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SHAABAN 16, 1431 AH

Hundreds homeless as Israel police raze bedouin village

Natural gas can lead to new Lebanon, Israel war



NO: 14803

Painting at center of Caravaggio mystery unveiled PAGE 40

150 FILS

Sangakkara, Jayawardene leave India in doldrums PAGE 19

Lufthansa cargo plane crashes in Riyadh, splits in two RIYADH: A Lufthansa cargo plane caught fire and split in half as it was landing yesterday in the Saudi Arabian capital, injuring the German pilot and copilot, said local officials and the airline. Lufthansa said in a statement that one of its MD-11 planes crashed and the pilot and co-pilot, aged 39 and 29, had to leave the plane by emergency chutes. Riyadh airport official Fahd Al-Hamoud said the German nationals were rushed to a military hospital near the airport. “The plane was close to the airport when it caught fire,” Al-Hamoud said. “Its engines stopped working, then it crashed and split into two halves.” It took civil defense workers about three hours to contain the fire, he added. Lufthansa said the plane was heavily damaged and a team of experts is on its way to Riyadh to determine the cause. Flight LH 8460 came from Frankfurt

and was initially scheduled to leave Riyadh later for Sharjah in the nearby United Arab Emirates and then Hong Kong. The Lufthansa statement added that the MD-11 was first built in 1993 and bought by Germany’s biggest airline, in 2004. Its last complete technical check up was June 2009. Michael Goentgens, a spokesman for Lufthansa’s cargo division in Germany said the flight was carrying about 90 tons of unspecified cargo. The Arab satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya aired live footage from the airport showing the plane on fire and black smoke billowing into the sky. Civil defence teams put out the fire later, and the news channel said flights at the airport were resumed a short while after the incident. “The aircraft is totally finished,” an airport ground services official told AFP, declining to give his name. — Agencies

RIYADH: A man is seen standing on top of the wreckage of a Lufthansa cargo plane which caught fire and split in half as it was landing in the Saudi capital yesterday. — AP

‘Demonized’ BP boss steps down American takes over • Q2 loss hits $17bn

KUWAIT: A huge fire rages in a carpentry shop in Shuwaikh yesterday. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

LONDON: BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward resigned yesterday, claiming to have been “demonized and vilified” over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster that is set to cost the British group $32 billion. Hayward, whose PR gaffes made him a target of US fury, will be succeeded by Bob Dudley, who is in charge of BP’s Gulf clean-up operations and who has vowed to “change the culture” of how the company tackles safety issues. BP yesterday said it had made a record $16.9-billion loss in the second quarter, and will sell $30 billion of assets over the next 18 months as it seeks to return to profitability. “This is a very sad day for me personally,” Hayward told a conference call. “Whether it is fair or unfair is not the point. I became the public face and was demonized and Continued on Page 14

ALEXANDRIA: Egyptian policemen Mahmoud Salah (right) and Awad Ismail are seen behind bars during their hearing at the courthouse yesterday. — AP

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri slammed France’s move to ban Islamic face veils, saying Muslim women must hold on to their veils at any cost, in an audio tape posted online yesterday. “In France, the pioneer of secularism, there is an overt and shameless war on hijab (veil) and niqab (face cover),” he said in the tape posted on an Islamist website. “What France is doing, which is spreading across Europe and the West, should prompt us

to hold on to our true religion in face of their deviant ideologies,” he said in the message whose authenticity could not be verified. “My Muslim sisters, hold on to your hijab, even if it would cost you your money, education and jobs. You are mujahedat (female holy warriors) in the most important battlefield,” he said. The law to ban the Muslim face cover, which was passed overwhelmingly by French lawmakers, reveals that Continue on Page 14

Iran defiant, but ‘ready’ for talks

Egyptian policemen on trial for brutality ALEXANDRIA, Egypt: Two policemen went on trial yesterday following the death of a man in Alexandria, in a case that has highlighted police brutality in Egypt and sparked international condemnation. Mahmud Salah Amin and Awad Ismail Suleiman stood in the dock of a packed courtroom in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria as the judge read the charges against them. They were accused of “unlawful arrest” and “excessive use of force” against 28year-old Khaled Said, whose death sparked nationwide protests and criticism abroad. The two did not enter a plea. According to witnesses to the incident, Said was approached by the two plainclothes policemen in an Internet cafe on June 6 demanding to search him. When he refused, they dragged him out and beat him to death. Continued on Page 14

Zawahiri slams veil ban, musters Turks

LONDON: (From left) Outgoing CEO Tony Hayward, Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and incoming CEO Bob Dudley pose for the media outside their global headquarters yesterday. — AP

TEHRAN: Iran vowed yesterday to press ahead with its nuclear program even as it expressed readiness to resume talks on the controversial issue despite being slapped with tough new EU sanctions. In a move condemned by Russia, the European Union imposed fresh sanctions on Iran’s key energy sector on Monday in a bid to halt its sensitive enrichment of uranium while applying pressure to resume talks on the atomic program. Canada followed the European Union’s example with its own sanctions, while the United States, which has led international efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear drive, said the punitive steps would bite. In an interview with Iran’s English-language Press TV posted on the channel’s website yesterday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Islamic republic would

“resume nuclear talks with the West in September”. But the hardliner said “conditions” he first laid out for talks in June still stand such as the position of world powers on the “Zionist regime’s atomic bombs”. “They should say whether they consent to it (Israel’s alleged arsenal) or not. That’s all. We don’t expect more,” he said, adding that “others should be present in the discussions”, which Press TV earlier identified as Turkey and Brazil. Iran’s archfoe Israel, which is the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East, accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons and has never ruled out a military strike to thwart its perceived drive. Iran’s Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran “deeply regrets and condemns” the new EU Continued on Page 14

Bibi meets Abdullah in surprise visit AMMAN: In a surprise visit to Amman yesterday, Israel’s prime minister tried to mobilize Jordan’s king in his effor t to persuade the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks, though the chief Palestinian negotiator again rejected the idea. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s quick trip to neighboring Jordan came after a Palestinian document, obtained Monday by AP, noted that President Barack Obama’s envoy is also pressing the Palestinians to restart direct peace negotiations with Israel. Netanyahu’s office said he had two hours of talks with King Abdullah II, emphasiz-

AMMAN: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) meets Jordanian King Abdullah II yesterday. — AFP

ing “the need to ensure direct, serious and effective negotiations” toward “two states for two peoples”. Palestinians insist that before upgrading indirect talks mediated by the envoy, George Mitchell, Israel must halt all settlement construction and accept the concept of a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jer usalem, with some territorial adjustments. Netanyahu insists that talks must resume without preconditions. He has grudgingly accepted the idea of a Palestinian state but refuses to commit to borders before the peace talks start. C o n t i n u e d o n Pa g e 1 4



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Foreign medical treatment

Ministry rejects MPs’ corruption allegations By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: A senior Ministry of Health official yesterday rejected MPs’ accusations of corruption within the ministry’s foreign medical treatment department. Abdulkarim Jaffar, the Deputy head of the ministry’s legal affairs department, revealed that the MoH has examined five of the cases in which corruption was alleged, finding that all the cases were wholly legitimate and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. “The Ministry of Health is adamant in its opposition to corruption within the ministry, and such cases will not be tolerated,” he said during a press conference.

SANTIAGO: Speaker of the Chilean Parliament receiving HH the PM Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed AlSabah yesterday.

Kuwait PM meets Chilean officials SANTIAGO: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah yesterday met with the President of the Chilean Supreme Court, Milton Ivan Juica Arancibia, in the country’s capital. The meeting was attended by Sheikh Nasser’s accompanying delegation, with senior officials from the two countries reviewing bilateral issues in various fields. Judge Arancibia welcomed the Kuwaiti delegation and expressed confidence that the visit would boost cooperation and open new horizons in the relationship between the two

countries. He also briefed the Kuwaiti premier on the Supreme Court’s system, jurisdiction and capacity, its structure, and the Chilean legal system, with HH Sheikh Nasser in turn informing the senior member of Chile’s judiciary about Kuwait’s judicial system and presenting Judge Arancibia with an invitation to visit Kuwait to find out more about the country’s legal system at first hand and to meet judicial counterparts and discuss ways to further cooperation. Also during his visit, HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed met at the Congress headquar-

ters with the Deputy Chairman Jose Antonio Gomez, who stressed that this welcome visit is an opportunity to boost parliamentary relations, as well as strengthening cooperation on the diplomatic, political, economic, and trade fronts. The senior official also expressed his great delight and appreciation at Kuwait’s intention to open an embassy in Santiago, calling this a great idea that would immensely benefit both parties. The Kuwaiti premier also met with the Chairman of the Lower House of the Chilean Parliament Alejandra

Sepulveda for discussions on issues related to parliamentary action and cooperation in particular. The premier relayed the greetings of Kuwait National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammad Al-Kharafi to his counterparts and to the Chilean people. He also extended an invitation to the official to visit Kuwait. On her part, Sepulveda said this was an extremely important meeting and a chance to discuss not only issues related to parliamentary action, but also matters concerning cultural, economic, and trade interaction and exchange. — KUNA

“The ministry has already referred [staff] to the relevant authorities for breaking the law and it intends to continue fighting corruption.” The issue of the foreign medical treatment program has been a subject of contention in Kuwaiti politics for some years, being central to a number of interpolation motions, as well as being exhaustively discussed in the country’s media and in local diwaniyas, and being the subject of numerous special reports. Dissatisfaction with the health ministry’s performance has led many MPs to criticize it, with the foreign medical treatment department coming in for most flak. MP Mubarak Al-Waalan has already slammed health minister Dr. Helal Al-Sayer over yesterday’s press conference, with

news reports quoting Al-Waalan as suggesting that the minister “should punish his employees for corruption, not let them hold a press conference to defend themselves!” MP Al-Waalan also warned that Dr. AlSayer could face interpolation during the next parliamentary term, which begins in October, if he does not take appropriate action to resolve this issue. The debate over who bears responsibility for the current problems at the ministry has also taken an unexpected turn, with another MP, Hussein Mizyed, lashing out at fellow parliamentarian and former health minister Maasouma Mubarak. Mizyed was quoted in some news reports as saying, “What did Maasouma do for the ministry of health while she was minister? Nothing! Has she spread anything

positive? No. But she did spread nepotism in the ministry and she did benefit her friends and family.” Mubarak, meanwhile, echoed support for Waalan’s demands that those MoH officials responsible for the current corruption within the ministry be held to account and punished. “This issue is vitally important to the people of Kuwait,” she asserted, according to news reports. “It needs to be looked into before it escalates and becomes even worse.” Responding to Mizyed’s allegations, she said, “When I was minister, I introduced a new method for selecting patients based on their cases, and I believe that this ruling helped to effectively reduce corruption in the ministry.”

Forum discusses children’s issues DAMASCUS: Arab Youth forum which is organized by the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs in cooperation with the Arab League started here yesterday with the participation of 120 youths from 12 Arab countries. The three-day forum which is held under the slogan, “I Take Part, therefore I Exist” would discuss the second Arab plan for childhood till 2015 and to what extent it is carried out at the governmental and popular levels in order to come out with recommendations. The forum’s recommeda-

tions would be submitted to the high-profile fourth Arab conference that would be held in the Moroccan city of Marrakech next October. Director of the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs Insaf Hamad stressed the importance of paying attention to the youth issues and creating better and safer that complies with children’s needs. Further, Hamad expressed her hope that the youth discussions would be held in a responsible and serious way that reflects their distinguished mental ages and that working

sessions would result in important outputs and recommendations that would be submitted to Arab officials and contribute to making decisions related to children and youth. Insaf said that this forum comes within a series of preliminary forums in preparation for the high-profile fourth Arab Forum for Children’s rights in Morocco that was preceded by the Civilian Society Forum that was held last February in Cairo and the Forum of Media People Defending Children’s rights that was held in Beirut last May. She also said that partici-

pants would tackle what was carried out of the items included in Second Arab Plan for Children as well as discussing the causes hindering the implementations of other items. Finally, Director of Family and Children Department at the Arab League Mona Kamel hoped that all views and visions put forward during the forum would be conveyed transparently and without any reservations to the concerned officials in the Arab countries because this is related to a big category that is reponsible for change in the Arab society. — KUNA

Power crisis looms as holiday season ends

KUWAIT: As Kuwaitis and expatriate residents prepare to return from their summer vacations in time for the start of the holy month of Ramadan, concerns are increasing at the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) that it may be unable to cope with the increased demand for electricity, which is projected to rise to record levels during the Ramadan period. Levels of power use, which usually peak during the July-August period anyway as the temperatures in Kuwait reach their highest point, will also be pushed even higher by more people than usual returning from their holidays earlier than usual in order to celebrate Ramadan at home, which in turn will also mean heavier electricity use than normal. The confluence of all these factors has led some

MEW officials to express concern about possible power cuts hitting the country. Ministry officials told Al-Qabas that although they were generally optimistic about the MEW’s ability to handle the increased demand for power, the lack of a clear and effective plan to cope with the projected high levels of usage was a handicap. They indicated that the ministry’s current plan depends on increased public awareness of the need to minimize excessive power usage, as well as ensuring that public facilities switch to using independent standby generators during peak hours so that power can be diverted for domestic use; this would save approximately 250 megawatts of power, they explained.

KUWAIT: The Police Officer’s Club recently organized an event for its members, as part of the activities planned for the 2010 summer festival. Several parades were held, including some which were presented by other Ministry of Interior’s departments like Coastguards and Special Forces Departments. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Financial woes stall housing projects’ progress KUWAIT: Prior to the meeting held yesterday, the Cabinet had been planning to find solutions to fund housing projects by holding discussions with the housing affairs committee. According to reports, the Cabinet was preparing to hold talks with the aim of making a timely intervention and fund projects by passing legislations that prove reassuring to the private sector. The options included allowing the Cabinet to manage a part of the project’s cost, or provide loans to companies at flexible interest rates, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, rapporteur of the Housing Affairs’ Committee, MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi, indicated that the funding problem can be resolved by enforcing a law that allows the government to finance shareholding companies. He expressed interest at holding a special session during the Holy Month of Ramadan to deliberate on the issue.

Cabinet plans to KUWAIT: In the latest round of meetings held, the Cabinet has agreed on a set of recommendations and decisions to curb price rise in basic commodities, ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan during which the prices foodstuffs and other grocery products register a steep rise. A decision was made to assign the ministries of commerce, interior and municipality affairs to form teams that carry out field trips across the country to monitor prices and detect an abrupt increase while taking legal action against violators, reported Al-Rai.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3 Pledge to control prices

Livestock company records KD1.7m losses in six months KUWAIT: Kuwait's Kuwait Livestock Transportation and Trading Company (LTTC) imports an average of 75,000 sheep to Kuwait every month, satisfying the country's demand for this commodity. This figure was provided by the company's CEO during a press conference held on Monday to counter accusations that the company has been responsible

for recent increases in the local prices of livestock and meat products. "Two separate shipments, each carrying 54,000 sheep, arrived in the past two days, and the animals have already been transported to the company's farms in Sulaibiya," said Badr Al-Jarallah, LTTC's Chief Executive Officer.

Al-Jarallah added that the LTTC would continue to import shipments of Australian sheep in order to supply the 216,000 livestock expected to be slaughtered during the holy month of Ramadan, reported Al-Qabas. The LTTC boss explained that the company has suffered severe financial losses in recent months due to selling the Australian meat products at KD 1 per kilogram, leading to a KD 1.7 million loss in the past six months alone, with the low prices also impacting on its income from sales in other GCC coun-

exceed its sales profits, which in turn have further increased the company's losses, noting at the same time that the subsidies provided by the government cover only one-third of the required subsidy rates according to the international figures. Concerning the regular accusations that the company has an effective monopoly on livestock imports in Kuwait, Al-Jarrallah stressed that the LTTC would be the first to express its appreciation of the creation of a competing company that could "share the bur-

tries. While conceding that the firm has had "limited" assistance from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the form of subsidies of KD 5 per sheep, Al-Jarallah indicated that it has rejected plans to increase the price of fresh meat to KD 1.250 - 1.500 per kilogram "until the governments comes up with a resolution to the situation by which [the LTTC] can avoid losses while consumers don't have to pay the price." The LTTC head further indicated that the firm's current import costs

den," further noting that the rates of losses which it is currently suffering from discourage investors from starting another livestock-importing business. Al-Jarallah also questioned the credibility of recent claims by local butchers and butcher shop owners, saying that these figures "care more about their personal interests than the consumer's interests." The LTTC head concluded by underlining the company's commitment to maintaining the necessary controls on livestock prices to protect the market from being abused by traders.

Kuwaiti MPs stress support to Lebanon stability BEIRUT: Kuwait is fully in support of development projects and other efforts to bolster stability of Lebanon, stressed Head of the Parliamentary Kuwaiti-Lebanese Friendship Committee MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei yesterday. The MP made the remark after the Kuwaiti delegation's meeting with Lebanese Premier Saad AlHariri in presence of the Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdelal Al-Qinaei. The Kuwaiti delegation includes MPs Jamaan Al-Hirbish, Hasan Johar, and Mohammad Hayef AlMutairi. The MP expressed satisfaction with the Lebanese government's approach to current issues. "Kuwait is fully in support of Lebanon's stability, as attested to by the support extended through Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the grant extended by the state to Lebanon post the Israeli aggression of 2006," he pointed out. On the meeting with the premier, he said it was an opportunity to discuss issues of interest to and problems facing Kuwaitis currently in Lebanon. AlHariri on his part promised swift resolution of all concerns, he added. MP Al-Hirbish said the delegation sensed that the Hariri government considers stability top priority. MP Al-Mutairi meanwhile said the importance of the KFAED projects was discussed. The delegation had yesterday met the Lebanese counter delegation presided by MP Ayyoub Hameed and discussed means to further parliamentary cooperation and coordination in all regional and international venues.— KUNA

Premier sues Egyptian newspaper

KUWAIT: Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, Dr Fadhel Safar checking a temporary health laboratory in Khaifan yesterday.

Malaysia keen to see Kuwait's touring Treasury of the World KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuwaiti Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (DAI), Arabic for House of Islamic Antiquities, is taking its 'Treasury of the World' exhibition to Malaysia, where the exhibition, which lasts from July 30 to December 30, is already keenly anticipated. The Kuwaiti Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur Munther Al-Essa told KUNA yesterday that this treasure trove of artworks belongs to all humanity, and Kuwait is thus sharing it with the world as it visits capital cities in every continent. Speaking yesterday, the ambassador said the embassy is keenly monitoring the preparations for the exhibition and is aware of great enthusiasm from the Malaysian public to see the items on display there. Ambassador Al-Essa expressed gratitude for the cooperation and facilities provided by

Malaysian authorities and pointed out that the Malaysian premier and other senior officials had expressed great interest in the event. The opening ceremony on Friday will be attended by Malaysian Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum, Sultan Mahmud AlMuktafi Billah Shah and the country's Queen. The exhibition, entitled 'Jeweled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals' is to be inaugurated by DAI Curator Sheikha Hessa Sabah AlSabah and Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah AlSabah, with the latter delivering a speech welcoming guests at the ceremony. In the past, the touring exhibition has visited major museums in London, New York, Cleveland, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, the Kremlin, St Petersburg, and most recently Singapore, in February of this year. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Egyptian attorney Dr Abdurraouf Al-Mahdi recently filed a case with Egyptian authorities on behalf of the Prime Minister of Kuwait HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Defamation charges were pressed against a Kuwaiti columnist and Egyptian newspaper. Columnist Mohammad AlWushaihi had written several articles at the Dustour (Constitution) newspaper in Egypt, which contained criticism against HH the PM. The prosecutor said that defamatory and abusive remarks were also included, reported AlRai. According to the attorney's briefing, HH the PM was subjected to a 'smear campaign' that accused him of mismanagement and insufficiency, while further accusing him of "owning a local Kuwaiti newspaper that aims to spread sectarianism among Kuwaiti people." He noted the fact that his interpellation motion was discussed in a confidential manner. Dr Al-Mahdi provided the Egyptian General Prosecution Department with the premier's résumé, which has detailed work in the diplomatic field since 1964, by proving his competence in the fields of information, social affairs and foreign affairs ministries before being selected as the country's prime minister in 2006.

kuwait digest

Saving national laws from chaos By Dr Sami Khalifa


hen people lost faith in the country's laws that uphold rights, it is normal for them to seek refuge in their family, tribe, race or even a political party, through which they can protect their interests. This is especially important when chaos occur as a result of a lack of respect shown to the Constitution and the law. However, this concept will eventually create serious negative impacts on the social level. It may escalate in time and be inherited by generations. Among these threats are the violation of social values and principles we have inherited

from our ancestors, and the traditions which we are supposed to protect. This environment of obscurity causes people to lose comfort, create a sense of insecurity, and stray away from morality which eventually cause the society to deteriorate. This would mark the beginning of the end for that country. History has shown that several nations and countries have collapsed when people abandoned their principles, and their communities were destroyed after they deserted moral values. It is important to put all that in mind, when we see people in Kuwait seek refuge in their tribes, families or others to achieve personal interests. Sadly, this

problem has been escalating. This would be relatively impossible; so would be attempting to fix the problem. The bigger issue is the fact that such social ills are fed by political powers that are keen on increasing sectarianism by spreading the culture of 'wasta' and favoritism. Therefore, this particular issue should be addressed while attempting to find solutions to end this problem. I hope that this dilemma will be given top priority by both the Cabinet and Parliament, in an attempt to find solutions. It can be begun with a mass awareness campaign that directs the public to ward off sectarian calls.— Al-Rai

BEIRUT: Kuwaiti parliamentarians holding talks with Lebanese Premier Saad AlHariri yesterday.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quick police action saves four

Kuwaiti junkie holds own family hostage in Waha By Hannan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Jahra police managed to pacify and disarm a Kuwaiti man who barred himself and his family inside their home in Waha, where he held his mother and three sisters hostage at gunpoint, threatening to kill them. The Grim discovery A Kuwaiti man made a grisly discovery on returning from a holiday with his family to their home in Naeem. When they arrived home, the householder wanted to park his car under the car-shade, but discovered that

another vehicle was already parked there. On approaching the car, he spotted the male driver apparently unconscious at the wheel and unresponsive to attempts to wake him up. Fearing that the motorist might be ill, the alarmed householder

man, a drug addict, had apparently come to his parents home demanding money for drugs. When he was refused, he pulled out a gun and threatened to kill his mother and siblings. Police were quickly at the scene, with negotiators managing to calm the man, who was under the influence of drugs at the time, and to disarm him before taking him into custody.

immediately called emergency services, who were quickly at the scene. When they arrived, however, paramedics quickly ascertained that the motorist had in fact been dead for some time, with neighbors subsequently revealing that the car

had been parked there for over a week. Police recovered a syringe, apparently containing drugs, from one of the dead man’s hands, as well as retrieving a number of hashish joints from elsewhere in the vehicle. The body was removed for

autopsy and an investigation is underway into the tragic death.

Toxic fumes Six expatriate Arab construction workers treating the walls of a basement area in a new building in Riggae with insulation material were overcome by the toxic fumes from the material, with three of them falling unconscious. Firefighters from Shuwaikh, the technical rescue center and the support center rushed to the scene, with a number of them having to don specialist breathing gear to enter the building in order to rescue the unconscious men, who were taken to hospital. One of the firemen was overcome by exhaustion and treated at the scene.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Times Marketing Manager Adnan Saad (left) handing the first prize to Kurien George, the winner of Kuwait Times World Cup Quiz. The prize includes Toshiba laptop and an invitation for lunch or dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

MoH break-in Burglars broke into the Ministry of Health headquarters building, stealing five computers. Police are investigating the thefts.

Fugitives caught

KUWAIT: Firemen in action in Riggae building yesterday. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

A large number of wanted fugitives were arrested in a recent crackdown ordered by Shuwaikh police commander Colonel Abdulrahman AlSharrah, who coordinated the operation with local police chiefs and senior officers. All those arrested were referred to the relevant authorities.

KUWAIT: Ahmed Saaber Mohammed Sayed, the fourth prize winner of the quiz is seen receiving his prize.

in the news Sewage system

Grand opening of Lulu Hypermarket today KUWAIT: Lulu Hypermarket inaugurates its second branch in Kuwait, at Al-Qurain Commercial City, with a grand opening at 11 am of its largest hypermarket. Offering products and brands from all over the world spread across 20,000 sq m of retail space, the new Lulu Hypermarket offers an ultra modern shopping ambience that integrates every conceivable need of consumers under one roof. With its pleasant and novel

variation from the usual supermarkets, the new Lulu outlet offers extensively laid out counters, play area for children, food court, money exchange and bank counters. In addition, the hypermarket features a panoply of international and regional brands, as well as a sprawling parking space that can accommodate in excess of 3,000 cars. The brand, which has a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to understanding the retail needs of customers, leverages this unique

customer knowledge to operate under its successful corporate philosophy of providing “right products in the right place at the right time”. Located just off Route 40 on the way to Fahaheel, along road 208 in the suburb of Al Qusoor, the new Lulu Hypermarket will cover the residential areas of Jaber Al Ali, Mubarak Al Kabeer, Al Qurain, Al Qusoor, Al Ahmadi, Fahaheel, South Surra, Adan and Sabah Al Salam. Offering quality products, great selection and value for money shopping, the new hypermarket will no doubt attract huge footfall of not only the local populace but also of neighboring suburbs, justifying

their tagline of, “Lulu, where the world comes to shop.” EMKE Group, the multinational, multidimensional business conglomerate that owns and operates the Lulu Hypermarket has interests in wide-ranging industries, including businesses that span all aspects of the retail supply chain. Catering to over 320,000 customers everyday, the Lulu brand has grown to become the shopping center of choice among discerning customers looking for quality retailing. This popularity is attested by over 79 retail stores spread across the region and by the fact that the brand enjoys 32 percent of the total retail market share in the GCC.

Illegal structures in Kabad dismantled KUWAIT: The municipality’s department responsible for removing structures illegally constructed on state property plans to demolish a number of jakhours (livestock farms) and other unlicensed buildings in Kabad, although the owners will be given notice to dismantle the structures themselves before the demolition teams start work. The teams have already removed around 350 fences in the area that were illegally erected on state property, as well as removing a large number of tires dumped there. The supervisor of the demolition team, Fajahn Al-Khalid, told Al-Rai that the owners of the illegal structures had been given until August 1 (Sunday) to remove the illegal structures themselves. If they do not do so, however, the team will move in and begin tearing them down.

KUWAIT: A project carried out by the Ministry of Public Works to separate the Ghazali Street’s sewage system into two separate systems will not bring an end to the increasing pollution problems resulting from the ageing local system, according to a new report from the Environment Public Authority (EPA). The EPA stated that the major problem facing the area results from the high levels of development and construction of new housing there, bringing a greater concentration of residents, reported Al-Rai. In the report, the EPA suggested that the MEW should construct a sewage treatment plant in the area in order to ensure that the waste products are treated to an environmentally acceptable standard. The environmental authority also stated that ministries and other public bodies working on projects that affect the environment should commit themselves to ensuring that all liquid waste products produced in the projects’ implementation are recycled.

KUWAIT: Shadin Muraysh, the twelfth-place winner of the Kuwait Times World Cup Quiz, is pictured receiving her prize during the prize draw event held on Sunday evening.

CSC instruction KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recently instructed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA) to ensure that the cabinet’s directive to set expatriate and bedoon (stateless) employees’ retirement age at 60 be strictly observed. In response to the CSC’s instructions, the MAIA formed a committee to evaluate the work of those employees in the affected age group in order to assess the ministry’s actual need of their services. The committee discovered that a number of employees had already passed the retirement age, with many of these staff members performing non-essential duties, reported Al-Rai. A large-scale assessment of over 2,000 MAIA staff at several of the ministry’s departments is to be conducted in September, along with the introduction of stricter recruitment guidelines for new staff.

KUWAIT: The fifth-prize winner of Kuwait Times World Cup Quiz, Akhil Govind is pictured receiving his prize together with his family. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

SCPD plans new commission for bedoons KUWAIT: The Supreme Council for Planning and Development (SCPD) is currently considering disbanding the Ministry of Interiors Executive Committee for Illegal Residents (bedoons) in order to replace it with a ‘Supreme Commission’ for Bedoons, which would supervised directly by the cabinet. One SCPD insider revealed that the proposed new body would be headed by a minister in order to avoid it facing similar

problems to the current committee, which is largely manned by military officers who, the insider said, are used to carrying out their superiors’ orders without discussing or considering their effect beforehand. The insider also revealed that the SCPD has asked the cabinet to postpone submission of its report on the best strategies for resolving the problems facing Kuwait’s bedoon residents until October or November so that the supreme

council can examine the proposed classification system more thoroughly from a legal perspective. Under the proposed system, Bedoons (stateless residents) would be divided into six categories, of which only one group would be eligible for citizenship, while those included in the other five groupings would be subjected to further analysis to determine which would be deported and which considered for legal residential status.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


KUWAIT: The Hayat Organization for Helping Cancer Patients, part of the Ruqaiya A. Al-Qatami Charity Foundation and Cancer Patients Help Fund, recently held a charity bazaar in cooperation with the Islamic Public Authority. The funds raised at the bazaar will be allocated to the cancer patient’s aid fund. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Two dead in traffic accidents

Bedoon tries to abduct women

KUWAIT: The quick response from police saved some women from a man who abducted them at knifepoint from their father’s car. The drama began when the family, from another GCC country, were driving along the Fourth Ring Road. They were forced to stop by a man driving a black jeep, who then advanced towards their car and threatened the driver at knifepoint, demanding that his daughters get into the other vehicle, reported Al-Watan. After they did so, however, police called by the enraged father arrived and prevented the abductor from driving away before disarming and arresting him, although he attempted to attack officers with the knife during arrest. The girls were reunited with their frantically worried father and it was discovered that the would-be abductor, a bedoon (stateless) man, was heavily intoxicated. After he was taken to Sulaibiya police station, a records check revealed that he was wanted in connection with a previous assault. He has been referred to the relevant authorities. Road accidents A Kuwaiti man died and four

motorists were injured in a four-car pile-up on the Fifth Ring Road near the Omariya turn-off. Emergency personnel rushed to the scene, reported Al-Watan, with the injured being rushed to the hospital, while the dead man’s body was removed for autopsy. In a separate incident, Al-Qabas reported that a Kuwait University student died in a collision on Ghazali Road, while the driver of the other car was injured. The injured motorist was taken to hospital, while the dead student’s body was removed for autopsy. Investigation is underway into the cause of the accident.

Second hit-and-run An 11-year-old Egyptian boy was rushed to Mubarak Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a critical condition after being hit by a speeding car while crossing a street in Salmiya. Police are hunting for the driver, who fled the scene after hitting the child with his car, reported Al-Watan. Police subsequently learnt that this was the second time in a month that the boy had been hit in a hit-and-run incident, although on the previous occasion he was only slightly injured.

kuwait digest

Premier criticism By Meshaal Al-Jraid


t seems these days that whoever criticizes His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah’s cabinet will automatically be regarded as a national hero, regardless of the manner in which they make their criticism. On the other hand, whoever agrees that the premier is going in the right direction of reform, will instantly be labeled as having secret personal interests in the cabinet. In my opinion, several notable characteristics prove Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed’s patriotic credentials and true commitment to reform, which have enabled him to gain the confidence of HH the Amir, as well as the parliament which represents Kuwaiti society. The majority of MPs, including members of the oppositionist Popular Action Bloc, have admitted that HH the Prime Minister is a reformist politician who is committed to that path. This confession, however, has failed to protect the premier and other ministers in his cabinet from attack. Furthermore, the Prime Minister has delivered a work program for the government, which has been approved by the parliament. This fact disproves all the ‘no cooperation’ claims that have been made against the premier on several occasions. Moreover, the premier has provided a comprehensive development plan in an unprecedented step not only at the local, but also at the regional level. This is an indication of HH Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed’s forward-looking approach, and commitment to attaining achievements. The premier has also consistently chosen not to respond to countless serious criticisms from various people which featured the use of improper language. And on those occasions when he has acted against his critics in certain cases, he has done so through the penal code law; not through the press law. It’s also important to note that Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed was assigned to handle a 20-year-old problem weighed down by errors and delays which escalated throughout that two-decade period, while not being given even a one-year period by MPs in which to attempt to tackle the issue! His detractors’ criticism of him often seems to be personally based too, since whenever he opts to act in relation to an issue he comes in for criticism for not assigning the relevant minister to handle it instead - although if he does assign a minister to handling an issue, the same MPs will criticize him for not tackling it himself! Therefore, it’s clear that the severe criticism that HH the Prime Minister has come in for is not aimed at ensuring reform, but at ousting the premier from his position for personal reasons, especially since the criticisms reached a point at which people started to criticize what kind of food he eats, what type of car he drives, etc. A premier who doesn’t tolerate injustice, who seeks to uphold the law, who is committed to protecting future generations’ wealth, who has provided a comprehensive development plan, and who has faced down a string of interpellations filed against him deserves a

KUWAIT: The Central Tenders Committee (CTC) has ordered the suspension of work on a tender for the installation of CCTV cameras at local schools and other Ministry of Education (MoE) facilities, instructing the education ministry to reassess the tenders process. This follows complaints from several of the companies which submitted bids that the winning firm

“does not meet the conditions of the tender.” In their complaints to the CTC, the companies claimed that the MoE had chosen the cheapest bid, which was submitted by a firm “that isn’t even a specialist in the area of CCTV cameras,” and which they alleged had ignored the issue of quality in the equipment used.

Missing woman found Police have found a young Iraqi woman who was reported missing by her parents two years ago after fleeing the family home in Kuwait. The woman was detained after police stopped a car on a street in Salmiya during a routine patrol. In the car were two young men and the woman, reported Al-Watan. The officers’ suspicions were aroused when one of the young men leapt out of the car and ran, with a check of the remaining two occupants’ ID revealing the young woman’s identity. She and the man, who turned out to be the boyfriend, were taken into custody, while a search is underway for the other occupant of the car who fled the scene.

Claim and counter-claim Police are investigating allegations that a male police officer sexually harassed a female motorist and that the same motorist verbally assaulted the officer. The woman told officers at a Fahaheel police station that the patrol officer had pulled her over on a street in the area, apparently in order to attempt to flirt with her. She angrily repri-

manded him for this lack of professionalism and went to the police station to lodge a complaint. The accused officer, meanwhile, filed a complaint against his accuser at another police station in the area, accusing her of verbally assaulting him. Both complaints are being investigated. Bootleggers busted Jahra police have arrested two Asian men in possession of alcohol, which they had apparently been producing at an illegal still constructed in an extension on a building in the area. The arrest followed an investigation into the men’s activities, reported Al-Rai, and they were apprehended in possession of five boxes full of bottles of homemade liquor. The men admitted to their illegal actions and were taken into custody. Drugs bust A fugitive drug dealer was arrested in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh after police received a tip-off about his activities, reported Al-Rai. The man, who has a criminal record involving drugs-related offenses, was apprehended while in the act of

delivering six pieces of hashish to customers. He has been referred to the relevant authorities. Maid’s theft thwarted Police apprehended a domestic worker who stole around KD 7,000 worth of jewelry from her employer as she was about to board a plane for her homeland. The woman’s employer discovered that the valuable jewelry was missing when he returned home from the airport after dropping her off there to catch her flight, immediately calling police to report the theft. Police rushed to the airport, catching the woman and retrieving the jewelry from her possession before she was able to escape, reported Al-Rai. She has been taken into custody. Unfair fight A 25-year-old Kuwaiti man sustained several injuries when he was hit by a car driven by one of the two acquaintances he had just been arguing with in Sabahiya, reported Al-Sessayah. After he was taken to hospital, the victim gave police descriptions of the two men, who fled the scene before police arrived and a search is underway for them.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Press freedom improving in Arab World: AJU CAIRO: The Arab Journalists Union (AJU) stressed that press freedom improved in several Arab countries. AJU head Ibrahim Nafi said in a report that most Arab journalists can get foreign newspapers, magazines, and periodicals and can use the Internet. Journalists work amid legal, legislative, administrative and religious restrictions that differ according to the country, he pointed out. Despite some restrictions, newspapers are issued regularly with national and international news and have the freedom to criti-

cize governmental bodies according to the law, he said. The report said that the freedom of journalists in the Arab world was affected by legal, administrative and legislative pressures. Imprisonment of journalists who violate the publishing laws affected freedom, it stressed. It said that the freedom of press in several Arab countries was developing and that the role of private press corporations and media corporations of parties was increasing. The rate of the suspension of newspapers decreased, while the rate of

fines imposed against newspapers hike, it noted. Restrictions hindering issuing papers include requiring getting a prior license from an official body and the presence of restrictions on the right of individuals to own and issue papers, in addition to administrative restrictions, it said. AJU calls for uniting the journalists of each country under one body that defends their freedoms of opinion and expression and their economic interests, it said. Press freedom in Jordan increased after the amendment of the publications law, and

The team poses before the beginning of the trip.

in the United Arab Emirates the journalists association refused the law of media activities that was proposed as a substitute to the publications law because it did not clearly state that no journalists will be imprisoned for publishing crimes, it said. In Tunisia, the papers of the opposition continue to be issued regularly, however requests for issuing new papers were refused, it added. In Sudan, press freedom witness a remarkable development as Alwan paper resumed its issuance, while in Syrian jour-

Americana staff receive a memento.

nalists were still awaiting the issuance of the new publications law, it noted. Nine journalists were killed, 12 others were injured, and 15 others were arrested, and four media corporations were shut down, it said. In Iraq, the security situation improved, but tens of journalists were killed and injured, raising the number of those killed during the past six years to 200 journalists, it noted. In Palestine, conflicts between the national authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the continuous Israeli offen-

sive, created a crisis of journalists there, it added. In Lebanon, several journalists were arrested and in Libya, press was improving and no journalist was interrogated or held, it pointed out. In Egypt, legal restrictions limited freedoms, and journalists are still being sent to prison for publishing crime, it said. The report warned that the situation of press freedom in Morocco was worsening, adding that it improved in Mauritanian and Yemen. The 116-page report was prepared based on a survey prepared by AJU. — KUNA

Team members pose for a group photo.

Children’s Interactive Club visits Americana

Members of the team and Americana staff pose with children from the club.

Children observe the croissant making at the factory.

KUWAIT: Members of the Children’s Interactive Club organized by the Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) recently visited the factories owned by the Americana company. It was organized by cooperating with Americana’s management. Several activities were held as part of the program, which included a tour to the croissant factory where the children were given a live demonstration about the several phases through which the product is manufactured. Head of the TEC’s Public Relations and Media Department, Saqr Al-Badr, handed over a memento to Americana’s management, in appreciation for their cooperation for hosting the tour. This trip was held as part of several other activities that have been planned for members of the club, that are sponsored by Zain. Disabled children were also encouraged to participate equally.

Children seen with other team members.

Kids watch as an Americana staff member explains procedures.

A view of the tour.

kuwait digest

Mounds of corruption By Nawaf Sulaiman Al-Fuzai


uring the 1940s, people in Egypt would make sarcastic references to a story about a crank that was stolen from downtown Cairo square of Tahrir and how the police had failed to track down the thieves, as if it were a tiny needle that could easily be lost. A similar incident took place in Kuwait when newspapers wrote that 55 lamp posts were stolen from Salmi highway. We do not know how they were stolen, hidden or in what manner the thieves had made themselves invisible to all highway police patrols. Such stories are closely related to the government’s statements about the ‘mounds of corruption’ taking place in KSE companies. But we believe that all of it took place right under our noses, and that, we are completely capable of putting an end to corruption! The problem does not lie with the KSE authority. Neither are there tailor-made laws. There was a KSE committee that was earlier headed by the Minister of Commerce in the 1980s. It managed to control the stock market despite the Middle East’s worst stock exchange crisis ‘Al-Manakh’ that produced what we later described as ‘AlManakh knights.’ They really excelled at manipulating illusionary transactions to control stock prices but were stopped. The problem lies with individuals and not laws. People were more loyal to the state while those in power these days are more loyal toward promoting personal interests. Our laws are quite comprehensive but have not always been put into full practice during the past 20 years. —Al-Watan

BEIRUT: Kuwait Girl Guides Association (KGGA) is participating in the 19th Arab scouting conference that kicked off on Sunday in Lebanon, and would last till the end of July, with the participation of 14 Arab countries.

This conference aims at setting an Arab strategy to develop the skills of the Arab Girl Scouts under the slogan ‘Continue to Change Life’, Head of KGG and President of GCC Scouts committee Hind Al-Holi said. — KUNA

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Iraq political crisis deepens as parliament session scrapped

Al-ARAKIB: Bedouins from the Al-Turi family pray near their demolished home after Israeli authorities escorted with heavy security forces demolished tens and buildings in the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in the Negev Desert, north of Beersheva yesterday. —AFP

Hundreds homeless as Israel police raze Bedouin village AL-ARAQIB: Around 300 Bedouins living in Israel's Negev desert were left homeless yesterday after hundreds of police raided their village and demolished their homes, rights groups said. Israeli rights activists who tried to prevent the operation said a huge number of police swooped on the village of Al-Araqib shortly before dawn in scores of vehicles and at least 12 buses. "More than 1,500 police arrived at the village at around sunrise they came in dozens of vehicles and began destroying the structures there," said Chaya Noach, head of Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, a group which fights to protect the rights of the 160,000 Bedouin living in the Negev. She said at least five bulldozers set to work tearing down all the homes in the villagebetween 30 and 40 makeshift units built out of clay and straw that were home to some 300 of the nomadic Arabs. "It took them about three or four hours to destroy all the houses," she told AFP, describing the scene as "appalling." They had also uprooted hundreds of olive trees belonging to the villagers. "It's like they want to erase the Bedouin from the landscape," she said. Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed the early-morning operation, saying the homes had been "illegally built" and were destroyed in line with a court ruling issued 11 years ago which was never implemented. "Around 30 shacks were removed and several hundred people were taken back to the Rahat area where they originally came from," he told AFP, referring to a nearby Bedouin town in Israel's arid south. Sheikh Siyah al-Turi, the village head, said the operation had erased all traces of the village.

"They destroyed our homes, they uprooted our trees, they took our generators, our cars and our tractors. There is nothing left," he told AFP. "It's as though we were never here." Ibrahim Al-Waqili, head of the regional council of unrecognised villages, said it was the first time that the Israeli authorities had gone to such lengths. "This is the first time they have removed the houses and everything that remained in the village," he told AFP. "Usually they destroy seven or 10 houses at once, but this time they bulldozed the roads and anything that would indicate people had lived here," said Waqili. The operation set "a dangerous precedent," he warned, saying it posed a threat to the 45 unrecognised villages in the Negev that are home to some 100,000 Arabs. The Bedouin claim they own hundreds of thousands of dunams (each equivalent to 1,000 square metres) of land in the Negev. But the Jewish state has never recognised such claims and wants the population to move off their land into seven government-planned townships, rights groups say. Such a move would involve giving up their claim to the land-a step which most Bedouin are unwilling to take. One of the main ways in which the authorities push the Bedouin to leave their land is by not issuing permits for legal construction, forcing them to build illegally. All structures built without permits are then condemned and destroyed by the authorities. Figures provided by the Negev Coexistence Forum show that since 2005 the number of house demolitions has been escalating. — AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraq's parliament indefinitely postponed yesterday what would have been only its second session since March elections, extending a deadlock that has prevented formation of a new government. The delay is the latest setback in a nearly five-month process, and comes barely more than a month before US combat troops are set to withdraw from Iraq. "We are postponing the session until further notice because the political entities failed to reach any agreement," Fuad Massum, who as the oldest member of parliament holds the post of caretaker speaker, told a news conference. "We held a meeting this morning with the heads of the parliamentary blocs and we agreed to give more time to political entities to reach agreement regarding the selection of a speaker and his two deputies." He added: "The representatives of the political entities insisted on calling the current government a caretaker administration." Yesterday's session was to have been only the second since March 7 parliamentary elections. The first, on June 14, was adjourned after only 20 minutes. The selection of a new speaker and presidentahead of the naming of a new premier-is likely to be part of a grand bargain among Iraq's competing political blocs, further complicating the formation of a new government. Iraq's four main political groups, none of which has the 163 seats required for a parliamentary majority to form a government on their own, have been unable to hammer out a coalition deal since the nationwide vote.

NAJAF: Mustafa Mohammed, 9, kisses his injured mother at a hospital yesterday. The woman was injured when two car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims during a religious festival in Karbala killed and injured scores on Monday. — AP The political vacuum continues to dog Iraq only around a month before US combat troops are due to leave the country at the end of August. "It is a disappointing decision," said Salim al-Juburi, an MP with the Sunni Tawafuq party. "Each day that passes means the suffering is increasing, the security situation is aggravating, and we are moving far from the interests of the people." However, Kurdish MP Saeed Rasul said the postponement was "posi-

tive," arguing it was "better than entering the parliament hall without having reached an agreement." In a statement following confirmation of the postponement, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed that the government had not "signed any strategic accords or treaties, nor made any special nominations, and has only distributed funds that have been approved by parliament." US and Iraqi officials have warned of the dangers of an

upsurge in violence as negotiations on forming a coalition drag on, giving insurgent groups an opportunity to further destabilise the country. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staffs, arrived in Baghdad yesterday to review plans for the American troop drawdown and efforts to form a governing coalition. His visit follows comments on Thursday from US President Barack Obama calling on Iraqi political parties to form a gov-

ernment "without delay," and less than a month after Vice President Joe Biden visited Iraq to urge politicians to put aside personal ambitions and form a government. Former premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya bloc finished first in the election with 91 seats, followed closely by Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki's State of Law alliance with 89. The Iraqi National Alliance, a group of Shiite religious parties, finished third with 70 seats.-- AFP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cameron ‘angry’ at slow pace of Turkey’s EU talks ANKARA: British Prime Minister David Cameron slammed yesterday the slow pace of Turkey’s European Union accession talks and warned against shutting out Ankara because of anti-Muslim prejudice. Cameron’s strong support for Turkey’s limping EU bid puts him in stark contrast to fellow European heavyweights France and Germany who oppose the accession of the mainly-Muslim country of over 70 million people. “When I think about what Turkey has done to defend Europe as a NATO ally and what Turkey is doing now in Afghanistan alongside European allies, it makes me angry that your progress towards EU membership can be frustrated in the way it has

been,” Cameron said in a speech to Turkish businessmen in Ankara. “I believe it’s just wrong to say Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit inside the tent,” he added. He pledged to remain Turkey’s “strongest possible advocate for EU membership” and urged Ankara to “push forward aggressively” with reform. His intervention came amid growing concerns that the EU’s failure to fully embrace Turkey is behind a perceived drift away from the West in the country’s foreign policy. Turkey began EU accession talks in 2005, but it has so far opened talks in only 13 of the 35 policy areas that candidates have to negotiate. Eight chapters remain frozen due to

Turkey’s refusal to open its ports to Cyprus, an EU member that Ankara does not recognize owing to the island’s 36-year division between its Greek and Turkish communities. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have added to the gloom, arguing for a “privileged partnership” for Turkey rather than full membership. Targeting France over its opposition to Turkey without directly naming it, Cameron recalled that Paris had once vetoed Britain’s own entry into the EU’s precursor the European Economic Community. “We know what it’s like to be shut out of the club,” he said. “But we also know that

these things can change.” Speaking after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later, Cameron played down concerns that Turkey’s accession would unleash new waves of immigration to Europe. “As economies grow and... become more equal, the pressure of (immigration) flows isn’t so great... The Turkish economy is likely to outstrip Canada, Spain and Italy by 2025. So in time the issue... will solve itself,” he said. Erdogan hailed Britain’s robust support and said bilateral ties were in “a golden age.” He urged stronger backing to end the Cyprus conflict by the year-end and remove a major stumbling block in Turkey’s acces-

sion process. Cameron also slammed those who oppose Turkey’s EU bid on the grounds of its Muslim majority population and saw “the history of the world through the prism of a clash of civilizations”. The United States and some European officials raised fears last month that the EU’s reticence was driving Turkey eastwards after Turkey voted against fresh UN sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Turkey also plunged into a deep crisis with one-time ally Israel after nine Turks were killed in an Israeli operation on a Gazabound aid ship on May 31. Cameron urged Ankara to work to repair ties with Israel, but also slammed the blockade of Gaza, which

the aid flotilla had attempted to break. “Let me be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change... Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp,” he said. “Turkey’s relationships in the region, both with Israel and with the Arab world, are of incalculable value... And I urge Turkey and Israel not to give up on their friendship,” he said. Cameron also called on Turkey to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which Western powers suspect masks a weapons program. He expressed doubt over a nuclear fuel swap deal Turkey and Brazil brokered in May with Iran on the grounds that Tehran “would still retain around 50 percent of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.” —AFP

Over 30 heads of state approved request to send extra soldiers

African leaders agree to increase Somalia force KAMPALA: African Union leaders wrapping up a three-day summit yesterday in Kampala agreed to send thousands of extra troops to reinforce its military contingent battling Al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia. More than 30 heads of state approved a request by an east African regional body to send 2,000 extra soldiers to the war-torn capital Mogadishu. However, the leaders were still grappling with whether to completely change the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), currently tasked with protecting the fragile Somali government from the Islamist rebels. “This summit has just approved the requests made by the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD),” Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin told AFP. The IGAD earlier this month pledged to send the additional troops to boost AMISOM’s current force of 6,000 Burundian and Ugandan soldiers to its intended full strength. The permanent secretary of Uganda’s foreign ministry James Mugume said the summit was yet to agree on whether to give the force a more aggressive mandate under chapter seven of the UN charter. “The decision about the mandate is still being taken, but I think there is a realization that chapter seven is difficult,” Mugume told AFP. “What we are hoping for is chapter six and a half. It involves an adjustment in the rules of engagement that allows us to act more robustly. “A change to six and a half would still require consultations with the UN Security Council,” he explained. Ugandan army spokesman

KAMPALA: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi leaves following a meeting with other African leaders on the sidelines of the last day of the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala yesterday. —AFP

Felix Kulayigye however said that AMISOM could now launch pre-emptive strikes following new rules of engagement. “Now the forces are free to attack in a pre-emptive manner,” Kulayigye told AFP. “If there is a realization that you are about to be attacked you are mandated to attack first.” Somalia’s hardline Shebab militia fighting to topple the Western-backed government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed demonstrated their new regional dimension when they claimed July 11 bombings in Kampala that killed 76 people. They said the attack was to punish Uganda for its contribution to the AMISOM force, which the insurgents blame for killing civilians in Mogadishu. The Ethiopian foreign minister urged the immediate deployment of the additional forces. “We all think that AMISOM must be reinforced immediately, along with the means of action of the Somali transitional government,” Seyoum said. However, leaders at the Kampala summit acknowledged that military intervention alone would not resolve Somalia’s conflict which has raged for nearly two decades. “The priority must therefore be to reinforce the security forces, the police, and the civil and financial institutions of the transitional government,” Seyoum added. The Shebab, whose leader-

ship has pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, currently controls around 80 percent of the Horn of Africa nation, with the embattled government confined to a few blocks in Mogadishu. US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson supported the AMISOM troop surge as a means of defeating the radical militia posing a regional and international threat. “There is no doubt there is a need for more troops,” Carson said. “We in Washington have committed ourselves to support additional troops on the ground in the same fashion that we have supported Burundi and Ugandan troops.” African Union Commission chief Jean Ping said earlier that Guinea was ready to send a battalion to Somalia and predicted that the mission could soon swell to 10,000 soldiers. The bloc’s commissioner for peace and security, Ramtane Lamamra, said it was only “a question of a few short weeks” before the reinforcements arrive in Somalia and render AMISOM-which deployed in March 2007 — “more robust”. South Africa-which has been requested to send warships to prevent the Shebab from importing weapons via Somalia’s Kismayo port — said it would be ready to do “everything it is asked from it” by IGAD and the African Union. —AFP

German hostages freed in Darfur KHARTOUM: Two German aid workers kidnapped in June when gunmen swooped on their offices in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region were freed yesterday and are in good health. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced their release in Berlin. “Both men... will be brought to Khartoum in the course of the day. They are well, considering the difficult circumstances,” he said. The men work for Technische Hilfswerk (THW), the disaster relief arm of the German interior ministry. The foreign ministry gave no details on the circumstances surrounding their release. “I thank the crisis centre and all authorities involved for their untiring and successful involvement. I also thank the Sudanese authorities for their support and

cooperation,” Westerwelle said. “I have spoken to them. They are in good health,” the head of THW in Sudan Jurgen Maresch told AFP. The two men, aged 34 and 52, were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Nyala, the largest city of Darfur, on June 22. It was the first time foreigners had been kidnapped from their offices in the heart of Nyala, where more than one million people live. “They were released this morning in Kebkabiya and were then driven to Nyala,” Chris Cycmanick, spokesman for the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), told AFP. The Kebkabiya region is one of the most sensitive parts of Darfur and is controled by Arab tribes. Several hostages in Darfur have spent their time in captivity in

Kebkabiya where the government has little control. “They have just left Nyala in a plane of the ICRC and should arrive in Khartoum around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT),” said an official of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The kidnapping of the two men marked the first time Germans had been abducted in Darfur. Darfur has been gripped by civil war since 2003 that has left 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million displaced, according to the United Nations. Khartoum says 10,000 have been killed in the conflict. The vast western Sudanese region has also seen a wave of kidnappings of foreign nationals since March 2009 when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Since March 2009, 17 foreigners including 10 Westerners have been seized there. All have been released except an American aid worker with the Samaritan’s Purse group who was kidnapped in May. “In the past it was okay, but now it is not. They are threatening me, my life, my health,” the woman told AFP by telephone on Monday. “I am not safe now. I don’t have clean water, the situation changed very quickly into a nightmare. There are 20 men around me now,” she said. “I want to go home, I just hope they will release me.” The woman’s identity was confirmed to AFP by Samaritan’s Purse, but the aid group has requested that her name not be published. —AFP

Greek terror group claims blogger killing ATHENS: A terrorist group which calls itself the Sect of Revolutionaries has claimed responsibility for gunning down a journalist outside his home in a pre-dawn killing last week, police said. Sokratis Giolias was shot more than a dozen times outside his Athens home on July 19. The 37-year-old reporter headed an Athens radio station and was linked to a popular news blog that often reported on financial and political scandals. Police had already matched bullets from handguns used in the attack to the Greek militant group, which had previously used the weapons in the killing of an anti-terrorist police officer and a shooting attack outside a private television station. Authorities said the Athens daily Ta Nea received a statement from the group yesterday,

claiming Giolias’ killing. Details of the statement were not available, but the newspaper said it contained threats against wellknown Greek journalists and publishers. “Threats were also made against police, public prosecutors, prison officials, prison directors and social workers working in prisons,” the newspaper said on its website. The militant group emerged after Greece was hit by widespread rioting in December 2008, sparked by the police’s fatal shooting of a teenage boy. Since the riots, Greek authorities have battled increasingly deadly attacks by militant groups. Last month, a letter bomb exploded inside the Civil Protection Ministry, one of Greece’s most heavily guarded buildings , killing a close aide of the minister. — AP

LONDON: Former Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London yesterday. —AP

UK blocks extradition of ex-Bosnian leader LONDON: A British court yesterday thwarted a Serb attempt to extradite a former Bosnian vice president arrested in London on war crimes charges. Serbian authorities had wanted former Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic to stand trial for what they say was his role in a 1992 attack on Serb soldiers and have sought his extradition from Britain, where he was arrested in March. Ganic and Bosnian officials have denied the charges, insisting they are part of a campaign to minimize Serb guilt in the 1992-95 conflict that tore the Balkans apart. A judge at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court threw out Serbia’s request, allowing Ganic, 64, to return home. “I have not been provided with any new evidence that could be described as striking or reliable,” Judge Timothy Workman said. “These proceedings are brought and are being used for polit-

ical purposes.” Ganic would be released in due course, he added. The former leader was arrested by British authorities at London’s Heathrow Airport in March on a Serbian warrant accusing Ganic of ordering an attack on retreating soldiers in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, in the opening days of the Bosnian civil war. Bosnians expressed relief. “Justice has finally been done,” Haris Silajdzic, Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency, told The Associated Press in Sarajevo. Ganic’s daughter Emina burst into tears as the verdict was read out, hugging her father and brother. Her brother, Emir, said: “We’re all extremely satisfied. This shows how dishonest the Serbian prosecution was.” He said his father would fly back to Bosnia shortly. Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic, did not immediately comment.— AP

PM says France ‘at war’ with Qaeda over hostage PARIS: France said yesterday it was at war with Al Qaeda’s North African branch and will intensify military support for governments in the region combating the Islamist fighters who killed an elderly French hostage. But Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Paris would continue to negotiate with hostage-takers whenever possible to save the lives of French citizens, provided their captors did not cross a “red line” by endangering their lives. He was speaking in a radio interview a day after President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that Michel Germaneau, 78, kidnapped in Niger and held by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, had been killed following a failed French rescue mission in Mali. “We are at war with Al Qaeda and that’s why we have been supporting Mauritanian forces fighting al Qaeda for months,” Fillon told Europe 1 radio, saying that AQIM consisted of about 400 fighters operating in a desert area the size of Europe. Asked what Sarkozy meant when he said the killing of the retired engineer would not go unpunished, the prime minister said: “It means the fight against terrorism will continue and will be reinforced.” Asked if Paris would retaliate militarily, he said: “France does not practice revenge.” Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, on a delicate visit to Mali, which was angered by Paris’ apparent failure to consult it on the raid, promised better cooperation with countries of the Sahel region in combating terrorism. “As for coordinated operations, if you can do (them), I am a supporter of doing them properly and for a long time,” he said after talks with

Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure. He noted that Malian forces were part of a regional military coordination headquarters in Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, which was working to combat AQIM. Sarkozy has said he decided to launch a raid into Mali with Mauritanian forces last Thursday only after failing to establish any negotiating channel with the kidnappers and because he feared for the hostage’s life after an al Qaeda ultimatum. The opposition Socialists said they would not criticize the government’s action in the hostage affair. Only two small far left parties have condemned the use of military force. “We have no quarrel to pick provided everything is done to protect both the security of our fellow citizens ... and of French territory,” Socialist party spokesman Benoit Hamon told France-Inter radio. Fillon said France was on maximum security alert and several attempted attacks were thwarted on French soil and in neighboring countries each year. However, Kouchner said he saw no increased threat of terrorism in France in the wake of the killing of Germaneau, who was kidnapped in Niger in April. “I don’t think we have the slightest bit of evidence of an increased danger,” he told RTL radio in an interview. The minister said he had not urged French nationals to leave the Sahel but had asked that they take increased safety precautions. Malian defence officials voiced anger privately about the sidelining of their country, seen as a weak link in fighting AQIM due to a failure to crack down on groups based in the north and to reported links between some authorities and Islamists. —Reuters

Darfur rebels seize Russian helicopter

KIEV: Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill conducts a service in Kiev, Ukraine yesterday. Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine for a nine-day pastoral visit. —AP

MOSCOW: Rebels in Sudan’s region of Darfur have seized a Russian helicopter working under contract for the United Nations carrying nine people, the Russian foreign ministry said yesterday. The helicopter, belonging to Russian air company UTair and carrying five Sudanese passengers and four Russian crew, was seized on Monday, the foreign ministry said in a statement. “According to our information, there are no casualties and the aircraft was

not damaged,” the ministry said, adding that its embassy in Khartoum was moving to clarify the situation. It said UTair was working in Sudan under contract to the United Nations and the helicopter was carrying out a flight serving the joint UN and African Union peace mission in the region. No further details were available. The vast conflict-torn western Sudanese region has seen a wave of kidnappings of foreign

nationals since March 2009, with 17 foreigners including 10 Westerners seized there. Two German aid workers kidnapped on June 22 when gunmen swooped on their offices in south Darfur were freed yesterday, Germany’s foreign ministry said. Darfur has been gripped by civil war since 2003 that has left 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million displaced, according to the United Nations. Khartoum says 10,000 have been killed in the conflict. —AFP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Obama marks 20th anniversary of Disabilities Act WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama marked Monday’s 20th anniversary of a landmark law barring discrimination against people with disabilities by promising to boost government efforts at recruiting, hiring and retaining people with physical and mental limitations. In a ceremony on the White House South Lawn, Obama signed an executive order requiring the federal personnel agency to develop model guidelines for hiring people with disabilities. Progress reports would have to be posted online.

The ceremony, attended by White House officials, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, community leaders and people with disabilities, featured a reading through a sign language interpreter by actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, and an emotional performance by singer Patti LaBelle, who has diabetes. Obama also announced that the Justice Department was publishing new rules to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities by more than 80,000 state and local government enti-

ties and 7 million private businesses. He also said that, beginning in 2012, all new construction must meet new standards for the design of doors, windows, elevators and bathrooms. The requirement covers everything from stores and restaurants to schools, stadiums, hospitals, hotels and theaters, Obama said. Attorney General Eric Holder also is preparing new rules to ensure people with disabilities have access to websites, Obama said. “Not dependence, but independence,” the president said. “That’s what the ADA was

all about.” The Americans with Disabilities Act became law on July 26, 1990, signed by President George H.W. Bush to ban workplace discrimination against qualified people with disabilities and require improved access to public places and transportation. Bush was unable to attend Monday’s ceremony, but he and Obama spoke by telephone before the event. “He was very humble about his own role, but I think it’s worth acknowledging the great work that he did,” Obama said. —AP

Metsos assumes identity of a dead five-year-old Canadian

Canada revokes passport of alleged Russian spy TORONTO: Canada has revoked the passport of an alleged Russian spy who ument issued to Christopher Metsos, the accused paymaster of a Russian espifled after being freed on bail in Cyprus, a passport department spokeswoman onage ring. Cypriot officials confirmed earlier this month that Metsos had said Monday. Veronique Robitaille said Passport Canada canceled a travel doc- assumed the identity of a dead five-year-old Canadian boy to obtain a passport. “Where Passport Canada have said little about the spy is informed that an individual caper that grabbed headlines may have provided false or around the world and rekinmisleading information to dled memories of Cold War obtain a passport, or may cloak-and-dagger intrigue. It unclear how have misused a passport, we remains review the matter and take Metsos, described by the appropriate action,” FBI as “a secret SVR agent WASHINGTON: Continued climate change will international borders,” Oppenheimer and his Robitaille said. Canadian who is based abroad”, was drive Mexican farm workers to migrate to the team wrote in the Proceedings of the National officials said they learned the able to obtain a Canadian United States in greater numbers, environmen- Academy of Sciences. By the year 2080, they details of Metsos’ false iden- passport. tal experts predicted on Monday. For every 10 projected, between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Robitaille declined to tity from Renata Wielgosz, percent of lost crop yields, 2 percent more Mexican adults will emigrate as a result of Canada’s ambassador to elaborate on the agency’s Mexicans will leave and most will try to come to reduced farm productivity. “Although the review process concerning Cyprus and Greece. the United States, Michael Oppenheimer of results cannot be mechanically extrapolated to Metsos was among 11 this case. In court docuPrinceton University in New Jersey and col- other areas and time periods, our findings are people, four of whom claimed ments, the FBI said Metsos significant from a global perspective given that leagues predicted. to be Canadian, indicted on often traveled to the United The study touches on two extremely sensi- many regions, especially developing countries, charges of conspiring to act States to meet with agents tive US political issues-immigration and climate are expected to experience significant declines as secret agents in the and pay them on behalf of change. “It has been well established that farm- in agricultural yields as a result of projected United States on behalf of the Moscow. Canadian Security ers do tend to want to migrate when they are warming,” they wrote. SVR, the Russian Intelligence Service director “Indeed it looks like the climate change not doing so well,” Oppenheimer said in a teleFadden told a Federation’s successor to the Dick phone interview. Oppenheimer’s team looked at could be an important factor in future migrainfamous KGB. Ten arrested Parliamentary committee this Mexican census data from 1995 to 2005, along tion,” said Oppenheimer, a member of the in the United States were month that foreign spies with statistics on crop production and climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. sent back to Moscow after value the Canadian passport. data. “We lined up the climate changes, the “It underscores the need to grapple with greenpleading guilty, part of a “I think one of the reasons crop production changes ... with the census house gases.” Oppenheimer stressed that the swap for prisoners in Russia. that Canada’s so attractive is data, which allowed us to infer the emigration study did not address the cause of the variation But Metsos, arrested June that we’re so well-viewed in climate that affected Mexican crops. He also rate,” he said. 29, skipped bail in Cyprus around the world, and our “Climate change is expected to cause mass said it did not look at whether the migrants and has not surfaced since. passports are accepted virtuhuman migration, including immigration across moved to the United States legally. —Reuters Until now, Canadian officials ally anywhere,” he said.— AP

Climate change equals more Mexican migration, study finds

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama greets guests attending a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the law designed to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities and to make buildings more accessible by wheelchair, on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday in Washington. —AP

Major omission in memo to destroy CIA terror tapes WASHINGTON: When the CIA sent word in 2005 to destroy scores of videos showing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, there was an unusual omission in the carefully worded memo: the names of two agency lawyers. Once a CIA lawyer has weighed in on even a routine matter, officers rarely give an order without copying the lawyer in on the decision. It is standard procedure, a way for managers to cover themselves if a decision goes bad. But when the CIA’s top clandestine officer, Jose Rodriguez, sent a cable to the agency’s secret prison in Thailand and told his station chief to destroy videotapes showing two terror suspects being waterboarded, he left the lawyers off the memo. The destruction of the tapes wiped away the most graphic evidence of the CIA’s nowshuttered network of overseas prisons, where suspected terrorists were interrogated for information using some of the most aggressive tactics in US history. Critics of that George W. Bush-era program point to the tapes’ destruction and say his administration was trying to cover its tracks.The reality

is not so simple. Interviews with current and former US officials and others close to the investigation show that Rodriguez’s order was at odds with years of directives from CIA lawyers and the White House. Rodriguez knew there would be political fallout for the decision, according to documents and interviews, so he sought enough legal cover to get the tapes destroyed - but not so much that anyone would stop him. Leaving the lawyers off such a sensitive cable was so unusual that a top CIA official noted it in an internal e-mail just days later. The omission is now an important part of the Justice Department’s 2 1/2-year investigation into whether destroying the tapes was a crime. As that investigation appears to be nearing an end, prosecutors have focused on a little-used section of the 2002 SarbanesOxley law intended to prevent future accounting scandals similar to one that destroyed the energy-trading giant Enron. The law makes it a crime to destroy documents, even if no court has said they must be kept and no investigators are looking for them. Rodriguez, who was not disciplined for what

some former officials told prosecutors amounted to insubordination, frequently returns to CIA headquarters as a contractor. The Associated Press has compiled the most complete account to date of how the tapes were destroyed, a narrative that reveals the challenges prosecutors face in bringing charges. Most of the people interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation. Some of the principals would not comment or were unavailable. Videotaping interrogations is unusual at the CIA, but the capture and questioning of senior Al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah and accused USS Cole bombing plotter Rahim alNashiri in 2002 were unusual cases. They presented a chance to unravel al-Qaida from within, and the Bush administration authorized increasingly severe tactics to ensure they cooperated. CIA officers at the secret prison began videotaping to show that Zubaydah arrived in Thailand with wounds from a fire fight and to prove that interrogators followed broad new rules Washington had laid out. —AP

Mexican police investigate possible new drug gang ACAPULCO: Mexican authorities are investigating the possible emergence of a new drug gang that appeared to take credit for six killings through a message left with the bodies Monday, officials said. The six men were found inside a car in the southwestern city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero state police said in a statement. Next to them lay a message reading: “This will happen to all rapists, extortionists and kidnappers. Attentively, the New Cartel of the Sierra.” Authorities are investigating the authenticity of the gang, said an official with the state prosecutors office, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official said authorities had no previous knowledge of such an organized crime group. The car was reported stolen hours before the bodies were found, according to the police statement. The owner told police that armed men intercepted him on a highway and forced him out of the car. One body was found stuffed inside a black bag and the rest were tied up. At least seven major drug traf-

ficking cartels operate in Mexico, but there are many smaller gangs throughout the country, often affiliated with one of the bigger groups. The cartels have increasingly splintered since President Felipe Calderon launched an intensified crackdown after taking office in late 2006, deploying thousands of troops and federal police across Mexico. Mexican authorities have

blamed the infighting for a surge of gang violence that has killed nearly 25,000 people in less than four years. Most recently, a fight for control of the Beltran Leyva cartel has increased violence in central and southwestern Mexico, including Guerrero state, which is home to the resort city of Acapulco. The Beltran Leyva cartel splintered after its leader, Arturo

TIJUANA: Packages of seized marihuana, a weapon and bullets are displayed during a presentation to the press in Tijuana, Mexico on Monday. According to police 2.4 tons of marihuana were seized Monday. —AP

Beltran Leyva, was killed in a gunbattle with Mexican marines in December. That split occurred only a year after the Beltran Leyva gang broke with the Sinaloa cartel, which remains one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations. Violence has also surged this year along Mexico’s northeastern border with the U.S. since the Gulf cartel split with its former gang of enforcers, the Zetas. In that region, the bodies of four men were found dumped in a plaza Monday in Nuevo Laredo, a city across the border from Laredo, Texas, the Tamaulipas state police said in statement. The bodies had signs of torture and were found with the remains of a dog and a cat and several threatening messages. In the city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, state investigators found the burned bodies of three men near a major highway. The victims had been bound before being burned. Painted on a nearby wall were the letters “CPS,” an apparent reference to the Southern Pacific drug cartel. —AP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tight security in China towns following protests BEIJING: Hundreds of troops were on alert for further unrest in a manufacturing district in eastern China yesterday, following sustained protests by residents demanding more compensation for farms given up years ago to make way for factories, residents said. Paramilitary police and SWAT teams rolled into Huqiu district of Suzhou city, home of many foreign-invested factories, on Sunday following protests that have flared sporadically since July 15, said a man surnamed Wang who lives in the district’s Tongan township and refused to give his full name. “We’re just ordinary people claiming our rights. And the government arrested us and beat us,” Wang said, adding there

have been no new protests since security forces arrived to reinforce local police. Such disputes are common in China as swaths of farmland are razed to make way for factories, office parks, golf courses and other urban sprawl. Government officials involved in such projects are frequently accused of corruption, which the Communist Party recognizes is a threat to its rule. Following the protests, Tongan township suspended demolitions and fired two top local officials, Party Secretary Wang Jun and Deputy Party Secretary Meng Xiaoyu, who was also the mayor, according to a report last week by the official Modern Express newspaper. The two

were fired for poor handling of compensation policies and public demands, the report said, without elaborating on whether they had been accused of corruption. Hundreds were involved in protests over changes in government policy that now gives much higher payouts than what was allowed when many residents lost their farms in 2003, Wang said. He received 200,000 yuan ($29,500) in compensation, but now people can get 600,000 ($88,500) for homes in the area that was once covered in rice paddies, Wang said. Photos of the protests posted online showed large crowds gathered on roads and in government offices amid heavy

security, including police with riot gear. There were no clashes shown in the photographs, but Wang said he and others were beaten by police for trying to force their way into the local government building. He said he also saw a woman being beaten by four or five local police officers, and that some people taken into police custody have not yet been released. A resident in Huqiu district’s Dongzhu township confirmed Wang’s account of the protests and security presence. Police were guarding roads in his town, with paramilitary and SWAT teams stationed at the local middle school, said the man, who refused to give his name as is

common among media-shy Chinese. He added that the local government has failed to deliver on a promise to resolve residents’ grievances by Sunday. An official surnamed Mu in the Suzhou city propaganda department disputed that, saying authorities had provided a “satisfactory response,” but refused to give any details. He added that the situation in Huqiu district was stable but acknowledged paramilitary police were currently posted there. “They’re there to ensure the social security,” said Mu, who like many Chinese bureaucrats would only gave his surname. Residents said they were afraid to launch more protests with so many

police in the area. Notices were also given to parents with children at Tongan Middle School that included veiled threats of repercussions if there were further disturbances, according to, a Chinese-language site banned in China that is based in the US and carries reports on issues rarely reported in state media. “The Tongan incident has already been infiltrated by foreign hostile forces,” it cited the notice as saying, though there has been no evidence of it. It said residents should avoid participating in protests and spreading news of it “to avoid giving yourself and your children a disappointment.”— AP

Maneuvers intended to warn North against further aggression

US, S Korean troops drop anti-sub bombs in drills ABOARD THE USS CURTIS W ILBUR: US a nd South Korea n naval ships fired artillery and dropped anti-submarine bombs off South Korea’s east coast yesterday, the third day of high-profile military maneuvers intended to w arn nuclear-armed North Korea a ga inst further a ggression. The dra ma tic show of force comes

four months after a South Korean w arship sank in the w aters off the Koreas’ w est coast, killing 46 sailors. An international team of investigators determined that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the ship in w hat Seoul called the w orst military attack on it since the 1950-53 Korean War.

S KOREA EAST COAST: In this photo released by Korean Navy, South Korean destroyer Choi Young fires during a joint military drills in South Korea’s East Sea yesterday. —AP

Kyrgyzstan seeks $1.2 billion in aid BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan’s government appealed to an international donors conference yesterday for $1.2 billion in aid to rebuild the country after months of political and ethnic violence. The caretaker government leading the country until October parliamentary elections is pinning its hopes for stability and democratic reform on resuscitating the Central Asian country’s economy. Economic growth for this year had been estimated at 5.5 percent before a bloody April uprising that unseated former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, but authorities say the economy is now set to contract by 5 percent. Poverty is one of the key sources of tension in Kyrgyzstan, where both the United States and Russia have military air bases. Kyrgyzstan has battled to regain a semblance of stability and continuity since Bakiyev was overthrown amid widespread despair over falling living standards and rampant corruption. The bulk of the damage to the economy was caused by ethnic violence in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, whose economies rely heavily on trade and agriculture. In June, hundreds were killed when small clashes in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city, swelled into devas-

tating rampages by ethnic Kyrgyz mobs on Uzbek neighborhoods. The violence, which later spread to Jalal-Abad, left hundreds of minority Uzbeks dead and forced 400,000 others to flee. The official death tally currently stands at 351, although senior government officials have said the real figure is likely much higher. As well as devastating around 2,300 homes, the unrest also ravaged major markets and businesses, depriving the south of important sources of employment and economic development. Speaking at the opening of the donor conference, President Roza Otunbayeva said around $100 million would be needed to rebuild the economy of Osh. She said it would take a further $350 million to reconstruct destroyed homes in Osh and Jalal-Abad. Kyrgyzstan is also seeking substantial support in restoring its energy infrastructure, as well as revitalizing the banking and agricultural sectors. Despite the long-term support sought by the Kyrgyz government, the most immediate attention is being paid to the humanitarian situation in the south, where thousands have been forced to take refuge in tents or live with relatives. The United Nations humanitarian

coordinator for Kyrgyzstan, Neal Walker, said a revised flash appeal launched over the weekend is seeking $96 million to fund a wide range of assistance programs covering food security, health, shelter and education. Kyrgyz Finance Minister Chorobek Imashev stressed the need to prop up the country’s anemic banking sector as a way of pumping much-needed credit back into the economy. Banking was heavily reliant on a major domestic lender that authorities say was controlled by Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s family and that has since been nationalized. Prospects for investment have been hurt by the interim government’s swift moves to nationalize a swathe of businesses, including real estate, banks and media companies, in the wake of the April revolt. But Otunbayeva insisted the measure was aimed at overturning corrupt practices prevalent under the former government. “Nationalization was made necessary by exceptional circumstances and the desire to cancel the effects of the illicit acquisition of assets by aggressive takeovers, at below-market prices, and through the use of administrative resources by the deposed President, his family and his entourage,” Otunbayeva said. — AP

Khmer Rouge prison chief jailer to appeal conviction PHNOM PENH: The Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer plans to appeal his conviction by a U.N.backed war crimes tribunal, which sentenced him to 35 years in prison for overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 people, the tribunal spokesman said yesterday. Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, was convicted Monday of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was the first major Khmer Rouge figure to face trial more than three decades after the regime’s brutal rule led to the deaths of 1.7 million people. He will only have to serve 19 years of his sentence after taking into account time already served and other factors. Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said that Duch’s lawyer, Kar Savuth, has notified the tribunal of his intent to appeal.

PHNOM PENH: A handout picture released by the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Monday, shows former Khmer Rouge prison chief S-21, Kaing Guek Eav (Duch). —AFP

“Kar Savuth told me several hours after the verdict was issued that he would appeal,” the spokesman said. “He said he would have appealed a sentence of even one day.” Duch oversaw the notorious Tuol Sleng prison and torture center , code-named S-21. He admitted his guilt during testimony but argued that he was only following orders and acted out of desperation to save his and his family’s lives and should not he held responsible. Survivors of the “killing fields” of 1975-79 expressed anger and disbelief at what they saw as too lenient a sentence for a key player in the regime that wiped out a quarter of Cambodia’s population. Four other senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge are detained and waiting to face trials, expected to start later this year. —AP

So far, there was no sign North Korea was preparing the military response it had threatened before the drills , which the communist regime labeled a provocation , began Sunday, military officials said. The Korean peninsula technically remains in a state of war because the conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Yesterday, both Koreas and the US marked the 57th anniversary of the signing of the armistice against the backdrop of the military drills. “Since our nation’s founding, the United States has relied on our armed forces to ensure our safety and security at home, and to protect lives and liberties around the globe,” President Barack Obama said in a statement marking the anniversary. “I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War veterans.” Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the 28,500 US troops in South Korea and of the US-led United Nations Command, called the sinking of the Cheonan a violation of the armistice. “As a commander of the UNC, I call on North Korea to live up to the terms of the armistice and to cease all acts of provocation,” he said at a ceremony at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone where the cease-fire was negotiated and signed. In the North’s capital, Pyongyang, soldiers and citizens marked the anniversary by laying bouquets at the foot of the Korean War memorial, footage from TV news agency APTN showed. North Korea, which denies any role in the sinking of the Cheonan, has strongly protested the exercises. In flourishes of rhetoric typical of the regime, the regime has vowed a “nuclear” response in recent days. “This is an impure attempt to stifle (North Korea) by means of armed force,” North Korean army officer Hong Sung Chol told APTN in Pyongyang. “If the US imperialists ignite war again, our army and people will totally uproot the source of the war under the leadership of our brilliant commander, Gen. Kim Jong Il.” The regime has also pressed its demand for a full peace treaty. “Military tension and the danger of war on the Korean peninsula would not be addressed for good unless the US abandons its hostile policy (against the North) and replaces the armistice with a peace treaty,” the government-run Minju Joson newspaper said in commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. North Korea wants to establish diplomatic relations with Washington to guarantee that the US won’t invade and topple Kim Jong Il’s dynastic communist government. Pyongyang cites the presence of US troops on South Korean soil as a key reason for building up its atomic weapons program. The US repeatedly has said it has no intention of attacking the North, but sought to show with the military drills that its solidarity with South Korea remains as strong as ever. —AP

NEW DELHI: Myanmar’s top military general, Senior Gen Than Shwe, left, is presented with a bust of Mahatma Gandhi by India’s Junior Foreign Minister Preneet Kaur, right, as the former’s wife Daw Kyaing Kyaing, center, looks on, at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, India yesterday. —AP

Myanmar’s top military leader in India for talks NEW DELHI: India welcomed the head of Myanmar’s isolated military government yesterday despite international criticism and extended credit to the regime for railroad projects, as New Delhi competes to assert its influence in the region. India’s relationship with Myanmar, considered a pariah in some quarters for its suppression of democracy and human rights, has taken on new importance because of concerns over insurgencies and drug trafficking along their shared border. It is also competing with China for access to the country’s large natural gas resources. Myanmar junta chief Than Shwe held talks with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and officials of the two countries later signed agreements to combat the smuggling of arms, drugs and ammunition across their 1,025-mile (1,650-kilometer) frontier and cooperate in the fields of information, science and technology. “There are insurgencies on both sides (of the border) and both countries need each other,” said G. Parthasarathy, a former Indian ambassador to Myanmar. India has also grown wary of China’s influence in Myanmar, and is in competition with its regional rival for access to the country’s large natural gas resources. Yesterday, India’s state-

owned EXIM Bank loaned US$60 million to Myanmar for financing of railroad projects, said Soe Tha, Myanmar’s minister of national planning and economic development. The EXIM Bank has so far loaned a total of US$250 million for railways, telecommunications, a refinery, a truck assembly plant and electricity transmission lines. India also agreed to help restore the renowned Ananda Temple, a noted Buddhist shrine and major tourist attraction, in Myanmar’s central Bagan district, said a statement by India’s External Affairs Ministry. India, a major importer of fuel, has ignored the reclusive junta’s suppression of democracy. New Delhi, which has established deep economic and military ties with Myanmar’s generals over the past decade, has said it believed talking quietly is a better approach than sanctions. “India has long supported the democratic movement in Myanmar. At the same time, however, it has made clear that isolation is not an option with any neighbor,” the Indian Express newspaper said in an editorial. Than Shwe is known as a recluse who rarely undertakes diplomatic trips. His visit indicates the importance he places on advancing

Myanmar’s ties with India. The military leader is also known to be highly superstitious, which has led to speculation in Myanmar about the timing of his trip, at the auspicious start of Buddhist Lent. Than Shwe marked the day Monday by visiting Bodh Gaya, the town where Buddha attained enlightenment. Than Shwe’s visit has been marked by criticism and protests from pro-democracy activists. Scores of activists belonging to the All Burma Monks Alliance and the All Burma Students’ League gathered in a central New Delhi park yesterday, where they shouted pro-democracy slogans and set fire to posters with the military leader’s picture. After many years of supporting the democratic movement in Myanmar led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, India switched tracks and reached out to the military regime. New Delhi has begun work on an ambitious transport corridor across Myanmar that would give India’s remote landlocked northeastern states access to the Bay of Bengal through the Myanmar port city of Sittwe. Last week, the US State Department said it hoped India would press Myanmar over democratic reform, engaging the opposition and other ethnic groups in the country. —AP

Vietnamese mob throws coffin on government steps HANOI: Thousands of angry Vietnamese besieged a government building, threw rocks and blocked traffic with a coffin containing the body of a man who died after being detained for a routine traffic violation, a newspaper reported yesterday. Nong Nghiep Vietnam newspaper said the incident Monday drew thousands of curious bystanders, causing traffic jams for several hours. Any type of protest is extremely rare in Communist-ruled Vietnam, where all forms of dissent are quickly quashed. The paper quoted the victim’s uncle, Nguyen Van Toan, as saying that family members gathered to demand an investigation

into the 21-year-old man’s death in northern Bac Giang province. He was hospitalized after being taken into custody following a routine traffic stop. His girlfriend, who was with him at the time of arrest, was informed an hour and a half later that he was dead, it reported. Unhappy with the failure by police to explain his death, the family and hundreds of villagers placed his coffin in front of the provincial government building, the paper said. The protesters then grew angry, bringing down the gate and parts of an iron fence surrounding the government compound, while pelting police with rocks, it said. Tuoi Tre newspaper

quoted Bui Van Hai, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in Bac Giang, as saying police detained six people following the incident. He ordered an investigation into the cause of the death, it said. Officials and police were not available for comment yesterday. The cause of the initial traffic stop was not immediately clear. An initial autopsy showed that the man had died before being admitted to the hospital and some bruises were found on his neck, the newspaper said. Late Monday, the family brought the body for burial at the home village after meeting with provincial leaders, Tuoi Tre reported. —AP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cameron in India on mission to woo old ally LONDON: Seeking to win a key ally outside Washington and a booming business partner to spur Britain’s fragile economic recovery, British Prime Minister David Cameron headed to India yesterday to lead his country’s most brazen charm offensive in decades. Cameron is taking a 90-strong delegation for three days of summits and schmoozing, aimed at revitalizing relations between New Delhi and its former colonial ruler. Six government ministers, about 50 leaders of some of Britain’s largest companies, Olympic gold medalists and academics will join Cameron in a rare , and hardly subtle, attempt at political courtship. Britain’s new government has placed India at the heart of its strategy on foreign relations, seeking increased trade with emerging economies to fuel British growth, and new political alliances to preserve London’s clout on the world stage. “This delegation is unprecedented in its scale and ambition,” said Jo Johnson, a Conservative Party lawmaker who previously lived in New Delhi and is joining the trip. “The government has made a very clear statement of intent, that India is rising to the top of Britain’s diplomatic priorities.” In his first legislative program, Cameron signaled Britain’s plan to woo its neglected partner, pledging to craft a “new special relationship” with India. The phrasing is important: In Britain, the term “special relationship” has long referred to the close ties between London and Washington. During visits to Bangalore and New Delhi, Cameron will hold talks with leading legislators, seal a round of trade deals and clink glasses with dozens of potential investors. Treasury chief George Osborne will take British executives to Mumbai for talks with their Indian counterparts. Britain was the 5th largest exporter to India in 2005, but has since fallen to 18th. Exports to India dropped from 4.12 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) in 2008 to 2.9 billion ($4.5 billion) in 2009. “There is a belief that we haven’t benefited as much from India’s growth as we should have,” said Johnson. After a decade of foreign policy dominated by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Cameron’s government pledged to rebuild relations left “to wither or stagnate,” as London focused on military missions rather than trade. “From now on we will not neglect the wider world,” Foreign Secretary William Hague, who will also travel to India, said last month. Cameron will arrive in India from Turkey, another emerging nation identified as a key future ally and potential trading partner. His Conservative Party and the smaller Liberal Democrats formed a coalition to oust Brown’s Labour Party following an inconclusive national election in May. They found links with India had been dented after a 2009 visit by then-Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who offended his hosts by linking the Kashmir dispute to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Miliband’s informal style also irritated senior Indian officials. Cameron aims to repair the damage. Aside from lengthy talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he’ll hold meetings with Indian President Pratibha Patil, Vice

Leaks show West’s incoherent approach to insurgency: Kabul Files, reports released on whistleblowing website

ANKARA: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he addresses the media in Ankara yesterday. —AFP President Hamid Ansari, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna and lay a wreath in honor of Mohandas Gandhi. Lalit Mansingh, a former diplomat and India’s ex-High Commissioner to Britain acknowledged Cameron’s team has work to do. He said Cameron’s visit, which comes a week after his first trip to the White House, marks a “promising new beginning.” “He’s coming with a large trade delegation and I think half of his Cabinet, so it does send a good signal, a strong signal that Britain wants a special relationship with India and I think we should all look forward to that,” he said. The British party includes Barclays Group CEO John Varley, defense giant BAE chairman Richard L. Oliver, jet engine maker Rolls Royce executive Miles Cowdry, chief executive of England’s soccer Premier League, Richard Scudamore, and the heads of the British Museum and British Library. Still, Cameron has some thorny issues to address. He’ll need to explain the impact of Britain’s planned immigration cap, which will cut the number of people from outside Europe who are able to live and work in the UK from next April. India’s commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has already warned the quota will likely hit Indian doctors, nurses and engineers. British ministers must also discuss aid spending, which is likely to see the UK cut the 300 million pounds ($464 million) it offers India each year. And then there’s the competition: Some experts wonder whether Cameron will find his overtures to India overshadowed by larger rivals like the US and Japan, who are equally aggressive suitors. “There are a whole number of countries who recognize that India is a fast growing economy and is going to be an important ally , not just the UK,” said Gareth Price, a member of a British government trade organization’s Asia task force. —AP

India’s monsoon rains turn normal NEW DELHI: India’s monsoon rainfall in the key crop-planting month of July has been normal, recovering sharply after a 16 percent deficit in June, two sources in the weather office told Reuters yesterday. Monsoon rains, which irrigate 60 percent of India’s farmland, are now only 5 percent below normal in the June 1-July 27 period, recovering rapidly from a deficit of 16 percent a week ago and 7 percent on Monday. Heavy showers in several parts of country, mainly in soybean-growing areas in the past week have raised hopes of a strong harvest in the world’s leading consumer of rice and sugar, and the biggest importer of cooking oils. The weather office expects good rainfall in most parts of the country, except some regions in teagrowing northeastern states in the next few days. “The improvement in monsoon showers has given hope for above normal rains in August-September,” said a senior official of the India Meteorological Department who did not wish to be named. Rainfall has been well distributed over major crop-growing regions of the country, officials at the weather office said. “Good rains in the crucial month of July will help bumper production for summer crops,” L S Rathore, head of the agricultural meteorology division of the weather office, told Reuters. Vigorous monsoon rains will help rein in soaring inflation, which has stood in double digits for five consecutive months and has been rising after last year’s monsoon delivered the weakest rainfall in nearly four decades. India’s opposition has sought a special discussion and vote in parliament over high prices this week, attacking the government on an issue that has emerged as a major policy challenge. India produced 218 million tonnes of grains in 2009/10 with summer sown crops such as rice and soybean sharing nearly half of the output. Last week, a top weather forecaster said the monsoon


BHUBANESWAR, India: An Indian woman sows rice seedlings on farmland on the outskirts of Orissa state capital Bhubaneswar yesterday. With the arrival of monsoon rains, farming activity has resumed in the paddy fields. —AFP rains would narrow a shortfall in rainfall in the JuneSeptember period despite a lean patch in mid-July. The weather office expects good rains in coming days as favourable weather conditions are expected to develop over the Bay of Bengal on the east coast in the next 48 hours. The weather office also expects good rains over rice-producing Orissa state in eastern India, and soybean-growing central India this week. “Monsoon showers at regu-

lar intervals will help the soybean crop which is in good condition now,” said Rajesh Agrawal, a spokesman of the Soybean Processors Association of India based in the central city of Indore. Monsoon rainfall has been three times the normal level in the main soybean region in the past two to three days, weather officials said. In southern India, where rice, cane and corn are grown, rainfall has been a quarter above average in recent days. — Reuters

KABUL: The Afghan government said yesterday that leaked Pentagon documents on the war in Afghanistan showed the country’s Western allies had an incoherent approach to the insurgency, now in its ninth year. Thousands of files and field reports, released on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks on Sunday, also backed Kabul’s long-held position that Pakistan provides safe havens for militant groups which attack Afghan targets, it said. “Afghanistan has always emphasised that terrorism should be fought in its place of origin,” the National Security Council (NSC) said in a statement. Kabul has consistently accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of supporting Taleban insurgents-including masterminding attacks against Afghan and US-led targets in the country. Islamabad denies the claims. “Having a contradictory and unclear policy towards those forces who have used terrorism as a tool of interference and destruction against others has had disastrous consequences,” the statement said, referring to Pakistan. “In the past nine years thousands of Afghan citizens and citizens of our allied countries have been killed,” the NSC said, calling on its international supporters to formulate a united policy to deal with militancy. “Learning from the past KARACHI: Flood water partially submerges cars as Pakistani commuters travel through a flooded requires adopting a strong street after heavy monsoon rain in Karachi yesterday. Heavy monsoon rains killed at least 17 people and decisive policy (and) we must end our unclear stratein the southwest of the country last week and affected thousands more, officials said. —AFP gies. This is the only way to mobilize the Afghan people to fight terrorism,” it said. Some 92,000 documents dating from 2004 to 2009 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami has demandDERA ISMAIL KHAN: A former Pakistani deem it unIslamic and resent its close were released to The New spy kidnapped by militants four months ago alliance with the United States. “You people ed that Pakistan release nearly 160 militants York Times, Britain’s in northwestern Pakistan threatened in a are fully aware of the role I played for the held in prison, including several suspected Guardian newspaper and video to expose the government’s “weak- nation and my country during my service,” suicide bombers and men facing trial for the Germany’s Der Spiegel by nesses” unless it frees prisoners to secure said Imam, reading from a written statement assassination of former Prime Minister WikiLeaks. The most conhis release as demanded by his captors. with two masked gunmen behind him. “But Benazir Bhutto, said intelligence officials, troversial allegations centre Sultan Amir Tarar, also known as Col. if the government of Pakistan does not care speaking on condition of anonymity because around claims that Pakistan, Imam, did not provide further details in the for me, I will also not care for it and will they were not authorized to talk to the a key US ally, allows its video obtained by The Associated Press expose all its weaknesses.” Imam said he media. Imam said that he has sent statespies to meet the Taleban yesterday. But he likely possesses signifi- was being held by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al- ments to the government asking for help, directly. cant knowledge about his former employer, Alami, believed to be an offshoot of an anti- but it has not responded. He did not reveal But Admiral Mike the country’s most powerful spy agency, and Shiite Muslim militant group that has his location but said he has been living in a Mullen, the US military’s top increasingly set its sights on the govern- basement during his captivity. its overseer, the military. officer, yesterday denied “You know what kind of mentality these Both organizations have been battling ment. A different group calling itself the that information in the doculocal Taleban militants and their allies who Asian Tigers claimed to be holding the men people have and what they can do,” said ments questioned US stratehave declared war on the state because they soon after they were abducted in late March. Imam in the video. —AP gy or relations with Pakistan. Mullen said he was “appalled” at the leak, but that the information had been taken into account during a strategy review last year and that Washington made clear to Islamabad its concerns about possible links to militant groups. US relations with Pakistan have “dramatically” improved in the past year and Pakistan has launched offensives against Islamist extremists in the northwest, involving tens of thousands of troops, Mullen said. According to the New York Times, Pakistani agents and Taleban representatives meet regularly in secret “to organise networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders”. Although relations between Kabul and Islamabad have improved since a civilian government replaced Pakistan’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf in 2008, Afghan and NATO commanders say Taleban leaders operate from Pakistan. Earlier this month, Karzai’s national security advisor, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, said the presence of insurgents’ sanctuaries posed a major problem to the war on terror. He urged Pakistan to take action on the Islamists. The leaked files also indicated that civilian deaths have been covered up, and that Iran is funding Taleban militants eight years after the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the radical Islamist regime from power. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied those charges in an interview, telling CBS television: “We do not support any group”. Civilian casualties is an extremely sensitive issue in Afghanistan, with Afghan leaders fearing that the deaths of ordinary Afghans in military operation encourage people to sympathise with the Taleban. NATO and Afghan authorities are investigating a rocket strike that Karzai said killed 52 civilians in a southern Taleban stronghold last Friday. NATO has denied involvement. —AFP

Ex-Pakistani spy held by militants demands help



Wednesday, July 28, 2010


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Sanctions will leak By Barbara Lewis


anctions on Iran tightened their grip on Monday with European measures to make business with the OPEC member even harder, but no-one expects its oil trade to cease as high profits and energy needs inspire ingenuity. Following US sanctions and in anticipation of the EU action, oil markets have been awash with talk of reduced gasoline imports to Iran, higher costs and doubts its crude exports can be paid for in the euro and the US dollar under the new regime. Iran - the world's fifth largest oil exporter - is used to finding a way. "The point is the sanctions are not new. The shape is different. We can carry on," Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said in a telephone interview. EU foreign ministers were meeting on Monday to approve formally new measures, adding to US rules that also target Iran's energy industry. "We have a comprehensive set of sanctions," EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton told reporters. Short-term imports of refined products, which make up for Iran's lack of domestic refining capacity, will be disrupted as Iran navigates the new sanctions and the rest of the world grapples with the complexities of interpretation, analysts say. Looking to the long term, even the new sanctions are unlikely to be airtight. Analysts also note Iran's oil industry has strengths, but would benefit from international help. "Without a shadow of doubt, they're having an impact, but are sanctions a disaster? No," said Colin Lothian of Wood Mackenzie consultancy. "The Iranian oil industry is a very capable sector. However, it may never reach its aspirational goals without the assistance and investment of the international upstream community." For many companies, Iran has long been just too testing an environment for little reward. The nation is struggling to halt decline rates of around 8-10 percent at mature fields and almost every project has suffered delays. For years, there has been uncertainty about the long term and that is only aggravated by the latest measures. Gas, as well as oil production, and domestic refining capacity need to increase to meet domestic demand and free up crude oil for export. Oil markets have been well-supplied since the world tipped into recession stifling demand, meaning everyone can be relaxed about any disruption of Iranian crude, but only for now. With an eye to its huge future energy needs, China has a reputation for involvement in oil-producing territory other nations avoid. A major customer of Iran's crude, a supplier to Iran of refined products and a project partner, it is expected to carry on doing business whatever the difficulties. "They will still try to keep a presence and keep operating within the confines of the sanctions," said Lothian. Other friendly powers also have an interest in continued involvement,

although even they have adopted a cautious tone. Russia, which together with China, held the UN back from the kind of tougher, energy-targeted sanctions being implemented by the EU and United States, soothed Iran with talk of energy cooperation. At the same time, it urged it to explain the "military components" of its nuclear program. Russia could be particularly nervous of risking ties with its European customers. But the holder of the world's largest gas reserves also has an interest in maintaining a connection to Iran, which holds the second largest gas reserves and has the potential to supply the Nabucco pipeline - Europe's big project to reduce its dependency on Russian gas supplies. Turkey too has a strong gas relationship with Iran as its only gas export market. Turkish firm Som Petrol last week said it signed a deal with Iran for a Ä1 billion ($1.29 billion) gas pipeline, but the energy minister of Turkey - mindful perhaps of the country's EU candidacy - said the Turkish government was not involved. At every turn, the sanctions are one of many considerations. The problems in Iran's oil industry have also been traced to the involvement of President Ahmadinejad's Revolutionary Guards, who, analysts say, lack the relevant expertise. "Iran watchers are obsessed with viewing all developments through the prism of international sanctions. A lot of these problems run much deeper," said Bill Farren-Price of consultancy Petroleum Policy Intelligence. In some cases, the sanctions might be a useful excuse as in the withdrawal this month of Khatam Al-Anbia, the engineering arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards from South Pars. One former senior official in Iran said the guards had originally been drafted in to show those most loyal to the regime would carry out projects if no-one else would. "But in practice, there were delays in projects, a huge fuss was made over the Guards' involvement in financial issues, and so on. All these, pushed the authorities to review the issue," he said on condition of anonymity. Khatibi did not comment on South Pars, but said the sanctions could be a spur to necessary action, including developing new refining capacity and reducing domestic fuel subsidies in order to improve efficiency. He said Iranians would understand the need, although analysts said curbing the subsidies could stoke social unrest. "They may serve to increase internal dissent," said Robert Jordan, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, now a Dubai-based partner at Baker Botts international law firm. The one thing they probably won't achieve is their prime aim of halting Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing weapons. "They may slow down Iran's nuclear program but they won't stop it," said Jordan. The same is true of its oil industry. — Reuters

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S China Sea spat fresh threat to Sino-US ties By Emma Graham-Harrison


hina's angry response to a USled confrontation over the disputed South China Sea raises the spectre of a fresh rift between Beijing and Washington just as wounds from a combative start to the year are healing. China was furious after it was ambushed at Asia's top security forum by a discussion of sensitive territorial claims in the South China Sea, an area rich in energy and key for shipping. Beijing had kept the South China Sea off the agenda of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for a decade and a half. But last week in a meeting in Hanoi, 12 of the 27 members - including some with no direct stake in the territorial disputes - raised maritime issues. An angry summary of the meeting was posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on Sunday evening, eschewing usually opaque diplomatic language to accuse US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of a barely disguised assault on Chinese interests. "As expected, the US side chose to ignore China's advice and played up the issue at the meeting," the statement said. "The seemingly impartial remarks (by Clinton) were in effect an attack on China and were designed to give the international com-

munity a wrong impression that the situation in the South China Sea is a cause for grave concern." The statement was repeated the next day in English, ensuring maximum overseas readership for the broadside, and angry editorials in state-run media have also followed. Experts say the fury is not just for show, and threatens already tense ties. "China is angry. This is the first public US interference over the South China Sea, which the Foreign Ministry sees as an issue between China and Southeast Asian countries," said Shi Yinhong, International Security professor at Renmin University. "I think this is quite serious because it dramatically expands the space for disputes between China and the US" Relations between Beijing and Washington have been getting back on an even keel after a disastrous start to the year, marred by spats over everything from Tibet, self-ruled Taiwan and trade and the value of China's currency. But military ties in particular have been slow to recover, and the latest dispute comes hot on the heels of joint USSouth Korean military drills in seas near China, directed at North Korea but also criticised repeatedly by Beijing. "The Obama administration must

clearly understand: are they prepared to fully open up an era of friction with China? If they are not then they are certainly giving the impression that they are," the state-owned but populist Global Times tabloid quoted National Defence University professor Han Xudong saying. Clinton's speech marked the public demise of Washington's old hands-off approach to the South China Sea, though it was foreshadowed in speeches by the US military officials and diplomats who have long feared US strategic interests in the area were being eroded. China has decades-old disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam over boundaries in the South China Sea, an area key for shipping and possibly rich in oil and gas. Beijing has for years insisted on handling the disputes - which are serious enough to have sparked sometimes deadly naval clashes - on a one-on-one basis rather than multilaterally, a strategy some have described as "divide and conquer". China's growing confidence, bolstered of late by the relative ease with which it has ridden out the global financial crisis, has led to more assertiveness internationally. "Some of (the Southeast Asian

claimants) mention that the Chinese have gotten much tougher on them in recent months on the issue," said David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at the George Washington University in Washington. "I was told by a high-level Singaporean official in May that China has warned them all not to discuss the disputed island even among each other," he added. Chinese media even warned fellow Asians after the meeting about embracing the United States too fast, saying they could be sacrificing their interests to a selfish outside power. "Big countries from other regions...should make efforts to create good external conditions for countries in the region to solve the issue through peaceful negotiations, instead of stirring up trouble and sowing discord in the South China Sea," the China News Service said in an opinion piece. The multilateral discussion of the South China Sea was seen first and foremost as a victory for hard-lobbying Vietnamese diplomats, who are more interested in looking for allies than Asian solidarity. They often complain of Chinese harassment of Vietnamese fishermen in disputed waters and recently put in an order for six sub-

marines. For Washington, staking out a position on the South China Sea dispute is more of a gamble. It allows the Pentagon to reassert US influence in a distant but vital area. However, it does so with no clearly defined goal and is up against a resolute and patient Beijing. "China won't back down from its position, which it has held for a long time," said Ian Storey, a fellow at the Singapore Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. "It's harder for the US though, because now they have said they want to facilitate these talks, what happens next?... It's all tied up with the rise of China's navy and growing disquiet within the Pentagon about the growth of that navy." Even if a compromise solution can be reached sometime soon, it is unlikely to be a permanent one. "Both governments are not willing to let this kind of high tension last a long time, so maybe several weeks later we can expect that they will take some action to control the developing of this kind of dispute," Shi said, adding a grim prediction. "The disputes will be still there and will be temporarily under control, and then temporarily break out, and this will make Sino-US relations more complicated in the future." — Reuters

Raid shows resolve, trouble in fight vs Qaeda By David Lewis


joint French-Mauritanian raid may indicate a hardening of resolve against the Saharan band of Al-Qaeda's North African wing, but it also underscores cracks in regional coordination and risks fuelling anti-Western rhetoric. The operation failed to free a French hostage, whom Islamists say they have since executed. In the fallout, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to punish the killers and extended travel warnings for the region for fear of further attacks. Andre LeSage, senior research fellow for Africa at the National Defense University in the United States, said the raid showed how seriously the Islamist threat was being taken. "Direct military support - not just training and the provision of equipment - is now being considered by some actors." A spike in Islamist activity in Mauritania, Mali and Niger, mostly kidnappings resulting in multimillion dollar ransom payments, has led to an increase in international support for countries fighting the Al-Qaeda-linked group, known as AQIM. Led by France and the United States, which in May dispatched hundreds of Special Forces soldiers to train regional armies, the West has increased its own involvement and, in turn, called for better regional coordination from an often fractious group of countries. "(But) despite international efforts to build military capacity, promote regional intelligence sharing and develop political will in the region, there has been little coordinated action by Sahelian countries against AQIM,"

An undated handout photo apparently shows Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) chief Abu Musab Abdul Wadud speaking at an unknown location. – AFP LeSage added. Mali, on whose territory the raid took place, is widely perceived to be the weak link in the fight against Al-Qaeda due to reported connections between some authorities and the Islamists. Officials there said they were not informed about the raid and one senior official in the defence ministry accused Mauritania of conducting war on its land. Mauritania's defence minister has visited in an apparent attempt to smooth relations. Algeria, which has claimed

regional leadership in the fight against AQIM, has not made a statement but officials have privately expressed annoyance. While happier a more robust approach is being taken after Mali earlier released Islamists in exchange for a previous French hostage, Algerians are likely to be bristling over an intervention by its former colonial power on its patch. Algeria hosts a regional military headquarters for fighting AQIM. Richard Barrett, head of the UN's Al-Qaeda monitoring

team, said regional cooperation would take time, and a few successes to bolster confidence between the actors. But Wolfram Lacher, head of the Middle East and North Africa desk at Control Risks, said the exclusion of Mali and Algeria pointed to problems in the process. "In sum, the operation does not suggest that the obstacles to regional cooperation to counter AQIM are being overcome - quite to the contrary. "This is important, in that the threat

posed by AQIM necessarily has to be tackled by a regional approach," he added. Spanish media said Madrid, which has two hostages held by an AQIM faction, was also angered at the lack of consultation. Western nations are treading a fine line in their efforts to help mostly poor nations with weak armies try and stamp their authority on vast, desert zones, where smugglers, rebels and bandits often hold more sway than the central government. France carries the burden of having ruled

most nations as colonies while the US has had to back away from setting up a permanent base on the continent. "Western nations need to be very careful that their direct involvement in the Sahel does not bolster or give justifications to AQIM propaganda," LeSage said. Hardline Algerian Islamists, the group's initial core, are already lambasting Mauritania for calling on France for help. Anneli Botha, senior terrorism researcher at the South Africanbased Institute for Security Studies, said France was probably eager to convince its domestic audience it was taking action, but also said dispatching its army to hunt terrorists in the desert risked playing into the hands of extremists. "They should take a more criminal approach. It isn't always the easiest but it is the most effective in the long term." Sarkozy dispatched his foreign minister to visit Mauritania, Mali and Niger on Monday. "France is obviously already under a threat by AQIM," said Claude Moniquet, CEO of European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC). "Nevertheless, I think that the support of the French army to the attack by the Mauritanian forces against AQIM, last week increases the risk," Moniquet added, saying the main risks were diplomats and other citizens in the Africa's SahelSahara region, although an attack in Europe could not be ruled out. Analysts say AQIM's push south is a result of its failure to take its campaign to Europe, as well as Algerian pressure. France's Areva has major mining interests in Niger, though much further to the east than most Al-Qaeda-linked activity. — Reuters


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


WikiLeaks cuts new, wired path for journalism By Robert MacMillan and Peter Griffiths


he Pentagon said it could take weeks to determine how much damage WikiLeaks' release of military documents on the war in Afghanistan did to national security. It took only minutes to gauge its effect on the way people get news. WikiLeaks posted some 91,000 documents on its website, but to make sure they got attention and heavy exposure, they shared them first with The New York Times, London's Guardian newspaper and German news magazine Der Spiegel. The episode underscores how the Web and social media give groups that did not exist a few years ago central roles in journalism, and how mainstream media outlets still play a key role in analyzing and disseminating news. It also shows that the brand names of those outlets, even as their luster fades in the Web age, can amplify the perceived importance of news based on how prominently they cover it. The question is whether WikiLeaks is journalism, a term whose plasticity has been tested by organizations publishing on blogs and Twitter as the Web threatens traditional outlets' finances and loosens their grip on who publishes the news. "I don't know what you call what WikiLeaks is doing, and I don't mean that in a disparaging way," said Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of investigative journalism group ProPublica and former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. "They're a new phenomenon." Whereas newspapers like The New York Times look to historical guideposts of "All the news that's fit to print" and reporting the news "without fear or favor," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Der Spiegel, "I enjoy help-

Australian founder of whistle-blowing website 'WikiLeaks', Julian Assange, holds up a copy of the Guardian newspaper during a press conference in London on Monday. — AFP ing people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing the bastards." WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents from sources that it says expose corporate and government corruption. It posted a video of a US helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007 that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists. WikiLeaks proclaims its opinions, calling the helicopter attack video "Collateral Murder". That video gar-

nered as much criticism for WikiLeaks as the US military got for the attack. Some detractors accused WikiLeaks of selective editing to buttress its point of view, though to be sure, mainstream media outlets have been hit with similar accusations for hundreds of years. In the latest case, WikiLeaks got lots of attention on the Afghanistan documents by limiting initial distribution of its documents to traditional news outlets that are world famous for their

journalism, if not universally trusted. Their decisions to play up the documents ensured that their impact rippled throughout the world, even as many observers said there was little new information in them. Within minutes of their release online, links to the stories appeared on Twitter, blogs discussions began and news websites picked up the reports. "The more important a leak is and the bigger it is, the less chance it has of being properly reported if it is

released at once to everyone," the thin, white-maned 39-year-old said at a news conference in London on Monday. WikiLeaks shared the material with the mainstream papers a month before publication, giving them time to study the documents. Assange has no home and stays with friends around the world. His network, he said, includes 800 part-time volunteers and 10,000 "supporters". WikiLeaks relies on servers in several countries where laws give it more protection for its disclosures, The New York Times reported. The WikiLeaks page on Twitter lists its location as "everywhere". According to a June article in The New Yorker, the Australian Assange and his colleagues use encrypted communications and a suspicion of surveillance prevails. In some ways, WikiLeaks is vaporizing traditional notions of reporting. Using a network of people to pore through documents is what journalism experts call "crowdsourcing" - using many people to learn things instead of relying on the lone investigative reporter meeting Deep Throat in a parking lot. In this case, WikiLeaks employed its network to sort through the documents, but essentially enlisted the Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel as fact checkers and well-recognized stamps of approval for the quality of the information - a form of collaboration that rarely if ever happened before the Web. "Had they simply posted all of the material they'd gotten, they could be accused of being grossly irresponsible," said Edward Wasserman, a media ethics professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. "And they would never have achieved the kind of prominence and never received the kind of publicity that they've received." — Reuters

WikiLeaks fuels negative war debate for Obama By Sue Pleming


eaked documents on the Afghanistan conflict, including accusations that US ally Pakistan is helping the Taleban, further complicate President Barack Obama's strategy at a time of mounting doubt over the war effort. While Pakistan's covert support for the Taleban has been reported for years, experts say that revelations about this support contained in documents made available by online whistleblower WikiLeaks add to existing skepticism over the efficacy of the US engagement with Pakistan. "The documents underscore the depth of Pakistani support (for the Taleban) and frustrations within the American military about that," said former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, now with the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "This definitely makes it more complicated for the Obama administration," added Riedel, who led a White House review of

Afghanistan and Pakistan policy early last year. But Riedel said the bottom line was that the United States has no choice but to work with Pakistan even if revelations such as those made by WikiLeaks make it tougher to retain US congressional and public support for the effort. The 91,000 secret documents detail events in the war between 2004 and December 2009. That was the month when Obama announced a new counterinsurgency strategy and troop surge intended to turn around the war that began in 2001 in retaliation for the Sept 11 attacks on the United States. But critics of the war may cite the documents as evidence that the US war strategy will fail even with the 30,000 additional troops Obama last December ordered to Afghanistan. "These WikiLeaks should not be used to say the strategy is doomed to failure," said Lisa Curtis of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. "It is too early to say that." Curtis said part of the problem

in sustaining US public support for the war is that the Obama administration's message is "very confused". "They need to stop talking about a timeline. It disheartens our allies and encourages the enemy," she said, referring to Obama's pledge - criticized by many US conservatives - to start pulling out US troops by July 2011. Afghanistan expert Anthony Cordesman said the timing of the leaks rather than their content may be the most damaging aspect for the White House, as Obama's team seeks to change what media experts call an increasingly gloomy war "narrative". "The president has a messaging problem," said Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. Fighting in the Kandahar region - the Taleban's stronghold - has been tougher than expected, casualties are on the rise and the White House is still reeling from the fallout from the firing of war commander General Stanley McChrystal last month. US lawmakers also have been rais-

ing more questions about the war effort and its goals. Obama is under pressure to show progress in time for a planned policy review in December that will look at whether additional troops have made a difference. This sour mood has not been helped by comments from experts such as Richard Haass, a former State Department official and current Council on Foreign Relations president who suggested last week that the war is not worthwhile. "This administration has not yet clarified its core goals and the end state. Many Americans, particularly congressmen, are asking: how does this end?" said Brian Katulis with the Center for American Progress think tank. "You are seeing some stirrings of opposition, but as yet I don't see the architecture shaping up for a concerted anti-war effort," Katulis said. The White House is also sensitive ahead of the November US congressional elections in which Obama's fellow Democrats are trying to prevent the opposition Republicans

from regaining control of Congress. So far, the Afghanistan war has drawn little interest on the campaign trail, with most of the focus on US unemployment and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Katulis and others said it was unlikely that fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures will provoke the same antiwar mood that undercut President George W Bush's Republican Party in 2006 congressional elections when the Iraq war was going very badly. But analysts suggested that Obama talk more often about his reasons for being in Afghanistan and seek to reassure Americans that the war is worthwhile, especially during an economic downturn. "The president has chosen to speak very rarely about this issue. As it gets more contentious, he will have to come out and articulate why he is doing what he does," Riedel said. "It remains a mystery to me why the White House does not have a better strategy of articulating what our goals and objectives are." —Reuters

Emperors, princes and league of mini-nations By Talek Harris


t's raining, and Emperor George II is not impressed. He frowns at the elements, curses, and retreats up the stairs of his Sydney apartment block. It's hardly regal language. But if you have your own empire, complete with government, citizens and your picture on the banknotes, you can talk exactly as you like. George's empire is Atlantium, a self-proclaimed global state with the ambitious aim of sweeping away the traditional notion of countries based on geography and race. Atlantium has its own colours (blue, yellow and orange), insignia and even a capital, the Province of Aurora - a rural patch of land where George and his minions are building statues and monuments. Inside his flat, George has Atlantium's flag and its fictional Solidi currency, bearing his bespectacled, bearded image, piled on his desk, and a medal of the empire pinned to his chest. "When I was 15 years old my parents said to me, 'if you don't like the way the world is, do something about it'," says the emperor, real name George Cruickshank, 43. "I think they probably meant that I go off and join a political party. What I actually ended up doing, with my two cousins, was starting Atlantium." It's a novel idea, but George is not alone. Australia has a ragtag collection of perhaps 30 colourful mini-states of various shapes, sizes and motivations, making it a world centre for "micronations". For instance, across Sydney from George's flat is the Principality of Wy, an artistic community born from a planning dispute, while a few hours out of town is Snake Hill, which declared independence over a property row. In Outback Western Australia, the Principality of Hutt River is celebrating 40 years' independence from state authorities, during which time it has built a thriving economy based on visits from curious tourists. Off Queensland, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands has unofficially

In a picture taken on May 27, 2010 Emperor George II of Atlantium, (aka George Cruickshank), displays the 25 imperial solidi note featuring a portrait of himself (top) in Sydney. – AFP sequestered a disused weather station where it has a post office and funds itself by selling its unique coins and stamps. The kingdom, ruled by Emperor Dale I, was established by a group setting out on the Gayflower ship in 2004, in protest at a ban on same-sex marriage. Its anthem: Gloria Gaynor's "I Am What I Am". According to Macquarie University academic Judy Lattas, the quirky states are part-protest, part-product of Australia's rebellious streak. "It's just one form that popular protest takes in the modern world. It's interesting they teach us about the nature of nation-building itself," she says. "It's also partly that Australians have long had that attitude: they delight in people defying authority." The mini-states range from oneman fiefdoms and family ventures to

those like Atlantium, which aim to make a serious political statement. The enterprises, fed by Australians' deepset distrust of authority, have also flourished in its vast tracts of unused land, with some bigger than recognised countries such as Monaco. "Some you just hear references to and are really hard to track down. Some it's hard to know if they're still viable," Lattas says. In April, Lattas brought Australia's micronations together for their first summit, which was held at a small hall on an island just outside Sydney and drew about 50 participants. She says many had been inspired by Hutt River, which was established in 1970 and has become the benchmark for Australia's micronations thanks to the entrepreneurial zeal of its founder, His Royal Highness Prince Leonard. "They're a lot of people with very clear griev-

ances. They have awful decisions made with banks and courts and local bureaucracies and they get very very frustrated," Lattas says. "They feel like there's a violation of their natural rights and this is one of the languages that's circulating that they can articulate that sense of injustice in." The Principality of Wy is a case in point. The arts haven, a property in the leafy Sydney district of Mosman, symbolically seceded from the local council in 2004 in sheer frustration at years of fruitless lobbying for road access. "Finally we got jack (fed up) of it and we thought, look, this is crazy," says Wy's "monarch", Prince Paul. "All councils provide is roads and take away your rubbish so we thought we'll secede and we did." Now Prince Paul and his family, often clad in robes and crowns and bearing the emblems of state, hap-

pily host speech days and poetry readings, and are working on a unique cookbook. "We thought it would be much too vain and lofty to call ourselves a kingdom, so we're just a little principality," says Prince Paul, real name Paul Delprat, who runs an art school in central Sydney. "And of course being a principality we are not royal, we're serene. After all the delays we've had from the council, to retain one's serenity is a marvellous thing." George's Atlantium meanwhile has grown from a childhood fantasy to an entity with about 1,300 citizens in 110 countries, all run from his inner city apartment. The emperor, a radio producer for an ambient music show, readily admits that Atlantium's showier elements, such as its stamps and openhanded salute, are a tongue-in-cheek ploy to draw attention and tourist dollars. "I don't demand that people defer to me, but what I find is that many citizens do without prompting," George tells AFP. "I never object if it's people doing it unprompted." George believes non-bordered states will play a part in mankind's future, and next year he's planning an enthronement ceremony, when he will be crowned with a wreath of metallic laurel leaves. "The long-term goal is for Atlantium to take its place amongst the global community of nations," George says. "Whether by the time that happens the concept of the nation state is as prevalent as it is today, I don't know. Micronations are not unique to Australia, with self-styled states in Britain, mainland Europe, America and elsewhere prevalent enough to inspire a Lonely Planet guide book on the subject. But it is in this far-flung country, little more than a collection of convict settlements just 200 years ago, where the concept has really taken hold. "I think there is in the Australian psyche a love of standing up for yourself," says Prince Paul of Wy. "We don't take ourselves too seriously, but of course there's this deep undercurrent of a profoundly unfair thing." — AFP


Law seen as new threat to Amazon By Stuart Grudgings


proposed overhaul of Brazilian forest policy being considered in Congress is raising concern that the world's largest forest could be left more vulnerable than in decades to razing by farmers despite recent progress in protecting it. Destruction of the forest, which is a vital global climate regulator due to the vast amount of carbon it stores as well as a caldron of biodiversity, is driven mainly by farmers who clear Amazon land for crops and livestock. Supported by the powerful farming lobby, the proposed changes to Brazil's 1965 Forest Code would take away important powers to set forest protection policy from the federal government and give them to states. Environmentalists say this would spark a race to laxer standards. The measure also would give amnesty to people fined for violating the current forest code up to 2008 and sharply cut the amount of land that owners would have to save as forest. The legislation could cause problems for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva or his successor to be chosen in October's presidential election in which Lula cannot run. A special committee in Congress passed the measure this month. It is expected to be voted on by the full Congress this year, likely after the elections."It will be a huge embarrassment for whoever gets into office," said Fabio Scarano, the executive director of the Conservation International Brazil environmental group. "Environmentally it's a disaster from what science tells us, and from the agricultural point of view it's also a disaster. The water they use for irrigation is the water that is protected by these very reserves. All sides lose," Scarano added. Supporters of the bill say it would make Brazil's agriculture sector more competitive by giving farmers more access to productive land. They point to language in the bill that would require a five-year moratorium on new deforestation as evidence that the measure, if made law, would not herald a new

wave of Amazon destruction. Farmers say that stricter protection rules over the years have left many of them outside the law, even though they themselves may not have been responsible for clearing the forest land now used for farming. "The law allows states to legalize their lands. In areas that are producing and were deforested, states can allow them to continue producing," said Assuero Doca Veronez, head of the environment commission at Brazil's Confederation of Agriculture and Cattle. "The law in no way weakens environmental protection in the sense of allowing new deforestation." Under the bill, farmers in Amazon states would need to keep only 20 percent of their land as forest, down from 80 percent now. "The proposed forest code is very dangerous because it creates the expectation you're always going to have these amnesties so people can get away with breaking the law," said Philip Fearnside, an ecologist at the National Institute for Research in the Amazon, a private research institute. The fierce debate between environmentalists and farming interests in Latin America's largest country comes as destruction of the Amazon has been on a sustained decline. The reduction in forest destruction has allowed the government to argue it is on track to meet a target, which Lula touted at the global climate summit in Copenhagen last year, of reducing by 2020 its annual rate of Amazon deforestation by 80 percent from high 1996-2005 levels. Preliminary satellite data released last week showed that deforestation of the Amazon fell 47 percent between Aug 2009 and May this year compared to the same period a year earlier. That follows a confirmed 42 percent fall in the 2008-09 period to 7,464 sq km. Supporters of the legislation say the forest does not need any more protection than is already provided. But a spike in commodity prices as the world economy rebounds could stoke more deforestation as farmers clear more land, Fearnside said. —Reuters

Vatican is losing the communications fight By Catherine Jouault


ith gay marriage becoming legal in Catholic strongholds such as Argentina and Portugal, the Vatican is showing an inability to adapt its message to changing times, analysts say. The Roman Catholic Church is "slow to take societal change into account," said Vatican historian Giancarlo Zizola. The Vatican "needs to rethink its moral discourse towards today's youths because so far it has created a set of police-like rules, turning sexuality into a nightmare," he added. Vatican watcher Bruno Bartoloni agreed, saying: "The Church preaches old-fashioned attitudes in some areas," with many wondering why the Church is still opposed to divorce. He added: "For a long time now, the Church has been losing ground in countries that are historically close, and governments are gradually distancing themselves as well." Argentina is only the first of several Latin American countries to see a "globalisation" of European ideas, said Vatican expert Sandro Magister, citing similar trends in Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The disconnect is especially apparent in the Church's handling of a new wave of paedophilia scandals that has engulfed it since late last year, analysts say. The new laws allowing gay marriage in Argentina and Portugal - and Spanish legislation making it easier for women to have abortion - come as the revelations of sex abuse by priests and highlevel cover-ups have taken a toll

on the Vatican's image. Pope Benedict XVI has fired bishops, apologised to victims and issued tougher guidelines against the scourge, but many say the response has been inadequate, adding up to what historian Alberto Melloni called a "loss of authority for the Church." The Vatican response will "never be severe enough for a public that wants (guilty paedophile priests) to burn at the stake," he said. Melloni says the recent setbacks for the Vatican reflect a secularisation process dating to the 1789 French Revolution, when civil law was developed as a separate system from the Church's canon law. Historically, similar blows for the Church, such as the establishment of civil marriage and the institution of public, nonreligious education, "have been seen from the outside as a loss of influence for the Church and from the inside as a great catastrophe," Melloni said. But Zizola said "the authority crisis of the Catholic Church does not revolve around its ability to impose its moral codes or its religious beliefs on states." In demographic terms, at least, the Church is growing: Between 2000 and 2008, the number of baptised Catholics in the world grew from 17.28 percent to 17.4 percent of the total population to 1.165 billion people, according to the Vatican. Nevertheless, the Church "is losing sight of the new generations," Melloni lamented. As young people confront a bleak future in challenging economic times, "the Church seems to have nothing to say about it," he said. — AFP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gas can lead to new Lebanon-Israel war BEIRUT: The discovery of large natural gas reserves under the waters of the eastern Mediterranean could potentially mean a huge economic windfall for Israel and Lebanon, both resource-poor nations - if it doesn’t spark new war between them. The Hezbollah militant group has blared warnings that Israel plans to steal natural gas from Lebanese territory and vows to defend the resources with its arsenal of rockets. Israel says the fields it is developing do not extend into Lebanese waters, a claim experts say appears to be correct, but the maritime boundary between the two countries - still officially at war - has never been precisely set. “Lebanon’s need for the resistance has doubled today in light of Israeli threats to steal Lebanon’s oil wealth,” Hezbollah’s Executive Council chief Hashem Safieddine said last month. The need to protect the offshore wealth “pushes us in the future to strengthen the resistance’s capabilities”. The threats cast a shadow over what could be a financial boon for both nations, with energy companies finding what appear to be substantial natural gas deposits in their waters. Israel is far ahead in the race to develop the resources. Two fields, Tamar and Dalit, discovered last year, are due to start producing in 2012, and experts say their estimated combined reserves of 160 billion cu m of natural gas can cover Israel’s energy needs for the next two decades. In June, the US energy company Noble Energy, part of a consortium developing the fields, predicted that Israel will also have enough gas to export to Europe and Asia from a third field - Leviathan, thought to hold up to 450 billion cu m of gas. Israel relies entirely on imports to meet its energy needs, spending billions to bring natural gas from Egypt and coal from a variety of countries. So just freeing the country from that reliance would have a major impact.

When Tamar begins producing it could lower Israel’s energy costs by a $1 billion a year and bring $400 million a year in royalties into government coffers. That suggests a total of about $40 billion in savings and $16 billion in government revenues over the total yield of the field. Those numbers would only rise as Leviathan comes on line. “Israel’s always looked for oil,” said Paul Rivlin, a senior research fellow with Tel Aviv University’s Dayan center. “But I don’t think it ever thought of itself as becoming a producer. And now that you’ve got a high-tech economy that’s doing quite well, this comes as an added bonus.” Hezbollah’s warnings, however, quickly followed the announcement by Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy. Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a Hezbollah ally, warned that Israel is “turning into an oil emirate while ignoring the fact that the field extends, according to the maps, into Lebanon’s territorial waters”. Israel’s Petroleum and Mining commissioner at the National Infrastructure Ministry Yaakov Mimran, called those claims “nonsense,” saying Leviathan and the other two fields are all within Israel’s economic zone. “Those noises occur when they smell gas. Until then, they sit quietly and let the other side spend the money,” Mimran told the Israeli daily Haaretz. Maps from Noble Energy show Leviathan within Israel’s waters. An official with Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services, which is surveying gas fields in Lebanese waters, told AP that from Noble’s reports there is no reason to think Leviathan extends into Lebanon. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized by his company to speak on the subject. The rumblings are worrisome because Israel and Hezbollah each accuse the other of intending to spark a

new conflict following their devastating 2006 war. That fighting, in which Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid sparked a massive Israeli bombardment, killed about 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis. Since then, there has been a rare interval of peace. Hezbollah, a close ally of Syria and Iran, has not fired a rocket into Israel since. Israeli officials, however, say they believe Hezbollah has managed to triple its prewar arms stockpile to more than 40,000 rockets. The warnings from Hezbollah and Berri could be as much for domestic consumption as directed as Israel, aiming to press for the passage of a long-delayed draft oil law, needed before any Lebanese fields can be developed. Oil and gas exploration has been a source of disagreement between Lebanese politicians over the past decade. The change of several governments and disputes over what company should do the surveying have caused delays. In October, Petroleum GeoServices said fields in Cypriot and Lebanese waters “may prove to be an exciting new province for oil and gas in the next few years”, noting signs of deposits in Lebanon, though their size is still not known. “It is very encouraging for Lebanon,” the PGS official told AP. Any finds could help Lebanon’s government pay off what is one of the highest debt rates in the world, at about $52 billion, or 147 percent of the gross domestic product. Israel and Lebanon are among the few countries in the Middle East without substantial, lucrative natural resources. Israel has built a place for itself with a powerful high-tech sector, while Lebanon has boomed in recent years with tourism and real estate investment. While the gas may not transform them into Gulf-style spigots of petro-cash, it would be a major boost. — AP

Iran defiant, but ‘ready’ for talks Continued from Page 1 sanctions, although they would “not affect Iran’s determination to defend its legitimate right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program”. The EU sanctions follow similar measures meted out by the United States that go beyond a fourth set of UN sanctions imposed on June 9 over Iran’s refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. They are aimed at reviving stalled talks between Iran and six world powers -Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Among the EU measures are a ban on the sale of equipment, technology and services to Iran’s energy sector, and steps to hit activities in refining, liquefied natural gas, exploration and production, the bloc’s diplomats said. New investments in the energy sector have also been banned. Russia, which has strong economic ties with Iran, said yesterday the EU sanctions were “unacceptable” and showed “disregard for the carefully regulated and coordinated provisions of the

UN Security Council”. The comments came despite Moscow having hardened its position on Tehran, with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev saying Iran was close to having the potential to build a nuclear weapon. Moscow is also helping Tehran build its first nuclear power station in the southern city of Bushehr in a project that does not fall under the UN sanctions. The construction of the power plant is on schedule and preparatory work should be completed before September, the head of Russia’s nuclear agency, Sergei Kiriyenko, said yesterday, quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti. Iran is the world’s fourth largest producer of crude oil and has the secondlargest reserves of natural gas after Russia, but imports 40 percent of its fuel needs because it lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic demand. The development of its giant gas fields has been delayed due to a lack of investment and difficulties in procuring the required technology. Several top global energy majors have already quit Iran, or have been con-

sidering an exit since the fresh set of UN sanctions. The country’s banking sector was also hit by restrictions, forcing any transactions of more than €40,000 ($52,000) to be authorised by EU governments before they can go ahead. Ahmadinejad, who has been widely criticised at home over his economic policies, laughed off the unilateral EU and US sanctions. “I think the policies by the Europeans and the Americans are ridiculous. They think they are going to influence the life of the Iranian society. In fact, they’re imposing sanctions against themselves,” he said in an interview Monday with CBS television. The last high-level meeting between Iran and the six world powers was held in Geneva in Oct 2009 when the two sides agreed a nuclear fuel swap deal that has since stalled. Western powers have demanded Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, fearing Tehran would use the material to build a nuclear bomb. Iran says its atomic program is purely peaceful. — AFP

Bibi meets Abdullah in surprise visit Continued from Page 1 A Royal Palace statement said Abdullah and Netanyahu discussed ways for starting “serious and effective” direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. It did not elaborate. The palace statement said Abdullah asked Netanyahu to “make use of the opportunity available now to achieve peace, which constitutes a strategic interest for all sides involved.” In a speech after returning home, Netanyahu praised Abdullah’s involvement. “We talked about promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians and in the whole region,” Netanyahu said. “I welcome Jordan’s efforts for progress toward these goals. The formula for peace is a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said, after demanding security arrangements without giving details. Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab nations that have full peace treaties with Israel. Relations between Jordan and Israel have cooled as the IsraelPalestinian peace process drags on with no visible results. More than half of Jordan’s nearly 6 million people are of Palestinian descent. Jordan fears that deadlocked negotiations could lead to another influx of Palestinian refugees

from the West Bank, disturbing the country’s delicate demographic balance. Abbas is also in Jordan, where he met Abdullah on Monday. Jordanian officials said the Palestinian leader did not meet with Netanyahu. Abbas’ chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, challenged Netanyahu, saying the “key to direct negotiations lies in the Israeli prime minister’s hands.” He said Netanyahu must accept the obligations of previous Israeli governments concerning the borders of a future Palestinian state and stopping settlement construction - which should be considered terms of references for direct talks to start. “These are not Palestinian conditions, they are Israeli obligations which must be met,” he said. Israel’s previous, more moderate government offered the Palestinians a state in virtually all of the West Bank, Gaza and par ts of Jerusalem, but Erekat said then that the Palestinians tur ned down the offer because they would not compromise over Jerusalem, where both sides claim a key holy site. Netanyahu has said he would not put his predecessor’s peace plan back on the table. Also yesterday, the top security official in Hamas-ruled Gaza said he is considering setting up a bigger military force, first with volunteers and eventually with conscripts as well. Such a step

could further tighten Hamas’ control of Gaza and deepen the rift Abbas, the group’s Western-backed rival in the West Bank. Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007, wresting control from forces loyal to Abbas. Currently, Hamas has a paid security force of about 18,000. Interior Minister Fathi Hamad raised the idea of a broad-based force during the inauguration of a new police building. He said his ministry is “open to the idea of voluntary recruitment and then going to conscription.” He gave no details. In Israel’s southern Negev desert yesterday, Israeli authorities demolished a Bedouin village built on land residents identify as their property but which Israel’s gover nment says is owned by the state. Of the some 160,000 bedouin Arabs living in Israel’s south, about half live in such unrecognized villages, usually in hastily erected metal shacks and tents. Yeela Raanan, an activist with an organization working for the bedouin villagers, said more than 1,000 police arrived at dawn with bulldozers and knocked down the 35 homes that had made up the village of AlArakib. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the demolitions were carried out after a court process lasting over a decade. There was no violence and no one was hurt, he said. — AP

Egyptian policemen on trial for brutality Continued from Page 1 Two autopsies ordered by Egypt’s state prosecutor concluded that Said had died of asphyxiation after swallowing a bag of marijuana when he saw the police officers approaching. Rights groups have rejected the official account, and Said has since become a symbol for rights activists against police brutality, for which Egypt has been widely criticised. Lawyers for his family yesterday asked that the charges against the two policemen be stiffened to murder, but said they will make a formal request at a later date. The hearing was adjourned until Sept 25, until which time the policemen are to remain in custody. Around 30 protesters stood outside the court demanding an end to police brutality and torture. After the trial, minor scuffles broke out with police who tried to disperse the demonstrators. The defendants’ families held a parallel rally nearby to denounce the activists’ campaigning in defense of a “drug dealer”, as Said has been

portrayed in the state-owned press. Ahead of the hearing, Said’s sister Zahra, dressed in black, told reporters that “Khaled will get his rights,” while family members of the two policemen insisted both had a good reputation and were only following orders. Graphic pictures of a bruised and battered Said have appeared on social networking websites, triggering the public outcry and condemnation from local and international rights groups. On the eve of the trial, London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International urged Egyptian authorities to ensure protection for witnesses in the case and end a legacy of impunity for police. “The referral for trial of the two police officers accused of assaulting (Khaled Said) shortly before his death is a welcome first step towards breaking the cycle of impunity that has for so long facilitated torture and abuse of suspects by police in Egypt,” said Amnesty’s Malcolm Smart in a statement.

“The Egyptian authorities must ensure that the witnesses to the beating as well as the dead man’s family and those working to bring out the truth are protected from threats, violence and intimidation, and feel able to freely testify in court,” he said. Amnesty, quoting lawyers, said witnesses feared to come forward after one of Said’s friends, Tamer Al-Sayyed Abdelmoneim, was attacked on July 20 by nine people brandishing knives who warned him to keep out the case. “It is vital that in cases of this nature, where police officers are alleged to have used violence against suspects in their custody, that the Egyptian authorities take all possible steps to ensure justice,” Smart said. “For far too long, some police officers and security officials in Egypt have acted as if they believe themselves to be above the law, which has bred a culture of injustice and impunity. It is high time that this was brought to an end, once and for all,” he said. — AP

GAZA CITY: Palestinian Murad Awad stands next to a man relaxing at the Hamam Al-Samra, a centuriesold bathhouse beneath Gaza City’s crowded streets, on July 22, 2010. — AFP

Gaza hamam gives relief GAZA CITY: In the steamy depths of a centuries-old bathhouse beneath Gaza’s crowded streets, Murad Awad channels positive energy by prying toxins from tired flesh. The bathhouse, known as Hamam Al-Samra, has survived centuries of conflict, and these days Awad uses Asian massage therapy to ease the more recent pain of war and isolation in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave. As he smears rosewater on fingers and squeezes lemon juice over toes, he speaks of a symbiosis of mind, body and universe and discusses forces that transcend the toxic political disputes gripping the territory. “This place has nothing to do with the outside world. It’s for people who love beauty,” the heavy-set 33-year-old says as he applies sharp pressure to the feet of a young man laid out on a stone bench, who moans from the pain. “Many people came after the war because they were tense and afraid,” he says of the devastating 22day Israeli assault launched in Dec 2008, which was aimed at halting Palestinian rocket attacks. Visitors duck through an arched door tucked into a narrow alley in Gaza City, following a worn stairway down to a labyrinth of stone chambers dappled with sunlight from a constellation of tiny windows in the domed ceiling. A stone plaque on the wall says the bathhouse was last renovated in the 13th century during the Mameluke empire that ruled from Cairo. Its owner, Selim Al-Wazir, claims it has stood for 1,000 years. On the main wall hangs a huge portrait of the iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his one-time deputy Khalil Al-Wazir, better known as Abu Jihad, one of the owner’s famous relatives who was assassinated in Tunis in 1988.

The Al-Wazir family mostly supports the late Arafat’s secular Fatah movement, but the hamam welcomes Palestinians of all political persuasions, including the Islamist Hamas which has ruled Gaza since 2007. “Hamas comes here all the time. Their men and their women come here,” says Wazir, a jovial man who enjoys good relations with everyone. “We keep all our troubles far away from here, so we can preserve our history and our people,” he says. The hamam has survived decades of Israeli incursions, unscathed except for a bomb dropped during the 1956 war with Egypt that punched a hole in the roof, Wazir says. The damage has since been repaired. “They know that the man who built this hamam was a Jew from near Nablus, so they don’t attack it,” he says, adding that Israelis used to come before the outbreak of the first Palestinian uprising in 1987. The name Al-Samra refers to the Samaritans, an ancient religious community in the northern West Bank with close ties to Judaism. Like other centuries-old hamams across the Middle East, Al-Samra carries on a tradition of public bathing dating back to Roman times, with visitors making their way through progressively warmer rooms, splashing themselves with bowls of water taken from basins, or sliding into warm pools. Guests wear shorts or towels at all times, and there are separate hours for men and women. “I come here every two or three days, because it’s good for the kidneys,” says Abu Eissa, 60, his body covered in suds. “Cleanliness is the key to good health.” Visitors can opt for Awad’s massage, which incorporates Asian and

Arab notions of wellness he picked up from reading books. In another time and place, Awad might have formally studied massage and alternative medicine and gone to work for a day spa or a five-star hotel. But like most Gazans of his generation, he has had few opportunities to travel outside the narrow coastal strip, the borders of which have been largely sealed by Israel and Egypt since Hamas seized power three years ago. “I used to be a lawyer but I quit 12 years ago so I could do this,” he said. “When you do what you love, it’s a blessing to the world.” He begins by using a loofah to scrape off flecks of dead skin before rubbing lemon and apple juice on the feet and applying painfully sharp pressure to the heel and toes. Then he does the same to the hands and elbows, using rosewater. He describes his work in mystical terms rarely heard in Gaza, explaining how toxins gather in the feet and block the energy that flows from the earth, and how open pores and rosewater let air and light into the soul. Then he leads the guest into a steam room - heated by an underground wood-burning furnace - and briefly immerses him in a tank of hot water before leading him back to recline on a stone slab and elevate his feet. As the muscles relax, a heavenly languor sets in, and nothing penetrates the subterranean chambers from the broken world above but the scattered rays of sunlight that pierce the swirling clouds of steam. “The body is just a smaller version of the universe. It affects the world and is affected by it,” Awad says. “A person cannot be separated from nature.” — AFP

Zawahiri slams veil ban, musters Turks Continued from Page 1 freedom in the West is confined to “fighting Islam ... and insulting the prophet, while banning anything touching anti-Semitism, or questioning the Nazi Holocaust,” he said. “France cannot remove the head cover of a nun, but aggresses every Muslim woman wearing niqab, and every student covering her head,” he said. “Europe is revealing its real face, telling Muslims that all the (European) citizenships they obtained ... do not grant them the freedom and peace that they were imagining,” Zawahiri said. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim community. Other European countries, including Belgium and Spain, are working on bills similar to France’s law to ban full Islamic veils in public places. Zawahiri resurfaced last week in an audio message in which he slammed Arab leaders as “Zionists” and mocked US President Barack Obama’s claim that Taleban would never return to power in

Afghanistan. It was his first tape since December. In the latest, Zawahiri also mocked Yemeni clerics who warned in January of calling for jihad if foreign troops joined Yemen’s war against Al-Qaeda, claiming that US missiles had already hit Al-Qaeda militants in the south. He was referring to raids against AlQaeda on Dec 17, including a strike against a suspected training camp in Abyan, in which the Yemeni government said 34 Al-Qaeda suspects were killed. “Sadly, these clerics do not have the courage of Human Rights Watch organisation which said in its report early June that US Tomahawk missiles, carrying heads of cluster bombs, were used in the attack on Abyan,” he claimed. “It is a known fact that such missiles are guided from a control room in the United States,” he added. “What more do they need to see to call for jihad? Are they waiting for missiles to rain on them to realise then that America had intervened? Or are they waiting to see American soldiers roaming Sanaa in their tanks?” he

exclaimed. He also accused Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of being ready to “do anything to please America.” Zawahiri also urged Turks to assume the traditional leading role of the Ottoman Empire as the protector of Islam, and force their government to abandon relations with Israel and withdraw its troops from coalition forces in Afghanistan. “The Turkish people should assume responsibility in forcing its government to stop recognising those who have occupied the land of Palestine, and (stop) taking part with the Crusaders in killing Muslims in Afghanistan,” he said. He also said the role of Turkey in supporting the Palestinians should not be confined to sending aid ships to the Gaza Strip, referring to the Turkish-led aid flotilla hit by a deadly raid by Israeli commandos on May 31. “Ottomans were the defenders of Muslims and their lands for five centuries. The role of the Muslim Turkish people in defending Muslims cannot shrink to just sending a few boats of aid to Gaza,” he said. — AFP

‘Demonized’ BP boss steps down Continued from Page 1 vilified. BP cannot move on in the US with me as its leader.” Hayward added: “Sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus.” The troubled firm was pushed into the red by the $32.2 billion set aside to pay for the costs of the spill - which was the worst environmental disaster in US history. BP and Hayward have been mauled by Washington since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and unleashing millions of gallons of crude into the sea and onto the US Gulf coast. “The Gulf of Mexico explosion was a terrible tragedy for which - as the man in charge of BP when it happened - I will always feel a deep responsibility, regardless of where blame is ultimately found to lie,” Hayward said. He will step down on Oct 1, and will remain a BP board member until Nov 30, but has meanwhile been nominated as a non-executive director of Russian joint venture TNK-BP. Dudley will become BP’s first American chief executive following the resignation. Hayward remains well-regarded in Europe and his appointment would be a benefit for Dudley, who, as the former head of TNK-BP, was forced to flee Russia and run the company in absentia after a flap with shareholders in 2008. “I think sometimes events like this shake you to the core, the foundation, and you have two responses,” Dudley said in an TV interview with ABC News, in reference to the oil disaster. “One is to run away and hide, the other is to respond and

really change the culture of the company and make sure all the checks and balances are there, just to make sure this does not happen again.” Dudley added that his top priority was to permanently seal the Gulf well, contain the crude spill and to clean up and restore the area’s beaches. The group had finally capped the leak on July 15. BP’s share price has plunged about 40 percent since the explosion - wiping tens of billions of dollars off the group’s market value. BP shares closed down 2.63 percent at 406 pence in London. “As expected, BP reported the worst figures in UK corporate history,” said ETX Capital trader Manoj Ladwa. “Despite the company going through significant management and structural change, the future still remains uncertain for the oil giant and BP in a years’ time could be significantly different from the company today.” The spill has been a public relations disaster for BP, with Hayward making a long line of gaffes. Yesterday, he stood by the company’s handling of the crisis. “I believe the decision I have reached with the board to step down is consistent with the responsibility BP has shown throughout these terrible events,” Hayward said. Under his contract, Hayward will receive one year’s salary, worth £1.045 million ($1.620 million). He also has a pension pot totalling £11 million. BP added that Dudley will move to London and hand over his present duties to Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America. It has taken more than three months to stem the Gulf of Mexico oil flow. Up to four million barrels of crude

has escaped. The catastrophe has destroyed vital tourism, fishing and oil industries in the five US Gulf coast states and left BP facing soaring clean-up and compensation costs. “The tragedy of the Macondo well explosion and subsequent environmental damage has been a watershed incident,” said BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. “BP remains a strong business with fine assets, excellent people and a vital role to play in meeting the world’s energy needs. But it will be a different company going forward, requiring fresh leadership supported by robust governance and a very engaged board.” Hayward, 53, had already handed over day-to-day management of the crisis in June to Dudley, as criticism mounted over his handling. Hayward enraged Gulf residents when he said in a May 18 interview that the environmental impact of the spill would be “very, very modest”. Then on May 30 he was seen as insensitive to the families of the dead rig workers when he said he wanted the disaster over with so he could have his “life back”. “Hayward, by his own many gaffes, demonstrated that he was the wrong man for the job,” noted BGC Partners analyst Howard Wheeldon. Dudley was raised in Mississippi, a fact that seems to be working in his favor among some Gulf residents. “I think people would be more comfortable with someone running BP (who) is from the Deep South,” said Rochard Angelico, a 66-yearold lifelong resident of Orleans Parish, Louisiana. “Hayward was inept at public relations and speaking to people in southern Louisiana.” — Agencies


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Extras Shimizu closes gap on Kashima SHIZUOKA: Shimizu S-Pulse closed the gap on leaders Kashima Antlers with a 3-2 win over Cerezo Osaka in the J-League yesterday. Akihiro Hyodo scored one goal and set up another to help Shimizu move on to 30 points, one behind the Antlers who were held to a 2-2 draw by Albirex Niigata at home. Hyodo opened the scoring with a left-footed drive in the 17th minute and set up Jungo Fujimoto with a fine pass 20 minutes later. Japan international Shinji Okazaki made it 3-0 for Shimizu in the 57th minute before Cerezo pulled one back through an own goal and Martinez added another in stoppage time.

Bolton, Alonso ink deal BOLTON: Bolton says Spanish teenager Marcos Alonso has joined the Premier League club from Real Madrid on a three-year deal. Bolton manager Owen Coyle described the leftsided defender yesterday as an "exciting young player." Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Having progressed through the ranks at Real Madrid, the 19-year-old Alonso made his full debut in April in a 2-0 win over Racing Santander. Coyle says that "you don't get through at Real Madrid without having a bit about you." Alonso is Bolton's third signing of the offseason after attacking midfielders Martin Petrov and Robbie Blake.

Marchetti up for sale ROME: Serie A minnows Cagliari have put Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti on the transfer list after the player admitted he wants to leave the club. Marchetti played in all three of Italy's World Cup matches in South Africa following a herniated disc suffered by first choice stopper Gianluigi Buffon. And having had such a taste of the big time, Marchetti told the press that he wanted to move on to bigger and better things. Cagliari have now said he can leave, although club president Massimo Cellino expressed his disappointment with the way the player went about things. "He expressed his desire to go through quotes in the press," said a club statement. "The club has done everything to accommodate him and should he leave Cagliari the new goalkeeper will be (back-up Michael) Agazzi. "Cagliari are not looking for a first choice goalkeeper." Fans chanted against Marchetti during Cagliari's first pre-season friendly at the weekend after the 27-year-old let

it be known that he was upset at not joining Sampdoria who play Champions League football next season.

Brunt extends West Brom deal LONDON: West Bromwich Albion winger Chris Brunt confirmed yesterday he has signed a new three-year contract with the Premier League newcomers which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2013. The 25-year-old Northern Ireland international becomes the third Baggies player in the past week to commit their long-term future to the club after Graham Dorrans and Youssouf Mulumbu. Brunt, who moved from Sheffield in a three-million-pound deal three years ago, played a major role last season in helping Albion to regain their topflight status. "I'm delighted to sign this new deal because I feel really settled at the club, just like my family does in the area," he said. "The club is heading in the right direction and this is a nice bonus ahead of what I hope will be a big season both for the team and on a personal level. "I've won promotion with the club twice now and I want to top that by helping to establish Albion in the Premier League."

Hooper completes move GLASGOW: Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed yesterday that striker Gary Hooper has completed his move from Scunthorpe. The 22year-old will join the squad for the Champions League tie against Portuguese side Sporting Braga. Hooper, who scored 50 goals for Scunthorpe last season, is the sixth summer signing of Celtic's new manager Neil Lennon. On turning up at Glasgow airport, Hooper looked forward to his first trip abroad to play football and meeting up with his new team mates. He said: "I'm a little bit nervous, it's the first time I've travelled abroad for a game. "But I am looking forward to it and ready to meet my team mates. "Celtic is a massive club and when I knew they were interested they were the only club I wanted to come to. "I signed yesterday (Monday) and had a medical last night which finished about eight o'clock. "I had to sign a few papers this morning and fax them but that's it done." Lennon also confirmed that negotiations were continuing with Israel international Biram Kayal and the Hoops boss is still hoping to hold talks with England keeper David James who had to cancel his proposed trip to Parkhead on Monday due to family reasons.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's soccer team new coach Mano Menezes displays Brazil's national team jacket during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. Menezes announced his squad that will play a friendly soccer match against the United States on August 10, in New Jersey. — AP

Brazilian coach makes changes for US friendly Squad includes 11 uncapped players RIO DE JANEIRO: New Brazil coach Mano Menezes made wholesale changes with only four survivors from the World Cup when he named his squad on Monday for next month's friendly against the United States. Dani Alves, Ramires, Thiago Silva and Robinho were the only members of Menezes' squad who were in South Africa, where Brazil lost in the quarter-finals to the Netherlands. Santos pair Paulo Henrique Ganso and Neymar, controversially left out of the World Cup squad by Menezes' predecessor Dunga, were among 11 uncapped players included. The others were goalkeepers Jefferson, Renan and Victor, defenders Rafael, David Luis and Rever, midfielders Ederson and Jucilei and striker Andre. Menezes recalled AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato who also missed out on the World Cup as well as Liverpool midfielder Lucas. The list of omissions included goalkeeper Julio Cesar, defenders Maicon, Lucio and Juan,

and playmaker Kaka. "This is a period of recovery, it's not necessary or good for us to use them at the moment," Menezes told a news conference. "It's the start, we're looking ahead, not at what did or didn't happen." "There are no restrictions although we have to respect age because time goes on and the queue keeps moving." The 48-year-old named his squad two days after replacing Dunga, who quit following the 2-1 defeat by the Dutch just over three weeks ago. Dunga was often criticized for his team's lack of style and former Corinthians coach Menezes said he hoped to return to the more attractive gave with which Brazil are associated. "If we can win playing with the sort of football people like to see, that would be the best outcome possible," he said. Menezes has been appointed to lead Brazil to the 2014 World Cup, which the country will host. He is also expected to coach the under-23 team at the London Olympics. — Reuters

Hammers upbeat about Olympic Stadium deal LONDON: West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady is confident the English Premier League club will be given the first option to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 London Games. The football club are keen to leave their nearby east London home of Upton Park and move to the Olympic Stadium and have launched a joint bid for occupancy with the local Newham Council. Now West Ham have asked the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) for a six-month "lock-out" in which to hold exclusive talks on the deal. Brady, speaking two years before the start of the Games, told said yesterday: "We'll hear by the end of the month whether we've got it (the lock-out deal). "I would never say I'm 100 percent but I expect to get it. It's a no-brainer and it's absolutely right for the club and community." West Ham's main

rivals would appear to be American entertainment giant AEG, who already own London's O2 Arena formerly the Millennium Dome. An OPLC spokeswoman said: "The market testing has captured genuine interest from a range of organizations in the sports, events, investment and education sectors. "We are building on this momentum and working closely with interested parties to move towards a formal procurement process." Under current plans, the 80,000 seater Olympic Stadium, which will cost 537 million pounds (809 million dollars), is due to be reduced in size to a 25,000 capacity venue complete with an athletics track after the Games. But there are concerns an athletics stadium alone will not be economically viable, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill for running costs years after the 2012 Olympics have ended. —AFP

TUNIS: Marseille's players warm up during a training session on the eve of the "Trophee des Champions" Marseille vs Paris at the Rades stadium in Tunis yesterday. — AFP

French League Preview

Marseille, PSG set for French curtain-raiser PARIS: After a summer in which French football hit rock bottom, Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain will begin to turn the page when they kick off the domestic season in the Champions Trophy today. This year's curtain-raising match takes place in Rades, Tunisia and will be attended by new France coach Laurent Blanc and Fernand Duchaussoy, the interim president of the French Football Federation (FFF). Blanc and Duchaussoy are the men charged with the responsibility of restoring the image of football in the country after the France squad's now infamous player revolt at the World Cup in South Africa. They will expect to see a spiky spectacle, given the traditional enmity between league champions Marseille and

French Cup winners PSG, but the timing of the match means both sides are short of physical sharpness. The Ligue 1 season begins on August 7 and Marseille are yet to welcome back all their players from World Cup duty, while forwards Brandao and Mamadou Niang and young winger Jordan Ayew are all suspended. "We'll give it our best considering we're missing key players and we'll do what's necessary to win the Champions Trophy," said Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, whose side ended an 18-year wait for the title last season. "I'm not going to take risks with certain players. The important thing is that the large majority of the squad are ready for the first league game of the season." Today's game could mark the final

Celtic chasing away goal in Braga's test GLASGOW: Neil Lennon hopes his new look Celtic side can snatch a vital away goal in their Champions League third qualifying round clash with Sporting Braga today. The two clubs, who finished as runners-up in the Scottish and Portuguese leagues respectively, will meet competitively for the first time in what will be a European baptism of fire for rookie manager Lennon. The former club captain was appointed manager in the summer after an eight-game winning streak as interim boss following Tony Mowbray's sacking in March. And the Northern Irishman has wasted no time in revitalizing a squad that lost out on the domestic front and failed to make it past the Europa League group stages last season. This week Mexican international Efrain Juarez and Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper signed on at Celtic Park to join Joe Ledley, Daryl Murphy, Charlie Mulgrew and South Korean Cha Du-ri and all six should be available for the trip to Portugal. With no safety net of a Europa League spot for the loser of this tie, Lennon hopes his new recruits can gel quickly in order to keep the Old Firm side's European adventure alive past August. "We need something to bite on for the return at Celtic Park," the Hoops boss said. "I just want us to stay in the tie for the second leg. "I am not saying we are going to go there and sit back. We are not. "Sometimes you do that subconsciously anyway. You might not have a choice in the matter, and we are prepared

for that if that scenario appears. But we'd like to take something to Celtic Park, and we will be looking to score a goal over there, if we can." Celtic managers have had unhappy times in their European debuts in recent seasons with Gordon Strachan going down 5-0 to Slovakian minnows Artmedia Bratislava while Tony Mowbray lost his first competitive game in charge of the Hoops to Dinamo Moscow at this stage last year. As a player Lennon enjoyed mixed fortunes with the club in European competition and knows his side need to have a cautious approach. But the Hoops gaffer is confident his team can make it through to the final qualifying tie. He said: "We have to be careful, because you think of Bratislava and Basel, where there have been disappointments in the qualifying games. But this is do-able. We are pretty pleased with the way the team has been coming on, and pleased with the players we are getting in. "Whether we can bed them in time, we will have to see." This will be Braga's debut bow in the Champions League having edged Porto and Sporting Lisbon to finish second behind Benfica, their highest ever placing. However Domingos Paciena's side has had a major overhaul since last season's heroics with star players Hugo Viana, Luis Aguiar, Evaldo and Portuguese international keeper Eduardo leaving for pastures new and 17 new players arriving at the Estadio AXA. — AFP

appearance in a Marseille shirt for French international winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who is rumored to be on the verge of a move to English Premier League side Newcastle United. Cameroon centreback Stephane Mbia has, however, been left out of the squad following his late return from the World Cup. Marseille can call upon summer signing Cesar Azpilicueta, the Spain Under-21 captain, at right-back, with PSG coach Antoine Kombouare likely to field new recruits Mathieu Bodmer and Brazilian forward Nene. Paris goalkeeper Gregory Coupet has won the Champions Trophy a record five times and is in line to deputize for the injured Apoula Edel, who is struggling with an abdominal problem. "This match is important because the winners

get a line added to their honors and in our squad there aren't too many players who have won a lot of trophies," said the 37year-old, who will retire at the end of the season. "When you are a PSG player and you face OM then it's a match to be won. There should be a great atmosphere in Rades. The match will let us get back on the bike and find out what real competition is like again." PSG let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Poland's Legia Warsaw in their most recent pre-season game on Friday, while Marseille defeated Sicilian side Catania 2-0 on Saturday. Kombouare's men begin their league campaign at home to Saint-Etienne a week on Saturday, with Marseille starting their title defense against newcomers Caen. — AFP

Sofia derby gets season off to an exciting start SOFIA: Bulgaria's soccer fans, who were not on the World Cup guest list, have something to look forward to at last with their league season getting off to an exciting start next weekend. The two biggest clubs in the Balkan country-CSKA Sofia and fierce city rivals Levski-meet on the opening weekend of the campaign for the first time in the league's existence. Both teams are eager to forget last season's disappointment when Litex Lovech clinched the title to become only the second club to upset the balance of power this century. "No doubt, it's the biggest game in Bulgarian football," Pavel Dotchev, coach of 31-times Bulgarian champions CSKA, told Reuters. "It's like a cup final. "There's always a unique atmosphere, everybody is talking about this game-the fans, the media-and they're doing this not only in Sofia. You can't compare it to any other sports event in Bulgaria. "I took part in this derby on several occasions as a player and I still have great memories. Now I'm looking forward to tasting it as a coach," said former Bulgaria defender Dotchev, who played for CSKA in the early 1990s. "We know it'll be only the first match of the season but still we realize that the winners will get a huge psychological boost." FAN VIOLENCE The "eternal derby", as the meeting between CSKA and Levski is dubbed, has long been known for its highly-charged atmosphere. Fan violence in the stands and outside the stadium marred the game in the years after Communist rule was overthrown in Bulgaria in 1989, and attendance was low compared to the present day. After three months with little to interest them in football Bulgaria failed to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa local supporters are eagerly anticipating Sunday's clash. "It's been a long summer," CSKA fan Boris Parushev told Reuters. "We watched the World Cup on TV and it was fun but there's nothing better than being at the stadium and singing your favorite songs with your mates." CSKA, founded in 1948 as an army club, quickly made their name at home and international recognition followed when The

Reds reached semi-finals in Europe three times between 1967 and 1989. "The team are not very strong nowadays but CSKA still have some of the most passionate fans on the continent," said Parushev. "I can assure you that we'll make our mark against Levski. It'll be a night to remember." Optimism is high in Bulgaria after the top local clubs made a perfect start in Europe this season-four wins in four matches and no goals conceded. Litex outclassed Montenegro champions Rudar 5-0 on aggregate to progress to the Champions League third qualifying round while Levski demolished Irish side Dundalk 8-0 on aggregate in the Europa League. EMOTIONAL PLAYERS "We're tough opponents in the Bulgarian league but it's always good to see that our teams have a decent chance to be successful in European competitions," said Dotchev. "I think we still have many talented and quality players in Bulgaria but the biggest problem is that many of them are not mature enough," added Dotchev, who was tempted back to his motherland after 18 years as a player and coach in Germany. "They are so emotional and they lose their concentration even after an unfair referee's decision. This is where I see a lot of room for improvement and I believe we can change the mentality of the players. It's a big challenge but I love it." Local experts predict one of the closest championships in years with Litex, CSKA and Levski all having realistic and fairly equal chances of lifting the trophy. Litex coach Angel Chervenkov will begin the title defense without the experienced Radostin Kishishev, capped 88 times for Bulgaria, who has returned to England to play for League One (third division) side Brighton. Litex have, though, kept the backbone of the team and the arrival of Bosnia's Dzemal Berberovich from Denizlispor and Romanian striker Florin Bratu from Dinamo Bucharest should help them. CSKA and Levski have also been busy on the transfer market with Levski's new coach Yasen Petrov adding new players in every department. — Reuters



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MLB results/standings Results and standings from Major League Baseball games on Monday. Philadelphia 5, Colorado 4; NY Yankees 3, Cleveland 2; Toronto 9, Baltimore 5; Tampa Bay 5, Detroit 0; Chicago Cubs 5, Houston 2; Chicago White Sox 6, Seattle 1; Minnesota 19, Kansas City 1; Milwaukee 3, Cincinnati 2; Boston 6, LA Angels 3; Florida 4, San Francisco 3. American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 63 35 .643 Tampa Bay 60 38 .612 Boston 56 44 .560 Toronto 51 49 .510 Baltimore 31 68 .313

GB 3 8 13 32.5

C White Sox Minnesota Detroit Kansas City Cleveland

Central Division 54 44 .551 54 46 .540 51 47 .520 42 57 .424 41 58 .414

1 3 12.5 13.5

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

Western Division 58 41 .586 50 48 .510 52 50 .510 39 61 .390

7.5 7.5 19.5

National League Eastern Division Atlanta 57 41 Philadelphia 53 46 Florida 50 49 NY Mets 50 49 Washington 42 57

.582 .535 .505 .505 .424

Central Division St. Louis 55 44 .556 Cincinnati 55 46 .545 Milwaukee 48 53 .475 Chicago Cubs 46 54 .460 Houston 40 59 .404 Pittsburgh 34 64 .347 Western Division San Diego 58 39 .598 San Francisco 56 44 .560 LA Dodgers 53 46 .535 Colorado 51 48 .515 Arizona 37 62 .374

4.5 7.5 7.5 15.5

1 8 9.5 15 20.5

3.5 6 8 22

KANSAS: Kansas City Royals center fielder Willie Bloomquist dives for but misses a triple hit by Minnesota Twins’ JJ Hardy during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Kansas City. —AP

Rays thrash Tigers 5-0 ST PETERSBURG: Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth in the major leagues this season, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-0 Monday. Garza faced the minimum 27 batters, allowing only a secondinning walk, for a team that’s often been on the wrong end of pitching gems lately. The last time there were at least five no-hitters in a season was 1991, when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan threw one of seven in the big leagues that year, according to STATS LLC. Garza (11-5) struck out six in Tampa Bay’s 2,039th game and on a night when the Rays struggled to generate much offense themselves. Matt Joyce’s grand slam with two outs in the sixth was the first hit off Detroit starter Max Scherzer (78). The next batter, Jason Bartlett, singled for the only other hit of the night until Crawford homered in the eighth.

Yankees 3, Indians 2 At Cleveland, Curtis Granderson hit a two-run shot and Alex Rodriguez missed out on his 600th homer as New York beat Cleveland. Granderson connected with one out off Jake Westbrook (6-7), who held Rodriguez hitless in three at-bats and was clinging to a 2-1 lead. Jorge Posada reached on a one-out single before Granderson delighted the many Yankees fans in the crowd of 27,224 hoping to see homer history. Rodriguez popped out to first against reliever Chris Perez in the ninth to finish an 0 for 4 night. Choo Shin-soo put Cleveland ahead 2-1 in the sixth with an RBI double off Javier Vasquez (9-7). Travis Hafner hit a solo homer in the second. It was the designated hitter’s fifth straight hit. Blue Jays 9, Orioles 5 At Toronto, Jose Bautista hit his

major league-leading 28th home run, and Aaron Hill and Adam Lind also connected as Toronto beat Baltimore for the 10th straight time. Hill hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and the Blue Jays smacked two more in the fifth. Bautista hit a three-run shot and Lind added a solo blast. Toronto leads baseball with 152 homers this season, including a league-high 37 in July. The Blue Jays also lead the majors with 82 homers in home games. White Sox 6, Mariners 1 At Chicago, John Danks pitched eight solid innings to win his fourth consecutive start, helping Chicago beat Felix Hernandez and Seattle. Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez each had three hits for the White Sox, who kicked off a sevengame homestand with their season-high eighth consecutive victory at US Cellular Field. It’s their longest home

Cavaliers trade West and Telfair to Timberwolves

KUWAIT: President of the Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations Sheikh Salman Sabah AlSabah (right) pictured with the Academy Director General Hussein Al-Asfour.

2nd Sheikh Saad Shooting Tournament begins today KUWAIT: The second Sheikh Saad Olympic Shooting Academy tournament will begin today (Wednesday July 28) at 4:00 PM, with the event taking place under the patronage of the President of the Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Sabah. Academy Director General Hussein Al-Asfour said that the academy has witnessed tremendous developments, adding that several of its highly-skilled male and female members have already participated in a number of prominent events, and that it has many extremely accomplished members. He further revealed that the academy officials are exerting great efforts to enable young Kuwaitis to spend their spare time in a constructive manner during holiday periods.

No punishment for Vick NEW YORK: Michael Vick will not face punishment from the National Football League over a shooting last month at a 30th birthday party for the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. No charges were filed in the June 25 shooting at Virginia Beach and neither the victim nor the shooter were identified by police, except to say that neither was Vick. Police said the victim did not cooperate with authorities. “It was an unfortunate situation. I can’t allow myself to be in that position,” Vick said Monday as he reported to the Eagles pre-season training camp. “If I had known what would have happened I would never have shown up.” Vick also spoke at length last weekend with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the incident and his progress since he went to prison for his role in a dogfight gambling ring. The party was staged at a restaurant near the area where Vick financed kennels for a dogfight ring that led to federal charges and the conclusion of his NFL

tenure with the Atlanta Falcons. Vick and his attorney said the NFL player had already departed the party when the shooting took place, but that he still was fearful about the ramifications. “I was scared for my career, for my family, for myself,” Vick said. “You’ve got to be cognizant every day of what you are doing. I should never have put myself in that situation.” Vick described the gathering as not crowded and simply a party for friends and family. “If certain people had not showed up it would never have happened. I would have never thought somebody would have gotten shot,” Vick said. “If I could do it all over again, I would have listened to my momma and kept it private. It goes to show you momma knows best.” Vick said he will meet with Goodell next month after a serious talk indicated to him that he would not face action from the league. “It was a good conversation but it was real,” Vick said. “I look forward to meeting with him face to face. —AFP

Twins 19, Royals 1 At Kansas City, Missouri, Joe Mauer had five hits and a career-best seven RBIs and Danny Valencia went 4 for 4 with a grand slam for his first major league home run to lead Minnesota past Kansas City. Mauer, the 2009 American League MVP, was 5 for 5 with three singles, a double and a three-run home run that made it 17-0 in the seventh. The five hits tied his career best as the Twins set a season-high in runs and tied their season-best with 20 hits. Wilson Betemit’s RBI double off Anthony Slama with two out in the ninth prevented the

Royals from suffering their worst shutout loss ever. Red Sox 6, Angels 3 At Anaheim, California, David Ortiz hit two home runs in the same stadium where he won the Home Run Derby nearly two weeks ago, and Clay Buchholz pitched seven strong innings as Boston beat the slumping Angels. Dan Haren (0-1) struck out eight in his Angels debut before Kevin Youkilis’ fifth-inning line drive hit him in the right arm. Los Angeles traded four players to Arizona to land the three-time All-Star, whose bruised forearm was re-evaluated yesterday. Hideki Matsui hit a tworun homer in the eighth for the Angels, but J D Drew hit a two-run double in the ninth for Boston. Buchholz (11-5) gave up five hits and one run in his first win since a stint on the disabled list, but lateinning drama followed him. —AP

Lidge escapes again as Phillies hold off Rockies

NEW YORK: The post-Lebron James era is underway in Cleveland as the Cavaliers landed point guard Ramon Sessions and forward Ryan Hollins in a four-player trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Cavaliers, who also get Minnesota’s second round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, traded point guards Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair to the Timberwolves. “In Ramon, we’re excited to add a young, multi-dimensional guard, and with Ryan, we’re adding a young, athletic center,” Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant said in a statement. “We think both Ramon and Ryan are really good fits for this team. We’re also happy to add another asset for the future with the additional draft pick.” Sessions averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season while Hollins averaged 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists, all career highs. James, the two-times reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, is joining fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the Miami Heat next season. Kobe finding it tough Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is finding it hard to take it easy in the NBA offseason after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The twice NBA Finals MVP made a fourth trip to China in as many years this week to meet fans in the basketball-crazy nation, where he sells more shirts than the country’s own Yao Ming. “The hardest thing for me to do is to do nothing,” he told Tuesday’s China Daily newspaper in an interview. “I have always got to be working and pushing myself. This summer is really the best training for me-to do nothing. “The body needs rest and the injury has to heal. You have to recharge your body and get ready for next season. So in lots of ways, this is the hardest training for me.” Bryant started his five-city tour of China with an audience with some 1,600 basketball fans in Beijing late on Monday. A thousand more waited outside the theatre in sweltering heat just hoping for a glimpse. Despite having surgery on the same knee for the third time after 2003 and 2006, he assured the noisy audience he would be fit for his bid for a sixth NBA title with the Lakers. “Another NBA championship ring next season is the biggest motivation for me,” he told the paper. “It’s the same for us every year. We will not change much. We have the unity and the majority of the team is the same. So, it’s the same goal for us every year.” Although retirement is still a long way away for the 31-yearold guard, Bryant has clearly given thought to what he does not want to do when his playing days are over-coach. “No. Absolutely not. No, no, no,” he said. “Being a coach is too frustrating for me. I like coaching kids and holding training clinics for the kids. But to be a coach from the regular season to the playoffs ... I have no interest at all.” — Agencies

winning streak since a nine-game surge in 2008. Hernandez (7-7) ran his scoreless streak against the White Sox to 25 2-3 innings before Pierre and Omar Vizquel hit consecutive RBI singles with two out in the third, giving Chicago a 21 lead.

PHILADELPHIA: Brad Lidge escaped another bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning as the Philadelphia Phillies held off the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Monday to complete a four-game sweep. Backup catcher Brian Schneider’s tworun triple sent the Phillies toward their fifth straight win. The two-time NL champions, still minus injured All-Star second baseman Chase Utley, pulled within 41/2 games of idle Eastleading Atlanta. Seth Smith hit a two-out, tworun homer off Lidge in the ninth and Colorado went on to load the bases, but Ryan Spilborghs hit a tapper to the left side of the plate. Lidge came in and made a strong throw to first base for the final out, getting his 10th save in 13 chances.

NL Roundup Brewers 3, Reds 2 At Milwaukee, pinch-hitter Jim Edmonds homered with two outs in the eighth after just missing a go-ahead shot on the previous pitch as Milwaukee rallied to beat Cincinnati. Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer in the third inning as Milwaukee won its fifth straight to match a season-best streak after trailing 2-0 early. Edmonds has been unable to play the field since his right Achilles’ tendon tightened Saturday night, but he didn’t need to run hard after his at-bat against Bronson Arroyo (10-6) in the eighth. Edmonds hit a big blast off a fastball, dropping the bat only to watch his shot sail foul. He sent the next pitch over the Reds’ bullpen in right-center field. Cubs 5, Astros 2 At Houston, Geovany Soto drove in two runs and Alfonso Soriano had two doubles and an RBI to help Chicago beat Houston. Cubs starter Carlos Silva (10-4) yielded five hits and one run with four strikeouts. Carlos Marmol allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth inning for his 19th save in 23 opportunities. Soto bruised his left foot and left the game in the middle of the sixth inning after fouling a pitch off of it earlier in the inning. Derrek Lee doubled with one out in the third inning and scored when Marlon Byrd grounded into a force out. Byrd scored when Soriano hit his second double of the game that made it 4-1.

Delonte West

Marlins 4, Giants 3 At San Francisco, Dan Uggla and Mike Stanton each hit solo homers as Florida moved above the .500 mark for the first time since early June. Ricky Nolasco (11-7) struck out seven and allowed four hits and one run in 6 1-3 strong innings to win for the sixth time in seven starts. Cody Ross had a sacrifice fly and Stanton added an insurance RBI double in the eighth. Pitcher Barry Zito (8-6) lost for the first time in seven career starts against the Marlins and the Giants had their four-game winning streak snapped. This series is a matchup of two surging teams trying to stay in the playoff chase. Florida is 5049, above .500 for the first time since the club was 28-27 on June 3. — AP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

17 Ferrari president slams Formula One hypocrisy

London celebrates two-year countdown to 2012 Games LONDON: London marks the two-year countdown to the 2012 Summer Games yesterday by throwing open venues to star athletes, issuing a call for 70,000 volunteers and opening the first official Olympic store for sale of mascots and other souvenirs. A series of activities were planned across the city to celebrate the buildup to the opening ceremony on July 27, 2012, when London will welcome the world to the greatest sports show on earth. The spotlight will be on the Olympic Park site in east London, where athletes will test out some of the key facilities that are still under construction but well on track to be completed next year. Michael Johnson, a former Olympic 200- and 400-meter champion from the United States, will race against youngsters on a specially laid track in the 80,000-capacity main stadium. British cyclist Chris Hoy, a four-time gold medalist, will be the first to try out the velodrome. Former NBA player John Amaechi will shoot a few hoops at the basketball arena. “We’re not just the next games,” organizing committee president Sebastian Coe said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’re the next big global event. The World Cup is out of the way. That’s where the world is coming. There’s nothing else between us and the games.” Organizers were launching the Olympic volunteer program and urging people to apply for specialist positions such as doctors, anti-doping personnel and scoreboard operators. The signup for more general volunteer positions will open on Sept 15. “Today we enter another new phase of London 2012 bringing the Great British public on-board,” Sports and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said. “Volunteers are the heartbeat of every Olympic and Paralympic Games and are crucial to their success. We need skilled and passionate people who have the commitment to make 2012 the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever.” Mayor Boris Johnson was announcing a separate program to recruit 8,000 “London Ambassadors” who will man key points across the city, such as railway stations and tourist spots, to help guide visitors around the capital. “In addition to the sporting spectacular, we are planning a feast of entertainment and events with something for everyone,” Johnson said. “We need to guarantee our guests the warmest of welcomes and help them navigate around this huge metropolis.” Organizers also urged fans to keep registering their interest in tickets, which will go on sale next year. So far, more than 1.4 million have registered. On sale will be 8 million tickets for the Olympics and 2 million for the Paralympics. “We are well on track, the venues are nearing comple-

tion and our plans are coming together,” Coe said. “Now it’s the public’s turn. How will you spend the summer of 2012? Whether it’s buying a ticket, becoming a volunteer, being part of our education or culture programs - there are hundreds of ways you can get involved. Don’t wait. To ensure you don’t miss out, start planning your Games now.” The London 2012 committee was opening its flagship store at St Pancras International station in central London where, for the first time, soft toys of the childfriendly one-eyed mascots Wenlock and Manderville will be available for purchase. It’s also from St. Pancras where Olympic organizers, athletes and dignitaries will ride the Javelin bullet train for the 7-minute journey to the Stratford International station at the Olympic Park. From there, the group will walk across the new main bridge or “front door” to the Olympic Park and get a firsthand look at the progress on the 2.5square-kilometer site. A oncedeprived industrial area of the capital is being transformed into a new complex of venues and parkland that will be turned over to the public after the games. Still to be determined is the future tenant of the Olympic Stadium. West Ham football club claimed Monday that it expected to be granted first option to move into the stadium after 2012, but no final decision is expected until later this year. While the Olympic project is on track and on budget, organizers are under scrutiny as the coalition government carries out 40 billion pounds ($61 billion) in public spending cuts to trim the record budget deficit. The government recently ordered relatively modest cuts of 27 million pounds ($41 million) in the budget of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body responsible for building the venues. The overall construction and infrastructure budget stands at 9.325 billion pounds ($14.3 billion). Coe’s separate privately financed organizing committee budget is 2 billion pounds ($3 billion), raised from sponsorships, television fees, ticket sales and merchandising. “We wake up every morning trying to figure out how we can deliver this in a more cost effective and efficient way,” Coe said. “We have to recognize that the world has changed. We are in an economic climate where we have to continue to make very strong arguments for why this is a project of national and natural interest.” Coe said organizers have raised more than 600 million pounds ($925 million) toward their target of 700 million pounds ($1 billion) in domestic sponsorships - a figure that organizing committee chief executive Paul Deighton has called “gravity def ying.” “The first thing that goes in any economy is discretionary spending, and yet we’ve punched through,” Coe said. —AP

LONDON: Former US Olympic 200 and 400 meters gold medalist Michael Johnson, runs with children at the Olympic Stadium in the London Olympic complex yesterday. —AP

Frank Schleck returns for Luxembourg Criterium LUXEMBOURG: Frank Schleck, the older brother of Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck, confirmed yesterday that he will return to competition at this week’s Luxembourg Criterium. Schleck was forced out of the Tour de France after breaking his collarbone on the third stage, a fall which he believes also prevented his brother from taking the title

from Alberto Contador. Luxemburger Andy Schleck finished runner-up for the second straight year behind the Spaniard. “It took me two to three days to accept,” Frank Schleck told Le Quotidien. “I think if I’d been there I could have won the Tour,” explained Schleck, who finished fif th in last year’s race. “If the two of us had been

there we could have proceeded like last year. We would each have taken turns to attack and Contador would

Cycling have had to let either Andy or me go.” But he warned: “We’ll be back, to work on the time-trial, train, give

everything, and I believe in our future. Andy and I can win the Tour.” Schleck added that in addition to Thursday’s criterium he hopes to race in the Tour of Danemark and the Vuelta, in which his brother will also compete. In another development, Spanish rider Ruben Lobato has been banned for two years for doping by his national federation based on

irregular readings on his biological passport, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said yesterday. Lobato was one of the first five riders to be charged with doping based on biological passport readings in June 2009 along with compatriots Igor Astarloa and Riccardo Serrano, and Italians Pietro Caucchioli and Francesco de Bonis. —Agencies

Ivanovic, Radwanska advance at Stanford STANFORD: Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic beat Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 62 Monday in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic, ending a two-match losing streak to the 26th-ranked Russian. Ivanovic, a former No 1 player currently ranked No 63, her lowest in five years, was awarded a wildcard into the event. Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska needed three sets to beat South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers, 7-4, 4-6, 6-3 in her first-round match. The 11th-ranked Polish star recorded both of her aces in the third set and won both of her break points. Radwanska, who reached the semifinals at Dubai and Indian Wells, and the fourth round at Wimbledon, has won four of her last five matches after winning four of her previous 10. Scheepers, ranked 91st, had a strong run at the French Open earlier this year, reaching the fourth round as a qualifier and making her debut in the top 100 on June 7. In other first round matches, STANFORD: Ana Ivanovic of Olga Govortsova of defeated Serbia serves against Alisa Belarus Russia’s Alla Kleybanova of Russia during Kudryavtsena, 6-1, 6-1 Day 1 of the Bank of the West and Slovakia’s Dominika downed Classic at Stanford Cibulkova American Hilary Barte, University in Stanford, 6-2, 6-2. —AP

California. —AFP

MADRID: French novillero Patrick Oliver makes a pass during a bullfight at the Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid. —AP

Spanish region to say adios to bullfighting MADRID: Lawmakers in Catalonia might ban bullfighting in a razor-close vote this week, rejecting a pillar of traditional Spain in a region with its own language and culture and an acute sense of being a country within a country. If a proposed ban is approved in today’s local legislature vote, the wealthy northeast coastal region centered around Barcelona would become the first in mainland Spain to outlaw the deadly ballet of sword-wielding matador and charging half-ton beast. The practical effect of such a move would be limited: Catalonia has only one functioning bullring, in Barcelona another disused one is being turned into a shopping mall and it stages 15 fights a year which are rarely sold out, out of a nationwide total of roughly 1,000 bouts per season. Still, bullfighting buffs and Spanish conservatives are taking the drama very seriously. They see a stinging anti-Spanish rebuke in a grassroots, anti-bullfighting drive that started last year and will culminate in

the vote in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament. The final result will depend on the region’s two dominant parties - a center-right Catalan nationalist coalition called Convergence and Union, and the local branch of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists. Both are allowing their members to vote as they please rather than force them to toe the party line, a break with tradition showing how sensitive the issue is. The first Spanish region to outlaw bullfighting was the Canary Islands, in 1991. Josep Rull, a Convergence and Union spokesman, predicted a close vote and victory for the anti-bullfighting camp. Bullfighting would thus vanish from Catalonia starting in 2012. Along with the Basque region, Catalonia has the most self-rule among Spain’s semiautonomous regions, running their own police force and having a say over a wide range of other issues. But many Catalans are angry because

Spain’s highest court recently trimmed the region’s self-rule charter. However, Rull denied the drive to do away with bullfighting is antiSpanish, insisting it is simply a case of a society whose values have evolved and likening Catalonia’s possible move to Britain outlawing foxhunting with hounds in 2004. “Was that an exercise in rejecting English, British and Scottish roots? No,” Rull said from Barcelona. Bullfighting may have been popular in Catalonia decades ago Barcelona once boasted three bullrings - but tastes have changed and for most Catalans today, Rull said, “the suffering and death of a living being cannot be turned into a public spectacle.” Josefina Elias, president of a Barcelona-based polling firm called Instituto Opina, said Catalan nationalism plays at least a part in the campaign to ban bullfighting, but predicted that the ‘fiesta nacional’ will ultimately survive the vote for economic reasons. She said Catalans are pragmatic and

business-minded and will not want to lose revenue from tourists drawn to take in a bullfight when they visit Spain’s most popular vacation region even if some leave the ring appalled by the blood and gore. The hospitality industry has pressured lawmakers to reject the ban. “In this debate, I think the economic factor will prevail,” Elias said. For many Spanish conservatives and bullfighting aficionados, the proposed ban is an outright slap in the face to the rest of Spain. The Catalan Socialists originally planned to vote en masse in favor of preserving bullfights, but changed their mind last week, partly out of anger over the court ruling cutting back the self-rule charter, the pro-bullfighting newspaper El Mundo said yesterday. “The idea is not to protect animals from mistreatment,” it said in an editorial, “but rather to keep severing cultural links that can identify Catalonia with the rest of Spain.” —AP

ROME: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has slammed those who criticized the scuderia’s team orders at last weekend’s German Grand Prix, accusing them of hypocrisy. Fernando Alonso won the race after Felipe Massa let him through following a coded message from race engineer Rob Smedley who told the Brazilian: “Ok, Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you have understood this message?” Following the controversial move, Smedley was again on the radio apologizing to Massa. “Good lad - just stick with it now, sorry,” he said. Many within the sport have hit out at the Italian team which was also fined 100,000 dollars by race stewards for their actions. But that angered Montezemolo who claimed it was something his team has always done. “The polemics are of no interest to me,” he said on the official Ferrari website. “I simply reaffirm what I have always maintained, which is that our drivers are very well aware, and it is something they have to stick to, that if one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual. “I experienced it myself when I was Sporting Director, in the days of Niki Lauda and not just then. “Therefore enough of this hypocrisy, even if I can well believe that some people might well have liked to see our two drivers eliminate one another, but that is definitely not the case for me or indeed for our fans.” Alonso is now 34 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton of McL aren and back in the title race while Massa is 38 points behind his team-mate and with next to no chance of finishing the season top of the pile. In another development, McL aren boss Martin Whitmarsh says his team may copy the front wing designs of rival teams Red Bull and Ferrari after their disappointing performance at the German Grand Prix. McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished fourth and fifth respectively at the Hockenheimring here on Sunday, but were never able to match the pace of front-runners Ferrari and Red Bull. After the race, both drivers expressed concerns that McLaren must improve if they are to maintain their lead in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. Both Ferrari and Red Bull’s front wings were put under the microscope of governing body the FIA on Sunday after some photographs led rival teams to claim they were using flexible parts to help the performance of their cars. However, after close inspection the FIA gave the teams the all-clear by saying that the designs were within the rules, and although Whitmarsh admitted he did not fully understand the concept, he said McLaren would be working hard to implement a similar design. “The pictures I was shown, neither myself nor our engineers can explain,” said Whitmarsh. “That may be because we are not clever enough, but it is unusual. We would like to understand it, because if you can do what they are doing legally then we would like to do it. “If you can get your endplates down by the ground they can get more efficiency. And if they are doing that in a clever and legitimate way then we need to do it.” Whitmarsh added that he was not considering a protest of any kind as he will be devoting all his time to helping improve his team’s car. “We are not going to protest,” he said. “I think our modus operandi is to make our car as quick as we can, and concentrate on that. “We’ve got good harmony in our team, possibly better har mony now than our neighbors on either side, and we are leading the championship. We have to accelerate the process of developing the car and I think we can do that. “We are delighted to leave Hockenheim still leading both championships with our drivers first and second, and they are fighting. “We can look silly and maybe there will be occasions where we lose a title or a race because we are pushing and racing.” —Agencies



Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Africa’s top track and field show opens in Kenya

BARCELONA: (From left) France’s Yannick Fonsat, Ukraine’s Myhaylo Knysh, Belgium’s Jonathan Borlee and Spain’s Mark Ujakpor compete in the first round heat 2 of the men’s 400m at the 2010 European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona yesterday. — AFP

Belgian identical twins in medal double vision BARCELONA: Fans at the European championships could be forgiven for thinking they were seeing double during yesterday’s men’s 400 meters heats when identical Belgian twins Jonathan and Kevin Borlee won their races. Jonathan is the fastest man in Europe this season in the event with a best time of 44.77 seconds and Kevin also has realistic hopes of winning a medal. Asked if he thought they were favorites, Kevin, the younger of the two by five minutes, replied: “He must

be! “Yeah we have a good chance to do something good here and with the 4x4 (relay) too. “We have a lot of help from our family. We’ll just try to stay focused on the championship and we see what can happen in the final. “I hope it’s one of us,” he told reporters. Kevin was the first brother on the track and did just enough to win his heat in 45.71 in blazing sunshine. His time was 0.2 second quicker than Belgian record holder Jonathan but Kevin said there was no

rivalry between them. “No not at all... he’s my brother. I prefer to see him in front of me than another guy so that’s okay,” he said after watching Jonathan win the second heat on a television screen. Twins have competed at major athletics championships before. Sweden’s Susanna Kallur won the European 100 meters hurdles title in 2006 and her sister Jenny finished seventh. The 22-year-old Borlee brothers are practically

inseparable, training and socializing together and sharing a hotel room for the championships. “We are almost always together. We train and always did that since we were little kids,” Kevin said. Athletics is a family affair for the Borlees. The twins are trained by their father Jacques, a former international 400 meters runner, and older sister Olivia helped Belgium to the 4x100 relay silver at the 2008 Olympics. The men’s 400 semi-finals are today and the final is on Friday. — Reuters

NAIROBI: More than 700 African athletes meet in the Kenyan capital this week for a five-day continental championships being held under tight security after deadly bombings in neighboring Uganda. Continental heavywights Kenya and Ethiopia are fielding their top runners including world champions Linet Masai and Vivian Cheruiyot and double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who is making a comeback after a long lay-off. The east African nation, hosting the African Athletics Championships for the first time, will field a full strength of 144 athletes, that includes sprinters and field event competitors, who have in the past felt marginalized and neglected due to lack of investments by Athletics Kenya (AK). New head coach Stephen Mwaniki believes the participation of the sprinters and field events will give the team an all-round performance and a force to be reckoned with. “These athletes have self belief. They had done enough to warrant entry into the team and we are helping them unlock that potential and claim their place come the championship,” Mwaniki told reporters earlier this week. The championships will be held in a newly-refubished Nyayo National Stadium in central Nairobi which has seen a fast-paced painting work, track-laying and lighting as well as mounting an electronic timing board. Security has also been heightened in the city following the July 11 bomb blasts in Kampala by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, which left 76 people dead. Kenya police announced the setting up of a special unit to protect the athletes during training, competition and at their hotels. As this is a non-Olympic or World championships year, most of the athletes will use the championship to prepare for the up-coming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in October. Nigeria is without its top male sprinter, Olusoji Fasuba, but the West African nation however is expected to dominate the sprints. Dibaba’s absence at last summer’s World championships in Berlin opened the doors for Masai and Cheruiyot to give Kenya a distance double. Cheruiyot, who warmed up for these championships when she returned a world leading time of 14:27.41 at the Paris Diamond League last week, said she is relishing the challenge of racing the Ethiopians again. “I am in very good shape. I don’t want to think about someone like (Meseret) Defar or the other ladies. I will run with them and make sure to race to the end and win the title,” said Cheruiyot. Veteran world 800m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is also making a return to the continental championships, a decade after winning a silver medal in Algiers. But the South African will come up against the rising Kenyan, David Rudisha who is in a sublime form this season, have set the fastest time three times. The men’s decathlon events will kick-off the program today morning, with finals in the men’s 400m hurdles, 10,000m and women’s hammer in the afternoon. — AFP

Evergreen Ottey still running with the pack BARCELONA: Three decades after winning the first of nine Olympic medals, the remarkably youthfullooking Merlene Ottey has no intention of discarding her running shoes. The graceful, Jamaican-born 50-yearold, who has been sprinting for adopted country Slovenia since 2002, took bronze in the 200 meters at the 1980 Moscow Games; three decades and 33 more major medals later she is at the European championships in Barcelona to take part in the 4x100 meters relay. “I think as long as I can still run I will run,” Ottey, clad in blue jeans, a white shirt and sparkly sandals, told Reuters yesterday in the lobby of her hotel in the Catalan capital. “There are masters competitions going on so it’s not like I’m the oldest person out there,” she added. “The problem is that competing with people my age doesn’t do me any good at the moment as I am a few meters faster than them, so what can I do?” Ottey’s haul of nine Olympic medals is more than any other woman’s in track and field, although she

never won gold, missing out on the 100 meters title in Atlanta in 1996 to American Gail Devers by 0.005 seconds. Known as “the Queen of the Track”, she will be the oldest athlete to compete at a European championships if, as expected, she is deployed in the relay later in the week. “It’s good that at my age I can still make a relay team,” she said. “And I know I’m not the slowest out there so that gives me some pleasure.” OUTSTANDING CROP Ottey conceded that the Barcelona event, held at the stadium where she won bronze in the 200 meters at the 1992 Olympics, may be her last major competition given that 2011 is a world championships year. “Unless I get a huge miracle it’s possible (this will be my last) but we will see,” she said. “Over the years I’ve learned a lot about myself and about others and what I can do. “For me there is no pressure now. I enjoy what I do. I can afford to train three days a week. “If I want to do

less I can do less. My priority now is to be healthy and see what I can do. If it’s good enough to be at a championships then I will go.” Jamaica has produced an outstanding crop of sprinters in recent years, with triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt sweeping all before him in the men’s events and Shelly-Ann Fraser (100), Veronica Campbell-Brown (200) and Melanie Walker (400 hurdles) also taking Olympic gold in Beijing two years ago. Ottey, whose relationship with Jamaica soured after she was told to make way for younger talent, said the country’s sports infrastructure was much more developed now. “I think it’s excellent because when I was running it was just me alone,” she said. “Now we are proving that we can produce more than one and dominate. The country is behind them and there’s a lot more money in sports. “They are getting the money and the support and people can afford to focus on the sport in school and train and they get the results. It looks good for the future because the younger ath-


Jacobs to fight for title after grandma’s death NEW YORK: American Daniel Jacobs will fight for the WBO middleweight title on Saturday despite the recent death of his grandmother. Cordelia Jacobs died last weekend, but her undefeated grandson told The Associated Press on Monday he will still fight Russia’s Dmitry Pirog for the vacant belt on the undercard of Juan Manuel Marquez’s rematch with Juan Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. “I know she wants me to pursue my dream,” Jacobs said of his first world title shot. “She would want me to do what I have to do to win, so I’m really focused.” The 23-year-old Jacobs was exceptionally close to his grandmother, known as Lady Bird. A devout member of the Jehovah’s Witness church, she never saw her grandson fight. Jacobs has been a rising star since he failed to make the US national team for the Beijing Olympics despite a stellar amateur record and four New York Golden Gloves titles. He is 20-0 with 17 knockouts, including two early-round stoppages this year. Jacobs was upset by Shawn Estrada

in the trials for a spot on the least successful boxing team in US Olympic history. As a pro, Jacobs has eclipsed every member of that Olympic team with guidance from Golden Boy Promotions and adviser Al Haymon - the same team behind Floyd Mayweather Jr, among other fighters. Jacobs won 12 fights in 2008 and five more in 2009, including a victory on eight days’ rest on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Ricky Hatton. He has earned two early-round stoppages this year to set up his first fight for a major title against Pirog, an undefeated boxer making his U.S. debut. Pirog fights in a North American style that appeals to Jacobs, but the fighters are fairly unfamiliar with each other. During a workout in Los Angeles on Monday, Pirog said he has studied film on Jacobs to formulate a game plan. “I wouldn’t say he has been tested more than me,” Pirog said. “We’ve both had a couple of big fights, and we’ve both had good amateur careers. He’s an interesting opponent, and it should be a good matchup.” — AP

letes are more motivated.” RARE OPPORTUNITY Ottey, who ran 11.67 seconds this month compared with a personal best of 10.74 set in Milan in 1996, was realistic about Slovenia’s chances of making Sunday’s relay final. “This is a rare opportunity for us because normally Slovenia doesn’t have a team,” she said. “Unless people mess up it’s going to be a challenge for us to advance but we’re going to go out there and try. “To get there I think we’d have to run 43 seconds and that would be a national record by far for us but we’re not going to give up.” Slovenian sprinter Kristina Zumer was with Ottey in the hotel lobby and her admiration for her illustrious team mate, with whom she has been training for 10 years, was obvious. “She’s an amazing talent and also her approach to training and competition is extremely professional and dedicated so it’s an amazing thing to observe and to be able to learn from,” Zumer said. — Reuters

Gatlin to return with two races in Estonia RALEIGH: US sprinter Justin Gatlin will return from a four-year doping ban with two races in Estonia next month he said yesterday. Gatlin will launch his comeback with a 100 meters at Rakvere, Estonia, on Aug. 3 and will run again five days later in Tallinn, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. “It’s a relief,” said Gatlin, who has not run a competitive race since June 2006. “It definitely comes earlier than I thought it would.” The 28-year-old regained his eligibility on Sunday after serving a fouryear ban for a 2006 positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursors. Many expected him to have difficulty finding races because of a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who bring disrepute to the sport. But organizers of the Estonian meetings, which are not members of the Euro group, said they would welcome Gatlin. That left Gatlin scrambling to replace a lost passport before he, his mother and a coach leave for Europe this week. “He has worked so hard to get back out there,” said Jeanette Gatlin of her son. Gatlin described the comeback races as some of the most important of his career. “I just want to have a good show and a good standing so people will say, ‘He looks good,’” said Gatlin, who has been training with veteran sprint coach Loren Seagrove. “It will be right up there on the same list with my world championships and Olympics,” the 2005 world double sprint champion added. “If I had to put them all on a bulletin board in my room or a trophy case, the photo of my first race back will, if successful, be just like that.” - Reuters

OKLAHOMA: USA’s Monica Abbott hold up the World Cup of Softball Championship trophy after defeating Japan in Oklahoma City. — AP

US rout Japan 5-1, grab softball World Cup title OKLAHOMA CITY: Caitlin Lowe had a two-run triple as the United States beat Japan 5-1 Monday to win its fourth straight World Cup of Softball title. Pitcher Jennie Finch, 29, playing her final game for the United States, was pulled with two outs in the seventh inning and received a standing ovation as she headed into the dugout, stopping momentarily to wave to the crowd. Finch didn’t allow a run in 18 2-3 innings at the World Cup, although she wasn’t much of a factor in her final game. Jessica Mendoza put the US on top with an RBI single in the first inning, and Lowe made it 3-0 with her two-run triple down the right-field line in the second. Japan got its only run on Eri Yamada’s two-out RBI single in the top

of the third. The US answered in the bottom of the inning when Kaitlin Cochran walked, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on second baseman Kasumi Mizoe’s error taking a throw at first on Andrea Duran’s bunt. Finch is leaving to spend more time with her 4-yearold son, Ace, and continue adding to her family with husband Casey Daigle. Daigle, a pitcher who has split this season between the Houston Astros and the minor leagues, was able to get away for her final game and join a contingent of family that also included Finch’s 89-yearold grandmother. She will continue playing professionally with the Chicago Bandits until the National Pro Fastpitch season ends next month. — AP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Sri Lanka torment India with run fest COLOMBO: Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene piled on the runs on their favourite ground to send India chasing leather in the second cricket Test yesterday. Sangakkara hit 219, his seventh doublecentury, and Jayawardene made 174 as Sri Lanka declared at 642-4 on the second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC). India, who trail 1-0 in the threematch series, replied confidently with 95 for no loss by stumps, but still face a long haul to reach 443 and avoid the embarrassment of following on for the second game in a row. Virender Sehwag was unbeaten with a typically aggressive 64 off 63 balls, while Murali Vijay was on 22.

Sangakkara, Jayawardene pile up India’s misery Earlier Sangakkara and former captain Jayawardene continued the runspree after opener Tharanga Paranavitana’s century on the first day on a lifeless wicket that offered little for the bowlers. The senior duo, who compiled Test cricket’s highest partnership of 624 runs at the same venue against South Africa four years ago, put on 193 runs for the third wicket. Sangakkara’s seventh double-century brought him level with Wally Hammond of England. Only Australian legend Don Bradman (12) and West Indian Brian Lara (nine) have more scores of 200 or more. Jayawardene’s 10th three-figure knock at the SSC is the most by a batsman at a single ground, surpassing Bradman’s tally of nine at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “There is no comparison,” said Jayawardene. “Bradman did it in only nine Tests, I took 23, so you can’t compare me with him. “But it is great to be in this good position. The wicket is typical of SSC, good for strokeplay. I think we have a very good total on the board. “Now we need to chip at the Indian batting. There is still some bounce in the wicket, which should help our spinners. It is important to get early wickets.” Starting the day at 312-2, Sangakkara and Jayawardene added 65 runs from 14 overs in the first hour, easily seeing off the second new ball claimed late on Monday evening. By lunch, Sri Lanka had hammered 145 runs in 29 overs in the morning session. Sangakkara moved to 199 with four boundaries in one over from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, and then reached 200 with an edged four to third man off Harbhajan Singh. Sangakkara, who was on 214 at lunch, fell in the fourth over after the break when he edged a lazy drive off part-time spinner Virender Sehwag to lone slip Rahul Dravid. The left-hander hit 29 boundaries during his seven-hour stay at the crease. Jayawardene smashed 20 boundaries and a six in his 28th Test century before holing out to mid-wicket to give off-spinner Harbhajan his first success in the series. Thilan Samaraweera remained unbeaten on 76, having put on 176 for the fourth wicket with Jayawardene. India’s four main bowlers conceded over 100 runs each as Harbhajan went for 1-147, Ojha for 1-172, Abhimanyu Mithun for 0-117 and Ishant Sharma for 1-102. Sri Lanka’s revamped frontline bowling attack, changed entirely from the one that won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets, have three days to carve out a series-clinching victory. With Muttiah Muralitharan having retired and fast bowler Lasith Malinga injured, the hosts also left out left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and seamer Chanaka Welegedara. Unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis leads the attack along with fast bowlers Dilhara Fernando and Dammika Prasad, and debutant off-spinner Suraj Randiv. —AFP

Scoreboard Scoreboard at the close on the second day of the second test between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo yesterday. Sri Lanka first innings (312-2 overnight) T. Paranavitana b Sharma 100 T. Dilshan c Laxman b Ojha 54 K. Sangakkara c Dravid b Sehwag219 M. Jayawardene c Raina b Singh 174 T. Samaraweera not out 76 Extras: (b-4, lb-8, nb-5, w-2) 19 Total: (four wickets declared, 159.4 overs) 642 Fall of wickets: 1-99 2-273 3-466 4-642 Did not bat: A. Mathews, P. Jayawardene, D. Prasad, S. Randiv, D. Fernando, A. Mendis Bowling: Mithun 23-5-117-0, Sharma 23-5-102-1 (3-nb), Ojha 46-9-172-1 (2nb), Singh 42.4-4-147-1 (2-w), Sehwag 20-0-71-1, Raina 5-0-21-0. India innings M. Vijay not out 22 V. Sehwag not out 64 Extras: (w-2, nb-7) 9 Total: (for no wicket, 18 overs) 95 To bat: R. Dravid, S. Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, S. Raina, M.S. Dhoni, H. Singh, I. Sharma, P. Ojha, A. Mithun Bowling (to date): Prasad 3-0-27-0 (1nb), Fernando 7-0-31-0 (4-nb, 1-w), Mathews 4-0-13-0 (1-w), Randiv 3-115-0, Mendis 1-0-9-0.

COLOMBO: India’s Suresh Raina dives to stop the ball during the first day’s play of the second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. (Inset) Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara celebrates as he scores a double century on the second day of the second test cricket match against India yesterday. — AP

IOC Olympic chief running for cover NEW DELHI: Allegations of sexual misconduct involving two national coaches exacerbated the problems engulfing Indian sport and had the head of the Olympic association running for cover this week at the launch of the Commonwealth Games tennis center. IOA president Suresh Kalmadi literally had to plead with Delhi’s chief minister for safe passage on Monday to avoid a hoard of reporters demanding answers to questions of impropriety in national sports, including the sexual misconduct allegations against national field hockey and weightlifting coaches. The New Delhi Commonwealth Games have been plagued by delays in the construction of infrastructure and venues, which should have been finished months ago for test events but instead are just starting to come on line now, cutting it fine with competition set to commence on Oct 3. The problems within hockey and weightlifting ranks in the last week have only sharpened the focus on trouble in Indian sports.

Allegations of sexual misconduct engulf Indian sport The Board of Control for Cricket in India, the financial powerhouse in the international game, was already under investigation from federal tax authorities over perceived irregularities in the running of the immensely popular, multibillion dollar Indian Premier League. The head of the IPL is under suspension and investigation by the BCCI and the tax regulators, but denies any wrongdoing. As have the field hockey and weightlifting coaches at the center of controversies involving allegations relating to young, female athletes. India’s Sports Minister MS Gill said his ministry would investigate the allegations against the hockey and weightlifting coaches in a “professional and impartial way.” The ministry confirmed it was investigating allegations against MK Kaushik, who resigned as

India’s women’s coach after player Ranjita Devi complained to Hockey India that he’d sexually harassed her during the recent Canada and China tours. Hockey India had already referred the case to Delhi Police. Kaushik has threatened legal action against the national federation for holding the complaints against him as credible without verifying them. The Sports Ministry also announced it was withdrawing weightlifting coach Ramesh Malhotra from a national training camp after Olympic bronze medalist Karnam Malleswari alleged that Malhotra had been sexually harassing athletes for a decade. The weightlifting federation suspended Malhotra on the weekend pending an investigation led by IWF vice president Kumbasi Subramanya. Malhotra denied he’d ever

“misbehaved” with women weightlifters, telling the Press Trust of India that Malleswari’s allegations were “false” and aimed at tarnishing his reputation. The problems involving the coaches haven’t kept Kalmadi out of the spotlight. The leading figure in the fight against a recent government move to impose age and term limits on national sports administrators, Kalmadi has reportedly been described as the “dirty face of Indian sports” by a candidate running for the Hockey India presidency. Former India captain Pargat Singh, who will be contesting the hockey vote today, accused Kalmadi of meddling in the running of national sports federations by promoting candidates who would follow his instructions or getting administrators bogged down in court. Kalmadi has spent the last year defending

Kluft jumps into final

New generation would accept gay footballers

Russian teen claim first Euro gold BARCELONA: Delighted former world and Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft scraped into the women’s long jump final at the European championships yesterday with a season’s best effort of 6.62 meters. The Swede, who ditched the heptathlon in favor of the long jump in 2008, has struggled in her new event since tearing a hamstring last July and was well behind defending champion Lyudmila Kolchanova who topped qualifying with 6.87. Kluft was given a wildcard into the Swedish team after failing to meet the entry standard and the 27-year-old was clearly ecstatic after her opening jump, pumping her fist as she walked out of the pit. “It’s a big victory,” a beaming Kluft told reporters after she became the final qualifier for Wednesday’s final. “After being injured for such a long time to be in a big championship again, that feels so great. This is what sport is about, so for me, even if I’m 12th into the final I’m still very happy.” Russian teenager Stanislav Yemelyanov also had reason to be cheerful, taking the first gold medal of this week’s championships with victory in the men’s 20-km walk in his first season competing as a senior. Yemelyanov finished in a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 10 seconds with Italy’s 50km walk Olympic champion Alex Schwazer 28 seconds behind. Portugal’s Joao Vieira finished third to repeat his bronze medal of four years ago. “I tried to catch up with

Yemelyanov but he was in top shape today. Now I hope to recover in time for the 50-km walk,” said Schwazer, who is also entered in Friday’s longer event. The 19-year-old Yemelyanov, who was never out of the top two, raised his arms aloft as he crossed the line after 20 laps on Barcelona’s streets and was immediately handed a Russian flag, which he draped around his shoulders. The women’s shot put (1735 GMT) and the men’s 10,000 meters (1905) are the other finals scheduled to take place yesterday. Germany’s triple world silver medalist Nadine Kleinert topped the morning’s qualifying with 18.98 meters but Belarus’s Nadezhda Ostapchuk, who leads the 2010 European standings with a throw of 20.95 has won all eight of her competitions this season. Medal favorite Jonathan Borlee safely reached the semifinals of the men’s 400 meters as did fellow contenders Martyn Rooney of Britain and Ireland’s David Gillick. Borlee, the fastest European this year, won his heat in 45.91 but was 0.2 seconds slower than his identical twin Kevin who took the first race in 45.71. Top-ranked European Natalya Antyukh of Russia won her 400 hurdles heat by over a second in 54.29 to record the fastest time in qualifying. Slovakian Libor Charfreitag was the best qualifier in the men’s hammer with 77.70 and Nicoleta Grasu of Romania headed the women’s discus qualifying competition with 62.10. — Reuters

New Delhi’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games - the first major multi-sport event to be staged in India since the Asian Games in 1982 - insisting that the event will be a major success. Some of the leading athletes, including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, have already indicated they won’t be competing in Delhi, taking some gloss off the event. Kalmadi’s image took another hit at the RK Khanna Tennis Complex on Monday, when he found himself alone and confronted by a media pack trying to get his reaction to the comments from Pargat and news that the sports ministry had announced it was opening investigations into the hockey and weightlifting cases. After offering no comment - “Nothing to say, please ... please ...” PTI reported that Kalmadi had to approach Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and ask for an escort out of the venue, explaining that the media was hounding him over Pargat’s comments. —AP

BARCELONA: Sweden’s Carolina Kluft competes during the women’s long jump qualifications at the 2010 European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium yesterday. —AFP

LONDON: A new generation of British soccer fans would be tolerant about professional footballers admitting they were homosexual, according to an online survey conducted by Staffordshire University in England. The survey of 2,000 supporters found that only seven percent believed that soccer had no place for homosexuals. It was conducted by culture, media and sport professor Ellis Cashmore and senior sociology lecturer Jamie Cleland. “The big surprise was that we got what I suppose you’d call a counter-intuitive response and that was that 93 percent said they felt there was no place for homophobia in football and it should be stomped out and they felt that it brought shame on football,” Cashmore told Reuters in a telephone interview. “There was a call for greater transparency. A lot of people said they would prefer it if gay footballers came out because they don’t think they would have to put up with that much abuse.” Only one professional footballer, England international Justin Fashanu, has revealed he was homosexual during his career. Fashanu committed suicide in 1998 at the age of 37. Players in other sports have been equally reticent. Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas revealed in a newspaper last year that he was gay, saying: “It’s pretty tough for me being the only international rugby player prepared to break the taboo.” Thomas’s candour prompted sympathy from British former National Basketball Association (NBA) player John Amaechi, who announced he was gay after retiring

in 2007, plus a warning that homophobia was still present in sport. Former England rugby coach Clive Woodward was more positive, saying he expected the sport to take Thomas’s announcement in its stride, while Welsh media reported recently that Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke was considering portraying Thomas in a film. HEAVY BURDEN “The question remains when will a gay soccer player come out?,” Cashmore said. “The fans themselves are of the opinion that, yes we know there are gay players and when we watch football every week we know we are watching gay players but actually it doesn’t matter to us.” Cashmore said homophobia now was equivalent to the racism which blighted British soccer during the 1970s and 80s. “Football fans who have for long been characterized as Neanderthal types, the knuckle-dragging kind of macho type who believe homosexuality is still taboo; actually they have changed as well,” he said. “We have a new generation of football fans-managers, coaches, players themselves, I class them all as fans in some way. “They don’t actually care very much about a person’s sexual orientation. But of course the players are living with a legacy and the legacy has become a heavy burden for football. “It’s going to make it extremely difficult for the first living footballer to come out. For a footballer to come out after his career is over, in a sense that is the path of least resistance. “It’s still enormously difficult but not as difficult as they think.” — Reuters

Gulf Bank reports KD 87.1m operating profit in H1


Burgan Bank is now ISO 27001:2005 certified


India CB raises rates to stamp on inflation


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Commercial Bank operating profit before provisions KD42.0 million for H1 2010 KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait announced an operating profit before provisions KD42.046 million (2009: KD66.911 million). This was allocated as provisions against the loan and investment portfolios resulting in a net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent bank for the six months to 30th June 2010 of KD0.840 million (2009: KD0.894 million). The bank has adopted a prudent policy towards building up a strong provision base and noted that results were in line with expectations.

Chairman Bader Sulaiman Al-Ahmed In his comment on the financial results for the period Chairman Bader Sulaiman Al-Ahmed said that Commercial Bank is currently reviewing its present and future business plans in line with a very well defined strategy that aims at confirming the Bank’s presence in corporate and retail markets. Al-Ahmad further added that the improvement of the banking sector’s performance in general and Commercial Bank in particular is strongly dependent on the improvement of the economic and financial environment emphasizing that the Bank continues its effort to

improve the quality of its lending and investment portfolios. The capital adequacy ratio at 30th June 2010 is 19.10% (31/03/2010: 19.00%) which exceeds the minimum 12% required by the Central Bank of Kuwait. The bank continues to have a strong capital base with more than twice the international ratio required by Basel II. Commercial Bank’s total assets are KD3.6 billion at 30th June 2010 (31/03/2010: KD3.7 billion) with shareholders equity of KD438.6 million (31/03/2010: KD441.2 million). The bank continues to demonstrate its cost leadership with operating expenses down 8% on H1 2009 and staff expenses down 5% for the period. Operational efficiency is a competitive advantage for the bank which continues to maintain one of the lowest cost/income ratios with 26.7% for H1 2010. The bank was pleased to receive from Citi Global Transaction Services (GTS), a business unit of Citigroup the Straight Through Processing Award which recognizes its leadership and excellence in global payment capabilities. The prestigious Citi Performance Excellence Award is presented to leading financial institutions worldwide which have state-ofthe-art international electronic payment services and meet stringent correspondent banking and processing accuracy criteria. The bank celebrated its 50th anniversary being established by Amiri Decree No.5 issued 19th June 1960, the second banking license to be granted in Kuwait. The bank has made significant progress over the past 50 years with a proven strong franchise in retail and corporate banking. Commercial Bank of Kuwait took the opportunity to thank the bank’s valued customers for their trust and confidence, the Executive Management team and staff for their hard work and loyalty and shareholders for their continued support and faith. Special thanks were given to the local print media for their extensive coverage and support of the bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations. With 55 branches Commercial Bank of Kuwait operates the second largest full service network in Kuwait. For information on Commercial Bank of Kuwait products or services please contact 1-888-CBK or visit

US consumer confidence dims NEW YORK: US consumer confidence sank in July to its lowest since February on job market worries, underscoring the slow path to economic recovery, and home prices rose in May but without signs of a sustained rebound, reports released yesterday showed. The Conference Board, an industry group, said consumer attitudes worsened this month as did their expectations about jobs being hard to get. The group’s index of consumer attitudes fell to 50.4 in July from an upwardly revised 54.3 in June, below the median forecast of 51 in a Reuters poll. “There have been quite a few headwinds-the fiscal stimulus is fading, the European situation certainly did have an impact on consumer confidence and inventories are being brought more into line,” said David Sloan, economist at 4Cast Ltd in New York. “But clearly the big problem for consumers is jobs.” US Treasuries trimmed losses and stocks pared gains after the dim consumer confidence reading as investors bought safe government assets. “Concerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves,” said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. US single-family home prices rose more than expected in May, still reflecting robust spring sales spurred by now-expired homebuyer tax credits, Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller home price indexes showed yesterday. May is a strong seasonal period for home sales, S&P said, and buyers who rushed to sign contracts by the April 30 deadline for up to $8,000 in tax credits have until Sept. 30 to close loans. Home prices have essentially moved sideways over the past seven months, however, and are likely to bounce around the bottom for the foreseeable future, S&P said. “For me, a double-dip is another recession before we’ve healed from this recession ... The probability of that kind of double-dip is more than 50 percent,” Robert Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University and co-developer of the price index told Reuters Insider. The 20-city composite price index rose 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in May after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent gain in April, topping the 0.2 percent rise forecast in a Reuters poll. Prices on an unadjusted basis jumped 1.3 percent in May, after a 0.9 percent April gain and falls in the six prior months. The index was 4.6 percent lower than last May, S&P said. With the recent upturn, prices still are 29.1 percent lower than the peak four years ago. A record inventory of foreclosed properties is widely seen preventing much of a price upturn in the near term. “While May’s report on its own looks somewhat positive, a broader look at home price levels over the past year still does not indicate that the housing market is in any form of sustained recovery,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement. — Reuters

Sorouh tumbles, Saudi, Kuwait indexes climb DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh Real Estate tumbled to a four-year closing low yesterday after the developer reported a sharp drop in secondquarter profit, the latest firm in the United Arab Emirates to miss estimates. Most Middle East markets advanced, with Saudi Arabia the standout performer as the kingdom’s bourse hit a month high, rising for a third day in four. Sorouh fell 2.8 percent to 1.73 dirhams, its lowest finish since at least December 2005, after quarterly profit plunged due to a lack of land sales. “There were no ‘income smoothing’ events this quarter to boost profits,” Chet Riley, Nomura property analyst wrote in a note to clients. “We think this is the profit ‘trough’ for

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS Sorouh. The balance sheet is less strained now and the recent refinancing has more accurately matched cash inflows and outflows so market concerns regarding liquidity should be dampened.” Normura cut its price target for Sorouh by 9 percent to 3.87 dirhams, but maintained a buy rating. DP World climbed 6.4 percent after the ports operator said container volumes rose 7 percent in the first half of 2010. “DP World volumes were better than expected and implies higher revenues and profitability than we have anticipated if

DP World volumes up 7%, CEO ‘cautious’ on H2 DUBAI: DP World, part of the Dubai World conglomerate at the centre of the emirate’s debt troubles, said better-than-expected container volumes will help boost profits in the first half of the year but was cautious on growth for the second half. Container volumes in the first half climbed 7 percent on a consolidated basis to 13.2 million TEU, or “twenty-foot equivalent container units”. On a like-for-like basis, they advanced 10 percent, DP World said in a statement yesterday. “The first half was unprecedented, “said DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf in a conference call with reporters. “We’re taking a cautious position on whether the growth we have seen will grow further. We’re hoping for the same but cautiously.” Sharaf said the second half of the year is

historically stronger for volume growth. In a statement earlier, the CEO said growth in first-half volumes will lead to an improvement in first-half profit after tax. The company is set to post its first-half financial report on August 18. Two analysts polled by Reuters expect DP World to post a net profit of between $148 million to $158 million, down from $175.32 million a year earlier. Sharaf declined to comment on exact profit expectations for the year as he was uncertain over the sustainability of first-half trade volumes. But he said DP World was “comfortable” with analysts expectations of closing EBITDA of $1.2 billion for the year. Shares in DP World rose 6.4 percent to $0.48 on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse. Sharaf told reporters that the company was “absolutely going forward” with the London listing. —Reuters

the company maintains its margins and increases cost savings,” said Kareem Murad, an analyst at SHUAA Capital. SHUAA’s outstanding fair value for DP World is $0.61, implying a significant upside for the stock, although low trading volumes may scupper any rally in the short term. Saudi Arabia’s index climbed 0.9 percent to its highest close since June 28. Volumes also hit a month high. Al-Rajhi Bank rose 1.6 percent, Saudi Electricity added 1.5 percent and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co gained 2.4 percent. “Some of the Saudi names are still oversold volumes have been quite light for the past couple of weeks, so we’re now seeing a retracement of cash from other regional markets back into Saudi,” said Matthew Wakeman, EFG-Hermes managing director for cash and equity-linked trading. “Banks look steady and there’s an increase in interest at these levels.” Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 0.5 percent to a fresh 29-month closing high and dairy firm Almarai is another on investors’ shopping lists, said a Riyadh-based trader who asked not to be identified. Almarai rose 0.4 percent. “These domestic names have more visibility in terms of likely earnings for the rest of 2010 compared to globally-focused companies,” he said. Kuwait’s Gulf Bank ended flat at a monthhigh after swinging to a second-quarter profit. “Gulf Bank made a significant move upward prior to its results,” said a Kuwait trader who asked not to be identified. Kuwait’s index climbed 0.5 percent, its fifth straight gain. “It’s too early to say investors have formed a clear sentiment about Q2 earnings - most people are sitting on the sidelines,” said the trader. “The market is moving forward, but it needs to correct a bit, so I expect to see some profit taking in the near future.” — Reuters

Home prices advance • Job market worries persist

Shoppers Joselin Pena (left) and her niece Ingrid Romero, center, both of Boston, load packages into their car after shopping at a Target location, in Boston. A monthly consumer survey shows that Americans’ confidence in the economy eroded further in July amid job worries. — AP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bank continues to take advantage of improving financial conditions

Gulf Bank reports KD 87.1m operating profit in first half KUWAIT: Gulf Bank on Monday announced a notable improvement in its operating profit for the first half of this year, amounting to KD 87.1 million (including KD 42.8 million for the second quarter of the year), compared to The Bank also announced posting KD 2 million of net profit for the first half, compared to a loss of KD 7.5 million for the first half of 2009 (KD 22 million of this operating profit came from the disposal of part of the international investment portfolio). Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Chairman of Gulf Bank, said: “The Bank’s provisional requirements up to end of June 2010 have been provided for. We hope that the forth-

coming periods will witness an improvement in the net profit, which is of course, in part, dependent on the economic situation.” “Gulf Bank has continued its efforts to upgrade and develop its loan and investment portfolio. The Bank has also continued to actively manage its portfolio of irregular loans and investments, thereby promoting confidence in the Bank’s ability to generate future profit and positively

KD 51.1 million in the first half of 2009, an increase by 70%. Gulf Bank stated that, according to its conservative policy, most of this profit w as retained to meet the provisions for the risk of credit facilities portfolio.

deal with the outcome of such loans and investments. The additional provisions taken in the first half as a precautionary measure against the impact of the global financial crisis, coupled with the Bank’s prudent policies, offer further confidence in the standing and prospects of its operations,” concluded AlBader. Gulf Bank was recently named the “Best Retail Bank” by Arabian Business magazine

Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Chairman of Gulf Bank

due to its commitment to customer service, profitability, growth and product innovation, and has also been awarded the coveted “Best PR Campaign”, “Best Bank Customer Contact Center”, Best Product, Best Employer, and the GCC Localization Award for the 5th consecutive year. These awards recognize the Bank’s remarkable success and are a testament to the progress over the course of the year.

PII technology to boost Australian natural gas pipeline security KUWAIT: PII Pipeline Solutions, a GE Oil & Gas and Al-Shaheen joint venture, has been selected to help improve the long-term security of two of Australia’s most important natural gas pipelines. Securing the Da mpier-toBunbury Pipeline The 1,400-kilometer Dampier-to-Bunbury Pipeline (DBN) is one of Western Australia’s key energy supply assets. The 26-inch DBN pipeline is owned by Dampierto-Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) of Perth and delivers gas from the Carnarvon Basin in the North West Shelf to industrial, commercial and residential customers in the city of Perth and the surrounding region. In the awarded contract, PII is supplying PipeView TM Integrity, its advanced suite of pipeline data monitoring and management software for deployment on the DBN pipeline through Contract Resources, its Australian operational partner

on the project. Michael Bellamy, General Manager - PII Pipeline Solutions said: “We are very pleased to partner with Contract Resources in supporting the energy supply security priorities of DBNGP with our reliable pipeline integrity technology.”

In May 2010, teams from PII’s pipeline data management Center of Excellence in Mission, Kansas, U.S. began implementing the project for the Dampierto-Bunbury Pipeline. The two software modules include dataloading alignment and condition-

assessment applications. Designing Custom Solution for Moomba-to-Sydney Gas Pipeline. In addition, PII recently signed a three-year contract to deploy one of its newest pipeline inspection tool - the EmatScan CD - to inspect nine (9), 150-km segments of the Moomba-to-Sydney Gas Pipeline, owned and operated by APA Group, Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business. The Moomba-to-Sydney Gas Pipeline is 2,029 km long and links the Cooper Basin gas fields at Moomba with distribution networks in Sydney and regional New South Wales. The pipeline is one of two pipelines that deliver gas to the Sydney area. PII will use the new Third Generation EmatScan tool to perform an estimated two inspection runs each year over the three-year contract period for enhanced crack detection and analysis, as part of APA’s pipeline integrity management

program. PII’s Bellamy added: “Multiyear inspection contracts, like the APA project, allow for a more seamless comparison of data from multiple inspections over a period of time. This approach enables us to support operators with more effective monitoring of potential crack growth rates and devise costeffective mitigation plans.” Currently available for 30 and 36-inch lines, PII is developing a customized EmatScan CD to navigate the 34-inch Moombato-Sydney line. The tool is scheduled for launch in the Winter 2010-11. PII is leveraging project management and engineering resources from its facility in Stutensee, Germany for the APA program. PII previously used its pipeline inspection technology for DBNGP and APA inspections. In 2009, APA was one of the world’s first operators to deploy PII’s latest generation of MagneScan, MFL inspection tools.

Ford Mideast reports strong growth in H1 KUWAIT: Ford Middle East continues full speed ahead with GCC-wide sales growth of 31 percent during the first six months of 2010 over the same period last year. SUVs and Trucks led the surge with 46 percent increases, while cars posted 18 percent growth in sales across the region driven by the new Ford Fusion and Taurus. The company is strongly positioned and set to end the year on an upbeat following the arrival of new models in the third quarter according to Hussein Murad, Ford’s director of Sales in the Middle East. The Middle East results reflect Ford’s strength globally with the company posting nearly US$4.7 billion first half net income after tax, an impressive $3.85 billion improvement over the same period last year. Earnings per share rose to $1.13 during the first half of 2010, up by $2.03 compared to the same period in 2009. Ford Motor Company’s second quarter income after tax was registered at $2.6 billion, an increase of $338 million against $2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2009. In the Middle East, SUVs continued to be favorites among Ford vehicles, with 97 percent increase in sales for Expedition, followed by Explorer at 83 percent and Flex at 58 percent

Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Steel sales up 30% in H1 DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Steel Industries (ESI) posted a 30 percent rise in domestic sales in the first half as construction projects steamed ahead despite tougher times for Gulf economies. “This is a significant increase considering the downturn in local and regional markets,” said Carl Andersson, ESI’s senior vice president in operations. “[The increase in sales] has been achieved through targeted efforts to support our key customers and by pursuing sales policies that ensure market stability,” Andersson said. Its output rose by 45.4 percent during the first half, the company said. Production of rebar, mainly used for construction was up 26 percent and output for wire rod, also used in construction, jumped by 283 percent. “Like most steel makers, we have to

Sales in the GCC grew by 31% while Ford F-150 led the truck sales with 486 percent over the same period last year. In the passenger car segment, Fusion led the growth, recording a 105 percent sales increase in first half. Additionally, the all-new Taurus, although in short supply, was up by 75 percent. Ford’s legendary Mustang also continued to increase in popularity, with sales growing by 16 percent. “This has been an exceptional half year for Ford in the region, and we anticipate sustained growth,” said Murad. “Thanks to new products we’ve introduced - and our visible commitment industry leading quality, safety, technology and value for money across the Ford marque - our customer base is growing at an unprecedented pace, and we are gaining market share. Ford’s global success story is clearly rippling across all of our markets,” he said. Ford has been strengthened as a result of its aggressive push for quality products, rolling out vehicles that have received numerous recognitions from consumers, and private and government bodies. Most recently, Ford was recognized for having the highest quality among all non-luxury brands in the J.D. Powers and Associates’ 2010

Initial Quality Study (published June 2010). In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sales were up by 56 percent, thanks to hefty gains from sales of Expedition at 159 percent, Explorer increasing by 144 percent, Fusion by 91 percent and Taurus by 57 percent. Qatar follows with 22 percent increase year-on-year and UAE recording a rise of 15 percent. Kuwait enjoyed robust sales in Explorer posting an increase of 70 percent and a 55 percent increase for the all-new Taurus. The same bright picture is seen in the US, as Ford Motor Company reported a first half sales increase of 28 percent versus a year ago, with June sales alone up by 15 percent. “Our growth here and globally confirms the success of Ford’s transformation plan,” said Murad. “We are enjoying strong business not only because of the quality products in our line up but also due to the ongoing commitment of our dealers,” Murad added. Ford’s product drive remains on track for 2010 with a host of new models making their way into the region including the new Mustang V6 and V8 models, and the all-new crossovers Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.

1st draw winners at Joyalukkas’ World Gold Fiesta promotion Name Coupon No R. Ganesan 28274 Binoy Joseph 16053 Ansamma 17416 Jafna M.P. 26354 Lini Annie Thomas 14825 Susmi Raj 28527 Bhaskar Bhosle 27156 G.S. Sridevi 15647 Duray 23235 Vijayalaxmi 26554 Sherub Tenzin 11007 Sunila Abraham 22858 Siraj N. 13416 Joyalukkas’ World Gold Fiesta in association with World Gold Council continues until August 8, 2010. Win Gold Sovereigns for every KD50 you spend at any Joyalukkas showroom in the GCC, during the promotion period.

operate our facilities at full capacity to make a profit,” said Andersson. ESI sells around 80 percent of its products to the local market, while the rest is exported to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, India, Pakistan and Asia. ESI plans to export more than 50 percent of its wire rod and coil products and 15 percent of its rebar in 2011, said Juma Al Mansouri, acting vice president of sales at ESI. “On the commissioning of the steel sections mill, during the first quarter of 2012, further export opportunities will be targeted,” said Mansouri. Emirates Steel’s output capacity is expected to reach 3 million tons a year by 2011. The company is looking to boost annual capacity to 6.5 million tons by 2013-2014 through expansion and acquisitions. — 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 .4410000 .3690000 .2700000 .2750000 .2550000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780720 .7602380 .4020000 .0750000 .7452810 .0045000 .0500000

.2930000 .4490000 .3760000 .2780000 .2830000 .2630000 .0075000 .0035000 .0788570 .7678790 .4180000 .0790000 .7527710 .0072000 .0580000

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 .2874500 .4436720 .3709690 .2726670 .2774710 .0497890 .0393200 .2573100 .0370050 .2097410 .0032860 .0061480 .0025550 .0033810 .0041650 .0783000 .7628510 .4065320 .0766920 .7469960 .0062480

.2895500 .4468050 .3735890 .2745980 .2794360 .0501420 .0395990 .2591270 .0372670 .2112260 .0033090 .0061920 .0025730 .0034050 .0041950 .0788000 .7677160 .4094110 .0771810 .7517590 .0062920

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2895500 .4468050 .2745980 .0771810

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees


3.337 6.147

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

3.366 2.553 3.856 212.090 37.115 4.156 6.274 8.953 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

76.928 79.255 749.400 766.120 78.549 ARAB COUNTRIES

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

53.700 50.603 1.249 199.400 407.330 193.500 6.160 34.162

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 288.330 Euro 376.270 Sterling Pound 448.350 Canadian dollar 280.890 Turkish lire 190.670 Swiss Franc 276.050 Australian dollar 259.790 US Dollar Buying 287.045

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

37.750 6.450 0.035 0.273 0.255 3.410 409.310 0.195 92.190 45.500 4.510 215.000 1.964 46.600 748.740 3.470 6.540 79.720 76.980 211.500 41.700 2.732 451.000 39.500 278.300 276.800 6.400 9.280 198.263 78.650 288.600 1.320

37.600 6.185

407.430 0.194 92.190 3.870 213.500 748.580 3.380 6.275 79.290 76.960 211.500 41.700 2.553 449.000

9.130 78.550 288.200

GOLD 1,287.090

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

230.000 120.000 62.000

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

SELL CASH 263.600 766.530 4.260 282.800 566.000 14.100 49.300 167.800 53.400 379.000

SELL DRAFT 262.100 766.530 4.158 281.300

211.500 50.605 377.500


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

288.800 3.385 6.120 2.570 4.170 6.250 78.730 77.220 767.700 50.725 445.600 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 410.200 5.750 377.800 283.300

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

2.552 4.167 6.268 3.310 8.903 6.286 3.846

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 448.000 288.200

GOLD 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

288.150 280.799 450.263 377.664 274.314 706.271 762.697 78.432 79.127 76.809 406.617 50.574 6.160 3.372

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 288.200 376.000 448.800 280.200 3.350 6.150 50.630 2.559 4.156 6.235 3.385 767.400 78.600 77.000


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gandry wins KD125,000 NBK's top Jawhara prize KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated bank in the Middle East, recently announced the names of the Al-Jawhara Draw prize winners for the month of July 2010 which was conducted at NBK's Head Office. The first prize of KD 125,000 went to GEORGETTE GANDRY, while the second place winner YOUSEF ABDULWAHAB AL QATTAN received KD 7,500. The third winner GHADA ALSAFADI was awarded KD 3,000 and the remaining 97 winners were awarded KD 400 each. Al-Jawhara account offers numerous benefits to NBK customers. It is not only an interest-free account with

regular deposit and withdrawal privileges, but also automatically entitles account holders to enter the monthly Al-Jawhara draw. Each KD 50 in an AlJawhara account entitles the customer to one chance at winning any one of the 100 prizes allocated for each draw. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners' accounts the day after the draw. The more money held in your Al-Jawhara account, the greater your chances of winning! Al-Jawhara accounts are available for both Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis and can be opened at any one of NBK's branches around Kuwait. For further information kindly visit, or call Hala Watani at 1801801.

Al Jawhara Winners July 2010 Sr.# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Cert. No. 047329718 000314943 060091258 013392255 001451413 057054495 047407573 025112929 051290448 035141050 013240714 023321482 001495232 012226467 059002689 015364127 039501981 007340877 065092945 009971920 015351254 023141816 002287269 007519443 004117573 000386936 060090383 013271474 039127222 069063850 057009848 035175419 004320417 039185923 047137215 019221320 000946214 047466898 038184125 009414819 100323898 013307762 058016848 062146203 019202776 005386748 004121465 054073820 004992555 045129835 011123427 018215076 039187799 047208414 011240970 026079518 1003611102 021418977 018060560 000468576 100642470 016462491 009306935 004137221 082004013 015150321 018269265 037165046 008223947 039328392 005199719 084011807 002913682 038172925 000753696 059031662 005488265 037158023 039365573 007361904 031033946 060069635 028036522 012186171 002222507 039325032 035244623 040113531 005358361 100756107 071027750 000894184 047460555 051136791 036255408 033105588 054079926 051129191 048167916 028152395

Name of Customer Georgette J Gandry Yousef Abdulwahab Hasan Alqattan Ghada Ghaleb Turki Alsafadi Min Noura Bader Faisal Alrashed Shayma Dawoud Sulaiman Albader Hosam Saleh Abdullah Altunaib Edwar Morris Jalal Ayah Jassim Basher Alateeqi Taleb Tainan Mohammad Alajmi Mohd Saad Ali Alshahin Meshal Majid Sultan Abdulqader Minor Ghadeer Ali Esmail Wehbe Louis Tihon Ibale Nawal Abdul Hameed Turki Alturki Ibrahim Abdulwahab Khalifah Alghanim Thakkar Dhanajay Dayabai Ahlam Ahmad Abdallah Alsamhan Fayez Faleh Salem Alajmi Tarek Abdel Rahim Sroor Hamad Sulaiman Mashaan Almashaan Majdi Wadiea Albadri Mousa Khawla Saheb Sayed Jawad Alqazweni Rima Mustafa Mobaied Naser Taqi Abdullhussain Rajab Ruba Mohd Abdulla Abo Khalifa Utpal Thakor Patel Elyas Badia Al Almawi Awatef Dawoud Jamaan Alawad Jabr Soud Yousef Alfahed Fatmah Hamad Ali Almerri Tareq Sulaiman Saleh Alsubaihi Nouf Nayef Mohd Alazmi Lina Subhi Ibrahim Murad Silna Yousef Alkhouri Mohammed Nasser Abdullah Alkharafi Mohamad Amen Alrahman Mohamad Azez Alrahman Hania Saleh Hamad Althkeer Yasmin Mohamed Husain Ali Khuraibit Min Yehya Wael Ahmad Mahmmod Hassonah Qais Sadiq Jassim Mohammad Ali Abbas Alqallaf Yousef Abdulla Alsarawi Naeimah Kherallah Marzooq Alsheraifi Hasan Ali Abdullah Banian Mark Menezes Rozario Menezes Mohd Hammad Najem Abdulla Sahar Jaber Mohamad Awdeh Khloud Amaash Mefreh Alazmi Vida Shaer Zadeh Salah Mutar Kubal Alotaiby Ali Fahad Rashed Al Rashed Abdulraheem Qasem A Rahim Boshahri Abdulla Hussain Abdulla Ben Nakhi Latifa Hachadi Min Malak Abdlhadi Taqi Naqi Alsaffar Nada Abdulla Abdulla Alotaibi Mohd Yousef S.A.Albahar Sakhawat Hussain Enayat Hussain Fakhriya Hussain Ali Alhazeem Ibrahim Khalil Ibrahim Alsaeed Subhash Chander Mahotra Ibtesam Jabbar Sadkhan May Mohammed Abdulla Almesned Bader Abdulla Abbas Alghadban Bader Abdulhamed Ali Alsalem Wartan Mousis Koshkarian Al Ghalya Ali Humoud Alsabah Abbas Naser Husain Munifa Naser Mohamad Rowaie Min Nouf Khaled Jasem Abul Mahmoud Sami Ahmad Jouhar Iman Faleh Raja Aldhufairi Salem Mohd Saeed Mndani Nihad Mahmoud Alsaied Mahmoud Mousa Elias Khedada Khedada Naif Motlaq Suleiman Alqamlas Janet Lee Vigeant Hussain Ali Abbas Khaja Munera Badah Abdulrahman Almutary Musta Ali Ali Hussain Naeem Abdulla Shams Jaralla Aljahni Mohamed Hussain Sulaman Almousaa Hamad Khaled Hamad Aladwani Amani Sulaiman Abdulla Alrashdan Ibtesam Abdullah Abdulatef Almutawa Amani Aone Reda Alamad Wael Naji Mottar Alenezi Saleem Ahmed Siddiqi Abdalrashid Siddiqi Yadavalli Venkata Sridhar Rasida Yakub Rampurwala Mousa Turki Malallah Rajab Nizar Saied Yousef Salah Khaldoon Galib Laeith Al Sharea Khaled Soud Ghali Alazmi Salama Sayah Salem Almotrifi Alexi Harabid Abdalian Jikani Khadija Ghloum Malik Husain Jaber Ali Abdulla Ahmad Min Fahad Shayaa Saeed Alkdari Waleed Khaled Yousef Alqasf

Prize 125000 7500 3000 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

Dubai World Central hosts project stakeholder meeting DUBAI: Following the successful opening of AlMaktoum International for cargo operations, Dubai World Central organized a unique project stakeholder meeting aimed at acknowledging the contributions of various government and non-government stakeholders, while identifying emerging opportunities for further synergy and collaboration. The meeting, which was held at the Dubai World Central headquarters, saw ten key stakeholders from the public and private sector in attendance. Attendees at the meeting included representatives from Dubai Customs, Dnata Cargo, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Police. Dubai World Central (DWC) is one of the strategic initiatives of the government of Dubai, and strongly positions the emirate as a leading international trade center and a global fast-cycle logistics hub. The Dubai World Central aerotropolis compris-

es the new Al-Maktoum International airport, set to be the world's largest in volume and size upon completion, and the adjacent specialized free zones focused on fast-cycle logistics and aviation industries. DWC is one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in the world, occupying an area of 140 square kilometers in Jebel Ali, next to the UAE's largest free zones (JAFZA) and the Jebel Ali Sea Port, the sixth largest container terminal in the world. In addition to the dedicated link to Jebel Ali Sea Port, DWC's unique multimodal capabilities are supported by links to all main motorways in the country and the Al Maktoum International Airport, which once complete will handle up to 120 million passengers and 12 million tons of air cargo per year. The airport will also serve as the main gateway to aviation and logistics companies that have already chosen DWC as their base for fast-cycle logistics.


Recognition for information security management

Burgan Bank is now ISO 27001:2005 certified KUWAIT: Burgan Bank, among the youngest and most dynamic banks in Kuwait and the region, has achieved the most recognized certification for effectively implementing and maintaining an Information Security Management System for its Information Technology and IT Security related operations. This Certificate is an affirmation that Burgan Bank adopts a successful design and implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001:2005. Burgan Bank ISMS practices have been audited and verified by Bureau VERITAS, a leading organization in the field of auditing management systems and processes. This prestigious professional certificate verifies that all operations at Burgan Bank adhere to the specific requirements for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving an Information Security Management System within the context of the Banks' overall information risk management practices. It also asserts that requirements for the implementation of security controls are customized to the needs of ensuring the highest levels of security controls for each and every relevant department in the Bank. On receiving the certification, the Acting Chief General Manager of Burgan Bank, Khalid Al-Zouman commented by saying: "I was confident that this certification is forthcoming. My conviction is based on the fact that we have complete trust in our information security system coupled with our complete confidence in

Land sales drought hits Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Q2 ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate, one of the Middle East's biggest developers, said yesterday a lack of land sales in the second quarter explained a sharper-than-expected drop in net profit and revenues, both of which fell about 80 percent. "There were no land sales this quarter, so revenues and profits were lower. We are seeing the revenues diversify from land sales to rental, lease and sale of units," Richard Amos, chief financial officer said on a conference call. The company's projects include development of Abu Dhabi's Al Reem Island with homes and offices planned for 45,000 residents. Net profit attributable to shareholders for the three months to June 30 fell to 31 million dirhams ($8.44 million) from 148 million. That missed an average forecast of 43.6 million dirhams from a Reuters poll of analysts. Revenues fell to 189.81 million dirhams from 978.23 million. Its shares were off 1.66 percent at 1.78 dirhams as of 0754 GMT. Developers across the United Arab Emirates have suffered from the global financial crisis which put an end to a six-year boom. While Dubai has suffered the most, Abu Dhabi, home to most of the country's oil, has fared better. Sorouh's half-year performance, which saw profit fall 41 percent, was buoyed by first-quarter land sales and a rise in lease income. The developer will hand over some 1725 units by the second half of next year as deliveries are on track, Chief Operating Officer Gurjit Singh said on the conference call. Some 6000 to 12,000 units are likely to be delivered this year by developers in Abu Dhabi this year, he added. Sorouh's funding plans are in place having secured bank loans of 2.35 billion dirhams recently. It is in talks with banks for project finance for one or two projects, Amos said, declining to provide details. "It's a perfectly doable deal with interest from two banks and we are comfortable for at least a year," he said. Sorouh booked 50 million dirhams in provisions in the second quarter and may book further provisions in coming quarters, he said. — Reuters

the dedication of our staff. The effort in ensuring that all our systems and processes are matured on an ongoing basis can be witnessed." Madhusudan Rao, Senior General Manager - Risk, said "We are proud about our proactive investments in building a successful and best-in-class information security management system which leads to an increased protection of our customer information. We keep challenging ourselves so as to ensure continuous improvement of our management systems." "The ISO 27001 certification is a clear indication of the strength of our investments in people, process and technology for enhancing the customer experience by improving the information security" he added. Satish Mane, General Manager - Operational Risk Officer, said: "Bank has deployed a comprehensive risk assessment and management framework to effectively identify and manage the risks; which is a key function in ensuring that the right controls are identified and implemented for information protection. In addition, a certified team of ISO 27001 internal auditors periodically assess the effectiveness of the risk mitigation controls implemented in the bank." "A successful implementation of the ISMS reduces the IT related operational risks, builds confidence in the stakeholders, demonstrate increased protection of the information and increases the trust between the bank and the customers" he added Burgan Bank addresses this certification as another milestone in its journey towards providing adequate, secure and valuable services to its customers.

Khalid Al-Zouman with the award

Doha Bank announces robust Q2 2010 results with excellent operating ratios DOHA: Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Board of Directors of Doha Bank, announced Doha Bank's financial results for the first half of 2010. Net profit for the first half of 2010 recorded an impressive QAR 615 million which translated into 23.7% Return on Equity. Sheikh Fahad said, "This is an outstanding result and shows that Doha Bank is yet again generating returns on shareholder equity that are truly world class. In addition, the bank has delivered impressive growth without the reliance on investment income. This was evidenced by net profit less net income from financial investments increasing by a staggering 25% from QAR 477 million in H1 2009 to QAR 595 million in H1 2010." Doha Bank increased net interest income by 16.2% to QAR 621 million. Total assets increased by more than QAR 1 billion, a growth of more than 2.5%, from QAR 43.8 billion as at 30 June 2009 to QAR 44.9 billion as at 30 June 2010. Net Loans & Advances increased to QAR 26.6 billion from QAR 23.6 billion for the same period last year, registering a growth of 12.5%, with Deposits year on year increase of 16.4% from 23.4 billion to QAR 27.2 billion as at 30 June 2010 evidencing the strong liquidity position of the Bank. Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Managing Director of Doha Bank said, "The Bank has become extremely strong over the years with shareholders' funds, as at 30 June 2010 of QAR 5.6 billion, registering an increase of 9.8% during the last twelve months. The paid-up share capital of our bank has increased over the years and, as at 30 June 2010 it is QAR1.9 billion reflecting the strong confidence we enjoy from our shareholders and this region. Through the strategic utilization of the shareholder's funds by way of increasing our performance levels the return on average equity is 23.7% as at 30 June 2010 one of the best in the industry. The Bank, given the scale of operations, has achieved a very high return on the average assets of 2.7% as at 30 June 2010 which is a clear demonstration of the effective utilization of shareholder's

Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani funds and optimum asset allocation strategies". Further, Sheikh Abdul Rehman said, "The Bank's core revenue streams have shown strong growth over the prior year period reflecting on the Bank's intrinsic strength towards recurring earning capacity and also on the Bank's productive operational performance". Talking on the key innovations and initiatives taken by Doha Bank in the second quarter of 2010, R Seetharaman, Group Chief Executive Officer said, "Continuing our tradition of introducing innovative products and services, Doha Bank's ground breaking Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) financing solution Tatweer, launched two products "Supply Chain Financing" and "TATWEER Debit and Credit Card "as the latest offerings serving Qatar's SME segment. Available under Tatweer, the Supply Chain financing product is set to benefit small and medium businesses engaged in supplying goods and services to large business entities. The TATWEER Debit and Credit Cards is an ideal Cash and Credit Solution for small businesses. Convenience in terms of supplier payments as payments for goods, services and business related purchases can be made with one easy swipe of the card. Monthly statement captures all the information needed for fast and accurate reconciliation of receipts so that the business maintains more control over

finances. What's more, this feature also ensures savings on time and money as there is less paper work to be administered and eliminates the need for book-keeping charges. All Tatweer cards come with a range of specially selected discounts and offers across the region thus helping customers get the best deal for their business. In addition, with the Tatweer Rewards Loyalty program, all expenses made on the Tatweer Credit card yield a healthy cash back from Doha bank back to the business ensuring optimum savings!" Seetharaman continued, "On Retail Front we continue to surprise the market by our incredible promotional schemes. Doha Bank's credit card customers - both new and existing had plenty of reasons to pull out their Doha Bank credit cards this summer holiday season with an unprecedented 25 per cent cash back reward! This exciting reward package is the first of its kind not only in Qatar but in the whole region and is being offered to all its existing and potential card members." Seetharaman added, "We also launched TADBEER with unique, innovative and customized online Cash Management Solutions that meet exacting standards for better performance in collections, payments and liquidity management globally and locally. TADBEER gives organizations the ability to control and centralize their receivables and payables on

one electronic banking system, ensuring effective control and management of finances." This quarter was also marked by "Rewards and Recognition" for Doha Bank in terms of various international awards won. The quarter began with the "Best Customer Service" award for it's revolutionary "Tawasol Customer Care Center" and its innovative "Customer Inquiry Tracking System" at the Banker Middle East Product awards ceremony in Dubai. The faith was further reinforced by various customers when it was voted as the "Best Commercial Bank" in the Bankers Middle East 2010, the fourth time in six years. In addition, Doha Bank was honored with the prestigious 2009 Euro Straight through Processing Excellence Award for the Exceptional Quality of its Euro Payment Messages. Doha Bank maintained an outstanding 99 per cent error free rate for Euro remittances last year. This award, the latest in a series of international awards for service excellence, was conferred on Doha Bank based on Deutsche Bank's evaluation and scrutiny of the quality and level of accuracy of SWIFT payment messages routed through Deutsche Bank. In addition and in line with Doha Bank's priority for better and modern customer services, Doha Bank's 30 year old Mushairab branch has moved to spacious new and modern premises a few blocks down the road to Fereej Abdul Aziz. Seetharaman attributed the forward looking vision of the board, high level of commitment of management and staff, customer care, best suite of products and services, and ongoing product and service improvement as the main reasons for Doha Bank achieving this robust result. He said Doha Bank has been applauded by various highly respected financial sector specialists for its pioneering and leadership role in taking Financial Services experience in Qatar and Middle East to new heights. He concluded saying, "We are committed to sustain the growth, profitability and stakeholder and customer expectations, and maintain our hall mark in terms of performance, innovation, security and quality".

UK CBI July retail sales up at fastest rate in three years LONDON: British retail sales grew at their fastest pace in three years in July, and retailers were their most upbeat in 6 years about the prospects for August, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed yesterday. The CBI's monthly distributive trades survey's reported sales balance jumped to +33 in July from -5 in June, beating analysts' forecast for a reading of zero, as discounting, the World Cup soccer tournament and warm weather boosted sales. It was also three times better than retailers themselves had expected. And stores expected sales growth to strengthen further next

month, with an expected sales balance for August of +45 -- the highest since June 2004. The pound rose almost a third of a cent against the dollar after the data, as investors reckoned the economy would continue to grow strongly in the third quarter after recording the fastest growth in 4 years between April and June. "It's worth being cautious about reading too much into these figures. Still, with GDP, official June retail sales and some of the euro surveys strong the economic mood has been more positive recently," said George Buckley, economist at Deutsche Bank. However, the figures had been flattered by

a reweighting of the survey to bring it into line with UK and EU statistical standards. Under the old methodology, the July reported sales balance would have been +21 and August's expectations balance would have been +33 under the old system. And analysts warned that a clampdown on government spending and a rise in value added tax at the start of next year could heavily dent consumer demand going forward. "Sales benefited in July from the potent combination of very good weather, decent discounting on the high street and a final boost from the football World Cup," said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight. — Reuters



KSE stages smart rally KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange continued its upward trend for the eighth session in a row. Major market indices extended their gains after Bank Boubyan, Kuwait Commercial Bank and Gulf Bank announced their interim results. Industrial sector remained to be the top gainer in terms of YTD performance reporting gains amounted to 7.89 percent. Global General Index (GGI) rose by 0.57 points (0.30 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 193.44 points. While, KSE Price Index, gained 31.30 points (0.47 percent) yesterday and closed at 6,685.40 points. Market capitalization added KD95.06mn to its value to reach KD31.98bn. Market breadth During the session, 130 companies were traded. Market breadth skewed towards advancers, as 70 equities advanced versus 35 that retreated. A total of 107 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities was higher today as volume of shares traded on the exchange surged by 8.07 percent to reach 541.33mn shares, and value of shares traded rose by 17.50 percent to stand at KD46.43mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader, accounting for 49.73 percent of total market volume. Investors Holding Group Company topped the volume list with a total traded volume of 160.40mn shares. On Value side, Services sector was the value leader contributing 28.78 percent of the total traded value yesterday. Zain topped the value list with a total traded value of KD5mn. In terms of top gainers, Industrial and Financial Investment Co took the top

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oil jumps towards $80 on equity jump LONDON: Oil prices rose towards $80 a barrel to hit the highest level since early May as upbeat corporate results and rallying equities increased risk appetite for the commodity. US stock index futures jumped yesterday, setting Wall Street for a fourth straight day of gains, while European shares touched a five-week high. Rallying US stock markets are seen as a broad indicator of the future oil demand picture in the world’s top consumer and helped to banish persistent fears of a double dip recession. US oil prices rose 14 cents to $79.12 a barrel by 1338 GMT after earlier trading at $79.69 a barrel-the highest intraday level since May 6. Earlier, prices had turned negative as more oil production capacity shuttered in the US-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico started coming back onstream. ICE Brent rose 26 cents to $77.76 a barrel by the same time. “I think you are looking at a situation whereby equity markets and oil which have developed a positive correlation,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity strategy at BNP Paribas.

He added that expectations the United States will start printing more money in a second round of quantitative easing has increased the appeal of riskier asset classes. News that US home prices rose more than expected in May also helped sentiment yesterday, adding to signs that the economic recovery is intact. Oil prices are now at a critical juncture and it remains to be seen if they will break into a new range above the $70-$80 a barrel area where they have traded since early June, analysts said. “It’s a mixed set of signals. The market is considering a move above $80 and if they do it will be seen as a positive sign. Should they stay below $80 a further drop cannot be ruled out as people will point to a double dip recession and a Chinese slowdown,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. Some technical analysts think oil prices could soon test the $80 a barrel range following a breach of the key 200-day moving average technical level last week. —Reuters

UAE bank NBAD Q2 profit up 10%, beats estimates spot, adding 12.20 percent and closed at KD0.046. On the other hand, Tamdeen Real Estate Company decreased by 7.69 percent during yesterday’s session, to be the biggest loser. The scrip closed at KD0.300. Sectors Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, five sectoral indices went up yesterday led by Global Food Index, which soared 5.55 percent. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) was the highest gainer in the sector adding 7.25 percent. Global Industrial index followed adding 1.14 percent.

Heavyweight, National Industries Group (Holding) added 1.72 percent lifting the index to end in green territory. On decliners’ front, Global Real Estate and Global Banking Indices were the only decliners losing 0.38 percent and 0.20 percent, respectively. AlMazaya Holding Company was major decliner in the sector shedding 3.70 percent. All Global’s special indices ended the day on a positive note, with Global Small Cap adding 0.15 percent. While, Global Large Cap Index was the highest gainer rising by 0.93

percent. Also, Global Islamic Index lost 0.59 percent from its value. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $74.22 a barrel on Monday, compared with $74.44 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Boubyan Bank posted a net profit of KD3.02mn in the first half of 2010, compared to a net loss of KD11.73mn for the same period last year. These results included the bank’s operational profit after putting aside KD4.7mn to consolidate

Boubyan’s financial status, adding that it also included KD1.4mn profit for the second quarter of the year. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait posted profit of KD890,000 for the first half of 2010, against KD891,000 for the same period last year. In a statement, the bank said that profit was at 0.7 fils per share, which was the same for the same period last year. As for profit made in the three months ending June 30, they came to KD2.304mn, at 1.8 fils per share. The bank’s assets came to KD3.60bn.

ABU DHABI: National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) beat forecasts with a 10-percent rise in second-quarter profit yesterday helped by higher revenues and lower provisions. The largest bank by market value in the United Arab Emirates made a profit of 1 billion UAE dirhams ($272.3 million) for the three months to June 30, up from 906.5 million dirhams a year earlier. That topped a profit of 977.2 million dirhams forecast on average by analysts polled by Reuters. “These are a strong set of results in difficult markets

reflecting the resilience and strength of the bank,” NBAD Chief Executive Michael Tomalin said in a statement. Net impairment charges stood at 463 million dirhams at the end of the first half after the bank booked 238 million dirhams in the second quarter. NBAD booked provisions of 500 million dirhams in first half of 2009. Loans grew 8.7 percent to 135 billion dirhams from 124 billion a year earlier. Deposits stood at 112.2 billion dirhams versus 111.7 billion dirhams. Non-performing loans (NPLs) in the first six months of 2010 increased by 386 million

dirhams to 2.073 billion dirhams, representing an NPL ratio of 1.5 percent. Tomalin told Reuters Insider in May he expected bad loans to rise for at least the second and third quarters, and loan growth to be at the higher end of the 5-10 percent range. Shares in NBAD ended 0.45 percent lower on the Abu Dhabi bourse before the results were published. NBAD posted a 34 percent rise in first quarter profit on loan growth and income from investments. In March, the bank successfully raised $750 million from a bond issue which was oversubscribed. —Reuters


Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Kuwait credit falls KD 253m, driven by loan repayments KUWAIT: June credit posted a large drop, KD253 mn, largely because of debt repayments related to the $10.7 billion Zain deal for the sale of its African assets. For one, the company settled a large syndicated loan, a sizeable portion of which was held by local banks. Meanwhile, Zain paid a special dividend to its shareholders to the tune of over KD 650 million. A portion of that likely went toward

debt settlement. We expect the June weakness to be a one-time occurrence (Zain) and look for credit growth to return to modest growth in July. As a result of the large June drop, credit fell 1% month on month (m/m) after recording steady, albeit slow, growth over the past two months. Year on year growth (y/y) continued to slow down and was at 2.7% in

June. Meanwhile, deposits remained flat in June, as the large inflow of Zain money was offset by seasonal outflows related to the summer holidays. A KD162 million increase in local currency deposits was largely offset by the continued decline in FC deposits. As a result, money supply (M2) growth was unchanged during the month.

Average rates offered on KD private deposits fell by 1-2 bps across maturities in June still reflecting banks’ comfortable funding levels. Rates averaged 1.07%, 1.25%, 1.48%, and 1.77%, for the 1, 3, 6, and 12month maturities, respectively. Most of the drop in loans was to the real estate sector, down KD197 million m/m. The June drop was unusually large, suggesting that it

resulted from one-off factors rather than new real estate weakness. Meanwhile, credit for personal facilities also saw a large decrease due to a slide in loans for the purchase of securities. Personal facilities were virtually unchanged outside of securities related loans, pointing to steady consumer spending. The above declines in credit were partly offset by rises in loans to non-bank financial

institutions and to the trade sector which were up KD 67 and 60 million, respectively. Remaining sectors were either flat or slightly down for the month. The large decline in credit freed more funds in an already liquid market. To mop up the excess liquidity, the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) issued KD149 million in CBK bonds, while an additional KD68 million

remained as idle funds with the CBK. Total bank assets increased by KD 93 million. The NBK report concluded: The Euro continues to rise against the KD (after hitting a near two-year bottom in early June) following the recent relative increase in confidence in the euro zone, and a weaker dollar. Meanwhile dinar-dollar volatility remains low.

Saudi’s SABB, Riyad hike Q2 provisions for loans Riyad Bank’s Q2 loan provisions more than double

Bangladesh hikes wages for protesting garment workers DHAKA: Bangladesh raised the minimum wage for its millions of garment workers by 80 percent yesterday, following months of violent protests over pay and conditions, an official said. An emergency wage board committee of government officials, garment manufacturers and union leaders announced the minimum monthly wage would rise from 1,662 taka-the lowest industry salary worldwide-to 3,000 taka ($43). “The wage board has said the minimum wage will be set at 3,000 taka, which will include medical and housing allowances,” Iktedar Ahmed, head of the government minimum wage board, told reporters after the board’s final meeting. For months, Bangladesh’s workers who make clothing for leading Western brands have taken to the streets, organizing protests that have seen factories ransacked and led to clashes with police.

On June 22, hundreds of thousands of workers closed the key Ashulia export area that produces for brands such as Wal-Mart, H & M and Marks & Spencer, a major blow for an industry aiming to steal contracts from Chinese competitors. Some workers’ unions have agreed to the wage hike, Habibur Rahman Siraj, a union representative at the wage board, told AFP, while others rejected the deal as insufficient. “We do not accept this, it is not enough to ensure a decent standard of living for workers and we will organize protests,” said Mosherafa Mishu, head of the Garment Workers Unity Forum. “This is an 80 percent risebut the cost of living has gone up more than that since 2006, we want 5,000 taka,” she said. The previous minimum wage of 1,662 taka was set in 2006 after months of violent street protests.

Garment manufacturers, who have staunchly resisted any significant wage increase, say implementation of the new pay deal should be delayed as it will affect the price of current orders. After the wage board announced its decision, manufacturers rushed to lobby Bangladesh’s Labor Minister, who is expected to make a formal announcement of the hike. The garment industry enjoyed record sales last month, with Bangladesh shipping $1.72 billion of goods in June, the highest monthly export in the country’s 40-year history. Even though the government has guaranteed workers a wage hike, enforcement is likely to be difficult. A quarter of Bangladesh’s garment factories do not comply with current mandatory standards on pay, working hours and conditions, commerce ministry spokesman Faizul Haque told AFP last week. —AFP

RIYADH: Saudi-based banks SABB and Riyad sharply raised provisions for loan losses during the second quarter, pressing on with a clean-up of their loan portfolios after defaults by some local firms. Riyad raised provisions for loan losses by 105.4 percent to 196.2 million riyals ($52.3 million) during the second quarter while SABB booked 504 million riyals for the same purpose, more than 60 percent above the year-earlier period, stock exchange data showed yesterday. HSBC holds a 40 percent stake in SABB. During the first quarter, Riyad booked loan provisions worth 194 million riyals while SABB’s stood at 176.5 million riyals. Riyad saw its net profit fall 16.5 percent in the second-quarter while SABB’s fell 34 percent. Saudi lenders had a difficult year in 2009 with profitability eroded by a doubling of provisions for non-performing loans to almost 11 billion riyals as a rising number of Saudi and regional firms ran into financial problems. Several Saudi banks continued to see lower profits during the first half as credit growth struggled to recover after a lending spree over the 2004-2008 period that was buoyed by a surge in the kingdom’s oil receipts. The growth of Saudi bank credit, especially to the private sector, was flat throughout much of 2009 due to the global slump and after defaults by local family firms. Shares in SABB are up 2.5 percent this year while Riyad is up 7.8 percent. The banking stocks index has gained 7.1 percent this year, against a 2.5 percent rise in the all-share index. —Reuters

Some lenders question Dubai’s debt repayment guarantees

DHAKA: Members of garment workers organizations participate in a protest march in Dhaka yesterday. However, the labor ministry officials said factory owners are not interested in paying more than Tk 2,400 ($34.50) a month as minimum wage against the workers’ demand for Tk 5,000 ($72). —AFP

DUBAI: Dubai’s pledge to cover gaps in Dubai World’s debt repayment plan has become a sticking point for lenders, some of whom want state guarantees to fall under British-not local-law, bankers close to the matter said. The issue arose at Dubai World’s all-creditor meeting on July 22, creating another hurdle as the group seeks to push through restructuring proposals. At stake are Dubai’s shortfall guarantees to plug any gap left after asset sales to fund the conglomerate’s plan to repay $14.4 billion in bank debt. Depending on which options lenders choose in the second tranche of Dubai’s debt plan, the government’s shortfall guarantee could cover up to $4 billion. —Reuters

FARNBOROUGH: People wander around a life-size model of US planemaker Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter II, during the Farnborough aerospace show, in Farnborough, England. —AP

Lockheed surfs Pentagon changes; Q2 net up 12% WASHINGTON: Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp said yesterday that its second-quarter profit rose 12 percent thanks to stronger military hardware sales and a gain from plans to sell off a business unit. Earnings from the biggest US supplier of military equipment beat Wall Street expectations and the company raised its earnings per share outlook by 15 cents mostly due to a lower expected share count and an expected $30 million of higher profits in its space division. But it also trimmed its revenue outlook. Its shares rose 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $75.68 in morning trading yesterday after climbing as high as $76.34 earlier in the session. The Bethesda, Maryland, company reported net income of $825 million, or $2.22 per share, up from $734 million, or $1.88 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 4 percent to $11.44 billion from $11.07 billion.

Lockheed said sales were up in all four of its divisions that make fighter jets, missiles, satellites and defense electronics. Even excluding tax gains of $96 million from the unit that Lockheed is trying to sell, the company’s earnings of $727 million, or $1.96 per share, topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for $1.78 per share and revenue of $11.48 billion. Lockheed now foresees earnings of between $7.15 to $7.35 per share in 2010 but cut its revenue forecast by $750 million to $45.5 billion to $46.5 billion because of the upcoming divestment. Analysts expect $7.29 per share on $46.93 billion of revenue. Lockheed bought back about $782 million of its stock during in the second quarter, using some of the $1.2 billion in cash it generated during that time. Lockheed and the rest of the defense

industry are digesting big changes as the Pentagon, their biggest customer, tightens budgets and toughens rules for contractors to cut costs. “In the new reality of escalating demands and increasing constraints on our resources, we continue to refine our portfolio of capabilities,” said Lockheed CEO Robert Stevens. As part of that shift, Lockheed said in June that it planned to sell two units that provide a wide range of services for intelligence and other government agencies; Enterprise Integration Group and the Pacific Architects and Engineers business. The company said the changes are being driven by shifting customer demand and to avoid new rules over conflicts of interest for contractors. Bruce Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, said in an interview that the company has seen significant interest from prospective buyers. —AP

Caribou Coffee leaps towards the future with a new look KUWAIT: Caribou Coffee customers in all stores in the Gulf and ME region will notice a new coffee-centric caribou on their cup as they reach for their beverage during this summer. As part of the company’s strategy to enhance their brand position and create new opportunities to engage customers, the 17-year-old brand has undergone a makeover that will roll out throughout 2010 and early 2011. The new brand look includes a new logo, color palette and design elements that bring fresh energy and broader context to the existing tagline, “Life is short. Stay awake for it (r).” Previously the tagline focused on the benefits of caffeine but Caribou has now shifted the element from a declarative statement to an opportunity for customer engagement on a more personal level; “stay awake” has grown to signify a “seize the day” attitude. “We saw an opportunity to better express who we are and what we

believe in as a company across all interactions with our customers,” said Alfredo Martel, senior vice president of marketing. “The new elements of our brand give us an opportunity to do that and to ask our customers to explore and share what ‘staying awake’ means in their lives.” A new approach to growth Since Caribou Coffee CEO Mike Tattersfield’s arrival in August 2008, Caribou has shifted focus away from expansion and towards elevating all aspects of the brand experience to match its world-class coffee. The company’s new strategy has resulted in the most diverse and premium line of offerings since the company opened its first store in 1992. “Our brand relaunch runs much deeper than the new logo design; it really signifies the evolution of our company. We are passionate and committed to creating the best cup of coffee possible and an experience that extends beyond our products,” says Caribou Coffee CEO Mike

Tattersfield. “We are working to ensure that all aspects of the customer experience are at the same premium level of quality as our coffee.” Bringing the brand to life Central to this new rebranding,

the company’s logo has been adapted in a simpler but playful representation of the brand’s key identification. Most noticeably, the leaping caribou has adopted a coffee brown color and in the brand’s playful nature, is assembled out of graphic elements,

including a coffee bean at the heart of the animal and “C” shaped antlers. The caribou also now leaps to the right, signifying the company’s vision and movement towards the future. The shield element in the original logo has been updated to a rich blue

color with a new shape that echoes the shape of national park system signage, a reference to the Caribou founders’ hike in Alaska’s Denali National Park where they were inspired to begin the company. “As we explored new versions of the central elements of the brand, we made sure to stay true to the heart of our company and the vision in which it was founded. We are a brand that embraces living life to the fullest, regardless of what it is that you are passionate about,” says Martel. “In Caribou’s case, it’s passion to deliver the highest quality coffee and the best customer experience.” Summer 2010, the new look will be introduced via in-store elements such as napkins, cups, drink carriers, and signage. Caribou Coffee Company, how it started, and its expansion to the Middle East. Caribou Coffee (CBOU), founded in 1992, is the leader in gourmet coffeehouses in the world, based on

number of coffeehouses. At Caribou Coffee, our mission statement is “an experience that makes the day better.” We provide this by sourcing the highest-quality coffee in the world and craft roasting it in small batches to bring out the best in every bean Caribou Coffee Company today has more than 6,000 employees and Almost 500 Company-owned locations in 16 US states and the District of Columbia. In November 2005 Al-Sayer Franchising Co has launched the first Caribou Coffee shop outside the United States and it was done successfully in Kuwait with one goal in mind; taking its customers in the region to a higher unprecedented total experience. Today Caribou’s success has carried to 28 locations in Kuwait, 25 in UAE, 8 in Bahrain, 2 in Jordan, 1 in Qatar, 1 in KSA, 1 in Oman and 1 in Lebanon with a plan to double the number of Stores in the Gulf and Middle East in the years to come.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daimler raises earnings outlook after Q2 profit BERLIN: Daimler AG raised its full-year earnings forecast substantially yesterday after a strong recovery in global car sales pushed it to a second-quarter net profit of 1.31 billion euros (nearly $1.7 billion). The April-June earnings figure contrasted with a net loss of 1.06 billion euros a year earlier. Daimler confirmed its report earlier this month that quarterly earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, came in at 2.1 billion euros — a turnaround from last year’s §1 billion loss, and a figure that had exceeded analysts’ expectations. Second-quarter revenue was up 28 percent to 25.1 billion euros from 19.6 billion euros. Unit sales of cars and commercial vehicles climbed 27 percent to 496,500. Daimler, which had already announced that it would raise its full-year outlook by an unspecified amount, said it is now targeting full-year EBIT from

ongoing business of 6 billion euros. It previously had forecast more than 4 billion euros. The core Mercedes-Benz Cars unit alone is now expected to produce EBIT of 4 billion euros, while the Daimler Trucks division should bring in 1 billion euros, the company said. It was the second outlook upgrade this year. The company also said it expects “significant revenue growth” in 2010, along with a significant increase in unit sales. “Our strategy is paying off: we have a very dynamic development of unit sales and revenue in all divisions,” CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. “After what was already a very good first quarter, we achieved excellent results in the second quarter.” Strong sales in China in particular have helped Daimler and its German peers this year. Total revenue in China was up 182 percent to nearly 2.8 billion euros; Asia as

a whole saw an 85 percent increase to nearly 5.5 billion euros. US revenue rose 21 percent to 4.98 billion euros; and even in western Europe, where car sales have been less dynamic this year, there was a 4 percent increase to 9.6 billion euros. Unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars, which includes the premium Mercedes brand and the ultracompact Smart car, were up 19 percent in the second quarter at 342,500. The division’s revenue soared by 33 percent to 14 billion euros, and its EBIT was nearly 1.38 billion euros. In the year’s second half, MercedesBenz Cars “expects the positive trend of the first two quarters to continue, but no longer with the same dynamism,” Daimler said. “Although a continuation of stable global sales markets and an improving economic environment is anticipated, there are still risks of a growth slowdown in some regions,” it added.

Daimler reported net earnings for the first half of 1.92 billion euros, compared with a loss of nearly 2.35 billion euros for January-June 2009. First-half pretax earnings were 3.29 billion euros, compared with last year’s 2.43 billion euros loss. Revenue for the first half was up 21 percent at 46.29 billion euros from last year’s 38.29 billion euros. Daimler said that, adjusted for currency effects, the rise would have been 18 percent. The euro fluctuated significantly in the first half, losing value during the worst of Europe’s debt crisis and then regaining strength. Daimler shares were lower both before and after the announcement, with the company already having issued second-quarter pretax figures and alerted investors that it would raise its forecast. They were down 1.5 percent in afternoon Frankfurt trading at 42.49 euros. — AP

Central bank to begin mid-quarter policy reviews

India’s CB raises rates to stamp on rising inflation MUMBAI: India’s central bank raised interest rates more forcefully than expected yesterday, signaling its urgency to stamp on inflation that is on track to hit double-digits for the sixth month running in J uly. One-year

overnight interest rate sw ap rates jumped after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notched up its fourth rate rise this year and said it w as “imperative” to normalize policy in line w ith the economy’s grow th and inflation.

MUMBAI: People walk past the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters in Mumbai yesterday. —AFP

Tomkins supports $4.5 billion Canadian bid, year’s top LBO LONDON: Tomkins Plc, the British maker of car parts, industrial hoses and bath tubs, backed a 2.9 billion pounds ($4.50 billion) takeover offer from Canadian investors that would be the year’s largest leveraged buyout. The recommendation follows a string of other deals where North American buyers have snapped up UK engineers, lured by reasonable valuations, strong market positions, a weaker pound, and the relative ease of buying into Britain. The deal is 2010’s largest buyout globally, according to Thomson Reuters data, and the largest in Europe since Terra Firma bought EMI Group in May 2007 for $6 billion. The deal could mark the end of what was once one of Britain’s biggest industrial groups, dubbed the “buns to guns” con-

glomerate in its 1990s heyday because it owned both food group Rank Hovis McDougall and .357 Magnum maker Smith & Wesson. Tomkins said a trio of investors owning more than 9 percent had formally backed the $4.5 billion offer from Onex, Canada’s largest private equity firm, and the C$127 billion Canada Pension Plan, the country’s second-biggest pension fund. It comes eight days after Tomkins first revealed takeover talks and, despite the objections of one top-ten shareholder, the firm was being sold too cheaply. Standard Life Investments, which owns about 2.9 percent of Tomkins, last week urged others to reject the offer. Tomkins shares leapt nearly 5.3 percent to trade at their highest since May 2006, and just below the 325 pence a share offer price.

Analyst Mark Wilson at Collins Stewart said the bid “doesn’t reflect any kind of premium for the fair value of the company,” but it was unlikely anything could stand in its way. “The only thing I think stopping it is some sort of counterbid and that looks very unlikely. And with the largest shareholder giving it backing, it’s probably going to go through,” Wilson said. Wilson says the offer places an enterprise value (EV) of 12 times estimated 2010 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), against a UK capital-goods average of 13 times, and the buyers could enjoy a 20 percent internal rate of return (IRR). Tomkins Chairman David Newlands said the deal offered investors “certain value today and fairly reflects both the value of the group today and its future potential”. — Reuters

DuPont Q2 profit climbs; lifts outlook for year NEW YORK: Chemical maker DuPont Co said yesterday its net income nearly tripled in the second quarter as revenue surged in most of its businesses and it raised prices. The Wilmington, Delaware, company also raised its earnings forecast for the year, saying it expects to continue to benefit from higher prices, growing sales and better efficiency. DuPont now expects a profit of $2.90 to $3.05 per share this year, up from its previous forecast of $2.50 to $2.70 per share. Analysts expect $2.64 per share on average. Its shares rose $1.86, or 4.8 percent, to $40.85 in pre-opening trading. DuPont, which makes a wide range of chemicals and many other products including Teflon and Kevlar, said its net income rose to $1.16 billion, or $1.26 per share, from $417 million, or 46 cents per share. Excluding a gain related to a tax settlement, DuPont earned $1.17 per share. Analysts expected earnings of 93 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

A year ago the company posted a charge of $340 million after announcing thousands of job cuts as results were hurt by the weak economy. In May 2009, the company said it would eliminate 2,000 jobs. The previous fall it said it would lay off 2,500

workers and eliminate about 10,000 contractor jobs. Revenue grew 26 percent to $8.62 billion from $6.86 billion, beating analyst estimates of $8.27 billion. Most of the revenue leap was due to higher volume, but price increases also

drove results. About 5 percent of the increase was due to higher prices, DuPont said. The company said the global economy is recovering, and several of its businesses are doing better than they were before the recession. —AP

PALO ALTO: A construction worker installs Dupont Tyvek insulation on a home in Palo Alto, California. —AP

Before yesterday, the central bank had promised a “calibrated” exit from the loose monetary policy adopted during the global downturn, which markets had taken to mean 25 basis point rate hikes yesterday and again at quarterly reviews set for October and January. “The dominant concern that has shaped the monetary policy stance in this review is high inflation,” the central bank said. “With growth taking firm hold, the balance of policy stance has to shift decisively to containing inflation and anchoring inflationary expectations,” it said. Bond yields and swap rates rose in reaction to the central bank’s decision. The 10-year benchmark bond yield gained 3 basis points to 7.70 percent. The most-traded 1-year overnight indexed swap rate jumped 19 basis points to 6.1 percent, its highest since November 2008. The RBI lifted the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, by 25 basis points to 5.75 percent, which was in line with expectations. But its bumped up the reverse repo rate, used to absorb excess cash from the system, by 50 basis points to 4.50 percent. A 25 basis point rise had been expected. Analysts said the moves showed the central bank was trying to take more decisive action following criticism that it had acted too timidly so far to tackle rising prices that the authority acknowledged had spread beyond food to the broader economy. “Of course, they are behind the curve on inflation,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. “They are trying to catch the train that has left the station and they are running to accomplish that. Unfortunately, they were late to the races and this means they would have to tighten more than they would have if had they started earlier,” he said. Reflecting the central bank’s inflation concerns, it lifted its inflation forecast for 2010/11 fiscal year ending March 31, to 6 percent from a previous forecast of 5.5 percent. It said inflationary pressures had become generalized and demand side pressures were clearly evident as an economic recovery was firmly in place. It forecast GDP would rise 8.5 percent for the year through March 2011. Wholesale inflation, the most closely watched measure of price pressures in India, rose 10.55 percent in June from a year earlier. A government move to free up gasoline prices and raise other fuel prices will push inflation up to about 11 percent in July, the government’s chief statistician said, marking double-digit inflation for the sixth month in a row. High prices have become increasingly problematic for a Congress party-led government whose core constituency is predominantly poor and rural. Over 40 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people live in abject poverty. —Reuters

GERMANY: An employee of the Daimler AG works on a car of the MercedesBenz E-class on the production line in the Mercedes-Benz site in Sindelfingen, Germany. Car maker Daimler AG is reporting yesterday second-quarter earnings of euro 1.3 billion (nearly $1.7 billion) and has raised its full-year outlook substantially. —AP

Japan govt caps spending, JGBs, but faces challenges TOKYO: Japan vowed to cap spending and new bond issuance for next fiscal year at this yearís levels in budget guidelines set yesterday, in an effort to fix its tattered finances, but some analysts were doubtful the targets would be met. Under the guidelines approved by cabinet, the government aims to keep general spending excluding debt-servicing costs at 71 trillion yen ($816 billion) and cap new bond issuance at around 44 trillion yen, both the same as the current year. But for the targets to be met, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) may need to roll back some of its spending plans, such as payouts to households with children. The cap on new debt issuance may be breached as the government struggles to finance rising social welfare costs and dwindling tax revenues, some analysts say. These will pose as further challenges to Prime Minister Naoto Kanís resolve for fiscal reform after his partyís loss at the July 11 upper house election, which prompted threats of a credit downgrade by rating agencies. Japan is saddled with public debt that is

nearly twice the size of its $5 trillion economy. Its public debt has long been financed domestically from its massive pool of savings, helping keep bond yields well below equivalent yields in the United States. Fears are growing, however, that an ageing population will start drawing on savings, forcing Japan to rely more on foreign investors to fund its debt and potentially destabilizing markets. Based on the guidelines, ministries will submit spending requests by the end of August, with a draft budget expected to be compiled by December. Last year such guidelines were not set, leading to record spending requests for this yearís budget. Under the guidelines, the government will set aside more than 1 trillion yen to fund measures to spur growth, although the ruling Democratic Party of Japan had demanded 2 trillion yen for such spending. To fund this, the guidelines called on all ministries to cut their discretionary spending plans by 10 percent. The request was included despite opposition from some in the ruling party and even within the cabinet. — Reuters

Canon second quarter net profit soars 333% TOKYO: Japanese high-tech giant Canon Inc said yesterday second quarter net profit more than quadrupled to almost $800 million due to healthy sales in office equipment and consumer gadgets. In a sign of recovering corporate investment and revitalized consumer demand after the global economic crisis, Canon said April-June net profit rose 333.4 percent on-year to 67.6 billion yen ($778 million), beating estimates.The first half saw general recovery, the company said, as it posted more than triple the net profit of the same period last year. Net income in the first six months was up 273.2 percent at 124.4 billion yen. Wary of sluggish consumer spending in the crisishit euro-zone, the maker behind the EOS SLR and the PowerShot compact cameras noted an uptick in US consumer sentiment and the “solid growth” displayed by emerging economies, namely China and India. It said laser printer sales more than doubled, after the previous year saw sales hit by the financial crisis as companies cut spending and slashed costs. Income at its office-equipment division almost doubled to 83.8 billion yen in the quarter as revenue gained 31 percent. The results were also buoyed by strong sales in its high-end Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras, Canon said. Canon maintained its forecast for a net profit of 240 billion yen in the year to December, an 82.3 percent rise from the previous year as the recovery led by emerging nations gathers pace, it said. The recent appreciation of the yen versus the euro and the dollar has been eyed warily by

HONG KONG: A Canon 5D Mark II on display in Hong Kong. Japanese high-tech giant Canon Inc said yesterday second quarter net profit more than quadrupled to almost $800 million due to healthy sales in office equipment and consumer gadgets. —AFP Japan’s biggest exporters, with a strong domestic unit threatening to erode repatriated overseas profits. Canon, for whom about 80 percent of turnover comes from overseas, has built its estimates on the basis of one dollar to 90 yen and the euro at 110 yen on average during the second half of the year. However, the greenback

is now moving at around 87 yen while the euro is hovering around 113 yen. Revenue saw a 22 percent increase in the quarter to 970 billion yen while gaining 16.5 percent over the first half to 1.7 trillion yen. Shares in the high-tech giant closed 0.42 percent lower in Tokyo ahead of the earnings announcement. — AFP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Does smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape, murder in Africa?

Gadget makers forced to look at links to Congo war NEW YORK: Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa? Soon, you’ll know: A new US law requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebelcontrolled mines in Congo and surrounding countries. It’s a move aimed at starving the rebels of funds and encouraging them to lay down their arms. But experts doubt the law will stop the fighting. Furthermore, they say, it

SINGAPORE: In this photo taken on June 16, 2010 a marketing promoter for Samsung demonstrates one of the new smartphones powered by the Android operating system developed by Google. —AFP

iPhone faces rising challenge from Android handsets SINGAPORE: Apple’s iPhone will likely dominate the high-end smartphone market in the next five years but faces strong competition from handsets using Google’s Android platform, a research firm said yesterday. By 2015, total mobile application downloads in the AsiaPacific are forecast to reach 5.30 billion, of which 597.15 million, or about 11 percent, will be for the iPhone, technology industry consultancy Ovum said. Downloads of iPhone applications are estimated at 62.16 million dollars in 2010, Ovum said in an analysis released four days before the launch of the new-

generation iPhone 4 in another 17 countries and cities worldwide on Friday. The iPhone 4 is expected “to face much stiffer competition than its predecessors”, Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said in a statement. “The rise of Google Android over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone, critically at cheaper prices,” Leach said. Handsets using the Android operating platform are more than just clones of the iconic iPhone, he said. “The risk to Apple is that these devices offer greater

freedom with available content and may prove more appealing, if it offers the right user and developer experience, than a device with Apple-approved content only,” said Leach. “This may ultimately be what puts the brakes on unlimited iPhone growth.” From July 30, customers can purchase the iPhone 4 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It will be available for purchase through Apple’s online store. —AFP

Facebook launches Web page devoted to safety SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has launched a Web page devoted to staying safe on the Internet. The “Safety Page” will highlight news and initiatives focused on ways people can keep data secure at the world’s leading online socialnetworking community, Joe Sullivan of Facebook said in a blog post. The new page was intended to augment a virtual Safety Center that Facebook introduced in April and was based on a “security page” that boasted more than 2.2 million “fans” as of Monday. “Online safety is a shared responsibility,” Sullivan said. “We’ll continue to think of innovative ways to promote safety on our service and elsewhere on the

Web.” The number of people using Facebook topped the 500 million mark last week, meaning one in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to the social network. The launch of the Safety Page came in the wake of demands by privacy activists that Facebook give users of the booming social network more control over the use of their personal data. A coalition of privacy groups, in an open letter to Facebook cofounder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg last month, welcomed the social network’s recent overhaul of its privacy controls but said additional steps were needed. —AFP

WikiLeaks case puts focus on digital security challenges WASHINGTON: The massive release of secret Pentagon documents by WikiLeaks highlights the security challenges of the digital age, when gigabytes of sensitive data can be exposed with a single click, analysts said. “I think about this in relationship to the Pentagon Papers,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), of the 1971 leak of Pentagon files about the Vietnam War. “The difference with the Pentagon Papers is that Daniel Ellsberg took a huge sheaf of paper and gave it to a reporter,” Lewis said. “Now you can take even more documents and give them to the whole world.” WikiLeaks has not identified the source of the documents it obtained but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst who is currently being held in a military jail in Kuwait. Manning was arrested in May following the release by WikiLeaks of video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike in Iraq in which civilians died and has been charged with delivering defense information to an unauthorized source. The Pentagon in June said it was probing allegations that Manning supplied classified video and 260,000 secret diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Lewis said the Pentagon, like any organization, is going to have “bad actors”insiders who turn against

their employer-”but now it’s a lot easier for them to do things like this.” “Everything’s digital now, everything’s on the network,” said Tom Conway, director of federal business development at computer security firm McAfee. WikiLeaks appeared to be a “classic insider threat case,” he said, noting that safeguarding computerized information posed particular challenges to an institution with the “sheer size and complexity” of the US military. “Ultimately, where there’s a will there’s a way,” Conway said. “What you have to do is make it difficult.” That includes such measures as blocking access to the Internet, disabling DVD drives on personal computers, compartmentalizing sensitive information and flagging or blocking behavior that is “outside the norm,” he said. “If all of a sudden someone goes from downloading 50 megabytes a day to 9,000 a day that should set off a red flag,” he said. “Maybe there’s nothing wrong, a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, but maybe there isn’t.” A former Pentagon official who requested anonymity said the “proliferation of digital media and social software is certainly going to increase the risks of things like this happening.” “Security is always going to be a balance between convenience and security,” the former official said. “It’s always a tradeoff between functionality and security

and the pendulum has swung way to the functionality side.” He cited a controversial Pentagon ban last year on the use of thumb drives by military personnel. “They’ve now reallowed them but with special thumb drives that are encrypted and tamper proof,” he said. “You’ve got to rethink how you secure information,” said Lewis, who heads the technology and public policy program at the Washington-based CSIS think tank. “In the paper world, I got a document that had top secret stamped on it and the government trusted that I wouldn’t take that piece of paper and share it. Maybe in the paper world that was OK but it’s not for the digital,” he said. “The way we control that access is based on an older model, it’s pretty much personal trust,” Lewis said. “The Pentagon trusts its employees, which is good, but it’s not enough.” Don Jackson of SecureWorks said military security clearances, access and “need-to-know” requirements are “based on the analog world, where the worst you had to worry about was information like this being published in a newspaper. “Something like WikiLeaks is not something you had to worry about before the Internet,” said Jackson, a security researcher with the counter-threat unit at the information security firm. “The newspaper can’t publish 90,000 documents but WikiLeaks can do it in a matter of seconds.” —AFP

At issue are three industrial metals - tin, tantalum and tungsten and gold. Tin is used in the solder that joins electronic components together. Tantalum’s main use is in capacitors, a vital component in electronics. Tungsten has many uses, including light-bulb filaments and the heavy, compact mass that makes cell phones vibrate. Exports of these metals from eastern Congo have been the subject of a campaign by nonprofit advocacy groups for a few years, one that’s borne fruit with the addition of a “Conflict Minerals” provision to the financial-regulation legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law last week. A recent YouTube video modeled after Apple Inc’s wellknown ads is titled “I’m a Mac ... and I’ve Got a Dirty Secret.” The video says “a lot” of the world production of the four metals comes from Congo, though the contribution is relatively small. While Congo has vast reserves, poverty and war mean most of the mining and processing is done by hand, so production is slow. The country produced 5 percent of the world’s tin supply in 2008, according to tin research institute ITRI. The figure for tantalum ore, a rarer mineral, is higher, but the main sources for world supply are in Brazil and Australia. Even though Congo’s production is small by world standards, the minerals constitute much of the economic activity in eastern Congo. Advocacy groups, the United Nations and academic researchers such as Geenen agree that the mines fund rebel groups, homegrown militias and rogue elements of the Congolese army. But the academics say the advocacy groups have been overselling the link between the mines and violence, such as when John Prendergast, the co-founder of the Enough Project, told TV news show “60 Minutes” last year that minerals are the “root cause” of the fighting. “The fight is not a fight over the minerals,” said Laura Seay, an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta, who studies and visits Congo. “The minerals are used to fund some of the fighting, but it’s not a fight for control of the mines.” More important causes of the fighting, she said, are land rights and the status of the refugees

could deprive hundreds of thousands of desperately poor Congolese of their incomes and disrupt the economy of an area that’s struggling for stability after more than decade of war. “For many, many people, it’s the only livelihood they have,” said Sara Geenen, a researcher at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, who just returned from a trip to the Kivu provinces in eastern Congo.

MONGBWALU: In this file photo, an unidentified miner sifts through sand and smashed rocks looking for gold at the town of Mongbwalu, Congo. A new US law requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled mines in Congo and surrounding countries. —AP and militias from neighboring Rwanda who flooded into eastern Congo in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. About 5 million people, mainly civilians, have died in off-andon fighting in Congo since then, and armed groups have been accused of systematic mass rape. Sasha Lezhnev, a consultant to the Enough Project and the director of an organization that tries to rehabilitate child soldiers, agrees that the fighting wasn’t originally about the minerals. But Lezhnev said that has changed. “The minerals are the chief driver and fuel for feeding the flames out in the East now. One of the main results of the military operations over the last year has been for one armed group to take control of minerals from the other armed group,” Lezhnev said. “You have many people displaced from their homes because mines are being set up.” The US law doesn’t ban the minerals trade with the area, something the United Nations has avoided doing as well. Instead, it forces companies to

report annually whether their products contain any of the four “conflict minerals” from Congo. The nine surrounding countries are included as well, out of concern that minerals might be smuggled out of the Congo to obfuscate their origin. If companies find that they use minerals from any of the ten countries, they need to have audit done to determine “with the greatest possible specificity” which mine they’re from. Companies can label their products as “conflict free” if they manage to prove that their products don’t contain minerals that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in any of the ten countries. Nicholas Garrett, a consultant who’s studied the issue with funding from the British and Dutch governments, worries that companies will take the easy way out and avoid buying minerals from the region entirely - even if they are conflict free. He estimates that 1 million people are dependent on the mining industry in eastern Congo. John Kanyoni, who represents minerals exporters in

Congo’s North Kivu province, said business is already down because two major buyers of tin ore, Britain’s Amalgamated Metal Corp. and Belgium’s Traxys, have pulled out because of the “conflict minerals” campaign. That means miners, traders and the Congolese government’s tax receipts are suffering, Kanyoni said. Lezhnev acknowledges that a complete pullout by minerals buyers would do more harm than good. What the Enough Project really wants, he said, is reliable tracing of the supply chain and certification of the origin of minerals. That way, buyers could still do business with legitimate mines. “We don’t want (buyers) to disengage,” he said. “We want them to take a hard look at where their materials are coming from, but also contribute to positive change out in the region.” Various groups have already started projects to trace the minerals back to their sources. The process is hampered by the lack of government control in parts of the region and by

corruption where there is government control. Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende said the government welcomes the US law. It encourages the country to put in place the proper tracing mechanisms, he said. Two years ago, chip maker Intel Corp. started to alert its tantalum smelters, who turn the ore into the metal, that they will have to start certifying that their ores don’t come from “conflict mines.” The process will add some minor costs to the supply chain, spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, on the order of a penny per part. Tin industry organization ITRI is running a pilot project to see whether the ores can be traced, but much remains to be done, especially because US companies could need to certify the origin of their metals as early as next year. “It’s obviously a very difficult environment to work in,” ITRI spokeswoman Kay Nimmo said. “We need to have enough time to put the system into place. Otherwise, it essentially will be an embargo on the trade.” —AP

Yahoo Japan to use Google search engine technology TOKYO: Yahoo Japan Corp said yesterday it will use Google technology to run its search engine and search ad delivery system, after a similar deal in the US was derailed by regulators concerned about a monopoly. The decision by Yahoo Japan, which is largely independent from its California namesake, will mean that the bulk of Internet

searches done in Japan will use Google’s search engine, though both companies said enough independence would be maintained to keep the market competitive. Sunnyvale-based Yahoo Inc, looking to cut costs as it lagged behind Google, dropped its own search service and adopted technology from rival Microsoft Corp’s Bing search

engine, in a deal that was approved earlier this year by US and European regulators after a seven-month review. A proposed partnership between Yahoo and Google in the US fell apart last year after the Justice Department threatened to sue to block it on antitrust grounds. The Japanese Fair Trade Commission has traditionally

TAIWAN: A Chinese model holds up a phone from Taiwan’s High Tech Computer Corp, or HTC Corp, at a press conference in Beijing to introduce the brand into China’s market yesterday. HTC is one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers. —AP

been seen as more lenient than its US counterpart, although it has ruled against Microsoft for violating antimonopoly laws in its contracts. Google currently dominates the lucrative Internet search market worldwide, which generates income by charging advertisers to display links along with search results. Few companies have the technology, user base and funds required to compete in search, and the shrinking number of players has raised concerns about privacy and fair competition. Japan had the third largest Internet-using population in the world in 2008 behind the US and China, according to the Foreign Ministry, with about 96 million users. A government study last year projected the market for search-related ads accessed from PCs would increase 27 percent over the next three years to about 200 billion yen ($2.3 billion). Yahoo Japan said yesterday it had consulted with Japan’s Fair Trade Commission before the deal was announced, though specifics of the agreement were still being worked out. Google Vice President Daniel Alegre said in a statement that customer and cost information would not be shared. In Japan, the two companies accounted for over 80 percent of total searches in June, according to figures from mea-

surement service Nielsen/NetRatings, with Yahoo Japan alone totaling about 50 percent. Unlike in the US and other locations, Yahoo is a major Internet presence in Japan across a variety of online businesses, including search, auction and shopping. Yahoo Japan said it had considered various search engines and ad delivery systems, and determined Google’s was the best for the Japanese market. It said the initial deal was for two years, which would be automatically extended for another two years if it didn’t object. As part of the deal, Google’s Japanese search engine will get access to data from Yahoo Japan’s Internet properties, including its popular auction and shopping sites. Yahoo Japan previously licensed Google’s search technology for a stretch between 2001 and 2004. Yahoo Japan is a subsidiary of Softbank Corp., a major domestic Internet and mobile phone provider, which also has exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in the country. Softbank has about a 40 percent share in Yahoo Japan, while US-based Yahoo Inc. maintains a 35 percent share. Yahoo’s shares rose 1.2 percent in Tokyo during yesterday trade. The announcement came after the market closed, but reports that a deal was imminent surfaced during the day. —AP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scientists inch towards finding elusive particle CERN on the frontier of 'new physics' PARIS: Scientists working with particle accelerators in Europe and the United States said yesterday they may be closing in on the elusive Higgs Boson, the "God particle" believed crucial to forming the cosmos after the Big Bang. Researchers from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project near Geneva said in just three months of experiments they had already detected all the particles at the heart of our current understanding of physics, the Standard Model. Rolf Heuer, director-general of the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) which runs the LHC, told the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Paris experiments were progressing faster than expected and entering a stage in which "new physics" would emerge. This could include long-awaited proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson and the detec-

tion of dark matter, believed to make up about a quarter of the universe alongside an observable 5 percent and 70 percent consisting of invisible dark energy. "This is a dark universe and I hope the LHC ... will shed the first light into this dark universe," Heuer told the international conference. "This will take time." The LHC, a 27-km (17-mile) looped tunnel which creates mini-Big Bangs by smashing together particles, is currently colliding particles at around half its maximum energy level- 7 million million electron volts, or 7 TeV. It plans to increase this to 14 TeV from 2013, coming closer to the conditions in which the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago. "Whether the LHC will have discoveries by 2012, I don't know. I hope it might happen, but if it doesn't happen then it might be three or four years later," Heuer said.

US PROJECT Scientists at the older, lower-energy Tevatron particle accelerator near Chicago told the conference they had narrowed the range of possible mass for the Higgs Boson by around a quarter, with 95 percent reliability. However, they are still not capable of reaching the low-mass region which many people believe is home to the Higgs - a theoretical energy particle which many scientists believe helped give mass to the disparate matter spawned by the Big Bang. Presenting results from the $10 billion LHC project, scientists said they believed they had detected for the first time in Europe the Top Quark-a massive, short-lived particle previously only identified in the United States. "From now on, we are in new territory," said Oliver Buchmueller, a senior CERN researcher. "What we are doing is effectively going back in time. The high-

er we raise the energy, the closer we come to what was happening at the Big Bang." The LHC is due to continue operating until 2030, but discussion of the next phase of experimental facilities has already begun. Two rival projects, the International Linear Collider (ILC) and the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), are being considered to usher in a new era of high energy physics by smashing subatomic particles together in straight lines of up to 50 km. However, Heuer said some of the technology needed for the more powerful CLIC collider had not yet been developed, and the exact details of any future project would depend on what was discovered at the LHC in the coming years. No site has been identified for a linear collider and its location would probably depend on which countries were willing to fund much of the estimated cost of more than $10 billion, he said. — Reuters

Obesity fears inspire exercises in Mexico MEXICO CITY: Mexico City government worker Agueda Galvan started stretching exercises out of fear of a heart attack, but also under an antiobesity program introduced by her bosses. The pilot plan, which began in the city's finance ministry two weeks ago, is set to expand to all of the capital's ministries in a country with an expanding obesity problem. "A young coworker died from a heart attack recently and a lot of us started worrying about our weight," said 37-year-old administrator Galvan, as she stretched her legs beside her desk. Although she is not overweight, Galvan joined all employees in the 10 minutes of daily desk-side exercises under the "Get moving and tighten your belt" program. Those who are overweight or obese have to carry out one hour's exercise on each working day, including boxing, aerobics and weight training in an office converted into a workout space. Some 70 percent are overweight and 20 percent are obese, according to Karina Culebro, a nutritionist who offers advice under the program. Overall, a massive 72 percent of Mexican women and 66 percent of men are overweight, according to official figures, with the capital surpassing the average. Three out of four hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering problems linked to excess weight, such as diabetes or heart problems. The federal government has estimated the social cost of ill-

MEXICO CITY: Local Finance Secretary employees exercise at the office, as part of a Mexico City's government program of exercises and diet to reduce obesity and overweight among its personnel, in Mexico City. — AFP nesses linked to excess weight at more than 3.2 billion dollars per year, and official anti-obesity campaigns are on the increase. "A whole generation will live on average 20 years less" due to illnesses linked to excess weight, said the city's finance

minister Mario Delgado at the launch of the new office exercise program. In the converted gym at the finance ministry, gym teacher Karla Solorzano sought to motivate her new pupils. "Are you tired? Do you want to lose weight? Yes? Well don't stop, carry on," Solorzano

shouted out over blaring music. "I weigh 98 kilos and they say I need to lose 10 kilos but I want to get to 80," said 49-yearold participant Vicente Guerrero. Nutritionist Culebro complained that the workers were not only living sedentary lifestyles, but that their diets

were unbalanced, in a country famed for its fatty and sugarfilled foods. She lauded their enthusiasm, however. "I want to feel good. My weight makes me tired and hurts my knees," Guerrero said, after his first ever formal exercise class. — AFP

How do you maintain that firm look?

Zeeba Rafiq

KUWAIT: Whatever we do will affect our skin. Although aging naturally makes us lose firmness in our skin, our everyday choices can speed up the process or slow it down. As you get older your skin loses its natural ingredients to remain youthful, such as Collagen, Coenzymes and Copper. It might not show at an early age, but if nothing is done, it will be noticeable soon. So how do you maintain that firm look? Here are some simple firm skin secrets to keep you looking young and fresh. – Use sun screen. 15 minutes in the sun per day gives your skin the best portion of vitamin D. If you spend longer periods then the sun can dry skin cells and cause damage by quickening aging processes and causing serious diseases. Sun screen can prevent this from happening. Sun Screen will protect you even while tanning. –Moisturize your skin every day. Apply special cream or oil right after bathing. Pay lots of attention to your hands and face; they get the most environmental damage through the year. The less dye and perfume a lotion contains the better it's for your skin. Moisturizer should be used throughout the year no matter the weather or season. – Exercise regularly. It keeps your skin's elasticity intact. Regular exercising helps your skin receive more oxygen. Your skin loses this ability as you get older. Try walking instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator and do leg lifts and lunges if you have a break at work. - Try contrasting temperatures in your shower. Changing the temperature of the water in your shower will make your skin relax and contract several times and will keep it more elastic. Before you leave your shower pour hot water over yourself then cold several times. A contrasting shower also prevents cellulite. - Do not lose weight too quickly. The recommended amount to lose per week is 2.5 Kilograms per week. When people lose weight too quickly their skin may not contract to their new shape and instead will sag. Wrinkles will form. The opposite is true: if you gain a lot of weight in a short time without moisturizing your skin, small tears may follow. In any case, extreme dieting is unhealthy to begin with.

- Eat healthy food. Try eating homemade meals and organic foods. If you prefer fast food, you probably get too much refined carbohydrate and fats, but not enough of the proteins, minerals and vitamins your body needs. - Drink a lot of water. Water is needed for your skin to regenerate. If you don't drink the recommended daily water intake (1.5 litres a day), your body dehydrates and your skin fails to regenerate. - See a beautician for professional skin firming masks and treatments. If you're looking for a way to boost the rate at which your skin firms regular appointments for masks or treatments can help. Drop by Al Rashid Hospital for a consultation and remember to ask for Zeeba! - Try a body firming cream. There numerous skin firming lotions available. There are lotions for diminishing stretch marks and firm skin all over the body to skin contraction wrinkle creams meant to reduce lines around the eyes. Remember, choose a lotion that has the smallest amount of unnatural fragrance and skin irritating chemicals. Coenzymes and Biotin loss cause skin sagging, so look for creams or lotions that refill your skin's amount. - Shea butter is a natural moisturizer with efficient skin firming properties. It is the perfect choice for people with dry skin looking. - Oatmeal and buttermilk also have skin tightening qualities. This mask tightens the pores, while moisturizing. Lactic acid in the buttermilk helps make the skin look fresh. Combine 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with 1/4 cup buttermilk. Let it dry completely, and rinse it with tepid water to remove. - A homemade banana mask. Pound a banana and spread on your face. Leave the banana on your skin for 15 minutes and rinse with tepid water. This is designed to tighten your skin. - Use steam. The steam can quickly tighten you skin. Visit a sauna or steam-room once a week. - How about a coffee mask? Recycle your used coffee grinds as a stimulating facial mask. Mix 1/4 cup used coffee grounds with one egg white and spread it evenly on your face. Allow the mixture to dry and rinse off with tepid water. This will give your skin a firm tone.

BELGRADE: A woman breastfeeds her newborn baby in Belgrade. — AFP

Serbia opens first breast milk bank BELGRADE: After Ivana Micic's prematurely born daughter was fed by milk from other mums during the baby's stay at a Belgrade hospital, she decided to return the favor to other parents in need. Micic is now one of a growing number of donors to Serbia's new human breast milk bank, which is also hoping to boost rates of breastfeeding in a country where worryingly few mothers take it up. "I have become a donor to express my gratitude. As long as I have milk I will donate it," Micic said. The milk bank at the Institute for Neonatology in Belgrade is a first not only for Serbia but also for the Balkans. For now it provides breast milk for mostly premature newborns hospitalized there, but it plans to branch out, said Slavica Simic, the head of the department. "Our goal is to extend the bank in order to be able to feed all prematurely born children, as well as to offer milk to maternity hospitals, surgery departments" and even out-of-hospital mothers who cannot breastfeed their babies due to health problems, Simic said. At the moment the milk bank's donors are mostly mothers whose babies are in hospital and have a surplus, Simic said. During the first year, the bank collected some 2,300 liters of breast milk which made up around one third of the overall need for the Institute alone, she said. Another young mother, 26-year-old Ana, said she had "such a good feeling being able to provide milk for other babies, rather than only mine." "It makes you feel so human," Ana, who did not give her last name said. Simic says there is also a woman from the Serbian town of Loznica, some 140 kilometers southwest of Belgrade, who "has been bringing milk to the bank for over a year." But the new milk bank faces an uphill struggle to get donors as Serbia has very low levels of breastfeeding, to the dismay of medical experts and parenting organizations. The level of breastfeeding is low overall in southeastern Europe, with an average of only 27 percent of exclusively breastfed children in the first six months, among the lowest in the world according to UNICEF figures.. But in Serbia it is even lower, with only 15 percent of mothers exclusively breasfeeding their babies in this age group, according to the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. These figures have remained unchanged for

years despite laws adopted in 2005 banning the advertising or offering of milk or other food and drinks for newborns "that replace a natural way of feeding." "It is widely believed that baby formula has been promoted so much that mothers chose it as an easier solution, they were even being advised to do so by some pediatricians," said Aleksandra Jovic, the UNICEF official in charge of Serbia's "Baby Friendly" program. Dragana Socanin of the Serbian Parents Network said that a lack of information and support for breastfeeding mothers contributes to the low rate. "Serbia doesn't have a single booklet or any literature on breastfeeding," she said, adding that the visiting nurses who help new mums often don't have enough time to give proper breastfeeding advice. She also noted a worrying trend among young mothers who don't want to breastfeed because they want to return to work quickly, or who are afraid they will lose their figure, or are simply ashamed. "Women are ashamed breastfeeding in public. Cafes and restaurants are not baby friendly," Socanin said. To boost the numbers, the Institute for Neonathology is now planning a vast media campaign to promote the breastfeeding and donation of human milk. "We plan to make our flyers available everywhere women can see them: from high school counseling centers, gynecologists' practices, maternity hospitals," Simic said. There will soon even be a vehicle to collect milk from donors in Belgrade, she said. "Mothers will be able to call us and we will come to check if they can donate, to provide necessary education and collect milk," Simic said, referring to the conditions donors have to meet. The milk bank rules state that donors must be non-smokers who do not drink more than two units of alcohol a day and are free of sexually transmitted diseases. For the moment it mostly relies on midwives and nurses visiting newborns and mothers at home to recruit donors. UNICEF's Jovic said the milk bank would provide a valuable back up service as part of a wider network to give mothers confidence when they are starting out breastfeeding. "The Human Milk Bank can be irreplaceable in this network... as one of the system's links which can be an important source for mothers to feel secure," she said. — AFP

Popularity of morning-after pills fuels concerns in India NEW DELHI: Heavy use of "morning-after" pills is causing concern in India where the government has banned ads criticized for promoting them as a primary contraceptive rather than an emergency measure. Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, are freely available over the counter in India, which remains largely conservative in its attitudes to sex and sex education. More than 8.2 million ECPs were sold in 2009, an increase of 250 percent from the previous year, and health workers are voicing growing concerns that the pills are being misused. "It's all very well to say people are becoming sexually liberal, but who's going to talk about the long term effects of this quick solution?" said Radhika Chandiramani, a clinical psychologist who chairs a sexual health organization. "The manufacturers don't mention it in their media campaigns. Parents and teachers don't teach children about sex, STDs, and contraceptives. So who is going to tell these kids that these pills are not sweets?" Chandiramani said. India is plagued with poor healthcare and one of the main reasons for introducing freely available oral contraceptives was to make them accessible to women in rural areas where the majority of unsafe abortions occur. The two most popular brands in India are "I-pill" and "Unwanted 72". Rippon Nath, who owns a pharmacy in New Delhi, said the number of customers asking for ECPs was growing on a monthly basis. "Some even come and take up to four boxes at a time," he said. ECPs contain significantly higher doses of the same hormones found in regular oral contraceptive pills, and for this reason are recommended for periodic rather than regular use. Doctors in India say the growing popularity of the pills, and the apparent frequency with which they are being taken, is disturbing on two levels. As well as heightening the risk of negative side effects, routine use suggests they are being favored over condoms without offering the same protection against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection. Divya, a 19-year-old student who recently moved to Delhi, said she found "morning-after" pills useful because many Indian men were irresponsible about contraception. "We have to trust the partner to use protection and often they don't want to, so these pills are great ways to make sure we protect ourselves and need not rely on our partners," she said. Anuradha Kapoor, a

gynaecologist at Delhi's Max Healthcare hospital, said such attitudes were understandable but misplaced. "There is a lot of misuse. You are supposed to take it once in so many months, and no one tells you that," Kapoor said. "A lot of teenagers are taking it like a daily contraceptive." ECPs have a ready market in a country like India where extramarital pregnancy is deeply frowned on and abortion-although legal-is still something of a taboo subject. According to the Delhi-based Consortium on National Consensus for Medical Abortion in India, 11 million abortions are performed in India annually and 20,000 women die from abortionrelated complications every year. The idea of abortion as shameful and traumatic was the subject of a controversial ad for the Ipill, which showed a young, unmarried woman anxiously slipping away from her parents' home and ending up weeping outside a run down abortion clinic in a darkened back-alley. "Preventing a pregnancy is better than an abortion, isn't it?" intoned the voiceover at the end of the ad. Other ads showed married couples, sometimes with children, sharing worried glances while a voiceover recommended the I-pill "if you're worried you might get pregnant after last night." Initially the ads were seen as something of a breakthrough in India by openly addressing sexual behavior and the issue of unwanted pregnancy. But there was also criticism that they lacked an informed medical context and, in January, the Health Ministry ordered all ads for ECPs to be withdrawn, saying they were sending the wrong message. "Concerns were being raised that women were popping the pills as a means to be free of tension after unprotected sex," India's drug controller general Surinder Singh told the Times of India. "Women also weren't being told that the pill should be taken as an emergency measure, not a routine one," Singh said. Radhika, a 23-year-old journalist, said she had used ECPs a number of times. "In the beginning it was just so cool and easy ... no thinking involved," she said. "But then one time I had complications with my period and then I stopped using it immediately," she added. Indian advertising guru Alyque Padamsee argues that the main problem lies not with the pills and the way they are marketed but with the official squeamishness about providing practical sex education in India. — AFP

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Website aimed at creating beautiful babies Browse online for beautiful sperm and eggs! LOS ANGELES: Ever worried about having an ugly baby? Fret not, a popular dating website exclusively for beautiful people has branched out to provide a fertility forum aimed at creating beautiful babies. Criticized by some as narcissism gone mad, the project was launched in June, shor tly af ter booted out 5,000 people who gained weight and were deemed too ugly to remain members. Presented as a solution for parents who worry about having ugly children, the Fertility Forum is “like any charitable work,” according to managing director Greg Hodge, a good-looking Brit. It’s “a noble cause for those going through the difficult experience of failing to conceive,” he said, explaining that the site gets no payment for directing donors and recipients to pro-

fessional clinics. The for um is accessed through the website, which was founded in 2002 in Denmark and now has a presence in 190 countries, although only pretty people need apply. Those wanting to join submit a photo for approval by their peers some 600,000 people pay to be part of the network that proudly styles itself as the world’s largest community of beautiful people. “It’s completely democratic-if you secure enough positive votes, you are accepted; if not, you are shown the door,” said Hodge, who manages from Los Angeles the website launched in the United States in 2005. In a major departure for the founders, even ugly people are allowed to subscribe to the new forum, browsing for attractive

sperm and egg donors to ultimately improve the gene pool. Beautiful members can post if they want to donate their genetically blessed sperm or eggs to an unattractive person or couple who wants a baby. “Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people,” explained founder Robert Hintze, an attractive blue-eyed Dane. Can’t be selfish with attractive genes-”But everyone-including ugly people-would like to bring good-looking children in to the world, and we can’t be selfish with our attractive gene pool.” When Hodge unveiled the virtual sperm and egg bank in June, he said there was obviously a massive demand for attractive donors. “Every parent would like their child to be blessed with many fine attrib-

utes, attractiveness being one of the most sought af ter. For a site with members who resemble Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, you can imagine the demand.” At an inter view in a Beverly Hills cafe, where most passers-by looked like Hollywood stars, Hodge sidestepped questions about ugly people and portrayed the initiative as a worthy cause to help those with fertility problems. “We remain impartial, we’re a vehicle of information that eventual donors and recipients can get, but without any link to any fertility clinic,” he said. Egg donor Lisa Bluemel, 30 said she initially joined to meet people and broaden her network, thinking that if a romance came then so much the better. The Fertility Forum caught her

attention because she had a friend who could not conceive. “I know the anguish she has gone through,” she said. Bluemel said her decision to donate eggs was nothing to do with the money and wasn’t superficial or narcissistic in the slightest. “It’s a deeply emotional decision and I have given it much thought, giving a couple the gift of a new life and helping in the creation of a loving family is perhaps the most special gift of all. “It’s not about just seeking beautiful babies,” she added. “Naturally intelligence, health is the most important, but why can’t you try to secure all the best attributes? Who would not do that for their child?” A Spanish woman, who had struggled for years to have children but is now eight months pregnant, pointed out that the principle

behind Fertility Forum was nothing new. “This has been done in clinics for some time, not with pictures but with a profile about donor characteristics: tall, blond, blue eyes, from a Nordic country,” she said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Richard Paulson, a fertility expert at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California who has practiced reproductive medicine for 25 years, warned there were no guarantees of a beautiful baby. “Making a decision about one’s future partner, whether it is a marriage partner, or partner for reproduction, on the basis of information posted on a website would be naive at best,” he said. “I do not consider these types of websites to be dangerous, or threatening, but rather, simply amusing.” — AFP



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Giants of Mekong River under threat from dams BANGKOK: One of the world's biggest freshwater fish could be driven to extinction if plans to build hydropower dams on Southeast Asia's longest river go ahead, wildlife organization WWF warned yesterday. Numbers of Mekong giant catfish-believed to grow up to three meters longwould "collapse" if it was blocked from its spawning grounds on the river through China, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, the group said. WWF said a hydropower dam planned at Sayabouly Province in northern Laos, one of 11 planned on the lower Mekong, was a "threat to the survival" of the species' wild population, which has already fallen 90 percent over 20 years. The group also fears damming the river could irreversibly change its ecosystem, negatively affecting fisheries crucial to the livelihoods of over 60 million people in the region. It warned there are at least 50 migratory species of fish in the Mekong-making up 40 to 70 percent of the catch from the river-that are highly vulnerable to the development of mainstream dams. The giant catfish, which is thought to be the third largest freshwater fish on earth, migrates from Cambodia to

spawn upriver in northern Thailand and Laos and the organization fears damming the waterway could leave it stranded. Roger Mollot, freshwater biologist for WWF Laos, said the giant catfish "simply will not be able to swim across a large barrier like a dam to reach its spawning grounds upstream". "This would lead to the collapse of the wild population of this iconic species," he said. The report said despite laws prohibiting catching the Mekong giant catfish in Cambodia, the population was already threatened because it is believed to bring good luck forever when eaten. WWF said one quarter of the planet's giant freshwater fish can be found in the 4,800 km rivermore species of the huge creatures than in any other waterway on Earth. Other mammoth fish in the Mekong include the giant freshwater stingray, which is thought to be the world's biggest river fish and can grow to half the length of a bus, with a maximum weight of 600 kilos. The wildlife group is calling for delays in approval for the dams under development while further study is undertaken on their potential impact. — AFP

Gulf focus shifts, but where is all the oil? BELGRADE: A nurse feeds a newborn baby in Belgrade. — AFP

Study finds no point using acupuncture to induce labor NEW YORK: Although acupuncture is promoted as a way to induce labor in women who go past their due date, a Danish study had added to evidence casting doubt on its usefulness. Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital found that among 125 pregnant women who were past their due dates, those who were randomly assigned to undergo two acupuncture sessions were no more likely to go into labor over the next 24 hours. Of those women, 12 percent went into labor, versus 14 percent of those who were randomly assigned to have a "sham" version of acupuncture and there no differences in other outcomes such as dilation of the cervix or the length of time it took to deliver. "The results are

very clear," said researcher Dr Niels Uldbjerg, professor of obstetrics and gynecology. "Acupuncture as used in this trial does not induce labor in postterm pregnant women." However Uldbjerg and his colleagues acknowledged a "more intensive" course of acupuncture could arguably have produced different results and noted many acupuncturists say the therapy must be individualized from person to person. But the findings, reported in the obstetrics journal BJOG, add to evidence that acupuncture may not be an effective way to induce labor in "post- term" pregnancies-those that go beyond 41 weeks. About five percent to 10 percent of pregnant women have a post-term pregnancy, a delay that raises the risk of

complications during labor. Because of this, doctors routinely induce labor when a pregnancy lasts beyond 41 weeks. During standard labor induction, a doctor uses instruments to rupture the amniotic sac or stretch the cervix, or gives synthetic forms of prostaglandins or oxytocin-hormones that normally help trigger labor. Acupuncture has been promoted as an alternative. In theory, it may work by stimulating the nervous system, which in turn could cause the uterus to contract. Uldbjerg said there is a need for alternatives in labor induction. Many women prefer to avoid medications during pregnancy and labor, and all of the standard forms of labor induction raise a woman's odds of ultimately needing a C-

section or instrument-assisted delivery, Uldbjerg noted. However, several clinical trials in the past few years have found no benefit of acupuncture for labor induction. These latest findings add to that evidence. "This study clearly demonstrates that acupuncture is not an alternative to (standard) methods" of labor induction, Uldbjerg told Reuters Health. Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,000 years in Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. According to traditional medicine, specific acupuncture points on the skin are connected to internal pathways that conduct energy, or qi ("chee"), and stimulating these points with a fine needle promotes the healthy flow of qi.— Reuters

UK dogs to work off the puppy fat

MANILA: Dogs, wearing hats and sunglasses, are used by their owner to beg for coins in Manila. The Philippine government said it would give money directly to poor families in an effort to fight a sharp rise in the number of Filipinos enduring severe hunger. — AFP

LONDON: Over a third of British dogs are overweight, a veterinary charity warned yesterday and the proportion could rise to nearly a half in three years if owners do not change their pets' habits. Poor diet and lack of exercise are the chief culprits, the PDSA said. In a survey of some 30,000 dogs in the UK over the past four years, it found 35 percent were heavier than they should be. It also found that owners gave them leftovers, fatty meats, cheese, chips and biscuits. A similar PDSA study four years ago found that 21 percent of British dogs were overweight, which means that near-

ly half of them could be too fat by 2013 if the trend continues. "Thousands of pets across the UK are having their quality of life, and ultimately their life expectancy, cut short as a direct result of obesity", said a PDSA senior veterinary surgeon. The latest survey also suggested that around half a million dogs are not taken on daily walks. To tackle the problem, the PDSA has relaunched its annual pet slimming competition, Pet Fit Club, which offers 10 overweight pets the chance to go on a free 100 day diet and fitness program overseen by PDSA vets and nurses. —Reuters

NEW ORLEANS: With BP's leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico finally capped, the focus shifts to the surface clean-up and the question on everyone's lips is: where is all the oil? For three long months a massive slick threatened the shorelines of Louisiana and other southern US Gulf Coast states as BP tried everything from top hats to junk shots and giant domes to stanch the toxic sludge. A cap stopped the flow on July 15 and now, thanks to frantic efforts to skim and burn the crude on the surface, the real difficulty is finding the oil rather than cleaning it up. Dozens of reconnaissance planes fly constant sorties from Florida to Texas noting any oil sightings, while flat-bottomed boats trawl the marshes for lumps of tar too large to biodegrade. "What we have is an aggregation of hundreds of thousands of patches of oil and the challenge is to find out where they are at right now because they are widely dispersed," said US spill response chief Thad Allen. Pressed further on the patches, Allen relented: "Maybe patches is a misnomer on my part. What we're seeing are mats, patties, small concentrations, very hard to detect, but they're out there. "What we're trying to figure out is where is all the oil at and what can we do about it." The figures speak for themselves. Before the cap went on, some 25,000 barrels of oil a day were being skimmed from the thickest part of the slick near the well site. By the time Tropical Storm Bonnie arrived last week, the take was down to a pitiful 56 barrels, begging the question of what to do with the fleet of 800 skimmers, many of them run by disgruntled fishermen. Allen said he was already looking at trying to redeploy the so-called vessels of opportunity in surveillance and testing programs and was meeting local leaders on Thursday to discuss options. As to where all the oil that hasn't been skimmed or burned off has gone, opinions vary: some experts say it has been broken down naturally by the elements and by microbes in the ocean, while others fear it could be lingering undetected in underwater plumes. Only weeks ago, the slick was an unstoppable force that couldn't be prevented from swamping shorelines and slowly choking helpless pelicans; now the oil is an elusive enemy, one that has to be tracked down.

The latest "Nearshore Surface Oil Forecast" from the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicated only seven sizeable patches of surface oil, all light sheen. An overflight Sunday identified one thicker patch of emulsified crude. A flotilla of skimmers was immediately dispatched and made short work of mopping it up. Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft, a government on-scene coordinator, is stationing vessels at the many inlets that run into Louisiana's precious marshes to ward off the arrival of any toxic sludge, what he calls his "fire department." "In the event we do see any oil approaching... we're right there waiting for it, ready to attack it and get it before it really gets into those marshlands," he said. With hopes high that the well will be sealed for good next week, Allen was conscious of the need to plan for the next phase, admitting, "we are going to have to figure out how we make a transition in our resources." Sophisticated underwater operations involving fleets of robotic submarines at brain-crunching depths will make way for the less glamorous but equally complex work of Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Teams, SCATs for short. "They will sign off literally mile by mile where we've had oil impact," said Zukunft. "And that is the very long phase of this operation where you ultimately determine how clean is clean." Approximately 638 miles of Gulf Coast is officially listed as "oiled", 362 miles in Louisiana, 109 miles in Mississippi, 70 miles in Alabama, and 97 miles in Florida. The beaches should be relatively painless to mop up, but cleaning up the maze of marshes, where there's nothing to stand on and shallowbottomed boats are needed to navigate the narrow channels, is a logistical nightmare. Geologist Ed Owens, a world authority on protecting shorelines from oil spills contracted by BP to lend his expertise to the response effort, gave an upbeat assessment on Monday, saying the marshes should recover in a matter of months as only a "tiny fraction" of oil had infiltrated them. Other leading scientists though have warned of a decades-long effect on marine life that could lead to a shift in the overall biological network in the Gulf of Mexico. —AFP

US, public safety at odds over the broadband plan WASHINGTON: Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission stumbled as it tried to create a US-wide wireless broadband network for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers, delaying the construction of what everyone agrees is an urgently needed system. Now the agency is hoping to rework the plan, which relies on a prime slice of airwaves called the D Block. But many public safety officials say the commission is, once again, going about it the wrong way. In 2008, the FCC attempted to auction off the block to the wireless industry, with a requirement that the winning bidder help build out a sturdy communications network that would be shared with first responders and give them priority in an emergency. But those conditions proved too onerous, and the auction failed to attract any serious bidders. So this time around, the agency hopes to auction off the D Block to wireless carriers and use the proceeds - projected to be as much as $4 billion - to help pay for a public safety network on a separate slice of spectrum already set aside for first responder broadband use. In frequency terms, the existing public safety airwaves are right next door to the D Block and just as big. Both pieces of spectrum were freed up in last year's transition from analog to digital TV signals. The existing public safety block, the FCC says, provides plenty of capacity for day-to-day operations - letting first responders access everything from sur-

veillance video to fingerprint databases using laptops and handheld devices in the field. And in an emergency, the FCC proposal would give public safety users priority access to the D Block and other airwaves from the digital transition. The FCC says its proposal would fulfill a Congressional requirement to auction off the D Block and ensure public safety benefits from the latest wireless technology. "We have a brief technological window to get everybody on the same page from the beginning and build a 21st Century ... broadband system," says Rear Admiral James Barnett, head of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. But the FCC proposal has run into fierce resistance from public safety leaders who warn that their current spectrum holdings are not big enough to meet their needs. They are wary of relying on commercial networks to fill the gap, particularly in emergencies, and are calling on the government to give the D Block to them so they can combine it with the adjacent airwaves and double the amount of spectrum dedicated to public safety broadband. "If they auction this spectrum, we've lost it forever," says Rob Davis, head of the San Jose Police Department and president of the Major Cities Chiefs of Police Association. "We need to control this network ourselves." Public safety officials have powerful allies in Congress, including Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller

and Sen. John McCain. But House Commerce Committee leaders are drafting legislation based on the FCC plan. The big wireless carriers have also joined the fray. T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel Corp, eager for more spectrum, support the FCC proposal. Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc, both flush with spectrum from 2008 auctions of other airwaves from the digital transition, want to see the D Block go to public safety. So does Motorola Inc., which dominates the market for first responder communications equipment and handsets. The one thing everyone agrees on is the need to bring nation's public safety communications networks into the digital age. The shortcomings of the existing networks became apparent after the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, when police officers, fire fighters and other first responders could not talk to one another because they were using incompatible and sometimes antiquated - systems. One recommendation of the 9/11 Commission was the construction of a nationwide "interoperable" wireless network that would let public safety workers across agencies and jurisdictions communicate with each other. The FCC insists its proposal, part of its national broadband plan, would meet the needs of first responders. The spectrum already dedicated to public safety, Barnett says, can handle day-to-day operations since advanced 4G wireless technology can make far more efficient use of airwaves than public safety networks do today. And in a big emer-

gency, he warns, even the bigger block of spectrum envisioned by the public safety plan might not be enough. The FCC's proposal would give public safety first dibs on at least three times more spectrum in a crisis. But Chuck Dowd, deputy chief in the communications division of the New York City Police Department, says commercial networks are just not reliable enough for first responders who deal with life-and-death matters. Richard Mirgon, president of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International, adds that in a mass emergency, commercial networks are often already overwhelmed - making it impossible for first responders to even connect to them. With the dispute now heading to Congress, the focus is on funding. Bruce Gottlieb, chief counsel to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, says the FCC plan would drive down the cost of a first responder network by allowing public safety to piggyback on the massive investments being made by commercial wireless carriers as they upgrade their technology. The agency's plan puts the cost of building the public safety network at roughly $6.5 billion and the cost of operating and maintaining it at between $6 billion and $10 billion over 10 years less than half the cost of a stand-alone network, the FCC says. In the face of a ballooning federal deficit and state and local budget cuts, Barnett insists, the FCC plan offers the best way to come up with this funding. —AP

LOUISIANA: Photo shows oil-covered brown pelicans found off the Louisiana coast. — AFP


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Embassy information

Happy Birthday Happy Birthday Kuya Brian!! We wish you success and more blessings to come, study hard! Love: Papa, Mama, Rea, family and friends.

PABAK tourney: The PABAK organizing committee would like to announce the opening of the PABAK/Western Union 24th Conference Basketball Tournament in the second week of August 2010. Registration in the following categories: Open 5’9” & under, non-leaguers, veterans and inter-company, is now going on at the Kuwait Sports Club for the Disabled gym in Hawally every Friday, through email at:; or call: 6668954. Early entries: IKEA, Kuwait Cement Co, Wataniya AW, Unisteel, POLO and Caboria Restaurant.


MoI organizes tour for children of ministry personnel


he public relations department of the Ministry of Interior recently organized a tour for a group of children of ministry personnel, retirees, martyrs and prisoners of war, at the General Coastguard Department’s headquarters, and that a part of the 2010 summer program held for these children. During the visit, the children listened to demonstrations pertaining with the work of lifeguards. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh


Dar Al-Athar survey: Dear friend, we would like to know your opinion for DAI workshops to he held during the upcoming 16th Cultural Season (2010-2011). To make a difference click on the following link: Please note that your responses will remain completely anonymous. Thank you for taking part in our survey. Wishing you happy summer holidays looking forward to see you during the 16th Cultural Season. Latest issue of Canvas is available in the Museum Shop. Dar Al-Athar Al-lslamiyyah. Please note the new summer timings for Al-Maidan Cultural Centre urea 9:00-15 hours Sunday through Thursday. Al-Maidan Cultural Centre Abdullab Al-Salem School, Maidan Hawally, near Al-Sha’ab Leisure Park. Tel: 25636528 /25636561; Fax: 25653006; Email:; Website:

The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday.

August 5 Alvernaz-Lalush Memorial Trophy: Navelim Youth Centre (NYC) will organize the Alvernaz-Lalush Memorial Trophy 7-aside football tournament on Aug 5 and 12, 2010 in Kuwait. The entire tournament is sponsored by Churchill Brothers, Goa. Draw of the tournament will be held on Friday, July 30 at Little India Restaurant, Salmiya. The first and second round of the tournament will be played on Aug 5 while the quarter-final stage onwards will be played on Aug 12. All games will be held at Surra Stadium, Block 2, Street 5, of the 4th ring road. Matches will begin from 6:30 pm onwards and wind up by 10 pm. The tournament under the leadership of NYC President Agnello A S Fernandes promises a festivity of football for players and spectators as it is played under floodlights and on International standard 7-aside grounds and rules. In case of matches ending in a draw there will be 5 penalty shoot-outs for each team. It may be noted that last year Navelim organized a grand tournament that included 18 teams. For more details please contact the tournament coordinators at 99671107, 99502686, 99469782 or 66515418.

KRCS holds ceremony The Kuwait Red Crescent Society recently held a ceremony to commemorate 39 children aged between 8 and 10 years, who took part in the second summer course organized to teach the basics of first aid. The organization’s general manager, Nabeel Al-Hafez, thanked in a speech the firms which cooperated in the program. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Theater & Music All level music classes: ‘Treasure of Talents’ (est in 1992) music education program invites all level music classes on piano, theory of music, vocal, flute. Academic Level teachers help prepare for international exams, children concerts, yearly ‘Treasure of Talents’ Festival and music competitions. Contact Prof Cezary, Tel. 25320427, 66549009 of Ms Yasmeene Berlitz Institute Tel: 22542212. 22512533 or email:

BJAK holds farewell reception


Call to classical music lovers: Are you a lover of music? Would you like to promote the traditional Indian classical music in Kuwait? If your answer is in the affirmative, please write ton more details to in (that is, music underscore karnatic) with your contact details or call 7978286.

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

July 28 UPW to mark anniversary: Unity Prayer Warriors - Tamil Prayer Group (UPW-Tamil), is celebrating their 3rd anniversary with Special Guest Speaker from India. The well known Preacher Pastor Joyson, Asst President of AG Pentacostal churches in Kanya Kumai Dist, Tamil Nadu, will serve message and prayers on following meetings: Convention: Monday (June 28) - Tamil Full Gospel Church, NECK Tuesday (June 29) - Mangaf- [PC Hall - Baptism Service Thursday (July 1) - UPW Hall, Abbasiya Join hands with us in regular prayers to stand in the gap for unity among all Tamil churches and to reach the un-reached in Kuwait and in India. 1) Fasting Prayer - Last Friday - Mass Auditorium, Abbasiya 2) Chain Prayer - Third Friday - for all your prayer needs 3) Worship Service - Thursdays Evening 7-9 pm Abbasiya For other programs of pastor and other prayer needs call: 97927436, 66025668 and 66429708.

Sept 17 Onam Fest 2010: ‘Vanithavedi Kuwait’ a leading women’s association will be celebrating Onam on Friday, Sept 17, 2010, from 9 am - 6 pm at the Indian Community School, Khaitan Branch, the program named as ‘OnamFest 2010’ will have the public meeting followed by various cultural programs. The traditional Onasadya will be served. For the successful conduct of Onam Fest 2010, a program committee has been formed. Dr Vasanthy Nair (general convenor), Valsamma George, Dr Mary (Joint Convenors), Prasanna Ramabhadran (Arts convenor), Tolly Prakash (Food convenor), Shiny Ajith (Raffle convenor), Sumathy Babu (Souvenir convenor), Valsa Sam (Publicity convenor), Syamala Narayanan, (Reception convenor), Sharlette Albert (Volunteer captain). For more details, contact: 24342807, 66428433, 66596625, 24331598.



angladesh Journalist Association Kuwait (BJAK) held a farewell reception party on 20th July at Rajdhani Hotel Kuwait in honour of the Association’s vice president poet, writer, journalist, Mirza Swapon, who is leaving Kuwait to Bangladesh after 28 years. Association President Murad Hossen Lockman presided

and conducted the program. Habibur Rahman Habib secretary general of Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait was chief guest and vice presidents of Awamai League Faiz Kamal, Mumin Chowdhury, Abdur Rashid Bulo, Bangladesh Awami Jubo League Kuwait President Nasiruddin, Secretary General - Haroon ur Rashid

Haroon, vice president of Bangladesh Nationalist Party Kuwait (BNP) Al Amin Chowdhury Swapon, JASAS Kuwait President Akramul Haque, Jatio Party Kuwait senior vice president Mahmudur Rahman were special guests. Large number of Bangladesh intellectuals including Jalalabad welfare associations

secretary general Mainul Al Islam, Editor of Prabash Bangla AKM Azad, journalist Imtiaz Ahmed, Eshanul Haque Khokan, poets Abdul Rahim, Karantik Pathik also attended. At the end of the program a memento was presented to poet, writer, journalist Mirza Swapon by Bangladesh Journalist Association’s President and others.

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to invite all Nigerians residing in Kuwait to come and register with the Embassy. The registration is compulsory for all Nigerians residing /visiting Kuwait. Kindly bring the following documents along with you: • A photocopy of the Nigerian passport • One passport photograph • Copy of the civil identification card or visa For additional information please call: 25620278 or visit the Embassy at Block, 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, Along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya. The Consular Section opens Sunday - Thursday from 9 am - 3 pm Your prompt response is highly solicited. EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will follow the following office hours during the holy month of Ramadan. Sunday to Thursday: 09:00 - 3:00 pm. Friday and Saturday: Weekly holidays.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 03:30 Cape Epic 04:00 Breitling Airsports 2009 04:30 Breitling Airsports 2009 05:00 I-Ex Season 2 06:00 I-Ex Season 2 07:00 I-Ex 07:30 I-Ex Season 2 08:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 09:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 10:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 10:30 Profiles: Jeremy Jones 11:00 Shack Therapy 1 12:00 Railmasters 1 12:30 Roxy Jam 13:00 China Invitational 2009 14:00 Cape Epic 15:00 Shack Therapy 1 16:00 Railmasters 1 16:30 Roxy Jam 17:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 18:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 19:00 Uci Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 19:30 Profiles: Jeremy Jones 20:00 Railmasters 1 20:30 Roxy Jam 21:00 Shack Therapy 1 22:00 China Invitational 2009 23:00 M1 Challange

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

00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Galapagos 03:30 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 04:25 Cats of Claw Hill 04:50 Cats of Claw Hill 05:20 Wildlife SOS International 05:45 Gorilla School 06:10 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 06:35 Up Close and Dangerous 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Cats of Claw Hill 09:10 Cats of Claw Hill 09:40 Wildlife SOS International 10:05 Daniel and Our Cats 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 Miami 14:35 Wildlife SOS International 15:00 RSPCA: On the Frontline 15:30 Daniel and Our Cats 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Breed All About It 17:45 Breed All About It 18:15 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 19:10 Killer Crocs of Costa Rica 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 22:55 Animal Cops Miami 23:50 Killer Crocs of Costa Rica

00:25 Inspector Lynley Mysteries 01:15 Mastermind 2007 01:45 The Weakest Link 02:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:00 Teletubbies 03:25 Me Too 03:45 Tellytales 03:55 Tweenies 04:15 Teletubbies 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Tellytales 05:10 Tweenies 05:30 Teletubbies 05:55 Me Too 06:15 Teletubbies 06:40 Me Too 07:00 Tellytales 07:10 Tweenies 07:30 Teletubbies 07:55 Me Too 08:15 Tellytales 08:25 Tweenies 08:45 Teletubbies 09:10 Me Too 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Coast 11:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 11:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Coast 15:15 Last Of The Summer Wine 15:45 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Casualty 18:50 Casualty 19:40 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Green Green Grass 22:15 Ideal 22:45 Extras 23:15 The League Of Gentlemen 23:45 The League Of Gentlemen

00:00 Masterchef Goes Large 00:30 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 01:00 Glamour Puds 01:20 The Home Show 02:10 Ty’s Great British Adventure 02:55 Come Dine With Me 03:40 Hidden Potential 04:05 Cash In The Attic Usa 04:30 Bargain Hunt 05:15 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 05:40 Masterchef Goes Large 06:10 Masterchef Goes Large 06:40 Hidden Potential 07:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 07:20 Antiques Roadshow 08:10 Living In The Sun 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Hidden Potential 10:15 Cash In The Attic Usa 10:35 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 11:00 Glamour Puds 11:25 The Home Show 12:15 Ty’s Great British Adventure 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:50 Antiques Roadshow 14:40 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:20 The Home Show 17:05 Ty’s Great British Adventure 17:55 Antiques Roadshow 18:45 Come Dine With Me 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:10 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 20:40 Ching’s Kitchen 21:05 Ty’s Great British Adventure 21:50 Fantasy Homes In The City 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:25 Masterchef Goes Large 23:55 Masterchef Goes Large

00:30 Milk-18 03:00 Shake Hands With The Devil-PG15 05:00 L’ivresse Du Pouvoir-PG15 07:00 Sunset Park-PG

Watchmen on Show Movies 09:00 Wendy And Lucy-PG15 11:00 The Sun Also Rises-PG15 13:00 Nights In Rodanthe-PG15 15:00 What Rats Won’t Do-PG15 17:00 Juno-PG15 18:45 Surviving Picasso-18 21:00 Humboldt County-18 23:00 De-Lovely-PG15

00:00 Ross Kemp on Gangs 01:00 Street Customs 2008 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Time Warp 03:50 Extreme Explosions 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Extreme Explosions 07:55 Street Customs 2008 08:50 Mythbusters 09:45 Ultimate Survival - The Pilot 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 Destroyed in Seconds 21:30 Destroyed in Seconds 22:00 Serial Killers 23:00 I Escaped Death

00:30 What’s That About? 01:20 Super Comet: After the Impact 02:10 Engineered 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 The Kustomizer 04:45 How Does That Work? 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 What’s That About? 07:00 The Kustomizer 08:00 NASA’s Greatest Missions 09:00 How Stuff’s Made 09:25 How Stuff’s Made 09:55 How Stuff’s Made 10:20 How Stuff’s Made 10:50 How Stuff’s Made 11:15 How Stuff’s Made 11:45 How Stuff’s Made 12:10 How Stuff’s Made 12:40 How Stuff’s Made 13:05 How Stuff’s Made 13:35 How Stuff’s Made 14:00 How Stuff’s Made 14:30 How Stuff’s Made 14:55 How Stuff’s Made 15:25 How Stuff’s Made 15:50 How Stuff’s Made 16:20 How Does That Work? 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 Mythbusters 18:40 Catch It Keep It 19:30 Science of the Movies 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Building the Biggest 22:00 Catch It Keep It 22:50 Science of the Movies 23:40 Mighty Ships

00:15 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 01:00 Sonny With A Chance 01:25 Hannah Montana 01:50 Hannah Montana 02:15 Jonas 02:35 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 03:50 Replacements 04:15 Phineas & Ferb 04:40 Hannah Montana 05:05 Kim Possible 05:30 A KIND OF MAGIC 05:55 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 06:20 Replacements 06:40 STITCH 07:05 Wizards of Waverly Place 07:25 Hannah Montana 07:50 Sonny With A Chance 08:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:35 Phineas & Ferb 09:00 TIMMY TIME 09:10 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 09:35 Handy Manny 10:00 IMAGINATION MOVERS 10:20 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:45 JUNGLE JUNCTION 11:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 11:25 Phineas & Ferb 11:50 Wizards of Waverly Place 12:15 Sonny With A Chance 12:40 Hannah Montana 13:00 Hannah Montana 13:25 Jonas 13:50 Sonny With A Chance 14:15 Wizards of Waverly Place 14:35 Suite Life On Deck 15:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 15:25 Replacements 15:50 Phineas & Ferb 16:15 Hannah Montana 16:40 Kim Possible

17:05 A KIND OF MAGIC 17:30 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 17:55 Replacements 18:15 STITCH 18:40 Wizards of Waverly Place 19:00 Hannah Montana 19:25 Sonny With A Chance 19:45 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 20:10 Phineas & Ferb 20:35 Suite Life On Deck 21:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:25 Hannah Montana 21:45 Jonas 22:10 Suite Life On Deck 22:35 Sonny With A Chance 23:00 Hannah Montana 23:25 Wizards of Waverly Place 23:50 Wizards of Waverly Place

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 06:00 E! Investigates 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 E!ES 11:05 E!ES 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Dr 90210 15:25 E!ES 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Kendra 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Wildest TV Show Moments 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E! Investigates 20:30 E! Investigates 21:20 Giuliana & Bill 21:45 Giuliana & Bill 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Profiles - Andy Irons 00:30 Profiles - Steve Caballero 01:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 02:00 M1 Challange 03:00 Cape Epic

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

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

00:30 Banged Up Abroad 01:30 Banged Up Abroad 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Bondi Rescue 04:00 Banged Up Abroad 05:00 Take Away My Takeaway 05:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 06:30 Banged Up Abroad 07:30 Banged Up Abroad 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Bondi Rescue 10:00 Banged Up Abroad 11:00 Pressure Cook 11:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 12:30 Banged Up Abroad 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 Bondi Rescue 14:30 The Best Job In The World 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Bondi Rescue 16:00 Madventures 16:30 Madventures 17:00 Pressure Cook 17:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Banged Up Abroad 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 Bondi Rescue 20:30 The Best Job In The World 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Bondi Rescue 22:00 Madventures 22:30 Madventures 23:00 Pressure Cook 23:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Look A Like 02:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show

17:05 Code Name: Emerald 18:40 Elvis On Tour 20:15 3 Godfathers 22:00 The Survivors 23:40 Shaft

00:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 01:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 02:10 Dinosaur Secrets 03:00 Lancaster at War

01:35 Triumph Of The Spirit 03:35 Staying Together 05:05 SFW 06:40 There Goes My Baby 08:15 The Secret Of N.i.m.h. 09:35 The Winter People 11:15 Return of a Man Called Horse 13:20 No Such Thing 15:00 The Black Stallion 16:55 The Boyfriend School 18:35 Hoosiers 20:30 Signs of Life 22:00 Movers & Shakers 23:20 To Live and Die in L.A.

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cleveland Show 03:30 Weeds 04:00 South park 04:30 George Lopez 05:00 Just Shoot me! 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Eight Simple Rules 07:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 08:00 Frasier 08:30 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 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show 13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 George Lopez 14:30 Rita Rocks 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 New Adventures of old Christine 18:30 Eight Simple Rules 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Til Death 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Inbetweeners 22:30 Weeds 23:00 South park 23:30 New Adventures of old Christine

Music And Lyrics on Super Movies 09:00 Look A Like 09:30 10 Years Younger 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 What’s Good For You 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 18:00 Look A Like 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

00:00 Killshot-18 02:00 God Grew Tired Of Us-PG15 04:00 Cutting Edge: Fire And Ice-PG 06:00 Man In The Chair-PG15 08:00 The Incredible Hulk-PG 10:00 Keith-PG15 12:00 Valkyrie-PG15 14:15 Jonas Brothers Concert-PG 16:00 The Incredible Hulk-PG 18:00 Semi-Pro-PG15 20:00 Watchmen-18 22:45 Burn After Reading-PG15

01:00 Psycho-PG15 03:00 The Bleeding-18 05:00 Street Fighter II-PG 07:00 Underground-PG15 09:00 Kung Fu Hustle-PG15 11:00 Capers-PG15 13:00 Prisoner-PG 15:00 Kung Fu Hustle-PG15 17:00 Double Team-PG15 19:00 Green Street 2: Stand Your Ground18 21:00 Basic Instinct 2-R 23:00 Predator 2-18

00:00 Griffin And Phoenix-PG15 02:00 The Birdcage-18 04:00 Loins Of Punjab Presents-PG15 06:00 Superhero Movie-PG15 08:00 Backseat-PG15 10:00 Bridal Fever-PG 12:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder EmporiumFAM 14:00 Touch And Go-PG 16:00 Griffin And Phoenix-PG15 18:00 The Match-PG15 20:00 Hot Fuzz-18 22:00 Jackass: The Movie-18

00:00 Taina II-PG 02:00 Madagascar 2-PG 04:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 06:00 Robin Hood: The Invincible KnightFAM 08:00 Barbie And The Three MusketeersPG 10:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 12:00 Just For Kicks-PG 14:00 Madagascar 2-PG 16:00 Legend Of The Titanic-FAM 18:00 Kung Fu Panda-PG 20:00 The Jungle Book IV: Hate And Love-FAM 22:00 Just For Kicks-PG

Basic Instinct 2 on Show Movies Action

03:00 One Tree Hill 04:00 Three Sisters 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Psych 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Criminal Minds 08:00 Three Sisters 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 One Tree Hill 10:00 Psych 11:00 Criminal Minds 12:00 Emmerdale

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 The Closer 02:00 Criminal Minds

12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Three Sisters 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Burn Notice 15:00 The Closer 16:00 Psych 17:00 In Plain Sight 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 19:00 Heroes 20:00 The Closer 21:00 Cold Case 22:00 Psych 23:00 In Plain Sight

01:00 AFL Premiership 03:30 Tri-Nations 05:30 FEI Equestrain World 06:00 Sea Master 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 Triathlon 08:00 World Hockey 08:30 FEI Equestrain World 09:00 World Match Tour Racing 10:00 European Tour Weekly 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 NRL Premiership 14:00 AFL Highlights 15:00 Triathlon 16:00 Brazil League Highlights 16:30 European Tour Weekly 17:00 Live PGA European Tour 20:00 NRL Full Time 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 European Tour Weekly 21:30 PGA European Tour Golf

00:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 01:30 FIM World Cup 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC FIGHT 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 WWE Vintage Collection 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 11:30 FIM World Cup 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 V8 Supercars 14:00 V8 Supercars 15:00 FIM World Cup 15:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 17:00 UFC FIGHT 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 Silk-R 03:00 Into The Storm-PG15 05:00 The Christmas Clause-PG 07:00 Living Out Loud-PG15 09:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 11:00 The Golden Compass-PG 13:00 The Firm-PG15 15:00 Meet Dave-PG 17:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 19:00 Music And Lyrics-PG 21:00 Notorious-18 23:15 Number 23-PG15

00:10 Poltergeist 02:00 The Night Of The Iguana 04:00 Bad Day At Black Rock 05:20 The Passage 07:00 Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 08:40 All The Fine Young Cannibals 10:35 Ben-Hur 14:00 It Happened At The World’s Fair 15:45 Bad Day At Black Rock

03:55 Seven Signs of the Apocalypse 05:40 Nostradamus Effect 06:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 07:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 08:10 Dinosaur Secrets 09:00 Lancaster at War 09:55 Seven Signs of the Apocalypse 11:40 Nostradamus Effect 12:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 13:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 14:10 Dinosaur Secrets 15:00 Lancaster at War 15:55 Seven Signs of the Apocalypse 17:40 Nostradamus Effect 18:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 19:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 20:10 Dinosaur Secrets 21:00 Declassified 21:55 Mega Disasters 22:50 Modern Marvels 23:40 Ax Men 2

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

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood and Vines 01:30 Floyd Uncorked 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 People of the Sea 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Food 06:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Travel Today 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Hollywood and Vines 09:30 Flavours of South Africa 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 Feast India 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 Hollywood and Vines 15:30 Flavours of South Africa 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Luxury Getaways 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Travel Notebook 21:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 22:00 Intrepid Journeys 23:00 Globe Trekker

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Wednesday 28/07/2010 Airlines Flt Route Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Wataniya Airways 434 Damascus Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Turkish 772 Istanbul Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh 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 Kuwait 802 Cairo Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Jazeera 529 Assiut 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 Iran Air 603 Shiraz Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Iran Aseman 6791 Mashad Jazeera 425 Bahrain Falcon 203 Dubai Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Alnaser 711 Baghdad/Najaf Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Mahan Air 5066 Mashad Jazeera 171 Dubai Gulf Air 219 Bahrain Egypt Air 610 Cairo Kuwait 672 Dubai Oman Air 645 Muscat Saudia 508 Riyadh Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus United 982 Washington DC Dulles Jordanian 800 Amman Egypt Air 621 Assiut Wataniya Airways 4001 Cairo Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Iran Air 1079 Damascus Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Kuwait 562 Amman Saudia 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Jazeera 481 Sabiha Cargolux 792 Luxembourg Nas Air 745 Jeddah Jazeera 525 Alexandria Qatari 134 Doha Kuwait 544 Cairo Kuwait 546 Alexandria Nas Air 703 Riyadh Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Jazeera 427 Bahrain Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Rovos 061 Baghdad Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudia 510 Riyadh Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 239 Amman Jazeera 493 Jeddah Mihin 1403 Colombo SriLankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Yemenia 824 Sanaa/Doha Kuwait 166 Paris/Rome Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 786 Jeddah Kuwait 618 Doha Jazeera 497 Riyadh Jazeera 177 Dubai Kuwait 614 Bahrain Kuwait 674 Dubai Kuwait 774 Riyadh Kuwait 102 New York/London Indian 575 Chennai/Goa Wataniya Airways 202 Jeddah Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Middle East 402 Beirut Rovos 081 Baghdad Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Egypt Air 618 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 642 Vienna Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Jazeera 459 Damascus Qatari 136 Doha United 981 Bahrain Jazeera 449 Doha Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Jazeera 185 Dubai Jazeera 429 Bahrain Egypt Air 612 Cairo Shaheen Air 441 Lahore/Karachi Kuwait 548 Sharm El Sheikh/Luxor India Express 393 Kozhikode/Cochin KLM 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Egypt Air 606 Luxor Pakistan 215 Karachi Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Wednesday 28/07/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode Indian 994 Mumbai/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Pakistan 206 Lahore Turkish 773 Istanbul Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria Egypt Air 615 Cairo DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Wataniya Airways 4002 Cairo Jazeera 480 Sabiha Jazeera 164 Dubai Jazeera 422 Bahrain Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Jazeera 524 Alexandria Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 543 Cairo Kuwait 177 Frankfurt/Geneva Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 117 New York Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 561 Amman Arabia 122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Wataniya Airways 641 Vienna Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Iran Air 602 Shiraz Iran Aseman 6792 Mashad Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Baghdad Falcon 204 Baghdad Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Middle East 405 Beirut Rovos 062 Najaf/Baghdad Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 238 Amman Jazeera 492 Jeddah Alnaser 712 Najaf/Baghdad Kuwait 103 London Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Gulf Air 220 Bahrain Mahan Air 5065 Mashad Jazeera 426 Bahrain Egypt Air 611 Cairo Oman Air 646 Muscat Jordanian 801 Amman WataniyA 105 Dubai Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Egypt Air 622 Assiut Saudia 509 Medinah United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Syrian Air 1080 Damascus Kuwait 617 Doha Jazeera 496 Riyadh Kuwait 547 Sharm El Sheikh/Luxor Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 501 Jeddah Jazeera 458 Damascus Kuwait 773 Riyadh Qatari 135 Doha Cargolux 792 Hong Kong Kuwait 613 Bahrain Nas Air 704 Medinah Rovos 082 Baghdad Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Jazeera 184 Dubai Saudia 511 Riyadh Jazeera 448 Doha Mihin 1403 Dubai/Colombo SriLankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Yemenia 824 Sanaa Jazeera 428 Bahrain Jazeera 266 Beirut Kuwait 283 Dhaka Kuwait 361 Colombo Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Kuwait 331 Trivandrum Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Gulf Air 218 Bahrain Kuwait 801 Cairo DHL 373 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Jazeera 612 Lahore Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 203 Lahore Kuwait 301 Mumbai Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 636 Aleppo Jazeera 502 Luxor United 981 Washington DC Dulles Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Egypt Air 613 Cairo


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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for an executive Keralite bachelor from August in Kuwait city. Contact: 60015811, 66877140. (C 2509) Room for sharing, Farwaniya behind Crowne Plaza near Burger King, separate bathroom, C-A/C, internet available, laundry, KD 70 monthly, for Indonesian/ Filipino. Contact: 66604286, 66925390. (C 2515) 28-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a couple or two working ladies in a two bedroom flat with a small family in Abbassiya, near Time out restaurant from the end of July. Contact: 99272057/ 66015211. (C 2511) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for decent executive bachelor, new building separate room, independent bathroom/ balcony, Kalabhavan building, near UI School. Contact: 97208351. (C 2510) Room available in C-A/C flat for Asian couple, Old Khaitan airport road opp Farwaniya bridge just one minute to all route bus stop, Filipina preferred. Contact: 97468551. (C 2513) A furnished room with attached bath in spacious C-AC flat with all facilities available in Ashbiliya, a new locality adjacent to Farwaniya. Contact: 99714430. (C 2514) 27-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available, Keralite family or working ladies at Abbassiya. Please contact: 97234410. (C 2502) Sharing accommodation available for single decent bachelor, non smoking share with family. Opposite Al-Rashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Tel: 5651678/ 66232356. (C 2508) Sharing accommodation available with all facilities for one or two working ladies with a decent couple in a double bedroom C-A/C flat near Salmiya garden. Contact: 99627139/ 97916379. (C 2507) Sharing accommodation available for small family, decent lady or decent gent with separate bathroom in Salmiya Amman street new building C-AC flat fully furnished. Call 99678634. (C 2506) 26-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for working ladies, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom CAC flat with Keralite family. Contact: 66013882. (C 2500) 25-7-2010 Sharing fully furnished flat, C-A/C 2 bedroom 2 bathroom for rent, nice location, specially for families on visit. Phone: 67060429. (C 2494) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near Highway Center for bachelor or family, bachelor rent KD 50, family rent KD 80. Contact: 99645213. (C 2499) Accommodation available in Abbassiya with Keralite family, single room for a single bachelor, Rent KD 50. Contact: 99379165, 24319893. (C 2497) Accommodation available for a family or bachelors in Abbassiya near Highway Center and Paradise hotel in a two bedroom, two bath-

room flat. Contact: 66558927/ 66720897. (C 2498) Sharing accommodation available for a couple or bachelors to share with Keralite Christian family in a CA/C flat, one bedroom with attached bathroom, Salmiya near garden. Contact: 99360073. (C 2496)

FOR SALE Toyota Camry 2007 GL golden color, very low mileage well maintained, excellent condition, price KD 3650. Contact: 66015265. (C 2504) Toyota Camry 2006 GLI silver color, with alloy wheel, remote key, fog lamp, wooden decor, excellent condition. Price KD 2950. Contact: 66033875. (C 2505) Mitsubishi Nativa GLS, model 2007, color light blue, done km 47,000, very good condition, price KD 2,700. Contact: 66211779. (C 2503)

No: 14803


Indian male secretary is looking for immediate placement. 12 years Kuwait experience - complete secretarial/office administration works. Well experienced in independent correspondence/coordination / local purchase/ construction ten-

dering works. 66597087.


(C 2501) 25-7-2010


English-speaking maid wanted. Please call 60055305, 23741548 25-7-2010



Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) A drive to probe and penetrate may find you examining and working through some strong internal changes. Push too hard and you could lose your momentum. It is important to know when to be dominating and when to let another take the lead. There are calls today requesting you to take the lead in some sort of planning committee. There is a desperate need to have your organizational abilities. You are popular with almost everyone and you will have plenty of support. You may find yourself in a health-food store later today--learning about the new products on the market and purchasing healthy foods and vitamins. You have an interest in health improvements of all kind. You may learn new ways to relieve stress and build stamina. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You enjoy working with your mind and your sharp perceptions make finding new solutions easy. You will bring an unexpected twist or insight into a particular project today. You are able to teach or help others to be more original when it comes to the words or thoughts they use. You have an original, laser-like mind that makes conversations fast-paced and illuminating. This evening you may find yourself with a different set of values and at odds with young people or with your surroundings. This is almost like finding yourself in a jazz concert when you thought you were going to an opera. Don't give up trying to understand this situation; keep your patience. You are just the person to help guide others or to set the example for others to follow.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (often followed by `for') Ardently or excessively desirous. 5. Spiritual being attendant upon God. 10. Edible tuber of any of several yams. 13. Perceive sound. 14. Sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with gray furry ears and coat. 15. An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others. 16. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 17. True firs. 18. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 19. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 21. Kauri pine. 23. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 25. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 26. A wooden pin pushed or driven into a surface. 29. The act of scanning. 33. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 36. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 38. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 40. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 41. Type genus of the Anatidae. 43. Genus of tropical plants with creeping rootstocks and small umbellate flowers. 50. A genus of the cactus family with scarlet flowers. 53. Subject to a ruling authority. 54. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 55. Closed with a lace. 58. A small cake leavened with yeast. 59. The cry made by sheep. 60. God of the underworld and judge of the dead. 62. An adult male person (as opposed to a woman). 63. (Norse mythology) One of the Aesir known for his beauty and skill with bow and skis. 64. Freed of dependence on something especially (for mammals) mother's milk. 65. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 2. A sails-shaped constellation in the southern hemisphere near Carina. 3. The villain in William Shakespeare's tragedy who tricked Othello into murdering his wife. 4. Any of numerous low-growing cushion-forming plants of the genus Draba having rosette-forming leaves and terminal racemes of small flowers with scapose or leafy stems. 5. Jordan's port. 6. An elegantly dressed man (often with affected manners). 7. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 8. Resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy. 9. Baked dish of layers of lasagna pasta with sauce and cheese and meat or vegetables. 10. Not only so, but. 11. God of fire. 12. Tiny leafy-stemmed flowerless plants. 20. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 22. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 24. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 27. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 28. Offering fun and gaiety. 30. A boy or man. 31. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 32. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 34. Follower of Rastafarianism. 35. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 37. Spread or daub over. 39. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 42. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 44. Make it possible through a specific action or lack of action for something to happen. 45. (`cease' is a noun only in the phrase `without cease') End v 1. 46. A colorless element that is one of the six inert gasses. 47. Wild or domesticated South American cud-chewing animal related to camels but smaller and lacking a hump. 48. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 49. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 51. A translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. 52. A deep prolonged sound (as of thunder or large bells). 53. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 56. Bulky grayish-brown eagle with a short wedge-shaped white tail. 57. Small cubes with 1 to 6 spots on the faces. 61. A state in north central United States.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Questions of attitude, approaches to problem solving and the methods for managing authorities and the law are in high focus now. There is a possible desire to change jobs because of the stress that you encounter. However, soon enough you will find yourself in a new job as you can also become bored--you like to learn new things and experience new people. The secret here is to learn how to manage the stress you experience. Travel and other contacts with faraway people and places will play a bigger role for you soon and travel keeps coming up in your mind again and again. Apart from work there are possibilities of attending conferences or making higher education or philosophical or religious contacts. Socializing reigns tonight.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) Others may resist your ideas and thoughts. Outwardly, you are intense and passionate. This quality is so essential to your character that all else revolves around it. However, your current situation may demand some re-evaluation or otherwise challenge your ideas. Your ability to cut through the superficial and get to the real heart of things comes through loud and clear. There are no secrets with you. It is just that sometimes others do not want to deal with the truth. Patience; do not lose your cool now. You will get the response you want soon enough. Your career, sense of judgment and problem-solving abilities are at the top of the list as the key components to look out for whenever you feel stuck in a situation. You find unique ways to relax this evening. Leo (July 23-August 22) This is an easy, calm day that should find everything running in a smooth manner. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may, however, be in the forecast. Working with--rather than against--the flow should be easy to do. This is an excellent time to make decisions and take care of mental work. In a word, it is your emotions and gusto that hold your innermost self together. Your feelings are not just important--they are central to really getting to know you. A strong devotional nature is apparent and you may find that people navigate toward you in times of stress as you are the one that speaks calmly and clearly to assuage any fears. The search for a mate and marriage, in particular, is crucial for you. You are driven to find a mate.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Anyone who tries to get you to play with words today is in for a big surprise. Your mind will quickly cut right through all the window dressing and get right down to the quick. Before anyone knows it, you have the heart of a matter out front for everyone to see. In case you were wondering, yes . . . you could apply for detective or research work. Your ability to get to the point is all but phenomenal. Because you value fairness you may find yourself volunteering to coach or tutor before school begins. You may also be put in the position to make a fair decision call today. You appreciate others who have been successful and are encouraged to attend group meetings or gatherings that show off the individual talent; art, entertainment, skills, etc.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Libra (September 23-October 22) Sharp and penetrating insight into your own inner workings may surface now. Others praise your determination. The word for today is accomplishment. If there is a job, you can do it. As a conscientious worker, you pour yourself into any task with absolute determination today. You are responsible to the extreme and take on obligations as though you just cannot get enough. You enjoy discipline-there are no limitations as far as you are concerned--where there is a will, there is a way. It may be time to start an exercise club--perhaps meeting with co-workers before work to walk and exercise each day. This is a time of much energy and drive, perfect for starting something out or taking care of business. A romantic evening is possible. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You may find that both your personal growth and your career may depend upon how you can handle the very sensitive psychological material that may be coming up now. You benefit from analytical insights, getting to the heart of things. You are penetrating. You will prosper by pursuing your ideals and most deepseated dreams of how life could be. Don't be afraid to project your image-making those dreams real. Ideas of group cooperation and communion could further your career. You find that you can really use your mind to make clear choices. Career decisions are straightforward and easy to make. You make your way through ideas and concepts in order to be expressive and successful. Love and money mix beautifully at this time. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You have a natural sense for communicating with others, especially those younger than yourself. Clear thoughts about the past may also be flowing in today. This is a great time to be with others and to work in teams or groups. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus and you might find yourself being asked your opinion. You are able to express good practical job-related thoughts and ideas. You can also communicate well with superiors or describe what you see. Tonight is relaxed and you are able to enjoy and value the opportunities that surface. A friend may share a fun recipe and you will have some game ideas for group gatherings in the future.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You could find yourself being misled or getting too carried away with some plan or idea today--take your time and think things over. You have a fantastic appetite for detail work and some project has your attention all day long. You are responsible and always ready to problem-solve. You could find that you are appreciated by many. Happiness is the result of making things work today and . . . being appreciated. This afternoon may bring opportunities to express your witty side. As time goes on, any anxieties vanish and co-workers are happily waiting for the next project. This evening is a great time to hang out with friends. A social get-together shows you as the life of the party. You are spontaneous. Don't forget an animal friend.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You have an almost reckless faith in the life process. You sense a change and you are a natural supporter of change. Enthusiastic feelings for others and deep running emotions are present in all of your relationships. You have great personal intensity, even power. Love of animals, children and change. Everything conspires to reveal you at your most elegant, particularly in social situations this afternoon. Again--conversations along the line of psychic visions and spiritual ideas seem to dominate the conversations. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on more emotional significance for you. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need this evening. Support and harmony make this a happy time. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You are full of significant insight today with regard to problem solving. This could be a time for real breakthroughs in the idea department. You are in top form when it comes to mental activity. You are a good worker, always thinking and caring for people and things. You are naturally service-oriented and will handle business formalities successfully. By having a good eye for quality, you can sort out the good apples from the bad. You may be given the job of pinpointing a particular error today. You are skilled at using your mind in an analytical manner, always discriminating. An expert at quality control, you can spot the bad apples every time. This includes the workers as well as the work. Higher-ups depend on your input today.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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


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

24874330/9 CLINICS













Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


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Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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aris Hilton has been accused of giving a Nazi salute while partying. The hotel heiress was at a boat party in St Tropez, in the South of France, when she appeared to make the infamous fascist gesture and put a finger on her top lip in apparent joke reference to the late dictator of Germany Adolf Hitler - who had a moustache. Paris was wearing a red military hat when she made the


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

apparent salute. An onlooker said: “She stretched out her arm and raised her finger to her top lip, just like many people have done over the years to mock Hitler. Maybe she meant something else.” However, Paris’ representative has denied she was making a reference to the Nazi party. A representative for the 29-year-old socialite said in a statement: “She was dancing and having fun with her arm up in the

air, as she always dances like that, and was scratching her face when a photo was taken. “These photos of Paris have been completely misrepresented. She did not make a reference to Hitler. “The hat was not a communist hat, it’s a military-style hat from a club. Half of her family is Jewish and many of her friends are as well. She is extremely upset by these allegations.”

ameron Diaz is in no rush to settle down and have kids. The ‘Knight and Day’ actress - who has dated a string of Hollywood hunks, including Justin Timberlake, Jared Leto and Matt Dillon doesn’t want to close herself off to any opportunity in life by settling down. When quizzed about her thoughts on marriage and children, she replied: “What about it? If I say, ‘This is how I’m going to live my life,’ I am closing myself off to all these other possibilities. I’m the kind of girl who likes to be open to every possibility, who is open to all my options.” However, the blonde beauty - who has most recently been romantically linked to baseball star Alex Rodriguez - claims she is a natural “nurturer”. She explained to The Sun newspaper: “My role in a lot of relationships that I have with family and friends is as the nurturer, definitely.” Cameron also revealed what she looks for in a man, should she ever decide to settle down. She said: “I like a guy who is conscientious, who knows where they are in their life and knows who they are. Not pushing off to the side.”

C indsay Lohan has received special treatment in prison, it has been claimed. The ‘Mean Girls’ star began her 90-day sentence at the Century Regional Correctional Facility in Lynwood, California last Tuesday and though inmates are required to remove hair extensions and false eyelashes on arrival to the jail, the 24year-old actress was allowed to keep hers. Alexis Neiers - who was in the cell next to the actress said: “When she came in, she had her head down when she walked by but she was in oranges, just like us. “She got to keep her extensions in and everything, which most people don’t, and the girls were like, ‘Ah, they had to take my weave out and cut it all out,’ stuff like that.” Alexis - who was released from prison on Friday after serving a 30-day sentence for burgling Orlando Bloom’s house - admitted she didn’t have any direct contact with Lindsay, but could hear her crying in her cell. She said in an interview with E! News: “She was crying. She was talking to deputies and, you know, just trying to - I couldn’t really like make it out, but from what I saw the first day, she was lying in there and trying to calm down.” Alexis advised Lindsay to stay strong in order to “get through” the remainder of her sentence. She added: “I wish her the best, honestly, but you know, it’s all up to your mindset, and I don’t know what her mindset is in there. “From what I understand, she was having medical attention and I’m sure she was just trying to get through the


days. It’s hard.” Although Lindsay was sentenced to 90 days in prison for breaching the terms of probation she was set following a 2007 driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, the actress is expected to be released before the end of the month. After leaving jail, the troubled star must then undertake a court-ordered 90-day stint in a rehabilitation facility.

ate Moss has hired a professional exorcist to cleanse her house. The supermodel - who lives in a plush area of north London with her rocker lover Jamie Hince and her seven-year-old daughter Lila Grace - has reportedly hired a shaman to rid her home of “evil energy” following a sequence of bad luck at the property in recent months. A source revealed to The Sun newspaper: “Jamie is a believer in the supernatural and has persuaded her there is a bad energy in the house which needs to be removed by a shaman priest. “She has found one who will perform a ceremony to cleanse the place.” In May, Kate had an original Banksy painting - believed to be worth £80,000 - stolen by burglars while The Kills frontman Jamie and her mother Linda were sleeping. To make matters worse, just days later £100,000 worth of damage was caused when the property was flooded with sewage. A source revealed at the time: “Trouble started following heavy rains at the beginning of May and culminated in her basement flooding and the pump system clogging up. The house is a complete disaster zone, with mud, gunge and sewage everywhere.”


ason Orange tucked into a giant 3ft birthday cake in the shape of a poker table at his party. The Take That star and his twin brother Justin were presented with the comic cake at their lavish 40th birthday bash which was held on the rooftop of Manchester’s Great John Street hotel on Sunday night . The intricate design included stacks of poker chips and even tiny figurines of Jason and Justin and their brothers Oliver, Dominic and Sam, who are all obsessed with the gambling card game. A source said: “It looked incredible - there were piles of poker chips and cards, all the markings of a poker table and figurines that looked just like Jason and his brothers.” Jason’s party which was held in a lavish marquee decorated with fairy lights overlooking the English city - kicked off with a feast of curries, fish and chips and a hog roast. Guests - who included Jason’s bandmates


- listened to a string of party hits including Take That songs ‘Shine’ and ‘Rule the World’ as well as single ‘No Regrets’ by Robbie Williams - who has just rejoined the band. A source said: “Jason pulled out all the stops to make this a night he’ll never forget. “The roof terrace was covered with a huge marquee and twinkly lights, and he had all sorts of surprises up his sleeve.”

he ‘Tik Tok’ singer recently learnt how to permanently ink herself using sewing needles and a pen, and tested out her new skill on a “hot” man she met in a hotel. She said: “A friend of mine told me you can create a tattoo with pen ink and a safety pin and I was like, ‘That’s amazing. I could give tattoos at anywhere in the world at any hotel.’ I saw this hot dude recently and I gave him a tattoo sitting in the lobby of the hotel. I was just like, ‘Can I borrow a pen and a sewing kit?’ I think I got an


admirer out of that one.” The 23-year-old pop star - who is known for being outspoken and for her eccentric dress sense also revealed she has a unique way of flirting with men in bars. She added to Paper Magazine: “I usually do something ridiculous like send him over a shot of whiskey and then spank him. Something like that.” Kesha claims to be such a “pervert”, she even attempts to pick up men whilst listening to heavy metal music in her Trans Am car. She added: “I wouldn’t say I’m aggressive, but I’m a pervert. I have a gold Trans Am and my favorite thing to do in the world is to drive around blasting Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, cat calling dudes. It doesn’t work, but it’s fun.”— Bang Showbiz

he ‘High School Musical’ actress who is in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Zac Efron - admits she loves to “load” items on when she gets dressed and plans to release an accessories line in the future. She said: “I’m a freak when it comes to fashion and accessorizing. I love putting things together and just loading it on. “I think that me and my girlfriend are going to start a jewelry line and then slowly work our way into fashion. It’ll happen but right now I want to focus more on film.” The 21year-old star also reveals she is excited for the return of the flare legs because she has become bored of skinnyfit. She told “I’m obsessed with flare legs and everyone has been wearing skinny so I’m excited that it’s coming back.” Vanessa has previously revealed her love for denim, claiming it to be a great material to make you feel “like a sexpot”. She said: “Denim goes with anything. And if your jeans hug you the right way, you feel like sexpot. And they get better with age.”



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The view from the window at the Kotoni House, a B&B in Gjirokastra, Albania. — MCT photos

By Carol Pucci alter Mio, 22, was just a toddler when his family opened a four-table restaurant inside his grandfather’s house in the mountain town of Berati in southern Albania. What began as one of the first private businesses to open in 1993, after the fall of communism, is now the Hotel Mangalemi, a boutique inn, surrounded by pine forests and whitewashed villas wedged into terraced hillsides. In a stone house where an Ottoman king once slept, guests sip cocktails on a rooftop deck and eat homemade sausages and desserts of honey and walnuts. In a country where religion was once banned, they awake to the sounds of church bells and the Muslim call to prayer. Valter smiled and patted his stomach when I complimented the roast chicken and stuffed peppers his mother had cooked the night before. As satisfying as the meal was the bill, $17 for two. If Berati were a town in Greece or Italy, it would be filled with tourists roaming its 13th-century castle, and peering into its ancient mosques and Byzantine churches. Berati was designated a “museum city” by the government in the 1960s, and its historical architecture was preserved. But this was Albania, and my husband, Tom, and I were among just a few foreigners. Isolated from the rest of Europe and most of the world for nearly 50 years by its dictator, Enver Hoxha, Albania, Valter reminded us, was a country where 20 years ago, “even the idea of owning a private hotel or restaurant was not allowed.” The borders were sealed. Private cars and phones were banned. What little learned Albanians knew about the outside, they


gleaned from patching into Italian TV or Voice of America. Like politics, a free press and religion, tourism in Albania, said Valter, is evolving, “slowly, slowly.” Outside on the Berati streets, sidewalk vendors offered roasted sunflower seeds in paper cones and sour plums the size of cherry tomatoes as we joined in the ritual evening stroll along the riverfront. Inside the castle walls, where families still live in stone houses tucked along cobbled streets too narrow for cars, a woman peered out of her doorway and motioned us inside. Over tiny cups of coffee, we sat in her living room and chatted a while, using a few Albanian words and some Italian. As memories of the Bosnian war and ethnic conflicts of the early 1990s fade, the Balkan countries of Croatia and Montenegro in the former Yugoslavia are drawing travelers looking for less expensive alternatives to Western Europe. Like its neighbors, Albania, a country slightly smaller than the state of Maryland, has historic towns with architecture evoking 500 years of rule by the Ottoman Turks; archaeological sites with Greek and Roman ruins; mountains and seaside resorts along a long stretch of Mediterranean coastline. With its leftover communist-style buildings and half-finished construction projects, the capital of Tirana is hardly Paris or London. But no longer is it the city of garbage-strewn streets and beggars that travel writer Paul Theroux described in his 1995 book “The Pillars of Hercules.” In the Blloku neighborhood, villas once reserved for the communist-party elite house smart cafes where Tiranians sip cocktails on outdoor patios furnished with sofas and arm-

Model Victoria presents the latest hat fashion ‘Pink Lady’ of designer Constanze Goretzka in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday. The latest hat and cap fashion is shown at the fashion fair CPD in Dusseldorf. — AP

The 13th-century chapel of St. Michael’s is wedged into the hillside overlooking a river in Berati, Albania.

chairs. One night we joined a journalist friend at a restaurant called Shakesbeer owned by an Albanian chef who worked in London. Walking along a wide boulevard built before World War II by Italian invaders for military parades, we passed the former government-owned Hotel Dajti, now closed, and the white marble pyramid built as a mausoleum for Hoxha. A bronze plaque marks a street named Presidenti George W. Bush in honor of his visit in 2007, remembered for the cheering crowds that greeted him (Bush was a supporter of neighboring Kosovo’s independence) and his watch that was either lost or stolen in the crush. “Albanians love Americans and America,” our friend explained. As it was in Berati, people were

friendly and anxious to talk. A man sitting across from us at a pizza restaurant our first day in town told us that he spent time working in the US during the war in Kosovo, and earned enough money to pay for his wedding. When he got up to leave, he offered to buy us an espresso. My husband, Tom, explained he doesn’t drink coffee. “Beer then,” he said, and told the waitress our drinks were on him. I had a personal reason for wanting to know more about Albania. We found out only recently that my grandfather was born in the southern Italian village of Greci. The town was abandoned by the Greeks, then settled by Albanian soldiers in the 15th century as a reward for the help the Albanian war hero, Skanderbeg, gave Neapolitan kings in fighting insurgents. Many in Greci

WHERE: Albania is in southeast Europe’s Western Balkan Peninsula, bounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece. Italy lies across the Adriatic Sea. The currency is the lek (109 lek equals $1 at current exchange rates). Most hotels quote prices in euros. GETTING AROUND: Rental cars and taxis are available. For long-distance transport, most people get around on buses and vans called furgons. Trips of three or four hours cost no more than $5-$7. Distances between major towns are

Model Victoria presents the latest hat fashion ‘Rosentraum’ (Rose Dream) of designer SchubhofenFroy.—AP

oha Enterprises is proud to announce Miss USA 2010, Rima Fakih, will make her first official visit to the Middle East at the second annual Made in the USA - Qatar 2010 exhibition. Fakih will spend three days in Qatar, during which she will participate at the Made in the USA Exhibition, and tour the country, meeting with dignitaries and the community. Fakih is the first Arab-American to be crowned Miss USA. “I am honored to represent the United States of America at this year’s Made in the USA exhibition. I heard wonderful things about last year’s



The historic mountain town of Berati in Albania was declared a ‘museum city’ by the communist government.

still speak an Albanian dialect, and everyone from there, including my family, has Albanian roots. Away from Tirana, rugged mountains form the backdrop for Albania’s rural villages and seaside towns. We traveled on buses and shared vans, called furgons. Twolane roads cut through a countryside strewn with dome-shaped concrete bunkers left over from the Hoxha years. Locals steer travelers to the Greek and Roman ruins in the ancient city of Butrinti and the nearby beaches in the coastal town of Saranda across from the Greek island of Corfu. More memorable than any sites, though, were the experiences we had and the people we met while traveling in a country where tourists are few. On one of our long bus rides, we sam-

short, but travel time can be slow due to road conditions. TRAVELER’S TIP: About 70 percent of Albanians are Muslim, but the country was officially atheist under the former communist dictator Enver Hoxha. Those who practice observe a moderate form of Islam. One of the most interesting religions is Bektashism, a liberal Muslim sect whose members worship in elegant temples called tekes. The teke in Berati is especially worth visiting. — MCT

(From Left) Models Marisa and Victoria present the latest hat fashion ‘Apfelbluete’ (Apple Blossom) of designer Michaela Strobel, left, and ‘Flamingo’ of designer Chistina Kreschel. — AP

inaugural event and am confident this year will be even better,” Fakih said. The second annual Made in the USA - Qatar 2010 exhibition, will take place October 12 till 15th 2010, in Doha, Qatar. Under the patronage of HE Abdulla bin Hamad Al Attiya, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Industry and in partnership with Microsoft. This show is a must for American companies looking to showcase their products and/or services in the lucrative Gulf Region. Rashid Al Kuwari, chairman of Doha

Enterprises, said, “We are truly honored that Rima chose Qatar as her first official visit to the Middle East. We are proud of her accomplishments and look forward to hosting her.” Made in the USA - Qatar 2010 will attract visitors from the entire Gulf and the Middle East. Doha Enterprises anticipates attracting over 300 exhibitors and over 35,000 high-level business people, government officials, dignitaries and interested citizens from Qatar and around the Gulf. On May 16, 2010, during one of the year’s most-watched live television events, a star-stud-

pled pace, the national breakfast dish made from parts of a sheep’s head. It was early morning on the Llogara Pass, the highest point on the southern coastline. The driver stopped at a mountain restaurant, and the waiters brought out bowls of what looked like a thick soup. It was pace, and despite our initial inhibitions, the soup was delicious. In the town of Gjirokastra, we met Haxhi and Vita Kotoni, owners of the Kotoni House, the first private hotel to open after the communist government fell. Using UNESCO funds, they renovated Haxhi’s 300-year-old family home as a B&B decorated with carved wooden ceilings and Vita’s embroidered pillows and woven rugs. As Hoxha’s birthplace and Albania’s second “museum city,” Gjirokastra, like Berati, received special attention. Built into a steep hillside below a castle and above a modern university town are Ottoman-era stone houses, some restored, others abandoned and awaiting money for repairs. The port city of Durres on the Adriatic Sea was our last stop before crossing to Italy on an overnight ferry. Within a few blocks walk in the historic center were the remains of a 2nd-century Roman amphitheater, a shop selling 30-cent scoops of Red Bull-flavored ice cream and a bar in the turret of a Venetian watch tower. I thought about the conversation Theroux had with a man named Fatmir as the writer was preparing to leave on a ferry for Greece. “I hope you come back in 10 years,” Fatmir told Theroux. “You will find that the houses are better, the town is better, the port is better, the food is better and I am better.” He was right. Slowly, slowly, Albania is changing.

Model Marisa presents the latest hat fashion ‘Ankerlichter’ (Anchor Lights) of designer Hutmode Willer.

ded panel of judges chose Miss Michigan USA, Rima Fakih, as MISS USA 2010. Ms Fakih, 24, is from Dearborn, Michigan. She is the first ArabAmerican to be crowned Miss USA. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with a minor in Business Administration. After completing her reign as Miss USA, she plans to attend law school. She enjoys traveling, running, dancing, kickboxing and especially likes playing football and watching the NFL.


38 B


illboard CD reviews

ARTIST: EMINEM ALBUM: RECOVERY hroughout “Recovery,” the rapper’s first album since overcoming an addiction to pharmaceuticals, Eminem is unsparing in assessing the weakness of character that led to his descent into drugs. But the strong-selling rapper is even more severe in assessing the weakness of the work he made during that addiction: “Them last two albums didn’t count/’Encore’ I was on drugs, ‘Relapse’ I was flushing them out,” he insists on the track “Talkin’ 2 Myself,” where he also admits that he considered taking shots at Lil Wayne and Kanye West. (“”“Thank God that I didn’t do it,” he raps with audible relief. “I’d have had my ass handed to me, and I knew it.”) Eminem certainly sounds recharged on “Recovery,” delivering nearly every verse with the kind of breathless, amped-up energy that defined early hits like “Lose Yourself.” But it’s an oddly morose comeback album, as suffused with regret (“Going Through Changes,” based on a sample of Black Sabbath’s “Changes”) as with triumph (“Won’t Back Down,” featuring Pink). Leave it to Em to continue confounding expectations this late in the game.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ARTIST: CYNDI LAUPER ALBUM: MEMPHIS BLUES veryone knows this girl just wants to have fun, but Cyndi Lauper means business on her new album, “Memphis Blues,” a guest-studded trip toward Beale Street. And we’ll give her a pass for treating Buddy Johnson’s “I’m Just Your Fool” more like Chicago than Memphis, especially since Lauper wraps her elastic voice around all 11 tracks with such taste and passion. Allen Toussaint’s piano lends gravity to Lowell Fulson’s “Shattered Dreams” and Memphis Slim’s “Mother Earth,” while he and B.B. King team for a slinky take of the Louis Jordan signature “Early in the Morning.” Other guests include Ann Peebles, Kenny Brown, Charlie Musselwhite, Jonny Lang and some of Memphis’ most credentialed session cats. Only Lauper’s take on the staple “How Blue Can You Get?” comes off a bit stiff. But her rustic spin on Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” (featuring Lang) more than makes up for it, and closes “Memphis Blues” on the best possible note.

By Matt Moore and Nancy C Albritton ondoleezza Rice is no stranger to the whims of royalty. So when the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, decided the two should get together to play a song or two for charity, it was decreed. The former US secretary of state and Franklin took the stage yesterday evening at Philadelphia’s Mann Music Center in a rare duet for Rice, the classically trained pianist, and Franklin, the divalicious voice of a generation. Their aim is to raise money for urban children and awareness for music and the arts. “It is a joint effort for the inner-city youth of Philadelphia and Detroit,” Franklin told The Associated Press the night before their concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Their appearance will brim not only with Franklin’s catalog of hits, but arias from the world of opera and classical music. “We decided to give it a try,” Franklin said. “So here we are, in the city of Brotherly-and SisterlyLove.” Rice, better known as a diplomat and national


security adviser, will accompany Franklin singing her hits “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” Rice said she’s been practicing furiously for her performance of Mozart’s piano concerto in D Minor with the orchestra. Franklin’s repertoire will include songs from her new album “A Woman Falling Out of Love,” to be released later this year. Rice’s given name is derived from the Italian opera stage instruction con dolcezza, meaning “with sweetness.” Long a musician of note, she played from elementary school through college and beyond, in quartets and performing chamber music. She has even played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma but “this will be the first time I’ve played with an orchestra since I was 18,” she said. When she learned that Rice played classical music, Franklin sent for one of her recordings “to hear what she sounded like.” Previously, she said, “All I had seen of Dr Rice was in a political atmosphere. It just seemed foreign that she would be a classical pianist.” Franklin was surprised. “She really does play,” Franklin said. “She’s formidable.” The two met at a White House function, Rice

recalled. “We were just talking and chatting and she said ‘You play, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ And she said we should do something together.” Rice told the AP their plan to play together was borne of their mutual appreciation for music and determination to keep it near and accessible to children. Franklin, relaxing in her hotel suite and holding a single long-stemmed peach-hued rose, deplored school budget cuts of music and arts programs as “a travesty” that cannot be allowed. “Imagine what all of this would be without music. If you have to cut, cut something else. Not the music. We need the music. It soothes the savage beast. We need the music.” Rice, in a separate interview, agreed. “Nothing makes me more unhappy than when I hear people talk about music education in the schools as extracurricular,” Rice said. Both women lauded each other’s talents, and abilities, but Rice made it clear she’ll leave the singing to Franklin. “You do not want to hear me sing!” Rice said. “I’m a good choir musician, but I think I will stick to playing the piano.”— AP

Aretha Franklin



ARTIST: MACY GRAY ALBUM: THE SELLOUT indsight is always 20/20. And in the case of Macy Gray’s latest-which she says “reflects my true identity”-it makes you wonder if her career would have lost as much steam if this had followed her 1999 breakthrough, “On How Life Is.” During “The Sellout,” the emotive, raspy-voiced singer delves deeper into the left-of-center vision that still feeds her engaging melodies and compelling lyrics throbbing with irony, humor and realness. Those characteristics shine on the life-affirming anthem “Beauty in the World,” the torchy “Still Hurts,” soul-pop gem “Lately” and “Real Love,” a duet with Bobby Brown that skillfully balances the line between tongue-in-cheek and cheesy. Shifting effortlessly into rock mode, Gray delivers one of the album’s best performances on “Kissed It,” teaming with rock act Velvet Revolver on the spicy missive with a naughty-but-nice hook. Not every track is a slam-dunk, but Gray definitely recaptures her earlier promise.


ARTIST: MILEY CYRUS ALBUM: CAN’T BE TAMED iley Cyrus recently admitted that she listens to “zero pop music” and insisted that with her own material she’s “not just sitting here trying to sell glitz and glamour.” Cyrus proves her point on “Can’t Be Tamed,” the full-length follow-up to last year’s “The Time of Our Lives” EP. Compared with that set’s irresistible title track, these 12 new tunes sound like the work of someone who can’t wait to move into her stripped-down singersongwriter phase. The music arrives buffed to an immaculate studio sheen, of course, with production by Mouse House regulars John Shanks and Rock Mafia. The track “Who Owns My Heart” is as synth-heavy as recent singles by the Black Eyed Peas, while “Permanent December” sports a killer electrodisco bridge. But throughout “Can’t Be Tamed,” Cyrus seems checked out of her vocal performances, singing with neither the tween-queen enthusiasm of her “Hannah Montana” material nor the confrontational energy of 2008’s “Breakout.” The lone exception is a delightfully campy robo-country cover of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”


ARTIST: THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS ALBUM: FURTHER he Chemical Brothers make giant gut-wallops of electronic sound that carry best in an arena or open field in England. But the visual cacophony is as essential to the live Chems experience as the aural one-scrambles of psychedelic delight that have been created by designers Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall since the band’s live debut in 1994. For the duo’s seventh studio album, “Further,” Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons lead with the pictures, developing each of the set’s eight tracks with a mini-movie in mind. The result is a less song-based effort than previous works-no distinctive collaborators like Q-Tip or Beth Orton-that nonetheless tells a story. Yes, that’s an equine braying heard on the eight-cylinder “Horse Power,” a longhaired techno-hippie riff on “Dissolve” and a slightly dewy, almost Airlike French-ness on “Swoon.” There’s nothing here that even the Chems themselves haven’t done before, but that doesn’t make the sensory thrills any less giddy. — Reuters


By Gary Graff he Beach Boys will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first single “Surfin”“ in 2011, but band member Mike Love says any specific reports about how they’ll do that are premature. “There have been a lot of ideas floated, but nothing decided,” the senior remaining Beach Boy tells “So far it’s just conversation. There are no big plans yetalthough there’s a lot of interest from a lot of people to see what would happen

T Rapper DMX begins 90-day jail sentence in LA apper DMX surrendered to a judge Monday to begin serving a 90-day jail sentence for a 2002 reckless driving conviction. Los Angeles City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said the 39-year-old rapper turned himself in at a downtown courthouse. He said a judge ruled that the rapper cannot be freed on electronic monitoring, work release or home detention. DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was originally charged with drunken driving, but those charges were later dismissed. He has been repeatedly arrested and jailed in the past decade, recently serving a sentence in an Arizona jail for violating probation by failing a drug test. Court records show DMX was found in violation of his probation in January and was supposed to surrender in March. He didn’t appear in court and a judge revoked the rapper’s $100,000 bail. A phone message left for attorney Anthony Alexander, who recently represented DMX in the case, was not immediately returned Monday. — AP


merican rock band Kings of Leon said they were forced to abandon a concert in St Louis at the weekend after three songs because pigeons kept pooping on them from the rafters. The band left the stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Friday after bass player Jared Followill was hit in the face by one dropping. “Jared was hit several times during the first two songs. On the third song, when he was hit in the cheek and some of it landed near his mouth, they couldn’t deal any longer,” the Nashville band’s publicist, Any Mendelsohn, said in a statement. “It’s not only disgusting - it’s a toxic hazard. They really tried to hang in


if we got together and did some new music and maybe did some shows. But so far nothing’s firm.” Former group member Al Jardine recently said the group- including Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston and early member David Marks — would reunite in 2011 for at least one reunion show, probably free. And an early suggestion was made that Wilson and Love would be collaborate on some new material, but that was rebuffed by Wilson’s management, who cited his focus on his upcoming “Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin,” due Aug 17.

George Harrison.” Meanwhile, Love offered a shout-out to Katy Perry’s recent No 1 “California Gurls,” which offers a fresh take on Love and Wilson’s homophonic 1965 hit. “I think the part she did is pretty cool,” he says. “There are a lot of writers on it, and I think it’s probably a stroke of genius to have the king of canine cool, Mr (Snoop) Dogg, do his thing. But I think her creative part, her musical part, is pretty hooky. I think it brings the Beach Boys’ 1965 classic to mind, that’s for sure.”— Reuters

Singers perform on stage during a dress rehearsal of Wolfgang Rihm’s opera ‘Dionysos’ in Salzburg on July 23, 2010. The opera is conducted by Ingo Metzmacher and directed by Pierre Audi. ‘Dionysos’ was premiered yesterday as part of the annual Salzburg Festival. — AFP

there.” Drummer Nathan Followill apologized on Twitter to fans of the Grammy-winning band which is made up of three Followill brothers and their cousin Matthew who plays lead guitar. “So sorry St Louis. We had to bail, pigeons in Jared’s mouth and it was too unsanitary to continue,” he wrote. “Don’t take it out on Jared ... Sorry for all who (traveled) many miles.” The band was to continue its US tour in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday to promote its fourth album “Only By The Night” before heading to Canada and Britain. The country duo Sugarland was scheduled to play the venue on Sunday night. — Reuters

grisly collection of autopsy tools used to prepare Elvis Presley’s body has been removed from auction after doubts were raised about their provenance and authenticity. Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers last week said rubber gloves, forceps, lip brushes, a comb, eye liner, needle injectors, and a toe tag, all of which were used on Presley ahead of his funeral in 1977, would go on sale on Aug 12. The instruments were said to have been saved for years by an anonymous, retired embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home. The auctioneer estimated a sale price of up to $14,000. But Mary Williams, a spokeswoman for the auction house, said the instruments had been withdrawn from auction after the funeral operator laid claim to them. “Due to questions of ownership, the retired embalmer and his son have decided to turn over the property to the Memphis Funeral Home and its parent company, Service

Corporation International with the intention of donation,” Williams said in a statement. Memphis Funeral Home President EC Daves also told The Commercial Appeal newspaper in

Tennessee that there was no way to tell whether the items being offered for sale were authentic. He said the retired embalmer claims he took the items after Presley was embalmed, but another employee told him the equipment was sterilized and used again. Daves said the funeral home had no plans to take any legal action if the items were returned. When announcing the sale last week, Williams admitted the auction may be controversial as some people “are going to be disappointed” by the sale of these items. Elvis memorabilia, however, is always in strong demand with a lock of his hair selling for $18,300 at an auction last year. Presley died from heart problems after taking a cocktail of prescription drugs on Aug. 16, 1977, at the age of 42 but he continues to be one of the top earning dead celebrities, bringing in $55 million in 2009 according to — Reuters

that he had “urgently advised against” the event taking place. Organizers said that 1.4 million people attended the festival, one of Europe’s biggest techno dance parties, although the festival only had authorization for 250,000 revelers, according to Spiegel magazine. Sauerland, 55, who has so far resisted pressure from all sides to resign and has reportedly been pelted with rubbish by furious citizens, denied the reports. “I am not aware of any warnings,” he told the Rheinische Post local paper, as media reports said his family had been placed under police protection for their own safety. The paper also said that “misgivings about security flaws were swept under the carpet.” It also emerged yesterday that authorities withheld permission to stage the event until the last possible minute. The Stadt-Anzeiger quoted an “insider” at city hall as saying that the final authorization was signed on Saturday morning, only hours before revelers began arriving. Local media and residents have charged Sauerland with brushing aside safety concerns out of a desire for the city to make a sizeable profit from the festival.

Meanwhile, prosecutors stepped up their manslaughter investigation into the causes, as floral and written tributes continued to pile up in and around the tunnel where the deaths took place. With the local police also in the firing line for the blame, a separate police investigation has been handed over to authorities in the nearby city of Essen “for reasons of neutrality.” The latest victim, a 21year-old German woman, succumbed to her injuries in hospital late Monday. In all, seven foreigners-from Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Bosnia and Spain-were among the dead. Hannelore Kraft, the newly elected head of the North Rhine-Westphalia, whose son was reportedly at the event, also criticized what she said were “insufficient” security measures. And adding to the pressure on Sauerland, several papers ratcheted up their campaign for him to take the rap. Influential mass circulation Bild published pictures of seven of the victims with the front-page headline: “Who will pay for their deaths?” “These young people were crushed, suffocated and trampled-but no one wants to take responsibility for their deaths,” the paper thundered. — AFP


By Patrik Stollarz

Candles and flowers are placed near the accident site in Duisburg, Germany, Monday. — AP

“I’ve had a few conversations recently with my cousin Brian ... about doing some musical projects together,” Love says. “But we’re busy touring, he’s busy recording and doing some dates, so in the fall we’ll get more focused on it.” Love says he himself has recorded “18 to 20 songs that I have yet to come out with,” including tunes inspired by his experiences with Transcendental Meditation and the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi and a song entitled “Pisces Brothers,” which Love describes as “a reminiscence about

resh accusations emerged yesterday that the under-fire mayor of Duisburg in Germany ignored warnings that the Love Parade was a disaster waiting to happen, as the death toll rose to 20. More than 500 people were injured in Saturday’s tragedy, crushed as panic broke out in a narrow tunnel that served as the only entrance to the techno festival grounds that were reportedly far too small for the number of ravers. An unnamed officer from the city police force told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily: “The police in Duisburg made their misgivings known at several workshops and during several discussions.” The daily Stadt-Anzeiger in nearby Cologne also reported on its website that both police and the fire brigade had expressed reservations about the venue. According to the paper, the head of Duisburg’s fire brigade wrote to the mayor, Adolf Sauerland, in October 2009 to say that the disused railway freight grounds were “physically not suitable.” And the former head of Duisburg fire brigade, Klaus Schaefer, told rolling news channel N-TV



Wednesday, July 28, 2010



When a ‘perfect match’ turns sour South Indian actress Kavya served legal notice over slander campaign By Sajeev K Peter t was a high profile marriage held under the full glare of media. Solemnized at Kollur Mookambika temple, one of the holy Hindu shrines in India, the marriage hogged unusual limelight since the bride was a south Indian film celebrity Kavya Madhavan and the bridegroom, Nischal Chandra, a prominent Non Resident Indian (NRI) engineer from Kuwait. The wedding was sanctified af ter verification of horoscopes, ‘pennu kaanal’ (seeing the girl), engagement and other customary rituals. The newly-weds were blessed by a galaxy of dignitaries including superstars from the south Indian film industry. All said in one voice, ‘A perfect match.’ It was held on February 5, 2009. Today, after a gap of nearly one and a half years, the marriage is on the rocks. “I was shocked to see Kavya on TV talking about divorce,” an appalled Nischal Chandra told media-persons in Kuwait recently. “It is so humiliating for one to learn the


Nischal Chandra addresses a press conference held in Kuwait. news of one’s own broken marriage from TV,” he said. Kavya, who left Kuwait for Kerala to attend a friend’s wedding on June 27, 2009, unilaterally declared that she is seeking a divorce. Nischal was reacting after Kavya went live on Malayalam TV channels, leveling a series of allegations against Nischal and his family. “The allegations are baseless and leveled with

By Bryan Alexander he “James Bond 007: Blood Stone” video game event in London this month had all the class and splash one would expect from the world’s most elegant spy. Guests sipped Champagne in the historic former church venue One Marylebone and inspected pieces of Bond memorabilia including Oddjob’s hat from “Goldfinger” and Jaws’ famous teeth. The event even featured a video game Bond girl in a stunning black evening dress, the Brit songstress Joss Stone who belts out the game’s theme song. However impressive the Activision launch, big questions about the historic franchise loomed. Longtime Bond producer Michael G Wilson touched on these unspoken questions from the podium. “I wish we were launching a movie,” he quipped, bringing laughter from the audience. It was a rare public comment and an even rarer moment of mirth in the drawn-out James Bond-MGM saga, which has left the faithful feeling shaken. In April, Wilson and his half sister and fellow Bond producer, Barbara Broccoli, announced that development of the next 007 feature, known as “Bond 23,” was suspended “indefinitely.” The baddie who finally managed to knock Bond out of commission? Financial woes at MGM, which owns rights to Bond but is saddled with a crushing $4 billion in debt. Although no one doubts that Bond will be back, questions remain about where the next picture will find its financing and whether the open-ended delay will slow the momentum the franchise had rediscovered on the rugged shoulders of Daniel Craig. The topic fascinates the legions of Bond fans as well as industry insiders. “It’s a business problem that will be solved, and then Bond will be back,” said director Phillip Noyce, whose Bond-esque thriller “Salt” has just begun its worldwide campaign. “There’s still a lot of hunger out there for the Bond story.” But Bond appears to be left out in the cold as MGM debtholders extended a deadline to get the studio’s financial house in order to Sept 15. Broccoli and Wilson declined comment but are said to be deeply concerned about the effect of an indefinite delay. “They’re completely panicked that if they go five, six years without a Bond movie, it’ll be over,” a former MGM insider said. “They don’t want to kill the golden goose.” According to the


willful intent,” he said, refuting charges one by one. Media bias Visibly perturbed at the manner in which the Indian media handled the episode by projecting only Kavya’s side of the story, he said, “Not a single media person ever cared to verify with me whether the charges leveled against me are true or false. It’s quite unfortu-

source, Broccoli is hoping for a sale to Time Warner. But TW’s $1.5 billion bid for the studio in May, though the highest fielded, is well below what MGM expected. And potential companies still in the hunt-Spyglass Entertainment, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate-apparently are not on the scale that would satisfy the Bond producers. “Bond’s the entire yearly production budget for Lionsgate, and you’ve got (hostile suitor) Carl Icahn saying they’re spending too much money,” the former MGM insider said. “These (prospective MGM buyers) freak them out. (But) all they can do is work behind the scenes to get what they want.” Broccoli and Wilson also continue to push for Sony Pictures to be involved. The studio was behind the production, marketing and distribution of 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.” Although a delay might be worrisome, the nearly 50year-old movie franchise not only has kept its mojo through a steady stream of reinventions but also has rebounded despite similar previous pauses. Bruce Feirstein, a frequent 007 screenwriter who recently completed the complex video story behind “Blood Stone,” recalls that there was a sixyear wait before switching Bonds from Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan for 1995’s “GoldenEye,” a film whose screenplay he worked on. The film went on to gross $352 million worldwide. “The franchise never lost its luster during that period,” Feirstein noted. “GoldenEye” casting director Pam Dixon recalled excitedly telling the film’s director, Martin Campbell, that her young son didn’t know who Bond was. To her, that meant a chance to give the franchise a real reboot. “The long break was a plus in that instance,” she says. “Bond 23” was moving forward on the heels of more than $1 billion in worldwide grosses from Craig’s 2006 debut “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” Craig was ready to roll into action again with “Bond 23,” and “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes was in discussions to take the helm. The project was due out next year. Craig has been the good soldier during the delay, standing behind his April statement in which he said he was looking “forward to production resuming as quickly as possible.” As 007 sits on the sidelines, Bond hardly is the only game in town. The spy marketplace is filled with competing secret agents crowd-

nate,” he said. “Today, blatant lies are spread against me and my family. Just because she is a celebrity, the media took her for granted,” Nischal added. “Life is not a movie. It won’t have the glamour and glitz of the tinsel world. But, no one in his or her right sense will take marriage so silly and casually,” Nischal points out. He said she had agreed to give up her acting career after marriage. Still, he allowed her to complete the remaining work of the film ‘Pattanathil Bhootham’ she had acted in. Kavya first left Kuwait with her parents on March 15, 2009 to complete the shooting. She returned to Kuwait after 14 days, Nischal recalled. “It was a totally different Kavya after her return. She was moody, short-tempered and seen lost in thoughts,” he said. Dowry claim “No dowry of any sort was demanded or taken either before or after the marriage,” he insists adding that she was brought to Kuwait soon after the marriage on February 21,

2009. Kavya stayed in Kuwait only for less than three months, of which, her parents also stayed with her for five weeks, “Extra care was taken by all family members to make her stay in Kuwait comfortable. In fact, my mother treated her like her own daughter,” he claimed refuting the charge of ill-treatment by his mother. Nischal says that their life in Kuwait was happy, albeit, short-lived. She was taken to all places of interest in Kuwait. They went on a honeymoon trip to Egypt. She had access to three phone lines - landline, mobile phone and Skype - from which she made and received calls. Asked whether he would agree to their demand for a mutually acceptable divorce, Nischal said, “At the moment, a divorce is not my priority. They have raised false allegations about me and my family. Our honor and reputation are at stake. So, I have to clear the confusions created by those lies,” he said. Nischal said that after going back to India, she never tried

Nischal Chandra and Kavya Madhavan during their wedding reception. to contact him or his family. “After TV channels aired the news about Kavya’s divorce plan, we tried to talk to her and her family to find out what went wrong. But they refused to talk. All our attempts for a reconciliation also failed,” Nischal recalled. Diatribe Kavya did not call or greet him on his birthday on July 5, “When I called her up on July 7, she yelled at me and said, ‘You are only an ordinary engineer, your brother is an ordinary doctor. And your father is

US actress Angelina Jolie reacts during the Japan premiere of her spy actionthriller film “Salt” in Tokyo, yester day.—AP

Angelina Jolie says Pitt is ʻwonderful fatherʼ By Mari Yamaguchi ctress Angelina Jolie, in Tokyo for the weekend opening of action thriller “Salt,” brushed off rumors about her shaky relations with Brad Pitt. “He was just a wonderful father,” she said yesterday of Pitt, during work on the film, in which she plays a tough spy. He often brought the children to the set, she recalled. “They played with fake blood, and they found mommy very strange in her different hair,” she said. Pitt and Jolie have been partners since they began a relationship while working on the 2005 film “Mr & Mrs Smith.” They are raising six children.


Last week, Pitt and Jolie accepted undisclosed damages in London’s High Court to settle a privacy claim against a British tabloid that had reported in January that they were planning to split. Asked about her ability to work and maintain a happy family, Jolie told reporters at a Tokyo hotel: “Brad is the word that makes it possible.” Jolie, who arrived Monday, brought four of the children along on the Japan trip. They have already spent some time shopping for toys inspired by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s animation characters Ponyo and Totoro, she said. Jolie, 35, acknowledged she once surprised her 8-year-old son

Maddox with her disguise as a male naval officer in “Salt.” He came into the room and reluctantly shook hands with the person he didn’t know was his mother. “And I said, ‘Honey, it’s mommy,”‘ Jolie said. “I think I freaked him out,” she said with a laugh, adding that he then watched her peel off her fake ears, hands and nose. “I play these roles, but I’m always in every minute their mom first,” she said. “I’m a bit of a goofy. I’m funny at home, I think.” Her children aren’t going to be seeing the movie, though. “I think it’s very hard for them to see someone trying to kill their mom, even if she wins,” she said. —AP

Filmmaker Oliver Stone slammed for anti-Semitism By Georg Szalai he US-based AntiDefamation League Monday slammed filmmaker Oliver Stone for comments he made to The Sunday Times of London, calling the film director’s views “anti-Semitic.” Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said: “Oliver Stone has once again shown his conspiratorial colors with his comments about ‘Jewish domination of the media’ and control over US foreign policy. His words conjure up some of the most stereotypical and conspiratorial notions of undue Jewish power and influence.” The ADL said Stone used an old stereotype “in a particularly egregious fashion by suggesting that Hitler has gotten an unfair shake because of Jewish influence.” When asked in an interview with the Sunday Times of


London why he focused on the Holocaust in his latest filmmaking project, Stone replied: “The Jewish domination of the media.” He added: “They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has screwed United States foreign policy for years.” L ate Monday Stone issued an apology. “In trying to make a broader point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret,” Stone said in a statement.” “Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry,” the statement said. “The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition to the remembrance of

Oliver Stone this atrocity-and it was an atrocity.” This isn’t the first time Stone has made controversial comments about the Holocaust. In January, he characterized Hitler as an “easy scapegoat” in a presentation to television critics in support of his upcoming Showtime miniseries “Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America.” — Reuters

an ordinary engineer. You know, I’m above you all,’ Nischal quoted her as saying. As a holder of a Bachelors (Hon) degree in IT from the US and Masters degree in Telecom Management (USA), Nischal is also a Fellow of CMI, UK. He works as a Business System Manager with a leading bank in Kuwait, providing technology advisory to it for the last three and a half years. “We are a well-off family of professionals living abroad for more than 35 years. We do not believe in or subscribe to racial bias. She had preconceived

By Rebecca Frasquet uentin Tarantino shot his movie about wartime France in Germany to save money but now directors like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese are returning to glamorous Paris thanks to generous tax breaks. The city has just got a major cinematic outing with the worldwide release of the partly Paris-set sci-fi blockbuster “Inception” and is now set for more celluloid exposure with 20 feature films being shot here this year. The frenzy of film-making comes after a lacklustre 2009 and is in large part due, say industry officials, to a new 20 percent tax rebate offered for foreign features and television productions. The rebate, of a maximum four million euros (5.2 million euros), was brought in last year to match a similar scheme in neighboring Britain and other European countries that made them more attractive locations than France. “The tax rebate has fully achieved its goal,” said Franck Priot of Film France, a state-financed body that seeks to attract international film projects. That goal is to “generate economic activity and enable foreign filmmakers to film France in France and no longer simulate it elsewhere,” he said, without directly referring to Tarantino’s 2009 war film “Inglourious Basterds.” Last year, the only major American movie to be shot in Paris was “Inception,” whose English director Christopher Nolan filmed in the French capital for just a week in the summer. But this summer alone, three major US projects are planned. Allen began shooting his latest work last week, with French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy taking her first major film role in a movie set in the 1920s. Despite a starry cast including Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and American talents Owen Wilson and Kathy Bates, pre-publicity for “Midnight in Paris” has focused on the supermodelturned-singer’s big screen debut. Next month, Scorsese, the Oscar-winning director who made a star of Robert De Niro with “Taxi Driver,” begins shooting “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” about a boy who


motives even before entering into this marriage,” he retorted. “My wife has stayed away from me for more than a year now. All my efforts to talk to her or reconcile with her did not succeed. Above all, she had leveled unfounded allegations against me and my family through print and visual media. So I was forced to send a legal notice to her seeking a remedy to all the damages caused by her vilification campaign,” Nischal said showing a copy of the legal notice. —

secretly lives in the walls of a 1930s Paris train station. And pop star Madonna will spend three days here in August to shoot part of her film “WE”, about Britain’s king Edward VIII and the American divorcee for whom he abdicated in 1936. The major US production company Paramount has meanwhile outsourced special effects for “Thor,” a liveaction film based on a comicbook superhero, to the French company Buf. Twenty-two productions have taken advantage of the tax incentive already, result-

Director Woody Allen is seen in Paris. —AFP ing in 330 days of shooting and 100 million euros spent on crews and sets, according to industry figures. Thierry de Segonzac, who heads the French cinema industry trade organization FICAM, said he believed that the tax break could soon be generating 200 million euros a year in spending by foreign production companies. Priot of Film France argued that the new tax inventive was merely icing on the cake for what he said was an ideal country in which to make a film. “In France you have international stars, crews that are admired across the world, a country that fascinates the entire planet ... and special effects and animation studios on the same level as Pixar or Dreamworks,” he boasted. He did however concede that France was lacking a large-scale film studio like Berlin’s Babelsberg or Pinewood near London. That gap is to be filled when France’s first modern megastudio, launched by director Luc Besson, opens its doors in the Paris suburb of SaintDenis in 2012. —AFP

Achtung! Less ʻDenglishʼ, more German, please By Max Chrambach he word “Ruckizuckifutti” is not only a mouthful-it doesn’t evoke a sense of American lifestyle like its English equivalent “fast food”, either. But when the German Language Foundation called on Germans to find an alternative for the English term, “Ruckizuckifutti” was one uniquely German suggestion. The campaign is one of several by advocacy groups who are intensifying their fight against the massive use of English and “Denglish”-a hybrid of the two languagesin Germany’s advertising, television and everyday parlance. “We don’t want to be language purists, but we want people to be aware of how they speak and that certain linguistic imports just don’t fit into German,” said Cornelius Sommer, a former German ambassador and one of the leaders of the campaign. Another advocacy group, the German Language Club, has called on telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom to stop using terms like “Blackberry Webmail” and criticized national rail operator Deutsche Bahn for similar misnomers. They face an uphill battle in Germany, where English is widely spoken and English expressions and Anglicisms are common. For the past four years, Sommer asked the public each month to come up


Sand sculptor and artist Nicola Wood, aged 27, from Leicester, England, works on her sculpture of William Shakespeare Monday, in the Westonsuper-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival on the beach, which this year has the theme and celebration of all things British. The exhibition is a popular annual event at the south western England seaside resort where the sand is perfect for world-class sand sculpture. —AP

with one German equivalent for a borrowed English expression, with special focus on Anglicisms which use the original English incorrectly. Sommer cites the word “handy”, which in Germany refers to a mobile phone, as a prime example of how the false Anglicisms not only harmed the German, but the English language, too. “I’m not only trying to protect German, but English too,” Sommer said. “The English language is not just a pile of rubble from which we can pick and choose what we want.” The wide use of English has social consequences, as large sections of the population-especially older generations who are less proficient in English-may feel excluded. Sommer also criticised businesses and academia for adopting English as their lingua franca. “University courses taught by professors with poor English to students with poor English-that can’t be good!” The campaigns to name and shame linguistic miscreants have had some recent success. Deutsche Bahn announced in February that it would refrain from using English at train stations, replacing the terms “Kiss & Ride” and “counter” with their German equivalents. This came after German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer banished Anglicisms from his ministry in January. —Reuters

Vatican reverses itself, painting not a Caravaggio By Nicole Winfield he Vatican’s top art historian on Monday shot down a report in its own newspaper that suggested a recently discovered painting was a Caravaggio. The head of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, wrote in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the work was most likely a copy of an original by a Caravaggio-influence artist. It was L’Osservatore itself that set the art world aflutter last week with a front-page article headlined “A New Caravaggio,” detailing the artistry behind the “Martyrdom of St. Lawrence,” which had been discovered in the sacristy of a Jesuit church in Rome. The author of the article, art historian Lydia Salviucci Insolera, had made clear that she was not making any conclusions about the authenticity of the work and that more diagnostic tests were required. But the impression given by the newspaper was that the painting was indeed a never-before-seen Caravaggio: The definitivesounding headline appeared above the fold alongside a color photograph of the dramatic


painting-on the 400th anniversary to the day of the master’s death. The Vatican has in the past announced such art-world news in L’Osservatore, such as when it revealed last year that the earliest known icon of St. Paul had been discovered in a Roman catacomb just in time for the saint’s feast day. The original Caravaggio article published June 18 pointed out that the “The Martyrdom of St. L awrence” presented features typical of the artist’s style, such as the use of chiaroscuro for dramatic effect and the unique perspective from which the subject is seen. The report also highlighted similarities with other Caravaggio’s paintings, for example in the saint’s hand and body movement. But on Monday, af ter a week of “Caravaggiomania” that ensued amid the already frenzied Caravaggio anniversary celebrations in Italy, Vatican Museum chief Paolucci, a former Italian Culture Minister, issued the equivalent of a Holy See mea culpa and reversal. In a frontpage article entitled “A New Caravaggio? Not really” Paolucci wrote that the work was not of Caravaggio’s quali-

The 46th

Art superintendent Rossella Vodret illustrates some detail of the painting at the center of the latest Caravaggio mystery, after the Vatican newspaper first suggested and then denied that the canvas was the work of the Italian master, in Rome, Italy, yesterday. —AP

ty and termed it “modest” at best, pointing out in particular that the hands were completely out of perspective. The painting depicts a semi-naked young man, his mouth open in desperation, one arm stretched out as he leans over amid flames. St. L awrence was burned to death in 258. Paolucci said that while the idea of putting St. L awrence on the grill where he became a martyr was dramatically beautiful, and the thugs perpetrating his martyrdom are suggestive of Caravaggio’s themes, a closer look reveals stylistic shortcomings. He said that the hands are “wrong in their perspective,” that the subjects’ anatomies were “awkward” and that-in the case of nudes in the background — “disjointedPaolucci also noted that the painting technique was “inadequate.” “The quality isn’t there, whereas in a Caravaggio it always is, and it’s high even when ... he uses maximum carelessness and a minimum of his expressive resources,” Paolucci wrote. He stressed that he wasn’t criticizing Insolera and noted that she had correctly made clear that further analysis and documentation would be

required to provide definitive answers as to whether the work was a Caravaggio. The painting unveiled to the public yesterday by Italy’s Culture Ministry. At the time of the discovery, Maurizio Marini, a leading Caravaggio scholar, expressed doubts about the authenticity of the work in an interview with The Associated Press. He concurred with Insonlera who noted that St. Lawrence was not a known Caravaggio subject. And he said the stylistic similarities were inconclusive and that claims of new Caravaggios often surface but seldom hold up. Caravaggio died in the Tuscan coast town of Porto Ercole in 1610 at age 39 under mysterious circumstances. He had been hugely influential and famous, but had also led a dissolute life of street brawls and alcohol. Recently, a team of Italian researchers said they had identified Caravaggio’s remains after a year of digging up bones in Porto Ercole and conducting carbon dating, DNA testing and other analyses. Italy has been marking the anniversary with a variety of events, and an exhibit in Rome earlier this year drew over half a million visitors. —AP

International Carthage festival

Magician Eric performs during the 46th International Carthage festival at the Roman theatre in Carthage, near Tunis on July 26, 2010. —AFP photos

Dutch magician prince performs.

28 Jul  

Kuwait Times

28 Jul  

Kuwait Times