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

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010

Embassy hostage taker a ‘former Israeli informer’

Beijing lashes out at Pentagon military report PAGE 10

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ramadan kareem

‘A tear’ in Ramadan

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shed ‘a tear’ in Ramadan on those who don’t consider the sacredness of the month, and his virtues and merits, not only they meet it- as the other months- by sins and violations, but also they became farer from God -the Almighty- also they invented different types of sins and abominations, to deprive themselves and others from the heavy rain of rewards, they make the preparations to fight the God of the heavens and earth, and the Prophet (pbuh) was truthful in explaining the difference between people in preparing for Ramadan as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There is no month which passed by the Muslims better than Ramadan, and that because of the strength that they prepare for worship, and what the hypocrites prepare of people’s inattention and roughness, it is a blessing for the believer and a curse on the disbeliever” [Narrated by Ahmad - Al Baihaky and corrected by Ahmad Shaker] A tear in Ramadan on those who waste the obligated prayers, as they sleep at the time of prayers at some time, delay it other time, and leave it sometime. A tear in Ramadan on those who disgrace Fasting sacredness, by their obscenity and bad morals, as they insult, curse, steal, backbite, and lie on people. And if you advised someone he argues that this is because of the Fasting!! As if Fasting is the reason behind these disadvantages, and they are unaware about the opinion of Fasting, its benefits, and its great rewards, and the most important benefits are: Devotion occurrence as God says: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Al Baqara 2:183] And does the devotion call for insulting, cursing, injustice and aggression? For that Allah’s Apostle said: “Whoever doesn’t give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting)” [Narrated by Bukhari], so may God have mercy on you know the reality of Fasting. A tear in Ramadan on the women, who go out to pray Al Taraweh prayer while they are adorned, incensed, scented, showily, and wearing their most beautiful dresses, and the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Don’t prevent the female servants of Allah from visiting the mosques of Allah, but they may go out (to the mosque) having no perfumed themselves.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and AlAlabany said the hadith is Hasan Sahih] And the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever (woman) fumigates herself with perfume shouldn’t join us in the ‘Isha prayer” [Narrated by Muslim] A tear in Ramadan on those who waste the month on watching the channels of satellite TV, and no satellite TV which spread debauchery, nakedness, and buffoonery, and their madness, debauchery and buffoonery increase in that precious month to fight the virtues and violate the nation’s constants and sanctities. en.wathakker.net

UAE president in Switzerland for check-up DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan received medical treatment in Switzerland for undisclosed reasons after undergoing checks, the UAE state news agency said yesterday. Sheikh Khalifa, who is in his early 60s, is the ruler of the wealthy oil-exporting Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi and the president of the US-allied United Arab Emirates. “President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed AlNahayan has undergone comprehensive medical check-ups in Switzerland,” state news agency WAM said. “President HH Sheikh Khalifa then received the necessary medical treatment, which culminated in a complete success,” it added, without saying what he was treated for. It said Sheikh Khalifa was to return to the UAE after a “period of convalescence”. The UAE is a federation that unites Abu Dhabi and six other emirates including regional business hub and tourism magnet Dubai. Abu Dhabi is the seat of the federal union. — Reuters

Emsak: Fajer: Shoruk: Dohr: Asr: Maghreb: Eshaa:

RAMADAN 9, 1431 AH

03:44 03:54 05:18 11:52 15:27 18:25 19:47

NO: 14825

Teenagers urged to turn down iPods as hearing loss rises

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Local banks get major role in ‘mega projects’ Govt strikes deal; Deqbasi questions passage of radioactive materials By B Izzak KUWAIT: The government has finally reached a compromise deal to resolve the controversy over the funding of ‘mega projects’ under the four-year development plan. The deal, struck in a special meeting chaired by the prime minister, gives local banks a major role in providing loans but also approved long-term government funding for the proposed public shareholding companies to be provided through local banks. The meeting asked the finance minister and the governor of the central bank to work out details of the mechanism for providing government funding for certain projects. The controversy raged during the past few weeks between two groups, one insisting that only local banks should be entrusted with the funding while the other calling for a special multi-billiondinar government fund to finance the projects. The first group insisted that the establishment of the government fund will undermine the status of local banks and could harm their future while the second group insisted that funding the mega Continued on Page 14

MOGADISHU: A Somali boy carries a sword fish on his head to take to the market in Mogadishu. Somali businessmen say food prices in the Somali capital have increased by up to 50 percent since Ramadan began. — AP

KPC to replace its CEO KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum Corp, the State’s national oil conglomerate, is to replace its chief executive Saad Al-Shuwayeb after declining to offer him a new contract, a newspaper reported yesterday. “Shuwayeb has been verbally informed that he will not get a new term and that he will be sent into retirement,” a local daily reported, citing well-informed government sources. Shuwayeb was appointed to the key post in the oil-rich Gulf state in 2007, and his term expires next month. He has been in the oil sector for the past three decades, mostly in the petrochemicals segment. Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah will nominate a number of candidates to replace Shuwayeb but the new KPC chief will be selected by the Supreme Petroleum Council, the highest oil decision-making body, headed by the prime minister. KPC was established in the early 1980s to oversee the State’s oil industry inside and outside Kuwait. Along with its several subsidiaries it controls close to 100 billion barrels of crude reserves. The fourth largest producer in the OPEC oil cartel, Kuwait currently pumps around 2.3 million barrels per day. Oil income accounts for about 94 percent of the country’s total revenues. — AFP

Kuwait to post surplus KUWAIT: Kuwait is expected to post a budget surplus of up to $19.6 billion in the current fiscal year despite boosting spending by 33 percent, a report said yesterday. The National Bank of Kuwait, the State’s largest lender, said in the report that the size of the surplus would depend on the price of oil, which contributes more than 94 percent of the Gulf state’s revenues. The budget surplus for the 2010-2011 fiscal year

(April 1 to March 31) is forecast to range between “3.2 billion dollars and 19.6 billion dollars depending on oil price scenario,” NBK said. The budget, passed by parliament in June, projects a deficit of 22.7 billion dollars at the assumption of an oil price of 43 dollars a barrel while actual price has so far been between 7080 dollars a barrel. Revenues are estimated at 33.5 billion dollars while spending is estimated

at 56.2 billion dollars. NBK expected the price of Kuwaiti oil throughout the fiscal year to range between 67 dollars a barrel and around 80 dollars. Kuwait, OPEC’s fifth largest producer with 2.3 million barrels per day, has projected a deficit in each of the past 11 fiscal years but ended up with a healthy surplus each year, accumulating more than 140 billion dollars. — AFP

41 die in Philippines Bus crashes off mountain highway MANILA: A packed passenger bus negotiating a downhill curve plunged off a Philippine mountain highway into a 100foot ravine yesterday, killing 41 people, police said. Nine people, including a 10-yearold boy, survived and eight were taken to hospitals, said police chief Wilben Mayor of Benguet province north of Manila. Mayor said most of the victims were pinned to death while others were thrown out as the bus tumbled down. Working into the night, emergency workers recovered the last of the 41 bodies from the twisted wreckage, said regional disaster agency director Olivia MercadoLuces. Twenty-six have been identified so far, including four members of a FilipinoAmerican family who were on their way back to the US after visiting relatives in the northern Philippines. An Indian national living in the Philippines also died. The victims’ remains, including a toddler’s, were put in body bags on the highway and Continued on Page 14

DUBAI: A woman uses her BlackBerry at the Emirates terminal in Dubai International Airport. — AP

BlackBerry users eye alternatives DUBAI: Udoay Ghosh sat sipping coffee before an early morning flight from Dubai International Airport, looking with affection at his two - yes, two - BlackBerry smart phones laid out in front of him. As an executive for electronics company G-Hanzs, the Dubaibased businessman travels about 300 days a year and uses the gadgets to keep up with more than 100 e-mails a day.

So it’s understandable he’s worried about government threats to ban the service. “This is my laptop, my office and my home,” he said of the devices. “People nowadays don’t wait. In today’s world, time is money and if you lose time, you lose business.” Like hordes of other onthe-go professionals, Ghosh sees the BlackBerry as an Continued on Page 14

Bahrain arrests four more Shiite activists

TUBA: Rescuers and paramedics pull out passenger victims from the wreckage after a passenger bus negotiating a downhill curve crashed yesterday. — AP

MANAMA: Bahraini authorities have detained four more Shiite activists on security grounds, raising the stakes in the run-up to parliamentary elections after earlier arrests were criticized by rights groups. The detentions bring to eight the number of activists and clerics arrested over the past week. The detainees include Mohammed Saeed, a board member of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights whose operations were formally suspended in 2004 but which continues to operate, Bahrain’s state news agency said. “The organization’s network aimed at compromising national security and harming the stability of the country,” the news agency said late on Tuesday, citing a security source. It said the group had funded violent protests in different parts of Bahrain. Continued on Page 14

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Iraqi drug dealer arrested

Fire breaks out in school at Salwa, three injured By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The control room received an emergency call about a fire that broke out in Kuwait English School at Salwa. The south Salmiya fire center responded to the call and was supported by a team of firemen from the

Mishref fire brigade, and the Hazardous Materials Center. The fire spread to classrooms and a kitchen that spanned an area of 140 square meters. Firemen were able to tackle the blaze after conducting evacuation operations. Three workers from the school were affected by the fire and were administered first aid treatment.

In another case, four fire centers were in charge of tackling a fire that broke out in the basement of a building that covered an area of 1,200 square meters in Farwaniya. Firemen evacuated around 100 individuals from two buildings. The blaze broke out in the basement which is shared by two buildings and used as a makeshift upholstery workshop. The fire destroyed all the pieces of furniture that were stored in the basement. However, firemen quelled the blaze. They rescued two infants and handed them over to the Medical Emergency Department (MED) and were administered first aid treatment on the site. Drug dealer Officials from the Abdaly border check point arrested an Iraqi expat who was found in possession of 6,100 drugs tablets. The drugs were carefully concealed in bags that contained dates. Assistant Supervisor, Judai Al-Mutairy said that customs officers would thwart any attempts to smuggle contraband into Kuwait.

KUWAIT: Firefighters in action after fire broke out in a Farwaniya building yesterday.

Farmers’ union slams minister KUWAIT: The chairman of the Kuwait Farmers’ Union Saud AlArada has expressed amazement at what he said were threats issued by some senior government officials to prosecute him and union members after they demanded their rights. AlArada told Al-Shahed that it would be better for the Minister of Public Works and Municipal Affairs to penalize those responsible for delaying the payment of overdue expenses to farmers as per the law, rather than launching baseless attacks against him and the union’s board members, who he said had done nothing to merit this treatment.

A case of arson A dispute between camel owners resulted in one of the men setting fire to a water tanker and chalet belonging to the other. The victim lodged a complaint with the police. An investigation has been launched into the case. Theft cases At least 19 lambs were stolen from a flock tended to by a Bangladeshi shepherd at Kabd. Police have begun investigating the case. In another theft case, burglars broke into a house situated in Al-Oyoun and stole KD 300, in addition to some jewelry. In another case, a Bangladeshi expatriate was arrested for using three apartments to conduct illegal long distance call operations.

KUWAIT: The damage caused by fire in Kuwait English School at Salwa yesterday. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

School musical instruments stolen KUWAIT: Thieves stole musical instruments from a school in the Rabiya area. A case was opened and police are investigating the incident. Family escapes fire A Kuwaiti family was nearly killed when their air conditioner caught fire as a result of faulty wiring. Firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the flames before they could spread. Iranian robbed An Iranian man was robbed of KD 11,000 by three people who were dressed up as police officers in Andalus. The incident occurred when the Iranian was asked by one of the ‘officers’ to pull over and provide his ID. He was then pinned to the floor by

two other officers and had his bag stolen. Car accidents A police officer was nearly killed in a car accident on Sabah Al-Salem bridge. An Asian driver drove through a red light and struck the police officer’s vehicle. The officer sustained several injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The Asian was taken into custody. Citizen injured A 20-year-old citizen was burned when his car’s radiator exploded on Nassim road. He was brought to a nearby hospital by a passerby. Accident after sahoor A 35-year-old citizen suffered from internal bleeding after she fell down the stairs of her home

in Qasr. The incident occurred after she finished preparing sahoor. She was taken to Jahra Hospital for treatment. Fight A fight occurred between a 26-year-old citizen and a 34year-old Syrian expat in the Jahra Industrial area. The citizen received cuts on his right arm and several bruises. He was taken to the Jahra Hospital for treatment. Fast breaker A 30-year-old Jordanian was arrested in Hawally for eating and drinking during the day. Bootlegger busted An Indian expat was arrested for selling liquor in Fahaheel on Monday. He was found in pos-

session of 111 bottles of liquor, reported Al-Watan. The alcohol was confiscated and the man was referred to the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC). Phone scam A woman wearing a Niqab registered 10 mobile phone lines in the name of a woman whose civil ID she stole. The store owner in Rigge explained that a veiled woman gave one of her employees’ civil ID and registered the ten lines in her name. A case was opened and authorities are investigating the issue. Expat deported An expat was deported from Kuwait for fondling a woman in public. The man was in his sixties.

Lulu hosts Indian ambassador KUWAIT: Lulu Hypermarket, Kuwait’s largest hypermarket recently hosted Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra at its newly-opened store in Qurain. Ambassador Malhotra was taken on a tour of the vast premises spread across three floors. Lulu’s Regional Director A. K. Harris, along with the General Manager of the store Srijit, accompanied the ambassador on the tour, explaining in detail the variety on offer and some of the unique concepts in the hypermarket. The hypermarket’s expansive 20,000 sq m of retail space offers an ultra-modern retail atmosphere that includes every conceivable need of shoppers under one roof. In addition to displaying a panoply of international and regional brands, the hypermarket provides a dedicated play area for children, a food court, a money exchange and bank counters, as well as a huge parking lot that can accommodate in excess of 3,000 vehicles. With its well-stocked shelves, beautifully laid-out counters, wide aisles and banks of checkouts on each

floor, the new hypermarket provides customers with the largest assortment of high quality products at the most affordable prices and a unique shopping experience. The new Lulu Hypermarket, which will cover the residential areas of Jaber Al Ali, Mubarak AlKabeer, Qurain, Qusoor, Ahmadi, Fahaheel, South Surra, Adan and Sabah Al-Salem, will attract huge interest among not only the local populace but also from shoppers from neighboring suburbs. Moreover, as it is located just off Route 40 along road 208, the hypermarket provides easy access from both Kuwait City and Fahaheel and absolutely justifies the brand’s tagline of, “Lulu, where the world comes to shop”. The brand, which has a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to understanding customers’ retail needs, uses this unique knowledge to operate under the successful corporate philosophy of providing customers with the “right products in the right place at the right time.”

MoH ready for potential cholera spread in Pakistan KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health is taking preventive measures against any potential spread of the predicted cholera epidemic in Pakistan, with a senior official revealing yesterday that the measures will be enforced as soon as the World Health Organization (WHO) makes an official announcement of any mass outbreak in the disaster-stricken nation. MoH Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs Dr. Yousef Al-Nisf told Al-Rai on

Tuesday that the ministry has still received no official notification from the WHO concerning the health situation in Pakistan following the recent devastating floods there, which have left 20 million people homeless and over 3,000 dead to date. Dr. Al-Nisf said that if the WHO detects any mass outbreak of cholera in the country, Kuwait’s hospitals will instantly be notified to enable staff to closely monitor all recent arrivals from Pakistan reporting symptoms

of the highly contagious disease, such as diarrhea and vomiting. According to the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, the Pakistani expatriate population in Kuwait is estimated at around 100,000. The senior MoH official also revealed that the Kuwaiti government automatically suspends the importing of food products from any nations which register cholera epidemics.

in the news Qa eda member’s voice ta pe KUWAIT: Sound recordings streaming lectures by ‘Abu Ziad Al-Kuwaiti,’ a former Kuwaiti imam who went on to join Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, have surfaced on a number of extremist jihadist websites since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. In one of the recordings, Khalid Al-Husainan, a former imam with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA), directly addresses US President Barrak Obama, warning him that “The Mujahideen in Afghanistan will defeat the American army.” The recordings, which were produced and distributed by Al-Qaeda’s media wing, Al-Ashab (The Friends), also include lectures in Islamic values and tradition, reported Al-Watan. After graduating from Saudi Arabia’s University of Imam Mohammad Bin Saud, Al-Husainan began working for the MAIA, becoming known for his calls for jihad (holy war) and a rejection of those imams who don’t encourage an extremist jihadist viewpoint. Expa t hospita l loca tions KUWAIT: Finance minister Mustafa AlShamali has requested that the ministers of health and of public works and municipality affairs consider approve the transfer of the intended locations of the planned hospitals for expatriates to the ownership of the company set up to run them. The Ministry of Health is working with the Kuwait Investment Authority to establish a shareholding firm to provide health insurance for non-Kuwaitis which would fund the new facilities. In 2002, the Municipal Council allocated three sites, in Farwaniya, Jahra and Ahmadi, for the construction of the hospitals for expatriates, with the choices of locations being submitted to the MoH and approved, reported Al-Rai. G26 opposes govt fund KUWAIT: Government support for private sector firms in carrying out the projects included in the development plan will have a

negative effect on the economy and could create non-viable entities, according to a local activist group. The group, known as Group 26 or G26, which includes several prominent political and economic figures, is expected to issue a statement in the next few days announcing its rejection of the government’s financial support for the establishment of shareholding firms which are to be set up to executing the projects. Group 26 members assert that this support contradicts free market ideology, reported Al-Qabas. 350 sma rt identifica tion ca rds KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) have distributed around 350,000 smart civil ID cards to citizens, announced General Manager Musaed AlAsousi. Al-Asousi made his statement in a press release in which he also revealed expansion plans by opening new branches around the country. Applications to replace regular identification cards with the ‘smart’ ones will be received. Moreover, Al-Asousi indicated that smart identification cards contain information about the holder as well as their medical reports. Coordination is currently being achieved with the Ministry of Education to include information about students in the database, reported Al-Qabas. Furthermore, Al-Asousi pointed out that the smart identification cards can used to make to bill payments. Disconnections suspended KUWAIT: Communications Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi has announced that the Ministry of Communications (MoC) will be suspending all landline disconnections during the holy month of Ramadan. Disconnections will resume after the conclusion of the holy month, the minister told AlJarida, adding that the suspension period is intended to ease pressure on citizens and expatriate residents during this sacred period. Dr Al-Busairi also voiced hope that the Ramadan period would benefit all humanity.

Rotten meat resold after dumping KUWAIT: Although the manager of the Shuwaikh slaughterhouse insisted on Tuesday that it has taken all the necessary measures to prevent the smuggling of meat unfit for human consumption from its disposal sites for resale, a Kuwait Municipality official was adamant that workers at the abattoir are still not taking the necessary measures in disposing off the spoilt meat. In separate recent incidents, two Asian men were

apprehended in Jleeb AlShuyoukh while selling food which had previously been determined by municipality inspectors to be unfit for human consumption. Asked about the source of the meat, the men claimed that they had retrieved it from the dumping site used by the slaughterhouse staff, which they said was left unguarded. The municipality official told Al-Rai that the management at the slaughterhouse

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had failed to use special mincing equipment to mince the meat being disposed off before dumping it in order to make it unsuitable for resale. The official also claimed that a recent KD 400,000 cleaning contract for the slaughterhouse had included a condition that such equipment should be provided, as failure to do so could constitute a violation of public funds, as well as enabling the defrauding of consumers.

Food prices fluctuating Consumers overlook co-op violations By Abdullah Al-Qattan KUWAIT: Since the beginning of Ramadan, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) has launched inspections at different Co-ops across Kuwait to monitor the prices and quality of the food on offer and to ensure that all the outlets adhere to the maximum price limit regulations set by the ministry. A number of the inspectors, who have also been monitoring the Co-ops for the presence of expired foodstuffs and those unfit for human consumption among their stocks, said that during

Ramadan some local supermarkets tend to overprice even staple goods without considering the consequences. MCI official Bader Al-Attiya told the Kuwait Times that some supermarkets have lost up to KD80,000 worth of products due to storage failures, not to mention the fines which ensue. During Ramadan, however, consumers tend to overlook some violations at Co-ops as long as they can find the goods they’re looking for. This, in turn, leads to more violations, said some shoppers. Jassim Al-Shatti, a regular supermarket shopper, complained

that some supermarkets tend to overprice basic products at a noticeable mark-up during Ramadan and national holidays. Al-Shatti said that consumers usually avoid complaining because they don’t want to get into trouble for a small amount of money. What they really don’t know, AlShatti said, is that they are being cheated out of a lot of money. Another shopper, Yasmin AlOthman, said that Co-ops and other supermarkets overprice the majority of their products. Consumers really wouldn’t mind paying the extra amount of money for each product if they can actual-

in my view

Armed to the teeth By Fouad Al-Obaid he recent declaration of arms supply from the US to our region has sent shockwaves to the greater Middle East. Here, many do not fear the escalation of a conflict that could lead to a new Middle East war. Things do not remain constant very much. From political assassinations to terrorism schemes, we are a region that has seen much political turmoil on a spectrum that goes from ultra-liberal to ultra-conservative, dictatorships to democracies all mixed in a harsh, violent culture. The proposed billion-dollar worth of sales of advanced weaponry has caught the headlines of foreign press. It has not been widely covered locally, though the amounts are in tens of billions of dollars. One is led to question the benefit that could be derived from so much weaponry in a region that already has a considerable stockpile! It could be noted that though the region for except for one country - shares the same religion - two distinct schools of thought nevertheless diverge on what a foreign observer might miss as benign theological matters. These are nevertheless enough to lead

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those two pseudo-sects to launch the worst kind of skirmishes at best - ironically - war. Future generation will look at the pages of history and see that an opportunity to leave aside ancient grudges that pave the way for the establishment of a new regional order based on mutual respect and trust crumble for the sake of egoism. What will current leaders decide to do with a very real threat that emanates from a regime that has, at numerous times, called for the wiping off of a country? As a country that suffered such a tragic course once in our history, should we not today be cautioned so as to not create unnecessary excuses for conflict. Historically, just as it is the case today, we are a region that has been accustomed to squandering our wealth on useless and harmful business ventures - namely weaponry and armament. The need of deterrents are necessary to all states in order to safeguard their territorial integrity and interests. Has humanity, especially, in a region known to have been the cradle of the world’s major religions not realized that conflict only begets more conflict? Can we not all come together as the descendants of Adam and work together towards the construction of a new era of cooperation and trade that would benefit all? fouad@kuw aittimes.net

Super Cup winners turn down trophy in protest KUWAIT: Controversy surrounding the local troubled sports situation has resurfaced following an incident where the winner of the annual Super Cup football match turned down the trophy in protest of the “illegality” of the Kuwait Football Association (KFA), reported AlWatan. Players of the Kuwait Football Club headed directly to their locker rooms following their victory over Al-Qadsiya in the Super Cup match, which precedes the start of the country’s football premier league. They left behind Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad, head of the KFA, and several others of the association’s members, who stood to offer the winning team their trophy. The club’s action was in protest of the current KFA board, which they accuse of being appointed in contradiction of local regulations. The Al-Fahad-led board reclaimed the KFA board after an order from the International Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), deemed their status legal. With a visible smile on his face after he learned about the winning team’s action, Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad stepped down from the podium and addressed the press, saying that “the action was expected.”

G26 opposes govt fund

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Sief Palace yesterday, Abid Manaf Hakimuldin, the grandson of the Sultan of Buhra and the accompanying delegation on the occasion of their visit to the country. HH also received Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs and Minister of Justice and Minister of Religious Endowment and Islamic Affairs Rashid Abd Al-Muhsin Al-Hammad accompanied by the President of the Supreme Consultative Committee on the Implementation of the Muslim Sharia Law Dr Khalid Al-Mathkoor and committe members.

KUWAIT: Government support for private sector firms in carrying out the projects included in the development plan will have a negative effect on the economy and could create non-viable entities, according to a local activist group. The group, known as Group 26 or G26, which includes several prominent political and economic figures, is expected to issue a statement in the next few days announcing its rejection of the government’s financial support for the establishment of shareholding firms which are to be set up to executing the projects. Group 26 members assert that this support contradicts free market ideology, reported Al-Qabas.

ly find the products while in a hurry, she asserted. “You would be surprised how hard it is to find good-quality products in large quantities to meet the demand of consumers,” Al-Othman added. Mejrin Al-Otaibi, meanwhile, said that people tend to stock up for Ramadan beforehand so as to avoid the overpricing that occurs during this period or the discovery that most of the products on the shelves are close to their expiry date if they haven’t already expired. “Some supermarkets keep selling goods while knowing there isn’t anything good about them and that they are already

expired,” Mejrin asserted. Bader Al-Attiya also stated that the ministry penalizes any Co-ops that refuse to sell products that are good for consumption to anyone, even if those products are available in small quantities. “Consumers should report any type of fraud or violation to the ministry so that we can take action” he said. As the Kuwait Times reported previously, the Kuwaiti Union for Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUCCS) has been seeking to standardize prices for around 4,013 basic items at all Kuwait’s Co-ops.

FIFA delegation to visit Jaber Stadium KUWAIT: The Jaber AlAhmad international stadium has been scheduled to be inaugurated on February 25, 2011. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the country’s national day celebrations, as per the wishes of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The announcement was made by Essam Jaafar, a representative of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) who accompanied a delegation from the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) that recently visited the stadium. Accompanying the team were

Dr Ahmad Faraj from the Kuwait Football Association, as well as engineer Rasha AlSayegh and the head of the stadium’s construction team. During the tour, FIFA representatives acknowledged the stadium as one that meets international standards. However, they pointed out that the stadium’s field as well as locker rooms and interior training rooms require a few adjustments, reported Al-Rai. The delegation’s final report will be handed over to the PAYS, who will then refer it to the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi.

kuwait digest

Visa trading needs to be addressed By Madhi Al-Khamees pproximately two years ago the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Badr Al-Duwailah announced that he will reveal the names of people responsible for trading visas illegally in the country within a couple of weeks. Two years passed and no names were revealed. Al-Duwailah has since left his position and the issue has remained a secret inside the ministry’s files. Then the ‘honest’ and ‘unbiased’ new minister, Mohammad Al-Afasi, came. He, however, also kept his mouth closed regarding the issue. Meanwhile several MPs, mainly Adel Al-Saraawi and Marzouq Al-Ghanim, launched efforts to address the visa trading problem. Both of them became busy though and failed to reveal any details. Visa trading has spread as an illegal operation in this country and has been indirectly supported by the government because of their silence and inability to end the crime. Visa trading has become a prosperous business and has contributed to filling the country with an excess of marginal expatriate labor forces. I wish that the government, or former Minister Al-Duwailah, would at least leak the names of the culprits if they are too ashamed to mention them publically. MP Mubarak Al-Khurainej hit the nail on the head when he addressed how Kuwait could be affected if Iran is targeted by a sudden military strike. The answer to the question he asked regarding how prepared the country is for a military attack should not just be answered with a discussion of supplies and commodities. The answer should also include our defensive preparations as well as our political and media approach to the situation. Given the seriousness of the matter I hope the government has an emergency plan prepared in the case of such a situation so that we don’t fall victim to a huge political nightmare.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

IAA holds its third annual Ghabqa By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The International Advertising Association (IAA) held its annual Ghabqa on Tuesday evening at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Salmiya. Representatives of advertising agencies, various business establishments and the local media attended the event, in addition to members of the IAA and other public figures. The association's third annual Ghabqa was sponsored by AlSeyassah daily newspaper as a gold sponsor; Jothen and Marina FM as silver sponsors; and Knockbook, M2R, Mediaedge, Paragon, and PH7 as bronze sponsors. The turnout at the event exceeded the organizers' expectations, and the hall, which had been prepared for more than 300 guests ultimately had to accommodate more than 400. The organizers said that many of the guests had not confirmed their attendance at the Ghabqa beforehand, asking everyone to send prior confirmation for future events. The event began with a welcoming speech from the president of the IAA Kuwait Charter, Louai Al-Asfahani. This was followed by the presentation of honorary gifts to the event sponsors. Speaking to Kuwait Times about the IAA's mission, Al-Asfahani said that the association aims to promote excellence in communications. "There are several grounds that we work on, among which the elevation of the level of com-

munication, promoting ethics in the work environment, and the protection of freedom of commercial speech," said Al-Asfahani. "Many people think that freedom of commercial speech is something that is given, while in fact in many countries there are regulations that limit what can go into an ad and what cannot; this can range from tobacco ads, to ads featuring children and those featuring certain dress codes. One of our goals is to protect the right of the consumer to understand the manufacturer's message, and to promote freedom of commercial speech," she explained. Asked about the level of advertising in Kuwait, the IAA Kuwait president said that the country is only now beginning to take steps in the right direction concerning this issue. "I will be honest with you; Kuwait is only starting to head in the right direction, after running for a long time in the wrong direction," Al-Asfahani said, adding that the turning point took place with the establishment of the IAA in 1996. During the Ghabqa, local charity foundation Bayt Abdullah was given an opportunity to present a short film about the importance of building children's hospices, such as the one which it provides, and the role that they play in providing help for children diagnosed with cancer. The event also included a raffle for gifts presented by the Kuwait Times for the Ghabqa guests.

A group photo of the members of the IAA with the Ambassador of Bulgaria in Kuwait Yuko Shevachez and Sheikh Dawood Salem Al-Sabah.

The president of IAA presenting a honorary gift to Gabi Deeb from Al-Seyassah, the golden sponsor of the event.

Natalie Feghali of M2R accepting present from Zeina Mokaddam, the general secretary of IAA.

Hussein Diab, receiving a present on behalf of the silver sponsor Al-Jothan.

Wael Sultan accepting a gift for Media Edge from Rony Atallah, an IAA board member.

Diala Sibaali, accepting a honorary gift on behalf of the silver sponsor, Marina FM, from Michel Barakat, an IAA board member.

Sheikh Dawood Al-Sabah receives a honorary gift from Waleed Kanafani, the treasurer of IAA Kuwait charter.

Islam Inshassi receiving a gift on behalf of Knockbook from IAA board member Adnan Saad.

Nadia Kalawi accepting present on behalf of PH7 from Marwan Farah, an IAA board member.

Some guests at the Ghabqa.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NATIONAL

Sheikh Dawood Al-Sabah is seen during the Ghabqa.

The president of IAA Kuwait (left) with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Kuwait Yuko Shevachez.

Winners of Kuwait Times raffle receiving their prizes. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

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Local products on high demand

kuwait digest

Cabinet’s improper decisions By Mubarak Al-Duwailah

T

he Cabinet’s decision to allow the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) to take loans from local banks in order to pay salaries of staff members is not a wise one. The strangeness does not lie with the process of taking loans, but the fact that a requirement arose in the first place, is shameful. Usually, an institution borrows funds when there is a lack of liquidity. In case of the KAC, I do not think that was the reason. Many ministries owe it millions of dinars in debt. For example, statistics obtained from the KAC during the months of June and July this year, show that the tickets worth KD

800,000 were provided to the Ministry of Health. In addition, tickets worth KD 778,000 were provided to the Defense Ministry. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior received from the KAC, during the same period. travel tickets that amounted to more than KD2 million. These expenses, which amount to a fraction of the debt that is not expected to be repaid soon. According to the information I managed to gather, the debts that the three aforementioned ministries owe to the KAC are as follows: KD6,548,686 from the Health Ministry, KD3,427,131 from the Defense Ministry and KD1,790,519 from the Ministry of Interior. It is strange that the KAC would borrow

money from local banks while having to pay back with compound interest, especially when governmental bodies owe them money. This situation also raises questions about the inaction of the Finance Ministry towards settling the issue of indebtedness, and the benefits behind allowing the KAC to take loans at a time in which it will be privatized. This is a simple example of our government’s ineptitude. It proves that the problems that we suffer from are the creations of the government owing to its myopic decisions. Such incidents elucidate the opaque nature of government procedures, as well as reports that list Kuwait among the worst countries worldwide in terms of bureaucratic corruption. —Al-Qabas

MP questions Abu Ftaira investigations KUWAIT: A lawmaker recently questioned reports which stated that a Kuwait Municipality official was responsible for creating the commercial licensing crisis in Abu Ftaira. He was allowed to resume duties following a threemonth suspension that was

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imposed on him. More than forty industrialists have won lawsuits that were filed against the Kuwait Municipality, following which it was forced to resume activities in the area. The problem had escalated after investors learned that their busi-

....raised the Prophet (PBUH) after the death of his grandfather Al Abbas Abu Thalib Hamzah

Thursday, August 19, 2010

nesses were not properly licensed as a result of mismanagement by the Municipality official in question. This led investors to sue the ministry for the losses suffered following the suspension of business, reported Al-Rai. During the interrogation peri-

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od, the official failed to provide investigators of the legal department with necessary information. Even before investigations results were released, the report pointed out that the main suspect has been reinstated to top position.

Lanterns an ancient Ramadan decoration KUWAIT: The holy month of Ramadan witnesses an additional and intensive activity at markets and demand for Ramadan goods, especially the lanterns which symbolize the cultural heritage of many Islamic countries. Ramadan lanterns are hung to decorate streets and ancient cities from Cairo to Tunis to Damascus, written on them words welcoming the holy month. Mohammed Al-Arabi, an antique dealer, in Alrai area said that “we usually import lanterns from Arab countries like Egypt, Syria, and in large quantities from China.” Al-Arabi added that Chinese lanterns are competing with Arab lanterns due to its low cost, variety of colors and shapes, the most famous lantern is the polygon and hierarchy and Aladdin lamp, in the form of dolls made of plastic and contains light bulbs, lasers and a small CD-ROM containing folkloric songs. He pointed out that the Chinese lantern looks more like a toy, attracting children with its Ramadan music, whereas older children would prefer the traditional lantern with a candle inside. “The local lantern is on high demand, especially by restaurant and store owners, in preparation for the holy month”, he said, clarifying that prices of lanterns have increased reaching KD20 this year. He also mentioned lanterns in the form of a football player, movie stars, including a variety of shapes and sizes, some are made of wood, some in the shape of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Kaaba. On the other hand, Khalil Shehadeh, a salesman in a toy store in Sharq said that there are many forms and shapes of lanterns, made of different materials. Shehadeh said that in the past he was keen on buying large and colored lantern with a candle inside, but these days the modern lanterns are more

KUWAIT: Prices of lanterns have increased and reached around KD 20 this year. on demand, as they contain musical sounds, and not candles. Two types of lanterns are in the market, the Chinese and Egyptian, no longer the traditional lanterns that are hand printed on glass. He pointed out that the function of the lantern which was placed in the old houses and mosques is to give light at night, and also a means of joy

during the month of Ramadan, particularly for young children. A researcher of folklore, Ahmed Al-Barges said that the lantern was first created in Egypt and there is a strong relationship linking the Egyptians with the lantern during the month of Ramadan, going back hundreds of years. And on the development of lanterns, Fanous (lantern) is a Roman word meaning Torch -

used to provide light by the use of liquid oil before the invention of candles, then developed by using liquid kerosene, and finally to electricity and batteries. He explained that with time, lanterns are made smaller for children as they carry them while they accompany women at night, as at that time women were forbidden to go out alone. —KUNA

A month of fasting, charity, volunteering KUWAIT: Bearing in mind that one of the lessons of the holy month of Ramadan is to feel for the whole of mankind and particularly for the less fortunate, the State of Kuwait is host to scores of Iftar feasts for simple workers and those wishing to break their fast with their brethren before performing prayer. What is commonly known as “Mawaed Al-Rahman”, which is reference to alms or charity which funds such feasts, is by now a tradition. The organization of such gatherings gets better year after year, and companies as well as individuals provide the funding and logistics. “One individual donated a sum of KD 70,000 for this year’s Iftar Feasts project,” an organizer of such activity in Abu Al-Hasaniya area, Yusef Abdelrahman, said. The organizer said this year’s feast pro-

ject is the tenth, is run by volunteers, and the meals are provided for 12 mosques in Mahboula, Qurain, Abu Al-Hasaniya, Rumaithiyah, Hawally, Mansouriyah and Jaber Al-Ali areas. He added 150 volunteers, five chefs, and a number of drivers all manage the operation from the main kitchen all the way to the respective mosques. As for Fitr Zakat, he said it would be received from residents of the area in Haya Al-Ibrahim Mosque. Head of the volunteers’ team in the area Khalid Shmais meanwhile said the Abu AlHasaniya Iftar Feasts Project is the biggest in Kuwait. The meal, he said, consists of a main dish of rice with meat, chicken, or fish, along with other dishes, dates, and buttermilk and

the like. The team is this year managing meals for a daily 4,000 people at the mosques covered by the project. This is in addition to aid provided, in due privacy, to poor families which are too proud to openly seek out aid. Supervisor for Hawally and Salmiya Iftar Feasts Khalid Ali said preparations for this month starts with stocking the main kitchen ahead of time, and the actual preparation of meals then starts with the start of the month and continues till Eid. This project is now in its fifth year, he said, and the number of people sharing Iftar at the Hawally Iftar Tent and Salmiya Iftar Tent reached as many as 800 each, and the meals are distributed by volunteers wishing to serve The Almighty in this fashion throughout the holy month. —KUNA

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dates or oil? Iraq’s farmers fear gold rush ZUBAIR, Iraq: Jaleel Jabr Al-Fartusi has worked his acreage near the oil hub of Basra since 1970 but could lose it in Iraq’s post-war rush for the black gold that lies below the plot he harvests for tomatoes and cucumbers. Contracts awarded to global oil firms that could boost Iraq’s production capacity to 12 million barrels per day from 2.5 million now are a possible lifeline for a country left in ruins by decades of war, sanctions and economic decline. But they might be a misfortune for farmers like Fartusi, whose fields lie over the 4-billionbarrel Zubair oilfield. “I have been growing on this land for 40 years, since I was a child. If they do it (take our lands), I will be like a naked person in public, having noth-

ing to live off,” said Fartusi, 55, who works five farms in Zubair. Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said the government would offer compensation of cash or other land in some cases but the state was the rightful owner of the oilfields. “Any spot or land, whether agricultural or not, that falls within the oilfields, of course these are off limits. They are the property of the state,” he said. ���The international companies and the government won’t allow any party to hinder the work of developing the oilfields.” The fertile acreage atop some of the world’s largest oilfields has been farmed for dates, melons and vegetables for centuries but the tribes that work the land fear

they are being pushed aside in the rush to develop Iraq’s vast reserves. A tribal sheikh in southern Maysan province has been suing Iraq’s state oil sector since before the 2003 US-led invasion over the loss of farmland, demanding around $2 million in compensation. That could be a test case for disputes over oilfields assigned to foreign oil giants in two bidding rounds last year. The allure of more than quadrupled oil output is irresistible. Capacity of 12 million bpd would rival oil power Saudi Arabia. It would allow Iraq, which has the world’s third-largest reserves, to raise the cash it needs to rebuild, and attain the level of prosperity perhaps needed to halt a stub-

Three farmers killed in central Iraq attack BAQUBA, Iraq: Three farmers were killed and leaflets pinned to their bodies Wednesday warning against cooperation with American and Iraqi forces in a brutal act of intimidation as thousands of US troops leave. The attack came a day after a suicide bomb at an army recruitment centre in Baghdad killed 59 people, most of them prospective soldiers, in the bloodiest attack in Iraq this year. The spike in violence coincides with the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when insurgents typically step up their activity. In the village of Rabiyah, northeast of Baghdad in central Diyala province, 10 masked gunmen carrying machine guns and silenced pistols and claiming to be members of Al-Qaeda raided the houses of three Shiite farmers, dragged them outside and shot them dead. “They brought them outside of their homes and then shot them,” said police Major Mohammed Al-Karkhi. “Then they left leaflets on their bodies which said, ‘This is the future for all those who cooperate with the US military and Iraqi security forces.’” Ahmed Al-Zarkushi, the mayor of Saadiyah district of which Rabiyah is a part, said the three men, all members of the same tribe, had no ties to the US or Iraqi militaries, and were farmers. “They raided one house after the other, and in each house they forced all the family members into one room, and took the father outside,” Zarkushi said. “They then killed him in front of the house, and put leaflets on his body and left. After they killed three people, they escaped, and then people called the security forces.”

Rabiyah is a predominantly Shiite village in Saadiyah, where a week ago insurgents lured Iraqi troops into a booby-trapped house, killing eight soldiers in coordinated blasts. “This is an area where all the faultlines are present, with the Shiites and Sunnis living together in the same villages, still,” Brigadier General Patrick Donahue, deputy commander of US forces in north Iraq, told reporters Tuesday, referring to Diyala province. “Diyala is a real microcosm of Iraq as a whole.” Also yesterday, two people were killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb in front of the courthouse in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, at around 7:30 am (0430 GMT), a police colonel said. And a communications ministry official was shot dead in Harithiyah, a western district of the capital, an interior ministry official said. The latest unrest, with around 200 people having been killed this month, comes with less than two weeks to go before US forces declare an end to combat operations in Iraq. At that point, their troop levels will be at their lowest since the 2003 invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. There are presently around 60,000 American soldiers in Iraq, a number that is set to drop to 50,000 by the end of the month. While US commanders insist local forces are up to the job, the top Iraqi officer Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said earlier this month that American troops would have to stay until 2020 before his soldiers would be ready. Iraq is also mired in a political impasse, with no new government formed more than five months after elections. — AFP

born insurgency that continues to kill and maim hundreds every month. The OPEC producer is counting on majors like Britain’s BP Plc, Russia’s Lukoil, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and others to bring the needed investment and expertise to its oilfields. The failure of Iraqi political factions to agree on a coalition government since an inconclusive March election is hampering their work but has not so far stopped the oil firms from laying the groundwork for the development projects. When the US-led invasion force ousted Saddam Hussein, oil platforms at the West Qurna oilfields to the north of Zubair were protected from looters by the Mehyyat

tribe. Wasmi Fayyad al-Mehyyat, a leader in Ebra village about 110 km north of Basra, said his tribe had lived in the area for 600 years, but the state-run South Oil Company was trying to drive his people away. They have offered to move if the Oil Ministry will compensate them and give them some other land nearby, he said, but four years of talks have yet to yield a result. The urgency to reach an agreement increased after West Qurna Phase One and Phase Two, two of the world’s largest oil projects, were awarded to the international firms last year. “We are asking to be guards at the oil facilities, and have residential compounds and to be compensated like

other people,” he said. “If we get our demands met, we will move to the other area. If not, we will not leave.” During Saddam’s 24-year reign, the government allowed farmers to plant the land within oilfields under annual lease contracts from the Oil Ministry. Now, the farmers say, they are being stalled when they ask for renewals of their leases. The farmers are being supported by local politicians. “We don’t object to the fact that the SOC needs the lands but they (farmers) should be compensated,” Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, deputy head of the Basra provincial council said. “The provincial council will stand by the rights of the farmers.” — Reuters

Last Palestinian tied to ’72 Munich attack dies Al-Hindi laid to rest in Gaza GAZA CITY: The body of Amin Al-Hindi, a senior Palestinian who was involved in the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, was buried in Gaza City yesterday, an AFP correspondent said. Hindi, who died in Amman late on Tuesday at the age of 70, was the last living Palestinian to be linked to the deadly attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes. Thousands of mourners joined the funeral procession which led from the family home in Gaza’s Al-Rimal neighbourhood to the city’s Katiba mosque. Hindi was a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Fatah party and also headed intelligence services under the late Yasser Arafat. Several leaders from the Fatah Central Committee and the Fatah Revolutionary Council attended the funeral in the Gaza Strip, which is run by Fatah’s radical Islamist rivals, Hamas. Hamas was represented at the funeral by Ahmad

RAMALLAH: Palestinian honor guard carries the body of former Palestinian intelligence service chief Amin Al-Hindi during a funeral ceremony at the compound of Palestinian president Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. — AFP

Yussuf, an adviser to prime minister Ismail Haniya. The Fatah officials arrived in Gaza after escorting the body from the West Bank city of Ramallah, where top Palestinian officials, including president Mahmud Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad, had attended a military funeral for Hindi. Hindi died on Tuesday night in Amman after being treated for cancer, the Palestinian ambassador to Amman, Atallah Kheiry, told AFP in the Jordanian capital. “Hindi was moved to the King Hussein Medical Centre in Amman six months ago after cancer treatment, and doctors removed a large part of his liver,” Kheiry told AFP. “After that he went into a coma and died on Tuesday night.” Hindi was the last living Palestinian who was linked to the Munich attacks following the death last month of Abu Daoud, who planned the deadly Munich attack. — AFP

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Battle over cross reveals culture divide in Poland WARSAW: It's a plain wooden cross almost austere in its simplicity. But it is stirring passions in heavily Roman Catholic Poland that expose bitter divisions which make it seem like two separate nations sharing the same land and language. The pale wood cross about four meters high was erected in front of the presidential palace by Boy and Girl Scouts days after the April plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others. It quickly became a spot for mourners to light candles, place flowers and pray. Now, with a new president installed and the country returning to normal, the question of whether the cross should stay or go has set off wider disputes that underscore the deep divisions between traditional and modern Poles, conservatives and liberals, and even rich and poor. "The

cross is a catalyst that has mobilized people who are fed up with the clericalization of Polish public life," said Jacek Kucharczyk, president of the Institute of Public Affairs, a Warsaw think tank. On one side are deeply nationalistic and religious supporters of the late president who want the cross to stay until a fitting memorial is built to the victims, among whom were top military brass and church leaders. Some of them cling to a conspiracy theory suggesting that Kaczynski's domestic political rivals and Russians conspired to kill him. On the other is an increasingly self-confident secular society that dismisses the conspiracy theory as lunacy and believes the religious symbol does not belong in front of such an important public building. This group argues that despite the country's Catholic influence, the con-

stitution guarantees a separation of church and state, and that the cross should move to a church. The "defenders of the cross" - as they are commonly called - are in the minority, with just dozens of them turning out at the cross most days. Yet they have shown a tenacity that sparked a much larger counter-protest last week of thousands of mostly young Poles mobilized by a Facebook appeal. The event took on the atmosphere of a street party, with the demonstrators playing with a plastic beach ball and even mocking their religious compatriots. One appeared at a balcony over the large crowd dressed in a pope costume - an act of irreverence rare in Poland, the native land of the much venerated late pontiff John Paul II. "We just want the cross moved. It doesn't belong in this place," said

Michal Buczynski, a 28-year-old economist at that rally. "I want to support a secular society. There is a vocal minority (defending the cross) and we want to push it back." They also returned over the following days in smaller numbers. On Sunday evening a small group of young Poles blared music from a boombox that drowned out the praying cross defenders and danced around them in a conga line. One held up a sign with an ironic appeal: "Let's tear down the palace. It's overshadowing the cross." With emotions high, each day brings a new, often disturbing development. Yesterday, police arrested a 60year-old man for threatening the cross supporters with an unarmed grenade. The day before, a 71-year-old man was arrested for using feces to defile a commemorative plaque to the plane victims near the cross. The plaque

was unveiled last week in an unsuccessful attempt to appease the cross defenders. The events reveal a deep cultural shift: 20 years ago, Poland threw off communism with the help of courageous priests who challenged a regime that tried to repress religious life by promoting atheism and keeping clergy under secret police surveillance. Crosses were then reinstated in many public places in what felt like an act of liberation to many. But today a younger generation of Poles that had no role in that struggle increasingly views the church as too powerful. John Paul's death in 2005 was a watershed event in this shift as it deprived the country of its guiding moral authority. The late pope also put a progressive stamp on the Polish church, and with him gone the Polish church has taken a more conservative turn, alienating the young further.

An attempt by authorities on Aug 3 to move the cross nearly sparked a riot by the cross defenders, with one woman tying herself to the cross, so authorities backed down and left it. But the scuffle raised the stakes and since then the cross defenders have camped out in front of the palace. Over the weekend, police and other security officials removed the defenders from the cross in the middle of the night, but left the cross in place. It now stands in its spot but is barricaded behind metal barriers and police guard. It's not clear what will happen next, but its defenders continue to gather across the street, praying and holding up small crosses and rosaries in defiance. "Our weapon is the rosary," said Barbara Grzegorzewska, a 50-year-old caretaker of preschool children who has joined the vigil at the cross off and

on. "Poland is a Christian country and we are defending the right to have the cross in public." She and others, however, list many grievances when asked why they are there; from meager salaries or pensions, to fears that EU will erode the Catholic identity of their nation - making it clear that the cross has also proven a way for socially marginalized Poles to vent their frustration. Some accuse the pro-EU government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk a rival of Kaczynski - of selling out the country to foreigners by privatizing state industries, a project undertaken to raise money and lower a ballooning deficit. They voice frustration that Russia is leading the investigation into the crash that killed Kaczynski - and express doubts into preliminary findings that the crash was caused by heavy fog and pilot error. —AP

Protesters block trucks from entering Melilla

Morocco halts fresh food shipments to Spanish city MELILLA, Spain: Truckers who transport food from Morocco to this Spanish enclave in North Africa suspended shipments of perishable goods yesterday amid a simmering dispute over alleged brutality by Spanish police. But the threat of a lengthy commercial blockade could be easing with a reported

agreement by Moroccan protesters to suspend it until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The decision by truckers to stop hauling goods into Melilla came in response to demands by Moroccan protesters who blocked them from entering for a brief period Tuesday night.

BNI ANSER, Morocco: Moroccan activists wave Moroccan flags during a brief demonstration on Tuesday night at the border crossing between Bni Anser and Melilla in a dispute over alleged police violence and racism against Moroccans entering the city. – AP

Sudan to deport foreign NGO workers KHARTOUM: Sudan's government confirmed yesterday it will expel a number of international aid workers from the restive western region of Darfur, without specifying how many. UN officials earlier had said six staffers from international aid groups had been told by local Darfur officials that their security could no longer be guaranteed and were asked to leave West Darfur. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said it was a verbal order. Those expelled worked International Committee of the Red Cross, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN's refugee agency. Expulsion orders from local officials is a new phenomenon for aid groups working in Darfur and the latest sign of rising strains between the international organizations and the government. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Muwaia Khaled told AP the aid workers were being deported individually, and the deportation does not reflect on the organizations they

work for. "Any organization that abides by the regulations and code set will be respected," Khaled stressed. "There are indeed some violations committed and this is the reason why they were expelled." He did not elaborate on the nature of the offenses and said the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs would disclose more later. At a recent gathering, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir told local Darfur officials that they can act independently "to expel and order out any international organization or agency or any quarter that exceeds its stipulated mandate or tries to obstruct the work of the local authorities." The UN has said constraints on aid agencies operating in the vast Darfur region have been steadily increasing since March 2009, when 11 international aid organizations were expelled following an indictment of the Sudanese president for crimes against humanity in Darfur by the International Criminal Court. Samuel Hendricks, spokesman for the

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, said the recent orders have larger implications than just the state of international staffing. "It's not about the individuals or the organizations, the point is these people are working in a humanitarian capacity and trying to help the population of Darfur," he said. Fighting in Darfur began with a 2003 rebellion by groups who accused the government of neglecting the desert region. The ongoing conflict has left up to 300,000 people dead and forced 2.7 million to flee their homes, according to UN figures. Several rebel groups have negotiated peace agreements with the government but two major armed groups, the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement, have refused. The UN Security Council on July 30 called for an immediate halt to the escalating violence in Darfur and demanded that all rebel groups to join peace talks. — AP

Russia boosts military presence in Armenia

MOSCOW: Police officers patrol Moscow’s Red Square yesterday, a day after a car bombing in southern Russia. — AFP

YEREVAN: Russia will extend its military presence and guarantee Armenia's security under a new defence deal, Armenia's foreign minister said yesterday, boosting Moscow's clout in the strategic Caucasus region. Under a far-reaching deal to be signed this week during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Moscow will extend its lease on a military base in Armenia to 2044 and upgrade the mission of the estimated 3,000 Russian troops stationed there, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told the Russia 24 news channel. The move is likely to raise alarm bells in neighbouring Azerbaijan, which is locked in a long-simmering conflict with Armenia over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region. "The contract was previously concluded for a period of 25 years but will now be effective for 49 years, starting from 1995," Nalbandian said. Under the deal, he said, "the Russian military base, along with providing for the interests of the Russian Federation, will with the armed forces of Armenia provide for the security of Armenia." Nalbandian said the deal also commits Russia to "assist Armenia in securing arms and modern military equipment." Armenian officials said the deal will deter Azerbaijan from launching a new conflict over Karabakh. "It will protect not only the borders of Armenia, but also Armenia's security and exclude the possibility of Azerbaijan trying to resolve the Karabakh conflict by force," Eduard Sharmazanov, a spokesman for the ruling Republican Party, told AFP. Analysts said it was unclear, however, whether Russia would in fact intervene in a new war in the region, since the conflict would likely unfold in Karabakh and surrounding territories that are not part of Armenia. — AFP

It was the second time in a week that Melilla faced shortages of fish, fruit and vegetables. Spanish media reported that the protesters had reached a deal with traders who sell the food in the city of about 70,000 to allow the trucks to resume shipments today, putting off the prospect of a long-term blockade until September. A spokesman for Spain's Interior Ministry in the city confirmed that no trucks carrying food or fish had arrived at the Moroccan side of the border with Melilla yesterday. He said some 20 protesters gathered at the Moroccan side were only allowing empty trucks to pass through. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry policy, said that after a brief blockade Tuesday night, dozens of trucks carrying construction materials had been allowed in. Morocco supplies the Spanish enclave with perishable products, and about 35,000 Moroccans cross daily into Melilla to work or shop. Morocco claims the city and another North African enclave of Spain, Ceuta, as its own, and the protesters backing the blockade also want Spain to cede control of the cities to Morocco. But Spain rejects any talk of giving them up. Morocco has made five complaints over the past month alleging Spanish police mistreatment of, and racism against, Moroccans crossing into Melilla. Moroccan officials also accused the Spanish coast guard of finding, then abandoning, a group of ailing migrants in a boat off the Moroccan coast. Spain has denied the claims. Spain and Morocco are key allies, cooperating closely on fighting terrorism and preventing illegal immigration. Relations between the two countries have been generally good in recent years, despite periodic bouts of tension. The most serious break came in 2002, when the nations edged close to armed confrontation after a handful of Moroccan soldiers occupied a rocky Spanish island off the Moroccan coast inhabited by goats. The conservative government of then Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar sent in Spanish commandos to oust the Moroccan troops, and ties between the two nations plunged. Aznar flew to Melilla on Wednesday to tour the city amid claims by his opposition Popular Party that Spain's ruling Socialist Party has bungled efforts to reduce tensions between Spain and Morocco over Melilla and halt the commercial blockades. But the Socialist Party said Aznar's visit could end up hurting Spanish-Moroccan relations just ahead of a visit Monday by Spain's Interior Minister to the Moroccan capital, Rabat, aimed at defusing the tensions and discussing bilateral issues like terrorism and immigration. "His presence does not help and he knows his presence does not help," Spanish Development Minister Jose Blanco told reporters. Blanco added that Spain's government is "working on the problem and it will be sorted out very soon, despite the Popular Party." — AP

WARSAW: Soldiers pass a wooden cross in front of the Polish presidential palace that has turned into the focus of a fierce dispute in recent weeks on Tuesday. – AP

Rebels kill three Indian peacekeepers in Congo KINSHASA: Suspected rebels hacked to death three Indian UN peacekeepers in their camp in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Indian and Congolese armies said yesterday. A further seven Indian troops were injured in the attack in Kirumba, which the Indian military and local officials blamed on the Mai-Mai, a Congolese tribal militia. The head of the UN mission in DR Congo, Roger Meece, said it was "a very sad loss," but added that his forces would continue their efforts to beat the threat of armed groups. "At about 1:50 am (2350 GMT), under the cover of darkness, the Unit's Company Operating Base at Kirumba was approached by five innocent looking civilians," the Indian army said in a statement. "They asked the post for assistance. While they were engaging the guard on duty with conversation, a group of approximately 50-60 rebels probably Mai-Mai rebel group - attacked the periphery of the post, from the surrounding jungle," the statement said. "This lasted for approximately five minutes. The rebels merged into the forest, taking advantage of darkness. In the ensuing incident, Indian troops suffered three fatal casualties and seven injured." General Vainqueur Mayala, commander of the 8th military region of the DR Congo army, said the motive for the attack was unclear. "They did not use firearms, but knives and machetes, and they

killed three Indians and critically injured another three," the general told AFP by telephone from Kinshasa. The victims all served with the United Nations' Organisation for Stabilisation in Democratic Republic of Congo, abbreviated to MONUSCO. "I can only reiterate the shock I felt, the sadness for the loss of our soldiers," Meece said at his weekly press conference in Kinshasa. "It's a very sad loss but I can assure you that we will pursue our efforts ... against the threats posed by the various armed groups, including the group which launched the attack this morning." Kirumba is around 140 km north of Goma, capital of the volatile Nord-Kivu province. An Indian peacekeeper was shot and killed in Nord-Kivu in May this year, and another was killed in a gun battle in the province in 2005. The head city official of Kirumba, Egide Karafifi, told AFP the attackers were wearing civilian clothes, had raphia palm coverings on their heads and were singing MaiMai songs. The mission, earlier known by its French acronym MONUC, has been present in DR Congo since late 1999 and its new mandate to consolidate peace runs until June 30 next year. The Mai-Mai are just one of a number of armed groups fighting each other and the army in the east of the country. They were integrated in the Congolese army but control their own territory in Sud-Kivu province and are intent on overturning the military command in the area. — AFP

Model Macedonian school aims to bridge ethnic divide PRELJUBISTE, Macedonia: Macedonia's only bilingual school stands in a bucolic mountainous area that still bears the scars of an ethnic conflict that threatened full-blown civil war nine years ago. The clashes are the reason the Fridtjof Nansen elementary school was created: to teach Macedonian and Albanian children to understand each other and overcome the differences that drove their elders to fight. "Maybe we are different sort of fishes, but in this school, we all swim together," reads a bold motto in the hall of the pioneering school, which believes it is a model for Europe. The Albanian insurgency against government forces gripped the area for less than a year in 2001, with only a few dozen people killed on each side, but there were fears it would erupt into the kind of wars that engulfed Kosovo and Bosnia. Western intervention secured a ceasefire that saw Macedonian authorities agree to more recognition of the mostly Muslim Albanian minority, which makes up a quarter of the largely Christian 2.2 million population. But language has been a stumbling block to entente, with few Macedonians or Albanians taking the trouble to learn each other's language. Not at this school, close to the border with Kosovo and about 45 km west of the capital Skopje. "I can say some things in Albanian now," seven-year-old Macedonian Ace tells AFP proudly. "It is interesting, we are friends," the boy says of his Albanian classmates. When the school opened its doors in 2008, "not a single Albanian kid understood Macedonian, nor did the Macedonian children understand a word of Albanian," says programme coordinator Veton Zekolli. But now the 50 or so pupils, aged six to eight, have the basics of each other's language. Classes are run by two teachers who simultaneously translate everything into both languages. "After having classes in their mother tongues, the chil-

dren play together, draw, learn mathematics and crafts," Zekolli says. The aim is "dialogue and reconciliation", he says. In a craft class children in grey uniforms fold paper horses while repeating the word for the animal - "konj" in Macedonian and "kali" in Albanian. In another class room first graders are having a language lesson. Laughter fills the air and when visitors enter the children shout out "good afternoon" in both languages - "Dobar den" in Macedonian and "Merdita" in Albanian. "It's nice here, we play and we learn," says six-year-old Nisa in Albanian as she has not yet mastered Macedonian. The children live in various Macedonian- or Albanian-majority villages around the school, which is in Preljubiste, an ethnically mixed village about 20 km from the border with Kosovo. Tensions still dog the sensitive area, which this month marked the ninth anniversary of the Ohrid agreement that ended the insurgency. In the worst incident since the agreement, Macedonian police in May killed four people as they tried to stop a van suspected of transporting illegal arms. Days earlier they seized a large cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives. The area is a notorious smuggling route and recently there have been fears that some insurgents may be re-arming. The tensions spilled over into education in January when the government's imposition of Macedonian language classes for Albanian first graders sparked boycotts in Albanian-dominated areas. When the schools reopen in September the Albanian first graders will have to take obligatory Macedonian language classes although they will not be graded on their work. There is no requirement for Macedonian school children to learn Albanian as Albanian is only recognised as an official second language in several areas which have more than 20 percent strong Albanian minority.— AFP

INTERNATIONAL

Thursay, August 19, 2010

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US nuclear waste issue could be solved, if... WASHINGTON: Nuclear energy offers several advantages: It’s clean, powerful and relatively cheap. But it also yields hazardous waste, a fact that terrifies a public haunted by memories of accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear reactors. In America, about 60,000 tonnes of heavy nuclear energy byproducts sit in radioactive dumps, with no potential use and no expiration date in sight, while federal experts rack their brains for a better way to manage nuclear waste. Several energy companies say they have a solution to the waste issue: Recycling, basically squeezing more energy from already-used nuclear fuel while leaving less waste behind. But their efforts face a decades-old policy hurdle that offers them little incentive to pursue the process. “When it comes to energy, America is strong on technology but weak on policy,” said GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Chairman John Fuller. “And it’s a critical handicap.” A Carter-era law keeps all used fuel from American commercial reactors in federal hands, and the government has deter-

mined it must be stored. Ironically, the US Department of Energy, or DOE, developed spent fuel reprocessing technology in the late 1980s to mid-1990s, in collaboration with energy companies. But the program closed when the National Academy of Sciences proclaimed it economically unsustainable. US Congress has approved the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada as the official storage dump for US nuclear waste. But President Barack Obama, fulfilling a campaign pledge, has cut off funding for the facility and wants to find alternatives. Despite billions of dollars spent on the repository and a long court wrangle over its closing, the DOE has appointed a special commission to determine the best way of handling nuclear waste. And the panel does plan to consider recycling or reprocessing nuclear fuel, said spokesman John Kotek. Yucca’s potential closing has reinvigorated hopes that the United States will jump on the French, British and Japanese bandwagon of reprocessing nuclear fuel as a national policy. “It’s a perfect time to

reconsider recycling for the US,” said Jarret Adams, spokesman for the French firm Areva SA, which has reprocessed its spent fuel for decades. Spent fuel comes as discarded reactor fuel assemblies, 14-foot tubes comprised of thousands of solid enriched-uranium pellets. Every 18 to 24 months, a third of those assemblies is replaced by new ones and stored as waste. Nuclear energy produces 20 percent of US power, and the conundrum of what to do with that radioactive waste is one impediment to expanding its role. Since the US agency declared spent fuel reprocessing too costly, US research into new technologies has slowed. President George W Bush offered federal backing for nuclear waste management alternatives, but over the years the policy has meandered and had few incentives to lure companies, said Steven Kraft, senior director of used-fuel management at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s trade organization. Being able to burn through rather inexpensive uranium to produce energy, com-

panies are wary of investing millions into recycling technology that may go against the national policy. Still, industry support for the ideas is strong, if not for the procedure itself then for allowing the market not the government - to determine its costeffectiveness and fate. Duke Energy, which operates seven nuclear plants, would support nuclear recycling if there was a costeffective national policy, spokeswoman Rita Sipe said. GE Hitachi has proposed a new generation of fast reactors that, they say, could return to the grid up to 99 percent of energy contained in the uranium, compared to recovering 2 or 3 percent from a common light water reactor. But they want federal support for more research and, ultimately, commercialization of the technology, said chief consulting engineer Erik Loewen. That support, in essence, would have to come in a form of subsidies such as cost sharing or loan guarantees, said Jack Spencer, nuclear energy policy research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank. “What the industry needs... is some-

thing to mitigate government-imposed risks,” he said of the regulatory regime. “This will all ultimately be financed by the industry broadly through the fees they pay to the Treasury in order to manage nuclear waste,” he added. The ultimate price tag for recycling facilities, however, is murky and heavily dependent on which technology is used. Areva estimated the cost of France’s reprocessing plant at $300 million. Additional costs are incurred in the United States for federal licensing, approval and fees. Several US senators have chimed in with their support of the nuclear fuel reuse, introducing bills to bring it back to the table on waste management talks. But even with recycling or reprocessing, the hazardous waste would still be there - albeit less radioactive, less longlasting and in smaller quantities. This has created opposition from environmental groups, who say it simply wouldn’t solve the nuclear waste problem. The problem with nuclear waste is “there is no safe dose” for radiation, said Mary Olson, direc-

tor of the southeast office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Center, an environmental group. Public fears of nuclear technology are centered on the meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania in 1979 and the explosion at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine in 1986. Those didn’t involve nuclear waste but one major disaster did, and one considered the second greatest after Chernobyl. I n 1957 at a fuel reprocessing plant near Kyshtym, Russia, a huge radioactive cloud was released into the air after an explosion at a nuclear waste storage facility caused by a cooling failure. With development of new-generation technology and safety research, the industry is looking out for alternative nuclear waste ideas that can be adopted - and soon. “If you look down 30 or 40 years,” said GE’s Fuller, “what you want to do is leave a legacy for the children that doesn’t have the same issues we have today with the debate on how to deal with spent fuel and spent fuel storage.” —Reuters

Blagojevich defiant after hung jury on seat scheme Ex-governor guilty on one count, faces retrial CHICAGO: A US jury handed a shock victory to the ex-governor of Illinois after deadlocking on all but one count in his trial for allegedly trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat. Rod Blagojevich, the flam-

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Former US President and UN special envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton (center) and Haiti Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive (second from right) look on during a signing agreement ceremony after the second meeting by the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission Tuesday. —AP

Haiti delays word whether Jean can run for president PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti’s electoral board decided to push back to Aug 20 its release of a final list of presidential candidates, a statement released Tuesday said, leaving in doubt for now whether hip-hop star Wyclef Jean can run. “Due to questions posed regarding some candidates, ... the electoral board has decided to delay until August 20 the release of its final list of presidential candidates,” the board said in a statement. The council had pledged to release the list by Tuesday ahead of the November 28 elections for a successor to President Rene Preval, as Haiti struggles to revover from a devastating Jan 12 earthquake. Several of the candidates including Grammy-winning hip-hop star Jean have had their presidential eligibility requirements questioned at the electoral body. Jean is one of 34 Haitians who have lined up to run for the presidency, a measure of the office’s powerful allure despite the widespread misery and seemingly insurmountable problems worsened by a January 12 earthquake that leveled the capital. The vote is the first since the earthquake, which killed at least 250,000 people and left 1.5 million without homes. The winner will replace Preval, who is prohibited from seeking another term. Pierre Thibolt, communications director of the provisional election council, earlier had told AFP the list would be released on Tuesday. Security barricades had gone up around the council’s headquarters in Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, amid rumors that the council will eliminate some of the presidential hopefuls, possibly including Jean. The Grammy-winning former Fugees frontman has little experience in politics but casts his insurgent bid as a chance to save a country brought to its knees by poverty, mismanagement and the earthquake. But he faces challenges on whether he meets residency requirements after having lived in the United States for years, and about taxes he owes there. Actor Sean Penn, who runs a tent camp for the homeless in Haiti, and others have accused Jean of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised after the earthquake for a charity he ran. In a report Tuesday, the New York Times spotlighted a history of poor financial manage-

ment at Jean’s Yele Haiti charity, including a $250,000 payment it made to a television station that the singer and a cousin had recently acquired. In a statement, Jean acknowledged “missteps” at the charity before the earthquake but called claims that 250,000 dollars were misappropriated an “outright falsity” circulated by disgruntled former employees. “Unhappy former employees, old rumors and long negated claims are simply distractions at this crucial juncture, when my advisers and I need total focus on the Haitian situation,” he said. His supporters have brushed aside the other concerns raised with the election council. “We have proved that Mr Jean had residency in Haiti where he is also a majority shareholder in a television station. The financial statements in the United States cannot be dealt with in Haiti,” said Joel Petit-Homme, one of Jean’s lawyers. “The electoral office of disputes has already decided in our favor and now no political influence can stop Mr Jean from seeking Haiti’s presidency,” he added. Jean arrived back in Haiti on Saturday, and toured Haiti’s south before arriving Monday in his stronghold, Croix des Bouquet, near the capital, where aides said he was awaiting the council’s decision to begin his campaign. In the streets of Port-au-Prince, the singer’s supporters have covered walls with slogans appealing to the country’s youth to support Jean’s candidacy. Eight other candidates besides Jean face challenges on their qualifications to run for president. Numerous opposition parties have refused to participate in the legislative and presidential vote schedule for November, calling instead for strikes and the dismissal of the provisional electoral council. The vote is expected to cost some 29 million dollars, and will be mostly financed by the international community, which has promised to deliver 10 billion dollars over five years to help Haiti with reconstruction. The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it hopes to raise $500 million to rebuild and expand Haiti’s educational system, which was devastated by the quake. It expects to disburse an initial $50 million to repair schools damaged by the quake.—AFP

US-Colombia bases pact unconstitutional: Court BOGOTA: Colombia’s constitutional court Tuesday declared a US-Colombian accord that gave the US military access to at least seven Colombian bases to be unconstitutional. The court ordered the government to submit the agreement to the Colombian Congress, arguing that it should be executed in the form of an international treaty that would be subject to congressional approval in order to comply with constitutional norms. The court did not address whether the agreement itself was appropriate. The agreement “is an arrangement which requires the state to take on new obligations as well as an extension of previous ones and as such should be handled as an international treaty, that is, subject to congressional approval,” said the court’s chief justice Mauricio Gonzalez. The court decided in March to review the agreement after a group of lawyers filed a complaint arguing it was

unconstitutional. The lawsuit claimed the Oct 2009 military accord was invalid because it was signed by the government of President Alvaro Uribe without prior discussion in Congress, as mandated by the constitution. The military pact, part of a joint effort to counter drug trafficking and insurgencies, has been denounced by neighboring Venezuela as US interference in the region, raising tensions between Bogota and Caracas. Opponents also accuse Uribe of ignoring the advice of the State Council - the highest court on administrative matters - which also urged that the congress take up the agreement before it was signed. The Uribe administration deemed the State Council’s opinion non binding, and said the accord was not new but merely an extension of a 1974 military pact with the United States, and as such required no legislative oversight, government officials said. —AFP

It is “absolutely our intention to retry this,” assistant US Attorney Reid Schar said Tuesday after the jury said it was unable to reach agreement on 23 of 24 counts. The sole guilty verdict, for lying to the FBI, carries a maximum five-year jail sentence. The 53-year-old Blagojevich stood accused of a slew of corrupt practices, including most notoriously his alleged attempt to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder and gain a prestigious appointment for himself after Obama was elected president in November 2008. Illinois allows a governor to appoint the successor to an empty Senate seat, giving Blagojevich the power to name a new senator. But the process allegedly proved too tempting for Blagojevich, who apparently termed the empty seat “f***ing golden” and pledged he would not give it away for free in recordings made by investigators. He was arrested in December 2008, just two months after Obama’s electoral victory, and immediately protested his innocence. At least one juror apparently agreed with Blagojevich. US media reported the jury was deadlocked 11-1 on whether the governor should be convicted for seeking to sell Obama’s seat. Without the holdout, one juror told the Wall Street Journal, Blagojevich would likely have been convicted on four or five of the charges against him. The exgovernor said the result was a vindication. “The government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me and on every charge except for one they could not prove that I did anything wrong and that I did break any laws, except for one nebulous charge from five years ago,” he told reporters, flanked by his wife. “So Patty and I are going to continue to fight, because this fight is a lot bigger than just me and my family. This is a fight for the very freedoms that we as Americans enjoy - the right to be innocent, the right to be able to do your job and to not be lied about.” The trial provided ample forum for Blagojevich’s colorful take on his power to appoint Obama’s replacement. “I mean, I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden and I’m not just giving it up for f***ing nothing,” Blagojevich told former aide Doug Scofield in a recording. When asked at trial what he understood Blagojevich to want, Scofield testified: “He wants an appointment from the president.” The scandal shone the spotlight on Chicago’s infamously corrupt political scene, though Obama and his administration managed to escape the scandal unsullied and attempts to subpoena the president and his staff were blocked or dropped. Five of the past nine Illinois governors have been indicted or arrested for fraud or bribery. Blagojevich’s predecessor, Republican George Ryan, is serving a six-and-a-half year jail term for fraud and racketeering. Jurors began deliberations on July 28. Last week they informed the judge that they were unable to reach a verdict and asked for his help. The judge instructed them to continue deliberations until they could agree on at least some of the charges. —AFP

boyant politician-turned reality television star, vowed to appeal his sole conviction for lying to federal agents, while US prosecutors promised a new trial on racketeering, bribery, attempted extortion, and wire fraud.

CHICAGO: Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich speaks to the press next to his wife Patti following a verdict at his corruption trial on Tuesday. —AP

Peru’s Garcia to reshuffle cabinet LIMA: President Alan Garcia said on Tuesday he will shuffle his cabinet at the appropriate time, but brushed aside comments by three people in his party and government that Finance Minister Mercedes Araoz will go. The cabinet changes would be carried out as some ministers want to step down to run in regional elections in October, Garcia said. The shakeup, which is widely expected to include Prime Minister Javier Velasquez, would come as Peru’s economy surges at one of the world’s fastest paces. “With the economy you have to be calm,” Garcia said when asked if he would replace Araoz. Garcia spoke late on Tuesday at a public works project and when asked when the changes would be made, he said: “Not yet, the truth is that I will announce them at an opportune time.” Three sources told Reuters earlier on Tuesday the shuffle would be announced in the coming days and that Araoz would be on the departure list. Expectations of the pending cabinet changes had little impact on financial markets as no marked shift in economic policy

by Garcia’s center-right government is expected. Araoz, an economist who recently got into a public row with the central bank’s monetary policy director over whether she was spending too much money and contributing to inflation, has been in the job for about nine months. She has been encouraged by some members of Garcia’s APRA party to run for office. Ismael Benavides, who once led one of Peru’s largest banks and previously served as agriculture minister for Garcia, is seen as her most likely replacement. “It’s going to be Thursday,” one source said. “We know that Mercedes Araoz will leave no matter what,” said another source. Benavides, who declined to comment, is trained as an agricultural economist and is respected in Peru’s banking world. Araoz recently said Peru would meet this year’s fiscal deficit target of 1.6 percent of gross domestic product. She has been able to ramp up spending because tax receipts are surging on a sizzling economy - which grew nearly 12 percent in June from a year ago. Inflation, while speeding up, is expected to be

around 3 percent this year, at the top end of the central bank’s inflation target range. Economic growth is seen at 7 percent with some forecasts being revised upwards as surging domestic demand, led by construction and easier credit, replace the traditional engine of minerals exports. Araoz, who helped craft numerous freetrade deals in her previous role as trade minister, has discarded talk of her own departure and one of her aides denied she would leave. Her policy rift with the central bank was not mentioned by the sources as a reason for her potential departure. They said a replacement for Velasquez, who has struggled to keep a lid on social conflicts over natural resources, has yet to be identified. Leaders of Garcia’s party have mentioned Araoz as desirable candidate to have run on their ticket, perhaps for the presidency in general elections next year, when Garcia cannot run. Araoz, who is not currently affiliated with any party, is telegenic and seen as having political ambitions but a poll showed that her candidacy would draw little support. — Reuters

Obama to recharge for fall battles WASHINGTON: Golf, family outings and quiet: President Barack Obama is taking a 10-day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, an island hideaway favored by the rich and well-connected, before returning to a fierce fall election season. As they did this time last year, Obama, his wife Michelle and their daughters Malia and Sasha (12 and nine) are leaving sultry Washington for the ocean breezes that caress the little island off the coast of Massachusetts. “The president is definitely going to spend a little time recharging his batteries,” said Bill Burton, the deputy White House press secretary. No public events are planned. Obama was on a busy campaign swing ahead of the start of his summer vacation today. Like last year, Obama will work to perfect his swing at one of the island’s golf courses, Burton said. “There will be some hiking, some time at

the beach, some time at the ice cream store - all the sort of things you do when you’re at Martha’s Vineyard. You enjoy the people and the good food,” he told reporters. But presidential vacations remain at the mercy of unexpected events: last Christmas, a young Nigerian under the sway of AlQaeda tried to bring down a US jetliner, disrupting Obama’s vacation in his native Hawaii. Obama’s stay in Martha’s Vineyard last year was interrupted when Senator Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of a political dynasty and a key supporter during Obama’s 2008 run for the presidency, succumbed to brain cancer. Leaving nothing to chance, Obama is bringing along his antiterrorism adviser John Brennan, Burton revealed. Two other close aides, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, also will be on the trip. The Obamas were criticized last

year for having chosen, in the middle of a severe recession, to vacation on a island where houses cost millions of dollars. Perhaps to avoid nettlesome headlines this year comparing Massachusett’s immaculate beaches to those of the spill-sullied Gulf of Mexico, Obama took his family to Florida last weekend and exhorted his fellow Americans to follow suit. The oil spill, which has finally been plugged, is not the least of the president’s worries this year. Health insurance reform, financial industry regulatory reform, and the anemic economic recovery, not to mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, weigh heavily on him. The pressure is unlikely to ease before November 2, when Americans go to the polls in elections for a third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives. Democrats control both houses of Congress, but the Republicans hope to rake in

more seats and retilt the balance of power. The loss of a majority in either house would considerably restrict the president’s room for maneuver. Visiting five states from Monday to yesterday, Obama has denounced Republican efforts to block his reforms. Meanwhile, Republicans accuse him of letting the deficit run out of control and of unduly expanding the powers of the federal government. The opposition also has rushed to attack Obama for supporting Muslims’ right to open a mosque near the site of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in New York, a position taken in defense of religious freedom that could nevertheless cost his party votes in November. The presidential vacation is scheduled to end on Sunday Aug 29, when Obama travels to New Orleans to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city and the region. — AFP

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INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, August 19, 2010

China lashes out at Pentagon military report BEIJING: China hit out yesterday at a Pentagon report on its expanding military capabilities as other Asian nations said they would be keeping a wary eye on their giant neighbour’s growing might. Beijing said the US Defence Department report was “not beneficial” for military ties between the two major powers, while state media branded the dossier “aggressive” and said it exaggerated the power of China’s armed forces. Geng Yansheng, spokesman for China’s defence ministry, insisted the country was on a “path of peaceful development”. “Issuing this report is not beneficial for the improvement and development of Sino-US military ties,” he said in a statement. The Pentagon report to the US Congress said

China’s military strategists were looking to extend their reach to be able to hit targets as far away as mainland Japan, the Philippines and the US territory of Guam. Beijing was ramping up investment in a range of areas including nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, submarines, aircraft carriers and cyber warfare, according to the report published Monday. Taiwan responded on Tuesday by renewing its call for the United States to sell it advanced weaponry, and joined Japan in vowing to keep a close eye on China’s rising military strength. But China demanded that Washington stop issuing such reports. “China... firmly abides by a defensive national defence policy, does not take part in

military confrontation and does not pose a military threat to any country,” Geng said. “We ask the United States... to stop remarks and behaviour that are not beneficial for mutual trust between the two militaries and Sino-US relations.” China’s staterun media carried a barrage of comments from experts on the issue, blasting what they called an “aggressive” Pentagon report. Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defence University, told the Global Times: “The interfering nature of the report remains unchanged. It will surely draw discontent from China over its exaggeration of its military power.” China’s military expansion comes alongside its surging economic

growth, which saw it overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy in the second quarter and the international community has been pushing China to take a more active role in addressing issues such as climate change and trade imbalances. The Pentagon said China’s military build-up in the Taiwan Strait had “continued unabated”, despite better ties with the China-friendly government in Taipei which has been in power since 2008. Taiwan on Tuesday repeated its call for the United States to sell it advanced F16 jet fighters and diesel submarines in the face of China’s much stronger military. Earlier this year, Beijing reacted angrily to an arms deal between Washington and Taiwan, saying it

would cut military and security contacts with the United States. “China has not given up the use of force against Taiwan and we are closelymonitoring China’s military developments. We ask the public to rest assured,” Taiwan defence ministry spokesman Yu Sy-tue said. Beijing considers Taiwan, where the mainland’s defeated nationalists fled in 1949 at the end of a bloody civil war, to be part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Following the report, Tokyo said it would “keep paying attention to China’s military trend”. “It will have a significant impact on security in the region, including Japan, and on the international community,” a Japanese defence ministry spokeswoman

said. Japan and Vietnam, which both have historic tensions with China, have reported incidents with China’s military in recent months and the Pentagon predicted Beijing may step up patrols in the South China Sea. Against this backdrop, the United States and Vietnam - former foes who only normalised diplomatic ties 15 years ago - held their first high-level defence dialogue on Tuesday. Hanoi and Beijing are involved in a territorial dispute over islands in the South China Sea. Last month China reacted angrily after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said resolution of those territorial rows - which also involve other nations - was “pivotal” to regional stability. — AFP

US against use of force in S China Sea dispute American forces to continue their presence in region MANILA: The US military opposes the use of force by countries locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea and w ill maintain its presence in the strategic region for years to come, an American commander said yesterday. The comments by Adm Robert Willard, the head of the US Pacific Command,

follow remarks last month by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that outraged China. She told a conference of Southeast and East Asian ministers that the US had a “national interest” in seeing the territorial disputes resolved through a “collaborative diplomatic process by all claimants”.

MANILA: Robert F Willard, US Navy admiral and commander of the US Pacific Command, gestures as he speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the RP-US Mutual Defense Board (MDB) meeting at the military headquarters yesterday. — AFP

Thailand tries to block WikiLeaks BANGKOK: Thai authorities have used emergency powers to restrict access to the WikiLeaks whistleblower website on security grounds, an official said yesteday, fanning controversy over Internet censorship. The order came from the government unit set up to oversee the response to political unrest that rocked the nation’s capital earlier this year, said a spokeswoman at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “Access to this website has been temporarily suspended under the 2005 emergency decree,” she said. Some users, however, reported that they were still able to access WikiLeaks within the kingdom. Thailand made headlines around the world in 2007 when it blocked the popular video-sharing website YouTube after material appeared mocking its revered King Bhumibol. The country has removed tens of thousands of web pages from the Internet in recent years, mainly for insulting the monarchy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail. A special cyber crime agency has also been set up to stamp out online criticism of the royal family. Critics have complained that the authorities have responded to the recent anti-gov-

ernment demonstrations by widening the net to include political opponents. Emergency rule, enshrined in Thai law since 2005, was imposed across many parts of Thailand during two months of “Red Shirt” protests in Bangkok from mid-March that left 91 people dead, ending with a bloody army crackdown. Authorities have used the decree, which remains in place in seven out of Thailand’s 76 provinces including Bangkok, to arrest hundreds of suspects and silence anti-government media. The ICT said it has blocked 1,340 websites on security grounds since emergency rule began in April. Some pages of social networking site Facebook are thought to have been blocked in the recent clampdown. Supinya Klangnarong of the Thai Netizen Network, which campaigns for web freedom, said the government should be more transparent in their reasons for blocking certain sites. Supinya said issues surrounding the monarchy were sensitive in Thai society and blocking offensive sites could be “understandable”. But she said the application of the rules under the emergency decree were “mixed up”. “There should an explanation to make

in the news 67 missing in mudslides BEIJING: More than 60 people went missing after torrents of mud slammed into homes in southwest China yesterday, blocking roads in the nation’s latest disaster as it battles its worst flooding in a decade. Power lines and telecoms have been cut to Puladi township in Yunnan province, where the mudslides struck in the early hours of yesterday as people were sleeping, a provincial government official said. Rescuers have been sent to the affected area, in a remote and mountainous part of Yunnan on the border with Myanmar, to search for the 67 missing people, the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP. The mudslides destroyed a bridge and more than 200 m of road, the nation’s civil affairs ministry said on its website. A large amount of debris was washed into the Nu River, where the water level rose by up to six metres, it added. Vandal’s term extended SINGAPORE: A Singapore court yesterday increased the prison term for a Swiss vandal from five to seven months after prosecutors appealed for a stiffer penalty for breaking into a high-security train depot. Oliver Fricker, a 32-year-old software consultant, will now serve four months for trespass - double the original sentence - in addition to three months’ jail and three strokes of a cane for vandalism. A judge at Singapore’s Court of Appeal said the original trespass sentence was “manifestly inadequate” and a tougher penalty was needed to act as a deterrent to others. Fricker and a British friend who is still at large cut into a depot in May and spray-painted graffiti onto two train carriages.

sure the government does not block or censor the opposition,” she said, adding that people who wanted to see certain sites or pages were often able to get around the rules. Internet content seen as overtly critical of the monarchy has been under close scrutiny since 2006, when the Reds’ hero, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted in a coup led by army generals. In April 2009 a Thai court sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for posting altered pictures on the Internet that were deemed to insult the king, although he has since received a royal pardon. Earlier this year a Red Shirt sympathiser was arrested and charged for allegedly insulting the royal family on Facebook. WikiLeaks has been the focus of international attention in recent weeks after it released thousands of military documents on the conflict in Afghanistan. These included claims of meetings between Pakistani spies and the Taleban and that civilian deaths caused by international forces were covered up. They also included the names of some Afghan informants prompting US military claims that the leaks endangered lives. — AFP

Philippines suspends 11 cops over torture MANILA: Philippine police relieved all the officers in a city precinct yesterday after a television station aired footage purportedly showing police torturing a naked detainee. The detained man is believed to be a suspected thief caught in Manila’s Tondo slum district, according to ABS-CBN TV, which said it obtained the cell phone footage from an unidentified informer. The man’s fate and when the video was taken were unclear. The footage shows him screaming on the floor in a fetal position with his genitals bound and a man pulling the rope and whipping him. “Snatching is not allowed here,” the man beating the detainee was heard as saying, while a uniformed officer stood by and watched. Metropolitan Manila police chief Leocadio Santiago relieved

the 11-member police station yesterday and ordered its commander, Senior Inspector Joselito Binayug, investigated for criminal acts. Maximum penalty under an anti-torture law passed last year is 40 years in prison if the victim dies. “We are holding Binayug responsible. We will be filing charges for dereliction of duty but we want something heavier,” Santiago told reporters. Binayug could not be reached for comment as the precinct does not have a working phone and the chief did not provide his phone number. It is not clear if the 10 others will also face charges, but that will be part of the investigation, police said. New officers were assigned to the precinct under investigation. President Benigno Aquino III said torture is not a government policy. —AP

China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, which is strewn with disputed groups of islands, including the Spratly archipelago - also claimed in whole or in part by Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. Willard said that Washington does not take sides in the disputes but added it will oppose any use “of force or any forms of coercion to stake these claims on the part of any single nation at the expense of the others”. He said China’s “assertive” behavior in the South China Sea was on the agenda in annual defense talks in Manila yesterday with Philippine military officials. The two allies, which signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951, also discussed previous plans outlining how they can protect one another in case conflict breaks out in the disputed region, Willard said without elaborating. “We discussed the assertiveness that we’re experiencing by the Chinese in the South China Sea and the concerns that that has generated within the region,” he told a news conference. He said American forces will continue with their presence in the region for years to come to keep its sea lanes and air space safe for the huge traffic of commercial cargo. Willard also urged the countries in the region to build adequate militaries to help keep the peace. “It’s very important that the governments in the region invest in sufficient militaries and security apparatus to protect their respective territorial waters,” he said. “This is about preventing conflict, not allowing any of the circumstances in the region to lead up to a shooting war,” said Willard. Philippine military chief Lt Gen Ricardo David lamented his country’s weak military, which he said could not adequately patrol the Spratly Islands that it claims. With antiquated planes and ships, the Philippine military capability in the disputed areas is “almost negligible”, he said. The Spratlys are a group of islands, reefs and atolls with rich fishing grounds. The area is believed to have large oil and natural gas reserves and straddles busy sea lanes that are a crucial conduit for oil and other resources fueling China’s fast-expanding economy and those of other Asian nations. The conflicting claims have occasionally erupted into armed confrontation, although China and the other claimants have sought to resolve differences peacefully and pledged not to take any steps that could lead to clashes under a 2002 code of conduct. Chinese forces seized the western Paracel Islands from Vietnam in 1974 and sank three Vietnamese naval vessels in a 1988 sea battle. Washington has monitored the expansion of the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army, especially in the last 10 years, Willard said, adding that Asian military officials, along with the United States, should discuss with Beijing their concerns over such a buildup. — AP

BRISBANE: Australian prime minister Julia Gillard speaks to members of the public during the peoples’ forum yesterday. — AP

Australia rivals face voters in showdown BRISBANE: Australia’s first woman prime minister faced questions on her sudden rise to power Wednesday as she and her conservative challenger met voters at a town hall forum ahead of weekend polls. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who deposed elected leader Kevin Rudd in a Labor Party coup just eight weeks ago, agreed to the showdown with opposition chief Tony Abbott in Brisbane after lengthy squabbling over its format. Gillard and Abbott, who declared himself “ready to govern”, were grilled separately by voters at the Brisbane Broncos rugby league club’s headquarters. Both candidates faced questions on the economy, plans for a national broadband network, legalising same-sex marriage and boatpeople seeking asylum in Australia. But Gillard, who is narrowly ahead in polls, also faced scepticism from the audience in Rudd’s home state of Queensland, who questioned whether they could trust her and asked her to again explain why she removed him as she did. “These are things that weigh heavily on my mind,” the 48year-old former lawyer told the audience, but she added that she and her Labor colleagues had overwhelmingly decided that a change in leadership was needed. “When I became prime minister I said to the Australian people I would very quickly call an election so people could have their say. Everybody gets their say on Saturday.” Ahead of the meeting, a survey of 28,000 voters compiled from automated phone calls showed Labor scraping home with a four-seat majority, just avoiding becoming the first sin-

gle-term government since World War II. The JWS Research poll, published by the Sydney Morning Herald, found Labor would have lost 15 seats and gained six if polls were held last weekend, giving it 79 of the lower house’s 150 seats. Abbott’s Coalition was put at 68 seats. Welsh-born Gillard is promising an economic boost through better education and training, along with improved healthcare helped by Labor’s planned national broadband network, which is intended to wire 93 percent of homes. Abbott has played heavily on Labor’s perceived disunity and accuses the government of overspending during the financial crisis, when massive stimulus helped Australia avoid a recession. Saying he was in the “race of my life” to win the election, Abbott said he was ready to form a new government in Canberra. “You need to know I want it, and I do, you need to know that I will work for it and I will,” Abbott, a former minister in the conservative government of John Howard which was ousted by Rudd in 2007, told the meeting. “Starting at 7:00 am tomorrow is a continuous campaign. I want Australian people to know that I am ready to govern and that’s what I intend to demonstrate over the next 72 hours.” The opposition needs a swing of 2.3 percent to drive Labor from power in Saturday’s polls, less than three years after Rudd ended right-leaning Howard’s 11 years in office. Both sides are targeting marginal seats in resourcerich Queensland and Western Australia, and New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. — AFP

Three dead, 45 survive after boat sinks off NZ WELLINGTON: Three crewmen died and three others were missing after a South Korean fishing vessel with a crew of 51 sank in icy waters in the Southern Ocean on Wednesday, as New Zealand rescuers abandoned their search. The bodies of three Indonesian crewmen were recovered but the South Korean master of the New Zealandchartered Oyang 70 and two other Indonesian crew members were unaccounted for. “Sadly, the chances of survival are now nil,” search and rescue coordinator Mike Roberts said after a 12-hour search by six fishing vessels in the area and an aerial sweep by a New Zealand Air Force Orion. Forty-five survivors were recovered from life rafts and Roberts said it was extraordinary that not more crewmen had died or been hurt. “From what we understand, this was a catastrophic incident. The Oyang 70 sank in just 10 minutes. It is incredible that so many survived without injury,” he said. The survivors, some of whom had mild hypothermia, were recovered from five life rafts by the New Zealand fishing vessel Amaltal Atlantis, which also located the three bodies. The nationalities of the crew were listed as South Korean, Indonesian, Filipino and Chinese. “We’re just looking after them as well as

we can and once we’re released from the search we will be bringing them back to New Zealand,” Amaltal Atlantis skipper Greg Lyall said. Roberts said the decision to end the search was difficult but a missing sixth life raft is believed to have gone down with the vessel and the crew would not have survived long in the bitterly cold water. “The three (missing) men have been in the water for 12 hours,” Roberts said when he called off the search, adding that was beyond survival time in the icy waters even if they had been wearing full immersion suits. It was not known what caused the South Korean-flagged Oyang 70 to go down but Roberts said the sea was calm and it did not appear weather was a factor. “We understand that she was hauling or recovering her fishing gear, with fish in the net, and she suddenly capsized and sank within 10 minutes,” Roberts said. New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre was activated when it received an alert from the positional indicator beacon on the 82-m trawler at 4:40 am (1640 GMT Tuesday). Soon after, a mayday call was relayed by the nearby Amaltal Atlantis, which reported the Oyang 70 had sunk about 400 nautical miles east of the southern New Zealand city of Dunedin. — AFP

INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Afghan protesters say dead insurgents were civilians JALALABAD, Afghanistan: Hundreds of people protested outside a key town in eastern Afghanistan yesterday over the deaths of two men branded insurgents and killed by coalition forces but who local Afghans said were civilians. The protesters, mainly men, blocked a main highway out of the city of Jalalabad into neighbouring Pakistan for several hours, shouting anti-American slogans and carrying the bodies of the two dead men. Protesters said the men were father

and son. "The Americans who killed these people should come and see whether it is civilians or insurgents they killed. We need an explanation from them," said one protester named Mohammad Gul. The protesters said they did not want to bury the men until they had received an explanation. A statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Afghan and foreign forces had killed two Taleban insur-

gents in a compound in a district near Jalalabad on Tuesday. It said the men had been involved in roadside bomb attacks, the most common and effective weapon used by insurgents against foreign forces in Afghanistan. ISAF said its force came under enemy fire from "multiple directions" as it approached the compound. "These weapons are getting more and more sophisticated and dangerous every day," the statement quoted US Army Colonel Rafael Torres as saying,

referring to roadside bombs. "Removing the experts operating in Afghanistan helps secure the roads and create a safer environment for the Afghan populace," he said. A UN report last week showed civilian casualties had risen 31 percent in the first half of 2010. Such incidents have long been a major cause of friction between President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, although the number caused by foreign forces has fallen dramatically after tactical

directives were tightened by US and NATO commanders. The UN report said Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for 76 percent of such casualties, with the number blamed on foreign troops falling to 12 percent of the total from 30 percent in the same period last year. Fighting a parallel war with the Taliban for public opinion, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has said lowering such casualties

and protecting civilians from Taleban attacks and reprisals is his priority. The insurgency has spread despite the presence of almost 150,000 foreign troops, mainly American, backed by about 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police. Washington hopes to begin a phased withdrawal of US troops from July 2011, depending on the readiness of Afghan forces to take over, but does not want to leave behind a weak government that cannot defend itself. — Reuters

Russia interested in delivering copters to Afghanistan

Pakistan, Russia back Afghanistan at summit SOCHI, Russia: The presidents of Pakistan and Russia, two states with a history of difficult relations with Kabul, yesterday backed the Afghan government's fight against rebels at a rare summit meeting. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted Afghan and Pakistan counterparts Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, its

WAGAH, India: Released Pakistani prisoner Mohammed Asif is escorted by Indian policemen as he heads to the India-Pakistan Wagah Border in India’s northwestern state of Punjab yesterday. Pakistanis Asif and Haji Iqbal, who served eight years in prison for aiding a bank robbery to fund the 1999 Kandahar hijack of an Indian Airlines flight, were among 28 Pakistani nationals released by India in a goodwill gesture. – AFP

Aid beginning to flow to flood-ravaged Pakistan MULTAN: Foreign aid began flowing yesterday to the 20 million victims of floods in Pakistan, but thousands remained without food or shelter as weather forecasts signalled there may be some let-up. Monsoon systems were weakening after three weeks of torrential rains brought devastating floods that left at least 1,400 people dead in the country's worst natural disaster, with survivors hitting out at the government's slow response. The floods wiped out villages, farmland and infrastructure, and OCHA, the United Nations' aid coordination body, said that more than 650,000 homeless families were still without basic shelter. At a camp for 3,000 displaced people in the south of Punjab province, most sat in crippling heat batting away mosquitoes. Concerns were growing about cholera and typhoid, while many were suffering from stomach problems. Half were children, an army official told AFP, with a few crammed into tents furnished with straw cots, while others were held back by soldiers as they attempted to reach medical and food supplies arriving by a UAE helicopter. The UN last week launched an immediate appeal for $460 million, and said yesterday that funding had reached 54.5 percent of this target, though that included pledges that were yet to turn into cash. Nations ranging from Afghanistan and Turkey to the United States and Saudi Arabia have pledged millions in cash and relief as the UN warned more money was needed to stave off a "second wave of death" from disease and food shortages. Britain, which is emerging from a diplomatic row with Pakistan, branded the international aid effort "lamentable" and charities said Pakistan was suffering from an "image deficit" partly because of perceived links to terror. The nuclear-armed country is on the frontline

of the US-led fight against Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani military is locked in battle with Taleban in the northwest, on the border with Afghanistan. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that the disaster could play into the hands of insurgents. US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, said: "We don't know what impact it's having on the insurgents... the idea that this flood would essentially come on top of a very corrosive insurgency is extremely worrisome." Zamir Akram, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the country had received more immediate relief aid through the UN and direct bilateral aid totalling about $301 million (Ä235 million). The World Bank has also agreed to lend Islamabad 900 million dollars, warning that the disaster's impact on the economy was expected to be "huge" and take years to put right. The European Union announced that it would provide an additional Ä30 million ($39 million) in emergency relief assistance, bringing its total aid to Ä70 million. Islamabad has confirmed around 1,400 deaths, but WHO representative Guido Sabatinelli said he suspected the toll was much higher. "We're talking about 20 million people affected today and there is no infrastructure and no health centres that can register the deaths," he told AFP. About six million people are deemed to be at risk of deadly water-borne diseases, with typhoid, hepatitis and cholera major concerns. "Two million dollars are needed every day to provide water, this is not sustainable. We don't have two million dollars a day," said Daniel Toole, the regional director for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Ambassador Akram said reconstruction in northern areas alone could cost $2.5 billion and said the floods had ravaged an area the size of England. — AFP

Ladakh reels from tourist downturn after flooding LEH: The deaths of six foreign trekkers in devastating flash floods have dealt a major blow to the crucial tourist industry in India's high-altitude adventure playground of Ladakh. The fallout from the floods which struck in peak trekking season and killed nearly 190 people has forced mountain guides in the region to relocate to Nepal in their search for clients. "It's been a very bad season," said Tsering Dolkar, deputy officer at the Tourist Reception Centre in Ladakh's main city, Leh. "Normally we have 200 tourists per day arriving by air. Now it's down to around 20 a day," Dolkar said. In 2009, nearly 80,000 tourists, including 30,000 overseas visitors, travelled to Ladakh, a Buddhist-dominated mountain desert in Muslimmajority Indian Kashmir. Tourist officials had hoped to top 100,000 arrivals this year, but that target was buried in the mudslides that swept through Leh and surrounding areas when the flash floods hit on Aug 5. Before the disaster, hotel occupancy in Leh had been running at close to 100 percent. Less than two weeks later it is down below 30 percent. Nissar Hussain, the assis-

tant director of tourism for Indian Kashmir, said the floods, triggered by an unusually intense cloudburst, were an unprecedented phenomenon. "I'm 55, and I've never seen anything like this. My father hasn't seen anything like this and nor has my grandfather," he told AFP. "I'm confident it'll never happen again. This will only have a very temporary effect". Since 1974, when Ladakh first opened to tourism, millions of travellers have been drawn to the region - trekkers seeking to test themselves on its 6,000-m passes, mountain climbers and those more interested in its Buddhist culture and ancient Tibetan monasteries. Tourism accounts for 50 percent of Ladakh's income, which makes the economic fallout from the flooding especially harsh. According to the Indian authorities, six foreigners were among the 189 dead, including three from France, and one each from Spain, Italy and Denmark. Caught by the sudden floods while on a high-altitude trek, they were swept away by the force of the surging waters. Parvez Miru, who runs a specialist trekking agency,

Ladakh Eco Adventure, said the impact had been immediate with a sudden 50 percent drop in client numbers. "It not only has an impact for me but also means the loss of jobs for my guides, assistants and my horsemen. I paid them and they decided to go back to Nepal. They do not want to stay in Leh," Miru said. While client lists have been savagely cut back, there are still tourists arriving in Leh, either by air, or by bus now that the main road links - damaged by the floods have been restored. Bermuda-based Teresa Templeman-Chatfield, who was preparing for a two-week hike through the Markha Valley - one of the most popular trekking routes - said news of the disaster had not made her cancel. "We made a rational decision based on people here and not on the Internet," she said, adding that any travel destination had the potential for unexpected danger. "You can take a risk going to New York or Paris," she said. It is not the first time tourism has been disrupted in Ladakh. In 1990-91, visitors were scared away by an outbreak of communal violence between the region's Buddhist and Muslim communities. — AFP

But Medvedev assured Karzai of Moscow's full backing in a region where Russia has played a major role from the socalled "Great Game" against Britain in the 19th century to the present day. "We support the fight of the Afghan government against terrorism and are ready to fully help in this direction," Medvedev told Karzai in a bilateral meeting before the full summit. "We live in the same region - this creates common problems and common prospects," the Russian president added. Karzai thanked Medvedev for Moscow's support and invited him to visit his conflict-torn country. "Afghanistan will need the support of friends and great countries like Russia." A Kremlin spokesman emphasised that Karzai's invitation was a polite gesture and such a trip by the Russian president to Afghanistan was not being planned for now. Afghanistan meanwhile has consistently accused Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency of supporting Taleban insurgents, allegations furiously denied by Islamabad. Zardari however told Medvedev the world should "stand together... We can do it, we can do it altogether. We should support the Afghan people". Karzai's spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi told AFP that Karzai and Zardari met earlier in the day for a bilateral meeting, saying more details would be given later. Also taking part in the four-way summit meeting is Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon, whose country borders Afghanistan. Moscow had made clear it has no plans to send troops to Afghanistan but like several other ex-Soviet states has allowed NATO states to use its airspace for the transit of equipment. The meeting is the second such four-way meeting of the heads of state, the first taking place in the Tajik capital Dushanbe in July 2009. Medvedev's foreign policy advisor Sergei Prikhodko said ahead of the meeting that Russia would be interested in delivering helicopters to Afghanistan. "The question of the delivery of Russian helicopters will be discussed, if it is raised by the Afghan side," he told Russian reporters, adding that Afghanistan required 100 additional choppers. Kremlin sources told the agency that such a move could put Russia in direct competition with NATO states also interested in the contract, but the whole issue of financing also had to be addressed. The Pakistan leader's visit that has been cut to only a few hours after he was heavily criticised at home for his handling of the devastating floods that have caused a humanitarian crisis. Zardari had originally been planning a two-day visit to Russia but the situation with the floods means his visit has been cut to a few hours and he will not even attend lunch, officials in Islamabad have said. "Pakistan will come out of this a stronger nation," Zardari told Medvedev. "We have... the capabilities, we have the people, and all tragedies always unite nations. This tragedy will again unite us." Moscow is not usually seen as an ally of Islamabad, not least because of its historically close ties to Pakistan's traditional foe India. Tensions also still linger over the Pakistani secret service's backing of mujahedeen insurgents against Soviet forces in Afghanistan during the 1980s. — AFP

balmy shores a stark contrast from the battle with Taleban insurgents in Afghanistan. Russia is still haunted by the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan which cost over 13,000 Soviet lives and ended in a humiliating pullout in 1989 and has kept a wary distance from the troubles of NATO forces in the country.

SOCHI, Russsia: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari shake hands as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (center) looks on during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence near this Black Sea resort yesterday. — AP

Kashmir CM pardons shoe thrower SRINAGAR: Indian-controlled Kashmir's top elected official has pardoned an off-duty police officer who hurled a shoe at him during India's independence day ceremony - an insulting act reportedly lauded by thousands of Kashmiris. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah directed officials to release Abdul Ahad Jan from prison after meeting the policeman on Tuesday, a government statement said. "The Holy month of Ramadan teaches us to be compassionate and to forgive everyone," Abdullah said. The Muslim month of fasting began on Aug 12. Jan was in a high-security gallery of top officials and ministers when he hurled the shoe during the ceremony at a soccer stadium in Srinagar on Sunday. He also threw a black flag toward Abdullah while shouting, "We want freedom." Neither item hit Abdullah. Jan was immediately arrested and authorities later said he was mentally unstable and had been suspended from work in May. Top officials called the act a major security breach and suspended 15 police officials, including four officers, for lax security that

allowed the officer to enter the stadium. Thousands of people reportedly shouted proindependence slogans in a show of support outside Jan's house in his native village after the incident and demanded his unconditional release. The public reaction to the stunt underscored the continuing anti-India sentiment in the predominantly Muslim region, which has been rocked by unrest since June. At least 59 people have died in the violence. A top separatist leader dismissed Abdullah's action as a "drama." "The puppet chief minister is invoking compassion and forgiveness in this (fasting) month and has suspended 15 officials for the shoe throwing incident," said Masarat Alam in a statement. "Have they suspended anyone for murders in Ramadan alone?" he asked, referring to the killing of Kashmiri Muslims by government forces during street protests. The Himalayan region is divided between predominantly Hindu India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, but claimed in full by both. Most people in Kashmir favor independence from India or a merger

with Pakistan. The recent unrest in Indian Kashmir is reminiscent of the late 1980s, when protests against New Delhi's rule sparked an armed conflict that has so far killed more than 68,000 people, mostly civilians. Separatists have called for more protests and strikes during Ramadan, and the government has responded by imposing curfews, effectively shutting down the disputed region. Yesterday, thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled Srinagar and other major towns, enforcing a strict curfew, but protesters took to the streets anyway. Residents staged protest marches across much of Kashmir and chanted "Go India! Go back" and "We want freedom." Most protests were peaceful, but in some places clashes broke out after security forces tried to block the marchers by firing warning shots and tear gas, said a police officer on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with media. The protesters hurled rocks and bricks at government forces, he said. At least 13 people were injured in the clashes, police said. — AP

18 children killed in Jailed ex-Satyam India school collapse chief granted bail DEHRADUN, India: At least 18 children died yesterday when a school collapsed after heavy rains in northern India as the region's monsoon wreaked more havoc. An unknown number of others were missing after the single-storey school toppled in mountainous Uttarakhand state's Bageshwar district, one of several populated areas near the Indian border with Tibet, a minister told AFP. "Eighteen bodies of children have been brought out so far from the debris and a search is on for more and we fear the toll could go up further," state Disaster Management Minister Khajan Dass told AFP in Dehradun. The victims were aged between five and 12 years, rescuers said. Heavy rains have caused devastation in parts of Asia over the last month, with thousands dead in China and neighbouring Pakistan, where floods have caused the nation's worst natural disaster. A cloudburst 12 days ago in the northern Indian region of Ladakh killed 189 people, with another 400 missing. Six foreign trekkers also died in the popular high-altitude tourist destination. Local people at the site of the disaster reached by telephone from Dehradun said that at least 35 students and up to six teachers and staff were in the building when it collapsed. "A massive rescue operation is under way," Dass added, as hundreds of paramilitary troopers were rushed to the disaster site in Sumgarh town, some 450 km from state capital of Dehradun. Piyush Rautela, who heads Uttarakhand's disaster management agency, said six children had been plucked alive from the debris. Other houses in the area have also collapsed, causing an unknown number of casualties, he added. Elsewhere in Uttarakhand, troops rushed to help thousands of Hindus who were stranded near a pilgrimage site after torrential rains Sunday washed away a key bridge on a highway, Indo-Tibetan Border Police spokesman Deepak Pandey said. —AFP

HYDERABAD: The founder of Indian outsourcing firm Satyam, who has been accused of staging India's biggest corporate fraud, was granted bail yesterday in the southern city of Hyderabad, his lawyer said. B Ramalinga Raju, the former head of Satyam whose admission of falsifying profits in Jan 2009 stunned India's corporate world, was given bail on health grounds, according to television reports. "Raju has been given bail on the condition that he will remain in Hyderabad until further orders," his lawyer, Bharat Kumar, told reporters. Raju has been hospitalised at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad for treatment of hepatitis and other ailments since Sept 2009. Raju, who faces a slew of charges including conspiracy, cheating and forgery, declared in a letter of confession that he had overstated profits for years and inflated the company's balance sheet by over one billion dollars. "It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," he wrote in the

Ramalinga Raju letter. Raju and nine other suspects are accused of embezzling around three billion dollars from Satyam, one of India's largest outsourcing companies that worked for onethird of the Fortune 500 companies at the time of the scandal. The court's action came after it granted bail last month to other accused former managers, including Raju's brother B Rama Raju and the former chief financial officer of Satyam Computers, Vadlamani Srinivas. All 10 accused in the case have now been granted bail. — AFP

OPINION

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UAE bonds brush up investor appeal By Martina Fuchs and Rachna Uppal

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nvestors scared off by Dubai's debt crisis are taking a new look at government-related entity debt in the United Arab Emirates, but broad reforms are needed as well as competitive pricing to develop the secondary market. Dubai's debt woes sparked off an unprecedented flight of capital from the region after stateowned Dubai World announced a standstill on $26 billion in debt in November. "The crisis has resulted in investors repricing their investments taking into account the different meanings of implicit or explicit (support guarantees)," said Nish Popat, head of fixed income at ING Investment Management. "The market has adjusted re-rating issues based upon their belief of support. Going forward, with the Dubai World issue appearing as if this is resolved, [this] is only the first step in the structural changes that are happening in the region." Nine months on, spreads between bonds issued by government-related entities (GREs) and UAE sovereign debt are stabilising within ranges more likely to coax investors to buy credits offering fair value and a decent yield, albeit on a more critical creditworthiness basis. "The widening of quasi-sovereign spreads (versus the sovereign) has been more pronounced for those entities with relatively weaker stand-alone profiles and/or weaker association with the government," said Nafees Akbarali, regional head of fixed income trading at Standard Chartered. The crisis in the euro zone over several months in the first half led to a second phase of widening spreads, indicating the close correlation of regional markets to global conditions. TEMPTING YIELDS Yield spreads of Dubai Holding's 2014 bond versus Dubai's sovereign maturing in 2014 stood at around 900 basis points (bps) on Aug 16 after peaking at over 2100 bps on Dec 10. The spillover from Dubai has also led to a repricing of risk associated with government-related entities (GREs) in the UAE capital, whose AA rating and oil revenues was previously seen as implying financial support was a given. The individual credit profiles of state investment vehicle Mubadala or Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) have led to spreads widening to a level investors think more realistically reflects the risk since the end of last year. In Abu Dhabi, yield spreads of TDIC Sukuk versus the 2014 sovereign peaked at 207 basis points in March as Moody's downgraded seven leading GREs in the emirate including Mubadala, but they have since stabilized at around 170 points. Following the Moody's downgrades in March, the Abu Dhabi government countered it had the fiscal position and reserves to meet its commitments to the firms concerned. Yet, regional markets

are very much driven by investor perceptions. Even without explicit support, a default on an Abu Dhabi statelinked credit is highly unlikely but issuers must still deal with the premiums the market demands. MARKET DRIVERS Market participants say a resolution of the Dubai World restructuring and continued falling of spreads globally, combined with more primary issuance from the region, are likely to be key factors determining the direction and pace of growth the secondary market takes. "We need the primary market to start flowing again in earnest. If we get a few more deals during the second half, Q3-Q4 that would certainly help," National Bank of Abu Dhabi's head of credit research, Chavan Bhogaita said. Bhogaita added that international investors need to participate in the secondary market to drive volumes and liquidity. Although current spread levels are likely to be a consideration for investors, the long-term development of the market will depend on other criteria. "In times of differentiation, transparency, governance and liquidity will be key in attracting flows into any market. Attractive spread levels could lead to some interest, but longer-term trends in the development of the secondary market should be more important," Akbarali said. DUBAI STILL WEIGHS Although market sentiment is improving, bonds of equalrated credits in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are valued differently by investors, as reflected in trading patterns and pricing. GDP growth for Abu Dhabi is forecast at 3.7 percent this year by the IMF, compared to 0.5 percent for Dubai. "The global investor is very comfortable with Abu Dhabi, but some still think that Dubai's problems are dragging on," Bhogaita said. Yet no other bond issuance better illustrates the market's readiness to absorb UAE-related paper in a selective way after Dubai World than that by state utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Paper from the utility sector in the region is rare, driving investor demand. Being a Dubai name, DEWA still managed to print a $1 billion bond in April, oversubscribed and a done deal for investors with a yield of 8.5 percent. The bond was trading at a discount to Dubai's sovereign 2014 bond earlier this month. Some fixed income traders and bankers say that a pair of recent Gulf bond deals where governments offered explicit guarantees may go some way towards boosting bond sales but could have market-distorting consequences. Ultimately, until structural issues are more keenly addressed, the growth of the secondary market may remain muted. "The [Dubai] crisis has highlighted the greater need for transparency, and, combined with the lack of a yield curve, the growth of the secondary market remains at a slower pace than initially expected," Popat said.— Reuters

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

Politicians wary as Aussie voters embrace social media By Julian Swallow

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ustralian grandmother Lesley Dewar is an unlikely political pundit, but 12,350 people follow her every 140-character utterance. The retired financial planner, 66, began using microblogging site Twitter two years ago, and the prolific pensioner is now ranked among the top 100 most influential Tweeters in Australia's 2010 election campaign. Her closest competitors are political journalists and news sites, the ruling Labor party, members of parliament and The Economist magazine, according to the BuzzElection media monitoring site. "I took to it like a duck to water," Dewar said of her more than 41,000 tweets. "The thing I absolutely love about Twitter is that you can actually talk to people all over the world on an enormous range of topics." Dewar is one of Australia's one million Tweeters and nine million Facebook users who turn to social media to let off steam on issues that engage or enrage-near cyber-saturation for a population of just 22 million. But are the leaders-Labor's Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her conservative opponent Tony Abbott - listening? Labor took to the Internet with fervor during the 2007 election, using YouTube and other online tools to muster support for the first time in Australian political history. But rather than capitalize on the momentum and extend their reach into new platforms like Twitter, both parties are retreating from the Internet in a bid to stay on message and limit their exposure to criticism, analysts say. "I think that both parties have adopted this small target strategy," said expert Axel Bruns from the Queensland University of Technology. "We saw some interesting use of YouTube for videos (in 2007).

And the Labor Party in particular used it to show that they're more modern than the Liberals. This election it seems to have had less of an impact," Bruns said. The public broadcaster, ABC, has for the first time included social media tracking-what people are saying about the election and how popular the leaders and parties are-in its "Campaign Pulse" election monitoring site (campaignpulse.abc.net.au). It also has a live Twitter feed into its popular Q&A television debate program where viewers can ask politicians questions and vent their spleen on the issues. An ABC spokeswoman said the broadcaster wanted to tap into the growing popularity of social media in Australia and engage with the grassroots democracy it offered. "It gives people a place to be involved, and not just leave it to the experts," she said. But Bruns said it was a case of one-way traffic for Australia's parliamentarians, who saw Facebook and other platforms as public relations noticeboards rather than dynamic tools of engagement. "Engaging in social media, you really have to talk with people ... to be seen as participating in the space effectively," Bruns said. "Of course, they all have Facebook pages now, but there's not much happening. Just having followers doesn't really do much for you. You've got to have something to say." Journalist and academic Julie Posetti agrees. "The politicians themselves-at least the leaders-are taking a very cautious and safe approach to social media, that I think is quite counterproductive," said Posetti. Both Gillard, Australia's first female prime minister, and the combative Abbott are recent converts to Twitter, and Posetti said their efforts to engage have been token. "Abbott's following is less than half that of Gillard,

but he doesn't follow anyone back," she said. "And Gillard's only following half the constituents back who are following her." The leaders' failure to assert themselves in the social media sphere has left both Gillard and Abbott open to a rash of satirical Facebook groups and fake Twitter accounts whose popularity often dwarfs their own. While Abbott's official Facebook group has more than 11,850 fans, another group, "Friends don't let friends vote for Tony Abbott," has almost nine times as many follow-

ers. Other popular anti-Abbott pages include "Is Tony Abbott an orc?" a dig at the opposition leader's appearance-and "Can this sanitary napkin get more fans than Tony Abbott?" which has nearly succeeded in its objective. Gillard's party is also widely ridiculed online for its plans to introduce a mandatory filter of the Internet, with tens of thousands of members of "anti-Clean Feed" groups. Like most western countries, Australia has an ageing population, with a median age of 36.9, and 13.3 percent of the population

aged 65 and over, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Tweethappy Dewar believes older Australians may be reluctant to embrace social media due to concerns about a perceived lack of privacy, but Bruns said there is evidence this is changing. "We do see-particularly on Twitter-that the demographics are actually more early middle age than necessarily young," he said. "And certainly on Facebook now we have quite a broad range of the electorate who are participating." —AFP

What a hung parliament would mean for Australia

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ustralian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor government will narrowly win Saturday's election, a Reuters Poll Trend showed yesterday, paving the way for a controversial mining tax and a possible carbon trading scheme. The possibility remains, however, that the Aug. 21 election may produce a hung parliament, in which neither Labor nor the opposition wins enough seats to form government. In that case, the support of three independents will decide which party forms the next government. WHAT'S WRONG WITH A HUNG PARLIAMENT? Major parties, and voters, are historically wary of hung parliaments, where no side holds a majority and must negotiate with independents, minor parties or opponents to pass laws. Australians have not elected a hung parliament since World War Two, and the chances of another in this election are slim, although opinion polls continue to point to the possibility. While some argue that hung parliaments bring a more consensual style of politics, as witnessed in Canada since 2006, lawmakers warn that they can also make the policy process a mess. Most political analysts expect the post-election Senate upper house to be heavily influenced by seven to 10 Greens holding the balance of power, up from five now. The lower house could see a trio of independents as kingmakers, and perhaps another Green. That said, broad economic policy is very similar among the parties. Both major sides promise a return to budget surplus in three years and to maintain an independent reserve bank, meaning the impact would be limited to a few areas of difference.

WHAT POLICIES WOULD BE MOST INFLUENCED? The conservatives have promised to oppose government plans to build a $38 billion super-fast broadband reaching 93 percent of the country. A hung parliament would create uncertainty for telcom shares such as phone giant Telstra and Singtel. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has also promised to scrap a 30 percent profits-based tax on coal and iron ore miners, which would be a big win for major miners like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, and iron ore miner Fortescue. A Labor loss would see Gillard's plan for a carbon trading and a 5 percent carbon emissions cut by 2020 in the resourcereliant economy scrapped by the conservatives. That would boost electricity generators such as AGL Energy; TruEnergy, a unit of Hong Kong-listed CLP Holdings. Miners would also be boosted, along with Petroleum companies including Woodside and Santos, and steel companies such as BlueScope and OneSteel. But even a Gillard win will see the Greens exert a stronger influence over the laws and they have already demanded deeper 40 percent emissions cuts. A returned Labor could be forced to harden the scheme as the price for Senate passage. HOW WOULD MARKETS REACT? Investors hate uncertainty, so a result that would leave a minority government would be initially unwelcome to financial markets, hitting bonds and the Australian dollar. It would also be rare for Australia, adding to the unknown. Any impact would likely be short-lived. Governments have often not held the balance of power in the upper house, so horse trading is not unusual. —Reuters

Legal wrangling delays Nigeria election preparations By Camillus Eboh

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ncertainty over the legal framework for Nigeria's upcoming elections is delaying efforts to overhaul the voter register and ensure credible polls, the head of the country's electoral commission said yesterday. Both houses of parliament last month approved an amendment to the constitution bringing elections forward to January from April, with the aim of allowing electoral disputes to be settled before the new presidential terms starts in May. But the amendments, which also gave more time for the finalization of voter lists, have since been the subject of controversy, with questions over whether President Goodluck Jonathan has to approve the changes before they can take effect. The debate is now before the courts. "The uncertainties about the legal framework for the conduct of the elections have hindered our preparations," Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told a meeting with political party leaders. "The commission has planned its activities on the understanding these amendments have been consummated and finalized. Instead, there have been controversies over whether the president has to

assent to the constitutional amendments." Until the situation is resolved, INEC would be unable to release a

definitive election timetable, he said. He said the commission was already two weeks behind on its own internal timetable for compiling a new voters'

register, vital if Africa's most populous nation is to avoid a repeat of shambolic 2007 elections, although it was striving to catch up. An electoral roll

LAGOS: Nigerian police officers are seen stopping a motorcyclist in Lagos, Nigeria. — AP

riddled with fictitious names, combined with voter intimidation and ballot-stuffing, meant observers deemed the 2007 vote not to have been credible. 'MASSIVE INADEQUACIES' Jega said INEC's review of the electoral roll at 100 polling units had thrown up so many problems that a fresh list needed to be compiled, if the time and funds were available, otherwise the existing register would at least need "cleaning up". "What we found were massive inadequacies including underage registrants, hundreds of blank or blurred photographs and multiple registrations by the same persons," he said. Parliament last week approved an 88 billion naira ($585 million) budget for INEC, much of it for electronic voter registration machines and equipment to issue new voter cards. Jega said there was also uncertainty over that funding. If the constitutional amendments are upheld, Nigeria's elections should take place between Dec 30 and Jan 29. If they are overturned, the country could revert to its initial timetable of elections in April. "Our position remains that we are bound by whatever existing legal architecture is provided to us and we need not be drawn into controversies over such issues," Jega said, appealing for a "speedy conclusion" to the uncer-

ANALYSIS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Security firm ban could affect Afghan By Paul Tait

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ban on private security companies in Afghanistan could affect development and aid work as many of the firms guard Western projects in the country, US officials said yesterday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree on Tuesday ordering private security companies to disband within four months-part of an ambitious plan for the government to take responsibility for all security in the country from 2014. The firms, who compete for billions of dollars in contracts, employ around 40,000 heavily armed guards-mostly Afghans but including many foreigners. They are also used to guard convoys, embassies and other mainly Western interests. Karzai has long been critical of the firms, saying they had caused horrific accidents, but the speed with which the decree was issued took some by surprise and US officials in Afghanistan said they were still studying it. "We are concerned that any quick action to remove private security companies may have unintended consequences, including the possible delay of US reconstruction and development assistance efforts," embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. "Private security companies are currently filling a gap to allow us to deliver reconstruction and development assistance that, at

JALALABAD: Election posters line a street in Jalalabad, east of Kabul. Afghans will go to the polls for parliamentary elections in September. — AP the end of the day, focuses on improving the lives of the Afghan people," she said. The Pentagon on Tuesday described the deadline as "very challenging", but the move was welcomed by ordinary Afghans, for whom such firms have long

been an irritant. The heavily armed guards are a common sight on Afghan streets, forcing their way through traffic in convoys of four-wheel drive vehicles. "They think they own the roads," said Edrees, a Kabul university student, who said ordi-

nary Afghans were harassed by their macho behavior and driving. Mohammad Anwar, a Kabul shopkeeper, also agreed with the decision. "Karzai should have disbanded all the security firms earlier, whether Afghan or for-

eigners," he said. Munir Mangal, Afghanistan's deputy interior minister, said Afghan officials would work with their international counterparts to ensure the smooth implementation of the decree. "We are trying to implement a plan and I think we are

working on a plan which would be practical," Mangal told reporters. "We are not saying there will be no difficulties, but we should overcome those difficulties," he said. The Afghan government tried unsuccessfully last year to formalize the market and log their weapons. Western officials said there were 52 registered private security companies, employing about 26,000 personnel, and many more unregistered. The image of private security guards was deeply stained after a series of deadly incidents in Iraq, where it was not uncommon to see Western guards throw water bottles at pedestrians and cars to keep them away from the convoys they were guarding. In the most notorious incident, security guards from US firm Blackwater were involved in a shooting in 2007 in which 14 civilians were killed. Blackwater has since changed its name to Xe and has several contracts in Afghanistan. In January, two U.S. security working for Paravant LLC, a unit of Xe, were arrested in Afghanistan on charges they murdered two Afghans in Kabul and wounded a third. The US State Department said last year it would review its use of contractors at overseas embassies after a scandal over sexual hazing by security guards at its Kabul mission. Private security companies are subject to Afghan law but many Afghans still see them as operating with impunity.— Reuters

Iran gas ambition requires China to crack LNG secret By Daniel Fineren

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ran is unlikely to become a big exporter of natural gas unless China-a crucial partner as international sanctions scare others off-can develop tricky technology to liquefy the country's massive gas reserves. Iran sits on the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia but US trade restrictions have frustrated plans to develop them for export and booming domestic demand has made Iran the third-largest consumer and a top-30 importer. New European Union bans on supplying energy equipment make it almost impossible for Tehran to get full-scale liquefaction (LNG) technology from Germany's Siemens, with the only other process patented by US industrial giant and military supplier GE already off limits under US laws. "It just makes it more clear that if LNG is going to happen from Iran it's going to have to be under the blanket of the Chinese and the Chinese are going to have to come up with their own technology," Noel Tomnay, global gas analyst at Wood Mackenzie in Edinburgh said of the EU sanctions. "The Chinese have been working on this for quite some time ... and if that were to happen successfully then Iranian LNG, under a dedicated China project, could still proceed but that's very uncertain." China's National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a deal this year to develop the South

Pars field, replacing France's Total, as part of an international search by staterun Chinese energy companies to fuel rapid economic growth. One analyst said China's interest in developing Iranian gas export projects could have been tempered by slower economic growth and healthy LNG supply from other producing countries. Industry observers have long doubted Iranian claims it would soon catch up with neighboring Qatar, with which it shares the world's largest gas field, and whose booming exports have made it the leading LNG exporter. Sanctions, together with endemic delays to Iranian gas projects, have deterred western companies from dipping into the Iranian end of the field. Two weeks after the EU banned technology transfers by European companies or citizens to Iran, Tehran finally admitted plans to build two new plants to freeze gas for export by tanker had been shelved to focus on pipeline gas exports. "Without access to Western liquefaction technology, it will be nearly impossible for Iran to move any LNG projects forward," Andrew Clayton, an analyst at PFC Energy in Washington said. Even its most advanced project, Iran LNG, which began construction in 2007, is unlikely to be completed this decade. "Under current Europe sanctions, there is a very slim chance that Iran will be able to procure key liquefaction equipment," Siamak Adibi of FACTS Global Energy said. "Without

any improvement in the political environment, the Iran LNG project would not be onstream anytime in the future." EXPORT PLANS Although Iran has accepted the LNG projects needed to access a global market would have to be put on hold, it remains optimistic at least publicly about prospects for exporting by

pipeline to markets closer to home. Soaring residential demand, an increasingly gas-dependent industrial sector and plentiful gas needed to inject into Iranian oilfields to increase production will limit exports for the foreseeable future. "It either involves the lifting of sanctions or way out in the future when the Chinese are capa-

ble of doing it, but you are talking 10 years away, probably," Greg Priddy, an energy analyst at Eurasia Group in Washington, said. Iran has not always been able to honor supply commitments to Turkey, its only gas export market to date, because its own demand often exceeds supply in winter. — Reuters

Social agenda true hurdle to US housing finance reform By Al Yoon

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n March of 2000, American homeowners got a scare. Gary Gensler, a US Treasury undersecretary, threw his support behind legislation whose impact could have jacked mortgage rates up to levels that would fly in the face of what lawmakers say is good for the nation: expanding homeownership. He wanted Treasury to cut ties with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-companies whose federal charters make them the key vehicles for Washington's housing policy and mortgage market intervention. It was a test of the companies' political backing, and the companies won. Lobbyists killed the effort amid a housing boom cheered by homebuyers and their political representatives, underscoring the power of the American dream of home ownership and its ability to drive the political and financial agenda. One decade and a wrenching financial crisis later, social agendas remain the stumbling block for the "fundamental change" demanded on Tuesday by the Obama administration as it tries to fix a housing finance system central to a crisis rivaled only by the Great Depression. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, addressing major lenders and investors, advocated a government role in reforms needed to cushion the economy and raised the question of whether the private sector could provide a home financing regime

with enough safeguards to avoid another crisis. The challenge would be to price a guarantee in a way that protects taxpayers, he said. "Secretary Geithner is absolutely right in pointing to the race to the bottom in credit standards," said Alfred DelliBovi, president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. "What he forgot to say was this race was dictated by the political forces who were more interested in their future election campaigns than any housing programs." "We'll get a redesigned model that will involve the government and the private sector, and I predict it will work very well until someone comes along and pushes it further than it was designed to go," he added. The conference on Tuesday, including input from lenders and others which could compete with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in providing credit, was billed as a "listening session" to help the administration develop a firmer plan by January. It would be the latest starting point in the debate over how to recreate a housing finance system that has been deeply embedded in the American psyche since World War II. Middle-class American voters have more of their wealth tied up in their homes than in any other asset class, making housing policy a political third rail many lawmakers will not approach. From the tax deduction for mortgage interest payments to subsidized loans for first-time buyers, the federal government is deeply involved in supporting home ownership. — Reuters

Flood-stricken Pakistan faces economic catastrophe By Hasan Mansoor

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akistan faces economic catastrophe after the devastating floods that have wiped out farmland and ruined infrastructure, with feared losses of billions of dollars likely to set back growth by years. The country's worst ever humanitarian disaster has ravaged an area roughly the size of England, affected 20 million people, exacerbated a crippling energy crisis and raising fears of social unrest. "It seems we're doomed to walking through a dark tunnel. We're on an unending path of misery," said Morio Pahore, a farmer from small town Thul in southern Pakistan who is now living in a tent on a highway. Shirtless, his face burnt dark by the sun, the greying 50-year-old said he lost everything when the rains fell and the river burst its banks. "We had goats and buffalo and a wooden hut. We had grain to eat. The river ate everything, leaving the whole family hungry and empty-handed. "I don't think we can start again for many years. Everything is under water and even if the river recedes, the water will be there for a long time." It is a tragedy repeated millions of times over for farmers and peasants across the country who saw their livelihoods washed away in minutes after the floods first hit three weeks ago. Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of Pakistan's gross domestic product. President Asif Ali Zardari said it would take two years to provide farmers with crops, fertilizers, seeds and food. Experts say it will take far longer. On top of that, floods have inflicted widespread damage on infrastructure. In cities, flood waters have destroyed electricity installations, roads and phone lines. The World Bank, which has announced a 900 million dollar loan

SUKKUR: People with pots stand in queue to get relief food at a camp for flood-affected people on the outskirts of Sukkur, southern Pakistan yesterday. The floodwaters that have ravaged Pakistan will not recede fully until the end of August, the country's top meteorologist said, a grim forecast for the more than 20 million people living homeless or otherwise affected by the deluge. —AP for Pakistan, expects the economic impact to be huge, indicating that direct damage was greatest in housing, roads, irrigation and agriculture. It estimated crop loss at one billion dollars, saying the full impact on soil erosion and agriculture could only be assessed when the water recedes around mid-September. "We have lost around 20 percent of our cotton crops.

The destruction of corn, rice, sugarcane, vegetable crops and fish farms are enormous as well," Ibrahim Mughal, who heads the independent Agri Forum organization said. Damage to cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize will hit the export sector, the main source for Pakistan's forex reserves. Textiles and agriculture account for about three quarters of Pakistan's 21

billion dollar export target this year. "The floods have eaten three million tons of cotton-over 20 percent of our 14 million bales for this year. It will negatively affect by 25 percent large-scale manufacturing and ultimately impact on exports," Ashfaq Hasan Khan, a former government economic adviser said. There are fears that Pakistan risks running up a higher fiscal deficit which

would lead to increased government borrowing. Before the floods, the country had a healthy forex reserve of 16.45 billion dollars, thanks to a 11.3 billion dollar IMF rescue package meant to stave off Pakistan's worst balance of payment crisis and 30-year-high inflation in 2008. After recording its lowest growth in a decade, GDP had been expected to grow by 4.5 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, but the floods could shave at least one percent off growth estimates. "Our assessment suggests Pakistan could achieve about 3.5 percent GDP growth rate this fiscal year," Khan said. "It means a loss of around two billion dollars." Pakistan's UN envoy in Geneva, Zamir Akram, has said reconstruction in northern areas alone could cost 2.5 billion dollars. Food prices are already rising and there are fuel shortages in some areas. The director general of the Pakistan Electric Power Company, Muhammad Khalid, told AFP they faced losses of more than four billion rupees ($47 million) due to the floods with some grid stations wiped out. Around 1,000 villages in flood-hit districts of southern Punjab are without power, said Jamshaid Niazi, spokesman for Multan Electricity Supply Company. "Our two grid stations are badly affected," he said. "The loss is huge. We have to install new poles, wires, feeders etc." Experts have urged the government-already weak and unpopular to move quickly, warning that the losses could fan unemployment and social unrest. "The peasants are our lifeline, so by not helping them we are in fact committing suicide," Agri Forum's Mughal said. "Jobless people can become criminals if they can't get employment. In this case the number of such people is in the millions." — AFP

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India's nuke liability bill By Krittivas Mukherjee

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parliamentary panel studying a bill to open up India's $150 billion nuclear power sector presented its recommendations to parliament yesterday. The panel suggested tripling the compensation liability of operators in the event of an accident and extending the liability to cover private firms. Here are some questions and answers on the bill, which has still to be ratified by parliament: WHAT IS THE BILL? A civil nuclear agreement between India and United States in 2008 ended New Delhi's isolation in global atomic commerce and opened up its state-controlled nuclear power market to foreign firms. But the deal could not be implemented until India put in place a compensation regime that limited the liability of private companies, especially those from the United States, in the event of an industrial accident. So India framed the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 which stipulates the compensation burden on the state-run reactor operator, the liability of the federal government and the responsibility of private suppliers and contractors. WHY IS THE BILL IMPORTANT? The bill is important for private companies whose liabilities are not underwritten by their governments as is done by the governments of Russia and France. Compensation claims from one nuclear accident could be enough to bankrupt a private company. Firms are reluctant to enter the Indian market despite its size. until there is some clarity on compensation in case of an accident. WHY IS THE BILL CONTROVERSIAL? Critics say the original draft law pegged the compensation liability of the operator too lowat about $110 million, almost 23 times less than that of an operator in the United States. The bill also did not hold private suppliers liable, opening a debate on whether the government was

allowing them to get off easily in case of an accident. Opposition parties objected when the bill was presented in parliament this year, and it was then referred to the parliamentary panel. HOW MUCH COMPENSATION? The panel has recommended the liability cap for the operator be trebled to $320 million, a suggestion largely backed by the opposition. State compensation, or the liability burden on the federal government, is estimated at the equivalent of 300 million special drawing rights, which will be over and above the operator compensation. The panel is also suggesting extending the liability to cover private suppliers and contractors. Parliament has to ratify the bill. WHICH FIRMS WILL BENEFIT? The main beneficiaries could be firms such as US-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Japan's Toshiba Corp. They already lag Russian and French firms which have moved ahead on building reactors in India. While higher compensation would mean firms would have to shell out more for insurance premiums, a formal compensation regime will bring in much-needed policy clarity which will help speed up projects. Once the bill turns into law, the US firms can start work on building reactors at at least two sites identified for them. The first fruits of the India-US deal could fetch GE and Westinghouse up to $10 billion. ANY OTHER HURDLES REMAIN? Yes, problems over acquisition of land for nuclear power plants could delay projects. In India, farmland acquisition has highlighted a broader standoff between industry and farmers in a country where two-thirds of the population lives on agriculture. There have already been several farmers' protests against upcoming nuclear reactors and opposition support for such demonstrations will complicate the land acquisition process.— Reuters

German consumers face steep power price hikes By Vera Eckert

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erman utilities have started to raise power prices to households, and increases are likely to accelerate in coming months, even though wholesale prices have fallen by 40 percent since 2008. Price-comparison Web portals warn that another wave of price hikes is on the horizon but say that only 5 percent of households have taken advantage of competition and changed suppliers. "We very much want to appeal to the phlegmatic consumer to make informed choices," said Dagmar Ginzel of consumer portal Verivox, which encourages customers to compare prices and opt out of expensive deals. Distributors say they need to meet rising bills for subsidized renewable energies on the transmission grids and to recover the cost of power they bought from producers at higher prices in the past. Sorting out blame is not easy after 12 years of competition have broken up production, distribution and retailing activities and have allowed many new companies to emerge that buy wholesale power and compete with the retail brands of big firms. The Green Party has accused big operators of profiteering and said they should be forced to sell power production capacity. Four major companies dominate production-RWE, E.ON, Vattefall Europe and EnBW-and they aim to sell power ahead at high prices. For distributors, which include the distribution arms of the big firms as well as small independent companies, the challenge is to procure power and protect margins without losing clients. But few customers so far have ditched those suppliers that are in the vanguard of hiking prices, compared with a third of Britons who have switched suppliers, according to industry data. END CUSTOMER LOSES RWE's distribution units in its core region are charging 7.3 percent more from August, and E.ON's raised their prices by 4.2 percent raise in May. By contrast, wholesale market prices of round-the-clock power delivery in 2011, at 50 euros a megawatt

hour, are down from their July 2008 peaks of around 85 euros. "If the procurement price falls massively, the end-customer price should reflect that, even if renewables prices rise," said Ginzel. "The power of RWE and E.ON must be broken," said the Green Party's deputy chief whip, Baerbel Hoehn. But as well as the two big companies, the majority of smaller distributors have also opted for higher prices. Some 450 companies have raised their prices by around 6 percent or 1.35 cents a kilowatt hour between January and July, and more will follow suit, Verivox said. Holger Krawinkel, an energy expert at consumer organization VZBV in Berlin said there are some 850 local utilities active in supplying households competing with the big firms. "They have behaved the same as established firms in trying to protect their margins," he said. Local distributors cite their long forward-buying contracts with the power generators as well as the costs of green energy. Industry association BDEW said the national bill for renewable energy, which is mandatorily shared by all consumers, will rise to at least 12.7 billion euros ($16.3 billion) this year, up 23.3 percent from 10.3 billion last year as ever more wind turbines and photovoltaic panels come on stream. E.ON said that it was voters who made green tariffs law. "We all, in solidarity, took a political decision which we can no longer influence but have to bear," Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen told reporters on a conference call last week. "We (as E.ON) should no longer be shot for having to deliver that message." While there are valid arguments for some price increases, there also is room for maneuver. The distribution arms of Vattenfall Europe and EnBW have been more conservative, leaving their prices alone in order to protect their brands. Verivox records a difference of 220 euros per annum between the cheapest and most expensive retail prices offered to consumers. "There are more than 70 suppliers in any given region now. There is no reason for the consumer not to switch if he is unhappy," said Ginzel. — Reuters

NEWS

14

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blackwater’s founder moving to Abu Dhabi WASHINGTON: Erik Prince, founder of the notorious security firm Blackwater, planned to leave the United States and relocate this month to Abu Dhabi, according to US Department of Justice documents. Prince has been under a glaring spotlight as the subject of multiple lawsuits, including by two former civilian Blackwater employees over the company’s operations in Iraq and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In documents filed with the Justice Department, copies of which were obtained yesterday by AFP, a lawyer said Prince planned to settle in the United Arab Emirates prior to August 15, when his children were starting school. Prince does not face criminal charges, but his company, which now operates under the name Xe Services, has been implicated in a slew of scandals related to its operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Five executives face indictment on

weapons charges, two ex-employees face murder charges after two Afghans died in Kabul in May 2009 - they pleaded not guilty on Tuesday-and the firm was banned from Iraq after allegations its guards opened fire on innocent civilians, although a US court cleared company employees of criminal charges. The two former Blackwater employees suing the company have accused it of defrauding the federal government, which was Blackwater’s largest employers and has paid the firm several million dollars in contracts since 2001. They wanted Prince to appear in court prior to his departure, but judge Thomas Rowles Jones ordered him to “appear on August 23, 2010, as noticed, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, or on such other date not later than September 3, 2010, at such other place, as counsel for defendants and counsel for relator may agree,” according to the documents. Plaintiff

lawyer Susan Burke said in a filing dated August 5 that Prince “intends to depart permanently from the United States at the end of August 2010.” The 51-yearold Prince, a former US Navy Seal, founded Blackwater in 1997, and it rose to become the largest private security firm used by the US authorities in Iraq. But last year he sought to distance himself from the company, which has seen its contracts with the US government shrivel after it played substantial security roles in Washington’s yearslong “war on terror.” Colleagues told The New York Times that Prince aimed to focus on security assignments for governments in Africa and the Middle East, and that he had become bitter about the scrutiny and negative publicity the company has received. “He needs a break from America”, one unnamed colleague was quoted as saying in the Times. — AFP

TEL AVIV: Palestinian Nadim Injaz, is seen at the window of the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, on August 17, 2010. Injaz, allegedly carrying a knife and a toy gun broke into the embassy and attempted to take a diplomat hostage before being overpowered by security. — AFP

Japan analyzes damage Embassy hostage taker to the Hormuz tanker an ‘ex-Israeli informer’

TOKYO: Checks on a Japanese oil tanker damaged by a mystery explosion near the Strait of Hormuz oil shipping route found a soot-like substance in a large dent in its hull, the Transport Ministry in Tokyo said yesterday. It was unclear yet what caused the blackish substance, which was spread in a radial pattern, and it would be analyzed further, a ministry official told reporters. Checks of the tanker’s radar showed six ships around it just before it suffered the damage, but no evidence had been found to link the incident to those ships, the ministry said. Public broadcaster NHK said on Tuesday the tanker’s radar detected a small ship that made suspicious movements near it at the time of the incident, and that the Transport Ministry believed there was a possibility that ship launched an attack. “More than 80 percent of oil tankers coming to Japan go through that area. An

incident like this in such a region is a grave concern for us,” Transport Minister Seiji Maehara told the opening session on Wednesday of a committee set up to investigate the cause of the damage. The incident, shortly after midnight on July 28, injured one seaman but caused no oil spill or disruption to shipping in the strategic waterway, which is the gateway to the oilproducing Gulf and handles 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil. A militant group called Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed that a suicide bomber belonging to it had attacked the tanker. Some security analysts were skeptical of the group’s claim, though the United Arab Emirates state news agency said investigators had found traces of explosives on the tanker. Industry sources said the tanker was carrying more than 2 million barrels of Qatar

Land and Abu Dhabi Lower Zakum crudes, equivalent to about half of Japan’s daily oil needs. The dent in its hull was 22 meters high, of which 16 meters was below the waterline, the ministry said. It was up to 23 meters wide and caved in the hull to a depth of 1 meter. The 333-metre-long very large crude carrier, named M Star and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, was able to resume its voyage to Japan after checks at a nearby port. “Even when a ship is stationary, some engines are often running to supply electricity to the ship, and smoke comes out of its chimney,” Hiroaki Sakashita, director of the Transport Ministry’s safety and environment policy division, told reporters. “That could be what it is,” he said, referring to the soot-like substance collected from the dent. — Reuters

Afghanistan recruits Iraq-style militia force KABUL: The Afghan government said yesterday it had begun recruiting thousands of militiamen to strengthen security forces against a resurgent Taleban in remote villages of the war-torn country. President Hamid Karzai last month approved the establishment of what his administration calls “Local Police Force,” recruited from Afghan villagers in a bid to guard against Taleban attacks in their communities. Deputy interior minister Mohammad Munir Mangal told reporters the US-backed initiative was under way in south-central provinces Wardak and Uruzgan, both of which have been hit hard by Taleban violence. “It will expand in the rest of the country very soon,” he said. “From what we see on the ground and seeing the eagerness of the people I can tell it’ll take two months or even less,” he said, referring to the recruiting process. Recruitment would begin in the southern, eastern and southwestern regions of the country where insurgent violence is most intense,

Mangal said. Once fully in theatre, the force will number about 10,000 men who will undergo three weeks of training in their villages by Afghan trainers, he said. Mangal said the recruits would operate under the auspices of the interior ministry, which has authority over all Afghan police. Recruits would be paid about 60 percent of the regular police salary, he added. The ministry would provide weapons and other equipment for the recruits, “unless they bring their own weapons,” the minister added. “They are ‘Local Police Force’. They’ll be providing security for their own homes, their own clinics and schools and their own roads,” he said, adding that the recruits could join the police force at end of their five-year contract. Karzai and the commander of foreign forces in the country, US General David Petraeus, met for several days before reaching an agreement on creating the new police force, according to Afghan officials. US media have reported that

Petraeus, who took command of nearly 150,000 US and NATO troops on July 4, had been pushing for the establishment of Iraq-style tribal militias to fight Talebanlinked militants in remote Afghan villages. Mangal said that “international friends”-a reference to the US-led force deployed in the country to fight the Taleban-led insurgency-helped Afghan authorities complete the plan for the creation of the force. “We worked together, hand in hand,” he said. Critics are concerned about repeating mistakes made in Afghanistan during the 1980s, when similar militia were mobilized against the mujahedeen fighting Soviet troops, which then morphed into private armies. Some of those forces grew into powerful factions, turning on their own bosses and battling each other in power struggles during the troubled nation’s 1990s civil war. The 1992-1994 factional fighting was centered largely in Kabul and killed more than 80,000 civilians, according to UN figures. — AFP

Bahrain arrests four more Shiite activists Continued from Page 1 Bahraini government officials either declined to comment or could not be reached. Bahrain, a Gulf Arab island kingdom, is governed by a Sunni ruling family and has a majority Shiite population that complains of discrimination in jobs and services, an accusation the government denies. The sectarian balance of Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, also concerns top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, which has a Shiite minority population in its Eastern Province adjacent to Bahrain. Diplomats say the arrests appeared to be an effort to push the Shiite opposition to temper protests ahead of parliamentary elections due on Oct 23.

Bahrain has the only elected parliament in the Gulf Arab region besides Kuwait, even though its powers are limited as bills need to be approved by an upper house whose members are appointed by the king. Bahrain earlier detained four other Shiite activists, including Abduljalil Singace from the mainly Shiite Haq movement, saying they had formed a network to undermine the stability of the country. The Haq movement disputes the legitimacy of the reform process launched by Bahrain’s king about a decade ago, after which the Shiite unrest of the 1990s abated. Haq is expected to boycott the October poll. New York-based Human Rights Watch called on Bahrain to either free Singace and those arrested with him

or bring formal charges against them. “A country that respects human rights, as Bahrain claims to do, does not arrest people just because they harshly criticize the government,” Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch said in the statement. Singace was arrested on Friday when he returned from London where he had spoken about human rights in Bahrain to the House of Lords, and his arrest sparked clashes in Shiite villages that continued until Tuesday. Mohammed Al-Tajer, a lawyer for six of the eight activists and clerics arrested, said he had still not been able to contact the defendants. “We don’t know why this is happening now, during (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan,” he said. — Reuters

Local banks get major role in ‘mega projects’ Continued from Page 1 projects is bigger than local banks’ capability. MP Rula Dashti yesterday reiterated that banks will not be able to provide KD22 billion in loans without government guarantees and said she will work to expose those with vested interests. Meanwhile MP Mubarak Al-Waalan said it is a catastrophe that the funding of the four-year development plan is being debated several months after the plan had been approved by the National Assembly. It is still to be seen whether the government deal will be acceptable to the

National Assembly or not. In another development, opposition lawmaker Ali Al-Deqbasi sent a series of questions to the first deputy premier and minister of defense Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah about reports which said the United States was moving damaged military equipment contaminated with depleted uranium from Iraq to Qatar through Kuwait. The reports were made last week by Kuwait’s environmentalist group Greenline, which said that tons of such equipment will pass through Kuwait to a US military base in Qatar. Deqbasi

inquired if the US authorities have sought permission from Kuwait to transport the radioactive equipment. He also asked about the measures taken by the Environment Public Authority (EPA) to prevent the entry of radioactive material into Kuwait. The defense minister is the chairman of EPA. In the meantime, MP Mubarak AlKhrainej called on the information ministry to launch a fund-raising campaign on Kuwait Television in favor of the victims of devastating floods that ravaged Pakistan. The cabinet on Tuesday announced a $5 million relief aid to Pakistan.

JERUSALEM: The Palestinian who broke into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and tried to take hostages was a former Israeli informer who was seeking political asylum, his lawyer claimed yesterday. Avital Horev said his client, Nadim Injaz, who was born in the West Bank city of Ramallah, was wanted by the Palestinian Authority for collaborating with Israel. Injaz was shot and wounded late on Tuesday after breaking into the Turkish mission and attempting to take a hostage in a bungled attempt to seek asylum. In an official statement from Ankara, the Turkish foreign ministry said he had climbed to the first storey of the embassy and forced his way in, armed with a knife, a jerry can and a toy gun. No-one from the embassy was hurt. Israeli medical sources said Injaz had sustained light injuries after being shot in the leg. He was taken to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital, where his lawyer visited him overnight. “During the 1990s and the early part of this decade, he stopped Palestinian attacks, saving many lives of both soldiers and Israeli citizens, but the Shin Bet, from whom he asked for protection, refused to recognize its responsibility towards him,” Horev told public radio. But Shin Bet denied having anything to

do with him, with a spokeswoman saying Injaz “never worked for us” and that his case was being dealt with by the police. Injaz was detained inside the embassy, which is sovereign Turkish territory, and was later handed over to the Israelis. It was not immediately clear on what charges he was being held. Despite repeated attempts to obtain further information about his arrest, Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said he had “no information” about the suspect or the charges against him. The bungled attempt to seek asylum arose from a threat to Injaz’s life if he were to return to the Palestinian territories, his lawyer claimed. “The Palestinian Authority has signed a death warrant against Nadim Injaz,” said Horev, adding his client had been released from an Israeli jail only three weeks ago after serving time for theft and staying in Israel illegally. But Palestinian security officials contacted by AFP denied knowing anyone of that name, and had no information about his being wanted for collaboration with the Israeli security forces. Family members in his home village of Kharbata Bani Harith, 10 kilometers northwest of Ramallah, were also unable to confirm whether or not Injaz, 34, was wanted for collaboration. They said he had left the village 16 years

ago and had not been seen since, and that he was understood to be living in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied and annexed east Jerusalem with an aunt. He comes from a family which is known for its political activism, and one of his brothers had also disappeared after being arrested by the Israelis during the first intifada (1987-1993), they said. During his questioning immediately after the incident, Injaz told embassy officials he had decided to seek asylum at the Turkish mission a week ago, a statement from Ankara said. Injaz, who was born in Ramallah and holds an Israeli travel document, told them he had called an Israeli newspaper and a television station to speak about his plan before breaking into the embassy Tuesday, it said. “It was understood that... (he) undertook this action with an intention to seek asylum in Turkey, had attacked Britain’s embassy in Tel Aviv in a similar manner in 2006 to ask for asylum and had served one year in jail over that incident,” the statement said. Information obtained from the Palestinians showed that Injaz “had been involved in similar incidents in the past and had an unreliable personality,” the ministry said. The embassy was in contact with Israeli authorities “over the protection of Turkish diplomatic missions,” it said. — AFP

over a foot-high road barrier. “I jumped off the bus to the side of the road before the bus plunged into the ravine,” Flores said. He suffered only minor bruises. He said he was the first person to reach the bus and carried the 10-year-old boy with a broken leg up the ravine. Local residents helped rescue other passengers, eight of whom were brought to hospital in Baguio. The bus was carrying about 50 people from the northern mountain city of Baguio when it crashed in Sablan township, about eight miles away.

Flores said the bus was not speeding as it had just dropped off a passenger and picked up another a short distance away from where the vehicle plunged. Accidents in the area are common because of poorly maintained vehicles. The weather was fine and the highway is in good condition. Last month, 15 people died when their bus slammed into a concrete barrier in the central Philippines. A month earlier, a bus rented by Iranian medical students fell into a ravine near central Cebu city, killing 21 people. — AP

41 die in Philippines Continued from Page 1 were later taken to funeral parlors. The bus zoomed between a tree and a house and plunged into the ravine, Mayor said. The driver, who survived with a broken leg, would be investigated, he said. John Patrick Flores, the bus conductor, told The Associated Press by telephone that the brakes on the bus failed as the driver was negotiating a downhill curve. He said the driver was aiming to hit a lamppost to stop the bus from falling but missed and it jumped

BlackBerry users eye alternatives Continued from Page 1 indispensable business tool - a constant companion for those looking to get ahead. But with the United Arab Emirates and India threatening bans on key BlackBerry features over security concerns, users fear their work routines could be sorely crimped and are scrambling for alternatives, at least while on the road. Many BlackBerry devotees interviewed by The Associated Press at airports and offices around the world this week struggled to remember how they ever got by without the devices. Some, including information-technology consultant Penny Ge in Shanghai, said business trips would become harder without easy access to e-mail. Others, including Indian broker Krishnan Viswanathan, are already weighing alternatives such as Apple Inc’s iPhone. Zenprise Inc, a Fremont, California, firm that helps companies manage their mobile phones, said many of its multinational customers are considering alternatives, but would have to train employees on how to use them. The companies remain in limbo, though, because negotiations are ongoing between governments and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. “The indecision breeds frustration,” said Ahmed Datoo, Zenprise’s vice president of marketing. Millions of devotees, famously including US President Barack Obama, rely on the BlackBerry handsets to tap out quick - if often misspelled and poorly punctuated emails and instant messages to fellow users. Die-hard aficionados use them to catch up on work in taxis and airport transit lounges, and even - to the chagrin of spouses - to squeeze out a few more productive minutes before drifting off to sleep. In Madrid, Juan Cejudo answered eight emails with his BlackBerry while waiting to check in for his flight to Dubai. He cringed at the thought of not being able to use the device. “Without it, I cannot work,” said the 40 yearold Spanish executive with a Swiss company that makes bank software. But work without it

they must, if the bans go through. India is threatening to block BlackBerry corporate email and messaging services unless it wrings out concessions from device maker RIM by the end of this month. The UAE - home to Dubai, one of the world’s busiest layover stops for long-haul international passengers - has given the Canadian company until October to comply with its demands or face bans on emails, messaging and Web services. The crackdown would apply even to passengers making connections at the country’s airports for other destinations. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has threatened to block the devices’ popular BlackBerry Messenger service, though the kingdom recently said it would allow service to continue, citing “positive developments” in its efforts with RIM. It’s unclear if the issue there has been fully resolved. All three countries have cited concerns the phones’ security features could be misused by terrorists and criminals, though they have not always made clear what specific concessions they’re seeking. Other countries, including Lebanon and Indonesia, are also taking a closer look at the devices. The proposed bans all apply to data services, not phone calls, meaning BlackBerry handsets would still be allowed in the countries. While free-speech advocates have criticized the crackdowns, a number of BlackBerry users say they understand the governments’ concerns. “It’s important for things to be traceable,” said Brad Kollur, 33, an IT consultant who lives in Rockaway, New Jersey, and often travels to India on business. “It’s one of those things where you give up certain comforts for the greater good.” RIM has declined to discuss details of its negotiations with regulators. It says it tries to cooperate with countries’ legal and national security needs, and has “a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.” Still, some users are urging the company to do more. “Please, BlackBerry, adjust whatever you have to ... and honor the security requests of the government,” said Manoj

Warrier, who runs an IT consulting business in New Jersey. “It’s a very good product. ... The company should give a little and get a little in return.” Warrier uses his BlackBerry to keep up with employees and clients in India, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and elsewhere. He’s so devoted to the brand that he refuses to switch carriers or devices, and he plans to postpone a business trip to those places next month if the controversy isn’t resolved. There are alternatives, of course. Nokia Corp is among the manufacturers that sell smart phones with e-mail, Web browsing and other office tools - none of which raise the ire of Mideast and Indian regulators. The iPhone and a number of handsets running Google Inc.’s Android software offer those features too. “We would equip our employees with alternative devices if there should be any major change,” said Michael Grabicki, a spokesman for the German chemical company BASF SE. These other devices, however, don’t rely on the same type of sophisticated encryption that appears to have raised concerns, meaning they also don’t offer the same level of security that many businesses find crucial. And although business travelers would also still be able to use laptops for e-mail if BlackBerry service bans go into effect, juggling a computer while holding a cup of coffee is far more difficult than thumbing through messages on a palm-sized smart phone. “At the end of the day you can also pick up the phone and call” business contacts, said Australian BlackBerry user Emad Soliman, a designer at a furniture factory in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi. Besides, say some BlackBerry users, there could be a bright side to governmentimposed crackdowns - especially for those who see the gadgets less as a convenience and more as a tether to bosses back home. “I just won’t answer my work email,” said Jeet Sohal, who was heading to Dubai from London for a family vacation, when asked about the looming bans. The 40-year-old, who works for a British cafe chain, added: “That’s not such a bad thing.” — AP

SPORTS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

15

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results on Tuesday. Seattle 4, Baltimore 0; NY Yankees 6, Detroit 2; Philadelphia 9, San Francisco 3; Florida 6, Pittsburgh 0; Boston 6, LA Angels 0; Tampa Bay 10, Texas 1; Atlanta 10, Washington 2; San Diego 1, Chicago Cubs 0; Houston 4, NY Mets 3; Kansas City 2, Cleveland 1; Minnesota 7, Chicago White Sox 6 (10 innings); Milwaukee 3, St Louis 2; Cincinnati 6, Arizona 2; Oakland 6, Toronto 2; LA Dodgers 6, Colorado 0. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB NY Yankees 73 46 .613 Tampa Bay 73 46 .613 Boston 68 52 .567 5.5 Toronto 63 56 .529 10 Baltimore 42 78 .350 31.5 Central Division Minnesota 69 50 Chicago White Sox 65 54 Detroit 58 61 Kansas City 50 69 Cleveland 49 70

.580 .546 .487 .420 .412

4 11 19 20

Texas LA Angels Oakland Seattle

Western Division 67 51 60 60 58 60 47 73

.568 .500 .492 .392

8 9 21

Atlanta Philadelphia NY Mets Florida Washington

National League Eastern Division 70 49 67 51 59 60 58 60 51 68

.588 .568 .496 .492 .429

2.5 11 11.5 19

Cincinnati St. Louis Milwaukee Houston Chicago Cubs Pittsburgh

Central Division 68 51 65 52 56 64 52 66 50 70 40 79

.571 .556 .467 .441 .417 .336

2 12.5 15.5 18.5 28

San Diego San Francisco Colorado LA Dodgers Arizona

Western Division 71 47 67 53 61 57 61 59 47 73

.602 .558 .517 .508 .392

5 10 11 25

KANSAS CITY: Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt tags out New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner (11) as Gardner tries to steal second in the sixth inning of a baseball game.—AP

Rays rout Rangers, Twins edge White Sox ST. PETERSBURG: Matt Garza pitched seven scoreless innings for his first win since last month, guiding the Tampa Bay Rays to a 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers in the American League on Tuesday. Garza (12-7), who threw Tampa Bay’s first ever no-hitter on July 26, had 10 strikeouts, including that of AL batting leader Josh Hamilton with runners on second and third to end the third inning. Evan Longoria had a single, double and triple and three RBIs for the Rays, who remain tied for the AL East lead. The victory gave manager Joe Maddon his 400th career win. Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer during a five-run seventh that extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-0. The AL West-leading Rangers remained eight games ahead of the Los Angeles

Angels. Texas starter Tommy Hunter (9-2) ceded a 3-0 lead to the Rays in the first.

Twins 7, White Sox 6 In Minneapolis, Jim Thome hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift Minnesota over his old team. After Delmon Young’s leadoff single against Matt Thornton (3-4), Thome smashed a pitch over the right-field bleachers to send his new team and the fans at sold-out Target Field into a frenzy. Ron Mahay (1-1) took the win for the Twins, who stretched their lead in the AL Central to four games. Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez had hit a tying homer in the ninth inning and the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th.

Yankees 6, Tigers 2 In New York, CC Sabathia was dominant at home again, steering New York to a win over Detroit. Sabathia (16-5) became the AL’s first 16-game winner and improved to 14-0 in his past 19 regular-season starts at home. He gave up two solo homers over seven strong innings, striking out nine to end the Tigers’ three-game winning streak. Nick Swisher had a two-run single for the Yankees. Detroit’s Justin Verlander (13-8) matched a season worst with five walks in five innings. He threw 114 pitches.

Red Sox 6, Angels 0 In Boston, Ryan Kalish hit his first career grand slam as Boston cruised past Los

Angeles. Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (145) pitched seven scoreless innings for his fourth consecutive victory and Boston’s first shutout since Buchholz helped blank the Dodgers on June 20. Angels starter Jered Weaver (11-8) allowed six runs over five innings in his first loss in four starts. Dustin Pedroia returned to the Red Sox lineup after missing 44 games with a broken bone in his left foot.

Athletics 6, Blue Jays 2 In Oakland, the hosts ended a four-game skid by beating Toronto. Dallas Braden (8-8) allowed one earned run in seven innings. Jack Cust drove in the go-ahead run for the A’s. Toronto’s Brian Tallet (2-5) lost in relief of starter Brandon Morrow, who last-

Royals 2, Indians 1

Soria earned his 34th save, which tied for the AL lead. He has converted 27 consecutive chances.

In Kansas City, Zack Greinke pitched six strong innings to guide Kansas City to a tight win over Cleveland. Greinke is 7-3 in his past 12 starts after starting the season 18. Greinke (8-11) held the Indians to one run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 3.90. Yuniesky Betancourt homered in the fifth to tie the score. Wilson Betemit put the Royals ahead to stay by leading off the sixth with his sixth home run. Indians rookie Jeanmar Gomez (3-1) was handed his first loss in five big league starts. Cleveland wasted several scoring opportunities, stranding 12 and going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Royals closer Joakim

In Baltimore, Luke French pitched seven-plus scoreless innings, steering Seattle to victory over Baltimore. French (2-3) allowed no hits over the first five innings. He got the first out of the sixth before Josh Bell bounced a single to left. Matt Tuiasosopo had an RBI double in the fifth and a three-run homer in the ninth. He came into the game with a .155 batting average, one homer and two RBIs in 71 at-bats. Orioles hard-luck starter Kevin Millwood (2-13) gave up one run over eight innings in one of his best outings of the season.—AP

ed four innings.

Legendary homer-hitter Thomson dies at 86 NEW YORK: Bobby Thomson, whose playoff home run to win the 1951 National League title for the New York Giants became one of the Major League Baseball’s most iconic moments, has died at age 86. Thomson’s death Monday night at his home near Savannah, Georgia, was confirmed Tuesday by officials handling details of the funeral. Thomson’s dramatic three-run blast, dubbed “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”, came off Brooklyn Dodgers’ ace pitcher Ralph Branca in the bottom of the ninth inning at the now-demolished Polo Grounds and it brought the Giants a crown. For most US baseball fans, the moment is recalled by black-and-white video footage in which broadcaster Russ Hodges repeatedly screams “The Giants win the pennant.” The homer gave the Giants a 5-4 victory and a 2-1 triumph in a best-of-three playoff series after the New York had trailed Brooklyn by 13 1/2 games on August 11 but made an astonishing rally to finish the regular-season deadlocked with the Dodgers. The New York Yankees went on to defeat the Giants four games to two in the 1951 World Series, their third of five consecutive championships in the best-of-seven final. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco in 1958. Thomson batted .270 with 264 career homers and drove in 1,026 runs in 15 major league seasons. Meanwile, the Japanese ex-coach of a Taiwanese baseball team was sentenced to 20 months’ jail in the first verdict in a match-fixing case that rocked the island’s favorite game, a court spokesman said yesterday. Shin Nakagomi, the Brother Elephants’ former head coach, was convicted of collaborating with bookies in five matches in 2008 and 2009 to pocket 1.5 million Taiwan dollars (46,800 US), the spokesman said. Shin could pay a fine of 1.8 million Taiwan dollars in exchange for a four-year suspended sentence, according to the spokesman, from a Taipei district court. He did not know if Shin would choose this option. Shin was arrested late last year at an airport. He was planning to return to Japan following reports that he and several players were suspected of involvement in the scandal. Taiwanese prosecutors in February charged 24 players, gangsters and bookies with gambling and fraud. The case dealt a fresh blow to the sport, already hit by a string of similar scandals in recent years. In 2008, Taiwan’s baseball league banned the Media T-Rex team over match-fixing allegations implicating the team’s management and three players, among others.—AFP

Mariners 4, Orioles 0

Bidding begins for London Olympic Stadium tenants

ST PETERSBURG: Texas Rangers’ Mitch Moreland reacts as the Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Rangers 6-4 in a baseball game.—AP

LONDON: The formal process to find a tenant for London’s Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games began yesterday with the future of the 537 millionpound ($840 million) venue to be determined by the end of the year. The two main potential investors to emerge so far are Premier League club West Ham, which wants to leave Upton Park, and American sports and entertainment giant AEG, which revived the former Millennium Dome site near the Olympic Park. The company in charge of ensuring the post-games success of the Olympic venues has given interested parties until Sept. 30 to lodge proposals and it wants to establish key terms for a long-term lease by Dec. 31. The 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies and athletics events, was due to be downscaled after the games to a 25,000-capacity venue mainly for track and field. But as interest grew in more widespread uses for the east London venue, the Olympic Park Legacy Company began a feasibility study which attracted more than 100 expressions of interest in three months. The legacy company wants the winning bidder to sign a long-term lease by March 31, 2011 and start revamping the stadium in November 2012. The aim is for events to resume on the site during 2014. Bidders have been told they must have “the financial capability to meet the costs of (the) transformation of the stadium ... and be able to demonstrate ongoing financial strength.” Research conducted by the legacy company showed that a capacity ranging from 25,000 to 60,000 seats would be the most

feasible. A warmup track must also be built, with UK Athletics wanting to stage top-level international meets at the stadium, including the world championships in 2015. World Cup football matches could also be staged there if England’s bid to host the tournament in 2018 or 2022 is successful. West Ham is bidding jointly with Newham — one of the four local boroughs encompassing the Olympic Park — to maintain a 60,000-seat venue with a running track. Discussions have also begun with cricket officials and UK Athletics. “The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost of Olympics past,” Newham Mayor Robin Wales said on Wednesday. “The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham.” The Olympic Stadium is being built on a 226-hectare (560-acre) site in a once rundown industrial swath of east London, which is witnessing one of Britain’s biggest regeneration projects in decades. “The stadium is at the heart of the Olympic Park and securing the most appropriate solution is crucial to our long-term aspirations for the area,” said Margaret Ford, who is chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company. The capital budget for the Olympics stands at 9.3 billion pounds, nearly three times the original figure, and the additional cost of converting the park to its post-games look is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of pounds (dollars). The legacy company is taking possession of the site without any debt burden.—AP

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Renewed fears for future of World Cup stadiums JOHANNESBURG: Too small for cricket and passed over by rugby, the stadiums that cost South Africa more than $1 billion for this year’s World Cup already appear to be turning into white elephants. Both rugby and cricket are more commercially successful than football in South Africa, and both sports need to move into the new stadiums — built and renovated for Africa’s first World Cup — to keep them alive financially. On Tuesday, South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins told members of parliament in Cape Town that there had been no discussions between Durban city officials and rugby representatives before the $400 million, 70,000capacity Moses Mabhida Stadium was built, and now it did not have enough suites to accommodate the local Sharks rugby

team’s suite holders. Hoskins said that the Sharks, who compete in the annual Super Rugby competition and the domestic Currie Cup and could offer near year-round use, would have a “massive problem” to move to the new stadium. “What we are discussing today should have been discussed before we built the stadiums,” Hoskins said. “It is tragic for us as a nation that we have to act in reverse.” The situation in Cape Town is just as bad, according to Hoskins, because of the deteriorating relationship between the local Western Province rugby union and the Green Point Stadium operators. The South African Press Association quoted Western Province Rugby president Tobie Titus as saying that on the advice of an independent financial adviser, Western

Province Rugby was staying at its current stadium, Newlands. So the iconic Green Point Stadium, set in the shadow of the famous Table Mountain, could now be rarely used and is set to cost more than $6 million a year just to maintain. Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola added that the pitches at the stadiums were too small to host cricket games, and blamed this on the failure of cities to consult cricket authorities before construction. Hoskins said the hype generated by the recent World Cup also hid many of the issues, leaving the stadiums now struggling to bring in income. “In 2007, before the new stadiums were built, I wrote to the minister of sport and said I foresaw major problems coming and I asked for the intervention of the ministry,”

Hoskins told the committee. “Unfortunately, we were all taken up by the soccer World Cup and in the hype we forgot we should have been talking to each other.” In July, South African Football Association chief executive Leslie Sedibe conceded to the same parliamentary committee that football faced a major challenge to keep the stadiums in use and profitable — largely due to traditionally low ticket prices charged at local matches and the high cost of running the world class arenas. Sedibe’s observation came just 10 days after the World Cup ended, and after South Africa spent an estimated $1.3 billion building and upgrading the 10 stadiums used for the tournament. It was hoped rugby and cricket would help out. But, even as the world champion

South African rugby team prepares to play its first international at the 94,000-seat Soccer City in Johannesburg, the venue for the World Cup final, the assessments of Hoskins and Majola paint a bleak picture for the stadiums’ long-term future. Majola said Cricket South Africa had been forced to seek special permission from the International Cricket Council to host a Twenty20 game between South Africa and India at the Moses Mabhida Stadium early next year, but it was a oneoff and the playing surface was still too small for major games. He also pointed to a lost opportunity for cricket to move to World Cup stadiums in the northern cities of Rustenburg, Polokwane and Nelspruit, which are likely to struggle because of their remote locations and lack of major sporting teams

nearby. “Historically, our game had not been played in some of the areas where some of stadiums were built,” Majola said. “We saw an opportunity, but unfortunately we were not part of the designs of the stadiums. “Unfortunately, we are compelled by the size of fields. When these fields were built, we were not part of that.” Majola said if the stadiums had been suitable, CSA could have made space for an annual tournament like the popular Indian Premier League. In his brutally honest assessment, Hoskins said all the problems threatened to make South Africa “a laughing stock.” “We want to use the new stadiums,” Hoskins said. “We want to take the game to the people, but these issues are going to stand in our way in a big way.”—AP

Confident Ouseph eyes Wei encounter

Rajiv Ouseph, England champions for the last three years.

Ostapchuk claims shot put title

SWITZERLAND: New Zealand’s Valerie Adams competes in the women’s shot put final staged at Zurich Main railway station, one day prior to the Diamond League athletics meeting Weltklasse in Zurich.— AFP

ZURICH: Nadezha Ostapchuk of Belarus was yesterday crowned the women’s shot put champion of the season after dominating the penultimate Diamond League event. Ostapchuk, the European champion, was never tested at the makeshift shot put arena rigged up at Zurich’s main train station, where blaring music and an emcee enticed commuters into the free-to-watch event. She won with a best putt of 20.63 metres, all her efforts going beyond the 20m mark, and picked up a diamond trophy and cheque for 40,000 dollars for her victory. Olympic and world champion Valerie Adams-Vili of New Zealand, who has lost all seven encounters with the Belarusian this season, was second with a best of 20.02m. American champion Jillian Camarena-Williams finished in third after throwing a personal best of 19.50m. In a bid to bring the shot into the limelight, organisers decided to hold both the men’s and women’s event at Zurich’s main train station at peak commuting time, one day ahead of the main meet. “The shot put is an aesthetic discipline, offering exciting competitions,” said meet director Patrick Magyar. “Unfortunately, it tends not to get the attention it deserves when staged at its traditional stadium location, simply because the action is so far away from the spectators. “This event allows us to present an extraordinary, highlevel athletics show at the most frequented location of Switzerland.”—AFP

LONDON: The days when Rajiv Ouseph’s mum used to drive him and his two sisters to local badminton events are past but all the effort has not been in vain. Far from it as Ouseph, newly crowned US Open victor and English champion for the last three years, heads for the world championships in Paris next week on an all-time high. World-ranked a career-best 18 after victory in Los Angeles, the 23-year-old is eyeing a last16 encounter with world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. Heady stuff, but Ouseph well recalls the old days after his father introduced him to the game and his mother provided the unofficial taxi service. “Mum is the only one out of us who didn’t play but when we were younger she was the one who used to have to drive us around everywhere,” he told Reuters in an interview near their west London home. “Now I think she’s pretty pleased me and my sisters learned how to drive quite early so she didn’t have to take us around as much.” A bold show in Paris would boost English badminton with the Commonwealth Games looming and the London Olympics on home ground in 2012. It would likely cause joy also in India where Ouseph’s parents were born. Ouseph visits his family in Thrissur in Kerala from time to time and has also trained in Bangalore under Indian great Prakash Padukone, All England champion in 1980. Inevitably, Indian eyes of late have been turned on 20year-old Saina Nehwal who has jumped to number two in the women’s world rankings. “I don’t know her personally but I’ve been watching her play,” said Ouseph. “You struggle not to notice her because she’s won the last couple of tournaments in the Super Series. “She’s playing really well at the moment. I think she’s a probably really heavy favourite to win the gold and if she does win I think that will be good for the country.” Ouseph’s immediate task is the world championships where he has to deal first with Dutchman Eric Pang before a projected meeting with Jan Jorgensen, the Dane who relegated him to bronze at the European championships in April. His record against both men offers hope and Ouseph has also learnt from his second round defeat by world number four Chen Jin at the All England tournament in March. Ouseph had the Chinese at set point in the first only to lose out 23-21 21-8. “I remember being fairly tired after that first set and his level if anything increased and mine sort of dropped off a little bit,” said Ouseph. “I know where I need to be. I can sort of do it for a set, a set and a half but the challenge is for me to do it for three setsand consistently in every round.” Defending champion Lin Dan remains the ultimate challenge for all his rivals next week and Ouseph still rates him the toughest opponent he has ever played, albeit just the once. —Reuters

IRVINE: Michael Phelps (left) speaks during a news conference with his coach, Bob Bowman as top US swimmers competing in the Pan Pacific Championships gathered for a media availability.—AP

Swimmers, coaches hail return to ‘skinny-dipping’ LOS ANGELES: As with the European championships in Budapest last week, the Pan Pacific meeting starting late yesterday will be swum au naturel, or closer to it than any time in the past 15 years. Swimmers, who live and die by split seconds, and their coaches say the change has not come a moment too soon. “The people who broke world records in those suits were never credited, as they should have been,” Australian coach Leigh Nugent said on Tuesday. “And the people whose records were broken were discredited, and it just wasn’t good for our sport.” The suits, made of skintight polyurethane and neoprene, had the dual effect of compressing the limbs and trunk of the swimmer, reducing water resistance, while also improving buoyancy to increase speed. They were shed from competition at the start of this year, after 43 world records were set at last year’s world championships in Rome. According to American team captain Jason Lezak, the suits rewarded, or at least kept competitive, the swimmer who did not train hard. “Last year, I didn’t train much and I wasn’t in great shape and I still swam fast,” Lezak told Reuters. “It helped somebody more so who wasn’t in great shape, and you can’t really get away with that wearing a jammer,” he said, referring to the knee-length skin-tight shorts now worn by male swimmers in competition. While contributing to better times, the suits were also a burden on their wearers, who would need up to 40 minutes to climb into them, Nugent

said. Any tear in the fabric would destroy their structural integrity, while a suit change would leave some swimmers unable to compete. “They’re a massive stress,” said Nugent. “To pull one of those suits on, they’re sweating. Then, if it tore and you had to put another one on, you’d swum your race, it was over.” That almost happened to world 50 metres freestyle champion, George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago, whose suit tore as he waited with fellow competitors for his semi-final at the 2009 world titles. Bovell’s opponents defied officials’ instructions to go out to swim until his suit was replaced, local media reported. Racing in an old suit, Bovell went on to win the delayed race and the final. For the winners and world record setters, it could feel as though their achievements were diminished by the controversy. “For me, the whole drama with the suits shouldn’t detract from who won the world title,” said Australian Brenton Rickard, who set a world record in winning the 100 metres breaststroke title in Rome. “It did happen for me. I think certain things were overlooked in that matter, but I still feel like I’m world champion.” Time and the pace of competition will eventually draw the dozens of world records set at Rome within reach, Nugent said, dismissing the idea that a separate set of “speed suit” world records should be kept. “It’s a hard thing to do,” Nugent said. “It’s a difficult situation the sport’s got itself in.”—Reuters

Klitschko to fight Briggs BERLIN: WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko will fight American Shannon Briggs on Oct. 16 in Hamburg, the Ukrainian confirmed yesterday. Briggs had announced the fight in late July but until yesterday Klitschko’s management had not confirmed it. It will now take place in the city that launched the Klitschko brothers’ career. The 39-year-old Vitali, older brother of unified IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine world heavyweight champion Vladimir, most recently beat Poland’s Albert Sosnowski in May with a 10th round knockout.

“Shannon Briggs is an unbelievable big mouth but also definitely a tough challenger. He is one of the toughest punchers in the business,” said Klitschko in a statement. “I am also delighted to box in Hamburg again. This is where it all started.” The 38-year-old Briggs, known as ‘The Cannon’, has a record of 54-5-1 and is currently eighth in the WBC rankings. Vitali has lost just two of 42 fights, winning 38 by knockout. “He can look at his world title belt for another few weeks because after Oct. 16 it will be mine,” said Briggs.—Reuters

Vitali Klitschko

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SINGAPORE: Andrei Muntean of Romania competes in the rings event during the Men’s Individual All-Around Gymnastics Finals at the Youth Olympics. — AP

Race is on to see who is next Bolt SINGAPORE: Britain’s David Bolarinwa and Jamaica’s Odane Skeen won their qualifying heats in the 100 meters at the Youth Olympics yesterday, setting up a much anticipated final between two sprinters touted as the next Usain Bolt. Bolarinwa blew away the field in his heat, finishing in 10.62 seconds. Skeen got out slowly but surged to run 10.63 seconds to beat Thailand’s Jirapong Meenapra. The 17-year-old Bolarinwa has the fastest time this year among 16and 17-year-olds — a 10.39 in London earlier this month. Skeen, a 16-year-old whose lanky style has some likening him to his compatriot Bolt, ran a 10.46 in Jamaica. “I thought let me go there, go hard and see if anyone can go faster,” Bolarinwa said. “It was a good performance overall.” Skeen was less thrilled with his performance, blaming his slower time on two false starts by other competitors. But he said come Saturday’s final, he would win. Bolarinwa and Skeen will face each other for the first time

and are still sizing one another up. Skeen, for example, was surprised to hear that it was Bolarinwa and not himself who has run the fastest 100 this year. Marvin Bracy of the United States ran the second fastest but is not at the games. Organizers of the first Youth Olympics have emphasized participation rather than winning, but that was lost on Bolarinwa and Skeen, who both predicted they would win Saturday. “It’s a big showdown,” Bolarinwa said. “He’s not really a quick starter. We know that already,” Bolarinwa said. “His pick up is fantastic and so is mine. If I get a good start, he’ll have to take me.” Bolarinwa’s coach John Powell chimed in later: “Bring it on.” Both boys seemed to relish the comparison to Bolt and their budding rivalry to that of Bolt and Tyson Gay. Told he has been compared to a miniature Bolt, Skeen just smiled and said he one day dreams of surpassing his idol. “I want to be better than Bolt,” said Skeen, whose goal it is to win gold at the 2012 Olympics in London. “I want to be much more

Sheikh Saad shooting tournament KUWAIT: Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Olympic Shooting Academy will conclude its summer season with its fourth tournament at the Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Olympic Shooting Ranges today. The tournament will start at 3.00 pm for the skeet and trap events for beginners and general groups, meanwhile the bullets event will be held at 8.30 pm. Prizes will be distributed under the patronage and presence of President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations and Vice President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem AlHumoud Al-Sabah. President of the Arab Shooting Sport Federation and member of the ISSF, chairman of Saad Al-Abdallah Academy Engineer Obeid Al-Osaimi Duaij Khalaf Al-Otaibi and board members will also be present. The ceremony will start at 10.00 pm on Saturday August 21, 2010. Kuwait Shooting Sport Club Secretary General Obeid Al-Osaimi said the academy receives Kuwaitis of both genders aged between 15 and 21 for those wishing to learn the basics of Olympic shooting since last May. He said the Academy proved successful through the tremendous number of youth registering, adding that registration will remain open for the Kuwaiti youth. He said the number of those who registered at the academy is 300, who received instructions from qualified and highly professional trainers and instructors.

SINGAPORE: Park Yoon Hee of South Korea lifts during the snatch event of the women’s +63-kilogram weightlifting finals at the Youth Olympics. — AP

faster.” Bolarinwa enjoyed being likened to the two sprinting greats, but wants to surpass them. “These guys are fantastic. You look at what they have done. You want to be better than them,” Bolarinwa said. “But it’s good to have them in the back your mind to look up to.” Watching Skeen’s heat, Powell said he saw some of Bolt in Skeen. But he was quick to point out that a lot can change with an athlete by the time they reach adulthood. He noted that Bolt, for example, started out running 200- and 400-meter before exploding on the stage in the 100. “You don’t know how they will develop, this is the thing,” Powell said of Skeen. “He’s about 16 and that is two or three years of formative years as an athlete. He could broaden out. He obviously has a good stride. If I looked at him — not that you can stereotype athletes these days _ I’d say he is a typical 200-meter runner.” In other action yesterday, Lithuania rower Rolandas Mascinskas upset Germany’s twotime world junior champion German

Felix Bach to win the junior men’s single sculls gold. In the women’s single sculls, Judith Sievers of Germany beat Nataliia Kovalova of the Ukraine. Britain beat out Australia for the women’s pair final to claim its second gold in two days and Slovenia edged Greece in the men’s final. In men’s 77-kilogram weightlifting, Russia’s Artem Okulov took gold ahead of Thailand’s Chatuphum Chinnawong and Russian lifters won another gold and a silver yesterday. In the swimming events, Australia won four medals but no golds, while local favorite Rainer Ng of Singapore won the silver in the 50-meter backstroke after being edged out by Trinidad and Tobago’s Christian Homer. Russia has nine golds and 19 overall, while China has nine golds and 15 medals overall. Azerbaijan is third with five golds, while Italy has four. The United States had only one gold medal by the end of the fourth day of competition Wednesday, settling for silver in girl’s swimming, boy’s wrestling and boy’s fencing. —AP

UCI, WADA support anti-doping program GENEVA: The International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency have denied claims they clashed over how their biological passport program to catch drug cheats is managed. The UCI said WADA is “very satisfied” with its handling of the project, which costs $6.2 million (§4.8 million) annually and has led directly to disciplinary cases against eight riders since being launched in 2008. “WADA has never expressed any particular concerns on this subject and has taken no measures against the UCI,” the cycling body said in a statement. WADA director general David

Howman said the international doping watchdog had no reason to criticize cycling officials. “We don’t have any difficulties with UCI at the moment. I don’t see any current tension,” Howman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. The UCI issued a response Tuesday to the Wall Street Journal, which reported this month that WADA was concerned other cases against racers under suspicion had been dropped. In May, the UCI identified three riders who faced charges even though they never failed a drugs test, because analysis

of their personal blood profiles suggested they had used banned substances or doping methods. They included Franco Pellizotti, who won the best climber category at the 2009 Tour de France and has been banned for two years by Italian authorities. The newspaper reported that five more cases were dropped by the UCI and that WADA wanted to inspect those riders’ biological passport results for itself. Howman said it was working with the UCI to “ensure the process is working.” “It’s not a situation we are reacting to. It’s one we are doing as part of our day-today work,” he said. The UCI responded

Smith stands down as SA’s Twenty20 captain JOHANNESBURG: Graeme Smith will step down as captain of South Africa’s one-day international and Twenty20 teams in order to prolong his career, he said yesterday. The 29-year-old told a news conference in Johannesburg that he was relinquishing the Twenty20 captaincy with immediate effect but would lead the ODI side through to next year’s World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. “I am going into my ninth season of international cricketeight of which have been as captain,” said Smith. “It is my intention to play for another five or six years and I know in my heart that I can only do that if I give up some of my current responsibilities.” The opening batsman took over the captaincy from Shaun

Pollock in 2003 after South Africa’s early exit from the World Cup they hosted and has led the team in 123 ODIs, winning 75 of them. Smith said he would still be available for South Africa in all formats of the game. The left-hander has joined the likes of Australian captain Ricky Ponting and India batsman Sachin Tendulkar in downgrading his involvement in the shortest version of the game after appearing in 27 Twenty20 internationals. There is no obvious succesor to Smith. All-rounder Jacques Kallis has led South Africa in 10 ODIs but is a reluctant captain, while wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s place is in jeopardy heading into the World Cup. Off-spinner Johan Botha led South Africa to an impressive

Tuesday that it examined three further cases, not five, and has continued monitoring those riders. One racer, which it did not name, has since been banned after testing positive for doping. Cycling’s governing body accepted that the time taken to build and open a disciplinary case was “sometimes longer than one would like.” “That is mainly because the biological passport is an avant-garde, sophisticated tool, which the UCI is the first federation to have introduced,” it said. About 850 professional racers have given blood samples for their passport, which is analyzed by the WADA-accredit-

ed laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. Suspicious profiles are presented to a UCI-appointed independent panel of nine experts that advises if the results, and the rider’s explanation, can be justified medically or scientifically. Howman said the UCI ultimately decided how to use the advice, by bringing charges or targeting a rider for follow-up tests. “I think the panel when it was initially comprised felt that they were the body — or potentially the body — that was going to decide whether it was a doping case or not,” Howman said. “That’s just not the situation.”—AP

Deans under pressure to deliver with Wallabies

Graeme Smith series victory in Australia in 2009 but has struggled to maintain a permanent place in the team after being reported for an illegal bowling action. “There are several players emerging within the squad to take on leadership roles. Making the announcement now will allow the time and development necessary to ensure a

smooth transition,” Smith said. “I remain passionate about the captaincy and after the World Cup I will continue to lead the test team with pride. “I see myself playing for a long time still and hope to really add value as a batsman after these six months, to maintain the high standards of performance I have set.” —Reuters

SYDNEY: The Wallabies head off to South Africa this week amid mounting unease over which direction they are heading under coach Robbie Deans a year out from the World Cup. These are testing times for the Wallabies, coming off their recordequalling ninth straight loss to the All Blacks and venturing into South Africa’s Highveld where they haven’t toppled the Springboks since 1963. Trumpeted by the Australian Rugby Union as ushering in a ‘generational change’ when he was unveiled as the Wallabies’ first foreign coach in December 2007, Deans, instead, has a growing number of doubters. The stats are not palatable reading for the man who came into the Wallaby job as Super rugby’s most successful coach winning five titles with New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders. Deans has just over a 54 percent success rate with the Australian team, win-

ning just 19 of his 35 internationals in charge inside three years. In contrast, predecessor John Connolly had 64 percent success, Eddie Jones 57 percent and Rod Macqueen 79 percent. Deans was viewed as the Wallabies’ saviour in the wake of their shattering quarter-final exit to England at the 2007 World Cup in Marseille and employed with the expressed purpose of rebuilding for a serious crack at the 2011 tournament in New Zealand. Three years on and there are increasing misgivings about the Wallabies’ progress under Deans and whether the two-time winners of the Webb Ellis Trophy can make an impact at next year’s World Cup. Alan Jones, the coach of the 1984 Grand Slam-winning Australian team, recently declared: “We’re going down the wrong track. We’ve got to turn somewhere and turn before there’s a big accident further up the road. —AP

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Nadal says US Open failure has been fitness issue MASON: The US Open is the only Grand Slam that world number one Rafa Nadal has yet to win and the Spaniard admits he has found it tough physically to raise himself at the end of the season. The Open is held at the end of August, when Nadal, a clay court specialist, has often been feeling the strain of the season. “There are a lot matches for me, a lot of tension in those three months, it’s a very important part of season for me and I put everything in there. And after that, it’s normal

(to) go down,” he said. “In 2002 and 2007 I had problems with my knees...in 2008 I arrived perfect physically but destroyed mentally winning in Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Toronto, the Olympics. So it was crazy for me, a very hard season. “And last year was another. I broke my abdominal in Montreal, so I played here in Cincinnati with a little bit broken abdominal and with every game, the tear, the abdominal got bigger. “I finished the US Open

destroyed, so for me it was amazing result getting to the semifinal last year,” he said. Nadal is targeting success at this year’s event at Flushing Meadows but says he has no clue as to whether his current good form will lead him to finally claim the U.S Open. “Every year is different. You can be playing very well here and you can arrive there and lose. You can be playing bad here and arrive there and start the tournament slow but get better and better every day and you can finish playing your best ten-

nis and win. “This year I started Roland Garros playing terribly and finally I played very well in the semifinals and final and win. “You can do everything perfect but that is not why you are going to win or going to be playing well in that moment,” he said. This year though he expects to be in peak physical condition when he gets to New York, a fact he finds somewhat amusing. “Physically I’m perfect. Give me two weeks to break everything,” he said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, former world number four James Blake, who has slumped to outside the top 100, says he will take a break from the sport after the US Open and may assess his future in tennis. The American’s decline continued with a 6-3 6-0 loss to Russian Denis Istomin in just 45 minutes at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. “I didn’t have my best, or even close to my best. I haven’t felt prepared for a tournament for a long time thanks to a lot of injuries,” Blake told reporters after a listless

second set display. “I’ve felt like things have been getting better, and then you get setback after setback and it takes its toll.” The 30-year-old, ranked 107th in the world, has battled a range of injuries over the past 18 months, including nagging soreness to his knee, shoulder and hamstring. Blake has not felt fully fit since 2008 and said that while he will play New Haven next week and the US Open at the end of the month, he was ready for a break to try and get himself back into a position where

he can handle more practice hours. “If that doesn’t work, I’ll start thinking of other options. I don’t know how many more are left after that other than the rest and recovery,” said Blake, who has not had an actual vacation in about about six years. “But if it doesn’t get back, you know, I knew at some point my body was gonna give out probably. I hope it’s not this year. I hope it’s not next year; I hope it’s not for a few years. But right now it’s testing my patience.” —Reuters

Top seed Jankovic upset

MONTREAL: Jelena Jankovic of Serbia serves to Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic during the Rogers Cup at Stade Uniprix in Montreal. —AFP

Decline? I’ve heard it all before says Federer MASON: Roger Federer has heard the talk about his supposed decline before and the world number two finds it hard to take the suggestion seriously. The record 16-times Grand Slam winner failed to get beyond the quarter-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon this year and with the last Grand Slam of the season, the US Open, on the horizon, talk has turned to whether the Swiss is fading. Federer, who lost to Andy Murray in last week’s final in Toronto, appears to find the idea ridiculous. “I had a wonderful summer last year with (winning) the French Open and Wimbledon, which wasn’t case this year. “But last year after the Australian Open when I lost against Nadal, people were also talking about how I was on a huge decline. I cried on center court at the Australian Open, which was a big tragedy for many people,” he told reporters. “Nobody ever believed I would come back. I won two slams and played the finals of the US Open and won the Australian Open, so then everything changes and you don’t win the French or Wimbledon, and things are all bad again. “So it moves very quickly. I know the rules and how it all works,” he said. Federer said that in the current era - with four out-

standing players at the top of the rankings and others, such as Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych closing in - people had better get used to keen competition. “(You) can’t win them all. I always knew that, so I was very shocked and surprised at how dominant I was and how well I played for so many years. And still today I’m hanging with the top and I’ve got chances, and already won a slam again this year. I have a chance to win a second one and maybe the World Championships at the end of the year. “There’s still a lot to play for. But usually if you stay the same, you will move down. That’s never something I was content with,” he said. Federer, whose semi-final win over Novak Djokovic last week regained second spot in the world from the Serb, says he has a very simple measurement for how well he is doing. “For me, it’s important that I’m happy with my game...I’m very happy with how I played in Toronto. “I fought hard and I was able to turn it around a bit and get those close matches going my way. Now we’re gonna be on this kind of (hard court) surface for eight months, so I think this is a very important start for me, playing well on the hardcourts again,” he said. —Reuters

TORONTO: Roger Federer of Switzerland. —AP

MONTREAL: Top seed Jelena Jankovic’s US Open chances continued to dim with a listless 7-6 6-3 loss to 75th-ranked Czech Iveta Benesova in her opening match at the Montreal Cup on Tuesday. Jankovic’s buildup to Flushing Meadows has not inspired hope that the Serb will be making a return to the final this year with her play on the North American hardcourts falling flat and concern over a nagging ankle injury mounting. “I don’t have any pain anymore, I just need to work hard on the practice court and work on getting better,” Jankovic, runner-up at the 2008 U.S. Open, told reporters. “I’m not where I would like to be, my game is not there. “I have a week-and-a-half before the US Open so hopefully I can prepare and play better there.” The lost marked the third consecutive hardcourt event that the world number three has made an early exit, having also fallen at the first hurdle in San Diego to Russian Alisa Kleybanova. The 25-year-old from Belgrade won her opening match last week in Cincinnati but then was dispatched in straight sets by Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan in yet another upset. Prior to her injury, Jankovic had been enjoying a solid season highlighted by a win at Indian Wells. Her problems began after Wimbledon when she was forced to retire from a tournament in Slovenia. Benesova, who had never won a match on Canadian hardcourts in two previous visits and had won only two matches on hardcourts this season, would not be intimidated by the former world number one. Jankovic, who showed no signs of an injured ankle, had looked in control, serving for the first set at 5-3. But the 27year-old Czech broke the Serb to get back on serve, forcing the set to a tiebreak which she dominated 7-3. Benesova stepped up the pressure in the second set, breaking Jankovic at the first opportunity on her way to a 30 lead. Jankovic offered a brief fight back with a break in the fifth game but Benesova would not buckle, breaking back to go up 5-3 and serving out the match. “I just didn’t play well, I wasn’t on my game,” said Jankovic. “I made a lot errors and I didn’t feel like myself out there. “I haven’t been playing well the last couple of tournaments because I was just coming back from the injury. “I didn’t really feel like a top five player out there. My game hasn’t been at the top level for the last couple of tournaments.” In other action, Wimbledon finalist and eighth seed Vera Zvonareva led a Russian charge into the second round with 6-1 6-2 demolition of Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the first Russian woman to win the U.S. Open, flashed her hardcourt pedigree dispatching Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 4-6 6-1 as six Russians made it safely through. Aside from Jankovic, it was a good day for the seeds, with number 10 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus crushing Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1 61, and Italian 15th seed Flavia Pennetta rolling past Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-0 7-5. — Reuters

CINCINNATI: James Blake stretches for a return on a service fault by Denis Istomin of Uzebekistan during Day 2 of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters. —AFP

French pair suffer early exit MASON: France’s Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon suffered early exits from the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. American James Blake, a former world number four, crashed out of the tournament in just 45 minutes but his compatriot Mardy Fish battled into the second round. Fish produced a spirited display to defeat Simon 7-6 7-5 and set up a match with Spanish eighth-seed Fernando

Verdasco. Monfils, the 16th seed, fell to Colombian qualifier Alejandro Falla 6-3 6-4 while Blake’s slide down the rankings continued with a 6-3 6-0 loss to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin. The good news for France came with Richard Gasquet defeating 12th seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 2-6 6-4 6-1. Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych,

the Wimbledon runner-up, began his campaign against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu in straightforward fashion with a 64 6-4 win in his second round match. The top seeds, including world number one Rafael Nadal, begin their second-round matches late yesterday. Nadal will face American Taylor Dent while Roger Federer takes on Istomin and Britain’s Andy Murray faces Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. —Reuters

TORONTO: Andy Murray of Great Britain. —AP

Murray loving life without a coach MASON: Britain’s Andy Murray said he is enjoying life without a coach after winning the Toronto Masters with just the help of notes from his mother. Murray sacked his long-time coach Miles Maclagan last month and then promptly beat rivals Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in Canada last week. “I felt good last week, it has only been a few weeks that I’ve been on my own. I played very well last week. Whether it is to do with having a coach or not, I don’t know, but I played some of my best tennis last week and definitely felt like I had improved since Wimbledon,” he said. Murray has established himself in the top four in the world but has yet to win a Grand Slam event. While he is in a strong position to end that wait at the US Open at the end of August, Murray said he will definitely play the year’s final Grand Slam without a coach.

“I’m not going to have a coach before the US Open that’s for sure and then I have got a break after that where I will sit down and think about what I want but I don’t want to rush into choosing someone,” he said. “It is a big responsibility, it’s a big decision, you spend a lot of time with them, a lot of weeks with them and you want the relationship to last as long as possible. You need to think long and hard about it,” he said, adding that he might use a coach for 20-25 weeks of the year rather than 30-40 weeks as in the past. For the moment though, the 23-yearold Scot is enjoying the freedom of being entirely in charge of his own game. “It’s nice in some ways that you do have a bit more responsibility on yourself to figure things out when you are on the court and you feel that a bit more, a little bit more freedom maybe.

“It is nice in many ways after having a coach for two and a half to three years to have a few weeks on your own,” he said. In Toronto, Murray took the advice of his mother Judy although he was careful not to paint her role as any kind of substitute coach. “I didn’t speak to her before any of my matches, she watched all of the guys I was going to be playing against and sent me a message the night before of things that she had seen, just small tactics. “She has not been spending any time on the court while I’ve been practicing but it’s just nice having someone in your family around,” he said. Murray said there was no question of him remaining without a coach permanently however, admitting he needed a “second pair of eyes.” “I will need somebody,” he said. —Reuters

19

SPORTS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Now it’s time to deliver, Bayern tell Ribery BERLIN: Bayern Munich have told playmaker Franck Ribery he must deliver when the new Bundesliga season kicks off tomorrow as payback for the club supporting him through injuries and scandals last term. The holders open their campaign against 2009 champions VfL Wolfsburg and the spotlight is likely to be on Ribery after a troubled season where he was involved in a French prostitution ring investigation and suspended for the Champions League final. “Franck is in a way obliged to deliver

now,” club president Uli Hoeness told reporters yesterday. “He knows that himself. The club backed him 100 percent and Franck knows that this was not necessarily self-evident for all his problems.” Frenchman Ribery, who missed most of the first half of last season with a knee injury, said he could not wait to start the season and put his troubles behind him. “Last season was for me, my family and all the people involved, very sad,” said the midfielder, who on Tuesday was banned three matches by the French

football federation (FFF) for his part in a training boycott during the World Cup over the expulsion of striker Nicolas Anelka. “This season I want to be fully fit and play all the games. I will play a great season, for me , my club and the fans.” Bayern have not been active on the transfer market, sticking with the team that won the German league and Cup double and lost the Champions League final to Inter Milan. Hoeness has said they could still sign a player before the transfer window closes.

Bayern’s Dutch winger Arjen Robben will miss Friday’s game which will be former England coach Steve McClaren’s first league match in charge of Wolfsburg. Robben is nursing a muscle injury that was aggravated during the World Cup and will keep him out for another month and a half. For Schalke 04, runners-up last season, the preparations for their trip to Hamburg SV on Saturday are far from perfect. Coach Felix Magath has yet to decide

whether he will use former Real Madrid striker Raul, who is not yet fully fit, in their season opener. Magath, who took over last year to steer them to a surprise second place and a Champions League spot, is also battling his own fans, angry with the sacking of a long-time fan representative on the board and the signing of Christoph Metzelder. The 29-year-old defender, who joined from Real, formerly played for Borussia Dortmund, Schalke’s bitter Ruhr region rivals. Former Germany captain Michael

Ballack could mark his official Bundesliga return as early as Sunday, when his new club Bayer Leverkusen travel to Borussia Dortmund, weakened by the departure of Paraguay international Nelson Valdez. Ballack is on the road to full recovery after an ankle injury he sustained in last season’s FA Cup final with Chelsea that meant he missed the World Cup. Werder Bremen will also struggle to fill the gap left by gifted midfielder Mesut Ozil, who agreed to join Real, when they travel to Hoffenheim.—Reuters

Liverpool, Man City, Juve target Europa progress

BIRMINGHAM: Aston Villa’s English midfielder James Milner in action in this file photo. —AFP

City seal Milner deal MANCHESTER: England midfielder James Milner completed his transfer worth a reported 26million pounds from Aston Villa to English Premier League rivals Manchester City yesterday. Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Ireland moved in the other direction as part of the deal which saw Villa manager Martin O’Neill resign over a week ago as he was dissatisfied with the club selling their best players. City had bought another of their midfield stars, English international Gareth Barry, in the close season last year. City manager Roberto Mancini was delighted to have secured his sixth big money signing since the end of last season. “I am very happy to have James with us, everybody knows we have admired him for some time,” said Mancini, who replaced Mark Hughes last season and guided City to fifth in the league. “He is an excellent midfielder, who can play in a number of positions. This is important for the team, and I am looking forward to seeing him play for us. We have a very strong squad, and this signing is a very important one for us. “James is already a very good player, who has proved he can play at the very top level. But he is also young and a good character, I think he can also improve and be a great player for Manchester City for a long time.” Milner, who previously played for Leeds United and Newcastle United, played for England in their disappointing World Cup finals campaign and signed off his spell with Villa with a goal in their opening day 3-0 win over West Ham. The 24-year-old is expected to make his

debut for City on Monday against Liverpool. Milner said that he had come to the club to win the top prize in domestic football. “It didn’t take too much selling by the boss when you see the players who are already here and the plans for the club,” said Milner, who captained England to the 2009 European Under-21 Championship final where they were outclassed by a German side which included Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, both of whom starred at the World Cup finals. “The last thing he said to me was ‘be ready for the next game’, and then he said ‘be ready to win the Premier League’, and that’s my ultimate aim - that’s what I want to do and why I’m here. “There’s a lot of competition to get there, it’s where we all want to be. I’m ambitious and I want to win trophies here. I believe this is a great place to do that and I believe we will do it. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.” Mancini - who is under enormous pressure to mount a strong title challenge this season had already signed Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, Spanish World Cup winner David Silva, German defender Jerome Boateng, Italian striker Mario Balotelli and Serbian fullback Aleksandar Kolarov. Milner’s arrival takes City’s close season spending to around 120 million pounds. Ireland’s departure had been predicted after he fell down the pecking order last season but Mancini paid a handsome tribute to the Irishman, who played 142 times for the club, scoring 23 goals. “I hope things go well for Stevie at Villa. He is also a very good player, and he has played a big part in City’s history,” said Mancini.—AFP

Monaco still goalless this season PARIS: Monaco are the only club in France’s top division yet to score this season after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Montpellier in a delayed match on Tuesday. Visitors Montpellier, who beat Bordeaux 10 in their opening game of the season, began positively but Monaco threatened first when Thomas Mangani’s well-struck free-kick prompted a smart stop from Geoffrey Jourdren. Guy Lacombe’s side went even closer in the 27th minute, with striker Park Chu-Young getting ahead of his marker to glance a header against the outside of the post with Jourdren beaten. Park had a penalty appeal turned down 13

minutes into the second half after appearing to be impeded by Benjamin Stambouli and Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud almost put his side in front moments later, only for Stephane Ruffier to brilliantly repel his bicycle kick. The match had been scheduled to take place on Saturday but fell victim to fierce thunderstorms in Monaco. The Ligue 1 table is jointly led by Toulouse and newly promoted Caen after two matches of the 2010-11 season. Champions Marseille and fellow title favourites Lyon and Bordeaux are all in the bottom five, having failed to win a game between them. Monaco drew 0-0 at Lyon in their opening match.—AFP

PARIS: Liverpool, Juventus and big-spending Manchester City are three of the top-rank teams hoping to avoid an early curtailment to their European ambitions in the Europa League today. A welter of high-profile clubs from across the continent will compete in the first-leg matches of the tournament’s play-off round, all gunning for one of 37 slots in the group phase alongside defending champions Atletico Madrid. Roy Hodgson was on the losing side in last year’s final after leading Fulham to a surprise appearance in the decider, but the experienced English coach has since jumped ship to Liverpool. His new employers continue their assault on this season’s competition against Trabzonspor, and Hodgson says he will select holding midfielder Javier Mascherano to face the Turkish side despite his desire to leave the club. “Of course I would play him on Thursday,” said Hodgson, whose side drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal in their Premier League opener on Sunday. “He is a Liverpool player and I hope he will continue to be a Liverpool player. For me, he will always be available for selection until the day comes when he’s no longer here.” Liverpool and fellow giants Juventus had to come through the Europa League third qualifying round after both sides finished seventh in their respective domestic leagues last term. Juve saw off Irish side Shamrock Rovers to reach the play-off round and now face a meeting with Austrians Sturm Graz. “The draw turned out to be a tricky one for us,” said Juventus coach Luigi Delneri, who took over from Alberto Zaccheroni earlier in the summer. “We can’t underestimate the task; I will field the best possible XI. I don’t know how far we can go, but we don’t want to set ourselves a limit.” Attention on City is likely to be intense, after they took their summer spending beyond 100 million pounds (120m euros) by completing the protracted signing of striker Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan last week. Balotelli could make his debut against Romanians FC Timisoara at the City of Manchester Stadium today. Competition for places in Roberto Mancini’s starting XI will now be stronger than ever, but goalkeeper Shay Given believes their strength in depth will give them an edge in the Europa League. “We have a strong squad so I’d imagine we’re probably one of the favourites, but we’ve got to go out on the pitch and prove that,” the Irishman told the UEFA website. “The Europa League (means) there’s a lot of games and the squad will be needed for those games, but we’ve got a strong chance of doing very, very well.” Michael Ballack could make his second competitive debut for Bayer Leverkusen when they host Tavriya Simferopol of the Ukraine, having rejoined his former club after leaving Chelsea at the end of last season. Leverkusen’s compatriots Borussia Dortmund tackle Azerbaijani side Qarabag and Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp is delighted to be returning to continental competition after a season in the European wilderness. “Maybe a club like Bayern Munich would not be too thrilled to take part in the Europa League but for us this is pure happiness,” said Klopp, whose side finished fifth in the Bundesliga in 200910. Other notable sides in action on Thursday include Napoli, Porto, Villarreal, Paris SaintGermain, CSKA Moscow and PSV Eindhoven, with the second legs taking place on August 24 and 26.—AFP

LONDON: Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard (second left) warms up with teammates during a training session at Liverpool’s training ground. Liverpool will play Trabzonspor in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying soccer match today. —AP

Bellamy’s Cardiff move sparks Motherwell fury LONDON: Wales captain Craig Bellamy left Manchester City for hometown club Cardiff City on a season-long loan deal on Tuesday but the striker’s move sparked fury at Scottish Premier League Motherwell. Championship (second division) team Cardiff faced immediate threats from Motherwell to send in bailiffs to collect an alleged debt over last year’s 175,000 pounds ($273,400) transfer of defender Paul Quinn. Motherwell, who said Cardiff should not be in the transfer market until the debt was paid, also threatened to issue a winding-up order. Chairman John Boyle told Sky Sports News: “We (Motherwell) have been put off, fobbed off and messed around since January. “We have been respectful and persistent but we had no other option but to take Cardiff to court on Friday and they didn’t even bother to turn up.

“We have no alternative but to take legal action and we will pursue it vigorously. We will consider issuing a winding-up order or literally sending bailiffs to their ground on a home match and collecting our cash,” added Boyle. Cardiff chief executive Gethin Jenkins said the Motherwell issue would be settled quickly. “Our lawyers have been in communication with them and it will be resolved within the next seven days,” said Jenkins. Bellamy left Manchester City under a cloud after being omitted from their 25-man Premier League squad by coach Roberto Mancini who said last week he would not play for the club again and was free to seek a new team. The much-travelled player was diplomatic about the Italian on Tuesday and refused to criticise Mancini. “There’s no ill feeling. I hope he does well, he’s a top manager,” former Liverpool, West Ham United,

Newcastle United and Norwich City striker Bellamy told a news conference. “I’ve come home, I don’t mind dipping (down for) a year and hopefully leading this club into the Premiership.”Bellamy, who has scored 73 Premier League goals, also said promotion to the top flight “would be fantastic for the football club, the city of Cardiff and Wales”. Mancini softened his previous comments, saying on Tuesday that a return to Manchester by Bellamy could not be ruled out. Cardiff manager Dave Jones said: “Bringing Craig (here) is another big step in the development of this football club”. The Welsh side narrowly missed out on promotion last season when they lost 3-2 to Blackpool in the playoff final. Cardiff last played in the top flight in 1962. Swansea were the last Welsh team to reach those heights until they went down in 1983.—Reuters

Arsenal backs plan for greater fan ownership

MADRID: New Real Madrid player Mesut Ozil from Germany poses for photographers with the team jersey after a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. —AP

LONDON: Arsenal is endorsing a scheme that promotes enhanced fan ownership by helping supporters buy small stakes in the English Premier League club. While not as far-reaching as the ownership model at Barcelona — the world’s most notable fan-owned team — supporters can make small contributions to the “Fanshares” initiative before gaining an actual portion of Arsenal. One Fanshare is priced at one hundredth of the value of actual Arsenal shares, which are currently worth 9,500 pounds ($15,000). Buyers will be entered into a ballot for a seat at the club’s annual general meeting, but anyone purchasing 100 Fanshares will have their membership status converted to receive full voting rights. The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, which already owns about 3 percent of the club, is running the initiative and it will have to acquire infrequently traded shares in Arsenal Holdings Plc.. The scheme will be promoted

at the first home game of the season on Saturday against Blackpool and details have been posted on the official club website. Arsenal’s biggest shareholder is Stan Kroenke with a 29.9 percent holding and the American sports investor has a place on the board — unlike Alisher Usmanov, the Russian who owns just over 26 percent through his investment vehicle Red and White Holdings. If either Kroenke or Usmanov take their stakes beyond 30 percent, an offer would have to be made for the remaining shares. If an investor buys more than 50 percent of the shares they gain legal control of the club. Anyone that reaches 90 percent can purchase the remaining shares. “The support Arsenal Fanshare has from all of the club’s major shareholders should allow all talk of a takeover to be put to one side,” said AST board member Tim Payton. “Arsenal Fanshare meets Arsenal supporters’ objective that the club remains in plural ownership. —AP

www.kuwaittimes.net

Problems with Pakistan cricket stem from the top ISLAMABAD: Age, merit and credentials seem to matter little when it comes to determining who will run cricket in Pakistan. It’s the prerogative of the president of Pakistan to appoint anyone he decides is qualified to run the Pakistan Cricket Board. A relationship with the president, then, is a key criteria. It was no surprise after Asif Ali Zardari took over as president in 2008 that within a month he replaced Nasim Ashraf as head of the PCB with the man of his choice — 70year-old Ijaz Butt. Butt, who played eight tests for Pakistan, also happens to be the brother-inlaw of the country’s defense minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar from the ruling Pakistan People Party. That kind of appointment certainly wasn’t unprecedented. The three previous

heads of the PCB _ Ashraf, Sheheryar Khan and Tauqir Zia — were also hand-picked by the then president General Pervez Musharraf. The previous three chairmen had promised to implement a new constitution and streamline the cricket board’s affairs, but all were replaced before it could be achieved. Butt has been no different. In almost two years since his appointment, the drafting of the constitution has continued, but a completion date remains unclear. With no clear set of rules at the highest administrative level, it’s little wonder that the Pakistan cricket team is inconsistent in international competition. The talent is undoubtedly there. “On paper, Pakistan still has a team full of talent, yet because it has been handled and managed so badly, it has been complete-

ly unsettled,” explains Osman Samiuddin, Pakistan editor for the popular global cricket website cricinfo.com. It was back in the 1960s when the president’s direct appointment of the country’s cricket board was first introduced. “Cricket needed money and patronage from the state to run itself,” Samiuddin said. “That need is no longer there as the sport makes enough money comfortably to run, yet the system remains in place in Pakistan.” During Butt’s tenure, Pakistan has lost 19 limited-overs internationals and won 12. In the test arena, Pakistan briefly celebrated its first test win against Australia in 15 years last month in England — at its homeaway-from-home for that series — while it also beat New Zealand in a test last year. But during that time, there have been nine test defeats and four drawn tests —

including a 3-0 series whitewash in Australia that resulted in senior players being banned from the national team. Parliamentary committees of both lower and upper houses have frequently summoned the top PCB officials for explanations about the inconsistencies and also requested Butt to step down, but it looks as though the PCB head has enough backing from the president — at least for the time being. Iqbal Mohammad Ali, chairman of the lower house’s standing committee on sports, last month wrote a letter to the president condemning several of Butt’s decisions. Ali’s main suggestion for change was that an age limit of 65 be introduced for the head of any sports federation. Something needs to be done to restore Pakistan’s cricket credibility. Evidence of the abundant natural talent has come in the

shortest form of the game: Pakistan won the World Twenty20 in England last year. But T20, while increasingly popular with the masses and the sponsors, is still yet to take hold among cricket purists. Under Butt’s lead, the Pakistan captaincy has been a problem issue in all three forms of the game. He has handed the captaincy to Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and now Salman Butt, but the team — it seems — is still looking for the right man to match the hopes of 170 million people of Pakistan. In patches, Pakistani players are a threat to any international team, but as a team it is far from matching the likes of Australia, India, Sri Lanka or South Africa. “There is no stability whatsoever,” says Samiuddin. “They (PCB) have not supported any captain they have themselves appointed, thus overseeing a remarkable four changes

in leadership in just over a year.” Off the field controversies are so badly managed by the PCB that after its own appointed inquiry committee first fined and banned seven cricketers after the winless tour of Australia, an arbitrator slashed the fines and lifted bans. The ambush on the Sri Lanka cricket team’s bus at Lahore, in which six police and a van driver were killed and several Sri Lankan players and officials were injured in March last year, was a major setback for Pakistan. Pakistan was subsequently stripped of its status as co-host for the 2011 World Cup — which is now being staged in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Foreign teams have made Pakistan a no-go zone, although the ICC is planning on sending an invitational World XI to get tours started again.—Reuters

Riaz rocks England Swann misses out on top ICC award LONDON: Graeme Swann was the most notable omission as the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the long list for their Cricketer of the Year awards. Eight players each up for three awards as part of the ICC ’s annual ceremony designed to honour Test, one-day international and combined performances. But no England player was up for the top prize of Cricketer of the Year. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis from South Africa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag from India, Shane Watson and Doug Bollinger from Australia and Sri L anka’s Mahela Jayawardene are all candidates for the Test, ODI and player of the year categories. Swann though failed to make the 16-strong list for the player of the year despite having taken 49 Test wickets at 27.55 and 28 one-day wickets at 23 in the qualification period. But the off-spinner, currently ranked the number three bowler in the world, is on the Test long-list alongside England seamer James Anderson. The long-lists of nominations were made by a fiveman ICC selection panel chaired by former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC cricket committee Clive Lloyd. The panel included former international players Angus Fraser of England, Matthew Hayden of Australia, Ravi Shastri of India and Zimbabwe’s Duncan Fletcher, also the former England coach. Shortlists for each award will be produced before the ceremony in Bengaluru, India on October 6. Long list of nom inees for leading 2010 ICC aw ards: Cricketer of the Year: Hashim Amla (RSA), Doug Bollinger (AUS), Michael Clarke (AUS), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (IND), Ryan Harris (AUS), Mitchell Johnson (AUS), Jacques Kallis (RSA), Morne Morkel (RSA), Ricky Ponting (AUS), Kumar Sangakkara (SRI), Virender Sehwag (IND), Dale Steyn (RSA), Sachin Tendulkar (IND), Daniel Vettori (NZL), AB de Villiers (RSA), Shane Watson (AUS) Test Player of the Year: Amla, James Anderson (ENG), Mohammad Asif (PAK), Bollinger, Dhoni, Tamim Iqbal (BAN), Mahela Jayawardene (SRI), Kallis, Simon Katich (AUS), Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera (SRI), Sehwag, Steyn, Graeme Swann (ENG), Tendulkar, Watson ODI Player of the Year: Amla, Bollinger, Dhoni, Tillekeratne Dilshan (SRI), Harris, Michael Hussey (AUS), Kallis, Ponting, Sehwag, Tendulkar, De Villiers, Vettori, Watson, Cameron White (AUS) —AFP

LONDON: Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz bowls a ball to England’s Matt Prior during the first day of the third cricket Test match at the Oval cricket ground. —AP

SCOREBOARD LONDON: Scoreboard at stumps on the first day of the third Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval here on Yesterday: England 1st Innings A. Strauss c K Akmal b Riaz 15 A. Cook c K Akmal b Asif 6 J. Trott c Hameed b Riaz 12 K. Pietersen c K Akmal b Riaz 6 P. Collingwood b Aamer 5 E. Morgan c K Akmal b Riaz 17 M. Prior not out 84 G. Swann c U Akmal b Asif 8 S. Broad lbw b Riaz 48 J. Anderson lbw b Asif 0 S. Finn lbw b Ajmal 0 Extras (b10, lb11, w6, nb5) 32 Total (all out, 62.3 overs, 303 mins) 233 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Cook), 2-35 (Strauss), 3-40 (Trott), 4-47 (Collingwood), 5-67 (Pietersen), 6-74 (Morgan), 7-94 (Swann), 8-213 (Broad), 9-214 (Anderson), 10-233 (Finn)

Bowling: Aamer 15-4-49-1 (1nb, 1w); Asif 20-5-68-3 (2nb); Riaz 18-6-63-5 (2nb, 5w); Ajmal 9.3-1-32-1 Pakistan 1st Innings Imran Farhat b Anderson 11 Yasir Hameed not out 36 Wahab Riaz not out 0 Extras (nb1) 1 Total (1 wkt, 18 overs, 75 mins) 48 To bat: Salman Butt, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Asif Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Farhat) Bowling: Anderson 7-2-19-1 (1nb); Broad 6-2-28-0; Finn 3-3-0-0; Swann 2-1-1-0 Match position: Pakistan are 185 runs behind England with nine first innings wickets standing.

Randiv banned, Dilshan fined COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday penalised Suraj R andiv and Tillakaratne Dilshan for indiscipline after Indian batsman Virender Sehwag was denied a century by an apparantly deliberate no-ball. Off-spinner Randiv was suspended for one match and fined his match fees for bowling the no-ball, while Dilshan for feited his fees af ter an inter nal inquiry revealed he may have prompted Randiv to do it. The incident occured on Monday when Sehwag was stranded on 99 not out as India raced to a six-wicket win in a one-day tri-series match in Dambulla, which ended amid controversy over whether Sri Lanka had played in the spirit of the game. India needed five runs to win and Sehwag just one more to complete his 13th hundred when off-spinner Suraj Randiv began the 35th over. His first ball went for four byes, levelling the

scores. Sehwag then smashed Randiv for a six but the delivery was declared a no-ball, meaning India had surpassed Sri Lanka’s total of 170 without any runs being added to the batsman’s score. Television replays showed Randiv overstepped by a long way, indicating he may have deliberately bowled the no-ball to deny Sehwag a century. “I don’t need to see replays, it was a deliberate no-ball,” Sehwag said after the match. “They did it because no team want to have a hundred scored against them.” The incident was slammed as “unsporting” and “against the spirit of the game”, prompting Sri Lanka Cricket to invesitigate the incident. “Sri L anka Cricket is extremely proud of its team and their achievements over the years,” the board said in a statement. —AFP

LONDON: Wahab Riaz took five wickets on debut as Pakistan ended the first day of the third Test against England in a sound position at The Oval here yesterday. Pakistan were 48 for one in reply to England’s first innings 233, a deficit of 185 runs, with the recalled Yasir Hameed, playing his first Test in three years, 36 not out. Disappointingly for Pakistan, they lost opener Imran Farhat in the last over of the day, bowled off the inside edge by James Anderson. Riaz, in as nightwatchman, survived three balls to be nought not out. Earlier, after England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and batted, 25-year-old left-arm seamer Riaz, in for the injured Umar Gul took five wickets for 63 runs in 18 overs as Pakistan looked to battle back from 2-0 down in this four-match series. Riaz was the first Pakistan bowler to take five or more wickets in an innings on Test debut since Yasir Arafat took five for 161 against India in Bangalore in 2007/08. England were in a parlous position at 94 for seven. But Matt Prior, as he’d done when making a century in England’s 354 run first Test win at Trent Bridge, revived the innings with an unbeaten 84 featuring 13 fours. The wicketkeeper received fine support from Stuart Broad, who made 48 after coming in at No 9 in what was an England record eighth-wicket stand against Pakistan of 119, surpassing the 99 shared by Peter Parfitt and David Allen at Leeds in 1962. Prior came in when England were 67 for five after the top order struggled against the movement generated by Pakistan’s seamers on a placid pitch offering a little but far from excessive movement off the seam. Mohammad Asif (three for 68) made the initial breakthrough. Alastair Cook’s run of low scores continued with the left-handed opener making just six, including an edged four down to third man. Cook, off the last ball of the second over, nicked Asif through to recalled wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, back in place of the injured Zulqarnain Haider. The Essex batsman, displaying minimal footwork, had been retained in a show of faith by the selectors in an unchanged England side. But this failure meant he’d scored just 41 runs in five innings this series at an average of 11.75. Riaz, on as first change, took a wicket with his ninth ball when he had Strauss (15) caught behind. It needed a referral to confirm the wicket after New Zealand umpire Tony Hill had ruled in the batsman’s favour, despite replays showing Strauss had got a thick outside edge. Riaz then had Jonathan Trott (12), fresh from a pair of fifties in England’s nine-wicket second Test win at Edgbaston, well caught by a diving Yasir Hameed at second slip after the batsman had tried to drive a ball angled across him on the ground where he made a debut century against Australia last year. And before lunch Riaz removed Kevin Pietersen, caught behind, with a good length ball after the star batsman could only manage six in more than an hour at the crease. Riaz had his fivewicket haul when Broad was lbw to a full length ball. Pakistan had been bowled out for record low scores against England of 80 and 72 at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston respectively. Hameed-opening in place of Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who dropped down the order-played an extraordinary shot when, pulling out of a hook, he still guided Broad for six over third man off the back of the bat. —AFP

BERN: Tottenham Hotspur’s Roman Pavlyuchenko (left) vies for the ball with Bern’s Young Boys’ Francois Affolter during their Champions League Group Play-off first leg football match. — AFP

Young Boys stun Tottenham LONDON: Roman Pavlyuchenko’s late strike gave Tottenham Hotspur a Champions League lifeline on a torrid night against Swiss club Young Boys as they clawed back from a calamitous start to lose their playoff first leg 3-2. Senad Lulic, Henri Bienvenu and Xavier Hochstrasser fired Young Boys into a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes on the plastic Stade de Suisse pitch in Berne but Sebastien Bassong replied before halftime and Pavlyuchenko’s unstoppable drive after 83 minutes left next Wednesday’s second leg in London delicately poised. In the night’s other four ties, fourtimes European champions Ajax Amsterdam drew 1-1 away to Dynamo

will now start slight favorites to progress. “In the end that was a great defeat if there is such a thing because at 3-0 down we were out of it,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports. “We didn’t look happy on the (plastic) surface, we couldn’t get hold of the ball and we didn’t look confident in our play and we were in desperate trouble to be fair. Now the tie is evenly balanced and we have a great chance at home.” Lulic had already struck the post for last season’s Swiss runners-up and after four minutes the ball dropped kindly to him on the edge of the Tottenham area and he drilled a shot

“If someone had told me before the match we would have beaten Tottenham 3-2, I would have been more than satisfied,” Young Boys coach Vladimir Petkovic said. “I’m very proud of my team. 3-2 is a very good advantage for the second leg.” Dynamo Kiev, trying to reach the group stages for the fifth consecutive season, had Denys Garmash sent off 11 minutes into the second half for a tackle on Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen and the Ukrainians immediately went behind when Vertonghen headed home from the resulting free kick. Ajax, looking to reach the group stage for the first time since 2004, surrendered their lead nine minutes later

Ajax draw in Champions League Kiev while Norwegians Rosenborg Trondheim beat FC Copenhagen 2-1 at home. Sparta Prague lost 2-0 at home to Slovakian side Zilina and Zenit St Petersburg eeked out a narrow 1-0 win against French side Auxerre. Five more playoff ties begin on Wednesday including a clash between Werder Bremen and Sampdoria. Premier League Tottenham have not played in the continent’s blue riband club competition since reaching the semi-finals of the old European Cup in 1962 and their hopes of mixing it with the powerhouses of the game in the group stages appeared in tatters as a fired-up Young Boys put them to the sword early on. However, with two away goals they

past Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes. Nine minutes later Bienvenu left Tottenham defender Michael Dawson in his wake before calmly side-footing past Gomes. With Spurs in disarray, Hochstrasser rifled a shot past Gomes after a defence-splitting pass by Moreno Costanzo. The Swiss crowd were in party mood but Bassong silenced them after 42 minutes with a thumping header to give the visitors some hope for the second half. Marco Schneuwly should have restored Young Boys’ three-goal lead after the break before Russia striker Pavlyuchenko smashed a shot high past Marco Wolfli after being sent clear by substitute Robbie Keane.

when some poor defending allowed Oleg Gusev to equalise. “This is a good result but a pity that we did not convert more chances because then we would have gone home with a win and that would have been fantastic,” Ajax coach Martin Jol told NOS-TV. Alexander Kerzhakov gave bigspending Zenit St Petersburg a thirdminute lead against Auxerre but the Russians faded and Dennis Oliech struck the woodwork for Auxerre and Poland striker Ireneusz Jelen also missed two great chances for the visitors. Slovak champions Zilina forged a commanding 2-0 lead away to Sparta Prague, Momodou Ceesay and Tomas Oravec both on target. —Reuters

Anelka scoffs at 18-match ban PARIS: Nicolas Anelka has described the French Football Federation (FFF) as a “bunch of clowns” after they handed the striker an 18-game international ban for his role in the national team’s World Cup revolt in South Africa. The 31-year-old was handed the suspension by an FFF disciplinary commission on Tuesday, a decision derided by Anelka, who said he never intended to play for France again anyway. “For me, that commission thing is absolute nonsense, an aberration, a farce, an attempt not to lose face,” Anelka was quoted as saying by daily France Soir on Wednesday. “They know that very well. They didn’t punish anybody... because the Les Bleus chapter was closed for me on June 19, when I was kicked out of Knysna,” he added, referring to the town where

France had their World Cup training camp. Anelka was banished from the France squad in South Africa for insulting then coach Raymond Domenech at half time of a 2-0 defeat by Mexico in Polokwane, his 69th international appearance. “They just entertained the public,” Anelka said of the commission hearing. “They’d better turn the page because (new France coach) Laurent Blanc needs to work in peace. These people are clowns. It makes me die of laughter,” he added. “For me, since the World Cup in South Africa, the France team is all in the past... I wear a blue shirt with Chelsea every weekend and that’s far enough for me,”The striker did not attend the hearing, where World Cup captain Patrice Evra was banned for five matches for leading a boycott of a

training session in support of Anelka. The FFF also banned Franck Ribery for three games and Jeremy Toulalan for one. Eric Abidal was the only one of five players involved in Tuesday’s hearing to escape without sanction. Ribery accepted his ban but felt the players at the hearing had been cast as scapegoats. “This is a great disappointment for me,” Ribery told reporters ahead of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga opener against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. “What happened at the World Cup happened to all of us. I do not know why only five players had to go to Paris (for the hearing).” Unlike Anelka, however, Ribery plans to continue playing for France. “Of course. There is no question about that,” the 27-yearold added. —Reuters

NBK recruitment drive to back national labor

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Wataniya Airways signs deal with

BHP bets on crop boom with Potash bid

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

www.kuwaittimes.net

Trade recovery boosts Maersk, DP World earnings DP World H1 net $206m vs forecasts of $148-$158m DUBAI/COPENHAGEN: A recovery in global trade lifted profits at key port and shipping operators yesterday and pointed to continued strong results in the second half of the year. Danish shipping and oil group A P Moller-Maersk rebounded into profit in the first half, benefiting from a recovery in freight rates and volumes to pre-crisis levels, and lifted its 2010 outlook. Dubai’s government-controlled DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, reported growing container volumes and better pricing, taking its profit past analysts’ expectations. Figures from the two groups support evidence of rising world trade flows-Maersk in particular is seen as a barometer of global trade as its fleet has 14.6 percent of all container shipping capacity. The Suez Canal said recently it had seen its highest daily revenue since the 2008 financial crisis, while Germany’s TUI AG said it saw a rebound in demand at its HapagLloyd container shipping unit. A P Moller-Maersk CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said container rates were back at 2008 levels and volumes were close to that mark as analysts heralded a surge in global restocking. “Overall expectations for the A P Moller-Maersk Group are that the result for 2010 will exceed $4 billion,” the group said, upgrading its outlook made last month that the result would exceed the 2008 level of $3.5 billion. Andersen told Reuters in a phone interview: “The market has normalized in terms of both demand and capacity, but the question remains if we’ll see consumption pick up in Europe and the US to drive the market ... That hasn’t changed for the past three quarters.” Compared with 2009, Maersk’s freight rates rose 31 percent and volumes 11 percent, rebounding to 2008 levels. DP World’s first-half net profit attributable to shareholders reached $164 million, the company said. Net profit after tax from continuing operations rose to $206 million from $188 million a year ago, beating forecasts of between $148 million and $158 million. DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said new terminals and improvements in non-container revenue, along with continued cost management, helped lift earnings. Joice Mathew, head of research at United Securities LLC, said: “The increase in revenue indicates returning of pricing power on to the hands of port operators as the global restocking cycle is in progress.” A.P. Moller-Maersk, which includes the world’s biggest container shipping company Maersk Line, swung to a net profit of 13.4 billion Danish crowns ($2.3 billion) for the first six months of 2010 from a loss of 3.67 billion a year earlier. The result for Denmark’s biggest company beat all forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts, where the average expectation was for a net profit of 9.12 billion crowns. Due to increasing volumes, Maersk began redeploying laid-up vessels in the second quarter, putting 14 ships back into service by the end of July from 19 laid up at end-2009. Andersen said, however, that fourth-quarter shipping rates would be lower than current rates after the peak season ends. Maersk said it expected second-half container shipping results to be on par with the first half, but warned there was “significant uncertainty” about the fourth quarter. Sharaf said he saw stronger results for the rest of the year, driven by seasonal trade flows, contributions from new terminals and improvement in non-container revenue. “Uncertainty lingers over the sustainability of global trade volumes in the second half,” Sharaf said. “We are on track to meet full-year results in line with our expectations.” DP World’s first-half container volume climbed 7 percent. Maersk’s APM Terminals unit-which with sixmonth revenue of $2.18 billion and operating profits of $607 million is bigger than DP World-saw the volume of containers it handled rise 6 percent in the first half, below estimated global market growth of 12 percent, the Danish group said. Maersk shares were off 1.2 percent by 1144 GMT, recovering from session lows, while DP World gained 3.1 percent. -—Reuters

KUWAIT: Fahad Al-Fahad (left), Rana Al-Rasheed, Marketing Manager of VIVA Kuwait (middle) and Dany Doueik, CCO of VIVA Kuwait (right). Engineer Najeeb Al-Awadi (right), the CEO of VIVA Kuwait. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

VIVA Kuwait demonstrates 4G network By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: VIVA Kuwait invited the press to a demonstration of the newly introduced 4G network on Tuesday at its Marina mall branch. As VIVA Kuwait has already tested the latest standards in mobile network tech-

nology - the 4G- lays the foundation for Long Term Evolution (LTE). It increases the capacity and speed of mobile telephone networks. A 4G network will make it even more feasible for VIVA Kuwait’s customers to access Internet services such as online TV, blogging,

social networks, and interactive gaming all on the go. Mobile Multimedia service will also prove to be even more enjoyable with VIVA Kuwait’s 4G network, which also improves mobility, provides high throughput. This also means a more efficient use of radio and online

live streaming TV networks, reduced latency, and plug and play feature that allows the addition of new device without requiring reconfiguration. “Testing the 4G network in Kuwait is an exciting advancement for all us since we know that LTE is going to take the communication

sector to a more advanced level,” said Engineer Najeeb Al-Awadi, CEO of VIVA Kuwait. “It is a privilege for us to give customers an opportunity to experience LTE which is the latest standard in mobile communication, with its advanced efficiency, high capacity, and speed,” added Al-Awadi.

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

DP World at 2-month high after H1 results

SHANGHAI: Amateur models pose during launching ceremony of new global brand, aimed at China calling the new brand “dENIZEN” yesterday in Shanghai. Jeans maker Levi Strauss and Co launched a new global brand in China, joining a growing list of companies that hope to crack this fast-growing and youthful market by tailoring their products to Chinese tastes. —AP

Levi’s launches a global brand, aimed at China SHANGHAI: Jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co launched a new global brand in China yesterday, joining a growing list of companies that hope to crack this fast-growing and youthful market by tailoring their products to Chinese tastes. From Nissan sedans to watches and Hermes luxury goods, global companies increasingly are designing products and brands with the Chinese market in mind as incomes rise amid rapid economic growth. The newest incarnation of Levi’s will aim at a broader segment of Chinese consumers than traditional Levi’s, which sell for over $100 in the upscale malls along Shanghai’s tony Nanjing Rd. shopping strip. “In the last few years we seen a new group of consumers,” said Aaron Boey, president for Levi Strauss’s Asia-Pacific division. “Many of them want stylish clothes but at accessible prices,” he said. Levi is calling the new brand “dENIZEN.” The Levi’s brand enjoys an avid following in China, especially among relatively welloff younger shoppers, some of whom are collectors.

“Some people favor the classics, such as No. 501; others look for different designs and some are obsessed with Levi’s’ cowboy spirit or the history behind the brand,” said Christina Wong, managing editor of INSTYLE magazine in Shanghai. San Francisco, California-based Levi Strauss is keen to expand its base in one of the world’s biggest consumer markets, where sales of apparel and footwear hit $169 billion last year, according to a report by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and growing at a healthy double-digit pace. Already, sales of garments and shoes in China have outpaced pricey Japan, accounting for more than a third for all of Asia, and increasingly, fashion-conscious Shanghai is viewed as a foothold for the region. A slew of retailers have crowded into the city’s department stores and malls, from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton to more affordable labels like Esprit and H&M. In May, Japan’s Fast Retailing opened a mammoth flagship Uniqlo outlet on Nanjing Rd., where crowds lined up for weeks to check out its latest line of China fashions. From bever-

ages to shampoos, global companies are finding ways to appeal to local consumers with made-for-China brands. On a more upscale note, Hermes International’s new China brand of clothing and other products, Shang Xia, will debut with the opening of its first store next month in Shanghai. Levi Strauss, which retreated from the China market for a time in the mid-1990s citing concerns over labor rights, now has hundreds of outlets in China and plans to open up to 1,000 by 2015. The company, which also sells Dockers pants and Signature brand products, is honing its focus on China’s emerging middle class-a popular strategy in the recession-stricken age of less-ismore in more mature Western markets. The new label Levi’s jeans will sell for the equivalent of $40 to $60 — a range likely to suit the relatively young 20-40 age range that dominates China’s spending on clothing and accessories. With Lee, Diesel and other big brands coming on strong, there is plenty of competition.

“If Levi’s doesn’t move quickly, it might lose market share,” said Wong. Many Chinese consumers are keen on a local, or “nationalistic” identity for the products they buy and companies are matching this, even if products are destined for the global market. Nissan Motor Co.’s Teana sedan, for example, has a full-size back seat, conservative looks and a reasonable price. It is sold globally, though it was designed with Chinese buyers in mind. “We have not seen this before to the extent we are seeing this in China. We are dealing with 1 billion people with income per capita growing exponentially,” said Max Magni, a researcher with consulting fir m McKinsey & Co. “Chinese consumers are not brand loyal, but they are brand conscious. They are trying something new all the time,” Magni said. At the same time, consumers are becoming more pragmatic and looking for extra value, and having a brand that caters to their tastes can provide some of that extra appeal, he says. —AP

DUBAI: Dubai’s DP World hit a two-month closing high yesterday after the port operator posted higher-than-expected half-year results. Middle East markets remained in a sideways trading range, with few notable stock moves and volumes a fraction of historical averages. DP World, which is listed on the Nasdaq Dubai, climbed 3.1 percent to its highest finish since June 23. “The increase in revenue indicates returning pricing power to port operators as the global restocking cycle is in progress,” said Joice Mathew, head of research at United Securities in Muscat. “The company had been able to contain its costs and increase margins by improving on efficiencies.” Dubai’s index fell for a first day in three, with low volumes offering little hope of a prolonged uptrend. Emaar Properties fell 0.9 percent and Dubai Financial Market lost 0.7 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank fell 0.5 percent after Credit Suisse cut its price target for the UAE lender to 3.17 dirhams from 3.33 dirhams, giving it a neutral rating. The index slipped 0.4 percent, extending its year-todate losses to 17.9 percent. Just over 39 million shares were traded, barely an eighth of the two-year daily average. “I believe many investors are resigned that things will continue in the same trend,” said Mohammed Yasin, Shuaa Securities chief executive. Yasin said the market needed a trigger to lift sentiment and with it trading activity. He warned thirdquarter earnings were unlikely to provide this and instead urged government-related institutions to step in and support the market. “Many companies are trading at inconsistent valuations, which strengthens the argu-

ment that current prices are down to confidence, not company performance,” said Yasin. Without improved sentiment, any gains are likely to be short-lived, he added. Hesham Tuffaha, Bakheet Investment Group head of research, highlighted similar mispricing on the Saudi bourse, with valuations becoming disconnected from company fundamentals. “Investors need to look at the financial ratios, some stocks like SABIC and other petrochemical names are trading at around 12 times forward p-e, while others such as many in the retail sectors are 25 p-e,” said Tuffaha. “No one can confidently predict how the market will perform in the long term because there’s so much uncertainty over the global economy, but in the short-term, these p-e ratios are likely to remain the same.” Saudi Arabia’s index fell 0.7 percent to a month low as oil slumped to a similar milestone, weighing on sentiment in the world’s top crude exporter. Qatar’s benchmark rose for a third day, although investors remain wary despite the country’s bullish macroeconomic outlook, with gross domestic product forecast to grow 16 percent in 2010. “Active investors are targeting stocks in which the government has large government stakes,” said Thamer Gadallah, head of investments at Almana Group. This is because they believe these firms are more likely to receive state support should there be another economic downturn and are therefore a lower investment risk. “People’s fingers are still burned from 2008,” Gadallah said. —Reuters

BUSINESS

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

ABK MasterCard Titanium Geant Credit Card offers

NBK Human Resources Manager Emad Al-Ablani

NBK executive management in a group photo with new recruits

Bank offers over 300 jobs after recruiting 1000 nationals

NBK launches recruitment drive to back national labor KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, recently launched a full-fledged recruitment campaign as part of the Bank’s ongoing endeavors geared towards supporting national labor force. The bank is currently focusing on further expansion of both its recruitment and career development plans in addition to continuous training programs with plans to recruit

more than 300 nationals during the forthcoming period. Commenting on the importance of the campaign, NBK Human Resources Manager Emad Al-Ablani said that this campaign, which constitutes an integral part of NBK’s corporate social responsibility, demonstrates the bank’s commitment to supporting talented and qualified Kuwaiti nationals and empowering them to realize their potentials, adding

that NBK’s recruitment plans are meant to keep pace with the bank’s expansion on both regional and international levels”. Al-Ablani indicated that NBK has recruited a total of 100 male and female nationals during the last two years despite the adverse and unfavorable circumstances associated with the global financial crisis. He further added that NBK maintains its position as one of the

More than just monitors

By Kamel Mansour

country’s largest private sector employers and has always met the required level of representation of nationals in the bank’s workforce. “This drive is also an illustration of the bank’s continuing endeavors to provide career opportunities for nationals and to support the country’s aim to encourage young nationals to assume roles in the private sector,” Al-Ablani added.

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 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, HDlevel 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. Comprising the Ex80VX and the E80V, LG’s new monitor series boasts a truly arresting design. With a premium, slim-line body, the Ex80VX rests on a stylish, circular-necked stand, while a seamless front look makes for a thinner, more polished look. The hidden bezel, the world’s first applying on the monitor, 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. Eco-friendliness is a key concern throughout LG, and the E80 series was designed with this in mind. As well as cutting back on the use of hazardous materials such as halogen and mercury, the E80s use up to 38 percent less energy (on the

by offering a cash back program in the form of shopping vouchers. According to Stewart Lockie, General Manager (acting), Retail, “we are happy that through our partnership with MasterCard, we can introduce new benefits and services in the shape of airport lounge access and also the Free Personal and Travel Accident Insurance on the ABK MasterCard Titanium Geant credit card.” Geant stands as the third largest hypermarket in the world presently. Customers can avail of ABK Geant La Carte credit cards or prepaid cards and enter into the La Carte Loyalty program, which gives upto 1% cash back rewards on purchases at the Geant outlet at the 360 mall. Of course, the cards can be used at any of the 29.4 million outlets that accept MasterCard as well.” He further added “customers using their cards at Geant at 360 mall will have a wide range of products which are especially discounted for them. Moreover, they can avail of specially designated check-out lanes, to make the whole Geant experience faster and pleasant.” For further details please call our 24 Call Center on 1899 899 or logon to www.eahli.com.

Elliott Wave principle in action applied to the DJIA

E80 series delivers pinnacle of LG technology and design KUWAIT: LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, will launch its brand new E80 series in September 2010. The E80 series is a collection of monitors that are as exquisitely designed as they are technically outstanding. “As a leader in the LED monitor market, LG is preparing to take customer satisfaction to new heights with its brand new premium monitors, the E80 series,” said H.S. Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “With its unique, classy look, the E80 series once again confirms LG’s reputation for innovative design, while its Super+ resolution function ensures the monitors have an exceptional picture, too.” With Super+ Resolution, as well as a mega contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 which is significantly higher than conventional monitors, the new E80 series delivers an exceptionally crisp and vivid picture, even with dimly-lit movies, games or pictures. Through LG’s mould-breaking Super+ Resolution technology, the E80 series produce an

KUWAIT: ABK MasterCard Titanium Geant Credit Card offers complimentary access to the Pearl Business lounge in Kuwait Airport, complimentary access to the Marhaba Lounges in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 in Dubai International Airport and Free Travel Accident Insurance.” Through our association with MasterCard, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait is pleased to announce that ABK MasterCard Titanium Geant credit cardholders now have complimentary access to Kuwait airport’s Pearl Business Lounge and Dubai International’s Marhaba lounges at Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Moreover, each card admits up to two children under the age of 12 for free. In addition, ABK have also extended the Free Travel Accident Insurance cover to the ABK MasterCard Titanium Geant Credit Card. Pay for your flights with your ABK Titanium card and benefit from complimentary travel and personal accident insurance. The MasterCard Titanium ABK Geant Credit Card and La Carte Prepaid cards, introduced in February 2010, are the first co-branded hypermarket cards in Kuwait, offering ABK’s valued customers a new ease of lifestyle

21.5-inch model) than conventional monitors, according to tests carried out in LG’s own labs. Easier and More Convenient The benefits continue to unfold with an easy-to-control OSD - which makes it simpler and quicker to turn your computer on and off - Dual Web, a Cinema Mode and Original Ratio. By letting users divide the screen in two, Dual Web makes multi-tasking easy and convenient. The Cinema Mode, meanwhile, creates the ideal environment for viewing online video clips by dimming areas of the screen excluded from the viewer’s mouse drag. And Original Ratio enables users to watch videos in their original 4:3 wide format without any onscreen distortion. With the LED monitor market growing so quickly, LG has once again set the standard with its excellent E80 series. Boasting superb design and functionality, the E80 monitors encompass the very best in LG know-how, while once again providing consumers with precisely the features and reliability they need.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails,” Bertha Calloway Elliott discovered that for every five wave impulsive moves upward, three corrective moves would follow. The Wave may extend or shorten in Form as a result of political or economical news and may take ample time to allow the investors to decide where the market is heading, but the shape is unchanged despite the Type of the move whether corrective or impulsive. Who is Ralph Nelson Elliott (1871-1948)? During the 1930’s, R N Elliott discovered a rhythm in the market which he called “The Wave Principle”. Unlike the common cycle theories, the Wave Principle was not based on fixed periodicities of recurring cycles, but rather was founded on repetitive Patterns which did not pay heed to time in as much as it adhered to Forms. Elliott first published his findings of “The Wave Principle” in a series of articles in the Financial World in 1939. Seven years later, his grand oeuvre and final publication was in “Nature’s Law” which delved more into mysticism to explain the rationale behind his Principle. Elliott redefined the approach of speculative markets to reformulate the random events into a harmonized, welldefined structure. In other words, he handed down a trading system to steer the path of investors into the next valley or hill, to adjust the sails in the waves of the market. The Current Wave in the Making. The waves are clearer

in hindsight, but Elliott can eliminate doubt and probabilities to direct and to give the investor clearer vision when the movement defines certain Forms. The Zig-Zag is a corrective movement in the market in five waves opposite the main uptrend followed by a three corrective waves in the direction of the main uptrend which should not cover the whole ground of the first five waves. Thereafter, it ends with a five wave move to finish the pattern. The Inverted Zig-Zag is a term given to the 53-5 set of corrective waves in a downward trend. In the last publication on 25th July 2010, I mentioned that between April 2010 and July 2010, the market gave signs to indicate the formation of ZigZag wave which was the first downward impulsive move after the Interim Peak reached on 26th April 2010. The triangle is another corrective movement with bounded range where the market moves in a defined five-set of three-waves each; three sets move in the opposite direction of the trend and two sets in the

main direction of the pursuing trend. Between 6th May 2010 and 9th August 2010, the fourth wave of this Zig-Zag took ample time to finalize. It formed a Triangle composed of five legs with the final sub-wave finishing in a smaller triangle. This fourth wave triangle is unlike the normal traditional triangles where its boundaries taper off. Triangles are quite unpredictable at the beginning of the move, yet when they start taking shape, can be highly predictive. Subsequently, the market shows a Thrust, a quick move in the direction of the main trend that is currently downward. This formation demonstrates a tidal struggle of ebb and flow of optimism and pessimism depending on the investor’s discounting of all events which are culminations of current and future anticipations of the market. In simpler terminology, the triangle acts as a spring. The tighter and the more it is wound, the more the energy is propelled once the tension between the opposing market players is released.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2830000 .4430000 .3660000 .2730000 .2760000 .2560000 .0045000 .0020000 .0779770 .7597100 .4020000 .0750000 .7447630 .0045000 .0500000

.2930000 .4530000 .3740000 .2820000 .2850000 .2630000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787610 .7673450 .4180000 .0790000 .7522490 .0072000 .0580000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2872500 .4457040 .3686440 .2753250 .2784210 .0494880 .0390730 .2586680 .0369580 .2117510 .0033660 .0061770 .0025640 .0033790 .0041630 .0782460 .7623220 .4062500 .0766490 .7475450 .0063830

.2893500 .4488520 .3712470 .2772750 .2803920 .0498390 .0393500 .2604950 .0372200 .2132500 .0033840 .0062200 .0025830 .0034030 .0041920 .0787450 .7671830 .4091270 .0771380 .7523120 .0064280

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2893500 .4488520 .2772750 .0771380

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.385 6.183

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

3.369 2.567 3.870 212.340 37.166 4.163 6.354 9.060 0.296 0.310

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 77.039 79.379 750.570 767.320 78.672

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 53.400 50.705 1.223 197.250 407.970 193.800 6.217 33.775

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

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 288.780 Euro 371.370 Sterling Pound 452.520 Canadian dollar 279.010 Turkish lire 190.750 Swiss Franc 276.610 Australian dollar 257.590 US Dollar Buying 287.145

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL CASH 261.100 767.720 4.220 281.000 566.900 14.100 51.300 167.800 53.480 373.800

408.070 0.194 93.190 3.880 206.600 749.730 3.380 6.360 79.410 77.080 213.840 41.860 2.566 453.000 278.500 6.300 9.250 78.670 288.700

TRAVELLER?S CHEQUE 453.000 288.700

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

37.710 6.170 0.035

GOLD 1,316.080

10 Tola

GOLD 242.000 122.000 63.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

37.850 6.490 0.035 0.273 0.252 3.460 409.940 0.195 93.190 48.000 4.520 208.100 1.967 48.100 749.910 3.500 6.610 79.640 77.080 213.840 41.860 2.736 455.000 40.100 280.000 6.300 9.360 198.263 78.770 289.100 1.260

SELL DRAFT 259.600 767.720 4.157 279.500

213.800 50.706 371.300

Rate for Transfer 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

Selling Rate 288.400 280.852 450.538 372.520 276.422 706.885 763.360 78.500 79.195 76.875 406.970 50.684 6.195 3.373

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

2.563 4.164 6.373 3.371 9.074 6.291 3.857

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency 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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 288.600 3.385 6.195 2.580 4.160 6.390 78.680 77.170 767.200 50.695 455.000 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 409.900 5.750 375.000 283.700

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000 US Dollar 288.100 Euro 373.450 Pound Sterling 451.900 Canadian Dollar 281.450 Japanese Yen 3.435 Indian Rupee 6.190 Egyptian Pound 50.670 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.562 Bangladesh Taka 4.151 Philippines Peso 6.385 Pakistan Rupee 3.372 Bahraini Dinar 767.050 UAE Dirham 78.520 Saudi Riyal 76.910 *Rates are subject to change

BUSINESS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dow reports second quarter 2010 results Dow JVs drive equity earnings KUWAIT: The Dow Chemical Company, a leading science and technology company, delivered sales of $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2010. Sales rose 20 percent versus the same period last year. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, sales increased 26 percent, driven by price gains of 19 percent and volume growth of 7 percent. Sales were up in all operating segments and in all geographic areas, with particular strength in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Emerging geographies collectively posted volume gains nearly double that of the total Company. Dow reports earnings of $0.50 per share, or $0.54 per share excluding certain items. This compares with a reported loss of $0.47 per share in the second quarter of 2009, or earnings of $0.05 per share excluding certain items and discontinued operations. Sequentially, earnings increased 22 percent from $0.41 per share. Equity earnings were $244 million, double the amount in the same period of 2009, driven by strength in Dow Corning and the Company’s joint ventures in Kuwait. Broad-based price increases were also achieved in all geographic areas, led by North America and EMEA, which were up 20 and 21 percent, respectively. All operating segments reported double-digit price increases except Health and Agricultural Sciences and Electronic and Specialty Materials. At a Company level, demand grew 7 percent, led predominantly by the combined Performance segments, which achieved 12 percent volume growth versus the same period last year. The strongest increase was reported in Electronic and Specialty Materials, which achieved 20 percent volume growth versus the year-ago period. Demand growth continued to be particularly strong in North America and EMEA, where volume was up 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Sales in the Basic Chemicals segment were $732 million, up 25 percent from the same period last year. Volume increased 3 percent and price was up 22 percent. Equity earnings for this segment increased to $54 million for the quarter, compared with $9 million in the year-ago period, due to improved results in EQUATE and MEGlobal. EBITDA for the quarter was $100 million, versus a loss of $107 million in the year-ago period, which included a $75 million restructuring charge. Sales in Basic Plastics were $3.0 billion, up 26 percent from the same quarter last year. Double-digit price gains were reported in all geographic areas. Global industry demand for polyethylene continued to be strong in the quarter, most notably for packaging applications. However, Dow’s polyethylene sales in Latin America were impacted by an unplanned outage that limited production, thereby contributing to overall volume contraction. Equity earnings for the segment were $59 million, compared with $35 million in the year-ago period.

The rise was largely attributed to EQUATE, which benefited from capacity expansion versus last year. Basic Plastics EBITDA for the quarter was $696 million, which included a $10 million pretax gain on the divestiture of Styron. This compares with EBITDA of $405 million in the year-ago period, which included a $1 million restructuring charge. Commenting on the Company’s outlook, Dow’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew N. Liveris said: “Dow has continued to experience high demand for products in downstream, market-driven sectors. Against this backdrop, we remain focused on executing our strategic and financial plan. Our broad geographic and portfolio presence in highgrowth sectors such as electronics, water and other infrastructure markets bodes well for our ability to outpace the overall economic recovery. We remain focused on realizing the full potential of our new portfolio and lean cost structure, while executing on our innovation engine. We have the plan, the people and the technology to deliver continued earnings growth.” “The Middle East continued to drive growth in the second quarter, fueled by growing customer demand for Dow’s innovative solutions and the contributions of our regional joint ventures to the bottom line,” said Markus Wildi, President, Dow Middle East. “The Middle East remains a key emerging geography for Dow, and our continued success in the region is directly linked to the continued growth and success of our customers and partners, and of the communities in which we operate.” Middle East highlights for 2010 include: * Dow and Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C (PIC) of Kuwait inaugurated the Greater EQUATE facility, an expansion of Dow and PIC’s successful 15-year joint venture, EQUATE Petrochemical Company. * Dow appointed Dr. Ilham Kadri as General Manager for the Middle East and Africa of the Company’s new Dow Advanced Materials Division (AMD). Dr. Kadri is based in Dubai at Dow’s Middle East headquarters. Dow Advanced Materials is the preeminent advanced materials enterprise. * Saudi Aramco and Dow announced that a proposed joint venture petrochemical project continues to make progress with the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work expected to be completed in mid-2011. Saudi Aramco and Dow confirmed that they have decided on Jubail Industrial City as the planned site location for the project. * Dow unveiled its vision for the proposed Middle East and Africa Research and Development (R&D) Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) at the first Dow Innovation Summit held on campus. During the Summit, Dow launched the Dow Sustainability Innovation Award at KAUST, an annual scholarship competition.

Gulf Bank sponsors ‘Connecting Classrooms’ global initiative KUWAIT: Gulf Bank yesterday announced that it is the main sponsor for the ‘Connecting Classrooms’ program, a global initiative through the British Council, that creates partnerships between clusters of schools in the United Kingdom (UK) and others across the world. This partnership brings an international dimension to young people’s learning, to improve their knowledge and understanding of other cultures and prepare them for life and work as global citizens. This endorsement, in all countries, provides a platform from which broader, strategic links can be formed between areas or districts in partnered countries. The ‘Connecting Classrooms’ initiative further provides support to schools and educational authorities, partnership seminars for Middle East and schools in the UK, funding for reciprocal visits, professional development for teachers and school leaders, advice and support in the use of information communication technology (ICT) tools and recognition through international school awards. Fawzy Al-Thunayan, General Manager of Board Affairs at Gulf Bank said: “The ‘Connecting Classrooms’ initiative confirms our solid approach in providing the right benchmark for Kuwaiti students to interact across geographical boundaries and enhance their understanding of other societies, languages and cultures. The program offers creative and stimulating ways that lead to achieving core educational values and helps strengthen the curriculum to raise the standards of achievement across various educational institutions.” The ‘Connecting Classrooms’ initiative focuses on three main pillars, which are joint curriculum projects that help reinforce a global dimension in young people’s learning, enhancing the professional development for globalizing education and making sure that teachers and school leaders are capable enough to lead on an international level, and providing international school awards, which are considered the benchmark of excellence and recognizes schools’ commitment to developing global citizens.

23

Kuwait could see another budget surplus in FY10/11 Crude prices rise on weak dollar, stronger oil demand... KUWAIT: After starting the month weakly, crude oil prices crept slowly upward through July, reversing most of their earlier losses. The price of Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) finished July at $73 per barrel (pb) after dipping below $68 at the start of the month. Nevertheless, this is still some way off the near 2-year high of $84 recorded in early May. Despite a certain amount of volatility, prices have been fluctuating near the $70-80 pb range for the past 9 months, leaving $70 looking like a floor for prices at present. Crude’s solid performance through July came despite fears of a softening global recovery may be softening, including data showing that US GDP growth decelerated in 2Q 2010 and that Chinese manufacturing activity slowed to a 17 months low. But there have been two important offsetting forces. First, despite macroeconomic concerns, demand for oil seems to be holding up relatively well. The latest release from the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) - an international body set up to improve oil sector data and timeliness showed OECD oil demand rising at its strongest for more than seven years in May. Second, crude prices were supported by a weaker dollar, which fell 4% in trade weighted terms in July and by 6% against the euro. In euro terms, crude was more or less unchanged at around EUR 56 pb through the month. Prices of most global benchmarks breeched the $80 pb

mark in early August. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $81 on August 2, some $9 above its low in early July. Meanwhile, WTI’s main European equivalent, Brent, increased nearly $11 from its low to $82. Futures contracts for both crudes have also climbed strongly, with prices now expected to reach almost $88 by the end of 2012. In support of this outlook for prices, analysts expect two years of strong growth in oil demand for 2010 and 2011. Few appear worried about a ‘doubledip’ scenario for the world economy. In most projections, emerging markets will continue to account for the bulk of the increase in oil demand, but the share contributed by richer markets will rise. The Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), for example, sees global oil demand expanding by 1.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) this year (1.8%) and 1.6 mbpd (1.8%) next. Countries outside of the OECD account for all of the increase this year, but just over 80% in 2011. The International Energy Agency (IEA), meanwhile, expects growth of 1.8 mbpd (2.1%) this year and 1.4 mbpd (1.6%) next. But - unlike other forecasters, it sees demand in the OECD resuming a gentle decline in 2011. This would come as a combination of efficiency gains and of substitution towards other types of fuels which would more than offset the impact of faster growth on oil demand.

NBK OIL MARKET BRIEF Note that OPEC continues to offer a more pessimistic view. It sees demand growing by a cumulative 1.1 mbpd less over 2010 and 2011 than the IEA, for example. This helps to justify the cartel’s cautiousness over any future increases in its own crude production. According to data published by OPEC, crude output of the OPEC-11 (ie excluding Iraq) rose by 64,000 bpd in June to 26.86 mbpd - its second largest monthly jump this year. Overall production is more than 2 mbpd above its official quota levels, an effective compliance rate of around 50% with the output quotas of December 2008. Most of the increase in June came from Saudi Arabia, which saw its output rise by 44,000 bpd. Since the Kingdom is usually one of

the organization’s most disciplined members, the rise could signal a softening of OPEC’s hawkish stance, particularly in light of the growing external consensus over the robust outlook for oil demand. Nevertheless, an official change in policy stance is still considered unlikely before the cartel’s next meeting in October. The organization remains wary of the potential for natural gas liquids and non-OPEC crude to add as much as 1.3 mbpd to global oil supplies this year, thus shifting the market balance. But as time passes by and prices remain high, such concerns may be fading. The potential for sizeable increases in both oil demand and supply over the coming year leaves scope for substantial

Wataniya Airways signs deal with Sixt Car Rental Miles, special discounts for Wataniya Diwan guests KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways, Kuwait’s premium service airline, has signed an agreement with Sixt Car Rental, the international provider of mobility services. The agreement will give Wataniya Airways Diwan members an average of 500 - 1000 miles for every car rental or limousine service used in various Middle East and European countries. Lee Shave, Wataniya Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer commented “We are committed to giving our guests levels of service and benefits that are unique, innovative, and attractive. Yesterday’s agreement means that our Wataniya Diwan members can now gain additional rewards from their membership by renting cars or hiring limousine service through Sixt Car Rental in number of our destinations, including Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, KSA, Austria, and Italy.” “Wataniya Diwan” is the airline’s frequent flyer program. The program consists of three membership levels; Purple, Silver and Gold. Each level brings a unique level of recognition, benefits, and rewards to all its valued guests including miles on their flights and priority check in facility through First Class counters. Hisham Seifeddine, Wataniya Airways’ Loyalty Marketing

Manager, said: “This agreement means that Wataniya Diwan members can now get additional membership miles and discounts on rentals from Sixt. Purple and Silver members will get 10% discount while Gold members can get 15% discount on their car

rental. Gold members can also enjoy an upgrade to higher category car with Sixt.” Becoming a Wataniya Diwan member is simple and can be quickly achieved through Wataniya Airways’ user friendly website www.wataniyaairways.com.

Members can also enroll up to eight family members including family helpers, and enjoy immediate extra miles, starting the date of enrolment where each new Wataniya Diwan member earning 500 welcome bonus miles.

uncertainty in the outlook for crude prices. The broad consensus over the likely strength of oil demand comes in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the world economy. Assuming that oil demand grows by a healthy 1.5 mbpd in 2010 - albeit with the pace of growth slackening this year - and non-OPEC supplies rise by around 1 mbpd, prices seem likely to drift lower into 2011. The price of KEC might dip from $76 in 2Q10 to below $70 in 1Q11. Worse than expected global growth could trigger a much weaker scenario for oil prices, however. This might come about, for example, as a result of a loss of momentum in the world economic recovery, the implementation of government austerity measures or a more sud-

den crisis triggered by concerns over sovereign debt. In this case, demand rises by just 1.2 mbpd in 2010 sending the price of KEC to below $60 by the start of 2011. The degree to which such a fall occurs might be dependent upon OPEC’s willingness and ability to implement production cuts amidst declining oil revenues. Stronger world economic growth, on the other hand, could see global oil demand rise by an amount more in line with the IEA’s prediction of 1.8 mbpd this year. To avoid prices escalating too far, OPEC might relax their quotas, adding around 0.4 mbpd to its output by early 2011 compared to the scenarios above. Under these conditions, the price of KEC could reach mid$80 levels by 1Q11. The NBK report concluded: The above scenarios leave the price of KEC in the $67.3 to 79.9 pb range for this fiscal year. This is well above the $43 projection used by the government in its current budget. Under the government’s projection, the fiscal deficit would reach KD 6.4 billion this year. In fact, if, as we assume, government spending comes in at 5-10% below budget levels, our oil price scenarios could generate a fiscal surplus of between KD 0.9 and 5.7 billion this year, before allocations to the RFFG. This comes despite an increase in budgeted spending of some 33% this year, and would see the budget record its 12th consecutive annual surplus following a surplus of KD 6.4 billion in FY2009/10.

Indonesia delays $650m global sukuk to H1 2011 Govt cuts debt issuance on lower deficit JAKARTA: Indonesia will delay a planned $650 million global sukuk offer to the first half of 2011 from October because a lower budget deficit forecast reduces this year’s borrowing needs, a government official said yesterday. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, is keen to develop Islamic finance and has sold $650 million in sovereign sukuk in 2009. It has not sold any global sukuk so far this year. Last month, a source told Reuters that the size of the sukuk could be reduced because of the lower budget deficit. “Global sukuk is planned to be issued in the first half of next year. It won’t be issued this year,” said Rahmat Waluyanto, head of the country’s debt office. When asked the reason for the delay, he said it was “to reduce our foreign currency-denominated bonds as we expect a smaller budget deficit.” A finance ministry official said last month that Indonesia aimed to raise up to $650 million in the global sukuk issue in October and had appointed HSBC, Citigroup and Standard

Chartered as underwriters. It was not clear if the government aimed to raise the same amount in the 2011 offer. “In terms of delaying the plan, it’s not necessarily bad, I guess they’re looking at the timing, and if they have enough money now, they can hold it for next year,” said Lum Choong Kuan, head of fixed income research at CIMB Investment Bank in Kuala Lumpur. “Indonesia’s plan to issue global sukuk is definitely a good step. This would be ideal as foreign investors have strong demand for anything from Indonesia. If they decided to sell it now, the demand is still high.” However, the government has often failed to raise its target amount in regular local currency sukuk auctions in recent months because of investors’ concerns over poor liquidity in the paper, in contrast to strong demand for its conventional debt. Waluyanto said Indonesia will maintain its strategy of frontloading bond issuance, selling debt in the first half, as in previous years. “The government will still implement the front-loading strategy next year.” — Reuters

GM, China’s SAIC to co-develop core technology SHANGHAI: US auto giant General Motors and China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp signed a deal yesterday that will see them work together on producing new engine and transmission technology. Hu Maoyuan, chairman of SAIC Motor, China’s leading automaker by sales, called the deal a milestone that would see the two companies share key intellectual property and help SAIC move up the industry’s value chain. “This is the first time a Chinese automaker has collaborated with a leading international group to develop a core technology while sharing intellectual property on a global scale,” Hu said at a signing ceremony in Shanghai. “This boosts SAIC’s efforts to master the core technology and marks movement to the higher end of the value chain,” he added. Engineers and researchers in Detroit

and their joint venture’s research centre in Shanghai will develop a fuel-efficient engine and front wheel drive transmission, GM Vice Chairman of Global Products Operations Tom Stephens said. The transmission would be 10 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional sixspeed automatic transmissions and when combined, the engine and transmission could cut carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth compared to other cars on sale in China, Stephens said. Their joint venture, Shanghai GM, has spent more than one billion dollars in power train-engine and transmissiondevelopment and production since 2008, Stephens said. “This really underscores the importance our companies have placed on accelerating the introduction of cleaner, more energy-efficient power trains right here in China,” Stephens said. Neither GM nor SAIC said how much

additional investment the new agreement would require, but noted their collaboration would increase efficiency and reduce costs. The new technology would likely reach the market by 2012 at the earliest, GM spokesman Michael Albano said. Under the agreement, SAIC will be able to use the technology in its own car brands such as Roewe, Albano said. George Yin, a Beijing-based auto analyst at Bocom International, said the move would help SAIC take advantage of Beijing’s efforts to boost the green car sector and reduce production costs, particularly for its self-owned brands. “The main imports by domestic auto companies are transmissions and engines as home-developed technologies still lag far behind foreign technologies. The tie-up with GM on power trains will boost SAIC’s technologies,” Yin told AFP. —- AFP

SHANGHAI: Thomas Stephens, vice chairman, global product operations of US car manufacturer General Motors (right), and president of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp Chen Hong (left) shake hands after signing a deal in Shanghai yesterday. — AFP

BUSINESS

24

KSE stocks edge lower KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange ended yesterday’s session on a negative note led by banking sector. Volume and values traded were weak with 10 companies representing 71.81 percent of the total value traded in a market of 212 listed shares. The benchmark Global General Index (GGI) ended the session fell 0.95 points (0.48 percent) to close at 196.32 points. Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index down by 1.20 points (0.02 percent), to close at 6,653.7 points. Market capitalization decreased by 0.48 percent yesterday to reach KD32.45bn. Market breadth During the session, 100 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners, as 29 equities advanced versus 41 that retreated. A total of 142 stocks remained unchanged during the trading session. Trading activities ended on a negative note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 33.28 percent to reach 131.50mn shares, and value of shares traded decreased by 62.12 percent to stand at KD29.65mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader, accounting for 30.18 percent of total market volume. The banking sector was the value leader, accounting for 54.22 percent of total market value. Investors Holding Group Company was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 11.52mn shares. National Bank of Kuwait was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD12.75mn. In terms of top gainers, United Gulf Bank took the top spot, adding 8.93 percent and closed at KD0.305. On the other hand, Kuwait Building Materails Manufacturing Co decreased by 8.20 percent during the session, to be the biggest loser. The scrip closed at KD0.280.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Swiss may hike budget for jets to 5bn francs ZURICH: The Swiss defense ministry is proposing to spend as much as 5 billion Swiss francs ($4.80 billion) to finance an unpopular plan to buy 22 new fighter jets, Swiss television said citing an internal document. According to a consultation document dated July 29, Defense Minister Ueli Maurer is planning to ask the Swiss cabinet to raise the procurement budget for the jets to 5 billion francs even though the plan could be shot down in a national referendum. The Swiss jet deal is hotly contested within the international aerospace industry as it is seen as setting the stage for a number of upcoming projects in Europe. Boeing pulled out of the bidding last year, leaving three other contenders: Anglo-German-Italian Eurofighter, built by EADS with BAE Systems and Finmeccanica; France’s Rafale, built by Dassault Aviation; and the JAS 39 Gripen, built by Sweden’s Saab. A Swiss defense ministry

spokesman confirmed the document existed, but would not comment on the details. He added that the July 29 paper was still subject to revisions and that a final request would be presented to the cabinet in September. Switzerland has wanted to replace its ageing Northrop F-5E/F Tiger fighters, purchased in 1976 and 1981, with up to 33 new aircraft. But the defense ministry has said it could not even afford 22, given its current budget. The program, which had an initial price tag of 2.2 billion francs, has become increasingly unpopular given the economic crisis. To finance the deal, Maurer will ask for the overall defense budget, which covers both army and airforce, to be raised by 2 billion Swiss francs to 6.3 billion Swiss francs annually. Additionally, he will propose a reduction in the size of the Swiss Army to 96,000 staff from currently 135,000 staff, television reported on Tuesday. — AP

BOE almost unanimous on rates GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT Sectors Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, 3 sectors reported daily losses, while 4 sector reported daily losses. Global banks Sector Index was a major loser, shedding 1.37 percent of its value. The retreat is attributed to the 3.03 percent decline in National Bank of Kuwait. Global Industrial Sector Index was the second biggest loser, closing down by 0.49 percent. The retreat is attributed to the 3.33 percent decline in Kuwait Metal Pipe Industries & Oil Services Co. On the other hand, Global Non Kuwaiti index added 0.61

percent to its value reaching 54.47 points. Ithmaar Bank was sector’s prominent gainer adding 6.67 percent closing at KD0.040. Also, Egypt Kuwait Holding Co and Ras Al-Khaimah Co for White Cement & Const, Materials rose by 1.15 and 1.18 percent respectively. Global Insurance Index followed, adding 0.60 percent. From the sector’s components, Gulf Insurance Company ended today’s session up by 2.30 percent, to close at KD0.445. On the other hand, Global’s special indices closed up except Global Large Cap (Top 10) Index. Global Small Cap Index ended

the day up by 0.23 percent. Oil new s The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $73.25 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $72.27 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Corporate new s Updating its announcements dated June 28 and July 27, 2010, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) declares that that the board of Strategia Investment Co approved extending the capital call period till Thursday, Aug 26, 2010. The Chairman was also

authorized to extend it once more in case the subscription is not complete, provided not exceeding the authorized period. Shareholders of record on June 29 are entitled to subscribe to 58.5% of capital at 102 fils per share (100 fils par value and 2 fils issue premium). After completing the capital top-up, total capital will be reduced by 128.5 million shares. The subscription will be launched via the headquarters of Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. On June 30, 2010 the stock was suspended upon company’s request till finalizing the capital increase.

LONDON: Minutes of the Bank of England’s monthly meeting released yesterday showed that policy makers considered both the case for expanding and withdrawing emergency stimulus-before voting 8-1 to hold interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent. The one dissenting member of the monetary policy committee had voted in favor of a quarter percentage point increase in the rate, citing concerns about inflationary pressures and improvements in the economy. The report on the August meeting came a day after official statistics revealed inflation had edged down to 3.1 percent in the three months to July, from 3.2 percent in the three months to June. But that is still well above the government’s 2 percent target, forcing bank Governor Mervyn King to write an open

letter of explanation to Treasury chief George Osborne. The bank has maintained interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent for 18 months despite concerns about high inflation as it plays the difficult game of balancing rising prices against a sputtering recovery from recession. It has also spent 200 billion pounds buying assets to boost the money supply via its quantitative easing program. Hiking rates could ease inflationary pressures, but that also risks undermining economic growth. The committee considered arguments for further quantitative easing because credit conditions seemed set to remain tighter for longer than expected and there were suggestions of a slowing in output growth. Andrew Sentance, the dissenter, has now voted three

times to raise interest rates. But the August minutes said that “most members thought that the current level of Bank rate and stock of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves remained appropriate to balance the risks to the inflation outlook in the medium term.” “But those risks were substantial, and these members stood ready to respond in either direction as the balance of risks evolved.” Most economists expect the banks to hold rates steady into next year as the government’s tough fiscal consolidation, via big public spending cuts, also takes its toll. “We forecast GDP growth in a 1 percent-2 percent range for the next three years, which should dampen inflationary pressures,” said ING economist James Knightley. — AP

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BUSINESS

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BUSINESS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hurd gets job overtures, upset over HP leaks SAN FRANCISCO: Mark Hurd received job overtures from private equity firms and publicly traded companies almost immediately after his surprise departure from HewlettPackard Co, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters yesterday. Hurd resigned on Aug. 6 after marketing contractor Jodie Fisher sent a letter to HP alleging that she had lost work from the company because she did not have sex with Hurd, said the source. HP had said at the time that Hurd,

then chairman and CEO, left after a sexual harassment investigation, but the nature of Fisher’s accusation had not previously been known. Although the investigation concluded that Hurd did not violate HP’s sex harassment policy and that he had not slept with Fisher, he and the board disagreed over whether to disclose the matter, according to the source. As soon as the board decided it had to disclose the claim, Hurd and HP “moved to separate,” this person said. Hurd “still loves HP,” said the

source, who is familiar with his view. But Hurd has been dismayed by how HP handled its public relations and news leaks in the days after he left. In particular, Hurd was angry at apparent leaks from HP’s board last Sunday that claimed his decision to settle the claim with Fisher had interfered with the board’s probe. He characterized those reports as complete “lies,” the source said. Representatives for HP and Hurd declined to comment. Fisher’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The

source said HP and Fisher did not have any sort of romantic relationship. Shares of HP have fallen 12 percent since Hurd’s shocking resignation. He is credited with resuscitating HP through ambitious acquisitions as well as cost cuts, helping transform the company into the world’s largest tech company by revenue. Hurd has not given any hints on what his plans are. But the source said he was gone from HP for barely 24 hours before he started receiving

expressions of interest from prospective employers, including public companies and private equity firms. HP’s board has accused Hurd of filing inaccurate expense reports to hide a “close personal relationship” with Fisher, 50, a sometime actress who has appeared in television shows and racy movies. HP’s directors-a few of whom lived through the company’s infamous “pretexting” scandal of 2006 — were advised by legal counsel Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &

Flom LLP to disclose Fisher’s sexual harassment allegation even though it was found to be unsubstantiated and HP was not legally required to do so, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Several sources have said Fisher’s complaint came before the company on June 29. The boardordered investigation determined on July 22 that there was no sexual harassment, a finding reported to the directors on July 28, these people said. They said Hurd’s eventual departure hinged on a debate within

HP’s board over whether to disclose the harassment allegation. Hurd did not want it made public and was prepared to weather the storm if the claim leaked, but the board determined it needed to come clean. After the board resolved over the weekend of July 31 to go public, Hurd began discussions to separate from HP. But sources close to Hurd have said the issue of expense reports only cropped up in his final week at HP, after the board decided to disclose Fisher’s allegation. —Reuters

$38.5 billion hostile offer see an opening salvo

BHP bets on crop boom with hostile Potash bid

MELBOURNE: The Billiton logo at the company’s Melbourne headquarters. Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday launched a hostile takeover bid for Canada’s Potash Corp which values the world’s largest fertilizer producer at about $40 billion. —AFP

Kurdish sales ease DNO’s pain as it waits to export OSLO: Norway-based oil company DNO International ASA is selling enough oil inside Iraqi Kurdistan to stay afloat even without the central government’s permission to export, the company said yesterday. A power struggle between the central government in Baghdad and Kurdish authorities in Erbil has kept DNO from exporting oil as planned, but CEO Helge Eide said his company is making a profit in Kurdistan anyway-more so than analysts had forecast for the second quarter. DNO reported an operating profit of 99 million Norwegian crowns ($16 million) for the April-June quarter, against 2 million in the same period a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 82 million. Eide attributed the better-than-expected performance primarily to an increase in local sales from DNO’s Tawke field in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

DNO’s working-interest production at Tawke rose to 17,145 barrels per day in June from 4,404 in May. In an interview, Eide said the local sales increase had continued into the third quarter, with Tawke producing about 20,500 barrels per day in July. That was thanks to capacity growth at DNO’s own refinery at Tawke and a rise in short-term contracts to other Kurdish refiners. He said DNO’s resulting strong cash position relieved some of the cost pressure of waiting for the central and regional governments to allow a resumption in exports, halted last September, after a period of sending more than 40,000 barrels per day to market through Turkey. Eide said the company could not wait for a political resolution. “We have to do business as normally as possible,” he said, noting “low, stable lifting costs” had enabled DNO to operate Tawke profitably while the Iraqi debate rages over export

payments and powers to award contracts. Analysts said a resolution clarifying DNO’s role in Kurdistan might not come until a new government emerges following Iraq’s parliamentary election in March. Trond Omdal, an analyst at Arctic Securities in Oslo, changed his projection for a resumption of DNO exports from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter. But Omdal said the robust increase in local sales means DNO can comfortably wait out the political process. “This changes the case quite dramatically if those sales can be sustained,” he said. “They would like to export sooner rather than later, but you could almost defend the current share price on the basis of continuing local sales alone.” Eide cautioned that short-term sales contracts in Kurdistan could fluctuate. He said the August figures in particular could decline as a result of the Ramadan holiday. —Reuters

Court approves buyout of Magna founder Stronach OTTAWA: The Ontario Superior Court approved yesterday a proposed buyout of founder Frank Stronach’s controlling interest in Canadian auto parts giant Magna International.

Stronach agreed in May to relinquish control of the company he built up from a Toronto tool and die shop in exchange for an estimated 863 million dollars in cash and new common shares.

But minority shareholders balked, saying the price tag for his multiple-voting shares was too high and set a dangerous precedent for other companies looking to eliminate dual-class share structures.

NEW DELHI: Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director Wilfried Aulbur is projected on a screen, near a newly launched Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday. The car has 3.5 liter 272 hp engine and is priced in Delhi at Rupees 6,500,000 ($141,304). —AP

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which hotly opposed the deal, would not say immediately if it will appeal the court’s decision. “Today’s decision by the Superior Court affirms our position that the claims of the dissident minority shareholders are without merit,” said Vincent Galifi, vice president of Magna, in a statement. Stronach maintained control of the company he founded in 1957 despite owning less than one percent of its equity as each of his shares carried 300 votes. Under the new deal, Stronach would reduce his family’s voting rights from 66 percent to 7.44 percent. Magna would be left with a total of 121 million shares outstanding, each carrying one vote. Stronach would also receive an estimated 1,800-percent premium for his multiple-voting shares, based on Magna’s common share price at the time the deal was announced. Magna management has said the deal aims to boost Magna’s share price and “more closely align all shareholder interests.” Stronach arrived in Canada from Austria half a century ago with just 200 dollars in his pocket. —AFP

SYDNEY: BHP Billiton’s hostile $38.5 billion takeover offer for one of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers, a bet that developing nations will drive a farming boom, could get the Australian iron ore miner involved with yet another commodity prized by China — potash. In what is likely just an opening salvo, BHP yesterday reacted to Potash Corp of Saskatchewan’s dismissal of its bid as “grossly inadequate” by going directly to shareholders with the $130 a share offer. BHP said it was offering a 20 percent premium to the closing price on Aug 11 — the day before BHP’s first approach to Potash directors. BHP is better known for digging up iron ore and shipping it to resource-hungry manufacturers in China, India and elsewhere. But potash, a key fertilizer ingredient, also is mined and is a big global business dominated by Belarus Potash Co and Canpotex Ltd, which represents Saskatchewan potash producers. As the world’s population grows, more food is needed and more fertilizer to grow crops. Demand for potash, a potassium compound also used in industry, is getting a boost from the global economic recovery and rising demand from emerging giants China and India — the main markets for potash, along with the US and Brazil. The International Fertilizer Industry Association predicts global demand for fertilizer in 2010-11 will rise by 4.8 percent to 170.4 million metric tons. That makes the proposed acquisition a big growth opportunity for BHP — particularly because the share prices of fertilizer makers, including Potash, are relatively low after demand faded during the global recession. “BHP’s got tons of cash at the moment,” said Austock Securities senior client adviser Michael Heffernan in Sydney. Potash “looks like it’s cheap compared to where its price has been in the past. ... BHP is being a bit opportunistic about it.” Credit Suisse analysts predicted Potash may accept a bid based on a 50 percent premium, and said in a report they expect BHP to make a revised offer in the coming weeks or months. Other analysts said BHP rival Rio Tinto may be contemplating a counter offer. The Potash bid is BHP’s first major takeover attempt since it abandoned its $68 billion takeover of rival Rio Tinto in 2008. China, already disgruntled about the high prices it pays BHP, Rio and other Australian resource companies for iron ore, was a vocal opponent of the deal, fearing it would give BHP even more power over prices. Relations between Australia and China faced additional strain last year after four Rio Tinto employees were arrested in Shanghai on charges of stealing commercial secrets. Rio later fired them after they confessed to taking bribes from Chinese steel mills in return for preferential access to iron ore supplies. They were convicted and sentenced to prison. With potash, BHP would be entering another industry that regularly butts heads with China over prices. Contract talks between Canadian potash producers and China broke down this year after Beijing demanded a price much lower than the producers were prepared to accept. —AP

KULA LUMPUR: A Muslim woman walks in front of a fashion outlet at a shopping mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Malaysia’s economy recorded a strong growth of 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2010, Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, announced yesterday. —AP

Malaysian economy up 8.9% in second quarter KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, with growth expected to exceed six percent in the full year, the central bank governor said yesterday. Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the second-quarter growth was “driven by sustained expansion in domestic demand and continued robust growth in external demand.” She said the stronger domestic demand was due to higher private and public sector spending, while the expansion in external demand spurred domestic production. “Given the strong growth in the first half, we believe growth for the year will exceed 6.0 percent,” Zeti added. “We are seeing a pick-up in investments, consumption is strong and our domestic economy remains strong and robust.” The central bank governor said Malaysia would also benefit from trade with other Asian economies, “who have shown a high degree of resilience and who are showing strong growth.” Despite the slow growth in advanced economies, she said Malaysia’s economic growth was still “favorable” because the country had strong fundamentals, low inflation and low unem-

ployment. The inflation rate, as measured by the change in the consumer price index (CPI), increased by 1.9 percent for July compared with the same month last year, according to a statement from the Statistics Department. “We can have a reasonable rate of (economic) growth in the second half,” Zeti said, but did not give a figure. “Going forward, the domestic economy is expected to remain strong, sustained by robust private sector demand,” she added. The central bank also announced a further liberalization of foreign exchange transactions. Malaysia’s economy leapt 10.1 percent yearon-year in the first quarter after a revised 4.4 percent growth rate in the last quarter of 2009. The first quarter figure was the highest rate recorded since the first quarter of 2000, when the economy grew 11.7 percent. Earlier this year the government unveiled plans for economic reforms including an overhaul of racial preferences for majority Malays, part of a road map to achieve developed-nation status by 2020. —AP

STOCKHOLM: Mats Jansson, CEO of SAS gestures yesterday during a news conference at their headquarters in Stockholm. Scandinavian airline group SAS AB saw its losses narrow in the second quarter and said yesterday it would have swung back to profit if it weren’t for the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. —

SAS blames ash cloud for second-quarter loss STOCKHOLM: Scandinavian airline group SAS AB saw its losses narrow in the second quarter and said yesterday it would have swung back to profit if it weren’t for the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. SAS made a net loss of 502 million kronor ($68 million) in the April-June quarter, compared with a loss of 1.05 billion kronor a year earlier. The Stockholm-based company said that it would have posted a profit of more than 400 million kronor if the ash cloud had not paralyzed air travel across Europe in April. Revenue was 9.98 billion kronor, down from 12.2 billion kronor in the second quarter of last year. The airport closures caused by the ash have left their mark in the quarterly reports of several European airlines, including British Airways and Lufthansa. SAS said it remains focused on a cost-cutting program that has helped it achieve savings of 5.6 billion kronor in the past year and a half.

“During the first six months, we lowered unit cost by 6.7 percent, despite reduced capacity and the major disruptions to services,” said CEO Mats Jansson, who announced last week he would leave the company in the autumn after four years in charge. Shares in SAS rose by 3.45 percent to 27.0 Swedish kronor ($3.68) in early Stockholm trading. The airline has shed thousands of jobs and sold subsidiary airlines as part of a new strategy to streamline its operations and focus on the Nordic market. However, in the first half of the year SAS said it had noted a record high load factor on primarily intercontinental flights. “Accordingly, we will now reintroduce one longhaul aircraft that will increase the number of departures to Asia and the US and, in Scandinavia, we will increase the frequency of services between the capital cities already in September,” Jansson said. —AP

TECHNOLOGY

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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iPhone-maker Foxconn holds demonstration after suicides Foxconn raises pay, hires counselors to help workers SHENZHEN: Following a string of suicides at its Chinese factories, Foxconn Technology Group raised workers’ wages and installed safety nets on buildings to catch would-be jumpers. Now the often secretive manufacturer of the iPhone and other electronics is holding rallies for its workers to raise morale at the heavily regimented factories. The outreach to workers shows how Foxconn has been shaken by the suicides and the bad press they have attracted to the normally publicity shy company. The latest suicide - the 12th this year occurred August 4 when a 22year-old woman jumped from her factory dormitory in eastern Jiangsu province. The motivational rallies are titled “Treasure Your Life, Love Your Family, Care for Each Other to Build a Wonderful Future” and will be held at all facilities in China, according to Burson Marsteller, a public relations firm representing Foxconn. “For a long period of time I think we were kind of blinded by our success,” said Louis Woo, special assistant to Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn’s parent company. “We were kind of caught by surprise.” The rally yesterday was taking place at Foxconn’s mammoth industrial park in Shenzhen, which employs 300,000 and where most of the suicides took place.

However, Woo acknowledged that there will be challenges in preventing such tragedies among such a large work force. “No matter how hard we try, such thing will continue to happen,” he said. Foxconn, part of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, has built itself into the world’s largest contract maker of electronics, by delivering quality products on thin profit margins for its customers which include Apple Inc, Sony Corp, Dell Inc, Nokia Corp and HewlettPackard Co. Labor activists, however, say that success has come in part from driving workers hard by enforcing a rigid management style, operating a too-fast assembly line and requiring excessive overtime. The company denies that it treats employees inhumanely and has pledged to prevent more suicides and improve worker well-being. The troubles at Foxconn came to light amid high-profile labor unrest in China and highlighted Chinese workers growing dissatisfaction with the low wages and pressure cooker working conditions that helped turn the country into an international manufacturing powerhouse. One activist said Foxconn’s rally was unlikely to boost morale and does not replace the need for more thoroughgoing reforms.

“I don’t think today’s event is going to achieve anything except provide a bit of theater,” said Geoffrey Crothall, spokesman of the China Labor Bulletin, a labor rights group based in Hong Kong. “Basically what Foxconn needs to do is treat its workers like decent human beings and pay them a decent wage. It’s not rocket science.” “They’re still tackling this from a top-down approach, they are organizing the workers. They’re not allowing the workers to organize themselves,” Crothall said. A similar gathering was held Monday at Foxconn’s campus in the northern city of Taiyuan, which employs about 60,000 workers. A Foxconn official in Taipei said the company decided that day to remove safety nets from the Taiyuan plant, although there are no plans to do the same at its other factories. In May, Gou promised to work harder to prevent more deaths. More counselors were being hired and employees also were being assigned to 50-person groups to watch one another for signs of emotional trouble. Foxconn also announced two raises, more than doubling the basic worker pay to 2,000 yuan ($293) a month at the Shenzhen compound. But workers have to pass a three-month review period before they qualify for the second raise. —AP

Schools, companies tailor social sites for students LOS ANGELES: Heading to a new university for Fall 2010 and want advice from other students? Looking for housing, textbooks, knowledge about a professor or class, or simply a ticket to the weekend’s big game? Technology companies and your school may have answers on your computer or mobile phone, and it won’t cost a thing-at least not yet. Colleges and universities across the United States are going beyond simply creating websites and pages on Facebook for students to “friend” or “fan.” They are working with technology companies to build their own social networks and integrate them into campus life to boost admissions and retain stu-

dents. One new app from San Francisco-based Inigral, Inc allows colleges to create social networks within Facebook, while a mobile technology from Foursquare gives students the ability to walk into an event, check their phone and find other students. Like many apps from technology start-ups, these student-oriented ones currently are free for users, but the owners see the potential to make big profits in the future as capabilities increase and usage grows. “We want to be able to find prospective students where they are, and it is clear to us that Facebook is the dominant source,” said Columbia College Chicago’s executive director of admissions

Murphy Monroe, whose college recently adopted the new app from Inigral, called “Schools on Facebook.” “We want to meet them there in a secure way, and in a way that feels authentic to our school’s culture, and the (new) product gave us an unusual way to do that,” Monroe said. The app, called “Schools on Facebook,” allows colleges to form private communities that give students school-specific profiles and keeps them separate from personal accounts. When a student signs up, he or she gives Facebook permission to add the app, and school information is then waiting for them upon their first login. —Reuters

CHIANG MAI: In this photo, Krittaya Brown, (right front) a daughter of a Thai Tourist Police officer, teaches Tourist Police officers how to dance. A group of dancing policemen has become the latest pop sensation in Thailand with a YouTube video that shows them shimmying and swinging their hips as they impersonate a popular South Korean boy band. —AP

Dancing Thai policemen star in YouTube video BANGKOK: A group of dancing policemen has become the latest pop sensation in Thailand with a YouTube video that shows them shimmying and swinging their hips as they impersonate a popular South Korean boy band. The video was posted Aug 5 and had more than 280,000 views Tuesday when major newspaper front pages declared it “a major hit” and one tabloid exclaimed: “Police set the dance floor on fire.” “We never thought it would become this big,” said Lt Col Tanakorn Doltanakan, one of nine officers in the fiveminute video spoof of “Sorry

Sorry,” a considerably bigger hit by Korean boy band Super Junior. “It’s something we did just for fun.” The policemen are part of the 4th Subdivision of Thailand’s Tourist Police, set up for non-Thai speaking tourists who need police help, in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Ahead of a tourism-related police seminar earlier this month, attendees were asked to prepare for a police talent show. The 4th Subdivision, which went on to win the competition, sought inspiration from one of its more memorable assignments. “We took care of Super Junior when they toured in

Chiang Mai and saw how popular the group is,” Tanakorn said. Super Junior is one of South Korea’s most famous boy bands, known for their boyishly polished looks and synchronized dance routines that have earned them heartthrob status across Asia. Their version of the video has been viewed more than 6.5 million times on YouTube. After a short clip introducing the officers, the police switch their standard-issue brown uniforms for Miami Vice-style black suits, open-neck white shirts and dark sunglasses. Slightly clumsy, not terribly fit but trying their determined

best, the officers strut in hiphop poses as they clap and gyrate and attempt to dance in synch to the song’s electronic beat. The number was choreographed by the 14-year-old daughter of a sergeant in the unit and filmed by another officer’s nephew. They rehearsed for two to three hours before going in front of the camera. Spliced into the dancing clips are scenes of the officers sitting at police stations and performing other official duties, doing sit-ups and practicing the dance number in jeans and T-shirts in front of a parked patrol car. “We wouldn’t say we were particu-

larly good, but everyone was really into it,” Tanakorn said. More than 1,000 viewers have posted comments after the YouTube video, including “You’re so hot!” and encouraging the group to take their act on the road. Others questioned whether the police had nothing better to do: “You should use your time to catch the bad guys.” Some admirers have dialed the Tourist Police hot line to compliment the dancing officers. “Public reception has been great,” Tanakorn said. “People have told us they didn’t think the Tourist Police were this cute.” —AP

Bing starts powering Yahoo! searches in US

China Unicom to launch Apple iPhone 4 shortly

SAN FRANCISCO: Bing will start powering Internet searches at Yahoo! web pages in North America this week as the technology firms combine forces to take on Google. “Later this week, we will begin transitioning the back-end technology for Yahoo! Search in the US and Canada (English) over to the Microsoft platform,” Yahoo! search product operations vice president Shashi Seth said in a blog post. “Keep an eye out for the ‘Powered by Bing’ indicator at the bottom of our search results page, which will indicate that you are viewing listings from Microsoft.” Yahoo! will control how results are presented and has vowed to give users relevant data customized to their tastes or interests. Yahoo! and Microsoft unveiled a 10-year Web search and advertising partnership a year ago that set the stage for a joint offensive against Google. Under the agreement, Yahoo! will use Microsoft’s search engine on its own sites while providing the exclusive global sales force for premium advertisers. Data released on Tuesday by industry tracker comScore showed that US search engine rankings changed slightly in July, with Google’s dominant share slipping less than half a percent to 65.8 from 66.2 percent in June. The comScore rankings were based on “explicit” searches in which people entered specific queries to scour the Internet for information. Google’s loss was apparently a gain for Yahoo!, which had a 17.1 percent share of the search market as compared to 16.7 percent the previous month, according to comScore. Microsoft remained in third place with its search market share unchanged at 11 percent, according to comScore figures. US Internet users conducted a total of 15.6 billion “explicit” searches in July, with Google handling 10.3 billion while Yahoo! tended to 2.7 billion and Microsoft fielded 1.7 billion. —AFP

BEIJING: China Unicom plans to launch Apple’s latest iPhone next month in the world’s largest mobile market, state-run media said Tuesday. Apple also has agreed to let China Unicom, the country’s second-largest mobile operator, distribute the iPad tablet computer in China, Caixin media group said, citing an unidentified source from China Unicom. No timetable has been set for the iPad launch, the report said. China Unicom has said previously it is in talks with

Apple to sell the iPhone 4 and the iPad, which have launched around the world to much fanfare and are already available in China’s flourishing grey market for Apple products. The company started offering the iPhone 3GS model with wireless Internet capability earlier this month, with Apple’s Beijing store selling out of the phone on the first day, Caixin said. An official at China Unicom told AFP he could not confirm the deals. —AFP

Burning iPod blamed for Tokyo train scare TOKYO: An acrid smell from an overheating iPod has been blamed for sparking a scare that stopped a Tokyo subway train for eight minutes, railway staff and media reports in Japan said yesterday. The rush-hour commuter train on the capital’s Denentoshi line, which links the Shibuya business district with Tokyo’s southwestern suburbs, was halted last Friday after a passenger reported smelling smoke.

GENEVA: The Team TREV on board an electric Australian-made vehicle leave the United Nations (UN) offices in Geneva at the start of a 80-day round-the-world trip to raise awareness about emissions free transport and the Cancun World climate conference in November 2010. —AFP

Electric vehicles aim for ‘longest’ world tour GENEVA: Electric vehicles from Australia, Germany and Switzerland set off Monday on the “longest and greenest” round-the-world drive to promote emissions free transport and November’s world climate conference. The UN-backed “Zero Race” is organized by Swiss schoolteacher Louis Palmer, who made headlines with his 18-month pioneering world tour in a solar-powered “taxi” two years ago, picking up celebrities on the way. “With this race we want to show that seven billion people on this planet need renewable energy and clean mobility,” said Palmer. “Petrol is run-

ning out and the climate crisis is coming, and we are all running against time.” A South Korean vehicle failed to reach the start line at the United Nations in Geneva in time after it broke down with “a minor battery problem” some 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) up the road, Palmer said. It was due to join the other three teams later in the day. The Zero Race is planning to stop off at the World Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico, after touring through Europe, Russia, China, Canada and the United States before heading back to Geneva in January 2011. Each plug-in electric

vehicle can travel at least 250 kilometers on a single charge, with 80 days of driving time ahead of them. They are obliged to consume no more electricity than each team has generated or purchased from clean energy sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power. Australian team TREV, run by Jason Jones and his 24-year-old son Nick, an electrical engineer from Adelaide, told AFP the trip through 16 countries would cost them about 400 Australian dollars (360 US dollars) in fuel. “We’ve already bought the power and put it back in the grid,” 57-year-old Jones senior explained, standing next

to their plastic-bodied two-seat three wheeler. “We thought it just a great way to show what this car is capable of. The future of automotive transport is not a one-and-a-half ton gas guzzler.” The vehicles, which also include the Vectrix scooter from Germany and a Swiss Zerotracer two wheeler claiming a top speed of 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph), will be followed by Palmer in a repair van with a trailer. Palmer said emissions from the van as well as ship crossings across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans would be carbon offset. —AFP

“The driver and conductor stopped operations at the Sakurashinmachi station, and our staff searched for signs of danger,” a railway spokeswoman said, adding that the train continued after no fire was detected. Moments later, a female passenger told train station staff that “it was my iPod”, the spokeswoman said. Local media also reported that the woman told station workers: “My iPod burst apart and smelled burnt.” —AFP

Website jams as S Korea takes iPhone preorders SEOUL: South Korea’s KT Corp said tens of thousands of people jammed its website yesterday as it began to take preorders for Apple’s iPhone 4. KT Corp, the country’s sole distributor for the gadget, said in just nine hours more than 110,000 people put their names down for the popular smartphone after its online shop opened. “Our online shop server was jammed instantly as too many clients placed orders simultaneously,” KT spokesman Jin Byung-Kwon told AFP. “So far, the number of orders for the iPhone 4 exceeds well beyond that of the iPhone 3GS,” he said. KT said its online shop would receive orders for a week, while shops will take orders until the new model’s official launch next month. Apple has sold more than 850,000 iPhones in South Korea since it hit the local market nine months ago. “We didn’t expect so many people to preorder the iPhone 4 in such a short time,” Jin said. Local competitors such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have been striving to compete by introducing new smartphones including the Galaxy S and Optimus series. South Korea’s mobile phone market is one of the world’s most vibrant, with 45 million users in a population of 49 million. But smartphones have a relatively small share, suggesting huge growth potential. —AFP

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Florida death toll rises for mosquito-borne virus TALLAHASSEE: Four Florida residents have died from a mosquito-borne disease that normally afflicts horses, health officials reported as the swampy state enters peak season for mosquitoborne illnesses. Health officials said last month that two Tampa-area residents had died from eastern equine encephalitis, a

viral disease that inflames the brain. Two additional deaths from the disease known as EEE have since been confirmed, one in the state capital of Tallahassee and one in the northwest Florida town of Sopchoppy. The disease mostly affects unvaccinated horses but a handful of human deaths are recorded each year, accord-

ing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no human vaccine for the disease, which kills a third of its human victims and often leaves survivors with significant brain damage. The Florida Department of Health is also tracking two other less deadly mosquito-borne diseases, West Nile

virus and dengue fever. EEE and West Nile virus have been detected in 43 of Florida’s 67 counties, while dengue cases have been confirmed in two south Florida counties, Monroe and Broward, according to the state Department of Health. The dengue virus began showing up in Florida in 2009 after an absence

since its last major outbreak in 1934. At least 28 confirmed cases of domestically transmitted dengue fever have been reported in Florida this year, along with 67 foreign-acquired cases. The disease is more prevalent in Central and South America. Carina Blackmore, state public health veterinarian, said the number

of mosquito bites to people, horses and livestock resulting in EEE or West Nile appears consistent with the last several years. “The two things we try to relay are get rid of mosquitoes and avoid contact,” said Blackmore, adding that August and September are peak seasons for most mosquito-borne

illnesses. State health officials are urging residents to avoid contact with mosquitoes by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent, especially products that include DEET. Homeowners are also asked to remove standing water where mosquitoes breed. —Reuters

Athletes with repeated concussion developed dementia

Bad bumps to head could kill years later: US study

A baby seen with an enormous head bump.

Magnetic mega-star challenges stellar theory PARIS: A neutron star with a mighty magnetic field has thrown down the gauntlet to theories about stellar evolution and the birth of black holes, astronomers reported yesterday. The “magnetar” lies in a cluster of stars known as Westerlund 1, located 16,000 light years away in the constellation of Ara, the Altar. Westerlund 1, discovered in 1961 by a Swedish astronomer, is a favoured observation site in stellar physics. It is one of the biggest cluster of superstars in the Milky Way, comprising hundreds of very massive stars, some shining with a brilliance of almost a million Suns and some two thousand times the Sun’s diameter. The cluster is also, by the standards of

the Universe, very young. The stars were all born from a single event just three and a half to five million years ago. Within Westerlund 1 is the remains of one of galaxy’s few magnetars-a particular kind of neutron star, formed from the explosion of a supernova, that can exert a magnetic field a million, billion times strong than Earth’s. The Westerlund star which eventually became the magnetar must have been at least 40 times the mass of the Sun, according to the study, which appears in the research journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. If so, intriguing questions are raised. The mainstream assumption is that stars of between 10 and 25 solar masses go

on to form neutron stars. But those above 25 solar masses produce black holes-the light-gobbling gravitational monsters that are formed when a massive, dying star collapses in on itself. In that case, the magnetar’s mother should have become a black hole because it was so big. But another alternative, say the authors, is that the star “slimmed” to a lower mass, enabling it to become a neutron star. How did this happen? The answer, says the paper, could lie in a binary system: the star that became the magnetar was born with a stellar companion. As the stars evolved, they began to interact, and the companion star, like a

demonic twin, began to steal mass from the progenitor star. Eventually the progenitor exploded, becoming a supernova. The binary connection was sundered by the blast and both stars were ejected from the cluster, leaving just glowing remnants which are the magnetar, according to this theory. “If this is the case, it suggests that binary systems might play a key role in stellar evolution,” said Simon Clark, who led the team, using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile, to make the observations. A binary system could be “the ultimate cosmic ‘diet plan’ for heavyweight stars, which shifts over 95 percent of their initial mass,” he said. —AFP

Cuba focuses on first post-op transsexual HAVANA: The story of Cuba’s first transsexual to undergo gender reassignment surgery is coming to the big screen in a documentary getting its premiere yesterday on the Communist-ruled island, its director said. “Mavi Sussel underwent (male-tofemale) gender reassignment surgery in 1988 and the documentary is a journey inside this woman, and about the prejudices and problems she has faced, and the questioning of her womanliness,” filmmaker Marilyn Solaya said, quoted on the official news agency AIN, ahead of the film’s launch Thursday. Solaya started her career as an actress in Cuba and appeared in the award-winning “Fresa y Chocolate” (“Strawberry and Chocolate”). The state’s sexual education office (Cenesex), led by sexologist Mariela Castro, a daughter of President Raul Castro, has lobbied hard for issues such as transsexualism to be confronted head-on in Cuba. In 2008 sex change operations were legalized in Cuba, 20 years after they were frozen following the operation on local trailblazer Mavi Sussel. They are now free and performed by Cuban experts trained by European specialists. —AFP

KHADAITALA: An Indian snake charmer, poses with what he claims to be a ‘Chandrabora’ (Russell’s viper) snake at a snake fair at Khadaitala, some 80kms north of Kolkata on August 17. Hundreds of snake charmers are attending the annual fair to sell and exhibit their snakes, and also to worship the Hindu deity ‘Manosha’ on this auspicious day in the Hindu calendar. —AFP

WASHINGTON: Scientists reported they have some of the best evidence yet to support longheld theories that repeated blows to the head may cause nervedegenerative diseases like Lou Gehrig’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Autopsies of 12 athletes who died with brain or neurological disease showed a distinctive pattern of nerve damage-and fingered some potential culprits. All had repeated concussions during their careers. Three of the men had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the star baseball player who died of it. Experts in brain injury said the study, published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, pointed to new areas of research and possible ways to prevent long-term damage from concussions. “If you could somehow give a person a drug, you could potentially prevent an illness like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York said in a telephone interview. The findings also point to an urgent need to watch veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom suffer brain injuries from explosions, accidents and blows to the head from other causes, the experts said. “This is the first pathological evidence that repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports might be associated with the development of a motor neuron disease,” Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues wrote in the report. McKee’s team studied the donated brain and spinal cords of 11 professional football players or boxers and one hockey player. All had a newly characterized disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in which dementia set in years after repeated concussions. Three of the men also were diagnosed with ALS, a member of a family of diseases called motor neuron disease, which cause progressively worse paralysis.The researchers looked specifically for a protein called TDP-43. They found it in the brain and in the spinal cords of the men-which could explain the ALS-like symptoms. Scientists know that damaging one nerve can sometimes set off a cascade of other nerves dying, for reasons that remain poorly understood. TDP-43 could be involved. Bazarian, who was on an Institute of Medicine Committee that released a report in 2008 linking concussions to later-life neurologic diseases, said the finding could help explain studies that show Iraq war veterans have a higherthan-normal rate of ALS, for example. Drugs including the hormone progesterone, monoclonal antibodies and the antibiotic minocycline are being studied to see if they can stop the process of nerve destruction that follows injuries such as a blow to the head or stroke. The findings will be difficult to substantiate because ALS is so rare, said ALS expert Martina Wiedau-Pazos of the University of California Los Angeles. “We think there already are different forms of ALS,” she saidpotentially with different causes. David Hovda, director of the UCLA Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, said brain injury is very common with 1.5 million cases in the United States alone each year. “Whether by itself in isolation it causes ALS, I do not think that this paper proves that. What I think it does is raise worries that individuals who had a career of exposure to repeat concussions ... have a greater likelihood of developing motor neuron disease,” he said. —Reuters

Amphetamines could damage heart artery WASHINGTON: Young adults who abuse amphetamines may be more likely to suffer an often fatal tear in the body’s main artery, the aorta, US researchers said on Tuesday. A study of medical records from 31 million people aged 18 to 49 and hospitalized from 1995 to 2007 found that those who had abused amphetamines had triple the odds of aortic dissection, the team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said. Amphetamines, often called speed or crank, are widely abused but also legitimately used to treat attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. They can also aid in weight loss. The drugs make the heart beat harder and can raise blood pressure. Researchers have previously found they could raise the risk of heart attack and some had suspected that abusing the drugs could also cause aortal tears. Writing in the American Heart Journal, Dr. Arthur Westover and his colleagues at UTSW said they also examined medical records for more than 49 million people over 50 from the same period. “We found that the frequen-

cy of aortic dissection is increasing in young adults but not older adults,” Westover said in a statement. “It is not yet clear why.” “Doctors should screen young adults with aortic dissection for amphetamine abuse in searching for a potential cause.” Records from patients in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state showed three times as many cases of aortic dissection linked to amphetamine abuse among young adults. These states also have higher than average rates of amphetamine abuse, Westover said. “This illustrates that in areas where amphetamine abuse is more common, there are greater public health consequences,” he said. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse is worsening in the United States. In 1992 about 21,000 people were admitted to hospitals for treatment of amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse, representing 1 percent of all treatment admissions during the year. By 2004, this figure had risen to 150,000, representing 8 percent of all admissions. —Reuters

Spacewalking astronauts plug in new cooling pump CAPE CANAVERAL: Spacewalking astronauts installed a new ammonia pump to the International Space Station, accomplishing the urgent cooling-system repairs after more than two weeks of impaired operations in orbit. Making his third spacewalk in just 10 days, Douglas Wheelock slid the bathtubsize pump into place then bolted it down as Tracy Caldwell Dyson hooked up power cables. An initial test proved successful. “Sweet,” Wheelock exclaimed. The astronauts then connected all the ammonia fluid lines. To everyone’s relief, the work went smoothly, with no apparent leakage of the toxic substance. Back on the first spacewalk, ammonia streamed out and forced NASA to add an extra outing to get the job done. “We did not see any ammonia come out today, amazingly,” Mission Control radioed. Wheelock said a couple frozen flakes may have drifted out, but nothing more. Wheelock proudly showed off the checklist on his arm cuff to the TV cameras. Printed in black ink were the words, “Game over!!” Flight controllers still have more tests to conduct. If everything goes well, NASA expects to have the space station’s disabled cooling loop back in action by Thursday. The orbiting lab has been operating on only half its normal cooling capability ever since a crucial ammonia coolant pump failed July 31. Science research was halted and unnecessary equipment turned off to avoid overtaxing the single functioning cooling line. It took two spacewalks, but Wheelock

and Caldwell Dyson finally removed the broken pump last week. NASA said a fourth spacewalk eventually will be needed to move the failed pump into a better storage location, but managers are uncertain whether this crew or another will carry out the work. The pumps — weighing 780 pounds (355 kilograms) apiece — are needed to drive ammonia through cooling loops and keep electronics equipment from overheating. Four spare pumps were on board; the one installed Monday was the oldest of the bunch. It flew up in 2006. Engineers are uncertain how and why an electrical short knocked out one of the two original ammonia pumps. NASA said the repair effort was one of the most challenging ever undertaken at the 12year-old space station. Indeed, the astronauts’ work was hampered by the large ammonia leak that erupted during the first spacewalk on Aug. 7. A special team of engineers has been working practically nonstop ever since the trouble struck. The space station is home to three Americans and three Russians. It’s supposed to continue working until 2020, but that will become increasingly difficult to accomplish once NASA’s shuttles stop flying next year. Two shuttle missions remain, with a third possible if the White House and Congress sign off on it. Once the three remaining shuttles are retired, the Russian, European and Japanese space agencies will take over all crew and cargo shipments until NASA has a new rocket ready to go. —Reuters

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Quarter of Chinese adults aware of smoking risk BEIJING: Only a quarter of Chinese people believe smoking tobacco increases the risk of cancer and anti-smoking campaigns are failing to influence them, a government survey released yesterday showed. Three quarters of people in China are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, often in the workplace, in a country that puffs its way through around a third of the world's cigarettes. The survey, carried out by the country's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that barely one in four adults believes smoking increases the risks of lung cancer, strokes and heart attacks. In a country where 301 million people smoke, only 16 percent of current smokers are looking to quit in the coming year, perhaps due to a lack of understanding about the dangers.

Over half of Chinese men smoke, compared to just 2.4 percent of women, according to the China section of the "Global Adult Tobacco Survey", covering 16 low-income and middleincome countries home to over half the world's smokers. A million people die each year from smoking-related illnesses, yet China's Ministry of Health only banned smoking in hospitals this May and health advocates say a promised national ban on smoking in public places has yet to take shape. "Chronic conditions now constitute the lion's share of the burden of disease in China, and tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease," said the World Health Organisation's China representative, Michael O'Leary, in response to the new data. Both anti-smoking campaigns and cigarettes ads had little impact on most people,

the survey found. Only one in five remembered seeing marketing, and less than half noticed health warnings on television or radio. The death toll from smoking is expected to increase to two million by 2020, according to a study by the Paris-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Less smoking could reduce smoking-related health costs, but would also hurt government revenues, as the tobacco industry still provides a steady flow of government income. Last year a county government in central China ordered government workers to smoke a combined minimum of 23,000 packs of cigarettes a year to boost tax income, with punishments for those who failed to light up enough or puffed the wrong brands. The order was revoked after it created uproar in the media.— Reuters

Ocean waves can power Australia's future SINGAPORE: Waves crashing on to Australia's southern shores each year contain enough energy to power the country three times over, scientists said yesterday in a study that underscores the scale of Australia's green energy. The research, in the latest issue of the journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, comes as the nation is struggling to wean itself of years of using cheap, polluting coal to power the economy and to put a price on carbon emissions. Oceanographers Mark Hemer and David Griffin from the state-funded research body the CSIRO looked at how wave energy propagates across the continental shelf and how much is lost. The aim was to build a picture of the amount of energy on an annual basis and how reliable that source is. The government has passed laws that mandate 20 percent renewable

electricity generation by 2020 to curb carbon emissions and wind power is likely to make up the bulk of the green energy investment. Wave power is still in early development. "So what we're saying is that we can achieve that target if we harness 10 percent of the available wave energy resource," Hemer told Reuters from Hobart. Hemer and Griffin used complex computer models to map how the energy in the waves attenuates near the shore. They looked at the annual cycle both in terms of mean wave conditions and the 10th and 90th percentiles. This means that 10 percent of the time waves are smaller than than the mean and for the 90th percentile the waves are larger than that value for 10 percent of that time. "Basically what this means is that there is still a fairly large resource for

90 percent of the time," said Hemer. And this is crucial because some types of renewable energy, such as wind and solar panels, are limited because they can't generate steady power 24 hours a day, unlike coal or gas. Wave power has much greater potential to deliver steady power supplies, but connecting it to the grid in remote areas could be a problem. "Averaged over the whole year, Australia's southern coastline has a sustained wave energy resource of 146 gigawatts (1,329 terawatthours/year)," the researchers say in their study, or three times Australia's total installed generation capacity. The government, facing an election Saturday, is under pressure to put a price on planet-warming carbon emissions and further boost investment in cleaner energy. The country is one of the developed world's top carbon emitters and

relies on coal to generate about 80 percent of its electricity. Hemer and Griffin's work has created a series of maps of the coastline that helps wave power investors find the right sites and design projects that can cope with calm and stormy conditions and how frequent these might be. Their work is different from some past studies, which used wave data from deep-ocean waters. The researchers don't advocate any particular wave power technology. But there are three firms in Australia developing technologies, including Fremantle-based Carnegie Wave Energy, which has a system based on large buoys suspended just below the surface near the shore. Hemer and Griffin's estimates are based on the amount of energy along the coast at 20 metres deep, since many emerging wave power systems are likely to be at that depth or less. — Reuters

HEALTH & SCIENCE

30

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Triple whammy triggered Samoa tsunami

POLOA: In this file picture taken on October 3, 2009 the US Stars and Stripes flag flies over the tsunami devastated village of Poloa in American Samoa. The tsunami that hit the Pacific islands of Samoa and Tonga last year was generated by three earthquakes unleashed by a seismic mechanism that has never been observed before, scientists said. — AFP

PARIS: A tsunami that hit the Pacific islands of Samoa and Tonga last year was generated by three earthquakes unleashed by a seismic mechanism that has never been observed before, scientists said yesterday. The September 29 2009 disaster killed 186 people in Samoa, America Samoa and northern Tonga when waves rearing as high as 15 metres (49 feet) flattened villages and resorts. Seismologists initially attributed the tsunami to a massive quake of magnitude 8.0, later upgraded to 8.1, which occurred 18 kilometres (11.2 miles) below the sea in part of the West Pacific known as the Tonga Trench. But within weeks, doubt soon set in. A single quake could not explain the pattern of tsunami waves and their height variations. And, bizarrely, aftershocks were not occurring where the main shock happened. Reporting Wednesday in the British journal Nature, experts in the US said they found the 8.1 temblor unleashed two extremely powerful quakes in very quick succes-

sion, each measuring 7.8 magnitude and occurring about 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the initial event. “When we looked at the data, it turned out it wasn’t just one great earthquake but three large earthquakes that happened within two minutes of one another,” said Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations. “The two quakes that were hidden by the first quake ended up being responsible for some of the damage and tsunami waves.” That one quake can cause another quake is not in itself new. “Domino” quakes are notorious, for instance, on the Sunda Trench off the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on Turkey’s North Anatolian Fault. But what happened at the Tonga Trench was of a different seismological pattern, and this has implications for understanding how tsunamis are caused and their impacts on land, the researchers said. The Tongan Trench lies at the conjunction of the Pacific plate and a microplate called the Tongan block. Pushing westwards, the Pacific plate collides with the Tonga block before diving beneath it, a move-

ment that is also called subduction. The plates are moving towards other at each at 20 centimetres (12 inches) a year, the fastest of any such convergence in the world. Despite this enormous speed, the motion has been generally smooth, and the zone had last bred a 8.0magnitude quake or larger in 1917. Scientists were thus deeply surprised when the 2009 disaster happened. The sleuths found that the 8.1 quake occurred when part of the Pacific plate broke apart close to the entrance where that plate dives beneath the Tongan block. In seismological terms, this is called a “normal-faulting” quake, meaning that the ground is pulled apart along the fault. Shaking from the 8.1 quake then triggered the 7.8 quakes in the subduction zone, where the Pacific plate was already far beneath the Tongan block. Quakes that occur in subduction zones are called “thrust” quakes, in which the seabed is moved up or down or up by the release of pent-up stress. The sudden displacement of water can unleash a tsunami. The finding is significant, for this

is the first time that a normal-faulting quakes has been found to cause a large thrust quake on a plate boundary. “We didn’t realise these thrust earthquakes could be triggered by a normal earthquake,” said Koper. “We’ve had seismometers only 100 years, and good observations only the last 50 years, so not enough earthquake cycles have been observed to see this before.” The multiple strike “is unusual and almost certainly increased the size of the tsunami and its destructiveness on some Tongan islands,” said GNS Science, a New Zealand geophysics agency which contributed to a second paper in Nature. The latter study used a different technique to distinguish between the 8.1 and 7.8 quakes, notably using Global Position System (GPS) monitors. It is also more cautious about concluding which of the seismic events came first. “When I processed the data and looked at the GPS results, I was astonished to see that the (Tongan) island of Niuatoputapu had moved nearly 400mm (15 and a half inches) east,” said GNS’ John Beavan. —AFP

Teenagers urged to turn down iPods

Researchers alarmed at hearing loss among teens WASHINGTON: Nearly one in five American teens, some 6.5 million youngsters, suffered from hearing loss in 2006, a rise of around 30 percent from 12 years earlier, new research showed. Teenagers are being urged to turn down the volume on their iPods after a US study found hearing problems among

youngsters have risen by nearly a third in 15 years. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study found that in the majority of cases the hearing loss was slight, girls were less likely to have it than boys, and that it was more common in teens living below the poverty line.

Nearly one in five American teens, some 6.5 million youngsters, suffered from hearing loss.

Ovulating women wear attractive clothes WASHINGTON: Women buy sexier clothes when they’re ovulating, researchers from the University of Minnesota found in a study they say could impact how products associated with looks are marketed. “The desire for women at peak fertility to unconsciously choose products that enhance appearance is driven by a desire to outdo attractive rival women,” said Kristina Durante, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and lead author of the study. “If you look more desirable than your competition, you are more likely to stand out.” The researchers found that ovulating women chose sexier clothing and accessories for themselves after being shown photographs of attractive local women than when they were shown photos of unattractive women from their area or women who live more than 1,000 miles away. Women who were not ovulating did not make the same

choice, and the ovulating women made it unconsciously, the researchers found. The aim of preening during ovulation is to attract the best romantic partner, said Durante. To do that, “a woman needs to assess the attractiveness of other women in her local environment to determine how eye-catching she needs to be to snare a good man,” Durante said. To a woman in New York chasing a mate in Manhattan or Brooklyn, a rival in Los Angeles poses little threat, she said. Marketers should pay close attention to the findings of the study, which showed that ovulation has a “profound influence” on a woman’s consumer behavior, the researchers said. “For about five to six days every month, normally ovulating women-representing over a billion consumers-may be especially likely to purchase products and services that enhance physical appearance,” said Durante. —AFP

Almost a million children misdiagnosed with ADHD WASHINGTON: Almost one million children in the United States are potentially misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) because they were the youngest and least mature in their kindergarten classes, a US study released Tuesday found. The Michigan State University study found that prescriptions for the misdiagnoses could represent spending of 320 to 500 million dollars a year, with 80 to 90 million of it paid by Medicaid, a public health insurance program for the poor. The most commonly prescribed drug for ADHD is Ritalin (methylphenidate), a psychostimulant, and its long-term effects are not well known, wrote lead author Todd Elder, of Michigan State University, whose study will appear in the Journal of Health Economics. Elder studied some 12,000 young children. He found that “the youngest kindergarteners were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the oldest children in the same grade. Similarly, when that group of classmates reached the fifth and eighth grades, the youngest were more than twice as likely to be prescribed stimulants” for ADHD. Though only doctors diagnose the condition, “many ADHD diagnoses may be driven by teachers’ perceptions of poor behavior among the youngest children in a kindergarten classroom,” Edler wrote. —AFP

But the spike among young Americans took researchers aback, especially as more kids in 2006 were vaccinated against illnesses that could cause hearing loss and awareness of music-induced cases had risen. “What surprises us a little bit is the difference between the previous time that this data was gathered and the most recent,” said Josef Shargorodsky of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the lead author of the study. “There was a 30-percent increase in prevalence of any hearing loss in this age group and there was a much greater, about 50 percent increase, in the prevalence of mild or worse hearing loss,” he said. Researchers led by Shargorodsky studied data from two sets of hearing tests performed on 1,771 12- to 19-year-olds. The first tests, conducted between 1988 and 1994, found nearly 15 percent of US teens had some hearing loss, while the second tests, between 2005 and 2006, found a 31-percent increase in the rate of teen hearing loss to 19.5 percent. The researchers saw no difference in estimated noise exposure between the two periods in the study, but said a recent study of children with slight to mild hearing loss in Australia found that “reported use of personal stereo devices was associated with a 70 percent increased risk of hearing loss. “The effects of noise exposure on hearing loss in adolescents deserve further study,” they said, also calling for further studies to determine reasons for the spike in hearingimpaired US teens and identify risk factors that can be changed to prevent hearing loss. Even slight hearing loss in school-aged children can “create a need for speech therapy, auditory training and special accommodations,” the study says. Shargorodsky said he was surprised by the new findings. He said better medical care for ear infections-one of the usual suspects in hearing damage-should in theory have decreased the numbers. The researchers did not single out personal listening devices or iPods for the growing problem. They said the reasons for the rise were unclear as teenagers, when asked about noise exposure - on the job, from firearms or recreational activities, for instance - didn’t indicate any change. But Shargorodsky said that might not necessarily be true as few people would call it noise when they listen to music on their MP3 player, for instance. “We knew from before that it is difficult to ask this age group about noise exposure-they underestimate it,” he said. “Some risk factors, such as loud sound exposure from listing to music, may be of particular importance to adolescents,” the report said. Alison Grimes, who manages the audiology clinic at Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, said although it’s not clear that these devices are to blame, it was still a good idea to turn down the volume and take frequent breaks from listening. Children with mild hearing loss can develop impaired speech and language development, which can go on to affect their educational achievement and emotional development. —Agencies

MANOA: Summer interns, Malia Paresa and Kelly Martonrana, place coral into the frozen repository at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa in Hawaii. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii have created the first frozen bank for Hawaiian corals in an attempt to protect them from extinction and to preserve their diversity in Hawaii. —AFP

Weight-loss surgery cuts diabetics’ costs CHICAGO: Three-fourths of obese diabetics who had weightloss surgery were able to quit taking diabetes drugs within six months of their operation, US researchers said, citing a new study. They said the surgery may eliminate the need for chronic medications to treat the disease and reduce overall healthcare costs, providing a strong argument for insurance companies to pay for the procedures. Once developed, diabetes and obesity are rarely reversed, Dr. Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and colleagues reported in Archives of Surgery, a medical journal. “Until a successful non-surgical means for preventing and reversing obesity is developed, bariatric surgery appears to be the only intervention that can result in a sustained reversal of both obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus in most patients receiving it,” they wrote. Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, has increased by 200 percent during the past five years, as obese people struggled to lose weight and avoid the health complications that accompany the extra pounds-such as diabetes, heart disease, joint pain and some cancers. There are several ways to do the surgery with the aim of giving the patient the illusion of fullness with small meals. In one approach, an adjustable band is inserted in a small incision and wrapped around the top of the stomach during the surgery. In another, known as Roux-en-Y, the stomach is closed off near the top, creating a small pouch. But few studies have looked at how the surgery affected health costs in type 2 diabetics. Makary and his colleagues analyzed insurance claims data from 2,235 patients who underwent bariatric surgery during a

Weight loss can improve your overall health condition. four-year period. They found that among the diabetic patients who had bariatric surgery, only 25 percent were taking diabetes medication six months later, and that number kept falling. A year after surgery, fewer than 20 percent of patients were taking diabetes drugs and two years after surgery, only 15 percent were still doing so. Healthcare costs per diabetic averaged $6,376 per year in the two years before surgery. The median cost of the surgery and hospitalization was $29,959. Health costs increased in the year after the study by nearly 10

percent, but then fell by 34 percent in the second year after surgery and by 70.5 percent in the third year. “Because weight loss following bariatric surgery has been observed to be sustained for decades, we believe that the protective effect against complications of diabetes is also likely to be long-term,” the team wrote. Based on the study, obese patients with diabetes should be told about the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery, and insurance companies should be encouraged to cover weight-loss surgery for appropriate patients, they said. —Reuters

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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

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IEI Kuwait Chapter conducts technical seminar

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he Institution of Engineers India, Kuwait Chapter, conducted a seminar on August 8, 2010 at Seminar Hall of the Kuwait Society of Engineers. Chairman, Zaidi, welcomed the new Secretary Cultural and Education - Indian Embassy Hari Krishna Mohan and Ex-Chairman Joseph Panicker presented a flower bouquet to the honorable guest on behalf of IEI Kuwait Chapter. Zaidi updated the gathering on activities of the Chapter and encouraged all to benefit from the activities of IEI Kuwait Chapter and promote memberships. He made an announcement of 43rd Engineers day Celebration to be held on October 13, 2010 at Ceremonial Hall of Arab Fund Building. The chairman invited corporate and non-corporate members to submit their articles for IEI Kuwait Chapter Souvenir and its cover page design, the best cover page design and article will be selected to be included in the Souvenir. The chairman also encouraged all IEI members to obtain as many advertisements for souvenir as possible as it is the sole source for chapter’s expenses throughout the year. General Secretary Mohammed Fareedul Haq Imadi introduced the speaker-1, Dr Rumane Abdul Razzak who delivered a technical presentation on the topic “Cost of Quality in Construction Projects”. The contents of his technical presenta-

EMBASSY OF US

tion were extracted from his book to be released in November 2010. General Secretary also introduced the speaker-2, Kaide Johar Manasi PMP, PMI-SP who delivered his technical presentation on “Effective Time Management”. Both the presenta-

tions were appreciated by all the attendees of the seminar. The honorable guest appreciated the activities of IEI Kuwait Chapter and finally the seminar was concluded with vote of thanks by the general secretary.

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

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

OCT 29 Onathanima tug of war: Thanima is conducting its annual Onam celebrations along with its celebrated tug of war competitions on October 29 at Central School compound, Abbasiya. Cultural procession, concert and other attractive cultural items will add glitter to the evening function in which many prominent personalities are expected to be present. Those teams wishing to participate in the tug of war competition, please contact 99865499 / 97253653 / 66071276 / 99703872.

Australian Federal Election 2010

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he Australian Federal Election will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2010. All Australian Citizens who wish to vote will be able to vote in person at the Australian Embassy in Kuwait from Monday August 16 to Friday August 20 from 9 am to 3 pm. Please note that you will not be able to cast your vote on polling day due to the time difference between Australia and Kuwait. You will need to know which Australian address you are enrolled at to be issued with the correct ballot papers. You can check this at the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website:www.aec.gov.au/check, by emailing info@aec.gov.au or by calling +61 2 271 4411. All enquiries about enrolment must be directed to the AEC. You will need to present a valid identification document (passport, driver’s license, photo IDcard) to be admitted into the Embassy.

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

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OCT 21 Rendezvous 2010: The Kuwait Chapter of the St. Aloysius College Alumni Association (SACAA KUWAIT) have announced that “Rendezvous” their hallmark event will be conducted on 21st October at Asia Asia Restaurant, Souk Al Watiya, Kuwait City from 8 pm onwards. This year, SACAA Kuwait celebrates five years of its existence in Kuwait. SACAA-Kuwait has been synonymous with various fund raising initiatives through which they consistently supported various needs of their Alma Mater and its students back in Mangalore, India. Through Rendezvous-2010, SACAA-Kuwait intends to help generate funds for the Poor Students Fund of St. Aloysius institutions where numerous needy students look forward to assistance to subsidize their costs. SACAA Kuwait calls upon all Aloysians, their families and also like minded people to join this noble cause and help make life a little better for those needy students back home. For entry passes and further information, kindly contact - 66731828, 66746425, 66181041, 94093275, 66699857, 66091962.

Embassy information

KFH donates $2m for Pakistan flood victims

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hairman and Managing Director of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Bader Abdul Muhsen AlMukhaizeem announced that the donation by KFH of 2 million US dollars to aid victims of the floods in Pakistan through the Kuwait Red Crescent Society comes as a confirmation of the social mission of KFH in its broadest sense. This role which includes assisting the Islamic peoples affected by disasters deepens the spirit of giving and benevolence the people of Kuwait have been well-known for. The initiative also comes as a speedy response to the Government’s invitation, which was quick to donate to the relief efforts and urged everyone to participate as well. Al-Mukhaizeem stated in a press release that KFH will hand over within the next two days the donation check to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, expressing the hope that it will contribute to alleviating the suffering of our brothers affected by

Bader Abdul Muhsen Al-Mukhaizeem major flooding which caused devastation and the destruction of many buildings and facilities, and left thousands of displaced and missing persons. He confirmed that KFH is keen to partici-

pate in official efforts geared towards the relief of friendly countries, which will reinforce the bright image of Kuwait and its people’s generosity and maximizes the concept of cooperation and rapprochement between the nations in serving the noble humanitarian causes. Al-Mukhaizeem went on to say: KFH provided and continues to provide assistance in various fields within Kuwait through the authorities and official bodies, as an ongoing effort by KFH to help the charitable committees and societies to perform their expected role and support their different competencies. Kuwait Zakat House received a recent donation from KFH worth KD 3.372 million to be distributed by the Zakat House by way of support for different bodies and activities, families and individuals in accordance with rules established by the Zakat House, during the blessed days of the Month of Ramadan, which

Dance celebrity’s performance to light up NSS Onam

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air Service Society (NSS), Kuwait will celebrate Onam on Sept 24, at Cambridge School, Mangaf. South Indian film star and acclaimed dancer Lakshmi Gopalaswamy will perform during the function. Ajai Malhotra, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, will be the Chief Guest at the Onam celebration on September 24, which will be followed by a full day variety entertainment program depicting the rich heritage and art forms of Kerala. Muraleekrishnan P, President of Nair Service Society, Kuwait (NSS Kuwait) will preside over the function. Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, the leading South Indian film actress and renowned Classical Dancer will be performing during the celebration on September 24. Lakshmi Gopalaswami has won many awards including Kerala State Film Award. The Ona-Sadhya (Onam Feast) will be served in the traditional Kerala style on banana leaf on September 24. Nair Service Society (NSS) Kuwait, is

calls upon Muslims to demonstrate values of cooperation and brotherhood, as well as giving for a good cause. KFH hopes that the donation will alleviate part the suffering of those affected in Pakistan as a result of the floods. At the local level KFH strives to perform its social role, which stems from the premise that money has a role in society that is equally important in sustaining charitable work and development activities through NGOs and official institutions, Ministries and associations for the public benefit, in support of government efforts in this regard. Moreover, KFH’s performance of and attendance to its social role stems from its role as an Islamic financial institution that shares the sense of belonging to the greater Muslim nation coupled with the responsibility to support key priorities in various communities to attain comprehensive development in various fields.

Arpan Onam celebrations

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Lakshmi Gopalaswamy one of the largest Socio-Cultural Organization in Kuwait formed in year 2001 and now has more than 3,000

Indians as members. For more information, contact: Anish Nair, NSS Kuwait 9969-1431.

rpan Kuwait will celebrate Onam-the harvest festival of Kerala-on October 1, 2010 from 10 am onwards at the Indian Community School (Amman Branch), Salmiya. Arpan office-bearers are lining up an array of cultural programs to celebrate the festival that marks the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali. A variety of programs to be presented by Arpan members and their families will include Mohiniyattom, Onam songs, folk and traditional songs, skits etc. Arrival of Mahabali with the accompaniment of ‘chenda’, ‘arpu’ and ‘pulikkali’ will be the highlight of the celebration. Athappookkalam, to be drawn by the Ladies Wing of Arpan will be an added attraction. The celebration will conclude with the traditional ‘Onasadya.’

Sports FAST Shoot: Filipino Action Shooting Team (FAST) officials, with the support of Gen. Ahmmed Al Saleem would like to invite everyone to their Fun Shoot every Tuesday from 17:00-21:00 hours. For details contact: Butch Alinea 99816563, Danny San Juan 99540595 Carlos Gutierrez 97270371 and FAST Adviser Manny Cornelio 66737298. ✦✦✦ FPSC Fun Shoot session: The Filipino Practical Shooting Club (FPSC) is inviting its members and non-members who are gun sports

enthusiast to join us every Thursday at 17:00 hours to 21:00 hours (5 pm to 9 pm) for a fun shoot in practical shooting target continues FPSC will hold a sanction tournament for the Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) as a requirement for the club affiliation for the year 20l0. All FPSC/PPSA members are obliged to participate in these disciplines. For particulars, please call the following officers: Tony 66600481, Eric 99570689, Jovi 66742419, Rommel 66850748, Dadz 66634012, Sunny 99545917, Joseph 99517467, Ramon 97433824, Ramir

99629631.

✦✦✦ Football referees coaching classes: Football referee coaching class for new recruits and refresher classes for active members will be conducted by the Indian Football Referees’ Association (IFRA) Kuwait from today at the Indian English Academy School (Don Bosco Salmiya from 9:30 am onwards). Audio visual aids will be used to enhance the understanding of the laws of the game better. All new candidates desiring to qualify as

football referees are requested to contact Sarto Baptista on tel 25611621 (after 6pm), Junifer Rodrigues on tel 25633261 (after 5 pm) and also C O John on 66274017 (Mangaf/Fahaheel/Ahmadi area) for more information. ✦✦✦ Kuwait Netball Association games: The Kuwait Netball Association games are played on Tuesday evenings between 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm. To register or for more information email: kuwaitnetball@hotmail.com. New players are always welcome.

The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. The Embassy of India will remain closed on August 23 and September 2, 2010 on account of ‘Onam’ and ‘Janmashtami’ respectively. EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will follow the following office hours during the holy month of Ramadan. Sunday to Thursday: 09:00 - 3:00 pm. Friday and Saturday: Weekly holidays. EMBASSY OF TURKEY The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey announces that Turkish language course will restart at the Embassy’s Tourism, Culture and Information Office 4 October 2010. The lessons will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. For further details and registration please contact. * The Embassy at Tel: 22531785 (only from 9 am to 3 pm) * Or fill the application form on http://kuweyt.befscnet.net and send it to the e-mail: Turkish_embassy_Kuwait@hotmail.com EMBASSY OF THAILAND All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies and the Royal Thai Consulate General worldwide, including eligible foreigners who apply for Visa on arrival at designated checkpoints, will be exempted from tourist visa fees until 31 March 2011. Such arrangement is for Tourist Visa only.

TV PROGRAMS

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 22:00 Catch It Keep It 22:50 Science of the Movies 23:40 Mighty Ships 00:00 The Unit 01:00 Lie to Me 02:00 Law & Order 03:00 Flash Forward 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 Survivor Heroes vs Villains 06:00 ER 07:00 The Unit 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 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 Dollhouse 19:00 ER 20:00 Defying Gravity

00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Shark After Dark 02:35 Into the Dragon’s Lair 03:30 Untamed & Uncut 04:25 Cats of Claw Hill 04:50 Cats of Claw Hill 05:20 In Too Deep 05:45 Monkey Life 06:10 SSPCA: On the Wildside 06:35 Night 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:15 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Cats of Claw Hill 09:10 Cats of Claw Hill 09:40 In Too Deep 10:05 Deadly Waters 10:55 Monkey Life 11:20 Night 11:50 Animal Precinct 12:45 Vet on the Loose 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Philadelphia 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 SSPCA: On the Wildside 15:30 Sharkman 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Breed All About It 17:45 Breed All About It 18:15 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 19:10 Killer Crocs of Costa Rica 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 I Shouldn’t Be Alive 22:00 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia

00:25 Lead Balloon 00:55 Lead Balloon 01:25 Mastermind 2006 01:50 The Weakest Link 02:35 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:05 Gigglebiz 03:20 Tweenies 03:40 Tellytales 03:50 Tikkabilla 04:20 Gigglebiz 04:35 Tweenies 04:55 Tikkabilla 05:25 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 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Coast 15:15 Last Of The Summer Wine 15:45 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Casualty 18:50 Casualty 19:50 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders

00:15 The Hairy Bakers 00:45 Glamour Puds 01:10 The Home Show 02:00 Cash In The Attic 02:45 Cash In The Attic 03:30 Come Dine With Me 04:15 The Restaurant UK 05:00 Hidden Potential 05:30 Cash In The Attic USA 05:55 10 Years Younger 07:00 The Restaurant UK 08:00 Living In The Sun 08:55 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Hidden Potential 10:05 Cash In The Attic USA 10:30 The Hairy Bakers 10:55 Glamour Puds 11:20 The Home Show 12:10 10 Years Younger 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:50 Cash In The Attic 14:40 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 The Hairy Bakers 16:45 Glamour Puds 17:10 The Home Show 18:00 10 Years Younger 18:50 Come Dine With Me 19:40 Boys’ Weekend 20:15 Indian Food Made Easy 20:40 Chuck’s Day Off 21:05 Ty’s Great British Adventure 21:55 Cash In The Attic

01:00 The Locusts-PG15 03:15 Man On Wire-PG15 05:00 Diamond 13-18 07:00 What Rats Won’t Do-PG15 09:00 Les Miserables-PG15 11:15 Stolen Summer-PG 13:00 Dragon Hunters-PG 15:00 It Might Get Loud-PG15 16:45 Run Papa Run-PG15 18:45 We Are Marshall-PG15 21:00 Vanilla Sky-18 23:15 De-lovely-PG15

00:40 Street Customs 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Wreckreation Nation 03:25 Mega Machines 3 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How It’s Made 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Mean Machines 07:25 Mega Machines 3 08:15 Street Customs 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival: Bear’s Essentials 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 - The Pilot 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 Machines Work 21:00 Destroyed in Seconds 21:30 Destroyed in Seconds 21:55 Serial Killers 22:50 I Escaped Death

00:30 What’s That About? 01:20 Space Pioneer 02:10 Engineered 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Thunder Races 04:45 How Stuff’s Made 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 Stunt Junkies 06:10 What’s That About? 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 Race to Mars 09:00 How Does That Work? 16:20 How Stuff’s Made 16:50 Scrappy Races 17:45 Brainiac 18:40 Catch It Keep It 19:30 Science of the Movies 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 Mega Builders

00:15 Suite Life On Deck 00:35 Jonas 01:00 Sonny With A Chance 01:25 Hannah Montana 01:50 Hannah Montana 02:15 Jonas 02:35 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 03:25 Fairly Odd Parents 03:50 Phineas And Ferb 04:15 Replacements 04:35 Suite Life On Deck 05:00 Hannah Montana 05:01 Kim Possible 05:50 A Kind Of Magic 06:15 Fairly Odd Parents 06:35 Replacements 07:00 Stitch 07:01 Fairly Odd Parents 07:50 Phineas And Ferb 08:15 Replacements 08:35 A Kind Of Magic 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 Hannah Montana 13:25 Jonas 13:50 Sonny With A Chance 14:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 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

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest Tv Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 Ths 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 Ths 06:55 Ths 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:10 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 Ths 11:30 E!es 12:00 Pretty Wild 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Pretty Wild 20:05 Pretty Wild 20:30 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Giuliana And Bill 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 Wildest Tv Show Moments 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Cape Epic 00:30 Cape Epic 01:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 01:30 F.I.A European Drag Racing 02:00 Kick Ass Miracles 02:30 Kick Ass Miracles 03:00 Bad Boy Racers 04:00 Untracked Series 2 05:00 I-Ex 07:30 I-Ex 08:00 Ifmxf 2009 6 08:30 Ifmxf 2009 7 09:00 Ifmxf 2009 8

09:30 Ifmxf 2009 10 10:00 Ifmxf 2009 11 10:30 Ifmxf 2009 12 11:00 Mengejar Ombak 1 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 Quattro Int Events: Athlete Profile: Richard Permin & Miriam Jager 14:30 Quattro Int Events: Profile Sverre Liliequist & Kaj Zackrisson 15:00 Mengejar Ombak 1 16:00 Untracked Series 2 16:30 Untracked Series 2 17:00 Ifmxf 2009 6 17:30 Ifmxf 2009 7 18:00 Ifmxf 2009 8 18:30 Ifmxf 2009 10 19:00 Ifmxf 2009 11 19:30 Ifmxf 2009 12 20:00 Untracked Series 2 20:30 Untracked Series 2 21:00 Mengejar Ombak 1 22:00 Bad Boy Racers 23:00 Kick Ass Miracles 23:30 Kick Ass Miracles

00:00 Iron Chef America 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

01:00 Golf Central International 01:30 The Golf Channel - TBA 02:30 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’ Reilly 200 Bristol, CT 03:00 Programming To Be Announced 05:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 06:00 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour Marshall - Putnam Fairgrounds 07:00 Major League Soccer New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy 10:00 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’ Reilly 200 Bristol, CT 13:00 Golf Central International 13:30 Inside the PGA Tour 14:00 Sport Central 14:30 2010 American Le Mans Series: Mid-Ohio Lexington, OH 16:00 European Tour Czech Open 2010 Rd. 1 Celadna, Czech Republic 19:00 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’ Reilly 200 Bristol, CT 22:00 PGA Tour: Wyndham Championship Rd. 1 Greensboro, NC

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:05 Murder Shift 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Ghosthunters 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Real Emergency Calls 06:35 Real Emergency Calls 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Fugitive Strike Force 09:30 Diagnosis: Unknown 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Real Emergency Calls 12:25 Real Emergency Calls 12:50 On the Case with Paula Zahn 13:40 CSU 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Fugitive Strike Force 17:00 Diagnosis: Unknown 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 19:55 Real Emergency Calls 20:20 On the Case with Paula Zahn 21:10 CSU 22:00 Autopsy: Most Shocking Cases

01:45 The Pink Panther Strikes Again 03:30 The Coca Cola Kid 05:05 Fish Don’t Blink 06:35 Lord Of Illusions 08:25 The Black Stallion 10:20 Woman Of Straw 12:15 The Playboys 14:05 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course 15:35 Haunted Honeymoon 17:00 The Winter People 18:40 Untamed Heart 20:20 Man In The Moon 22:00 The Knack And How To Get It 23:25 The Pink Panther

Halloween 2 on Show Movies

00:30 Word Travels 01:00 Bondi Rescue 01:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Madventures 04:00 Banged Up Abroad 05:00 Take Away My Takeaway 05:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 06:30 Word Travels 07:00 Bondi Rescue 07:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Madventures 10:00 Banged Up Abroad 11:00 Pressure Cook 11:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 12:30 Word Travels 13:00 Bondi Rescue 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 The Best Job In The World

14:30 4Real 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Madventures 16:00 Banged Up Abroad 17:00 Pressure Cook 17:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Word Travels 19:00 Bondi Rescue 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 The Best Job In The World 20:30 4Real 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Madventures 22:00 Banged Up Abroad 23:00 Pressure Cook 23:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cleveland Show 03:30 Seinfeld 04:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 04:30 Family Biz 05:00 Just Shoot me! 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Eight Simple Rules 07:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Just Shoot me! 09:00 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 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show 13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 Family Biz 14:30 Rita Rocks 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Seinfeld 18:30 Will & Grace 19:00 Just Shoot me! 19:30 Til death 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Will & Grace 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 23:30 New Adventures of old Christine

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Look A Like 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 09:00 Never Trust a Skinny Cook 09:30 Huey’s cooking adventures 10:00 The Martha Stewart Show 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 What’s Good For You 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 Never Trust a Skinny Cook 17:30 Huey’s cooking adventures 18:00 Look A Like 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

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 19:35 Handy Manny

00:00 Halloween 2-18 02:00 Far North-PG 04:00 Mostly Ghostly-PG 06:00 Under The Mountain-PG 08:00 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 10:00 Stevie-PG15 12:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua-PG 14:00 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins16:00 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 18:00 Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen-PG15 20:30 Burn After Reading-PG15 22:15 The House Bunny-18

01:00 The Betrayed-PG15 03:00 28 Days Later-18 05:00 Wushu Warrior-PG15 07:00 Stargate: The Ark Of Truth-PG 09:00 The Least Of These-PG15 11:00 Hush-PG15 13:00 Twin Daggers-PG15 15:00 The Least Of These-PG15 17:00 Nightfall-PG15 19:00 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon21:00 Merlin And The Book Of Beasts23:00 Trick ‘r Treat-18

00:00 Sabrina-PG 02:15 Christmas At The Riviera-PG

Wanted on Super Movies 04:00 Good Burger-PG 06:00 Short Track-PG 08:00 Crush-PG15 10:00 Kingdom Come-PG 12:00 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-PG 14:30 The Hammer-PG15 16:00 Sabrina-PG 18:30 This Is Not A Test-PG15 20:00 Prom Wars-18 22:00 Black Dynamite-18

00:00 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs-FAM 02:00 Dr. Dolittle : Million Dollars Mutts04:00 The Jungle Book Ii-FAM 06:00 Robin Hood: The King’s Return08:00 Gladiator Academy: The MovieFAM 10:00 The Jungle Book Ii-FAM 12:00 The Trumpet Of The Swan-FAM 14:00 Dr. Dolittle : Million Dollars Mutts16:00 Papelucho And The Martian-FAM 18:00 Harriet The Spy-PG 20:00 Piper Penguin And His Fantastic Flying Machi-PG 22:00 The Trumpet Of The Swan-FAM

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 The Closer 02:00 Criminal Minds 03:00 One Tree Hill 04:00 8 Simple rules 04:30 Rita Rocks 05:00 Without a trace 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Criminal Minds 08:00 8 Simple rules 08:30 Rita Rocks 09:00 One Tree Hill 10:00 Without a trace 11:00 Criminal Minds 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 8 Simple rules 13:30 Rita Rocks 14:00 Burn Notice 15:00 The Closer 16:00 Without a trace 17:00 In Plain Sight 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 19:00 Heroes 20:00 The Closer 21:00 CSI Miami 22:00 Without a trace 23:00 In Plain Sight

00:00 Cricket Test Match 07:00 Triathlon 08:00 Super League 10:00 NRL Full Time 10:30 World Match Racing Tour 11:30 World Pool Masters 12:30 ICC Cricket World 13:00 Live Cricket Test Match 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 World Sport 21:00 Total Rugby 21:30 Brazil League Highlights 22:00 Scottish Premier League

00:00 Triatholn 01:00 World Pool Masters 02:00 AFL Premiership 04:30 ICC Cricket World 05:00 Currie Cup 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 SPL Highlights 08:30 FEI Equestrain World 09:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 10:00 European Tour Weekly 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 NRL Premiership 14:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 15:00 Brazil League Highlights 15:30 European Tour Weekly

16:00 Live PGA European Tour 19:00 Futbol Mundial 19:30 Triatholn 20:30 European Tour Weekly 21:00 PGA European Tour

00:00 Le Mans Series Highlights 01:30 UAE National Race Day 02:00 UFC Unleashed 03:00 UFC Jones vs Matyushenko 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 WWE Vintage Collection 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 11:30 FIM World Cup 12:00 UAE National Race Day 12:30 Planet Power Boats 13:00 V8 Supercars Championship 15:00 FIM World Cup 15:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 17:00 UFC 117 Silva vs. Sonnin 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 The Damned United-PG15 03:00 Sunshine Cleaning-PG15 05:00 The Loss Of A Teardrop DiamondPG15 07:00 American Violet-PG15 09:00 High Noon-PG15 11:00 The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor-PG 13:00 Rails And Ties-PG15 15:00 G-force-PG 17:00 High Noon-PG15 19:00 Night At The Museum : Battle Of The Smiths-PG15 21:00 Julie And Julia-PG15 23:15 Wanted-18

01:50 The Unsinkable Molly Brown 04:00 The Screening Room 04:30 Zebrahead 06:10 The Screening Room 06:35 The Screening Room 07:00 Desert Bloom 08:45 The Unsinkable Molly Brown 11:00 Meet Me In St. Louis 12:50 The Screening Room 13:15 Code Name: Emerald 14:50 Kidnapped 16:35 Lies My Father Told Me 18:15 The Screening Room 18:40 Sam Whiskey 20:15 3 Godfathers 22:00 The Dresser 23:55 The Dirty Dozen

00:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 01:20 Hitler & Stalin: Roots Of Evil 02:10 Pawn Stars 03:00 Pawn Stars 03:25 Crap: A Short History 03:55 Nostradamus Effect 05:40 Conspiracy? 06:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 07:20 Hitler & Stalin: Roots Of Evil 08:10 Pawn Stars 09:00 Pawn Stars 09:25 Crap: A Short History 09:55 Nostradamus Effect 11:40 Conspiracy? 12:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 13:20 Hitler & Stalin: Roots Of Evil 14:10 Pawn Stars 15:00 Pawn Stars 15:25 Crap: A Short History 15:55 Nostradamus Effect 17:40 Conspiracy? 18:30 Dead Men’s Secrets 19:20 Hitler & Stalin: Roots Of Evil 20:10 Declassified

00:00 Dr 90210 01:00 The Designers 01:30 Kimora’s Home Movies

02:00 How Do I Look? 03:00 Split Ends 04:00 The Designers 04:30 Style Her Famous 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 13:00 Clean House 14:00 Clean House Comes Clean 14:30 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 17:00 Tacky House 17:30 Tacky House 18:00 Dallas Divas And Daughters 18:30 Dallas Divas And Daughters 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House 21:00 How Do I Look? 22:00 Jerseylicious

01:00 Code 01:04 Latina 10 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:00 Code 05:04 Legend 06:00 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Latina 10 08:45 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 14:00 Trace Video Mix 15:00 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 Rnb 10 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Code

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood and Vines 01:30 Floyd Uncorked 02:00 Culinary Asia 03:00 Planet Food 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 Hollywood and Vines 09:30 Flavours of South Africa 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 Orient 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 Hollywood and Vines 15:30 Flavours of South Africa 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 $100 Taxi Ride 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Travel Notebook 21:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 22:00 Intrepid Journeys 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 Music For The Masses 01:00 Greatest Hits 02:00 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 Surfing 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 Vh1 Pop Chart

Thursday, August 19, 2010

33

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Thursday 19/08/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jordanian 802 Amman Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 408 Beirut Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Turkish 772 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 551 Alexandria Egypt Air 614 Cairo Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Kuwait 802 Cairo Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 503 Luxor Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 527 Alexandria British 157 London Jazeera 529 Assiut Jazeera 613 Lahore Kuwait 204 Lahore Iran Air 605 Isfahan Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 447 Doha Syrian Air 341 Damascus Jazeera 171 Dubai Almasria Universal 407 Alexandria Gulf Air 219 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 457 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai United 982 Washington Dc Dulles Jordanian 800 Amman Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Fly Dubai 057 Dubai Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 332 Alexandria Saudia 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Kuwait 1502 Beirut Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha Kuwait 546 Alexandria Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Jazeera 173 Dubai Kuwait 118 New York Mihin 403 Colombo/Dubai Etihad 303 Abu Dhabi Emirates 857 Dubai Gulf Air 215 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 402 Beirut Saudia 510 Riyadh Kuwait 562 Amman Iran Air 617 Ahwaz Arabia 125 Sharjah Jazeera 493 Jeddah Jazeera 129 Bahrain Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai Wataniya Airways 304 Cairo Kuwait 104 London Wataniya Airways 106 Dubai Rovos 093 Kandahar/Dubai Kuwait 502 Beirut Kuwait 542 Cairo Kuwait 618 Doha Kuwait 786 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 202 Jeddah Jazeera 177 Dubai Jazeera 433 Mashad Kuwait 674 Dubai Kuwait 614 Bahrain Bahrain Air 344 Bahrain Singapore 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 774 Riyadh Almasria Universal 109 Assiut Fly Dubai 061 Dubai Jazeera 459 Damascus Oman Air 647 Muscat Wataniya Airways 612 Sabiha Middle East 402 Beirut Rovos 081 Baghdad Jet A/W 572 Mumbai Egypt Air 618 Alexandria KLM 0445 Amsterdam Wataniya Airways 404 Beirut Jazeera 183 Dubai DHL 372 Bahrain Gulf Air 217 Bahrain Emirates 859 Dubai Kuwait 178 Geneva/Frankfurt Qatari 136 Doha United 981 Bahrain Indian 981 Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad Jazeera 429 Bahrain Lufthansa 636 Frankfurt Egypt Air 612 Cairo Bangladesh 043 Dhaka Egypt Air 606 Luxor Pakistan 205 Lahore Wataniya Airways 108 Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Thursday 19/08/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Pakistan 216 Karachi Turkish 773 Istanbul Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria Egypt Air 615 Cairo DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 331 Alexandria Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Jazeera 456 Damascus Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Iran Air 606 Mashad Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Kuwait 1501 Beirut Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Middle East 405 Beirut Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Jazeera 172 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Syrian Air 342 Damascus Jazeera 432 Mashad Kuwait 785 Jeddah Almasria Universal 408 Assiut Gulf Air 220 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Jordanian 801 Amman Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Egypt Air 622 Assiut Jazeera 458 Damascus United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Jazeera 128 Bahrain Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 553 Damascus Kuwait 617 Doha Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 505 Jeddah Kuwait 773 Riyadh Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 613 Bahrain Jazeera 182 Dubai Rovos 082 Baghdad Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin 404 Dubai/Colombo Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Emirates 858 Dubai Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudia 511 Riyadh Iran Air 616 Ahwaz Kuwait 285 Chittagong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Kuwait 283 Dhaka Jazeera 266 Beirut Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Kuwait 361 Colombo Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Almasria Universal 110 Assiut Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Jazeera 186 Dubai Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh Kuwait 351 Cochin Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 619 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain Jazeera 240 Amman DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 502 Luxor United 981 Washington Dc Dulles Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Egypt Air 613 Cairo

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

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

ACCOMMODATION Fully furnished sharing accommodation available with all facilities in a D/B, window A/C flat for a single executive or small family. Rent KD 80. Contact: 99787621. (C 2588) 19-8-2010 Sharing accommodation available in two bedroom two bathroom flat for (Indians) bachelors / family near Garanada cinema at Kheitan. Call: 66141908. (C 2579) Sharing accommodation available for a family with Kerala family in a two bedroom, two bathroom flat in Abbassiya, opp. German Clinic. Cont: 65003307. (C 2582) Sharing accommodation available or bachelors near Hidine Super Market, Abbassiya from 1st September 2010. Ph: 24312462. (C 2583) Sharing accommodation available for family near Indian Central School, Abbassiya. Cont: 99853244. (C 2585) 17-8-2010 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) 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

FOR SALE Used car for sale. Ph: 66052331. (C 2587) 19-8-2010 Toyota Corolla model 2010 white color, 1.8 engine, registration March 2013, alloy rim, fog lamp, C.D. auto mirror wooden interior, bumper camera sensor 4,000 km done, price KD 3850. Tel: 97213518. (C 2586) 18-8-2010 Toyota Corolla 1.8 XLi gold-

en color 2005 excellent condition, very low mileage, wanted price KD 2350. Cont: 66015265. (C 2580) 17-8-2010 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)

TRANSPORT Wanted transport for a lady from Sharq to Airport at 7 am and back at 5 pm. Contact 66853905. 16-8-2010 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 Marthoma parents invite marriage proposal from parents of fair Marthoma / Orthodox boys aged 25 to 28 for their daughter, 23, 163 cm tall fair working in Kuwait as engineer. Please Contact: kunju.1950@yahoo.com (C 2584) 17-8-2010 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 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

SITUATION VACANT

Urgently needed house maid para sa Filipino family Tawag Lang. Ph: 66828616 / 66001263.

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

34

SPECTRUM

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 57

Aries (March 21-April 19) Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Expect a sense of support and good will from those around you. Perhaps you feel this is really you--how you feel and are. This can be an expansive, creative and even romantic phase; a time you could look back on with pride and fondness. Others seek you out for your psychological insight and understanding--a busy time. Continual discovery, persistent search and continual change and transformation keep you on the move and growing. This could be a time to make changes in your environment. You can really get your thoughts and ideas across to others. You may find yourself feeling more private and in a stay-athome mood this evening. Tonight is a time to spend with loved ones. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may find yourself having emotional differences with someone today. Those around you, or the situation you find yourself in, may not feel right to you. This is just one of those days in which you will need to be careful with the tone of voice. You can create peaceful results. You have a natural grasp for handling the public and you know how to smooth over ruffled feathers. Some form of exercise this afternoon, after the workday has ended, will be a great way to relieve stress and regain your positive energies. You collect recipes, join a diet club and help someone do research for a past relationship--dad, sister, etc. At home this evening, you read your mail and are encouraged to do some creative activity with the family. No time today for snoozing.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 4. The basic unit of money in Macao. 10. The portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord. 13. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 14. An isogram connecting points having equal barometric pressure at a given time. 15. Headdress that protects the head from bad weather. 16. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 17. A small bottle that contains a drug (especially a sealed sterile container for injection by needle). 19. Tired to the point of exhaustion. 22. Any of various deciduous or evergreen ornamental shrubs of the genus Abelia having opposite simple leaves and cymes of small white or pink or purplish flowers. 24. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 27. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 29. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 30. Praise, glorify, or honor. 31. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 33. Joined together into a whole. 37. A metric unit of length equal to one hundredth of a meter. 39. A Loloish language. 42. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 45. A city and port in northern Jutland. 47. An earth color containing ferric oxides. 50. Chief of the Vanir. 51. A slight rounded elevation where the malleus attaches to the eardrum. 52. Related by blood. 55. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 57. The trait of lacking restraint or control. 61. How long something has existed. 62. A port city in southwestern Iran. 64. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 65. Female of domestic cattle. 66. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 67. A potent estrogen used in medicine and in feed for livestock and poultry. DOWN 1. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 2. The lower house of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. 3. 1/10 gram. 4. Type genus of the Pipridae containing the typical manakins. 5. The residue that remains when something is burned. 6. Productive work (especially physical work done for wages). 7. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 8. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 9. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 10. A Hindu disciple of a swami. 11. An extreme state of adversity. 12. The function or position properly or customarily occupied or served by another. 18. A chain of more than 200 islands about 400 miles long in the western central Pacific Ocean. 20. (Old Testament) The eldest son of Isaac who would have inherited the Covenant that God made with Abraham and that Abraham passed on to Isaac. 21. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 23. Hardy breed of cattle resulting from crossing domestic cattle with the American buffalo. 25. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 26. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 28. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 32. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 34. Wearing footgear. 35. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 36. A member of the genus Canis (probably descended from the common wolf) that has been domesticated by man since prehistoric times. 38. Administration of a nutritionally adequate solution through a catheter into the vena cava. 40. A Dravidian language spoken in southern India. 41. A pilgrimage to Mecca. 43. Of or relating to or characteristic of the Hebrews. 44. Small buffalo of the Celebes having small straight horns. 46. A submachine gun operated by gas pressure. 48. (psychoanalysis) An idealized image of someone (usually a parent) formed in childhood. 49. Jordan's port. 50. Being nine more than forty. 53. Formerly the chief magistrate in the republics of Venice and Genoa. 54. Type genus of the Anatidae. 56. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 58. A flexible container with a single opening. 59. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 60. An informal term for a father. 63. A public promotion of some product or service.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Law, politics, education, travel and religion are some of the areas where an emotionally charged drama will be played out. You could be in the limelight, especially with superiors or in relation to your work. You may find that you enjoy your job or the responsibility it entails more than usual. Self-sacrifice and an understanding attitude on your part could have far-reaching effects on your own life-path and career. You may find yourself more than a little eager to purchase products that you may forget about in a week or so. Do yourself a favor and ask yourself if you really need whatever it is you are looking to buy this afternoon. You may end up with a different perspective. Your opinion will be sought regarding a character analysis--careful.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your innate seriousness and sense of obligation spur you to action today. This may mean a friend or work partner needs your expertise in completing a job or gaining insight into some possibilities. Independence is treasured but not when it threatens another personís independence, so walk carefully and perform your work as your usual gracious self. This evening you may find great support from loved ones. There is a feeling of sharing and working toward the same goals. This is a blessing because you will find ways in which to encourage, support and influence others. Unafraid of the dark or negative side of life, you are interested in esoteric religion, everything mystical or occult, etc. There is much to learn and you may decide to take a class. Leo (July 23-August 22) Understanding is the key for success today--concentration will get you there. New studies or something someone says helps you to find the answers you seek. Communication, computers, electronics and everything new-wave excites you and you excel here. You discover new ways of working with traditional materials. Your career always seems to get the support you need--this is one area of life that runs smoothly. You seem to understand the buying trends are of different age groups, as well as the general public--trends, ethnic groups, etc. You would make a superior buyer for a large retail organization. You will be redefining who and what you are at this time and should spend some time alone in thought. You volunteer in some community project tonight.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) There are good, practical job-related thoughts and ideas available to you today. Communications are more favorable now than in the recent past. Your work gains positive results at this time. You are coming into a new cycle centered on taking what you know and your talents and making the most of it in the real world. Gathering information and experience, learning lessons and putting them into practice--this is the focus now. It's a time for prudence and stewardship, a time to tend to the details. You probably already have the grand visions: now you must get your hands dirty with the bricks and mortar and put it all together. Your intuition is strong and can guide you accurately through all the right paths. Your loved one has good news tonight.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Everything points to your taking the controls today. You are feeling good and your energies are high. You are also very communicative: talking, writing, broadcasting, even by car. You often move beyond conventions into whatever is new, exciting and spicy--you are happy when caught up in the complexity of life. This afternoon your concentration turns to friends. Your friends, partners and relationships mean a lot to you. They are a primary source of strength and you may look to them for support and encouragement. You are indeed a social being and will no doubt weave this into your lifestyle. If you find yourself in a position to take control of a project or to become group leader, keep in mind that this period favors working for group objectives.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Work, health, diet and the other things that take care of us if we take care of them can provide a lot of satisfaction as a new life phase begins for you. You may decide that backwards walking or something like Yoga is just for you. You have a good support system for whatever type of exercise you desire to undertake--patience will find that you may add a couple of people to come along with you as well. You have the desire to do well and will stick with this exercise for a very long time. Taking care of the necessary underpinnings of life--health, work, etc., becomes a greater preoccupation. There may have been some incentive from co-workers to improve the physical body. You will help to organize a successful neighborhood garage sale. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) When you assimilate the information you receive today, you will find some avenues that have been previously blocked are now opening. In other words, the more information you get to help you understand a situation, project, whatever, the more success you have with your endeavors. It's a time for prudence and stewardship, a time to tend to the details. You probably already have grand ideals and visions: now you must tend to the details and put everything together. Psychology; in particular group work, is one area that you can always look to for support and encouragement. You may find yourself counseling or ministering to others, helping them to understand, accept and make changes in their lives. You create a supportive environment.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yester

Yesterday’s Solution

To

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

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Frustration comes today when trying to make deadlines. You could easily be provoked, so exercise some control and be ready for a possible emotional overload. Your ideas may not find the support you need. You could be perceived as hard to reach and you may feel that no one recognizes your achievements. Fear not--this is not a long-term condition. The afternoon brings with it opportunities to take risks and dare to be a little unconventional. You will prosper through new insights, inventions and an independent point of view. Your career could open up by taking the road less traveled by daring to be the oddball--new approaches. Assimilating information and experience, learning lessons and putting them into practice is the focus for you at this time.

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

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Perhaps the message today is in putting to good use what you have learned over the past years. It is a time for forethought and budgeting, a time to tend to the details. You probably already have the grand ideas. You move forward gracefully and can enjoy many rewards because of your good attitude. There is a growing self-confidence in your abilities. In summary, from this time forward, expect a more confident, outgoing attitude, for you have brought to a close a time of inward examination and learning. There is a growing sense of direction and self-worth in which you will reach out and begin to establish yourself. An all-consuming book has your uppermost attention this evening. Someone else is willing to cook dinner tonight.

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your energies run effectively toward making yourself felt in the material, tangible outer world. You are an action person who gains the attention of others and seems to get things moving. The circumstances of your life suggest extroversion. If you are not in sales, you should be today! You have a love affair going with the mind and you value its entire offspring such as words, ideas, thoughts and such. In particular, you appreciate a good conversation. Stimulating mental adventures, either alone or with others, are among the most exciting experiences life offers. You have a built-in sense of discrimination when it comes to the intellect--all mental activities. This activity does not end in the work world. Neighbors are enjoyable to be with tonight.

INFORMATION

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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

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

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

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22517144

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24848075

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24849807

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24848913

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24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

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22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

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22515088

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22532265

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22531908

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22518752

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22459381

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22451082

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22456536

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22465401

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25746401

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25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

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25388462

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25381200

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22630786

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24810221

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24770319

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24575755

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24772608

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24775066

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24775992

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24311795

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24884079

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

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lindsay Lohan turns to art indsay Lohan is spending her time in rehab sketching. The troubled actress’ mother Dina Lohan has revealed her daughter is making good progress since she left prison and entered the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles to complete a court ordered 90-day treatment program and is spending her days drawing. Dina told TV show ‘Extra’: “Yeah she’s wonderful, we’re great, we’re good. Lindsay’s busy every day, actually, sketching. “She’s just thankful and grateful for all of her fans. They have been sending her letters and cards, and Lindsay has been answering them, so we’re really pleased about that.” Lindsay, 24, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab in July for breaking the terms of her probation for a 2007 driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. Among Lindsay’s well-wishers is reality TV star Kim Kardashian who has sent her messages of support, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed by Dina. Speaking about Kim, Dina added: “She’s been great. I’m friends with her mom, Kris, and they’ve been successful in their own right as well. We love them.” It is believed ‘Mean Girls’ star Lindsay may not have to finish the full 90 days in rehab, and could be released this week after doctors concluded her psychiatric problems are not as severe as they initially thought. If Lindsay - who is also being treated for problems with prescription drugs - is to be released it will have to be approved by a court, and she will still have to visit the centre as an outpatient.

Jenny McCarthy is dating a ‘pirate’

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he blonde beauty is romancing exfitness model Jason Toohey, who appears in ‘Sirens of TI’, a nightly pirate show held at Las Vegas’ Treasure Island hotel. Jenny - who split from actor

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Jim Carrey after five years together in April - is believed to have been secretly dating Jason for two months, after she hinted at having a “mystery man” on twitter. The couple’s relationship has

developed fast, with Jenny even temporarily living with Jason in Las Vegas, according to reports. Jenny said: “I’ve been living in Vegas for about a month. My house is under construction right now in Los Angeles, so I very well could be here until it’s done. It’s been awesome here.” In June, Jason changed his status on social networking site Facebook to ‘In a Relationship’, and has now changed his profile picture to one showing him and Jenny together. The fledgling couple have also flirted on twitter, with Jenny replying to a message from Jason by saying: “Mr Facebook decides to finally tweet. Welcome to the tweeters Mr Toohey. “Hope you and your abs can keep up with the pace.”

Jay-Z is the highest-earning man in hip-hop

to sell marital home

C he ‘99 Problems’ rapper who is married to singerand-actress Beyonce Knowles - has topped Forbes list of hip-hop ‘Cash Kings’ for the third year out of four. After he raked in $63 million in the last 12 months, thanks to his ‘Blueprint 3’ world tour and other ventures including his record label, fashion line, and stakes in the New York Nets basketball team, Broadway music ‘Fela!’ and a chain of sports bars. Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye, America’s largest buyer of music and talent for big corporations, said: “Jay-Z is in a league of his own right now. There are very few artists of any genre, not just hip-hop, who’ve created such brands for themselves.” Music mogul P Diddy came in second in the list, although grossed less than half of the money earned by Jay-Z at $30 million. Senegalese artist Akon - who has recently worked with artists including Whitney Houston and David Guetta - was third in the list, earning $21 million, partly from revenue generated by his Konvict clothing range. Lil Wayne, who is currently serving jail time for weapons charges, made $20 million, while rapper-turned-actor Ludacris took $16 million, just behind Dr Dre on $17 million. Troy Marshall, vice president of promotions at Interscope records, added:

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“There’s a lot of cross-branding and cross-marketing that’s going on these days. Those are very important components for artists as far as spreading the message of their music and spreading the message of their brand.” Other artists making the top 10 include Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. 50 Cent - the only other person to have topped the list in the last four years, making £150 million in 2008 - saw his position slump to 14, after making a relatively-low £8 million in the last 12 months. Top 10 Forbes list of highest earning hip-hop stars 1. Jay-Z: $63 million 2. P Diddy: $30 million 3. Akon, $21 million 4. Lil Wayne, $20 million 5. Dr Dre, $17 million 6. Ludacris, $16 million 7. Snoop Dogg, $15 million 8. Timbaland, $14 million 9. Pharrell Williams, $13 million 10. Kanye West, $12 million 11. Drake, $10 million 12. T.I., $9 million 13. Swizz Beatz, $9 million 14. Eminem, $8 million 15. 50 Cent, $8 million 16. Young Jeezy, $8 million 17. Common, $7 million 18. Soulja Boy, $6 million 19. T-Pain, $6 million 20. Lil Jon, $5 million

Hilton to open a chain of hotels he socialite - whose great-grandfather Conrad Hilton is the founder of Hilton Hotels - says she is ready to follow in the footsteps of her family as she believes she needs a new challenge in her career, which has already seen her become a reality TV star, a singer, have her own fragrances and clothing line and appear in movies. She is quoted by website FOXNews.com as saying: “I’ve pretty much done all you can do, but my next project that I’d like to do is get more involved in real estate - just from being in the business and growing up in it my whole life, it’s always something I’ve been interested in. “And right now that I’ve

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heryl Cole is selling her £3.5 million marital home. The ‘Parachute’ singer will put the house she shared with estranged husband Ashley Cole on the market as soon as her divorce is finalized. The Girls Aloud star has wanted to quit the sprawling mansion in Surrey, South East England, ever since she separated from Ashley six months ago after allegations he cheated on her with a string of other women surfaced. She now wants to downsize and find a house in west London so she is closer to the city centre for work commitments. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Cheryl is selling up. She’s already looking for a new home, but it will be a lot smaller than what she has now. She doesn’t need a huge estate. She wants to be closer to London but stay near to Heathrow Airport to make travel-

done everything I’ve wanted to do, that would definitely be the next step, to open my own hotels. As well as getting advice about the industry from her family, Paris can also turn to her reported new boyfriend Cy Watts. The blonde beauty has been on several romantic dates with Las Vegas nightclub owner and the pair are said to be smitten with one another. Paris and Cy couldn’t keep their hands off each other as Paris shot a new commercial for Devassa Beer in Long Beach, California, and one onlooker noted: “They are clearly enjoying every minute of their new relationship and aren’t afraid to show their feelings and affection for one another.”

ling abroad easier.” The property was bought by Cheryl and Chelsea player Ashley, 29, in October 2007. The 27-year-old singer’s mother Joan lived with the couple in an annexe - and remained there to support her daughter after the couple’s break-up. It also meant she was on hand to nurse Cheryl back to health after she was struck down with malaria in June following a vacation to Tanzania with ‘Dancing with the Stars’ dancer Derek Hough. As well as searching for a property in London, Cheryl is also reportedly house-hunting in Hollywood so she has a permanent base in the US for when she launches her career Stateside. Cheryl - who took five weeks off from all work commitments as she battled malaria - is due to return to her role as a judge on Simon Cowell’s UK pop star search show ‘The X Factor’ this week.

Katie Price launching range of iPods he former glamour model has teamed up with CRi-8 to create designs in three colors for several different versions of the music playing device. The collection - which will be sold exclusively through the brunette beauty’s websites from Friday - features five lasercut designs in pink, purple and silver for the Nano, three for the Shuffle in pink and silver and two for the i-Touch,

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which are both in silver. Katie said: “I’m really excited about my iPod range and love the way they have turned out. Being involved in the design process was fantastic and really gave me the opportunity to develop and create exactly what I wanted. Hopefully this is just the beginning and you will be seeing more from my Boutique range.” The iPods are the latest venture for Katie, who has amassed a £10 million fortune through ventures including modeling, reality TV shows, books, bed linen and equestrian clothing. —Bang Showbiz

SPECTRUM

Thursday, August 19, 2010

37

Music & Movies

Spike Lee film shows New Orleans 5 years after storm By Matthew Bigg ive years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept infants out of their mothers’ arms, filled whole neighborhoods with dirty water, flooded schools and hospitals and turned New Orleans into a byword for disaster. What happened next? The question is at the heart of Emmy Award-winner Spike Lee’s new film “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise”, a two-part, four-hour documentary on New Orleans and the Gulf coast set to haunting music. It will debut on the HBO network on August 23 and 24, just days before the fifth anniversary of the storm that killed more than 1,800 people, caused billions of dollars of damage to the Gulf coast and tarred President George W Bush with accusations of failure to mount a swift rescue effort. The film is a sequel to “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”, a 2006 film showered with awards and praised for the raw drama of its depiction of the storm and its aftermath. “The story wasn’t done at the end of “When the Levees Broke” and the story’s still not done at the end of “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise,” Lee told Reuters. “We wanted (the second film) to continue the story, which is a great part of America’s history,” he said. Lee, an Academy Award nominee, is famous for movies such as “Do the Right Thing” about race relations in America and for characters whose dialogue is so sharp it sounds like it could not have been scripted in advance. A theme that emerges in the second film is how victims of the storm have overcome their pain to build better lives. One woman displaced to rural Utah by the storm wrestles with her dislocation from New Orleans, the city of her birth. A mother whose five-year-old daughter drowned when the city flooded is now training as a nurse. But the new life she builds for herself and her sons is lived in the shadow of what happened. “People are just trying to survive, trying to get by, trying to get their lives back in order. Some people have made more progress than others,” Lee said. Superbowl, oil spill Yet the film’s ambition is not simply to show individual struggle but to set events in New Orleans in a historical context. One section makes a comparison between New Orleans and Haiti after its January earthquake, following actor Sean Penn’s philanthropic efforts on the Gulf coast and in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. “If God is Willing” also focuses on three recent events to pinpoint how the city has moved on: the election of mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Saints victory at the 2010 National Football League Super Bowl and, most of all, the Gulf oil spill. Lee began filming in February and wrapped production before April 20, when an explosion and fire on a BP Plc rig in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the worst oil spill in US history. He said the spill forced him to “reconfigure everything”. New Orleans is the home to many companies involved in offshore drilling and the Gulf coast south of the city is home to a multibillion dollar seafood industry. “People are still angry (about the storm). But the anger (over the spill) is directed mostly at BP. People are furious at BP,” Lee said. By contrast, “When the Levees Broke” crystallized the rage of citizens toward the federal government. Michael Brown, who was vilified in the first film as the inept head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, makes a surprising appearance in “If God is Willing” to defend his record. Lee said Brown was wrongly made a “scapegoat” for the government’s poor response to the storm. The director added that the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 had not changed America fundamentally when it comes to race. “Race in the country has not changed just because Obama is in the White House. It’s that simple,” Lee said. —Reuters

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Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan promotes upcoming Hindi film “Dabang” on the set of Indian television channel ZEE TV’s reality show “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” in Mumbai. — AFP

Rocker John Mellencamp likens Internet to A-bomb ocker John Mellencamp said on Tuesday that the Internet was the most dangerous invention since the atomic bomb, although new technology could paradoxically delay the inevitable demise of rock ‘n’ roll. But before then, “some smart people, the China-Russians or something” may have already conquered America by hacking into the power grid and financial system, he warned during a public seminar at the Grammy Museum. Mellencamp, 58, has established a reputation during his career as a bit of a loose cannon disdainful of music industry niceties. He still lives in his home state of Indiana, saying he never fit in elsewhere. Famed for such hit songs as “Hurts So Good,”

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“Jack and Diane” and “Small Town,” he is also a political activist who campaigned for President Barack Obama. He has also helped Live Aid organizer Willie Nelson put on the annual Farm Aid charity concerts for small farmers. His comments on the Internet coincided with the release- in stores and at digital retailers-of his new album, “No Better Than This.” While he said the Internet was useful on a personal level for communication, he worried about its destructive potential. “I think the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb,” he said. “It’s destroyed the music business. It’s going to destroy the movie business.”

Victoria’s Secret model boards ‘Battleship’ By Borys Kit rooklyn Decker, the Victoria’s Secret model who was also the 2010 Sports Illustrated cover girl, has joined the cast of “Battleship,” a $200 million feature based on the Hasbro board game. Peter Berg is directing the Universal

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project, which is going into production at the end of August in Hawaii. Decker will play one of the female leads, a character named Sam who is described as being able to “surf, fight, dance and crush the NY Times crossword puzzle. (She) has driven a motorcycle around the world twice.” —Reuters

US actress Angelina Jolie poses for photographers during the photocall for the film “Salt” in Berlin yesterday. The film is set to open in the German cinemas. —AFP

‘Eat Pray Love’ star Julia Roberts is happy ulia Roberts isn’t planning a spiritual journey of her own after making the film based on the hit travel memoir “Eat Pray Love.” Roberts, a happily married mother of three, said she read and enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-seller long before the proposed movie script came across her desk and she jumped at the role. But she added she isn’t looking to make any big alterations in her own life. “No, no changes,” Roberts said yesterday in Tokyo, where

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she is promoting the movie’s release. “I’m good.” Roberts is a practicing Hindu and said she was interested in the faith before she came across the book and did not covert because of it. The 42-year-old Georgia native was raised Catholic. Beyond those comments, she said she would keep her beliefs to herself. “I’ve realized something my mother told me 22 years ago,” she said. “You’re an actor, act. Don’t talk about politics or religion.” One departure for Roberts does lie ahead.

The Oscar winner has done little TV work, but she is now a producer of a documentary series called “Extraordinary Moms” to debut in January on Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network. Her next big-screen project is “Larry Crowne,” with Tom Hanks set for release next year. On her longevity as a sought-after actress, she said her inspiration has never waned. “Loving what you do is the secret to everything,” she said. “I really do love the creative part of making movies.”—AP

Ipod ruins Beatles For starters, the popularity of digital downloads, which fans listen to on their MP3 players and computers, has come at the expense of sound quality, he said. He recalled listening to a Beatles song on a newly remastered CD and then on an iPod, and “you could barely even recognize it as the same song. You could tell it was those guys singing, but the warmth and quality of what the artist intended for us to hear was so vastly different.” At any rate, most rock ‘n’ roll-including his own contributions-will eventually be forgotten, he said, likening its demise to that of bigband music, which was all the rage during the 1930s and ‘40s. “After a few generations, it’s gone,” he

said. “Rock ‘n’ roll-as important as we think it is, and as big as it was, and as much money as people made on it, and as proud as I am to say that I was part of it-at the end of the day, they’re gonna say: ‘Yeah, there was this band called the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, and this guy named Bob Dylan...’ “And the rest of us? We’re just gonna be footnotes. And I think that that’s OK. I’m happy to have spent my life doing what I wanted to do, playing music, make something out of life, but forgetting about the idea of legacy.” Mellencamp, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, said his first half-dozen albums were “just terrible,” while his mid-’80s breakthroughs such as “Scarecrow” and “The Lonesome

Jubilee” were “happy accidents.” He actually quit the music business for two years in the late 1980s and did nothing. “We even knew what was on TV at night,” he said. His new album takes the rocker back in time. He recorded it with vintage equipment in three historic locations: Sun Records in Memphis, original home of Elvis and Johnny Cash; in the same San Antonio, Texas, hotel room where bluesman Robert Johnson cut 16 tracks in 1936; and at the First African Baptist church in Savannah, Georgia. Mellencamp recalled that he and his wife Elaine even got baptized at the church. “For about a half hour I really felt uplifted. It wore off,” he said. — Reuters

Bono, singer of the Irish rock band U2 performs on stage during their “360º Tour” at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt/Ma in, western Germany. — AFP

Bono says U2 is working on a ‘club-sounding’ album ou too will dance to U2. Bono tells Rolling Stone that the band is working on “club-sounding” album. The bands also plans to release a rock album and “Songs of Ascent,” a set of tunes from the recording session of their latest disc, 2009’s “No Line On the

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Horizon.” Bono and The Edge will also score for the upcoming Spider-Man musical. Bono had emergency back surgery in Munich in May. The group’s 360-degrees World Tour resumed on Aug. 6 in Turin. Bono says he thinks he “could have

made a limp work.” He adds: “There are a lot bigger problems out there than the ones I was facing. ... But I came out of it perfect. And I feel incredibly grateful.” The September issue of Rolling Stone hits newsstands Friday. —AP

Michael Douglas cancels Hong Kong speech over cancer US actress Julia Roberts and producer Dede Gardner pose for photographers during a press conference to promote their latest movie ‘Eat Pray Love’ at a Tokyo hotel yesterday. — AFP

ctor Michael Douglas has cancelled plans to speak at an investor for um in Hong Kong next month, organizers said yesterday, as the Hollywood star battles throat cancer. “It has been confirmed that he cancelled his trip to Hong Kong and will not be speaking at our investor forum,” a spokeswoman for Asian brokerage CLSA told AFP. Douglas, a son of screen legend Kirk Douglas, was set to receive eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment, his spokesman told People magazine online Monday. His doctors expect Douglas to

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make a full recover y, he added. Famed for his role as corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film “Wall Street”, Douglas was scheduled to talk on topics including “filmmaking, nuclear abolition and the prevention of small arms proliferation” at the annual Hong Hong forum. The forum draws chief executives, fund managers and other financial big-hitters from around the world and CLSA said it has yet to decide who would take the actor’s place. Controversial former US vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin spoke last year on terrorism, US economic policy and China. —AFP

In this June 10, 2010 file photo, actor Michael Douglas arrives at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Mike Nichols, presented by TV Land at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif. —AP

SPECTRUM

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Travel

Nagasaki has a long history with the West, even before ‘Fat Man’ The Oura Catholic Church in Nagasaki, also known as the Cathedral of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan, honors 26 Christians who were executed in 1597. —MCT photos

By Gary A Warner ortuguese explorers looking for shipping routes. Catholic missionaries looking for converts. Dutch traders looking to swap goods. British arms merchants looking to sell their wares. Opera lovers looking at a lovely Japanese woman waiting for her American lover to return. Nagasaki, both real and imagined, has been in Western eyes for half a millennium. But no eyes had more effect on the city than those of a Texan named Kermit Beahan. On Aug 9, 1945, Beahan was peering down 30,000 feet at the city through a bomb sight in the nose of a B -29 Superfortress nicknamed Bockscar. Beahan glimpsed Nagasaki through a brief opening in the clouds, “pretty as a picture,” and released a bulbous, plutonium-packed bomb nicknamed Fat Man. The atomic bomb exploded 1,840 feet above the city, and in an instant blasted or incinerated shipyards, factories, barracks, temples, churches, schools, homes and an estimated 40,000 people. Within a few days, World War II was over. Nagasaki is the atomic age’s “second city.” “When most people think of the atomic bomb, they think of Hiroshima,” said Atka Jimba, a local resident. Hiroshima was bombed first, three days before Nagasaki. “Hiroshima” would be the title of John Hershey’s famous New Yorker article turned into a book. “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” the famous French film. Nagasaki, bombed hours after the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria, wasn’t even the top item on the front page of The New York Times the day it was destroyed. After the war, Hiroshima was the more iconic choice for atomic tourism. It sits on a main bullet train line south of Tokyo.

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Prayers are left on small stone chips near a memorial and ruins outside Urakami Cathedral. missionaries in the Philippines had begun with conversions and ended up with colonialism under Spain. Japan would not follow that path. In 1597, Hide oshi ordered 26 Christians from around Japan to Nagasaki and crucified them on Nishizaka Hill. Christianity was completely banned in 1614, followed by the expulsion of nearly all Westerners by 1641. When Westerners were allowed to return more than 200 years later, missionaries found a small number of Japanese in Urakami who had retained their faith. The Christians were banished from their neighborhoods, but French Catholics built the Oura Catholic Church, facing Nishizaka Hill. It is officially known as the Cathedral of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan. Nearby, a large group relief sculpture memorializes the mar-

throughout the city, was used to replace the statue of Christ or the Virgin Mary. It was traditional for residents to open their homes to all visitors during the event making it easy for authorities to look for signs of Christian practices. Those who stayed away from the festival were also suspect.

An island on an island Not everyone was evicted by the 17th century order to “close” Japan. A small group of Dutch traders was allowed to remain. These Protestants kept to trade and not proselytizing. Even they were limited to a small artificial island, Dejima, in the harbor. Chinese traders stepped into the vacuum, bringing with them the philosophy of Confucianism, which many embraced. Today the Chinese-funded

At the Nagasaki, atomic bomb Hypocenter, the time and date of the explosion is marked at the base of a memorial statue. Nagasaki is tucked between two peninsulas on Kyushu, the southernmost major island of Japan. I had gone to Hiroshima on my first trip to Japan. It wasn’t until my fifth visit, nearly 20 years later, that I made it to Nagasaki. Like most visitors, I arrived in Nagasaki by train, which puts you roughly nowhere. The station sits near the northeast side of Nagasaki Harbor, with the heart of the old city well to the south. The atomic bomb sites are to the north. Still, there were a collection of hotels around the AMU mall and easy transport anywhere else, so I made the train station area the base for my exploring.

tyrs. When the last restrictions on Christianity were lifted in 1895, Catholics built the larger red-brick Urakami Cathedral, completed in 1914. Nagasaki’s most popular annual event, the Kunchi Festival in October, has its roots in the attempt to stamp out Christianity. The Suwa Shrine, carried

Buddhist temples and the memorial to Confucius are remnants of that past. Dejima is no longer an island, having long since been reached by reclamation to give the burgeoning post-war harbor more facilities. But the neighborhood remains a cosmopolitan meeting place in the 21st century, full of restaurants serving

Portuguese cakes and Chinese stews, still entertaining foreigners and Japanese alike.

Guns, roses and a butterfly It would take a country that wasn’t even in existence when the ban began to end that ban. In 1859, Commodore Matthew Perry of the US entered Tokyo’s harbor with what the Japanese called “the black ships.” Using a mix of diplomacy and coercion, the US signed treaties to open Japan to trade. Within a generation, foreigners were common sights again on the streets of Nagasaki. President Ulysses S. Grant visited Nagasaki in 1878, planting two banyan trees. Among the first to move to Nagasaki was Thomas Blake Glover, a British entrepreneur who introduced the locomotive and founded Kirin Brewery, among his many accomplishments. A major source of income came from funneling arms to factions within Japan, particularly those seeking to elevate the largely ceremonial emperors to their long-lost position above the warlords. Glover built a house surrounded by a beautiful garden overflowing with gaudy rose bushes that today is a top tourist spot. His home, built in 1863 high on the hillside above Nagasaki Harbor, is believed to be the oldest Western-style building in Japan. It’s surrounded by many other Western-influenced homes built from 1870 to 1912. Because they were made of brick and stone instead of traditional Japanese woods, many could be restored after the atomic bomb blast. Glover married a Japanese woman, and Nagasaki is happy to promote the legend that their East-meets-West love story inspired Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini to write “Madame Butterfly.” Nagasaki was the setting of the story of the courtesan Cio-Cio San, who gives her love and then takes her life because of the American, Lt. Pinkerton. Statues of Cio-Cio San and Puccini are set in the Glover Garden, which was restored after World War II. Modern touches include the bizarre sight of air-

conditioned escalators that move visitors up and down the flowerfilled hills. Many of the inventions that flowed into Japan through Nagasaki transformed the feudal, farm-based collection of fiefdoms into a modern nation. The locomotives introduced by the West pulled the armaments made in Nagasaki throughout Japan. Ships built at what would become the Mitsubishi naval yard expanded imperial reach throughout the Pacific, their work culminating with the battleship Musashi, with 18-inch guns, bigger than any on a US warship. Japan grew richer and more powerful, its military pushing into Korea and China before the ultimate clash with the West came _ the surprise attack on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. What the Japanese called “the Greater East Asian War” would kill millions over the next four years, and effectively came to an end in the summer skies over Nagasaki.

Atomic chance By the morning of Aug 9, 1945, US and allied forces had rolled back Japanese advances and dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The Soviet Union had declared war on Japan and thrust millions of troops into Japanese-held Manchuria. Having heard no response to calls for an unconditional surrender, Bockscar lifted off from the island of Tinian at 3:47 am with orders to drop the second atomic bomb on Kokura, an industrial center in Kyushu. But the cloud cover so thick that the B-29 couldn’t find the city. The crew flew on to its second target, 95 miles to the south-Nagasaki. The bomb was to be dropped on the Mitsubishi shipyards near the harbor. Cloud cover was thick there, too. But Beahan, the bombardier, finally spotted a clearing and recognized the outline of the city. Fat Man was released and fell to just above the city, where it detonated. “I saw a mushroom cloud bubbling and flashing orange, red and green,” he later told the Houston Chronicle. “It looked like a pic-

Nagasaki’s Christian martyrs The location put me in a good position for visiting the old Christian quarter of Urakami. Portuguese traders arrived in Japan in 1542. Within seven years, missionaries under future saint Francis Xavier spread out across Kyushu and the main island of Honshu. The later conversion of Nagasaki’s warlord cemented Christianity’s foothold in Japan, especially when he ordered thousands of his minions to follow his example and be baptized. But Japan was roiled by battles among competing factions. When the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi was able to extend his power throughout all of Japan in 1591, he saw the Christians favored by his former enemies as a political and cultural threat. He had heard how

Dancers entertain a Sunday crowd during a traditional dance festival held recently at the Nagasaki Train Station in Nagasaki, Japan. ture of hell. The ground itself was covered by a rolling black smoke. I was told the area would be destroyed, but I didn’t know the meaning of an atomic bomb.” The bomb had been dropped about three miles north of the harbor, on the wrong side of the hills, right on top of the Christian enclave of Urakami. But the plutonium bomb was so powerful that precision wasn’t necessary. It blasted then scorched the city, followed by a cascade of radiation that would claim lives for years to come. In all, up to 75,000 would die. “Concentric circles of death. Concentric circles of the devil,” wrote Dr Tatsuichiro Akizuki, who treated survivors after the blast. Though the Nagasaki bomb was more powerful than the one used on Hiroshima, the topography of the city saved thousands of lives. In Nagasaki, the ridges around the harbor absorbed the blast and heat. Neighborhoods were tucked into the narrow valleys that ran like fingers down to the sea. But the radiation would spill over everywhere. Faced with the second atomic bombing in days and a Soviet juggernaut, Emperor Hirohito decided that Japan must surrender. He recorded a message to his peoplehis high, thin but regal voice heard for the first time by his subjects. Even then, a group of officers attempted a coup to force Japan to keep fighting. It was put down and, after a wave of suicides by top officers, Japan accepted the end. Aug 14 was celebrated as Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in the United States. The official surrender was signed Sept. 2 on the battleship USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay.

Remember-at least part of the story

Immediately east of Nagasaki Station is the 26 Martyrs Memorial, dedicated to Christian missionaries and converts executed under the Tokugawa shogunate.

On the surface, Nagasaki has recovered from the blast. A city of 250,000 during the war, it now has a population of more than 410,000. From a simple circle of trees planted at ground zero soon after the blast, the memorializing of the bombing has grown to include a museum, memorials and the hypocenter obelisk-the spot over which the bomb exploded. It’s not hard to find the atomic bomb museum and memorials on most days. Just follow the lines of blue uniformed schoolchildren trooping up the street. They come to the hypocenter, marked by a black obelisk. After hearing from instructors, they bow deeply in silence.

Visitors follow a spiral ramp that tells the story of the city and its destruction. More affecting than the photographs are the small pieces in the exhibit such as a melted Rosary or a piece of stained glass from a church, its angel’s face scorched and pockmarked. There is a model of the Fat Man bomb, pointed down. A chilling exhibit near the end shows the stockpiles of nuclear arms around the world - the thousands upon thousands of bombs much more powerful than the one that decimated Nagasaki. Outside are blackened statues and crumbled walls of the original Urakami Cathedral. “It happened so many years ago that you have to leave behind the hate,” said Atsuko Yakeishi, 50, a resident visiting the museum. “There are lessons for everyone here. My father survived the bombing, but he doesn’t want to talk. It is too painful. But I think he has to speak while he can.” Will Roth of Baltimore was a rare American among the visitors the day I visited. He said he came wanting to learn about the bombing from the Japanese perspective. While struck by the awesome destruction, he was unsettled that the museum did little to put the bombing in a context. “There was one very small part where they said Japan was responsible for starting the war, but it was off to the side. Anyone could easily miss it,” Roth said. An English-language video on Japanese expansionism is a rare example of context. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was officially a way to kick out Western colonial powers from Indochina, Indonesia and the South Pacific. “In fact it was simply an invasion by Japan,” the narrator says. The area around the museum has dozens of memorials, some fronting busy streets, the light standards for a nearby baseball park looming through the trees. A monument to women killed in the blast warns: “We must not allow any more war! Nor the use of atomic weapons! Let us guard our precious green earth and preserve all life of every kind.” Tucked away near the elevator for disabled visitors is an uncommon sight, a monument of contrition, stating the Japanese were not the only ones to suffer in the bombing. A marker notes that 10,000 Koreans were killed or injured. It says they were “deprived of the liberty to live as free citizens within their own

country,” forced by the occupiers to come to Nagasaki to toil in war industries. Nearby is the white, 30-foottall Peace Statue, which was unveiled in 1955 to mark the 10th anniversary of the bombing. A fountain symbolizing survivors’ search for water to drink was erected in 1969. By then Nagasaki was on its way to reconstruction, the Mitsubishi shipyards building oil tankers, while homes and shopping centers went up where once there had been only radioactive rubble “When I was growing up, there was no visible mark left on the city,” said Yakeishi, the local I met at the bomb museum. “It was only later when I learned the history and also found out that people here were still dying from radiation that I knew what happened.” Only a few ruins were allowed to remain, most famously the one-legged Torii, a Shinto arch that had one of its two supports blasted away. It stands for many locals as a great symbol of the city-broken, but not destroyed. It’s about 900 yards from the hypocenter. The necessity and the morality of the bombings would be debated as soon as the fighting stopped. But at the time, beyond Japan, there was mostly rejoicing that the war was over. Beahan would later say he hoped he was the last person to ever release a nuclear device. But at the time, bombing Nagasaki was the “best way out of a hell of a mess.”

Getting there Tr a in s: Nagasaki is not on the Shinkansen bullet train line. It’s reached from Tokyo or Kyoto by trains via Hakata Station in Fukuoka. The two-hour trip costs about $45 P l a n e : Regular fares from Tokyo are expensive-usually more than $800 roundtrip. All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Lines serve the route. ANA’s website can be used to book flights on Asia Skynet, a discount carrier. Look for Super Tabiwari Fares. They require a two-month advance purchase. Roundtrips can be less than half of the normal fare. www.ana.co.jp/English. Low-fare seats are limited and sell out early for peak travel periods. S i g h t s : Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, 7-8 Hiranomachi, Nagasaki. On the web at www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp. Admission is $2.50. The hypocenter (sometimes spelled hypocentre) obelisk and Peace Statue are nearby. One-legged Torii, 2-6-56 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, near the hypocenter. Urakami Cathedral. 1-79 Motomachi, Nagasaki. The original was destroyed in the atomic blast. Rebuilt in 1959 and further remodeled in 1980 to more resemble the original, its courtyard includes the original bell that was toppled by the bomb. 26 Martyrs Memorial, 7-8 Nishizaka-machi, Nagasaki. Sculpture of the Christians crucified in 1597. A small museum is located behind the memorial. Glover Garden, 8-1 Minami Yamate-machi, Nagasaki. Former Western enclave with gardens and homes. Statuary related to the “Madame Butterfly” story. Chinese temples: Sofukuji Temple, 7-8 Kayjiya-machi, Nagasaki. Begun in 1629, this Buddhist temple is the oldest surviving building Nagasaki. Confucius Temple. 10-36 Oura-machi, Nagasaki. Known as Koushi-byo, the centerpiece of the 19th century red building is a statue of the philosopher Confucius, surrounded by six dozen disciples. There’s a small museum of Chinese history. “Spectacles” bridge: A Chinese-built bridge whose reflection can create the optical illusion of a pair of eyeglasses. It crosses the Nakashima River not far from the Hamanomachi shopping center. — MCT

SPECTRUM

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Travel

Foreign correspondence:

Belize caters well to tastes of Americans By John Bordsen elly Kanabar, 32, was born and raised on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Her parents moved there from the United States to open a resort in the 1970s. Kanabar owns and operates three restaurants there, notably the Blue Water Grill.

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Question: What’s for lunch? Answ er: Today, rice and beans, Belizean style-with red kidney beans-and stewed chicken and mashed potatoes. It’s typical Belizean food. It costs $18 Belize, which is $9 US Lunch is the main meal here, so it’s common to have a hot meal at lunch and something smaller for dinner. Belize is kind of a Caribbean country in that respect. Q: Are the tourists pretty much from North America? A: Americans for the most part, with more and more Canadians. In August, there are lots of Europeans; it’s when they go on vacation. Around Easter, we get people from neighboring countriesMexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. Easter is a big holiday in Central America. They come for fishing, diving and stuff like that.

spear it, so it’s difficult to catch. It has light, white meat. If you see this on a menu, try it.

Q: Do Americans prefer familiar food-or local? A: The menu is more geared to American food, with one or two things being local. We’d do a local lunch because we get many Belizeans coming in for ceviche, tortilla chips and a couple beers with their friends. There’s pizza and sushi. Sushi is more for locals. The biggest sellers are lobster and fish. It’s what visitors want, and what we eat a lot of here. Q : I s fish in g a m a jor a ttra ction? A: Our island is off the Atlantic coast and is one of about 1,000 cayes-as islands are called here. I live on the biggest of them. It’s close to a reef that’s the secondlargest in the world af ter Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Scuba diving is huge. The Blue Hole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau. It’s a big crater in the ocean that he called a “wonder of the world.” Deep-sea and reef fishing are big: The island is a one-minute ride from the reef, and that’s cool: In other parts of the world, you have to go a half-hour to get to the fishing spots. The reef here is 100 yards away. There’s snapper and grouper in

Q: How big is Ambergris Caye? A: It’s 26 miles long; half a mile at its widest. The only town is called San Pedro and is where the airstrip is. The coast and southern part of the island are becoming more developed with resorts and coasts. When I was growing up, there was nothing but coconut trees. Now there are grocery stores and things like that. The tallest building is three stories, and we drive golf carts. San Pedro is more a town than a city. There’s only a front, middle and back street, so you can’t get lost. And everybody knows everybody.

Ambergris Caye is 26 miles long, and half a mile at its widest point. This is San Pedro, the only town on the island. — MCT the shallow waters of the reef. Beyond that, the water drops 400 to 500 feet, and that’s where you find tuna, billfish, marlin and tarpon; it’s a big area for sport fish-

ing. Fishermen regularly bring them in. Occasionally, a guy comes in with a mahi mahi or wahoo for us and we’ll serve it fresh. There’s a fish that tastes good

that’s hard to get. It’s called a hog snapper, and you can’t fish them. The shape of their mouth makes it so they won’t take a hook. You have to get into the water and

Q: Who lives there? A: On the island I live on, people are every shade-from dark Caribbean to light-skinned Hispanic, and everything in between. Everybody here is tri-lingual: English, Spanish and Creole, which is an English dialect kind of like you hear in Jamaica. Q: If you touch something hot a n d y o u sw e a r, w h a t c o m e s out?

A: Spanish. It rolls off the tongue faster. Q: How developed is Ambergris t h e se d a y s? I s t h e r e W i -F i ? Bars w ith blaring music? A: Some places may have Wi-Fi, but because we’re Third World it doesn’t always work. When I was growing up, there were times when there were no eggs or milk on the island. With more tourism, there are more barges delivering supplies from the mainland; airplanes fly in every hour. We’re in the Caribbean, so we have fresh mangos in the summer. But you can’t buy pears. When I was growing up, there were only three channels on TV: CNN, WGN and (Spanish-language) Televisia. As a result (of WGN), we’re all Cubs fans who know “I Love Lucy.” With globalization, there’s less difference now between kids here and in the States. Except, kids in Belize aren’t afraid of swimming with stingrays. Q: You do that? A: Yeah. I have a daughter now, and I plan on making sure she’s comfortable around them, around nurse sharks, knows what a parrot fish is and can hold her breath under water. All the basics. — MCT

The tall ship Manitou sails on a two-hour cruise near Traverse City, Michigan. — MCT photos

By Bob Downing t was a don’t-worry, behappy kind of cruise aboard the tall ship Manitou. The 114-foot-long schooner exuded a laid-back

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Natural Resources and Environment. It is the state’s 12th underwater preserve, with more than 30 wrecks, most from the 1840s to the 1920s. It covers 295 square miles and was established in

The crew of the tall ship Manitou sets sails on a two-hour cruise. Caribbean vibe, which was strangely appropriate because we were sailing on Grand Traverse Bay; its aquamarine waters look almost Caribbean because of its spring-fed streams and sand deposits. The vibe was pretty obvious when Captain Cheyenne sat back on the two-hour cruise and steered the wheel with her feet. We were in the slow lane, enjoying the lake breezes and the scenery. We were traveling 2 knots-at best. We also sat becalmed for 10 minutes in the center of the bay waiting for what had been a mild breeze to reappear. The windjammer Manitou is one of the big attractions in Traverse City on Michigan’s northwest coast. The city sits at the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay that is part of Lake Michigan. The bay is 32 miles long, 10 miles wide and up to 620 feet deep. It is divided into West Bay and East Bay by the scenic Old Mission Peninsula. The entire bay is an underwater preserve managed by the Michigan Department of

casinos and trails. From Traverse City north 70 miles to Harbor Springs is Michigan’s summer tourist destination. It is a water-andbeach playground, dominated by lodges, resorts, hotels and motels. Traverse City gets 2 million visitors a year, most from June to August. It has been hailed as one of America’s top beach towns by AOL Travel and as one of America’s most charming small towns by Tripadvisor.com. It is also a sailing town with a long history. Sail-powered vessels played a key role in developing the Upper Great Lakes. Traverse City today has more sailing vessels than any other port in Michigan. It is also home to the Maritime Heritage Alliance, a group of local sailing-history buffs who

Passengers help raise sails on the tall ship Manitou.

The tall ship Manitou sails on a two-hour cruise. 2008. Traverse City is Up North, as Michiganders say. That means north of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint and Bay City. Traverse City with 15,000 residents is known for its sugar-sand beaches, cherries, vineyards, nearby sand dunes, restaurants, shopping, golf courses, ski areas, galleries,

work to restore, preserve and sail the old ships. Traverse City will host a three-day assemblage of schooners, cutters, sloops and other tall ships in the second annual Michigan Schooner Festival on Sept 10-12. For information, call 231-996-3909 or check out http://www.michiganschooner-

Captain Cheyenne steers the tall ship Manitou on a two-hour cruise near Traverse City, Michigan.

festival.org. The Manitou is a replica of an 1800s coasting cargo schooner and is one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes. It is a traditional two-masted, gaff-rigged, topsail schooner with more than 3,000 square feet of sail and a beam of 21 feet. It weighs 82 tons and sails with a captain and crew of four. It features masts of western red cedar, decks of Douglas fir and a steering wheel of cherry. The steel hull was built in 1982 in Portsmouth, NH, and the ship was finished in Vermont on Lake Champlain. It sailed there from 1983 through 1990 as the Homer W Dixon. It came to Traverse City in 1991. The diesel-powered ship is owned and operated by Traverse Tall Ship Co LLC. Its name comes from an American Indian word for great spirit or deity.

From June to September, the company offers two-hour day cruises for as many as 62 passengers on Grand Traverse Bay. You can, if you desire, help the crew by raising the main sail, pulling on ropes at the beginning of the trek. Or you can just sit back and enjoy the cruise that is offered three times a day. Tickets for a twohour Manitou cruise range from $35 to $45 for adults and $18 to $26 for children 12 and younger. The company also offers specialty cruises with ice cream, local wines, Great L akes music and pizza and beer. You can bring a boxed meal with you. Drinks are available on board. You can also take the evening cruise and spend the night aboard the Manitou as it is docked at its Traverse City pier. You are fed breakfast aboard the ship the next morning before you depart.

It’s not for everyone, but it does have its appeal. The cabins are tiny and spare. The overnight shipboard lodging is offered from midJune to Labor Day. Prices are $209 to $239 per couple; $121 to $136 for individuals; and $61 to $95 for children 8 to 12. In addition, the company offers four-day bed-and-breakfast cruises to L ake Michigan’s islands, bays and coastal villages for up to 24 passengers. The Manitou becomes a floating bed and breakfast. Passengers are housed in twin-bunk cabins. Windows provide ventilation. Familystyle meals are served aboard with food prepared over the boat’s wood-burning stove. Hot showers are provided. Passengers take care of their own cabins. The mood is casual and relaxing. The ship anchors for the night at nearby attractions, including Beaver Island and car-free North and South Manitou islands in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Other stops might include a general store dating to 1839 on the Old Mission Peninsula or a historic fishing village, St. James, on Beaver Island. There’s a very good chance of seeing historic lighthouses, doing some beachcombing and paddling sea kayaks. The overnight itineraries are pretty much determined by the direction of the prevailing winds. This year’s overnight sailing schedule includes a women’s wellness cruise Sept 10-13; a wine-tasting cruise Sept 17-20; a music cruise with singer-songwriter Lee Murdock Sept 24-27; and an astronomy cruise Oct 1-4. The fee is $685 a person (double occupancy). The minimum age is 12. The Manitou has no television and no Internet access. Passengers are asked not to bring cell phones aboard. — MCT

www.kuwaittimes.net

Muslims say their evening prayers yesterday at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Muslims around the world are observing the month long Ramadan. —AFP

Africa’s ambitious return of ancient rice By Fiacre Vidjingninou ne by one, Ali Kassim pulls out the weeds that have grown in his rice paddy. It’s surprisingly rare in Africa, but he is cultivating African rice — once close to extinction after it was pushed aside centuries ago for a higheryield imported Asian variety. Researchers hope to see more and more farmers like Kassim, who is 32 and among about 100 people in Togo’s central Atakpamey region to take part in an experimental program led by the Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice), based in neighboring Benin. In the small west African country, experts are seeking to change the farm-

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ing habits of a whole continent by reintroducing African rice, or Oryza glaberrima, in the hope of scaling down food crises. Cultivated for about 3,500 years and then close to extinction, African rice was abandoned by most farmers in favour of the Asian variety, Oryza sativa, which has a higher yield and has been imported for about 450 years. But the local rice is more nutritious and researchers are currently working on ways of producing a strain with a higher yield that could enable an increase in production across the continent, which imports most of its rice. “The principal objective (...) is to achieve self-suffiency in Africa in the matter. We are therefore giving priority to the

yield, so that the new African rice can be more competitive against its Asian kin,” said Moussa Sie, head of the research program. With production largely outdone by growing demand, Africa imports 40 percent of the rice it consumes, at the cost of 3.6 billion dollars (2.8 billion euros) in 2008, according to the Africa Rice Centre report for that year. Africa’s dependency poses risks such as during the global food crisis of 2008, when a hike in the prices of basic commodities caused food shortages and riots all over the world. “The basic ingredients exist for another episode like the one in 2008,” warned Papa Abdoulaye Seck, director general of AfricaRice, in an inter-

view last April. “Global rice stocks are low, and El Nino threatens rice production in countries like Thailand and the Philippines.” “Moreover, despite significant increases in domestic cereal production in many countries during 2008 and 2009, Africa continues to depend heavily on food aid and global cereal markets for its leading food staples, rice and maize,” he added. ‘A revolution for our agriculture’ Nevertheless, according to AfricaRice, this cereal is now the main source of food in west Africa, where its consumption has grown annually by 4.5 percent from 1961 to 2006. The new African rice, which

researchers are now testing in experimental paddies, is a mixture of the two, with a majority of African genes, according to Moussa Sie. “The main complaints that were made against African rice were laying, which is a tendency of the plants to lie down when the grains were ripe, and shedding, when ripe grains fall off at maturity,” explains Marie Noelle Ndjiondjop, a geneticist at AfricaRice. “The idea of these experimental fields is to try out different cultures in order to assess the successes and limits of our research in the field,” she added. According to Moussa Sie, “only spreading the culture of the new African rice can provide an appropriate response

to the famine which is raging in our region.” Niger is currently hit very hard by a food crisis, with millions of people struck by drought, who have lost their harvests and their cattle, according to agencies of the United Nations. The Africa Rice Centre pays farmers for taking part in its program and gives them seed. For rice-grower Ali Kassim, the first results already seem satisfactory. “What we see is that this gives a great deal,” he said. “The rice that comes out after the harvest, when it’s sent to the mill to be husked, it doesn’t break. “That’s the reason why we think this is a revolution for our agriculture,” he said. — AFP

Lenin’s back, as French city honors ‘great men’ T wenty years af ter Lenin’s statues began to disappear from post-Communist Eastern Europe, the great revolutionary rose anew as a 3.3 meter (11 foot) bronze in France yesterday. Flamboyant regional leader Georges Freche ordered five huge statues for the southern city of Montpellier, celebrating his heroes Lenin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt and Jean Jaures. Each weighs in at between 850 kilos (1,874 pounds) and a tone and each cost local taxpayers an estimated 200,000 euros (260,000 dollars). They were unveiled on Wednesday and will be formally inaugurated next month. Freche, a former Socialist who was expelled by the party after making what were regarded as racist comments about the French football team, says the art will honor the “great men of the 20th century”. Next year, five more figures will arrive, bringing Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nelson Mandela and Mao Zedong to Montpellier. Freche’s political opponents have criticized the operation as a waste of money and questioned the decision to honor some of the figures. The Green Party has threatened to dismantle the statues, and the right-wing UMP is furious to see its hero-Free French wartime leader General De Gaullestanding alongside the Russian Bolshevik revolutionary Lenin. But Freche, who is presi-

Muslims break fast after sunset yesterday at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. —AFP

Gambling hub Macau to hold pop culture auction elebrity memorabilia including Marilyn Monroe’s bra, Elvis Presley’s hair and a gown that belonged to Princess Diana is being put up for auction in Macau, organizers said yesterday. The items are among several hundred pieces of memorabilia- including an unused ticket to the iconic Woodstock music festival-that will go under the hammer at the October 9 auction in the glitzy Asian gambling hub. Diana wore the burgundy velvet dress to a 1989 event, and Julien’s Auctions, which is running the sale, estimates the gown will go under the hammer for as much as 100,000 US dollars. Other items include a black crystal-studded glove that belonged to late pop star Michael Jackson which is expected to fetch about 50,000 US dollars, as well as Beatles and Jimi Hendrix memorabilia. A vial of Presley’s hair, collected

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French president of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and chairman of Montpellier’s development community, Georges Freche walks yesterday in Montpellier, southern France near a 3.3 meter (11 foot) bronze statue of Lenin. —AFP dent of the L anguedocRoussillon region and chairman of Montpellier’s development community, enjoys strong personal support despite, or perhaps because of, a history of controversial remarks. In a recent inter-

view with the Montpellier local newspaper La Gazette, Freche defended his decision to honor Lenin and Mao, insisting that their political legacy outweighs the bloodshed associated with their regimes. —AFP

by his personal barber, could sell for as much as 10,000 US dollars, the auctioneers said. Marilyn’s black lace and satin bra is one of a number of items belonging to the late screen goddess that will be on the auction block. Highlights of the auction will be exhibited in Japan and Chile before the October sale at a Macau resort, organizers said. The Ponte 16 resort-half-owned by gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s Sociedade de Jogos de Macau-paid one million US dollars for about 40 Michael Jackson memorabilia items at auctions last year. Ponte 16 stumped up 350,000 US dollars for Jackson’s left-handed glove-worn by the singer when he performed his first “moonwalk” dance in 1983. The items are displayed at a hotel gallery which opened earlier this year. — AFP

Thai Muslim men offer prayers during a government-sponsored gathering during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Thailand’s southern province of Narathiwat late on August 17, 2010. —AFP


19 Aug