72.99/b during June-2010, down by 2.0 percent from last month's average of $74.48/b and closed the month at $72.69/b. However, the average price since the beginning of the year reached $75.98/b, while the average price for 2009 was at $61/b compared to an average of $94.45/b for 2008. The Reference Basket plunged for the second consecutive month this year, hence breaking the general upward trend witnessed during the current year. On the other hand, the Kuwait Blend Spot Price FOB averaged $73.20/b and closed the month at $73.48/b, up from $71.77/b recorded at the end of May. World economic growth for this year was revised up to 3.8 percent from 3.5 percent last month. The revision was mainly due to Japan, where strong exports to Asia resulted in a better than expected performance in the first quarter. The country is now forecast to grow 2.7 percent in 2010, compared to a previous 1.5 percent. Growth for the Euro-zone was increased slightly to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent, while the US remained unchanged. China growth was left unchanged at 9.5 percent, while India was increased to 7.3 percent and Russia to 4.0 percent. While the global economy seems to be enjoying solid momentum in the first half, concerns about growth in the second half remain, due to euro-zone sovereign debt problem, the ability of China to avoid overheating and the still high unemployment in OECD countries.

During 2010, world oil demand is expected to grow by 0.95 mb/, unchanged from the previous month's forecast. Recent data indicates that demand growth has been slightly higher than estimated in the first half of the year. However, an expected moderation in the pace of the economic recovery is likely to impact demand growth forecasts for the second half. Total demand growth is still expected to come from non-OECD as growth in the OECD is expected to remain negative. NonOPEC supply is expected to average 51.78 mb/d in 2010, representing a growth of 0.64 mb/d and an upward revision of 0.11 mb/d compared to the last assessment. Updates on actual production data in the first quarter, as well as healthy supply figures for the early part of the second quarter, by many non-OPEC suppliers required the upward revision. The first quarter encountered an upward revision of 0.17 mb/d over the previous month, with North America experiencing the bulk of the revision. The second quarter encountered the largest revision of 0.33 mb/d with the OECD driving the greater part of the revision. NonOPEC supply forecast in the second half of 2010 remained relatively steady compared to the previous month with minor downward revision. It is worth highlighting that the associated risk and uncertainties in the forecast are on the high side given the current global market situation as well as the factors influencing supply. On a quarterly basis, non-OPEC supply is expected to average 52.21 mb/d, 51.91 mb/d, 51.29 mb/d and 51.70, respectively. OPEC total crude oil production averaged 29.26 mb/d in May, representing a growth of 141 tb/d over the previous month. The increase came mainly from Iraq, while crude production from other OPEC Member countries experienced only minor changes from the previous month. OPEC crude oil production, excluding Iraq, stood at 26.83 mb/d.

EU faces a moment of truth this week

Europe gets a breather before bank stress tests A 70 million euro worth Eurofighter of the German Bundeswehr is carried on an articulated lorry near Buchloe, southern Germany. After having been dismantled and assembled several times, it will now face an overhaul by European aerospace corporation EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) in the Military Air Systems branch in Manching.— AFP

EADS spending millions to develop new helicopter FARNBOROUGH: Europe's EADS said it is spending around $50 million to $75 million to develop a new armed version of its light utility helicopter for a possible US Army competition and emerging strong interest by a "significant" number of foreign buyers. EADS has built three technical demonstrator aircraft to prove different aspects of the expected specifications for the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout program, Lutz Bertling, president of EADS' Eurocopter unit, told reporters ahead of the Farnborough international air show. Bertling told Reuters that the company was spending its own money to develop the armed variant of its light utility helicopter because it saw strong emerging demand from the United States and other customers in the Middle East. The new program could involve orders for up to 500 new helicopters and be worth $6 billion to $8 billion in the longer term, according to defense analysts. Winning the order would give a big boost to EADS' strategy to establish itself as a prime contractor in the US market, which accounts for about half of world defense spending. The US Army is expected to finish an analysis of alternatives and make a plan for the new program in the second quarter of 2011, with funding to begin flowing in 2012. But it could also delay the program and modernize its existing fleet of ageing OH-58 Kiowa helicopters to save money now. Bertling said EADS had a strong partner in Lockheed Martin Corp, which will provide the weapons, or mission package, for the new helicopter, if the program proceeds. The EADS-Lockheed team could face competition from rival Boeing Co, Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of

United Technologies Corp, Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc, and AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica. In 2008, the Army cancelled a previous $6.2 billion program run by Bell Helicopter, to replace the existing, ageing fleet of OH-58 Kiowa armed helicopters after its cost threatened to increase sharply. Bertling said EADS was well-placed to bid for the successor program, due to its work on the light utility helicopter it is building for the US Army, one of few Pentagon procurement programs that is meeting cost and schedule targets. He said EADS had delivered over 120 of the new helicopters to the Army, all on or ahead of schedule, and past performance generally played an important role in Pentagon competitions. The Army could still decide to modernize the current Kiowa helicopters, which are used to protect military convoys, and keep them flying a while longer, given mounting budget pressures in the United States, Bertling said. But he said a significant number of foreign countries, especially in the Middle East, had expressed interest in an armed version of the light helicopter, but gave no details. EADS is also responding to the Army's interest in possibly using a combination of manned and unmanned helicopters to replace the existing fleet, or development of an "optionally manned" helicopter that could be used with or without a pilot. He said the US military had seen that using even one smaller helicopter like the Kiowa to escort a military convoy made a huge difference in deterring attacks and responding if they occurred. — AFP

BRUSSELS: The markets have given Europe some respite in its struggle against be released on Friday, will reassure investors worried about the banks' exposure debt but the EU faces a moment of truth this week with tests that will show to the continent's sovereign debt crisis. "It is clear to my mind that the stress test whether banks can survive a new economic cataclysm. European Union gov- exercise is of paramount importance to restore confidence in the European ernments hope the results of "stress tests" on the banking industry, which will economy," European Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said this week. The markets have turned their attention to the involved in lending money to them. The rates health of banks after an explosion of public deficits demanded for Greek and Spanish bonds were slightand debts in the 16-nation euro-zone weakened the ly higher than in April. The big test comes on Friday, when the results single currency. The debt drama forced European governments to bail out Greece and set up a 750-bil- of stress tests on 91 banks accounting for 65 perlion-euro ($950-billion) safety net with the IMF for cent of the European banking system are released, and the markets will pay particular attention to the other countries to tap into if they get in trouble. But Greece, Spain and Portugal have successful- health of Spanish institutions. Markets want full disclosure of the results, but ly raised money in the bond market in recent days after being battered for months by soaring interest European finance ministers vowed this week that rates demanded by investors concerned by their the test would be transparent as they refuted concerns that the tests would be crafted in a way to shaky public finances. "Everything indicates that the situation is nor- ensure positive results. "Not just in credit markets malizing," Klaus Regling, head of the European but in wider markets too the key focus for the week Financial Stability Facility, which oversees the ahead will be the stress tests," said an analysis by euro-zone rescue fund, told French business daily Dutch bank and insurance group ING. "The greatest fear is that the test shows too litLes Echos. Spain passed a new test on on Thursday when it borrowed three billion euros through a 15- tle diversification between the good, the bad and the year bond issue which garnered strong demand. ugly and is seen by the market as being too optiPortugal had raised 1.68 billion euros a day earlier mistic," it said. Economists warn that the results despite a new downgrade of its debt by the Moody's could reveal that some banks exposed to bad debt international credit rating agency. Greece, the epi- need injections of fresh capital. Banks in Spain could centre of the debt storm, raised more than 1.6 bil- need a total capital injection of 50 billion euros ($63 lion euros on Tuesday in its first operation since a billion), analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland estimatlast-minute, 110-billion-euro bailout from the EU ed. The euro-zone's economic prospects have also and IMF saved it from default just two months ago. become a concern after governments launched aus"What some people considered was not possible terity programs with deep spending cuts and tax is possible," Luxembourg's central bank governor hikes to slash their massive public deficits. The sinYves Mersch, a top member of the European gle currency area posted growth of just 0.2 percent BRUSSELS: European Central Bank president Central Bank, told The Wall Street Journal. But the in the first quarter and is expected to rise only Jean Claude Trichet arrives at an EUROGROUP euro-zone is not out of the woods yet. Greece, Spain slightly more in the second quarter before slowing Council meeting at the EU headquarters in and Portugal still have to pay high premiums to bor- down in the second half of the year, according to Brussels.—AFP row money, a sign that investors still see risks German, French and Italian forecasts. — AFP

Irish likely to halt budget reform early: Ruling party DUBLIN: Ireland may not have the political will to bring its budget deficit in line with EU rules as planned by 2014, the chairman of the smaller governing coalition member Green Party was quoted as saying yesterday. Investors and European leaders have praised Ireland for austerity measures culminating in 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) of spending cuts imposed in last December's budget for 2010. Green Party Chairman Dan Boyle told the Sunday Tribune it was "probably a heresy" for a government party to

question whether the deficit could be cut to 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2014 from more than 14 percent in 2009. "It is certainly doable if you want to be draconian every year," Boyle was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "But is it politically feasible and is it socially possible?" Boyle said he still expected the cabinet to deliver the 3 billion euros of savings planned for the 2011 budget in December and then the government could "take stock". "I do not see the public appetite continuing," Boyle said.

"It could be that we have neutral budgets for a period." The Green Party last year debated quitting the alliance with Prime Minister Brian Cowen's Fianna Fail party due to the strains of the fiscal tightening and bank rescue program, but its members ultimately decided to stay on board. Cowen and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, the main architect of the reforms and also from Fianna Fail, are adamant Dublin must stick to austerity measures for the next four years. If Ireland loosened its budget disci-

pline, it could cause a flight of investors who already demand a hefty premium for holding Irish sovereign bonds. So far Green ministers have supported the reforms. Boyle is chairman of the party and a member of the upper house of parliament, but not a member of the cabinet. The budget deficit has risen partly due to the cost of rescuing banks, with much of it spent on nationalized Anglo Irish Bank. Boyle said he also expected the state to raise its minority holding in another lender, Allied Irish Banks to a majority of up to 70 percent. — Reuters


BUSINESS

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Jobless in Cuba? Communism faces the unthinkable HAVANA: At a state project to refurbish a decaying building in Old Havana, one worker paints a wall white while two others watch. A fourth sleeps in a wheelbarrow positioned in a sliver of shade nearby and two more smoke and chat on the curb. President Raul Castro has startled the nation lately by saying about one in five Cuban workers may be redundant. At the work site on Obispo street, those numbers run in reverse. It’s a common sight in communist Cuba. Here, nearly everyone works for the state and official unemployment is minuscule, but pay is so low that Cubans like to joke that “the state pretends to pay us and we pretend to work.” Now, facing a severe budget deficit, the government has hinted at restructuring or trimming its bloated workforce. Such talk is causing tension, however, in a country where guaranteed employment was a building block of the 1959 revolution that swept Fidel Castro to power. Details are sketchy on how and when such pruning would take place. Still, acknowledgment that cuts are needed has come from Raul Castro himself. “We know that there are hundreds of thousands of unnecessary workers on the budget and labor books, and some analysts calculate that the excess of jobs has surpassed 1 million,” said Castro, who replaced his ailing brother Fidel as president nearly four years ago. Cuba’s workforce totals 5.1 million, in a population of 11.2 million. In his nationally televised speech in April, Castro also had harsh words for those who do little to deserve their salaries. “Without people feeling the need to work to make a living, sheltered by state regulations that are excessively paternalistic and irrational, we will never stimulate a love for work,” he said.

One in five Cuban workers may be redundant Indeed, the process of labor reform may already have started, albeit slowly. Workers in the tourism sector say some of their colleagues have been furloughed during the lean summer months, while others have been reassigned to jobs on state-run farms. “Since we are now in the low season, the hotel where I work has sent many workers home for two or three months,” said Orlando, a chef in Varadero, a sandand-surf enclave east of Havana. “It’s very hard because you’re left with no salary at all,” said Orlando, who like almost all state employees, didn’t want his full name used to prevent problems at work. He added, “I’m lucky since I’m still in my job.” Veronica, a receptionist at another Varadero hotel, said she feared she may be sent home in August, when her resort will be only half-occupied. “Sometimes they offer alternatives, to study in a particular course or another job,” she said, “but sometimes, when (workers) are sent into the agricultural sector for instance, they just quit.” With the government giving no details of its thinking, rumors have spread that as many as a fourth of all government workers in some industries could lose their jobs or be moved to farming or construction. But Labor Minister Margarita Gonzalez has promised that “Cuba will not employ massive firings in a manner similar to neoliberal cutbacks,” using “neoliberal” as a description of free-market policies. The government has moved to embrace some small free-market reforms. It handed some barbershops over to employees, allowing them to set their own prices but making them pay rent and buy their own

HAVANA: Construction workers labor inside a building in Havana. Facing a severe budget deficit, Cuba’s government has hinted at restructuring or trimming its bloated work force. — AP supplies. Authorities have also approved more licenses for private taxis while getting tough on unlicensed ones. The global financial crisis, and the $10 billion in damage inflicted by three hurricanes in 2008, have forced authorities to run a deficit of 5

percent of GDP, leaving them unable to pay back credits received from China and elsewhere. Cuba slashed spending on importing food and other basics by 34 percent to $9.6 billion in 2009, from $12.7 billion the previ-

ous year. But so far, the moves have not been enough to rein in the deficit. Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a Cuba economics expert and professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, said Cuban officials have spent months debating cuts in

the labor force and economic reforms. He said they know what’s needed, but face “a problem of political viability.” Various government perks like cars, gas, uniforms and office supplies have become incentives to bloat the payroll, since they are based on the size of a company’s work force. But low pay means low productivity. On Obispo street, a state-run cafeteria sells heavily subsidized soft ice cream and pork sandwiches for the equivalent of a few American pennies-meaning wages and tips are so tiny that the staff is complete indifferent toward customers. Three waiters sit at the counter cracking jokes. A fourth is the only one working, making coffee for three tables. Nearby, a cashier stares into space, a cook flirts with a scantily clad teen and a supervisor sits idly by. The state employs 95 percent of the official work force. Unemployment last year was 1.7 percent and hasn’t risen above 3 percent in eight years-but that ignores thousands of Cubans who aren’t looking for jobs that pay monthly salaries worth only $20 a month on average. Salvador Valdes Mesa, secretary-general of the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation-the only Cuban labor union allowed-has instead written that “reorganization” will ensure redundant workers are reassigned rather than fired. He said the government wants more jobs in construction and agriculture. Still, 35-year-old computer engineer Norberto fears for his job. He thinks it’s unfair to keep workers under communist domination and yet call them unmotivated. “I didn’t graduate from college to now work as a day laborer or a peasant, he said. If he loses his job and gets an offer to work abroad, he said, “my question is ‘Will the Cuban authorities put aside their paternalism and let me leave?” — AP

Euro sinks to lowest versus franc

Swiss exporters warn of job losses on franc rise ZURICH: The strengthening Sw iss franc is starting to take its toll on exporters, w ho w arn that the appreciation of the currency is eating into their earnings margin and threatening thousands of jobs. “Until the 1.40 (franc against the euro) barrier, the consequences w ere not too serious. But now it

ATHENS: A protester picks up a leaflet at a civil servants’ demonstration against austerity cuts, outside the parliament on Friday in Athens. The leaflets read ‘40 years of work’, ‘Pension cuts’ and ‘Higher retirement age for mothers.— AFP

Future pensioners, your money recovering: OECD PARIS: Pension funds, a big worry for workers and governments everywhere, are recovering from crisis, face new risks including government debt and seem to be raising their use of hedging for safety. Private funds have made up nearly half of the hit they took in the market nightmare of 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says on the basis of sample data for December 2009. This means that at the end of last year, private investment funds had assets totaling $16.8 trillion (13.0 trillion euros). By way of comparison this is bigger than total US gross domestic product last year, which was $14.25 trillion according to World Bank data, substantially more than euro-zone GDP of $12.455 trillion. Total world output in 2009 was $58.133 trillion. The market crash in 2008 cut OECD private pension fund values by $3.5 trillion. By December, a stocks rally had retrieved about $1.5 trillion of this but the boost has petered out. “Anecdotal evidence shows that pressure ... to raise returns is driving a move into alternative investments with pension funds increasingly using derivatives to hedge risks and as an alternative to direct investment in the underlying markets.” This trend “by pension funds into hedge funds and other alternative instruments as well as a growing appetite for derivatives” was likely to continue, it said in remarks which may be seen as ironic just as many governments tighten the noose around such activities, much vilified during the financial crisis. Private funds earned a return averaging 6.6 percent last year but at the end of the year the assets they owned were still worth 9.0 percent less than at the end of 2007. Many public pension reserve funds underpinning social security systems had almost recovered at the end of last year to where they were at the end of 2007 before the crisis really took hold. In contrast to the size of private funds, the data shows that the total of reserve funds to back-up public pensions in the OECD area was 4.5 trillion dollars at the end of last year. This public reserve figure rose by 7.3 percent from the level at the end of 2008 and 13.9 percent from the total in 2007. These are some of the conclusions of an OECD analysis published this week that offers important insights into how the money of people with pension entitlements performed during the economic crisis and what the outlook is during recovery and beyond, towards retirement day. “This is not a pessimistic or alarmist report,” one of the main authors Jean-Marc Salou of the OECD’s financial affairs division told AFP. “There are signs of recovery.” The value of both private and state pension reserves rallied when stocks recovered strongly last year, but pension investment overall is weighted towards government bonds. State schemes generally, being more vested in conservative instruments such as government bonds, suffered less on the way down and by the end of last year had recovered their losses. There are signs of an industry-wide further move from stocks toward bonds as a result of the crisis, but

this is in parallel with evidence of increased use of hedge funds, derivative instruments and alternative assets. Salou said that these signs should be treated with some caution since it was not yet clear which types of hedging and derivatives were being favored. The recovery of pension funds is faltering in line with nervousness on stock markets. In addition, uncertainty over weak sovereign debt markets is a factor among new challenges. However, private funds are broadly well placed relative to long-term liabilities although there was a balance sheet funding gap of 26 percent at the end of last year, and one measure for Japan showed a shortfall of about 45 percent. In the OECD area, pension fund assets rose on average to the equivalent of 67.1 percent of gross domestic product last year from 60.3 percent in 2008. However, about 60 percent of OECD pension assets are in funds of stock market listed companies that guarantee an amount of pension payment and some of the funding levels in such corporate pension schemes “remain very low in some OECD countries.” The report barely refers to the sensitive subject of radical reforms to ensure long-term solvency of state pensions schemes, which are pivotal in many countries to the overall outlook for the structure of pensions. Overall, the facts, figures and some surprises paint a mixed picture of a global industry, which is based mainly in advanced economies. The report warns: “As pension funds heal their wounds from the financial crisis, new challenges are appearing: the onset of retirement of the baby-boom generation, uncertainty over the strength of the economic recovery, and weakness of public bond markets.” The analysis also says that new challenges arise from changes to regulations affecting solvency and accounting standards. In countries studied that lie outside the OECD area of 31 advanced economies “pension funds apparently suffered less in 2008 and have also recovered quicker in 2009.” At the end of last year, their assets were worth more than at the end of 2007. Some funds bought shares heavily as markets fell and then eased up as markets recovered. But in some countries, the opposite occurred and this “raises concerns over the funds’ long-term performance” as well as the role of funds as market stabilizers. Some responded to a fall in stock prices during the crisis by increasing their holdings of state debt to reduce risk, the report says, implying they were adjusting their strategies just as alarm about government debt was about to become acute. The report notes that many state systems invest heavily in shares, while being heavily dependent, even totally in the case of the United States and Belgium, on government debt bond markets. It made only an indirect reference to how concern about government borrowing has overhung debt markets for the last six months, and could cut into such holdings. However, it did explain that much of the value regained as stock prices rallied had been offset by a technical factor related to government bonds. Authorities in many countries have injected massive funds into the financial system to fight the crisis. This has pushed down the interest rate or yield on some government bonds, a vital source of income for pensions funds. —AFP

The Swiss currency was also punished for the country’s strong economic fundamentals, as its reputation as a refuge was enhanced during the economic crisis and now the euro-zone woes. Economists said the trend is far from ending. “It is possible that the Swiss franc will gain further and that it could reach 1.32 (against the euro) by the end of three months,” said Marcus Hettinger, who heads forex trade at Credit Suisse. He added that the euro could even dip below the 1.30 franc mark. Pictet analysts have also said the the franc could strengthen to “levels never seen against the euro and maybe also against the dollar.” Against this trend, Swiss companies that owe part of their competitiveness to a weak franc now find themselves in a difficult position. “One franc in two is earned from exports,” said Jean-Philippe Kohl from Swissmem, the federation of machine tools industry, a sector that is particularly exposed to currency fluctuations. “Only very few companies can resist the speed at which the franc is appreciating. Certain companies are not making money anymore at 1.35, the margin is cut,” he pointed out. Kohl noted that the economic crisis has already cost the sector 20,000 jobs but “now we worry that other jobs will be lost” due to the strength of the franc. The movement of the franc against the euro is particularly worrying as the euro-zone is Switzerland’s biggest trading partner. Between January and May, Switzerland exported 47 billion francs’ worth of goods to the EU from a total of 79 billion francs in exports. Comparatively, only 15.3 billion euros’ worth of goods were sold to Asia and 8.9 billion to North America. The Swiss National Bank has tried to alleviate the woes of Swiss exporters by purchasing euros in recent months in a bid to shore up the currency. However, it stopped its intervention in June as it noted that the risk of deflation had diminished. The Swiss federation of unions USS called on the central bank to restart its intervention, pointing out that the strengthening Swiss franc could “cause sustainable damages to the Swiss export economy” and threaten some 30,000 jobs. Others note that the situation emphasizes the need for Swiss exporters to develop new markets. “It would be necessary to live with a strong franc,” said Minsch, noting that companies will need to find other export partners notably in Asia. For consumers, however, the strong franc is a bonanza. Supermarket giant Coop said it will cut its prices by 10 percent on 150 products as its import costs fall. Travel agency Kuoni noted that bookings have increased for all euro-zone destination countries, such as Spain, Italy and Greece, where Swiss consumers are capitalizing on their strong buying power. — AFP

is really starting to hurt,” said Rudolf Minsch, chief economist of an umbrella group of companies economiesuisse. Hit by the euro-zone’s debt crisis woes, the euro sank to low s against the Sw iss franc, w ith a euro trading betw een 1.30 and 1.35 francs. A year ago, one euro fetched more than 1.50 francs.

LONDON: A price-board at the foreign exchange trading platform in London where Swiss franc and sterling pound are traded against the US dollar.

Pension fund money, during and after the storm: OECD PARIS: The financial crisis, then the economic crisis, now the threat of a debt crisis, alarmed people with savings in private pension funds. The resulting strains on public finances have accelerated radical reforms by governments to ensure they can honor basic state pensions, which in some countries are the mainstay of pensioners’ payouts and in others are heavily complemented by private schemes. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, by studying in depth a wide sample of performance by private funds and those public schemes which are based on investments, has come up with a mass of facts and figures. The data, published this week, gives a sometimes surprising insight into where money being paid month by month into pension systems goes and how it is performing as the global economy pulls away from crisis. Some of the main broad findings are: • The value of private pension fund assets in OECD countries dropped by $3.5 trillion in 2008. At the end of last year they had recovered about $1.5 trillion of this, but still stood at 9.0 percent below the values two years earlier. • These funds were worth $18.7 trillion in December 2007, $15.3 trillion at the end of 2008 and $16.8 trillion at the end of last year. • Private funds in general are well funded owing to long-standing balance sheet regulations which have been fur-

• •

ther tightened in the light of the crisis, the OECD explained to AFP. In some cases these reserves represent 60-100 percent of national output. By way of comparison, that is the ratio of the national debt to output in some advanced countries. But such funds had a broad overall funding gap of about 26 percent at the end of last year. Analysis of defined final payout plans run by 2,100 companies listed on stock exchanges, accounting for about 60 percent of OECD pensions assets, came up with an estimate that funding levels were “very low” in some OECD countries. The biggest shortfall noted was of about 45 percent in Japan followed by about 35 percent in Sweden. Brazilian and South African companies were the only two firms in overall surplus on this score. In the OECD area, pension fund assets rose on average to 67.1 percent of gross domestic product last year from 60.3 percent in 2008, although the structure of overall pension provision varies greatly across countries. Dutch funds raised this ratio by a record 17.1 percentage points or by $48 billion to $1.028 trillion, to 129.8 percent of GDP, followed by Iceland with 118.3 percent, and for example Britain 73.0 percent, the United States 67.8 percent, but then Germany 5.2 percent and Italy 4.1 percent, for

example. In some countries, such funds had recovered their losses in 2008. At the end of last year. Austrian fund assets showed a gain of 4.0 percent from the level at the end of 2007, in Chile 8.4 percent, Hungary 23.3 percent, Iceland 3.5 percent, New Zealand 11.3 percent, Norway 9.2 percent and Poland 28.3 percent. The values of reserves held by state systems to underpin social security public pension systems had recovered by the end of 2009 most of losses at the height of the economic crisis. The near-half recovery of private pension funds and broadly full recovery of public reserve funds was mainly the result of a strong stock rally last year. Between 2008 and 2009, the value of equities in private pension fund portfolios in the OECD rose by an average of 1.3 percentage points from 39.1 percent of the total to 40.4 percent. Pension funds earned an average return of 6.6 percent in 2009, and in most OECD countries it was 10-15 percent. The best performing pensions performances were achieved in Chile with a rate of return of 25 percent, Hungary 22 percent, the Netherlands 18 percent, Turkey 17.1 percent. By contrast, funds in the Czech Republic and South Korea achieved returns of less than 5.0 percent. — AFP


TECHNOLOGY

Monday, July 19, 2010

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End of a musical era as the cassette tape dies BERLIN: For decades cassette tapes were a must for young people wanting a cheap way to record hit songs off the radio and they provided robust and portable storage for music and other audio recordings. But CDs and MP3 players have surpassed them and have brought about all but their total demise. The compact cassette, CC for short, was introduced in 1963 as a storage medium for dictation devices. Music fans started using them to copy radio programs and music from their vinyl records, which were until then the preferred medium for recorded music. In 1965 record companies started offering music recordings on CCs in addition to the standard vinyl discs, which were played on turntables or record players. In Germany the cassettes were known as MCs, short for music cassettes, among music fans, most of whom preferred them over vinyl as a more com-

pact and convenient medium. Forty-five years later the MCs themselves are going the way of vinyl recordings. The era of the MC officially came to an end in Germany when the last major MC copying facility in the country closed on July 1. In 1991, the first year after the reunification of Germany, sales of MCs reached their high point: 78.4 million were sold that year. The number had declined sharply to just 3 million by last year. “Today we classify recorded compact cassettes as a niche product,” said Daniel Knoell of the German music industry association. And that appears to be irreversible. “A retro-trend, which vinyl has experienced, is not something to expect for the MC,” said Holger Neumann, chief executive of Pallas, a German recording company. “When we press a vinyl album today, we can guarantee top quality. But for MC copying machines, high-quality magnetic strips are required along with cassette casings

that can hardly be found these days because there is such low demand for them,” Neumann said. “I’m not shedding any tears over the departure of MCs,” said Reinhard Sauer, director of the Goethe Institute in Porto Alegre, Brazil. “My MCs were unusable because the tape got sticky here in the humid tropical climate.” At the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg, Robert Fallenstein uses only CDs. “The teachers in the public schools in our region don’t care which medium is better to use in the classroom,” said the head of language instruction in sub-Saharan Africa. “They are more likely to be concerned with whether they have electricity.” Grete Schulga, whose mail-order operation Litraton sends recorded literature to locations all over the world, said tears and bulges were the usual reasons for the return of tapes. In 2000 she published her last MC, an Asian fairytale read by a

well-known German actor. Rainer Kahleyss of a classical music recording company in Kassel has to think hard to remember his last MC. It was choral music in 1992, he said, adding that in the classical music segment there was little interest in MCs except among fans of romantic classical music. “A sophisticated interpretation of chamber music could never be replicated with all its loveliness on an MC,” said Kahleyss. “A CD is more suitable for that type of music.” His company had just one hit recorded on MC: A recording of circus music that was sold to many kindergartens in Germany. After all, cassettes, whose durable magnetic tape is encased in hard plastic, are quite robust. However, hi-fi experts make fun of them because if the tape is accidentally pulled out of the case, it’s so hard to untangle and get back in. Pierre Wittig of Bremen, who restores highquality recordings, says the problem is not with

the MCs themselves, rather with cheap players. People who bought quality tape decks in the 1980s don’t have to worry. An example of a typical problem Wittig is asked to solve is when a singing coach only has an MC recorder because digital technology is too complicated for him, but a soprano must still find a way to demonstrate the progress she has made. So she might ask Wittig to repair an old tape deck. Operating the latest digital recorder requires a lot of thinking compared with the technological skill needed to operate a cassette recorder, he said. However, the head of Pallas regrets that the cassette tape era is coming to an end. “All the experiences that our employees had making MCs have lost their value,” said Neumann. His operation now produces only vinyl records, CDs and DVDs. As he puts it, the end of cassettes means the music world “is again on a disc.” — dpa

Apple goes low-tech to solve iPhone woes Antenna issue doesn’t affect demand for new phone NEW YORK: Seeking to quell the fuss over reception on the new iPhone, Apple is a pplying a low -tech solution to a high-tech problem. The Ca lifornia ga dgetma ker is hoping a 29-dolla r rubber-a nd-pla stic ca se w ill put a n end to the deba te over the a ntenna on w ha t Apple chief executive Steve J obs ca lls “perAbhey Lamba of the International Strategy and Investment Group said the financial impact of the expense would be “fairly insignificant” to the company behind the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and the iPad. “Assuming the cost of distributing a bumper to be about five dollars per unit and the number of bumpers as 10 million, total cost to the company could be about 50 million dollars,” Lamba said. Noting that Apple has sold more than three million iPhones in just three weeks, Lamba also said “clearly, the antenna issue has not made any dent in demand for the new phone.” “We expect the strong momentum to continue,” said said, estimating that Apple will sell 37 million iPhones in fiscal 2010 and 44 million in fiscal 2011. The iPhone 4 has been bedeviled with complaints about dropped calls from the moment it appeared on store shelves three weeks ago. Some iPhone 4 users claimed they lost reception when holding the lower left corner of the phone-whose unusual antenna wraps completely around the device-in what has been referred to as the “death grip.” Consumer Reports, the influential product review magazine, said it could not recommend the device because of the problem, forcing Jobs to cut short his Hawaii vacation and return to San Francisco to address the controversy. The Apple chief said the whole issue had been “blown so out of proportion” but apologized to any customers who experienced problems and offered the free cases as a fix. “A lot of people have told us the bumper solves the signal strength problem,” Jobs said at an event held at Apple headquarters to address “Antennagate.” “OK, so let’s give everybody a free case.” Jobs acknowledged “there’s a problem” but stressed “it’s affecting a small percentage of users and some of that problem is inherent in every smartphone.” “We’re not perfect,” he said. “Phones aren’t perfect either.” Jobs acknowledged the iPhone 4 drops slightly more calls than the previous model, the iPhone 3GS, but said said other smartphones also drop reception if held in a certain way. “It’s certainly not unique to the iPhone 4,” he said. “Every smartphone has this issue.” Gartner analyst Charles Smulders said problems such as those experienced by Apple are to be expected by firms operating on the cutting-edge. “There are inherent risks when any company pushes the design and technology envelopes,” Smulders said. “Apple pushes very hard on both fronts.” “I don’t think they’ve had a lot of serious product issues over the years,” said Mike McGuire, another Gartner analyst, adding that he expects the issue to blow over. “From a consumer perspective, they’ve now told me how this is going to be dealt with,” he said. “And they even said if I’m really still unhappy, I can return it. “You can’t ask for much more than that.” — AFP

HTC blazes discreet trail in US smart-phone market LOS ANGELES: After mulling over which smart phone to buy for months, Seth Chapman decided against jumping on the iPhone, BlackBerry or Droid X bandwagons and instead went with the HTC Evo 4G. He liked the Evo’s built-in features, such as voice navigation, and he wanted to be among the first to use the superfast 4G network. The name of the company that made the phone - HTC Corp - was incidental. “I have some friends who are Korean,” Chapman said while shopping for Evo accessories at a Sprint store in downtown Los Angeles. “I guess it’s big in Korea.” And in much of the rest of the world. HTC, based in Taiwan, has quietly grown to the point where it has joined the ranks of the largest smart-phone makers. It currently ranks fourth in the world, according to Gartner Inc. In North America, nearly 10 percent of people who bought smart phones in the first quarter of this year chose models made by HTC. Last week, the company reported second-quarter sales of $1.9 billion, up more than 58 percent from the same time period last year. In North America, HTC ranks in sales behind Research in Motion (maker of the BlackBerry line), Apple Inc (iPhones) and Motorola Inc. (Droid X, and others). It has edged ahead of Samsung Electronics Co, Nokia Corp and Palm Inc. “It’s the fastest-growing handset company in history,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering Group. “HTC is the model of the new Asia. They’re very quick and very responsive.” With the Evo, HTC became the first phone maker in the US to come out with a handset that could access the 4G network. In fact, 4G is so new it still isn’t available in many parts of the country. The Evo is powered, like many HTC phones, with Google Inc’s Android operating system. In 2008, HTC produced the first phone to use the Android system. That phone was called the T-Mobile G1 in this country, and the HTC Dream in other parts of the world. Android, which has been compared by some critics to Apple’s operating system, has proven so popular that in the first quarter, phones equipped with the

operating system outsold iPhones for the first time. HTC isn’t the only phone manufacturer to put out phones powered by Android, but its strong association with the operating system certainly hasn’t hurt. When the first HTC-branded phones arrived in the US in 2007, the company already had a stealthlike operation here. It had spent several years making private-label phones that sported the names of wireless carriers, mobile operating systems and others. The company was started in 1997 by Cher Wang, a University of California-Berkeley graduate and daughter of one of Taiwan’s wealthiest businessmen, Wang Yung-Ching. By the time HTC went public in 2002, it had expanded to North America. Jason Mackenzie, now vice president of HTC North America, assembled his own desk when he started at the Seattle office. “We went from five or six employees at the end of 2005, to 50 by the end of 2006,” he said. Putting its own name on products was a major step for the company. But at first, Doherty said, the HTC was dogged by quality issues. Then came the G1 or HTC Dream, depending on where you lived, equipped with Android. “Android helped pull them out,” Doherty said. HTC is expected to bring out more new models this year that will use the Android operating system. “Their growth is very tied to Google,” Doherty said. “They need to execute Android better than anyone else.” Microsoft’s Windows Mobile system, which HTC also puts in phones, has not been a hit. But Microsoft plans to introduce a completely retooled version of its mobile operating system in the fall with a new name - Windows Mobile 7.There could be problems ahead. In March, Apple sued HTC, claiming the company had infringed on 20 of its patents that protected its touch screen and other technologies. And while some analysts believe that HTC is on a path of continued growth, Joee Chang of Jih Sun Financial Holdings in Taiwan urged caution. “We anticipate the market for HTC will be cruel in the second half,” Chang said in a Bloomberg report.—MCT

LOS ANGELES: The new HTC EVO smart phone is displayed at the Sprint store. — MCT

ha ps the best product w e’ve ever ma de.” The bumper, w hich fits a round the sides of the phone, w ill be offered free to a ll buyers of the iPhone 4 through the end of September, a nd customers w ho ha ve a lrea dy purcha sed the ca se w ill be reimbursed.

A screen view from Glo, an interactive Bible by Immersion Digital LLC, is displayed. — MCT

Multimedia Bible aims for digital generation ORLANDO: For a generation growing up with digital media, the written word printed on paper has little appeal - even if it’s the word of God. It’s for them that an Orlando company came up with the multimedia digital Glo Bible. “You have entire generations of people that don’t engage paper very well,” said Nelson Saba, founder of Immersion Digital. “If you look at Bible literacy among younger generations, it’s dismal. This is designed to be a digital alternative to the paper Bible.” A Gallup poll in 2000 found that about a quarter of young people ages 18-29 read the Bible weekly - about half the rate of those 65 or older. Part of that, Saba contends, is the younger generation’s aversion to the printed word. “There is nothing wrong with paper. I have lots of paper Bibles, but it’s just not the media they engage,” Saba said. The Glo, released in October, recently won Bible of the Year award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It’s the first digital Bible to receive the distinction in the 32 years of the awards. The company is now working on an application that will allow Glo to go mobile. By the end of the year, Glo software will be available on iPhones and iPads, Nelson said. “The paper Bible, you have to carry it with you,” Saba said. “The biggest advantage of Glo is you can access the Bible through whatever device you have in your hands.” Currently, Glo is available only for personal computers and laptops, but the intent from its inception was that it would be applicable to mobile devices, Saba said. Saba said he experienced a religious conversion in 1994. Two years later, he left his corporate career as a technology executive for a financial institution to join a company that conceived the Glo’s predecessor, the iLumina. The iLumina, released in 2002, has many of the same features as the Glo but was aimed at families as biblical-reference material, serving more as an encyclopedia than an interactive Bible, said Saba who started Immersion Digital in 2008. The Glo includes a series of interactive buttons that allow users to explore the Bible through text, a biblical timeline, an atlas and specific topics. Users can select a topic such as “parenting,” and the software will produce all Scripture referring to parenting. They can click on the atlas button, see an aerial map of Jerusalem, zoom down to a specific spot, such as the Dome of the Rock, and take a virtual tour inside the shrine. The Glo contains 7,000 articles, 2,000 high-definition images

and more than 500 virtual tours. “I think the appeal is in this Internet society people need to see things visually,” said Skip Brown, customer-service representative for Long’s Christian Book and Outlet store in Altamonte Springs. “You can get a feeling for what it was like in Christ’s time, what Jerusalem looked like, what the streets looked like.” The Glo sells for $80, about the same price as a leather-bound Bible or an illustrated study Bible. The downside of the Glo, Brown said, is that it takes a more powerful computer with a faster processor and the visual-memory capacity of a video-game system. In the Bible store’s older demonstration computer, Brown said, it look four hours to download the software. At the same time, Brown believes a mobile digital Bible that can be accessed by computer, phone and tablet computer devices is the high-tech future of Christianity. “I think everybody already has a Bible,” Brown said. “The plus of this is for people who want to study God’s word in a multimedia fashion and understand the concepts visually.” Saba said that, although the Glo was conceived as a way to reach the digital generation, its customers range from young people to the middle-aged. Tech-savvy churches have started using the digital Bible in their services. In Lake Nona, Florida, the Rev John Rallison of Journey of Life Lutheran Church uses Glo in his Sunday sermons to project maps on the screens in the front of his church. The Glo allows him to zoom down from an aerial perspective to street level. He can show worshippers what a particular place looked like in Jesus’ time and what it looks like today as an archeological site. The Glo not only supplements his paper Bible, Rallison said, but also the more expensive scholarly biblical software and the electronic-text versions of the Bible he has on his laptop and personal computer. At 43, he finds himself using his printed Bible less and less. Technology has always been a means of bringing the word of God to people. The first use of the printing press was to publish the Bible. The goal of the Glo all along was to bring the Bible to where people are in today’s digital age and in a form they find captivating and easy to use, Saba said. “We need to take the Bible to where these generations are and try to communicate in a way they find fascinating,” Saba said. “The idea was to explore what interactive digital media can do to communicate the Bible in a very new and powerful way.” — MCT


HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Uzbek women accuse state of mass sterilizations GULISTAN: Saodat Rakhimbayeva says she wishes she had died with her newborn baby. The 24-year-old housewife had a cesarean section in March and gave birth to Ibrohim, a premature boy who died three days later. Then came a further devastating blow: She learned that the surgeon had removed part of her uterus during the operation, making her sterile. The doctor told her the hysterectomy was necessary to remove a potentially cancerous cyst, while she believes he sterilized her as part of a state campaign to reduce birthrates. “He never asked for my approval, never ran any checks, just mutilated me as if I were a mute animal,” the pale and fragile Rakhimbayeva said through tears while sitting at a fly-infested cafe in this central Uzbek city. “I should have just died with Ibrohim.” According to rights groups, victims and health officials, Rakhimbayeva is one of hundreds of Uzbek women who have been surgically sterilized without their knowledge or consent in a program designed to prevent overpopulation from fueling unrest. Human rights advocates and doctors say autocratic President Islam Karimov this year ramped up a sterilization campaign he initiated in the late 1990s. In a decree issued in February, the Health Ministry ordered all medical facilities to “strengthen control over the medical examination of women of childbearing age.” The decree also said that “surgical contraception should be provided free of charge” to women who volunteer for the procedure. It did not specifically mandate sterilizations, but critics allege that doctors have come under direct

pressure from the government to perform them: “The order comes from the very top,” said Khaitboy Yakubov, head of the Najot human rights group in Uzbekistan. Uzbek authorities ignored numerous requests by The Associated Press to comment on the issue. Most Western media organizations have been driven from the country, and government officials face serious reprisals for contacts with foreign journalists. However, the AP was able to interview several doctors, sterilized women and a former health official, some on condition of anonymity. This Central Asian nation of 27 million is the size of California or Iraq, and population density in areas such as the fertile Ferghana Valley is among the world’s highest. Rights groups say the government is dealing with poverty, unemployment and severe economic and environmental problems that have triggered an exodus of Uzbek labor migrants to Russia and other countries. Heightening the government’s fears is the specter of legions of jobless men in predominantly Muslim Uzbekistan succumbing to the lure of Islamic radical groups with ties to Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida. Uzbekistan is not alone in coming under allegations of using sterilizations to fight population growth: Authorities in China’s Guangdong Province were accused by Amnesty International in April of carrying out coerced sterilizations to meet family planning goals. But no other country is known to use that method as a government policy. Uzbekistan once had one of the Soviet Union’s highest birthrates, four to five children per woman, and Communist authorities

even handed out medals to “heroine” mothers of six or more. Young army conscripts from Uzbekistan and the four other Central Asian republics made up for a declining ethnic Russian population. Now, as authorities try to unravel that legacy, the birthrate has dropped to about 2.3 children per woman _ still higher than the rate of 2.1 that demographers consider sufficient to replenish a falling population. The sterilization campaign involves thousands of governmentemployed medical doctors and nurses who urge women of childbearing age, especially those with two or more children, to have hysterectomies or fallopian tube ligations, said Sukhrobjon Ismoilov of the Expert Working Group, an independent think tank based in the capital, Tashkent. The surgeon in Rakhimbayeva’s case, a burly man in his 40s named Kakhramon Fuzailov, refused to comment on her claims and threatened to turn an AP reporter over to the police for “asking inappropriate questions.” In 2007, the UN Committee Against Torture reported a “large number” of cases of forced sterilization and removal of reproductive organs in Uzbek women, often after cesarean sections. Some women were abandoned by their husbands as a result, it said. After the 1991 Soviet collapse, Karimov, a former Communist functionary, remained at the helm and retained many Soviet features, such as strict government control of public health. Government-paid doctors and nurses are assigned to each district or village. Family planning is far different from Western norms. Instead of focusing on raising awareness of

widely available condoms or birth-control pills, the Health Ministry has chosen to promote uteral resections nationwide as the most reliable method of contraception. Some women do volunteer. Khalida Alimova, 31, a plump, vivacious sales manager from Tashkent, agreed to a resection in March, almost a year after her third child was born. She said her husband, Alisher Alimov, 32, an occasional cab driver who spends days playing backgammon with his friends, refused to use condoms or allow her to take birth-control pills. “Now I feel relieved,” Alimova said over a cup of green tea in the kitchen of their shabbily furnished Tashkent apartment. She added, though, that she never told her husband about the operation. Many other women, especially from poor rural areas, say they face coercion from health workers or even potential employers to agree to sterilization. A 31-year-old mother of two from the eastern Uzbek city of Ferghana said the director of a kindergarten where she sought a job told her to show a certificate confirming she had been sterilized. After consulting her disabled husband, who receives a government pension of $40 a month, she said she agreed to the procedure, produced the certificate and got the job. “We just had no choice,” the woman, who gave only her first name Matluba, said by telephone from the eastern city of Ferghana. She refused to provide her last name or identify the kindergarten for fear of being fired. Several health workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity also because they feared dismissal or persecution, said the authorities are especially eager to sterilize women

with HIV, tuberculosis or a drug addiction. Instruments often are not sterilized properly and can infect other women, they said. Inexperienced medical workers can also cause serious health complications. “Any negligence can do a lot of damage,” said Shakhlo Tursunova, a gynecologist from Tashkent. Health workers involved in the campaign are threatened with salary cuts, demotion or dismissal if they do not persuade at least two women a month to be sterilized, a former high-ranking Health Ministry official told the AP on condition of anonymity. Veronika Tretyakova, a 32-year-old doctor from Tashkent, said she came under pressure from health workers to be sterilized. “The nurse said, ‘They would hang me if I let you have another child,”‘ Tretyakova said. “I told her to think about her soul.” Tradition plays a strong role in this male-dominated society, where a large family is seen as a blessing from God, and women are often blamed for childless marriages. After checking out of the maternity hospital in Gulistan where she lost her son, Rakhimbayeva said she shared her anguish with her husband, Ulmas, a 29year-old bus driver who refused to be interviewed for this story. Their marriage was arranged by their parents in 2008. Instead of consoling her, she said, he told her to move back to her parents’ house and wait for divorce papers as he did not want to live with a barren wife. “He never even questioned why the doctors maimed me, just blamed everything on me,” Rakhimbayeva said wringing her hands. “Now I have no hope of having children, no job, no future.”— AP

Too soon to see a ‘silver lining’ in the disaster: Cousteau

Cousteau scion hopes oil spill boosts awareness WASHINGTON: The Gulf of Mexico calamity could be a catalyst for greater understanding of the marine environment, says Philippe Cousteau, grandson of ocean explorer J acques Cousteau and member of a family devoted to the sea. “What is the legacy of this oil spill? I hope this reminds us of the true cost of our addiction to fossil fuels,” Cousteau said in an interview w ith AFP. “I hope this adds to the dialogue and gets us to realize w e need to get off fossil

fuels, that there are alternatives. I hope it reminds us of the need to reconsider how w e exploit our oceans.” Cousteau, w ho heads an environmental group called EarthEcho International and is chief ocean correspondent for Discovery’s Planet Green, said it is too soon to see a “silver lining” in the disaster. “I can’t talk about a silver lining w hen people are suffering so much,” he said.

GULF OF MEXICO: A boat with the Vessel of Opportunity (L) stands by while oil and gas is flared off during a controlled In-situ burn which supports in the cleanup of surface oil from the BP spill on Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico. — AFP

Nations to seek clean energy cooperation WASHINGTON: The world’s top economies will look next week at ways to work together on clean energy, striking a rare note of cooperation amid an impasse in drafting a new climate change treaty. Energy ministers or senior officials from 21 nations will gather today and tomorrow in Washington in an initiative by President Barack Obama’s administration, which has made the creation of green jobs a top priority. The US Energy Department said the two-day meeting will feature announcements of joint initiatives among the major economies, who together account for 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Major economies have been at loggerheads over the shape of the next climate treaty, with developed nations seeking binding commitments from emerging economies such as China to cut carbon emissions blamed for global warming. Clean energy has been considered one area of common interest. Obama signed a five-year, 150 million-dollar plan during a trip to China last year for the world’s two biggest polluters to collaborate on developing electric cars and clean coal. “The development of clean energy

and energy-efficient technologies could spur the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century,” US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said at the White House on Friday. “The race is wide open for which country will become the epicenter of clean energy innovation, and the destination for the capital, businesses and jobs that come with it.” The Obama administration has often bemoaned that the United States is behind many European and Asian nations in developing green technology. But it said the meeting will look at ways in which nations can work together. Areas for discussion include energy-efficiency standards, solar and wind power, and ways to provide energy to those without, said David Sandalow, the US assistant secretary of energy for international affairs. Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, doubted the meeting would sort out thorny issues in the talks to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations run out in 2012. “But if this is the low-hanging fruit that can show that countries can cooperate to get something done together, that could improve the mood,”

he said. Terje Riis-Johansen, Norway’s minister for petroleum and energy, praised the United States for convening the meeting and hoped it would “establish a global partnership to raise production of and access to clean energy.” “A greater reliance on clean energy is needed to solve climate change,” he said. The minister also plans to visit New Orleans to learn lessons of the BP spill for Norway, whose oil and gas industry is almost entirely offshore. The countries taking part in the talks are Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger will also participate. Indonesia was invited but its minister had a scheduling conflict, Sandalow said. The meeting in Washington comes as Obama presses Congress to approve the first-ever US plan to require carbon emission cuts. The House of Representatives approved a plan more than a year ago, but legislation has faced dogged opposition in the Senate. — AFP

“I do think it is a stark reminder of the problems, and I hope we can leverage this disaster in order to deal with those issues and invest in science. “We spend a thousand times more money on space exploration than on ocean exploration. Whether there is water on Mars is not critical to our future, but having healthy oceans is,” he said. “My hope is that the next generation will wise up and understand that this is not a sustainable way we are living.” Cousteau is not a scientist, but views his work as educating the public on the importance of the environment, especially oceans. He is continuing the efforts of his grandfather, the famed French explorer, and his father, Philippe Sr, who died in a 1979 flying boat crash. “Just like my father and grandfather, I see my work as storytelling,” Cousteau said from California, where he was on a tour to speak to schoolchildren. After the spill began, the 30year-old Cousteau decided to dive in-literally. “I packed a bag and camera and went down and said I have to tell the story. I think (my father and grandfather) would have done the same thing.” What Cousteau saw was horrific but insightful. His footage was used for ABC and CNN television. “What I was worried about was what was happening underneath the surface,” he said. “No one had been diving in an oil spill and filmed it. He said the expeditions revealed “our worst fears realized,” noting the “swollen clouds of toxic soup” that resulted from oil mixed with chemical dispersants. “It was like a chunky red soup, with clouds billowing around us. As we suspected at the time, these cloud plumes were distributed throughout the water column,” he said. During the dive which took weeks to prepare, Cousteau and his team wore full hazmat diving suits and heavy hard hat helmets weighing some 30 pounds (15 kilos). “This was one of the most terrible experiences of my life seeing first hand what this oil spill looks like under the water and knowing that this contamination is spreading over hundreds of miles,” he wrote on his blog. In a dozen or so trips to the Gulf of Mexico, Cousteau said he found dead fish and jellyfish and a catastrophe for the environment overall that will take many years to repair even if BP has finally succeeded in staunching the leak. “We’re all keeping our fingers crossed. This is still far from over,” he said. “Even if the oil is stopped, 170 million gallons have come into the Gulf. This disaster is spreading. From oystermen in Apalachicola (Florida) to souvenir shops in Alabama, this is going to have a long term impact. It’s a human tragedy.”— AFP

BREZE: This picture taken on July 3, 2010 shows a picture of a brown bear on a board and a graffiti reading “Kills” near the village of Breze in the Rhodope mountains, southeast from Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. — AFP

Bear problem in Bulgaria divides locals, authorities KUTELA: “The bear ate Kolyo, now it’s our turn because nobody wants to do anything,” fumed Sasho Kolev, 80, after the recent killing of a man in the remote Bulgarian village of Kutela by a protected brown bear. “They love bears, these city people, they don’t care about us villagers,” he added, complaining about local authorities and environmentalists who would not allow a cull of the bear population. Bulgaria is home to between 600 and 800 brown bears, one of the largest populations in Europe, according to environmentalists, while hunting unions put the numbers at around 1,000. As a protected species, the brown bear is banned from being hunted unless a special permit is obtained from the authorities. Bulgarian bears are rarely aggressive and would rather run away from people than attack, experts insist. But the killing in midMay of Nikola Shikov, a 65-year-old villager who knew his way around the woods, plunged Kutela, perched on the steep slopes of the country’s southern Rhodope mountains, into panic. Shikov was found dead in the forest just 500 metres (yards) from the tiny community of 400 residents, with multiple fractures and wounds, his face horribly disfigured. Fears were fueled by two more attacks this week in the region, though neither was fatal-yet. Galina Ivanova, 64, however, was fighting for her life with multiple injures after a bear lunged at her on Wednesday while she was picking mushrooms near the village of Malka Arda, just east of Kutela, regional officials said. They said the bear stripped the skin off the back of her head and clawed at her entire body before Ivanova’s sister managed to scare off the beast by shouting and throwing rocks. The day before, 56-year-old Boyan Dimitrov had a close call also picking mushrooms near the village of Borovina, in the same region. The Focus news agency, quoting the local mayor, said a bear struck Dimitrov but the blow sent him rolling down a steep gully, which saved his life. In Kutela and nearby villages, where people’s livelihood is often limited to logging, raising cows and picking herbs and mushrooms, locals told AFP they were now scared to go into the forest. “We’re not against bears being a protected species. But they are breeding like crazy and this has to be regulated in some way,” said 36year-old Biser, a Kutela villager who gave only his first name but said his mother was once chased by a bear. The authorities’ greenlight to shoot the bear that

attacked Shikov will not solve the problem, he added. And with the further attacks, authorities now question whether the animal that was killed was indeed the “killer” bear. In Smolyan district, some 150 bears roam the forests and regularly attack beehives and livestock, according to the chief of the regional environment inspection agency Elen Minchev. The killing in Kutela was the first in decades however, he said. ‘Imagine meeting it face to face’- Local authorities and environmentalists insist there has been no recent boom in the bear population. But they have now joined forces to appease the worried villagers, instructing them on how to avoid accidents, protect their herds and beehives, apply for compensation, and even attract tourists. “Much of the damage can... be avoided if only people remember to make an effort to protect their livestock in bear-populated regions — keep shepherd dogs, build fences and never leave their herds unattended,” said Diana Zlatanova from the Balkani wildlife society. Brochures advising how to avoid encounters with bears and what to do in the event of one, will also be distributed in high-risk areas over the coming months. A joint project by Balkani and the environment ministry is already distributing free electric fences to beekeepers in Smolyan and the nearby town of Devin. Vasil Chavdarov from the tiny village of Breze told AFP he was “calmer” now that his beehives were equipped with an electric fence, although he still spoke of the bears with awe. “I used to sleep here every night for two months, kept a fire and packs of firecrackers to scare the bears away,” said the 78-year-old, who had nine beehives wrecked by bears in four separate attacks over the past years. “I am happy that the bear does not come to do mischief any more.” “It gives me chills only to mention its name, I cannot imagine meeting it face to face in the forest,” he added. Meanwhile, local hunters were taking another approach and trying to convince reluctant locals that they could cash in on the bears and boost tourism. Much to the dismay of the locals, the hunters were already advertising pricey observation tours of bears, wild boars, deer and other animals. But it will take time to overcome the tension over bears, following the Kutela killing. “We entertain no illusions that we can defuse the tensions with brochures, especially in regions where people feel threatened,” Svetlana Alajem, manager of an educational project about bears, told AFP. “But it is a step in the right direction.” — AFP

ESCH: Two hundred people participate in the World Record attempt to get the most people ever in a pool of mud at the same time in Esch yesterday. — AFP


Monday, July 19, 2010

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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AIDS drug cocktails halve new HIV cases in study Findings ‘should be considered by doctors, policymakers’ VIENNA: Treating HIV patients with cocktails of AIDS drugs helps to stop them spreading the infection further and more than halved the number of new HIV diagnoses in a study in Canada, scientists said yesterday. The findings show that treating those with HIV can not only help them live longer with the often fatal and incurable disease but can also be a powerful way of limiting the virus’ spread. Researchers found that since the introduction of a treatment plan called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV patients in the Canadian province of British Columbia in 1996, the number of new HIV diagnoses has fallen by 52 percent. Their study also found that rates of other sexually transmitted diseases went up, suggesting that it was the AIDS drugs and not other confounding factors such as condom use or less sexual activity, that produced a fall in HIV infections.

The results show that for every 100 patients placed on HAART new HIV diagnoses fell by 3 percent, suggesting that this type of treatment could significantly reduce the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Experts commenting on the findings, which were reported at an international AIDS conference in Vienna yesterday and in the Lancet journal, said they should be used to shape future treatment plans. “Experiences such as those reported today should be strongly considered by clinicians, national and international agencies, (and) policymakers,” said Franco Maggiolo and Sebastiano Leone of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Ospedali Riuniti in Italy, in a commentary in the Lancet. “HAART might play an important part in the future control of the HIV epidemic.” The AIDS virus infects 33.4 million people around the

world and has killed 25 million since the pandemic began in the 1980s. There is no cure and no vaccine but drugs can keep patients healthy. Without treatment, the virus destroys the immune system, leaving patients susceptible to infections and cancer. More than 20 drugs are now on the market and can be combined in various ways to control HIV, although it usually mutates eventually and patients must switch to different combinations to keep it under control. Drugmakers include Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories. The Canadian team, led by Julio Montaner at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in Vancouver, analyzed data on HAART and looked at viral load of HIV patients-the level of virus in their bodies-and at new HIV diagnoses in the province, where residents get

free HIV care. HAART involves treatment with three or more AIDS drugs, which can be either more expensive branded medicines or cheaper generics, which are available at knocked-down prices in poorer countries. During three distinct time periods, researchers saw that the number of people receiving HAART had a strong impact on viral load and new diagnoses. As HAART coverage increased sharply, new HIV diagnoses decreased sharply, and as HAART coverage stabilised, so did viral load and new HIV diagnoses. “Our results show a strong and significant association between increased HAART coverage, reduced community viral load, and decreased number of new HIV diagnoses,” Montaner said. The annual number of new HIV infections around the world was 2.7 million in 2008, the same as in the previous year. This was down from 3 million in 2001. — Reuters

VIENNA: British pop icon Annie Lennox attends a discussion at the 18th International AIDS conference yesterday in Vienna. —AFP


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HEALTH & SCIENCE

Monday, July 19, 2010

Drug to be potentially withdrawn from use

FDA says breast cancer drug did not extend lives WASHINGTON: Follow-up studies of a Roche breast cancer drug showed that it failed to extend the lives of patients, federal health scientists said Friday, opening the door for it to be potentially withdrawn for use in treating that disease. The Food and Drug Administration approved Roche's blockbuster Avastin in 2008 based on a trial showing it slowed growth of tumors caused by breast cancer. The decision was controversial because drugs for cancer patients who have never been treated before must usually show evidence they extend lives. Avastin's so-called "accelerated approval" was based on the condition that later studies would show a survival benefit. But in briefing documents post-

ed online, FDA reviewers said two follow-up studies recently submitted by Roche failed to show that Avastin significantly extended lives compared to chemotherapy alone. Additionally, the FDA said that in follow-up studies the drug did not slow tumor growth to the same degree as in earlier studies. Patients taking Avastin showed significantly more side effects, including high blood pressure, fatigue and abnormal white blood cell levels. Tomorrow the FDA will ask a panel of outside cancer experts to review the evidence on Avastin. The panel's recommendations are not binding, but the FDA usually follows their guidance. The FDA has the option to remove

the drug's approval for breast cancer. Avastin is also approved for colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer. The drug was Roche's top-selling cancer treatment last year with global sales of $5.9 billion. Roche is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and its biotech unit Genentech is based in South San Francisco. Avastin was the first drug to fight cancer by stopping nutrients from reaching tumors. Such "targeted therapies" were thought to hold promise for eliminating chemotherapy, but the two approaches are now used in combination. Since 1992, the FDA has granted accelerated approval to drugs based on socalled surrogate endpoints, or initial

measures that suggest the drug will make real improvements in patient health. For cancer drugs, tumor shrinkage is considered a predictor of increased survival. Drugmakers favor the program because it helps them get products to market sooner. But the program has not escaped criticism from government watchdogs. Last fall the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the FDA should do more to track whether drugs approved based on preliminary results actually have live up to their promise. According to the GAO, the FDA has never once pulled a drug off the market due to missing or unimpressive follow-up data.—AP

Hibernating bears have healthy hearts

TOKYO: A beluga or white whale exhales ring-shaped bubbles from his blowhole during its daily show at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, suburban Tokyo yesterday. —AFP

Experts fear long oil effect on marine life, food chain WASHINGTON: Scientists studying the massive BP oil spill fear a decades-long, "cascading" effect on marine life that could lead to a shift in the overall biological network in the Gulf of Mexico. With some 400 species estimated to be at risk-from the tiniest oil-eating bacteria to shrimp and crabs, endangered sea turtles, brown pelicans and sperm whales-experts say the impact of oil and chemical dispersants on the food chain has already begun, and could grow exponentially. "A major environmental experiment is underway," Ron Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, told AFP. "We are already impacting the base of the food chain," he said, including plankton, which provide crucial food for fish, and juvenile shrimp in intertidal marshes along the Gulf Coast. Kendall, whose institute is studying tissue samples from live and dead Gulf fish to analyze the spill's impact, helped study effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil disaster on wildlife in Alaska's Prince William Sound. With the Exxon Valdez, a finite amount of oil poured into the seaabout one 17th of the low estimate of the oil that has gushed from a ruptured well into the Gulf-and rose to the surface to coat the shoreline. "This is so much more complex, what we're dealing with now," he said, noting that the 1.84 million gallons (7.0 million liters) of chemical dispersants used to fight the spill has kept some of the oil from fouling shores, but created potentially drastic problems by breaking up the oil has into droplets that may never be recovered. Dispersants, says Kendall, release aromatic hydrocarbons and allow small oil droplets to be consumed by marine life, potentially threatening the food supply for humans. No contaminated Gulf fish or seafood has reached the market, according to experts, but authorities have closed some 35 percent of all fishing waters, threatening the livelihoods of thousands and putting the region's multibillion-dollar seafood industry in peril. Researchers have reportedly observed major die-offs of organisms such as pyrosomes, cucumber-shaped creatures that are favorite meals of endangered sea turtles, which have been dying by the hundreds. Kendall acknowledged that species shifts are possible but added that "we're at the early stages of documenting the scientific effects of what's occurring." BP and the US government say they have found more than 2,600 dead birds, mammals and tur-

tles, but Doug Inkley, a senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation, warns that could be the tip of the iceberg. Many dead fish and sharks sink, so their numbers may never be known. Inkley pointed to ongoing studies which show oil is expected to have a large effect on plankton and the animals that eat them. "This could be an effect that will ripple all the way up the food chain," he said. He fears a delayed disaster, similar to when Prince William Sound's Pacific herring population collapsed four years after the Exxon Valdez spill, likely because few of the herring that spawned in 1989 reached maturity. Dozens of marine and bird species were beginning their breeding season in April when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, setting off the huge spill. "You could have a (population) crash later because of the failure of many of the young to survive this

year," said Inkley. "The impacts on wildlife I expect will last for years, if not decades." Congressman Ed Markey, chairman of a House subcommittee on energy and the environment, echoed the concerns in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. He said evidence showed "the marine food chain in the Gulf of Mexico has already been contaminated," and pointed to researchers who recently uncovered oil droplets found inside crab larvae harvested from the Gulf. "This finding is particularly disconcerting because these larvae are a source of food for numerous aquatic species and this is therefore the first sign that hydrocarbons have entered into the food web." Complicating the scenario, the Gulf will soon host millions of fowl on autumn and winter migrations. "We'll have a whole new wave of ducks and waterbirds that will be coming here and getting affected," Kendall said. "Who knows what impact that will bring?"—AFP

HANOVER: A Gray langur enjoys an ice bomb filled with fruit on July 16, 2010 at the zoo in Hanover, central Germany. The country still experiences a heat-wave, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius and more. —AFP

WASHINGTON: Grizzly bears love pastries, can be 50 percent body fat and spend nearly half the year sleeping. Yet the hibernating bears don't suffer heart attacks, have no hardening of the arteries, no fatty deposits or any circulation issues, said Charles Robbins, director of the Washington State University bear research center. Robbins, who founded the center in 1986, and other WSU scientists are seeking to learn how bear hearts stay so healthy, and whether the answers can be applied to humans. "The changes in the heart that occur in hibernation are things you and I couldn't survive," said Lynne Nelson, a veterinary cardiologist who has spent seven years studying the bears. "Yet bear hearts are very healthy." Scientists have found that grizzly hearts drop from more than 80 beats per minute when bears are awake to less than 20 beats, and sometimes into single digits, when bears are hibernating. Nelson said echocardiograms show blood starting to pool in the heart, but the bears do not suffer clots. So far, Nelson and Robbins have only theories to explain how the bears, which share 95 percent of human DNA, maintain healthy hearts. They have published papers saying that protein changes make bear hearts stiffer during hibernation, allowing them to maintain their shape and perhaps avoid the formation of clots. Bears also shut down two of the four heart chambers without suffering damage. The scientists are also studying beta receptors and beta blockers in bears, which control heart rate. Washington State's Bear Center is the only university facility in the nation that has adult grizzly bears, Nelson said. Grizzlies are listed as a threatened species, although numbers have rebounded since the 1970s. Learning how bears cope with being asleep for so long could have implications for long manned space flights, and for humans who are bedridden, scientists say. Harry Reynolds, a past president of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, said bears make excellent stand-ins for humans in medical research because they share many biological similarities. "If there is any model species for human medicine and health studies, it's got to be bears," said Reynolds, retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but still actively involved in bear field studies in Mongolia. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is in charge of preserving grizzlies and has provided some financial support for the WSU Bear Center. Christopher Servheen, Fish and Wildlife grizzly recovery coordinator in Missoula, Montana, said the studies are important for bears, as well as what they portend for humans. "All the work that comes out of there brings added information about the physiology and food habits and survival of bears," Servheen said. The WSU Bear Center is a modest building on the edge of campus. It includes a series of cinderblock dens where up to 10 bears live. The bears are free to move outside, where they are separated from humans by two layers of chain link fence and can be viewed by anyone who stops in the parking lot. On a recent day two children gawked and shouted at the bears. The animals can also roam some hilly fields that are fenced off next to the building. On a recent hot day, an 8-year-old adult named John frolicked in a steel tub of water, climbing in and out and shaking the water out of his thick fur. Another named Frank stood on his hind legs, towering over his handlers, while Nelson fed him slices of apple through the fence. The bears eat a mixture similar to dog food, plus salmon and road-killed deer, apples and dayold cakes and pies donated by the Safeway supermarket chain, Robbins said. "We ring a cowbell and they know there is cake and pie for them," Robbins said. "Sugar and grease, who doesn't love that?" The bears are involved in a wide variety of research projects. Nelson is seven years into her heart research, but the process is slow because the WSU bears only hibernate from October to March, she said. The bears give blood samples, have their blood pressure measured, are given ultrasounds and echocardiograms. Some of the bears are trained to stick a limb out of the cage to be tested, even as they hibernate, she said. Other scientists are looking at aspects of bear hibernation. Seth Donahue, a researcher at Michigan Tech, has written that black bears do not develop osteoporosis during long periods of hibernation because their cells continue to produce new bone-making material as they sleep. That could eventually be helpful in battling osteoporosis in humans. Bears also manage to maintain muscle strength and mass, even though humans would lose some 70 percent of muscle strength in similar inactivity. One reason is that bears appear to exercise while they sleep by performing whole body, isometric contractions that start at the neck and move down several times a day. "There are many, many interesting questions with hibernation and bears," Reynolds said.—AP

'40 pounds in 40 days' HCG diet has backers, detractors It's a familiar story. She tried over and over to lose weight. Sometimes she succeeded, but it always came back. And it seemed so unfair because she didn't want to get as skinny as a supermodel, just a healthy weight, 145 or 150 pounds. Then Patti Dingler found the HCG Diet. She eats only 500 calories a day, and she and her husband have bumped up their walking regimen to five miles daily near their home in Wise County, Texas. Definitely a recipe for weight loss. She shed 25 pounds in her first 30 days on the diet. And after just the first week, "I felt 10 years younger," says Patti, 49, a contract specialist in the Federal Aviation Administration's Fort Worth, Texas, office. "I had energy, and I breathed easier." Most diet regimens allow about 1,200 calories a day for the average woman. Patti's getting far less. So how is she staving off hunger and fatigue? Once or twice a day, she puts several drops of a nearly flavorless liquid under her tongue. She says it keeps her feeling good, mostly, although about one day in seven she is more tired than normal. The important ingredient in those drops is a nonprescription, homeopathic form of HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. Naturally occurring HCG is a hormone that is produced in quantity during pregnancy. It's made by cells that form the placenta, which nourishes a fertilized egg after it attaches to the wall of the uterus. Patti's form of HCG is the homeopathic, or "lookalike" version. Some people following the HCG diet use the actual hormone, prescribed by a doctor and injected with a syringe every day. Either way, plenty of people are willing to call HCG a godsend. HCG for weight loss isn't new; it was first popularized in the 1950s by British physician Albert Simeons and enjoyed a resurgence in the '70s. But lately it has made a huge comeback. It's on the Internet, billboards, TV and fliers you find on the windshield after you grab a pizza. Patti's husband, Wes Dingler, is a believer. After some hesitation, he went on the diet, too. "It was time for drastic measures," says Wes, a 45-year-old avionics manager. His doctor warned him that he was in danger of developing adult-onset diabetes. "I was on double cholesterol meds. The doctor said that on my next visit, if my blood sugar's still high, I'll have to go on insulin." Wes says a pound or a pound and a half per week for weight loss is a good goal. His wife says he's "into instant gratification," and that's one of the reasons he and so many people love the HCG diet. "I'm dropping about a pound a day, 33 pounds already," Wes says. He started at 241 and wants to get down to 175 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame. The diet lays out a maintenance plan for the six weeks after discontinuing HCG. The do's and don'ts are similar to the 500-calorie diet: no processed foods, no starches or sugars, about 1,500 calories daily consisting mainly of fruit, vegetables, fish and chicken. Wes and Patti like the idea that they'll keep eating healthy after they stop taking HCG. In fact, they like everything about the HCG diet. Mainstream medicine has an entirely different view. Most doctors' and dietitians' views can be summed up in three phrases: placebo, peril and put-it-back-on. "I don't believe it to be efficacious. Either shots or drops, it's a placebo," says Dr Craig Primack, a bariatric (weight-loss) doctor inn Phoenix and a spokesman for the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. "Not many doctors commonly known as weight-loss doctors are using this." The 500-calorie diet doesn't provide enough carbs or protein and will send the body into a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a natural appetite suppressant, Primack says, so he believes that is what banishes hunger, rather than HCG. In ketosis, the body burns stored fat, but if it's extreme, it can lead to problems. The blood pH can change, making blood too acidic and essentially corrosive to internal organs. "The short-term ketosis problem is bad breath," says Keri Gans, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Over an extended period, kidney stones and gallstones are common side effects, and also fatigue." Injectable HCG is FDA-approved for some uses, but not for weight loss. It was first used in the 1950s to boost testosterone production in boys who should be entering puberty but weren't, says Primack. It's also sometimes used to treat infertility and some cancers in men. Doctors can legally prescribe a substance such as HCG for "off-label" use, such as weight loss, Primack says. Dr. Kenneth J. Heinrich, an ASBP spokesman and medical director of Physicians for Weight Loss in Chicago, says he knows of no obstetrician-gynecologists who recommend the homeopathic drops for "label" use. There's also controversy about just how danger-

ous off-label HCG injections can be, Heinrich says. "There are life-threatening effects, some say, but there are no studies documenting the frequency of adverse effects. The more common are headaches and excessive acne and hair growth." HCG also can cause prostate problems in men, and, in women, it may bring on ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or excessive ovulation, he says. The diet's very low number of calories and restrictions on protein pose another problem, Heinrich says. "New data shows that it's not just the total protein but the right amount of protein at the right time" that's crucial for muscle maintenance, he says. "This diet calls for only tea or coffee for breakfast. The body is in a fasting state through the night and needs protein at breakfast to rebuild." Teenagers shouldn't use a very low-calorie diet at all unless they've reached their full growth, Heinrich says. HCG dieters are setting themselves up for ultimate failure, Gans and Primack say. "It's not a longterm solution to weight loss," says Gans. "There are not enough carbohydrates _ that's the major fuel for our bodies." Getting to the right weight is about eating healthy, she says, "eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and 'good carbs' like whole grains, oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, beans, other legumes _ high-fiber carbs." Primack agrees: "We live in a carb society. As soon as they're off the diet, most start gaining again." Gans recommends losing much more slowly, 1 to 2 pounds a week . "The key is to not gain it back and wait for the next diet fad to come along." Gans urges dieters to spend their money on healthy foods rather than HCG. The drops available online are generally priced $100 and up for a 26- to 30-day supply. Online injectable HCG with paraphernalia, such as syringes, runs about $400 for a 43-day supply. Chad Bradford, general manager of the Colleyville, Texas, Sunflower Shoppes store, which carries the drops, said the decision to carry HCG wasn't taken lightly. "There's no magic bullet; we're trying to help people achieve a healthy lifestyle and to support them while they're moving toward that healthy weight," Bradford says. His store has nutritionists on staff to advise customers. He says that during the past four or more months that the store has carried HCG, customers have given him positive feedback. Arlington, Texas, chiropractor Andrea Milne says she was skeptical about HCG at first, but after reading and studying, she changed her mind. She's of the opinion that HCG works because it triggers the brain to break down "bad fat" but not the lipids needed for essential functions. "It burns the stored fat around the organs, the excessive fat," Milne says. "Pregnant women produce HCG to help the baby survive, so that if for some reason the mother's not eating, her body will break down fat to nourish the baby." And Milne is happy to report that in the three months since her clinic began offering sublingual HCG drops, her clinic has helped patients lose a total of 473 pounds.

HCG DIET IN A NUTSHELL Lose 40 pounds in 40 days? It seems too good to be true but it's what the HCG diet ads promise. The bare bones of what it entails: 500 calories a day No heavy exercise Daily HCG in one of two forms: nonprescription under-the-tongue drops or prescription injections What you eat Breakfast As much coffee or tea as you want Stevia (the only sweetener allowed) One tablespoon of milk per day. Lunch 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of veal, beef, boneless chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp. Trim off all fat before cooking and weigh the meat raw. It must be prepared without additional fat. About 2 cups of one of the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage. It's OK to eat more than 2 cups. One breadstick or one piece of Melba toast One apple or orange, or a handful of strawberries or half a grapefruit. Dinner Choose again from the same four groups as lunch. Source: www.hcgdietinfo.com


Monday, July 19, 2010

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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he roasting heat of competition will be fierce and the passion for coffee almost tangible on Wednesday, August 4 as baristas from around the region compete to win Costa’s coveted annual international coffee title: Barista of the Year. National champions from the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and India will be competing in Dubai for the title of MENA and India Regional Champion 2010, to take them through to the Champion of Champions Final round held to be in London. Paul Robinson, Regional Director for Costa MENA & India said “This competition is formal recognition of the hard work and talent of all our baristas working in our stores. Costa is a truly global brand and the winner of the Barista of the Year 2010 could be anyone from over 1600 stores in 24 countries.” Last year, Mohammad Kilani, Store Manager at City Mall Costa store in Jordan, participated in the Champion of Champions Final which took place at The Costa Roastery in London. Mohammad said of his experience at the Costa Barista of the Year event “It was amazing to go to London and represent Jordan in the Final. While I did not win, I learnt so much and met some amazing baristas. We all shared one thing and that is our passion and love of coffee.” The baristas are tested on skills such as their ability to produce a technically perfect cup of handmade coffee, and their knowledge and understanding of the industry. They are also judged on their overall performance, flair and passion for great coffee. In the final round of the competition contestants are tasked with creating their own unique signature drink that is judged on its taste, presentation and innovation. Last year’s winning drink, created by Gabor Kamondi from the Costa store in Dorking, England was Pick Mint, a blend of Costa’s signature espresso with mint, inspired by his love of the famous chocolates, After Eights. Robinson concluded, “Costa’s Barista of the Year competition is a celebration of the passion, skill and expertise that goes into the creation of each and every cup of Costa’s coffee.

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— Photos by Joseph Shagra

n July 16, 2010 Swadesh news magazine bade farewell to Mirza Swapan a renowned expatriate Bengali poet and regular contributor to the magazine. The farewell program was held at Gulshan restaurant in Kuwait city and it was presided over by Masud Karirn editor of the magazine Swadesh. Zafar Ahmed Chowdhury advisor to the magazine and president of Chittagong Samitv Kuwait attended the program as chief guest. Mohammed Ali Azam, renowned poet Al-Amin

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Chowdhury Swapan, poet Selim Reza, Tauhidul Islam Harun President of Friday Forum, Abu Zafar attended the program as the guests of honor. Socio-economic and cultural organization leaders of expatriate Bengali community in Kuwait were also present there. All the speakers in the function highly spoke of the lifelong literary achievements of poet Mirza Swapan and the crest of honor was handed over to him by Swadesh editor Masud Karim along with other dignitaries.

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Ahmed Lotfy, one of the lucky winners with Mike Abu Anni, Assistant F&B Manager.

KAYAKING

AWARE diwaniya on Kuwaiti Law veryone living and working in Kuwait must observe the laws and try to secure their rights by fulfilling their duties first. Since the laws are legislated to protect the rights of people and institutions, being aware of them is vital and helpful. It should also be understood that some laws are different from country to country; even if you are a law expert in your own country, you will definitely need some information about the Kuwaiti laws. In ‘What you need to know about the Kuwaiti Law’, a 25-minute-presentation to be held tomorrow, Walid Al-Kaaki, a lawyer himself, will paint a clear picture about the legal environment in Kuwait and will provide attendees with valuable pieces of advice for them to run their personal and professional life efficiently here in Kuwait. All are welcome at the AWARE Center tomorrow.

ith the exclusive support and cooperation of the Embassy of South Africa in Kuwait, the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al-Bida’a staged a unique event which was not seen before in Kuwait: FIFA World Cup 2010. The event was very successful and had a full audience during the whole month. The Movenpick Al-Bida’a arranged for live screening of football matches at Al-Mahara Tent and offered a completely new menu which had been especially created for the World Cup, in addition to daily raffle draws that took place throughout the whole month. We are proud to be part of this important sporting event, which shows our continuous commitment to ‘Stay Relevant to the world’s events’, said Gary Moran, the general Manager of Movenpick Al-Bida’a. “We actually started thinking about this event and planning at this time last year, so a very significant amount of time and energy was dedicated to it. I believe that the success of the event is very much a result of the hard work and preparation that took place, a real team effort,” Moran added.

onnexxions Media Kuwait is starting instrumental music classes (violin, keyboard, guitar and tabla) at Mangaf and Salmiya for adults and children under the guidance of the efficient professional music teachers. Registration has started at Mangaf and Salmiya centers. The outstanding students will get an opportunity to perform in the Jaihind Family Club stage programs and Jaihind TV Channel. For further details please contact: 65076000, 55669820, 65021218, 66899495, 66133001.

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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).

n 8-a-side football tournament, open for all Indians in Kuwait will be held during Ramadan, starting from Aug 6, 2010 at the Digital Grounds, Kuwait City. Teams who wish to participate are requested to contact 99663252/66625567 or email: joepereira125@hotmail.com for further details.

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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. Fahaheel Sailing Club 2371 9289 www.horn3.com

NETBALL Kuwait Netball www.kuwaitnetball.com RUGBY

St Francis Xavier Unity Cup Football Tournament

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.

Kuwait Nomads The rugby season in Kuwait runs from September to May. Men, ladies and minis rugby are played 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. www.p8nompds.com RUNNING For anyone who likes walking, jogging or cycling in Kuwait there is a very good track around the area of Mishref. The

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! www.kospg8.com

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 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. www.thepalmsdivecenter.com 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.. www.kimcenter.selmpb.com

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

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20

SHOOTING 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.


TV PROGRAMS

32

Monday, July 19, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 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 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

00:00 Ugly Betty 01:00 Without a Trace 02:00 Ghost Whisperer 03:00 The Murdoch Mysteries 04:00 Without a Trace 05:00 The Ex-List 06:00 Bones 07:00 Ugly Betty 08:00 Damages 09:00 Cold Case 10:00 Ghost Whisperer 11:00 Dawson’s Creek 12:00 Bones 13:00 The Murdoch Mysteries 14:00 Ghost Whisperer 15:00 Without a Trace 16:00 Damages 17:00 Cold Case 18:00 Ugly Betty 19:00 Bones 20:00 White Collar 21:00 Saving Grace 22:00 The Murdoch Mysteries 23:00 Nip/Tuck

00:15 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 00:45 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 03:30 Animal Cops Philadelphia 04:25 Animal Cops Houston 05:20 Animal Cops South Africa 06:10 SSPCA: On the Wildside 06:35 Dolphin Days 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Groomer Has It 09:40 Wildlife SOS International 10:05 The Heart of a Lioness 10:55 Gorilla School 11:20 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Houston 14:35 Wildlife SOS International 15:00 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 15:30 The Heart of a Lioness 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Dogs 101 18:15 I’m Alive 19:10 Return to the Wild 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 I’m Alive 22:55 Animal Cops Houston 23:50 Return to the Wild

00:30 Doctor Who 01:20 Hotel Babylon 02:15 Inspector Lynley Mysteries 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 07:30 Teletubbies 07:55 Me Too 08:15 Tellytales 08:45 Teletubbies 09:10 Me Too 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Coast 11:00 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 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Inspector Lynley Mysteries 19:00 Gil Mayo Mysteries 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 New Tricks 22:45 Holby City

00:05 Saturday Kitchen 00:55 Living In The Sun 01:45 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 02:30 The Home Show 03:20 Home For Life 04:10 Fantasy Homes In The City 04:50 Saturday Kitchen 05:45 Living In The Sun 06:35 James Martin’s Brittany 07:05 Cash In The Attic Usa 07:25 Antiques Roadshow 08:15 Living In The Sun 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Hidden Potential 10:15 Cash In The Attic Usa 10:35 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 11:00 Chuck’s Day Off 11:20 Living In The Sun 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:50 Antiques Roadshow 14:40 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 Living In The Sun 17:05 Living In The Sun 17:55 Antiques Roadshow 18:50 Come Dine With Me 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:10 Saturday Kitchen 21:00 Living In The Sun 21:50 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:30 Masterchef Goes Large

01:00 The Apostle-PG15 03:15 Sexy Beast-18 05:00 Big Night-PG15 07:00 Trekkies 2-PG 09:00 Run Papa Run-PG15 11:00 We Are Marshall-PG15 13:15 What Rats Won’t Do-PG15 15:00 Skin-PG 17:00 Juno-PG15 19:00 Night Falls On Manhattan-18 21:00 9th Company-PG15 23:30 The Basketball Diaries-18

00:00 Ross Kemp on Gangs 01:00 Destroyed in Seconds 02:00 Ultimate Car Build-Off 02:55 Wheeler Dealers 03:50 Construction Intervention 04:45 How Stuff’s Made 05:10 Destroyed in Seconds

Friday The 13th on Show Movies 05:40 Destroyed in Seconds 06:05 Extreme Engineering 07:00 Extreme Explosions 07:55 Street Customs 2008 08:50 Mythbusters 09:45 Ultimate Survival 10:40 Overhaulin’ 11:35 Border Security 12:00 How Stuff’s Made 12:30 How It’s Made 12:55 Mythbusters 13:50 Miami Ink 14:45 Ultimate Survival 15:40 Dirty Jobs 16:35 Deadliest Catch 17:30 Mythbusters 18:30 Cake Boss 19:00 Border Security 19:30 The Gadget Show 20:00 How It’s Made 20:30 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Ultimate Survival 22:00 Alone in the Wild 23:00 American Loggers

00:30 Human Cloning 01:20 The Colony 02:10 The Gadget Show 03:00 Catch It Keep It 03:50 Sci-Fi Science 04:15 Sci-Fi Science 04:45 Nextworld 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Junkyard Mega-Wars 08:00 Investigation X 09:00 Space Pioneer 16:20 How Does That Work? 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 Mythbusters 18:40 Da Vinci’s Machines 19:30 Kings of Construction 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Mighty Ships 22:00 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:50 Kings of Construction 23:40 The Greatest Ever

00:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 00:25 Wizards of Waverly Place 00:50 Suite Life On Deck 01:15 Suite Life On Deck 01:40 Sonny With A Chance 02:05 Jonas 02:30 Hannah Montana 02:55 Hannah Montana 03:20 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 04:10 Hannah Montana 04:35 Jonas 05:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 05:20 SUITE LIFE ON DECK 05:45 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 06:10 A KIND OF MAGIC 06:35 Replacements 07:00 Phineas & Ferb 07:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 07:50 Replacements 08:15 Sonny With A Chance 08:35 Hannah Montana 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 13:00 VIVA HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL MEXICO 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

00:40 Bank of Hollywood 06:00 20 Hottest Women of the Web 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 12:00 E! News 12:50 Extreme Close-Up 14:05 E!ES 14:30 Dr 90210 15:25 E!ES 16:15 Behind the Scenes

17:10 E!ES 17:35 Dallas Divas & Daughters 18:00 E! News 18:50 Wildest TV Show Moments 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E!ES 20:30 E!ES 21:20 Giuliana & Bill 22:10 E! News 23:00 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Bmx Megatour 02:00 Mind The Addiction 03:00 Extreme Lives: My Right Foot 04:00 Bad Boy Racers 05:00 Laird 06:00 I-Ex 07:30 I-Ex 08:00 O’Neill The Mission, France 08:30 Profiles: Jordy Smith 09:00 Free4style Fmx /Best Of Red Bull Romaniacs 09:30 Art Of Canyoning, The 10:00 Quattro Int Events: Freeride World Tour Kickoff 2009 10:30 Quattro Int Events: Surftrip Faroer Islands 11:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 Ep3 12:00 Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 13:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 14:00 Cannonball 8000 15:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 Ep3 16:00 Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 17:00 O’Neill The Mission, France 17:30 Profiles: Jordy Smith 18:00 Free4style Fmx /Best Of Red Bull Romaniacs 18:30 Art Of Canyoning, The 19:00 Quattro Int Events: Freeride World Tour Kickoff 2009 19:30 Quattro Int Events: Surftrip Faroer Islands 20:00 Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 21:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 Ep3 22:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 23:00 M1 Challange

00:00 Barefoot Contessa 01:00 30 Minute Meals 01:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 02:00 Food Network Challenge

00:30 Extreme Forensics 01:20 I Almost Got Away With It 02:10 Dr G: Medical Examiner 03:05 Deadly Women 04:00 Extreme Forensics 04:55 Crime Scene Psychics 05:20 FBI Files 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Real Emergency Calls 09:05 Real Emergency Calls 09:30 Mystery ER 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Mystery ER 12:50 The Prosecutors 13:40 Disappeared 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Real Emergency Calls 16:35 Real Emergency Calls 17:00 Mystery ER 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Mystery ER 20:20 The Prosecutors 21:10 Disappeared 22:00 FBI Case Files 22:50 I Escaped Death 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:30 Bondi Rescue 01:00 Bondi Rescue 01:30 The Best Job In The World 02:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:30 Wild Rides 05:00 Graham’s World 05:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 06:30 Bondi Rescue 07:00 Bondi Rescue 07:30 The Best Job In The World 08:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Banged Up Abroad 10:30 Wild Rides 11:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 11:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 12:30 Banged Up Abroad 13:30 Departures 14:30 Long Way Down 15:30 Bondi Rescue 16:00 Banged Up Abroad 17:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 17:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Banged Up Abroad 19:30 Departures 20:30 Long Way Down 21:30 Bondi Rescue 22:00 Banged Up Abroad 23:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 23:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled

00:00 Better Off Ted 00:30 Will & Grace 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 01:30 The Colbert Report (repeat) 02:00 Entourage 02:30 How to make it in America 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:30 George Lopez 05:00 Just Shoot me! 05:30 Best of 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 Just Shoot me! 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 New Adventures of old Christine 12:00 Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show 13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 George Lopez 14:30 Will & Grace 15:00 Better Off Ted 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 16:00 The Colbert Report (repeat) 16:30 The Drew Carey show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 New Adventures of old Christine 18:30 Eight Simple Rules 19:00 Billable Hours 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Friends 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Global Edition) 21:30 Colbert Report Global 22:00 Monday night Stand Up 23:00 South park 23:30 New Adventures of old Christine

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me 02:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 03:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 05:00 GMA Weekend (Repeat) 06:00 Parenting 06:30 Popcorn 07:00 Ahead of The Curve 07:30 Chef’s Table 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Downsize Me 10:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 The View (repeat) 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 Ahead of The Curve 16:30 Nature’s Edge 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 18:00 10 Years Younger 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View (repeat) 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 23:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know /

00:30 Friday The 13th-18 02:15 God Grew Tired Of Us-PG15 04:00 Temple Grandin-PG15 06:00 Man In The Chair-PG15 08:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua-PG 10:00 Under The Mountain-PG 12:00 Eagle Eye-PG15 14:00 The Dark Knight-PG15 16:30 Beverly Hills Chihuahua-PG 18:00 Definitely Maybe-PG15 20:00 Sugar-PG15 22:15 Halloween 2-18

01:00 Traitor-PG15 03:00 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning-18 04:40 Battle Of Wits-PG15 07:00 Mercury Man-PG15

Against The Current on Super Movies 09:00 Street Fighter Alpha-PG 11:00 Shaft-18 13:00 Circus-PG15 15:00 Street Fighter Alpha-PG 17:00 The X Files-PG15 19:00 Smokin’ Aces-18 21:00 Vertical Limit-PG15 23:00 Rec-R

00:00 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo-PG15 02:00 Jason Byrne Live At Vicar Street Theatre-PG15 04:00 Splinterheads-PG15 06:00 Mchale’s Navy-PG15 08:00 Baby’s Day Out-PG 10:00 Mystery Men-PG15 12:00 Girl’s Best Friend-PG15 14:00 Rrrrrrr!!!-PG15 16:00 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo-PG15 18:00 The Deal-PG15 20:00 Friday After Next-18 22:00 Harold And Kumar Escape From

00:00 Simba Junior To The World CupFAM 02:00 Monsters Vs. Aliens-PG 04:00 Robin Hood: The King’s ReturnFAM 06:00 Atom Nine Adventures-PG 08:00 Super 7-FAM 10:00 Robin Hood: The King’s ReturnFAM 12:00 Dinotopia Quest For The Ruby Sunstone-FAM 14:00 Monsters Vs. Aliens-PG 16:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 18:00 Max Keeble’s Big Move-PG 20:00 D2: The Mighty Ducks-PG 22:00 Dinotopia Quest For The Ruby Sunstone-FAM

00:00 The Philanthropist 01:00 Dollhouse 02:00 Desperate Housewives 03:00 Dawson’s Creek 04:00 Three Sisters 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Survivor 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Desperate Housewives 08:00 Three Sisters 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Dawson’s Creek 10:00 Survivor 11:00 Desperate Housewives 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Three Sisters 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 The Philanthropist 15:00 Dollhouse 16:00 Survivor 17:00 Dawson’s Creek 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Eureka 20:00 Drop Dead Diva 21:00 Desperate Housewives 22:00 Whitechapel 23:00 Dawson’s Creek

00:00 Rugby League Northern Rail Cup Final 02:00 Masters Football 05:00 NRL Premiership 07:00 The Open Championship 15:00 NRL Premiership 17:00 Masters Football 20:00 AFL Highlights 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 22:00 FEI Equestrain World 22:30 World Sport 23:00 NRL Premiership

Vertical Limit on Show Movies Action

01:00 The Open Championship 07:00 Masters Football 10:00 NRL Premiership 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 Tri-Nations 16:30 Brazil League Highlights

17:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 17:30 ICC Cricket World 18:00 Futbol Mundial 18:30 World Sport 19:00 NRL Premiership 21:00 AFL Highlights 22:00 Tri-Nations

01:00 UFC 116 04:00 WWE NXT 05:00 WWE Vintage Collection 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 FIM World Cup 08:30 FIM World Cup 09:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 10:00 V8 Supercars 11:00 V8 Supercars 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 14:30 FIM World Cup 15:00 WWE SmackDown 17:00 WWE Vintage Collection 18:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:05 Get Shorty 02:50 3 Strikes 04:10 Body of Evidence 05:50 Cool Blue 07:20 The Legend Of Johnny Lingo 08:50 Reckless 10:20 Italian Movie 11:55 Kuffs 13:35 Curse Of The Pink Panther 15:25 No Such Thing 17:05 Wargames 18:55 Fatal Instinct 20:25 Madison 22:00 The Knack And How To Get It 23:25 Flowers In The Attic

01:00 Act Of God-PG15 02:45 Against The Current-PG15 04:45 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 07:00 American Violet-PG15 09:00 Northern Lights-PG 11:00 Broken Lines-PG15 13:00 The Longshots-PG15 15:00 The Firm-PG15 17:00 Northern Lights-PG 19:00 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 21:00 For The Love Of Grace-PG 23:00 The Ugly Truth-PG15

01:15 The Screening Room 01:45 2001: A Space Odyssey 04:00 Where Eagles Dare 06:30 The Screening Room 07:00 Kidnapped 08:50 The Screening Room 09:15 Sunday In New York 11:00 Mandela 13:00 The Champ 15:05 Where Eagles Dare 17:35 Boys’ Night Out 19:45 North By Northwest 22:00 Easy Money 23:35 Westworld

00:30 Human Weapon 01:20 Ax Men 02:10 Deep Sea Detectives 03:00 Lost Worlds 03:55 Tales of the Gun 04:50 Declassified 05:40 Cutty Sark: Out of the Ashes 06:30 Human Weapon 07:20 Ax Men 08:10 Deep Sea Detectives 09:00 Lost Worlds 09:55 Tales of the Gun 10:50 Declassified 11:40 Cutty Sark: Out of the Ashes 12:30 Human Weapon 13:20 Ax Men 14:10 Deep Sea Detectives 15:00 Lost Worlds 15:55 Tales of the Gun

16:50 Declassified 17:40 Cutty Sark: Out of the Ashes 18:30 Human Weapon 19:20 Ax Men 20:10 Deep Sea Detectives 21:00 Tales of the Gun 21:55 Mega Movers 22:50 Deep Sea Detectives 23:40 Warriors

00:00 Peter Perfect 01:00 My Celebrity Home 02:00 Split Ends 03:00 How Do I Look? 04:00 Dr 90210 05:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 05:30 Area 06:00 How Do I Look? 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Style Her Famous 08:00 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Style Star 09:30 Dress My Nest 10:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Ruby 13:00 Clean House 14:00 Summer-ize Your Home with Style Special 14:30 Tacky House 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 17:00 How Do I Look? 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 21:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 22:00 Peter Perfect

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

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Budapest to Bamako 2010 01:30 Great Scenic Railways-US & Canada 02:00 People of the Sea 03:00 Short History of Convict Australia 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Sports 06:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Grannies On Safari 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 People of the Sea 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Chef Abroad 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 Floyd Uncorked 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 People of the Sea 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Grannies On Safari 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Planet Food 21:00 Hollywood and Vines 21:30 Travel Today 22:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 Music For The Masses 01:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out 07:00 Vh1 Hits 09:00 Aerobic 10:00 Vh1 Hits 11:00 Vh1 Superchart 12:00 Top 10 Queen 13:00 Music For The Masses


Monday, July 19, 2010

33 FOR SALE IKEA children double bed, 200 x 90, KD 35, exercise machine, DVD player, VHS player, 100 VHS movie tapes original KD 20 DVDs, etc. Contact: 99881982. (C 2472) 15-7-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Evelyn O Usman, holder of Nigerian passport number A1955285 hereby change my name as Evelyn O Okafor. 18-7-2010 I, Mahadeo Ramchandra Purane, holder of Indian Passport No. E 0370252, hereby change my name as Madhav Ramchandra Purane. (C 2471)15-7-2010 15-7-2010 SITUATION WANTED

Indian male, M.Com, Accountant, good experience in accounts and finance, seeks suitable position, transferable residency no. 18. Please contact: 99158323, 24342472. (C 2482) Male secretary, having 12 years of Kuwait experience, complete secretarial/document controller, office administration jobs, independent correspondence & well experienced in construction tendering works, having driving license and transferable residence. Call 66597087. (C 2483) 19-7-2010 Srilankan lady seeks household job with American or European family in respectable condition. Credible reference. Tel: 99708475. (C 2481) 18-7-2010

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited from God-fearing, well qualified boys (preferably working in Kuwait), for my sister, currently in Kerala. She is 26y/165cm, RCSC, B.Sc nursing/more than 2 years experience, fair, good looking. She got 1 brother, 1 sister (Kuwait), both married. Contact: email: john_njin@yahoo.com (C 2480) 18-7-2010 Proposals are invited for our daughter, 26 years, born again, baptized Keralite girl, MBBS, from parents of born again Keralite doctors from USA. Contact email: proposals41984@gmail.com (C 2475) 17-7-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Immediately required an experienced Indian young male cook (transferable visa), able to cook Kuwaiti foods, for a respected Kuwaiti family, will provide food and accommodation. Contact: 94064401, 97324988. (C 2474)

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for a couple or a working lady or an executive bachelor to share with Christian family in a 2 bedroom flat with 2 bathrooms, near Integrated School, Abbassiya. Tel: 66293133/24317514. (C 2479) 18-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a decent Keralite Christian bachelor in a CA/C flat in Sharq, opp Behbehani Complex. Contact: 22445791. (C 2476) Sharing accommodation available in Abu Halifa with Keralite Christian family near roundabout SAS restaurant CA/C building. Contact: 97135749, 99167951. (C 2477) 17-7-2010 Fully furnished sharing accommodation available with decent guy in Salmiya near Bestow Super Market. Please contact: 25620547, 66737466. (C 2469)

available for a Keralite nonsmoking bachelor in Abbassiya, rent KD 40. Contact: 66577233. (C 2470) 15-7-2010 Accommodation available for family, working ladies or non-cooking bachelors in Abbassiya opp German Clinic. Contact: 66455687. (C 2466) Sharing accommodation available for bachelors Goan/Mangalorean only with Mangalorean family with food near Jabriya bridge 4th Ring Road. Contact: 22662734 after 2:30 pm. (C 2467) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for

working ladies, couples or bachelor. Phone: 97501647. (C 2468)

BABYSITTING Reliable babysitting available in Khaitan, opp Kuwait Clinic. Contact: 66473041. 18-7-2010

Sharing accommodation

No: 14793

English speaking maid for a family living in Mangaf.†If interested, please contact 60055305 or 23741548. 15-7-2010

MISCELLANEOUS Looking for female aquatic physical therapist to help 4 years old girl at home. Call 22426942/97333492. (C 2478) 18-7-2010 Required car Nissan Sunny or Mitsubishi Lancer 2005 or 2006 model, must be in very good condition. Contact: 99881982. (C 2473) 15-7-2010

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights Monday 19/07/2010 Airlines Flt Route Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa/Bahrain Jazeera 435 Mashad Air Arabia Egypt 551 Alexandria Egypt Air 614 Cairo Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Jazeera 529 Assiut Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 352 Cochin Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 447 Doha Iran Aseman 6521 Lamerd Jazeera 171 Dubai Egypt Air 610 Cairo Kuwait 672 Dubai Oman Air 645 Muscat Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus United 982 Washington DC Dulles Jordanian 800 Amman Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Wataniya Airways 332 Alexandria Jazeera 257 Beirut

Time 00:10 00:30 00:50 01:05 01:05 01:05 01:15 01:45 01:45 02:00 02:05 02:10 02:15 02:25 02:55 03:25 05:25 05:45 05:50 06:15 06:20 06:30 06:40 07:10 07:20 07:50 07:55 08:00 08:05 08:10 08:20 08:20 08:25 08:40 09:00 09:25 10:25 10:45 10:45 10:50 11:05 11:15 11:20 11:45 12:40 12:55 13:15 13:15 13:35 13:35 13:35 13:50 14:05 14:05

Wataniya Airways Saudia Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Bahrain Air Etihad Emirates Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Saudia Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Iran Air Jazeera Srilankan Kuwait Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Indian Fly Dubai Middle East Rovos Jet A/W KLM Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways DHL Gulf Air Jazeera Emirates Qatari United Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Kuwait Tunis Air Lufthansa Pakistan Wataniya Airways

422 500 552 745 134 548 546 678 118 344 303 857 402 215 510 493 239 125 3407 367 227 104 304 106 542 502 786 618 177 744 674 614 774 575 061 402 081 572 0445 404 632 372 217 459 859 136 981 429 449 185 612 1804 327 636 239 108

Amman Jeddah Damascus Jeddah Doha Luxor Alexandria Muscat/Abu Dhabi New York Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Beirut Bahrain Riyadh Jeddah Amman Sharjah Mashad Deirezzor Colombo/Dubai London Cairo Dubai Cairo Beirut Jeddah Doha Dubai Dammam Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Chennai/Goa Dubai Beirut Baghdad Mumbai Amsterdam Beirut Rome Bahrain Bahrain Damascus Dubai Doha Bahrain Bahrain Doha Dubai Cairo Cairo Tunis Frankfurt Sialkot Dubai

14:10 14:30 14:35 14:55 15:05 15:10 15:30 15:35 16:15 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:40 17:40 17:40 17:50 17:55 18:00 18:35 18:35 18:45 18:50 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:05 19:15 19:20 19:20 19:25 19:30 20:05 20:20 20:30 20:30 20:40 20:50 21:00 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:15 21:35 21:55 22:15 22:30 22:40 22:55 23:25 23:35 23:45 23:55 23:55

Departure Flights on Monday 19/07/2010 Jazeera 528 Assiut 00:05 India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode 00:25 KLM 0447 Amsterdam 00:30 Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt 00:50 Safi 216 Kabul 01:00 Indian 982 Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai 01:05 Pakistan 206 Peshawar/Lahore 01:10 Turkish 773 Istanbul 02:15 Bangladesh 046 Dhaka 02:15 Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria 02:40 Egypt Air 615 Cairo 03:05 DHL 371 Bahrain 03:15 Emirates 854 Dubai 03:45 Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi 04:00 Qatari 139 Doha 05:00 Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai 06:50 Jazeera 164 Dubai 07:05 Wataniya Airways 331 Alexandria 07:30 Jazeera 422 Bahrain 07:30 Jazeera 446 Doha 07:40 Gulf Air 212 Bahrain 07:45 Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain 07:50 Jazeera 256 Beirut 08:05 Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus 08:10 British 156 London 08:25 Jazeera 170 Dubai 08:30 Kuwait 545 Alexandria 08:35 Fly Dubai 054 Dubai 08:40 Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat 08:45 Kuwait 671 Dubai 09:00 Wataniya Airways 421 Amman 09:10 Kuwait 551 Damascus 09:10 Kuwait 547 Luxor 09:20 Arabia 122 Sharjah 09:20 Wataniya Airways 631 Rome 09:30 Emirates 856 Dubai 09:40 Qatari 133 Doha 10:00 Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi 10:10 Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut 11:35 Gulf Air 214 Bahrain 11:35 Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris 11:45 Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo 11:50 Middle East 405 Beirut 11:50 Kuwait 541 Cairo 12:00 Jazeera 238 Amman 12:10 Jazeera 492 Jeddah 12:15 Jazeera 366 Deirezzor 12:15 Kuwait 103 London 12:30 Iran Aseman 6522 Lamerd 12:45 Kuwait 501 Beirut 13:00 Kuwait 785 Jeddah 13:30 Egypt Air 611 Cairo 13:55 Oman Air 646 Muscat 14:15

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Wataniya Airways Jordanian Fly Dubai United Jazeera Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Saudia Nas Air Jazeera Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Rovos Bahrain Air Etihad Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Emirates Kuwait Arabia Jazeera Saudia Iran Air Jazeera Srilankan Jazeera Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Middle East Jet A/W Wataniya Airways KLM Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Emirates Jazeera Falcon Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera United Kuwait Egypt Air

105 801 058 982 176 673 403 617 501 746 458 773 135 613 743 082 345 304 305 216 858 543 126 184 511 3406 448 228 428 407 433 107 283 062 331 403 571 187 0445 218 373 675 860 612 102 381 137 301 205 526 502 981 411 613

Dubai Amman Dubai Bahrain Dubai Dubai Beirut Doha Jeddah Jeddah Damascus Riyadh Doha Bahrain Dammam Baghdad Bahrain Abu Dhabi Cairo Bahrain Dubai Cairo Sharjah Dubai Riyadh Mashad Doha Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Beirut Damascus Dubai Dhaka Dubai Trivandrum Beirut Mumbai Bahrain Bahrain/Amsterdam Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Dubai Lahore Bahrain Delhi Doha Mumbai Islamabad Alexandria Luxor Washington DC Dulles Bangkok/Manila Cairo

14:30 14:30 14:35 14:50 14:55 15:10 15:10 15:35 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:05 16:20 16:20 16:25 17:00 17:25 17:35 18:05 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:20 18:30 18:35 18:50 18:50 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:40 20:00 20:50 21:00 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:20 23:40 23:40 23:40 23:55


34

SPECTRUM

Monday, July 19, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 26

Aries (March 21-April 19) You have a great love of the written and spoken word and ideas are what you like to work with best. Your enthusiasm for the mind, the intellect and the world of ideas makes it easy for you to communicate to others. You may find yourself teaching spiritual lessons. You have no trouble putting your feelings into words and what you say carries a lot of meaning. A choice in entertaining, teaching, speaking or singing are ways in which you will often become involved in order to communicate to others: hope, realities and possibilities. Your expression of hope, acceptance and good insights shows off the magnitude of your perspective. You find new ways to relate in a love relationship and this evening is a good time to keep the home fires burning. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You look to home and family for support and encouragement. You trust in the more experienced person when you seek advice. There could be opportunities to discuss or hear past experiences--amusing stories--perhaps your own childhood events. Security is very important and you need to have real roots in order to be productive. You seem to assert your independence in relationships and the social scene. When it comes to taking care of business you are relentless in getting down to the basics. Others sense this about you. When asked for your services, perhaps a favor or some volunteer situation, you see the best in a situation--making it hard to say no or cut yourself the best deal. Think your answer through before obligating time and energy.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 4. A group of biological taxa or species that share features inherited from a common ancestor. 9. (British) Street lined with building that were originally private stables but have been remodeled as dwellings. 13. A broad flat muscle on either side of the back. 14. A Muslim or Hindu mendicant monk who is regarded as a holy man. 15. To run away. 16. In bed. 18. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 20. A rule made by a local authority to regulate its own affairs. 22. (Scottish) Bluish-black or gray-blue. 24. Take in solid food. 25. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 27. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 28. A public promotion of some product or service. 30. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 31. Being one hundred more than three hundred. 35. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 38. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 39. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 40. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 43. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 47. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 48. Coarse edible red seaweed. 49. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 50. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 51. A midnight meeting of witches to practice witchcraft and sorcery. 54. (Phoenician and Philistine) God of agriculture and the earth. 58. A steep rugged rock or cliff. 59. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 63. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 64. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning. 66. A notable achievement. 67. The cry made by sheep. 68. An island of central Hawaii. 69. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. Divulge information or secrets. 2. Being or befitting or characteristic of an infant. 3. An ancient upright stone slab bearing markings. 4. A radioactive transuranic element. 5. A boy or man. 6. Jordan's port. 7. Aromatic Old World herb having aromatic threadlike foliage and seeds used as seasoning. 8. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 9. A master's degree in fine arts. 10. A river in central Europe that arises in northwestern Czechoslovakia and flows northward through Germany to empty into the North Sea. 11. Flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting. 12. A space reserved for sitting (as in a theater or on a train or airplane). 17. Relatively nontoxic South African herb smoked like tobacco. 19. A small ball with a hole through the middle. 21. A city in east central Texas. 23. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 26. Informal terms for a mother. 29. An informal term for a father. 32. Being or occurring in fact or actuality. 33. Having or denoting a low vocal or instrumental range. 34. A member of an Algonquian people living in central Canada. 36. (informal) Exceptionally good. 37. Used as a Hindi courtesy title. 41. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 42. A state of Uganda and site of a former Bantu kingdom. 43. A river in central Europe that arises in northwestern Czechoslovakia and flows northward through Germany to empty into the North Sea. 44. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 45. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 46. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 52. An elaborate song for solo voice. 53. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 54. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 55. A Gaelic-speaking Celt in Ireland or Scotland or the Isle of Man. 56. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 57. A quantity of no importance. 60. Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221 and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy. 61. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 62. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 65. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You can illustrate a great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others today and you communicate well. This Monday could bring the unexpected or find you in a very unusual mood. It may be that you will feel like getting away from the routine and just doing something a little different. New insights or breakthroughs come while you are with your friends. ‘What if’questions are fun and can lead to some enlightening situations. This is a great time to be with others or to do some short distance travel. Perhaps there is an out-of-town fruit stand with fresh watermelon, peaches, strawberries, etc. This evening may bring opportunities to bathe animals--perhaps yours-perhaps a neighbor's animal. This is a fun and different sort of day.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) You will act as a minister to others, like it or not. People seek you out for all sorts of answers. Religious and psychological ideas are natural. You can sense and see the unity of life. There is a time today when all that is sensitive and secret will come storming out of the closet to confront you. There are emotional vulnerabilities for you to understand. Fighting the changes that are coming now will only delay what is inevitable. Change is the easiest thing to do. Let the new changes happen and do your best to create positive results. Everything conspires to value and bring out your unique and unusual qualities. You may find that someone close to you understands your needs and is supportive of your ways. Leo (July 23-August 22) Insight into how to please people may extend to the culinary arts. Your vision into what unites people as well as the understanding of the mystical regions of the mind is profound. You may be working and communicating with others in these matters and with music and the arts. New paths to world or personal unity are a major interest and you have a very practical sense of how to make your dreams real. As a mother to every animal, child or needy person you will have to be strong when asked, again, to lead in a volunteer program. There is just so much time to go around. Why not coordinate events and match the helpful with the needy--you are not the only one that will help, really. You can be generous to the extreme. Relax with family tonight.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You have real vision and insight into the unity that ties this world together. Your brilliant imagination and enchanting manner transports all who meet you beyond the mundane and into the extraordinary regions where you spend a lot of your time. You may find yourself being put to good use by your friends today. Everything points to your making the first move. You could feel great support from those around you. You feel healthy and natural with a sharp, nimble mind and ready wit. You are quick to get insights and to see new solutions. You approach a genius mentality when it comes to communication skills. Others will find you have natural physical dexterity as well. A party atmosphere this evening will find you the life of the party.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You have a natural appreciation for the past, personal as well as world history--all that is traditional. There is an opportunity to head an organization that has to do with a club or church celebrations. You find it easy to work with music, color, fabric and the arts--whatever is beautiful and genial. You would make a superb decorator of homes and all kinds of environments. You enjoy moods and emotions, especially in a group setting. You find it easy to work with other people and tend to pour a lot of energy into those around you. Perhaps stage-managing would be a hobby, profession or volunteer service you would enjoy. When it comes to teaching or coaching young people, you are a natural, always able to motivate and inspire.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your mind is full of practical ideas, especially related to your particular talents. You may come up with new ideas to manage things better-make things work--practical thoughts. You sense things with the mind and understand that feelings are thoughts too. What does this or that thought mean? Where is it pointing? These are questions you ask. You use subjective rather than objective logic--intuition and gut instinct. Your image and ideals could be challenged by another and you must have patience to face the challenge with much thought as it will help you see new ideas and possibilities. Poetry, music and the arts interest you, as do psychology and the psyche. A classic movie or a book about new discoveries or inventions has your interest tonight. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) In-depth discussions and probing conversations find you at your mental best. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. You can really get your thoughts and ideas over to others. This is a good time to think or study--you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts. You may find yourself enjoying long conversations, writing letters, or making a special phone call. In a word, it is your emotions that hold your innermost self together. Your feelings are central to learning all about you. A strong devotional nature becomes apparent to anyone who takes time to know the real you; all else follows upon this inner drive. The search for a mate and marriage, in particular, is crucial for you. You are driven to unite with loved ones.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yester

Yesterday’s Solution

To

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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) A sentimental journey begins now, emphasizing a need for security and a sense of roots. Family, home, relatives and real estate play a big part in your life. You want to belong on a private, intimate, personal level and to be needed and to feel it is okay to have needs. You are in a mood of self-enjoyment and can appreciate your own better qualities. You may see value in or feel love for an older person or someone in authority. You are very animated and it is easy for you to convey your ideas today. Books on mysticism, psychic phenomena and the imagination in general intrigue you--despite your convictions. Look for books on meditation and relaxation. You will find new ways to relate and you are creative in making a relationship blossom.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This is a good day to relax and become involved in some creative project. By using your creative energy you will find it much easier to problem-solve in many other areas of your life. Writing may be another area in which you could excel. You have a great love of the written and spoken word and ideas in all their flavors are what you like to work with best. Family matters occupy your attention the latter part of this day. Errands, chores, preparations for the week ahead, as well as a most delightful Sunday evening meal are all included in this day's activities. Communication between you and your partner is easy and lively. Slowing the pace this evening by taking a stroll after dinner with a loved one is a pleasant way to end a very full day.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Today brings you a kind of recognition of who you really are, particularly with regard to how you appear to others in the business as well as the social world. You are wise to make plans toward securing your professional and financial life instead of spending time in worry. Write out a plan that will include your goals. More demanding years could be in the forecast on down the road. You have a strong need to be admired and appreciated for what you do and who you are. Now is the time to build on not only what you have accomplished in the business world but in your relationships as well. A lover or child becomes a focal point in your life this afternoon. Laughter and fun communications come easily. There is some fun competition with a hobby this evening.


INFORMATION

Monday, July 19, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

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

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

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

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

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

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

22633135

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

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com 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

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

22433377 24379900 177 22477631 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia

00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965 00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389


SPECTRUM

36

D

he 41-year-old singer admits to having regular Botox injections in her forehead because she hates the way she looks without the skin-smoothing injections. She said: “Without it, my frown scares me, let alone everyone else. I get it from my mum who has a permafrown. It’s a family trait. “So I prefer to get rid of it with Botox in two places on my forehead. I’ve been having it since 2003.” The ‘I’m Outta Love’ star - who

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David Beckham’s waitress concert

Russell Brand branded a lookalike ussell Brand has been mistaken for a lookalike of himself. The ‘Get Him to the Greek’ star - who is set to wed brunette bombshell Katy Perry in the autumn - was recently spotted by an eager fan outside a Los Angeles eatery, who mistook him for a Brand impersonator. An onlooker told National Enquirer magazine: “She rushed up and babbled, ‘Wow, you look so much like Russell Brand, you could get work as a Russell Brand impersonator.’ “ However, the British funnyman was not fazed and when he realized the fan really hadn’t recognized him, he decided to have a joke and play along. He said: “Actually, that’s how I support myself.” The quirky actor and presenter then grabbed his beard and declared: “This is a wig!” The eyewitness revealed the fan was then shocked when ‘California Gurls’ hitmaker Katy pulled up in her car and the pair sped off. Russell, 35, is reportedly being lined up to host his own radio show in America, with satellite station Sirius Radio said to be offering the star a contract “worth millions of dollars” to hit the airwaves. A source close to the star - who has hosted several shows on UK radio stations - revealed: “Russell has been itching to get back on radio for a while now. He has been off doing other things but radio still really tickles him. “Russell’s sidekick Matt Morgan is also keen to get writing and broadcasting again. The Sirius deal is in its infancy but Russell is well up for it. He has been given the hard sell about how they could make him the new Howard Stern.”

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Goldblum hated office work

filed for divorce from husband Wayne Newton in April after three years of marriage - also admitted she hasn’t ruled out undergoing further procedures in the future, though she is more comfortable with herself than she used to be. She added: “I would have surgery if I felt I needed it. I think it can be addictive if you have poor self-image, but I’m alright with the way I look, although it’s taken a long time to get here. “Everything I’ve

eff Goldblum got sick from selling pens. The ‘Jurassic Park’ star has only had one job other than acting - where he spent a week working in stationery telesales - and hated it so much he is convinced it made him unwell. He said: “I worked one week selling pens and pencils over the phone that was the only other job I’ve done. It was horrible. My heart wasn’t in it, and then I got sick, which probably wasn’t unrelated.” The 57-year-old star rose to fame as a movie star in the 70s and 80s but in recent years he has been appearing in American police drama show ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’, where he portrays Detective Zach Nichols. Despite his film background, Jeff doesn’t mind now pursuing a TV career and is pleased with his achievements. He explained: “To be honest, my days are not spent going ‘Why didn’t I get it? I want that part.’ There are people who go, ‘I have $700 million, but so-andso has $900 million. Why have you done this to me God, why am I so miserably second rate?’

Sophie Ellis Bextorʼs pregnancy style

avid Beckham and Snoop Dogg were serenaded by a waitress. The soccer star is close friends with the rapper and admits he experienced one of his most bizarre encounters ever when they went out for dinner in Los Angeles together. He explained: “One time we went out for dinner in LA with another friend to a steak restaurant. “The place had cleared and this waitress came over and said, ‘I can sing’ so I was like, ‘Oh my god’. Snoop sat back and said, ‘Go on then, sing for me’. She stood there and sang this whole song for Snoop, it really made me laugh and I was a bit embarrassed. She was... alright.” The 35year-old star is often called upon by his pal to give his opinion on his new music - but admits he struggles to give an honest answer. He explained: “With his last album he called me about 10 days before it came out and he said, ‘I’ve got finished it this minute, come in and listen to it’ so I drove down and listened to each track and he asked my opinion. I was like, ‘I love every one of them’. But I wouldn’t have said otherwise - he’s got these two bodyguards who are huge!” David who has three sons with wife Victoria Beckham - is also close friends with actor Tom Cruise but insists his pal has never encouraged him to pursue an acting career, despite having several movie offers. He added: “I’ve had a few offers but I turned them all down. I’m a terrible actor. I did a bit in ‘Goal’ that time - I was playing myself and I looked a bit awkward. “Tom hasn’t offered acting lessons yet, or any parts either.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

been through has affected my confidence. It’s all chiselled away at my core. But there’s always putty to mend it. I’m definitely growing more comfortable in my skin.”

ophie Ellis Bextor admits pregnancy made her fashion sense go crazy. The ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ singer - who has two children with her husband Richard Jones - says she still cringes when she thinks about the outfits she wore when she was expecting her

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“Now I ask Richard, ‘Why didn’t you stop me?!’ but he just says it was funny.” As well as her dress sense, the 31-year-old pop beauty also revealed pregnancy affected her tastebuds and she became addicted to Monster Munch crisps. She said “Flaming Hot Monster

eldest son but blames her hormones. She told Closer magazine: “There’s a picture of me with peroxide blonde hair, florescent orange earmuffs and a pink and purple tartan scarf with a blue coat.” However, while she was mortified by her choices, she said Richard wasn’t bothered, finding her eccentric tastes “funny”. She said

Munch crisps. I ate a packet a day when I was pregnant.” Although Sophie admits to having insecurities when it comes to her figure, she is adamant that she will never diet calling it “unsexy”. She said: “I’m certainly not perfect, but I’d never diet - it’s so unsexy. I have a trainer and I work out three times a week.”

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he former Spice Girls singer - who has twoyear-old son Beau with her partner Jade Jones said that she can’t wait to get pregnant again. She said: “I’m really looking forward to having another one. It’s something we’d love to do soon. I don’t know when it will happen though.” However 34-year-old Emma admitted that she and chef Jade disagree on how many more children they should have. She explained: “Jade would like a few more but I just want one.” Emma- the host of new UK TV talent show ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ - revealed that Beau is one of the main reasons she took on the new role. Speaking about the show, which has been dubbed a cross between ‘X Factor’ and ‘Glee’, she said: “It’s about getting a balance really. My priority obviously is my little boy and he’s part of the reason I chose to do it. He’s going to love it.” However despite his parents’ showbiz backgrounds -Jade was a member of boy band Damage before retraining as a chef - Emma revealed she doesn’t think Beau will be following in their footsteps any time soon. She said “He loves watching Beyonce Knowles and he loves Justin Bieber but he’s definitely not a performer yet.” — Bang Showbiz

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Music & Movies

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ARTIST: TOM J ONES ALBUM: PRAISE & BLAME hat’s new, pussycat? How about a devotional album from Tom Jones so unexpected that the Welsh pop icon’s disarmed label chief was uttering God’s name in varying degrees of vain when he heard about it. But Jones has always been surprising us throughout his four-decade-plus career. And on “Praise & Blame,” that gusty Northern soul voice sounds as righteous and true as it does when he’s operating in the more carnal regions of his catalog. Producer Ethan Johns gives the 11-song set a rustic “Raising Sand” sound, mixing gospel, rockabilly, folk and blues with guest appearances by Booker T. Jones, Augie Meyers, Benmont Tench, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings and others. Jones skewers sin and seeks salvation on Bob Dylan’s “What Good Am I?,” Susan Werner’s “Did Trouble Me,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Strange Things,” John Lee Hooker’s “Burning Hell” and four originals he composed with Johns. “The door’s wide open, waitin’ for your soul ... you just walk on in,” he sings in Pop Staples’ “You Don’t Knock.” But Jones, of course, swaggers through.

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ARTIST: THE ROOTS ALBUM: HOW I GOT OVER ore than 15 years into their career, Phila delphia hip-hop group the Roots approached their long-awaited ninth album with nothing to prove. That security doesn’t stop the Roots from challenging the boundaries of their sound on “How I Got Over,” their third and best effort on Def Jam. The track “Right On” spins a winning old-school vibe around the hook to Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right-On,” while lead single “Dear God 2.0” injects socially conscious rhymes into a Monsters of Folk track. The riffs on indie music work surprisingly well, but the Roots are still at their sharpest when offering a reflective, soul-tinged version of street rap. “I’m ready ... to start acting my age/And part ways with the Black Thought from back in the days,” Roots frontman Black Thought raps over Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson’s booming percussion on the song “Now or Never.” “How I Got Over” finds the Roots acting as elder statesmen in hip-hop, but its mix of nifty experiments and straightforward rap eliminates any sense of predictability.

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ARTIST: ROBYN ALBUM: BODY TALK PT 1 n her fifth album, “Body Talk Pt 1,” Swedish electropop singer Robyn proves she’s ready for the dance floor. The eight-track setthe first in a trio of releases slated for 2010 — opens with the brusque “Don’t F—-ing Tell Me What to Do,” where Robyn rattles off what’s “killing” her over a pulsing beat. (Her list includes everything from TV and her mother to her manager and record label.) A house influence flourishes on the Royksopp-assisted cut “None of Dem”; Robyn gets in touch with her urban side on “Fembot,” where she raps about “sipping propane topped with a cherry”; the reggae-flavored “Dancehall Queen” stays true to its title; and the summery single “Dancing on My Own” is the closest the singer gets to delivering a big pop chorus. Robyn closes “Body Talk Pt. 1” with a haunting, delicately sung rendition of the Swedish folk ballad “Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa.”

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ARTIST: NORMAN BROWN ALBUM: SENDING MY LOVE f you’re looking for respite from an issueplagued world that seems to be spinning off its axis, Norman Brown’s latest album, “Sending My Love,” offers a chillout escape hatch. The guitarist-who wrote or co-wrote nine of the 10 tracks- sets the mood with easygoing opener “Come Go With Me.” He slows down the groove on the track “Here’s My Number,” spices up the proceedings with the Latin-flavored “Play Time” and draws creative inspiration from contemporary R&B/hip-hop on “I’m Pouring My Heart Out” and “One Last Goodbye.” One of the set’s more poignant moments comes during Brown’s cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Celebrate Me Home.” Featuring the harmonic grounding of veteran ensemble Sounds of Blackness, the song was co-arranged by Brown’s daughter, Rochella, who joins dad on lead vocals. While Brown may not necessarily be reinventing the wheel, the guitarist’s diverse, expressive riffing is still formidable. “Sending My Love” is good music that requires listeners to do just one thing: kick back and enjoy the ride.

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ARTIST: STEVE MILLER BAND ALBUM: BINGO! he Steve Miller Band’s first new album in 17 years, “Bingo!” opens with the declaration, “Hey everyone, I think I’ll take this time to have some fun.” And that’s exactly what Miller & Co. do as they hark back to his roots on 10 energetically rendered blues and R&B covers. Those words come from the song “Hey Yeah” (one of three Jimmie Vaughan tunes, including “Who’s Been Talkin’?” and the sublime “Sweet Soul Vibe”), which represents the contemporary edge of the set. “Bingo!” mostly mines Miller’s varied influences, from the muscular 12-bar stomp of “Rock Me Baby” (featuring a stinging solo by Joe Satriani) to the Memphis lope of Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp.” And “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” is a welcome wild card, a roadhouse R&B gem treated here in a smooth and polished fashion. Original Santana percussionist Michael Carabello and Checkmates singer Sonny Charles (now a member of the Steve Miller Band) fortify the performances, and longtime Miller fans will also soak in some of the last recordings by the late harmonica ace Norton Buffalo. —Reuters

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Jolie relishes spy role, but only in fiction By Paula Bustamante eing a glamorous secret agent suits Angelina Jolie just fine. As long as it is just for the movies. “I couldn’t keep a secret life because it is just not natural to me and my family, but I think it’sa great sacrifice people make,” the actress said in an interview with AFP ahead of the release of the spy thriller “Salt,” in which she stars. In the interview in a Washington hotel, Jolie said she would have a difficult time in real life as her character, CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a Russian spy and must prove her innocence while on the run. Jolie, a 35-year-old mother of six and UN goodwill ambassador for refugees, said the public understands spy films are fiction despite the recent high-profile case involving a dozen so-called Russian sleeper agents. “I think most people are smart enough to just recognize entertainment, because we’ve had

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By Chris Lee obody expected the bottom to drop out on AR Rahman’s world tour. A Bollywood megastar and prolific film composer estimated to have sold more than 350 million albums worldwide, he’s revered as a musical demigod across the Indian Diaspora. In the US, of course, Rahman is best known as the guy behind the “Slumdog Millionaire” soundtrack who nabbed two Oscars, a Golden Globe and two Grammys for his propulsive scoring contributions to the hit 2008 indie romance. So, earlier this month, as he embarked on his “AR Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour,” Rahman’s plan was twofold: to connect with his adoring Desi-South Asian-fans while also tapping into his newfound popularity among non-Desis, packing sports arenas across North America and Europe along the way. Steeped in spectacle and exerting a high-tech razzle-dazzle more in step with, say, Lady Gaga than a composer dubbed “the Mozart of Madras,” the tour went off without a hitch in New York, New Jersey and Chicago. But disaster struck when Rahman hit Detroit on June 19. According to artistic director Amy Tinkham, the infrastructure at Detroit’s Pontiac Silverdome was not strong enough to support a lighting rig and buckled beneath its weight. The apparatus came crashing down, destroying part of the stage. Worse still, equipment and sets specially designed for the tour were rendered unusable. “It’s a miracle my team escaped with minor injuries,” Rahman said via Twitter last Monday. After initially postponing dates in Detroit and Toronto, Rahman made the agonizing decision Tuesday evening to postpone his remaining North American tour stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Canada and Houston while sets are rebuilt and producers scramble to ascertain which elements of the current show can be salvaged. A spokeswoman for Rahman said there is no plan to cancel the tour’s European dates; North American “Jai Ho Concert” dates will most likely be rescheduled for September. The predicament represents a significant setback for Rahman in his quest to connect with Western audiences like no South Asian pop star before him, while still relatively hot off his “Slumdog” success. He was named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people last year. Combining Bollywood, Broadway and a rock ‘n’ roll circus, “Jai Ho” was intended as a gateway to the American mainstream. His plan to cross over with non-Indian audiences also includes continuing soundtrack work in Hollywood (Rahman scored the 2009 romantic comedy “Couples Retreat”) and a potentially lucrative deal with Interscope Records. Two years have passed since “Slumdog” became a cultural touchstone and Rahman’s triumphant closing anthem “Jai Ho” became a smash hit (an alternate version recorded with the Pussycat Dolls hit No. 1 in four countries). He spent much of 2009 collecting awards and basking in the glow. Still, reached by phone in Chicago earlier this month, before his Detroit set disaster, the soft-spoken composer, 44, acknowledged that he might have been slow off the mark to capitalize on that momentum with a world tour. “In practice, it should have been last year,” Rahman said. “But creatively, we needed time to put this together.” Rahman’s manager Amos Newman said before the Pontiac Silverdome mishap that the tour was to be a sort of introduction to American audiences. “His shows in the past were very much geared for Indian audiences. —MCT

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spy movies and entertainment around for a very long time,” said Jolie, her hair hanging loose around her shoulders and wearing a black sleeveless dress that revealed her famous tattoos on her arms. “In reality it is entertainment even though it’s based on things that are possible. I think we didn’t focus on the politics as much as the people and their personalities.” For her role, Jolie consulted with a real spy, Mellisa Boyle Mahle, a former US intelligence officer and an expert on the Middle East and counterterrorism. “I tried to take it as seriously as I would any dramatic role, I try to think about her childhood, what kind of person she would be and the things that make her sad or the things that make her happy,” Jolie said. “We talked about the sacrifice of not being able to share with your family, and... what a relief it is when you retire and you can finally talk.” The action film, featuring explosions,

car chases and a fast-paced plot line, was directed by Phillip Noyce and co-stars Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The movie begins wide worldwide distribution in the coming week. Jolie also told AFP she would welcome another film with her partner and Hollywood star Brad Pitt, with whom she co-starred in the action flick “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” “Of course, of course,” she said when asked about playing opposite Pitt again, but said the film would have to be carefully chosen. “I think when you are a real couple, (there are) some things audiences prefer to see real couples do, and some things they really don’t like to see real couples do, so you have to be very careful,” she said. “I’d like to do everything with him, I love to be just with him... I don’t think it is a risk for us, we have fun doing everything together.” Jolie said she strives to limit her film work as she juggles her role as mother, actress and UN humanitarian

Angelina Jolie envoy. “I schedule a lot, and in advance,” she said. “I only work for a few months and then I take many months off. Before ‘Salt’ we got a year and half off and just traveled and

I just was a mom. “And now I’m not working for five to six months... Brad’s working and I’m just being a mom and traveling.” She enjoys travel and tries to visit the locations where some of her adopted children were born. “I want to discover everything,” she said. “I will always love the countries that my children are from, they will always be special to me.” Jolie adopted her son Maddox from Cambodia, daughter Zahara from Ethiopia, and her son Pax Thien from Vietnam. Her biological daughter Shiloh was born in Namibia and her twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline were born in France. Even though she has won an Oscar and other awards, Jolie said she still holds up Meryl Streep as today’s leading actress. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be as good as she is, she’s so brilliant,” Jolie said. “She is the one we all try to be as good as, but none of us will ever be as good as Meryl.” —AFP

From ‘Jai Ho’ to uh-oh:

Bollywood star woos the world AR Rahman, best known for his scoring of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” performs in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, outside of Chicago on his world tour. —MCT

Disney’s loyal John Morris finds it hard ‘Apprentice’ to let go of childhood too T

By Anthony Breznican

he horrific face staring up at Nicolas Cage is lined in satanic red, scowling angrily, and its eyes are empty and white, though truthfully, they’ve gone a little yellow with time. “This one looks really scary,” the actor says, placing his hands on the long conference table and leaning over the small square of drawing paper, now more than 70 years old. “That one didn’t quite make the cut.” The star of the new live-action version of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is looking over a table filled with original concept and animation drawings from the classic animated short of the same name, laid out for display in a conference room in Disney’s Animation Research Library. In 1940’s “Fantasia,” the animated musical’s simple centerpiece was “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” with Mickey Mouse borrowing his master’s magical hat and causing havoc with brooms and water pails. Over seven decades, it has continued to resonate with generation after generation.

Cage admired it so much that he began pursuing a project to remake it as a liveaction feature with himself as the stern master wizard and skinny, nervous Jay Baruchel (“She’s Out of My League”) as the overwhelmed protege. The actor is joined at the library by his two collaborators — director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer-who helped him expand that eight-minute short into the family adventure that opened Wednesday. In this version, Cage is a centuries-old wizard, a onetime student of Merlin, who lives in modern-day New York City and recruits the geeky young physics student with latent otherworldly powers to help him defeat a collection of evil rivals who have escaped from their prison of mystical nesting dolls. “I’m looking at that one over there, Jerry,” Cage says, pointing to another concept drawing with the sorcerer’s arms raised and his hands angled down, as if he’s silencing an orchestra. “Remember our first conversation on the telephone? I was in Hungary, we were talking about using bracelets.” —MCT

(From Right) Director Jon Turteltaub goes over a scene with Nicolas Cage, from left, Jay Baruchel and Monica Bellucci in the movie, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. —MCT

John Morris is the voice of the character Andy, shown here in a scene from “Toy Story 3.” —MCT

By Yvonne Villarreal is own toy story began 18 years ago. John Morris was a little boy, just 7 years old, and when he became part of Hollywood history he wasn’t even paying attention-he was too busy playing with some XMen action figures to notice that he had won the voice role of Andy, the earnest and imaginative youngster at the center of Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise. “It was an open casting call for boys,” Morris, now 25, recalled. “I knew I was there for a job. But, I mean, at that moment, it was just about me and my toys. I was playing and was in my own world. I think that’s what got me the part. I was Andy.” “Toy Story 3” has already pulled in $459 million worldwide since its June 18 release and $1.31 billion as a franchise. More than that, the newest edition has earned some of the strongest reviews of any major studio release this year. No one marvels at that more than Morris. “Usually, people grow out of things, they move on,” Morris said. “It’s just amazing how many people still find the magic in these films. The sto-

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ries are amazing. The characters ... they’re like family. They hold a special place in your heart.” Directed by Lee Unkrich and starring the familiar voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and the rest of the playroom gang, “Toy Story 3” centers on Andy on the eve of his big move to college. As he packs up for the future, he must deal with a bit of the past-should he pack away his beloved toys in the attic or just send them to the curb? “It’s a moment where childhood meets adulthood,” Morris said. “Hanging on becomes harder and harder and you sort of have to let some things go. It’s something everyone can relate to.” Morris was faced with the same decision with his own playthings just before starting college at UCLA in 2003. He said that, for him, a My Buddy doll was his most prized childhood pal but that there were plenty of others in the emotional toy box. “Some of them I gave to my little sister,” Morris said. “Some of them I saved in the attic to give to my future kids. The rest I sort of displayed on

a shelf. You don’t realize how hard it is to let some of them go until you’re faced with it. You kind of just want to play with them one last time.” The toys-coming-to-life fantasy of the Disney/Pixar franchise holds a special power over young audiences and the boy who gave voice to Andy was no different after the first film opened in 1995. “After the movie came out, I remember I would set my toys up,” Morris said. “I’d leave them a certain way on my bed and I’d crack the door open to see if anything was happening-if they were moving or something. I was always hoping to catch them in the act. The films just made you believe.” When it came time to voice the last scene in this newest installment, Morris said it was almost like saying goodbye to childhood. “It was such an emotional scene,” Morris said. “It’s like suddenly you’re an adult and you have to say goodbye to being a kid and all that childlike wonder. And it was emotional on a whole other level for me because this character has been my life. There was so much depth in that scene for me. I mean, we grew up together, he and I.” —MCT


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Walls and a river still surround the former Spanish capital of Toledo.

By Ann Tatko-Peterson he only Toledo I knew about was the one in Ohio. I had no idea Spain had one, too, until it turned up on my cruise tour itinerary. That’s how I ended up in a European city that dates back to the Bronze Age, sitting in a coffee shop dunking a churro in the thickest, richest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. “Pure heaven,” I told my husband as I finished the last drop. In a sense, that pretty much sums up the four days I spent on a Royal Caribbean cruise tour of Spain before taking a Mediterranean cruise. The concept of a cruise tour is fairly simple: A few days before or after a scheduled cruise, guests arrive for a land-based tour that begins or ends in their ship’s port city. The cruise line handles the hotel reservations, half-day guided tours, transportation and some meals. Four-day cruise tours start around $1,500 per person. European cruise tours range in size from 10 to 30 people. A tour director stays with the group for the entire trip, while additional guides join at various destinations. “On a cruise, you may go to Rome, but we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Showeshi Strickland-Boston, manager of cruisetour sales and marketing for Royal Caribbean. “How can we expect to see it in a day? On a cruise tour, you spend two nights there, travel to another city for two nights, then go on the cruise and see even more. You don’t feel as rushed around.” Unless you’re like me. I always try to cram as much into a trip as possible, which is another reason why the cruise tour suited my style. We spent half of each day in our group of 10, then had enough free time to set our own pace and hit the spots that mattered most to us. In four days, we saw four cathedrals, three of architect Antoni Gaudi’s creations, two bull rings, one palace and more fountains than we could count. We met fellow cruisers who became friends-including a couple from Lafayette. We rode in buses, taxis and a high-speed train. Most of all, we realized that one cruise tour would never be enough. Spain won me over the minute I

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The ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod was moved to Madrid, Spain as a show of thanks for Spain’s help in saving the temples of Abu Simbel.

By Catherine Saillant rijah Wence and his friends were among the sweaty few who reached Matilija Falls high in the mountains north of Ojai on a recent hike. All four said the reward for the two-hour, boulderhopping ascent was worth the effort. “You can’t tarnish this place,” said the 26-year-old Ventura student, cooling himself under the first of several waterfalls. “You slide in the water and it’s so refreshing.” For decades, hikers, hunters and fishermen have made the same trek up Matilija Creek, drawn by its pristine swimming holes and, near the top, a series of cascading, year-round falls. But a private landowner is seeking to change that custom. For more than a year, Shull “Buzz” Bonsall Jr. has been approaching trail users and shooing them off the acreage owned by his family’s trust. The falls are on public property but roughly two-thirds of the trail to reach them is on Bonsall’s land straddling Matilija Creek. This year he informed the US Forest Service that he no longer wants the public traversing his property. In April, the Ojai Ranger District issued a statement warning hikers that they are trespassing when they use the trail. Though no cita-

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Children chase giant bubbles in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain.— MCT photos stepped into Madrid’s Plaza Mayor. Bull fights, royal coronations and executions were once held in this square, created in 1617. Today, it is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, including a group of children who chased bubbles on our visit in May. We entered through a stone archway to find sidewalk cafes lining the square’s interior and artists diligently painting and drawing. Immediately, our eye was drawn to Casa de la Panaderia, a large building covered in exquisite allegoric murals. Madrid also is home to the Prado Museum, where our guide Mirabel had us fully engaged in the paintings of Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya. Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” is considered one of the three most important compositions in the world, but I was more captivated by his other royal paintings. As Mirabel pointed out, Velazquez often painted over parts of his works, which today show through like shadows. Before long, I was playing my own version of “Where’s Waldo?” as I tried to find Velazquez’s fixes. On our own for the afternoon, my hus-

tions have been issued, the ranger district agreed to post signs in coming months warning the public that people can’t enter the property without Bonsall’s permission. Bonsall says he will put up his own signs. Bonsall, whose father built a real estate empire stretching from Monterey to San Diego, declined to comment. But he told the Ventura County Star that his family is concerned about litter, illegal camping and hikers getting hurt on the property. “I’m not trusting the public for the stewardship of our land,” he said. “It’s our property and our responsibility.” Local conservationists have swung into action, forming Keep Access to Matilija Falls Open, a group intent on preserving public access to the falls. Organizers say they hope to meet with Bonsall to address his concerns. Their goal is a deeded easement to ensure the public’s continued access to the trail, but with restrictions on camping or wandering onto other parts of the Bonsall acreage, said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres Forest Watch, a coalition member. But if they are unable to reach an agreement, the citizens group is prepared to file suit, Kuyper said. The public has used the trail continuously for more than a century, creating a “prescriptive” right to continued access, he said. A Ventura attorney who stepped forward to

Robert Evans and Susan Lavelle hike the trail leading to Matilija Falls near Ojai.— MCT photos

band and I strolled around Madrid until we stumbled upon the Royal Palace. Blindly following a line of people, we ended up buying tickets that brought us inside the lavish former palace of the Spanish royal family. “It makes the White House look like a country farm,” my husband said with a laugh. Twentyfive rooms are open to the public, including one appointed for “conversing” and another made entirely of porcelain. The parade grounds also offer stunning views of the palace gardens and much of Madrid. The next day we boarded a bus for a side trip to Toledo (pronounced with an ‘a’ instead of an ‘e’). The former Spanish capital sits in the hills behind stone walls, complete with turrets, and surrounded by a river. Cobblestone streets, stone buildings, narrow alleys and black-trimmed lanterns complete the Old-World feel, marred only slightly by the public buses and the golden arches of a McDonald’s. In addition to delicious hot chocolate, Toledo is also home to a Gothic-style cathedral that would rival anything I would see later in Italy. The attention to detail is stagger-

ing; even the stone columns are intricately carved from top to bottom. The high altar is overwhelming in size and scope with wood carvings and gold leaf that took the combined efforts of 20 artists to create. The most stunning addition is the Baroque altar called El Transparente, with a window casting light on the statues, paintings, bronze castings and colored marble designed by Narciso Tome. As we stared up at Tome’s work, the sun suddenly shone through the window, casting a brilliance that was literally breathtaking. We also stopped to see the world’s second most important composition, “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” painting by El Greco. We returned to Madrid and caught the smooth high-speed train to Barcelona (definitely the best way to travel in Spain). Our whirlwind tour of Barcelona showed off the 1992 Olympic stadium, an incredible panaromic view of the city, another Gothic-style cathedral, the diverse shopping and eateries on Las Ramblas and all the Gaudi we could handle. Barcelona has many crown jewels, perhaps most notably Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Looking like a giant sand castle, with Gaudi’s trademark whimsical features, the cathedral is still under construction-and probably will be until 2016, our tour guide noted. Long fascinated by Gaudi’s eccentric work, I dragged my husband to Casa Mila, one of two Barcelona apartment buildings created by the artist that are open to the public. We wandered through the rooms of one apartment, marveling at the scrollwork, oddly shaped doorways and excessively curved furniture. Then we hightailed it to the roof before a light rain closed the famous terrace, where Gaudi’s strange chimneys look like something best suited for a Dr. Seuss book. We also strolled along the waterfront, a once dilapidated area built up for the 1992 Olympics and now a thriving area of businesses and tourism in the city. It was here that we dined on our last night at El Cagrejo Loco (Crazy Crab). We enjoyed tapas, drank wine and shared memories with the other members of our group. And we had yet to even board the ship for our cruise.

help Keeping Access agrees. William Slaughter said he argued a similar case in Ojai a few years ago and won the public’s right to access the popular Gridley Trail in perpetuity. Slaughter says he believes Bonsall is intent on making his family’s property more valuable by establishing an exclusive right to access. But, the attorney said, Bonsall will have a hard time overcoming legal precedents. Under law, “we are required to prove there’s been five or more years of continuous public access predating 1972,” Slaughter said. “We can prove the public’s been using it continuously well over that.” Robert Evans, 58, recalls climbing the canyon many summers in his youth, swimming in the stream-fed pools along the way. “We’d bring a frying pan and stay the weekend,” Evans said. Now he arranges guided hikes throughout Los Padres National Forest, advertising the treks on his website. Matilija Falls is a favorite “no wimps” climb, he said. He’s seen little litter in his many years and virtually no graffiti, Evans said. “People are respectful,” he said. Melissa Kirkegaard said that she’s been taking her two daughters on the trail for years and that her oldest decided to celebrate her 15th birthday with a hike to the falls. “She wanted to show her friends that

Robert Evans and Susan Lavelle hike the trail leading to Matilija Falls near Ojai.

CRUISE TOUR: To learn more about Royal Caribbean”s cruise tours, visit www.royalcaribbean.com . What to do In Madrid: Prado Museum — 011-34913-302-800; www.museodelpardo.es. Open 9 am -8 pm Tuesdays-Sundays. Cost 8 euro, children free. Royal Palace — 011-34-914548-800; www.patrimonionacional.es. Open 9:30 am -6 pm (5 pm winter) Mondays-Saturdays and 9 am -3 pm Sundays. Cost 10 euros. In Toledo: El Foro de Toledo —011-34-925284-555; www.mazapantoledo.com. Try to hot chocolate and churros. Cathedral of Toledo — 01134-925-222-241. Open 10:30 am -6:30 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 26:30 pm Sundays. Cost 6 euros. In Barcelona: Sagrada Familia — 011-34902-101-212; www.sagradafamilia.cat. Open 9 am -8 pm (6 pm winter) daily. Cost 12 euros. Casa Mila — 011-34-934-845900; www.lapedrearaeducacio.org. Open 9 am -8 pm (6:30 pm winter) daily. Cost 10 euros. — MCT

rock waterfalls and swimming pools don’t just exist at fancy hotels,” Kirkegaard said. “Those pools are just copies of what exists in the public’s backyard.” Ojai Ranger John Bridgewater said the US Forest Service does not officially recognize the trail. Bonsall has owned the property since 1979 and posted many “No Trespassing” signs over the years, Bridgewater said. But they are always vandalized or torn down. There’s no other practical route to Matilija Falls, he said, though the Forest Service might be interested in building one in the future. Talks with Bonsall about a possible land swap have so far gone nowhere. “He has been cordial but he is not ready for that yet,” Bridgewater said. On a recent day, “No Trespassing” signs were not visible anywhere on Bonsall’s portion of the route. But there were plenty of youngsters, teenagers and older folks headed onto the trail to fish, swim and hike. An adult shepherding a group of children near one swimming hole said Bonsall had given him permission to camp. But most of the day trippers had no clue about the dispute. “It just seems selfish to keep this to yourself,” Wence said. “If anything, it should be made public lands.” — MCT

Campers enjoy one of the many watering holes along Matilija creek at the trail leading to Matilija Falls.


A boat speeds toward one of the five villages of Cinque Terre, a quaint coastal region in Italy.

By Ann Tatko-Peterson he appeal is in the numbers: seven days, three countries, 12 European cities and towns, and one room for the duration. Taking a cruise offers the chance to cover a lot of territory in Europe without the hassle of finding hotels, restaurants and transportation. It’s the sampler approach to visiting Europe. And boy, has it caught on. In 2011, Carnival will return to Europe for its first full season in three years when it debuts the Magic; Princess will add seven new routes and Celebrity will move all four of its Solstice-class ships-including newcomer Silhouette-to Europe for the summer. The biggest stakeholder remains Royal Caribbean. The cruise line is increasing its European presence from eight to 11 ships next year and will cover 27 countries and 78 ports. Travelers have caught the European cruise wave. I decided to try it, too, so in May, my husband and I took a seven-day Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona, Spain, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. For convenience, it’s hard to beat the ports in Barcelona. They sit at the end of Las Ramblas, the city’s famous boulevard of shops, restaurants and street vendors. Las Ramblas winds through the city’s center and leads visitors to most of Barcelona’s famous attractions. After checking in for the cruise, there is time to visit the sights before the late evening departure. Royal Caribbean also offers pre- and post-cruise tours for extended visits to the city. Our seven-day sailing included only one day with no port of call. We were smart enough to spend that day relaxing. We knew what awaited-four ports in Italy and one in France, with tours lasting up to 10 hours a day. I was wide-awake with the sun as our ship glided into Naples. For our first port of call, we joined a small group private tour, one of three new excursion options offered on Royal Caribbean’s European cruises. These tours allow guests to design customized half- or full-day excursions for up to 10 people. We put that theory to the test immediately when we discovered our Sorrento and Pompeii tour did not include a stop on the Amalfi Coast. Our guide quickly added the detour so we could take photos of the Li Galli islands (home to the Sirens of Homer’s “Odyssey”) and Postiano. Postcards don’t do them justice. Next up was Le Colline, a lemon, olive and dairy farm in Sorrento. We walked under a canopy of lemon trees, used to make the region’s famous lemoncello, which we sampled later. I’ve never cared for lemoncello, until I tasted the velvety chocolate variety. It just goes to show, chocolate can make almost anything taste great. After a demonstration in cheese making, we indulged in a sampler’s plate that easily could have covered us for lunch. I’ll never eat mozzarella again without pining for Sorrento. That was especially true after our visit to Sorrento’s Piazza Tasso. Here my husband and I shared a Caprese salad and salami pizza at a sidewalk cafe. Naturally, we chased it with genuine, creamy gelato-a treat that would

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Elaborate frescos and other works of art cover the walls and ceilings of galleries in the Vatican Museums.

By Ann Tatko-Peterson he moment was hardly spiritual, not with 200 people crowded inside, the drone of hushed conversations and the incessant bellows of “no pictures” and “shush” from the security guards. Yet my chest tightened as I stepped inside the Sistine Chapel for the first time. The scene stretched above me with the brilliance and awe-inspiring intensity of a fireworks display, but also with an emotional wonder that is more subdued. Since taking a college art class nine years earlier, I had hoped to see the Sistine Chapel for myself. A love of religion or art or history or just plain curiosity have drawn visitors to the Vatican City in Italy for more than a century. I came partly because of my Catholic upbringing but mostly because I wanted to see Michelangelo’s masterpieces-the vault, or ceiling, and “Last Judgment,” which combined took almost a decade of the artist’s life to complete. Usually I visit places on my own, preferring to set my own pace and follow my own itinerary. That’s a bad idea when visiting the Vatican during high season, when a cruise ship is in port or the pope is making an appearance. In any of these scenarios, your best bet is to join a tour or hire a guide. We encountered the nightmare trifecta on our visit in May. Not only were three ships worth of passengers visiting the Vatican, but its museums and St Peter’s Basilica had closed that morning while the pope held his weekly general address at St Peter’s Square. That afternoon about 40 of us arrived with our guide, Stefania Andreani, and breezed through security in under

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Port Grimaud has been called the Venice of France for the series of canals surrounding the businesses and residences.

become our daily indulgence. After lunch, we took more windy roads to Pompeii, an ancient civilization buried under ash and pumice when Mount Vesuvius exploded in 79 AD. The city was rediscovered in 1592 and is now 82 percent uncovered. I’m not much for ruins, but Pompeii blew me away. The detail is exquisite, from the brick ovens, paved streets and underground water pipe system to the graphic fertility icons. Most startling are the plaster casts of two skeletons. The fear expressed in their bodies is palpable, with arms raised to cover their heads and mouths opened to reveal their teeth. The next morning we disembarked at Civitavecchia and took a 90-minute bus ride to Rome. Raised Catholic, I’d always wanted to see the Vatican, so we signed up for the cruise’s Christian Rome excursion. I had researched the Vatican ad nauseam, leaving our other stop as a pleasant surprise. The Basilica of St. John L ateran was built in 314 AD by Emperor Constantine. Highlights include six papal tombs, a gorgeous carved ceiling and an oxidized bronze door depicting the Madonna and Child, whose foot has been

The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is a classic must-have photograph sight in Florence, Italy.

touched so often for blessings that the bronze still gleams. The real gem for Christians is located across the street at the Palace of the Holy Stairs. Twenty-eight marble steps, now overlaid with wood for their protection, are said to be the ones Jesus climbed when brought before Pontius Pilate. Constantine’s mother, Helen, reportedly transported the steps from Jerusalem to Rome. Today, believers climb the steps on their knees, saying a prayer on each one. A second staircase-for those of us who prefer keeping to our feet-leads to the Sancta Sanctorum, once the pope’s private chapel. Most noteworthy here are a glass case said to contain a fragment of table from the Last Supper-yes, Helen took this from Jerusalem, too-and the Archeiropoeton (“picture painted without hands”) said to be created by an angel. For our third day in Italy, we opted for an “On Your Own” excursion, where transportation is provided but visitors determine their own itinerary. First up: Pisa, or more specifically, Piazza del Duomo. I was instantly charmed by a scene straight out

If you go VOYAGER OF THE SEAS: Despite being launched in 1999, the ship has aged well. It carries up to 3,838 guests, features spacious staterooms and enough public spaces that we never felt crowded. Amenities include a basketball court, rock-climbing wall, nine-hole mini golf course, in-line and ice skating, and spa and fitness center. The Peek-a-Boo Bridge also gives guests a rare look inside the captain”s bridge. Also make time to see the “Ice Odyssey Showtime.” Nothing compares to this elaborate ice skating show on a small rink that literally puts the performers right in your face. Seven-day Mediterranean sailings from Barcelona start at $599. These cruises have five ports of call and replace the Genoa stop with a second French port, Villefranche (Nice). Details: www.royalcaribbean.com; 866-5627625. PORT CITY: After checking in, you can spend the day visiting Barcelona”s sights. From most cruise terminals, you will need to take the blue shuttle bus to the Christopher Columbus monument. The cost is 2 euros for a single trip or 3 euros for a same-day round trip. The shuttle departs the monument to return to the terminals every half-hour. Taxis also are available and usually cost about 8 euros to the city center. EXCURSIONS: On Royal Caribbean, private tours can be pre-ordered with prices based on vehicle and duration. A 9-hour tour with driver and guide for up to 10 people starts at $1,829. The 10-hour Christian

Rome tour with stops at the Vatican and St John in Lateran Basilica is $190 per adult and $140 per child; admission, guide, transportation and lunch included. The 9 {-hour Explore Florence and Pisa On Your Own costs $99 per adult and $66 per child; transportation included. The 8-hour Saint-Tropez with a visit to Port Grimaud costs $149 per adult and $119 per child; transportation, guide and lunch included. TIPS FOR ITALY: Almost all Italian restaurants have a cover charge of 2-4 euros. In many major cities, including Rome and Florence, a fee of 20 cents to 2 euros is charged for using public restrooms. Be careful if you purchase from street peddlers who frequent popular tourist cities. The Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) will fine anyone caught buying counterfeit merchandise from these unlicensed peddlers. Those fines can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. WHEN IN FLORENCE: If you want an exceptional guide, try Luca Misuri; luca(underscore)misuri@vodafone.it or 011-39-349600-1650. For the best gelato, visit Vivoli, Via Isola delle Stinche 7 50122, about a block northwest of the Piazza Santa Croce; www.vivoli.it; 011-39-055-292334. Crowds flock to Michelangelo”s David, especially during high season or when a cruise ship is in port, so consider booking your visit in advance for an extra 3 euros; www.firenzemusei.it/00(underscore)english/servizi/index.html or 011-39-055-294-883. — MCT

The painted ceiling and Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel are considered to be among the crowning achievements of Michelangelo.— MCT photos

10 minutes. Meanwhile, outside, the general public waited in line for three-plus hours to access St Peter’s Basilica. Front of the line privileges go to visitors accompanied by official guides. Plus, Andreani was like a walking Vatican encyclopedia. Her little tidbits of knowledge really enhanced what I already knew from my own research, such as how Michelangelo depicted himself as skin in purgatory in the “Last Judgment” and how the Tapestry Room ceilings looked like carvings but were actually frescoes. Who knew 3-D art had its roots in the 14th century? The Vatican may be the world’s smallest recognized country, but at 109 acres, it is a massive undertaking for any visitor trying to see the sights. You would need several days to see everything. Because I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I had only one

A door at the Basilica of St John Lateran features a carving of the Madonna and Child, whose foot has been touched so many times for a blessing that the bronze still shines. of a storybook. The walled square had lush green grass and a cathedral, baptistery and the Leaning Tower constructed of mostly gray marble, white stone and colored marble accents. All three looked surreal. No wonder Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio dubbed the square the Field of Miracles. We spent most of our 45 minutes trying to photograph ourselves “holding up” the tower. From Pisa, we traveled to Florence, the city of art, leather goods and the author of a book about a puppet named Pinocchio. We ran into friends early on, who warned us about a four-block line at the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s statue David. (If you plan to visit, make reservations well in advance.) These friends also introduced us to Luca Misuri, a well-connected tour guide who was a godsend. Misuri ushered us into Boccadama Ristorante, where we enjoyed a delicious prix fixe menu of salad, lasagna, bread and white wine for 16 euros. We asked Misuri’s advice about places to visit during our almost three-hour

stay. He marked the highlights on our map, including a side-alley shop, Vivoli, with perhaps the best gelato in Italy. The chocolate was like creamy fudge in a cup. We got our David fix by checking out the copy in the outdoor Piazza Signoria-also home to dozens of other statues and the Fountain of Neptune. We wandered to snap photos of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. We marveled at the stunning marble and scrollwork facade of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. We paid our respects at the crypts of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machievelli and a host of others at Santa Croce. Three hours passed too quickly, landing Florence on our must-visit-again list. Our final stop in Italy brought us to Genoa and a private tour, this time of the quaint Cinque Terre. Here five villages are carved into the hillside along the coast. They are connected by coastal walkways, a train and ferries. We walked along the Path of Love, named for the love messages carved into rocks, trees and plants. Today, the path also features padlocks that couples hook to fences and rails, then toss the key in the water to symbolize the finality of their love. Among the padlocks was an occasional combination lock. “Guess they’re keeping their options open,” my husband quipped. At the path’s end, we boarded a ferry and stopped at Vernazza, where we dined at a sidewalk cafe overlooking the water. We instantly fell in love with two locally produced favorites-a walnut sauce over ravioli and the house white wine. Vernazza is best known for its Church to Santa Margherita d’Antiochia. But I was more taken with the Sanctuary of Our Lady Regio. Plunked down on the village’s main path, this Romanesque sanctuary dates back to 1248 and has only three aisles and a shrine to the Madonna and Child. The sanctuary would have looked out of place-in any place except quaint Cinque Terre. By our final full day, we were exhausted, but as this was our only stop in France, we ventured ashore once more. Our group tour took us 90 minutes to SaintTropez, a village of pastel-colored buildings and harbor of million-dollar yachts. Saint-Tropez is a favorite French Riviera vacation spot for the rich and famous. But we were more enthralled with Port Grimaud. The port is nicknamed the Venice of France because homes and business are built on canals, complete with boats and bridges. Kitschy jewelry and apparel shops line the canals, most of the restaurants feature outdoor seating, and boat tours show off the seaside town created by architect Francois Spoerry in the 1960s. A sandy beach is also the ideal spot to rest after a long week. Our real rest didn’t come until evening, back on the ship, as we sat on our stateroom’s balcony. The sun sank beneath the horizon, painting the sky a vibrant red and orange. The first pangs of wistfulness hit, until I remembered what the captain told us earlier in the week. Next season, the Voyager of the Seas repositions to its new home port in Venice. That means a chance to see three countries and six ports of call over seven days and all from the comfort of one cruise stateroom. Sounds pretty good to me.

Chairs remain in the square following an address by the Pope at St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

day. Here are a few of the highlights worth checking out for single-day visitors: • ST PETER’S BASILICA: The 275,000-square foot basilica with 44 altars took 18 centuries to build to its present state. It is said that St Peter was crucified and buried between 64 and 67 AD A chapel was built on his tomb, later replaced by the basilica. Inside, beneath the canopy of the Cattedra Altar, is the “Tomb of St Peter.” Recent archaeological findings support the belief that the apostle was buried here. Above the altar is the Cupola, designed by Michelangelo and finished by his student Giacomo Della Porta. The Cupola inspired future domes, including London’s St Paul’s in 1675 and Washington, DC’s Capitol Building in 1794. Equally grand is the nave Donato Bramante, continued by

VATICAN MUSEUMS: 011-39-06698-81349; http://mv.vatican.va/3(underscore)EN/pages/MV(underscore)Home.html. Open 9 am to 6 pm with the last entry at 4 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 9 am -2 pm (last entry 12:30 p.m.) on the last Sunday of each month (with free admittance). Cost is 15 euros for adults and 8 euros for children. Two-hour guided tours, which include the Sistine Chapel, are available for an additional 31 euros for adults and 25 euros for children. GUIDE: Our guide for the Vatican was Stefania Andreani. Contact her at steffy782001@yahoo.it; 011-39-333-323-6539. DRESS CODE: Visitors must adhere to a strict dress code for admittance to St Peter”s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Not allowed are shorts, skirts above

Michelangelo and finished by Carlo Maderno. The massive space is decorated with mosaics, 39 statues of saints and Baroque stuccowork. It also features large fluted pilasters. One of the most famous works of art sits in the first chapel. Michelangelo’s “Pieta” is one of his earliest sculptures, showing a resigned Mary holding the limp body of her son, Jesus. • COURTYARD: Before entering the museums, check out the Courtyard of the “Pigna,” featuring a giant bronze pine cone that once stood near the Pantheon. Also here, and much more recent, are the 1,990 concentric spheres by sculptor Amaldo Pomodoro. • GALLERIES: To reach the Sistine Chapel, visitors pass through a series of galleries. Arguably the most impressive is the Gallery of Maps. The walls

the knee and sleeveless shirts. Security will turn you away. TO SEE THE POPE: General audiences with the pope are usually held at 10:30 am on Wednesdays. Locations vary and include St Peter’s Square, the Paul VI Hall (Aula Nervi) and St Peter”s Basilica. Free tickets are available from the Pontifical Household: Prefettura della Casa Pontificia, Palazzo Apostolico, 00120 Vatican City State. Also request them through the Church of Santa Susanna (the American Catholic Church in Rome) at www.santasusanna.org/popeVatican/tickets.html or through the U.S. Bishops’ Office for Visitors to the Vatican at the Casa Santa Maria on Via dell’Umilta, 30, 00187 Rome, Italy, one block from the Trevi Fountain; nacvisoffrome@pnac.org.���MCT

are covered by 40 maps painted between 1580 and 1585 to highlight the major Italian cities and the papal properties at the time of Pope Gregory XIII. Even more stunning is the 394-foot-by-20 foot barrel-vaulted ceiling, covered entirely in brightly detailed frescoes. • SISTINE CHAPEL: Seeing himself as a sculptor, Michelangelo initially declined the commission to paint the ceiling but later relented when Pope Julius II gave him free reign to highlight any biblical scenes. The end result showcases 300 scenes, including the world’s creation and the Great Flood. Michelangelo may be the star, but the chapel is also a showcase for many great Renaissance artists, including Raphael, Bernini and Botticelli. The chapel is best known as the site where each pope is elected. • EGYPTIAN MUSEUM: A sandstone head of Mentuhotep II is the oldest portrait in the Vatican Museums and located here. Historians also will enjoy the Egyptian mummies, sarcophagi, hieroglyphics and statues. One of the most notable statues is of Queen Tuaa, who was the mother of Ramses II. • ETRUSCAN MUSEUM: Here you will find one of the world’s largest collections of Etruscan art, including the Regolini-Galassi tomb. Also on display is an impressive chariot, as well as bronzes, urns and jewelry. These six stops provide only a small glimpse into all that the Vatican has to offer, but each is awe-inspiring in its own right.


www.kuwaittimes.net

By Alice Ritchie picy, steaming hot, scooped up in naan bread and washed down with a cold beverage, there are few dishes more favored by the British than the curry for a takeaway or a late-night meal after the pubs shut. But restaurateurs are in a sweat about the future of the industry, which this year celebrates its 200th birthday, after the government introduced tough new immigration rules that threaten the influx of chefs from abroad. Ever since officers of the British Empire brought home the spices and dishes of south Asia, Britons have embraced the curry-a name used to describe a wide variety of food from the region-while adapting it along the way. This included inventing the chicken tikka masala, a lightly-spiced, creamy, tomato-based stew proclaimed as a “true British national dish” by then foreign secretary Robin Cook in 2001 and which now sells 49 million portions annually. But the industry still relies on foreign cooks, largely from Bangladesh-and it is warning that a cap on non-European Union immigration introduced on July 19 by Britain’s new coalition government has put its future in jeopardy. “Cooking curry is a special art,” said Bajloor Rashid, president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association, which represents 12,000 Bangladeshi restaurants employing 100,000 people directly in Britain. “You just cannot have anyone from here or there and becoming a chefthey have to enjoy the cooking, they have to have the art of the cooking, otherwise it’s not going to work.” He is lobbying against the new cap, warning it would “seriously affect us” by exacerbating existing shortages in the curry industry, which the BCA estimates at about 34,000 jobs. “It’s taken us a long time to build this industry so it’s not easy just to put a cap on it and let it go,” Rashid told AFP. The first foreign-owned curry house in Britain was the Hindostanee Coffee House, opened in London in 1810 — meaning the industry brings up its double century this year. The owner of the Hindostanee Coffee, Dean Mahomed, was Indian, but these days 95 percent of restaurants are owned and managed by Bangladeshis. One of these is Cafe Naz, a modern, spacious restaurant on Brick Lane, a street

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Emirati women weave straw baskets and mats out of palm leaves, a traditional handicraft, during the fourth Liwa Date Festival 2010 in Abu Dhabi yesterday.— AFP

aris Hilton was briefly detained in Corsica after sniffer dogs detected a “quite small” quantity of marijuana in her bag, a French newspaper reported Saturday. Corse Matin newspaper said officers at the airport in Figari found about one gram’s worth of marijuana. Hilton, who was transiting the French Mediterranean island in a private jet on Friday, was hauled in for questioning and released about 30 minutes later, the report said. In a story posted on its Web site, the

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hallenging Romanian youngest singer Cleopatra Stratan’s world record, Nepali youngest singer Atithi Gautam KC has given a performance at a live concert here in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu yesterday. The three-year-old kid sang three songs, including Nepali national anthem. She was accompanied by her elder sister Ushna KC in harmonium and her father Uddhab KC who is a Nepali folk singer, sitting next to her during the concert. “No records have been found yet in Guinness Book of World Records of a child singer at this early age, so we work on to process to record Atithi and her first album in the world record, “ Atithi’s farther told Xinhua yesterday. “Atithi started singing at the age of two. She got a habit of imitating her sister,” he added. According to him, Atithi is good at singing classical songs which is even tough for primary graduates of classical. Audience at the concert got aston-

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ished seeing three-year-old kid performing at live concert. The kid has good memory to track on lyrics and can sing. On the occasion, the girl also released a solo album “Atithi,” comprising nine songs including Nepali National Anthem. The album was released by Nepal’s renowned musician Ambar Gurung. The album tends to target children, said Orbit Publishers, official publisher of the album. She has performed live on state owned Nepal Television and radio stations in Nepal and for many concert venues. The vice president and the prime minister of Nepal are few among many other national and international dignitaries who consider her a musical prodigy in such events, according to Orbit Publishers. “Born on Oct 16, 2006, Atithi is very stubborn at home, she does whatever she decides,” father Uddhab said. He also said that she has joined Montessori school in Kathmandu Valley. — Xinhua

newspaper said Hilton was traveling along with “personalities close to power in Malaysia” from the French capital to PortoCerno, in Sardinia. In a posting on the TwitLonger site Saturday, Hilton wrote, “Just to put an end to these rumors. The stories saying I have been arrested are completely false!” “I am having the best vacation of my life,” the posting said. Earlier this month, Hilton was arrested after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup

By Bradley S Klapper oman Polanski has made his first public appearance since being released this week from house arrest, attending the Montreux Jazz Festival to watch his wife perform on stage. The 76-year-old film director arrived at the Lake Geneva festival Saturday evening in a sport utility vehicle with tinted windows. When he emerged, he brushed his fingers through his hair-a trademark gesture-then was ushered into an elevator. Security personnel protected him from an eager crush of photographers. Polanski’s wife, the actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, performed shortly after his arrival, wearing a flannel shirt, a black hat and jeans. In an interview earlier Saturday with Swiss television, excerpts of which were broadcast on France-2 television, Polanski thanked “the millions of people who kept sending me messages of support during those nine long months.” “I would also certainly thank my wife Emmanuelle (and) my children, without whom I would have never been able to hold onto my dignity and perseverance,” Polanski said. The Oscar-winning director was

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ermany closed a long swath of its fabled autobahn to cars and trucks yesterday to make way for a giant street festival along what organizers called the world’s longest table. Cleared of its usual traffic jams and engine exhaust, the 60-kilometre-long (40-mile-long) stretch of one of Europe’s busiest motorways, between the western cities of Dortmund and Duisburg, became a stream of pedestrians and cyclists. An estimated one million visitors are expected to pass by 20,000 picnic tables lined up end-to-end in what organizers dubbed a record-breaking moveable feast of “everyday life and culture”. “The motto of the Still-Life event is ‘The table is your stage’,” event spokeswoman Katharina Jarzombek said. “Anybody can showcase their band, their hobby, their club or their group of friends.” Among the participants from the United States, Japan and across Europe was a club of “Star Wars” fans putting on a tribute to the science fiction blockbusters and a brass combo called Tuba Libre. The event is a highlight in the Ruhr 2010 European Capital of Culture festivities, which has seen Germany’s rust belt region transformed into a hotbed of the arts with hundreds of concerts, plays and exhibitions planned throughout the year. — AFP

match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing. Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told US television host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted “to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.” — AP

freed Monday from seven months of house arrest at his Swiss chalet when Switzerland’s government refused to extradite him to the United States. Before that, he served two months in prison as the Swiss government pondered whether he should be handed over to U.S. authorities to be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski still faces an Interpol warrant in effect for 188 countries. “For the moment, I’m happy to be free and to be able to do the things I was kept from doing,” Polanski said. He said his son cut off the electronic bracelet that Swiss authorities had required him to wear while he was under house arrest. “They told me to throw it away, that’s it,” Polanski said of the authorities. His son “couldn’t stand it anymore,” so he was given “the privilege” of removing the tracking device. Seigner never mentioned her husband during an hour-long performance, but said she was “very happy” to be in Montreux. Polanski didn’t appear on stage and it was unclear where he might have watched the concert from. “That was the theme to ‘Rosemary’s Baby,”‘ Seigner said after her first song-a reference to the 1968 film directed by Polanski. — AP

in London’s East End which houses more than 100 curry houses and is buzzing with food lovers, day and night. ‘I can’t get the right staff’ In the kitchen upstairs, 29-year-old tandoor chef Adeel Ashraf pulls a skewer of melt-in-the mouth marinated chicken out of a clay oven heated to a blistering 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit). He has been in Britain for five years but cannot speak English, so his colleagues translate as he explains tandoor cooking, both of meat and the soft dough he sticks on the side of the oven to make naan flatbreads. Fellow Bangladeshi cook Dewan Toughid, 38, who has also been here five years, says there is an art to the tandoor but one that many people cannot grasp. “English people are not working-it’s much too hot,” he says. He complains about a lack of cooks, a lament repeated by his boss, Cafe Naz owner Muquim Ahmed, who blames a first tightening of the immigration system under the previous Labor government. “That’s why my business is collapsing, because I can’t get the right staff,” said the 56-year-old Ahmed, who arrived in Britain from Bangladesh in 1974. His son is studying computer science at university and has no interest in taking over. Nor do his peers, meaning restaurants must look to either locals or EU workers-allowed to come here freely-to replace retiring cooks. But they argue that Britons or EU citizens cannot fill the gap without more training facilities, so they are forced to look to migrants. Britain already has a professional culinary diploma, and following consultation with the business world, from September this will include units in Indian, Bangladeshi, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Immigration Minister Damian Green said these would “train the chefs of the future” and said: “The government expects employers to make the most of them.” While the temporary cap on immigration was introduced on July 19, Green is still consulting on a permanent cap due to be implemented next April. But he warned: “Employers should look to recruit from the UK before looking to recruit from the rest of the world. “Our over-reliance on migrant labor has done nothing to help the millions of unemployed and lowskilled British citizens.”— AFP

File photo shows Bangladeshi chef Tommy Miah is pictured preparing a dish at his restaurant in Dhaka. — AFP

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Three-year-old Nepalese child singer Atithi Gautam KC poses with her first released album at an event in Kathmandu yesterday. Organizers said they are hoping to register her as the youngest singer to release an album. — AFP photos

Three-year-old Nepalese child singer Atithi Gautam KC performs during her album release event.

Women wearing wedding dresses take part in the ‘Still Life’ Ruhr 2010 European Capital of Culture festivities with the initiative ‘100 brides for Marxloh’ on the Autobahn A40 near Essen, western Germany on July 18, 2010, to represent Duisburg’s grubby district Marxloh as the ‘most romantic street in Europe’, as the neighborhood offers more than 50 bridal fashion stores. — AFP


19 Jul