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

40 PAGES

MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010

RAMADAN 6, 1431 AH

NO: 14822

150 FILS

Kuwait steps up measures to curb begging

Anti-shooting wall razed on Jerusalem outskirts

India PM pushes Pakistan to crack down on militants

Arsenal grab freak point at Liverpool

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conspiracy theories

One, two, three and four By Badr ya Dar wish

I

promised myself this year not to turn on the TV during Ramadan if I could. Honestly, I was disgusted with all TV stations without discrimination whether private or state stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf shores. Weeks before the start of Ramadan, TV stations started bombarding us with the trailers from the soap operas and serials which were to be broadcast during Ramadan. They were so dedicated thinking that they were doing the Muslim world a favor and used to cut the news to announce the serial. Their slogan was amazing: “Wait for us in Ramadan. We will meet in Ramadan”. Excuse me! Is the concept of Ramadan lost somewhere between these TVs and satellites, be it government or non-government stations? Is there an understanding of Ramadan different from what we learnt at home or in school at a very young age? Or do I live in cuckoo land and I am not familiar with the surrounding environment? Enlighten me, please. Just switch on the TV and watch a single episode and you will get my drift. Pick a serial at random. I am not going to name any. And you know why? I am a coward and I do not want to be liable. The serials have nothing to do with nationalism, religion or ethics. It is all soap operas dumb down for the masses with actresses and actors masked with make-up as if they have just come out of the Madame Tussauds museum. There is no plot or story line. Everything is based on a stereotype and the serials are too familiar because we have been watching them year after year. The funniest part is that they start calling the serials in numbers: one, two, three, four etc. It reminds me of the horror movie serials like Saw, Chucky I, II, II and IV and Scream I, II, III and IV etc. How Ramadanic are these - pardon the newly-coined word. These are low quality serials that waste your time. I feel angry because they underestimate the intelligence of viewers. I dare the broadcast companies to survey the nation and find out what do viewers think of their productions. Have a good Ramadan! We can meet tomorrow to discuss one of these soap operas, one or two or three...

ramadan kareem

A day in a faster’s life

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o you want to protect yourself from the thirst of 50,000 years on the Day of Judgment? When you fast one day in Ramadan, this means you fast for 14 hours = 50,000 seconds. Do you imagine that these 50,000 seconds protect you from the thirst of 50,000 years on the Day of Judgment? This means that one second in Ramadan equals an entire year of the years of thirst and heat on the Day of Judgment!! Dear brother and sister, Ramadan, once missed, cannot be recovered. It is enough that you missed many Ramadans in your life. If you fell once, rise up and do not despair. Let this Ramadan be as if it were the last in your life. So, whet your resolution and start Ramadhan projects with us as much as possible: Project (1): How to be a multi-millionaire in 30 days • Do you know that the good deeds of reciting the whole Quran on regular days = 3.3 million good deeds (it means that it cancels 3.3 million bad deeds). • Multiplication of good deeds in Ramadan makes the reward of umrah in Ramadan = the reward of performing hajj with the Prophet (Peace be upon him). • Then, what about the recitation of the whole Quran in Ramadan? Here are hundreds of millions of good deeds in your hands. Would you let them go, then you shall regret every single good deed you lost on the Day of Judgment? Recitation of the whole Quran will make your balance more than that of millionaires and billionaires!! Project (2): Ramadan has changed me (Taraweeh) preparation project) Taraweeh is: the restful night prayer in Ramadhan • Prepare the part of the Quran to be recited at night during the taraweeh prayer. Read it after afternoon prayer with deliberation and reflection and you will realize the profound difference in your concentration at taraweeh prayer. (In this way, you will achieve two recitations of the whole Quran: the one at taraweeh and the one after afternoon prayer). Continued on Page 14

KAC to borrow from banks to pay salaries Delay in privatization weighs on airline’s budget KUWAIT: Kuwait’s loss-making national carrier Kuwait Airways Corp said yesterday it will borrow from local banks to pay salaries. Kuwait is privatizing the company and has appointed Citigroup Inc, Ernst & Young and aviation services firm Seabury to handle the process. “We got the approval of the cabinet to borrow from local banks to support the company’s cash flow including payment of salaries,” company spokesman, Adel Boresly, told Reuters. He would not say how much the company was borrowing, but daily newspaper Al-Watan said in a report earlier yesterday Kuwait Airways needed KD60 million ($208.4 million) in liquidity. Boresly said the delay in carrying out the privatization plan which parliament approved in 2008, plus the refusal of the legislature to pass the company’s budgets for the last five fiscal years, were behind the need to borrow. Under the plan, the government will sell 40 percent of the flag carrier to the public and 35 percent to a long-term investor. The world’s fourth largest oil exporter is on a drive to boost its private sector and become a regional financial centre. Its economy is largely dependant on oil revenues and driven by government spending. — Reuters

JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Labor Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al-Gosaibi. — AFP

Saudi minister, poet Gosaibi passes away

HEBRON: A Palestinian boy walks past a stand selling lollipops in the Israeli occupied West Bank town of Hebron yesterday as Muslims across the world observe the holy month of Ramadan. — AFP

Arabs lobby US to vote against Israel ‘End support to Jewish state’s nuclear secrecy’ VIENNA: Ignoring a US warning, Arab nations are urging Washington and other powers to end support of Israel’s nuclear secrecy and to push the Jewish state to allow international inspections of its program, diplomats told The Associated Press yesterday. Islamic nations have long called for Israel-which is widely believed to have nuclear arms-to open its program. But the fact that the Arab League has directly approached Washington and other Israeli allies for support at the September meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency is significant, considering that President Barack Obama last month warned against using that forum to single out Israel. Obama then suggested that such a move would likely kill hopes of breakthrough talks on a Mideast nuclear-free zone, as proposed by the UN’s 189-nation Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference three months ago. Over Israeli objections, the planned 2012 talks were backed by the US and other nuclear powers for the first time since Arab nations pushed for such a gathering 15 years ago.

Bahrain arrests 4 Shiite leaders MANAMA: Bahraini authorities have detained four Shiite activists before a parliamentary poll in which Shiites will be seeking a bigger role in governing the Sunni Muslimled Arab state, their lawyer said yesterday. The arrests could heighten tensions with Bahrain’s Shiite majority before the Oct 23 election that will be the US-allied island state’s third since its king launched a political reform process a decade ago to help quell Shiite protests.

Clashes erupted in at least two Shiite villages on Saturday night following the Friday arrest of the first of the activists, said Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. “Three more were arrested this morning,” lawyer Mohammed Al-Tajer told Reuters. Bahrain, where the Sunni Al-Khalifa family rules over an often disgruntled Shiite majority, regularly sees night-time clashes Continued on Page 14

Policeman hurls shoe at Kashmir chief minister

In this file photo made from a video by Israeli television station Channel 10, shows Israel’s top secret nuclear facility in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. — AP The Arab appeal to pressure Israel to open its nuclear program to inspectors also threatens to deflect attention from Iran, which Washington and its allies now consider a grave nuclear proliferation threat, even though Tehran insists it

is not developing nuclear weapons. The Arab appeal is contained in an Aug. 8 letter signed by Arab League chief Amr Moussa that was shared with The Associated Press. It asks for backing of a resolution that Arab Continued on Page 14

Zawahri slams Turkey for Israel ties DUBAI: Al-Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahri has slammed Turkey’s “ties” with Israel and its role in Afghanistan, urging it to restore the traditional role of the former Ottoman Empire, in an audio message posted on Islamist websites. “Change will come when the Turkish people ask their government to stop cooperating with Israel and recognizing it and to stop sending their forces to kill Muslims in Afghanistan,” a man identified on Sunday as Zawahri by US monitoring group SITE said in the 20-minute

RIYADH: Popular Saudi minister and poet Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, who as envoy to Britain sparked outrage with an ode to a Palestinian suicide bomber, died yesterday at age 70, official Al-Akhbariya TV said. He died of cancer in Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital, where he had been admitted about a month earlier, members of his entourage said. Gosaibi, who served as labor minister until his death, was known as both a technocrat who served four kings and an author of numerous novels and non-fiction works, in addition to his poetry. He was Saudi ambassador to Bahrain from 1984 to 1992, and then to Britain from 1992-2002. Gosaibi was respected by Saudi progressives for his boldness in pointing out the problems of conservative Saudi society. Continued on Page 14

audio tape. The Turkish government “appears to sympathize with the Palestinians through statements and by sending some relief aid, while it actually recognizes Israel, engages in trade, carries out military training and shares information with it,” Zawahri said. The authenticity of the statement in which Zawahri began by offering condolences to the families of those who were killed as well as to the Turkish people could not immediately be verified. Israeli commandos on May 31 raid-

ed a Gaza-bound flotilla of six ships loaded with aid trying to run the blockade of Gaza in an operation in which nine Turkish activists were killed. The bloodshed triggered international criticism of Israel and dealt a heavy blow to Turkish-Israeli ties. Zawahri in his message compared Turkey to Israel, saying that while the Turkish government “makes statements criticizing Israeli crimes against Muslims in Gaza ... it commits similar crimes against Muslims in Afghanistan.” Continued on Page 14

SRINAGAR: A policeman flung a shoe at Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah at an Independence Day event yesterday, which saw thousands of Kashmiris in the streets protesting against Indian rule. Security was tight across the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley for the annual national holiday. At the main official function in a sports stadium in the Kashmiri summer capital Srinagar, Abdullah had just unfurled the Indian national flag when the shoe was thrown. The minister was not hit and the policeman, who had chanted “we want freedom”, was quickly overpowered by bodyguards. Police identified the attacker as Abdul Ahad Jan. “He is mentally unsound and facing charges in a criminal case. He has already been suspended for his criminal activities,” a police statement said. “Hurling a shoe is better than hurling a stone,” Abdullah commented after the incident. The chief minister heads the National Conference, the main proIndia party in Kashmir. Stone-throwing protesters have been defying almost daily curfews over the past two months and clashing with Continued on Page 14

SRINAGAR: A brown shoe is hurled toward Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah (right) while an Indian flag is raised during Independence Day celebration in Srinagar. — AP


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NATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

Negative 'tourism'

Strict Kuwaiti steps to curb influx of beggars By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Begging is illegal in Kuwait yet many outsiders try to penetrate the country just before Ramadan because it is an opportune time for beggars to make lots of money. Muslims in Kuwait often give generously during Ramadan and beggars try to take advantage of the chance The Directorate of Security is responsible for clearing each area and ensuring that it is beggarfree. Each of the six governorates has such a department and every year they hold campaigns to reduce the numbers of beggars. According to Colonel Abdulrahman Ali AlSharah, the Central Area Commander of the Directorate of Security of the Capital, the majority of the beggars caught are women who entered Kuwait on visiting visas. The majority of them are Syrian, Jordanian, Palestinian or bedoon. Some beggars collect money and beg for clothes and food in the Shuwaikh residential area. In many cases Shuwaikh residents have reported beggars knocking on their door. According to the rules and regulations of the country, however, a person is immediately deported from Kuwait if they are caught begging. The deported person is then unable to enter Kuwait again, even if on a different passport. The directorate also reported a few cases

KUWAIT: The Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait remained closed yesterday, Aug 15, on the occasion of National Mourning Day. The day marks the 35th anniversary of the death of Sheik Mujibur Rahman, the Father of their nation, or Bangbandhu. The Embassy held a number of events to mark the occasion, which included hoisting the national flag at half mast and reciting passages from the Quran. Bangladeshi Ambassador Shahed Ridda inaugurated the ceremony with a minute of silence, followed by a reading and discussion. He later invited all who attended the ceremony to Iftar.

450 nurses to be recruited KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health is seeking to recruit 450 assistant nurses, Assistant Undersecretary for Assistant Medical Services Affairs announced. A tender has already been floated with the Central Tenders Committee (CTC). The Undersecretary Dr Qais Al-Duwairi further indicated that staff members recruited as part of this experimental step will be employed at the Farwaniya hospital, Chest hospital, and the

Husain Makki Jumah Surgical Center. He further explained that its work will include transferring patients and assisting nursing staff on daily duties, as well as moving folders and enhancing the quality of medical services, reported AlRai. "Should this experiment succeed, it will be generalized over all other public medical facilities," Al-Duwairi said, adding that their work will not affect the work of nursing staff.

Municipality warns cafés KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality has completed preparations to issue final warning notifications to twelve Salmiya cafés concerning extensions built illegally by them on state property. According to the municipality, as well as erecting the unlicensed structures the cafés in question also used other nearby stateowned land for their own use without authorization. After ignoring previous notifications, the caféowners are now to be issued with warnings that if they do not promptly dismantle the illegal structures and stop their illegal use of the state-owned land they will face a number of serious disciplinary measures, starting with their electricity supply being disconnected.

to make seasonal benefits. The Ministry of Interior has made restrictions in order to eliminate this form of negative "tourism." Each of the Ministry's sectors is working to fight the growing number of beggars. As a measure to curb the influx of beggars, they have stopped issuing entrance visas for visitors from certain countries including Syria, Jordan and several others.

of beggars with Kuwaiti residency. They all face the same punishment of deportation if caught begging. The problem of entering Kuwait with a different passport and name could be solved if there was an eye scan or eye print machine in the airport, a source told The Kuwait Times. This equipment would reveal those who were deported and trying to re-enter the country with a false passport or a different identity. Some residents of Kuwait, however, opposed the ministry's decision to ban the entry of certain nationalities. Karoline, a 40-year-old Syrian who has been living in Kuwait since she was born, was not able to bring her mother to Kuwait as a result to this regulation. "Even though my mother lived here for more than 40 years, and she is older than 70 now, they didn't issue a visa for her. She is sad and so am I, but I know it's a rule that is applied to everyone. I feel ashamed of the beggars who have caused this problem and have spoiled the reputation of my country," she said.

Col Abdulrahman Ali Al-Sharah

in my view

Medical diagnosis problem By Terki Al-Azmy

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lenty of patients lose their right to enjoy treatment abroad after their applications are lost in the flood of applications in the Ministry of Health during the summer. What saddens me the most is the fact that there are several people who qualify but do not get the credit they deserve. Another subject regarding the health sector is the frequency of misdiagnosis. The issue was addressed by MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah, who recently asked the Minister of Health a series of questions on the subject. He failed to realize though that the ministry's administration follows a system of self preservation. Meaning that they won't provide the MP with sufficient enough answers to address

all the medical errors that have been made within the past five years. Instead, Al-Huwailah should've asked the minister about the results of treatment abroad in order to compare them with test results made in Kuwait so that the misdiagnosis could be uncovered. From my own experiences I can say that this is true. I came across several cases in which a relative of mine failed to get a proper diagnosis of their illness locally. We were very surprised of the results we found after organizing a medical examination abroad. First of all, the illness that was diagnosed was entirely different than the one that was made in Kuwait. Second, the total cost of the operation, which contained an MRI and various medical tests, cost less than KD 200. The third, and most surpris-

ing thing, was that the whole operation only took two days! I urge all MPs to save time when it comes to inquiring about the quality of local medical diagnoses; review the files of patients sent for treatment abroad. Here in Kuwait, wasta is essential when it comes to carrying out a medical procedure. Other than that, a diagnosis would take as much as several weeks. This poses a serious health threat in cases of contagious diseases. Even after a diagnosis is made, most of the time it is a misdiagnosis. While the ministry tends to recruit experts from abroad to elevate the level of medical services in the country, most staff members have their eyes on making a profit from the private sector. Moreover, expanding medical facilities alone won't help solve the misdiagnosis problem. —Al-Rai

Parliament waits for Cabinet's response KUWAIT: Discontent is growing within the parliamentary public facilities committee as the Cabinet has not returned a draft law that concerns the establishment of a communication authority. The meeting was scheduled to be held tomorrow where concerned government bodies were to finalize the project in order to curb monopoly. Committee member MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi asserted that the meeting would be classified

6 Da'awah the call to Islam was kept secret for..... Three years Two years One year

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as a sub-committee meeting to avoid being called off owing to a lack of quorum. Separately, the financial and economic committees have not received any information that is related to the Cabinet's vision on the development of the plan's financing process, announced member MP Khalid Al-Sultan who asserted that MPs' intervention is a necessity to address any flaws, in light of the differences in opinion that exists between its members.

Al-Sultan sees that banks alone will not be able to finance the development plan "so, the law should be enforced." Meanwhile, according to officers within the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) a majority of the bloc members have reservations over the concept of government financing. At the same time, they are still waiting for the Cabinet's vision to be released before a stance is announced, reported Al-Qabas.


NATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 Ambassador hails historic ties

Indians celebrate Independence Day By Hussain Al-Qatari

KUWAIT: Ambassador of India Ajai Malhotra with his compatriots at the Independence Day celebrations at the embassy.

kuwait digest

Kuwait's charitable mosques By Abdulmohsen Al-Khorafi

T

he creativity of Kuwaiti people continues to expand in several fields, most notably the charity field, which operates with full freedom concerning choice and implementation. Among the pioneers in charitable work locally is the Hessa Al-Ghanim Mosque in Qurtuba, which has long been known as a bright star of charity whose light reaches

all around the world. Ever since Kuwait's liberation from the Iraqi invasion, regular worshippers at the mosque have launched an annual charity project that sees aid distributed around the world, demonstrating Kuwaitis' true spirit of friendship towards other peoples worldwide. The charity projects which the mosque has been implementing now for 20 years have inspired several other mosques to follow suit, including the Sheikha Moudhi AlSabah Mosque in Yarmouk, which has also

made tremendous contributions in the field of charity. These fantastic achievements reflect a bright and realistic image of the country's mosques and the message of goodwill which they attempt to convey. , I urge citizens of all ages to expand the practical work of mosques beyond the limitations of rituals, and to include charitable contributions through which each mosque would become similar to an independent charitable organization whose charity thrives through the contributions of its

Al-Otaibi plans to switch constituency KUWAIT: MP Saadoun AlOtaibi has announced his intention to stand as a candidate in the next election in the third constituency, rather than in the fifth where he is currently based. Explaining that he took his decision to switch constituencies in protest against the

unjust distribution in the current constituencies, Al-Otaibi said that it is illogical that ten MPs should represent a constituency with more than 100,000 voters, while another constituency with around half that population size has the same number of representatives.

The MP's announcement is not unexpected since he has been making preparations for some time, including buying a home in South Surra (in the third constituency) where he has already hosted meetings with a number of constituents. Members of the Al-Otaibi

tribe in the third constituency are reportedly unhappy with the current tribal MP there, Faisal Al-Mislem, whose antigovernment stance has led to calls for him to be replaced with a more pro-government representative, leading to their requesting Al-Otaibi to switch constituencies.

Ministry keen to solve laborers' issue

KUWAIT: The drug dealers pictured after their arrest. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Mother kills newborn baby By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A Nepalese woman was arrested after throwing her newborn baby boy from a seventh floor window, killing the infant instantly. Horrified passersby who found the tiny body immediately reported their discovery to police, who quickly traced the mother, named as Dil Konary, to the seventh floor of the building, which houses two apartments owned by a domestic staff recruitment agency which are used to accommodate maids. The woman confessed that she had given birth earlier after becoming pregnant during an adulterous relationship, with the other women there admitting that they had heard her giving birth. Immediately after giving birth to the baby, she said, she had thrown him from the window to his death. She has been charged with murder and is in custody awaiting trial. Drugs bust Police arrested a drug-dealing Pakistani taxi driver after he was caught in a sting operation,

with undercover officers organizing to buy KD 2,500 worth of heroin from him. Using marked bank notes, the officers caught the man redhanded, arresting him at his home in Daiya. The dealer confessed to his activities and informed the officers that he had been working with an accomplice, also Pakistani. His partner-in-crime was also quickly arrested, with police recovering around 1,750 grams of raw heroin from his possession. Both men are awaiting trial. Desperate passenger A Bangladeshi expatriate was critically injured after hurling himself out of a moving taxi when he discovered that the driver had altered the meter to a higher amount than the fare agreed for his journey from Salhiya to Farwaniya when he first got into the car. Not having the money to pay the inflated fare, the desperate passenger decided to leap out of the moving vehicle as it was approaching a traffic light between Khaitan and Farwaniya. He was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital and the cheating taxi driver was arrested and taken into custody.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) plans to implement specific regulations in the near future on labor and expatriate workers' issues. This is in order to improve Kuwait's international image on human rights issue. The ministry is currently studying the implementation of laws to assess the offenses that were committed then, and prevent them from happening again in the future while enforcing regulations. The Cabinet is also keen toward promoting the establishment of exclusive residential areas for bachelor laborers while ensuring that security is maintained there. This supervision will provide necessary information to grant police officers easy access in case rioting occurs. The ministry had held combined studies with the Interior and Public Works Ministries to review the recommendations made by the Kuwait Municipality on the most suitable locations that can be converted into laborers' areas, including AlShaddadiya and Subhan. In the meantime, contracts are being drawn up to provide these cities with the necessary requirements such as sewage facilities. Another subject that the ministry is currently taking follow up action is on the issue of sponsorship, as it is keen to find the best possible mechanism to replace it , similar to the regulation according to which workers with at least three years' of service at a single job are allowed to transfer residence permits without obtaining prior permission from original employers, reported Al-Qabas. The ministry will also be heavily dependent on the recently enforced public labor law, which contains several regulations that support Kuwait in supporting human rights, such as the minimum wages controls and other conditions that help better the living conditions of expatriate workers.

KUWAIT: Thousands of Indian nationals marked the 64th Independence Day of India in Kuwait yesterday. The event commenced shortly after seven o'clock with the unfurling of the national flag by the Ambassador of India Ajai Malhotra.

This was followed by a recitation of the Indian national anthem. The Ambassador, thereafter, read the Address to the Nation by the president of India. This was followed by a joyous singing of patriotic songs by a colorful plethora of members of the Indian community in Kuwait, all clad in beautiful attires.

Although the event took place in the early morning and despite oppressive heat, several thousand Indian citizens attended the open-air function to show their love and respect for their motherland. People from all segments of India's rich and diverse society gladly participated in the celebrations. Kuwait is second home to over 600,000 Indians, among which are domestic and project workers, engineers, doctors, technicians, traders, businessmen, and officials from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Also present at the event were representatives from nearly 130 Indian associations in Kuwait. Drawing attention among the crowd was an Indian who had taken part in the freedom struggle that led to independence in 1947, a patriot attired as Mahatma Gandhi, and an elderly gentleman in a wheel chair, all present to mark this celebration. In honor of India's Independence Day, a young worker presented a painting that depicted Mahatma Gandhi, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The Ambassador assured that the painting would be given pride of place in the embassy's premises. Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Ajai Malhotra extended his warmest greetings to all members of the Indian community in Kuwait

Malhotra affirmed that IndiaKuwait relations were "exemplary, characterized by warmth, mutual respect and understanding." Ambassador Malhotra lauded the hard work and accomplishments of Indian nationals in Kuwait, and he expressed deep gratitude for the benevolence bestowed on the Indian community by the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber AlSabah. The Ambassador also outlined the numerous changes introduced over the past year to make the embassy's welfare and consular services even more effective and responsive to the needs of the community. He

KUWAIT: Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra and other embassy officials at the celebration. and thanked the many dear Kuwaiti friends who had conveyed good wishes on the occasion. He noted that close and friendly ties between India and Kuwait went back several centuries and extended beyond historical and cultural relations, encompass political, trade and economic interests. He stated that Kuwait annually provided 10 - 12 percentage of India's annual crude oil import requirements while bilateral trade was about 10.5 billion. Recalling the visit to Kuwait in February 2010 by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, which was the minister's first visit to the Gulf since taking charge of external affairs, Ambassador

emphasized that the embassy will continue to upgrade services and adapt to changing requirements, while boosting efficiency levels. He urged all Indians to commit themselves anew to work for the ever greater glory of India. The ambassador wished good health and prosperity to every Indian in Kuwait and conveyed best wishes for the continued good health and prosperity of His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, His Highness the prime minister, as well as the people of Kuwait. Concluding his speech, he hailed India-Kuwait friendship and wished everyone a blessed Ramadan.

in the news Soap operas KUWAIT: The Ministry of Information (MoI) is currently monitoring all soap operas, programs and other TV productions that are being aired during the holy month of Ramadan. Any channel that flouts the Audio-Visual Law will be subject to legal penalties. "Meetings are currently being held with legal consultants to discuss reports on programs that are broadcast on TV during Ramadan," said the Assistant Undersecretary for Press Department Affairs, Tariq Al-Ajmi. He noted that the step was taken after the ministry noticed that several offenses had taken place the previous year, reported AlQabas. Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah asserted, during his meetings with the undersecretaries, on the importance of enforcing the law on any media institution that violates the AudioVisual law. Ministries reshuffle KUWAIT: The Cabinet may proceed with an 'initiative of good will' by reshuffling the portfolios occupied by few members, as per the demands put forward by several blocs of the Parliament. According to officials, this step is being implemented to overcome tension that is brewing between the two authorities and to boost joint efforts to develop the country. Moreover, reshuffling is expected to provide the Cabinet with a chance to execute different projects in terms of priority, after obstacles in the form of MPs' rejections are removed. According to officials, the reshuffle will result in the ouster of two ministers that have been in the eye of a political storm, reported Annahar. Many lawmakers have been threatening, on separate occasions, to file interpellation motions against them. MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei commented by stating that while these reports are still rumors, they may gain ground as several undersecretaries at some ministries are currently preparing for the reshuffle.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Ahmadi Hospital in a specially held ceremony. It was attended by senior staff members from both the company and the medical facilities affiliated to it. During the event, the CEO and Managing Director of KOC Sami Al-Rasheed, emphasized the Al-Ahmadi hospital's pioneering role that was gained through medical services rendered since it was launched in 1960, noting that the hospital's 50th anniversary celebrations coincide with KOC's 75th anniversary. The Ahmadi hospital was inaugurated back in 1960 when it was initially known as the Southwell hospital, named after Philip Southwell, the first CEO of the KOC following its establishment.


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NATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

KUWAIT: The Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bidaa Kuwait hosted a Ramadan Ghabqa for all media in Kuwait on Saturday evening. The event in Al-Mahara tent started with a welcome address by the Director of Sales and Marketing, Ali Haddad (third left). Khadija Meftah, Movenpick Hotel and Resort PR and Communications Executive (third right) was on hand for the occasion. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Media Night at the Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bidaa KUWAIT: The Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bidaa Kuwait hosted a Ramadan Ghabqa for all the media firms in Kuwait on Saturday evening at AlMahara tent. The event began with a short speech by Director of Sales and Marketing Ali Haddad. Addressing attendees, he welcomed all the guests and wished them Ramadan Kareem and introduced some special packages, promotions and surprises that the Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bidaa Kuwait will offer during this Ramadan.

Two Kuwaiti soap operas worth seeing By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Every satellite channel prepares new soap operas for the Holy Month of Ramadan because most people, even those who don’t watch TV very often, watch it during this month. Kuwait is well-known for their production of soap operas. Their programs are shown in many other Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) and Arab countries. Here is a review of two of Kuwait’s top soap operas: ‘Zwarat Khamees’ (Thursday Visit) got its title from the Kuwaiti tradition of visiting the grandfather’s house every Thursday. In this soap opera three generations of one family live in a single house. Living in the house is the grandmother, Mooza, grandfather Thnayan, their four married sons and their wives and children. In addition to their single son who is studying abroad. Each wife has her problems with her husband and they narrate their stories on different occasions. In the second part of Zwarat Khamees the grandson takes his father’s gun, who

works as a policeman, and shoots his grandmother by mistake. The mother falls into a coma and the family members visit her in the hospital and recite stories to her as instructed by the doctor. ‘Omaima Fe Dar Alaytaam’ (Omaima in the orphanage) is a Kuwaiti drama about life in an all girls orphanage. About 20 years ago, Dr Omaima loses her daughter when a thief steals her car with her baby in the backseat. After Omaima loses any hope of finding her daughter, she starts working for different humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Crescent, in various countries. She is hired to work as a social worker in an all girls orphanage, where the seven girls are rude teenagers with bad behavior. A new girl, Dana, joins the orphanage when her mother, who turns out not to be her real mother, leaves her in the orphanage because of a fight she had with her husband. The seven other girls try to make Dana feel at home and forget her sorrows after she tries to commit suicide.

The Ghabqa was held within the ambiance of Al-Mahara Tent that overlooked the beach. Right after the official opening, a splendid buffet was opened to invitees with plenty of sumptuous delicacies and dishes prepared by experienced chefs of the Movenpick Al-Bidaa kitchen. The buffet featured a smorgasbord of main courses, desserts and salads. Upon departure, the Ghabqa guests were presented with a box of sweet delights. The Movenpick Hotel and Resort AlBidaa Kuwait has teamed up this year

with Etihad Airways to offer its guests with a very rewarding and unforgettable Ramadan experience. Visitors could win exclusive luxury prizes such as tickets to destinations from around the world from Etihad Airways, amazing trips to Turkey including airfare and several nights at the exquisite Movenpick Hotel Istanbul, free Umrah trip complemented by free stay at the Movenpick Hotel and Residence, Hajjar Tower Makkah and much more. Movenpick Al-Bidaa wishes everyone Ramadan Kareem and is looking forward to welcoming all.

Kuwaitis fasting abroad yearn for home spirituality LONDON: Living or being based abroad, whether one is there on business, on holiday, to study or for medical treatment, can all affect Muslims’ fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, and Kuwaitis in London are no exception. “It is hard to fast here,” said Faisal Al-Enezi, a Kuwaiti citizen currently accompanying a relative receiving treatment at a London hospital. “It’s not only about the food, which already costs a lot - and it’s sometimes problematic to find ‘Halal’ food too - it’s also about the timing.” This is Al-Enezi’s first Ramadan spent abroad, and he told KUNA that what he’d miss most would be the great “spirituality” back home. “The restaurants and grocery shops in Edgware Road tend to increase prices of food commodities, especially during Ramadan. It is intentional, as they [restaurant and shop owners] are taking advantage of the large Muslim community living in the surrounding area,” he noted. Edgware Road is a major thoroughfare passing through west central London, whose southern end is noted for its distinctive Middle Eastern cuisines and many shisha cafes.

“I thank Almighty Allah that I’m going to spend Ramadan in Kuwait, or else I’d miss out on all the delicious dishes that make this month so special,” said Salman Al-Sabti, a ‘lucky’ Kuwaiti in his words, who was set to return home just a day before the advent of the holy month. “I once spent three days of Ramadan in London. It’s not the same, either here or in any other country,” said Al-Sabti, adding that in the future he’ll avoid spending any day of Ramadan outside Kuwait, where family visits and the religious atmosphere are distinctive. Meanwhile, Abdullah AlEnizi, another Kuwaiti accompanying a relative receiving medical treatment in London, said that prices of apartments in the city are “skyrocketing” due to the fact that a significant number of Kuwaitis are now obliged to extend their stays until their family members’ medical treatment is completed. He said that this would put yet another burden on Kuwaitis’ shoulders, on top of food and the lengthy fasting time, pointing out that the sun sets in the UK at approximately 9:30 pm in summer, which makes fasting even harder. — KUNA


Monday, August 16, 2010

NATIONAL

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‘Many trying to adjust to new schedule’

Confusion over working hours during Ramadan By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The changed working hours introduced in many state and private sector bodies since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan are viewed as a source of confusion by a number of personnel, while others view them as “manage-

KUWAIT: Fruits and vegetables are the staple in Ramadan dishes. Shoppers are seen selecting from the abundance of fresh fruits.

KUWAIT: Dates are a favorite sweet fruit that are usually eaten first at Iftar, the fast-breaking meal eaten during Ramadan. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

The Experience of Fasting By Dr. Teresa Lesher amadan is like springcleaning, an annual ritual that results in the cleansing of the body, the airing of the mind, and the beautification of the soul. It provides the opportunity for reorganization and the fine tuning of the soul that is needed periodically to remind us of our roles and responsibilities and to commit ourselves to a fresh start in our faith. In a purely physical sense, fasting provides an opportunity to rid the body of an array of unhealthy habits. Caffeine, sugar and nicotine cannot be consumed throughout the day as is the habit of many people. When fasting ends at sunset, the body craves plenty of liquids and a nutritious, balanced meal. By the end of Ramadan, one can accomplish a healthy weight loss and improved eating habits. Compared to the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, however, this is insignificant. First and foremost, fasting is an act of obedience to the Lord’s command to do so. At the very least, one can fast as an act of submission. This is the first step towards piety, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan with full consciousness of his faith and a sense of accountability, will have all his previous sins forgiven.” After experiencing prolonged hunger and thirst, one can only become more empathetic and compassionate towards the poor and disadvantaged, and more thankful for the blessings we enjoy every day. The effects of fasting last far beyond Ramadan, and one

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more readily offers assistance to those who lack basic comforts in life. When one fasts for an entire month, he or she quickly develops a level of patience and selfdiscipline that cannot be achieved easily in any other way. Indeed, many of our challenges in life are easy compared with the hardship of fasting in summertime, so they, too, can be met with resolve, patience and faith. Fasting not only requires abstinence from physical pleasures but also from non-constructive or harmful thoughts, words and actions. The latter is harder to achieve than the former, but without it, the fast is absolutely useless. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned that “God has no need for the hunger and thirst of the person who does not restrain from vain talk and evil conduct while fasting.” Fasting can lead to greater productivity as well. When one is less bothered by the distraction of eating, drinking, preparing meals and casual socializing in his or her daily schedule, there is more time for fruitful work and worship. Ramadan is a perfect time for spiritual renewal, study and meditation, prayer and increased charity. Fasting is only one aspect of Ramadan, which also includes the study and recitation of the Quran, intensified prayers, increased charity, and social visits, each of which deserves a full description. Fasting itself is so rich in sensations, experiences, thoughts, emotions and lessons that it is easy to see why it is a month that, by depriving the body, enriches the soul. —Courtesy: AWARE Center

Abu Ahmad, an employee with a customs clearance firm, said that the change in working hours during Ramadan has dramatically affected his area of work: “We have to do some paperwork to receive the shipments we take delivery of, some of which are sent by plane, and there are daily charges for storing the shipments in the airport warehouses. So, the shorter the working day, the more days it will take to finish the paperwork, and the more money we will have to pay,” he explained. Abu Ahmad added that the increase in storage charges is ultimately paid for by the costumers, leading some of them to complain about the increase in prices. Another private sector employee had the opposite opinion, however. “You feel like the job you’re doing is condensed and concentrated into a short time. You do what you have to and you go home early, which is fine by me,” said Salim

able.” For a third group among those questioned by the Kuwait Times, however, the altered working shifts impose a financial burden, with working hours beginning later and the working day being shorter than usual. In many areas, these reduced hours also reportedly lead to a slight decrease in productivity levels.

Abdulkhaleq, an advertising agency worker. “As to your paperwork in the government ministries, even without Ramadan they would finish work at midday, so the change is not that significant,” he added. Abu Mashaan, a truck driver, said that the new working hours are more suitable for summer than those before Ramadan, except for the fact that he doesn’t have time for Suhoor (the dawn meal). “Before Ramadan we worked from 4 am to 12 pm, because there is a law that forbids working after 12 o’clock in the summer. Now the company’s decided to shift the working hours to the evening, so our working day begins at 8:30 pm, right after Iftar, and ends at 3:30 am, which is 15 minutes before the Imsak [the period when Muslims should abstain from eating], and we never have time to eat!” said Abu Mashaan. The driver said that it would have been better if the company gave employees a lit-

tle time for Suhoor. Another section affected by the change is businesses in contact with people outside the Muslim world. Mohsin Fariozuddine, a Tours Manager with the Badur Travel Agency, said that due to his professional need to communicate with agents in Europe, the change in working hours limits the time available for this communication, forcing him to do some of his work from home. “We only work for a few hours while our agents are working in Europe, and then when we come back after Iftar they have already closed,” he explained. “So, there are times when we have to do some work at home in between because there are issues that can’t wait till the next day.” Fairozuddine added, however, that although he still has to do roughly the same amount of work as usual, he still prefers the changed hours. “At least I am sitting at home,” he added.

KUWAIT: Shops that sell pickles are frequented in Kuwait, especially in Ramadan when the extended family gathers around an Iftar table.


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Three drug dealers arrested in Ferdous

Kuwaiti in custody for forging work permits KUWAIT: The J ahra labor department referred a citizen to the Public Prosecutor for forging 10 w ork permits, reported security sources. The case papers indicate that the citizen repeatedly visited the department w ith a new transaction each time, arousing the suspicion of the department’s clerks. The clerks follow ed up on the citizen’s transactions and discovered that all of his transactions belonged to one company and that he w as issuing more w ork permits than he w as allow ed. Upon checking his final transaction, a clerk discovered that the citizen had forged the signature of the manager w ho w as supposed to sign off on each of the transactions. The citizen w as arrested by authorities and a case w as filed against him.

KUWAIT: Pakistan Ambassador lftekhar Aziz and other dignitaries at the Independence Day celebrations at the Pakistan Embassy. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Pakistanis celebrate Independence Day KUWAIT: A flag hoisting ceremony to celebrate the 64th Independence Day was held at Pakistan Embassy here yesterday. The Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait lftekhar Aziz hoisted the National Flag with National anthem playing in the background in a simple but impressive ceremony. It was largely attended by Pakistani community residing in Kuwait and the officials of the Embassy. The Ambassador read out Independence Day messages of the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and the Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani. In their separate messages they expressed their resolve to take the nation out of the challenges faced by the country like rehabilitation of flood affectees, fight against terrorism, struggling economy and ensuring political stability. Addressing the participants of the ceremony, the Ambassador congratulated the Pakistani community residing in Kuwait on this auspicious occasion. He said that on the

Independence Day this year, the country was passing through one of its most grave challenges in the shape of devastating floods. The Ambassador apprised the audience about the scale of destruction caused by the crisis. He said that the disaster had affected around 20 million

people besides causing enormous damage to life, property and the state infrastructure. He said that Pakistani community in Kuwait, in the past, had always helped generously their brothers and sisters back home in difficult times and hoped that they would once again come forward to help the

flood victims. The Ambassador also informed that the government of Kuwait had announced $ 5 million aid package for the people affected by the floods and said that both the people and the government in Pakistan were grateful for this humanitarian gesture.

kuwait digest

When will the work get started? By Na sser Al-Abda li he more statements I hear from the Minister of Housing Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, about the development plan the more pessimistic I feel. I get the impression that the plan is actually on the right track. Now though, it’s beginning to be used for bidding and propaganda purposes, which will ultimately push it out of sight and away from being feasible the more it is spoken of. This is feared by most citizens. Last January Al-Fahad spoke on the nearness of passing a number of projects including the Jaber Al-Ahmed bridge. Last week, Al-Fahad added that signing the project’s contract would be done before next December. Could he define the term ‘soon?’ If it was first mentioned in January why was the signing of the

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contract postponed until December? In his repeated statements, Al-Fahad mentioned that executing the development plan requires adapting a “stick and the carrot” policy. That we really need men ready to start building our state. What exactly is the method of that policy and does it include all those useless meetings which so far has done nothing but further delay development? Will anything make us forget about the criticism and start executing one project after another? Some say that the projects Al-Fahad spoke of were on some of the ministries’ waiting lists for years and that officials failed to get them passed or approved. They add that Al-Fahad found it a golden opportunity to get these projects passed as part of the development plan. Some officials say that the execution of some

of these projects are impossible because of inter-governmental disagreements and contradictions, which made AlFahad resort to the easier solution. Speaking to KUNA last July, AlFahad said that the development project fund’s role, if established, would complete the role played by banks and other finance facilities and that it would not be completely financed by banks alone. Today, he provided a contradictory statement saying that the fund would be solely responsible for financing the development projects! Which statement is more authentic?! Minister, Al-Fahad’s statements on the development plan are numerous and contradicting. Such statements make us very skeptical of the government’s ability to carry the plan out. Old Arabs have always said “The more he talks, the more mistakes he makes.” — Al-Qa ba s

Drug dealers Three citizens were arrested for selling drugs in Ferdous, reported security sources. Narcotics detectives raided a suspect’s home he unknowingly sold three bars of hashish to an undercover agent. When questioned, the suspect led police to his partner, another citizen, living in Nahdha. Investigators discovered a revolver, 200 grams of hashish and money in the second suspect’s home. In turn, the second suspect led police to a third accomplice’s home in Salwa, where the man was arrested for being in possession of drugs as well. In total, 500 grams of drugs were confiscated from the homes of the three suspects. A case was filed and police are investigating the matter further.

ate was killed after he was run over by a police patrol on the Gulf Road, reported security sources. Patrol cars were dispatched to close the entrances and exits of the main road when one of them struck a man who suddenly crossed the road. The man sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to Amiri Hospital where he died while being admitted.

Mental health A bedoon man who recently killed his father’s Bangladeshi ranch guard by beheading him and burning the body apparently tried to strangle an eyewitness in court, reported security sources. The source added that the suspect also broke a security camera in a police station’s detention room and tied his underwear into a rope and tried to kill himself. The suspect was referred to the psychiatric hospital for a mental health examination.

Youths shaved bald In cooperation with malls throughout the country, the Interior Ministry referred 40 young men to police stations to have their heads shaved. The youth’s parents were summoned to the stations to sign agreements to take more control of their children.

Asian killed A 30-year-old Asian expatri-

No approval for Iranian, Iraqi banks KUWAIT: The Central Bank of Kuwait has reportedly rejected bids from four Iranian banks and one Iraqi one to launch branches in Kuwait after they failed to meet the necessary criteria. According to a local banking insider, the five whose bids were turned down are not major banks either in their own countries of origin or internationally. While the CB was studying the banks’ financial status after they filed applications for licenses to open branches in Kuwait, it discovered that they “lack a sufficiently sound financial base that would qualify them to obtain these licenses,” the bank official explained. Speaking to Al-Rai on condition of anonymity, the banking insider explained, “After it allowed foreign banks to operate in Kuwait, the CB decided to introduce controls to ensure that these banks would have the necessary sufficient experience in foreign banking operations.” The official conceded that there was a strong element of realpolitik motivating the decision to turn these banks down, with their financial weakness providing the nominal justification for rejecting their license applications. “Political stability is a primary component of banking work, with a lack of political stability increasing the level of threat to the safety of customers’ deposits,” the banking insider added.

Citizen assaulted A citizen reported that he was assaulted and robbed of KD 450 by three men in the Sulaibiya industrial area, reported security sources. The man was robbed after he got out of his car and was on his way to a cafÈ. After striking him in the head, they took his wallet and fled the scene.

Officer arrested A traffic officer stationed at the Kuwait International Airport was arrested for smoking and possessing hashish while on duty, reported security sources. The General Depart of Drug Control (GDDC) chairman,

Major General Sheikh Ahmed Al-Khalifa received a tip concerning the policeman’s drug activities while on duty. The policeman was caught smoking the illegal substance in a traffic kiosk outside the airport. Detectives also found a bar of hashish on him. A case was filed and police are investigating the matter further. Foul play The body of a female Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) national who died while on her way to the Jahra Hospital was referred to forensics under the suspicion that she had not died of natural causes, reported security sources. The 35-yearold woman arrived dead to Jahra Hospital’s emergency room. The ER’s manager suspected that her death may not have been natural and informed authorities of his suspicion. The woman’s husband told police that his wife fell while cooking in the kitchen and that he brought her immediately to the hospital. Doctors suspect that the woman may have been strangled to death due to her bluish face and eyes. Police are investigating the matter further to determine the actual cause of death. Beggar arrested Jahra authorities arrested a female Arab beggar while she was going door to door in the Jahra residential area, reported

security sources. The woman turned out to be in Kuwait on a family visiting visa. A case was filed. Citizen injured A 21-year-old citizen suffered a head injury and various cuts and bruises after an argument with three other citizens in a Jahra shopping mall developed into a fight. Citizen arrested A citizen was arrested for being heavily intoxicated and in possession of liquor, a gun and 800 grams of hashish, reported security sources. Case papers indicate that two Hawally officers stopped the man on Amman street to check on him after noticing that his car was in very bad shape. After police approached the suspect, he pulled a gun on them in an attempt to avoid arrest. Authorities took the gun out of his possession and searched him. An investigation of his ID revealed that he was also wanted for a three year jail sentence. Teacher assaulted A business teacher was assaulted by a student who did not like the grade he received, reported security sources. After checking his final results the student attacked his professor on campus. The professor submitted a medical report of his injuries and filed a complaint with authorities.

in the news Khaitan emergency center KUWAIT: The Minister of Electricity and Water, Dr Bader Al-Shuraian paid a visit to the Khaitan Emergency Center. It was held to check work progress during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Officials asserted that the minister will embark on other field inspection tours as part of his official itinerary , namely the premises of power plants and their maintenance departments. He also inspected the power distribution grids and discussed possible problems and solutions, reported AlWatan. Officials added that the purpose of the visit was to support efforts made to provide a steady supply of electricity and water to consumers. Hey also stressed that the minister’s tours had a positive effect on the staff members employed at these sites. He also plans to hold another visit to Al-Zour power plant next Tuesday. Industrial, manufacturing facilities KUWAIT: The instructions issued by the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs to form a specialist committee to assess the viability of construction in vacant areas across Kuwait do not necessarily mean that these areas will be used entirely for housing, according to a Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) official. The unnamed official told AlWatan that the majority of the usable empty land would be used for constructing industrial and manufacturing facilities to meet the requirements of the development plan adopted by the government at the start of the year. Many of the empty areas of land in the country have been reserved for use by the state, with a number of them nearby to residential and industrial areas, the official explained, adding that this proximity to already inhabited and utilized areas was behind the Deputy PM’s decision. Anti-extremism committee KUWAIT: Education minister Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud has ordered the creation of a special coordination committee to guide and prepare young people in fulfilling their patriotic duties, while steering them away from sectarian and tribal extremism. According to Al-Watan, AlHumoud has instructed that the committee

should include senior officials from the education ministry, Kuwait University, the Public Authority for Youth and Sports, and the Awqaf and information ministries. It will focus on analyzing the current situation and reviewing any previous studies in this area before establishing a strategy and schedule to implement a coordinated program of activities. Tenders placed for 39 schools KUWAIT: The Educational Construction Department of the Ministry of Education has created projects to build 30 new schools as part of similar projects that have been listed in the government’s Five-year Development Program, announced the Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Construction, Mohammad Al-Sayegh. “Contracts to build six schools will be signed within a couple of months,” said Al-Sayegh, adding that these contracts will increase the number of schools in the country, reported Al-Qabas. Furthermore, Al-Sayegh explained that the department is keen on floating as many tenders for school projects as possible. This is so that budgets can be referred to the following fiscal year as contracts can be signed after as much as a year after the tender has been placed. 18 utilities projects by 2020 KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water(MEW) has finalized, in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Planning, its outline on power and water projects till the year 2020. It plans to execute a total of 18 projects at a total cost of KD 6 billion. Among the projects are eleven power-oriented ones that include the construction of power plants and distribution networks, while the remaining seven projects will be devoted to the water sector. It will involve the establishment of desalination plants, distribution networks and water towers, reported Al-Jardia. The new projects will enable the total daily rate of power production to increase to 14,000 Megawatts. Water production will be boosted by 500 million imperial gallons per day. The projects will be built at Shuaibah, Al-Zour, AlSubiya, Al-Julaiah, Al-Shuwaikh and Al-Doha.

VIVA Kuwait launches ‘Heroes Campaign’

KUWAIT: X-Cite by Alghanim Electronics celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day at its Al-Rai showroom with a cake-cutting ceremony attended by Iftekhar Aziz, the Ambassador of Pakistan, as well as dignitaries from the Pakistani community in Kuwait. As the leading electronics retailer in Kuwait, XCite by Alghanim Electronics celebrated its “World of X-cite” program that welcomes customers from all nationalities to its various outlets spread across Kuwait. Iftekhar Aziz commented on the occasion, stating, “X-Cite by Alghanim Electronics has shown great commitment and innovation in honoring the needs of its customers. We are honored to participate in this joint effort and commend the positive attitude of the team at X-Cite.”

KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday introduced the Al Moukhulessen (Heroes) television campaign in recognition of the achievements of ordinary Kuwaitis for their dedication and outstanding contributions to Kuwaiti society. The four honourees are: Ahmed Khames, an employee in the Embassy of Kuwait in Madrid, with 28 years of experience; Mohamed Bilal, Deputy Officer at the Capital Traffic Department, who has spent 27 years organizing traffic at Damascus street; Raeeda Haidar, a Nutritionist

at the Mubarak Hospital for 18 years; and Rehab Al Modlej, a school Principal with 25 years experience. “The concept is based on a “giving tree”, which represents Kuwaiti society and highlights how contributions from these “heroes” are making a significant difference to our communities, “said Omar Al-Houti, Corporate Communication Manager at VIVA Kuwait. Conceived and directed by Yaarob Bu Rhama, who worked with VIVA Kuwait previously on the video clip “Enta Teqdar,” the heroes’

profiles will be broadcast on local television channels throughout the holy month of Ramadan. VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach.

Omar Al-Houti


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Bosnian lab helps Iraq unearth its war secrets It could take decades to find names for the bones SARAJ EVO: One of the cleaning ladies in the building w on’t enter the room w here the vials are stored because she can feel the restless souls inside them. But for 33-year-old biologist Amela J amakovic, the 11 vials, each containing a few grains of bone pow der that look like sand, are her daily assignment. She’s part of a team of six at the laboratory of the International Commission for Missing Persons in Sarajevo that’s on a daunting mission: analyzing DNA from bones found in mass graves from atrocities or natural disasters around the w orld and matching it to lost lives.

JERUSALEM: An Israeli Jewish man walks next to a concrete wall in the Jewish settlement of Gilo yesterday. Israel removed the wall yesterday. — AP

Landmark anti-shooting wall razed on Jerusalem outskirts JERUSALEM: Israeli troops yesterday began demolishing a huge concrete wall erected nine years ago to prevent shooting attacks towards Gilo, a Jewish neighbourhood in occupied east Jerusalem. Soldiers wearing construction helmets began removing the towering slabs from one of the streets, lowering them onto a truck, an AFP correspondent said, at the start of an operation likely to take a fortnight. The two-metre-high concrete barrier was set up in 2001 along several streets on the southernmost edge of Gilo, which sits just across the valley from the Palestinian village of Beit Jala in the West Bank. During the second intifada, gunmen in Beit Jala would take pot shots at their Jewish neighbours, prompting Israel to erect several hundred metres of protective concrete along the

18 slain in Iraq BAGHDAD: An Iraqi pharmacist just back from his studies in the United States was among at least 18 people killed in a spate of attacks across the country over the weekend, officials said yesterday. More than 20 other people were wounded in the violence, the latest in a surge of killings in August and as Muslims observe the holy dawn-to-dusk fasting month of Ramadan, when insurgents typically step up their attacks. The escalation has fuelled security concerns at a time when the United States aims to withdraw thousands of troops by the end of August, when it declares an end to combat operations in Iraq. Mohammed Ali Al-Deen, who returned less than a month ago after completing a pharmacy course in Washington DC, was gunned down late on Saturday at his home in Noamaniyah in the central province of Wasit, a police officer said. The officer said three masked gunmen entered Deen’s home in the centre of the town, 130 km south of Baghdad, at around 9:30 pm (1830 GMT) and shot him dead. It was not clear why Deen, an unmarried 34-year-old who lived with his parents and studied at George Washington University, was targeted. His family was unharmed in the shooting. In a predawn attack yesterday, three Sunni Muslims were gunned down as they left Abid Wais mosque in Jurf Al-Sakhr, 50 km south of the capital in the mainly Shiite province of Babil, police said. The drive-by shooting, which also wounded one person, took place at 4:00 am (0100 GMT), after worshippers emerged from Ramadan prayers which follow a communal meal ahead of another daylong fast. Jurf Al-Sakhr is in a confessionally mixed region known as the Triangle of Death since a wave of insurgent attacks during the worst of Iraq’s violence following the 2003 US-led invasion. Three others, including an off-duty policeman, were killed when their minibus was struck by a bomb attack as it travelled to the centre of Baghdad from an eastern quarter, an interior ministry official said. —AFP

length of at least four streets and to install bullet-proof glass in all the homes there. Mortar shells were also fired from Beit Jala towards Gilo during the early years of the intifada. The wall was soon covered with paintings and brightly-coloured murals and quickly became one of the landmark images of the second Palestinian uprising which erupted in late 2000. It was also a precursor of the huge separation barrier that Israel has nearly completed and which cuts through the West Bank - a section of which now runs along the northern edge of Beit Jala. The military said the wall was being razed as a result of the long spate of calm prevailing in the area. “As a result of the stable security situation in the area, the Israel Defence Forces, in coordination with the Jerusalem municipality and the

Israeli police, will begin dismantling the protective concrete structure used to defend civilians from sniping,” it said in a statement. Gilo, with its 30,000 inhabitants, is one of a belt of neighbourhoods making up “Greater Jerusalem,” which have been built by Israel to reinforce its hold over the eastern sector of the city, which was occupied and annexed after the 1967 Middle East war. In another sign of the calm, the military has over the past two months agreed to allow Israeli tour guides to operate in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Jericho for the first time in a decade. The Western-backed Palestinian Authority welcomed the relaxation of regulations, saying it proved it has succeeded in improving security in the territory under its control. — AFP

The researchers try to restore identity to nameless remains by comparing the DNA to genetic material collected from living relatives. The detective work has been carried out on remains of victims from the 1990s Balkan wars, the Pinochet regime in Chile, Typhoon Frank in the Philippines, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, and Asia’s Dec 2004 tsunami. Those efforts have been dwarfed by the commission’s latest mission: helping Iraqis find and identify the victims of the Saddam Hussein regime and its aftermath. Officials in Baghdad estimate that 350,000 human remains are hidden in mass graves throughout the country. Human rights groups say it could be close to a million. When Jamakovic adds liquid to the grains of bone to form a solution ready for analysis, she likes to think she is performing a kind of alchemy that will conjure up an identity from dust and lead to peace and closure for a bereaved family. “While I work with it, I handle it with care because any mistake and I have prolonged their agony,” she says. For the past two years, the team has been bringing Iraqi forensic archaeologists, anthropologists, nurses and other experts to Bosnia for training on collecting blood samples, excavating mass graves and setting up labs in Iraq. Some of the dead were killed in

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi man buys traditional sweets at a shop in central Baghdad yesterday. — AP the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Others were Kurds, killed because of their ethnicity, or Shiites, massacred because of their religion, or Sunnis, eliminated because of their political views. If the estimates of human rights groups prove accurate, “they represent a crime against humanity sur-

passed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II,” says a 2004 report from the US Agency for International Development. Building on the Iraq numbers are the unknown number of mass graves filled by victims of

post-Saddam revenge killings as Sunnis, Shiites and rival political factions used the turmoil to settle scores. It could take decades to find names for the bones from Iraq, but it will contribute to peace, said Adam Boys, the deputy head of the commission, who sees his work as “not for the

dead but for the living.” “We see the issue of missing persons as something that stops reconciliation, that contributes to conflict,” he said. In Bosnia, two-thirds of the victims - a total of some 20,000 sets of remains - have been found and identified. Some 10,000 remain missing. —AP


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Hollywood diplomacy in France shows up Sarkozy PARIS: “Rocky, Rocky,” yelled the crowd, as Sylvester Stallone mimed uppercuts on the red carpet. This was not Hollywood, however, but a Paris suburb more used to riot police than to movie stars. The same day, another visit took place in the eastern city of Grenoble, where Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux inaugurated a special police unit to secure its run-down housing states after recent gunfights and riots. For some, the contrast reveals a failure in the government’s approach to minorities in the troubled outskirts of its cities, the “banlieue”. Stallone handed out autographs, while Hortefeux - the top general in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s newly-declared “war on crime” - delivered non-lethal riot guns and bullet-proof shields to local police. “It’s empowering for people to see Hollywood stars visit these areas that are lashed by the politicians,” said Rokhaya Diallo, 32, the leader of an anti-racism association, Les

Indivisibles, after Stallone’s visit. “I find it a shame that on the one hand there are people who want to bring a power hose to clean the banlieue, who say the people there are ‘scum’, and on the other there are people who bring Hollywood stars,” Diallo told AFP, quoting incendiary statements Sarkozy made in 2005. Stallone, the star of “Rocky” and “Rambo”, appearing in Rosny-Sous-Bois on the outskirts Paris, was the third allAmerican action hero to venture into the banlieue this year. John Travolta attended a Rosny premiere in February, and Samuel L Jackson, his co-star in “Pulp Fiction”, met youngsters in nearby Bondy in April. Jackson’s visit, with an inspirational speech about his upbringing as a black American child in the days of racial segregation, stood out. He was accompanied by the man who invited him: former Hollywood executive Charles Rivkin, who is now the United

States’ ambassador to France. Diallo said she has met Rivkin several times in neighbourhoods such as La Courneuve - a trouble spot where Sarkozy, interior minister at the time, made headlines in 2005 by vowing to “clean it out with a power hose”. Jackson’s visit - unlike Stallone’s or Travolta’s - was an official part of a wide American political networking drive, encompassing art projects, debates and a long-running exchange program. Diallo was among 30 local figures taken to tour the United States this year on a USfunded project for budding French leaders in their 30s, a program whose past participants include Sarkozy himself. The US activities in France have intensified in recent years as part of efforts to reach out to Muslims since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, and in particular since Rivkin’s appointment by Obama last year. Tensions have long run high between

French police and locals living in deprived districts where young people and immigrants struggle to find work, notably during an explosion of riots in late 2005. On that sensitive issue, supporters of the US programs draw inspiration from America’s own racial history. “The United States have substantial experience in all matters of social integration,” said a spokeswoman for the French urban policy ministry. US diplomats “have understood that in these neighbourhoods we have talented young people - the young people who are making the France of tomorrow,” said the spokeswoman, who asked not to be named. With critics questioning national leaders’ own commitment to the banlieues, she insisted that the embassy’s project complemented similar efforts by the French government, including housing, jobs and art projects. US officials are at pains meanwhile to avoid the sense that they are preaching to France. “We

seek to engage with as wide a spectrum of French society as possible,” said Paul Patin, a spokesman for the Paris embassy. “Other countries can learn from the American experience, just as we in the USA can learn things from the French.” Nordine Nabili, head of a journalism school in Bondy in regular contact with the US embassy, said US initiatives had ruffled the feathers of some French officials, though none have complained publicly. “For once we’re going out of the set framework: the elite schools that reproduce French society,” he said. “The French have the feeling the Americans are coming to play in their back yard. It’s a bit of a thorn in their side.” The ministry spokeswoman acknowledged that “at first there were questions about what the embassy’s aims were, what it wanted to do. But I think now it is considered something that works well.” Five years after the 2005 riots, the tension has not slackened in some

areas. The unrest in Grenoble last month drove security still higher up the political agenda. “We are suffering the consequences of 50 years of insufficiently regulated immigration which has led to a failure of integration,” Sarkozy said last month. He announced a “war on crime” and vowed to strip some foreign-born criminals of French nationality. Critics accused him of a heavy-handed votegrabbing approach. “All this talk of security in the banlieues handicaps the French economy,” said Nabili. “There is fantastic energy in the banlieues which could help get French society out of a lot of its problems.” Nacim Ben Younes, a student from the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers, said that even Jackson’s visit left him with an empty feeling. “It is easy for us to identify with these personalities,” he told AFP. “But neither Samuel Jackson nor Sylvester Stallone can provide the opportunities that young people in the banlieues are so cruelly lacking.” — AFP

Orthodox Patriarch holds Mass at Turkey monastery Worshippers flock to once-banned site MACKA, Turkey: Orthodox Christians held the first Mass in almost 90 years at an ancient monastery on the side of a Turkish mountain yesterday, after the government allow ed w orship there in a gesture tow ard religious minorities. At least 1,500 pilgrims, including from Greece and Russia, traveled to the Byzantine-era monastery of Sumela for the service led by Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the w orldís Orthodox Christians. The Islamic-oriented government, w hich is aiming to expand freedoms as part of its bid to join the European Union, has said w orship can take place at the monastery once a year. Services w ere previously banned.

TRABZON, Turkey: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, conducts a service at the Sumela Monastery in northeastern Turkey yesterday. — AP

Fires still threaten Russian nuclear site as smog returns MOSCOW: Shifting winds brought the acrid smell of smog back to Moscow yesterday and fires continued to burn near Russia’s main nuclear research centre as residents complained of ash in the air in central Russia. Amid the worst heatwave in its history, Russia has for days battled to cut back hundreds of blazes across the country, including fires in a nature reserve near its top nuclear research centre in Sarov, a town still closed to foreigners as in Soviet times. The secret nuclear research centre tucked into the woods in central Russia straddles two regions - the Nizhny Novgorod and Mordovia regions - and the emergency ministry said on Sunday the number of fires in both regions had been reduced. “Despite the continuing hot weather, man is prevailing over the wildfires. There has been a firm trend of cutting the number of wildfires in the region for the first time in the past days this week,” the emergency ministry’s Volga regional branch said. But the fires were still burning in the villages of Popovka and Pushta in the nature reserve where more than 1,200 people and over 150 pieces of equipment were fighting the flames, Mikhail Turkov, a spokesman for the ministry’s Volga regional branch, told AFP. Turkov said the situation remained under control and “stable”. The fire in Popovka still covered 1,000 hectares but has been partially contained and the area of the most active blaze covers just 30 hectares, the

ministry said. The fire near Pushta covering 200 hectares has been contained, the ministry said. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said he had personally inspected the area around Sarov and that there was no danger of nuclear explosions or other environmental threats even if the fire reached the territory of the centre. The

threat of the fire reaching the premises of the nuclear centre, which is surrounded by forests on all sides, was “very real” several days ago but the situation is now under control, he said on Friday in comments released by Rosatom on Saturday. “The fire is constantly spreading from the Mordovia reserve and as long as it has not been put out, this risk for Sarov will remain. The threat of fire

MOSCOW: A Russian man wears a face mask to protect himself from forest fire smoke in central Moscow yesterday. — AFP

from the Mordovia natural reserve will only be fully eliminated once protracted rains have come. Until then, we’ll have to be on high alert,” Kiriyenko added. Across Russia there were 498 fires covering an area of 53,500 hectares, down from 56,000 hectares the day before, a quarter of the area of almost 200,000 hectares reported at the peak of the crisis. Authorities managed to reduce an area of wildfires around Moscow by almost 25 hectares over the past day and there were seven burning peat bogs over an area of a mere eight hectares, a Moscow-based emergency ministry spokeswoman told AFP. But an acrid smell returned to Moscow as shifting winds brought back smog from the neighbouring Ryazan and Vladimir regions in central Russia where three major peat bogs were burning. A spokesman for air pollution monitoring service Mosekomonitoring, Alexei Popikov, told AFP carbon monoxide levels in the Moscow air were 1.3 times higher than acceptable levels due to the smog as of 0800 GMT. Shifting winds are expected to clear the smoke later in the day, he said. A heavy smog also cloaked the city of Nizhny Novgorod some 430 km east of Moscow, the emergencies ministry said. Vitaly Dubonin, a resident of Nizhny Novgorod, said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio, that the smoke was very dense with small specks of ash in the air. —AFP

The symbolic event was also likely to boost reconciliation efforts between Turkey and Greece, two NATO allies that came to the brink of war three times between 1974 and 1996 over the ethnically divided island of Cyprus and territorial rights in the Aegean Sea. Sumela, a spectacular structure cut into the side of a mountain, was abandoned around the time of Turkeyís foundation in 1923. The last Mass was held a year earlier amid conflict between Turks and Greeks. The remote site near the Black Sea has become a big tourist draw in the last few decades. The patriarch, who is based in Istanbul, wore a white robe with golden lace, and carried a staff. Priests sang hymns and spread incense amid faded frescoes. Visitors who could not fit into the crowded monastery watched on a giant television screen several hundred meters below the building. ´It is a very exciting moment for us Greeks because itís the first time we get to have such a Mass,ª said 24-year-old Ketevan Nadareishvili. ´We can pray on the land of my great-greatgrandfathers.ª The patriarch said he hoped the desire to pray would not be misinterpreted. ´The culture of living together is a heritage our civilization left for us. Letís make that heritage live on, and let us teach all, so that we do not suffer anymore, and families do not perish,ª Bartholomew said in Turkish after the service. ´The Sumela monastery has lived like a legend for decades among us, patiently waiting for this day to come.ª Despite the sense of celebration, the story of Orthodox Christians and religious expression in general in Turkey is a troubled one. Turkeyís government says it will increase freedoms, but critics believe change is too slow in a country with a staunchly secular system introduced by the national founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Most of Turkeyís 72 million people are Muslim, but even many of those feel that their rights are curtailed by law. Female employees of the state are not allowed to wear Muslim headscarves at work, and in 2008, the Constitutional Court struck down a governmentbacked amendment lifting a ban on the wearing of headscarves in universities. The Greek Orthodox community in Turkey has dwindled to about 2,000. One of their key demands is the reopening of the Halki Theological School, a Greek Orthodox seminary on Heybeliada Island near Istanbul. The school was closed to new students in 1971 after a law put religious and military training under state control. It shut its doors in 1985, when the last five students graduated. Western leaders, including US President Barack Obama, want Turkey to allow it to reopen. On a visit to Greece in May, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was optimistic it would reopen. —AP

JAKARTA: Indonesian Christian women shout slogans during a protest against attacks on churches yesterday. — AFP

Hundreds rally in Jakarta, call for religious freedom JAKARTA: Several hundred Indonesians rallied in Jakarta yesterday demanding that the president do more to protect freedom of religion and to punish hardline Muslim groups which have attacked minority faiths. The protest reflects growing public alarm over recent attacks on churches, Christian prayer gatherings, and on mosques used by the Ahmadiyya, an Islamic sect that some Muslims deem heretical. Such attacks have hurt Indonesia’s reputation for religious tolerance, and could potentially threaten the status of Southeast Asia’s biggest and most-populous economy as an attractive investment destination, in turn derailing growth and development. Indonesia is officially secular and recognises six main faiths - Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism - of which Islam is the most widespread, accounting for about 85 percent of the population and making Indonesia the world’s most populous Muslim country. In the past, attacks on minority religions in other parts of the country have led to wider outbreaks of violence, for example in the aftermath of President Suharto’s ouster in 1998. Several of the recent attacks have involved members of Muslim gangs such as the Islamic Defenders Front or FPI, a hardline group whose members are considered as little more than thugs

and racketeers because of their suspected links to the police and use of intimidation and violence. Many Indonesians were outraged when Jakarta’s governor, Fauzi Bowo, and the head of the Jakarta police, attended the FPI’s 12th anniversary celebration recently - a move seen as an official endorsement of the group’s vigilantism. On Sunday, about 500 people, many carrying red-and-white Indonesian flags and red ribbon arm bands, chanted “freedom of worship, freedom for all religions,” and sang religious songs as they rallied around the National Monument in Jakarta. “We’ve been patient enough over these recent incidents of violence and brutality, even against women and children. We have reported these criminal acts to the police, and we’ve seen no firm response against the attackers,” said Saor Siagian, spokesman of The Forum for Religious Freedom Solidarity. “If this escalates it could potentially lead to a more dangerous situation and poses a real threat to this nation. So far, the president hasn’t taken any firm action.” The Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace last month reported an increase in the number of attacks by “intolerant groups”, citing forced closures of churches, the withholding of building permits for churches, and torching of church buildings. —Reuters

HONG KONG: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe shops for shoes in the Harbor City mall on Saturday. — AFP

Mugabe goes shopping in HK HONG KONG: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe spent the weekend shopping for highend suits and shoes in Hong Kong, where he owns a house and his daughter attends university, local media reported yesterday. Mugabe’s shopping trip came several days after he visited the World Expo in Shanghai for Zimbabwe Day. China is not a party to international sanctions on Mugabe, who is the subject of a Western travel ban and asset freeze. A team of officers from the Hong Kong police VIP protection unit flanked the octogenarian president on Saturday as he visited high-end shops in the city’s Kowloon district, local media said. “In general, police

would make appropriate security arrangements forvisiting foreign dignitaries,” a spokesman said in an email to AFP. “Due to operational reasons, police would not comment (further).” A government spokesman was quoted as saying Mugabe was not on an official visit. Mugabe’s daughter Bona is studying accountancy at City University of Hong Kong and he owns a home in the outlying New Territories district, the Sunday Morning Post reported. The leader’s wife Grace sparked a diplomatic row last year when she escaped assault charges after allegedly striking a British photographer as he took her picture during a shopping trip. Hong

Kong’s justice department said she was entitled to diplomatic immunity as the Zimbabwean president’s wife, a decision that sparked a storm of criticism. In Shanghai on Wednesday, Mugabe thanked China for its support in helping his nation rebuild its shattered economy. He said his country “immensely benefited” from China’s “generosity in several areas, including the supply of agricultural materials, and food assistance where inclement weather has affected our harvests”. Once a breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s food shortages have been brought on by drought and Mugabe’s crippling land-reform program. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

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Driver flees scene to escape angry spectators

Eight killed, 12 injured in California desert race LOS ANGELES: An off-road truck plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" moments after sailing off a jump at a California race, killing eight people and injuring 12 others, authorities and witnesses said. The crash came shortly after the start of the California 200, a Saturday evening race in the Mojave Desert, said San Bernardino County sheriff's

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Florida: US President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha watch as First Lady Michelle Obama putts on the first hole during a round of mini golf at Pirate’s Island Golf on Saturday. – AFP

Obama, daughter swim in Gulf in act of reassurance PANAMA CITY, Florida: US President Barack Obama and his daughter have taken a dip in the Gulf of Mexico in an attempt to reassure Americans that, despite a massive oil spill, its waters remain safe for tourists. The president, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their younger daughter, Sasha, traveled to this Florida panhandle city to talk to local officials and business leaders, and highlight the region's tourist attractions. "Oil is no longer flowing into the Gulf," said Obama, speaking at a regional US Coast Guard headquarters. "But I'm here to tell you that our job is not finished, and we are not going anywhere until it is." Obama said that he wanted to deliver the message directly to residents of the Gulf Coast, which he has visited four times since an April explosion on a BP-leased oil rig triggered the disaster. "I made a commitment in my visits here that I was going to stand with you... until you have fully recovered from the damage that has been done. And that is a commitment my administration is going to keep," he said. And Obama also demanded that BP speed up processing of compensation claims, saying that "any delays - by BP or by those managing the new fund - are unacceptable." Earlier this week BP made its first deposit into the 20-billion-dollar Gulf of Mexico oil disaster fund intended to compensate thousands of residents and businesses hit by the largest maritime oil spill of all time. During the height of the spill Obama urged his fellow Americans to continue taking vacations in the region, famous for its sugar-white beaches, and heavily dependent on tourism. Obama later went for a swim with Sasha at Panama City Beach, away from the public and press cameras, with only an official photo of the pair - heads bobbing just

above the water line - issued by the White House. While the image might go far to reassure Americans that Gulf waters are safe, Obama had stressed he would take a presidential plunge in private. The last time Obama, who is physically fit, was photographed swimming without a shirt was in Dec 2008, shortly before he took office. The pictures were broadly circulated and used on the cover of news magazines. When a reporter covering the Obamas' Florida vacation joked that this publicity was a good thing, Michelle Obama shook her head and said, "No, it's not." The president and his family are scheduled to return to Washington yesterday. The trip comes after US officials announced that energy giant BP's runaway well had been sealed, and that they were moving ahead with plans to make sure it is truly "killed" by pumping cement in through a relief well under the Gulf of Mexico. Pressure tests showed that the well no longer has "direct communication with the reservoir" thanks to a "top kill" operation which pumped drilling mud and cement down through the wellhead, US spill chief Thad Allen said. Allen on Saturday issued a directive for BP to run a new series of tests and provide plans to ensure the safety of the "bottom kill" operation, before he gives the green light for a relief well to resume drilling. The relief well, which is approximately 30 m short of intersecting the well bore, was delayed several days because of a storm. Once it resumes, the bottom kill operation is expected to take four days. The huge spill threatened the fish and wildlife-rich Gulf Coast with environmental ruin and plunged residents of coastal communities into months of anguish over their livelihoods and the region's future. —AFP

"There was dust everywhere, people screaming, people running," David Conklin, a photographer covering the event for off-road magazines, told AP. Conklin said the Prerunner truck was among the first 20 off the line in the race, which began at about 8 pm. It had just gone over a jump known as "the rockpile" about two miles into the race, and he said he watched the vehicle sail through the air. Then he turned to watch for other cars when he heard the commotion caused by the crash. "When I got up to the vehicle I could tell that several people were trapped. There were just bodies everywhere," he said. "One woman with a major head wound (was) lying in a pool of blood. Someone else was crushed beneath the car." The truck came to a rest upside down with its oversized wheels pointing toward the sky, dust swirling in the meek light of the setting sun. Spectators rushed to the truck and about half a dozen people flipped it upright to try to help at least one person pinned underneath. Officials said the driver wasn't hurt but had to flee the scene to escape angry spectators. The 320-km race is part of a series held in the Mojave Desert's Soggy Dry Lake Bed near the city of Lucerne Valley, 160 km northeast of Los Angeles. Tens of thousands of people attend the California 200, in which a variety of offroad vehicles take jumps and other obstacles and reach speeds up to 160 kph on the 80km off-road course. The race

Independents sour on Dems WASHINGTON: Independent voters who embraced President Barack Obama's call for change in 2008 are ready for a shift again, and that's worrisome news for Democrats. Only 32 percent of those citing no allegiance to either major party say they want Democrats to keep control of Congress in the November elections, according to combined results of recent Associated PressGfK polls. That's way down from the 52 percent of independents who backed Obama over Republican Sen. John McCain two years ago, and the 49 percent to 41 percent edge by which they preferred Democratic candidates for the House in that election, according to exit polls of voters. Independents voice especially strong concerns about the economy, with 9 in 10 calling it a top problem and no other issue coming close, the analysis of the AP-GfK polls shows. While Democrats and Republicans rank the economy the No. 1 problem in similar numbers, they are nearly as worried about their No. 2 issues, health care for Democrats and terrorism for Republicans. Ominously for Democrats, independents trust Republicans more on the economy by a modest but telling 42 percent to 36 percent. That's bad news for the party that controls the White House and Congress at a time of near 10 percent unemployment and the slow economic recovery. "People are just struggling, they need a job but there's nowhere to get a job," said independent Leilani Buxman, 55, of Greeley, Colorado. Of Obama, she said, "It seems like he talks but he doesn't do anything about it." Both parties court independents for obvious reasons. Besides their sheer number - 4 in 10 describe themselves as independents in combined AP-GfK polling for April, May and June - they are a crucial swing group. To try winning them over, Republicans say they will contrast Obama's

campaign promises of change with the huge spending programs he's approved. Democrats say they will warn independents that a Republican victory will revive that party's efforts to cut taxes for the rich and transform Social Security into risky private investment accounts. Targeting independents is tricky, though, because the makeup of independents evolves over time. Their numbers have swollen from 3 in 10 two years ago, due partly to the weakened political loyalties that typify years without presidential elections. While some are conservatives dissatisfied with Republicans, similar numbers are disillusioned Democrats, underscoring a frustration with the party in power often seen when the economy is bad. Reflecting these conflicting dynamics, today's independents are likelier to be minorities, conservatives, less educated, lower paid and from rural areas than they were in 2008. Sixty-seven percent think the country is heading in the wrong direction, compared with 59 percent of all voters who think so. "Why not stop bickering and do something. Pull together," said Chip A. Hoeye, 54, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, an independent and Obama voter who says he doesn't care which party controls Congress because of their constant battling. Independents trust Republicans far more than Democrats for handling national security, but give Democrats a 42 percent to 36 percent edge for dealing with healthcare - a potential sign that distrust over Obama's signature issue is receding. Hope is not lost for Democrats. The APGfK polls show a narrow 44 percent to 41 percent overall preference for a Democratic Congress. The party is holding its 2008 edge among women and urban residents, and still splitting the vote of pivotal suburbanites and people earning $50,000 to $100,000. But less than three months from

Election Day, independents aren't the only part of Obama's 2008 coalition that shows waning enthusiasm for a Democratic-controlled Congress. Other groups that supported Obama but show less fervor include young whites, unmarried women, people who live in the West, people earning under $50,000 a year, college graduates and urban whites. The falloff shows that Democrats have work to do with blocs the party hoped an Obama presidency would cement into dependable supporters. There's even erosion among minorities. While 8 in 10 voted for Obama, fewer than two-thirds want a Democratic Congress, and 1 in 9 don't care which party controls. Democrats are also losing further ground with GOP-leaning groups such as white men, married men and people earning over $100,000 a year. Ebbing support for Democrats, compared with the vote for Obama, partly reflects that a president's popularity doesn't necessarily help his party in Congress. It also comes as Obama's own image has suffered: 49 percent approve of his job performance in the AP-GfK polls, compared with 67 percent who approved in February 2009, days after he took office. The data from the AP-GfK polls combines surveys conducted June 9-14, May 711 and April 7-12 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. A total of 3,047 randomly chosen adults were interviewed by cell and landline telephone. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The exit poll for the November 2008 presidential election was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the AP and television networks in 300 precincts nationally. The data was based on 17,836 voters, including telephone polling of 2,407 people who voted early, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. — AP

Tamil migrants in good condition ESQUIMALT, Canada: Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil migrants who arrived aboard a rusty cargo ship were in good condition after their three-month voyage, Canadian officials said Saturday. The MV Sun Sea, a 59-metre Thai-registered ship reportedly carrying as many as 490 migrants, landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia on Friday, escorted by Canadian police and navy ships. "The people (aboard) were in fairly good health and they were fairly cooperative," said Rob Johnston, regional executive director for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), adding his staff had played with some of the children aboard and they appeared in good spirits. So far, CBSA agents have processed 450 migrants, including 50 women and 50 children, but won't provide a final number until

today, Johnston said. There was food and water found on the ship, including bags of rice and dried fish. Hammocks had been strung up below the ships decks and a tarp was hung on the rear of the vessel to provide additional sleeping area, Johnston said. Twenty-seven migrants required hospital care including two pregnant women, said Dr. Richard Crow of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Six people remain in care at Victoria General Hospital. Officials have begun transporting some of the migrants from makeshift accommodations in dockside tents at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt to detention centres near Vancouver. Police continue to investigate allegations of human smuggling and that some migrants may be members of the Tamil Tigers, which has been banned a ter-

rorist organization in Canada, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Tracey Rook. Rook said officers are working with Canadian and foreign intelligence agencies, but would not disclose which governments are providing information. "No weapons have been found" until now, but the search of the ship is not over yet, she added. Sri Lanka last year ended decades of civil war by crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels in a bloody finale in which the United Nations says that at least 7,000 civilians were killed. Despite concerns about Sri Lanka's human rights record, Western nations ban the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization. The group was known for suicide bombings and use of child soldiers during its nearly four-decade fight for a separate Tamil homeland. — AFP

spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. Bachman said eight people died and 12 were injured, several of them seriously. Seven ambulances and 10 emergency aircraft responded to the scene. Most of the injured were airlifted from the area to Loma Linda University Medical Center or St Mary's Medical Center.

LUCERNE VALLEY, California: Workers push an overturned off-road race truck upright yesterday after it went out of control and ran into a crowd of spectators during a race on Saturday. – AP had been scheduled to last through the night. The crowd was standing within three meters of the track with no guard rails separating them from the speeding vehicles. "There were no barriers at all," Jeff Talbott, inland division chief for the California Highway Patrol, told the Riverside PressEnterprise newspaper. He said that the driver, who wasn't named, was forced to run from the scene when the crowd grew unruly and some began throwing rocks at him. It was not

clear why he lost control of the truck. The CHP does not normally investigate crashes at organized races, but took the lead on this probe because of its scope and had set up a command center at the starting line of the race. The federal Bureau of Land Management was assisting in the investigation. The event was sponsored by the South El Monte-based Mojave Desert Racing. No one picked up the phone at a number listed on the group's website early yesterday, and its

message mailbox was full. The crash was the latest in a series of race accidents that have proved deadly to spectators. A car plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch an illegal drag race on a suburban road in Accokeek, Maryland, in February 2008, killing eight people and injuring five. The two racers were charged with vehicular manslaughter. Darren Bullock, 22, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; Tavon Taylor, 20, is awaiting trial. In Chandler, Arizona, in

February, a female spectator was killed by a tyre that flew off a crashing dragster at Chandler's Firebird International Raceway for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. In Selmer, Tennessee, a dragster went out of control and smashed into spectators during a fundraising festival in June 2007, killing six people and injuring 22. Driver Troy Critchley, 38, was convicted of misdemeanor reckless assault charges and sentenced to 18 months probation. — AP


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INTERNATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fear and voting in Sydney’s sprawling west SYDNEY: When he was just one year old, Tony’s young parents packed up their scant belongings and moved from Sydney’s worldfamous beaches to build their own home on the city’s then-wild outskirts. It was the 1980s and his teenage parents, fresh out of senior school and wildly in love, dreamed of a yard with trees to raise their young son. They were both born and raised on Sydney’s laid-back northern beaches, but knew they could never afford a home of their own so close to the city. Thirty years later, the web and graphic designer has two children, and a mortgage, of his own, and is among the one in 10 Australians who call Sydney’s sprawling western outskirts home. “It would be nice to live down there near the beach and all that sort of stuff, and have that not just a hol-

iday thing, but we just couldn’t afford to do that,” Tony explains. Both his parents and his wife’s family live within a short drive of their Winmalee home, in the Blue Mountains some 90 km west of central Sydney, providing crucial savings on childcare expenses. “Our budget pretty much just covers us for all of our outgoings,” Tony, who asked that his family name not be used, told AFP. “I don’t know if it keeps me awake at night, but it’s always in the back of my mind, when I’m driving to work (imagining) if I have an accident... If I got injured and was off work or something like that, yeah, we’d be stuffed.” Sydney was this year ranked the world’s 24th-most expensive city to live in by global human resources firm Mercer, behind Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing,

but ahead of Rome, New York, St Petersburg and Shanghai. It is considered world-class in terms of quality of living, but more than one-fifth of Australians work more than 50 hours a week and 60 percent don’t take regular holidays, according to a recent 10,000-person study. Western Sydney is one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas, and with a population of two million is home to just over one-in-10 Australians, as people leave the beaches and harbour for affordable housing, green spaces, and better quality of life. It has emerged as a key battleground in this month’s elections, with both major parties desperate to curry favour with the region’s stressed, angry and volatile voters. Macquarie, Tony’s electorate, is among the nation’s most marginal seats.

“They moved there because of space and freedom and cheap housing,” said demographer David Burchell, from the University of Western Sydney. “(But) over the past 10 years it’s become much more densely populated, much more cosmopolitan, and they feel that the quality of life’s started to go backwards.” Infrastructure has struggled to keep up with the region’s population boom, with hospitals and transport chronically overburdened, and an influx of refugees from Sudan and Afghanistan has made boatpeople a hotly debated issue. “Issues like the asylum-seeker one play out much more strongly in places like that than other parts of Sydney,” Burchell said. “To put it very crudely, it probably does nothing for property values. It’s an ugly thing to say but it is a

brutal fact.” According to the 2006 census, western Sydney has the city’s highest rates of welfare dependence and unemployment, greatest number of single-parent families and its lowest education levels, with most relying on trade and service jobs. Most Sydney households living on less than 500 dollars (US$447) a week were also found in the area, and Burchell said families on the city’s western fringe were typically living hand-tomouth, with no buffer if things went south. Many families were mortgaged to the hilt and saddled with high levels of loan and credit card debt. A March study of debt stress in the area found six of Australia’s ten worst defaulting areas were in western Sydney. Some families were in such dire stress they could only afford to feed their

children rice or semolina, the UWS study found, and Burchell said people lived in conditions of poverty that were unimaginable to most Australians. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has admitted rising fuel and grocery costs hit such areas hardest and has vowed to keep the economy stable to ease interest rate pressures and inflation, while pledging improvements to transport. The area has been targeted by politicians in the lead-up to the polls but whatever the outcome of Saturday’s election, one thing is certain: people in Sydney’s west will keep on finding it tough. “It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride,” says Tony, who spends five hours each day commuting to and from the city. “But you’ve just got to take the flow.” — AFP

Asia pauses to mark end of World War II Reminders of lingering tensions hover TOKYO: Asia paused yesterday to remember J apan’s surrender to the allied forces w hich ended World War II 65 years ago, as the J apanese prime minister apologized for w reaking suffering on the region and the South Korean president said Tokyo’s remorse w as a step in the right direction. From Nanjing - the site of a 1937 massacre by J apanese troops - to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, w hich has draw n outrage from Asia for honoring Class A w ar criminals, people prayed for the millions w ho died in w ar and expressed hopes for peace.

TOKYO: People release white doves in the air during a ceremony at the controversial Yasukuni war shrine yesterday to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. — AP

Kan govt stays away from Yasukuni TOKYO: Japan yesterday commemorated the 65th anniversary of its surrender in World War II, without the ministerial visits to a controversial war shrine that regularly provoke outrage in parts of Asia. For the first time in at least a quarter of a century, no government minister went to Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, a place dedicated to 2.5 million Japanese killed in conflicts, including 14 of Japan’s top WWII criminals. The anniversary is the first since Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s centre-left Democratic Party ousted the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last year after its almost unbroken half century in power. Kan and Emperor Akihito, whose father Hirohito surrendered exactly 65 years ago, attended a memorial service in Tokyo. “During the war, Japan inflicted significant

damage and pain on many countries, especially the people of Asian countries,” Kan said at the ceremony. “I deeply regret that and express my sincere condolences to the victims and their families.” Before the stage decorated with yellow and white chrysanthemums, Emperor Akihito said: “Here I look back on history and ardently hope that the calamities of war will never be repeated.” Ahead of the ceremony, Kan visited a cemetery in the capital, where he laid a bouquet in honour of the hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers who died overseas. But Kan and his cabinet have vowed not to visit the Yasukuni shrine, something various LDP members have done regularly in the past, provoking outrage in China and on the Korean peninsula, where memories of

Japan’s wartime atrocities linger. It is the first time since at least 1985 when government records began - that the day has been marked without a ministerial visit to the shrine, local media reported. The move by the Kan administration is the latest in a series of overtures from Tokyo to its neighbours. Japan last week issued a fresh apology for the country’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, ahead of the August 29 centenary of its annexation. In a statement also timed to precede South Korea’s celebration of its 1945 liberation on August 15 Kan expressed deep regret over what he referred to as the “suffering” inflicted during Japan’s 1910 to 1945 colonial rule. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak yesterday welcomed Japan’s efforts to improve ties. —AFP

North, S Korea swap warnings

SEOUL: South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak gives three cheers during the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese colonial rule yesterday. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korea’s president urged North Korea yesterday to end its military provocations but Pyongyang threatened the “severest punishment” over Seoul’s massive joint war games with the United States. The rivals exchanged tit-for-tat warnings as the South unveiled a roadmap for the reunification of the Korean peninsula on the eve of a 10-day exercise involving some 56,000 South Korean and 30,000 American soldiers. “It is about time Pyongyang looked straight at reality, made a courageous change and came up with a drastic decision,” South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said. The Koreas “need to overcome the current state of division and proceed with the goal of peaceful reunification,” he said in a speech to celebrate Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

Lee warned that South Korea would not tolerate any military provocations from its neighbour. “The North must never venture to carry out another provocation nor will we tolerate it if they do so again,” he said. But Pyongyang issued a fresh warning yesterday that its army and people would “deal a merciless counterblow” to the United States and South Korea over the war games. “The military counteraction of (North Korea) will be the severest punishment... ever met in the world,” a spokesman for the North’s army General Chief said in a statement quoted by state media. US and South Korean troops will start the computerised war games, called “Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), today as part of a flurry of military drills in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. —AFP

The reckoning with history has taken special meaning this year as it comes amid a global effort to realize a world without nuclear weapons, a resolve backed by President Barack Obama. But there were reminders of lingering tensions. In Seoul, President Lee Myung-bak, dressed in traditional robes, led a ceremony celebrating the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule with the Aug 15 surrender. He also urged North Korea to abandon military provocations and make a “courageous change” toward peace. Relations with North Korea have nose-dived after the March sinking of a South Korean warship and Pyongyang’s firing last week of a barrage of artillery into South Korean waters. In Tokyo, at a ceremony for the war dead, Prime Minister Naoto Kan reiterated his apology to South Korea for wartime atrocities, and this time offered his regret to all of Asia. Last week, Kan offered “deep remorse” in an apology issued ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean peninsula on Aug. 29, 1910. “We caused great damage and suffering to many nations during the war, especially to the people of Asia,” Kan said Sunday before a crowd of about 6,000, including Emperor Akihito, at Budokan hall. “We feel a deep regret, and we offer our sincere feelings of condolence to those who suffered and their families,” Kan said. Lee said history should not be forgotten, but that Kan’s apology last week marked progress. “I have taken note of Japan’s effort, which represents one step forward,” Lee said. “However, there still remain issues that have to be resolved,” he said, without elaborating. “The two countries are called upon to take concrete measures to forge a new relationship for another 100 years.” Many older Koreans still harbor resentment against Japan over the colonization. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans were forced to fight as frontline soldiers, work in slave-labor conditions or serve as prostitutes called “comfort women” in brothels operated by the military. Later yesterday, about 50 women rallied in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, chanting slogans and demanding compensation for former comfort women and other Korean victims of colonial rule. Reflecting a common sentiment among Koreans, activist Lee Kang-sil criticized Japan’s apology as “lacking in action”. Such hard feelings were also evident in China, where about 300 people gathered in the eastern city of Nanjing, to remember the victims of the 1937 “Nanjing Massacre”, known in the West as the “Rape of Nanking”, in which Japanese soldiers killed tens of thousands of civilians. In Australia, World War II veterans and representatives from New Zealand, the US and Asian countries were among more than 300 people gathered in downtown Sydney to mark the anniversary. —AFP

SYDNEY: A family walks along the Bondi Beach promenade on Aug 13, 2010. — AFP

Australia set for cliffhanger poll SYDNEY: Australia yesterday heading for a knife-edge election, with no party streaking ahead in opinion polls with less than a week to go, raising the prospect of the first hung parliament in 70 years. As Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the first woman to lead the country, battles an energised conservative opposition headed by the plain-speaking Tony Abbott, polls predict that the August 21 contest could go down to the wire. “At the moment it looks like it could be a hung parliament,” Michele Levine, chief executive of the Roy Morgan polling group, told AFP on Sunday. The latest Roy Morgan poll, which surveyed close to 1,000 voters across the country on Saturday, found centre-left Labor had the support of 51 percent of voters and the rightleaning Liberal/National coalition some 49 percent. Former lawyer Gillard has conceded that she is heading into one of the tightest races in the nation’s history, after a Nielsen poll released Saturday put her ahead 53 to 47 percent and a Newspoll found she would just scrape into government. “I’m keenly aware that as we go into the final week, if today’s polls are right, then Mr Abbott could

end up prime minister by the end of the next Saturday,” 48year-old Gillard said ahead of Monday’s campaign launch. Polling in recent weeks has found that Labor is losing ground against Abbott, an unlikely challenger nicknamed the “Mad Monk” who only became opposition leader last year after bruising party infighting on climate change. Levine said voters appeared uneasy about Gillard’s brutal wresting of power from her former leader Kevin Rudd in her own party coup in late June. “That really plagued the whole of the Labor Party’s first few weeks,” Levine said. “There’s a clear indication, in both our national polling and our marginal seat polling, that there is a move to the coalition,” she added. Although the candidates are starkly different - Welsh-born Gillard is a career woman who has never married or had children while Abbott is a conservative family man who once trained to become a Catholic priest - the campaign has been criticised as uninspiring. Labor is leaning heavily on its performance during the global financial crisis - arguing that its massive stimulus package kept the economy out of recession

and saved tens of thousands of jobs. It is promising to develop infrastructure - including a high-speed national broadband Internet network - and improve Sydney’s congested rail links if reelected. On climate change - a key factor in the 2007 election which saw Labor’s Rudd topple conservative prime minister John Howard, ending his 11-yearrule - Gillard has repeatedly said she believes climate change is real and wants to put a price on carbon emissions. The outspoken and gaffe-prone Abbott, a former Rhodes scholar and minister in the Howard government, has meanwhile vowed to cut government spending to reduce national debt and “stop the boats” of asylum seekers. Political analyst Clement Macintyre said while it was an historic vote because it was the first time Australians have a chance to vote for a party led by a woman, the campaign has been lacklustre. “While the polling is so close both sides are conscious that one mistake could cost office and they are less bold and adventurous,” Macintyre, who is head of politics at the University of Adelaide, told AFP. —AFP

Day of mourning for China mudslide dead BEIJING: Flags were flying at half mast and public entertainment cancelled yesterday as China marked a national day of mourning for the more than 1,200 people killed by massive mudslides in the northwest. Thousands of residents and rescuers in Zhouqu, the remote mountain region in Gansu province flattened by last weekend’s landslides, stopped search efforts to take part in a ceremony to remember the victims, state television said. Sirens wailed as mourners, wearing white paper flowers and some still clutching their shovels, observed a three-minute silence at 10:00 am. Rescuers and medics later resumed their duties, clearing debris from the swollen Bailong River, searching for bodies buried under sludge and spraying disinfectant to prevent a disease outbreak, the official Xinhua news agency said. President Hu Jintao and other top leaders also paid tribute to the victims amid warnings that torrential rains forecast for the coming days could hamper relief efforts, Xinhua said. Flags across the country and at overseas embassies were flown at half-mast and public entertainment such as movies, karaoke, online games and television was suspended, reports said. State television broadcast images of about 10,000 people gathered at Tiananmen Square in

Beijing early yesterday to watch a flag-raising ceremony while other ceremonies were held across the country. Shortly after midnight, the home pages of Chinese websites turned black and white while newspapers were stripped of colour in a show of mourning, Xinhua said. In Hong Kong, flags on government buildings were lowered and a daily evening light show in the harbour was cancelled out of respect for those killed in the devastating mudslides which buried entire villages. According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period. Authorities said 496 people in Zhouqu were still missing after the avalanche of mud and rocks last Saturday night, which levelled an area five kilometres long and 300 m wide, Xinhua said. The official death toll rose to 1,248 yesterday from the previously reported 1,239. Authorities are struggling to keep up with demand for coffins in the devastated region, whose population is one-third Tibetan, the China Daily said. Authorities warned heavy rains would continue in the coming days and said further flash floods, landslides and floating debris continued to pose dangers in Gansu province and neighbouring Sichuan, Xinhua said. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, August 16, 2010

11

UN chief urges world to speed up Pakistan aid ISLAMABAD: UN chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged the world to quicken aid for up to 20 million people hit by Pakistan's worst humanitarian crisis as he flew in to visit areas ravaged by record floods. The United Nations has appealed for 460 million dollars to deal with the immediate aftermath of the floods but has warned that billions will be required in the long term with villages, businesses, crops and infrastructure wiped out. Pakistan's weak civilian government has appealed to the international community to help it cope with the challenges of a crisis that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has compared to the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. Ban arrived on a Pakistan Air Force jet at Chaklala air base, sweeping into talks with Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari, before flying over some of the worst affected areas of central province Punjab. "I'm here also to urge the world community to speed up their assistance to the Pakistani people," he told reporters. He said he would report back to the UN General Assembly first thing this week and

"we will try to mobilise all necessary assistance and remember that the whole world is behind the people of Pakistan in this time of trial". Ban later flew over devastated areas in Punjab, the breadbasket of Pakistan, and met survivors at a relief camp in Muzaffargarh, where people are now returning after the flood danger passed, local officials said. Around a quarter of the country appears to have been affected by the flooding, officials estimate. Some of the worst-hit areas are in the volatile northwest, where Taleban militants have been locked in fighting with Pakistani troops, and the wealthiest and agriculturally most important areas of Punjab and Sindh. Fresh foods hit the southwestern province of Baluchistan overnight, devastating hundreds of villages and causing tens of thousands to flee, said Sher Khan Bazai, the commissioner in the town of Jaffarabad. "The situation is grim. I saw people sheltering on the roofs of trucks and buses as bridges and roads have been washed away," Bazai said, adding that

authorities had only one helicopter and four boats for rescue missions. UN agencies and aid groups say the response to the international appeal has been sluggish, warning of a second wave of death from disease with at least six million now dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. The nuclear-armed country of 167 million is on the front line of the US-led fight against Al-Qaeda and Western governments have traced overseas terror plots back to Taliban and Al-Qaeda camps in the lawless tribal mountains. "The floods affected some 20 million people, destroyed standing crops and food storages worth billions of dollars, causing colossal loss to national economy," Gilani said in a televised address on Saturday. "Outbreak of epidemics in the flood-hit areas is a serious threat, which can further compound the already grave situation," Gilani said. The United Nations estimates that 14 million have been affected and that 1,600 have died. The government in Islamabad has confirmed 1,384 deaths.

In the south, officials called on the city of Jacobabad to evacuate, saying 90 percent of residents had already fled as waters reached its outskirts, although the meteorological service expects the floods to ease from today. Jacobabad was practically deserted with scores of vehicles stranded on the flooded main road from the south, an AFP photographer said. The United Nations has confirmed the country's first cholera case in Mingora, in the northwestern district of Swat, and said at least 36,000 people were reportedly suffering from acute diarrhoea. Charities said relief for those affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan's history was lagging far behind what was needed. "Clearly at this point in time the overall relief effort cannot keep pace with the overall scale of the emergency," said Jacques de Maio, South Asia head of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Humanitarian agencies were monitoring the risk of "a second wave of deaths induced by the floods in the shape of waterborne diseases", de Maio said. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon (left) meets Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday. – AFP

Singh appeals to Kashmiris • Govt working hard to curb inflation

India PM pushes Pak to crack down on militants NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh marked India's Independence Day yesterday with a warning to Pakistan that a recent resumption of dialogue would go nowhere unless Islamabad cracks down on militancy. In a wide-ranging speech that also addressed high inflation and religious tolerance, Singh called for an end to a cycle of violent separatist protests in Kashmir and urged Maoist rebels to lay down their arms and begin talks.

BANGALORE: Schoolchildren perform during India's Independence Day celebrations yesterday. – AP

Afghan refugees mulling return home amid floods AZA KHEL, Pakistan: Floods ravaged tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who have been living in Pakistan for decades after fleeing Soviet occupation and civil war. Now as they survey kilometers of flattened mud and brick houses in a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan, some contemplate returning to an Afghanistan still gripped by violence. Roaring waters shattered dreams. "The river swallowed everything. We have no house no business, nothing to eat, nothing to wear," said Nizam Ali who just passed his 12th grade exams and was planning to pursue further studies in the nearby city of Peshawar. "No one is helping us, it now looks as if we have no other choice but to go back to Afghanistan." Men who were busy spreading soaked bed-sheets and mattresses over a dry patch of land nodded in agreement. "This is what we have left," said Khair Mohammad, carrying a stack of clothes and bedsheets on his back in Aza Khel refugee camp, Millions of Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran in the 1980s after the Soviet invasion and, while many of them went home after the US-led forces overthrew the Taleban in 2001, an estimated 1.7 million remain in Pakistan, mostly in refugee camps. Last year Pakistan agreed to let the displaced Afghans stay until the end of 2012, after a resurgence of violence along the PakistanAfghanistan border hindered repatriation efforts. Going back to Afghanistan could mean exposure to some of the conditions they fled in the first place. Many left while the Afghan mujahideen were fighting Soviet troops. That was followed by civil war. Now, the Taleban battle US-led NATO troops. The floods have forced the refugees to move about 100 m away from Aza Khel, along a railroad track and a highway median. It's not far but perhaps as traumatic as leaving Afghanistan since that has been their home for decades. "No one has come to this area, there might still be bodies lying in there, under the rubble," said 24-year-old Sultan Habib, a cook who worked in a restaurant in a nearby city. "I know two or three boys who are still missing."Aza Khel began as a small settlement along a railway track about 30 years ago. It gradually grew into a village, with merchant shops, tea stalls and grocery and food shops. — Reuters

Stability the refugees had established over many years simply vanished with the floods. One mosque, where perhaps they prayed for the future of Afghanistan, is surrounded by three feet of water, along with the cleric's podium. Kitchen pots, mattresses and ceiling fans were strewn in thick mud. Children splashed and swam in a pool of muddy water created by the floods, oblivious of the hazards of stagnant water that could give rise to fatal diseases. Dead animals lay in the open. There are other

dangers. Armed men come around at night and steal, leaving refugees few opportunities to salvage what it was not swept away. Like in many other parts of Pakistan, the Afghan refugees were furious over the government's perceived slackness in the crisis. Some could not fathom the magnitude of the crisis. ""In fact the government opened the gates of a nearby dam without telling us. They never warned us. They are responsible for this disaster. We only ask help from Allah," said Jawad Khan. —Reuters

India suspended a peace dialogue with Pakistan in the wake of the Nov 2008 Mumbai attacks, which claimed 166 lives, and the two countries have only recently begun to explore a resumption of structured talks. India accuses Pakistan of failing to crack down sufficiently on militant groups that operate from bases on its territory, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which New Delhi blames for the Mumbai carnage. The nuclear-armed South Asian rivals have fought three wars since the division of the sub-continent in 1947 and their relationship has always been beset by mutual mistrust. Pakistan marks its independence a day earlier than India, but the government there scrapped celebrations on Saturday out of deference to the millions of people affected by the worst floods in the country's history. In New Delhi, police shut down public car parks, closed markets and declared a temporary no-fly zone to prevent aerial attacks on the main independence day venue. The United States warned in an advisory last week of a risk of attacks by Islamic militants in Indian cities. Security was especially tight in Indian Kashmir where protests against Indian rule have claimed nearly 60 lives in the past two

Singh gave his annual address from the ramparts of the Red Fort in the Indian capital, which had been turned into a virtual fortress with nearly 80,000 police and troops guarding against a possible militant strike. "As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India," Singh said. "If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan," he added.

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gestures while addressing the nation behind bulletproof glass from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day yesterday. – AFP months. Regretting the loss of life in Kashmir, prime minister Singh in New Delhi said his government stood ready to talk with

all parties in Kashmir once calm had been restored. "The years of violence should now end. Such violence would not benefit anyone," he said. Addressing the "serious

challenge" posed by an increasingly violent Maoist insurgency which has spread across a large tract of eastern and central India, Singh urged the rebels to lay down their arms. "I once again appeal to (Maoists) to abjure violence and come for talks," he said. In the Maoist-affected areas, rebels had put up posters ordering people to boycott independence day celebrations, calling them a "sham". Pointing to strong economic growth despite the global financial crisis, Singh said India with its vibrant democracy had become "an example for many other countries to emulate". "Our country is viewed with respect all over the world. Our views command international attention," he said. At the same time, he acknowledged that economic prosperity had yet to trickle down to India's masses who still suffer from "persistent poverty, hunger and disease". Singh also defended his decision to raise fuel prices as a measure of fiscal prudence, saying his government was making every effort to tackle double-digit inflation that is hurting the poor. "It is our responsibility that we manage our economy with prudence so that our development is not affected adversely in the future because of high debt," he said. —Reuters


OPINION

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Monday, August 16, 2010

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Guantanamo trials draw strong flak By Lucile Malandain

T

he first Guantanamo trials under President Barack Obama have drawn sharp criticism after disputed evidence was allowed in one and a secret plea-deal was reached in another. "The government met its burden. The defense motion for suppression is denied," military judge Patrick Parrish ruled Monday allowing confessions made under duress by Canadian Omar Khadr, captured in Afghanistan when he was 15. Charged with throwing a grenade that killed a US sergeant during a 2002 attack in Afghanistan, Khadr was interrogated by a military official who told Parrish he had threatened the teenager with rape and murder to make him talk. Parrish's "decision does nothing to help the credibly of the (military) commissions," Loyola University Los Angeles law professor David Glazier sais. "Decisions which err on the side of allowing disputed evidence into the trials will only serve to fuel that criticism and undermine public confidence in trial verdicts," he added. "The suppression that the lawyers are arguing are what we call the fruit of the poisonous tree," said law professor Gary Solis, who is covering the Guantanamo trials for the National Institute of Military Justice. "In my view... you cannot separate subsequent statements from the first statement

no matter how clean the secondary questioners may be," he told AFP, referring to subsequent statements Khadr made free of harassment. "The commissions are likely to face intense scrutiny and criticism at each step along the way," said Matthew Waxman, a former deputy defense secretary under ex-president George W Bush. "Because many opponents have long associated military commissions with abusive interrogation techniques, rulings like this are especially likely to attract criticism," he added-the military commissions were created by Bush. Khadr's trial was postponed for 30 days so his lawyer can seek medical treatment in the United States, after he collapsed at the end of court proceedings Thursday. In the case against Osama bin Laden's cook, Ibrahim alQosi, presiding military judge Nancy Paul announced Monday that the terms of a pre-trial plea deal with prosecutors would remain secret. A 10-member jury deliberated for just over an hour before handing down a 14-year prison sentence Wednesday against the 51-year-old Qosi, who pled guilty in July to material support to terrorism. The secret plea deal opens the possibility that he could serve a much shorter sentence, or be repatriated to Sudan. "The secret pretrial agreement... is shocking. —AFP

UK spending cuts policy lacks tact By Estelle Shirbon

T

he British government may find it hard to stick to a coherent strategy as ministries scramble to cut spending by up to 40 percent on Treasury orders. Prime Minister David Cameron, who took office in May, says shrinking the record peacetime deficit from 11 percent of GDP to almost nothing within five years is the most urgent task for his Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. A spending review is under way and results will be announced on Oct. 20. Cameron has likened the process to "the methodical turnaround of a failing business", but there are many skeptics. "Ministers are effectively flying blind, under orders to cut programs by up to 40 percent but with confused guidance about their departments' objectives," said a recent report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a Conservative think tank. Many fear that cuts will be made based on what is expedient for politicians or least difficult for civil servants to deliver, to the detriment of social and economic goals. "At the moment there is not the sort of coordinated response needed across departments to deliver the government's economic objectives," Adrian Bailey,

opposition legislator and chair of a parliamentary committee on business, told the Financial Times. Alastair Newton, political analyst at Nomura, said the test would be whether the government scrapped low-priority programs to ensure proper funding for high-priority ones, or whether it merely "salamisliced" money from many programs. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we're going to get some sensible prioritization simply because the scale of the cuts is so big that you cannot salamislice your way through," he said. Newton said the coalition appeared to be looking seriously for areas from which the public sector could pull back, but it would be hard for centre-right Conservatives to agree on that with their junior, centre-left Liberal Democrat partners. "There is no such thing as the right solution here. There's what they can get away with," he said. There are no obvious templates for what the government wants to do. The scale of the cuts dwarfs Britain's two most recent austerity drives, after a 1976 IMF bailout and in the 1980s, under the leadership of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. There are also big differences with the much-admired Swedish and Canadian efforts in the 1990s. —Reuters

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

Despite setbacks, Iraq will survive By Safa A Hussein

I

n spite of July temperatures in Baghdad that exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) and are exacerbated by a severe lack of electricity, the daily topic of conversation among Iraqis is still the formation of the government and related issues. The controversial outcome of the 2010 Iraqi national elections and the ongoing slow government formation process - what some call a political crisis - have been dominating the headlines since the 7 March elections. The constitutional deadline for Parliament to convene and elect its leaders was 14 July. This did not happen. The political blocs preferred to delay the meeting for two weeks, during which time they hoped to reach agreement over a package deal on who becomes the prime minister, president and speaker of parliament. By failing to elect their leaders, they violated the Constitution of Iraq. But on the other hand, convening Parliament without prior agreement on the aforementioned package would not be productive because no political party received close to the 163 seats that form the simple majority required to fill any of these positions. Many people blame the political parties for the delay, accusing them of preferring their own interests to those of the nation. Almost every party accuses others of favoring the positions and

interests of other countries in the region, and allocates blame for the failure of negotiations thus far. Though there is some truth in these accusations, there are also other, more complicated and more profound factors for this delay. Iraq is undergoing swift and deep social, political and economic change. There is competition over the distribution or re-distribution of power among political entities: a struggle between those who held power pre-2003 - before the invasion of Iraq - and those who hold it post-2003, in addition to competition among diverse post-2003 parties themselves. There are fears of losing power or of the abuse of power by others, and concern over the distribution of power and wealth among the central government, the Kurdistan region and the provinces, the disposition of disputed areas with the Kurds and relations with neighboring countries. These struggles are often colored by sectarian and ethnic divides, and further complicated by politics of fear driven by Iraq's political history of oppression, making compromise more difficult. The good thing, however, is that so far the political parties are referring to the Constitution and courts in their disputes, not resorting to violence. Given these complexities, there is no quick fix. Perhaps a new government will be formed in the next two months, but even then it will need another three or four months to

US Army soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division are seen on board a C-17 aircraft at Baghdad International Airport as they begin their journey to the United States. As the US winds up combat operations in Iraq this month, a gap is widening between the militaries of both countries and their political masters over whether American soldiers should stay beyond the 2011 deadline for all of them to withdraw. — AP begin functioning. The ministers will be from different parties with different interests and views, and some may lack experience. Moreover, the government will face a tough agenda: at the top of the list are security and the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Both Iraqis and Americans agree that these forces will withdraw as determined by the security agreement between the two

countries. By the end of this month, combat forces will complete their withdrawal, leaving some 50,000 troops for non-combat missions, who will remain until 2011. In fact, the withdrawal of American combat forces has been ongoing for months. It meets Iraqi concerns about sovereignty, enhances the legitimacy of the Iraqi government and creates the right climate for Iraq to engage

with neighbors who assist militant groups. More importantly, it denies militant groups the capacity to exploit the occupation for self-promotion, thus isolating them from the public and providing the Iraqi government with a great advantage in its counterinsurgency efforts. In addition, the improvement in the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces is very real. Their daily activities demonstrate grow-

ing success in combat, despite the 2009 budget crisis and the recent stagnation in the political process. The probability of a renewed insurgency is low: the security forces are too strong for the fragmented insurgents and Iraqis are too tired of war to support them. Nonetheless, Iraq will require continued aid, particularly from the United States, to develop its security forces to the point where they can effectively meet the internal and external security challenges facing the country. And Iraq needs civilian assistance. The Strategic Framework Agreement - which ensures international cooperation in various areas, including education, energy and communications - can be the outline for cementing an IraqUS partnership that has the potential to profoundly alter relations between the West and Iraq, as well as the larger region. After decades of brutal and oppressive tyranny and years of destructive conflict, the bottom line is that Iraq will survive this political crisis, despite it being an alarmingly slow political process it still has a chance to emerge as a stable, prosperous and leading country in the region. --Safa A Hussein is a former deputy member of the Iraqi Governing Council. He served as Brigadier General in the Iraqi Air Force and currently works in the Iraqi National Security Council. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from bitterlemons-international.org

Kabul's frustrated expats run the streets By Claire Truscott

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he group of foreigners jogging past mounds of fetid trash on the streets of Kabul attract bemused stares from locals, but the brief escape from bulletproof cars is a welcome break for ex-pats living in war-torn Afghanistan. For the small crowd of intrepid foreigners whose lives are confined to heavily-secured pockets of the Afghan capital, the weekly "Hash" is a chance to do something normal in an environment that is anything but. On a run earlier this month bodyguards and armored cars securing the route tried to be low-key, but the surreal scene of Westerners running was hardly inconspicuous. "Car at the rear, goats in the front," bellowed the leader of the 12 runners, dodging a farmer's herd to reach an old military fort at the top of KololaPoshta hill in a residential district of the dusty, fortified city. Pausing briefly to fly a kite on a roof with an excited group of young men, they ran past the gilded homes of former Afghan warlords, through bustling bazaars where men clad in traditional Muslim garb looked on mystified. "I really don't know why they run, maybe it's a race," said uni-

Afghan policemen watch a burning NATO vehicle after the convoy was hit by a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.—AP versity student Ahmad Wais. "Cultures are different but it looks a bit funny to Afghans. Some people might think they are weird." "Maybe they do it for exercise. I don't think it's dangerous," said tailor Feda Mohammad, watching the band of sweating foreigners jog past.

Others were more familiar with the group, which meets every week in a different secret location to tackle 10 kilometers (seven miles) of the city's roads and hills, except when intelligence reports suggest a greater risk of attack. The Kabul group is one chapter of a loose worldwide federa-

tion of "Hash House Harriers", which describes itself as "a drinking club with a running problem" and has a weakness for innuendo-laced rituals that take place when the running and walking are done. Set up by a group of beer-loving British colonial officers and expatriates in what was then Malaya in

1938, "Hashing" marries exercise with drinking and an irreverent humor well-matched to the needs of Kabul's battle-worn expatriates. Most of the runners and walkers work for aid groups, embassies or private security firms, their lives closely entwined with the ongoing war around them. "Kabul, Kabul, What a wonderful place to hash! We have such fun, dodging the shit and trash!..." went one chant, part of a rude repertoire of rhymes the Hashers sang in a circle after the run, dishing out punishments for arbitrary "sins" such as flirting with a fellow Hasher. The Hashers say the runs provide much needed respite from their daily lives cooped up in armored cars and behind blast walls-though not all aspects of running in Afghanistan's dirty capital are enjoyable. During this recent run, barefoot toddlers chased the group along filthy alleyways lined with clogged drains and running sewers, flies buzzing around as the runners covered their mouths from the stink. Minutes later the group had left the impoverished surrounds and climbed to the top of an old Soviet base, marked by an Olympic-sized swimming pool that was used for public execu-

tions under the 1996-2001 Taleban government. The brutal reminder of militant Islamic rule contrasted with the spectacular view that made the run worthwhile-Kabul's raw beige beautymud hills and houses set against rugged rocky mountains in the distance. Back at the starting point, the runners grabbed a drink and formed a circle as a burly American security contractor donned a jester's hat to preside over the naming of new Hashers. The newly-named bowed their heads as they were doused in egg and flour, cheered by the eclectic 50strong crowd of Australians, Americans, Britons, a Canadian, South African and one Afghan. The Hash later took on a more somber tone to commemorate British Hasher Karen Woo, one of ten aid workers killed a week earlier in remote northeastern Afghanistan. An official memorial had taken place a day earlier, with a plaque laid in Kabul's British cemetery for Dr Woo and her colleagues. But for Woo's fiance Mark "Paddy" Smith and her friends, who have lost many loved ones to the conflict, a more fitting remembrance came in the form of a run and a song. — AFP


ANALYSIS

Monday, August 16, 2010

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Myanmar's military dons civilian mask By Kelly Macnamara

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wo decades after the Myanmar opposition's stolen poll victory, the junta is again gearing up for elections, but experts say years of planning mean the cards this time are stacked in its favor. The vote is widely seen as a way for the military to put a civilian face on its iron-fisted rule, with 77-year-old junta head Senior General Than Shwe likely to retain a crucial-if perhaps lower profile-role. Myanmar's leader will want to ensure that the November 7 election produces precisely the result he requires to shield himself from a slew of enemies within the country, said Thaibased analyst Aung Naing Oo. "Than Shwe has held the Bengal Tiger by the tail and he cannot let go, so he has to make sure that everything goes to plan," he said. Had democracy been allowed to take its course, the generals would have been swept aside by the landslide victory of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar's last election in 1990. But the party was never allowed to take power and Suu

Kyi has spent much of the intervening 20 years in detention. Analysts say the ruling generals are taking no chances this time, reserving a quarter of the seats in parliament for the military and crafting election rules to ensure junta-backed parties have the upper hand. "The generals may be exchanging their khakis for civilian clothes, but these polls are still a carefully arranged plan to keep power in the hands of the military junta," said Elaine Pearson at New Yorkbased Human Rights Watch. Suu Kyi, known as "The Lady" in Myanmar, is still seen as the most potent threat to the military, which has ruled the country for nearly half a century. She is barred from standing in November because she is a serving prisoner-the election falls days before her current term of house arrest expireswhile the NLD is boycotting the vote, citing unfair rules. The National Democratic Force (NDF) -- an offshoot of the NLD created by those in the party who wanted to contest the pollfaces financial difficulties and has a clear disadvantage without Suu Kyi at its helm. So far 40 parties have been allowed to register for the polls,

but some are already expressing concerns, including intimidation of their members. Election hopefuls face a formidable set of hurdles, including a tight timetable for registering candidates as well as restrictions on campaigning. They will also come up against the Union Solidarity and Development Party, formed in April by Prime Minister Thein Sein and other ministers who shed their uniforms. The USDP has merged with the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) -- a pro-junta group with deep pockets and up to 27 million members, including civil servants compelled to join for the good of their careers. Bertil Lintner, author of several books on Myanmar, said the election was a means to convert the junta into a civilian ruling class as part of efforts to build an "entirely new country" along with the new capital, Naypyidaw. "They are creating a new capital, a new regime, a new dynasty and part of that is having a rubber stamped assembly," he said. But with the election widely dismissed as a charade by activists and the West, some are questioning why the junta is

even bothering to go through the motions. "Everything is controlled and managed by just one man so it is very difficult to come up with a rational explanation as to why these things are happening," Aung Naing Oo said. Even if the generals and their associates do step back from the political limelight, a recent flurry of privatisations suggests economic power will remain firmly in their grasp. Aung Naing Oo said one explanation could be an ingrained military idea that power should be handed back to civilians-under tightly managed conditions. He said the military also felt a paternalistic responsibility to hold together a country repeatedly shaken by insurgencies and separatist movements among its many ethnic groups. The Karen National Unionwhose armed wing has been fighting the Myanmar government for more than five decades-doubts the vote will empower ethnic minorities, who complain of neglect and mistreatment. "Even though some people will win seats in this election, I do not think they will have a voice," said spokesman David Thaw.— AFP

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

he latest data for Germany have confirmed that Europe's biggest economy, unlike the United States and elsewhere, is firing on all cylinders. But voters aren't giving Chancellor Angela Merkel the credit. Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.2 percent in the second quarter, figures showed on Friday, the strongest three-monthly gain in output since East and West Germany reunified in 1990. This followed figures showing that exports, the backbone of the German economy, rocketed 28.5 percent year-onyear in June to reach 86.5 billion euros ($111.7 billion), close to pre-crisis levels. Germany has long been lambasted for doing little to get consumers shopping, but a 31.7-percent leap in imports to a record 72.4 billion euros suggested that consumer demand is also returning to rude good health. "Exports are doing so well that they are helping to produce more jobs and more wages in Europe and this in turn is producing more domestic demand," Deutsche Bank senior European economist Gilles Moec said. Inflation, meanwhile, which has terrified Germans since the harrowing price increases of the inter-war Weimar Republic, remains tame, last hitting an

By Michelle Price

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Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi exits the Inya Lake Hotel after meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in Yangon.—AP

annualized rate of 1.2 percent in July. The recovery is all the more remarkable considering that the global downturn sparked by the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 caused Germany's economy to record its sharpest drop in GDP in the post-war era last year. Thanks in large part to government schemes, a feared spike in unemployment failed to materialize, with the jobless rate now hovering at a respectable 7.5 percent as German firms-whose profits are upbegin hiring again. But the conservative Merkel, 56, is failing to profit, 11 months after triumphantly winning a second term. "The Germans see no link between the good performance of the economy and Merkel's government," Gerd Langguth, political scientist at the University of Bonn, told AFP. An opinion poll last week by the independent Forsa institute gave her threeway coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party the CSU, and the Free Democrats (FDP) just 34 percent of voting intentions. Voters, analysts say, have been turned off by the apparent indecision and very public squabbling of Merkel's coalition-a tie-up she chose-and by Merkel's hesitant handling of the Greek and euro-zone crises. "Voters hate that-they only see indeci-

sion," political scientist Jens Walther at the University of Duesseldorf said of the party infighting. The parlous state of public finances has meant that the coalition is unable to deliver on pre-election promises of tax cuts, choosing instead to slash spending, while progress on reforming health care and education has stumbled. "For most people, there is no recovery. They are not earning more, but the costs of life are rising," political scientist Barbara Riedmueller from Berlin's Free University told AFP. In late September, Merkel is expected to say that the life of some of Germany's nuclear plants will be extended beyond the planned shut-off date of around 2020, in what will be a highly divisive decision. Environmentalists have promised street protests, and the opposition Greens and the Social Democrats, who pushed through the switch-off while in power in 2000, and who are now riding high in the opinion polls, can't wait. A disastrous election result in May in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, robbed Merkel's governing coalition of its majority in the upper house, constricting her ability to pass legislation. Merkel is facing a "super election year" in 2011 with six of Germany's 16 states going to the polls, three of them in March. "Frau Merkel is going to have a very tough year," Langguth predicted. — AFP

Family: Solving message in a bottle's sad mystery By Phil Daoust

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ne spring day in 2002, a French woman whose name we may never know, stood on an English Channel ferry and threw a bundle of clothes into the sea. After it, went some lilies and a bottle in the shape of a teardrop. The clothes had belonged to her son, Maurice, who had died at the age of 13, and the bottle held her letter to the boy "that no wind ... no storm ... not even death could ever destroy". "Forgive me for being so angry at your disappearance," the letter went. "I still think there's been some mistake, and I keep waiting for God to fix it ... Forgive me for not having known how to protect you from death. Forgive me for not having been able to find the words at that terrible moment when you slipped through my fingers ... " The bottle vanished, the ship docked, the mourner went home to get on with her life. She never dreamed the letter would reach shore, let alone that someone would read it. Karen Liebreich, a Londonbased author, did just that a few weeks later. The bottle had washed up on a beach in Kent, south-east England, where it caught the eye of her friend Sioux Peto, who was walking her dogs. Inside, Peto found a thin scroll tied with a ribbon and enclosing a lock of hair. The handwriting was in French and, as Liebreich has fluent French, Peto sent her the letter for translation. This was tougher than it might have been, with the anonymous writer addressing now her son, now an imagined reader, and piling watery image upon watery image. "You can't just skim it and understand it," Liebreich says. As far as she could tell, the boy had died early one summer, probably by drowning. "For a long time," his mother wrote, "he travelled between two waters, between two lights, trying tirelessly to use up the strength in his outstretched arms. He submitted to the silence, the terrors and the cold ... " She had, of course, been devastated - "My life started when he was born, and I thought it was over when he left me" and for a while Liebreich was afraid she might be reading a suicide note. But no, the woman was ready to move on. "While God gives me life," she wrote, "I promise you to live it to the full, to

savor each instant in richness and serenity. I know that we will find one another, when the time comes." As she translated, Liebreich found herself crying. "I'm not a weepy person," she says, "but the letter was very beautiful and very moving." Liebreich couldn't sleep that night. In the days that followed, she found herself becoming more protective of her own children - Sam, then 10, and Hannah, eight - even, perhaps, of her husband, who is a doctor. "When your children are young, you can get lost in all the banality," she says. "The house is full of toys and laundry and stuff from school, and in the boredom of the domestic routine you forget how precious they are. Something like this reminds you how important they are." Still, that could have been the end of the affair. Liebreich might have dried her tears, regained her rhythm and only occasionally thought of the woman whose story had shaken her. Instead,

only things she knew for sure, however, were Maurice's first name, the age at which he died, that he was his mother's first son, and the name of one of her friends, Christine, described in the letter as "gentleness itself". And she soon discovered that much of this knowledge was useless, with France recording deaths not in one central register but in 36,000 local ones. There was no hint of foul play, so no reason for the police to get involved. Over the next few years, Liebreich consulted newspapers, bottle-makers, sailors, doctors, graphologists, psychologists, psychotherapists, secret servicemen, literature professors, forensic scientists, private detectives, even clairvoyants and tarot readers. "The letter would not leave me in peace," Liebreich writes. "But each time I considered giving up I thought I would make one more effort - one more email, one more phone call, one more visit to the library. The answer might be round

Maurice's mother, she could at least write about the search. "If, somewhere, the letter-writer is alive," her book concludes, "then perhaps this book can serve as a clumsy 'letter-in-a-bottle' reply ... I wonder if she will receive my message." She did. In 2009, three years after The Letter in the Bottle came out in Britain, the nameless "she" got in touch to say she felt violated. As she put it, it was as though her story, her suffering, her very intimate being no longer belonged to her. By then, the book had been published in French, to huge media coverage. "In Britain the story was seen as a failed quest," Liebreich recalls. "In France it was an unsolved mystery." Years before, she had struggled to interest the media; now she was worried that Maurice's mother would be ousted by a friend or neighbor. Instead, the mother contacted Liebreich via the psychologist Olivier Roussel, who runs the website unebouteillealamer.com - A

When a French woman wrote a love letter to her dead son, put it in a bottle and threw it into the sea, she never dreamed anyone would read it. But author Karen Liebreich did and, moved by the mother's grief, set out to find her she set out to find her. "I was plagued by unworthy emotions," she explains in the book she subsequently wrote about the search. "I wanted to know how Maurice had died; I wanted to know what his mother was like; I wanted to know whether I could track the origin of an unsigned letter in a bottle. I wanted the writer to know that the bottle had been found on an English shore and that I had read her letter. I wanted to reassure myself that she was all right." Did the woman want to be found? Wouldn't that just rake up all that pain again? "Sending a letter in a bottle invites a stranger to pick it up and read it," Liebreich told herself. "I think the unknown mother wanted the tale of her love for her son, the knowledge of his death and her despair, to be known." Liebreich has experience as an investigator, having tracked down old Nazis for the BBC series Timewatch and a previous generation of paedophile priests for her book Fallen Order. The

the next corner." Experts provided various explanations. The boy had indeed drowned, said one. Water was not involved, said another. He might have overdosed on ecstasy, said a third. The mother and child were close. Unhealthily close. Estranged. The letter had been thrown from a cliff. No, a boat. The woman was dead. No, she was a survivor. She was definitely a lesbian, unless of course she wasn't. When others weren't feeding her red herrings, Liebreich was doing it herself. "The fact that the letter was so opaque meant that I went off on tangents," she admits. It took her six months to realize that perhaps Maurice hadn't drowned at all, and the letter's "water", "harbor", "vessel" and so on were nothing but metaphors. It never occurred to her that his death "at the dawn of summer" might have referred to his age rather than the calendar. After three years, Liebreich decided enough was enough. If she couldn't find

Quayle stumbles in father's footsteps Like father, like son?

Germany revving up but Merkel continues to gasp By Simon Sturdee

focus

Bottle in the Sea. She apparently saw him as one of the few sympathetic voices in the book. She might be willing to talk to Liebreich directly, but she needed time. The author, who had no intention of upsetting her any more, gave her time. Readers wrote with tips for finding the woman or stories of their own losses. One Swiss man emailed that she should be ashamed of herself: she was hunting the mother like prey. Perhaps he was right, she thought. The two women finally met a month later, in a nameless town in northern France. "She was very pretty, slim and elegant," Liebreich writes in the new, updated version of her book, "with a delicate face and good cheekbones ... Though she later told me she was 60, she looked much younger ... After searching for so many years, I could not believe I was there, face to face with the author of the letter. And so we talked." Largely, it seems, about the many things Liebreich and her helpers had

got wrong. Maurice had not drowned, but been knocked off his bicycle. He had died in 1981, 21 years before the letter was written, not just a few. The "dawn of summer"? "Just a lyrical expression." The talk of rupture, alienation, conflicts? "I was never in conflict with my son at all." The claim that they had lived together "almost as a couple"? "A shocking thing to say." The lesbianism? She had had a good laugh over that - probably one of her few while reading the book. And the medium's claim: "I don't think you will ever find her ... she is no longer alive." "Well, I am alive and you have found me." One false trail was laid by the woman herself - but she has paid the price for that. The letter's first draft had described Maurice as "the only person in the world (with my other sons) that I was born to love for ever". Somehow she omitted that nod to Maurice's three brothers while writing out the fair copy. It was not deliberate; it was not because she didn't love them. "The reason she didn't kill herself was the other children," Liebreich says. "She is their mother as well." It still took some explaining. But what about Liebreich's own belief that the writer wanted to be found? "It never occurred to me that anyone would find my letter in the bottle," the woman explains in a postscript to the new edition. "I thought it would smash in the waves and the fragments of glass and paper would gently disperse through the oceans. I gave it to the sea, to the universe: it was perhaps my way of talking to God." Maurice's mother, who Liebreich has promised never to name, seems to have forgiven her for reopening old wounds. "It was a terrible shock that it all came out," says Liebreich. "But I think she felt it was done sensitively. That was a great relief." They have met again and may even be on the way to becoming friends. "We have found other things to talk about," Liebreich says. "We email each other. I think there's a friendship evolving that's not linked totally to this book and the death of the child." "I still have the bottle," she adds. "We don't know what to do with it." — Guardian

eems like Ben Quayle is stumbling in his father's footsteps in his campaign for Congress. The son of gaffe-prone former Vice President Dan Quayle is committing doozies of his own as he seeks the Republican nomination from a Phoenix-area district. Campaigning as a family-values conservative, Ben Quayle first denied then admitted that he wrote for a sex-steeped Arizona website. It recalled his father's awkward attempt to explain his military record during the Vietnam War immediately after George HW Bush chose the obscure 41-year-old Indiana senator as his running mate in 1988. The racy Arizona website's founder, Nik Richie, said Quayle used the alias "Brock Landers," the name of a character from the 1997 movie "Boogie Nights" about porn stars in California, and wrote lines such as: "my moral compass is so broken I can barely find the parking lot." The website, now known as TheDirty.com, recently reposted the 2007 entries. Quayle said he couldn't recall what his posts involved or when he made them. This came out just days after Quayle sent a campaign mailer showing his wife and two young girls, with the words, "We are going to raise our family here." He and his wife have no children; the girls were his nieces. Campaign rival Vernon Parker accused Quayle of "renting a family." "Good way to start the campaign," comedian Jay Leno cracked on the "Tonight Show," reminding the audience of Quayle's lineage. The goofs revive memories of his dad's missteps as vice president in President George H.W. Bush's administration. A classroom stumble in spelling the word "potato," musings on how terrible it is "not to have a mind," and declaring that "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." The senior Quayle's political career ended with the Republican ticket's one-term loss in 1992 to Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Arron Bradford, a 37-yearold Phoenix resident and independent voter, said there's "a fairly heavy stigma to the whole Quayle name. I think that's a detriment to him, unfortunately, at least as far as I'm concerned." Yet his name helped Quayle jump to the front of the pack of 10 candidates vying for his party's nomination in a Republicanleaning district that includes sections of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Eight-term Rep John Shadegg is retiring. One of Quayle's ads features Dan Quayle with his son saying: "I grew up watching my dad fight for conservative values." Quayle raised more than $1.1 million, with many of the contributions coming from one-time colleagues and friends of his father. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld contributed. In May, George HW Bush and his wife Barbara raised money for Quayle at their home in Houston. The primary is Aug. 24; early voting is already under way. The rapid rise of the 33year-old Quayle, a lawyer and managing director of an investment firm who has never held elective office, angered several of his rivals. "We need folks from Arizona who have done things here for Arizona, not people trying to come in and buy elections with famous last names and not having anything to show for it," said Phoenix attorney Paulina Morris. Says Quayle: "I know I have a big target on my back." In recent days, he's handed his opponents more ammuni-

Republican Ben Quayle campaigns in Phoenix. —AP tion. Quayle first denied then admitted writing for the website previously called DirtyScottsdale.com, which describes the city after hours. His contributions were first reported by the website Politico. Richie said Quayle "was the guy, that you know, people would send pictures to of hot chicks, and he would put together who he thought was that hottest girl and why." Richie's legal name is Hooman Karamian. In one entry from 2007, Richie said Quayle wrote: "Long story short, on a scale of 1-to-10, I'm awesome." He boasted of his physique, comparing it to one of Michelangelo's works in the Sistine Chapel, and his sexual appeal. Asked about the site this week, Quayle said that he "wrote a couple of satirical and fictional pieces for a satirical website" but that he quit doing so once the website shifted its editorial direction away from satire. Richie says the site's content and tone have not changed from the days when Quayle was connected to it. When asked if he wrote as Brock Landers, Quayle said: "There's all sorts of posts under that alias and that's not me. That's really all I've got to say about that." Quayle has admitted that he knew Richie and once helped him find a lawyer. Quayle also created waves this week with a campaign ad in which he called President Barack Obama "the worst president in history" and tells Arizona voters that he wants to "knock the hell" out of Washington. But edgy ads are not unique to him. In June, rival Pamela Gorman of Anthem, a former state senator, released a viral Web video that showed her unloading a stream of bullets from automatic weapons, while the spot's voiceover describes her as a "conservative Christian, and a pretty fair shot." Candidates in the crowded field acknowledge the challenge of running against the Quayle name. "I like Ben, he's a nice fella and everything, (but) I can't make him un-rich and I can't make him un-famous," said rival Jim Waring, who resigned from his state senate seat to run for Congress. "So all I can do is work as hard as I can and try to overcome his natural advantages." Another famous name also is seeking a seat in the House this year. In New York, former President Richard Nixon's grandson, 30year-old Christopher Nixon Cox, is running for the Republican nomination to challenge four-term Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop on Long Island. Meantime a political dynasty is stepping back. The retirement of Rep. Patrick Kennedy will mark the first time in six decades a Kennedy won't be in office. Kennedy, an eight-term Democrat from Rhode Island, is the son of the late Sen Edward Kennedy and nephew of President John F Kennedy. The Arizona winner will face Phoenix lawyer and businessman Jon Hulburd, the only Democrat seeking his party's nomination. Although Hulburd has raised $748,000, according to his latest campaign finance reports, whoever wins the Republican primary will have the edge. —AP


NEWS

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Ship crews robbed in Gulf off Iraqi oil hub Basra Four ships robbed by armed men near Iraqís Basra port

TEHRAN: Iranian women and a girl shop for Islamic headscarves at the International Quran Exhibition at the Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque in Tehran yesterday during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. — AFP

BASRA: Gunmen robbed the crews of four ships anchored off Iraq’s southern oil hub Basra last week in Iraqi regional waters patrolled by the US Navy, a Navy official said yesterday. The attackers targeted the Antiguaflagged Arminia, North Korea’s Crystal Wave, Syria’s Sana Star and the American ship Sagamore last Sunday and took personal belongings from the crews, Lieutenant John Fage of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said. “All four attacks occur red from roughly 2 am to 4 am on August 8,” Fage said. The line between insurgent attacks and crime in Iraq has becoming increasingly blurred as militants turn to robbery to fund their operations seven years

after the US-led invasion unleashed a wave of violence. Iraq sees about 15 attacks by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents or Shiite militia every day as the US military prepares to halt combat operations formally on Aug 31 ahead of a full withdrawal next year. US officials say there will be about 50,000 American troops in Iraq by month’s end. Seaborne attacks have been quite rare. The ship robberies took place about 145 km (90 miles) from the port at Basra, one of Iraq’s largest cities and the heart of the oil industry. Iraq is counting on oil sales, which provide about 95 percent of federal revenues, to supply the billions of dollars needed to rebuild after years of war,

international sanctions and economic decline. The attacks did not qualify as piracy under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea because they took place in Iraqi regional waters and not on the high seas. Fage said the crew of the Sagamore reported that two men armed with AK47s had boarded the ship. He said the gunmen were not caught. But an Iraqi border guard source said two of the attackers were arrested, while the rest fled to Iranian waters. Salah Aboud, the head of the state-run Iraqi ports company, said he understood two suspects had been apprehended. “No damages occurred and everything that was taken has been returned,” Aboud said. — Reuters

Bahrain arrests 4 Shiite leaders Continued from Page 1 between security forces and protesters in Shiite towns. An interior ministry official declined to comment on the arrests, while the prosecutor’s office could not be reached. Tajer said the head of human rights at the mainly Shiite Haq movement, Abduljalil Singace, was detained on Friday on his return from London where he gave a lecture on human rights in Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Bahrain’s state news agency reported that Singace had been detained “based on information affecting national security at

home and abroad that damages the country’s stability”. Then on Sunday following the protests, Abdulghani Al-Kanjar, who heads a committee of Bahraini human rights groups to support victims of torture, was detained along with Shiite cleric and activist Mohammed Al-Magdad. A third activist, Saeed Al-Nouri, was also arrested. Tajer said it was not clear what the men were being charged with. Two of the detained men, Singace and Magdad, were among three activists held for several months in 2009 on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. They were later pardoned by the king after weeks of protests and human rights

criticism. The Oct 23 elections were not expected to meet Shiite opposition demands for more political participation. Many Shiites complain of discrimination in jobs and services, an accusation Manama denies. Bahrain’s largest Shiite opposition bloc, Al-Wefaq, plans to participate in the poll where it will field candidates for up to 24 of 40 slots. It currently holds 17 seats it won in 2006. Bahrain’s parliament is the only one in the Gulf Arab region besides the Kuwaiti assembly, but its powers are limited as its bills need to be approved by an upper house whose members are appointed by the king. — Reuters

Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman AlZawahri speaking during a video released by the Al-Qaeda media arm AlSahab. — AP

Policeman hurls shoe at Kashmir chief minister

Zawahri slams Turkey for Israel ties

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

police in Srinagar and other towns in the valley. The unrest has claimed 57 lives, most of them young men or teenagers killed in police firing. On Friday and Saturday, security forces shot dead six protesters and bystanders in clashes with demonstrators. India’s highest representative in Kashmir, state governor N N Vohra, has urged the security forces to “revisit their strategies and tac-

tics of crowd control for securing maximum protection of human life”. The recent surge in anti-India protests began when a teenage student was killed by a police tear gas shell on June 11 in Srinagar. In his Independence Day speech yesterday, which he delivered to a halfempty stadium, Abdullah expressed his personal grief at the heavy death toll. “My heart bleeds,” he said. “The victims of the unfortunate events are my own brothers and sons and I am in gloom

and bereavement.” Acknowledging the sense of frustration among young Kashmiris, a huge number of whom are unemployed, the chief minister announced plans to provide 50,000 government jobs in the next few months. Resentment against Indian rule in Kashmir boiled over into an armed separatist insurgency in 1989 which has since claimed tens of thousands of lives. The recent unrest is the worst for two years. — AFP

night would be the night Allah (the Almighty) protects you from hellfire. Let every night in Ramadan be like that. “Every night Allah frees people from hellfire” [Corrected by al-Alabni] You have 60 chances for protection from hellfire: every day and every night. One of them is enough; let it be!! Project (8): Daily Seven hajs (pilgrimages) in Ramadan • 5 hajs: do you know that if you go to perform ablution once you hear athan (prayer call) and then head to the mosque to pray, you will have the reward of hajj. “Whoever walks to an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like hajj, and whoever walks to a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary umrah” [Saheeh Al Jaami’ and corrected by Al-Albani]. The woman at home has the same reward. • Another hajj: “Whoever prays fajrmorning prayers-in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rakats, he will receive the reward of hajj, and umrah - complete, complete, complete” [Saheeh Al Jaami’ and corrected by Al-Albani] This means you will have the reward of 30 times of hajj and umrah in Ramadan. • Another hajj: the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once said that the reward of attending a scholarly lesson is like that of hajj. If you pray taraweeh and listen to the brief sermon among the rakats, this would be a lesson. Be sensible and do not waste the reward of seven times of hajj daily. Part 2 Project (9): Keys of Allah’s Treasures • Do you know that in Ramadan you have 60 supplications that will be rewarded? This means that 60 problems of your life can be solved or 60 dreams can come true. “For every Muslim, there is a rewarded supplication on every day and night” [Corrected by al-Albani]. • If the richest person in the world gave you 60 blank checks, you would be in the air!! Allah (the Almighty) gives you 60 rewarded supplications. (Keep a small supplications booklet in your pocket and read in order not to waste the keys of Allah’s treasures). Project (10): The Night of Life The Night of Power is 12 hours that are better than one thousand months, that is, better than 720.000 hours (3/4 million hours). During that Night the hour is better than 60.000 hours (the ayah of the Quran during that Night is better than 60.000 ayahs in other nights and the raka is better than 60.000 rakats etc.) Indeed, “the one deprived from its bliss is the deprived indeed” [Hadith Sahih] It is really life night, visit your relatives, invite people to iftar (time of eating after fasting), call those you have a problem with, pray as much as possible, and forgive those who have wronged you.

Project (11): Be a Companion “An umrah in Ramadan is like accompanying me on hajj” [Sahih Al-Bukhari], Only umrah in Ramadan can make you like the Companions in accompanying the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Project (12): Increase and Extend your Sustenance Do you have a problem in sustenance? Do you search for a rewarding job?, Do you want a good husband?, Do you want to have children?, Do you want a good wife?; “Whoever wants an increase in his sustenance and that the marks of his feet remain for a long time in the world (i.e. to live long) - he should be kind and helpful to his relatives” [Corrected by Al-Albani]. Do not forget to invite your relatives and neighbors for iftar in Ramadhan. Project (13): 30 Places in Paradise These are not 30 palaces in the Riviera or the Northern Coast; they are in Paradise. Observe 12 rakats of sunnah every day (2 before fajr, 4 before noon and 2 after, 2 after maghrib, and 2 after isha.) Project (14): Fasting Insurance Every faster you invite for iftar gives you the reward of another fasting day in Ramadan and the reward of one day can be multiplied by ten. If you invite 36 fasters it is as if you fasted 360 days, that is, as if you made the whole year an elongated Ramadan. (Do not forget Ramadan charity bag, putting date boxes at the Mosque, giving people date while going to the mosque, iftar of people on highways, and other situations). Project (15): Dawah Knights • Allah (the Almighty) helped the Companions in Ramadan and they won in the Battle of Badr and the Conquest of Makkah, so what victory will Allah help you to achieve in Ramadan? • Ramadan is the month in which the sinners would like to listen to religion; so, seize this opportunity and struggle with your money and effort. Distribute cassettes and CDs among the undevouts and let them promise to listen to them. Distribute the copies of the Quran among your friends to get the reward. Project (16): Intensive Care Project I’tikaaf (seclusion) in the last ten days; the lives of many youth changed due to I’tikaaf and the writer is among them. Try that in order to be brought up again during these days. Project (17): Direction of the Monies of Zakaat and Charity Dear Muslim brothers and sisters everywhere do not let anything divert you away from good deeds in Ramadan. Do not forget to call non-Muslims to Islam politely and decently through your words and deeds and prayer for them.

A day in a faster’s life Continued from Page 1 • If possible, read the interpretation of that part or listen to a cassette on the same topic. Then you would achieve a rare recitation of the whole Quran: study recitation. You can then say that there is a real change in Ramadan. Do not say that this is difficult... (The average length of the interpretation of each part of the Quran in -Sadi’s Interpretation- is only 29 pages). Project (3): Lost Treasure • Many people waste their time after iftar although that if you read just one part of the Quran you will recite the whole Quran during the month. What prevents you from doing that: is it a comic program? Or an interview with an artist? Project (4): What are you waiting for, brother? (Repentance Knights) • Promise Allah (the Almighty) in Ramadan to repent every day from a certain sin and never perpetrate it again. On the first day, give up smoking; on the second, give up forbidden mingling with the other sex; on the third, stop listening to the forbidden songs; on the fifth, clean your mobile and hard desk from anything that can cause Allah’s wrath etc. (Try as much as possible to use television and the Internet beneficially in Ramadan, and ever after). Project (5): What are you waiting for, sister? (Ramadan Female Knights) • Wear full hijab in Ramadan, that of Lady Fatimah and Lady ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with them). For if you do not obtain Allah’s mercy while all doors of paradise and the seven heavens are open, when then? Project (6): Night Worshippers (Knights of Night Vigil Prayers) • Read this amazing hadith: “Every night in Ramadan, Allah descends to the nearest heaven and asks: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant him sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve him? Is there not such-and-such, is there no such-and-such, and so forth until dawn rises.’” [Narrated by Ibn Majah with a weak chain and corrected by Al-Albani.] • Allah (the Almighty) descends every night of the year during the last third of the night but in Ramadan it is two thirds. Night in Ramadan is a valuable opportunity for relief and forgiveness. What a chance for all of us!! • You can sleep tight only if you do not have sins, if you do not need anything from Allah (the Almighty), and if you do not long for the nearness of Allah in Paradise. Project (7): First Kick • Let the beginning of the month the strongest. Once Ramadan starts whet your resolution and insist that the first

comwww.way2allah www.rasoulallah.net

The Turkish government and army “have become tools in the hands of the world’s crusaders,” Zawahri said. In Afghanistan, Turkish forces “are assuming the leadership of the NATO ... participating in killing Muslims and burning down their villages and houses,” he charged. “Your government plays a vital role in cooperating with the United States in its war against Islam as it had arrested several mujahedeen (holy warriors) and handed them over to America where they are being tortured and sentenced to long years in prison,” Zawahri said. He singled out the case of Abdul Hadi Al-Iraqi, a top Al-Qaeda figure who was cap-

tured in 2006. The Turkish people must “stand up against those crimes committed by your government and army against Islam and Muslims,” said Zawahri, urging Turkey to return to the days of the Muslim caliphate. “Turkey, the Islamic caliphate, used to protect us ... Now, the secular Turkey hands us over to the enemies of Islam and those who insult the Quran and our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) .” Last week, Turkish police detained 15 people with suspected links to the Al-Qaeda network, the Anatolia news agency reported. Turkish police regularly target suspected Al-Qaeda supporters since two sets of twin suicide bombings hit Istanbul, the country’s

biggest city, five days apart in November 2003. A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda was blamed for the attacks in which explosive-laden trucks first targeted two synagogues and then the British consulate and a British bank, killing 63 people, including the British consul. Zawahri also slammed Iran accusing it of collaborating with “crusaders” in Afghanistan and Iraq. Al-Qaeda’s number two, who has a US bounty of $25 million on his head, made similar comments against the Turkish government in an Internet message late July. At the time he also urged Turkey to assume the traditional leading role of the Ottoman Empire as the defender of Islam. — AFP

Arabs lobby US to vote against Israel Continued from Page 1 nations will submit to the September assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency. An attached draft of the resolution expresses “concern” about Israel’s nuclear program and urges it to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to open its atomic activities to outside inspection. A cover note also seen by the AP asks the Belgian Embassy in Cairo to transmit the letter and the draft to Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere, who now holds the rotating European Union presidency. Diplomats accredited to the Viennabased International Atomic Energy Agency and familiar with the issue told the AP that the letter also was sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain and France-the four other permanent UN Security Council members. All the diplomats who agreed to discuss the issue with the AP asked for anonymity because of the confidentiality of their information. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in a statement last month to “work together to oppose efforts to single out Israel” at the 150-nation International Atomic Energy Agency conference. On

the proposed Mideast nuclear-free zone talks, their statement warned that “any efforts to single out Israel will make the prospects of convening such a conference unlikely.” But the Arab letter says the notion of singling out Israel “is not the case.” “Singling out a state assumes that there are a number of states in the same position and only one state was singled out,” the letter says. Referring to the Nonproliferation Treaty, it says: “The fact is that all the states in the region have acceded to the NPT except Israel.” Israel is commonly assumed to have nuclear weapons but refuses to discuss the issue. The latest pressure puts the Jewish state in an uncomfortable position. It wants the international community to take stern action to prevent Iran from obtaining atomic weapons but at the same time brushes off calls to come clean about its own nuclear capabilities. Passions have grown since September when the International Atomic Energy Agency assembly overrode Western objections to pass a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program for the first time in 18 years. The result was a setback not only for Israel but also for the United States and other supporters of the Jewish state. Because the resolution passed by only a four-vote margin, lobbying by both sides has intensified ahead of next month’s meeting.

Three diplomats from International Atomic Energy Agency member nations said the EU and the US were meeting or planning to meet with possible undecided nations to seek their support of Israel, even as the Arab bloc continues pushing for support for its resolution, entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities.” The U.S. and its allies consider Iran the region’s greatest proliferation threat, fearing that Tehran is trying to achieve the capacity to make nuclear weapons despite its assertion that it is only building a civilian program to generate power. They also say Syria-which, like Iran is under International Atomic Energy Agency investigation-ran a clandestine nuclear program, at least until Israeli warplanes destroyed what they describe as a nearly finished plutonium-producing reactor two years ago. Syria denies that. But Islamic nations insist that Israel is the true danger in the Middle East, saying they fear its nuclear weapons capacity. Israel has never said it has such arms, but is widely believed to possess them. Even ahead of the General Conference, key International Atomic Energy Agency nations are expected to disagree about Israel’s nuclear activities. The item is to be discussed at the agency’s decisionmaking board of 35 nations, according to a copy of the restricted provisional agenda of that gathering. — AP

Saudi minister, poet Gosaibi passes away Continued from Page 1 As a minister charged with boosting employment among Saudis whom he said were only interested in high-paying, easy jobs, he served hamburgers in 2008 for three hours at a Jeddah fast food restaurant-a job usually filled by foreign workers. Gosaibi’s penchant for speaking his mind got him into trouble at least twice in his career. As minister of health in 1984, he was fired after publishing the poem “A Pen Bought and Sold” that assailed the corruption and privilege of the Saudi elite under then King Fahd. In 2002 he was removed as ambassador in London after publishing “You are the Martyrs”, an ode to Palestinian teenager Ayat Akhras, who blew herself up two weeks earlier in a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two Israelis. The poem which praised Akhras as the “bride of the heavens” who “stands up to the criminal” and “kisses death with a smile” outraged many-with the 2001 September 11 attacks on the United States still fresh

in memory. Gosaibi was born in Hofuf, eastern Saudi Arabia, on March 3, 1940 to a prominent and wealthy family of traders. He earned a law degree at the University of Cairo in 1961, a masters at the University of Southern California in 1964, and a doctorate of law at the University of London in 1970. In the 1970s he was director of the Saudi Railways Organization, and then moved to minister of industry and electricity, where he helped pioneer development of the Saudi petrochemicals industry. After his recall from London he also served as minister of water and electricity. As Saudi ambassador to Bahrain when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, he wrote articles blasting Arab governments and Islamist groups who criticized the SaudiUS alliance, asking how they could defend Saddam Hussein. His 1993 book “The Gulf Crisis: An Attempt to Understand” was a hard-eyed look from the perspective of the Gulf in the war. He published dozens of books,

including essays, poetry, and love stories, some of which faced bans in his own country. His best-known novel, “An Apartment Called Freedom” (1996), chronicled the lives of four young Bahrainis leaving their family cocoons and plunging into freewheeling, turbulent 1950s Cairo to attend university. In 1999 he lost to Japanese Koichiro Matsuura in the race for director general of UNESCO, undermined in part by criticism that as a Saudi official, he lacked a record of standing up for civil rights and cultural freedoms. After the September 11 attacks, he warned of a looming “clash of civilizations” and condemned Saudi-born AlQaeda leader Osama bin L aden as a “human monster.” “We are worried that this has turned from a war against terrorism, which we support wholeheartedly and with no reservation, into a war of America or the West against Islam,” he told the BBC. — AFP


SPORTS

Monday, August 16, 2010

15

KOHLER: Nick Watney hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the third round of the 92nd PGA Championship. —AFP

KOHLER: Steve Stricker tees up his golf ball during the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits. —AFP

Watney clear of pack, Woods 10 shots behind KOHLER: American Nick Watney broke free of the chasing pack to open up a three-stroke lead after the third round of the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Saturday. Watney made eight birdies and two bogeys in a superb round of 66 to head into the final day leading at 13-under-par 203 after a perfect sunny afternoon on the shores of Lake Michigan that proved ideal for low scoring. More than 50 players finished under par with nine within five strokes of Watney and each of the top six chasing their first majors, setting the stage for a dramatic finale to the last major of the year. “There’s some really good players that

haven’t won a major,” Watney said. “You’ve got to start somewhere and hopefully tomorrow will be my day. “At this point it’s just another golf tournament. I think that’s the best way for me to look at it. Obviously it’s not but I just need to go out there and keep doing what I’m doing.” Briton Rory McIlroy underlined his reputation as one of the top emerging players in world golf with a 67 to end the round at 10 under, tied for second with big-hitting American Dustin Johnson (67). The 21-year-old Northern Irishman is playing in just his ninth major but has twice finished tied for third, at last year’s PGA and this year’s British Open. “I definitely have a chance,” he said.

“But there’s so many other great players on the leaderboard as well, someone’s going to have to go out there and shoot a good score. “I’m in contention in a major and it’s a great place to be.” Johnson is also bubbling with excitement despite leading this year’s US Open at Pebble Beach by three shots at the start of the last day only to crumble under the pressure and shoot an 82. “Any time you can be in that situation and kind of know what to expect you definitely got a leg up on the other people,” Johnson said. “Not everyone’s been in the situation of being in the lead in a major so I’m pretty confident.” China’s Liang Wenchong shot a flawless round of eight under 64 to better the

course record jointly held by Darren Clarke and Miguel-Angel Jimenez and join Australia’s Jason Day (66) and Germany’s Martin Kaymer (67) at nine under. Australia’s Steve Elkington, who won the PGA Championship 15 years ago, wound back the clock to reach eight under and join the American trio of Jim Furyk (70), Zach Johnson (69) and Jason Dufner (69). Tiger Woods birdied his last two holes to end an exhausting day tied for 31st at three under as his hopes faded of ending a year dominated by revelations about his private life on a high. The world number one played the last 12 holes of his uncompleted second round in the morning then returned after lunch

to play his third round and said he was satisfied his game was heading in the right direction despite not winning a tournament this year. “I feel so much better, how I’m hitting the golf ball now,” he said. “ The striking, the sound, the feel, more than anything, it feels good.” The perfect weather conditions also allowed tournament officials to get the championship back on schedule after nearly six hours were lost on the first two days because of heavy morning fog. The third round was played in groups of three off split tees because of the delays to the second round, which American Matt Kuchar eventually led by a shot from Watney, but will revert to pairs on

WP edge out Blue Bulls JOHANNESBURG: Western Province retained top spot and its unbeaten record in South Africa’s domestic Currie Cup competition after a 15-12 home win over defending champion Blue Bulls at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. Flyhalf Willem de Waal kicked all Western Province’s points as he landed five penalties in a try-less game dominated by strong defensive displays by each of the sides, which were both missing a string of Springbok internationals ahead of South Africa’s Tri-Nations match against New Zealand on Aug. 21. Blue Bulls No. 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicked four penalties for the visitors from Pretoria but Western Province held on to keep its unbeaten record in this year’s competition. The Cape Town outfit is the only side in the eight-team Currie Cup Premier Division with a perfect six wins from six games and leads the standings by a point from the Sharks, who have five wins and a loss. The Durban-based Sharks had temporarily moved to the top of the table on Friday night with a dominant 51-6 win over the Leopards at the Royal Bafokeng Palace Stadium near Rustenburg. After a dream start for the Leopards _ who led 3-0 with a penalty by Neill Jacobs after just 30 seconds _ the Sharks ran in seven tries to none in front of a sparse crowd at the 2010 FIFA World Cup venue. Left wing Lwazi Mvovo dived over in the corner in the Sharks’ first attack and the visitors rammed home their advantage with further tries from prop Pat Cilliers, No. 8 Willem Alberts, fullback Louis Ludik, scrumhalf Rory Kockott and two from veteran center Stefan Terblanche. In-form 19-year-old flyhalf Patrick Lambie kicked two penalties and three conversions, and Kockott added another two conversions for the Sharks, who now face a top-of-the-

table clash against Western Province at their ABSA Stadium in Durban on Saturday. In Johannesburg, the Lions under new coach John Mitchell scored their first significant victory of 2010 with a battling 30-26 home win over the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park. The Lions — whose Super 14 team lost every game in this year’s tournament — scored two tries in the final seven minutes against the 2009 Currie Cup finalist to steal just a second competitive victory this year and end a four-game losing streak. With their team trailing 26-16, Lions flyhalf and man of the match Elton Jantjies and replacement wing Jannie Boshoff went over late to spark joyous celebrations. Jantjies added crucial conversions for both tries from near the touchline. The 19-year-old Jantjies, who represented South Africa at this year’s IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina, had a try, three penalties and three conversions in a 20-point haul. The win gave New Zealander Mitchell, who stepped in as coach of the struggling side ahead of the Currie Cup, his biggest win in charge of the Lions. The Johannesburg team’s only other competitive win of the year came against minnows, the Leopards. Also in week six, Griquas recovered from conceding 50 points against leader Western Province in the last round by posting a half-century themselves in an eight-try, 58-25 win over the Pumas on Friday. Griquas’ runaway victory at their GWK Park in Kimberley moves them ahead of the Blue Bulls and into third place in the standings with a 4-2 record — and on course for a semifinal spot. The defending champion Blue Bulls have a 3-3 record ahead of a showdown with Griquas at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria in week seven.—AP

Sunday. Kuchar ended the day six shots off the pace at seven under after a 73 in the third round. The winners of this year’s last two majors, British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and US Open winner Graeme McDowell, both missed the cut. Last year’s PGA winner, South Korean Yang Yong-eun, also made an early exit, along with the 2008 champion Padraig Harrington, who double-bogeyed the last hole to jeopardise his chances of making the European Ryder Cup team. “I have done everything I can now, and there is nothing more I can do,” Harrington said. “My majors have been poor this year but everything else has been good.”—Reuters

Lorenzo clinches Czech Grand Prix

BRNO: Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo from Spain rises his arms after winning the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the circuit in Brno.—AP

BRNO: Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo recorded his seventh MotoGp victory of the season here yesterday riding his Yamaha to glory in the Czech Grand Prix. The 23-year-old, who in an unusual celebration got off his bike and walked on to a neighbouring golf course to take a putt which he needed two to hole, beat home compatriot and pole sitter Dani Pedrosa on a Honda while Australia’s former world champion Casey Stoner was third. “I couldn’t put the ball in the hole but at least I could win the race!” said Lorenzo, who equalled Australian legend Michael Doohan and Agostino’s record of finishing first or second in the first 10 races of the season. “It was a very difficult day as I had crashed in qualifying so my confidence was not so high. The wind made it difficult for the riders but for me its a fantastic win,” beamed the Spaniard. Pedrosa confessed he had been unable to stick with Lorenzo as he consistently lapped faster times, but he saw a silver lining to the race result. “After crashing in the last race to be back on the podium is a happy moment for me,” said the 24-year-old. Stoner, the 2007 world champion, said that he hadn’t fancied his chances of winning as the Ducati team had employed a new set-up for his bike on the morning of the race. “I had to wait a while to really get a proper rhythm in the race,” said the 24year-old. “I was maybe trying to push too hard but then everyone of the riders is riding so well at the moment it is a constant battle to compete at this level.” Lorenzo took the lead from pole sitter Pedrosa on the first of the 22 laps as five riders battled for the top three in the opening exchanges including Stoner

while nine-time champion Valentino Rossi was adrift in eighth. Italian Andrea Dovizioso was the first of the front five to crack as he came to grief in the middle of the track on the fourth lap and was extremely fortunate not to suffer a serious injury by being hit by one of the oncoming bikes. The Repsol rider - winner this season of the British MotoGp - resumed the race but tailed off in last place and eventually gave up the ghost and pulled into his stable. “I don’t know exactly what happened,” said the 24-year-old Italian, who was 125cc world champion in 2004. “There was a lot of wind so that explains the slower times out there. I made one mistake as I really pushed hard at the beginning to keep in touch with Lorenzo and Pedrosa. “However, I am really angry because the way the race has panned out I think we would have been really challenging for second or third place.” Both Lorenzo and his compatriot Pedrosa slowly started to open a gap on third placed American rookie Ben Spies and Stoner, who was also cast adrift by the young American. The Spanish duo had a lead of over four seconds over Spies and Stoner while that pair had a sizeable lead over a group including fifth placed Rossi, who was some nine seconds adrift along with Nicky Hayden with 12 laps to go. Stoner stoically had stuck to his task and passed Spies to take third place with 11 laps remaining and it was at this point that Lorenzo wound up the pressure on Pedrosa opening a gap of over a second on him with 10 laps remaining. Pedrosa was unable to peg him back and Lorenzo ended up coasting to victory and ever nearer to his first MotoGp world title.—AFP


SPORTS

16

Mon

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday. San Francisco 3, San Diego 2 (11 innings); Chicago Cubs 3, St. Louis 2; Tampa Bay 7, Baltimore 3. American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 72 44 .621 Tampa Bay 70 46 .603 Boston 67 51 .568 Toronto 61 55 .526 Baltimore 41 76 .350

GB 2 6 11 31.5

Central Division Minnesota 67 50 .573 Chicago White Sox 65 52 .556 Detroit 56 60 .483 Cleveland 48 69 .410 Kansas City 48 69 .410

2 10.5 19 19

Western Division 66 49 .574 60 58 .508 57 58 .496 46 71 .393

7.5 9 21

National League Eastern Division Atlanta 67 49 .578 Philadelphia 65 51 .560 NY Mets 58 58 .500 Florida 57 58 .496 Washington 50 67 .427

2 9 9.5.5 17.5

Central Division 65 50 .565 66 51 .564 55 63 .466 50 65 .435 49 68 .419 39 77 .336

11.5 15 17 26.5

Western Division San Diego 68 47 .591 San Francisco 67 51 .568 Colorado 60 56 .517 LA Dodgers 60 57 .513 Arizona 47 71 .398

2.5 8.5 9 22.5

Texas LA Angels Oakland Seattle

St. Louis Cincinnati Milwaukee Houston Chicago Cubs Pittsburgh

SAN FRANCISCO: Giants shortstop Juan Uribe drives in the game winning run with a single during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Francisco, San Francisco won 3-2.—AP

Lester steers Red Sox over Rangers ARLINGTON: Jon Lester pitched eight scoreless innings as the Boston Red Sox stopped the American League West-leading Texas Rangers 3-1 on Saturday. On a steamy night, Lester (13-7) was sharp, striking out five and walking none. Texas’ Josh Hamilton homered with one out in the ninth and went 2 for 4, raising his major league-high average to .364. Rangers starter Colby Lewis (9-9) lost his fourth consecutive decision despite striking out nine and allowing just one run over 6 2-3 innings.

Twins 2, Athletics 0 In Minneapolis, Brian Duensing pitched a shutout in his first career complete game, giving Minnesota victory over Oakland. He outdueled A’s starter Trevor Cahill (12-5), who matched a modern major league record with his 20th straight start of five innings or more and allowing six hits or

fewer. Nolan Ryan did the same in 1972-73 for the Angels. Cahill surrendered just one run and a walk in seven innings. He struck out five. Duensing (6-1) was a step ahead of him, though, breezing through the light-hitting A’s lineup with the help of two double plays in the first three innings.

opened by giving up a single. After a strikeout, Avila hit Putz’s next pitch over the leftfield wall. Tigers’ reliever Phil Coke (7-2) got the final out of the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless ninth, lowering his ERA to 1.46 over his past 30 outings.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2

In Anaheim, Bobby Wilson had his first two-homer game in the major leagues and drove in a career-high five runs as Los Angeles overcame Toronto. The Angels were helped by Hideki Matsui going 4 for 4, including a two-run homer. LA starter Ervin Santana (12-8) pitched seven innings and allowed three hits. He is 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his past four starts against Toronto, including a pair of complete games earlier this season. Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil (9-6) gave up seven runs over 5

Angels 7, Blue Jays 2 In Chicago, Alex Avila hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off substitute closer JJ Putz, lifting Detroit over Chicago. It was only Avila’s fifth homer of the year. He platoons at catcher and is batting .214. The White Sox have gone from leading the AL Central by 11/2 games to trailing Minnesota by two. The Tigers remain 101/2 games out. Putz (5-4), working the ninth inning as Bobby Jenks sat out with back spasms,

2-3 innings, including three home runs.

Yankees 8, Royals 3 In Kansas City, Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs in a game for the fourth time in his career, putting on a late power show that led New York past Kansas City. Rodriguez drove in five runs, taking over the major league RBIs lead with 97. He picked on three different pitchers for his deep drives. After striking out on three pitches from Sean O’Sullivan in his previous at-bat, Rodriguez led off the sixth inning with a 412-foot shot against the Royals starter. Rodriguez added a two-run drive off Kanekoa Texeira in the seventh that carried 419 feet and put the Yankees on top 6-3. A-Rod connected in the ninth against Greg Holland for the most impressive drive, a 439-foot shot that landed in the water

fountains in left field. Rodriguez has 21 home runs this season and 604 lifetime. It was the 56th multihomer game of his 16-year career. New York’s Phil Hughes (14-5) went 5 1-3 innings for the victory. Several Yankees hit fly balls near the warning track against O’Sullivan (1-4) before they finally broke through in the sixth with three long shots.

Rays 7, Orioles 3 In St. Petersburg, Kelly Shoppach hit his second career grand slam and a solo homer, leading Tampa Bay over Baltimore. Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, Sean Rodriguez had an RBI double before Shoppach hit his slam to make it 5-3. Shoppach’s solo shot in the eighth was just his third extra-base hit since June. Tampa Bay’s Andy Sonnanstine (3-1),

Dodgers 2, Braves 1 In Atlanta, Ted Lilly threw six scoreless innings for his third straight win as Los Angeles held on for a narrow win over Atlanta. Lilly (6-8) left the game with a 1-0 lead. Dodgers closer Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a perfect ninth in his first opportunity since Jonathan Broxton was removed from the closer’s role on Friday. Los Angeles had two or more baserunners in four of the first six innings against Atlanta’s Derek Lowe (11-10), who pitched out of all the jams except in the fourth. Lowe gave up 10 hits in six innings.

Phillies 4, Mets 0 In New York, Philadelphia took advantage of some shoddy defense to scratch out its first runs at Citi Field this season, beating New York. Phillies starter Roy Halladay (15-8) made the

meager offense look insurmountable. He also had a base hit and scored a run while winning his season-high fifth straight start, which includes a victory last weekend against New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was booed when he pitched for the first time since his arrest on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field. New York starter Pat Misch (0-1) gave up four runs in six innings. The Mets committed three errors that led to three unearned runs.

Reds 5, Marlins 4 In Cincinnati, Mike Leake snapped his three-start losing streak and drove in a run, guiding Cincinnati past Florida. Leake (84) allowed runners to reach second base in every one of his six innings, but he was hurt only by two homers. The rookie gave up six hits and struck out six. Drew Stubbs homered as the Reds moved back into a tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead. Florida’s Sean West (0-2) took the loss.

Brewers 5, Rockies 4 In Denver, Casey McGehee hit an RBI single in the 10th inning as Milwaukee overcame three errors and having three runners thrown out on the basepaths to beat Colorado. Ryan Braun led off the 10th with a double off Huston Street (2-4) and Prince Fielder was then intentionally walked. McGehee then lined his second single of the night into center to score Braun. Milwaukee’s John Axford (7-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2 In St. Louis, Carlos Zambrano

won for the first time since his banishment for a dugout tantrum in June, and Chicago snuck past St. Louis. Zambrano (4-6) allowed seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Carlos Marmol got the final five outs for the save, his 20th in 24 chances but his first in three weeks. Chris Carpenter (13-4) took the loss as the Cardinals were defeated for the first time in five games.

D’backs 9, Nationals 2 In Washington, Miguel Montero hit two of Arizona’s four home runs in the victory over Washington. Montero started things by launching a two-run shot in the second off Jason Marquis (0-5). Gerardo Parra added his third home run with two outs to make it 3-0. Kelly Johnson hit his 18th in the fourth. Montero led off the sixth with his second home run. Ian Kennedy (7-9) pitched seven strong innings and singled twice for the Diamondbacks. In his longest start for nine weeks, he allowed two runs, walked only one and struck out seven. His two hits were a career high, and he scored a run.

Astros 3, Pirates 2 In Houston, Bud Norris had a career-high 14 strikeouts to steer Houston to a win over Pittsburgh. Norris (5-7) survived a shaky first inning to last seven, conceding two runs. He also got two hits for the first time in his career. Hunter Pence homered in the fourth and drove in the tiebreaking run with a double in the seventh as the Astros won at home against the Pirates for the eighth straight time. Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm (7-11) went 6 2-3 innings and gave up nine hits.—AP

Mariners 9, Indians 3 In Cleveland, Josh Bard hit his first career grand slam and added a double and two singles, leading Seattle over Cleveland. Jason Vargas (9-5) pitched seven innings to earn his third straight win for the Mariners, now 4-1 since interim manager Daren Brown replaced the fired Dan Wakamatsu. Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot (8-10) and reliever Hector Ambriz gave up five runs and made 27 pitches before recording an out in the fifth inning.—AP

England retain same team against Pakistan

Giants edge Padres SAN FRANCISCO: Juan Uribe hit an RBI single in the 11th inning as the San Francisco Giants rallied for a rare win against the San Diego Padres, edging their National League West rivals 3-2 on Saturday. The Giants won for just the second time in 10 meetings against San Diego and moved within 21/2 games of the Padres for first place in the NL West division. Buster Posey led off the 11th against San Diego pitcher Tim Stauffer (3-2) with a groundball double up the middle. After Pablo Sandoval was intentionally walked, Uribe blooped a single to right and Posey easily scored. Giants reliver Santiago Casilla (4-2) escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam in the 11th by striking out one and forcing a line out to earn the win.

making his second start for the injured Jeff Niemann, gave up three hits over five innings. Orioles starter Brian Matusz (4-12) became the AL’s second 12-game loser along with teammate Kevin Millwood. Matusz allowed five runs in four innings.

ARLINGTON: Boston Red Sox's Victor Martinez reacts to fouling a strike off his right foot from Texas Rangers' Darren O'Day in the 11th inning of a baseball game .—AP

LONDON: England named the same XI on Sunday that had put them 2-0 up in their four-match series against Pakistan for the third Test starting at The Oval yesterday. Tim Bresnan, left out from a 12-man squad in the sides that won the first Test at Trent Bridge by 354 runs and the second Test by nine wickets at Edgbaston last week, was retained as bowling cover. The seamer will play for Yorkshire in their Championship clash against champions Durham starting at Chester-le-Street today. He will join the England team tomorrow before returning to play for Yorkshire on Wednesday, provided he is not required for Test duty. This is England’s last Test series before they begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia starting in November and national selector Geoff Miller said: “We were delighted with the way the team performed at Edgbaston in the second Test. “To put together dominant performances in back-to-back Test matches is a credit to the team’s hard work, but the key remains consistency throughout the duration of the series.” Former England off-spinner Miller added: “Tim Bresnan hasn’t been named in the squad but will provide bowling cover just prior to the Test before returning to play for Yorkshire in their County Championship match against Durham.” Pakistan suffered a setback on Saturday when it was

announced that wicketkeeper/batsman Zulqarnain Haider who made 80 on Test debut at Edgbaston, was doubtful for The Oval after suffering a finger injury. Saturday also saw the second day of their two-day match against Worcestershire washed out completely. But the third Test should see the return to the side of former captain and senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who made an unbeaten 40 against Worcestershire. He was recalled ahead of the defeat at Edgbaston but was not selected after only arriving in England the day before the match. Third in Pakistan’s all-time list of Test run-scorers, Yousuf was initially omitted from the squad having been handed an indefinite ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board after captaining the side on their winless tour of Australia concluded earlier this year. Yousuf has scored 7,431 runs at 53.07 including 12 hundreds in 88 Tests and against England has an average of 70. Pakistan badly need more runs after being bowled out for record low scores against England of 80 and 72 at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston respectively. England team: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn Bowling cover: Tim Bresnan.—AFP


SPORTS

Monday, August 16, 2010

SINGAPORE: Thach Kim Tuan of Vietnam is about to lift 140 kilograms of weights during the men’s 56-kilogram category Clean and Jerk of the weightlifting event at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Thach won the gold medal. — AP

17

SINGAPORE: Camila Mancini (right) of Italy competes with Victoria Alekseeva of Russia (left) during the Cadet Female Individual Foil final at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Camila Mancini won the gold medal after defeating Victoria Alekseeva of Russia 15-9. —AFP

Japan’s Sato wins first gold SINGAPORE: Japan’s Yuka Sato won the first gold medal in the inaugural Youth Olympics, racing to a comfortable victory in the women’s triathlon yesterday. Sato, 18, finished the race in 1 hour and 49 seconds followed by Australian Ellie Salthouse who finished in 1 hour and 1 minute

and 4 seconds and American Kelly Whitley who came in third with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 48 seconds. The 32 athletes swam 750 meters, cycled 20 kilometers and ran 5 kilometers through Singapore’s East Coast Park. “I made it,” Sato said. “I knew this would

be the first contest in the Youth Olympics which really got me motivated to go for gold. I really wanted to drive team Japan.” The triathlon started the 12-day event which will feature 3,600 athletes ages 14 to 18 from 204 national Olympic committees competing in 26 sports across the Asian city-state.

SINGAPORE: USA’s Kaitlyn Jones swims in the freestyle leg in the Youth Woman’s 200m Individual Medley swimming at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Jones won the gold in the time of 2:14.53. minutes. — AFP

Govt steps in to salvage Commonwealth Games NEW DELHI: India’s government has stepped in to salvage Commonwealth Games preparations amid corruption allegations and construction delays which have hit organizers less than 50 days before the event’s opening. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who reviewed the situation on Saturday, appointed a new group of ministers to oversee preparations, visit games’ venues each week to monitor progress and ensure contractors meet fresh deadlines. The ministers were meeting in New Delhi late yesterday to plan how to hasten lagging preparations for the events beginning Oct. 3 in the Indian capital. Earlier this month two top Indian officials were fired amid corruption allegations involving the Queen’s Baton Relay in London. Organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, however, resisted calls for his resignation and the government too appeared unwilling to create more confusion by demanding he quit at this late stage. Prime Minister Singh also ordered “thorough investigations” into all complaints that have been received about irregularities in building standards, loss of revenue, or overpayments in handing out contracts. “All those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment,”

Singh said according to a statement from his office. However, punitive action against those responsible for the delays and charges of clearing substandard construction or other corrupt practices would only be taken after the games finish on October 14. “The public has a right to know the facts, and the ministers will ensure that timely and authentic information on the state of preparations and the remaining tasks is released to the public,” the statement said. Faced with the embarrassing possibility of the venues not being ready on time, Singh asked for a weekly report from the ministers and ordered a top Cabinet official to coordinate daily monitoring of preparations. He will himself visit the stadiums at the end of August. Singh was forced to step in following mounting pressure from the national media and opposition parties in India demanding that the government take action against Kalmadi who they hold primarily responsible for the delays and irregularities. Last week, India’s Central Vigilance Commission issued a report highlighting shoddy building practices and potential problems surrounding the certification of work on games sites. — AP

Pakistan athletics hit by more failed doping tests KARACHI: Pakistan athletics have been hit by fresh doping charges after eight athletes failed tests at the national athletics championships last month in Islamabad. The failed tests come on the heels of two female athletes being banned in June for two years for taking banned performance-enhancing substances. “It is a matter of great concern for us after this latest incident that came to light after we had dope tests in the national championship,” national athletics federation secretary Khalid Mehmood told Reuters. “One of them, Muhammad Imran, is our

national javelin champion while the others are also top athletes at the national level while a female athlete Sumera Zaheer has been to the Olympics.” A Pakistan Sports Board official who declined to be named told Reuters that WADA had provided eight million rupees ($95,000) to carry out doping tests in national events and training camps. “WADA is keen to increase anti-doping awareness in South Asian countries where athletes still need to be educated on how to avoid taking banned substances,” he said. — Reuters

In an unofficial medal tally because organizers are not collating a medals table, Russia leads the medal haul with four followed by China at three after the first day of competition. Nine countries have won two. Meanwhile, British diver Tom Daley is in doubt for the Youth Olympics after withdraw-

Youth Olympics

ing from the European Championships due to a tricep injury. Daley, who became the youngest diver at 15 to win a world title in men’s platform earlier this year, withdrew from the European championships on Saturday and said in a statement he will travel to Singapore and determine later whether

he will compete. Daley’s withdrawal would be a blow to the Youth Olympics, which counted the young Briton among one of its marquee competitors. He is due to compete in the 3 meter springboard and 10 meter platform. Daley is also scheduled to compete in the Commonwealth Games in October. — AP

SINGAPORE: Gold medalist Kaitlyn Jones of the United States (center) flanked by bronze medalist Barbora Zavadova of the Czech Republic (left) and silver medalist Kristina Kochetkova of Russia (right) pose for photographers after the finals of 200m Individual Medley swimming relay at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). — AFP

Pascal beat Dawson to retain title MONTREAL: Canada’s Jean Pascal retained his WBC light heavyweight title by beating Chad Dawson on points Saturday after the fight was stopped in the 11th round. The fight was halted after an accidental clash of heads opened a deep cut above Dawson’s right eye and prevented the American from continuing. It went to the scorecards, and Pascal (26-1) got the win over Dawson (29-1) when the judges turned in two cards of 106-103 and another of 108-101. “Chad Dawson is a great fighter, but now I know I also belong among the best in the world,” Pascal said. “I showed that I’m the best light heavyweight in the world and that I should be on the pound for pound list.” Dawson and his promoter Gary Shaw were upset with Montreal referee Michael Griffin, who they said allowed Pascal to hold on several occasions, and Canadian judge Jack Woodburn, who turned in the 108-101 score while British and American judges had it closer. There was a rematch clause in the fight contract that surely will be exercised, but Shaw said any new fight will not include Griffin and Woodburn. “The head butt was intentional in my estimation,” Shaw said. “The ref should have let Chad fight the last two rounds. He had Pascal in trouble.” Dawson was hurting Pascal with combinations and the local favorite appeared to be in trouble when his head came up and made contact with Dawson’s forehead, opening the cut that stopped the fight. “I know for sure I’m not a dirty fighter and it wasn’t an intentional head butt,” Pascal said. “Why would I need to do that? I was leading the fight.” Dawson also was upset with the decision, saying his opponent should be happy with his “little victory.” “There were four or five head butts and the ref didn’t do anything,” he said. “But we have a rematch clause and I will be back and I will bring the title back to the States.”—AP

MONTREAL: World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (right) and challenger Chad Dawson seen in this file photo. — AP

Cseh fastest in medley at Europeans BUDAPEST: Laszlo Cseh posted the best time in the qualifying heats of the men’s 400-meter individual medley at the European swimming championships yesterday. Cseh, the European record holder in the event, won in 4 minutes, 14.01 seconds, 0.72 seconds ahead of teammate David Verraszto. Gal Nevo of Israel qualified third despite being more than a second slower than another Hungarian, Gergo Kis, who did not go through to the final because only two swimmers from each country are allowed past the qualifying stage. In the

only other men’s qualifying heats, the Netherlands were first to touch in the 4x100 medley relay, finishing in 3:36.00, just 0.03 seconds faster than France. Britain was 1.22 behind the Dutch team anchored by Sebastiaan Verschuren, a bronze medalist in the 200 freestyle on Wednesday. The 30th edition of the European championships, which ends late yesterday, is the first major international event where competitors can no longer wear the neck-to-ankle suits that helped set dozens of world records in recent years. Rebecca Adlington of Britain was fastest

in the heats of the women’s 400 freestyle, with Patricia Ortega of Spain in second place, 1.40 seconds behind. Lotte Friis of Denmark, winner of the 1,500 freestyle on Saturday, was third. Elizabeth Simmonds led Britain to the fastest qualifying result in the women’s 4x100 medley relay, beating Sweden by 1.43 seconds with a time of 4:02.00. Denmark was third in 4:03.80. Yesterday’s finals also include the women’s 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly, while the men contest the 50 freestyle. —AP


SPORTS

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Monday, August 16, 2010

CINCINNATI: Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. — AFP

Sharapova, Clijsters in Cincinnati showdown MASON: Maria Sharapova will meet Kim Clijsters in the final of the Cincinnati Open late yesterday after the pair came through contrasting semi-final ties. Belgian Clijsters advanced after her Serbian opponent Ana Ivanovic retired with ankle ligament injury early in the first set, while Sharapova had to battle through three tough sets to beat fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 36 6-2 and reach her second final in successive tournaments.

In a fascinating encounter, the threetime Grand Slam winner Sharapova never truly dominated her determined 19year-old opponent until she broke in the third set to take a 4-2 lead. Sharapova was beaten in the Stanford final by Victoria Azarenka earlier this month sand said she was now fired up to get a victory ahead of the US Open later this month. “I certainly want to give it all I have, all the energy and power and every-

thing,” she said. The pair have not met since Clijsters returned last year following a two-year break from the sport. “I’m excited, it’s been a while since we played and we have been through different things in our lives,” Sharapova said, referring to her lengthy absence with a shoulder injury. While Clijsters, now a full year into her comeback, will be a tough opponent for Sharapova, the Belgian reached the final with little effort after a tearful

Ivanovic was forced to quit. Ivanovic had made a fairly routine return with the score 2-1 to Clijsters in the first set but then pulled up and had to receive extensive treatment. The former world number one returned but was visibly in pain and had to retire. It was a huge disappointment for Ivanovic, who has undergone a form slump since winning the 2008 French Open and is trying to claw her way back up the rankings. She had also looked in

Gutsy Federer to meet Murray in Toronto final TORONTO: Roger Federer battled his way into the final of Toronto Masters with a gutsy 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Novak Djokovic on Saturday, reclaiming the number two world ranking from the Serb. Seeded third at a tournament for the first time since 2003, Federer arrived in Toronto to talk his career was starting to fade, but the Swiss has shined on the Canadian hardcourts and will now play champion Andy Murray for the title late yesterday. Britain’s Murray had earlier brushed aside world number one Rafa Nadal 6-3 6-4 to spoil any chance of a dream final between the Spaniard and his great Swiss rival, who has battled tooth and nail to win two three setters and reach the Canadian final for the fourth time. A day after gaining revenge on his Wimbledon conqueror Tomas Berdych in a nearly three hour match that was decided by a third set tiebreak, Federer was forced again to fend off a determined fightback from Djokovic. Federer, twice a winner in Canada, raced through the first set in just 25 minutes and after surging ahead 2-0 in the second had looked poised for a quick match. But he suddenly lost his way and Djokovic seized his chance, breaking Federer twice to send the match into a decider. The third set swayed back and forth and appeared headed for another tiebreak until Federer broke Djokovic at 6-5 clinching the match on his first match point. “Tonight I came out with all guns blazing,” Federer told reporters. “I played fantastic in the first set but in the second set Novak was able to raise his game and make it super competitive so I feel very happy to

have come through. “He fought bravely. He put his foot in the door before I could close it but I’m very happy to be back in the final.” Federer will replace Djokovic has world number two on Monday and will set his sights on retaking number one from Nadal. The Swiss has spent 285 weeks at the top of the rankings and needs only one more to match Pete Sampras’s record of 286. Murray, who needed to reach yesterday’s final to retain his number four world ranking, can now focus on clinching his first title of the season and becoming the first back-to-back winner on the Canadian hardcourts since Andre Agassi in 1995. It was a stunningly complete performance by the 23-year-old Scot who refused to be pushed around by the muscular Spaniard and in the end walked off with his fourth win in 12 career meetings - all coming on hardcourts. “It’s the surface I feel most comfortable on,” Murray told reporters. “I move better on hardcourt than on other surfaces. “There are certain things the surface allows me to do against him that I can’t do on the others. I’ve always played my best tennis on the hardcourt.” Murray has been in impressive form on the North American hardcourts, also making the Los Angeles final, offering hope that he might make his long awaited grand slam breakthrough later this month at the US Open. The Scot has come close to ending Britain’s long wait for a men’s grand slam singles champion, though he lost to Federer in the 2008 U.S. Open final and in the Australian Open final this year. —Reuters

good form in Cincinnati, reaching her second semi-final of the year. “I’m obviously disappointed the way it finished because I felt like I had really good run,” said Ivanovic. “Just on that one forehand when I went to step around it, I just felt so much pain in my foot and I couldn’t step on it anymore. I tried (a) bit of tape, but I could not put any weight on it and there was no point in me continuing.” The Serb said the injury was not a recurrence of any previous problem and

tests showed she had strained ankle ligaments. Clijsters, the US Open champion, said she hoped Ivanovic’s injury healed quickly. “She is doing well again and then something like this happens, I hope she is okay and it is nothing too serious and she will be okay for the US Open,” she said. The first round of the US Open begins on Aug. 30 and Ivanovic’s next scheduled event is in New Haven on Aug. 22. —Reuters

US NBA stars trim McGee, Green off world roster NEW YORK: Washington center JaVale McGee and Oklahoma City forward Jeff Green were trimmed from the US roster of NBA talent for the World Basketball Championships yesterday, USA Basketball announced. Neither player took part in a scrimmage against China on Saturday ahead of an exhibition game Sunday against France at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Cutting McGee, who had been bounced off the team once before but brought back for workouts, leaves the American squad for the world championships with 13 players but only one center, Tyson Chandler of Dallas. “The decision made was predicated on having less players to work with and play during the upcoming exhibition games which will help in terms of our final preparations,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “Rather than bring 14 or 15 players we will for now go with 13 because we have yet to make

a final determination on 12.” The Americans must cut one more player from the lineup by the eve of the August 28 start of the world championships in Turkey. They will leave Monday for a four-day training camp in Madrid that starts Tuesday. The US team, relying heavily on quickness and backcourt talent with only one big man, will play Lithuania next Saturday and Spain next Sunday at Madrid and face Greece at Athens on August 25 ahead of the worlds. Joining Chandler among the final 13 were Denver’s Chauncey Billups, Rudy Gay of Memphis, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Boston’s Rajon Rondo, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Indiana’s Danny Granger, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, Eric Gordon of the Los Angeles Clippers and Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers.— AFP

Guevara — the sprinter backs Cuban golf tourney

TORONTO: Roger Federer, of Switzerland, reacts while playing Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, during Rogers Cup ATP tennis action. —AP

Yuvraj suffering with dengue fever COLOMBO: Yuvraj Singh has been ruled out of India’s one-day international against Sri Lanka today after coming down with dengue fever, India media reported yesterday. “Yuvraj Singh is not available for this game. He has dengue. But he is out of danger,” the Press Trust of India quoted India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as saying at a pre-match press conference. India, who lost to New Zealand by 200 runs in their first match of the tri-series in Dambulla on Tuesday, have already lost pace

bowler Zaheer Khan and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir to injury. Dhoni said queries also remain over bowlers Ashish Nehra (thigh) and Ishant Sharma, who is recuperating from a knee injury. “We are monitoring Ashish Nehra. He has got a bit of problem with his glute. So we will take the exact decision before the game. Ishant is shaping well. As of now these are the two players who may be missing out,” Dhoni said. —Reuters

VARADERO: A few hundreds of a second used to make or break Ana Guevara. Now, she’s just hoping to break 90 during a few hours on the golf course. The former world champion and Olympic silver medalist in the 400 meter dash will lend her name to the Ana Guevara Cup, a pro-am golf tournament that will be held in Cuba from Oct. 13-17. It will bring as many as 140 Mexican participants to Varadero, a resort of white-sand beaches and sparkling, clear-blue surf east of Havana that has the country’s only 18-hole golf course. “I’m back and doing something new, a sport that almost no one knew me for,” the 33-year-old from northern Mexico said yesterday at the Varadero clubhouse on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It used to be known as “Xanadu,” an 11bedroom mansion built by US chemical tycoon Irenee DuPont. Guevara said she had never picked up a club until 2003, when her trainers ordered her to take a monthlong break from sprinting. She said the game left her with soreness in muscles she didn’t know she had. “I played 18 holes, three days in a row. I almost couldn’t move afterward,” she said. “But I was comfortable ... I picked it up quickly.” Since retiring from track and field, Guevara sometimes plays twice a week. She has lowered her score from 120-plus to the low 90s and said she thinks she will shoot 89 or better before long.

That’s already a lot better than the brief attack on the links by Cuba’s more famous Guevara, Che. Accompanied by Fidel Castro and wearing combat boots, he managed a 127 on a par-70 course in Havana in 1961, then abandoned the game forever. The sprinter said it took her time to warm to the game. “It seemed very boring to me. Actually, I didn’t even think it was a sport,” she said. “But it required great concentration, great technique.” Guevara was a world champion in the 400 meters in 2003 and won bronze in the event at the world championships in 2001 and 2003. She took silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004, but retired abruptly in January 2008, when many had expected her to compete at the Beijing Games. Her longtime trainer is Cuban Raul Barreda, and she said that she traveled to the island so much while working with him that lending her name to the Varadero tournament is like “returning to my roots.” “I hope this can be the vehicle that opens doors for this sport in Cuba,” Guevara said. In May, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said the communist government had approved construction of residential projects linked to resorts _ possibly opening the door for villas that could one day ring oceanfront golf courses. But he gave no details about whether Cuba will allow tourist developments that include residences owned by foreigners. —AP


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SPORTS

Monday, August 16, 2010

FA wants English successor to Capello LONDON: England’s Football Association wants an English coach to succeed Fabio Capello. While the Italian remains contracted until the 2012 European Championship, discussions have already begun about the next coach. “Beyond Fabio’s contract, the view of everyone that has been involved in these discussions so far is that we should have an English manager moving forward,” Club England managing director Adrian Bevington told BBC radio yesterday. Capello has been under pressure following England’s second-round exit at

the World Cup. The former Real Madrid coach was criticized this week for announcing on television the end of David Beckham’s England career — without first speaking to the 35-year-old former captain himself. Ahead of England’s 2-1 victory over Hungary in a friendly on Wednesday, Capello’s plans to rebuild the team were undermined by Wes Brown and Paul Robinson announcing their international retirements less than a day after being recalled to the squad. “A lot of people have a very different view of Fabio Capello to the one they had before the World Cup,” Bevington

said. “Our job is to support him as best we can. Maybe we can help him, and maybe now is the time to improve communications between manager and players.” The 64-year-old Capello appeared exasperated with the media scrutiny. “Every time I speak I have to think 10 times because you want to find something wrong when I speak,” he told reporters. England hired its first foreign coach in 2001, with Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson leading the team to quarterfinal finishes at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. But Steve McClaren — Eriksson’s

English assistant — was promoted to the top job in 2006 and England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. He was fired in 2007 and replaced by Capello, whose team won nine out of ten World Cup qualifiers before underperforming in South Africa. Meanwhile, Sheffield United are searching for a new manager after Kevin Blackwell left the Championship club by “mutual consent” following his side’s 30 defeat against QPR at Bramall Lane. United conceded three goals in the opening 23 minutes against a QPR team managed by former Blades boss Neil Warnock and the home fans responded

by aiming a bar rage of abuse at Blackwell. Blackwell, a former Leeds and Luton manager, had been in charge at United since 2008 and the 51-year-old led the club to a 2009 Championship play-off final defeat against Burnley. The team finished just outside the play-offs last season and that failure was the key to the fans’ negative attitude to Blackwell. A statement from the club read: “Kevin Blackwell has worked tremendously hard over the last two and a half years and his record in terms of results is equal to, if not better than, most previous managers at Bramall Lane. “He will always have a warm wel-

come at Sheffield United. However, it is time for us to move on because our ambition remains the same in challenging for promotion, hence this decision to look for a new manager to carry on the work Kevin has been doing.” Elsewhere, Millwall boss Kenny Jackett refused to get carried away as his side roared to the top of the table with a 4-0 thrashing of Hull. Jackett’s team are back in English football’s second tier for the first time in four years after winning the League One play-offs last season and the Lions have had no trouble adapting to their new status.—Agencies

Sevilla beat Barca in Super Cup MADRID: Luis Fabiano netted the equaliser and Frederic Kanoute struck twice to earn Sevilla a 3-1 comeback victory at home to a second-string Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Saturday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic poked the La Liga champions in front in the 20th minute of Spain’s traditional season opener at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjaun stadium, before Fabiano levelled for the King’s Cup winners just after the hour. Substitute Kanoute fired the hosts in front with just over 15 minutes left and nodded a second in the 83rd to put the Andalusians in a strong position ahead of the second leg next Saturday at the Nou Camp. Barca coach Pep Guardiola opted not to take any of the eight members of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad to Sevilla, also leaving World Player of the Year Lionel Messi on the bench and including several youth-team players in his starting line-up. Local media have speculated Ibrahimovic will leave Barca before the transfer window closes at the end of the month but Guardiola deployed the burly Sweden striker at centre forward on a sweltering night in Seville. He went some way toward silencing his critics when he sprinted on to Maxwell’s curled pass and slipped the ball low past goalkeeper Andres Palop. Sevilla looked much more dangerous after the break and had a deserved equaliser when Fabiano ran on to a pass from new signing Luca Cigarini and slotted through the legs of Barca goalkeeper Mino. The Brazilian striker, who Olympique Marseille are attempting to lure to Ligue 1, pointedly grabbed the Sevilla shield on his shirt as he celebrated. Kanoute flicked the ball high into the net from Alvaro Negredo’s cross to put Sevilla ahead before heading powerfully home from Diego Perotti’s cross as Barca wilted. “We suffered a bit at the start but we played a very good second half,” Kanoute said in a television interview. “But they were missing a lot of players and we’ll have to be very careful in the second leg,” the Mali striker added.—Reuters

Villa hot seat could attract Maradona LONDON: Argentine football legend Diego Maradona would not rule out coming to England to take over Aston Villa, according to a newspaper report yesterday. Maradona is currently out of work after being sacked as Argentina manager last month, while Premier League side Villa are currently manager-less following Martin O’Neill’s sensational exit last week. A report in the Sunday Mercury quoted Maradona’s official European representative, Walter Soriano, as saying Maradona is currently poring over several options that could bring him to England. Soriano reportedly called on Villa owner Randy Lerner to show his interest by calling the former Argentina striker, whose ‘Hand of God’ goal against England at the 1986 World Cup still grates with fans around the country. “I think Diego would be very open to the idea of coming to England and managing Aston Villa,” Soriano is quoted as saying in the Midlands-based paper. “He is very attracted to English football and the way of life in your country and I know he would be very willing to move there. “He loves the English countryside and your respect for privacy, so he would be very happy there, especially at a big club like Aston Villa. He added: “If the owner Randy Lerner wants to make him a serious offer, I am sure he would get a very positive response. “Diego is currently talking with a number of clubs in Europe - including another one in England - about a management role and is looking at his options carefully.” Maradona was sacked as coach of Argentina two weeks ago, following his team’s stunning 4-0 collapse against Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals. A report last week suggested, however, that Maradona was a candidate to replace himself.—AFP

SPAIN: Sevilla’s Argentinian midfielder Diego Perotti (right) vies with Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Dani Alves (left) during a Super Cup football match.—AFP

Europe in Ferguson’s sights, Newcastle await MANCHESTER: Manchester United will open their Premier League season against Newcastle United with manager Sir Alex Ferguson claiming the Champions League will be his priority this season. In a break from his usual stance, the Old Trafford boss has outlined his desperation to make up for last season’s quarter-final exit in the competition. United went out on away goals in April after drawing 4-4 on aggregate with Bayern Munich in two compelling contests, particularly the game at Old Trafford where a stunning Arjen Robben goal for Bayern plus Rafael’s sending off provided the talking points. United’s exit rankled with Ferguson at the time and it still rankles with him now and he considers rectifying last season’s “unlucky” Champions League

campaign as the most important job on his to-do list. “I think that when you lose the (Premier League) title by a point you feel where did you lose the point that mattered?,” he said. “You could examine many games that way but for my perspective, during the histor y of this club, the European Cup is a big attraction. “For me, anyway,” added Ferguson ahead of United’s domestic opener at Old Trafford on Monday. “We were terribly unlucky last year we were certain to get to the final-we just did not have that luck. “But that must be a priority.” However, Ferguson was also keen to stress the Premier League title-and the fanatical support the league engenders-also means United will be striving to regain the title they lost to

Chelsea last term. “Because the Premier League is such a tribalistic competition you cannot help but go for it,” Ferguson explained. “Every game is so competitive, you have six or seven competitors, you can’t avoid going for it,” the Scot added. Few but the most ardent Newcastle suppor ters would give Chris Hughton’s side a chance of recording their first league win at Old Trafford in almost four decades as the Football L eague champions retur n to the Premier League following a season-

Today’s matches on TV English Premier League Man United v Newcastle... 22:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD3

long absence. It’s approaching nine years since Newcastle’s last victory over United in any competition, since when they’ve lost 13 of the clubs’ 16 meetings, although they did emerge with a creditable 1-1 draw on their most recent Old Trafford visit to open the campaign in 2008. With Dan Gosling out until January following knee surger y and Sol Campbell still struggling for match fitness, defender James Perch, a one million pounds signing from Nottingham Forest, is likely to be the only one of Hughton’s pre-season ar rivals on show. Andy Carroll, the England Under21 forward, has recovered from a back problem to wear the number nine shirt for the first time after he was allocated Newcastle’s iconic jersey in a major

vote of confidence from the manager. Hughton, who is without injured striker Leon Best in addition to longterm casualties Steven Taylor and Danny Simpson, admits the NorthEast club are taking a step into the unknown as they contemplate life back in the top-flight. “We’re not quite sure what the season holds for us,” said Hughton. “Some people might be pleasantly surprised, some might be disappointed we don’t know. “It’s a daunting task to stay in the division and the standards have got higher. We’re amongst all of that and to be honest, we just don’t know what is ahead. What we are certain about is that there has been no talk of relegation or avoiding relegation, none.”—AFP

Toivonen hat trick sparks PSV 6-0 rampage ROTTERDAM: Swede Ola Toivonen hit a hat trick to fire PSV Eindhoven to a 6-0 win over 10-man Graafschap Doetinchem in the Dutch league on Saturday. Ajax Amsterdam came from behind to beat Vitesse Arnhem 4-2 for their

first win this season but champions Twente Enschede were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Heerenveen, their second in a row. PSV top the standings with six points from two games, two ahead of Ajax. Balazs Dzsudzsak converted a fifth

minute penalty to put PSV ahead after Purrell Frankel was sent off for a last-man foul and Toivonen hit his first minutes before the interval to double the lead. After the break the Swedish striker added two more to lift his tally to five after two matches.

L ate goals by Nordin Amrabat and Ibrahim Afellay completed the rout. Ajax replied to Vitesse’s opening goal, a fine header by Davy Propper, w i t h a f i e rc e f re e k i c k f ro m J a n Vertonghen and a Gregory van der Wiel goal on 40 minutes.

M a rc o v a n G i n ke l l e v e l l e d t h e score two minutes before the break but directly after Siem de Jong struck from close range to restore the Ajax lead before Vurnon Anita settled the match with superb volley in the 58th minute.—Reuters


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LONDON: Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano (right) vies for the ball against Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield. —AP

Arsenal grab freak point at Liverpool LIVERPOOL: A late Pepe Reina own goal helped Arsenal salvage a point in a 1-1 draw at Anfield after David Ngog had put Liverpool in front in a match that saw both sides finish with 10 men yesterday. After coming out to claim a cross in the 90th minute, Reina was put under pressure from Marouane Chamakh and spilled the ball over his own line to give Arsenal an equaliser. Liverpool had played all the second half without Joe Cole while the Gunners’ Laurent Koscielny was also dismissed in injury time.

Cole was sent off just before the interval for a late tackle on Koscielny but just a minute after the restart, Ngog thrashed home a fine shot from the right side of the penalty box to put Liverpool ahead. “We’ve defended very well and it’s unfortunate to give a goal away at the end. We’re very disappointed. It’s not even a goal where they’ve used their man advantage,” said Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to blame goalkeeper Manuel Almunia for Liverpool’s goal, even though the Spaniard was beaten at his near post.

“He’s been beaten at the short corner but you give credit to Ngog,” said Wenger. After the early-summer upheaval prompted by Rafa Benitez’s departure as Liverpool manager, new boss Roy Hodgson had his first real opportunity to prove that last season was forgotten. He has convinced the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay at Anfield while former Chelsea midfielder Cole has also helped strengthen the squad. Torres was only on the bench as he recovers from a thigh strain picked up in the World Cup final while for Arsenal, Wenger

opted to give 18-year-old Jack Wilshere a start in midfield and summer signings Chamakh and Koscielny also made their Premier League debuts. Early on, Dirk Kuyt and Glen Johnson co-operated effectively down the right wing to cause problems while Cole also did his best to get behind the Arsenal backline but Liverpool could not keep possession long enough to cause real harm. Arsenal’s Gael Clichy resorted to shooting from 30 metres to try and break the deadlock. The first real chance of the opening period occurred when Milan Jovanovic beat

Arsenal’s offside trap and chased down a Carragher ball but he slammed it into the crowd rather than the back of the net. As half-time approached Johnson’s leftfoot effort appeared to be dipping in but Almunia get a crucial touch to tip it over the bar and Ngog had a header from the resulting corner cleared off the line by Clichy. But just as Liverpool looked like ending the first half as the stronger side, Cole then received his marching orders after diving in near the corner flag. Cole’s dismissal clearly galvanised Liverpool and they scored just a minute after the restart thanks to Ngog.

Top Iran footballer sacked for not fasting in Ramadan

Bordeaux join Marseille in French league slump PARIS: Bordeaux replaced fellow strugglers Marseille at the bottom of the French league table yesterday after suffering a 2-1 home defeat to a spirited Toulouse, their second defeat in as many games. Champions two years ago, and Champions League quarterfinalists last season, Bordeaux went into the campaign hoping to recover from the departure of Laurent Blanc, who is now coach of France. “We’re obviously gutted. It’s a real shame to concede a goal right at the end,” said Bordeaux defender Benoit Tremoulinas, after Etienne Didot had hit an 83rd minute winner for Toulouse. “We had problems getting into in the game in the first half, but we had more chances in the second-half and we moved it around a bit more. “The goals we conceded tonight were avoidable and the next time up we’ll have to be more careful.” Elsewhere yesterday plucky Caen, who beat Marseille in the league opener last week, produced another giant-killing display to beat former seven-time champions Lyon 3-2 in Normandy. Caen coach Franck Dumas admitted that in his heart of hearts he had not held out much hope for his team’s opening couple of games, but compared their high-flying position as

“utopia”. “Up against Marseille and then Lyon, I can’t hide from you that we’d counted on no points,” he said. “It’s reward for the energy of the players.” Dumas, however, refused to get carried away, saying: “What interests me is the points and keeping a certain quality of game. “As for my points objective, it’s to finish with one more than the team in 18th spot,” he said in reference to teams finishing in 18th, 19th and 20th place who will be relegated at season’s end. Lyon coach Claude Puel was left lamenting his side’s defensive frailities, saying they had “allowed Caen to win the match”. “We cannot be happy,” he said. “We got back into the game to score the two goals but we lacked the most elementary defensive rigor and even more on the third goal.” Toulouse now lead the table ahead of yesterday’s late game between Lille and Paris Saint Germain. Caen are the only other team on six points after two matches, meaning both they and Toulouse hold a two-point lead over Rennes, Valenciennes and Nice. PSG sit in sixth place on three points and will go top if they beat Lille by two goals or more.—AFP

He seemed to be going nowhere as he ran into the box but then thrashed the ball past Almunia to give Liverpool the lead. Hodgson threw Torres on with just less than 20 minutes to go and as the end approached, Reina saved brilliantly from a Theo Walcott free-kick that seemed certain to go in. Liverpool’s resistance finally broke and Reina cruelly dropped the ball over his own goal-line for an entertaining ending. There was also just enough time for Koscielny to get dismissed for two bookable offences.—AFP

FRANCE: Lyon’s French defender Aly Cissokho (centre) is tackled by Caen’s French defender Ismaila N’Diaye (on ground) during their French Premier League soccer match. —AP

TEHRAN: Popular Iranian footballer Ali Karimi, sometimes described as “the Maradona of Asia,” has been fired by his club for not fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the club said yesterday. Steel Azin FC said on its website www.steelazin.com that it was “forced to sack one of its players, Ali Karimi, for being disobedient and not fasting during Ramadan,” when devout Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. Karimi, who was the Asian Player of 2004, had even “insulted officials of the (Iranian) football federation and the Tehran team’s supervisor who confronted him on the issue,” Steel Azin said. The player himself denied any wrongdoing. “I am a Muslim and I believe in religious questions,” Karimi told ISNA news agency, also denying that he had insulted Iranian football officials. His sacking comes after he criticized in an interview on his website the management style of the club’s managing director and former official of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mostafa Ajorlou. The Islamic republic’s state news agency IRNA, meanwhile, reported that the club’s chairman, Hossein Hedayati, was unaware of the decision and was against Karimi’s sacking. Karimi, 31, who has been dubbed by some Iranian commentators as Maradona of Asia, is the second most capped player and the third highest scorer for the Iranian national team. He also had a two-year stint in the Bundesliga, scoring four goals in 50 appearances for Bayern Munich. Ramadan started in Iran on Thursday and under Iranian laws, all Muslims are required to observe the holy month, while those who do not fast, including non-Muslims, are expected to abstain from eating or drinking in public. Muslims observe Ramadan by abstaining from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset. Pregnant and menstruating women, the sick, travellers and pre-pubescent children are exempt from the fast.—AFP


Qatar Airways launches mobile phone website

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LEDs take LG’s monitors to a whole new level

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Ramadan exodus hurts Tunisia’s tourism TUNIS: It is the height of the summer season in Tunisia, the skies are blue and the warm Mediterranean Sea is beckoning, but Rabeh Lounassa is cutting short his vacation and heading home to Algeria. “I’d like to stay here to carry on with my holiday but Ramadan is a holy month and I usually spend it with my family,” he said as he waited for a shared taxi to take him back across the border to the Algerian town of Annaba. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan this year falls right in the middle of the holiday season and hundreds of thousands of visitors have packed their bags and gone home-leaving Tunisia’s tourism industry to count the cost. Tunisia is particularly exposed to the drop-off in business because out of the seven million visitors who come in here in an average year, about three million are Muslims from neighboring Libya and Algeria. So while tourists from Europe have stayed on, most visitors from Libya and Algeria have already gone. As a result, many hotels, restaurants beaches and cafes are half empty, according to resort officials and hoteliers. “It seems that the season has finished even before it started,” said Imed Zid, a hotelier in Sousse, a resort town about 150 km (93 miles) south of the Tunisian capital. “Most of our North African clients have already left,” he said. “Despite the advertisements, the discounts, the special activities planned, Arab tourists insist on going back home.” Ramadan is traditionally spent at home because the month includes a strong emphasis on family gatherings. The timing of Ramadan shifts slightly each year in relation to the Gregorian calendar used in most of the world because it is fixed according to the Islamic calendar, which counts 354 or 355 days in every year. Tunisia needs tourists. Unlike Algeria and Libya, the country of 10 million people does not produce large amounts of oil and gas. Tourism is the biggest foreign currency earner and the second biggest employer after farming. Each year tourism contributes about $2.4 billion to the state budget, or

about 20 percent of revenues. In the hope of protecting that income, the sector has been trying to persuade Muslims that they can mark Ramadan and be on holiday at the same time.

Ramadan vacation The tourism ministry said hotels will serve “suhoor, or pre-dawn breakfast, musical evenings will be laid on and swimming pools and beaches will stay open at night so people can make the most of the time when they are not fasting. Slim Tlatli, the tourism minister, said taxis and buses would be provided to ferry tourists from their hotels to nearby mosques for “Taraweeh” prayers, the special night-time prayers offered during Ramadan. There has also been a marketing drive, with advertisements run on Algerian radio and special deals offered to travel agents, local newspapers have reported. But at the tourist resort of Hammamet, which is mostly frequented by Libyans and Algerians, the campaign was not enough to prevent a sharp fall in bookings. “It is clear that the number of Arab tourists will fall by at least 50 percent during the month,” said Fethi Trabelsi, a hotel official at the tourist resort of Hammamet, which is mostly frequented by Libyans and Algerians. “The bookings are already down and many hotels are beginning to reduce their prices” he said. It is a problem that Tunisia’s tourism industry will have to get used to because Ramadan will clash with the tourism season for another six or seven years. This year the holy month began in Tunisia on Aug 11 and each year it will get earlier, by increments of 10 or 11 days. “Tunisia must work to diversify its tourism products and not adopt temporary solutions,” Mohamed Bargaoui, an expert in the tourism sector, told Reuters. Waiting for his taxi to head back to Algeria, Rabeh Lounassa said he needed to spend at least some of Ramadan with his family. But he said he could be tempted to return. “Maybe I’ll come back in 10 days. We’ll see,” he said. — Reuters

Qatar cuts deposit rate Other key interest rates unchanged DOHA: Qatar cut its overnight deposit rate by 50 basis points, the first reduction in over two years, to bring it more into line with global and regional rates, the central bank said yesterday. The cut to 1.5 percent is effective Aug 11, the bank’s website www.qcb.gov.qa showed. The bank confirmed reports of a rate cut by banking sources last week. Gulf officials rarely discuss policy in public and some decisions are not immediately announced. “Lowering the interest rate in Qatar was in line with the global and regional situation,” the bank said. Continued deflation in recent months and July’s rating upgrade by Standard & Poor’s by one notch to ‘AA’ were also reasons for the cut, it added. Other key rates-the overnight lending facility and the repo rate — were unchanged at 5.5 percent and 5.55 percent, respectively. Analysts have said the rate move was aimed at boosting Qatar’s non-oil economy and curbing capital inflows. Qatar, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter, had kept its main rates unchanged since May 2008 despite the global financial crisis. Its economy is expected to surge 16.1 percent in real terms this year, faster than any other Gulf oil exporter,

Tunisia depends on tourism for foreign currency, jobs

mainly due to gas output expansion and generous infrastructure spending. Inflation is expected to be in the low single digits with consumer prices forecast to rise 1.7 percent this year after falling 4.9 percent in 2009. Consumer prices edged up by 0.1 percent month-on-month in June for an annual decline of 2.8 percent. Government-driven expansion of gas facilities, however, is coming to an end and there is a need to support the non-oil sector, analysts have said. The International Monetary Fund, in a report on Qatar in February, said the central bank had indicated it was monitoring capital inflows carefully and was ready to adjust interest rates if needed. Qatar pegs its currency to the dollar, limiting central banks’ flexibility to move too far from the US benchmark rate as that could trigger larger capital flows and put their pegs under pressure. The US Federal Reserve is expected to keep rates in a range of zero to 0.25 percent through mid2011. Qatar’s Deputy central bank governor Sheikh Fahad Faisal Al-Thani told Reuters last December that by holding rates steady, the bank wanted to maintain a positive differential with the US benchmark to prevent capital outflows. — Reuters

TUNIS: A Tunisian vendor displays fruit at a central market during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. — AFP

Russian grain export Afghanistan discovers ban comes into force 1.8bn barrel oilfield Ban sparks worries of global food supplies crisis MOSCOW: A ban on Russian grain exports ordered by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin came into force yesterday, with the government battling to keep down prices of basic foodstuffs amid a record drought. According to a government decree signed by Putin on August 5, the ban will extend from August 15 up until December 31, although the powerful premier has indicated it may even extend beyond that date if the harvest is bad. Russia, the world’s number three wheat exporter last year, has already warned that its grain harvest this year will be just 60-65 million tons, compared to 97 million tons in 2009. The drought amid the worst ever heatwave in Russia’s history has ruined one quarter of the country’s crops, according to President Dmitry Medvedev. The export ban is aimed at keeping the Russian domestic market well supplied with grain to prevent sharp rises in prices. The export ban includes wheat; a mixture of wheat and rye known as meslin; barley; rye; corn and wheat flour, according to the August 5 government decree. Russia’s leaders, acutely nervous of social unrest, will be keen to avoid any discontent over food prices. “We must not allow an increase in domestic prices and must preserve the headcount of our cattle,” Putin said bluntly as he announced the ban. Last year, Russia exported 21.4 million tons of grain and had even embarked on a major new campaign to

boost its international market share, an ambition that now must be set aside for some time. Russia requires 78 million tons of grain domestically and can cover the shortfall with 9.5 million tons from a state fund and 21 million tons left over from last year’s harvest, the government has said. Medvedev acknowledged last week that both market participants and ordinary people were worried about “how this extraordinarily hard summer would affect the prices of the most basic foodstuffs”. He vowed the authorities would not allow grain prices to rise and would keep a close eye on costs for food products such as flour, bread, meat and milk. The export ban from such a key global player stung world wheat markets, sending prices to two-year highs and sparking worries of a crisis in global food supplies. Putin has shrugged off the controversy, warning that the ban could even be extended. “There is no need to count on a quick removal of the export ban,” he said, adding that anyone waiting for December 31 was doing so “in vain”. There has been criticism of the ban even within Russia, with some players saying it will take the country years to regain its international market position and risks driving domestic grain producers out of business. In contrast to the tough talk of the prime minister, Medvedev admitted that producers had been put in a difficult position. —AFP

MESHCHERSKOYE: A self-propelled combine harvests on a field yesterday. Ban on Russian grain exports ordered by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin came into force yesterday, with the government battling to keep down prices of basic foodstuffs amid a record drought. — AFP

KABUL: Afghanistan said yesterday it had discovered an oilfield with an estimated 1.8 billion barrels in the north of the war-ravaged country, where US and other foreign forces are trying to tame a Taleban-led insurgency. The discovery of the basin between northern Balkh and Shiberghan provinces was made after a survey conducted by Afghan and international geologists, said Jawad Omar, a spokesman for the ministry of mines. “I do not know its price in the market. But the initial survey says there are 1.8 billion barrels of oil and I think there will be more than what it is estimated,” he told Reuters. Various estimates of Afghanistan’s hidden wealth have been made in recent years, but the challenge of exploiting the resources in a country at war and with little mining infrastructure is daunting for most investors. Omar gave no more details on how the estimates were made but said the country will offer the reserves for development along with other minerals in the coming months. Afghanistan hopes that untapped mineral deposits valued at $3 trillion could help reduce the need to rely on Western cash for bankrolling its impoverished economy and for its soldiers to maintain security when foreign troops draw down numbers. But ravaged by three decades of foreign interventions and

civil war, the central government now faces the Taleban insurgency and relies on foreign forces for control of many parts of the vast Central Asian country. The US Department of Defense estimated earlier this year that Afghanistan’s mineral resources could top $1 trillion, but experts say the fragile security situation could delay seeing the benefits of this wealth for years. Omar said an earlier plan for the tender of a 1.6 billion barrel Afghan-Tajik oil block in early 2011 was still on track. He said Afghanistan will retender by yearend a deposit of iron of 1.8 billion tons it had scrapped earlier this year due to the global recession and changes in the world markets. The untapped mineral resources include iron ore, copper, lithium, oil gas and gems which Afghanistan hopes to put for developing in coming years despite rising insecurity in recent years, the bloodiest period since USled troops ousted the Taleban in 2001. China’s top integrated copper producer, Jiangxi Copper Co and China Metallurgical Group Corp, in 2007 became the first major investor in Afghanistan. They are involved in the exploration of the vast multi-bilion dollar Aynak Copper Mine to the south of Kabul. Omar said the actual exploration of the mine will start after three years. — Reuters

Iran bids $3bn bonds to finance gasfields TEHRAN: Sanctions-hit Iran will within days offer the first tranche of a three billion dollar domestic bond issue to fund the development of its South Pars gasfields, a top official said yesterday. Ali Vakili, head of Pars Oil and Gas Company, the Iranian firm in charge of developing South Pars, said the funds will be raised in six stages during the current year to March 2011, according to oil ministry’s news agency Shana. Vakili said state-run Saderat Bank, which is under UN and US sanctions, will be responsible for raising one billion dollars in the first two tranches of the overall issue. The first part of the offer “will be made on August 21, followed by the second on September 11,” Vakili said. The three-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 16 percent. Apart from the domestic offering, Iran plans to make an international bond offering of two billion euros over the course of the year to March 2011. The euro offering is part of an overall three billion euro bond offers planned this year, Vakili said, of which bonds worth one billion euros have already been issued since January. Vakili did not specify when the next euro bond offering would be made. He

said that Iran had in the past 13 years invested 30 billion dollars in South Pars, the gasfields it shares with the small state of Qatar but needs anther 40 billion dollars to develop it fully. Iran has planned a massive 200-billion-dollar investment in the energy sector over a five-year period to 2015. But Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi has previously acknowledged that Tehran was facing “shortage of funds for implementing various projects” in the vital energy sector. Iran, the second largest oil exporter of OPEC, also has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves after Russia. But the development of South Pars has been hampered by a lack of investment and technology as Western firms have either pulled out or delayed their commitments after new sanctions were imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program. Since June the United Nations, the United States and the European Union have imposed new punitive measures against Tehran in a bid to stop its sensitive uranium enrichment program which they fear masks a weapons drive. Tehran denies the charge, saying the program has purely peaceful goals. — AFP


BUSINESS

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Qatar Airways launches mobile phone website KUWAIT: Qatar Airways has partnered with Mobiqa, a mobile content optimization company, to launch a mobile version of the Qatar Airways website. The new mobile website enables travelers to easily access the most popular services of qatarairways.com through their Internetenabled mobile device. The new website provides convenient access to online functions such as flight checkin, flight status information, seat selection, travel information and important information about Qatar Airways. Users can also sign up to receive the latest flight offers from Qatar Airways as well as receive their boarding pass directly to the mobile phone. Technology behind the airline’s mobile website contains device-specific recognition which automatically adjusts the site depending on the device being used, without the need to download an application or make changes to the handset. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar AlBaker said “As Qatar Airways grows exponentially, we are continuously

improving our customer’s overall experience - even before they board a Qatar Airways’ flight. “Our mobile service offering integrates seamlessly with our operations

with an exceptional experience when they fly with us.” With the launch of the new mobile website, passengers can check-in on-the-go, using the web browser on their mobile device. Simply enter qatarairways.com in the browser on your mobile device. Nick Rankin, CEO, Mobiqa, comments, “Mobiqa enjoys an excellent relationship with Qatar Airways, since we started to offer Mobile Phone Boarding Passes to Qatar Airways customers in 2008. Extending Qatar Airways’ mobile services to include a fully optimized mobile website seemed like the next logical step for a company who continuously looks to offer only the best in customer service to their passengers.” Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 87 aircraft to 92 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America and South America. Long-term, the fleet size is set to rise to 120 aircraft by 2013 and destinations served increase to 120 over the next three years. The airline has orders for more than 200 aircraft pending delivery

globally and encourages our customers to self-service, whenever and wherever they prefer. This once again is an example of our ongoing commitment to providing our passengers

Jet Airways, JetLite retain top position Galfar Q2 profit MUMBAI: Capitalizing on the improvement in global business and holiday passenger traffic to overseas destinations, Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has yet again achieved impressive seat factors of over 83.1 percent for its international operations. The airline has clocked a strong 27.8 percent growth in international revenue passengers which stood at 3.89 lakh in July 2010 as compared to the same period last year. Jet Airways carried 7.82 lakh domestic revenue passengers in July 2010, while the seat factor for the airline’s domestic operations also stood at an impressive 73.8 percent, a marked improvement over the same period last year. This at a time that is considered the slack travel season,

especially for domestic travel given the onset of the monsoons bodes well for the airline, as it has helped Jet Airways clock ten consecutive months of impressive growth in passenger traffic and also retain its overall market leadership. JetLite, the wholly owned subsidiary of Jet Airways India Ltd, has similarly posted a 16 percent increase in revenue passengers, carrying over 3.27 lakh in July 2010. JetLite also clocked a buoyant seat factor of 76.8 percent for July 2010, aided by improved services and enhanced on time reliability, which have enabled the airline to improve its penetration in the value carrier segment. According to Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways, “The organization’s

falls 37.4 percent

strong performance for the tenth-consecutive month highlights, that we are the preferred airline carrier both internationally and in India for our guests. Jet Airways has retained the leadership position in an increasingly competitive market thanks to several initiatives such as constant product and service innovation, newly introduced codeshares, improved On Time Performance, all of which has manifested itself in superior service quality, greater reliability and enhanced connectivity for our guests. More importantly, it has been the unwavering dedication and commitment of our employees that have played a decisive role in helping retain our leadership in the India aviation sector, while staying one step ahead of the growth curve.”

DUBAI: Oman’s Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co second quarter profit dropped 37.4 percent but beat analysts forecasts. The company made a profit of 2.39 million rials ($6.08 million) in the three months period ending in June, according to Reuters calculations. Galfar did not provide quarterly figures. Analysts polled by Reuters estimated an average second quarter profit of 1.2 million rials. Galfar made a profit of 3.82 million rials in the second quarter last year. It reported a profit of 1.58 million rials for the first six months of the year it said in a statement yesterday on Oman’s bourse website. Galfar reported a first quarter loss mainly due to project cost increases. The firm has won several new contracts this year. It announced a $101 million contract to build a harbor off the coast of Oman in July, and won smaller contracts in May and June. Shares of Galfar have dropped 16.3 percent this year. —Reuters

Ramadan delaying Djezzy talks: Orascom Telecom CAIRO: The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan may be delaying the start of talks between the Algerian government and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom to buy the mobile firm’s Djezzy unit, an executive said yesterday. Orascom said in May it would start talks to sell the unit, its top revenue earner, to the government after Algeria refused to let Orascom sell Djezzy to South Africa’s MTN. But talks have yet to begin. “It’s possible the summer, Ramadan held up the start of these negotiations a little, but we are waiting to start these negotiations soon,” Chief Executive Officer Khaled

Bichara told Al-Arabiya satellite television. Two sources told Reuters on Thursday that telecoms group Vimpelcom was in early talks to buy a majority share of Orascom from tycoon Naguib Sawiris, but analysts say such a deal will likely depend on resolving the firm’s Algeria problems. Ramadan, which is based on the lunar calendar, began on Aug 11 in most Middle East states and is expected to end on Sept 8 or 9. Orascom’s trouble in Algeria worsened after the government served the unit with a $597 million back tax bill last year. Algeria has also

Winners take it all KUWAIT: The following is a list of winners of the second draw of Joyalukkas’ World Gold Fiesta promotion.

blocked the company from transferring money outside the country. Bichara said he saw two solutions to the situation in Algeria: Either the state buys the unit or it lets the company work in an easier environment. “The inability to transfer (money out of the country) could affect the network in the long term,” Bichara said, adding that in the short term the company could use existing equipment and buy internal services. Performance at Djezzy exceeded analysts’ expectations in the second quarter, with revenue and subscriber numbers both up compared with the first quarter. —Reuters

S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

NAME COUPON NO Risvana 21715 Sweety P Paul 20708 Naaz Parkar 24870 Amanullah 32079 Sreeju 34150 Jayadeep K V 34241 Walter F 30584 Anita Rao 27979 Jose Daniel 22135 Hafsa Salim 33391 G Murali Krishna 20682 Sivakumar 33934 Rajeev K S 33377

Saudi house prices rise on low supply Jeddah faces shortage of 300,000 homes JEDDAH: A shortage of housing and rising land costs are causing house prices in Saudi Arabia’s two largest cities to rise while an increase in new office space will push rental rates lower in Riyadh, a report said yesterday. “The sheer pressure of population growth, increases in construction costs and the shortfall in development are likely to force house prices slightly higher in Riyadh in the short term,” CB Richard Ellis said in a report. House prices in Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, Jeddah, have also risen in the

past 12 months as the city of 3.5 million faces a shortage of around 300,000 homes, the report said. While most of the demand for housing in the kingdom comes from low income individuals, the absence of a mortgage law and lack of financing is preventing developers from building for that segment of the population. With a growing population of over 25 million, 70 percent of which are under the age of 30, the world’s largest oil exporter will need to build one million new homes by 2014, HSBC said

last year. “Developers cannot build the low-cost or ‘affordable’ housing desperately needed by large sections of the population when they know that this section of the population cannot afford the finished products,” CB Richard Ellis said yesterday. Saudi Arabia’s long-awaited mortgage law has been in the planning stages for almost a decade. Around 400,000 square meters of new office space in Riyadh is expected to enter the market by the end of 2010, the report said. —Reuters

Not easy to plug the hole By Ole S Hansen

T

he fear about supplies ravaging the wheat market last week drove prices in Chicago up by 80 percent to a 23 month high and it gained further momentum last Thursday as news broke about the Russian export ban. This has left the market exposed to high prices for a while as wheat importing nations from North Africa to the Middle East will have to look elsewhere for their supplies. The Russian export ban was implemented amid the worst drought for half a century which has hurt the wheat growing region around the Black Sea also effecting Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The ban caught the market by surprise as many would have thought that Russia would have used government inventories to complete export sales. The ban will run until December at which point they will have a good idea about the output from the all important winter wheat. The current crop being hurt is the spring wheat which counts for less than 20 percent of total wheat production in the most affected areas. The all important winter planting period begins mid August and runs into September. If the dry weather conditions persist planting could be delayed or worst case not going

ahead at all. This uncertainty will keep prices supported until a change in weather occurs around the region. On a positive note it is worth mentioning that the US inventories of wheat remains large relative to the time of the last price spike in 2008. Production this year also expected to be good giving US farmers the opportunity to benefit from the Russian ban. However, given existing trade barriers with some of the countries left short from the Russian export ban it is not as easy as it might seem to plug the hole. USDA Thursday cut its August forecasts of global wheat stocks by thirteen percent to 952 million bushels. The news initially drove prices higher after four days of selling from the highs last week, but for now the elevated price level is discounting supply disruptions and barring problems with the planting of winter wheat prices should stabilize soon. Trade volumes both in Paris for Milling Wheat and for Wheat in Chicago has been unusually high with producers being busy locking in wheat prices which are now 60 percent higher than just a couple of months ago. Hedge funds and funds looking for momentum have also been active, primarily on the buy side. In conclusion, global stocks are much higher than in 2008 when we had the latest worries about a food crisis. This leaves the global farming community much better positioned to avoid another run on stocks. There will however be a spillover effect to other grain products as farmers may switch to wheat at the expense of others and elsewhere consumption may switch to other stables such as rice.

Saudi’s SABIC transfers $1.2 bn loan to Kayan RIYADH: Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said it has transferred a 4.5 billion riyal ($1.2 billion) loan it had obtained to its affiliate Saudi Kayan to help it cover a surge in building costs. Last month, petrochemical firm Kayan said it was seeking bank financing with the help of main shareholder SABIC to cover a $2.4 billion rise in the building costs for its production complex. On Saturday, SABIC and National Commercial Bank (NCB) — both controlled by the state-signed an agreement

under which the former guaranteed a 4.5 billion riyal loan to Kayan from the lender. “This (agreement) replaces the credit facilities (SABIC) signed with NCB on June, 29,” SABIC said in a statement. It did not say how Kayan plans to raise the remaining $1.2 billion to cover the rise in its complex costs. By the end of 2009, Kayan borrowed 22.5 billion riyals of which it drew 19.1 billion riyals. SABIC directly holds a 35 percent stake in Kayan. Kayan Chairman Mutlaq Al-Morished

has said the company would organize a loan with help from its shareholders, including SABIC, to cover the rise in the costs. In addition to the credit facilities from NCB, SABIC obtained in June a 3.75 billion riyal loan from Alinma Bank which is controlled by a stateowned fund. Kayan plans to start full commercial operations at 15 out of 16 units before the end of 2011, Mosaed Al-Ohali, SABIC’s executive vice-president for manufacturing said in July. —Reuters

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

.2830000 .4460000 .3640000 .2710000 .2740000 .2540000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780860 .7607660 .4020000 .0750000 .7457990 .0045000 .0500000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2876500 .4485240 .3668120 .2735960 .2761440 .0492610 .0385950 .2567560 .0370050 .2110180 .0033370 .0061850 .0025680 .0033740 .0041680 .0781640 .7615270 .4058260 .0765690 .7467660 .0063760 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2890500 .4527180 .2735250 .0770570

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.391 6.185

.2930000 .4550000 .3730000 .2800000 .2820000 .2620000 .0075000 .0035000 .0788700 .7684120 .4180000 .0790000 .7532940 .0072000 .0580000 .2897500 .4516920 .3694030 .2755340 .2781000 .0496090 .0388680 .2585690 .0372670 .2125130 .0033600 .0062290 .0025860 .0033980 .0041980 .0786630 .7663830 .4087010 .0770570 .7515280 .0064210

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

3.360 2.562 3.876 211.970 37.104 4.156 6.3376 9.039 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 76.905 Qatari Riyal 79.241 Omani Riyal 749.270 Bahraini Dinar 765.990 UAE Dirham 78.535 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 53.400 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 50.617 Yemen Riyal 1.221 Tunisian Dinar 197.050 Jordanian Dinar 407.260 Lebanese Lira 193.500 Syrian Lier 6.206 Morocco Dirham 33.717 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 288.280 Euro 372.750 Sterling Pound 454.330 Canadian dollar 280.970 Turkish lire 190.010 Swiss Franc 278.260 Australian dollar 257.380 US Dollar Buying 287.095 GOLD 20 Gram 240.000 10 Gram 121.000 5 Gram 63.000

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

SELL CASH 262.400 768.250 4.220 281.400 567.300 14.100 51.300 167.800 53.520 372.500

37.730 6.180 0.035

406.350 0.194 93.250 3.850 208.700

SELL DRAFT 260.900 768.250 4.160 279.900

214.000 50.741 371.000

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

287.400 283.604 457.585 380.302 272.327 704.430 760.708 78.227 78.921 76.609 405.557 50.709 6.190 3.360

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

2.557 4.150 6.355 3.371 8.980 6.269 3.854

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

750.250 3.380 6.385 79.470 77.130 213.990 42.000 2.567 452.500 277.100 6.400 9.250 78.730 288.900

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

37.880 6.500 0.035 0.273 0.252 3.460 410.230 0.195 93.250 48.000 4.520 208.200 1.968 48.200 750.430 3.500 6.620 79.900 77.130 213.990 42.000 2.736 454.500 40.200 276.600 6.400 9.360 198.263 78.630 289.300 1.260 GOLD 1,316.990 TRAVELLER?S CHEQUE 452.500 288.900

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 3.370 6.175 2.575 4.165 6.410 78.730 77.220 767.700 50.735 454.400 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 410.200 5.750 374.000 283.100

Al Mulla Exchange Currency 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 369.850 452.300 279.750 3.395 6.190 50.710 2.567 4.158 6.365 3.368 768.000 78.680 77.080


BUSINESS

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gulf Bank launches first iPhone app KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has just announced the launch of the first ever transaction based iPhone application in Kuwait. With the launch of the Bank’s own banking application for the iPhone, customers using iPhones can now easily access all Gulf Bank’s online and mobile banking services, including balance inquiries, the ability to transfer funds and credit card payments. Aly Shalaby, Gulf Bank’s General Manager of Consumer Banking said “We are very pleased to be the first Bank to bring this fully secure service to the Kuwaiti market. Smartphones are increasingly popular in the Middle East, especially in the GCC, and Gulf Bank is committed to using this technology to benefit our customers. We will continue to enhance functionality of the iPhone application, as well as to seek to extend similar functionality to other mobile platforms. This is just the latest of a number of initiatives Gulf Bank is undertaking to ensure that we give our customers the greatest choice in banking at their convenience.” The launch of Gulf Bank’s iPhone app continues to build on its already well established mobile banking services which are accessible through mobile networks across the world. Gulf Bank’s Mobile Banking service is enabled with a menu-driven application that facilitates customers’ banking requirements and is available for Zain, Wataniya and Viva subscribers. Customers need to visit Gulf Bank’s bilingual website and subscribe to Mobile Banking. All iPhone users require an ePin to perform financial transactions. Upon submitting the online form, the service will be activated and the ePin will be available at the Mubarak Al Kabir Branch (Head Office) for collection. After receiving the ePin and downloading the application by visiting the App store or iTunes, customers can start per-

Aly Shalaby forming financial transactions, such as checking their available balance, transferring funds, verifying the last 5 transactions, checking credit card balance and making credit card payments on their iPhones. To find out more on Gulf Bank’s iPhone application as well as its latest mobile banking solutions, customers can visit any of Gulf Bank’s 51 branches or call the Telebanking service 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Information is also available on the bank’s website, www.e-gulfbank.com.

Wataniya Telecom awards 100 customers in 4th draw KUWAIT: Another month, another draw and 100 more lucky winners! Wataniya Telecom announced the names of the winners as part of its fourth draw for August, 2010. The aim behind this is to strengthen Wataniya’s relationship with its customers by providing them with an outstanding opportunity to participate in the draw. The lucky winners were awarded with a number of valuable gifts ranging from Mini Coopers, BlackBerry, Nokia, Sony Ericsson devices and much more. The draw took place in the presence of Ministry of Commerce’s representative who monitored the selection process. 100 names were randomly selected and announced as the lucky winners of August 2010 draw. Riham AlAyyar, Wataniya’s Senior Communication Manager expressed her gratitude to all the subscribers and congratulated the winners. Riham stated “Today marks our fourth draw in a series of 12 draws that will keep going every month to award more and more winners. Our customers seem to be very enthusiastic, and that’s why we always aim to be innovative and different so we could always exceed our customer’s expectations and stay dedicated to them.” Prize Order Mini Cooper 1 Banchee 2 Sony Ericson U1i 3 Sony Ericson U1i 4 Sony Ericson U1i 5 Sony Ericson U1i 6 Sony Ericson U1i 7 Nokia mobile X6 8 Nokia mobile X6 9 Nokia mobile X6 10 Nokia mobile X6 11 Nokia mobile X6 12 Blackberry Bold 9700 13 Blackberry Bold 9700 14 Blackberry Bold 9700 15 Blackberry Bold 9700 16 Blackberry Bold 9700 17 Blackberry Bold 9700 18 Blackberry Bold 9700 19 Blackberry Bold 9700 20 Blackberry Bold 9700 21 Blackberry Bold 9700 22 Blackberry Bold 9700 23 Blackberry Bold 9700 24 Blackberry Bold 9700 25 Blackberry Bold 9700 26 Blackberry Bold 9700 27 Blackberry Bold 9700 28 Blackberry Bold 9700 29 Blackberry Bold 9700 30 Blackberry Bold 9700 31 Blackberry Bold 9700 32 BlackBerry Curve 8900 With 1 month free 33 BlackBerry Curve 8900 With 1 month free 34 BlackBerry Curve 8900 With 1 month free 35 BlackBerry Curve 8900 With 1 month free 36 Wnet USB with one month free 37 Wnet USB with one month free 38 Wnet USB with one month free 39 Wnet USB with one month free 40

Riham Al-Ayyar There is a lot more coming up at Wataniya, in Riham’s words “Our monthly draw campaign promises everybody a chance to be a winner by simply using their Wataniya line, and it doesn’t end today! If you weren’t a winner today or in last month’s draw you will surely get your chance in the next 8 draws.” Winner Ali Abdulla Khaled Alduheimi Dolsni Margrette D’souza Dawood Rida Zareh Dhnawi Abdelghaffar Ahmad Hassan Alhmood Salman Jihad Salman Haya Abdulla Mohammed Alajmi Abdulaziz Hamad Salem Alajmi Ahmad Fahed Alfarhan Anwar Abdelsalim Oscar Amina Youssef Alkhaldi Ahmed Issa Hussein Bosakhr Hamad Nasser Alajmi Marzouk Shafi Sanad Alsaeedi Mohammed Abdulla Mesfar Alhayani Mahdi Abdu Wohood Youssef Ali Awwad Nouf Mubarak Khalifa Aljimaz Abdolaziz Ali Alazeena Aliaa Adnan Alhasawi Adna Dijwan Dionora Alhamadi Ali Lamloom Alsayyed Ali Saad Dahsh Alshahri Alshahri Beleesda Nermala Rodrigo Nanayakara Ali Salem Ali Almerri Sulaiman Zakaria Alrowayeh Salem Rajab Mahmoud Zamel Razam Awwad Alzefeiri Jamal Mohammed Yaacoub Alqabandi Bilal Mohammed Saeed Bayteya Huda Farhan Awwad Alenezi Khola Ahmed Alsayer Mohammed Ali Alobeid Alobeid Neera Mohammed Ali Moheiddine Moussa Qattash Ahmed Jassem Alazmi Mohammed Albaker Tamr Alshami Noora Mafrah Alajmi Ayaban Botheen Sasi Fahed Mosaeed Ahmed Alobaidan Mohammed Taleb Ahmed Almulla

Dubai Islamic Bank Q2 profit falls 33% DUBAI: Dubai Islamic Bank reported a 33percent drop in quarterly profit yesterday and expects growth in its retail and corporate banking division to offset provisioning for bad loans and constraints on liquidity. The lender, Dubai’s third-largest bank by market value, made a profit of 301 million dirhams in the three months to June 30, down from 450.29 million dirhams in the same period last year, it said in a statement on Dubai’s bourse. EFG Hermes had estimated a second quarter profit of 109 million dirhams in a Reuters poll. Customer deposits rose to 64.8 billion dirhams from 64.2 billion at the end of December. “Despite conservative financing and provisioning policy, the retail and corporate banking division has registered positive growth, reflecting the strength and robustness of our business strategy during the current economic scenario,” chairman Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Shaibani said in the statement.

Shaibani said the earnings showed DIB remains on a “growth trajectory during a period of ongoing challenges for the financial services sector worldwide.” DIB made provisions of 145 million dirhams in the second quarter taking the total provisions in the first six months of the year to 320 million, it said. Banks in the United Arab Emirates have suffered from substantial exposure to bad loans, particularly from the region-wide real estate slump which hit cities likes Dubai hard. DIB is one of three banks on a coordinating committee negotiating a multi-billion dollar debt restructuring with Dubai property developer Nakheel. Shares in DIB were trading flat at 0656 GMT outperforming Dubai’s index which eased 0.3 percent. DIB said in June it was considering raising its one-fifth stake in mortgage lender Tamweel. In May, the bank said it expected to reach one million customers and open 10 new branches by the end of 2010. —Reuters

23

LEDs take LG’s monitors to a different new level KUWAIT: LED has come a long way. From very specific beginnings, when it was seen almost exclusively on buildings and mobile phones, this highly efficient light source has come down in cost and complexity, making it suitable for all manner of functions. Today, LEDs are lighting up everything from car headlights to TVs to billboards to road signs. Looking to repeat this success is the monitor, which is now one of the fastest growing market segments for LEDs. Drawn by LEDs’ energy efficiency, high picture quality and slim-line size, monitors are looking to reap the benefits that have already energized TV technology. From just 1 percent last year, LED monitors’ share of the monitor market is expected to soar to 30 percent this year. According to Display Search, a market research company, this means sales of LED monitors this year will increase at least 10-fold over last year. While neither monitors nor TVs use LEDs for their actual screens, the difference between LED and LCD displays is that the former has replaced its CCFL backlighting with LEDs. But just what does that mean in practical terms? And how does it make for a better monitor? The beauty of style The first evidence of LEDs’ influence is apparent before you even turn the monitor on. Significantly slimmer than LCD monitors, LED monitors have made a virtue of their ultra-thin size and light-weight with slick, elegant designs that turn them into virtual ornaments. Take the E50, an LED monitor from LG. At just 17.5mm in depth, this sophisticated model is fully one-third lighter than LCD monitors with a similar screen size. Also taking great strides with monitor design is LG’s upcoming model E80VX. With a premium, slim-line body, E80VX rests on a stylish, circular-necked stand, while a seamless bezel makes for a thinner, more polished look. The bezel also allows for a more expansive picture, producing a unique viewing experience that seems to stretch beyond the frame and blur the borders between the real and the virtual. And with glowing “galaxy lights at the bottom of the screen,” a feature unique to LG monitors, the overall effect is dreamlike and utterly distinctive. Clearer and crisper Of course, design is all very well, but no new light source would be worth its salt unless it actually improved on the picture of LCD monitors. Fortunately, LED does precisely that, with pictures greatly enhanced by far higher contrast ratios. Thanks to this, LED monitors make video film and pictures far more vivid and clear than they would appear on an LCD monitor. LG’s LED monitors, for instance, boast an LED-fuelled mega contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, meaning an exceptionally crisp and vivid picture even with dimly-lit movies, games or pictures. Better still, LG’s E50VR and E80 series of LED monitors have produced significant improvements in screen resolution. Through LG’s mold-breaking Super+ Resolution technology, the E50VR and E80 series produce an even more realistic HD picture while also making it possible to watch SD-level content at HDlevel. The secret behind LG’s Super+ Resolution is the IC Engine, which uses LG’s algorithm to get rid of frame delay, without the need for any external memory or software. The IC Engine chip also works in tandem with another LG technology, the F-engine, to deliver images with even sharper color. For a new generation so accustomed to high-tech entertainment options ranging from video streaming to SD, HD-level movies and games, the high resolution and wide gradation of LED monitors isn’t just a nice extra - it adds a whole new level of enjoyment and convenience. Little wonder that LED monitor sales are taking off. Keeping it green Besides their aesthetic and technological blessings, LED monitors have another compelling advantage over their LCD counterparts: eco-friendliness. As they have a longer lifespan than CCFLs (the main material in LCD monitors), LEDs make for longer-lasting monitors and thus less e-waste. LEDs are also much more energy-efficient than CCFLs, meaning lower electricity bills and less harm to the environment. Indeed, LED monitors consume, on average, 40% Less Energy than LCD models, a benefit that is multiplied in offices, where dozens or even hundreds of monitors can be in use simultaneously. And compared with CCFLs, which operate using mercury, argon and neon, LED is also very clean, using a compound that contains no harmful substances at all. With credentials like these, LG’s LED monitors have already received acclaim for their eco-friendliness: In a first for the industry, the company’s E2350V model was awarded environmental certification from UL, a US testing and certification organization. Made with fewer hazardous materials - and no halogen or mercury at all - the E50 series also uses up to 45 percent less power than normal LCD monitors. From science labs to building facades to TVs, it’s been a long, interesting journey for LEDs. Having found their way to monitors, their exceptional picture quality, slimness and ecofriendliness are now producing tremendous gains in what might be their most natural home. In addition, LG is helping generate interest in LED monitors through a series of quirky and inventive marketing campaigns. In recent months, the company launched its Sincerity campaign, in which people from around the world were asked to share their own poignant stories, with the best getting the chance to win some fantastic prizes. With campaigns such as these, and with the cutting-edge power of LEDs, LG’s monitors now have a brighter future than ever.

Starwood Hotels celebrate ‘Iftar for Cabs’ DUBAI: This holy month of Ramadan, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Middle East will be celebrating an ‘Iftar for Cabs’ initiative that will bring more than 30 of their properties in the region together for a worthy cause. On August 17th, 2010, during the hour of Iftar, representatives from all participating Starwood hotels will distribute fast-breaking packs of food and drinks to cab drivers as they drive through the main entrance of each hotel.

“The purpose of the initiative is to give a little something back to cab drivers, who are always on the go and can struggle to find time to break their fast during Ramadan,” said Guido De Wilde, Vice President & Regional Director, Starwood Middle East. “Many of these drivers come to our properties every day to serve our guests, so this is just a small gesture to show our appreciation.” De Wilde added, “We are thrilled with the dedication our properties

have shown for this initiative. While our hotels will run their own promotions, they have really come together to support this truly worthwhile initiative.” Catering teams at each property will prepare up to 200 Iftar packs for drivers, which will include a variety of food and beverages. Staff from all departments within the hotels including catering, administration, and guest services - are working together on the ‘Iftar for Cabs’ initiative.

PHILADELPHIA: In this photograph, Frank Wallace who has been unemployed since May of 2009 displays his frustration during a rally organized by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. The Federal Reserve is powerless to lift the economy out of its slow-growth rut and Congress won’t pass new stimulus programs with an election looming. Shoppers are reluctant to spend, and businesses are slow to hire. —AP

Abu Dhabi’s Aabar sees $376m Q2 loss Q2 derivatives liabilities rise by 1.65bn dirhams DUBAI: Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi fund in the process of converting to a private joint stock company, suffered a 1.38 billion dirham ($375.8 million) loss for the second-quarter, hurt by a surge in derivatives liabilities. The stateowned firm, also the largest shareholder in German automaker Daimler, made a net profit of 202 million dirhams for the first half of the year, it said in a statement to the bourse. Aabar did not provide any earnings numbers for the second-quarter. Reuters calculated the secondquarter loss based on previous financial statements. The company made a net profit of 1.58 billion dirhams in the first-quarter, helped by derivatives income. Aabar, which raised its minority buyout

price after pressure from the regulator, said its shareholders are meeting yesterday to decide on the conversion of the company to a private joint stock firm and delist from the Abu Dhabi bourse. In its earnings statement, Aabar said derivative liabilities in the quarter increased by 1.65 billion dirhams in the second-quarter to 5.08 billion dirhams. Comprehensive income for the second-quarter stood at 990 million dirhams and total shareholders equity as at June 30 was 11.30 billion dirhams, Aabar said. Profit on equity investments, which are marked to market on a periodic basis, stood at 1.025 billion dirhams for the quarter ended June 30, Aabar said. In June, Aabar, which bought a 4.99 percent stake

in Italian banking giant UniCredit, set plans to delist from the bourse and convert itself to a private joint stock company. It later decided to raise the offer price to minority shareholders from 1.45 dirhams per share to 1.95 dirhams after pressure from UAE government officials. International Petroleum Investment Corporation, or IPIC, wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, is the majority shareholder in Abu Dhabi-listed Aabar. The delisting move takes Aabar, one of the more transparent groups in the secretive world of sovereign funds since its IPO in late 2005, back into the shadows, and marks the first retreat of a local firm from the Abu Dhabi bourse. —Reuters


24

BUSINESS GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

KSE stocks shed gains KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended lower following weak leads from the US markets and an oil price fall from late last week. OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $73.73 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $75.40 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) shed by 1.34 points (0.68 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 196.19 points. KSE Price Index posted losses of 12.60 points (0.19 percent) yesterday and closed at 6,658.6 points. Market capitalization decreased by KD222.23 million to its value to reach KD32.43 billion. Market breadth During yesterday’s session, 103 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 54 equities retreated versus 20 advances. A total of 138 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Daily trading activity Trading activities were negative yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 40.16 percent to reach 127.31 million shares, and value of shares traded decreased by 6.63 percent to stand at KD20.79 million. The real estate sector was the volume leader, accounting for 31.88 percent of total market volume. Investors Holding Group Company topped the volume list with a total traded volume of 16.16 million shares. On the value side, banks sector was the value leader contribut-

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dubai at six-week low as property stocks hit DUBAI: Dubai shares hit their lowest level since June 30 yesterday, following a raft of lower-thanexpected quarterly results from several property firms and on concerns about the global economic recovery. Dubai’s Union Properties fell to a 10-year low, while Deyaar lost 1.3 percent. Both firms posted a quarterly loss on Thursday. “We highlight the continued downside risk to the book value of UP’s properties as the key focus of our recent downgrade on the stock,” said EFG Hermes in a research note. It has a neutral rating on Union Properties. “We reiterate our view that UP needs to monetize a portion of its assets, and we continue to await news regarding further assets sales (namely, the Ritz Carlton) and note that UP disposed of investment properties for a consideration of AED 123.2 million during 1H2010,” it added. Markets in Qatar, Muscat, Kuwait and Bahrain also edged lower, tracking a weak close in the US and oil prices. US stocks suffered their worst week in a month and a half, while crude oil prices ended lower for a fourth straight session on Friday on mounting concerns about a slowdown in economic growth. Oman’s Galfar Engineering rose 2.3 percent after its quarterly results beat expectations but couldn’t prevent the broader index from declining for a third straight session to its lowest point in August. The engineering company posted a 37-percent drop in second-quarter net profit but beat analyst forecasts. “As per its strategic expansion plans, the company is in the verge of forming a local company Galfar Wazen General Contracting Co in Libya,” according to research from Gulf Baader Capital Markets. “This company will be primarily concentrating in oil and

ing 31.60 percent of the total traded value yesterday. Zain Company witnessed intensive value with a total traded value of KD3.05 million. Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Gulf Franchising Co took the top spot, adding 8.77 percent and closed at KD0.031. On the other hand, Kuwait Syrian Holding Co decreased by 6.58 percent during yesterday’s session, to be the biggest loser. The scrip closed at KD0.071.

Sector wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, 7 sectors reported daily losses, while 1 sector remain unchange. Global Investment Sector Index was a major loser, shedding 1.12 percent of its value. The retreat is attributed to the 6.15 percent decline in International Financial Advisors (IFA). Global Food Sector Index was the second biggest loser, closing down by 1.00 percent. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana). was the major

loser in the sector, shedding 1.28 percent to its share value. On the otherhand, Global’s special indices closed lower. Global Large Cap (Top 10) Index ended the day down by 0.83 percent while Global High Yield Index was the top loser down by 1.29 percent. Corporate news Kuwait’s economy recovered at a slower pace than expected in the first half of 2010, after shrinking 21.2 percent in nominal terms last year due to weak oil prices, data from the Gulf Arab country

showed on Thursday. The global downturn hit Kuwait, the world’s fourth-biggest oil exporter, harder than other Gulf States in 2009 as its economy is heavily reliant on the volatile hydrocarbon sector. The OPEC member’s economy is expected to rebound this year, helped by higher oil prices and government spending plans. However, the second-quarter trade data released by the Central bank pointed to sluggish domestic demand. “Imports look more or less flat over the past two quarters.

gas sectors. We believe this could a positive move looking at the kind of oil & gas projects pipeline in Libya,” it added. Qatar’s index fell 0.6 percent, led by Barwa Real Estate and heavyweight Industries Qatar. Barwa fell 1.6 percent despite posting an increase in second-quarter net profit. Saudi Arabia’s index gained 0.8 percent to 6,173 points. Youssef Kassantini, an independent financial analyst, said the index could break 7,000 before yearend and could even reach 8,000. “The market will be supported by company results. Saudi Arabia doesn’t have debt, but has a huge surplus, oil prices are okay and we’re expecting big government spending,” said Kassantini. “Foreign investment is increasing and the economy is healthy. Markets reflect the underlying economy.” Egypt’s benchmark fell 0.5 percent. Yesterday’s highlights Dubai The index retreated 0.5 percent to 1,465 points. Kuwait The measure fell 0.2 percent to 6,659 points. Abu Dhabi The benchmark gained 0.6 percent to 2,485 points. Egypt The index declined 0.5 percent to 6,303 points. Oman The index edged lower 0.2 percent to 6,302 points. Qatar The index fell 0.6 percent to 7,020 points. Saudi Arabia The index advanced 0.8 percent to 6,173 points. Bahrain The index fell 0.2 percent to 1,406 points. —Reuters

Aramco invites offers for Shaybah gas plant Plant is part of Aramco’s push to focus on gas KHOBAR: State oil giant Saudi Aramco has invited engineering firms to bid for the construction of a power plant related to a natural gas liquids (NGL) project at the kingdom’s Shaybah oilfield, industry sources said yesterday. Aramco is shifting its exploration and production focus to developing gas output as it looks to meet rising domestic demand from power plants and the petrochemical industry. Bids for the first

package of work-a cogeneration plant- are due on Nov 22, sources said. The remaining three process packages, yet to be tendered, include a gas treatment facility, an NGL recovery plant and utilities, and facilities to handle gas. Aramco was not immediately available to comment. US engineering firm KBR Inc is conducting engineering and design work and provides project man-

agement services for the plant. The plant would strip out ethane, propane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) while producing around 1.4 billion cfd of gas for reinjection in the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) oilfield. Shaybah is one of two new gas projects Aramco announced last year. The other one is to build the kingdom’s largest gas plant, Wasit, for which bidding is under way. —Reuters


BUSINESS

Monday, August 16, 2010

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Lanka launches new port built with Chinese loan Indian security analysts concerned over Hambantota port

DANKOTUWA: In this picture, a Sri Lankan crockery worker attached to Japan’s Dankotuwa Porcelain works on the production line. —AFP

Lankan exporters brace for life without EU tax breaks DANKOTUWA: Sri Lankan exporters braced for hard times as the EU’s withdrawal of import concessions took effect yesterday after Colombo’s refusal to allow scrutiny of its human rights record. Sri Lanka has long been a preferred source for top high streets brands and its garment, china and other exports enjoyed lower European Union tariffs under a concession known as the Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP+). But when the concession came up for renewal last year, Sri Lanka’s hawkish government refused EU demands for a probe into war crimes allegedly committed in 2009 during the last months of the country’s ethnic civil war. “We are heading into difficult, uncertain times with the end to the concessions,” Sunil Wijesinghe, who heads Japanese-owned Dankotuwa Porcelain in the village of Dankotuwa, north of Colombo, told AFP. Business executives said they understood EU concerns, but warned that cancelling tax breaks that gave Sri Lanka preferential access to the vast European market in return for commitments on social and rights issues would achieve little. If the EU’s objective is to improve human rights, the withdrawal of tax breaks “is not going to make it better. If at all, it will make it worse,” Wijesinghe said. Industry bodies estimate the EU trade concessions were worth 1.5 billion dollars annually, even as Colombo played down the

impact of the loss, estimating it at 150 million dollars. The loss of the concessions comes as Sri Lankan exporters are already reeling from a weak recovery in Western markets. Dankotuwa Porcelain has suffered a 25 percent drop in orders as Europe has been mired in an economic downturn and the loss of tax breaks is a further blow, Wijesinghe said. He said the company had stripped overheads to a minimum, with cuts in overtime and an end to subsidized loans, free food, shoes, picnics, year-end parties and free school supplies for employees’ children. The fear on the factory floor is that jobs could be the next to go. “If the company collapses, we are not qualified enough to get another job,” said factory worker Neetha Rajani. But companies say withdrawing GSP+ will hurt most Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, which is the country’s biggest industrial export sector and employs over a million people in 250 factories clustered around the capital Colombo. “We will lose around 500 million dollars from our annual earnings of just under three billion dollars,” said Rohan Masakorale, secretary general of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), an industry body. JAAF says some European buyers may pick up the extra 10 percent in taxes or share it with local manufacturers, but others may shift their business to rival countries. —AFP

HAMBANTOTA: Sri Lanka flooded a new port yesterday, built with Chinese assistance as part of a $6 billion drive to rebuild the island nation’s infrastructure after a quarter century of war. The Hambantota port, built at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion on the southern coast, will begin handling ships from November, officials said. “This is part of making this country an emerging wonder of Asia,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said after launching the port. Hambantota is one of four ports being built or upgraded under Rajapaksa’s plan to renew the country’s $42 billion economy by returning it to its old and lucrative role as a trading hub. Built to handle 2,500 ships annually in the first stage, the new port is located along the East-West shipping lane and is ultimately meant to challenge Singapore’s status as a regional shipping hub. Sri Lanka now handles around 6,000 ships annually in its only port in Colombo on the western coast, which requires ships plying the East-West shipping lane to divert course. Rajapaksa vowed to transform the island’s economy with a series of infrastructure projects, soon after crushing a 25year insurgency by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last year. “It is not sea water that will fill this port but the future prosperity of our nation. From this port will emerge our true economic independence, “he said in a speech. China’s involvement in the building of the port had raised concerns in India, but analysts said Rajapaksa had successfully handled Indian pressure. Security analysts in India worry that the port was part of Beijing’s String of Pearls strategy to build a network of ports across the Indian Ocean. Beijing has loaned over $425 million for the first phase of Hambantota project including the bunkering facility. Colombo is negotiating for a further $800 million loan for the second phase. In addition to cargo handling, Hambantota will have a fully fledged bunkering facility and a tank farm project. The port will operate 14 tanks with a total capacity of 80,000 MT. Eight tanks will be utilized for bunkering while six will be used for aviation fuel and LPG. Except bunkering, all other activities including bulk cargo handling, storage facility, warehouses, transshipment have been opened for offshore investors. —Reuters

HAMBANTOTA: Sri Lankan dancers perform at the site of a new port under construction at the southern town yesterday. —AFP

Japan’s slowdown risks Kan’s fiscal ambitions TOKYO: Japanese data released today are expected to show the country’s economy expanding at its slowest rate in three quarters, as an export-driven recovery falters amid growing fears for the global economy. A median forecast of economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires suggests Japan will post a fifth straight quarter of growth in April-June, notching up an annualized expansion of 2.3 percent, less than half the 5.0 percent level posted the previous quarter. Such data would pose a challenge for Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government, which must balance an uncertain economic reality with an agenda dominated by the need to cut the industrialized world’s biggest public debt. “With the need to rebuild its public finances, the Japanese government has its hands tied,” said Norinchukin Research Institute economist Takeshi Minami, who believes further stimulus is needed as the recovery loses steam. Also hanging over policy-making is the looming prospect that China will overtake Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, underlining its growing global clout after becoming the world’s biggest exporter, auto market and steelmaker. By contrast, Japan’s “growth has moderated significantly, and the momentum of the economic recovery is weakening,” said Yoshiki Shinke, Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute senior economist.

In June, Japan’s unemployment rate edged higher to 5.3 percent, while production of automobiles and electronic gadgets underwent a surprise slip, amid signs that an export-driven recovery may be stalling. Shipments of cars, gadgets and components have been crucial in off-setting weaker demand at home, but concern is mounting that Japan may be hit by Beijing’s efforts to cool China’s economy, together with fragile eurozone and US demand. Deflation and weak domestic demand have long burdened Japan, as consumers tend to put off purchases in the hope of further price falls. The planned expiry of government incentives to purchase cars in September may also weigh on production for the domestic market just as the overseas climate worsens, analysts say, although a consumer rush before the benefit ends may boost third quarter figures. Meanwhile US economic growth slowed dramatically in the second quarter, down sharply to 2.4 percent from 3.7 percent in the first quarter. Such slowing global expansion is cooling an export sector that is also anxious about the strength of the yen, which recently touched a 15year high against the dollar. For every one-yen rise in the currency’s value against the dollar, companies can lose tens of billions of yen earned overseas when repatriated, threatening a core part of Japan’s economy.

Kan’s hopes of capping spending and debt issuance to eventually reduce a public debt approaching 200 percent of GDP and avoid a Greek-style meltdown therefore look highly ambitious, analysts say. “Japan needs to quickly implement measures to tackle the strong yen, including currency intervention,” said Minami. “The government will shift its focus towards financial measures through the Bank of Japan, such as currency intervention or pumping extra money. It needs to continue maintaining an easy monetary policy.” Many analysts say 2010 is the year China will replace Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, but the recent strength of the yen adds complexity to comparisons between the countries on a nominal basis. Takahide Kiuchi, chief economist at Nomura Securities, estimates Japan’s nominal first-half GDP at 2.647 trillion dollars, using an average dollar exchange rate that saw the yen appreciate strongly towards the end of the January-June period. That compares to China’s first-half GDP of 2.53 trillion dollars, calculated from government data and average monthly exchange rates given by the People’s Bank of China. China came close to overtaking Japan in 2009 when its gross domestic product reached 4.98 trillion dollars-just behind Japan’s 5.07 trillion dollars. —AFP

African air travel horror blocks business, tourism

China’s Angang says US venture will bring jobs BEIJING: A planned investment in the United States by China’s Anshan Iron & Steel Group, which has concerned some US politicians, will create jobs and be good for the economy, the company’s president was quoted as saying. Zhang Xiaogang told the magazine Economic and Nation Weekly, run by China’s official Xinhua news agency, that the deal should not be politicized as it was a purely business decision. The state-owned group, the parent of Angang Steel Co, has agreed to pay $175 million for less than a 20 percent stake in a

rebar plant that Steel Development Co, a US start-up, is building in Mississippi. A bipartisan group of 50 US lawmakers called last month for an investigation, expressing deep concern that the investment threatened US jobs and national security. Zhang said the investment was only for a 14 percent stake in Steel Development Co, which was relatively small. “The investment is a purely commercial decision, and we hope it is not politicised,” he said. “We make investment decisions in the United States and other regions based on market demand. “The newly construct-

ed plant will increase employment opportunities in the area, promote economic development and increase tax income,” Zhang added. The United States, as the largest economy in the world, was an ideal place for such long-term investments, he said. The company has received no formal notification that the US government plans to investigate the deal, Zhang added. The interview was posted on Xinhua’s website (www.xinhuanet.com) yesterday. The Chinese Commerce Ministry has already branded the US lawmakers protectionist for seeking to block the investment by

China’s fourth-largest steel maker on national security grounds. US steel companies have complained loudly about unfair competition from China and have won a number of US anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese steel goods. The United States blocks few foreign investments. But last year, a Chinese mining company backed out of a deal to invest in a Nevada gold mine after a US government review raised security concerns. The mine was about 100 km (60 miles) from a base the US Navy uses to train its pilots. —Reuters

DAKAR: Flying in Africa-then fasten your seatbelt, grit your teeth and hope for the best. That could well be the advice of seasoned travelers familiar with the nightmare of making connecting flights, surprise stopovers and poor scheduling that is strangling trade and tourism on the continent. Glenna Gordon, a freelance photographer based in Liberia, is well-versed in flightsgone-wrong. A return trip to Monrovia from Cameroon once included a “surprise stop” in Libreville and then another in Mombasa, Kenya in east Africa, crossing the continent “from one ocean to another.” The trip took about 30 hours. “It would have been faster to take a pirogue (boat) across the Gulf of Guinea,” Gordon said. While major international carriers are flocking to Africa for a slice of a vibrant and fast-growing market, local airlines are still hamstrung by complex restrictions between states and government interference 20 years after the ‘Yamoussoukro Agreement’ was supposed to open up the skies. “Its purpose was to liberalize air services in the continent. It was a great idea but little progress has been made,” Anthony Concil, communications director for the International Air Transport Association, told AFP. “Without the political will to support the industry’s growth, and the economic benefits that it will bring, the potential for improving connectivity is limited.” Dubai’s Emirates is one of those expanding fast into Africa and in September launches the first direct flight from West Africa to Asia, from Dakar. “It is not easy to travel around Africa, that’s for sure,” said Tim Clark, Emirates Airlines president. “The European legacy has tended to dominate Africa and if you wanted to go from Accra in Ghana to Douala in Cameroon, about a 600mile ((960 kilometers) flight, you have to

go over Paris and we see that time and time again.” Emirates is helping Senegal’s national carrier to relaunch after its collapse in 2009, which cut many key direct flights within west Africa from the regional hub. “A good airline with more options of flying has an impact on trade and also on tourism and people moving freely,” said Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, chairman of Senegal Airlines. According to Council of IATA, 35 percent of goods traded internationally travel by air. But with no clear vision by governments to develop aviation as a critical component of Africa’s infrastructure, “the continent pays the price in lost economic activity and higher costs to do business.” Most African airlines are still state-owned and in cases where foreign investment is allowed, it is limited up to 49 percent with no management control. “Often times, governments are not helping. The industry cannot operate like a normal business due to government intervention. And corruption is a problem in many parts of the continent,” said Concil. The African airline industry ran up losses of 100 million dollars in 2008 and 2009 but was expected to make 100 million dollars this year due to strong traffic growth on the back of expanding commodities trade, according to IATA. While demand in Africa grew 4.5 percent and 5.1 percent in 2007 and 2008, it fell 5.4 percent in 2009. “It is expected to grow 13.5 percent this year, which is an exaggeration due to the comparison with an extremely weak 2009,” Concil told AFP. While better organized highways in the sky are sorely needed, the main priority is still safety in the world’s most dangerous region for air travel which has an accident rate 14 times worse than the global average. —AFP


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BUSINESS

Monday, August 16, 2010

European financial growth sluggish but sure: Honohan No signs of inflation, asset bubble worries

ATHENS: Tourists visit the Temple of Hephaistos, dated between 460 and 420 BC at the ancient agora. —AFP

Summer break in Greece ahead of austerity thrust ATHENS: On the heels of a debt crisis that pushed their country close to bankruptcy this year, Greeks are savoring a badlyneeded summer breather ahead of a new austerity drive expected next month. Hundreds of thousands, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou included, have flocked to beaches for a holiday respite some say could be their last before living conditions are drastically changed by wage cuts and price hikes. The exodus peaks this weekend ahead of the Dormition (Assumption) of the Virgin Mary feast on August 15, one of Greece’s foremost public holidays. “These could be my last calm holidays for a while,” says Thanassis, an advertising company employee vacationing on the island of Serifos, where the overworked Greek finance minister also reportedly took a respite. “Everybody is waiting for September without knowing whether it will be a new beginning, or the beginning of the end,” he told AFP. Papandreou’s Socialist government, which has imposed draconian cuts to put right decades of fiscal mismanagement, has a full plate of reforms due, many of them likely to spark discontent from unions in the wake of six general strikes and protests this year against earlier measures. Officials

want to liberalise a number of professions where restrictions on entry or pricing have stymied competition for years, including freight truckers, taxi drivers, notaries, pharmacists, engineers and architects. The truckers’ union last month reacted with a week-long haulage strike that nearly starved the country of fuel at the height of the tourism season. The government is also under EU pressure to open an energy market currently dominated by state electricity operator PPC and to overhaul ailing state railways OSE which it says is Europe’s most troubled public company. Both PPC and OSE unionists have pledged to fight back. The reforms are closely monitored by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund which in May bailed out Greece with a massive loan after fears over the state of its economy pushed Athens’ borrowing costs to prohibitive levels. The loan, worth 110 billion euros (141 billion dollars) over three years, is being released in stages depending on Greece’s progress on the austerity plan. Papandreou, who took a break on the scenic Cycladic island of Paros after a grueling first 10 months in office, must also think ahead to local elections in November under a new administrative system involving fewer municipalities that has angered

some local leaders. The premier reportedly spent his time on the island swimming, canoeing and sampling local taverna fare but is also believed to be planning a cabinet reshuffle and drafting a keynote speech on the economy in early September. Meanwhile, Greeks have been coming to grips with post-crisis reality in the country which is caught in a deepening recession spiral, with emergency taxes pushing up prices amid widespread wage and pension cuts. The output slump accelerated with a sharp second-quarter contraction of 1.5 percent after a 0.8-percent shrinkage in the first quarter. Unemployment was officially recorded at 12 percent in May with unions warning the real figures are much higher. The national traders’ association this week reported that 17 percent of businesses in central Athens have shut down because of the crisis while inflation, at 5.5 percent in July, is the highest since 1997. “We take better care of our money these days,” notes Vassilis Vassilopoulos, a public administration employee relaxing at his family summer home in the Peloponnese after his contract was not renewed earlier this year. “We used to take a week’s vacation abroad but this year we’ll stay closer to home,” he said. —AFP

Whole-grain bread beats white in US kitchens Whole grains are the hottest trend in sliced bread, with whole wheat edging out soft white bread in total sales for the first time. Flooded with messages about heart health, fiber intake and the need for omega3s, more consumers are looking for bread that can taste good and deliver nutrients. That’s why shopping for sliced bread is increasingly about one of two things: what’s affordable, and what seems healthiest. And the breads in the middle of the market seem to be getting squeezed. The best-performing breads are promoting credentials like “whole grain” and “natural,” sometimes asking consumers to pay more for those loaves. And it seems to be working. Breads with “natural” in the name, or grains visible through the packaging, are among the best performing at grocery stores. Among them: Nature’s Own, Nature’s Pride and Arnold. It’s part of a major turning of the tide. Packaged wheat bread recently surpassed white bread in dollar sales, according to Nielsen Co. For the 52 weeks ended July 10, wheat bread sales increased 0.6 percent to $2.6 billion, while white bread sales declined 7 percent to $2.5 billion. White bread is still ahead in volume, but the margin is shrinking. Americans bought 1.5 billion packages of white bread in the last year, a 3 per-

cent decrease, and 1.3 billion packages of wheat bread, a 5 percent increase. The environment has been hard on midprice players. Among them, Downers Grove, Illinois-based Sara Lee, which has put its $2.2 billion bread business up for sale, people familiar with the matter say. The company declined to comment on the possibility of a sale. Sara Lee-brand bread sales are down 10 percent over the last 52 weeks to $359 million, according to SymphonyIRI

Group, a Chicago-based market-research firm. IRI figures do not include Wal-Mart. Many other brands also are slipping, including Bimbo’s Oroweat, down 10 percent to $301 million, Hostess’ Wonder bread, down 5 percent to $220 million, and Bimbo’s Stroehmann, down 6 percent to $116 million. Sliced-bread sales as a whole fell 3 percent, to $6.5 billion, over the same period. Sara Lee had been the secondhighest grossing bread brand at grocery stores, behind

Whole grains are the hottest trend in sliced bread, with whole wheat edging out soft white bread in total sales for the first time. —MCT

Campbell’s Soup Co’s Pepperidge Farm, until it was surpassed in 2009 by Nature’s Own, a whole-wheat bread owned by Thomasville, Ga.based Flower Foods. Nature’s Own sales are up 3 percent over the past year to $416 million. As an overall business, however, Sara Lee’s bread is faring a little better than its namesake brand, with sales down 4 percent and volume up 2 percent for the year ended April 4. In a statement, Jeff Dryfhout, director of marketing for Sara Lee North America Bakery, noted a series of product launches, including Sara Lee Soft & Smooth made with whole grains but having the texture of white bread, and a 100 percent whole wheat bread in 2005. This year, Sara Lee introduced a Soft & Smooth bread made with DHA omega-3. Because of these products and others, Dryfhout said, “We are in a strong position with a robust and meaningful portfolio of products that address the evolving trends.” Sharon Glass, group vice president of health and wellness at Catalina Marketing, said many consumers are trying whole-grain products, especially with more variety on shelves and less association with dry, dense breads of the past. She said some people will need coupons to get them to try a whole-grain bread, but once they find something they like, it will become a habit. —MCT

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite surging growth in Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy, that helped push the 16-member bloc to its fastest expansion rate in three years, Europe’s economic recovery is still “gradual”, European Central Bank rate setter Patrick Honohan said yesterday. German GDP rose 2.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, its fastest quarterly rate since the country reunified in the early 1990s following the fall of the Berlin Wall, pushing the euro zone aggregate GDP growth to 1.0 percent.. “The story is a rather slow recovery despite the rather encouraging news from Germany,” Honohan told Reuters in an interview. That gradual growth and still tame inflation as well as the lack of asset bubbles emerging means there is no need to rush for early exit strategies from market support measures by the ECB, Honohan said. One of the measures the ECB has undertaken since the intensification of the global financial crisis is to lend banks as much money as they request. Although it did experiment with competitive tenders in April, it has since reversed tack. “If we look at the last few weeks... we see some widening of (sovereign) spreads rather than a narrowing, so from that perspective it would not be pointing in direction of further exit steps of that type,” Honohan said. He noted that the earlier move to competitive tenders had “highlighted pockets of sensitivity in the money markets that perhaps were unexpected”. The ECB held interest rates at a record low 1-percent at its last meeting on Aug 5 and said that inflation pressures over the medium term “remain contained”. Honohan declined to comment directly on economist forecasts that see the ECB holding rates until well into 2011 but said he saw few signs of “excesses” emerging in asset prices. “I don’t see that at the moment, but that I think is something that will be in the back of everybody’s mind in the months ahead,” he said. Ireland committed to budget measures Honohan, who heads Ireland’s central bank, stressed the country remains committed to its target of reducing its budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2014. Risk premiums on Irish bonds surged on Wednesday, hitting 300 basis points over German bunds for the first time since early July amid amid talk of European Central Bank action to stabilise the spread and after Anglo Irish Bank won EU clearance for another, bigger than expected bailout. The EU last week approved plans for up to 10 billion euro ($12.75 billion) of state aid for Anglo Irish and Honohan said yesterday that plans to recapitalize the bank were well on track and had little impact on the government’s overall deficit plans. “If you said 22-25 billion (euros) nobody could disagree with that for being a realistic figure for the Anglo Irish net cost to the exchequer,” he said. “In terms of overall net borrowing for the government, this is not a game changer,” he said. —Reuters

SAN JOSE: Some homeowners say ignoring the mortgage is the only option they have. “I stopped paying payments about 12 months ago,” said Jeff Dunkin, who has twice sought to modify the loan on his California condo, and twice been denied. —MCT

House limbo: Owners won’t pay, banks refuse to evict SAN JOSE: Millions of homeowners are trapped in a bizarre real estate limbo, living in houses but no longer paying for them, waiting and wondering if someone will help them - or throw them out. Some are victims of their own economic circumstances, unable to afford their mortgage and expecting to lose their homes if they can’t get a break from their bank. Others are opportunists, choosing not to spend on a house worth less than they owe. Instead, they can live rent-free until their lender makes a move. The limbo phenomenon is a radical departure from previous real estate crashes, when there were far fewer troubled loans and banks moved speedily on those who fell behind on payments. Now many lenders simply can’t keep up, and others appear reluctant to flood a weakened market with foreclosed homes. It all adds up to lingering instability for the housing market, as lenders slowly work through the backlog while homeowners endure uncertainty that could last months or even years. “It’s bad all the way around, for the neighbor, the community, the city, state, nation,” said Chris George, founder and CEO of CMG Mortgage, based in San Ramon, Calif. “It’s a continued indication that there are a lot of people in trouble, particularly with their job situations.” Some homeowners say ignoring the mortgage is the only option they have. “I stopped paying payments about 12 months ago,” said Jeff Dunkin, who has twice sought to modify the loan on his San Jose condo, and twice been denied. The 25-year-old construction worker has been employed only sporadically since early 2009, and the unemployment checks he’s collected are less than half what he used to make. He knows some people may think living mortgage-free sounds like a cushy deal. But that’s not how it feels to him. “It’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress,” Dunkin said. Dunkin has plenty of company. An estimated 40,283 homeowners across a seven-county region in the San Francisco Bay Area area were at least three months behind on their mortgages, but not yet in foreclosure, as of April, according to CoreLogic, which tracks mortgage performance data. That’s about 4.5 percent of total mortgages in that area, and a drastic increase from 0.25 percent in January 2007. Nationwide, “roughly 3.5 million loans are in this limbo land, and are not proceeding through very quickly. It could take years,” said Sam Khater, an economist with CoreLogic, which tracks mortgage performance. “I have a feeling it’s going to follow the path of unemployment and have a long tail.” “We have all these people

who are really kind of on the edge,” said Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, which fights for homeowners seeking loan modifications. “They’re anxious because they know they’re behind, and they know all these foreclosures are happening, and they know they could be next.” Dunkin, for example, bought his two-bedroom condo in September 2007 for $355,000. His fiancee and a roommate helped him pay the mortgage. But in early 2009 the relationship with his fiancee crumbled, and construction business in the valley plunged. As he scrimped to keep up with his $2,486 monthly mortgage payments, he let his homeowner association dues lapse, and the association sued him for the overdue amount. He spent months paying it, but let his mortgage slide. Dunkin has yet to receive a notice of default, but he did receive letters this spring from his lender about the possibility of a short sale - selling the condo for less than he owes. “I have not responded to that,” he said. For now, he’s sitting tight, saving money so he can rent a place after foreclosure, which he considers nearly inevitable. Part of the reason homeowners wind up staying in their homes so long lies with the lending industry, Stein said. Many companies are overloaded with people who are behind in payments, and financial institutions are hesitant to process thousands of foreclosures at once, because dumping all those properties on the market would lower prices even more. Khater said many lenders are moving slowly because they hope the government will eventually step up to help cover their losses. They also may be hoping an economic recovery will allow many borrowers to catch up with their payments, but “they’re going to be waiting a while,” he said. Critics of loan modification programs say the housing market would be better served if foreclosures moved more quickly, and that any resulting drop in home prices is necessary to reset housing values to their pre-bubble levels. Allowing delinquent homeowners to remain in their homes for months or years means many of the owners will stop maintaining their properties, which hurts their neighborhoods, and their own delinquency may even encourage neighbors to default, prolonging the housing market’s pain, some say. But Kenneth Rosen, chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California-Berkeley, said banks and the government “are being quite rational” in stretching out the foreclosure process to avoid displacing homeowners and depressing prices. —MCT

PHILADELPHIA: A roofer makes his way across the top of a home. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called “core” index increased by 0.1 percent in July, as the cost of housing, clothes, and used cars and trucks all rose. —AP

Volkswagen inks deal with DRB-HICOM KUALA LUMPUR: Europe’s biggest automaker Volkswagen is to join forces with DRB-HICOM, one of Malaysia’s largest car distributors and importers, to assemble and manufacture cars in the country, a report said yesterday. Volkswagen inked an agreement Friday with DRBHICOM to roll-out Volkswagen vehicles at its Pekan manufacturing facility in central Pahang state, the Edge business newspaper said. The announcement comes after national carmaker Proton in June said it had scrapped alliance talks with the German

company, a move expected to dent Proton’s attempts to secure export markets. Mohamad Khamil Jamil, DRB’s group managing director said DRB-HICOM hoped that the entry of Volkswagen into Pekan would help it to become a regional automotive hub. “This memorandum of understanding is the culmination of intense discussions and both parties anticipate the production of the Complete Knock Down (CKD) models in Malaysia,” he said. Production of Volkswagen models in Malaysia is expected to start in 2012. Pekan is DRB-

HICOM’s largest automotive manufacturing facility in Malaysia. The company also assembles cars from Honda and Mercedes-Benz. Proton has been searching for a collaborator in a bid to break into foreign markets and develop attractive models to compete with growing competition from Japanese, European and Korean carmakers in its domestic market. Proton was formed in 1983 by then-premier Mahathir Mohamad as part of an ambitious national industrialization plan. But it has suffered from a reputation for unimaginative models and poor quality. —AFP


TECHNOLOGY

Monday, August 16, 2010

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‘You pushed the button and out came hundreds and thousands of sonatas’ here does music come from? If pressed on this question, many of us would say it comes from the “soul”, or from the “heart” of the person who composed it. That music is the clearest expression of human emotion, one person to another; that certain chords, certain melodies seem to communicate a whole language of feeling. When we listen to a Beethoven symphony or a Chopin sonata, we are hearing, we might say, the authentic expression of the composer’s inner harmonies and discords, carried magically across the centuries. Could we ever be so moved by a piece of music written by a computer? We’d probably like to think not. David Cope, emeritus professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, would beg to differ. “The question,” Cope tells me, “isn’t if computers possess a soul, but if we possess one.” Cope, now 69, has devoted the past 30 years of his life to what amounts to an obsessive examination of that particular question. He began, almost by default, back in 1980, with a severe case of writer’s block. One of America’s most acclaimed young composers, whose music had been performed at Carnegie Hall, and won great critical praise, Cope had been commissioned to write an opera. For weeks and months he sat at his piano, or stared at a blank piece of sheet music; nothing came. He had a wife and four children to support. In desperation he started playing with a computer. What he found there changed his life and, perhaps, the course of musical history. Cope had long held the

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belief that all music was essentially inspired plagiarism. The great composers absorbed the music that had gone before them and their brains “recombined” melodies and phrases in distinctive, sometimes traceable, ways. We all have an internal database of musical reference; composers were those with the ability to manipulate it in new patterns. With the aid of an early computer, he realised he could put this to the test. His first experiments with artificial musical intelligence were clunky, synthesised pieces, pastiches of easily identifiable work; but slowly, programming and reprogramming, inputting vast amounts of coded reference, he came to see how he might begin to shape a musical memory. The Eureka moment came one afternoon in 1983 after he had been working for a while trying to take apart and put back together chorales (four-part vocal hymns) in the style of JS Bach. He had a rules-based program, complicated and code-heavy, but it never produced anything approaching life or surprise. That afternoon, on the way to the local store, he came to realise that Bach didn’t exist in his predictability, but in the minute, multiple places where he broke his own rules, where he defied expectation of a particular progression. Cope developed “a little analytical engine” that could insert some randomness within the predictability. He began to analyse Bach’s music not just mathematically but with a sense of narrative tension and surprise, weighting different components according to his own feel for the music’s “storytelling” power. His program, at this point, seemed to

develop a personality of its own; “Experiments in Musical Intelligence” became Emmy. When fed with enough of a composer’s work, Emmy could deconstruct it, identify signature elements, and recombine them in new ways. One day Cope pushed a button on Emmy, went out to get a sandwich and when he returned his workaholic creation had produced 5,000 original Bach chorales. In 1993, Cope released an album, Bach by Design, and waited for the response. When you listen to that album now - and those that followed, including Virtual Mozart and, triumphantly, Virtual Rachmaninoff, you are discomfited and surprised in equal measure. Cope’s work is far more than copying, it carries the recognisable DNA of the original style and fashions it into something recognisable but entirely new. The musical establishment reacted at first with alarm, and then with vitriol. Cope found it difficult to get any serious musicians to play Emmy’s work, though it made many of the same demands as the “real thing”. Critics convinced themselves that they heard no authentic humanity in it, no depth of feeling, Cope was characterised as a composer without a heart; his recent memoir is called Tin Man. One of the problems that the music highlighted was the fact that in Cope’s terms, the music of Mozart, say, was endless in its possibilities. As he suggested when I spoke to him last week: “Because my program was continuing to pump out music like a spigot, it became a problem of: ‘Why play this sonata and not that one?’” Cope has no doubt that Mozart in par-

David Cope at work in his California home. — Guardian ticular, with his structural genius, would - if he’d had the means - have utilised computerised intelligence in exactly the same way. When you remove the “human” element of the work, however, Cope recognised, you also lose a great deal of its urgency. “When you had the database figured out it was really a one-stroke deal: you pushed the button and out came hundreds and thousands of sonatas or whatever.” He realised that what made a composer properly understandable, properly “affecting”, was in part the fact of mortality. Composers had to die, and the ending made sense of what had gone before. With this in mind, Cope unplugged Emmy six years ago; her work - which he limited to 11,000 chosen pieces, was done. Emmy - housed on an ancient Power Mac 7500 (discontinued in 1996) now sits idle in the corner of his office. Cope has subsequently been at work, nurturing Emmy’s

“daughter”, Emily Howell, (the first name from her mother, the second from the Christian name of Cope’s own father) with whom he has a far more “equal” relationship. Emily Howell has a compendious memory that involves an intimate understanding of the works of 36 composers “starting with Palestrina, [an Italian court musician of the 16th century] and ending with David Cope in the 21st century”. Their output is far more collaborative than that of Emmy. Cope will ask Emily a musical question, feeding in a phrase. Emily will respond with her own understanding of what happens next. Cope either accepts or declines the formula, much in the way he would if he was composing “conventionally”. “It is,” he says, “a bit like dealing with a small child; the program is an empty pot and I dribble small bits of music into it, and it responds to what I have put in... it’s a process of carrots and sticks, really. I think it is

producing good results but it takes a lot of time.” Cope’s ambitions remain exactly what they were, when, as an asthmatic child in Phoenix, Arizona, he was moved to wonder by Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and knew he had to be a composer himself. “My two goals are an original style and to create something I love,” he says. “The program is a cat not a dog, it keeps itself to itself, you can’t take it for walks. I can only generally pick it up and point it in the direction that I want it to go...” Emily Howell’s first album, From Darkness, Light, composed in six movements and performed on two pianos, was released earlier this year. It was met largely with silence; the critics who were moved to respond did so with the usual sniffy constructs about “an absence of genuine humanity”. Cope remains undaunted. “People tell me they don’t hear soul in the music,” he says. “When they do that, I pull out a page of notes and ask them to show me where the soul is. We like to think that what we hear is soul, but I think audience members put themselves down a lot in that respect. The feelings that we get from listening to music are something we produce, it’s not there in the notes. It comes from emotional insight in each of us, the music is just the trigger.” Emily is still a work in progress for Cope. He thinks she is getting towards a mature style. “Five years from now I believe she will really be somewhere,” he says. It must be a curious process, like watching an external mind working, I

suggest. What has it taught him about himself? “Two things. That the mechanisms of the brain are incredibly simple, but that its ability to create extraordinary complexity should constantly amaze us.” Will Emily survive him? “She needs a provocateur,” Cope says, “but then so do humans. You cannot create music without reference to other music. Like us, she needs to be turned on to something.” He can’t imagine the possibility of going back to writing with just his own intuition and a pen and paper. “The programs are just extensions of me. And why would I want to spend six months or a year to get to a solution that I can find in a morning? I have spent nearly 60 years of my life composing, half of it in traditional ways and half of it using technology. To go back would be like trying to dig a hole with your fingers after the shovel has been made, or walking to Phoenix when you can use a car.” When he began, though he was confident that what he was embarking on represented the future, Cope felt all the loneliness of the pioneer. Now, he suggests there is a growing interest in the possibilities. Not least the commercial ones. He was recently approached by a headline pop band - he won’t say which - to see whether Emily could be persuaded to produce some hits. Though “recombining” elements of popular music is a court case in the making, there has, he suggests, not surprisingly been an enormous interest in creating music for ringtones and for games. “In the next 10 years,” Cope says, “what I call algorithmic music will be a mainstay of our lives.” —Guardian

Internet: Is it changing the way we think? NEW YORK: Every 50 years or so, American magazine the Atlantic lobs an intellectual grenade into our culture. In the summer of 1945, for example, it published an essay by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineer Vannevar Bush entitled “As We May Think”. It turned out to be the

Soaring success of Apple’s iPad has pushed Microsoft to make Windowsbased tablet computers its top priority.

Apple’s iPad bonanza triggers race to launch copycat tablets Handset maker Motorola joins rush to produce a tablet ast week, Microsoft released tantalising pictures of its latest device which got bloggers talking about a tablet. The division of Microsoft behind the account, however, makes keyboards, webcams and mice so it’s more likely that the flat matt black device in the photos is Microsoft’s rival to Apple’s recently announced trackpad. Also Microsoft has a patchy record when it comes to consumer trends. While the Xbox has taken a valuable place in the games console market, its Zune portable music player is still years behind Apple’s iPod in terms of sales.Last month chief executive Steve Ballmer said developing Windows-based tablet computers is “job one urgency” for the software group. He added “we have got to make things happen with Windows 7 on slates” but while the firm’s latest PC version of its software has touch capabilities, analysts have warned that putting the whole operating system on a tablet will mean manufacturers will have to use a lot of memory and fast processors on the device, which will increase its price. Also they question whether Microsoft still has the tablet market wrong: consumers do not want to do everything they can do on a desktop on a tablet. It is not merely a new form factor, it is a new kind of device. Some manufacturers are looking at whether its Windows Phone software which also enables touch as well as the viewing of Microsoft Office documents - is not a better system on which to base Microsoft tablets. Either way, Ballmer said Microsoft is working with partners including Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba, and Sony on tablets. Many of those firms, however, also have other software in mind. Google, meanwhile, has long been rumoured to be working on its tablet computer, most recently in conjunction with Verizon (that story, however, may have been a confusion of the recent news that Verizon is actually working with Motorola to produce a tablet device aimed at the home entertainment market and running Google’s Android software). But there are questions as to why Google needs an ownbrand tablet while many manufacturers are to produce their devices based on its Android. The company was planning a smartphone called the Nexus One because it feared that the iPhone was running away with the market and the industry needed to be shown what could be done with Android. But now that a plethora of good quality Android devices are appearing, Google has halted the Nexus programme. The real question among technology watchers is whether Google will work closely with one or two tablet manufacturers to create devices based on its Chrome OS software, which is aimed at web-enabled laptops and is due out later this year. The handset makers Several mobile phone manufacturers are already working on tablets based on Google’s Android. First out of the blocks will be a tablet from Samsung. The

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Korean hardware company is expected to give more details today but it will run Android and have a 7 inch screen, making it smaller than the iPad, but including a camera and accept memory cards. There is also talk of a second device with a tablet screen on one side and e-book reader on the other. While its first tablet is likely to use Android, Samsung also seems to want to use its new Bada operating system - which is used by its recently launched Wave mobile phone - for tablets. It remains to be seen whether consumers will want yet another operating system to deal with. Domestic rival, LG, is also working on an Androidbased tablet which is scheduled for launch by the end of the year. RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry, is rumoured to be working on a rival to the iPad, dubbed the BlackPad, which is scheduled for launch in November. Nokia, meanwhile, tried to enter the socalled netbook market with its own 3G Booklet last year. It ran Windows 7 and was hardly a success. Since then, the Finnish mobile phone company has teamed up with Intel to develop software better suited to laptops and tablets, under the MeeGo banner. The first device is likely to be a smartphone which could be out for Christmasand Nokia seems to be in no rush to produce a tablet. Motorola is working with Verizon on an Androidpowered tablet. The question is whether HTC will follow up its success in the Android-powered smartphone market with a tablet. The PC manufacturers Tablets running Windows have been in the market for some time from manufacturers such as France’s Archos while Lenovo, HP and others have released laptops - called convertibles - whose screens swivel to turn them into tablets. Taiwan’s Acer and China’s Asus are preparing tablets with Microsoft software. The latter will also release tablets using Android. But many consumers will prefer a household name when they take the plunge into tablets. One of the first was the Streak from Dell, but it is smaller than the iPad and seems more like a smartphone. BT, wants to get in on the tablet act and is developing a touchscreen version of the traditional landline telephone, which raises the unwelcome spectre of Amstrad’s failed eMailer device. Toshiba has produced a dual-screen tablet running Windows 7 and is working on a single screen tablet called SmartPad, which may run Android. Hewlett-Packard, meanwhile, is believed to have been working on a device called the Zeen which runs Android and looks more like an e-reader. Tech watchers reckon HP’s real push into tablets will come on the back of its recent acquisition of smartphone designer Palm. The e-reader market, of course, already has the Kindle from Amazon - which has just been upgraded - and the Sony e-Reader, although both are likely to be superseded, over time, by tablets. — Guardian

“Over the past few years,” Carr wrote, “I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going - so far as I can tell but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.” The title of the essay is misleading, because Carr’s target was not really the world’s leading search engine, but the impact that ubiquitous, alwayson networking is having on our cognitive processes. His argument was that our deepening dependence on networking technology is indeed changing not only the way we think, but also the structure of our brains. Carr’s article touched a nerve and has provoked a lively, ongoing debate on the net and in print (he has now expanded it into a book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains). This is partly because he’s an engaging writer who has vividly articulated the unease that many adults feel about the way their modi operandi have changed in response to ubiquitous networking. Who bothers to write down or memorise detailed information any more, for example, when they know that Google will always retrieve it if it’s needed again? The web has become, in a way, a global prosthesis for our collective memory. It’s easy to dismiss Carr’s concern as just the latest episode of the moral panic that always accompanies the arrival of a new communications technology. People fretted about printing, photography, the telephone and television in analogous ways. It even bothered Plato, who argued that the technology of writing would destroy the art of remembering. But just because fears recur doesn’t mean that they aren’t valid. There’s no doubt that communications technologies shape and reshape society - just

blueprint for w hat eventually emerged as the w orld w ide w eb. Tw o summers ago, the Atlantic published an essay by Nicholas Carr, one of the blogosphere’s most prominent (and thoughtful) contrarians, under the headline “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”.

Are our minds being altered due to our increasing reliance on search engines, social networking sites and other digital technologies? —Guardian look at the impact that printing and the broadcast media have had on our world. The question that we couldn’t answer before now was whether these technologies could also reshape us. Carr argues that modern neuroscience, which has revealed the “plasticity” of the human brain, shows that our habitual practices can actually change our neuronal structures. The brains of illiterate people, for example, are structurally different from those of people who can read. So if the technology of printing and its concomitant requirement to learn to read - could shape human brains, then surely it’s logical to assume that our addiction to networking technology will do something similar? Not all neuroscientists agree with Carr and some psychologists are sceptical. Harvard’s Steven Pinker, for example, is openly dismissive. But many commentators who accept the thrust of his argument seem not only untroubled by its farreaching implications but are positively enthusiastic about them. When the Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life project asked its panel of more than 370 internet experts for their reaction, 81% of them agreed with the proposition that “people’s use of the internet has enhanced human intelligence”. Others argue that the increasing complexity of our environment means that we need the net as “power steering for the mind”. We may be losing some of the capacity for contemplative concentration that was fostered by a print culture, they say, but we’re gaining new and essential ways of working.

“The trouble isn’t that we have too much information at our fingertips,” says the futurologist Jamais Cascio, “but that our tools for managing it are still in their infancy. Worries about ‘information overload’ predate the rise of the web... and many of the technologies that Carr worries about were developed precisely to help us get some control over a flood of data and ideas. Google isn’t the problem - it’s the beginning of a solution.” Sarah Churchw ell, academic and critic Is the internet changing our brains? It seems unlikely to me, but I’ll leave that question to evolutionary biologists. As a writer, thinker, researcher and teacher, what I can attest to is that the internet is changing our habits of thinking, which isn’t the same thing as changing our brains. The brain is like any other muscle - if you don’t stretch it, it gets both stiff and flabby. But if you exercise it regularly, and cross-train, your brain will be flexible, quick, strong and versatile. In one sense, the internet is analogous to a weight-training machine for the brain, as compared with the free weights provided by libraries and books. Each method has its advantage, but used properly one works you harder. Weight machines are directive and enabling: they encourage you to think you’ve worked hard without necessarily challenging yourself. The internet can be the same: it often tells us what we think we know, spreading misinformation and nonsense while it’s at it. It can substitute surface for depth, imitation for originality, and its passion for recycling

would surpass the most committed environmentalist. In 10 years, I’ve seen students’ thinking habits change dramatically: if information is not immediately available via a Google search, students are often stymied. But of course what a Google search provides is not the best, wisest or most accurate answer, but the most popular one. But knowledge is not the same thing as information, and there is no question to my mind that the access to raw information provided by the internet is unparalleled and democratising. Admittance to elite private university libraries and archives is no longer required, as they increasingly digitise their archives. We’ve all read the jeremiads that the internet sounds the death knell of reading, but people read online constantly - we just call it surfing now. What they are reading is changing, often for the worse; but it is also true that the internet increasingly provides a treasure trove of rare books, documents and images, and as long as we have free access to it, then the internet can certainly be a force for education and wisdom, and not just for lies, damned lies, and false statistics. In the end, the medium is not the message, and the internet is just a medium, a repository and an archive. Its greatest virtue is also its greatest weakness: it is unselective. This means that it is undiscriminating, in both senses of the word. It is indiscriminate in its principles of inclusion: anything at all can get into it. But it also - at least so far - doesn’t discriminate against anyone with access to it. This is changing rapidly, of

course, as corporations and governments seek to exert control over it. Knowledge may not be the same thing as power, but it is unquestionably a means to power. The question is, will we use the internet’s power for good, or for evil? The jury is very much out. The internet itself is disinterested: but what we use it for is not. Sarah Churchwell is a senior lecturer in American literature and culture at the University of East Anglia Naomi Alderman, novelist If I were a cow, nothing much would change my brain. I might learn new locations for feeding, but I wouldn’t be able to read an essay and decide to change the way I lived my life. But I’m not a cow, I’m a person, and therefore pretty much everything I come into contact with can change my brain. It’s both a strength and a weakness. We can choose to seek out brilliant thinking and be challenged and inspired by it. Or we can find our energy sapped by an evening with a “poor me” friend, or become faintly disgusted by our own thinking if we’ve read too many romance novels in one go. As our bodies are shaped by the food we eat, our brains are shaped by what we put into them. So of course the internet is changing our brains. How could it not? It’s not surprising that we’re now more accustomed to reading short-form pieces, to accepting a Wikipedia summary, rather than reading a whole book. The claim that we’re now thinking less well is much more suspect. If we’ve lost something by not reading 10 books on one subject, we’ve probably gained as much by being able to link together ideas easily from 10 different disciplines. But since we’re not going to dismantle the world wide web any time soon, the more important question is: how should we respond? I suspect the answer is as simple as making time for reading. No single medium will ever give our brains all possible forms of nourishment. We may be dazzled by the flashing lights of the web, but we can still just step away. Read a book. Sink into the world of a single person’s concentrated thoughts. Time was when we didn’t need to be reminded to read. Well, time was when we didn’t need to be encouraged to cook. That time’s gone. None the less, cook. And read. We can decide to change our own brains - that’s the most astonishing thing of all. —Guardian


HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Kuwaiti mums say children’s diet should be more balanced KUWAIT: A study on healthy eating and nutrition awareness in GCC countries, which was recently commissioned by Kraft Foods, has revealed that more than 60 percent of GCC-national mothers felt that their children were not receiving a balanced diet. The study aimed to determine the attitudes, practices and perceptions of mothers on their families’ nutrition and eating habits. More than 850 mothers from the UAE, Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) participated in the month-long study. The study revealed that Kuwaiti mothers were aware of the types of foods containing high nutritional value, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and eggs. Yet, many of them said their children were not eating a balanced diet as their meals did not have sufficient protein, iron, calcium and vitamins. According to Eissa Dashti, Clinical nutritionist from Elia Centre for Health and Nutrition, anthropological studies show that the diets of our ancestors were low in fat, very low in sugar and high in fiber and other complex carbohydrates. “Today however, in virtually every developing country in the world, diet-related chronic diseases are becoming the new health problem as the population abandons traditional healthy

diets in favor of affluent foods. This is due not only to the increased availability of foods rich in fat, sugar and salt but also to inappropriate public perception of what constitutes an appropriate diet and by a tendency to equate good food with rich food”. “In the past 40-years or so, Kuwait has experienced rapid socio-economic change, which has brought about major life style alterations amongst the Kuwaiti population. The changes are more pronounced in their food and dietary patterns. The increased consumption of energy-dense foods prepared with added fat, sugar and salt have led to the emergence of diet related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease”, added Danshi. “As one of the world’s largest food companies, Kraft Foods is globally committed to raising awareness about healthy eating and nutrition in order to build stronger and more sustainable communities. The First Kraft Foods Healthy Eating and Nutrition GCC Awareness Study will enable us to help raise awareness amongst mothers and families in the region so that they can take informed decisions about their families’ diet and nutritional wellbeing”, said Vishal Tikku, Managing Director, Saudi Arabia and Shared Services, Kraft Food Middle East & Africa.

In Kuwait, 36 percent of the Kuwaiti mothers surveyed said they were confident that their children were eating a balanced diet. Some 41 percent, however, felt otherwise and a further 23 percent said they did not know if their children were getting a balanced diet. Some 26 percent of them were confident that their children were consuming sufficient calcium while 28 percent felt the amounts were insufficient. In relation to iron, only 17 percent felt their children consumed sufficient iron in their diet, while 34 percent felt the amounts were insufficient. Some 22 percent of Kuwaiti mums were confident of vitamin sufficiency in their children’s diet but 31 percent felt the amounts to be insufficient. Only 31 percent of them said their children consume sufficient protein while 21 percent felt the amounts were insufficient. Overall however, more than 45 percent of Kuwaiti mums surveyed admitted that they did not know whether or not their children were consuming sufficient calcium, iron, vitamins and protein in their daily diet. According to the study, calories were the number one concern for the Kuwaiti mothers surveyed. Some 41 percent said they were concerned about how much calories their children consumed. Yet only 21 per-

cent of them said they exercised some to high levels of control over their children’s calorie intake, while 12 percent said their exercise little or low control and a further 13 percent admitted to not controlling their children’s calorie intake at all. Despite this, nearly 40 percent claimed they either always or mostly read the calorie content labels on food products that they purchased. Some 29 percent of Kuwaiti mothers involved in the survey claimed to be concerned about the fat content in their children’s diet and said they exercised some to high control if their fat intake. More than 30 percent of them said they either always or mostly read the fat content labels on food products that they purchase. Majority of them however responded that they did not know how concerned they were about the fat content in their children’s diet. In relation to sugar and cholesterol intake, less than 30 percent of them claimed to be concerned or somewhat concerned. Majority however, responded that they did not know how concerned they were about the sugar and cholesterol content in their children’s diet. Despite this, some 36 percent of them claimed to exercise some to high control of their intake, and 37 percent claimed to either always or mostly read the

sugar content labels on food products that they purchase. Half of Kuwaiti mothers involved in the survey said they allow their children to snack daily. Some 66 percent said their children snack on beverages such as juices, flavoured milk, canned drinks and sodas, a further 57 percent said chips, chocolates and candy, while 52 percent said fried or baked foods. Overall however, Kuwaiti mothers were very particular about their children’s breakfast consumption. Nearly half of them claimed their children have breakfast daily. More than 70 percent said their children have eggs or omelet’s for breakfast, 67 percent said milk or milk shakes and 56 percent said cereals and corn flakes. Chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke, various cancers, diabetes mellitus, obesity and gallstones are linked to the affluent diet. This involves high consumption of energy-dense foods prepared with added fat, sugar and salt. In virtually every developing country in the world diet-related chronic diseases are becoming the new health problem as the population abandons traditional healthy diets in favor of affluent foods. This is due, not only to the increased availability of foods

rich in fat, sugar and salt but also to inappropriate public perception of what constitutes an appropriate diet and by a tendency to equate “good” food with “rich” food. Dietary changes from tradition high fiber diets to those containing refined flour and sugar have coincided with the adoption of sedentary life styles. This has led to increased obesity and diabetes followed by higher incidence rates of hypertension and coronary heart disease. Recently Kraft Foods successfully rolled out the first Chapter of its Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness campaign in Jeddah, KSA, which was aimed at educating school children on the importance of healthy lifestyles. The initiative, held in cooperation with the Education Department in Jeddah, involved 150 students from 50 schools in Jeddah who participated in a dynamic dialogue about their opinions and insights on health, nutrition and wellness issues. The campaign will be implemented across the GCC next year. The First Kraft Foods Health Eating and Nutrition GCC Awareness Study, will be conducted twice yearly. The study was conducted by Zarca Interactive, a US-based company established in digital feedback management solutions the Middle East.

Are you ready for a world without antibiotics? Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine LONDON: Just 65 years ago, David Livermore’s paternal grandmother died following an operation to remove her appendix. It didn’t go well, but it was not the surgery that killed her. She succumbed to a series of infections that the pre-penicillin world had no drugs to treat. Welcome to the future. The era

of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out. Once, scientists hailed the end of infectious diseases. Now, the post-antibiotic apocalypse is within sight.

Streptococcus pyrogens bacteria.

‘Statins with your burger?’ Drs want heart pills on menu LONDON: Fast food outlets should offer diners free drugs to compensate for the risk of heart disease, cardiologists proposed today. If burger joints offered cholesterol-lowering statins, customers would offset the unhealthy effects of a cheeseburger and milkshake, according to researchers at Imperial College London. The pills could be placed beside the salt, pepper and tomato ketchup to encourage people to pop one after their meal. The suggestion is made in a paper by Dr Darrel Francis, a cardiologist at Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute, and colleagues published in the American Journal of Cardiology. The idea was criticised by leading doctors, who said the study could encourage illhealth by prompting even greater consumption of junk food and increasing the belief in “a pill for every ill”. Francis said: “Statins do not cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it.” People eat fast food despite knowing that it is bad for them. Given that, said Francis: “It makes sense to make risk-reducing supplements available just as easily

as the unhealthy condiments that are provided free of charge. It would cost less then 5p per customer - not much different to a sachet of ketchup.” The proposal was in line with other established riskreducing measures such as wearing a seatbelt or buying filtered cigarettes, Francis argued. Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, denounced the proposal. “This paper just amazes me,” he said. “Let’s get real; we should be encouraging healthy

lifestyles, not pill popping. This is an unwelcome addition to the ‘pill for every ill’ attitude that’s already much too common. The danger of this research is that some people will become even more complacent about eating fatty food and high calorie food, and might even increase their intake of them.” While statins were generally safe they could increase the risk of muscle weakness and, in rare cases, of kidney failure, cataracts and liver problems, Field added. Millions of Britons who

have dangerously high cholesterol levels, and those with existing heart problems, take statins regularly to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “The suggestion that the harmful effects of a junk food meal might be erased by taking a cholesterol-lowering statin tablet should not be taken literally. Statins are a vital medicine for people with, or at high risk of developing, heart disease. They are not a magic bullet.” — Guardian

Hyperbole? Unfortunately not. The highly serious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases yesterday posed the question itself over a paper revealing the rapid spread of multi-drug-resistant bacteria. “Is this the end of antibiotics?” it asked. Doctors and scientists have not been complacent, but the paper by Professor Tim Walsh and colleagues takes the anxiety to a new level. Last September, Walsh published details of a gene he had discovered, called NDM 1, which passes easily between types of bacteria called enterobacteriaceae such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae and makes them resistant to almost all of the powerful, lastline group of antibiotics called carbapenems. Yesterday’s paper revealed that NDM 1 is widespread in India and has arrived here as a result of global travel and medical tourism for, among other things, transplants, pregnancy care and cosmetic surgery. “In many ways, this is it,” Walsh tells me. “This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.” And this is the optimistic view based on the assumption that drug companies can and will get moving on discovering new antibiotics to throw at the bacterial enemy. Since the 1990s, when pharma found itself twisting and turning down blind alleys, it has not shown a great deal of enthusiasm for difficult antibiotic research. And besides, because, unlike with heart medicines, people take the drugs for a week rather than life, and because resistance means the drugs become useless after a while, there is just not much money in it. Dr Livermore, whose grandmother died for lack of infectionkilling drugs in 1945, is director of the antibiotic resistance monitoring and reference laboratory of the Health Protection Agency. Last year, the HPA put out an alert to medical professionals about NDM 1, urging them to report all suspect cases. Livermore is far from sanguine about the future. “A lot of modern medicine would become impossible if we lost our ability to treat infections,” he says. He is talking about transplant surgery, for instance, where patients’ immune systems have to be suppressed to stop them rejecting a new organ, leaving them prey to infections, and the use of immuno-suppressant cancer drugs. But it is not just an issue in advanced medicine. Antibiotics are vital to abdominal surgery. “You safeguard the patient from bacteria leaking into the body cavity,” he says. “If you lose the ability to treat these infections, far more people would die of peritonitis.” Appendix operations would carry the same risk as they did before Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. —Guardian

Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.

Genetic modification: Glow in the dark lifesavers or mutant freaks? LONDON: At first glance, the creation of a chicken that glows in the dark seems a disturbing and unnecessary one. With a jellyfish gene inserted into its DNA, a hen modified this way acquires the power to fluoresce in a bright green hue when illuminated with blue light - an unsettling ability, to say the least. After all, who needs poultry that can shine a light on itself? More important, why go to the trouble of mixing the DNA of two such dissimilar creatures in the first place? It is an important question that has recently been reflected in headlines that followed the release of Home Office figures which show there was a dramatic rise in the creation of genetically modified animals in laboratories in 2009. In total, 1.5m experiments on GM animals were carried out, a rise of 143,000 from the previous year. At the same time, there was a corresponding decrease in experiments on “natural” animals. In other words, more and more scientists are now relying on the use of GM animals, as opposed to unmodified ones, for their research. But what gives the insertion of a piece of DNA from one living being into another such an advantage for scientists? After all, inserting invertebrate genes into mammals, and vice versa, is not easy. It also makes the public uncomfortable and raises the hackles of animal rights organisations. Yet it has become the standard route for researchers. Why? Consider that glowing poultry. Fluorescent chickens were developed by scientists at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute, the zoological research organisation responsible for the creation of Dolly the sheep. As we have noted, the technique involves putting jellyfish genes into the DNA of a chick so that it makes a green, fluorescent protein. “The protein itself does not affect the chicken in any way but it is a very useful tool for looking at the very early embryos,” says Roslin researcher Professor Helen Sang. The crucial point is that chicks are extremely useful for studying embryo development because their growth takes place inside an egg which can be kept in an incubator and studied fairly easily. By contrast, a mammal foetus gestates inside the uterus of its mother, making it far harder for researchers to monitor physiological changes. Thus the chick provides us with a key model for understanding the development of early embryos for all vertebrates, including humans. But the technique had been pushed to its limits by scientists until the arrival of the GM mutant. This allows scientists to tinker with the way in which an embryo develops and so reveal processes that were previously obscured. “You can take a sample of cells from a green embryo and then put them into a normal embryo,” says Sang. “You can then watch and see what organ that group of cells develops into because that tissue will have a green fluorescence. For example, if this part of the chick embryo develops into stem cells, that tells us whether other animals, including humans, have stem cells in that part of their embryos and will therefore provide us with important basic biological insights.” In other words, stem-cell science can get a boost from the glowing green chicken. In fact, the chicken turns out to be a popular target for modification. Roslin scientists are also working on a strain that can express therapeutic proteins in the whites of eggs. In par-

ticular, they are working on whites in which the hen expresses antibodies that can block viruses which cause enteric - ie gut - diseases. Thus it may be possible one day to cook omelettes that could prevent us succumbing to disease, though most scientists envisage a slightly different route in which GM egg whites are dried out before their antibodies are removed and administered separately. But what geneticists have not developed, insists Sang, is the featherless chicken, illustrated on the right. This animal is often held up as the ultimate GM horror, created so that farmers will be saved the effort of having to pluck feathers before poultry are sold to supermarkets. In fact, the partly featherless chicken is a species containing a natural mutation called naked neck which is becoming popular in hot countries, such as Israel, where the animals can be kept cool without a full feather covering . Nevertheless, there are other criticisms of the use of GM animals, as the watchdog group GeneWatch has pointed out. Its director Helen Wallace says the rise in the use of GM animals reveals a disturbing trend: the “genetification” of biology. “There are undoubtedly some legitimate uses of GM animals but this blanket rise is worrying and bears little relation to reality,” she says. Wallace points to the widespread creation of animals - mice in particular - that have been genetically altered so they succumb to human conditions such as obesity and cancer. These mutants are then used to test drugs that could counter these ailments in humans. “The trouble with this approach is that it stresses the use of medical intervention for ailments that also have clear environmental causes,” says Wallace. “Too much food and exposure to pollutants are also clear causes of cancer and obesity, but these are being ignored because of our obsession with genetics. In fact, in many conditions, genes have only a small role to play in the causation of the disease, yet we have become fixated on trying to tackle them, to the detriment of other, more fruitful approaches.” This point is acknowledged - partially - by genetic engineers. “We do concentrate a lot on genetic approaches to disease, but that is because we geneticists are only now catching up with other sciences,” says Luke Alphey, head of Oxitec, an Oxford University spin-off genetics company. “For the first time, we have got the tools to do this sort of thing. And in any case, a disease is generally a combination of genetic and environmental causes. So the more we learn about genetic influences the more we will know about their environmental influences as well.” Alphey and his colleagues are working on techniques to prevent mosquitoes from spreading dengue fever, a severe, sometimes fatal viral illness that affects between 50 to 100 million people a year. “We have created a strain of genetically modified male mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species, the one responsible for spreading dengue fever,” he says. “These males produce offspring that do not develop fully. So they block the appearance of new A. aegypti mosquitoes. Released into the wild, which we hope to do in a few years, these GM mosquitoes should eradicate A. aegypti populations and halt new dengue fever cases. If the technique works, we will have demonstrated just how powerful and useful this technology can be.” — Guardian


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Why autism can’t be diagnosed with brain scans LONDON: The BBC, the Guardian and Reuters last week widely repor ted British researchers published in the Journal of Neuroscience have developed a brain scan which can detect autism in adults with 90% accuracy. Dr Christine Ecker, the lead author, showed her imaging technique was able to detect which people in her group had autism. “If we get a new case, we will also hopefully be 90% accurate,” she said. Pretty simple then, you turn up, have the test, and you have a 90% chance of finding out whether you have autism. Well, you couldn’t be any further from the truth. To determine if a test is accurate, it might appear reasonable to recruit a disease positive group and a disease free group which is what happened in the brain scan study. An example of how this strategy raises false hopes is the stor y of carcino-embr yonic-antigen (CEA) which was measured in 36 people

with known advanced cancer of the colon or rectum. 35 patients (97%) showed elevated results, slightly more than the 90% in the autistic study. At the same time lower levels were found in people with other diseases and without cancer. From these results it would seem CEA is a useful diagnostic test. However, later studies in patients with less advanced cancer, or those with similar symptoms to colon cancer, the accuracy of CEA plummeted and its use in diagnosis was abandoned. The authors of the current study report: “The existence of an ASD biomarker such as brain anatomy might be useful to facilitate and guide the behavioural diagnosis. This would, however, require further extensive exploration in the clinical setting.” To obtain a useful result, a diagnostic study needs to include a broad spectrum of the diseased, from mild to severe. A study also needs to have independent,

blind comparison of test results (in this case the brain scan) with a reference standard (the current tests for autism) among a consecutive series of patients suspected (but not known) to have the target disorder and replication of studies in other settings. But this isn’t my main concern with the reporting of the results. If they stand up to scrutiny and brain scans are adopted widely in the population it will be an expensive waste of money. In those with a positive test, autism will be diagnosed with an accuracy of only 5%, potentially leading to more harm than good. Dr Ecker said she hoped the findings might result in a widely available scan to test for autism. Wait a minute, what has happened? One minute the world news is reporting a test that has 90% accuracy, and I’m saying it is only 5% accurate. Gerd Gigerenzer in his classic BMJ paper on simple tools for understanding

risks tells us: “A glance at the literature shows a shocking lack of statistical understanding of the outcomes of modern technologies, from standard screening tests for HIV infection to DNA evidence.” How the brain scans results are portrayed is one of the simplest mistakes in interpreting diagnostic test accuracy to make. What has happened is, the sensitivity1 has been taken to be the positive predictive value2, which is what you want to know: if I have a positive test do I have the disease? Not, if I have the disease, do I have a positive test? It would help if the results included a measure called the likelihood ratio (LR), which is the likelihood that a given test result would be expected in a patient with the target disorder compared to the likelihood that the same result would be expected in a patient without that disorder. In this case the LR is 4.5. We’ve put up an article if you want to know more on how to calculate the LR. In the general population the preva-

lence of autism is 1 in 100; the actual chances of having the disease are 4.5 times more likely given a positive test. This gives a positive predictive value of 4.5%; about 5 in every 100 with a positive test would have autism. For those still feeling confused and not convinced, let’s think of 10,000 children. Of these 100 (1%) will have autism, 90 of these 100 would have a positive test, 10 are missed as they have a negative test: there’s the 90% reported accuracy by the media. But what about the 9,900 who don’t have the disease? 7,920 of these will test negative (the specificity3 in the Ecker paper is 80%). But, the real worry though, is the numbers without the disease who test positive. This will be substantial: 1,980 of the 9,900 without the disease. This is what happens at very low prevalences, the numbers falsely misdiagnosed rockets. Alarmingly, of the 2,070 with a positive test, only 90 will have the disease, which is roughly 4.5%.

“Some experts say further research will be needed before the new technique can be widely used.” In a direct email communication from Dr Ecker, she states: “It is currently unknown how these values generalise to the entire population, and across all dimensions of the autistic spectrum, which is why we have clearly stated that we are not yet ready to make our approach available in the NHS just yet.”

Carl Heneghan is director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford Notes: 1. Sensitivity is the proportion of people with a disease who have a positive test. 2. Positive predictive value is the proportion of people with a positive test who have the disease. 3. Specificity is the proportion of people free of a disease who have a negative test. — Guardian


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Revealed: NHS fails to curb lethal painkiller errors LONDON: Health workers made more than 1,300 mistakes involving the use of strong painkilling drugs in less than a year, resulting in at least three deaths and severe harm to two other patients, the Guardian can reveal. Nearly one in five dosage errors involving morphine, diamorphine and similar opiate drugs resulted in some harm to NHS patients. Figures released under a Guardian Freedom of Information request show mistakes in England and Wales continue at a high level despite the publicity that followed the Guardian’s revelation in May last year about the death of David Gray. The 70-year-old died at his home in Cambridgeshire when he was injected with a tenfold overdose of diamorphine by Daniel Ubani, a locum GP who had flown in from Germany that day. The official report into the incident last month revealed two other GPs hired, like Ubani, by Take Care Now - a now-defunct company that was then providing some out of hours services for the NHS - had been involved in non-fatal diamorphine overdoses the year before. The breakdown of the new figures suggest lessons have not been

Rory Gray, whose father died from an overdose of diamorphine, called the new figures ‘unbelievable’. — Guardian learned, with little change in the numbers of people harmed by medication errors involving this class of drugs despite several official safety warnings. David Gray’s son, Rory, called the new figures “unbelievable”. “Taken at face value [they] suggest nothing has been made safer with regards to opiate medicines at all. Whilst there is no accountability then it seems there will continue to be no effective

measures put in place to stop these unnecessary and avoidable deaths.” The charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) said the statistics were shocking and “confirm our worst fears about not implementing patient safety alerts”. In its own research, coincidentally being published at the same timetoday, the organisation accuses hospitals and other care providers of killing and injuring patients by not

complying with official directives from the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) intended to protect those receiving care. However, safety experts point out that the numbers of patients being treated by such drugs is rising, so the proportion of mistakes may be going down. Both the NPSA, established in 2003 to help the NHS learn from its mistakes, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the health service regulator, insisted things were improving, although notifying the two bodies over drug and other errors that resulted in death or severe harm only became mandatory on 1 April this year. The NPSA received a total of 4,223 cases involving opiate drugs between November 2004 and June 2008. Of these, 3,338 were recorded as causing no harm, 629 low harm, 242 moderate harm and four severe harm. Five patients died. There was insufficient data on five other cases. Figures from May 2009 to April this year show 1,329 cases, 1,078 said to have resulted in no harm, 179 low harm, 67 moderate, and two severe. Three patients died. Linda Hutchinson, CQC director, said: “Unfortunately we will never

be able to eliminate human error from healthcare, but the risks can be minimised. That is why it is so important that NHS trusts and other health providers report incidents, thoroughly investigate them and make changes to stop the same mistakes happening again. They should also implement changes as a result of safety alerts. Had Take Care Now done this, it is possible that Mr Gray would still be alive today. “The increase in reporting is a good thing. We often find it is the NHS trusts reporting a high number of incidents that are doing a better job of investigating them and taking action to prevent them happening again.”The NPSA said its reporting system was one of the most sophisticated in the world: “We gather patient safety incidents, analyse them for trends and use these as a platform on which to produce patient safety alerts and guidance for the NHS. “It is evident the reporting culture in the NHS has improved with over 1 million incidents [relating to drugs, medical and surgical procedures] reported each year. The majority of incidents reported to us in relation to diamorphine and other opiates result in low or no harm to

the patient. In addition, most of these do not relate to mis-selection of injectable diamorphine or morphine.” The agency believed it was now told of the “vast majority” of serious incidents. The revelations come as hospitals and other providers of care are accused by AvMA of killing and injuring patients by not complying with official directives from the NPSA intended to protect those receiving care. Dozens of hospitals, mental health trusts and primary care trusts are failing to implement patient safety alerts from the agency, despite the Department of Health writing to them reminding them to do so. Some 29 NHS organisations had not put at least 10 alerts into action by 7 June, on issues such as drugs and oxygen, even though with some, the deadline for compliance was several years earlier, according to AvMA: “It is impossible not to conclude that lives are being put at unnecessary risk and it is likely that avoidable injuries or deaths are still being caused as a result of trusts not complying,” it says. Public health minister Anne Milton said: “Across the NHS there

must be a culture of patient safety above all else. We have set out how we intend to free NHS staff from central control and targets that are not clinically justified to allow them to focus on what really matters - reliable, effective and above all safe care for each patient.” Daniel Ubani case David Gray, 70, died at his home in Manea, Cambridgeshire, shortly after he was injected by a huge overdose of the painkiller diamorphine in February 2008. The doctor involved, Daniel Ubani, was on this first shift in the UK, having flown in from Germany, the day before. He admitted in a letter to the Gray family that he had been tired, stressed and unfamiliar with the drug. The official inquiry into the case, completed only last month, revealed that two other doctors from Germany working for the same private company providing NHS with out-of-hours GP services, but in neighbouring Suffolk, had been involved in incidents of diamorphine overdoses the previous year. Though neither was fatal, one patient required resuscitation in hospital A&E and the other was unconscious when an ambulance arrived at their home. — Guardian

Clinical tests found hormone levels in baby formula within the normal range

China says no evidence milk powder caused infant breasts BEIJ ING: China’s health ministry said yesterday an investigation had found no evidence that milk pow der produced by a Chinese company caused three infant girls to grow breasts. The clinical investigation found the hormone levels in the baby formula w ere w ithin the normal range, health ministry spokesman Deng Haihua told a new s conference in Beijing, according to a transcript on the ministry’s w ebsite. Authorities in the central province of Hubei had been ordered to investigate milk powder after parents and doctors expressed fears that hormones in the formula made by NASDAQ-listed Synutra had caused babies to develop breasts. Local food safety authorities had earlier refused a parent’s request to investigate the formula, saying they did not conduct tests at consumers’ behest, state media reported. Tests indicated the level of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from four months to 15 months, who were fed the formula exceeded those of the average adult woman, the China Daily reported last week. A fourth case was reported in Beijing, Xinhua reported on Tuesday. The ministry said previously that medical experts were assisting a separate investigation into the cause of the infants’ condition. Food safety experts led by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had tested the residue of milk powder consumed by the three infants, as well 42 samples of Synutra products on the market and 31 samples of dairy products from other producers, Deng said. Deng said the level of hormone additives found in the sample products were within safe limits. Doctors who examined the three infants also found their Heart attacks are more likely to occur in colder weather, according to a new study in the British premature development was Medical Journal. — Guardian not serious, Deng told reporters. Synutra, based in the eastern city of Qingdao, had insisted in a statement that its products were safe and that no manmade hormones or illegal substances had been added during production. The company on Sunday welcomed the findings and pledged to set up a 10 millionyuan (1.5 million-dollar) fund to LONDON: Even a small drop in tempera- winter must have claimed an unknown precautions, such as wrapping up warm help finance research into “preture leads to an increase in the number of but significant number of lives. “Given and always wearing a hat to minimise cocious puberty.” people who suffer a heart attack, say how cold it was in the UK, and our finding body heat loss through the head. They New Zealand dairy giant that a drop of several degrees over a pro- should also avoid sudden exertion, such researchers. Fonterra said last week it was Each fall of one degree Celsius at any longed period may result in a large num- as clearing snow or pushing a car. “100 percent confident” in its Bhaskaran said that an early warning time of year is associated with 200 extra ber of extra heart attacks, [deaths were] milk supplies to Synutra. people having a heart attack within the probably running into thousands,” he said. system could be set up under which peoSynutra’s shares plunged He and his colleagues studied the ple at particular risk of a heart attack next 28 days, according to a study in the nearly 30 percent in New York records of 84,010 patients who were could be phoned, warned of a cold spell British Medical Journal. over the course of last week on More people tend to have heart attacks admitted to hospital with a heart attack in and offered advice. Such a system was during the winter. Very cold tempera- 15 places in England and Wales during already in place for some people with the news-with a 27 percent tures are thought to affect the heart by 2003-2006, and factored in the daily tem- chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, drop on Monday, their steepest increasing blood pressure and increasing peratures in those areas and other poten- he added. fall since China’s tainted milk Dr Tim Chico, an honorary consultant tial explanatory factors, such as air polluthe chances of the blood clotting. scandal two years ago. cardiologist at the cardiovascular biomedOlder people aged 75 to 84 - and those tion and levels of influenza. Chinese dairy products were “We can’t prove that the cold causes ical research unit at Sheffield University, with existing heart conditions - are particrecalled worldwide in 2008 after ularly vulnerable and should take steps to the increases in heart attacks but even said the study would not change the way it was found that melamine, stay warm when temperatures drop, after controlling for those other factors he treated patients. which is used to make plastics, “Although interesting, the findings do researchers at the London School of we found that they still did not explain the was widely and illegally added link and therefore we were left with cold,” not prove lower temperatures cause heart Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found. to the products to give the attacks directly, and I won’t be telling my Every year around 141,000 people in he said. appearance of higher protein. However, the researchers found that patients to do anything different during the UK have a heart attack, of whom Melamine was found in the 86,000 die, with one in three of them dead those who took aspirin regularly had a cold weather,” he said. products of 22 Chinese dairy He added that anyone concerned about reduced risk of a heart attack. before they reach hospital. companies in a massive scandal The British Heart Foundation said the having a heart attack should not smoke Krishnan Bhaskaran, who led the blamed for the deaths of at least research, said the findings meant that the study showed that those at risk of a heart and should watch their weight and exersix infants and for sickening sustained cold experienced in the UK last attack during cold weather should take cise more. — guardian 300,000 others in China. — AFP

Heart attacks linked to cold weather: Study

Want a baby? Don’t stress about it, suggests the evidence on probability of conception. — Guardian

Stressed women less likely to conceive LONDON: Stressed-out women are 12% less likely to become pregnant during their fertile time, Oxford University scientists have said after testing the advice to women to relax when trying for a baby. They carried out saliva tests on 274 women and analysed levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the enzyme alpha-amylase, an indicator of adrenalin levels. All the women were aged between 18 and 40 and were trying for a baby naturally. Researchers carried out the tests on day six of each woman’s menstrual cycle for six cycles or until the woman fell pregnant. They used fertility monitors to identify ovulation and confirmed the pregnancies with testing kits. The study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found no effect from cortisol on the chances of falling pregnant. But women in the group with the highest levels of alpha-amylase had a 12% lower chance of falling pregnant for each day of their most fertile days than those with the lowest levels of alpha-amylase. The authors concluded: “Stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window.”

Dr Cecilia Pyper, from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, said: “This is the first study to find that a biological measure of stress is associated with a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant that month. We found that those women with high levels of a marker for stress were less likely to succeed in conceiving. “The findings support the idea that couples should aim to stay as relaxed as they can about trying for a baby. In some people’s cases, it might be relevant to look at relaxation techniques, counselling and even approaches like yoga and meditation. “Many couples are very keen to know what they should do to improve their chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby, and this will help us provide the best advice.” Dr Pyper said more research was needed “to understand the size of the effect of stress on the chances of becoming pregnant and how it compares to the effects of factors like smoking, obesity and alcohol.” Further studies would be needed to find if stress-reduction techniques could improve couples’ chances of conceiving.

Thousands flock to see asteroid pod in Japan TOKYO: Thousands of people flocked to an exhibition in Japan yesterday to see a capsule from the Hyabusa space probe which was hoped to have brought asteroid dust to Earth. Some 1,800 people were queuing in Tokyo to see the heat-proof pod, which had travelled in space with the unmanned craft for seven years, even before the exhibition opened in the morning, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) spokesman said. More than 7,000 had visited the first public showing of the capsule by early evening, he said, adding that the space agency expects as many as 50,000 people during the five-day exhibition. The capsule, which journeyed billions of kilometres (miles), was fired back to Earth in June. Technical problems had plagued the Hyabusa, which at one stage spun out of control and lost contact with JAXA for seven weeks, delaying the mission for

three years until the asteroid and Earth re-aligned. When it finally latched onto the potatoshaped Itokawa asteroid, a pellet-firing system designed to stir up dust malfunctioned, leaving it unclear how much material the probe was able to gather. Scientists hope any dust samples from the ancient asteroid in the capsule could help reveal secrets about the origins of the solar system. The space agency has said it found “minute particles” of what it hopes is asteroid dust in the capsule, but it is expected to take months to get the final results of the analysis. The Hayabusa project has generated great excitement in Japan. “I was so impressed that such a small thing came back to Japan after a seven-year space journey,” said one of the visitors. “It is just amazing.” — AFP


Monday, August 16, 2010

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TV PROGRAMS

32

Monday, August 16, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Mighty Ships 22:00 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:50 Mega World 23:40 Mega Builders 00:00 Mercy 01:00 Damages 02:00 Cold Case 03:00 Flash Forward 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 Survivor Heroes vs Villains 06:00 ER 07:00 Mercy 08:00 Dawson’s Creek 09:00 Big Love 10:00 Flash Forward 11:00 Survivor Heroes vs Villains 12:00 ER 13:00 Big Love 14:00 Flash Forward 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Damages 17:00 Cold Case 18:00 Mercy 19:00 ER 20:00 White Collar

00:45 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 01:40 Sharkman 02:35 Worst Shark Attack Ever: Ocean of Fear 04:25 Animal Cops Houston 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 SSPCA: On the Wildside 06:35 Vet on the Loose 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:15 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Groomer Has It 09:40 In Too Deep 10:05 Sharkman 10:55 Monkey Life 11:20 Night 11:50 Animal Precinct 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Philadelphia 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 RSPCA: On the Frontline 15:30 Air Jaws 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Dogs 101 18:15 I’m Alive 19:10 In Search of the Giant Anaconda 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Shark Attack File 22:00 I’m Alive 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 23:50 Untamed & Uncut

00:20 Last Rights 01:10 Hotel Babylon 02:00 Rough Diamond Sd 03:00 Gigglebiz 03:15 Tweenies 03:35 Tellytales 03:45 Tikkabilla 04:15 Gigglebiz 04:30 Tweenies 04:50 Tellytales 05:00 Tikkabilla 05:30 Coast 06:30 Mastermind 2006 07:00 Gigglebiz 07:15 Tweenies 07:35 Tellytales 07:45 Tikkabilla 08:15 Gigglebiz 08:30 Tweenies 08:50 Tellytales 09:00 Tikkabilla 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 Only Fools And Horses 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 Only Fools And Horses 18:00 Mine All Mine 18:50 Doctor Who Confidential 19:00 Waterloo Road 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Terry Jones’ Barbarians 22:35 Doctor Who Confidential 22:45 Holby City 23:45 Holby City

00:10 Saturday Kitchen 00:40 Living In The Sun 01:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 02:15 The Home Show 03:05 Ty’s Great British Adventure 03:55 Cash In The Attic 04:40 Indian Food Made Easy 05:10 Rhodes Across China 05:55 James Martin’s Champagne 06:20 Coastal Kitchen 07:00 The Restaurant UK 08:00 Living In The Sun 08:55 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Hidden Potential 10:00 Cash In The Attic USA 10:30 Rhodes Across China 11:20 Living In The Sun 12:10 Living In The Sun 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:45 Cash In The Attic 14:40 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 Rhodes Across China 17:15 Bargain Hunt 18:00 10 Years Younger 18:55 Come Dine With Me 19:45 Boys’ Weekend 20:10 Saturday Kitchen 20:40 Saturday Kitchen 21:05 Living In The Sun 21:55 Cash In The Attic 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:30 The Restaurant UK

01:00 Dad Savage-PG15 03:00 Casualties Of War-18 05:00 The Babe-PG15 07:00 The Sun Also Rises-PG15 09:00 The Bucket List-PG15 11:00 Eavesdrop-PG 13:00 Red Riding 1974-PG15 15:00 Max And Co.-PG 17:00 Looking For Richard-PG15 19:00 A Thousand Acres-PG15 21:00 Little Nicholas-PG 23:00 People I Know-18

00:40 Destroyed in Seconds 01:10 Destroyed in Seconds 01:35 Ultimate Car Build-Off 02:30 Wheeler Dealers 03:25 Construction Intervention 04:20 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 How It’s Made 05:15 Destroyed in Seconds 05:40 Destroyed in Seconds 06:05 Extreme Engineering 07:00 Mean Machines 07:25 Mega Machines 3 08:15 Street Customs 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 11:00 Overhaulin’ 11:55 Border Security 12:25 How It’s Made 12:50 How Stuff’s Made 13:20 Mythbusters 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Ultimate Survival 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Deadliest Catch 17:55 Mythbusters 18:50 Cake Boss 19:15 Border Security 19:40 The Gadget Show 20:05 How It’s Made 20:35 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Ultimate Survival 21:55 Deadliest Catch-Up 22:50 Black Gold 23:45 Ross Kemp - Return to Afghanistan

00:30 Sci-Fi Science 01:20 The Colony 02:10 The Gadget Show 03:00 Catch It Keep It 03:50 NYC: Inside Out 04:45 Nextworld 05:40 How Does That Work? 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 How Techies Changed the World 09:00 Cosmic Collisions 11:45 Space Pioneer 16:20 How Stuff’s Made 16:50 Scrapheap Challenge 17:45 Brainiac 18:40 Da Vinci’s Machines 19:30 Mega World 20:20 How It’s Made

00:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:50 Suite Life On Deck 01:15 Suite Life On Deck 01:40 Sonny With A Chance 02:05 Jonas 02:30 Hannah Montana 02:55 Hannah Montana 03:20 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 03:45 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 04:10 Brandy And Mr Whiskers 04:35 Fairly Odd Parents 05:00 A Kind Of Magic 05:20 I Got A Rocket 05:45 Wizards Of Waverly Place 06:10 Phineas And Ferb 06:35 Suite Life On Deck 07:00 Replacements 07:01 Hannah Montana 07:50 Kim Possible 08:15 Famous Five 08:35 Fairly Odd Parents 09:00 Jungle Junction 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 And Ferb 11:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:15 Sonny With A Chance 12:40 Hannah Montana 13:00 Viva High School Musical (Argentina) 14:35 Fairly Odd Parents 15:00 Phineas And Ferb 15:25 Replacements 15:50 Suite Life On Deck 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 And 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

00:40 Bank Of Hollywood 01:30 E!es 02:20 E!es 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 40 (more) Crimes Of Fashion 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:10 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 20:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Giuliana And Bill 22:10 E! News 23:00 The Soup 23:25 Wildest Tv Show Moments 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Clay Marzo - Just Add Water 1 01:00 Strikeforce 02:00 Tread Bmx 05:00 One Winter Story 06:00 I-Ex 08:00 Quattro Int Events: Gt Academy 2 08:30 Quattro Int Events: Cold Water Classics: Tasmania 09:00 Quattro Int Events: Tim Boal/ Beat Kammerlander 09:30 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Cwc Scotland 10:00 Quattro Int Events: Swatch Profile Beach Volleyball 10:30 Quattro Int Events: Nissan Outdoor Games 11:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2

12:00 Untracked Series 2 12:30 Untracked Series 2 13:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 13:30 F.I.A European Drag Racing 14:00 Rebel Events 2009: European Skateboard Champs Ep11 14:30 Rebel Events 2009: Extreme Playgrounds - Summer Session 15:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 16:00 Untracked Series 2 16:30 Untracked Series 2 17:00 Quattro Int Events: Gt Academy 2 17:30 Quattro Int Events: Cold Water Classics: Tasmania 18:00 Quattro Int Events: Tim Boal/ Beat Kammerlander 18:30 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Cwc Scotland 19:00 Quattro Int Events: Swatch Profile Beach Volleyball 19:30 Quattro Int Events: Nissan Outdoor Games 20:00 Untracked Series 2 20:30 Untracked Series 2 21:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 22:00 Bad Boy Racers 23:00 M1 Challange

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

00:00 Better Off Ted 00:30 Will & Grace 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 01:30 The Colbert Report (repeat) 02:00 Entourage 02:30 How to make it in America 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:30 Family Biz 05:00 Just Shoot me! 05:30 Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Eight Simple Rules 07:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Just Shoot me! 09:00 Family Biz 09:30 The Drew Carey show 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Will & Grace 11:00 Frasier 11:30 New Adventures of old Christine 12:00 Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show 13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 Family Biz 14:30 Scrubs 15:00 Brothers 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 16:00 The Colbert Report (repeat) 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Seinfeld 18:30 Will & Grace 19:00 Brothers 19:30 Scrubs 20:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Global Edition) 21:30 Colbert Report Global 22:00 Monday night Stand Up 23:00 Everybody Loves Raymond

Lovely, Still on Super Movies 21:00 Daylight-PG15 23:00 Autopsy-18

00:00 Major League Soccer New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy 04:00 The Golf Channel - TBA 06:00 Golf Central International LIVE From the PGA Championship 07:00 Women’s Professional Soccer Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers 09:00 Golf Central International LIVE From the PGA Championship 10:00 Major League Soccer New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy 13:00 Golf Central International LIVE From the PGA Championship 14:00 Sport Central 14:30 World Sport 2010 15:00 The Big Ten’s Greatest Games: Football 1989 Rose Bowl: Michigan v Washington State 17:00 Boxing TBA 19:00 Major League Soccer New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy 22:00 Women’s Professional Soccer Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers

00:30 Autopsy: Most Shocking Cases 01:20 True Crime Scene 02:10 On the Case with Paula Zahn 03:05 Deadly Women 04:00 I Escaped Death 04:55 Ghosthunters 05:20 FBI Files 06:10 Real Emergency Calls 06:35 Real Emergency Calls 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Undercover 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Real Emergency Calls 12:25 Real Emergency Calls 12:50 The Prosecutors 13:40 Disappeared 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Undercover 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 19:55 Real Emergency Calls 20:20 The Prosecutors 21:10 Disappeared 22:00 FBI Case Files 22:50 Forensic Justice 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:30 The Commitments 03:25 State Of Grace 05:35 Board Heads 07:05 A Dangerous Woman 08:45 Woman Of Straw 10:40 Fatal Instinct 12:10 Secret Of N.I.M.H. 13:35 Getting Even With Dad 15:25 Love Field 17:10 100 Films & A Funeral 18:35 Beauty Shop 20:20 The Cure 22:00 Moonstruck 23:40 Coffy

Tenderness on Show Movies

Travelled 12:30 Word Travels 13:00 Bondi Rescue 13:30 Departures 14:30 Long Way Down 15:30 Madventures 16:00 Banged Up Abroad 17:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 17:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Word Travels 19:00 Bondi Rescue 19:30 Departures 20:30 Long Way Down 21:30 Madventures 22:00 Banged Up Abroad 23:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 23:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled

00:30 Bondi Rescue 01:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 01:30 Bondi Rescue 02:00 Graham’s World 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:30 4Real 05:00 Pressure Cook 05:30 Solo - Lost At Sea 06:30 Bondi Rescue 07:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 07:30 Bondi Rescue 08:00 Graham’s World 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Banged Up Abroad 10:30 4Real 11:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 11:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 05:00 GMA Weekend (Repeat) 06:00 Parenting 06:30 Popcorn 07:00 Ahead of The Curve 07:30 Moms Get Real / Now you know 08:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 09:00 Never Trust a Skinny Cook 09:30 Huey’s cooking adventures 10:00 The Martha Stewart Show 11:00 The View (repeat) 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 Chef’s table 16:30 Nature’s Edge 17:00 Never Trust a Skinny Cook 17:30 Huey’s cooking adventures 18:00 10 Years Younger 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View (repeat) 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 23:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified

07:00 Special Agent OSO 07:25 Handy Manny 07:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:15 Imagination Movers 08:40 Special Agent OSO 08:50 Jungle Junction 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:50 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 10:15 Special Agent OSO 10:40 Imagination Movers 11:05 Lazytown 11:30 Handy Manny 11:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 12:20 Little Einsteins 12:45 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 13:10 Special Agent OSO 13:35 Imagination Movers 14:00 Handy Manny 14:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:50 Special Agent OSO 15:05 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 15:30 Imagination Movers 15:55 Jo Jo’s Circus 16:20 Handy Manny 16:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:10 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 17:35 Special Agent OSO 17:45 Imagination Movers 18:10 Handy Manny 18:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 18:55 Special Agent OSO 19:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

00:15 Tenderness-18 02:00 Virtuality-PG15 04:00 Igor-PG 06:00 The Secret Lives Of Second Wives 08:00 Bolt-FAM 10:00 Three Investigators-PG15 12:00 Leatherheads-PG15 14:00 Call Of The North-PG 16:00 Bolt-FAM 18:00 Star Trek-PG 20:15 Smart People-PG15 22:00 Step Brothers-PG15

01:00 Die Hard-PG15 03:10 Alien Raiders-18 05:00 Double Team-PG15 07:00 Eagle Eye-PG15 09:00 Bionicle: The Legend Reborn-PG15 11:00 House Of Fallen-PG15 13:00 Mean Machine-PG15 15:00 Bionicle: The Legend Reborn-PG15 17:00 The Dark Knight-PG15 19:30 Child’s Play-18

00:00 Orange County-PG15 02:00 Blue State-PG15 04:00 Legally Blondes-PG 06:00 The Scout-PG15 08:00 Cj7-PG 10:00 Rock Slyde-PG15 12:00 Blank Check-FAM 14:00 Lucky Break-PG15 16:00 Orange County-PG15 18:00 The Last Shot-PG15 20:00 Run Fatboy Run-PG15 22:00 Idle Hands-18

00:00 Red Wall : The Movie-FAM 02:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 04:00 Alexander The Great-FAM 06:00 Au Pair 3 : Adventure In Paradise08:00 Yogi’s Great Escape-PG 10:00 Alexander The Great-FAM 12:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s -PG 14:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 16:00 Legend Of The Titanic-FAM 18:00 Madagascar 2-PG 20:00 Sing To The Dawn-FAM 22:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s -PG

00:00 The Philanthropist 01:00 Law & Order 02:00 Desperate Housewives 03:00 One Tree Hill 04:00 Three Sisters 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Without a trace 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Desperate Housewives 08:00 Three Sisters 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 One Tree Hill 10:00 Without a trace 11:00 Desperate Housewives 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Three Sisters 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 The Philanthropist 15:00 Law & Order 16:00 Without a trace 17:00 One Tree Hill 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Eureka 20:00 Drop Dead Diva 21:00 Desperate Housewives 22:00 Without a trace 23:00 One Tree Hill

01:00 NRL Premiership 03:00 Futbol Mundial 03:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 04:00 Scottish Premier League 06:00 Brazil League Highlights 06:30 World Sport 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 Scottish Premier League 10:00 NRL Premiership 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 PGA Championship 18:30 Futbol Mundial 19:00 ICC Cricket World 19:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 20:00 AFL Highlights

02:00 World Sport 02:30 AFL Premiership 05:00 NRL Premiership 07:00 PGA Championship 11:30 World Pool Masters 12:30 World Match Racing Tour

Highlights 13:30 World Sport 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 Scottish Premier League 16:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 17:00 NRL Premiership 19:00 Triatholn 20:00 PGA Championship

00:00 WWE NXT 01:00 WWE SmackDown 03:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 04:00 UFC 117 Silva vs. Sonnin 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 09:00 UAE National Race Day 09:30 Planet Power Boats 10:00 Le Mans Series Highlights 11:00 V8 Supercars Championship 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 14:30 UAE National Race Day 15:00 WWE SmackDown 17:00 WWE Vintage Collection 18:00 UFC 117 Silva vs. Sonnin 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 The Golden Door-PG15 03:00 Leaving Barstow-PG15 05:00 The Firm-PG15 07:00 Living Proof-PG 09:00 Lovely Still-PG 11:00 Take The Lead-PG 13:00 Northern Lights-PG 15:00 Frame Of Mind-PG15 17:00 Lovely Still-PG 19:00 The Day The Earth Stood Still 21:00 Rachel Getting Married-PG15 23:00 Surrogates-PG15

00:20 Shaft 02:05 Silk Stockings 04:00 Get Carter 05:55 The Screening Room 06:25 The Screening Room 07:00 Travels With My Aunt 08:45 The Prize 11:00 Never So Few 13:00 Silk Stockings 14:55 Butterfield 8 16:40 The Wonderful World Of The Brothers... 18:45 Born Free 20:20 Elvis: That’s The Way It Is 22:00 Cisco Pike 23:35 The Screening Room

00:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 01:20 Deep Sea Detectives 02:10 How the Earth Was Made 2 03:00 Tales of the Gun 03:55 Declassified 04:50 Japan Under American Occupation 05:40 Human Weapon 06:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 07:20 Deep Sea Detectives 08:10 How the Earth Was Made 2 09:00 Tales of the Gun 09:55 Declassified 10:50 Japan Under American Occupation 11:40 Human Weapon 12:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 13:20 Deep Sea Detectives 14:10 How the Earth Was Made 2 15:00 Tales of the Gun 15:55 Declassified 16:50 Japan Under American Occupation 17:40 Human Weapon 18:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 19:20 Deep Sea Detectives 20:10 Tales of the Gun

00:00 Peter Perfect 01:00 My Celebrity Home

02:00 How Do I Look? 03:00 Split Ends 04:00 Dr 90210 05:00 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 05:30 Area 06:00 How Do I Look? 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Dress My Nest 08:00 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Style Star 09:30 Style Her Famous 10:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:00 Peter Perfect 12:00 Ruby 12:30 Giuliana And Bill 13:00 Clean House 14:00 Tacky House 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 17:00 How Do I Look? 18:00 How Do I Look? 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 21:00 Peter Perfect 22:00 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 23:00 Peter Perfect

01:00 Code 01:04 Africa 10 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:00 Code 05:04 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Sound System 10 08:45 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 Latina 10 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Code 20:04 Hit Us 21:00 Playlist

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Intrepid Journeys 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Travel Notebook 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 06:00 Planet Food 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 $100 Taxi Ride 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Culture Shock 09:30 Croissants In The Jungle 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Planet Sports 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Chef Abroad 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 Sophie Grigson in the Souk 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 Culture Shock 15:30 Croissants In The Jungle 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 $100 Taxi Ride 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Planet Food 21:00 Hollywood and Vines

00:00 Music For The Masses 01:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out 07:00 Vh1 Hits 09:00 Aerobic 10:00 Vh1 Hits 11:00 Music For The Masses 12:00 Top 10 Madonna 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 Vh1 Pop Chart 15:00 Vh1 Music 17:00 Music For The Masses 18:00 Vh1 Pop Chart 19:00 Music For The Masses 21:00 Ke$ha’s Top 50 US Party Pt5 22:00 All Time Top 10 AC/DC


Monday, August 16, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for executive bachelors, families or ladies with 3 BHK C-A/C apartment, Indians only. Ph: 66625901 / 24716975. (C 2575) Sharing accommodation available for a single bachelor or a family with Kerala family in Hawally, near Canary restaurant. Ph: 97875243 / 99340634. (C 2577) 16-8-2010 Room for sharing in Farwaniya near 6th Ring Road, full furnished. Only decent couple or decent bachelor. From September 1. Tel: 67639602. (C2570)

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 16/08/2010 Airlines Flt Route Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Middle East 406 Beirut Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa/Bahrain Jazeera 435 Mashad Air Arabia Egypt 551 Alexandria Egypt Air 614 Cairo Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Jazeera 529 Assiut Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 352 Cochin Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 447 Doha Iran Aseman 6521 Lamerd Jazeera 171 Dubai Egypt Air 610 Cairo Oman Air 645 Muscat Jordanian 800 Amman United 982 Washington DC Dulles Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 332 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Saudia 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Kuwait 548 Luxor Kuwait 546 Alexandria Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 118 New York Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudia 510 Riyadh Jazeera 493 Jeddah Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 239 Amman Jazeera 367 Deirezzor SriLankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Kuwait 104 London Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 786 Jeddah Kuwait 618 Doha Jazeera 177 Dubai Kuwait 744 Dammam Kuwait 674 Dubai Kuwait 614 Bahrain Kuwait 774 Riyadh Indian 575 Chennai/Goa Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Middle East 402 Beirut Rovos 081 Baghdad Jet A/W 572 Mumbai KLM 0445 Amsterdam Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut Wataniya Airways 632 Rome DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Jazeera 459 Damascus Emirates 859 Dubai Qatari 136 Doha United 981 Bahrain Jazeera 429 Bahrain Jazeera 449 Doha Jazeera 185 Dubai Egypt Air 612 Cairo Tunis Air 327 Tunis Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Pakistan 239 Sialkot Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Monday 16/08/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Middle East 409 Beirut India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Safi 216 Kabul Indian 982 Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai Pakistan 206 Peshawar/Lahore Middle East 407 Beirut Turkish 773 Istanbul Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria Egypt Air 615 Cairo DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Wataniya Airways 331 Alexandria Jazeera 422 Bahrain Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 547 Luxor Wataniya Airways 631 Rome Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Middle East 405 Beirut Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 238 Amman Jazeera 492 Jeddah Jazeera 366 Deirezzor Kuwait 103 London Iran Aseman 6522 Lamerd Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Oman Air 646 Muscat Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Jordanian 801 Amman Fly Dubai 058 Dubai United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 617 Doha Saudia 501 Jeddah Nas Air 746 Jeddah Jazeera 458 Damascus Kuwait 773 Riyadh Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 613 Bahrain Kuwait 743 Dammam Rovos 082 Baghdad Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Emirates 858 Dubai Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Jazeera 184 Dubai Saudia 511 Riyadh Jazeera 448 Doha SriLankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Kuwait 283 Dhaka Jazeera 266 Beirut Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Kuwait 331 Trivandrum Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Kuwait 381 Delhi Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria United 981 Washington DC Dulles Jazeera 502 Luxor Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Egypt Air 613 Cairo

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

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

Sharing accommodation available in 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom new C-A/C flat for one working lady with Keralite family. Con: 66013882. (C 2572) 15-8-2010 Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelor in a C-A/C, 2 BHK flat with bedroom, bath, kitchen and internet facility near Eedie store, Salmiya. Rent KD 125 P.M. Contact: 99764820 / 25660853 (C 2567) 14-8-2010 Sharing furnished room for one bachelor with a Kerala bachelor for KD 30 in Jeleeb Shuwaikh Opp. German Clinic Area. 66475154. (C 2562) 12-8-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite nonsmoking executive bachelor in Abbassia with a Keralite couple in a semi furnished independent room with immediate effect. Tel: 24315223 Mob: 99553260 after 4 pm. (C 2556) Furnished sharing accommodation available for a Muslim family, in 3 bedroom flat with all facilities from 0109-10. Interested please call. Mob: 66212821 (C 2555) 10-8-2010 Sharing accommodation available with family for Keralite family or a working lady or bachelor near Indian Community Senior school, Salmiya. Tel: 66135116. (C 2553) Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C building with separate bathroom, in Abbasiya, Sreeragom furniture building (opp. Spencerce bakery) for a couple or an executive bachelor with a Keralite family from September 1. Contact No: 24348730 / 99750711. (C 2552) 9-8-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite family or working ladies to share with another working lady, well furnished two bedroom flat, near Germen Clinic Abbasiya. Tel: 94467326 (C 2549) Sharing accommodation available with family for single decent bachelor, non smoking. Opposite AlRashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. (For ladies only) Tel: 66232356 (C 2547) Sharing accommodation available for a couple or a working lady share with small family, near Robin store, Abbassiya from September 1. Tel: 97647066 (C 2545) Sharing accommodation available for a decent bachelor Goan or Manglorian only, with Goan (RC) family near Anmol Restaurant, Salmiya. Tel: 97967615 (C 2544) Sharing accommodation available for families, executive bachelors or ladies with 2 BHR, central A/C, (Indian only). Tel: 66625901 / 24716975 (C 2542) 8-8-2010

FOR SALE 2006 - Toyota Corolla (Black) for sale, run 52000 km, doctor driven, excellent condition. Call: 99201302 / 24992654. (C 2565) 16-8-2010 Furniture and other appliances in excellent condition Behind Crowne Plaza hotel, Farwaniya. KD 375. Interested may call on 99793184. (C 2568) Yellow and white chaise lounge 213.5 cm (7ft) long book case - 5 shelves 169.5 cm (5.5ft) by 59 cm (2ft) end table - both natural color wood - flatbed scanner windows-XP compatible. Call: 94455689. (C 2569) 14-8-2010

SITUATION WANTED

I am looking for a job as a heavy duty driver. I have heavy license. Indian, Muslim. 3 years 6 months heavy vehicles driving experience in Kuwait. Want to work only in company. Contact No: 99613730/65972645. (C 2571) 15-8-2010

MATRIMONIAL Orthodox parents living in United States for 37 years, invite marriage proposal for their son, 28, born and brought up in US. 6始 tall, fair

No: 14822

and handsome. Bachelors degree in electronic engineering. Currently working in a US company in Texas. Doctors, engineers and BS nurses are preferred. Please contact us at: alexmathew48@yahoo.com (C 2576) 16-8-2010 Inviting proposals from parents of qualified Nair girls for Nair boy, Sudhajathakam, 28 years, 182 cm ht, Makayiram star, graduated, engineering diploma in automobile, working in Kuwait as automobile technician. Trivandrum based, financially sound background. Interested please contact. rajeshq8@gmail.com (C 2566) 14-8-2010

TRANSPORT Wanted transport for a lady from Sharq to Airport at 7 am and back at 5 pm. Contact 66853905. 16-8-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Required English speaking nanny/maid. Please call 99824597 between 12:00 4:00 pm. (C 2578) 16-8-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Kanukurthi Shankar Babu, passport number H5026863, have changed my wife铆s old name, Kanukurthi Madhulatha (old passport number Z1274387) to Bommavaram Latha, new passport J3507824. Tel: 97335259. (C 2573) I, Hardeep Singh, S/o Mewa Singh, passport No. B2617483, have changed my name to Hardeep Singh Athwal. (C 2574) 15-8-2010 I, Elumalai Samikkannu, holder of Indian passport No. G7958947 change my name to Mohammad. (C 2564) 12-8-2010


34

SPECTRUM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 54

Aries (March 21-April 19) Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are felt instinctively. You want roots and you may crave a sense of intimate, lasting connection, a castle against the uncertainty of the world. It is time to talk about ways in which one can place money aside for rainy days or travel dreams. Your close friends may have ideas in which you could save or invest. Find ways in which your money will work for you, yet will be difficult to cash-in quickly. Of course, the business world of money transactions is not open today but planning can be beneficial. This will help you to reach your goals of travel, redecorating, large purchases, education, etc., faster and with less frustration. Your love relationship is improving and family matters have levity. Taurus (April 20-May 20) There is a drive to probe and penetrate today and this may find you examining and working through some strong internal changes. Push too hard and you could be too dominating, even oppressive to yourself and others. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need and finds you involved in sharing stories or experiences that can bring about much laughter. Later today you may feel that emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are most important. These issues are felt instinctively now. Your health report is good, but you must pay more attention to diet and nutrition. An exercise class that is competitive becomes an activity with which you enjoy becoming involved. You make great progress!

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Hormones (estrogen and progestin) are given to postmenopausal women. 4. On a ship, train, plane or other vehicle. 10. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 13. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 14. Mature male goose. 15. Being ten more than one hundred thirty. 16. Black tropical American cuckoo. 17. Sightlessness (especially because of a structural defect in or the absence of an eye). 18. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 19. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 21. Emotionally affected. 23. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 26. Render capable or able for some task. 27. Tropical American herbs sometimes included in genus Episcia. 29. Of flax, hemp, or jute, so as to promote loosening of the fibers form the woody tissue. 30. (Welsh) Underworld god. 31. Being one hundred more than three hundred. 33. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 37. A very light colorless element that is one of the six inert gasses. 40. A quantity of no importance. 41. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 43. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 44. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 46. The rate at which red blood cells settle out in a tube of blood under standardized conditions. 48. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 50. In bed. 54. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 57. United States liquid unit equal to 4 quarts or 3.785 liters. 60. An informal term for a father. 61. A public promotion of some product or service. 62. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 63. Long-tailed arboreal mustelid of Central and South America. 64. Having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly. 65. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 66. Thick like cream. 67. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 2. Type genus of the Ranidae. 3. Marked by skill in deception. 4. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 5. A Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph. 6. United States musician (born in Japan) who married John Lennon and collaborated with him on recordings (born in 1933). 7. A system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage. 8. German bacteriologist who described a disease now known as Reiter's syndrome and who identified the spirochete that causes syphilis in humans (1881-1969). 9. Emptied or exhausted of (as by drawing off e.g. water or other liquid). 10. Sour or bitter in taste. 11. As from a country. 12. A group of biological taxa or species that share features inherited from a common ancestor. 20. (in Gnosticism) A divine power or nature emanating from the Supreme Being and playing various roles in the operation of the universe. 22. A switch made from the stems of the rattan palms. 24. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 25. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 28. 100 lwei equal 1 kwanza. 32. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 34. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 35. A doctor's degree in dental surgery. 36. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 38. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 39. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 40. Emptying accomplished by draining. 42. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 45. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 47. A city in central Alabama on the Alabama river. 49. The 10th letter of the Greek alphabet. 51. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 52. A male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917). 53. Make amends for. 55. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 56. An informal term for a father. 58. Greenwich Mean Time updated with leap seconds. 59. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 60. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 61. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) A strong devotional nature becomes apparent to anyone who takes time to know the real you. You love attention and somehow you can manage to gravitate to the center of almost any group or happening this afternoon. You enjoy expressing yourself and could find yourself entertaining others. Your living area reflects your personality and there may be some fun times spent in redecorating or shuffling things around to look different. Let yourself dream today. These days do not come too often--do not ignore the opportunity to let your imagination loose. Perhaps a good book or movie will take on that more-than-real dimension. Going with the flow of the day seems right. Romance is possible. Consider the stars.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a great time to be with others and to play or work together. Part of this day is filled with opportunities to be with your loved ones in some extremely inspiring surroundings. This could mean a trip to a planetarium, a special play, a musical, an art show, etc. Short travel expeditions could be in order and a sense of belonging and nurturing are the issues that are felt instinctively now. You love your roots, whether home and family, ancestors or history in general. You are probably a collector and very discriminating in this area. You appreciate emotions and like to get a sense or feel for whatever is happening. This is a wonderful time to build on relationships. Leo (July 23-August 22) You have a searing vision that cuts through what passes for conventional religion. This is a vision of the endless process of life ever being born all new. There is great acceptance and faith in the natural process. You may enjoy some time on a nearby lake with a friend or loved one today. This evening you could find yourself entertaining children. You love children and animals and may find that they are just naturally attracted to you. Perhaps you enjoy entertaining others--you have a way of entertaining that brings laughter and joy to anyone that takes the time to get to know you. You have plenty of enthusiasm and warm up to things and people quickly. You have an inner self-confidence that burns with its own light.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) There is a yearning to broaden horizons and widen your experiences in this life-a kind of spiritual wanderlust takes center stage in your life now. You could find yourself visiting a different religious group with a friend today. You may become involved in conversations surrounding religious matters with a variety of your friends. There are all sorts of spiritual backgrounds available for your inspection. All life seems linked together and connected. You have a new understanding of the world, the universe and yourself. There is spiritual growth and imagination. There are many ways of seeing through the separateness in the world--to the unity behind it. You may spend much of the afternoon in relaxation.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This is a good time to organize your affairs or rearrange your living area--perhaps a summer cleaning. Your home environment, friends and surroundings in general get attention. There are good conversations with young people today and perhaps some insight into their thinking. This time is known for being quite lucky and full of fortunate circumstances that create fortunate changes--new people and objects of beauty. Your intensity and passionate approach to life are obvious to all who meet you. Life would be boring if we were all the same. If you are willing to relax this afternoon--just letting life flow to you--you could be in for wonderful surprises. You might spend a romantic evening with someone special.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Marriage, children, animals or gardening can be enjoyed this morning. As the day progresses, you may find the occult, psychology, initiation and mysticism of great interest and may even find yourself at some sort of a psychic fair. You are constantly involved in personal change as a lifelong habit. Sometimes you even feel a bit slow; however, you are nothing but perceptive and intuitive when it comes to enlightenment. You could write, create and investigate a number of scientific phenomena and enjoy every moment. Check out the latest scientific research . . . you could join the team--the research can be encompassing. Everything conspires to reveal you at your most elegant this afternoon, particularly in situations that find you with groups of people. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Emotional considerations may block the way you want to move today. Someone may get pushy or obscure the real choices and the right path. You have no trouble putting your feelings into words. In fact, you may have to exercise some control over your tongue--for you are quick to say things. Everything you communicate packs a wallop. Getting away to think by yourself can bring you the answers you need. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are the things that are felt instinctively now. You want roots and you crave a sense of intimate connection that will last--a castle against the vicissitudes of the world, so to speak. Let a love relationship blossom--do not push issues or feelings too much today. This is a day for joy.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yester

Yesterday’s Solution

To

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

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202

Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich

00203 009611 0096311 0096321 0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Everything points to your taking the initiative today in the family or a love partner's activities. You are the inspiration and driving force in the lives of others. A born coach or teacher, you are at home in the physical areas of life. You are quite able to manage a very active and strong emotional life. Strong spirit, attractive, direct, perhaps loud--you are driven to excel in any form of physical and creative expression-sports, theatrics, arts and crafts, whatever. This urge to express yourself, to speak out and be heard, propels you into many an interesting situation. Communicating and getting your message across to others is at a high just now. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous and alive.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Everyoneís communication skills are at a high just now. Interactions with friends and family can be fun. Others will find you most spontaneous and full of energy to do most anything today. Ideas, mental things, information exchange and the interrelating of all these are central to your day. You could bring imagination and religious understanding to physical and scientific studies. There is the possibility of new visions or sudden insights into your self-image or into your ideals and dreams. You may do some thinking on reshaping and renewing your philosophy or religion--your imagination is at full tilt. There are breakthroughs in compassion and communion. The mind simply cannot focus on misery when it is flooded with the desire to heal and be happy. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Some volunteer work may keep you busy most of this day. This could be in helping friends, contributing your expertise in a community project or a little time spent in a religious project. You like to care for others and this can be quite a fulfilling day if you do not overdo or push on into the time you need for yourself. There is a giving-up of much superficiality in favor of in-depth learning and self-discipline--separating the wheat from the chaff in your personality. A bout of philosophy or even a little religion could have an enormous effect on the way you look at your career during this time. Lasting values, whatever you find to be true and enduring, can guide you now--opening up avenues that have remained blocked.


INFORMATION

Monday, August 16, 2010

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

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

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

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

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

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

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

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

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

22633135

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

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

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

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SPECTRUM

he singer-and-actress tied the knot with hockey player Mike Comrie in a stunning sunset ceremony in Santa Barbara, California, in front of 100 guests, according to America’s OK magazine. Hilary - who wore a mermaid-style dress by renowned wedding gown designer Vera Wang - was walked down the aisle by her mother Susan Duff and was accompanied by five bridesmaids, who included her sister Haylie Duff. The couple - who started dating in 2007 - got engaged in February after Mike, 29, proposed in Hawaii. Hilary, 22, and Mike met on a trip to a resort in Idaho and have been inseparable ever since. The sportsman has said of their first meeting: ‘We were all on the same plane and it was kind of, I guess, maybe a bit of a fluke. She calls it ironic. No I’m kidding! It was one of those things where we were all in a group . we spent the weekend all hanging out.’ Speaking of their relationship Hilary has said she couldn’t be happier and loved everything about him. She said: ‘I’ve never met anyone who can say a bad word about him. He’s generous, caring and sunny. We just laugh our heads off.’

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Anastacia feels like ‘Momastacia’ he ‘I’m Outta Love’ hitmaker - who split from husband Wayne Newton in April after three years of marriage - loves caring for her godchildren but is unsure whether she wants kids of her own. She said: “I’m not sure if I want children. I would consider adopting

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Nicolas Cage’s life on film

buying for others.” The 41-year-old star also revealed she is changing her expectations of what she wants in a man. She said: “Funny guys attract me, but I also like men who are opposite me. “Now I’m finding myself drawn

of fashion really. “But I stay active with things like water skiing and horse riding and I guess that keeps the weight off.” The blonde beauty creates a weekly menu for her family but can’t resist snacking on their leftovers. She added: “I tend to snack on whatever me and the boys have left over from our regular weekly menu. “So that’ll be a bit of chicken from Wednesday night’s dinner, steak from Thursday night, fish from Friday, and so on.”

icolas Cage used to envision his life as a film. The ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ actor was fascinated by movies and TV from a very young age and spent a lot of time trying to work out how to get on television, but didn’t find a focus for his ambition until he was a teenager. He said: “I would watch the TV intently and try to figure out how to get inside it from the living room carpet. “Going to elementary school, I envisaged crane shots of myself which would widen out to show me as this tiny little boy walking down the street. “But it wasn’t until I was 15 that I went to the New Beverly Cinema, a little arthouse cinema in Los Angeles, and I discovered James Dean in ‘East of Eden’. The scene where he’s trying to give Raymond Massey the money from the beans he sold on his father’s birthday blew my mind.” The 46-yearold star also revealed he was attracted to his latest movie which is based on the Disney adventure ‘Fantasia’ - because he wanted to make a film about magic. He explained: “You can’t really survive in the arts if you don’t keep the magical child’s mind alive. “Magic is really very simple. It’s about imagination, plus willpower, focused in such a way to create conscious effects in the material world. Every book is a work of magic, every speech that moves people is a work of magic, every movie is a work of magic.”

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Roberts too busy for glamour

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he 47-year-old supermodel who has sons Arpad, 12, and Aurelius, seven, with ex-fiance Arpad Busson - admits she has to exercise a lot in order to stay in shape because she loves food. She said: “I enjoy eating too much to give up on my favorite foods. I’m naturally the curvy type and I’m more concerned with feeling fit and healthy than looking super slim. “My worst habit is eating too much - I eat like it’s going out

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he ‘Medium’ actress - who, last year, called off plans to divorce husband Thomas Jane after filing papers citing “irreconcilable differences” - has decided to legally end her four-year marriage although the split is said to be amicable. A representative for actor Thomas said: “The split is completely amicable and their prime focus is their daughter. They ask that their privacy be respected at this time.” Following news of their initial split last January, it was reported the couple were regretting their decision to terminate their marriage and planned to reunite. Patricia and Thomas co-hosted a party for a musician friend at their Los Angeles home just weeks after announcing their break-up. The invite for the bash read: “Thomas Jane and Patricia Arquette Invite You to Their Home to Witness the Spectacular Eric Lewis.” The couple married in May 2006 after meeting through mutual friends in 2001. They got engaged in 2002 and in 2003 Patricia gave birth to their daughter Harlow Olivia Calliope.

ulia Roberts doesn’t worry about looking glamorous. The ‘Eat Pray Love’ actress - who has twins Hazel and Phinneaus, five, and threeyear-old Henry with husband Danny Moder - insists she is always too busy readying her family for the day to think about her appearance. She explained: “When you’ve got four people to get dressed to get out the door

actually. I’m feeling maternal, like a ‘Momastacia’. “I love buying presents for my godchildren. In fact, they call me ‘Anna Claus’. It’s so much more fun

Elle Macpherson eats too much

Patricia Arquette has split from her husband

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Monday, August 16, 2010

DiCaprio’s marriage uncertainty eonardo DiCaprio “doesn’t know” if he’ll ever get married. The actor whose close friend Kate Winslet split from director spouse Sam Mendes soon after the three of them had worked on ‘Revolutionary Road’ - admits seeing other people’s failed marriages has put him off tying the knot. Leonardo - who is dating model Bar Rafaeli - said: “I don’t know whether I’ll ever get married. I’ve seen too many supposedly happy marriages go down. I’ve been as shocked as anyone. “No one can look at the marriages of other

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you don’t really tend to spend a lot of time on yourself.” However, the 42year-old actress - who is the face of French cosmetic company Lancome insists she has never been too concerned about her looks. She added: “But that’s the way I roll anyway. I was never one to do my hair and make-up just to go down to the market, so it’s really not that much differ-

ent. If I get a little eye cream on I feel like I’m ahead of myself.” And Julia revealed that she worries about the effects of using too many products or having beauty treatments. She commented: “The body is a great machine and it knows how to take care of itself. I think more often than not the things we do to our skin or our bodies can hold it back from doing its proper job.”

people and make a judgment. I don’t know the private lives o the actors I work with. I just know if they are good actors or good directors.” The ‘Inception’ star also admitted he is unsure whether he would be comfortable with his girlfriend being on set if he had to shoot a love scene. He added: “It depends on the circumstances. “It all sounds very strange to people who’ve never been on a film set. “There’s a group of people on one side of the camera and it’s all about lighting, angles, sound and getting your lines right.”

to different types. This young surfer dude was on ‘American Idol’ and I thought he was cute. Does that make me a cougar?”

iley Cyrus always makes best friends with the “lighting guy”. The singerand-actress - who locks lips with her real life boyfriend in recent movie ‘The Last Song’ - thinks the key to making a screen kiss look good is to have the best possible lighting, and so always does what she can to get the crew on her side. She said: “What makes the perfect movie kiss? I’ll let you into a little secret: the best thing that I learned on my show is to

M

Cyrus befriends the lighting guy

Hilary Duff has got married

36

become best friends with your lighting guy. “That way, they make you look really good in every single scene - especially for that perfect movie kiss. That’s my main trick as an actress. Make friends with the lighting guy and you’ll be fine!” Miley used her technique on the ‘Last Song’, and admits her smooch with Liam was not as “perfect” as it may have appeared. She added: “In all movies, the kiss is always planned. It’s written to be the most perfect kiss ever - but in reality, that’s unlikely to happen to anyone. It’s cool that I get to live out that fairytale life, but it’s not real.”


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Monday, August 16, 2010

37

Music & Movies

TV on the Radio’s Sitek launches solo ‘Balloon’ By Cortney Harding hen Dave Sitek is described as ambitious, it’s in relation to the intricate production and instrumentation he employs with his primary band, indie fave TV on the Radio. But Sitek’s true ambition, he reveals, is a little more ... blond. “I was trying to make Madonna’s first record,” Sitek says, punctuating the statement with a giggle. “I was trying to make something that was clear and bright and fast-paced.” Widely considered a hipster king and a Brooklyn mover and shaker, despite the fact that he now lives in Los Angeles, Sitek says he brought his ‘80s influences to bear on his forthcoming solo project, “Maximum Balloon,” out Sept 21 on Interscope. “Nile Rodgers is one of my favorite producers,” Sitek says of the man behind such albums as Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Duran Duran’s “Notorious.” “I feel like people have a hard time taking the ‘80s stuff seriously because not enough time has passed, but one day we’ll look back and realize how important it was.” Sitek chose to do the album as a solo project rather than working on the music with his TV on the Radio bandmates because he “didn’t want to have to convince people or apologize for wanting to make clever use of synthesizers.” But he does bring some of his friends along on the album, including Theophilus London, Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TVOTR compatriots Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone. The album is definitely rooted in the decade of decadence, but it manages to avoid sounding like a retro covers project. “We know who the audience is for this record,” says Luke Wood, president of Interscope auxiliary DGC Records and chief strategy officer at Interscope Geffen A&M. “And it’s not just TV on the Radio fans. It’s anyone who likes Arcade Fire or Spoon or Hot Chip or any of the other bands in that orbit.” —Reuters

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(From Left) Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa pose as they attend a music launch ceremony for the Hindi film ‘Robot’ in Mumbai late August 14, 2010. —AFP

Rapper fights to make it from Lagos tip to the top By James Pheby igerian rapper Vocal Slender rose to fame as a Lagos rubbish tip scavenger featured in a BBC documentary, but has found reaching the top of the heap in the music business equally as tough. The 28-year-old singer, real name Eric Obuh, was due to kick-start his international bid for stardom in May as the main act at a show in London’s prestigious 2,350-capacity IndigO2 Arena, but pulled out in disputed circumstances. Nigerian newspaper PM News reported that amidst a conflict between promoters, Obuh’s passport mysteriously disappeared before he set off for London then turned up-but too late for him to make the Indig02 show. The charismatic vocalist did not confirm the reports in an interview with AFP during his six-week tour here, but said his next step is finding a manager. “Life has changed, I no longer work on the dump but I did a tour in London which ended up in a little bit of

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Twenty eight-year-old musician, Vocal Slender, real name Eric Obuh (center) along with members of his band sing at his ghetto home in Ajegunle, in Lagos on August 7, 2010. — AFP photos a disagreement over the percentage,” Obuh told AFP. With a new gig set for London in September, he wants someone to help him pursue his dream without exploiting his poor background and lack of indus-

Beatles piano withdrawn from sale

try knowledge. “Now I need a manager. What I need is someone who is positive and has flair, someone who has love, humanity and love for humanity. “I need a record deal, I cannot be say-

ing ‘sir, sir’ to a management company. “I need someone who doesn’t want to take advantage of me as a scavenger from the slum. A lot of people are trying to take advantage of me because they

or three decades, Johnny Carson tucked his audience into bed while welcoming thousands of guests to “The Tonight Show.” Now the full Carson canon has been restored, digitized, annotated and transcribed. One result of this huge archiving effort will be an upgraded website for fans containing dozens of clips for ready viewing. Yes, there will be a boosted product line of “Tonight” DVD sets for fans to buy through the website. “But it will

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coffee-stained piano used by The Beatles at London’s Abbey Road studios has been withdrawn from sale, the auctioneers said Sunday, without giving a reason for a decision. The battered Challen upright piano, which can be heard on hits such as “Paperback Writer” and “Tomorrow Never Knows”, both recorded in Abbey Road in 1966, was valued at more than 100,000 pounds (150,000 dollars,120,000 euros). “This lot has been withdrawn,” Bonhams auctioneers said on its website. A spokeswoman told AFP she could not comment on why the sale was cancelled. It was due to be sold as part of an auction at the Goodwood vintage festival of music, fashion and art in southeastern England. — AFP

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human being there is talent and in Ajegunle we decide to look inside ourselves for that part.” The young Obuh grew up with relatives, and his early exposure to music came from listening to Shabba Ranks, Shaggy and Michael Jackson, while hustling on the streets to scrape together enough money to survive. His focus and disadvantaged start in life put many of his American rap contemporaries’ claims of hardship into

Filipino Elvis Presley impersonators pose prior to a performance yesterday in Manila, Philippines to pay tribute to the King of Rock ‘n Roll on his 33rd death anniversary. About 30 impersonators took part in the singing contest. —AP

also become more of an entertainment site,” said Jeff Sotzing, president of Carson Entertainment Group, a former “Tonight” producer and Carson’s nephew. “There will be 40 to 50 clips, which we will change on a regular basis.” A companion clip-licensing website also is going live this week. Accessible only to media professionals who establish accounts, this site takes full advantage of the “Tonight” cataloging project, with a total of 3,300 hours of searchable program content keyed to any search term. For example, the

perspective. “With the American artists, the government are doing some positive things for their lives-not like in Africa. They may be poor financially but they have a very conducive environment to work with. “In Africa we have no light, no good power supply, no good water supply, no good roads. You can’t go to the studio.” Despite his desire to improve life in Nigeria, Obuh dismissed the idea of follow-

Eric Obuh, sings at his ghetto home in Ajegunle.

An upgraded website for Johnny Carson’s many fans By Frazier Moore

A handout picture obtained in London on July 21, 2010, of a Challen upright piano from Abbey Road studios at Bonhams auction house in London. — AFP

know I’m a little bit talented and they know I’ve not been to London before. “There was a little bit of a misunderstanding but it is God’s way of telling me to push further,” said Obuh, now back in Nigeria. Obuh’s soulful spunk and business acumen came to the world’s attention when the BBC first aired the TV documentary in April. Called “Welcome to Lagos”, it followed him searching for scrap on the huge Olusosun dump in order to fund time in a recording studio. Viewers saw Obuh develop his Caribbean dancehall-influenced brand of rap and by the end of the show they saw Slender finally secure enough money to record his song “Owo Yapa” in a studio in Lagos’s Ajegunle area, a simmering neighbourhood at the centre of Nigeria’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. As life mirrors art, the song is about someone making lots of money and is now an Internet hit. “The environment that you grew up in convinces you to be someone in life,” Obuh said. “In every

search engine locates 1,570 instances of “Hiyo,” announcer Ed McMahon’s hearty greeting to Johnny. Any of them can be instantly streamed. While certain early episodes were erased by NBC, the library reaches back as far as Carson’s first weeks on the air in October 1962 (such as a session of “Stump the Band” on October 31, with then-bandleader Skitch Henderson). Carson reigned as the King of Late Night until retiring after more than 4,500 nights in May 1992. This treasury would make Carson devotees drool-if only they could get in. —AP

ing Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean into politics. “For now I don’t think I’m going into politics, although I could be an adviser. I don’t like to go into it because it is more deadly and it takes your freedom away. “I don’t want a police escort,” he said. “If I want to have a drink I can go to a bar and buy my own drink. If I want my own beef I can go to the market and buy my own beef.” Obuh embarks on his next bid for British chart success when he performs as a guest of comedian Eddie Kadi at London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in September, and sent a message to international fans who have been inspired by his story. “My message to everybody trying to survive in life is to stay positive,” he said. “Have you ever seen them give an award to the most negative man in the world? No! “Try! The almighty God will always come by your side but don’t take advantage of the less privileged, even if you have the opportunity to.” — AFP

US jazz singer Abbey Lincoln dies azz singer Abbey Lincoln, whose career spanned six decades and included acting, composing and participation in the US civil rights movement, died on Saturday at age 80, The New York Times reported. Lincoln, who was often said to have been strongly influenced by famed jazz singer Billie Holiday, died at her Manhattan apartment, the Times said, citing her brother David Wooldridge. Starting in the mid1950s with “Abbey Lincoln’s Affair...a Story of a Girl in Love,” the Chicago-born Lincoln enjoyed a long and acclaimed singing career. She performed until shortly before her death. Lincoln also appeared in several films, including “For Love of Ivy” opposite Sidney Poitier in 1968, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and “The Girl Can’t Help It,” a 1956 Jayne Mansfield vehicle about rock ‘n’ roll in which Lincoln sang. Abbey Lincoln. —AFP During the 1960s, she was married to jazz musician Max Roach, and became a strong advocate in the civil rights campaigns of the era. They were divorced in 1970. In the 1970s, Lincoln appeared on several hit television shows, including “All in the Family” and “Marcus Welby, MD” Lincoln recorded more than 20 albums, including “Abbey Sings Abbey,” which was released in 2007 and featured her own compositions. —Reuters

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Travel

Exploring the Big Island:

From Captain Cook to active volcanoes By Tony Hicks e motored the Zodiac into Kealakekua Bay around noon, the sun shining off what I’d been looking for: The Captain Cook monument, its ivory surface and vertical shape sharply contrasting the green foliage background. It marks the spot on the Big Island where one of the world’s great explorers, Captain James Cook, met the initially welcoming Hawaiian people in 1779 — the first encounter between Hawaiians and the Western world. It began a long, often rocky relationship that more than a century later resulted in American rule of Hawaii and a two-part “Brady Bunch” episode featuring Vincent Price.

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It’s also where the natives killed Cook rather brutally after a disagreement over a boat. But never mind the ugliness. Because the bay is one of the best snorkeling spots on the island (only minutes later I’d be scrambling to see a manta ray disappearing into the depths), the area was relatively full of people. The Cook monument is no more than a square encompassing about 400 square feet and accessible on land by a rugged trail. It also is said to be the only non-embassy in the United States that sits on land owned by the British government. Well, that did it. My ancestry is British. I’ve never actually been there, but my brand new third-degree sunburn assured me that, at the very least, my skin was very British. I

Hawaii’s tallest waterfall, the beautiful Akaka Falls.

A massive, 16th century stone wall survives, ensconcing the area considered a sanctuary for ancient Hawaiians. It’s also one of the best sea turtle viewing sites in Kona.

The Place of Refuge itself lies on what was royal grounds in Kona, with a handful of thatched buildings, guarded by giant tikis. —MCT photos

asked the boss of our Sea Quest tour boat, the very entertaining Captain Liam Powers, how we would get the boat to shore. “We don’t,” he said, adding that doing so would destroy the pristine coral. “Can I swim there?” I asked. “No.” “Wade?” “No.” “But I’m kind of British,” I pleaded. Powers just smiled. Maybe the British thing doesn’t go so far in Hawaii anymore. That was the only thing that didn’t work on our seven-day adventure exploring the Big Island. My wife and I experienced probably the best of our half dozen-plus Hawaiian trips. While autumn on the mainland may not scream vacation, it makes perfect sense in Hawaii. The weather is warm and mostly mild. The prices are relatively reasonable. There’s far less waiting for that restaurant table facing the sunset and far more room for give-and-take with tour guides. And with school back in session, you have fewer children in the way when gazing into a volcano. You need at least a week to properly see the Big Island, the biggest in the Hawaiian chain. We traveled from Kailua Kona around the southern tip to Hilo in the east, then around the northern tip to the resort area of Waikoloa. The pace was constantly brisk. The Sea Quest snorkeling tour was the best of four Hawaii snorkeling trips I’ve taken. It covered three sites in five hours, including the aforementioned Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay, near the historic Place of Refuge. The latter is where we encountered a 5-foot white tip reef shark, casually swimming toward us near a coral wall. The water was so clear, it felt like we were swimming in the fish tunnel at an aquarium. With only minutes left on the trip, Captain Powers found a pod of spinner dolphins, which he estimated at 100 strong. A number of babies were learning to jump and spin like their mothers. One, Powers estimated, was only days old. The Place of Refuge itself lies on what was royal grounds in Kona, with a handful of thatched buildings, guarded by giant tikis (for Hunter S. Thompson fans, this was where he allegedly hid at the end of “The Curse of Lono”). A massive, 16th century stone wall survives, ensconcing the area considered a sanctuary for ancient Hawaiians. It’s also one of the best sea turtle

An observatory sits against the backdrop of a sunset from almost 14,000 feet up on Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, with a small beach beyond it, perfectly frames the sunset.

viewing sites in Kona. My wife almost stepped on one. We spent our first two nights at Ka’awa Loa Plantation, about 1,200 feet up, with a great view of Kealakekua Bay and roughly 50 miles of southern shoreline. Nestled into lush hillside vegetation, the small coffee and fruit plantation had a colonial feel, despite the outdoor hot tub and steam room with a view. There are also two outdoor lava rock showers, festooned with tropical plants. Best of all, co-owner Michael Martinage’s superior breakfast-cooking skills provided the most delicious meals we had all week. Well fed, we began exploring an island seeped in history, due to the dominance of

optional descents into lava tubes (do the free guided tour into the unlit section of the Thurston tube, which requires flashlights and some nerve). The Jagger Museum sits next to the US Geographical Station monitoring the volcano, providing excellent historical context to the steaming crater outside. Judging by the lack of tourists, Lava Tree State Park is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. Taking a KapohoKine Adventures tour, we ventured on a short but gorgeous walk featuring trees covered by lava from a 1790 eruption that stand among giant ferns and massive newer trees. In driving but warm rain, and armed with flashlights, we

One of the best sea turtle viewing sites is in Kona. island-creating volcanoes and constant blending of Hawaiian mythology and science. Mauna Loa is the world’s largest mountain by volume, and the incredible, steam-belching Kilauea anchors Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Lush rain forest ends at the barren, moon-like landscape of the Kilauea Caldera and its surrounding steam vents. The hiking is tremendous, with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and

trekked about a mile onto an old lava flow. The trail ended 500 yards from the crashing surf’s standoff with a relentless flow of fiery red lava. Even at a distance, this was a spectacular sight, although we wished we had brought binoculars. The schedule didn’t allow for more time in laid-back Hilo, although we did spend an hour at the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Hilo has been partially destroyed by tsunamis

twice since World War II, the history of which the museum covers thoroughly. Hilo is also home to the relatively new Imiloa Astronomy Center, which merges science and Hawaiian mythology in its exhibits and first-rate planetarium shows. After stopping at Hawaii’s tallest waterfall, the beautiful Akaka Falls, we drove around the northern tip to the west side and the newly renovated Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The resort sits on a massive lava flow with the surrounding desert-like landscape reminiscent of Palm Springs or Arizona. The pool area is huge, with a small beach beyond that perfectly frames the sunset. This served as our jumping-off point to a Kohala Waterfalls Adventure offered by Hawaii Forest & Trail. The seven-hour trip into northern waterfall country took a major bite out of the day but was rescued by tour guide Bob Fewell. He kept us entertained with good humor and an encyclopedia-like knowledge of Hawaii. On a relatively easy loop hike through the forest, we saw almost a dozen small to good sized waterfalls, even stopping to swim in one (I washed my hair with a fruit that Fewell said was a main ingredient in expensive shampoo). We were impressed enough to try another Hawaii Forest & Trail trip, this one the Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Adventure. If you’re going to drop good money on a trip ($185 per person for the summit trip versus $169 for the waterfalls), this is the clear victor. It was easily the best outing of the week. We journeyed by van to the 13,796-foot peak of Mauna Kea, with its handful of giant international telescopes, to see a spectacular sunset. The road was bumpy and the peak was chilly, but no one cared. As night fell, we drove back down to the visitors center, where guide Nate Clark set up a telescope in what is considered one of the best star-viewing site on earth (seeing Jupiter’s stripes and moons was incredible). For city people, this may be the only time you can see the Milky Way run from horizon to horizon. The vastness was overwhelming. Again, we felt Mother Nature’s presence on the Big Island. Little did we know, we had saved the best for last. — MCT


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Monday, August 16, 2010

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Travel By Alan Behr ichie Richter grew up in what was then Karl Marx Stadt, East Germany, works as a night clerk in Switzerland and dreams only of getting back to Canada. Richie is a robust man with spiking sandy-brown hair. Alone each night, he tends the darkened lobby at the Hotel Matterhorn Focus in Zermatt, wearing a cotton shirt with the red maple leaf front and center. Some nights, I come down to join him, and Richie explains how he isn’t really a German in spirit but Canadian. He serves me meat, cheese and bread sticks and tells me about Halifax and how, next time over, he is going to travel the route from New Brunswick to Vancouver, and it’s going to be fantastic. Zermatt is a place for dreamers like Richie. It pulls in workers from Portugal, from Germany and behind, each bringing a longing for Alpine gentility, fresh air and a touch of glamour. They help incubate the dreams of the visitors who come each winter to experience the unique pleasure of skiing in a region

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It was the allure of the mountains that turned Zermatt from a poor village without regular medical care, cut off in the winter even from the rest of Switzerland, into an international destination. First came the British climbers-for the Matterhorn (first ascended in 1865) and the other major peaks-then those who simply wanted to look at the mountains and take in the healthy Alpine air and then, starting in earnest in 1960, the skiers. You can ski the Alps from France to Slovenia, but there is only one Matterhorn. When you add the fact that, because it sits at 5,346 feet, Zermatt always has snow, and the fact that, although it caters to an affluent crowd, it is down to earth and has accommodations almost anyone can afford (such as Sparky’s, a popular hostel), you understand a fascination that is one part practical but that borders at times on the mystic. People like St. Moritz and they enjoy Grindelwald, but a devotee of Zermatt is committed-a believer. Daniel Dehling and Bruno Schmid are dreamers with wings. Whenever the winds

Paragliding offers spectacular views of the scenery surrounding Zermatt, Switzerland.

Zermatt, Switzerland:

Alpine village made for dreamers

The Matterhorn towers at twilight over Zermatt. too remote even for pollution, anchored by a village where cars are banned and everyone moves on foot, in tin-can electric taxis or, weather permitting, on skis. Each morning, the first golden sunlight reflects from the chiseled east face of the Matterhorn. At some angles and in some lights, the mountain looks like a seated Buddha. At other times, it mimics the Great Sphinx. At night, as the dark Alpine sky becomes a sea of stars, the black, silhouetted mountain seems to nod off, once more a slumbering giant.

are right, they unfold their paragliders from backpacks, harness up and fly off the side of a mountain. Nine years ago, I flew from the Rothorn (10,341 feet) hitched to a paraglider with Bruno, an experience so thrilling, yet so obviously treacherous, the first thing I say when I see him this time is, “Bruno, I’m amazed you’re still alive.” Bruno, now 45, smiles and says, “There are no bad old paraglider pilots.” I decide to test that, but rather than chance fate twice, I volunteer my lovely wife to fly with Bruno. She in turn nominates me as her wingman, and one minute after she runs off the mountainside, harnessed to Bruno, I follow, dangling in front of Danny. We fly in formation and swoop low to harass and amuse the skiers, then we climb to glide by the Matterhorn, glowering in eternal indifference to our left. After 20 minutes, we land in tandem in a garden of fresh snow above the village railroad station. Whenever Heinz Julen dreams, things soon happen. A descendent of one of the original families of Zermatt, a 44-year-old who remembers walking through the mountain pasture of his father’s cattle and goats in order to get to school, Heinz craf ts his dreams as fine art, as interior design, as architecture (he created our hotel, the Focus), and as pure theater: in his bar/art gallery, Vernissage, Heinz slips into the glasswalled projection booth, and like the Wizard of Oz, sets in motion the special effects: the chandeliers swing away in the theater below, the curtains open, the blinds come down and the room is ready for a showing of the latest James Bond film.

Zermatt breeds passions like those of Heinz, and passions are nothing if not dreams turned into ambition. Heinz began as a ski instructor, and he, like nearly everyone who lives in Zermatt and visits it, takes his skiing and his mountains seriously. Each morning, from even the oldest and most stately hotels, such as the Zermatterhof, which is owned by the community, and the Mont Cervin Palace, which belongs to another old Zermatt family, a great migration takes place. Masses of visitors and off-duty inhabitants, their ski boots clanking, the snow crunching under their feet, head toward the lifts. As the village empties, the mountains become crisscrossed with their tracks. Regular upgrades to the lift system have finally linked all the mountains, so unlike our last visit, it is now possible to ski from one end of the

The Matterhorn looms in the distance as skiers set out in Zermatt, Switzerland. (Below) Skiers break for lunch in the mountains of Zermatt.

Zermatt slopes to the otherstraight into neighboring Italy, where you can get a good and relatively inexpensive Italian lunch. It’s quite an international adventure, and many of us do it, though we have to forgive the fact that, at two of the Italian stations we visit, the women’s bathrooms are broken and everyone must commune together in the men’s rooms. As with all Alpine resorts, the snow bars of Zermatt, positioned just before the final runs end, pick up the skiers on their way home from slopes fallen into blue shadow. A joyful, inebriated noise continues until after dark, but gradually, even the stragglers return to the village. There is nightlife, but in the main, the village goes to bed early. Nighttime is made for dreamers, of course-and here it leaves them in peace until the sun arrives once more to throw its band of gold across the east face of the Matterhorn. —MCT

The Matterhorn rises over Zermatt, Switzerland.

Skiers relax on the Italian side of the slopes opposite of Zermatt.

The afternoon sun illuminates the snow on a gondola ride from Italy to Zermatt.


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Cool beverages reign over Jordanian Ramadan table

A Palestinian artisan arranges large plaster tiles generally decorated with an image of the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third most holy site located in Israeli annexed east Jerusalem, and verses of the Holy Quran at his work shop in the northern village of Qabatiya close to the West Bank city of Jenin, as Muslims the world over take part in the fasting month of Ramadan, yesterday.—AFP

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Extinct mammoths plug gap left by ivory ban By John Saeki

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tumped by a ban designed to save elephants from extinction, Hong Kong’s master carvers turned to a long dead species that left thousands of tones of frozen ivor y in Siberian mass graves. Mammoth tusks, intricately car ved to depict anything from devotional Buddhist scenes and teeming wildlife to bizarre fantasies, now make up most of the ivory for sale in the city. The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after populations of the African giants dropped from the millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s. The ban left hundreds of traditional carvers in the south China region facing an uncertain future, until they turned to a global stock of ancient tusks buried mostly in Siberia, but also in Europe and north America. “I tried wood, stone and hippo teeth as well as mammoth tusks. It was six years after the ban that I started to focus on mammoth ivory,” master carver Chu Chung Shing of Prestige Crafts told AFP. But it took time to persuade connoisseurs to adopt a taste for the body parts of an extinct species. “While elephant ivory was widely appreciated, mammoth tusk didn’t have a similar following. The challenge was to educate people to the unique characteristics and value of mammoth ivory,” he recalled. Today Chu employs 160 carvers in mainland China, and inside his shop on Hong Kong’s renowned Hollywood Road antique strip finely sculptured carvings up to 3.5 meters (11

This picture taken on July 14, 2010 shows Chu Chung Shing of Prestige Crafts standing with carved mammoth tusks in Hong Kong.—AFP feet) long, sell for up to a million US dollars. A few doors down, proprietor Amy Wong displays a spectacular 380,000 dollar carved tusk depicting rainforest beasts in her window display at Cho’s Art Crafts. She tur ned to mammoth ivor y 10 years ago and now employs 90 carvers across the border in mainland China, she told AFP. Last year Hong Kong customs cleared 21 tones of mammoth ivory, on top of the 70 tones cleared in the two previous years, according to official

data. More than ninety percent of it came from Russia’s arctic tundra, and most of it was aged at 10,000 to 40,000 years old, according to information provided by dealers. While there is an argument that the availability of the tusks of the already extinct species eases demand for illegal elephant ivory, there remains a concern that the legitimate trade could mask contraband. “The two types of ivory are relatively easy to tell apart, but you need to know how to do so-it’s to do

with the pattern of Schreger lines in the ivor y,” Richard Thomas of wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC told AFP, referring to grain patterns visible in a cross section. “Recognizing this as a potential issue, TRAFFIC first published infor mation aimed at enforcement officers on how to tell ivory from mammoth and elephant sources apart in 1991,” he said. So far Hong Kong border checks have left no record of elephant ivory entering the territor y masked as mammoth

products, a customs official told AFP. Frontline officers in Hong Kong are well trained to detect suspicious consignments, she said. “In case of doubt customs officers will refer the case to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to follow up.” Regardless of the safeguards, would-be elephant ivory buyers still look to mammoth traders as a potential source. “We still have many customers asking for elephant ivory. There is definitely a market for that,” said Mike Lau, manager of

Cho’s. Another concern is that scientific information is being lost to the commercial trade. “Mammoth ivory is absolutely a non-renewable resource, and it is absolutely being depleted, in part, by the commercial trade,” University of Michigan mammoth expert Dan Fisher told AFP. “A complete tusk contains a record of the whole life, much as a tree trunk contains a record of the whole life of a tree,” he said. Tusks can reveal the sex, age, season of death, and diet of individuals, as well as environmental conditions such as temperature, precipitation and yearly changes, according to Fisher. “This provides a power ful source of data on earth history and ecosystem history. We can use this information in turn to address questions about changes in climate and biodiversity,” he said. But carver Chu believes that the commercial trade can coexist with scientific research. “The commercial trade actually draws more attention to mammoth tusks, and the craftsmanship helps to increase their value. It also brings more investment for archaeologists and explorers,” he said, referring to Russian regulations that offset a proportion of commercial profits for scientific research. Fisher says there are no clear estimates of how soon the world’s stock of buried ivory would disappear. “In the end there are so many unknowns that I think there is considerable uncertainty in any estimate. I would say the window of time left is greater than ten years, but how much greater I can’t say.”—AFP

A Palestinian boy walks past a stand selling lollipops in the Israeli occupied West Bank town of Hebron yesterday, as Muslims across the world abstain from food and drink during daylight hours for the lunar month of Ramadan.—AFP

espite change in taste and lifestyle, a specific list of beverages remains the top favorite throughout the holy month of Ramadan in Jordanian homes, and the cool drinks reign over the Iftar meal. An endless variety of modern concoctions and varied flavors failed to push the traditional taste of “Kharroob”, “Erisoos”, and “Tamrihindi” to the side. In addition to the emotional value and associations, the drinks are prized for their high nutritional value and simple preparation. Easily prepared soaking or addition of water to extract or syrup, the drinks replenish vitamins and minerals the body loses throughout the long day of fast. Jordanian nutrition professor Dr Hamid Al-Takroori told KUNA these drinks are of great value as they are rich in energy, are natural and have no harmful additives, are sources of an array of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, and are known to quench thirst fast. He added Al-Kharroob (Carob) is known to balance the stomach’s acidity, counter diarrhea, and provide the body with organic acids that play a role in keeping the body well-hydrated. As for Erisoos, (Liquorice), it is known to quench thirst, has a substance sweeter in flavor than sugar, and is rich in calcium and potassium, and is good for indigestion, has anti-inflammatory attributes, and is rich in starches, sugars, and protein. When it comes to Tamrihindi, (Tamarind), it is known to be rich in potassium salts, minerals such as magnesium and iron, and is a good source of phosphorus compounds. Stressing all three are excellent substitutes for drinks containing caffeine, and are also cheaper, the professor pointed out that avoiding consumption of too much red meat and too much food altogether also helps quench thirst upon breaking fast. When it comes to the market for this kind of drinks, Hijazi KhalilAl-Masri, owner of a company dealing in juices and beverages, said the drinks sell well all year round but even better in Ramadan, particularly since some of them are used in making Ramadan dishes and sweets. He pointed out the secret of affordability (70 US cents per liter) and popularity is that the drinks are made of natural substances soaked in water and sugar and then cooled. In addition to absence of additives such as artificial coloring, the drinks sell best if the vendor or manufacturer is reputed for good hygiene and quality of product. He further remarked that the trade is just as prosperous as it was 30 years ago when his father first left him the profession, having originally started selling the drinks some 60 years earlier.—KUNA

Croatian river boat saved from oblivion by race By Rusmir Smajilhodzic

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or centuries the Ladja boat was the only means of transport on Croatia’s Neretva river delta but in modern times it fell into disuse. Now an annual race has breathed new life into the vessel. “We are so proud of it. If you look at it, you might think it’s an ugly little duckling but for us this ship is like a luxury cruiseliner,” said Marko Marusic, one of the organizers of the annual riverboat marathon which draws tens of thousands of spectators to the marshlands in southern Croatia. Launched 13 years ago by a group of Ladja enthusiasts determined to save the simple wooden boat from oblivion, the Neretva Marathonwhich links Metkovic to the port of Ploce over 22.5 kilometers (14 miles) — has become one of the most important sporting and cultural events in Croatia. Late Saturday afternoon, as the sun was setting, some 30 boats lined up in the canal at Metkovic, waiting for the start signal. The race drew thousands of spectators who lined up along the canal backs to cheer on their teams. “We are only returning the boat to its former importance which it held for centuries. This boat might not be pretty but she is like a mother, you love her because she is your mother,” Marusic, who lives in Vid village, told AFP Saturday. After part of the marshes of the Neretva delta were drained in the 1960s and roads were constructed the majority of Ladjas either sank to the bottom of the remaining canals or were overgrown by reed beds. “People thought I was crazy when I tried to push them to organise the marathon,” Milojko Glasovic, one of the organizers of the race, recounted. Built usually from pine or oak wood the Ladja is a rather basic rowing boat used by the delta’s inhabitants to get around. It was used to transport vegetables, hay and animals but was also used by people to travel from one village to another and to move the deceased to the cemetery. “They say here that they were born on the boat and died on the boat,” said Mario Srsen, the director of the race and the captain of the Donjani Donji team. “The people who owned a boat were bosses, rich people. The poor people had to rent one,” eighty something year old Ante, who would not give his last name, said. In former times the 7-metre-long (22-foot) Ladja, for the race manned by ten rowers and a helmsman, was towed along the canals by women. “A man would be at the helm while the women walked on the riverbanks, towing the boat with ropes,” Srsen said. These days the women are firmly on board. Milena Miskic is the captain of an all-women team who hasn’t missed a race. A retired soldier, 38-year-old Miskic is a mother of five. “Two years ago I rowed (the race) while pregnant. Last year my husband brought any child to the halfway point so I could breastfeed,” she said proudly, speaking to AFP on the terrace of a hotel near the starting line. At the next table there was a lively discussion about everybody’s chances of winning this race. Josko Jerkovic, 47, the captain of the Rogotin team and a local champion who already has six titles under his belt, said his team of farmers stood a good chance of winning. “I harvested over 40 tones of tomatoes this year and I am in great shape. Still we also trained for four months (for the race) because we can’t afford to gamble with our reputation,” he explained. Sadly for Josko his team arrived in sixth place at the finish in Ploce. What’s worse the race was won by the neighboring village of Komin, arch enemy of Rogotin.—AFP

Men participate at annual Ladja boat marathon at Neretva river close to southern Croatian town of Metkovic, on August 14, 2010.—AFP


16 Aug