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RAMADAN 23, 1431 AH

Palestinians, Israel hunt settler killers

KPTC drivers on strike; public transport system crippled PAGE 3

NO: 14839

US East Coast braces for approaching hurricane


conspiracy theories

Buses on hold By Badrya Darwish


t has been a couple of days since the bus drivers in Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) went on strike. Just look at the overcrowded bus stops and you will see workers and passengers gathered under the heat during the day in the holy month of Ramadan. There is neither a sign of a bus coming nor a sign of anybody coming to help. And nobody seems to be bothered. Where is the ministry of social affairs and labor? Isn’t KPTC a government establishment? Suppose, the strike was held by employees in the private sector? Isn’t it the job of the ministry of social affairs and labor to solve the problem? What will happen if the problem between the company and the drivers takes a long time to be solved? Can KPTC or the government force emergency measures to help the poor laborers who are standing at every bus stop? And please, do not quote Marie Antoinette here and what she told the French people when they were demonstrating around her palace asking for bread. She told her advisors: “Why can’t they eat biscuits?” Do not tell me that the laborers can take taxis. We are talking about a workforce with an average salary of KD 80 or KD100. If a worker pays for a taxi a KD 1 a day he will not be able to afford it. The problem is that many of these laborers use prepaid tickets for the whole month. This means that they have paid for their transportation in advance. What happened with KPTC? Nobody came out and spoke to the media about the drivers. The only information circulated is that the company increased the managers’ salaries and reduced the bus drivers’ salaries by KD 50. According to their contracts, the drivers were making an average of KD 150 per month. Is it within the rules and regulations of the Labor Law that you can slash someone’s salary by a third? I understand the banks in the West advised a salary reduction for the high managerial positions because of the money crunch. It is no secret that such positions are usually paid not less than a six-figure salary. However, this is not a salary of a driver who makes KD160 a month. I cannot comment any more until I hear the other side of the story. What forced KPTC to do this and how legal is this? Why is there a hush-hush about it? Why didn’t they cut from the salaries of managers and middle managers who, I am sure, cash much larger paychecks. Whatever the reasons and responsibilities KPTC have, there are ways to cut budgets if that is the crux of the matter. Why didn’t they think of the welfare of the laborers/passengers and all the companies where they go to work daily. It remains to be seen who will break the silence first - the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or KPTC.

$900m Patriots purchase to boost military capability: Minister KUWAIT: Kuwait plans to buy Patriot missiles from the United States but will not allow its territory to be a launchpad for attacks, the defense minister said in statements published yesterday. Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah said the planned $900-million Patriot missiles purchase is aimed at boosting the military’s capability and should not be “misunderstood.” “We do not purchase arms to launch attacks on others and we do not accept attacks to be launched

from our territories against other,” countries, the minister said. The United States has several military bases in Kuwait, including Camp Arifjan, one of the biggest US military facilities in the region. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 US troops stationed in Kuwait. Kuwait is a staunch ally of the United States, which has not ruled out military action against Iran over its controversial nuclear program. The United States and its ally Israel, as well as

other Western countries, believe that Iran seeks to build a nuclear arsenal. Tehran, which began loading fuel into its Russian-built first nuclear power plant in August, denies the allegations and says its program is for civil energy purposes only. Iran has repeatedly warned its Arab neighbors in the Gulf that it will launch missile strikes against them if they allow Washington to use its bases in the area to attack the Islamic republic.

03:54 04:04 05:26 11:48 15:21 18:09 19:29

Last month, the Pentagon said it had notified the US Congress about the sale of Patriot missiles saying “Kuwait needs these missiles to meet current and future threats of enemy air-to-ground weapons.” Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti defense minister said his country has not made a final decision on the purchase of several French-made Rafale warplanes, saying the army is also looking into other European and US fighters. — AFP

Obama warns Hamas as Mideast talks open Israel hints at lifting settlement freeze

By Imam Ibn Qudaamah Al-Maqdisee

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


Kuwait no launchpad for attacks

The inner secrets of fasting - Part I


Sharapova defeats Jarmila at US Open


ramadan kareem

now, that in the fast (Sawm) is a special quality that is not found in anything else. And that is its close connection to Allah, such that He says: “The fast (Sawm) is for Me and I will reward it.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim] This connection is enough to show the high status of fasting. Similarly, the Ka’bah is highly dignified due to its close connection to Him, as occurs in His statement: “And sanctify My House.” [Soorah alHajj:26] Indeed, the fast is only virtuous due to two significant concepts: • The first: It is a secret and hidden action thus, no one from the creation is able to see it. Therefore riyaa’ (showing off) cannot enter into it. • The second: It is a means of subjugating the enemies of Allah. Continued on Page 14

150 FILS

HOLY MAKKAH: An aerial picture shows the world’s largest clock (right) atop what is expected to be the world’s second tallest building, looming over the Grand Mosque (left) in holy Makkah on Tuesday. — AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama yesterday warned Hamas its “senseless slaughter” would not thwart his Middle East peace drive but a row over Israeli settlements clouded the opening of the long-odds talks. Obama condemned the Islamist group for gunning down four Israelis on the West Bank, billing the attack as a bid to scupper direct Israeli-Palestinian talks here before they even start today. “The tragedy we saw yesterday, by terrorists who are purposely trying to undermine these talks, is an example of what we are up against,” Obama said, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side. On the eve of the first direct Israel-Palestinian talks for 20 months, Obama gathered regional power brokers for one-to-one sessions and a joint dinner at the White House, putting his personal credibility on the line. The talks will take place with few of the parties, or outside observers, predicting success amid widespread regional distrust, and with each side retrenching conflicting positions before the bargaining begins. Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late on Tuesday that he would not extend a Continued on Page 14

Tabtabae grills FM over Iran N-plant safety By B Izzak KUWAIT: Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae yesterday grilled Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah about the nature of the Russian and Iranian assurances to Kuwait about Bushehr nuclear plant which was fuelled less than two weeks ago. Tabtabae based his questions on statements made by the foreign minister that Kuwait, which is the nearest country to the plant, has received assurances from Iran and Russia about the safety of the plant. The lawmaker asked about the nature of the assurances and if they were received verbally or through official correspondence between the concerned governments. He also asked if the assurances included technical information about the plant and if this information was assessed by Kuwaiti technical sides like the Environment Public Authority, the health ministry and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and what was the opinion of these organizations. Tabtabae also requested copies of official correspondence with both Iran and Russia and internal correspondence with official sides in Kuwait. Continued on Page 14

Hostage crisis at US Discovery Channel WASHINGTON: An Asian man carrying a handgun and who police believe may have explosives strapped to his body prompted the evacuation of the Discovery Channel headquarters building in suburban Washington, Montgomery County police said yesterday. Police said they could not immediately confirm reports from Discovery employees that the man had taken a hostage in the lobby of the building in Silver Spring, Maryland. Police sealed off the area around the building in Silver Spring, Maryland, and SWAT teams were at the scene. The building was ordered evacuated and children were removed from a day-care center. “He appears to have some sort of explosive device on his person,” Captain Paul Starks said reporters. He said the police were in contact with the suspect. “I don’t know anything about his history,” Starks said when asked by reporters about his possible relationship to Discovery. Continued on Page 14

US launches new Iraq mission Three bombs kill 18 at

BAGHDAD: US Vice President Joe Biden (left), US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (centre), and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen (right), stand while the US National Anthem is played during the United States Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in Baghdad yesterday as a new US military mission in Iraq was launched ending seven years of combat.— AP

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq: Vice President Joe Biden launched a new American military mission in Iraq yesterday, ushering in a fresh phase in a seven-year deployment that has cost the lives of more than 4,400 troops. Addressing soldiers near Baghdad a day after the US combat role here officially ended, Biden sought to rally the near 50,000 American soldiers who will remain in the country until a total withdrawal at the end of 2011. The vice president acknowledged that the 2003 invasion had split US public opinion but he called for unity around the new training and advisory mission and said he believed the Iraq conflict’s “darkest days are now behind us.” “It is no secret that this war has divided Americans but they have never shrunk Continued on Page 14

Pakistan Shiite march

Army pounds militant hideouts, 60 killed LAHORE: Three bombs ripped through a Shiite Muslim religious procession in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore yesterday, killing 18 people and wounding at least 150 others, officials said. The explosions appeared to be the latest in a string of attacks by Sunni extremists against the minority Shiites they consider infidels. Allied with al-Qaeda and the Taleban, the bombers are also seeking to destabilize Pakistan’s US-backed government. The blasts were the first major attacks since Pakistan was hit by devastating floods more than a month ago. Lahore, the country’s political capital and home to much Continued on Page 14

LAHORE: A Pakistani man carries an injured blast victim after bomb explosions aimed at a Shiite Muslim religious procession in Lahore yesterday. — AFP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ministry holds meeting

Telecom firms stay mum on 'charge per second' By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Although many nations around the world have adopted a pay-per-second rate for mobile phone calls, this has yet to take effect in Kuwait. There is good news on this front, however, with Ministry of Communications (MoC) officials recently meeting with representatives of the three Kuwaiti telecommunications companies to discuss the issues surrounding the plan to charge mobile phone users on a per second rate and possibly to prepare the telecom firms to implement this new system after Eid Al-Fitr.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Bayan Palace yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Company Dr Ulrich Bez who briefed His Highness on future projects.

Illegal meat supplier prosecuted KUWAIT: The owner of a company accused of smuggling meat products on two separate occasions has been referred to the General Prosecution Department (GPD). The Legal Department of the Kuwait Municipality has finished preparing a memorandum to suspend the company's license. "The decision was made after the Legal Department received confirmation from the Food Inspection Department that the supplier had smuggled expired meat products to the market before test results returned positive," Minister of Public Works (MPW) and Minister of Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar said, reported Al-Rai.

The points of discussion also reportedly included the mechanism of charging the GGC users for phone calls made locally and internationally in a single flat rate for calls within, to and from all GCC countries. The UAE, Bahrain and Qatar have already introduced per second charges for all international mobile calls. Telecom firms in India, the Philippines, and some operators in Indonesia also charge their customers, whether on domestic or international calls, according to a persecond rate. Kuwaiti firms, however, charge customers by the minute. The spokespersons for Kuwait's three telecom firms refused to comment on whether or not there will be a change to the per-minute pay plan after Eid Al-Fitr. Zain Telecommunications Company's Public Relations Manager Aliah Sharif Al-Awadhi, Wataniya Telecom Company's Public Relations Manager Abdulaziz AlBalool and the Chief Executive Officer of Viva Telecommunications Company, Najib Al-Awadhi, refused to comment when asked about the subject by the Kuwait Times. In the previous two-player market when MTC [now Zain] and Wataniya were the only providers of mobile services in the country, international incoming calls were paid for by the recipient and calls made from a landline were paid by the mobile subscriber. The entry of the third player, Viva Telecom, changed that system, with incoming calls to mobiles from landline phones now being free. The news about possible big cuts in phone bills if a persecond pay rate is introduced was welcomed by customers. One 25-year-old female office worker


Damascus Makkah Jerusalem

ing on the way it's done and how they promote the new scheme." Another customer in his mid-forties disagrees with the notion that many things would change with the introduction of a new pay rate, however. "Ii will be the same. Whether it is per second or per minute there won't be much difference, unless you call and use your mobile phone outside Kuwait," he said. He pointed out that telecom firms aren't going to allow a free service, saying, "How would your business survive if you were giving all-free services to your customers? They are neither charity organizations nor government companies subsidizing public usage."

Ghabqas of the anti-govt politicians hat would the general reaction be like if MP Musallam AlBarrak held a ghabqa on behalf of the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) and extended an invitation to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, the Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah and Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali? Inviting state officials to a social gathering is a good practice that has been emulated by several generations in Kuwait.


said, "It's good; it will reduce the cost of calls to my family. A one-minute call is expensive," she said explaining that even if her mother only calls briefly to tell her to come home or just to enquire after her health, she still has to pay the cost of the full one-minute conversation, "even though she has used the phone for about five seconds: That is haram. If we can be charged per second, it would save money for us customers," she said. "If poor countries can implement this scheme why not the richer countries like Kuwait?" asked a subscriber to one of the three major local telecom firms. "They could benefit from it extensively depend-

in my view

By Tariq Al-Alawi

23 Where did Bilal Al-Habashi die?

KUWAIT: A customer is talking on her mobile phone. Reports have indicated that there might be a pay-per-second rate for mobile phone calls. —Photo by Joseph Shagra

However, I believe that this approach should not be taken by political blocs, as it would not make sense for an opposing bloc to invite a minister of other state official with whom they have a conflict - to a ghabqa and share friendly talk as if nothing ever happened. Members from the anti-government bloc during the early years of political work in Kuwait were committed to their own principles, which solidified their integrity. However, these days we find several who strike deals with the government in

exchange of the latter withdrawing their demands. This has been proven in case several MPs suddenly gain fortune following an unexpected change of heart, combined with harmless media propaganda that the ministers are aware of. They say that their desire diminishes with age and more welcome to diplomacy and truces as they grow older. Older politicians who eventually retire from activity, see that their approach was unwise. The activities of the younger generation would be an act of indiscretion. — Al-Qabas


Thursday, September 2, 2010

KUWAIT: A group of the drivers who are on strike. — Photos by Joseph Shagra


KUWAIT: The drivers talking to the Kuwait Times reporter.

KPTC drivers on strike, paralyze the public transport system By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: Some 1,850 drivers from the Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) have been staging a strike for four days because, they claim, their employer deducted KD 50 from their salaries, are forced to work extra hours for free and sick leaves are not accepted. According to some of the drivers, for four days, no official or representative from the KPTC has questioned the reason behind their

absence from the job. The men on strike were sacked by the company, the drivers claim. They feel that during Ramadan, works hours should be reduced to six but drivers sit behind the wheel for over 10 hours a day. The ordinary work days, according to the Labor Law, should stretch to eight hours for drivers. This sometimes translates to 12 hours. These and other woes have forced them to walk out of the job and to seek support from the public. Talking to the Kuwait Times yesterday, Ibrahim Atia Ahmed, an Egyptian driver who has been working with KPTC since 2003 explained the modus operandi of the company. “In June last year, we were brought new contracts at 2 am and

‘We have had enough’

sick leave form from the hospital so that I could rest in my room for at least two days, and the doctor refused it.” Ayman Farouq, a 27-year-old Egyptian who works as a driver was fired just like the rest of his friends. He claims that some of his colleagues are in jail, “Here are our demands: We want them back; we want the fired people to join work; we want the KD 50. If our demands are met we will go back to work.” Sandro, a 37-year-old Indian who has been working with KPTC for one year said that his salary was KD 140. “Food alone costs me KD 40 and we need minimum KD 50 more to live,” he said. He explained that the accommodation provided by the company is shab-

traffic ticket fee paper is written in Arabic so I can’t even verify if I have committed a violation or not. I think we are oppressed,” he said. Egyptian Zahran Abd Al-Azeem also pleaded for help. He has been working with KPTC for four years and says they forced him to sign the contract. “If I had refused they could have let me go.” He said, “Even if we are drivers we should be treated like humans, not animals. We lost our rights a year and three months ago.”

KUWAIT: The drivers outside the residence. Abel Mohammad

Ibrahim Atiya Ahmad

Al-Sayed Farahat

were asked to sign them immediately accepting a KD 50 cut from our salaries. We were given the option to leave the place in the morning,” Ahmed said. He explained that his salary was KD 140 initially but the increase of salaries in the country has given public employees a KD 50 pay rise. After a year, the company introduced a new contract. “We had to sign it by force. Those who refused to sign the contract were forced to leave. But we have loans taken from the company and we have to pay them. KPTC


A smooth route By Fahad Al-Handal


lot of talk has been made about the potential of the development plan, for which billions of dinars have been allocated. This plan is a challenge to Kuwait’s financial stability and is a very dangerous risk with serious consequences should the plan fail. Kuwait could suffer the same catastrophe as major cities around the world because of unsuccessful financial exploits. Placing the country’s financial and investment future - which uses oil as its single source of income - on the line with the development plan makes it necessary that we take a closer look at the local market. Since the plan concerns local development we need to guarantee that the plan goes forward with as little error as possible. Citizens need their country to provide them with equal opportunities to participate in the development process. Patriotism and equality need to be an important part of the development process for it to be a success. One question that I keep coming back to is how come the topic of how to finance the plan was never brought up when Parliament was discussing the development plan or the state budget? Shouldn’t this topic have been discussed before the budget, the privatization law or other topics? The next few days will reveal whether the path of the development plan will be a smooth one or not. — Al-Rai

in the news Diplomatic positions shuffled KUWAIT: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shuffled the positions of those with diplomatic missions abroad, reported Al-Jarida. They also created new missions in a number of areas in order to expand Kuwait’s diplomatic activities. Official sources said that the reappointments were part of the ministry’s plan to expand diplomatic missions to the different countries of the world and market Kuwaiti politics there. The source said that the appointments were made after the periodic evaluation the ministry makes every year. The sources pointed out that the added diplomatic missions are in line with the state’s policy to turn Kuwait into a regional financial and economic center. Project financing meeting KUWAIT: The State’s Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah will provide the Cabinet with a detailed review of the work undertaken so far, and the amount of expenditure incurred by ministries’ budgets for the fiscal year 2010/2011 on major projects. These topics will be discussed during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting that will be held today and chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah.

recruited us from our home countries. Now I will wait till my rights are granted, he said. “Then I plan to leave the country and go back home,” Ahmed said. Al-Sayed Farahat, a 36-year-old driver who has been working with KPTC since May 2007 had a similar story to share. He signed a contract for KD 140 before arriving in Kuwait. After he worked with KPTC for one year, his salary was increased with KD 50 when the public sector was given a pay rise. “My salary was then KD 190 so I started to buy things in installments,” he said. However, the situation turned around in an instant. In June 2009, they sent me a letter stating that they do not want to renew my contract. I pay monthly installments of KD 50. I also pay back a loan I took from KPTC and now I have KD

33 monthly to return. Overtime used to be paid in KPTC, the drivers say, but after the signing of the new contracts the extra hours were simply ignored and left unpaid. The drivers claim that they worked at least two hours extra on a daily basis. The one extra hour used to be paid with KD 1. “At the end of the day, I want all my rights. Then, let them fire me but I want to be satisfied before leaving the country,” he said. “I will not search for any other job because I had enough in these two years,” Farahat said. Adel Mohammad, an Egyptian who has been part of KPTC for nine years shared a similar claim. He signed a contract on 5 December 2001 with a validity of two years. “After these two years were complete, the contract used to be renewed automatically.

“My salary was KD 160 and later risen to KD 210.” The condition turned for the worse on the night when they were asked to sign new contracts with reduced salaries. “I could not say no and not sign the contract because I took a loan from the company amounting to KD 500. I don’t have this amount of money to pay them. We are tired of what they have been doing because other people sit in offices that are cooled by air conditioning, but we are driving all day long in the streets in this bad weather,” Mohammad said. Ismail Hamed Sundae, has been part of the drivers’ fleet at KPTC for over 18 months. He has been paid KD 140 since he signed a contract. He said, “We are oppressed in this company.” Sundae has a problem with the doctors in the company. “I brought a


Ismail Hamed by. The bathroom facilities are bad and also there is no health insurance, he said. In Sandro’s words there are hazards on the roads in Kuwait and not having an insurance can be tricky, “When we drive children start throwing stones at our windows and we get injured. The company said it was not their responsibility. Even if damages occur during an accident, expenses are cut from their salaries without any prior notice. Traffic tickets are also a burden on the drivers’ pockets. “The

Zahran Abd Al-Azeem



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Amir, Crown Prince visit National Guards Officers Club KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, accompanied by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah paid a visit to the National Guards Officers Club on Tuesday. Both were received by Chief of the National Guards His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah and National Guards Undersecretary Maj. Gen. Naser Abdullah Al-Daei. HH the Amir, in a speech stressed that unity is the source of the strength of Kuwait, praising the role of the National Guards in maintaining the safety and inner security of the nation. He also praised National Guards personnel for their determination and will in carrying out their duties in a responsible manner. This followed a speech by Sheikh Salem, who began by thanking HH the Amir for the visit, along with his efforts in support of the Army, Interior Ministry and the National Guards. He also praised HH the Amir for his wise leadership and efforts in support of the stability and development of the country. For his part, National Guards Undersecretary Maj. Gen. Al-Daei also made a speech on the occasion, which he began by praising the arrival of the distinguished guests. Al-Daei then commenced to announce the launch of the National Guards 2010-15 strategic plan, the achievements of which are to be conducted over several factors. The undersecretary mentioned ‘a paperless office’, which depends on the latest technology and fiber optics in transferring information, in addition to the expansion and development of database sectors. A second mechanized infantry battalion has been assembled, to increase the National Guards capacity force in its duties, he added, in addition to the formation and arming of a fully-trained anti-terror battalion. A shooting simulation complex in Kadhma base has been built, equipped with up-to-date technology. He also noted that in combination with forces from the Ministrys of Defence and Interior, the three would take part in joint exercises with allied forces, while National Guards personnel are also receiving education at Kuwait University, after the signature of a cooperation protocol. The National Guards is currently allocating an area of land in southern Kuwait, to build a new base, he said. The officer concluded by congratulating the guests on the remaining days of the holy month of Ramadan. The speech was followed by two traditional poetry recitals conducted by Col. Faleh Ghasham Naser and Captain Bader Saad Rowaishid. HH the Amir was also accompanied during his visit by First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (right) accompanied by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (left) during the visit to the National Guards Officers Club on Tuesday. — KUNA

for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, Deputy Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah. Others were HH the Amir’s Office Director Ahmad Fahad Al-Fahad, Acting Amiri Diwan

Undersecretary and Director of Amiri Protocol Sheikh Khalid Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince’s Diwan Undersecretary Sheikh Mubarak Al-Faisal Al-Sabah and Sheikh Majed Al-Jaber Al-Homoud Al-Sabah. —- KUNA

Ramadan’s last 10 days full of family and worship By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: More than 20 days have passed in the Holy Month of Ramadan, and the last ten days means a lot to many people. The last 10 days means more worship. Fayza Sherazi, a Kuwaiti and a mother of five children said, “the hardest part is the last 10 days of Ramadan. Luckily the schools are off during Ramadan this year.” She explained how much the last 10 days mean to her. “During this time I don’t talk to anybody in the world. I just hold the Quran in my hands reading from it during my free time. I pray all night until Fajr (dawn) prayer. This is a month of worship, when all Muslims ask for God’s forgiveness,” she said. She explained that she is unable to go and pray in a mosque because she has a problem with her legs. “Now the mosques will be too crowded and the weather doesn’t help at all, it’s humid all the time. I wish I could pray in the mosque but unfortunately I can’t,” Fayza added. For Dalia Mahmoud, a worker in a private company, the last 10 days of Ramadan are spent with her family. “I like spending the holy month with my family. Tomorrow we are all going to spend the last ten days in Makkah, which I think will be a very nice trip. All our prayers will be in God’s place,” she said. “I love the last ten days of Ramadan but what I hate is that I sleep at 4:00 am and wake up at 8:30 am,” said Islam Kamel, a father of one. “This means that I only sleep four hours a day. I think the country should give us a vacation because the last ten days of Ramadan are very hard.” Mariam Attar, a citizen and mother of two children, said she loves the last ten days of Ramadan. “I do my Eshaa (night) prayer in the mosque and stay there, reading the Quran until Fajr. The last ten days of Ramadan make me happy and sad at the same time. I am happy because I have a great indescribable feeling and sad because Ramadan will end soon.” Salsabeel Ahmed, a mother of three said, “the last ten days of Ramadan are the busiest days of my life. I go to work in the early morning then go back home to prepare for Iftar. I pray and then do some Eid shopping for my children. After that I go back home and perform Eshaa prayer with my husband. It is such a busy time, I don’t have time to relax and sleep.”

KUWAIT: The Mondanite Magazine held a Ghabqa on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Salmiya. Several dignitaries and guests attended the event including ambassadors and media personalities. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Thursday, September 2, 2010



God's mercy to mankind By Hassan T. Bwambale


od is the Lord and the Cherisher of all the creatures. His mercy may imply pity, forbearance, (to purify or shape or forgive you), and forgiveness, etc. But there is a Mercy that goes before even the need arises, the Grace which is ever watchful, and flows from God Most Gracious to His creatures, protecting them from evil and calamities, preserving them, guiding them on the right path, and leading them to clearer light and a higher life. For this reason, the attribute Rahman (Most Gracious) is not applied to any save God alone, but the attribute Rahim (Merciful), is a general term, and may also be applied to men. If our creator and cherisher is kind and merciful to us and guarantees forgiveness if we repent sincerely, why shouldn't we be kind to our kith and kin and brothers in humanity? If we put this concept into practice, we would be able to eliminate all the current woes, wars, suffering and hostilities, to mention but a few human problems. Muslims tend to be kinder during Ramadan than in other months. It is time they take these lessons from Ramadan and implement them even outside the Ramadan period. In Ramadan, by depriving the body we actually enrich the soul. That makes us better human beings and improves the way we deal with others. It is because of God's infinite mercy that He is a friend of the friendliness and the helper of the helpless. He hears and responds to all sincere prayers, and as His knowledge embraces all things, He grants to us whatever is best for us even when we tend to be stubborn and obstinate, not as we see and fathom it according to our limited knowledge, but as He knows it is His perfect infinite knowledge. In this world He grants protections and sustenance even to those who do not believe in Him. It should be borne in mind that Messengers were sent to deliver mankind from darkness into light: God is but One, the Universal Lord, who created everything and thus loves and cherishes all. We read in the Qur'an: "We sent thee (Muhammad) not, but as a mercy for all creatures" (21:107) We should avoid unnecessary wars, as well as committing suicide: We are warned in Islam against killing or destroying ourselves. "...Nor kill (destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah has

been to you Most Merciful." (4:29) Revenge in Islam: Since the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is our role model, it is instructive here to quote some of the incidents in which he had the right to revenge but declined to take it, instead seeking the infinite mercy of God Almighty. During the battle of Uhud, the second decisive battle in Islam, Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, then amongst the staunchest enemies of Islam, hired a slave called Wahshi, to kill Hamza, Prophet Muhammad's paternal uncle. Wahshi was famous for his shooting skills with his bow and arrows. After killing Hamza, ranks of pagan warriors came and mutilated his corpse. Saddened and aggrieved by that barbaric act, Prophet Mohammed pledged to kill and mutilate 70 of the pagans in retaliation. God revealed the following verse: "... and if you catch them out, revenge no worse that they caught you out; but if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient." (16: 126) Those who have reached the highest spiritual level do not take revenge, but rather seek common terms with those who wronged them. We must be careful of our own and other people's lives. We must commit no violence. Our violence to our own brethren is particularly preposterous, seeing that God has loved and showered His mercies on all His creatures and on us especially. We read in the Holy Quran: "...if anyone slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people" (5:32) Even in the case of great crimes, if there is true repentance as demonstrated by a changed life in conduct, God's mercy is available, and it will transform the repentant's nature from evil to good. (25:63-70) God's mercy is in and for all things. All nature observes a common purpose, which is for the good of all creatures. Our faculties and understanding are all instances of His grace and mercy. Each unit or factor among His creatures benefits from the others and receives them as God's mercy to them. His mercy is universal and all-pervasive for those who believe in Him and also for those who don't, as He gives them a chance to believe in Him and thus repent before they die. —Courtesy of the AWARE Center

Gulf Bank observes Girgian at hospitals KUWAIT: A group of Gulf Bank staff recently visited children's hospital units associated with Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospitals (KAACH), to share the joys of Girgian with them. Hospital visits

included: Farwaniya, Jahra, Ibn Sina, Razi, Amiri, NBK, Zain and Sheikha Badria. These visits created an authentic Ramadan ambience for patients, giving them a chance to relive the joyful

moments of Ramadan by offering them colorful, filled Girgian bags, in addition to several activities that include face painting, henna, hair braiding, as well as a handshake from Gulf Bank's famous Nassour character.

Gulf Bank is committed to maintaining its position as part of Kuwait's integral social fabric and the Bank perceives such visits as a moral obligation to deliver great spiritual support to these young patients.



Vietnam on the rise By Nguyen Danh Sao, Ambassador of Vietnam


n the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Sept 2), I would like to convey my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the members of the Vietnamese community who currently stay and work in Kuwait. I would also like to express my most heartfelt gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed AlJaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Nawaf A-Ahmed Al-Jaber AlSabah, Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed AlAhmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, and all our Kuwaiti friends for their great hospitality and their great contributions to the good relationship between Kuwait and Vietnam. May the relations of friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Kuwait further develop to the aspiration of the two peoples! On this day sixty-five years ago, Sept 2, 1945 at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, before hundreds of thousands of people, Ho Chi Minh, our first President, read the Proclamation of Independence to found the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The country then had to endure two long wars of resistance over a 30-year period, which witnessed the famous victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 with the formulation of the Geneva Agreement, putting an end to the French colonialism, and culminated in the Great Spring 1975 Victory that resulted in the country’s reunification. Vietnam, known as a heroic nation for its long struggle for independence and freedom, earned its glorious past. Today the country is popular throughout the region and the world as a young dynamic economy with rapid development and as an attractive country for foreign investors; a Vietnam with a rich, time‹honored traditional culture and civilization; a country with excellent and healthy cuisine; a Vietnam with warm hospitality and an ideal destination for tourists who come from all over the world. For the past 65 years, particularly since “Doi Moi”, the comprehensive reform, which was introduced in 1986, Vietnam has consistently implemented a policy of openness, multi‹lateralization and diversification of international relations. As a result, external relations have constantly broadened and international economic integration has been effectively deepened. Vietnam has strengthened friendly relations and multi‹faceted cooperation with all powers, neighbouring countries and nations around the world. Now it has diplomatic relations with more than 170 countries. It has also been active in promoting the evolution of international institutions such as the United Nations, the Non‹Aligned Movement (NAM), ASEAN, APEC and ASEM. After tireless efforts, Vietnam officially joined the WTO in 2007 and successfully held a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2008-2009. This year Vietnam is holding the presidency of ASEAN. Vietnam is now deeply engaged with regional and global economies. The government is aware of its internal strength as an important condition to its successful integration into the global economy. Vietnam’s strategy for sustainable development, with growth quality, human resources development, a civilized society and environmental protection being at its core, has been devised and translated into concrete action plans. Vietnam, from a food importing country, has become the second largest rice exporter in the world. It also exports a lot of other commodities with well-known brands. The economy has attained high growth rate; people’s lives have been significantly improved; social policy received greater attention; the legal system has become increasingly complete and social management based on the rule of law has been put into place. Over the past two decades, Vietnam has recorded sustainable GDP growth of 6% - 8%. Although the recent world economic crisis has hard hit a number of economies all over the world, Vietnam economy still recorded the economic growth rate of 5,5% in 2009 and is expected to gain 6,5% this year and higher rates in the coming years. On foreign trade and international economic integration, the policy of openness and industrialization has opened up new opportunities for Vietnam to make full use of its inherent comparative advantages, i.e. vast natural resources, and an abundant and inexpensive young workforce. These advantages are being exploited to raise Vietnam’s exports which generate an increasing flow of foreign income for economic growth and industrialization. In the past years, Vietnam’s export growth has increased greatly from around half a million dollars before the introduction of the Doi Moi policy to around $60 billion in 2008- 2009. This foreign earning makes a significant resource for the national industrialization and modernization. On Foreign Direct Investment, in December 1987, the Foreign Direct Investment Law of Vietnam was introduced to help form the basic legal framework for foreign investment activities in Vietnam. To better respond to business requirements and feedback from foreign investors, this

Law was amended and supplemented several times, notably in 1996 and 2002, which created a more open and attractive environment to draw foreign investors into crucial industries, such as export-oriented processing and manufacturing, and key economic zones of the country. Over the past years, Vietnam has drawn increasing inflows of FDI. From a negligible figure of 1986, FDI into Vietnam reached $ 3.2 billion in 1997. Due to the negative impacts of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the FDI flow then saw a drop during 1998-2000 period, with only $ 1.58 billion in 1999. Vietnam enjoyed a recovery of FDI, from US$ 2.6 billion in 2001 to US$ 67 billion in 2008 and US$ 19 billion in 2009. FDI not only generates profits for foreign investors but also represents a significant capital source which comes along with technology transfer and advanced managerial skills. Overall, over the past 65 years, particularly since the Doi Moi policy with the focus on economic reform, an important milestone in the development of the Vietnamese nation, the country has witnessed notable changes. Vietnam is now popularly known as one of the most impressive tourism destinations in the world. It has become an ideal destination for international visitors and holiday makers during their vacations. Vietnam possesses beautiful and plentiful sceneries and a number of the world heritages. The country has two major deltas namely the Red River Delta and the Cuu Long River Delta, two “rice baskets” of the country. It also possesses a large high-land, abundant forests and jungles as well as a dense river system. These make ideal eco-tour destinations for tourists. Tourists can choose favourite destinations of their choices. They can either stay in luxurious hotels in cities or stay in beautiful villas in holiday resorts by the sea or on the high-land during their time in Vietnam. Climate in Vietnam is diverse. Tourists can swim in the sea in winter time in the South as the climate there is tropical. They can enjoy the fruits and food of all kinds in Vietnam as different places offer different dishes with their different customs and traditions. This year of 2010 is a very special year for the Vietnamese people. It is a year full of events. Prominently, the country celebrates the 65th Anniversary of the Independence (Sept 2), 35 years of the reunification ( April 30), one thousand years of the foundation of Thang Long-Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam (Oct 10). International tourists are being attracted to Vietnam to witness with their own eyes the fine time-honoured traditions of the nation in these celebrations as well as a new, young and dynamic Vietnam in the era of regional integration and globalization, a Vietnam with hospitality for the people of all walks of life. In regard to Vietnam-Kuwait bilateral relations, Vietnam is looking forward to celebrating the 35 anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Kuwait. So far the fine traditional relations between the two countries have been continuously broadened and deepened in so many varied areas and have reached a new level. Vietnam always regards cooperation with Kuwait and other GCC countries with the utmost importance. At present, the cooperation between Vietnam and Kuwait has increased in all domains. The two countries have two dynamic economies that each possesses complimentary advantages. Thus there are opportunities for Vietnam and Kuwait to promote economic cooperation. The Government of Vietnam encourages Kuwaiti businesses to invest in areas where they can utilise their strengths such as infrastructure construction, agriculture, finance and banking, energy. The government of Vietnam renders favourable conditions for Kuwaiti investors as they invest in the country. Coming to Vietnam, they will not only access to a prospective and attractive market of over 86 million people but they will also have access to other larger markets through South-east Asia and China. Through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), more than $100 million have been granted as loans to Vietnam for rural infrastructure projects. A joint venture contract on Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical project was also signed in April 2008, between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the Kuwaiti Petroleum Corporation and a Japanese partner. The complex, the largest so far, are being built in Nghi Son in the central province of Thanh Hoa with an investment capital of $6 billion for its first phase. Vietnam has exported a number of products to Kuwait, including garments and textiles, seafood, hardwood, computer and electronic appliances, vegetables, pepper, footwear and chinaware. It imports oil, urine fertilizer, plastic material, textiles, chemical products, leather materials and accessories. There is, however, still more room for cooperation and investment between the two countries. The leaders of the two countries have exchanged visits at all levels to strengthen their relations and cooperation. Prominently, an official visit by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al‹Mohammed Al‹Sabah to Vietnam in May 2007 and the opening of the Embassy and Consulate General of the State of Kuwait in Vietnam the same year, as well as the official visit of his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dzung, to the State of Kuwait in March 2009 marked a milestone in the history of the friendship relations between our two countries. On this very significant Day of Vietnam, I wish the cooperative relationship between Vietnam and Kuwait will further develop for the interests and prosperity of the two countries, contributing to peace, cooperation and stability in the region and the world.

Kuwait to host first Gulf transportation conference KUWAIT: It was announced yesterday that Kuwait will host the first Gulf Transportation Conference on September 20. Various Gulf companies which specialize in maritime and land transport and logistics services are scheduled to participate in the event. The conference will be held under the auspices of Minister Of Communication and Minister of State For National Assembly Affairs Dr. Mohammed Al-Busairi. At the conference, delegates will discuss the future of

shipbuilding industry and the needs of border crossing points, a company statement added. Other topics of discussion will include how best to build a joint Arab venture to increase private sector road transport and how to plan dry ports, logistics and maritime transport, as well as transportation growth rates in the region. The conference will also discuss other modes of transport such as subways, seaports, and providing security for shipping, as well as protecting the environment. —KUNA

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Work ongoing to push single constituency proposal KUWAIT: Several MPs are reportedly planning to submit parliamentary requests that the National Assembly’s legislative and legal committee give its approval to draft legislation proposing the abolition of Kuwait’s current five-constituency system, with the existing constituencies to be merged into one. Advocates of the proposed system insist that it would be fairer, helping to eliminate several negative factors found in previous elections, including an imbalance in voter distribution across constituencies, as well as alleged vote-buying and tribal partisanship. The supporters assert that eliminating these contentious practices would help to improve the nature of the democratic system overall. The Popular Action Bloc (PAB), which put forward the proposal, is currently actively seeking political backing from other MPs for the adoption of the one-constituency system in order to achieve a level of support that would ensure the legislation being passed when it put to a parliamentary vote. The cabinet is expected to support the proposal, which would offer an additional assurance of its own neutrality in the electoral process and its wish to see justice done in voter distribution patterns, reported AlWatan. Meanwhile, several independent MPs have also spoken out in favor of the concept, expressing the opinion that the current voter distribution system across constituencies is unfair. In other parliamentary developments, meanwhile, MP Daifallah Buramya expressed “extreme disappointment” at what he said were conflicting government statements concerning the appointment of a chairman for the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS). He claimed that the current situation regarding this issue “exposes the cabinet’s weakness and its inability to handle responsibility or implement its duties properly.” Buramya asserted that this flaw within the government’s workings was exposed when the cabinet suspended a decision by the cabinet affairs minister to appoint seven undersecretaries at the Fatwa and Legislation Department, adding that its conflicting decisions damage public trust in this government. Meanwhile, Dr. Walid AlTabtabae has submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the Minister of Information and of Oil Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah, in which he enquired about the agreement recently signed between Kuwait and Iraq concerning the sharing of some border oilfields between the two countries. He asked for details of the oilfields covered by the agreement, as well as requesting an explanation as to why the issue had not been discussed in parliament before approval was given, especially since it concerns the utilization of national natural resources. On a separate issue, MP Musallam Al-Barrak has submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Roudhan AlRoudhan concerning a letter from the United Nations compensation committee concerning the $650,000 reportedly being given in compensation to nine individuals for damages sustained during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Al-Barrak also requested details of the individuals being compensated.

Bring on the big names

Kuwait an attractive market for retailers KUWAIT: Despite its relatively small population, Kuwait is firmly placed among the world’s most attractive and popular markets for international retail franchises. With a strong consumer and shopping culture and a young, growing and affluent population with an affinity for international brands, Kuwait offers an attractive market for leadWhile the ranking is a testament to Kuwait’s ability to absorb new retailers, this is not to suggest that the country is not already home to some of the world’s most well-known brands. International real estate consultancy CB Richard Ellis, in its annual survey measuring the participation of foreign brands in international retail markets, recently put Kuwait in 17th place out of 69 countries- up from 28th a year earlier. Since Kuwaiti law prohibits foreign firms from opening branches in the country and does not specifically recognize or regulate franchise relationships, retail chains looking to enter the market typically do so via joint ventures or partnerships in locally incorporated companies. In the case of all partnerships and companies, at least 51% of the equity must be held by Kuwaiti nationals. In this respect, selecting the right local partner is critical to an international retailer’s market success in Kuwait. Retailers would be well advised to seek out partners who can use retail experience and knowledge of local consumer tastes to complement the company’s

ing retailers seeking to expand their footprint. Management consultants AT Kearney recently placed Kuwait second in its 2010 Global Retail Development Index, which evaluated 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables to rank the world’s 30 top countries for retail expansion.

existing strategies. Mohammad Al Yousifi, a director at Easa Husain Al Yousifi & Sons, a trading company that represents electronics brands such as Panasonic and Sharp, stressed the importance of securing local agents that specialize in and understand their retail category, and retain retail as their core business. “You have some brands that work well here, and some that inexplicably have failed,” he said. “And a lot is down to whether they received the proper marketing attention from their local partner.” While brands the world over continue to earmark Kuwait as a potentially lucrative expansion destination, with this comes the inevitable concern over the possibility of eventual market saturation. “Kuwait is a restricted market because of its population size,” Adel AlShamali, the general manager for Kuwait’s Al-Homaizi Group, which represents brands such as Ikea, Burger King and Pizza Hut, told OBG. “Unless new government projects bring in increased retail demand through the arrival of more expatriates, the market

is not growing and competition among brands will intensify.” Andrew Denby, the chief executive for Union Trading Company, a leading Kuwaiti retail group, similarly expressed concern over the potential for overcrowding. “Many of the larger Kuwaiti retail groups represent brands that cannibalize each other,” he told OBG. “It is important to identify market gaps and secure brands that complement rather than compete with each other.” While high disposable incomes and an affinity for travel have boded well for Western brands, especially those in the luxury category, most retailers also point to a movement towards greater value consciousness. “Today, the market is shifting and is less about brand names as consumers are becoming more price-sensitive,” Al-Yousifi said. This has certainly been driven somewhat by the impact of the global financial crisis. But according to Denby, “Kuwait has always been a very promotion and sales focused market. Even the wealthiest Kuwaitis like to feel that they are getting a bargain.” — Oxford Business Group

kuwait digest

Are we prepared for the changes? By Dr Mubarak Al-Therwa


wenty years ago people in the Arab region were not aware of the rapid information revolution going on around them. Most TVs only broadcast a handful of channels so technologies like the internet and cell phones weren’t really popular yet. Technological achievements have become an attribute upon which respect for countries have been established. Today, the countries that own the most advanced technological fighting equipment and devastating nuclear weapons are the most respected and feared countries in the world, regard-

less of their history. The Industrial Revolution took place in the nineteenth century when steam engines, electricity and railroads were invented. This advancement diminished the significance of manual labor in favor of mechanized work and businessmen grew to be more wealthy and respected than land owners. Technology has reached a really advanced level with features such as high tech satellites that can detect submarines underwater and the spread of social networking via the internet that can literally bring the whole world to you with the simple push of a button. This advancement has brought

countries across the world closer than ever before. Any occurrences or problem that takes place in any part of the world will eventually affect other countries, similar to what happened with the global economic crisis. It’s important to keep in mind that the incidents that have taken place these years are the result of an accumulation of previous problems and can eventually lead to radical changes. I believe that it is our duty to investigate the wave of changes taking place worldwide. The rapid digital and nuclear development of the region must be taken into consideration when executing the local development plan. Are we ready for these changes? —Al-Rai

Wataniya Airways holds Girgian KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways, Kuwait’s premium service airline, celebrated traditional Girgian onboard its flights to all destinations from the 14th to 16th day of Ramadan. The airline’s cabin crew handed out special Girgian bags filled with sweet treats to all children. Jassim Al-Qames, Wataniya Airways Head of Public Relations said, “It was great to celebrate Ramadan with the children. Wataniya Airways is committed to Kuwaiti society and upholding its traditions. Sharing and participating in occasions such as this is an important part of this involvement.” “Ramadan is a special month

for all of us. To help celebrate, we have created special Ramadan hours to fulfill the needs of our guests as well as promotions in addition to Umra special offers. We have also held a traditional ghabqa with our employees, their families and our travel agents; so that we could all celebrate the holy month together, as members of the Watanya Airways Family.” Wataniya Airways, Kuwait’s leading premium service airline, commenced operations in January 2009 with point-to-point connections across the Middle East. Flying to 12 GCC, Arab, and European destinations with more destinations to follow, Wataniya Airways offers advantageous ser-

vices and schedules geared to the specific demands of discerning travelers flying to and from Kuwait. Operating six A320 aircraft with only 122 seats, Wataniya Airways offers passengers more comfort and space than any other scheduled airline within the same aircraft class. First Class offers industry leading comfort, utility, and personal service, while Premium Economy delivers business class ease and comfort for economy guests. In Kuwait, Wataniya Airways operates from Sheikh Saad Terminal, delivering unprecedented levels of exclusivity, convenience, and efficiency on the ground to all its guests.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

For Palestinians, past failures darken outlook for talks RAMALLAH: Ten years after the failed Camp David peace talks ushered in a bloody uprising, many Palestinians fear they are again embarking on US-backed negotiations that could end in failure - or worse. Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas has reluctantly agreed to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington today, but scepticism is rife given the violence that surrounded past peace bids. “I think this is the last chance. There will be no government that will be as flexible as this one,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of Abbas’ Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which has held successive rounds of direct talks with Israel since the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords. “If it fails it will be a huge letdown internally... and as the weaker side, the

Palestinians will be blamed,” she said. The nearly two decades of on-again, offagain talks have never led to a peace agreement but have on more than one occasion been followed by outbreaks of violence and years of mutual recriminations. The last round of direct talks stopped when Israel invaded Gaza to halt Hamas rocket fire in late 2008, and the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in 2000 led to the eruption of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising. The pessimism expressed by Israelis and Palestinians alike is largely rooted in the events of 2000, when the two sides seemed on the verge of reaching an agreement just months before declaring all-out war. In July of that year US president Bill Clinton, centre-left Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser

Arafat had huddled for two weeks at the presidential retreat and seemed days away from an agreement. Three months later, the 2000 Palestinian uprising erupted, ushering in a hawkish Israeli government and years of Palestinian suicide bombings and massive Israeli incursions in the occupied territories. Arafat was widely blamed for the diplomatic failure, and Israel’s peace movement withered as the escalating violence convinced many Israelis the Palestinians had never been serious about resolving the decades-old conflict. The Palestinians felt they were unfairly blamed for the failure of the talks, accusing the United States of not exerting enough pressure on Israel and pointing to the escalating number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. More than 100,000 Israeli settlers lived in the West

Bank when direct peace talks were first launched on the White House lawn in 1993. By 2000 that number had doubled, and today 300,000 settlers live in the West Bank, with another 200,000 in annexed east Jerusalem, lands occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and expected to form the bulk of the Palestinian state. “Every US administration has told us, ‘enter the negotiations and that will stop the settlements,’ but the settlements have not stopped,” Ashrawi said. Now many fear the process will be repeated, as they have watched Abbas bow to US pressure to relaunch talks without securing his sought-after settlement freeze from Israel’s right-wing government. “They thought it was enough to bring Yasser Arafat to Camp David and exert US pressure on him (to) sign... Now it’s the

same with Abu Mazen,” said former Palestinian minister Qaddura Fares, referring to Abbas with his popular nickname. “If these negotiations fail we will pay the price,” he added. “We lose time, we lose credibility, we lose the support of the people... We will lose those who continue hoping that there’s a possibility for peace,” he said. “The Palestinian leadership has become a hostage of the peace process, but they should try at least one time to say no.” Robert Malley, an advisor to Clinton during the Camp David talks who now heads the International Crisis Group (ICG) in the Middle East and North Africa, agrees that Abbas found himself in a tough position. “For the Palestinian national movement, the choice was between going into talks that they do not believe in and no

alternative at all,” he said, adding that Arafat had faced a similar dilemma in 2000. But unlike Arafat, Abbas presides over a deeply divided movement, with the Islamist Hamas movement - which has always opposed any talks with Israel - ruling the Gaza Strip and holding a majority in the Palestinian parliament. “President Abbas comes to the negotiations where he does not necessarily represent the whole of the Palestinian population,” Malley said. “Arafat... represented a Palestinian consensus.” However, he said the current negotiators on all sides would be in a better position than their predecessors, if only because they could learn from past failures. “What is unacceptable for the one or the other is clearly defined,” he said. “They’ve already set markers.” — AFP

Palestinian Authority cracks down on Hamas

Israel, Palestinians hunt settler killers HEBRON: Israeli forces yesterda y sealed off parts of the West Bank w hile Palestinian security forces arrested scores of Hamas supporters a fter four settlers were gunned dow n just ahead of Middle Ea st peace talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya hu meanwhile called for “”restra int” as he arrived in Wa shington for the summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, as furious settlers vowed to flout a moratorium on settlement construction. Israeli soldiers carried out house-to-house searches in villa ges in the Hebron a rea where the tw o couples, including a pregnant w oman, w ere killed on Tuesda y evening.

LONDON: Copies of Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s book are seen displayed at a bookshop yesterday. — AP

Blair memoir lifts lid on Iraq, alcohol and royals LONDON: Tony Blair does not regret the Iraq war despite the “nightmare” it unleashed, but he feels “desperately sorry” for those who died, the former British prime minister says in memoirs published yesterday. “A Journey”, Blair’s account of his decade in Downing Street, also includes an unprecedented attack on his “strange” successor Gordon Brown, whose premiership he branded a disaster. It details the personal toll the job took on him, including his use of whisky, gin and wine as a “prop”, as well as his role in the aftermath of princess Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. But it is Blair’s decision to take Britain into the US-led invasion of Iraq that lies at the heart of the 718-page book. Speaking of his feelings for all those who died in Iraq, he suggested he had wept over the soldiers and civilians killed in the thrust to overthrow Saddam Hussein. “Tears, though there have been many, do not encompass it,” Blair wrote. “I feel desperately sorry for them, sorry for the lives cut short... to be indif-

ferent to that would be inhuman, emotionally warped.” But he reiterated that he “can’t regret the decision to go to war,” adding: “All I know is that I did what I thought was right.” He also acknowledged that the turmoil that followed the March 2003 invasion was far worse than anticipated. “The aftermath was more bloody, more awful, more terrifying than anyone could have imagined,” he said. “I can say that never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded.” Campaign group Stop The War Coalition, reacting to Blair’s comments, said that most people in Britain “had no difficulty in seeing that the nightmare we faced was not Iraq but Tony Blair and his war policies”. In a BBC interview to publicise the book, Blair said the international community should now be prepared to consider taking military action against Iran if it develops a nuclear weapon. “I am saying that I think it is wholly unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability and I think we have got to be prepared to

Mubarak says peace talks hinge on freeze NEW YORK: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in comments published yesterday that Israel must extend a settlement moratorium for negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to succeed. Mubarak, who is in Washington to attend the launch of direct talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursday, also called for international peacekeepers in a future Palestinian state. “A complete halt to Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank and east Jerusalem is critical if the negotiations are to succeed, starting with an extension of Israel’s moratorium on settlement-building, which expires this month,” he wrote in yesterday’s edition of the New York Times. The Palestinians say that a renewal of settlement activities after September 26, when a ten-month partial moratorium expires, would end the negotiations. The settlements house about 500,000 people on lands occupied by Israel in 1967. Netanyahu faces pressure from his Likud party to continue settlement construction. Mubarak said Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, is prepared to continue mediating between Abbas’s Fatah party in the West Bank and the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which rejects talks with Israel. “The Palestinians cannot make peace with a house divided. If Gaza is excluded from the framework of peace, it will remain a source of conflict, undermining any final settlement,” he wrote. Mubarak added that Arab states should make gestures to allay Israeli concerns. “In the interim both sides must show that this dream (of a Palestinian state) is within reach. Arab nations should continue to demonstrate the seriousness of their peace initiative with steps that address the hopes and concerns of ordinary Israelis,” he added. Washington has demanded that Arab countries take steps to normalise relations with Israel to build confidence for the negotiations. Only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, have diplomatic relations with Israel. Mubarak supported previous calls by Abbas to station international troops in a Palestinian state. “I recognise that Israel has legitimate security needs, needs that can be reconciled with the Palestinians’ just demand for a complete withdrawal from occupied territory,” Mubarak wrote. “Egypt believes that the presence of an international force in the West Bank, to be stationed for a period to be agreed upon by the parties, could give both sides the confidence and security they seek.” —AFP

confront them, if necessary militarily,” he said, according to pre-released extracts. Blair also gave candid insights on the “huge strain” life in Downing Street put on him, his lawyer wife Cherie and their four children, the youngest of whom was born while he was in office. He used alcohol as a “prop” to relax and was “at the outer limit” of the regular intake limit advised by doctors. “Stiff whisky or G & T (gin and tonic) before dinner, couple of glasses of wine or even half a bottle with it,” Blair wrote. “So not excessively excessive. I had a limit. But I was aware it had become a prop.” The memoirs also feature revelations about high-profile figures, with Blair revealing that he was a “sucker” for princess Diana but that Queen Elizabeth II had treated him with “hauteur” in the days after Diana’s death. He told of “trying” visits to Balmoral, the royal family’s Scottish retreat, when the queen had donned rubber gloves to do the washing up after the royals’ traditional barbecue for staff and guests. —AFP

Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said Palestinian security forces had arrested more than 150 of its members, including family of parliamentarians. The Islamist group ruling Gaza accused Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas of “siding with the Zionist enemy and continuing its project to abort and uproot the resistance,” in a statement from Hamas MPs. A Palestinian official had earlier confirmed the arrest of 50 Hamas supporters. There were no reports of Israeli arrests. Meanwhile, thousands of people, most of them settlers, attended a funeral ceremony at the Beit Haggai settlement that was the home of the four victims, Yitzhak Imass, 47, his wife Taliya, 45, Kokhava Even HaÔm, 37, and Avishai Schindler, 24. “It is a serious error to believe one can make peace with terrorists. There is no reason to talk with them,” Rabbi Dov Lior, a spiritual leader of hardline settlers, told the mourners. Mourners sobbed as the families of the victims recited the Jewish prayer for the dead. “Look at those children, seven orphans. What a catastrophe,” a young woman cried out, looking at those the victims left behind. The attack was claimed by the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, which is vehemently opposed to the talks that Netanyahu and Abbas are to relaunch in Washington today.

RAMALLAH: Palestinians hold up signs during a protest in this West Bank city against direct IsraeliPalestinian negotiations yesterday ahead of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinians taking place in Washington and mediated by the US government. — AFP The two leaders on Tuesday both condemned the attack, as did as did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday. “This attack must be recognized for what it is - a cynical and blatant attempt to undermine the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations starting tomorrow,” Ban’s spokesman said. The main Israeli settlers association vowed it would

immediately resume construction in the West Bank, which has been partly halted for the past 10 months in a measure imposed by the Israeli government under US pressure in a bid to promote the peace talks. “This brutal attack again proved that despite what might be going on in Washington right now, the Palestinians have no goal to create a peaceful state

for themselves but are entirely driven to destroy our state and our people,” said Naftali Bennett, director general of the Yesha Council. “The only response that will show our resolve against terror is to commit ourselves to building, and effective yesterday evening we will bring this senseless freeze to an immediate end,” he said in a statement.

Later in the afternoon settlers threw stones at a Palestinian home near the site of the attack, shattering windows but without wounding anyone, according to Palestinian witnesses. The settlement issue has been one of the thorniest in peace efforts and will be addressed during the upcoming negotiations, the first direct talks in 20 months. —AFP



thursday, September 2, 2010

72 dead migrants found in Mexico tip of iceberg

SAN SALVADOR: Paula Cruz wept quietly at the foreign ministry office in El Salvador’s capital after reporting that her son was missing - apparently kidnapped - in Mexico. “I got a phone call asking me to send $2,500 to ransom him,” the 77-year-old mother said, clutching the last letter she received from her 43-year-old son. “I didn’t have the money. I don’t know if he is alive or dead.” Cruz fears her son may be one the 72 migrants found shot to death in northern Mexico last week. She is one of hundreds of people who streamed to government offices in Central America after news of the massacre spread, searching for news of relatives who went missing after setting out through Mexico hoping to reach the United States. In the overwhelming majority of cases, family members’ descriptions did not match the bullet-ridden bodies found in heaps at a ranch in the state of Tamaulipas. Instead, rights workers say, the missing migrants may be part of a huge toll of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of migrants killed by organized crime gangs and whose bodies may have been hacked up, dissolved in acid

or buried in unmarked paupers graves. The true number of undocumented migrants killed in Mexico in recent years may never be known, but they would almost certainly dwarf the number discovered last week. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said there were witness accounts of 198 mass kidnappings involving 9,758 migrants in a six month-period in 2009. Just Tuesday, police in the Mexican resort of Cancun rescued six Cuban migrants who had been captured by a gang and were being held prisoner in a house near the city’s airport, said Quintana Roo state police director Enrique Alberto Sanmiguel. He said the captors were demanding $8,000 to $10,000 from the Cubans’ families in the United States. Activists say drug cartels like Mexico’s Zetas - the gang blamed in the Tamaulipas massacre - frequently kill one or two from each group to scare the rest into asking relatives to meet ransom demands. Almost 200 relatives showed up at the offices of the Honduras’ foreign ministry in

Tegucigalpa saying their loved ones had disappeared somewhere in Mexico. So far only 21 bodies found at the massacre site have been identified as Hondurans; 19 are of other nationalities, and 32 are unidentified. In Guatemala, relatives have called the country’s foreign ministry to report about 30 missing migrants since the massacre. El Salvador’s foreign ministry says at least 91 families have shown up in the capital, and at Salvadoran embassies and consulates in the United States, to report missing relatives since the massacre. The missing migrants had set out to cross Mexico months ago - in some cases, years ago. Rosa Centeno was one of those who lined up at the El Salvador foreign ministry office. She was looking for her husband, Salvador Carpio, 47. “I haven’t heard anything from him in a week. The last time we talked he was in Tamaulipas,” Centeno said. “Some men called and asked for $400, and I sent it.” Some of the relatives covered their faces outside the offices out of fear of drawing further attention from kidnappers or endanger-

ing their missing relatives. “They called and told us that they had my brother,” said one man, who would give his name only as Salvador. “They asked us for contacts (of relatives) in the United States to pay $10,000 in ransom.” Salvador said the family later got a horrifying call. “Last Saturday the same man called and said my brother was among the dead.” Alberto Xicotencatl, who runs a migrant shelter a block from railway lines used by migrants in the northern Mexico city of Saltillo, said drug cartels frequently torture and kill one or two from each group to scare the rest into dunning money from relatives for ransom. Given the estimates on kidnappings that would amount to hundreds killed each year. Others are killed in robberies, assaults and rapes. “The estimates are that in the cemeteries of Tapachula (a city near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala), there are hundreds of unidentified bodies, of migrants, that wind up in paupers’ graves,” Xicotencatl said. Tapachula officials were not immediately available to comment. But

the spokesman for Arriaga, another Chiapas railway town, Alfredo Ovilla, said there may be as many as 50 to 100 migrants in graves there after violence in earlier years targeted those riding trains. He said increased police and migrant-protection patrols had reduced the violence. On Tuesday, Mexico announced the outlines of a plan to reduce violence against migrants, by helping build more shelters, keeping a closer watch on railway lines on which migrants travel, and using information campaigns “to discourage undocumented migration” and inform migrants of their rights. Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department could not provide figures on the number of foreign migrants reported missing or dead in the country, though it keeps a careful accounting of Mexican migrants found dead in the southwestern United States - 369 in 2009. Many of the Central American migrants’ home countries also don’t keep track of those missing in Mexico. Andrea Furlan, a spokeswoman for Guatemala’s foreign ministry, said reports come in of migrants being

tortured or raped or having disappeared, but seldom with the detail that would allow authorities to take action. “People are not in the habit of filing crime reports,” Furlan said. Xicotencatl said there is no firm estimate of the number of migrants killed in Mexico and “we will probably never have it”, given that - unlike the Tamaulipas massacre many of the bodies may never be found. He said migrants have told about seeing fellow migrants killed “and then chopped up and put into barrels with acid, so that there is no evidence”. Still, some good might come of the massacre. Some Central American countries have set up special offices or hotlines for families report disappearances and might keep them working even after the last of the massacre victims are identified. “We in the support network and civic groups really lament this situation very much,” Xicotencatl said of the mass killing, “but it may have been just the push people needed to begin to see what is really happening.” —AP

Mozambique police fire at crowds protesting prices At least six people killed MAPUTO, Mozambique: Police opened fire yesterday on stone-throwing crowds who were protesting rising prices in this impoverished country, and a local TV station said six people were killed. The mobs also burned tires and ransacked shops in the capital. Police responded by firing shots into the

crowds and the air. S-TV, a private station, said the dead included one child. The station said three adults were declared dead in hospitals and the other two died in the streets. The station gave no other details. It was not immediately clear if any of the six had fallen to police bullets or died from other causes.

MAPUTO, Mozambique: The body of a child lays in a pool of blood yesterday after police opened fire on stone-throwing crowds who were protesting rising prices in this impoverished country. — AP

Rape probe against Assange reopened STOCKHOLM: A senior Swedish prosecutor reopened a rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday, the latest twist to a puzzling case in which prosecutors of different ranks have overruled each other. Assange has denied the allegations and suggested they are part of a smear campaign by opponents of WikiLeaks - an online whistle-blower that has angered Washington by publishing thousands of leaked documents about US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The case was dismissed last week by Eva Finne, chief prosecutor in Stockholm, who overruled a lower-ranked prosecutor and said there was no reason to suspect that Assange, an Australian citizen, had raped a Swedish woman who had reported him to police. The woman’s lawyer appealed the decision and yesterday Director of Public

Prosecution Marianne Ny decided to reopen the case, saying new information had come in on Tuesday. “We went through all the case material again, including what came in (Tuesday), and that’s when I made my decision” to reopen the case, Ny told The Associated Press by phone. She declined to say what new information had been received or whether Assange would be arrested. An arrest warrant issued Aug. 20 was withdrawn within 24 hours as the back-and-forth between prosecutors started. Ny said “it’s not entirely uncommon” that such reversals take place in Sweden, in particular regarding allegations of sex crimes. Ny also decided that another complaint against Assange should be investigated on suspicion of “sexual coercion and sexual

molestation”. That overruled a previous decision to only investigate the case as “molestation”, which is not a sex offense under Swedish law. Investigators have not released details about either case, though a police report obtained by the AP shows both women had met Assange in connection with a seminar he gave in Stockholm on Aug 14. The report shows they filed their complaints together six days later. Assange is seeking legal protection for WikiLeaks in Sweden, one of the countries where the group says it has servers. The Swedish Migration Board has confirmed that Assange has applied for a work and residence permit in the Scandinavian country. Assange did not immediately respond to the rape case being reopened, and his defense lawyer Leif Silbersky didn’t answer calls seeking comment. —AP

Nigeria on the cusp of ‘demographic disaster’

ROME: A giant photograph of Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani hangs from a building in central Rome yesterday. The Italian government has displayed the giant photograph from the offices of the Equal Opportunities Ministry, urging Iran to lift its death sentence on the woman convicted of adultery. Writing reads in Italian “For the life of Sakineh”. — AP

LAGOS: Nigeria could become the fifth most populous country in the world, teetering on the edge of a “demographic disaster” unless its stagnant economy rapidly expands to support its teeming youth population, according to a report released yesterday. Estimates in the report by the British Council show Nigeria’s population of 150 million people will swell by another 63 million people by 2050. Nigeria will have a ready supply of workers into the future with more than 40 percent of the West African nation’s younger than 14. However, the oil-rich nation’s gross domestic product remained flat as its population multiplied in the last two decades, leaving it dangerously out of balance unless true economic development takes hold, the report said. “Large cohorts of unemployed or underemployed young people destabilize their societies, fueling crime and creating conditions where civil conflict becomes more likely,” it said. “Instead of collecting a dividend, a country that is not well prepared to make the most of its Baby Boom generation can find itself in the midst of a demographic disaster.” To avoid that chaos, the report urges Nigeria’s government to step away from relying solely on its crude oil revenues and encourages investment in emerging industries like telecommunication and manufacturing. Nigeria has yet to show such bold moves after it emerged into democracy a decade ago in the wake of the chaos of military dictatorships and coups following its independence from Britain in 1960. Blinded by oil money, the government allowed the country’s one-time dominant agricultural economy to be devastated and many of the nation’s factories sit idle. Illiteracy remains high as an education gap grows wider - children have access to better schooling in the Christian-majority south compared to those in the Muslim north, the report said. But even an education cannot guarantee a job. —AP

A witness saw an ambulance remove the apparently lifeless body of a boy who had a severe head wound. The government hasn’t given any casualty figures from yesterday’s rioting. Police appealed for calm on state radio and TV and said they had made an unspecified number of arrests. Police had declared the marches illegal, saying no group sought permission to hold them. Word had spread for days in this former Portuguese colony in southeast Africa that there would be demonstrations. Thousands of protesters, most of them young men, lined the streets of Bagamoyo, a crowded, impoverished neighborhood just north of downtown Maputo. As they moved into the city center, they looted shops and warehouses. Protests were also reported in other areas around Maputo. Police appealed for calm on state radio and TV and said they had made some arrests. Youths were blocking streets and ransacking property. Many public transport drivers have abandoned their vehicles in the streets. Mozambicans have seen the price of a loaf of bread rise by 25 percent, from four to five meticais (from about 11 cents to about 13 US cents) in the past year. Fuel and water costs also have risen. The Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday international food prices have risen to their highest level in two years. Its food price index shot up 5 percent between July and August. That was still 38 percent down from its peak in June 2008. Around the world, high prices have been blamed on dry weather’s effect on harvests and high fuel costs incurred when moving food from producers to consumers. Some critics also say bad government decisions are making shortages worse and accuse producers of colluding to push up prices. The FRELIMO party, in power since Mozambique won independence from Portugal in 1975, has been plagued by charges its government is corrupt and inefficient. Violent protests over high costs erupted here in 2008, when global food prices jumped. Factors cited included a drop in the U.S. wheat harvest and higher demand for crops to use in biofuels. After a week of clashes between police and rioters that killed at least four people and seriously injured more than 100, the government cut fuel prices. Egypt has in recent months seen protests over rising food prices. The UN agency said the food price surge reflected a sudden sharp rise in wheat prices following drought in Russia and the country’s subsequent restrictions on wheat sales. Higher sugar and oilseed prices also were factors. — AP

BESLAN, Russia: People cry inside the Beslan school gymnasium yesterday while commemorating the sixth anniversary of the 2004 hostage-taking. — AFP

Survivors mark 6 years since Beslan massacre BESLAN, Russia: Thousands of mourners lit candles and laid flowers yesterday in this southern Russian town as they remembered over 330 people who died in Russia’s most shocking hostage tragedy six years ago. Around 3,000 people, including survivors and relatives of those who died, gathered in the courtyard of the ruined School Number One in the small town of Beslan in the mountainous region of North Ossetia in the turbulent North Caucasus. At 9.15 am (0515 GMT) the school bell began to toll, marking the exact time when armed Chechen rebels stormed the school, as pupils and their parents were taking part in a celebration on the first day of the school term. Hundreds of parents, relatives and survivors laid flowers and lit candles beside photographs of the victims that hung on the walls of the ruined sports hall where the hostages were held. Many left bottles of water in what has become a traditional gesture in memory of those left without water during the threeday siege that ended in bloodshed on Sept 3. Among those attending was the leader of the North Ossetia region, Taimuraz Mamsurov, whose son and daughter survived the siege. A total of 334 people, including 186 children, died after armed Chechen rebels took more than 1,000 people hostage at the school. Six years on, a host of questions about the siege and the subsequent rescue operation remain unanswered, observers say. Vedomosti business daily yesterday head-

lined an editorial about the tragedy “Silence over mistakes,” criticising the authorities for failing to punish police and military chiefs who should have prevented the attack. “Unlike American, British and Spanish special forces, the Russian ones have not been able to curb terrorists,” the newspaper said. “So far, victories (the killing and capture of rebels) are regularly interspersed with failures,” it said. The North Caucasus has seen a rise in violence in recent months and female suicide bombers from the region carried out twin suicide attacks that killed 40 in the Moscow metro in March. The country’s television news reports only made brief mention of the Beslan tragedy yesterday. NTV television showed a few seconds of footage of mourners lighting candles at the ruined school amid a roundup of celebrations for the first day of school term. In Beslan, mothers of children who died in the siege lashed out at the authorities, saying they had failed to punish those to blame for the attack and the bloody rescue operation in which children came under fire. Susanna Dudiyeva, who lost her son in the attack and heads the Mothers of Beslan committee, accused the Russian government of carrying out a “disgraceful investigation”. “Those who allowed Beslan to happen - the cowards, unprofessional people and traitors - are continuing to lead the army, the special services and all our disgraceful country,” she said. — AFP

Floods bring disaster on top of Niger food crisis NIAMEY: Collapsed buildings, flooded-out rice paddies: the floods in Niger are not as spectacular as those in Pakistan, but they spell disaster for a people already stricken by a food crisis. Zarmagandaye, Lamorde and Karadje are three districts of the west African country’s capital Niamey which have turned into marshland since the beginning of August. Under the ruins of homes built of clay, cats gnaw on the bodies of dead grey lizards, while a handful of children come to splash around in the deserted streets. On Monday, torrential rain brought down the few buildings still left upright three weeks after the Niger river, the third biggest in Africa, burst its banks in the worst recorded floods since 1929. “The bustling districts have now turned into ghost towns, we’ve never seen the like in living memory,” Abdou Ganda, an elderly fisherman, said. The United Nations has registered more than 17,000 homeless people in the capital. Only half of them, currently sheltered in schools, have received food, blankets and mosquito nets provided by international organisations. The Niamey-based Niger Basin Authority (ABN), which groups the nine nations crossed by the river and its tributaries, attributes the rise in the river’s level to exceptionally heavy rain in neighbouring states such as Mali and Burkina Faso. “We made little of the rising water level and were surprised in our sleep,” said Mariama, a widow with nine children who lost everything when their home collapsed. According to Niger’s Early Warning System

(SAP) and catastrophe management officials, the whole of the country, including the perenially arid desert of the northern Agadez region, has been affected by flooding caused by heavy rain. The SAP and UN agencies have estimated that almost 200,000 people have no homes in the eight regions of Niger, where at least seven people have died since the start of the catastrophe, according to media reports. “It’s a double catastrophe: before the rain, the people lacked food, now the few reserve stocks of cereal have been washed away by the water. There’s nothing left,” said Ibrahim Mahaman, a village chief cited by the Oxfam aid organisation. More than seven million people in Niger face food shortages in a serious crisis because of a major shortfall in the crop harvest for 2009-2010, according to the UN. In Niamey, while the floodwaters are gradually pulling back, the meteorological office has forecast heavy rain until midSeptember. On its web site, the Niger Basin Authority has forecast a second major rise in the level of the river between November and January. To prepare for the worst, local authorities have decided to evacuate the residents of flooded zones to safer sites. But not everybody wants to go and these people are building barricades of sandbags around their houses. “Our father told us, ‘We’re not moving from here’,” said Ali and Ousmane, a pair of adolescents in Lamorde, working with their spades to dig canals to get rid of stagnant water in their courtyard. —AFP


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Obama courts huge risks as he marks Iraq milestone WASHINGTON: Barack Obama’s order to halt US combat in Iraq marks a political promise kept - a ray of light for a presidency clouded by economic blight, Afghan bloodshed and a likely Republican resurgence. But his decision to highlight the pullout of combat troops as a milestone in a televised address - even as 50,000 of their comrades remain in a restive Iraq that lacks a stable government, is fraught with risks. In statesman-like tones, Obama noticeably made no claims of clear-cut victory after a seven-year war he opposed, but did argue the sacrifices of US troops had forged a precious chance for Iraqis to chart their own future. But his remarks seemed as much dictated by his parlous political position as by any pressing strategic or military need to mark the transition of the US Iraq mission from

war fighting to training and counter-terrorism. Obama’s theme was that it was time to turn the page, from a grueling war in Iraq to rebuilding America’s shattered economy and creating the jobs that will save a new generation’s American dream. He noted that as a presidential candidate he had promised to get US combat troops out of Iraq, and that he had delivered. But exactly how that message will resonate remained unclear, given that Americans know that 50,000 troops remain in Iraq - and more than 104,000 US and NATO soldiers are in Afghanistan in a war Obama escalated. “A lot of this is about politics and the desire to show that he has fulfilled another pledge,” said Julian Zelizer, an expert on the politics of US foreign policy at Princeton University. “I don’t think it is

very effective at all. Troops are still in Iraq... If you are still at war, you can’t say you are not at war.” The risks of Obama’s political position are apparent. Some of those troops who will stay in the country until the end of next year will be engaged in counter-terrorism missions - so the risk of significant US casualties remains. Others will help train Iraqi forces until they too leave in 16 months under a US-Iraqi agreement. Should US soldiers suffer heavy casualties in a future attack, or be stuck in the middle if violence returns to Iraq, Americans will likely question Obama’s leadership. Meanwhile, events in Iraq still lack political clarity, and history’s view of the tumult unleashed by the US invasion may not be known for years. “The fact is... the US with-

drawal is far from over, the Iraq war is not over, it is not ‘won,’” said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a new assessment of Iraqi security and politics. “Any form of stable end state in Iraq is probably impossible before 2020.” Obama’s address to Americans on Iraq made one thing clear - the profound decisions and compromises required of a commander-in-chief are more complex than the broadsides of a political candidate railing against “dumb wars”. Candidate Obama rode a tide of public anger over the Iraq war that helped deposit him in the Oval Office from where he addressed his fellow Americans Tuesday night. But now President Obama is wearied and boxed in by two inherited wars: one in Iraq, which he

opposed, another in Afghanistan he escalated, as well as the slowing recovery from the deepest economic crisis in generations. He must walk a fine line between his liberal anti-war base, the sacred memory of troops who perished in Iraq and the complex demands of US security in a fractious world - all while facing a Republican backlash. When his predecessor George W Bush announced the war had begun - on March 19, 2003 - from the same Oval Office, he declared: “no outcome but victory will be accepted”. Obama said that victory still needed to be earned, in an age without “surrender ceremonies,” through the success of US partners and “the strength of our own nation.” So US combat in Iraq ended in a strange gray area, somewhere between victory and

defeat, after seven and a half years in which 4,427 US troops died along with thousands of Iraqis. For Obama, the speech also represented another step in a personal political journey dating from his famous anti-war speech as an unknown Illinois state legislator railing against the Bush administration in 2002. In a 2007 congressional hearing, thensenator Obama lectured then-Iraq commander David Petraeus on the war, questioning the troop surge strategy hailed by Bush backers as the savior of the US mission in Iraq. In a twist of historic irony, Obama this year placed much of his own political fate in the hands of Petraeus, as he turned to the talismanic general to implement his own surge - to save the war in Afghanistan. —AFP

Scientist accused of stealing trade secrets China-born man to remain in detention

INDIANAPOLIS: A former scientist accused of illegally sending trade secrets worth $300 million to China and Germany was ordered detained Tuesday on rare charges of economic espionage. A federal indictment unsealed in Indianapolis alleges that 45-year-old Kexue Huang, who was born in China,

NEW YORK: Former prison guard Louis Pepe arrives at Manhattan federal court Tuesday. —AP

Ex-bin Laden aide gets life for prison stabbing NEW YORK: A former Osama bin Laden aide who stabbed a federal prison guard in the eye was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison after telling the court he’s not a terrorist and hearing his victim tell him he will go to hell. US District Judge Deborah Batts said Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, 52, deserved a life sentence for his “unusually cruel, brutal” attack in 2000 on guard Louis Pepe at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. She ordered Salim to pay $4.72 million in restitution to cover the medical expenses for Pepe’s continuing rehabilitation. The stabbing left Pepe brain-damaged and blind in one eye. The sentence caused Pepe’s sister, Eileen Trotta, to thrust her fists in the air enthusiastically and to pat Pepe on the back. More than a halfdozen guards who watched the proceeding congratulated a smiling Pepe afterward as he rolled his wheelchair out of court. Pepe, asked how he felt, said, “Pretty good.” The sentence for Salim was actually a resentencing, since a federal appeals court said in Dec 2008 that the judge should have imposed a terrorism enhancement to the guilty pleas he entered to crimes of conspiracy to murder a federal official and attempted murder of a federal official. The judge originally sentenced Salim in 2004 to 32 years in prison. Salim, who before the Sept. 11 attacks was believed to be the highest-ranking Al-Qaeda member held in the United States, was not in court but appeared by video on courtroom monitors. He was handcuffed and shackled at the waist on a chair in front of rows of books at the maximum-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. He kept his head tilted against a phone resting on his shoulder. Salim did not show emotion as Pepe addressed him directly, beginning in a conversational tone: “Hi, Salim. How are you doing? You look better than ever. I look pretty bad now.” Pepe told Salim that he can’t walk anymore and it’s difficult to talk. He also told Salim that

Salim’s not going to be a martyr. “You’re going to hell,” he said. Then he reached into a small bag at the side of his wheelchair, saying he had something for Salim. He pulled out a doughnut, saying, “That’s for you Salim,” as he tried to give it to Salim’s lawyer, who did not turn around to accept it. Pepe’s sister said outside court that Pepe had been known as Pepsi by co-workers because he always brought them sodas and coffees. “He wanted to show, ‘I’m on top’, that he was giving something,” she said. Outside court, Pepe smiled and said: “I’m glad he’s finished, but I’m glad he got his little doughnut.” Salim spoke in English, saying: “I’m not a criminal. I’m not a terrorist.” He said the stabbing occurred on Nov 1, 2000, as he was trying to get to his defense lawyers to force them out of the case because he believed they were federal agents. He sought a set of keys from Pepe to enter a room where the lawyers were waiting for him. He sprayed Pepe with hot sauce to blind him before stabbing him in the eye with a sharpened comb he had hidden in his cell in a high-security wing of the federal lockup next to federal court. He has said he intended to stab the lawyers so they could no longer represent him. At the time, Salim was awaiting trial on a conspiracy charge after his arrest in the Aug 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa. The attacks killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans. Salim said he requested not to be taken to court Tuesday because he gets beaten by guards whenever he is moved from one prison to another. Of Pepe, Salim said: “If the victim here wants to take my eye, let him take my eye. If he wants to take my hand, let him take my hand.” At the 2004 sentencing, Salim had called the attack “the biggest mistake in my life.” Salim’s lawyer, Richard Lind, who had argued for the sentence to remain at 32 years, said he will appeal again. —AP

Muslims harassed at meatpacking plants DENVER: Muslim Somali workers face ongoing mistreatment and harassment at two JBS Swift & Co meatpacking plants in Colorado and Nebraska, including being prevented from getting a drink at one of the plants after fasting all day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges. A lawsuit filed by the EEOC late Monday in US District Court in Denver alleges JBS officials shut off water fountains at its Greeley meatpacking plant, preventing Muslim Somali workers from getting a drink at sundown. The suit says the water fountain incident happened in Sept 2008 and is part of a pattern of religious and racial harassment that continues at the plant. Workers continually face harassment because of their race and religion, are denied prayer time and face termination for asking to pray, according to the lawsuit, which also names as plaintiffs more than 80 current and former employees. A second lawsuit filed by the EEOC in US District Court in Omaha, Nebraska, alleges similar acts at the company’s meatpacking plant in Grand Island, Nebraska. Swift officials did not immediately return messages. Many workers named in the suit could not be reached for comment. The lawsuit claims that Muslim workers trying to pray at the Greeley plant have been denied bathroom breaks, and are regularly harassed when they pray during their scheduled breaks or in the bathroom, with co-workers or

managers using racist slurs and curse words. The Greeley plant was where 270 Hispanic employees were detained after a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in 2006. At least a hundred Somalis began working at the plant following the raids. The lawsuit alleges that management knew or should have known about the harassment and acted with “malice or with reckless indifference” to the workers’ rights. Despite complaints and suggestions for accommodations from workers, the EEOC alleges the company’s practices date back to December 2007. “If there’s bad behavior in the company, people know what will be tolerated or if it will be punished,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, the EEOC’s regional attorney based in Phoenix that filed the lawsuit. “No one should have to endure being called those names in order to have work and support a family.” The workers’ treatment at the plant came to a head during Ramadan in Sept 2008 when about 100 Muslims at the plant, who fast during the day during the holiday, asked company officials to move the plant’s scheduled lunch break so they could break their fast at sunset. Officials agreed and switched the lunch break from 9:15 pm to 7:30 pm. Three days later, the company changed the lunch hour to 8 pm, shut off or cordoned off water fountains and posted management employees around the plant to enforce the change, according to the lawsuit. At their lunch break a half hour later than negotiated, Muslim workers were told to go outside to pray.— AP

Assistant US Attorney Cynthia Ridgeway said Huang, a Canadian citizen with permanent US resident status, used a “patient and calculated” plan to drain the Indianapolis-based company of technology that took 20 years to develop. The indictment alleges that Huang published a paper in China about the organic pesticides and also directed students at Hunan Normal in further research. FBI Special Agent Karen Medernach testified that emails showed Huang was developing an operation to market the pesticides in China, where he stood to make millions of dollars. She said the agency believed that Huang stole samples of the bacterial strain used in the pesticides and smuggled them to China in his son’s suitcase. The indictment also included a vague reference suggesting Huang also transported stolen material to Germany, but the document didn’t go into detail. The gallery in federal court was occupied by about a dozen of Huang’s neighbors from his former home in the affluent Indianapolis suburb of Carmel and his current home in Westborough, Massachusetts. Huang, clad in a jail uniform with gray and white stripes, was silent during the two-hour hearing. Defense attorney Michael Donahoe called the alleged scheme “hypothetical” and said Huang maintained his innocence. The indictment, which had been kept secret since it was filed June 16, charged Huang with 12 counts

of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets to benefit a foreign government under the Economic Espionage Act. He also was charged with five counts of foreign transportation of stolen property. The economic espionage charges are each punishable by up to 15 years in prison while the lesser counts could each land him in prison for 10 years. The Economic Espionage Act was passed in 1996 after the US realized China and other countries were targeting private businesses as part of their spy strategies. Magistrate Judge Kennard Foster entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Huang, who has been held without bond since his arrest July 13 in Massachusetts. Huang’s wife, who identified herself as Jie Sun, broke down in tears at one point as she urged the judge to release her husband pending trial, saying she had just bought a condominium with the couple’s life savings of $308,000 and her husband wouldn’t risk losing that. She also said her husband would do nothing to harm their children, ages 12 and 7. “There’s no reason for us to go anywhere else,” she said. “This is our home.” Government witnesses countered that Huang had made eight trips to China in recent years and stood to make millions of dollars from marketing the stolen pesticides. Foster ordered that Huang remain in jail, saying he was a serious flight risk and that the alleged scheme posed a “clear economic danger”.— AP

Miners’ morale leaps as drill inches closer COPIAPO, Chile: The morale of 33 miners trapped in Chile soared yesterday after music and hot meals were supplied, and NASA added its experience to keeping them healthy while a rescue drill inched closer. A new video shot by the miners and broadcast on state television late Tuesday showed the men shaven, wearing clean clothes and listening to a tropical tune. The figures in the images were a far cry from the haggard, mud-caked, bare-chested miners shown in a first video last week, days after they were located by a probe drill. The miners have now spent 27 days in the San Jose mine in northern Chile, which collapsed Aug 5 - a feat of subterranean survival unprecedented in modern memory. The only other miners to have spent almost as long trapped underground were three Chinese men rescued in July last year after spending 25 days in a flooded shaft, chewing on coal and surrounded by their 13 dead colleagues. A giant 30-ton drill has since Monday been boring slowly down to the Chilean miners in an operation estimated to take three to four months to complete. The miners are stuck 700 m below the surface waiting for the machine that can excavate up to 20 m per day - and for the intial shaft being drilled to be doubled in diameter to permit each one to be pulled up. The ambitious task, codenamed “Operation San Lorenzo” after a martyred Christian saint, is going on in parallel with a program of careful medical and psychological care for the miners. Water, food and other supplies were being dropped

through three fist-sized shafts drilled to the men. Yesterday, a team of four senior NASA officials was to arrive to lend the US space agency’s experience in keeping men sane and healthy during extended periods of isolation. The key is to be honest with the miners and avoid raising “false hopes,” NASA’s deputy chief medical officer Michael Duncan told Chilean authorities Tuesday in Santiago after the team’s arrival. President Sebastian Pinera said his government “will continue to do everything humanly possible” to rescue the miners, and has ordered a back-up drill to the mine to start work in case the main one encounters problems. Authorities have started vaccinating the trapped men against tetanus, diphtheria, flu and pneumonia to prevent outbreaks of disease. A medical report Tuesday said five miners were still having difficulties digesting and psychologically “there are a few cases of sleeping problems”. The men have also moved to a drier spot about 300 m deeper inside the mine because some were developing fungal infections and body sores in the hot, dank area. The miners, who were found alive Aug 22, have located four sources of water, two of which have been deemed fit for human consumption. They have been able to shave and get a change of clothes. Smokers have been denied cigarettes, but given nicotine patches to help them cope with withdrawal symptoms. In the new video - which was broadcast without sound - they looked rested and in good spirits. —AFP

passed on proprietary information about the development of organic pesticides to Hunan Normal University while he worked as a researcher for Dow AgroSciences in Indiana from 2003 to 2008. Dow Agrosciences is a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co.

This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Earl taken by astronaut Douglas Wheelock aboard the International Space Station and posted Tuesday. — AP

US East Coast braces for approaching hurricane MIAMI: The US East Coast braced yesterday for a hit from Hurricane Earl, which weakened but still packed a punch as a storm watch already in effect in North Carolina was extended to Virginia. As the storm barreled toward the eastern seaboard and threatened weekend holiday plans for beachgoers, North Carolina authorities ordered the mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island starting at 5:00 am (0900 GMT). The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Earl’s top winds had decreased to 205 km per hour, though it noted that some fluctuations in strength were possible over the next 48 hours. It was spinning northwestward at 26 km per hour as it barreled toward the eastern United States, with the eye of the storm located about 280 km of Grand Turk Island at 0900 GMT. On Monday afternoon, Earl was classified as a category four storm, and it pummeled the eastern Caribbean with heavy winds and rain that downed trees, damaged homes, blocked roads and snapped power lines. Forecasters expected Earl to spin northeast of the Bahamas later yesterday and brush past North Carolina’s Outer Banks early tomorrow, dumping heavy rain, powerful winds and dangerous waves and surf. The latest NHC forecast track also showed a greater likelihood of a landfall in New England later in the week.

Though the core of Earl was expected to pass well east and northeast of the Bahamas on Wednesday, the islands were due for large swells that “could cause dangerous surf conditions and rip currents,” the Miami-based NHC warned. A hurricane watch, which means there is potential for hurricane-force winds to hit the area, was in effect from Surf City, North Carolina north to Parramore Island, Virginia, including the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate warned coastal residents to prepare to evacuate, as ordered by state and local governments. “We continue to monitor Hurricane Earl and remain in close contact with state, territorial and local officials to ensure they have the resources to respond if needed,” Fugate said. “I encourage everyone in the region and along the eastern seaboard to... take steps now to keep their family safe and secure.” The White House said President Barack Obama was to consult Fugate early yesterday to discuss US preparations for Earl’s arrival. The powerful storm brushed past Puerto Rico Tuesday and steamed northwest towards the Bahamas on a path that may hit the eastern US seaboard. A tropical storm warning was in effect for San Salvador Island in the Central Bahamas. — AFP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Outrage after latest delay in Philippine massacre trial MANILA: Relatives of 57 people killed in the Philippines’ worst political massacre expressed outrage yesterday after a court delayed the trial of the main suspect and his alleged police accomplices. The latest setback fuelled concerns that the case may drag on for years in the country’s overburdened justice system, allowing the Ampatuan clan accused of the murders more time to threaten or eliminate witnesses. “The court is very unfair and it is always favouring the criminals,” Catherine Nunez, a mother of one the victims, told reporters as she broke down in tears inside the Manila courtroom after the judge postponed proceedings.

Nunez said relatives of the victims were terrified that Ampatuans would continue to intimidate them, even while being held in detention. “They are rich. We do not have anything,” said Nunez. “Our enemies are powerful and we fear for our lives.” More than 20 other relatives of the victims were in the courtroom yesterday and some echoed Nunez’s comments. Andal Ampatuan Jnr and over 100 members of his clan’s private army allegedly stopped a convoy belonging to a political rival in the southern Philippines in November last year and killed 57 people. Ampatuan Jnr, then a local mayor, allegedly

led the massacre to stop the rival from running against him for the post of Maguindanao province governor in this year’s national elections. Relatives of the rival, Esmael Mangudadatu, plus more than 30 journalists travelling in the convoy, were among those slain. The trial of Ampatuan Jnr, and 16 policemen who were allegedly part of his clan’s private army, on murder charges was meant to start yesterday, following months of delays during witnesses have been murdered. But presiding judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes said she had granted a request by Ampatuan Jnr’s lawyers to postpone pro-

ceedings for another week to allow them to study further documents presented during pre-trial. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima accused the clan’s lawyers of filing unnecessary motions in a bid to delay the trial and frustrate state prosecutors. “They have been delaying the trial. They will again file another motion and it may be delayed again,” she said. Even simple court cases typically get caught up for years in the Philippine justice system, and a lawyer for some of the victims’ families voiced concern that the Ampatuan case could drag on for years. “I have been saying all along that if this is

going to be business as usual, like today, this would be a never-ending ordeal,” said Harry Roque, a private lawyer representing some of the victims’ families. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said four witnesses had been murdered while the case was bogged down in the courts, potentially weakening the prosecution cases. “The HRW is concerned that some members of the Ampatuan family are still able to give orders from behind bars, it puts the witnesses at a greater danger,” it said. The Ampatuans ruled the restive Maguindanao province for nearly a decade under the

patronage of then-president Gloria Arroyo. Arroyo allowed the Ampatuans to run their own private army as a proxy force to contain Muslim separatist rebels in the southern Philippines. Ampatuan Jnr’s father and namesake, Andal Ampatuan Snr, who was then Maguindanao governor, and four other other clan members, have also been charged with murder. In total, more than 190 members people have been charged with murder, however not all of them have been detained. Only Ampatuan Jnr and the 16 policemen were due to have their trials begin yesterday. — AFP

PM Kan, rival Ozawa clash over fiscal policy Japan leadership battle kicks off TOKYO: Prime Minister Naoto Kan and rival Ichiro Ozawa clashed over fiscal priorities yesterday in a battle for party leadership that threatens a policy vacuum as Japan struggles to tackle a strong yen and weak economy. The

strife in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which swept to power a year ago promising change, underscores a policy rift that could derail Kan’s efforts to curb a public debt already twice the size of the $5 trillion economy.

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (left) and his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa shake hands during their joint press conference yesterday. —AFP

China launches war games in Yellow Sea BEIJING: China launched live-fire naval exercises in the Yellow Sea yesterday after voicing opposition to similar war games to be staged there this month by the United States and South Korea. The Beihai fleet of the navy of the People’s Liberation Army will conduct a “live ammunition drill” through Saturday in waters off the east coast near the city of Qingdao, the state Xinhua news agency reported. The report said many of the planes, vessels and battlefield weaponry to be used in the exercises were unveiled at the National Day military parade on Oct 1 last year, when China celebrated 60 years of Communist rule. “This is an annual routine training, mainly involving the shooting of shipboard artillery,” Xinhua had said in a previous report, citing China’s defence ministry. The United States and South Korea are set to carry out a new

round of joint drills in the Yellow Sea from Sunday in another show of force against communist North Korea following the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. Any military drills involving the United States in the Yellow Sea are a sensitive issue because of the area’s proximity to China and the disputed maritime boundary between North and South Korea. China has bristled at the idea of a US aircraft carrier group patrolling waters near its coast, although the US military has said this month’s planned anti-submarine exercise would not involve a carrier. As China launched its war games, PLA commander Zhang Youxia met in Pyongyang with North Korea’s number two leader Kim Yong-Nam and pledged to step up military exchanges, Xinhua said. The United States and South Korea staged massive joint naval and air exercis-

es in July in the nearby Sea of Japan (East Sea), which also drew criticism from Beijing - North Korea’s closest ally and trade partner. Seoul and its allies say the sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan in March was caused by a North Korean torpedo attack, but Beijing has refused to join in international condemnation of Pyongyang over the incident. China staged its own naval, air and artillery exercises in late July, though it was not clear if the drills had been preplanned or were in response to the USSouth Korea manoeuvres. Last month, the South staged its largest-ever anti-submarine drill including live-fire training near the disputed Yellow Sea border, prompting a North Korean artillery barrage fired into the sea. Also in August, the United States and South Korea held annual 10day joint war games on land that involved more than 80,000 troops. —AFP

Mass breakout from immigration centre

TANAH KARO, Indonesia: Villagers sit on a truck near Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra yesterday. Thousands of villagers returned to their homes along the ash-covered slopes of the Indonesian volcano that exploded after four centuries of dormancy, even though officials warned they could be putting their lives at risk. —AP

SYDNEY: More than 80 asylum-seekers broke out of an Australian immigration detention centre yesterday after days of riots and staged a seven-hour protest outside, police said. The detainees escaped from the centre in the far northern city of Darwin at about 6:30 am, a spokeswoman told AFP. Media reports said the protesters were Afghans and unfurled a banner saying, “We need protection not detention”. Police said the protest ended when 76 were taken into custody at the Darwin watchhouse and another five, including two suffering from heat exhaustion, were taken to a nearby hospital where they remained under immigration custody. “They peacefully came into our custody,” Assistant Police Commissioner Rob Kendrick told reporters. The mass break-out comes after more than 100 alleged peoplesmugglers torched mattresses and staged a protest on the roof of the detention centre in two days of disturbances on Sunday and Monday. The centre for 450 people is housing 151 Indonesians accused of people-smuggling, with the remainder asylum seekers or people who have overstayed visas. Immigration Minister Chris Evans said all the men who escaped yesterday were asylum seekers. “Many of them have actually had their initial claim for asylum refused, and there is a protest activity,” Senator Evans told reporters. “I stress these are asylum seekers, they are not criminals, and they are seeking support... for their claims for asylum.” Australia has a policy of mandatory detention for asylum-seekers while their claims are processed, and generally processes the immigrants at remote Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. But increased numbers of poor immigrants - more than 4,000 this year, mainly poor Asians fleeing conflict and economic hardship - have forced the reopening of isolated centres on the country’s mainland. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the protest was symptomatic of the overcrowding in centres. “This is a pressure cooker situation,” he said.— AFP

It also coincides with a rise in the yen that threatens Japan’s fragile recovery. A Bank of Japan decision on Monday to boost a cheap loan scheme did little to weaken the currency, hovering near a 15-year high against the dollar hit last week. In a platform released after registering for the Sept. 14 DPJ leadership vote, Kan said he would consider drastic tax reforms including Japan’s 5 percent sales tax. “I will tackle fiscal consolidation without running away,” Kan said in the statement. Kan later said on public broadcaster NHK that he does not think government bonds should be issued merely to fund campaign pledges, but added that he has not shifted to a fiscal tightening stance at this stage. Ozawa, in contrast, said he would cut waste drastically to fund party pledges aimed at putting more cash in consumers’ hands, and vowed in a statement to take all possible steps, including market intervention, to cope with rises in the yen. “We need to cut wasteful spending before debating a sales tax hike, and use the revenues to implement policies we’ve promised. This has been what we promised to the public,” Ozawa told a joint news conference with the prime minister. With the leadership race too close to call, Kan and Ozawa sought to zero in on each other’s weak points, creating some tense moments in an otherwise bland performance by both. The premier pledged “clean politics” - a veiled swipe at his rival’s scandal-tainted image - while Ozawa said Kan had not done enough to put politicians in charge instead of bureaucrats. Ozawa stepped down last year as party chief over a funding scandal and faces possible indictment over the affair, a big reason for his rock bottom rating among voters. “Frankly, I can’t imagine Mr. Ozawa sitting through long budget committee sessions in parliament as the prime minister does,” Kan said, prompting Ozawa to laugh and reply he had what it takes to do the top job. Ordinary voters and financial market players worry the party battle is keeping the government from dealing with economic woes. “The big issue is that during this (election) period there risks being a political vacuum that could hamper policymaking, possibly encouraging speculators to sell the Nikkei,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Okasan Securities. Ozawa’s propensity for spending has been welcomed by some financial market players worried about Japan’s faltering economy, but would also exacerbate concerns about mounting debt and so steepen the yield curve for Japanese government bonds. “It could be positive over the short term,” Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, said of an Ozawa win. “But over the mid- and longer-term it’d be negative, since there’d be more worries about an increase in debt.” The winner of the party race will likely become premier by virtue of the Democrats’ majority in parliament’s lower house. Kan is already Japan’s fifth leader in three years and if he loses the country could end up with its third premier in one year - one reason a majority of voters favour Kan staying on. —Reuters

HSINTIEN, Taiwan: In a picture taken on Aug 20, 2010, a man points at a computer screen at the “unlucky house” website. — AFP

Taiwan bargain hunters turn to ‘murder houses’ TAIPEI: “Seeking a murder house for residence.” This is not a prank but an Internet ad posted by office assistant David Hsieh, who hopes to strike a bargain in Taipei’s booming property market. Taiwanese buyers normally shun socalled “murder houses” where people have been killed, fearing their spirits could linger to torment the dwellers and bring them bad luck. “For me the structure of a house and a convenient location matter the most. I don’t mind if a house is labelled ‘murder house’ because I don’t believe in such things,” said 30-year-old Hsieh. When Taiwan property owners put homes up for sale, they are required by law to disclose if a homicide or a suicide has taken place within its walls. Although sellers can face fines or even jail for ignoring the rule, failure on their part to provide information about unnatural deaths is a common cause of real estate disputes on the island. However, a small but growing number of bargain hunters are defying the belief that murder houses are haunted or associated with bad luck. Some of them are forced by money concerns, as property prices are now again rising on the back of Taiwan’s recovery from the global recession, observers said. “A murder house is about 20 to 50 percent off the market price so it can attract some buyers who don’t care too much about religion, charity groups and speculators,” said Wesker Hu, founder of Hu’s website aims at sharing information for potential buyers to avoid murder houses. But more and more members are also using it to buy or sell such dwellings, with some ads attracting more than 10,000 hits. For Hsieh, a murder house may be the fastest answer to his

dream of owning a three-room apartment in the greater Taipei area with a budget of about five million Taiwan dollars (US$156,000). In Taipei city, one ping (3.3 sq ft) of a new house costs an average 430,000 to 1.1 million Taiwan dollars. At this price, it would take about 20 years for a young couple to buy a 25-ping residence even if they were to save every penny of their salaries, according to, an online real estate magazine. Interior decorator James Lin said he took an interest in murder houses after purchasing and settling down in a house in Taipei county where the previous tenant committed suicide. “I have lived in that house for three years without anything bad happening. I think such houses are habitable once we’ve held proper ceremonies to appease the spirits.” Lin, who has sold 20 murder houses in four years, mostly to young professionals in their 30s, gets an average four new such cases each month. “It seems inevitable that the number of murder houses will rise with more people cracking under pressure and ending their lives as a result of the economic downturn,” he said. In another indication that old beliefs are becoming less important for the Taiwanese, a majority is ignoring a taboo against buying new homes during the seventh lunar month, or “Ghost Month”, which started on Aug 10 this year. A recent survey by Chinatrust Real Estate Co found only 25.6 percent of home buyers said they would stick to the taboo during the month, when spirits are believed to return to the human world to feast. “Ghost month is the traditional low season so many consumers believe that it’s easier to strike a cheaper deal,” said Pei-lan Hu, a spokeswoman for the company. — AFP

Is Australian politics a man’s, man’s world? SYDNEY: Feminists rejoiced when Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female leader, but her failure to win national polls has raised questions about whether the country is ready to have a woman in charge. Australians delivered a hung parliament in Aug 21 polls, with neither centre-left Labor Prime Minister Gillard nor her conservative opponent Tony Abbott galvanising enough support to form a government. Leading feminist Eva Cox believes that while some voters have supported 48-year-old Gillard simply because she was a woman, others probably voted against her for the same reason. “We are still not comfortable when we have a woman in a top position - even if it’s not a big issue,” she said. During a campaign littered with references to Gillard’s hairstyles and childlessness, the former lawyer played down her sex, presenting herself as a leader who just happened to be a woman. “All the stuff around the hair and the boyfriend... I just think there was a level of discomfort,” Cox said in reference to Gillard’s ever-changing red hair and her live-in partner, hairdresser Tim Mathieson. “The fact that it was discussed so much suggests that we are not very good at dealing with the fact that we’ve got powerful women around.” Melbourne University’s Lauren Rosewarne said the country’s worst political crisis in decades could not be blamed on Gillard’s gender because “voters had other things to worry about”. But the Welsh-born Gillard’s lightning rise to power, in which she challenged her former boss Rudd for the leadership as he slumped in the polls, had left an impression on the electorate. “Her whole coming-to-power was very much driven by a gendered narrative,” said public policy expert Rosewarne. “I think people were very interested in the concept of the first female prime minister and that

bitchy, potentially backstabbing, act,” she told AFP. Rosewarne said Gillard had carefully managed her campaign to soften her image, at times being seen kissing babies, at others cutting a lone figure on a stage. “I think she had a concerted effort not to bring her partner on stage because if she did that, that’s just setting the agenda to remind journalists and to remind the public, ‘Oh, she’s not married to him, and she doesn’t have kids with him’,” Rosewarne said. Hutch Hussein, a leader of the Emily’s List group which supports Labor women in politics, said opinion polls throughout the campaign made it clear that Gillard rated much higher with women than Abbott. But this boost could have been erased by the backlash over Gillard’s deposing of Rudd, the man who ended 11 years of conservative rule when he won November 2007 elections in a landslide, said women’s activist Claire Braund. It would be a sorry state if Australia had a female prime minister for two months “and then we just couldn’t quite cope and we went back to somebody else who was quite conservative”, said Braund, who heads an organisation aimed at boosting the number of women on corporate boards. The irony is if Gillard is successful in forming a minority government with the support of independent MPs, she will preside over a parliament with fewer women than the last one. Forty-one women held seats in the House of Representatives when Gillard called the election, but this number will likely fall to 37 due to retirements and the rise of the Liberal National Party in Queensland, which overwhelmingly had male candidates. “I think this idea that we are inevitably progressing towards equality is one of the casualties of this election,” Cox said.— AFP


Thursday, Septenber 2, 2010


With end to Iraq ops, US focus turns to Afghanistan KABUL: The end of US combat operations in Iraq will shift attention to America’s war in Afghanistan, where troop deaths are at record highs and rampant corruption underscores the challenges facing the West. As US President Barack Obama drew a veil over the seven-year conflict in Iraq, the annual death toll of American soldiers in Afghanistan reached its highest point since the war began almost nine years ago. With momentum increasingly seen to have turned in the Taleban’s favour, Obama appeared to step back from an earlier pledge that US forces would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011. “Next August we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility,” Obama said in an address to the nation Tuesday as he formally declared an end to the US combat mission in Iraq. “The pace of our troop reductions

will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure,” he said. “But make no mistake, this transition will begin because openended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.” His words echoed those of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, US General David Petraeus, who told AFP in Kabul on Tuesday the withdrawal would be gradual, starting in small secure areas. US political and military officials have been eager to reassure Afghans that any withdrawal will depend on conditions on the ground and the ability of Afghanistan’s own police and army to take on responsiblity for security. The United States and NATO are building up their troop numbers in Afghanistan to a force of almost 150,000, with Obama’s surge of an additional 30,000

soldiers to be completed within days, Petraeus said. Military strategists are hoping to transfer some of their successful tactics from Iraq - where Petraeus was commander of the multinational force before taking over US Central Command ahead of his appointment to Afghanistan. The 2007 US troop surge in Iraq built on moves a year earlier to co-opt Sunni tribal militias and turn them against their former Al-Qaeda allies. Violence peaked, but the United States was soon able to capitalise on the two-pronged approach and turn around the war, which had raged increasingly out of control since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Now Washington is hoping the war in Afghanistan - already two years older than the Iraq conflict - can benefit from a similar strategy. Petraeus was quick to press for

what are now called Local Police Forces armed men paid by the government to defend their villages - with plans to extend the program to some of the toughest bastions of insurgency. As the war drags towards its 10th year, US Senator John Kerry said on a visit to Kabul last month that for eight years there was no coherent strategy for Afghanistan. “This is the first time we’ve had a strategy. People seem to forget that, that this strategy was only announced last December,” he told reporters, adding that “enormous progress” had been made since the surge was announced. As the number of Americans killed in the war hit 324 yesterday for the year so far, compared to 317 for all of 2009, Petraeus said the growing death toll was a consequence of the increasing troop numbers fac-

ing the Taleban. Altogether, 1,271 foreign troops have died in the Afghan war, compared to 4,734, including 4,416 Americans, in Iraq, said. But he also acknowledged the spread of Taleban influence, especially to parts of the formerly peaceful north. “I don’t think anyone disagrees that the footprint of the Taleban has spread,” he said, adding the insurgents had “reconnected in various safe havens and sanctuaries outside and inside the country,” - a reference to Pakistan. The constant drumbeat of death accompanies worsening news about the extent of corruption at the heart of the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai, which is kept in power by the Western alliance. New corruption allegations surfaced yesterday with reports in US newspapers that two

senior executives of the country’s biggest bank had been forced to resign after using bank funds to purchase property for wellconnected insiders. The central bank governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat told reporters the allegations were incorrect, and that Kabul Bank - partly owned by a brother of the president - was following new rules against shareholders holding office. Karzai is under immense pressure to act against corruption, as many Afghans regard his government as barely legitimate after much of the fraud that tainted last year’s presidential election was found to be in his favour. In recent days he has criticised the military efforts that sustain his government, and US political and military officials said they are watching closely to see if he sticks to pledges of clean government. —AFP

US deaths in Afghan war hit record in ’10 NATO killed 2 insurgents for every slain soldier KABUL: The toll of US soldiers killed in the Afghan war this year is the highest since the conflict began, an AFP count found, as NATO said yesterday it had killed two insurgents for every soldier lost last month. A total of 323 US soldiers have been killed in the Afghan war 2010, compared with 317 for all

SUKKUR, Pakistan: Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari (left) speaks with Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the airport in this town in southern Pakistan yesterday. — AFP

Flood-hit Pakistanis protest lack of help

THATTA, Pakistan: Hundreds of hungry families blocked a highway in Pakistan’s flood-hit south yesterday, demanding the government provide more food as the UN warned of a “triple threat” to desperate survivors. The protest came as under-fire Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the country faced inflation of up to 20 percent and slower economic growth because of the devastating floods, warning of job losses and social unrest. Up to 500 people from a government-run relief camp in Thatta city, in the worst-affected province of Sindh, blocked the main road between Karachi city and Thatta for three hours calling for the state to provide food and shelter. “No food or water has been provided to us for the past two days,” Mohammad Qasim, a 60-year-old resident of the flooded town of Sujawal, told AFP. The World Food Programme issued a stark warning of the threat to food supplies after a month of catastrophic flooding that has affected 18 million people, as the deluge flows south on its way to the Arabian Sea. While the international community has now donated 700 million dollars, domestic anger has been mounting at the civilian government, which has staggered from crisis to crisis in the 30 months since its election. Gilani said an inflation target of 9.5 percent for 2011 would now likely be in the range of 15-20 percent. “Inflation is likely to spike significantly in the face of short supply of food due to crops destruction,” he told his cabinet in televised remarks. He said that GDP growth would also lower to 2.5 percent from the predicted 4.5 percent. “This economic loss will translate into massive job losses and loss of incomes for thousands of families. Consequently, it may have serious social implications,” he said. World Food Programme chief Josette Sheeran has warned that Pakistan faces a triple threat to food supplies - with seeds, crops and incomes hit - fanning frustration among the masses already struggling to make ends meet. The floods have engulfed a fifth of the volatile country of 167 million, with 3.4 million

hectares of rich farmland ruined, according to latest UN figures. Meanwhile, floodwaters flowing south in Sindh province entered the town of Jati and threatened nearby Choohar Jamoli town on the east bank of the swollen Indus. Senior city official Hadi Bakhsh Kalhoro told AFP that a few thousand people remained trapped in both towns and that power cuts were hindering rescue efforts, though all other towns in the area were now safe. Pakistani troops and city workers managed to save Thatta from the waters by fixing a breach in river defences on Tuesday, with most of the population of 300,000 now returned home, according to officials. Sindh is the worst-hit province, with 19 of its 23 districts ravaged as floodwaters have swollen the raging Indus river to 40 times its usual volume. One million people have been displaced over the past few days alone. Pakistan’s government has confirmed 1,645 people dead and 2,479 injured but officials warn that millions are at risk from food shortages and disease. In the country’s militant-troubled northwest, where Pakistani airstrikes Tuesday killed 55, initial relief efforts were still underway, more than two weeks after torrential rains stopped in the region. Head of the UN refugee agency’s office in Peshawar, Ahmad Warsama, said by next week shelter would be provided for 80,000 people who could still not access their villages after flooded roads and broken bridges cut them off. Khalid bin Waleed, a Charsadda resident, said that most of the 350 homes in the village were destroyed and no government help was forthcoming. “Now people are living on the rubble of their houses and those better off are camping on their roofs,” Waleed said. “We have not received any help from the government yet. Only charities are helping people in our area and they are doing a really good job.” British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Sindh and met President Asif Ali Zardari, whose unpopularity worsened when the floods began in July and he failed to come home from a European trip. — AFP

A hungry start to life for newest Pak flood victim THATTA, Pakistan: Jannan Soorjo summoned the energy to give birth in the filthy Pakistan graveyard that has become her refuge from the floods but she cannot produce the milk to feed her sickly newborn. The 26-year-old looks down helplessly at her crying son, who was brought rudely into the world early Tuesday morning in a makeshift relief camp set up in a historic Sufi burial site in the watery southern province of Sindh. Wearing a tattered red traditional Sindhi dress with a thin scarf covering her head, a frail Jannan says she has not eaten enough to produce food for the baby - named Juma after his grandfather. “I haven’t been able to breastfeed him since he was born. We have nothing else to feed him to stop him crying,” says a weary Jannan, sitting on a dirty scarf laid out on the concrete ground in the 14th-century graveyard. She fled her village close to the submerged town of Sujawal last week with her husband, their two young children - a fiveyear-old daughter and a boy, three - and her blind mother-in-law, along with their sparse belongings. Her husband Ahmed Surjo, a farm labourer in the fertile rice and sugarcane fields of Sindh, says that with two cows, three goats and plenty of grain to eat at home, they felt relatively rich. “Every man among the 100 families in the village had a job to do, had a home to live in and a family to head. Now we are all beggars,” he says. Clad in shalwar kameez and simple sandals, Ahmed said he has not been able to find work since arriving in the city of Thatta next to Makli, where thousands of families have come to find food and shelter from the floods. “What shall we do? I can’t beg,” he

says. The UN’s World Health Organisation estimates half a million flood-affected women are expected to give birth during the coming six months in Pakistan, and are at severe risk of malnourishment because of the scarce food supply. “We must ensure the health and safety of all these women and their babies,” said the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja. “This disaster has already affected 18 million people. We don’t want it to also affect half a million babies who are not born yet.” The UN says it has helped approximately 5,600 safe deliveries since the floods began but only a fifth of its six-million-dollar appeal for reproductive-health aid has been received so far. The floods have so far claimed at least 147 lives in Sindh, officials say, mostly women and children who became ill because of the unhygienic living conditions or from water-borne bacteria. “The risk factor vis-a-vis the spread of lethal disease increases when a large number of children are stuffed in the crowded atmosphere of the camps and we see no government action to provide them with adequate healthcare facilities,” says former head of the Pakistan Medical Association, Shershah Syed. Zahida Ali, 25, an oval-faced woman from Jannan’s village wearing a purple shalwar suit and blue scarf, gave birth to her baby, Janoo, late Monday night. “I am hungry, that’s why he is hungry,” she says, with desperation in her eyes. “I want to eat not to save my life but to keep my baby alive.” —AFP

At 490, the overall death toll for foreign troops for the first eight months of the year is rapidly closing in on the 2009 figure, which at 521 was a record since the start of the war in late 2001. US President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned that the United States faced a “very tough fight” in Afghanistan, with more deaths and “heartbreak” to come. “We obviously still have a very tough fight in Afghanistan,” Obama told troops in Texas as the United States marked the formal end of combat operations in Iraq. “We have seen casualties go up because we are taking the fight to Al-Qaeda and the Taleban. It is going to be a tough slog.” Military leaders say the spike in deaths reflects the deployment of additional troops into the Afghan theatre, which leads to a higher number of battlefield engagements with Taleban-led insurgents. US General David Petraeus, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said Tuesday that deployments would reach full strength of 150,000 within days. In recent months improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, the Taleban’s weapon of choice, have become the biggest killers of foreign troops as the insurgents adapt their battlefield techniques to counter Western forces’ heavier armour. IEDs are easy and cheap to produce, often using ammonium nitrate fertiliser produced in Pakistan and trucked across the border into Afghanistan. The bombs are difficult to detect, often buried by roadsides and remotely detonated to devastating effect. A UN report in June noted an “alarming,” 94 percent increase in IED incidents in the first four months of this year compared to 2009. As the coalition ended August with 80 troops dead, NATO released figures showing that for each foreign soldier lost during the month two insurgents were killed. In a statement, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said 160 insurgents were killed in operations in August, including 53 Taleban leaders and 23 members of the hardcore Haqqani network, which has ties to Al-Qaeda. More than 500 insurgents were detained in that time, ISAF said. “The leaders were associated with the facilitation of improvised explosives device attacks, suicide attacks, and the facilitation of foreign fighters against coalition and Afghan troops,” it said. The killed and captured figures came from 186 operations in August, it said, adding that 85 percent were “conducted without shots fired”. It is the first time ISAF has released such detailed figures, reflecting an intensified effort to counter Taleban propaganda on battlefield successes. In all 1,270 American troops have lost their lives, out of 2,058 foreign military deaths, since the conflict began with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, following the 911 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. In the latest incident ISAF confirmed a sixth US soldier died on Tuesday, killed in an insurgent attack in the Taleban’s southern heartland. —AFP

of 2009, according to AFP figures based on the independent website. Foreign forces suffered a grim spike in deaths last month as the Taleban insurgency intensified, with NATO confirming yesterday that a sixth US soldier had been killed on one of the bloodiest days this year.

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan: A US army soldier stands guard near the scene of an attack on a fuel tanker in the Ali Abad district of Kunduz province yesterday. The tanker was part of a NATO supply convoy.—AP

Taleban birthplace next battleground HOWZ-E-MADAD, Afghanistan: As some 400 US and Afghan soldiers gather to honor their first fallen comrade, mournful Muslim prayers mingle with the stutter of machine gun fire and the thud of exploding grenades just beyond their heavily fortified camp. This funeral ceremony will almost certainly be repeated, perhaps many times, as the combined force begins in mid-September to battle some of Afghanistan’s most zealous insurgents in arid wastelands and verdant orchards, attempting to root out the Taleban from the place of its birth. Violence is already a daily staple in Zhari district in the southern province of Kandahar, stage for what commanders call a pivotal campaign to pacify the insurgency’s heartland. Roadside bombs - from nine to 450 kg - riddle supply convoys on Highway 1, which abuts this forward operating base. Brazen Taleban fighters, edging close to the strategic highway, are gunned down by snipers from the guard towers.

Patrols must gingerly tread their way through the district’s two swaths of outwardly gentle orchards and grape fields, dubbed “green monsters” by the troops because they are seeded with homemade explosives. Demarcating the fields are high, thick mud walls that bullets can’t penetrate but pierced by narrow slits providing excellent firing positions for secreted insurgents. The walls remind some history-savvy soldiers of the hedgerows of Normandy during World War II where their unit - the 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division - fought with such distinction. “But we’re fighting a people-centric war now, so we can’t just drive a tank through these walls,” says Capt. David Yu, of Newport News, Virginia, as his armored vehicle crawls cautiously past fields where the grape harvest is under way. “You can’t simulate fighting in the grape fields at Fort Campbell, but the soldiers are flexible and creative in finding solutions to problems,”

the company commander says. Such solutions are being explored as the units prepare for the coming fight. Engineers are teaching infantrymen to breach walls with explosive charges. Afghan troops train daily despite having to observe daylong fasts during the holy month of Ramadan. Smaller, remote bases across the district are being expanded and furnished with some of the threadbare comforts of combat life, such as basic gym equipment for Americans, and an oven to bake flat bread for the Afghans. When the assault begins, Lt Col Peter N Benchoff, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who commands the regiment’s 2nd Battalion, will have to take the heavily defended village of Singesar, where Taleban leader Mullah Omar founded the movement 16 years ago. He will also have to stem Taleban infiltration and ambushes along Highway 1 and a parallel gravel road while offering development to the dirt-poor area.—AP

Pak army cancels US trip after row ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military canceled a trip by officers to an annual meeting at US Central Command after they were taken off a plane and subjected to “unwarranted security checks” at Dulles International Airport in Washington, a spokesman said yesterday. The dispute appeared to be a sign of the mistrust between the US and Pakistani militaries, which are nominally allies in the fight against Taleban and Al-Qaeda but have long had an uneasy relationship. The nine-member delegation was headed by a two-star Navy rear admiral. Its members were awaiting take off on a United Airlines flight to Tampa, Florida - where Central Command is based - when the incident took place Monday, said army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas. The delegation was taken off the plane and subjected to “unwarranted security checks” that resulted in their missing their flight. They called military authorities in Pakistan who instructed them to return home, Abbas said. United Airlines officials were not immediately available for comment. Dawn newspaper reported that the delegation was taken of the plane after a passenger voiced concerns they may have posed a security threat. It quoted an unnamed security official as saying the officers “were treated like terrorists” and were not allowed to talk to anyone for two hours. Increased checks at US airports in response to the threat from Islamist militants after the Sept 11 attacks are a sensitive issue for many Pakistanis, who frequently complain they are being unfairly singled out. A group of Pakistani lawmakers on a State Department-sponsored visit to the United States in March returned home early after complaining of excessive security checks and were hailed as heroes by sections of the media on their return. The United States has given the Pakistani army billions of dollars over the last 10 years to help it better fight militancy, but the country is very unpopular among many ordinary Pakistanis. — AP

MUMBAI: A visually impaired Indian child tries to reach a curd pot during a celebration at the Victoria School for the Blind yesterday on the eve of ‘Janmashtami’ which marks the birth of Hindu god Krishna. — AFP



Thursday, September 2, 2010


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Pakistan credibility near breaking point


he corruption scandal that exploded this week is the latest damaging blow to Pakistan cricket and former players fear it could be the one that finally crushes the credibility of the sport in the South Asian nation. Over the last few years, ball-tampering accusations, doping scandals, security problems and dressing room intrigues have all contributed to a volatile cricket culture without severely denting the popularity of the game among Pakistanis. However, the British police investigation into allegations that players Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif took bribes to fix incidents during the fourth test against England last week looks like stretching that loyalty to its limits. "We have one of the worst cricket systems in place," former test captain Aamir Sohail told Reuters. "We work without any long term plans and yet we survive in international cricket only because of the everlasting support of our passionate fans." Sohail and his fellow former captain Javed Miandad fear this latest scandal might be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Pakistan's millions of cricket fans. "I think even the people have had enough of this indiscipline in the team," Miandad said. "I think this time the board has to show it means business." Political analyst Kamran Khan believes Pakistan is so regularly haunted by controversy largely because of political interference in the running of the game. The country's president is chief patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and has the authority to appoint its chairman. "In no country does the president or prime minister appoint someone to head a sports body," he said. "In Pakistan merit is ignored when appointing people to run the board and they remain unaccountable and that is root cause of the problems we see in our team." In March, the board banned and fined seven players for indiscipline and misconduct on the Australian tour but political clout as well as public and government pressure saw five return to the national team after just three months. Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to a World Cup triumph in 1992 and is now a politician, believes the problems of Pakistani society are reflected in the cricket set-up. "When the players see corrupt politicians in gover-

nance, when they see people pardoned in financial scams, they think we can also get away with this," he said. "Unfortunately this scandal has come as a demoralizing blow for many Pakistanis, wherever I go people ask me what is going on, it is a heartbreaking situation." Even though security issues have meant no home international cricket for the last 17 months, thousands of fans still pack the stadiums for the national Twenty20 tournament. As further testament to the game's importance, even reporting of the floods which have killed more than 1,600 people and made at least six million homeless has been sidelined by coverage of the cricket scandal over the last few days. "Cricket is one thing that still binds together the Pakistani people, who have to cope regularly with major problems like terrorism, rising inflation, religious intolerance and now these devastating floods," cricket analyst Saad Shafqat added. The country also continues to produce a string of talented players, among them the trio at the centre of the allegations currently being investigated. Butt is the country's test captain while Amir and Asif make up a strike bowling partnership that produced remarkable spells in recent tests against Australia and England. The scandal has drawn predictably angry reactions from Pakistani fans, ranging from attacks on donkeys named after the players to the burning of effigies and throwing rotten vegetables at the team bus. Songs berating the players and officials and hottempered discussions have dominated the airwaves in Pakistan with one lawmaker demanding the players be brought home in handcuffs. Pakistan cricket has always been a passionate affair, however, with victories sparking all-night celebrations and defeats prompting sometimes violent reactions. Even if the allegations prove to be unfounded and the fans remained loyal, the scandal would do nothing to improve Pakistan cricket's reputation outside the country, said another former captain. "It is now a frequent thing to link our players with fixing scandals and it will become difficult to not only win the people's confidence and also convince teams to resume playing in Pakistan," Zaheer Abbas said.— Reuters

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Obama treads carefully in Iraq speech By Ross Colvin


sing the gravity of the Oval Office as a backdrop, President Barack Obama said in a 17minute televised address to war-weary Americans on Tuesday that it was "time to turn the page" on the unpopular Iraq war. • Obama declared the formal end of the US combat mission in Iraq but the reality is that there are still 50,000 US troops in harm's way there. Combat units may have been relabeled "advisory and assistance" brigades but they are still heavily armed and may be called upon by the Iraqi government to help in counter-insurgency operations in the still volatile country. • Even as he trumpeted the success of the US drawdown in Iraq, Obama tried again to assuage Americans' growing doubts about the war in Afghanistan, emphasizing that US forces would be there only for a "limited time" and that they would begin to come home next summer. US military deaths in Afghanistan have soared this summer as violence has worsened. • Obama's declaration of what he called "this historic moment" was largely ceremonial. Little will change on the ground as Iraqi security forces have been taking the lead in combat operations for months. • His announcement fulfilled his 2008 election campaign promise to end combat operations in Iraq but it is too early to say how it will play with voters in the Nov 2 congressional elections. Opinion polls show Americans are preoccupied with stubbornly high unemployment and record government deficits. • Mindful that the economy is issue No 1 for recession-weary Americans,

Obama stressed that winding down the costly war would enable the government to focus more resources on its "most urgent task"-boosting hiring and economic growth. A top Obama aide said earlier that savings from ending the war in Iraq could be redirected toward the economy. The White House had previously suggested the money saved would go toward helping to cut the deficit, which it aims to halve by 2013. Economists say it is too early to say which path Obama will eventually choose but they point out that any savings will be over the longer term and will not have any immediate effect. • Obama played down the persistent violence that still plagues Iraq, stressing it had fallen to near record lows since the war began in 2003. But bombings and assassinations have killed hundreds of Iraqis over the summer while political parties remain deadlocked on the formation of a new government, some six months after elections in March. • The Oval Office address capped a month-long effort by the Obama administration to refocus public attention on the war in Iraq, now largely ignored by Americans more concerned about the stumbling economy. After a drumbeat of discouraging economic news over the summer, the US drawdown from Iraq has, ironically, been a good news story for the administration. • The speech was widely seen as being targeted, at least in part, at the left-wing, anti-war base of the Democratic Party that has become increasingly disenchanted with Obama ahead of the November elections in which Democrats are widely expected to struggle to keep control of Congress. • Obama repeated his promise to withdraw all US troops from Iraq on

schedule by the end of 2011. But many Iraq experts, as well as former senior US diplomats and military officials who served there, doubt he can fulfill that pledge, given the fragility of Iraq's democracy and the external and internal threats it still faces. • As expected, Obama chose his words carefully and avoided the "Mission Accomplished" moment that came to haunt President George W Bush. Bush was ridiculed after boldly declaring the end of major combat in Iraq in 2003. More than 4,000 US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis

went on to die in the years of insurgent and sectarian violence that followed. • In an election year, it was perhaps inevitable that Obama would lay some of the blame for the war and the state of the economy on his predecessor. He said that during the past decade -- meaning Bush's two terms-that a trillion dollars had been spent on war and this "has short-changed investments in our own people." • The speech is likely to reignite debate over how much credit Obama should get for the troop drawdown. He has angered Republicans for failing to

acknowledge that the troop build-up ordered by Bush in 2007 helped to create the conditions for US forces to begin withdrawing. As a senator, Obama opposed the troop "surge." • The speech was notable if only for the fact that Obama speaks rarely about the Iraq war, which as a senator he opposed as a costly misadventure and distraction from the war in Afghanistan. Obama is often portrayed as a reluctant war-time leader who views the Iraq war as an unwelcome distraction from more pressing issues at home and abroad. — Reuters

Gates in Iraq as US ends war mission By Anne Gearan


efense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that while the United States is no longer at war in Iraq, history will judge whether the fight was worth it. The Pentagon chief met with troops at Camp Ramadi just a few hours after President Barack Obama declared an official end to the US combat role in Iraq and told Americans it was time to "turn the page." Asked whether the US was still at war in Iraq, Gates answered succinctly, "I would say we are not." He was less direct when asked whether the war was worthwhile, saying that will depend in part on whether Iraq emerges as a democratic anchor in the Middle East. That judgment "really requires a historian's perspective," Gates said. "I believe our men and women in uniform believe we have accomplished something that makes the sacrifice, the bloodshed, not to have been in vain," he said. "How it all weighs in the balance remains to be seen." "The problem with this war, I think, for many Americans, is that the premise on which we justified going to war turned out not to be valid," Gates added. "Even if the outcome is a good one from the standpoint of the United States, it'll always be clouded by how it began." Ramadi, home of one of the US military's new advisory brigades, is in the heart of Anbar province, the cradle of the Sunni insurgency against the initial US occupation. Gates said Anbar holds a special and haunting significance for the US military. Several members of his staff were wound-

ed or saw their comrades killed in the province during the worst years of the fighting. The difference between that time and now was illustrated by the questions soldiers asked the secretary. Some of their top concerns included health care, retirement and the state of combat pay now that the combat mission is officially over. One soldier asked whether the US might maintain a military presence in Iraq after 2012, when all US forces are due to leave by agreement with the Iraqi leadership. "Any such proposal would have to be at the initiative of the new Iraqi government," Gates replied. "We would obviously be willing to look at that." He emphasized that the US is still waiting for the formation of that new government before that idea can even be broached. After his session with the troops, Gates flew to Baghdad for meetings with Gen Ray Odierno, the outgoing commander of US forces in Iraq, and his successor, Lt Gen Lloyd Austin. Fewer than 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq, down from more than 165,000 at the height of the fighting. The remaining forces' primary role is to help train and equip Iraqi forces over the next year. Lt Col Buddy Houston, deputy brigadier commander of the 4/3 Advise and Assist Brigade in Ramadi, said there have been no incidents in the last 14 months where Iraqis asked for direct combat help. "I can't imagine a violent situation where we would have to go back in and re-engage," Houston said. He added that he didn't anticipate, "even under the worst-case scenario," that a civil war could break out in Iraq as US troops leave. — AP

Has Iraq war really ended for US? By Steven R Hurst


resident Barack Obama kept a promise but took a risk in boldly declaring an end to 7 1/2 years of war in Iraq and asserting that America had turned the page both at home and abroad on the costly, divisive conflict. In relatively brief but politically freighted remarks from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, Obama lavished praise on America's military men and women, saying they had "stared into the darkest of human creations -- war - and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace." Obama's second address to the nation shifted quickly, however, to politics, with a reminder of his erstwhile opposition to the deeply unpopular war, a position that -- in part -fueled his successful run for the White House. Now, 19 months in office and with the US economy in deep malaise, Obama blamed then-President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq for having "shortchanged investments in our own people and contributed to record deficits." He spoke of a trillion borrowed dollars spent on war over the past decade and asserted that the Bush administration had turned its back on American middle class families who "find themselves working harder for less, while our nation's long-term competitiveness is put at risk." Those remarks -- undoubtedly born out of a bruising congressional election season -- reflect fears that his fellow Democrats could lose their majority hold on the House and, perhaps, the

Senate. Beyond the politics, however, the US troop withdrawal coincides with a continuing political stalemate in Iraq,

with no assurance the government there can hold together in the face of a diminished but still dangerous Sunni Muslim insurgency.

In fact, six months after national elections, politicians in Baghdad still have not been able to form a new government. While the administration

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi man watches US President Barack Obama’s televised speech in Baghdad yesterday. President Barack Obama kept a promise but took a risk in boldly declaring an end to 7 years of war in Iraq and asserting that America had turned the page both at home and abroad on the costly, divisive conflict.—AP

claims it expected that kind of delay, Obama's words Tuesday night voiced an underlying anxiety that Iraq still could fall backward into the kind of sectarian violence that ravaged the country in 2006 and 2007. "Tonight, I encourage Iraq's leaders to move forward with a sense of urgency," Obama said, "to form an inclusive government that is just, representative and accountable to the Iraqi people. Even as he momentously announced he was keeping his withdraw promise in Iraq, Obama finds himself pulled two ways on warfare. He noted there "are those who are understandably asking tough questions about our mission" in Afghanistan, where Obama has boosted troop strength to near 100,000. The intense fighting against AlQaeda's Taleban allies has killed 19 US service members in only four days. Regardless, he said, the difference in the wars was vast. Winning the 9-yearold Afghan conflict remains a fulcrum of American security. "As we speak," Obama said, "alQaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan." In announcing the US troop buildup in Afghanistan late last year, Obama also promised that American forces would begin leaving there next summer -- as the situation allowed. Tuesday night may prove to have been a warm-up for a far more momentous - and perhaps far more difficult -speech 12 months hence. — AP


Thursday, september 2, 2010


Mideast peace talks in jeopardy H

amas militants have shot dead four Israeli settlers in an attack that cast a shadow over Middle East negotiations convened in Washington yesterday. The violence was condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who were due to dine with US President Barack Obama ahead of face-to-face negotiations. Both leaders are struggling to contain hardliners opposed to a settlement. Following are some of the possible implications of the attack. Netanyahu, on landing in Washington on Tuesday, quickly pledged a "no compromise" stance on Israeli security. He will now be even less likely to meet Palestinian demands to offer a further freeze in Jewish settlementbuilding in occupied land in the West Bank, where the attack took place. Far-right cabinet ministers have told Netanyahu they will not back any extension of a settlement-building freeze that expires on Sept 26. Within hours of Tuesday's attack, Jewish settlers were demanding Netanyahu call off the talks, and threatening to resume expanding their illegal enclaves in occupied terri-

Hamas attack casts shadow over negotiations

WASHINGTON: Former British Prime Minister and Middle East quartet envoy Tony Blair (right) and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meet on at the State Department in Washington.—AP tory as soon as yesterday, in defiance of his partial freeze. Palestinian security control Prime Minister Salam

Fayyad swiftly vowed to take steps to try to prevent militants from striking again against Israelis, but may now

face a more intense campaign by Hamas militants who had held their fire after a punishing war with Israel last year.

Abbas's Western-trained security forces have made progress in law enforcement in the West Bank in the past

two years. Cooperation with Israeli troops was said to be at an all-time high. But now Hamas is threatening a redoubled effort, a "series of operations" to try, possibly with encouragement from its backers in Iran, to scuttle the latest efforts of US President Barack Obama and the Quartet of Middle East power brokers to get Israelis and Palestinians back to continuous direct talks for the first time in almost two years. Fayyad's pledge could see a harder crackdown in the West Bank on militants in the days to come. Israel retaliation Netanyahu and his defense chief, Ehud Barak, have said Israel will retaliate for the shootings. The likely target may be a Hamas militant leader or an installation, building, or tunnels used to smuggle in weapons from Egypt, all in the Gaza Strip. The question is how big a strike could be ordered. There is always the possibility of the violence spiraling out of control if Gaza militants respond with potentially lethal rocket fire at southern Israeli towns, setting in motion yet another deadly cycle of violence. Hamas says it has tried to stop rocket attacks by other Palestinian militant groups. — Reuters

South African patients pay the price for public strike By Sibongile Khumalo


patient nursing burns squirms and pants in agony while seated in a deserted admissions bay at Johannesburg Hospital, one of the casualties of the ongoing public servants strike in South Africa. Patrice Cawe, with pink flesh left after his facial skin peeled off and hands wrapped in bandages, says he has been waiting for over five hours just to be attended to. "What is happening here is very distressing. I am in pain. I am supposed to receive care but there is no one to help me," said Cawe. The 26-year-old mechanic and his three friends suffered third degree burns when a gas cylinder exploded at

his house two weeks ago. "We received urgent attention during our first visit, but things have gotten worse as the strike progressed," said Cawe while waiting for his turn to be seen by a lone doctor. A pungent smell of urine sweeps across the room from nearby toilets but it does not seem to bother the patients desperate to be seen by a doctor. Down the corridor blood-stained stretchers line the walls as few volunteers and student doctors rush around. The hospital corridors, normally teeming with patients, are deserted with a few sick people being moved around in wheelchairs by family members. The 1088-bed facility is one of the few where government has not deployed army medics sent out to

major hospitals. Army medics have been called in to provide essential medical back-up in 58 hospitals across the country. Johannesburg hospital is being run on skeleton staff made up of student doctors and nurses from Wits University. But the volunteers' hands are full manning wards and attending to casualty patients. "You can't be everywhere all the time, in the last week I have done more than 12 hour shifts daily. It is horrible," said a student nurse who didn't want to be named. The nationwide pay strike by civil servants who had running battles with the police, has crippled health services and shut down schools. At the hospital's main entrance, people entering the premises are

quizzed by security guards before being allowed in past an army of strikers clad in red shirts who are picketing outside the gates. Local media reported that some three babies have died in Johannesburg hospitals due to negligence caused by the stay away, while critical patients and new born babies have been transferred to private hospitals. At Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the country's largest hospital, also in Johannesburg, soldiers and police stand guard outside the building's main entrance. "Last Friday we had to go back home without getting help. It is terrible, what happened to respect of human life and right to health care," said a dejected tuberculosis patient. "My medication ran out last week.

I can't afford to skip treatment, today I am hoping someone will be there to help," said Mangi Khathide. "I have no money to keep on coming here for nothing," she added before settling in a waiting area where seats are empty. Public hospitals in South Africa, which are mainly used by poor black people with no medical insurance, are already buckling under staff shortages and inadequate resources. The cost of private health facilities, which rank among the best in the world, is out of reach for the majority of the poor and unemployed. Unions are demanding an 8.6 percent increase and a 1,000-rand ($137, 107-euro) housing allowance. The government is offering seven percent and a 700rand allowance. — AFP

Singapore seeks to be Asia's Monte Carlo - and more By Kevin Lim


he M Hotel in Singapore's business district once struggled to fill its rooms on weekends as visiting executives tended to leave by Friday. Now it enjoys 90 percent-plus occupancy even on Saturdays and Sundays. A prime destination mainly for bankers and businessmen, Singapore also has started drawing tourists with a slew of new attractions, the most popular being two casino-complexes built at a cost of over $10 billion that opened earlier this year. The two casinos and their related attractions represent the new face of a city that wants to transform itself from regional trade and financial centre into a place for both work and play. "I'm looking out of my window at the new skyline. What has developed over the last five years has been amazing," Hanspeter Brummer, CEO for Asia at Swiss private bank BSI, said from his office which overlooks the new Marina Bay financial district. "Singapore is more than just Monte Carlo, which is a bit artificial. Singapore doesn't just have one industry but a number of industries. People really have good reasons to come here," said Brummer, a Swiss national who worked in the city-state from 1997 to 2000 and returned in 2006. Unlike the existing central business district, Marina Bay, built on reclaimed land around the mouth of the Singapore River, comprises not just office skyscrapers but also shops, residences, theatres and the towering $5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands built by US casino giant Las Vegas Sands. Marina Bay is also home to the world's biggest ferris wheel, restaurants fronted by Michelin-starred celebrity

SINGAPORE: Visitors looking at the view from the skypark of the 55-storey hotel tower of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Singapore’s massive bet on two casino resorts is already paying off after the number of arrivals in a single month crossed the one million mark for the first time in July, analysts said. — AFP chefs and the world's first night-time Formula One circuit. Over at Sentosa, to the west of the central business district, Genting Singapore's Resorts World casino and its Universal Studios theme park opened in February. The $4.8 billion complex earned S$503.5 million ($369.9 million) before interest, tax and depreciation in the three months ended June 2010. Should Resorts World continue to rake in similar amount of money in subsequent quarters, it would surpass all rivals in Las Vegas and Macau in terms of profitability, analysts say. Las Vegas Sands has not yet reported earnings for the June quarter but CEO Sheldon Adelson has said he

expects Marina Bay Sands to generate gross earnings of over $1 billion annually. Although both casinos have yet to complete all their attractions, which include what will be the world's largest oceanarium, they have already created new business for hoteliers and taxi drivers. Visitors to the city-state of 5.1 million people rose by over a-fifth to around 6.5 million in the seven months to July from a year ago. Hotel occupancy hit 90 percent in July, up 10.2 percentage points, while room rates rose 20 percent on average from a year earlier. Taxi drivers say their takings are up by as much as 30 percent, helped by increased business in the wee hours of the morning from casino

patrons. "The integrated resorts are a catalyst to bigger and brighter things. We are seeing more entertainment centers popping up... We are in the incipient stages of what we call a change in the structural demand for such services in Singapore," said Vincent Yeo, CEO of CDL Hospitality Trusts which owns M Hotel. "There are still many attractions that are not opened yet," he added, citing the two casinos' unfinished projects as well as government initiatives such as new landscaped gardens, a river safari and an area for motorsports. CDL's Yeo said the 90 percent occupancy levels will continue for several months until new hotels open, mean-

ing visitors may have difficulty finding rooms from time to time. Singapore's transformation began in 2005 when the government legalized casinos as part of a plan to double visitor arrivals to 17 million by 2015. Singapore attracted 9.7 million visitors last year, and the number could rise to just under 12 million this year if the growth pace continues. The figures do not include the thousands who cross over from Malaysia daily by land. In the past, many came to work and returned the same day but a growing number are here to gamble as seen from the large number of Malaysian-registered cars in casino carparks. Tourism currently accounts for about 7 percent of Singapore's economy but

could grow to around 12 percent by 2015 based on government projections on visitor spending, economists estimate. The transformation has detractors though-from Singaporeans unhappy about the large influx of foreigners who have contributed to soaring property prices and crowded roads to those who fear the casinos will bring with them crime and other vices. The tiny city-state has long been a centre of transshipment and regional finance, coupled with strict government control over its people. It has near-zero crime and sparkling clean streets but also flogging, the death penalty, and a ban on chewing gum. While Singapore appears to have successfully prevented a rise in prostitution and loan sharking, there has been an increase in problem gambling. According to local TV station Channel NewsAsia, Singapore's National Council for Problem Gambling has seen almost as many problem gambling cases in the first half of 2010 as it did for the whole of 2009. Economists such as Citigroup's Kit said Singapore had little choice but to develop tourism, as it needs to create relatively low-skilled hotel, restaurant and retail jobs to replace those lost at factories that move to China and other cheaper places. "Rebranding Singapore as a global city and tourism hub fits in very well with its natural advantage, which is its strategic location in the centre of Southeast Asia and good transportation links," said Kit. "If well managed, services can be a more sustainable source of competitive advantage than manufacturing, which is footloose and very price-sensitive," he said. — Reuters


US lays ground for North Korea talks By Shaun Tandon fter months of rising tension, the United States is gingerly exploring how to launch talks with North Korea without loosening the screws on the isolated state, experts say. President Barack Obama has made dialogue a hallmark of his foreign policy, extending a hand to regimes no matter how odious in US eyes. A major exception was North Korea, which since Obama took office has tested a nuclear bomb and allegedly torpedoed a ship in the deadliest inter-Korean incident in decades. The United States has kept up the pressure, on Monday slapping sanctions against North Korean entities including its military intelligence bureau. But a growing number of US officials and analysts, even hawks, say talks have been moribund for too long. "If you're whacking one end of the donkey with a stick, it's good periodically to check on the other end to see if the donkey has changed its behavior," said Bruce Klingner of the conservative Heritage Foundation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday conferred with former president Jimmy Carter, who visited North Korea last week to secure the release of an imprisoned American teacher. Top negotiators from China and South Korea are also visiting Washington this week to meet with senior US officials. North Korea's leader Kim JongIl just paid a five-day visit to China, his regime's main supporter. Surprising many observers, Kim did not meet Carter, who helped broker an end to a 1994 crisis in North Korea. But the former president met with number two leader Kim Yong-Nam, who voiced support for resuming six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said North Korea must first end "provocative and belligerent behavior" and comply with a 2005 agreement reached during six-way talks, in which Pyongyang committed to ending its nuclear program in return for aid and security guarantees. "If we see evidence that


North Korea is prepared to move in that direction, then we are open to further engagement," Crowley told reporters. North Korea has repeatedly voiced willingness to return to the table but insisted that the United States recognize it as a nuclear power. L Gordon Flake, executive director of the Mansfield Foundation, said that North Korea needed to moderate its stance if it truly wanted talks, as otherwise the United States feared legitimizing its claim as a nuclear power. "The United States does need some kind of fig leaf," said Flake, who advised Obama when he was a presidential candidate. But few expect breakthroughs at a delicate moment in North Korea, where experts say Kim Jong-Il is preparing a power transfer to his young son Kim Jong-Un and an already dire economy has been thrown into havoc by a ham-fisted currency revaluation. Michael Green, who served as the top Asia adviser to former president George W Bush, expected that talks would begin within months but that the Obama administration would insist on a broad agenda. "The consensus that's probably emerged is that we need contact with North Korea," said Green, now a scholar at Georgetown University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "If we have a policy that is only made up of sanctions, military exercises and pressure," Green said, "you do run some risk of pushing Pyongyang into a corner." "At a time of potentially profound change within North Korea, you lose some opportunities to gauge and test where things are headed," Green said. He added that the administration appeared determined not to accept North Korea's demands to ease sanctions in exchange for talks. But Green said the United States has also sidestepped calls from hawks in South Korea for a more robust response to the March sinking of the Cheonan corvette, which killed 46 sailors. "Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the administration got it about right-not too hot, not too cold," he said. — AFP

Chinese military risks treading on policy toes By Chris Buckley


hina's military, emboldened and ambitious for respect, risks steering a course that jars with the country's foreign policy soft-sell, raising the risk of confusion and blunders in a region already wary of its expanding reach. People's Liberation Army officers have loudly warned that national interests are threatened by neighbors' rival claims in the South China Sea, and decried planned USSouth Korean drills in the Yellow Sea, between Korea and China "A country needs respect, and a military also needs respect," wrote Major General Luo Yuan in the PLA's paper. Stressing the point, the PLA navy will hold artillery exercises on the Yellow Sea from Wednesday. Beneath that public assertiveness, lie questions about evolving Chinese civil-military relations, a murky area with broader implications for foreign policy, especially in Asia. The Chinese military remains firmly subordinated to the ruling Communist Party, but it has grown less finely meshed with civilian leaders, and that matters for coordinating and communicating policy, especially under pressure. "Civil-military relations in China are very different from the old days. There used to be a symbiosis. Now they are more distinct spheres," said Nan Li, a professor at the US Naval War College on Rhode Island, who specializes in the PLA. "Interagency coordination is a big problem," he said. With China exploring how to use its fast-expanding military, such internal uncertainties could have consequences in the region, where the US keeps a big military presence. "It clearly has tremendous implications for real policy choices both in Beijing and abroad," David Finkelstein, an expert on the Chinese military at CNA, an institute in Virginia that studies security issues, said of

PLA-civilian ties. "China's global security interests have expanded faster than the capacity of its traditional bureaucratic institutions to handle them," he said. Lobbying or wrong-footing among civil and military players could make Chinese policy-making even less like a tightlyrehearsed orchestra, and more like a band with members competing for attention, risking miscues or confusion. One PLA strategist recently warned as much. "With no concrete leadership for national security, when many departments become involved, coordination is difficult, responses tend to be tardy, counter-measures lack focus, and constantly problems emerge in certain links among the institutions dealing with matters", the strategist, retired Rear Admiral Yang Yi, wrote in a study published late last year. Demanding respect The PLA has received two decades of annual rises in its official budget that average out at a 12.9 percent increase every year. That rise has made it more powerful, and more impatient with foreign pressure, said PLA Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu. "In the past, the focus was on economic development and our budget was low and we were marginalized. But now it's very different. We understand that a prosperous country needs a strong military", he told Reuters earlier this year. In June, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates took on what he saw as PLA pushiness. He claimed it was thwarting efforts to improve military ties, going against Chinese government efforts to ease tensions. Gates' complaint came after vehement criticism of Washington by PLA officers, and Beijing's rejection of Gates' hopes to visit and revive military ties put on hold by China over US weapons sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims. — Reuters



Thursday, September 2, 2010

US charges Pakistan Taleban chief with CIA killings WASHINGTON: The United States slapped Pakistani Taleban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, with terrorism charges yesterday for his alleged role in the murder of seven Americans at a CIA base in Afghanistan. The Justice Department move came as the State Department added the Tehreek-eTaleban to a blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations, which means members face asset freezes and travel bans. “Hakimullah Mehsud, the self-proclaimed chief of the Pakistani Taleban, has been charged by criminal complaint for his alleged involvement in the murder of seven American citizens on December 30, 2009 at a US military base in Afghanistan,” the Justice Department said in a statement. In a two-count complaint filed in US District Court in Washington, Mehsud was charged with conspiracy to murder

Americans abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against US citizens abroad. The State Department meanwhile offered rewards of up to five million dollars each for information leading to Mehsud’s location and the location of Wali ur-Rehman, who is reportedly Mehsud’s current secondin-command. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated the Tehreek-e-Taleban as a foreign terrorist organization on August 12, and it was formally added to the list when it was published Wednesday in the Federal Register. In June, US lawmakers pushed to add the Pakistani Taliban, accused of training unrepentant Times Square bomb plotter Faisal Shahzad, on to Washington’s terror blacklist. Formal designation as a foreign terrorist

organization triggers sanctions including an asset freeze, a ban on members traveling to the United States, and makes it a crime to provide material support to the group. The move by the lawmakers came one day after Shahzad, a Pakistani-born US national, pleaded guilty to the failed attack in New York and warned of more strikes on the United States until it leaves Muslim lands. Shahzad told the judge he had undergone five days of bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan, between December 9 and January 25. In April 2010, the State Department said, Mehsud’s operatives used an explosivesladen truck, machine guns, and rocket launchers in an attack on the US consulate in Peshawar that killed six Pakistanis and wounded 20 others. — AFP

Saudis query Lankan maid’s torture claim RIYADH: Saudi government and private sector officials have questioned the account of a Sri Lankan maid who said her Saudi employers forced 24 nails and needles into her body. Saad Al-Badah, head of the National Recruitment Committee of the Council of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told Saudi state television that the account of L T Ariyawathi, seemed “80 percent fabricated” and suggested the motive could be extortion. He questioned how the woman, who worked for a Saudi family in Riyadh for five months until August, could have continued to be healthy and without infection with nails in her body. He also said that it was hard to believe she could have passed through several airport metal detectors on her return from

Riyadh with so many pieces of metal in her body. “Even someone with just one coin in his pocket has to remove it when passing through the detector,” Badah said. Saudi government officials dealing with the case have raised the same issue, labelling Ariyawathi’s account “difficult to believe.” A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Colombo told Sri Lanka’s Daily News yesterday that the maid could not have passed through airport security checkpoints in Riyadh and Colombo without the nails being detected. Ariyawathi, 49, returned to Sri Lanka on August 21 complaining that she had been beaten and tortured by her employers, who she said had hammered the nails and pins into various parts of her body. Surgeons at Sri Lanka’s southern

Kamburupitiya hospital last week removed 19 of the nails-some two inches (five centimetres) long-and a needle in a three-hour operation. Ariyawathi told them her Saudi employer inflicted the injuries on her as a punishment for her inability to communicate with those in the household. “She said her employer heated the nails and then hammered them into her body,” hospital director Prabath Gajadeera said. “The nails were in her arms, legs and forehead.” Gajadeera said the woman could not have driven the nails herself. “It is clear someone else had to drive in the nails,” he said. “We will in any case refer her to a psychiatrist for analysis before discharging her from hospital.” — AFP

Three bombs kill 18 at Pakistan Shiite march Continued from Page 1 of its military elite, has been regularly targeted by militants over the past two years. The bombs exploded at three separate sites yesterday evening as 35,000 Shiites marched through the streets of Lahore in their traditional mourning procession for the caliph Ali, one of Shiite Islam’s most respected holy men. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blasts in a statement and said the attackers would not escape justice. After the blasts, the marchers erupted in fury, setting fire to a police station, another police facility, two police cars and three motorcycles, said Zulfiqar Hameed, a senior police officer. Police lobbed tear gas canisters at the crowd and fired shots in the air to disperse the assailants, he said. The first blast was a time bomb that exploded in the street near a well-known Shiite building, Hameed said. Footage of that explosion shown on Geo television showed a small blast erupting amid a crowd of people on the street followed by a large plume of smoke. Hundreds of people fled from the blast, while others rushed to the area to carry the wounded to safety. Minutes later, with the streets in chaos, a male suicide bomber who appeared about

18 years old tried to force his way into an area where food was being prepared for the marchers to break the traditional Ramadan fast and exploded, Hameed said. Soon after, another suicide bomber detonated himself at an intersection near the end of the procession. Abbas Kumaili, a prominent Shiite scholar as well as a senator, called for three days of mourning over the attack and lashed out at the bombers. “They are our enemies, both Shiites and Sunnis should remain united and foil their evil designs,” he said. The blasts killed 18 people and wounded more than 150 others, said Sajjad Bhutta, a top local government official. Hours earlier, three people were wounded in a shooting near a similar Shiite procession in the southern city of Karachi, but senior police officer Iqbal Mahmood said the incident did not target the march. Islamist extremists have a history of attacking Shiites, non-Muslims and others they deem unacceptable. In July, twin suicide attacks at Pakistan’s most popular Sufi shrine killed 42 people. Another suicide bomber wounded eight worshippers at a Shiite mosque in eastern Pakistan. Meanwhile, a bomb exploded near a police vehicle in the town of Shabqadar in

northwest Pakistan, killing one passer-by and wounding 15 people including one police officer, police officer Nisar Khan said. The bombings came after Pakistan army jets and helicopters targeted militant hide-outs near the Afghan border, killing 60 people identified as insurgents or their family members, including children, said security officials and a witness. The attacks occurred Tuesday and yesterday in different parts of the region. There was no independent confirmation of the casualty figures because the area is too dangerous for outsiders to visit. The raids Tuesday took place in several villages in Teerah Valley in the Khyber region and killed 45 people, the officials said. One official said some vehicles rigged with explosives had also been destroyed. He could not say how many. He described the dead as insurgents, but said it was possible that people living with them could also have been killed. Separately, an intelligence officer said some women and children had been killed in the attacks. Jihad Gul, who lives near one of the villages, said he had seen the bodies of at least 20 women and children. Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said reports of civilian casualties were unconfirmed. — AP

The inner secrets of fasting - Part I Continued from Page 1 This is because the road that the enemies (of Allah) embark upon (in order to misguide the Son of Adam) is that of desires. And eating and drinking strengthens the desires. There are many reports that indicate the merits of fasting, and they are all well known. The recommended acts of fasting The pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and delaying in taking it are preferable, as well as hastening to break the fast and doing so with dates. Generosity in giving is also recom-

mended during Ramadan, as well as doing good deeds and increasing in charity. This is in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is also recommended to study the Quran and perform I’tikaaf during Ramadan, especially in the last ten days, as well as increasing upon the exertion (towards doing good deeds) in it. In the two Saheehs, ‘Aa’ishah said: “When the (last) ten days (of Ramadan) would come, the Prophet would tighten his waist-wrapper (izaar), spend the night in worship, and wake his family up (for prayer).” [Saheeh Al-

Bukhaaree and Muslim] The scholars have mentioned two views concerning the meaning of “tighten his waist-wrapper (izaar)”: • The first: It means the turning away from women. • The second: It is an expression denoting his (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) eagerness and diligence in doing good deeds. They also say that the reason for his (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) exertion in the last ten days of Ramadan was due to his (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) seeking of the Night of Al-Qadr (Lailatul-Qadr).

Hostage crisis at US Discovery Channel Continued from Page 1 However, Montgomery County Police Corporal Dan Friz said of the suspect: “His concerns are with the Discovery Corporation right now.” He would not go into further details or say whether demands had been made. Friz said he could not confirm that gunshots were fired in the building as a

Discovery employee had told the local ABC television affiliate. A reporter from the local ABC affiliate said he saw an ambulance crew wheel a gurney into the building about an hour after the incident began at 1 pm EDT, but there was no official word of casualties. Police were watching the suspect on the building’s closed-circuit security system and Discovery employees posted updates on

the situation on Twitter. Roads in the normally busy urban center at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue on the edge of Washington were blocked to all traffic. Discovery Communications said it reaches 1.5 billion subscribers in more than 180 countries with the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel and Planet Green networks. — Reuters

Obama warns Hamas as Mideast talks open Continued from Page 1 10-month freeze on settlement building on the West Bank when it expires on September 26, his office said. But the Palestinians immediately warned that a resumption of settlement construction would mean the end of peace talks. “The settlements must be halted and continuing them will signal the end of the peace process,” Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told journalists. In a flurry of high-stakes diplomacy, coming as his domestic popularity ebbs due to the slowing recovery, Obama was also holding separate talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. All five leaders were then due to stand together at a potentially awkward White House appearance to make individual statements, before retiring for a dinner also featuring Quartet diplomatic representative Tony Blair. Obama’s remarks were a clear attempt to offer diplomatic cover to Netanyahu following the Hamas attack, and to stop the killings from disrupting painstakingly-laid US plans for direct Palestinian-Israeli talks. Branding the attack on two couples,

including a pregnant woman, as “senseless slaughter,” he warned about “extremists and rejectionists who, rather than seeking peace, are going to be seeking destruction.” “But I want everybody to be very clear: the United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel’s security, and we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist activities. “The message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel, but also securing a longer-lasting peace in which people throughout the region can take a different course. Netanyahu branded the killings “savagery and brutality.” “Four innocent people were gunned down and seven new orphans were added by people who have no respect for human life and trample human rights into the dust and butcher everything that they oppose.” Abbas on Tuesday said the attack, in Kiryat Arba, a West Bank settlement, was intended to “disrupt the political process.” Hamas, which rules Gaza, is opposed to the peace talks and is a rival of Abbas’s USbacked Palestinian Authority. The issues on the table at the US-mediated talks-the status

of Jerusalem, security, the borders of a Palestinian state and the right of return for Palestinian refugees have confounded all previous mediation attempts. But the White House insists that a “window of opportunity” has opened up to forge a two-state solution in the Middle East, at a time when Iran’s growing influence is threatening to reset the regional political map. The White House said the day of intense presidential engagement was meant to build trust ahead of direct US-engineered IsraelPalestinian talks due to be hosted by Clinton today. The Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia launched a roadmap for peace in 2003 that calls for a Palestinian state living alongside a secure Israel. Top level talks in search of the elusive peace deal broke off in 2008 when Israel invaded the Palestinian Gaza Strip to halt militant rocket fire on its south. Huge issues-many unresolved since the creation of Israel in 1948 — remain on the table including the status of Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital, and the fate of Palestinian refugees chased from their lands. — AFP

DUBAI: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (left) walks to the podium to make his speech during an Iftar ceremony hosted by the Dubai School of Government in Dubai, United Arab Emirates yesterday. — AP

Mosque fight about Muslim role: Imam DUBAI: The imam leading plans for an Islamic center near the site of the Sept 11 attacks in New York said on Tuesday the fight is over more than “a piece of real estate” and could shape the future of Muslim relations in America. The dispute “has expanded beyond a piece of real estate and expanded to Islam in America and what it means for America,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told a group that included professors and policy researchers in Dubai. Rauf suggested that the fierce challenges to the planned mosque and community center in lower Manhattan could leave many Muslim questioning their place in American political and civic life. But he avoided questions over whether an alternative site is possible. Instead, he repeatedly stressed the need to embrace the religious and political freedoms in the United States. “I am happy to be American,” Rauf told about 200 people at the Dubai School of Government think tank. It was his last scheduled public appearance during a 15-day State Department-funded trip to the Gulf that was intended to promote religious tolerance. He is scheduled to return to the United States later this week. He said he became closer to Islam after moving to America, where he had the choice to either follow the faith or drift away. “Like many of our fellow Muslims, we found our faith in America,” he said. During his Middle East trip, Rauf has generally sidestepped questions over the backlash to the Islamic center location about two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center towers. But in an interview published Monday in the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National, he linked the protests to the US elections in November. Many conservatives have joined the opposi-

tion to the center, which is being spearheaded by a newly formed nonprofit organization that includes real estate developers and has named Rauf as one of the directors. “It is important to shift the discussion from a discussion of identity politics,” he said. “We have to elevate the discourse because there is more that bonds us ... in terms of mutual responsibility.” A Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday showed 71 percent of New Yorkers want the developers to voluntarily move the project. A similar percentage also said they wanted New York’s state attorney general to investigate sources of funding for the project in lower Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said an investigation would set “a terrible precedent.” “You don’t want them investigating donations to religious organizations and there’s no reason for the government to do so,” he said. He also played down the fact that the developers of the building where the center would be established owe over $200,000 in back taxes on the property. “They’re going to be treated like everybody else,” he said. “We enforce the law against everybody, or we protect everybody. And if they owe money, they should pay it and if they don’t, they don’t.” The developers have said they are negotiating with the city to pay back the taxes. Opponents of the center, which could include a swimming pool and a Sept 11 memorial, have seized on the question of the project’s funding, raising concerns that the money will come from overseas extremists or anti-American sources. US Rep Peter King, a Republican who is the ranking minority leader of the Homeland Security Committee, said on Tuesday that he disagreed with the mayor. He said the question of financing is fundamental to assessing the Islamic center project’s backers.

“A number of terror plots have emanated from mosques,” he said, citing the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center as one example. Arrests of conspirators in the attack that killed six people and injured more than a thousand led FBI to a Brooklyn mosque, where core members of those involved in the 1993 plot worshipped and where Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman sometimes led prayers. Abdel-Rahman was later convicted in the bombing. King said he would call for churches or synagogues to undergo the same kind of scrutiny of their finances if there was evidence that terrorist plots were originating from them. Developers of the planned Islamic center have pledged to hire “security consultants” to review potential contributors. A spokesman for the developers didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on Tuesday. It is common for the finances of religious groups to come under scrutiny either by the Internal Revenue Service, law enforcement or government agencies that protect consumers against fraud. Religious nonprofits operate under a complex system of IRS rules on compensation, spending and governance. The IRS can revoke the nonprofit status of any group found to be violating the regulations. Muslim charities have come under especially intense scrutiny under US counterterrorism efforts. Federal prosecutors have brought cases against several Americanbased Muslim nonprofits, and in a separate case last year, seized US mosques whose property is owned by a foundation federal officials say is secretly controlled by the Iranian government. — AP

US launches new Iraq mission Continued from Page 1 from the united support of the United States military,” Biden told an audience of around 1,000 troops and invited guests. “Now is the time to put these differences behind us,” he said at Al-Faw Palace, the former hunting lodge of toppled dictator Saddam Hussein which falls within Camp Victory and is now the US military’s Iraq headquarters. Biden said the new training mission-Operation New Dawnwould continue US engagement with Iraq, but he also acknowledged Iraqi lives lost. “Tens of thousands of security forces and innocent civilians have been killed,” he said, noting the impact of a brutal insurgency that swept the country in the years that followed Saddam’s ouster. “The Iraqi people have rejected their ugly face of violence,” Biden added, referring to the insurgents. A total of 49,700 US troops are currently in Iraq for the new training and counter-terrorism mission, which follows President Barack Obama’s pledge to end combat operations and bring American troops home. Thousands of US soldiers have left Iraq in recent months and Obama used a speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday to note the end of combat operations. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was also in Iraq to mark the launch of Operation New Dawn, told troops based in the country their work remained vital

despite an increased focus on the war in Afghanistan. “You should know your work here going forward is critical to the future of this part of the world, and to the national security of our country,” he said. Gates also acknowledged the domestic controversy in the United States over the war. “The problem with this war for many Americans is that the premise on which we justified going to war proved not to be valid,” he told reporters ahead of yesterday’s ceremony, which saw the appointment of a new US commander in Iraq. “Even if the outcome is a good one from the standpoint of the United States, it will always be clouded by how it began,” Gates added. Then US president George W Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 arguing that the country was rife with weapons of mass destruction. Despite exhaustive efforts, none were ever found. Biden, who has held repeated meetings with Iraqi political leaders in a bid to speed up protracted coalition talks since an inconclusive March general election, said he believed a deal was now finally close. “I am absolutely convinced that they are nearing the ability of forming a government, that will be a government representing the outcome of the election, which was very much divided,” he told US network CBS.

Outgoing General Ray Odierno, who was replaced by newly promoted General Lloyd Austin as commander of US forces in Iraq at the ceremony, received standing ovations from troops, before and after he addressed them. “Even today there are those who doubt that the Iraqi security forces are ready to take full responsibility for security,” Odierno said. “I say before you today they are ready to do that task.” Prior to the ceremony, however, the deputy commander of the new US mission, Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, said he expected a new Iraqi government to make a formal request for extra help as the end of next year looms. “I know the Iraqi government are looking at some of the gaps they are going to have in their capabilities in December 2011 and they are concerned about it,” Barbero told reporters. “I would predict that they are going to ask for some assistance. We’ve got a lot of work to do right up to December 2011,” he said. Soon after reaching Iraq yesterday, Gates said Washington was prepared to consider any Iraqi request to amend the pullout timetable. “We’d be willing to look at that but again it would have to come at the initiative of the Iraqis,” the defense secretary told troops at Camp Ramadi, west of Baghdad. — AFP

Tabtabae grills FM over Iran N-plant safety Continued from Page 1 A number of MPs have previously asked the government if Kuwait was prepared for any eventuality or leak from the Bushehr nuclear plant. The health ministry said earlier this week that Kuwait was prepared for any emergency and has sufficient stocks of drugs. In another development, MP Mohammad Hayef who heads the national assembly panel for combating alien social practices, called on the government yester-

day to take a number of local media to court for undermining national unity. He said that the level of programs by some private satellite channels and radio stations have deteriorated sharply recently undermining the principles of the country’s faith and threatening national unity. Hayef said that based on that the information ministry is responsible to initiate criminal cases against local media that violate the country’s press and publications law and the audio-visual law. The lawmaker said that members of the

committee discussed this issue with the prime minister on Tuesday and it was decided to hold a decisive meeting next Monday to discuss needed amendments to the two media laws. MP Hussein Al-Qallaf meanwhile asked the prime minister for the names of persons appointed in leading government posts in 2009 and 2010 and if they have any relation to MPs. He also inquired about the names of companies that have won contracts of projects under the development plan and the names of their owners.


Thursday, September 2, 2010


MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results on Tuesday: Baltimore 5, Boston 2; NY Yankees 9, Oakland 3; Chicago White Sox 4, Cleveland 3; Toronto 13, Tampa Bay 5; Atlanta 9, NY Mets 2; Florida 1, Washington 0 (10 innings); Cincinnati 8, Milwaukee 4; Pittsburgh 14, Chicago Cubs 7; Houston 3, St Louis 0; Kansas City 10, Texas 9; Minnesota 4, Detroit 3; Arizona 7, San Diego 4; Philadelphia 8, LA Dodgers 4; Seattle 3, LA Angels 1; San Francisco 5, Colorado 2. American League Eastern Division W L 82 50 81 51 74 58 69 63 49 83

PCT .621 .614 .561 .523 .371

GB 1 8 13 33

Central Division Minnesota 76 56 Chicago White Sox 72 60 Detroit 65 67 Kansas City 56 76 Cleveland 53 79

.576 .545 .492 .424 .402

4 11 20 23

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

Western Division 74 58 .561 65 66 .496 64 69 .481 52 80 .394

8.5 10.5 22

Atlanta Philadelphia Florida NY Mets Washington

National League Eastern Division 77 55 74 58 66 65 65 67 57 76

.583 .561 .504 .492 .429

3 10.5 12 20.5

Cincinnati St Louis Milwaukee Houston Chicago Cubs Pittsburgh

Central Division 77 55 69 61 62 70 61 71 56 77 44 88

.583 .531 .470 .462 .421 .333

7 15 16 21.5 33

San Diego San Francisco Colorado LA Dodgers Arizona

Western Division 76 55 .580 73 60 .549 69 62 .527 68 65 .511 54 79 .406

4 7 9 23

NY Yankees Tampa Bay Boston Toronto Baltimore

SAN FRANCISCO: Giants center fielder Andres Torres hits a solo home run against the Colorado Rockies during the eighth inning of a baseball game.—AP

Reds down Brewers, Braves thrash Mets

CINCINNATI: Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman reached 102 mph (164 kph) during one perfect inning Tuesday as Cincinnati Reds beat Milwaukee Brewers to wrap up the best August by any team in the majors. The NL Central leaders moved a seasonhigh seven games ahead of St. Louis. The Reds haven’t led by so many games since 1995, the last time they reached the playoffs. Chapman joined the Reds’ bullpen and matched the hype his first time out, throwing four pitches clocked at 100 mph (160 kph) or better. The Reds called up the hard-throwing lefty, hoping he can add some sizzle to their September — and beyond. The Reds pulled away from St. Louis by going 19-8 in August, the best mark in the majors. Joey Votto drove in three runs with two doubles off Yovani Gallardo (11-7). Sam LeCure (2-4) pitched two innings in relief of Aaron Harang, who struggled in his return from back spasms.

Braves 9, Mets 2

At Atlanta, David Ross hit his first career grand slam to cap a seven-run inning for the Braves made possible by Luis Castillo’s error. The Mets scored two runs in the fifth off rookie Mike Minor (3-0), but the 2-1 lead didn’t last long. In the bottom half, the Braves knocked out Jonathon Niese (8-7), taking advantage of Castillo’s blunder. The second baseman let a likely doubleplay grounder slip between his legs, and the Braves made New York pay. Jason Heyward followed with a two-run double, Alex Gonzalez had an RBI single and Ross — Atlanta’s backup catcher getting one of his occasional starts _ hit his second homer of the season. Ross also had a triple.

Phillies 8, Dodgers 4 At Los Angeles, Brian Schneider and Ryan Howard each hit a three-run homer to power Philadelphia past Los Angeles, keeping the Phillies three games behind first-

place Atlanta in the NL East. The Phillies’ lead over San Francisco in the wild-card race remained 1 1/2 games, while the Dodgers fell 6 1/2 back with their third loss in four games. Kyle Kendrick (97) allowed four runs and seven hits in fiveplus innings for the win. After being held to two runs or less in eight of their previous 12 games, including a shutout loss Monday night in which they managed just one hit, the Phillies got going early against Carlos Monasterios (3-5) and then kept up the pressure on the Dodgers’ shaky bullpen.

Giants 5, Rockies 2 At San Francisco, Andres Torres led off the eighth inning with a go-ahead home run, helping San Francisco beat Colorado to close within four games of first place in the NL West. Buster Posey added a two-run double in the eighth as the Giants won for the second time in six games. Freddy Sanchez had two hits and scored twice. Jeremy Affeldt (4-

3) blew a late lead for the second straight game but earned his second consecutive win after pitching the eighth. Brian Wilson worked the ninth for his 37th save.

D’backs 7, Padres 4 At Phoenix, Miguel Montero drove in the go-ahead runs with a ground-rule double, Gerardo Parra made two critical defensive plays and hit a two-run single as Arizona handed NL West-leading San Diego its sixth straight loss. The Diamondbacks scored five runs in the fifth and chased Kevin Correia (10-10) en route to their fifth victory in six games. Mark Reynolds hit his third home run in two nights, a two-run shot in the second that tied it at 2. Ian Kennedy (9-9) allowed three runs in seven innings for the win and Juan Gutierrez got three outs for his fifth save.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0 At Miami, Florida’s Chad Tracy singled

home Hanley Ramirez with the winning run in the 10th inning. Ramirez singled with one out off reliever Drew Storen, then stole second. After Gaby Sanchez drew a walk, Tracy singled to left. Roger Bernadina’s throw was on target, but Ramirez slid under the tag attempt by catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who argued the call vehemently. It was the ninth walk-off win for the Marlins this season. Clay Hensley (3-4) picked up the victory for Florida.

Astros 3, Cardinals 0 At Houston, Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven innings and three relievers completed the three-hit shutout for Houston. Hunter Pence drove in two runs in Houston’s threerun fourth inning. The Cardinals were shut out for the second straight game after J.A. Happ threw a two-hitter in a 3-0 win on Monday. They have dropped four straight, seven of their last eight and are seven games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.

Yankees roll over A’s NEW YORK:Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer for the Yankees, who beat up on Oakland again in a 9-3 win over the Athletics on Tuesday night. The victory moved the Yankees back into sole possession of first place in the AL East. Tampa Bay and New York had shared the lead for eight days. The Yankees, who came back from a three-run deficit to win 11-5 the night before, jumped on A’s starter Vin Mazzaro right away. Brett Gardner led off the first with a single, and the Yankees scored three runs in the inning, helped by second baseman Mark Ellis’s fielding error and Jorge Posada’s triple. Yankees starter Phil Hughes (16-6) walked five but only gave up two runs and four hits in five innings.

Blue Jays 13, Rays 5 At St. Petersburg, Florida, Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 43rd homer during a 10-run sixth inning for Toronto. Tampa Bay lost for only the fifth time in 17 games but fell a game behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Bautista capped the sixthinning outburst with a three-run shot off reliever Lance Cormier that put the Blue Jays up 11-3. It was the most runs scored in one inning by Toronto since an 11run sixth on July 25, 2007, at Minnesota.

White Sox 4, Indians 3 At Cleveland, With Manny Ramirez standing in the on-deck circle ready to pinch-hit, A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer off Frank Herrmann in the ninth inning to lift the White

Sox to a win over the Indians. Ramirez, who arrived earlier in the day to help Chicago’s playoff push, was poised to make his White Sox debut and bat for Brent Lillibridge before Pierzynski came through. He drove an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right field, and as he rounded the bases, Ramirez retreated to Chicago’s dugout, where the fun-loving slugger celebrated his new teammate’s heroics by high-fiving the rest of the White Sox.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2 At Baltimore, Brian Matusz won his third consecutive start as the Orioles beat Josh Beckett and the fading Red Sox to cap a memorable first month under manager Buck Showalter. Luke Scott hit his career-high 26th homer, had two RBIs and scored twice to help the Orioles extend their winning streak to four. Baltimore went 17-11 in August, 17-10 with Showalter in the dugout. The Orioles last had a winning August in 1997 _ the most recent season in which they finished above .500. Matusz (7-12) allowed two runs, six hits and a walk in six-plus innings. The left-hander struck out six, including David Ortiz three times.

Twins 4, Tigers 3 At Minneapolis, Delmon Young had two hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh, to lift the Twins over the Tigers. Young’s big hit came after Tigers reliever Phil Coke (7-4) hit two batters to load the bases and Ryan Perry walked in the leveling run.

Royals 10, Rangers 9

Mariners 3, Angels 1 At Seattle, Adam Moore’s broken-bat RBI single highlighted a three-run rally in the eighth inning as Seattle beat Los Angeles. The Mariners, trailing 1-0, faced reliever Kevin Jepsen (2-

Pirates 14, Cubs 7 At Chicago, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones hit long two-run homers for Pittsburgh in a rare road victory. Walker went 4 for 5 with four RBIs and three runs scored for the Pirates, who won for only the fifth time in 43 road games and ended a 14-game losing streak away from PNC Park. Pittsburgh is 10-4 against Chicago this season and has won 12 of 16 at Wrigley Field dating to a doubleheader sweep on Sept. 30 last year. Pirates starter Jeff Karstens (3-10) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings after missing his previous turn with a fatigued arm. —AP

Race promoters reveal details of Austin track

Danny Valencia had three hits and an RBI and Brian Duensing gave up three unearned runs on nine hits in 6 2-3 innings for the Twins, who stayed four games ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Jhonny Peralta had three hits and an RBI for the Tigers, but struck out with the tying run at third base to end the game. Matt Guerrier (3-7) picked up the win and Matt Capps got his seventh save since being acquired from Washington and 33rd on the season. At Kansas City, Willie Bloomquist scored on Alexi Ogando’s wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Alex Gordon drove in three runs as the Royals beat the Rangers. Wilson Betemit opened the ninth with a double and Bloomquist pinch-ran for him. Brayan Pena walked with one out. Bloomquist stole third with one out and scored on Ogando’s wild pitch with Yuniesky Betancourt at the plate. Jakim Soria (1-2) picked up the victory, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth. Rangers lefthander Darren Oliver (1-2), who started the ninth, took the loss and has allowed 11 earned runs in 10 innings in his past 13 outings.

Tim Byrdak replaced Rodriguez (11-12) for the eighth inning, but was chased when he walked the first batter he faced. Wilton Lopez finished the eighth. Brandon Lyon gave up a double to Matt Holliday in the ninth and walked Skip Schumaker with two outs, but pinch-hitter Randy Winn struck out to end the game and Lyon got his 10th save.

CLEVELAND: Chicago White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez (10) is safe at first as Cleveland Indians first baseman Andy Marte (25) can’t catch a poor throw in the third inning of a baseball game.—AP 4), who took over for starter Dan Haren. Jepsen walked Russell Branyan with one out. Matt Tuiasosopo pinch ran for him. Jose Lopez followed with a single and Casey Kotchman walked. Michael Saunders hit a

sacrifice fly to right to score Tuiasosopo. Moore followed with his looping game-winner just over the reach of second baseman Howard Kendrick. Josh Wilson followed with an

RBI single to score Kotchman. Brandon League (9-6), who took over for starter Felix Hernandez in the eighth, earned the victory. David Aardsma worked the ninth to pick up his 26th save in 31 opportunities.—AP

AUSTIN: The promoter for the revived US Grand Prix promised a fast track with sight lines that will let spectators watch most of the race from their seats. Tavo Hellmund, managing partner of Full Throttle Productions, told The Associated Press that the 3.4 mile (5.47 kilometers) course will have 20 turns and elevations up to 133 feet (40.54 meters). It will also include grandstands near the start and finish line for at least 20,000 spectators with room for 50,000 or more around the rest of the track. It could cost up to $220 million to build. Hellmund called the design “a throwback to old, classic tracks” with several turns inspired by race courses in Europe. Formula One officials were expected to formally announce details of the course designed by German firm Tilke on Wednesday. Formula One hasn’t raced the US Grand Prix since it was last held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007. Formula One announced it had a 10-year deal to race in Austin beginning in 2012. The race in the Texas capital would mark the first US Grand Prix on a course specifically built for an F1 race. The Austin track is designed to use the natural topography of gently rolling hills on 900-acres a few miles southeast of downtown. Hellmund said designers delivered a track with difficult turns and straightaways to get drivers at speeds around 200 mph. The design has been approved by Formula One boss

Bernie Ecclestone, Hellmund said. “He likes it,” Hellmund said. “I wanted a track that required commitment, is fast, technical and fan friendly.” Hellmund said he wants a facility that will allow spectators to still see the race on distant parts of the track and let them walk to different areas to watch. “One of the biggest complaints in racing is that you can only see part of the track,” Hellmund said. “There will be access to allow people to roam.” Race promoters are facing tight deadlines to get it built. Construction hasn’t begun, squeezing the time for builders to pave roads and build grandstands and pit areas. Hellmund said he hopes to break ground by December or January, if not earlier. Failure to get it completed on time is not an option, he said. Red McCombs, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Vikings, is one of the chief financial backers of the project. Before its run in Indianapolis, Formula One had been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix and other cities on city street circuits. The race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was run on a road course built inside the oval track. Watkins Glen, New York, hosted a Grand Prix from 1961-80. Austin seemed an unlikely destination for a Grand Prix event on a circuit that includes stops in Monte Carlo, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Singapore. But with a metro area population of about 1.7 million, Austin is a 3hour drive or less from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. —AP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wallabies make changes for South Africa test DURBAN: Australia coach Robbie Deans beefed up his forward pack for the third Tri-Nations test against South Africa, recalling hooker Stephen Moore yesterday and selecting lock Mark Chisholm and No. 8 Ben McCalman. Moore replaced Saia Fainga’a and will play his 50th test, Chisholm will play his first match of the 2010 competition in place of Dean Mumm and McCalman will make his first test start in the Nelson Mandela Plate decider on Saturday in Bloemfontein. Mumm and Richard Brown drop to the bench with Australia hoping to win its first

test against South Africa at a highveld venue since beating the Springboks 11-9 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1963. Winger Drew Mitchell will also win his 50th cap at Vodacom Park against the same team he made his debut against in 2005. “All three of the players coming into the pack will offer us energy,” Deans said. “It’s obviously a big night for Stephen, as well as for Drew, but Mark and Ben also have big opportunities ahead of them.” The 22-year-old McCalman made his Super 14 debut for Western Force earlier this year, and has two test caps off the

bench, both against South Africa in this season’s Tri-Nations. The versatile forward played the final 23 minutes of last weekend’s 44-31 loss to the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. “Ben did a great job coming off the bench for us last weekend and we are expecting more of the same, this time from the start,” Deans said. “Not only does he bring physicality, he also offers us an additional lineout option due to his extensive background playing as a (No.) 6 or in the second row.” Victory will seal second place in the

Tri-Nations for the Wallabies and win back the Nelson Mandela Plate, which Australia last held in 2008. This series is tied at 1-1. Moore and Chisholm, who last played for Australia in June against Ireland, add 100 caps between them to the Australian forward pack ahead of what is sure to be a typically physical encounter against South Africa. “Both Stephen and Mark have experience playing in games where the circumstances were not too dissimilar to what we will encounter on Saturday night,” Deans said. “They know what to expect and ... know what is required in order to be suc-

cessful.” Moore and Mitchell will be the 33rd and 34th Australians to play 50 tests. Moore is only the fourth Australian hooker to reach the 50-test mark, after Jeremy Paul (72), Phil Kearns (67) and Michael Foley (50). Deans also picked Nathan Sharpe alongside Chisholm in the second row despite fears he had sprained an ankle late in the game at Loftus. Sharpe will become Australia’s fifth most capped player with his 87th appearance on Saturday, moving past former captain John Eales and Joe Roff. Australia is preparing near the east coast city of Durban and will travel to

Bloemfontein today. The Wallabies have won once in the Free State capital, in 1993, and have emerged victorious in only eight of 38 tests against the Springboks in South Africa. Australia: Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Benn Robinson, Stephen Moore, Salesi Ma’afu, Mark Chisholm, Nathan Sharpe, Rocky Elsom (captain), David Pocock, Ben McCalman. Reserves: Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper, Dean Mumm, Richard Brown, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Anthony Fainga’a. —AP

Pacquiao feels Margarito deserves second chance

HAMBURG: WBC heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko (left) of the Ukraine and former heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs (right) of the US pose for photographers after a news conference. Klitschko will meet Briggs for a title fight in the O2 World Arena in Hamburg on Saturday, Oct. 16. — AP

Trickett to end retirement SYDNEY: Triple Olympic gold medalist Libby Trickett is coming out of retirement in the hope of representing Australia in swimming at the 2012 London games. Trickett, 25, told an Australian television network yesterday she realized in the months since her retirement that she wasn’t quite ready to stop competing. “Throughout the course of this year there were little things that made me miss it,” she said. “Just the smell of the pool during race time, just things that (recalled) my memories.” Trickett said her decision to return was “solidified” by watching swimmers at last month’s Pan Pacific championships. “I guess I was just ready to test myself again and really I just want to see how far I can take my swimming and see how fast I can get,” she said. Trickett first raced for Australia at the 2003 world championships, winning a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle and 4x100 relay. She went on to win her first Olympic gold in the 4x100 relay at the 2004 Athens Games and peaked at the 2007 world championships, where she claimed five gold medals. She won relay and individual golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but her performances waned by the 2009 world championships. Trickett announced last September that she was taking a break from the sport and announced her retirement in December. Meanwhile, triple Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice says she has undergone suc-

cessful surgery on her right shoulder to repair a longterm injury which threatened her buildup to the 2012 London Olympics. Rice told followers on the social networking site Twitter Wednesday that the surgery in Melbourne was apparently successful. “Just got out of surgery. Things went well, thank you God,” Rice tweeted. “Just cleaned the bursa in my right shoulder. U guys have been so supportive!!” Rice opted for surgery while representing Australia at last month’s Pan Pacific championships in Irvine, California, taking a decision which ruled her out of October’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. She said at the time her decision to skip the Delhi games was hard but necessary for her longer-term fitness. “It’s a huge disappointment for me,” she said. “I would’ve loved to have been there, especially because it only comes around every four years. But I have to think of the big picture, which is London 2012.” Rice said the joints in her shoulder were inflamed and needed to be cleaned out. Her rehabilitation is expected to take 12 weeks, including four weeks out of the water. The 22-year-old swimmer swept the individual medleys and helped Australia win the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the Beijing Olympics. She won a silver and a bronze at last year’s world championships in Rome. Rice won two golds in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a competition featuring 71 countries of the British Commonwealth. — AP

Libby Trickett in action in this file photo

LOS ANGELES: While happy to give disgraced boxer Antonio Margarito another chance in the ring, Manny Pacquiao refuses to believe the Mexican was ignorant of his illegal hand wraps before a fight in January 2009. Filipino Pacquiao has requested that two of his own representatives monitor Margarito’s hands being wrapped before their Nov. 13 super welterweight title fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It will be the Mexican’s first appearance in the ring since he and trainer Javier Capetillo were banned for a year after plasterlike bandage wraps were found in the fighter’s gloves before a WBC welterweight title bout with Shane Mosley. “Of course he knew that (he had illegal wraps),” Pacquiao, 513-2 (38 knockouts), told Reuters after he and Margarito held a joint news conference at Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday. “He is just making alibis but it’s unfair to him that we don’t give him another chance (to fight). He badly wants to fight again and to entertain people.” Pacquiao, who will be competing for an eighth world title in an unprecedented eighth weight class, said he was not bothered by what had happened in the past. “That doesn’t concern me,” said the southpaw, widely considered the sport’s best poundfor-pound fighter. “We will give him one chance to prove he is not doing bad. We are just human, we are not perfect. But I am requesting that two people watch them bandage his hands (before the Nov. 13 fight).” Pacquiao’s special request posed no problem for Roberto Garcia, who has taken over as Margarito’s trainer. “I know the wrapping that I do and every single time the commissioners have always congratulated me for the good job that I do,” Garcia told reporters. “I have no problem with Manny himself being there when I am wrapping.” Three-times world champion Margarito, who was denied a license to fight in California by the state’s athletic commission earlier this month before being reprieved by the Texas commission, was reluctant to talk about his 2009 fight. “Everything that has happened is in the past,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “We are now in the present. It’s time to show everyone I’m still very good. “Nobody wants to miss this fight. It’s going to be a great fight. I also want to thank the commission of Texas for relicensing me.” While Margarito preferred to look to the future, the Mexican was given a rousing endorsement by boxing promoter and former lawyer Bob Arum at Tuesday’s news conference. “Antonio Margarito did not know those hand wraps were illegal,” said Arum, who is promoting both fighters for the November bout. “There hasn’t been a shred of proof. Lack of evidence means there shouldn’t have been any penalty in the first place. Boxing writers have said: ‘He must have known’. Well, five top trainers were interviewed and all of them said they could put a bad pad in hand wraps and the fighter would never know.” Regardless of what Margarito did or did not know about his hand wraps in January 2009, he is certain to provide Pacquiao with a stiff challenge on Nov. 13. The Mexican (38-6, 27 KOs) holds a significant height and weight advantage over the Filipino and is known for his brutal training regimes and his aggressive style. “He’s stronger and bigger than me so I have to seriously focus and study all of his style,” said Pacquiao, who won a seat in his country’s national congress since beating Ghanaian Joshua Clottey in his most recent fight in March.—Reuters

ITALY: Johan Blake (left) of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin, of the United States (right) compete in the men’s 100 meters, at the Rovereto Athletics meeting. —AP

Gatlin goes quicker as Semenya falters

ROVERETO: Former Olympic 100 metres champion Justin Gatlin continued to improve in his comeback from a doping ban when he ran 10.09 seconds on Tuesday but Caster Semenya endured an 800m race to forget. Gatlin, 28, finished second behind Jamaica’s Johan Blake, who won in a time of 10.06 despite clutching his hamstring as he crossed the line. Two false starts at the small meeting in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites upset American Gatlin’s rhythm and when they finally ran he tweaked his quad. However, he believes he can run under 10 seconds in his next race in Padua, Italy tomorrow and is already thinking about next year’s world championships. “I think I can go out there and pose a threat to anyone who steps over the line and I feel I can put on a good show,” he told Reuters. “I just need to come and run man. I’m just ready for my next race and I’ll keep going after that. “I don’t give myself a time to aim for. I give myself a victory as a target.” The double 2005 sprint world champion, who tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursor in 2006, ran 10.24 in Estonia this month in his first race back and has continued to get better. His official personal best is 9.85 but he has run an annulled 9.77 and could challenge world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, whose world record is 9.58, at the 2012 Olympics. Gatlin has had to pick smaller meetings because he is excluded from top European races due to a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who have served major doping suspensions. He is, however, eligible for world championships and Olympics. World 800m champion Semenya will have to improve even more if she is to defend her title next year after finishing ninth in Rovereto in two minutes 07.16 seconds, 6.79 seconds behind winner Elisa Cusma Piccione of Italy. The 19-year-old South African was only cleared to compete again last month after controversial gender tests had put her career on hold since she won the world title in 2009. Asked what had happened for such a slow time, she told reporters: “Nothing happened, it’s just the game.” Fellow South African Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who runs with prosthetic blades, finished third in the 400m in 47.14 seconds as he continues to push for inclusion in the worlds or Olympics. — Reuters

ITALY: Caster Semenya of South Africa competes in the Women’s 800 meters at the Rovereto Athletics meeting. — AP

Argentina, England win ROSARIO: England upset Olympic silver medallists China 1-0 with a first-minute goal for their second victory at the women’s hockey World Cup on Tuesday. Hosts Argentina also notched their second win, 1-0 against South Korea, and South Africa overcame Spain 2-1 with a wonder winner from Sulette Damons in two more tight Pool A matches. Hannah McLeod’s strike from a first-minute penalty corner put England on six points following their 3-2 win against Spain on Sunday, while China, who lost 2-1 to South Korea, are in danger of failing to reach the semi-finals. China were frustrated by a strong England defence and solid performance from goalkeeper Beth Storry in a spirited contest that saw a raft of players sent off.

England captain Kate Walsh and China’s Sun Sinan were both handed green cards (two minute send-offs), while Sun’s team mate Fu Baorong was given a yellow card (five-minutes off). Argentina went ahead early in the second half when Luciana Aymar shot from the right, the ball rose from goalkeeper Moon Young-hui’s block and Carla Rebecchi hit it into the goal from waist height. South Africa bounced back from their 5-2 loss to Argentina on Sunday to beat Spain thanks to Damon’s wonder strike. A high cross came into the Spain circle nine minutes from the end and Damons volleyed the ball into the net with her reverse stick. Spain protested to no avail against the high cross. —Reuters


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Pietersen says sorry for rant after England axing LONDON: Kevin Pietersen has apologised for his furious reaction to England’s decision to leave him out of the one-day squads to face Pakistan. Pietersen was axed from the five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches after a poor run for England in an attempt to give him time to rediscover his form during a loan spell with English county Surrey. The batsman responded to the news by posting a message on micro-blogging internet site Twitter which said: “Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World

Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too.. Its a f*** up!!” Pietersen’s blast was reported to have infuriated national selector Geoff Miller and, in a bid to calm the situtation, he has now said sorry for his rant. The 30-year-old, who will leave his parent county Hampshire at the end of the season, claimed he published the message on Twitter by mistake and apologised for his comments ahead of his Surrey debut against Worcestershire yesterday. “It came out in the way that I didn’t want it to come out,” Pietersen told Surrey TV.

“It was something that wasn’t meant for the public domain and I apologise for it entering the public domain and I also want to apologise for the language I used.” Earlier, Darren Gough, a former England bowler, earlier told TalkSport that Pietersen-the star of England’s winning World Twenty20 campaign earlier this year-deserved a chance to rediscover his form against Pakistan. “He’s England’s best one-day player and what better way for him to get back into form than to go out against Pakistan and belt it,” Gough said.

“It’s absolutely pathetic that you can drop the man who was player of the tournament at the World Twenty20 earlier this year. Gough also insisted Pietersen should continue to be a part of England’s plans for their defence of the Ashes in Australia. “If they don’t take him to the Ashes, we might as well just give Australia the urn,” Gough added, contrasting Pietersen’s treatment with the way Australia has backed out-of-form players in the past. “What would Australia have done? I didn’t see them drop Mike Hussey when he was struggling. I

didn’t see them drop Michael Clarke when he went through a bad run of form. They stick with them because they’re world class.” While Pietersen clearly has Gough’s support, another of his former international team-mates ex-England captain Michael Vaughan - believes the star was wrong to voice his opinion on Twitter. “What he did on his Twitter account was totally wrong,” Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live. “I think that’s something Kevin will regret for a long time.”

Vaughan, who led the England team when Pietersen burst onto the scene in 2004, is confident England’s handling of the situation will help Pietersen in the long run. “I actually think that England have managed it in a good way,” Vaughan said. “They feel that he needs more cricket and a couple of four-day games rather than playing the one-day series against Pakistan just to get that form and feel for batting again. “I don’t see it as a dropping. I just see it as the management of a player who needs to be playing

more of the longer format of the game than the one day to try to get him into some kind of form leading into the winter.” Another former England captain Nasser Hussain, speaking in the Daily Mail, believes the selectors wanted to send a message to Pietersen that: “It doesn’t matter who you are, if you take your eye off the ball you will be left out of the England cricket team. “The bottom line is that Pietersen needs quality time in the middle in proper cricket and England feel this is the best way he can get that.”—AFP

Pakistan players head to match fixing inquiry

TURKEY: Iran’s Asghar Kardoust (right) grabs a rebound from USA’s Eric Gordon during the preliminary round of the World Basketball Championship. —AP

Spain slip up again, Turkey beat Greece ISTANBUL: Holders Spain have no more room for error after suffering their second defeat in three games at the World Championship on Tuesday while hosts Turkey and dark horses France reached the last 16 with two games to spare. The Spaniards spilled an 18point lead in a 76-73 defeat by Lithuania, who also qualified for the knockout rounds to join the US and Argentina after they sealed their berths on Monday. France, who are without their San Antonio playmaker and triple NBA champion Tony Parker, ground out a 68-63 success against Canada thanks to 24 points and seven rebounds from outstanding forward Nicolas Batum. But the day’s top performer was Batum’s Turkish counterpart Ersan Ilyasova, who scored 26 points and buried all his six shots from three-point range in an emotional 76-65 win over perennial rivals Greece. Wearing a mask to protect a facial injury, the Milwaukee Bucks forward carried his team throughout a rip-roaring contest in front of a raucous 10,000 home crowd in the Ankara Arena. Greece power forward Antonis Fotsis was graceful in defeat and praised the home team, who got their revenge for a dramatic quarter-final loss to the Greeks in last year’s European Championship in Poland. “I think all the guys like to play in this kind of atmosphere, the fans created a great atmosphere and as a player you relish

these occasions,” he told Greek television. “Turkey is a good team and they were certainly at their best today. All we can do is examine the game and look at what we need to do to correct the things we did wrong.” Centre Omer Asik added 12 points and six rebounds as the Turks applied transition from defence to attack with devastating effect, catching their rivals time and again with fast breaks and lethal long-range shooting. Without Los Angeles Lakers centre Pau Gasol and injured Toronto Raptors playmaker Jose Manuel Calderon, Spain look a pale shadow of the side that won the 2006 event in Japan and the 2009 European Championship. Having lost their opener to France followed by an effortless win against New Zealand, the defending champions need to win their remaining Group D matches against underdogs Canada and Lebanon to avoid an early exit. They looked home and dry against the Lithuanians after taking a 61-43 lead midway through the third quarter but their offence then came to a screeching halt as the 2003 European Champions stormed back in Izmir. Forward Linas Kleiza had 17 points and eight rebounds and three other Lithuanian players finished in double scoring digits to outmuscle the Spanish duo of Juan Carlos Navarro and Marc Gasol, who finished with 18 points each. Russia stayed on course to reach the last 16 with an unim-

TURKEY: Spain’s Ricky Rubio (front) drives to the basket as he is guarded by Lebanon’s Matt Freije during their World Basketball Championship preliminary round match. —AP pressive 72-66 victory against Ivory Coast, centre Timofey Mozgov enjoying a game-high 19 points for the winners. New Zealand and Puerto Rico kept alive their own hopes of pro-

gressing from their respective preliminary pools, the former easing past Lebanon 108-76 on the back of 26 points from Kirk Penney and the latter beating China 84-76. —Reuters

US team learning at world championships NEW YORK: USA Basketball still treats the world championships like an exhibition series and it shows. Instead of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or any of the other members of the “Redeem Team” that won gold in Beijing two years ago, coach Mike Krzyzewski turned up in Turkey with a “B” squad short on height and experience, let alone any familiarity with the international style. “It’ll be very much a developing team,” Krzyzewski acknowledged two weeks ago during a training session in New York. “We hope that we’ll have our best product by the medal round.” Whether that’s true, and whether even this team’s best will be good enough remains to be seen. The Americans face Iran and Tunisia in their remaining preliminary-round games, practically guaranteeing they’ll advance. But their performance in their only tough test in the tournament so far left plenty to be desired. Kevin Durant, their most reliable scorer, committed seven turnovers in that close win over Brazil and still hasn’t adapted to the way overseas refs view traveling. Derrick Rose, who’s supposed to be running the offense, runs himself into trouble way too often. Even venerable Coach K has caught some heat for his substitution patterns, a

feat that would have been nearly impossible with the lineup USA Basketball put together for the last Summer Olympics. But that’s the hand he’s been dealt. It wasn’t supposed to be like this when former NBA executive Jerry Colangelo took over as team director in 2005, on the heels of the “Abomination in Athens.” He hired Krzyzewski and the two promised to change the culture around USA Basketball, which effectively meant securing commitments from the best players available for international competitions and keeping enough of them on the same teams long enough to develop some cohesion. Colangelo did that by cutting out the selection committee that had final say on his choices and a series of “eyeball-toeyeball” meetings with every one of the players he wound up choosing and a few who didn’t make the cut. Instead of contacting Kobe Bryant’s agent or his representatives to set up a meeting, Colangelo simply showed up in Phoenix one day when the visiting LA Lakers arrived for a game. He greeted Bryant as he stepped off the team bus, wrapped an arm around his shoulders and made his sales pitch as the two walked toward the locker room. “What happened in Athens made my job a lot easier,” Colangelo said at the time.

“I’d usually start conversations trying to convey how blessed we all are to represent our country. “But I rarely got halfway through the preamble, before they’d interrupt me,” he added, “and say, ‘I’m in.”‘ It worked then and will probably work again by the time the 2012 Olympics roll around. But in the meantime, not one of the players he and Krzyzewski expected to provide up-and-coming players with a sense of continuity could be bothered to do the red, white and blue. That’s left Coach K with a handful of 21-year-olds, only one player with any significant international experience _ 33-year-old Chauncey Billups and a few post players who are routinely being pushed around by veteran big men from teams that have been playing together for years. —AP That was essentially the plan going in, to use the competitions between Olympics to begin schooling youngsters such as Durant, Rose and Russell Westbrook to take over from Bryant, James and Chris Paul. But the rest of the world views the Olympics as a second-class competition. To most of them, the world championships matter more, the same way the World Cup is viewed by their soccer-mad countrymen. — AFP

TAUNTON: Three Pakistan cricketers implicated in match-fixing allegations traveled to London yesterday for an internal inquiry with Pakistani officials. Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir left the team hotel in Taunton at 1012 GMT, not long after their teammates had departed for a training session ahead of a match against English county Somerset today. Four Pakistan security members kept the media from approaching the three players in the hotel lobby before they left in a local taxi. Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said PCB chairman Ijaz Butt had ordered Thursday’s inquiry at the Pakistan High Commission in Knightsbridge in London. The commissioner will attend the meeting. The players are scheduled to return to the squad on Saturday, Saeed said. Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi is hoping the match against Somerset will turn the attention back to cricket. “We are definitely looking forward to getting back to cricket,” Afridi said. “Myself and the coach (Waqar Younis) are trying to keep morale high. It’s always very difficult in these conditions against a good team, but they are all really focused. “What has happened has gone. We are here to play good cricket. It’s a big challenge for me personally — playing in English conditions is always difficult. We are all looking forward to it. It has been really difficult but we can forget everything, get out, play the cricket and entertain the people.” British newspaper the News of the World alleged Sunday that Amir and Asif were paid to deliberately bowl no-balls in the opening day of the fourth test against England at Lord’s last week. Butt and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were also implicated in the story. Asif, Amir and Butt had their mobile phones confiscated by police, who also searched hotel rooms and questioned players on Saturday as part of an investigation also involving the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. Middleman Mazhar Majeed, who was captured on film saying when the no-balls would be bowled in the newspaper sting, was arrested by Scotland Yard police on Saturday and released on bail the following day. Pakistan and England will play Twenty20 matches on Sunday and Tuesday before a fivematch one-day international series. Somerset chief executive Richard Gould said the England and Pakistan cricket boards had ensured Thursday’s match would be played, and added that security won’t be an issue if there is any crowd trouble. “We’ve incorporated the security plan we had in place last year when we were a venue for the Twenty20 World Cup,” Gould said. “Within the last 12 months we’ve gone through all the ICC scrutiny on security. We would like to try to create a welcoming and most casual atmosphere possible, but we are prepared if we need to act decisively.”—AP

LONDON: Pakistan cricket players Mohammad Amir (left), Salman Butt (right) and Mohammad Asif walk to a taxi as they leave their hotel in Taunton. The three Pakistan cricketers who are implicated in match-fixing allegations are on their way to London for an internal inquiry with Pakistani officials. —AP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik (center) talks to media regarding Pakistani cricket players for their alleged involvement in match fixing. —AP

Farrar wins Tour of Spain stage LORCA: American sprint specialist Tyler Farrar won the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain yesterday in a sprint finish, while Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert retained the overall leader’s red jersey. The 26-year-old Garmin rider beat Spain’s Koldo Fernandez de Larrea to the line at the end of the 198.8kilometre ride from Guadix to Lorca in southeastern Spain. Britain’s former overall leader Mark Cavendish was third. Meanwhile, Germany’s 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is to become a father again in February, just weeks after being diagnosed as suffering from burn-out and denying he has an alcohol problem. The 36-year-old and his wife Sara are expecting a second child to join their three-year-old son Max. “Yes, we are expecting our second baby,” Ullrich told Bild on Sunday. “We do not want to know what it will be. We don’t know if it is a boy of a girl,

the main thing is that the child is healthy.” This will be Ullrich’s third child having already had a sevenyear-old daughter with his ex-girlfriend. Ullrich has been under a dark cloud since May 2006 when he was linked to the Operation Puerto raid which exposed him to a doping scandal and saw him sacked by his team T-Mobile that July. He announced his retirement in February 2007 and has repeatedly insisted he is innocent. Ullrich announced this month he has withdrawn from public life and is being treated for burn-out then later denied he is suffering from alcohol abuse. The burn-out diagnosis comes after a ruling against him a fortnight ago by a German court over a dispute with anti-doping campaigner Werner Franke. A Hamburg state court dismissed a suit by the rider, who was trying to stop Franke from making claims that he had paid

Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes for doping products. Ullrich is being treated for exhaustion and has asked to recover in peace as the couple prepare to be parents again, which is positive news after some difficult weeks. “I feel that everything is getting better,” he said. On his website, he denied rumours he is battling a problem with alcohol. “I want to make it clear that I do not suffer from an alcohol problem,” he wrote on last Tuesday. “Such allegations and insinuations are absolutely not true. “People do not leave us in peace. Suddenly there have been the wildest rumors.” Ullrich says the recent pressure has effected his wife. “The rumors put pressure on my pregnant wife,” he said. “We now have a responsibility for another human life and she just now needs rest.” —Agencies



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Capello seeks recovery after World Cup woes

LONDON: England soccer team players run during a training session at London Colney. England will play Bulgaria in a European Championship qualifying soccer match at Wembley on Friday. — AP

World champions Spain looking for more history MADRID: After a 44-year wait to win a major trophy, Spain have won the European Championship and a first ever World Cup in the space of two years and are now targeting a third successive major title. Spain begin as bookmakers’ favourites to win Euro 2012 on the back of their Euro 2008 triumph and recent World Cup win, but they will have to make history as no team has ever retained the European Championship. However, the current Spain side have got used to making history, topping the world rankings for the first time in 2008 and then equalling Brazil’s 35-match unbeaten run, including 15 straight wins, over a period of 28 months. Spain also became the first team to win the World Cup after losing their first match, having fallen to a shock 1-0 loss against Switzerland. Coach Vicente del Bosque said after the World Cup final win over the Netherlands that Spain were still an emerging force and the current, youthful generation could certainly go on to create a dynasty. “This group is very humble and modest and the World Cup success draws from what we did in 2008,” said del Bosque. “Almost all the players in the current squad will remain available (for the Euro 2012 finals and 2014 World Cup) and there are also younger guys pushing for a place.” Barcelona trio Sergi Busquets, 22, Pedro Rodriguez, 23, and Gerard Pique, 23 — along with Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas, 23 — are still at the beginning of their careers, while Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres, both 26, are reaching their

peak. Liverpool forward Torres, the scorer of the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final, was only halffit for the 2010 World Cup so, in theory, Spain should be even stronger at Euro 2012. The world champions still need to qualify but begin the qualifying campaign as strong favourites to win Group I, which also contains the Czech Republic, Scotland, Liechtenstein and Lithuania. “We must not underestimate anybody,” warned del Bosque. “Everybody wants to win and we must be aware that we represent a country that is the world champion. “We may start the group as favourites, given that we’re ranked number one in the world right now, but things can change once you’re on the pitch.” Spain begin with a trip to face minnows Liechtenstein in Vaduz on Friday in their first competitive match since their World Cup triumph in Johannesburg on July 11. Spain had a flawless qualifying record for the World Cup with a perfect 10 wins and incredibly have only lost twice-to the United States at the 2009 Confederations Cup and then against Switzerland at the World Cup-since November 2006. The world champions have played some marvellous football, with their excellent passing game helping them to dominate opponents, and the only real criticism has been their inability to win games by a bigger margin. At the World Cup finals Spain were 1-0 specialists, beating Portugal, Paraguay, Germany and the Netherlands by that scoreline in the knockout stages of the competition. —AFP

Italy focuses on class

ROME: When Italy were humiliatingly bundled out of the World Cup in South Africa in the group stage, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) immediately recognised the need to react. Italy had been resting on their laurels since their 2006 World Cup victory in Germany, hoping to turn back the clock by reinstating Marcello Lippi two years after he quit the job and sticking obdurately to their Berlin heroes. Three games without a win in South Africa, including a 3-2 defeat to unheralded Slovakia, was the final straw. It was time for change. The first of those was bringing in Cesare Prandelli as the new coach and in announcing that choice, FIGC president Giancarlo Abete spoke of the need for a new approach. “There’s a deficiency in the competitiveneness of the Italian team and the result was yesterday’s dramatic effect,” he said the day after the Slovakia defeat. “It’s not about being pessimistic for the future, but being realistic and reactionary. “We have legitimate worries, which is not pessimism. We have a problem that many players are not getting international experience.” Prandelli was not at that press conference in Irene, near Pretoria, but he will surely have had a similar speech direct from the horse’s mouth. And his initial squad selections as the new coach showed he’d got the message, loud and clear. His first squad, for a friendly against Ivory Coast in London last month that Italy lost 1-0, featured just nine of Lippi’s 23man World Cup squad. Now that they are getting down to the real business, he called up 11 for the qualifiers against Estonia on Friday and the Faroe Islands next Tuesday, although he lost Claudio Marchisio before the training camp had even begun. Instead of the old guard, Prandelli has been fearless in

bringing in new faces, particularly in defence. While the most notable newcomer against Ivory Coast was Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, in his latest squad four of Prandelli’s eight defenders were uncapped. Of the eight, only Giorgio Chiellini has more than three caps and one of those capped, Cristian Molinaro, made his debut against Ivory Coast. It is all part of the new-look Italy under Prandelli, who wants his players to grow into their roles as regular internationals. “We have new players who I hope will have a long future (with Italy),” he said earlier this week. His other move has been to bring some genuine quality into his team, and sacrifice the old work-horses his predecessor preferred. Lippi steadfastly refused to pick Antonio Cassano during his second stint at the helm, but Prandelli has already promoted the errant Sampdoria playmaker to a prominent role within

the squad. The young, talented but controversial Balotelli was also brought straight in, with Prandelli promising to treat the forward of Ghanaian origin like an adult. While from the outside Prandelli’s revolution may seem risky, the former Fiorentina coached has been blessed with one crucial advantage: time. Italy’s first three qualifying matches are against Estonia, the Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland-three sides they would ordinarily be expected to beat without too much difficulty. Prandelli has said he won’t use those matches to experiment but his whole policy is in itself an experiment. Change is afoot in Italy and they’ve been given a kind reprieve by the fixture list, but tougher tasks lie ahead and it may take a couple of months before Prandelli’s revolution can really take shape. — AFP

ITALY: Italy’s Fabio Quagliarella (left) and Andrea Pirlo go for the ball during a training session ahead of Friday’s soccer match against Estonia. —AP

LONDON: As Fabio Capello trudged wearily away from his latest grilling at the hands of the English media, the Italian’s stern features looked more tortured than usual. With England’s ignominious World Cup exit against old rivals Germany still fresh in the memory, Capello returned home from Wembley after his side’s friendly against Hungary in no doubt that the gloves had come off in his relationship with the press. Before England’s abject failure in South Africa, Capello had surfed a wave of positive publicity thanks to an impressive qualifying campaign. He was regarded as the manager with the midas touch, the hard-nosed disciplinarian who had found a way to mold England’s collection of talented underachievers into a cohesive unit. But the wheels began to fall off England’s World Cup bandwagon from the moment Capello dithered over his squad for the tournament and the former AC Milan coach was unable to recover control of the situation as the team lurched from one listless performance to another. After scrapping through their group, England’s robotic style of play was made to look prehistoric by Germany’s young stars and a 4-1 secondround defeat left Capello and his players with seriously tarnished reputations. John Terry, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney were all booed by the Wembley crowd during England’s lacklustre win over Hungary in August, but it is Capello who continues to suffer most from the nation’s World Cup hangover. His decision to announce that David Beckham was “too old” to continue as an England international during a television interview was hardly a bombshell, considering the former Manchester United star is 35 and clearly past his best. But, with Capello’s popularity rating at an all-time low, it was a convenient stick to beat him with and the Italian was widely accused of disrespecting an England great. Even Capello’s decision to send Arsenal starlet Jack Wilshire back to the England Under-21 squad after giving him his debut against Hungary drew an angry response from one tabloid, who used their back page to label him a ‘Jackass’, complete with donkey ears superimposed on a picture of the coach. In this climate of extreme cynicism, Capello has to somehow rebuild his squad’s bruised egos and shattered morale sufficiently for them to qualify for Euro 2012 and then mount a challenge in the finals. On paper, a group comprised of Bulgaria, Switzerland, Wales and Montenegro doesn’t appear to pose too many problems. Reports of unrest among the squad were commonplace throughout the World Cup, however, and the dysfunction could paralyse the campaign unless Capello can recapture the positive mood of 12 months ago. It would help if Rooney, who cut a forlorn figure in South Africa, is back to his best when the bid for redemption starts with a double-header against Bulgaria at Wembley on Friday and a trip to Switzerland the following Tuesday. But before a ball has even been kicked, Capello could be forgiven for cursing his luck. Injuries to John Terry, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora have forced him to recall several players who had been ignored for the Hungary match. The likes of Matthew Upson, Peter Crouch, Ben Foster, Michael Carrick and Shaun Wright-Phillips are all back in the squad, leaving Capello’s post-World Cup declaration that youth was the way forward looking a little hollow. Instead he will rely on a familiar cast of characters to erase those bitter World Cup memories and win some much-needed breathing space. — AFP

PARIS: Zinedine Zidane (center) controls the ball as France soccer team coach Laurent Blanc (left) and assistant coach Fabien Barthez look on during a training session ahead of their opening Euro 2012 qualifiers. — AP

Blanc launches France charm offensive PARIS: Left to pick up the pieces after France’s World Cup humiliation, Laurent Blanc has quickly shifted his attention to the quest to win over the country’s disillusioned fans. No side failed at the World Cup quite as spectacularly as France did and the image of the squad’s mutinous players storming off the Knysna training pitch will remain burnt onto the country’s collective retina for some time to come. Blanc’s unenviable task is to take France to the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, and do so in a style seductive enough to make people actually want to watch them again. His role as one of the most popular members of France’s 1998 World Cup-winning side means he arrives in the role with widespread support and Samir Nasri says he made a strong first impression. “He wants us to look to get forward and attack when we have the ball,” said the Arsenal attacking midfielder. “He has a huge credibility because he was a great player who won a great deal and also because he had success as coach of Bordeaux.” Blanc guided Bordeaux to a league and League Cup double in 2009 and his team’s style garnered plenty of plaudits, but he is also a hard task-master. He has reportedly sent the words to the

French national anthem, La Marseillaise, to the squad’s younger players, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the negative headlines created by the non-singing members of the World Cup team. Marseille striker Loic Remy says that he has also laid down the law about off-pitch conduct. “Everything was written on a board: no mobile phones at the dinner table, dress correctly, respect the timetable,” said Remy after Blanc’s inaugural team meeting. France began life under Blanc with a 2-1 friendly defeat in Norway on August 11, after the French Football Federation (FFF) had suspended all 23 members of the World Cup squad for one game in punishment for their South African revolt. Les Bleus showed plenty of initiative despite being beaten in Oslo and players like Nasri, Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa revealed the depths of France’s reserves of talent; barely tapped under Blanc’s unpopular predecessor, Raymond Domenech. “Laurent Blanc told us there was only one bad thing tonight: the defeat,” said 20year-old holding midfielder Yann M’Vila, who already looks to have won Blanc’s trust. “He said everything else was encouraging.” Blanc may have been swept into the role on a tide of goodwill but he continues to be inconvenienced by the fall-out from the World Cup.

First-team stalwarts Jeremy Toulalan, Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra received further bans of one, three and five matches respectively from the FFF for their roles in the protest at Nicolas Anelka’s exclusion from the squad. Anelka, meanwhile, was handed an unprecedented 18-match suspension for the clash with Domenech that sparked the sorry saga. Blanc must also contend with the ongoing police investigation into allegations that Ribery and Benzema paid for sex with an under-age prostitute. France, though, have the resources to cope with whichever misfortunes befall them and Blanc has set his sights high. “I hope, in time, to put in place a team that does not yield, that controls its matches and imposes its style of play,” he said in July. “We must aim to get the France team back on the right track and with success, with the image we show on and off the pitch, rekindle a quivering flame and restore confidence, both within the squad and among those who watch us, who expect things from us and who hope for us.” France begin their qualifying campaign at home to Belarus on Friday, with Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina likely to present the biggest threats to their hopes of progressing from Group D. — AFP

Loew looks to harness World Cup momentum BERLIN: After his bright, young squad finished third at the World Cup, the challenge facing Germany coach Joachim Loew now is to build on that momentum in their Euro 2012 qualification campaign. Germany face Turkey, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Austria and Kazakhstan in Group A for a guranteed place at Euro 2012, which will be hosted by Ukraine and Poland. Their first qualifying game is against Belgium in Brussels on Friday, before they take on Azerbaijan in Cologne four days later. As usual, Germany are favourites to win their qualifying group, having also finished Euro 2008 as runners-up, and Hamburg defender Heiko Westermann says it is important to start with a strong performance against Belgium. “There are no easy qualification groups any more,” he said. “Obviously we’re the strong favourites to qualify for the European Championship and we want to make that clear right away by starting confidently.” Loew has said he expects six points from his first two games and has decided to stay with Michael Ballack as Germany captain, once the Bayer Leverkusen star returns to fitness. Michael Ballack turns 34 later this month and has been dropped for the first two games as he continues his recovery from the ankle injury that kept him out of the World Cup. In his absence for the open-

FRANKFURT: Players of German national soccer team run during a training session. Germany will face Belgium in a Euro Group A qualifier in Brussels on Friday. —AP ing games against Belgium and Azerbaijan, Philipp Lahm, who captained Germany to third at World Cup in South Africa, will lead the side until Ballack returns to full fitness. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will continue as Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper having proved himself in South Africa with Leverkusen’s Rene Adler and Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese battling for second spot. “We had a very successful World Cup and earned a lot of respect from other countries, but that is in the past now,” said Loew in a press conference in Frankfurt yesterday. “We begin the new phase of qualifying for Euro 2012, which will be a marathon and

it is important we focus on each opponent as we face them. “We want to get off to a good start and six points are important.” Die Mannschaft are in a rude state of health and only Euro 2008 semi-finalists Turkey and Belgium are likely to test them in their qualification group. In South Africa, Loew’s young side came of age and players like Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller and Mesut Ozil cemented their reputations as top-class performers. Mueller left South Africa with the award for the best young player and the Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer, while Ozil secured himself a multi-million euro

move to Real Madrid. Established players like midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Arne Friedrich also came back from South Africa with reputations enhanced under Loew, who put his name to a new two-year contract just after the World Cup. Loew says he expects a tough challenge from hosts Belgium on Friday. “Belgium are in a new building phase,” he said with Belgium coach Georges Leekens likely to start with defenders Vincent Kompany from Manchester City and Bayern Munich’s Daniel Van Buyten. “We will be facing a very motivated side and we are expecting a strong performance from them.” — AFP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zaccheroni starts with observation role for Japan SEOUL: For new Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni, Friday’s friendly against Paraguay will give him a glimpse of what he’s got to work with at the Asian Cup. Unfortunately for the former AC Milan and Juventus coach, he’ll have to watch from a distance while Japan Football Association technical director Hiromi Hara takes charge as an interim manager for the Paraguay match and another friendly against Guatemala in Osaka three days later. The 57-year-old Zaccheroni was appointed as head coach Monday on a twoyear deal to take over from Takeshi Okada, but is yet to receive a work permit for Japan. So, the first Italian to coach Japan faces some hurdles in his first major task of preparing a squad for Asian Cup group matches against Saudi Arabia, Syria and

Jordan in January. Japan, the three-time Asian Cup champion, reached the second round of the World Cup in South Africa before losing in a penalty shootout to Paraguay. Just nine weeks later, the teams meet again in Yokohama. “We must finish in the top three of the Asian Cup,” Zaccheroni told reporters after his appointment this week, already dismissing thoughts of World Cup revenge. “Japan certainly have the strength to do it, and we must do it.” His aim after that is a quarterfinal place at the 2014 World Cup. Japan was fourth at the 2007 Asian Cup, missing out on an automatic qualifying spot for the 2011 edition. Iraq was a surprise winner, beating Saudi Arabia in the final, while South Korea was third.

The South Koreans have lined up a friendly in Seoul next week against Iran, which plays China three days earlier. In the last meeting, in June 2009, a late goal from Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung ended Iran’s dreams of qualification for the 2010 World Cup. Park is one of 14 overseas players summoned for the clash at the same Seoul World Cup Stadium to take on Iran, with young Ajax striker Seo Hyuk-jun receiving a first call-up from new coach Cho Kwangrae. There will be a familiar figure preparing the opposition squad in the shape of Iran’s Afshin Ghotbi. Ghotbi has been Iran’s head coach since March 2009, though made his name with spells as South Korea assistant at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

The two Asian powerhouses are hoping to end continental droughts. South Korea lifted the last of its two Asian Cup titles in 1960, while Iran picked up its third trophy in 1976. “My aim is for Iran to make it to the final after 35 years and become champions. We will do our best to make 75 million Iranians happy,” Ghotbi said. Iran is grouped with Kuwait, Uzbekistan and hosts Qatar at the Asian Cup. Australia, preparing for only its second Asian Cup, will play Switzerland at St. Gall on Friday, a match between two teams that fell at the first hurdle in South Africa. New coach Holger Osieck is ready for his first match since his appointment in August. His squad has not been as fresh as some would like with 16 out of the 23 who

went to South Africa making the 20-man squad. Osieck, who was assistant coach to Franz Beckenbauer with the West Germany team which won the 1990 World Cup, is taking things slowly as he prepares for the continental tournament and games with South Korea, India and Bahrain. “You can’t make radical changes with players you don’t even know,” he told the Australian media. “I saw the Socceroos live at the World Cup and I want to give those players the first opportunity. “I want to go there (Asian Cup) with a team that has the definite option to be successful and probably finish on top. “If you have players with the experience of two World Cups, who play in decent competitions, then the likelihood of achieving that is better than if you have 19- and 20-year-old boys.” Osieck has

quickly been confronted with the realities of international football with the withdrawals of Harry Kewell, Josh Kennedy and Michael Beauchamp due to injury for the next friendlies. Four days after the Switzerland match, Australia travels to Krakow to take on Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland. Hosts of the 2011 Asian Cup, Qatar take on Bahrain and Oman in other friendlies this week. On Sept. 8 in New Delhi, two English coaches go head-to-head. Former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson will guide Thailand against India, led by ex-Fulham midfielder Bob Houghton. Houghton, former coach of China and Uzbekistan, is preparing India for its first appearance at the Asian Cup since 1984.—AP

European clubs strive for balance as transfers slow MILAN: Soccer clubs will continue to keep the lid on transfer spending as UEFA’s new financial r ules take effect but higher revenues are also needed to fix bank accounts, an exper t from consultancy firm Deloitte said on Tuesday. The big European soccer leagues have reined in spending by up to 40 percent compared with 2009, according to a report by Deloitte released after most of the domestic deadlines closed on Tuesday. “One of the main reasons for this is that clubs are striving to bring a better balance in the amount they spend particularly on player wages and transfer fees,” Paul Rawnsley, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, told Reuters. UEFA, the spor t’s European governing body, is imposing financial fair play rules to oblige clubs to live within their means, with a break-even target by 2013. “Maybe UEFA’s fair play financial regulations have helped to encourage this financial restraint,” Rawnsley said. According to Deloitte, Premier League clubs have committed to around 350 million pounds in the summer transfer window, 22 percent below last year’s level, with super-rich Manchester City accounting for over a

third of the spending. Rawnsley said he did not expect European clubs to come back to the spending spree seen in the past once UEFA’s rules take effect at the start of 2011-2012 season. “I expect there will still be a significant level of transfer spending, but not perhaps as excessive as we have sometimes seen in the past,” he said. “If clubs’ revenues increase they can afford to spend more.” To contain costs, several top clubs have opted for free loans this summer, a trend seen early this year. Juventus, the biggest Serie A spenders, signed Napoli striker Fabio Quagliarella and defender L eandro Rinaudo, and Arsenal’s French left back Armand Traore on seasonlong loans. “This means that clubs will get some money to cover the wages of their players and reduce their overall costs,” R awnsley said. There were many other loan deals done as clubs look to reduce costs. “It’s a relative easy way to do reduce costs, maybe easier than sell a player to a another club. But I wouldn’t recommend a club to take this in a business plan,” Rawnsley said.—Reuters

Ballack wins captaincy tug-of-war BERLIN: Michael Ballack will resume his duties as Germany captain when he returns to the national team after an injury layoff, winning a tug-of-war against Philipp L ahm who replaced him at the World Cup in South Africa. “I have in the past days had a personal discussion with Ballack and I decided that Michael Ballack will continue being the captain of our team,” Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters on Wednesday, ahead of their first Euro 2012 qualifier against Belgium in Brussels on Friday. “But I told him that as things stand today I do not see him being able to help the team (after his recent injury).” Ballack is not expected to return to action for his country until next month at the earliest. The 33-year-old, who has won 98 caps and scored 42 goals, had said he was expecting to take over the role again after he missed the World Cup due to an ankle injury, suffered when playing for Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Defender Lahm was picked to lead the Germany team at the tournament where they finished third and had said he

wanted to stay on as captain even when Ballack returned. The two were locked in a verbal row as Ballack returned to fitness after signing for former club Bayer Leverkusen. Ballack, however, is not expected to make his international comeback until October at the earliest, missing the qualifiers against Belgium and then Azerbaijan on Sept. 7 due to a lack of match practice. “Michael had a short preparation due to the injury, he has only played two games and he knows that he is not yet in a position to strengthen the team. He understands that his performances so far are not what he wants them to be,” Loew said. Loew said Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira had cemented their starting spots in midfield after a superb World Cup and that Ballack would have to return to top form to win a place in the team. “We will see what the situation is in the coming weeks. I will monitor his development and in October I will decide whether I will boost the squad with him,” said Loew, adding that Lahm would remain captain when Ballack was not on the pitch.—Reuters

BRAGA: Portugal’s soccer player Ricardo Quaresma (right) drives the ball past goalkeeper Beto during their training session at Primeiro de Maio Stadium ahead of their UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign against Cyprus on Friday.—AP

Absences cloud Portugal opener

LISBON: Missing their coach and the world’s most expensive player, Portugal’s seemingly straight-forward Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Cyprus on Friday has turned into a possible pitfall. Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out of the match after picking up an ankle injury playing for Real Madrid on Sunday and although he failed to live up to his price tag at the World Cup, Portugal will miss him, especially after Simao unexpectedly quit the side last week. Coach Carlos Queiroz is set to miss the first four qualifiers after his one-month ban from the Portuguese

Football Federation’s (FPF) for insulting anti-doping doctors before the World Cup was upped to six by the country’s anti-doping agency. Queiroz has said he will appeal the decision but the incident could lead to him losing his job. “(The ban) will not affect the players’ performances, the squad will not be affected,” said FPF chief Gilberto Madail. “The players have a lot of experience and can play in auto-pilot mode,” he added. But despite these assurances, assistant Agostinho Oliveira will have to guide a squad that due to several injuries and retirements is much

changed from the one that lost to Spain in the second round of the World Cup in South Africa. To fill the void left by Ronaldo and Simao, Portugal will hope Nani can rebound from the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup through injury. Ricardo Quaresma, called up after Ronaldo’s injury, will want to show his revival at Besiktas after a dismal spell at Inter Milan can also benefit the national side. In defence, dependable right back Paulo Ferreira has retired from international football, making way for a debut call up for Braga’s Silvio.

Holding midfielders Pepe and Pedro Mendes are injured and the vacancy is set to be filled by Valencia’s Manuel Fernandes. Playmaker Deco has also quit the side, but in Tiago Portugal have a replacement who showed he is up to the job by impressing in South Africa. The dynamic and tactically astute Raul Meireles has arguably been Portugal’s best performer for the last two years, but he may start on the bench against Cyprus after barely playing for Porto in the pre-season before moving to Liverpool last week. The man who replaced him seamlessly at Porto, former Sporting cap-

tain Joao Moutinho, has been rewarded with a return to the national squad after showing mediocre form last season. Despite Queiroz’s ban, the injuries and the retirements, anything other than a win against Cyprus would be a major upset for Portugal and bring back bad memories of the weak start to the last World Cup qualifying campaign. The Cypriots, 63rd in the FIFA ranking, are unlikely to threaten a maiden win against the Portuguese, with the match in Norway four days later likely to prove a much more stern test.—Reuters

UEFA bans vuvuzelas from European competition

SOUTH AFRICA: In this June 5, 2010 file photo, a soccer fan blows a plastic trumpet known as a vuvuzela in Kimberley, South Africa. UEFA has banned fans from bringing vuvuzelas into stadiums for European Championship and Champions League matches. —AP

BERNE: Vuvuzelas have been kicked out of European competitions after UEFA said that the controversial plastic trumpets drowned out supporters and detracted from the emotion of the game. The plastic horns became a hallmark of the World Cup in South Africa, producing a monotonous droning sound, often likened to a swarm of bees, which provided a backdrop for every match. But they will not be allowed in stadiums in UEFA competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2012 qualifiers after UEFA’s ruling on Wednesday. “European football’s governing body has informed its 53 member associations that it has taken the move for reasons related to Europe’s football culture and tradition, saying that the atmosphere at matches would be changed by the sound of the vuvuzela,” said UEFA in a statement. “The World Cup was characterised by the vuvuzela’s widespread and permanent use in the stands,” it added. “In the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavour and folklore, but UEFA feels that the instrument’s widespread use would not be appropriate in Europe, where a continuous loud background noise would be emphasised.” The statement then continued with a clear criticism of the controversial instrument. “The magic of football consists of the two-way exchange of emotions between the pitch and the stands, where

the public can transmit a full range of feelings to the players. “However, UEFA is of the view that the vuvuzelas would completely change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience of the game. “To avoid the risk of these negative effects in the stadiums where UEFA competitions are played and to protect the culture and tradition of football in Europe-singing, chanting etcUEFA has decided with immediate effect that vuvuzelas will not be allowed in the stadiums where UEFA competitions matches are played.” The ruling appears academic as the vuvuzelas have shown almost no sign of catching on in Europe in the opening weeks of the new season. The UEFA ruling is the latest development in an apparent backlash against the vuvuzela, although the word itself last month earned a place in the Oxford Dictionary of English. Several English Premier League clubs banned the horns in July on safety grounds while they have also been barred from a number of rugby grounds in South Africa itself. Olympic Games 2012 chief Sebastian Coe said he did not want them at the event in London. They have also been banned from the current world basketball championship in Turkey on health grounds. FIBA, the sport’s governing body, said it was too loud, especially in indoor arenas, and fans who flouted the ruling would be kicked out.—Reuters

Ivanovic back in form at US Open

NEW YORK: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia laughs as she sits on the court after taking a spill while playing Zheng Jie of China during the US Open tennis tournament. Ivanovic won 63, 6-0.—AP

Caroline, Jelena advance but Li ousted

NEW YORK: Danish top seed Caroline Wozniacki breezed into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday while fourth seed Jelena Jankovic struggled through and China’s eighth-seeded Li Na was eliminated. Wozniacki, who lost to Kim Clijsters in last year’s US Open final, began her quest for her first Grand Slam title by dispatching US wild card Chelsey Gullickson 6-1, 6-1 in a 61minute matchup of 20-year-olds. Wozniacki, who has a season-best four titles the year and a 15-1 record since Wimbledon, played solid defense and frustrated the power-hitting American college champion at every turn. “I’m really happy,” Wozniacki said.

“The first match is always tough. I’m happy to be through and into the second round.” Jankovic, seeking her first Grand Slam title, beat 96th-rated Romanian teen Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. The 2008 US Open runner-up nearly suffered her first opening-match Slam exit since the 2005 French Open. “For me, first match is always the toughest. She played really well,” said Jankovic. “I had to work for every point. I wasn’t playing my best tennis. I was able to find a way to get through.” Jankovic, a Serbian whose only Grand Slam final was her 2008 US Open loss to Serena Williams, and Wozniacki can move past injured Williams to claim the world number

one ranking by capturing the US Open title. “I know I can do that,” Jankovic said. “It’s just a matter of believing in myself, having the confidence and doing the right things on the court because I really want to get my tennis to another level.” Li, the highest Chinese seed in Grand Slam history, lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko. The Australian Open semi-finalist had not lost a Grand Slam opener since the 2006 Australian Open. “It was sad to lose in the first round,” Li said. “I just have to forget everything and practice again and hope I come back again soon.” Li breezed through the first set in 31 minutes but wilted in the afternoon

heat while Bondarenko, ranked 59th, showed the form that made her a US Open quarter-finalist last year in her best career Grand Slam showing. “It was so hot,” Li said. “I felt good in the first set. The second set, I felt like I died. The energy just faded.” Russia’s top stars advanced. Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva, the Wimbledon runner-up, defeated Slovakia’s Zuzana Kucova 6-2, 6-1 while 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Maria Sharapova, a three-time Grand Slam champion seeded 14th and on a path to face Wozniacki in the fourth round, outlasted Australia’s 60th-ranked Jarmila Groth 4-6, 6-3, 61.

“I knew I had a tough first-round opponent,” Sharapova said. “She came out firing and didn’t give me many opportunities. These are the types of matches you want to get through to try and get better.” Jankovic won her only 2010 title in March on the Indian Wells hardcourts, where she beat Wozniacki in the final, but was only 1-3 in US Open tuneups and advanced despite 48 unforced errors. “I made a lot of errors. I just tried to move on and play the best I could,” Jankovic said. “You just have to fight and try your best, give your maximum and get through. It gives you a lot more confidence for the next round.” Jankovic will play 150th-ranked Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic next.

Lucic, a 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist, ousted Australian Alicia Molik 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 for her first Grand Slam victory since the 2002 French Open as she attempts a comeback at age 28. “I feel fantastic,” Lucic said. “I’m so happy. I worked so hard to get here. Feels incredible. It just feels so rewarding.” Lucic won an Australian Open doubles title with Martina Hingis at age 15 to become the youngest Grand Slam champion but years later fled her father, who she said physically abused her, and saw her career derailed. “My dream never died and never went away,” Lucic said. “I was just waiting for an opportunity. I have it.”—AFP

Nadal clinches tough opener in New York NEW YORK: Rafael Nadal was given a tough US Open workout on Tuesday as he started his campaign for a first title in New York with a confidence-building 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win over Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili. The Spanish top seed ran out a comfortable enough winner in the end, but he was made to work hard by an opponent who went for his shots at every opportunity, especially in a closely contested first two sets. Nadal had the advantage of playing under lights in the night session at the Arthur Ashe Centre Court, avoiding the stifling heat of the day that had players gasping and reaching for ice packs at the changeovers. The heat almost accounted for third seed Novak Djokovic, who needed to claw his way back from two sets to one and a break down before finally seeing off fellow Serb Viktor Troicki 63, 3-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 in three hours and 40 minutes of punishing tennis. Among seeded players to fall were 16th seed Marcos Baghdatis, who went down 6-3, 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 to French veteran Arnaud Clement, and 24th seed Ernests Gulbis, who fell 62, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 to Jeremy Chardy of France.

American 19th seed Mardy Fish almost joined them before he got the better of Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-0, 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 in a roller-coaster of a match. Spanish powerhouse Fernando Verdasco was also taken to the limit before he ended the upset hopes of Italy’s Fabio Fognini 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Nadal had to wait until the seventh game of the third set before he finally managed to break Gabashvili’s serve, having needed two 7-4 tie-breaks to take the opening two sets. He then ran off the next two games to set up a second-round tie with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. “No one match is easy and especially in the big tournaments,” he said. “The pressure is there against players who do not have much to lose and who play crazy, but I thought I played well. “I served well. Concentration was good. The forehand is working well. The backhand is improving a lot and it just remains to have a bit more confidence, but that’s the only thing. The basic things are really in the right way. “I hit some terrible shots on

the break points, but I played well in the tie-breaks and that’s important for the confidence.” Nadal is bidding in New York to become the seventh player in history to complete the career Grand Slam of Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open titles. If he does so, he would become, at 24, the youngest man in the history of the sport to achieve that fabled feat and the first to do so in New York since Rod Laver in 1962. It would also make him just the fourth man in the Open era after Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rod Laver to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles following his back-to-back wins at the French Open and Wimbledon. But in seven previous US Open campaigns, his best here has been semi-final appearances in the last two years, and Nadal agrees that the surfaces and balls used at Flushing Meadows are the least suited to his game of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Djokovic’s reward for the grit and courage he displayed against Troicki is a match against Philipp Petzschner of Germany for a place in the third round.

NEW YORk: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to losing a point in the 11th game of the first set against Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia during the first round of the US Open tennis tournament.—AP But the struggle once again exposed his vulnerability when playing in hot conditions with the temperatures at Flushing Meadows soaring to a peak of 96 degrees Fahrenheit (35.5 degrees Celsius) in mid-afternoon. “Give credit to Viktor. He was playing well and serving incredibly well,” he said. “Even if I would lose today it would have been deserved on his side. A couple of points

changed the match and I was just fortunate to get through.” Baghdatis, one of the form players coming into New York, refused to blame the heat for his loss to Clement, instead saying that his batteries had already been at low going into the tournament. “I was really heavy on court and not feeling very fit, very defensive and I didn’t play very good tennis,” he said. “Maybe a

bit tired. It’s been a month and three weeks I’ve been out here (United States) and that’s a lot of time. And it’s also first round of a Grand Slam and the nerves are there also. Clement, who advanced to a second round tie with Eduardo Schwank of Argentina, said that he had initially struggled with the conditions which left him with “burning legs.” “So I tried to be very aggres-

sive and to have short points. Was maybe the best tennis at the end for me. So it was a very good feeling.” Compatriot Chardy said that an improved backhand had helped him see off Gulbis. “Also I have put a lot of work in on improving my defense and it now gives me as much pleasure to win a point by defending as hitting a forehand winner.”—AFP

NEW YORK: Ana Ivanovic gave the clearest indication yet that she is getting back to top form with a blistering 6-3, 6-0 win over Zheng Jie of China in the US Open second round yesterday. The 22-year-old Serb beauty has been mired in a rut since winning the French Open in 2008 and taking the world number one spot. She failed to cope with the sudden celebrity and status and saw her world ranking plummet throughout 2009. But after taking on Steffi Graf’s former coach, Heinz Gunthardt, as her mentor in February this year, Ivanovic has been gradually working her way back. Unseeded for New York, she swept past Zheng, the 23rd seed, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January, in just 56 minutes on the Arthur Ashe Centre Court. Should she win her thirdround tie against the winner of the all-French affair between Marion Bartoli and Virginie Razzano, she could meet defending champion Kim Clijsters in the fourth round. Ivanovic said that she had been unable to train properly in the 10 days leading up to New York due to an ankle injury that is still troubling her. “I was not too happy coming into the Open with such a break, but I am just so happy that I am here and can compete,” she said. “I feel like I am playing like a top-10 player and my confidence is there, which is huge for me. “I have a new team team around me and I have brought a lot more confidence into the US Open and the tournaments leading up to it. On another say of soaring temperatures at Flushing Meadows, there was drama on the Grandstand Court when 10th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus collapsed during her tie against Argentina veteran Gisela Dulko. With temperatures climbing into the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) for a third straight day, Azarenka quickly fell 1-5 down after 34 minutes against her more experienced South American opponent. The 21-year-old then collapsed behind the baseline after Dulko had smacked a forehand past her and she received treatment for several minutes before retiring from the tie. Dulko will next play rising Russian star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who ended the hopes of Sania Mirza of India 62, 6-4. The 23-year-old from Hyderabad, who is battling back after dropping out of the world top 100 due to a serious wrist injury, had raised hopes with a fine run of four wins in a row in New York coming through the qualifiers and a first-round tie against Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal. But in the 20th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova, who has two title wins this year and who reached the semi-finals in Cincinnati in the buildup to New York, she came up against a big hitter who is targetting the world top 10 this year. Mirza was quickly a break of serve down at 2-3 before squandering two break points in the sixth game with some wayward shot-making when it mattered most. The 19-year-old Pavlyuchenkova made her pay the price by holding for 4-2 and then breaking serve again. The Russian comfortably served out for the set in just 32 minutes. Mirza kept pace on serve until 3-2 in the second set and was given fresh hope when her opponent needed a medical timeout for treatment to her right forearm. She immediately grabbed her chance by breaking Pavlyuchenkova for the second time in the match to establish a 4-2 lead. Sadly for the Indian player, she promptly dropped her own serve in the next game. That proved to be fatal for Mirza as the Russian pounded her into submission by winning the next three games to reach the third round.—AFP

China requires ID to buy mobile phone numbers


Australia clocks fastest growth in three years


GM reports 7% sales dip


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stocks surge as US manufacturing data rise Government debt prices fall on signs of global growth NEW YORK: A manufacturing rebound in China and strongerthan-expected US factory data spurred a jump in equity and commodity prices worldwide yesterday, helping start the month on a bright note after a gloomy August. Government debt prices extended losses, with the price of benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes and German Bund futures shedding more than a full point, after US manufacturing rose in August for a 13th straight month. Major stock indexes around the world rallied more than 2 percent. The US dollar rebounded to rise against the Japanese yen, and the Australian dollar rallied 2 percent against the greenback after a raft of upbeat economic data around the world lifted the appetite for risk. Investors had been expecting the reading on US manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management to show a decline in August from July, which would have fit with recent data that has shown a decided slowdown in the US economic recovery. The Institute for Supply Management, an industry group, said its index of US factory activity rose to 56.3 in August from 55.5 in July, beating a survey of 79 economists by Reuters for a reading of 53.0. “With the Institute for Supply Management not only showing a gain from July but completely confounding the consensus of economists for a sharp drop, all of a sudden the economic world is not coming to an end, and that is sharpening the appetite for risk assets,” said David Dietze, chief investment strategist at Point View Financial Services in Summit, New Jersey. US manufacturing has expanded every month since August 2009, although the pace of growth had slowed in recent months amid signs that a broader US recovery was faltering.Equity markets already were higher after China’s manufacturing sector staged a moderate rebound in August and data showed Australia’s economy grew at the fastest pace in three years in the second quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 234.09 points, or 2.34 percent, at 10,248.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was

up 27.56 points, or 2.63 percent, at 1,076.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 57.72 points, or 2.73 percent, at 2,171.75. Shares of aluminum producer Alcoa Inc gained 2.6 percent to $10.48, while Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc climbed 5.5 percent to $75.94, bolstered by higher metals prices. Copper hit its highest level in more than four months on the manufacturing rebound in China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, while oil rose to almost $74 a barrel. Energy shares jumped with the rise in crude oil prices. The NYSE Arca Oil index rose 3.46 percent. US light sweet crude oil rose $2.07 to $73.99 per barrel. ICE Brent rose $1.93 to $73.85. China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in August from 51.2 in the previous month, official data showed yesterday. European PMIs were less positive, showing manufacturing in the euro zone grew last month at its slowest pace since February. European shares advanced to a near two-week high, bolstered by mining shares on merger and acquisition talk, including BHP’s hostile bid for Canadian group Potash Corp. Rio Tinto rose 5.3 percent and BHP Billiton added 3.6 percent. Cable & Wireless Worldwide rose 7.9 percent, with traders citing market talk of bid interest from US rival AT&T. The British company declined to comment. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares was up 2.7 percent. The MSCI All-Country World equity index rose 2.57 percent, and the Thomson Reuters global stock index gained 2.44 percent. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was down 34/32 in price to yield 2.59 percent. The dollar was off against a basket of major currencies, with the US Dollar Index down 0.95 percent at 82.411. The euro was up 1.06 percent at $1.2819, and against the yen, the dollar was up 0.43 percent at 84.52. Spot gold prices rose $1.20, or 0.10 percent, to $1,246.80 an ounce. —Reuters

Petchems lead Saudi bourse to 2-wk high DUBAI: Petrochemicals led Saudi Arabia’s index to a two-week high yesterday, tracking rising oil prices, but volumes may be too low for these gains to signal the start of a more sustained rally. Most other Middle East market also advanced, with Dubai ending a three-day losing streak and Qatar reaching a three-month high. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 1.5 percent as Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals index gained 1.4 percent. “This is purely linked to oil,” said Saleh al-Onazi, vice-president of principal investment at Swicorp in Riyadh. Oil was up 1.3 percent at $72.84 a barrel at 1238 GMT after Chinese manufacturing growth accelerated last month, easing concerns over a world economic recovery. Saudi banks also gained. Samba Financial Group and Al-Rajhi Bank added 1.2 and 0.7 percent respectively. Saudi’s index rose 0.9 percent. “Banks are up because they have low exposure to international markets,” said Onazi. “There is usually a rally after Ramadan, so maybe some people are taking speculative positions now ... we are into a fourth month of trading between 6,000 and 6,300 points and volumes are setting new lows.” These conditions make an imminent rally unlikely, Onazi said, but Musa Haddad, head of MENA equity desk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, was more bullish, forecasting Middle East markets would outperform their global peers from now until year-end. “We could soon see a flow of funds from international investors coming into MENA markets, so now is a good time to start building positions,” said Haddad. He predicted foreign investors would rotate cash into underperforming Middle East markets as world and emerging equities stumble. “It’s cyclical as international investors move money from one region to another,” said Haddad. “We’ve traded sideways for a long time on low volumes, but a shift is slowly happening and should be accelerated after Ramadan.” Dubai’s du rose 4.3 percent to 2.18 dirhams, the telecom operator’s highest close since June 22. “Du, although a defensive play, has shown some good momentum,” said Haddad. “It has broken resistances at 2.11 and 2.16 and could reach 2.24.” Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) fell 2.5 percent after its former chief executive sued the firm. —Reuters

BERLIN: Journalists wear special glasses to watch a three-dimensional film on a three-dimensional television of Panasonic during a news conference in preparation of IFA, the world’s largest trade fair for consumer electronics and electrical home appliances, in Berlin, Germany, yesterday. IFA takes place from Sept 3 to Sept 8 2010 at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. —AP

DIFC seeks growth from Africa, emerging markets: CEO DUBAI: Dubai’s financial centre the DIFC is reaching out to companies from emerging markets including Africa and is considering cost cuts as it seeks to become the Gulf region’s main business hub, its chief executive said. “On our radar screen right now we see Africa and south Asia as very active emerging markets and there are a lot of opportunities there for institutions that want either tap into or utilize the center,” said Chief Executive Abdulla Mohammed Al

Awar of the DIFC Authority. The comments reflect a growing demand from companies operating within the center to seek business with African markets as they pursue new avenues of growth in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The Authority is the body responsible for infrastructure and development of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a tax-free zone where hundreds of global financial services companies have set up shop since its launch in 2004 and

operate within an international regulatory framework. Al Awar added officials from the DIFC are undertaking roadshows and client visits to attract new companies to the center, which boasts 2.1 million square feet of office space. New companies from China, Malaysia and the Indian subcontinent are in the process of joining, a relatively new trend, whereas the spotlight was initially on attracting wellknown, large-scale financial players

from Europe and the United States. The DIFC conducted a strategic review with the help of consultancy McKinsey, the results of which will be implemented later in 2010. One of the elements of DIFC’s future strategy will be to cut costs for firms to operate there. “We are looking at the cost of doing business, not only the rents,” said Al Awar. The DIFC is also looking to work more closely with Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

DIFC Investments, part of the DIFC group, suffered a $562 million loss in 2009 due to writedowns as its portfolio value fell dramatically in the wake of the economic crisis. There are currently 745 companies registered in the DIFC, of which 297 are regulated and 374 non-regulated. Of those regulated fir ms, 42 percent stem from Europe, 40 percent from the Middle East and south Asia, while the rest come from the United States and elsewhere. —Reuters

Qatar delays projects, learns lessons from Dubai

BELGRADE: In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, a woman sells watermelons at an open air market in Belgrade, Serbia. An International Monetary Fund delegation has approved a review of a euro 2.9 billion ($3.68 billion) loan with Serbia, allowing for an earlier end on a freeze of public wages and pensions amid a surge in prices. —AP

DUBAI: Property developers in Qatar are learning lessons from Dubai’s sharp real estate and development crash by slowing and rethinking projects, a move which will help property prices recover next year, analysts said. Qatar developer Barwa Real Estate said it has delayed its 30 billion riyal ($8.3 billion) Al Khor project due to sluggish market conditions, the latest sign that the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas is grappling with oversupply. The project, a mixed-use city north of Doha, was originally expected to be completed in 2015, but a company spokesman declined to give a new completion date. “This, coupled with what they saw in Dubai, caused developers to put the brakes on certain developments,” said JP Grobbelaar, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, referring to oversupply in Doha’s West Bay, the capital’s new business city. House prices in Qatar, down about 30 percent since the crisis, are seen falling further by 10-15 percent in 2010 before recovering next year as property companies better balance supply to the market, said Patrick Rahal, senior ana-

lyst at investment bank The First Investor in Doha. In contrast to Dubai, Qatar did not witness the same flawed speculative building model which imploded and caused house prices to tumble some 55 percent from their peaks. Dubai, which overstretched itself building ambitious real estate such as islands in the shape of palms, was the Gulf Arab region’s worst hit property market, with billions of dollars worth of projects put on hold or cancelled. House prices in Dubai are set to fall a further 10 percent this year, with prices recovering in 2012, a Reuters poll in July showed. “There is oversupply in Qatar, especially in the commercial segment and so it is a sensible move to learn lessons from Dubai,” said an analyst who declined to be named. “Delaying projects or rethinking them is not all that bad for Qatar,” the analyst said. Barwa, Qatar’s second largest developer by market capitalisation, is an affiliate of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, which holds a 45 percent stake in the company. —Reuters



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Housing, food costs drove inflation to 17-month high in July

Saudi army wage hike may raise inflation pressure RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s plan to raise wages for most of its military staff could further boost inflation in the Gulf Arab kingdom, after it hit a 17-month high in

July, analysts said yesterday. The world’s top oil exporter approved this week a one-off wage rise for all soldiers as well as top officers, but did not give details.

NBK’s franchise strong, dominant position not challenged KUWAIT: The credit rating agency Moody’s has released its latest credit analysis report for the National Bank of Kuwait. Moody’s report highlighted that NBK’s ratings reflect “dominant position in domestic commercial banking” and captures “the strength and depth of NBK’s management team, its clear strategy, and strong financial metrics, particularly the resilience of its asset quality and strong profitability despite the weakening operating environment”. Moody’s in the report issued yesterday said that NBK’s “reported asset-quality figures for the year proved exceptionally resilient” where “NPLs to gross loans actually declined to a market best of 1.76%”. According to Moody’s, “NBK appears to have avoided highprofile regional and domestic corporate defaults. This reflects well on its credit vetting systems and processes, which have so far proven adequate to safeguard asset quality”. Moody’s added that “NBK is Kuwait’s largest bank with its market shares in assets and loans reaching around 30%” and that “NBK’s franchise is strong and its dominant position is not being challenged by domestic commercial banks”. NBK is “one of the few indigenous banks in the region with the capacity to structure and underwrite large capital-market transactions”. Moreover, according to Moody’s, NBK “benefits from strong brand-name recognition and an excellent reputation, particularly in its domestic market, and should benefit from a flight to quality in the event of market tensions”. Finally, Moody’s pointed out that “NBK was the only Kuwaiti bank that was able to post an increase in net income during 2009” and that “compared with its domestic peers, the depth and diversity of its business lines enhance NBK’s revenue diversification”. Moreover, “NBK has been pursuing a regional expansion strategy in recent years that may, over the medium-to-long term, provide it with the growth opportunities lacking in its domestic.

MANCHESTER: An Airbus A380 aeroplane in Emirates livery, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, lands at Manchester Airport in England for the first time, after arriving on a flight from Dubai, yesterday. When the CAA Aerodrome Standards Division gave their a approval, the airport joined a select group of only 17 global airports to be certified meaning Manchester becomes the first regional airport in the World to have a regular service by an A380. —AP

Kuwait Energy welcomes new board member Rabih Soukarieh KUWAIT: Kuwait Energy Company, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, yesterday announced that Rabih Soukarieh has joined the company’s Board of Directors as a representative of Millennium Private Equity Energy Fund, replacing Walter Brandhuber who served from May 2009 and represented the same fund. Soukarieh is a Senior Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors at Millennium Private Equity Company Ltd, a Dubai-based private equity firm. Soukarieh joins the Board with over 20 years investment banking and private equity cross-industry experience in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Previously, he was the Head of Corporate Finance

Rabih Soukarieh at United Gulf Bank where he led the establishment of the Bank’s Investment Banking Division. He was also Chief Executive Officer at United Gulf Financial Services Company, based out of Qatar. Between 2005 and 2007 he held the post of Group Chief Financial Officer of Wataniya International, and co-led the expansion of the Wataniya Telecom Group

into Tunisia, Iraq, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, and Palestine, and co-managed their activities in these countries. Soukarieh serves on several Boards and Committees. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Board Executive Committee for Algeria’s Wataniya Telecom Algerie (Nedjma), a director as well as a member of the Board Executive Committee of Tunis International Bank, Tunisia, a director of Moobility Telecom International Holding Ltd. (Friendi Group), a mobile virtual network operator active in the MENA region, and a director of Algeria Gulf Bank, Algeria. Soukarieh has an MBA from Northeastern University, Boston, a BSc. in Finance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

An official at the Military Service Council told Al-Madina paper that soldiers’ pay would jump 30 percent, a net monthly increase of some 640 riyals ($171), while top officers would get 1-4 percent more with the raise seen within a month. Defence Ministry’s spokesman General Ibrahim alMalek declined to comment. “It will not mean a significant increase to existing inflationary pressures ... but the impact will not be negligible,” said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh. “The impact will immediately follow the implementation through higher demand and there is also tendency by participants in the market to exploit such news to jack up prices,” he said. Saudi inflation climbed to 6.0 percent year-on-year in July, matching its March 2009 level, fuelled by rising food and housing costs. It is well above rates seen in other Gulf Arab countries, but still far from a record peak of 13.7 percent in June 2008. At about $41 billion, military expenditure accounted for some 33 percent of the OPEC member’s budget last year, according to the finance ministry’s website. Much of the army’s budget is spent on salaries but a surge in oil receipts in recent years has raised the amount of funds available for purchases of equipment and weapons. The desert kingdom does not provide statistics of its military forces. Diplomats estimate the Saudi army to number some 175,000. Consumer price growth is expected to move higher in August as food prices usually rise during the holy month of Ramadan as families break their fast with large evening meals and pressures are seen staying elevated in the coming months. “Inflation in Saudi is driven mainly by a housing shortage and food prices and until supply of housing market is adjusted inflationary pressures will persist,” said Nancy Fahim, economist at Standard Chartered. Price pressures are seen building up further in November during the arrival of almost 2 million pilgrims for the annual haj season. Analysts polled by Reuters in June expected Saudi inflation of 4.7 percent this year, up from 5.1 percent in 2009. —Reuters

KOTC signs KD 54.6m contract to establish liquefied gas plant KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) signed yesterday a KD 54.6 million contract with South Korean Hanhwa company to establish a liquefied gas plant. KOTC Chairman and Managing Director Nabeel Burisli said in a speech on the occasion of signing the contract that the project to be established in Um Al-Aish area, in northern Kuwait, aims to stress the state’s production capability. The new plant will provide 15 million cylinders of gas

every year, 160 percent of the capability of the current plant, he pointed out. The plant will be built on an area of 150,000 square meters, he noted. Burisli said that the project will provide the needs of the northern region of the state and the new cities and projects like Bobyan Port and AlHareer City, adding that it will serve the local market until 2030. The project will use the latest technology in filling gas cylinders and will use the most

safe and environmentally safe ways for storage, he noted. The project will provide job opportunities for Kuwaiti technicians who were already hired, he noted. On his part, Hanhwa Chairman and Managing Director Hyun Chung Kim said that the company uses high quality and safety standards and will do its best to ensure the success of the project. He expressed happiness for the company’s cooperation and good relations with KOTC. —KUNA

City Group adds 50 buses to accommodate need in local public transport market KUWAIT: City Group Company (CGC), Kuwait’s leading listed public transport company, yesterday announced that it has allocated 50 extra buses to help meet the current demands for public transport services in Kuwait. Richard Woods, CGC chief executive officer said: “CGC has had a long and successful involvement in the development and growth of the public transport sector in Kuwait. As one of the leading public transport providers, CGC is committed to maintaining excellent delivery records. We aim to help increase transport efficiency in Kuwait, as well as decreasing traffic and travel time getting to and from destinations around Kuwait.”

Established in 1977 in Kuwait, CGC is a leading provider of safe, affordable, country-wide, public transportation. In 2009, CGC provided services to approximately over 34 million passengers. CGC started route operations in 2002 as Kuwait’s first private sector public transport company and today operates regular services across 19 routes. Latest figures from Citybus show that 95% of Citybus scheduled services operate within the published timetable. Now, with a 50 % share of the Kuwaiti market, CGC is currently Kuwait’s second largest public transport company, operating a fleet of 585 buses in Kuwait for scheduled and charter operations.

Du hits 3-mth high as Dubai stalls drop DUBAI: Telecoms operator Du hits a 10-week high as Dubai’s index ends a three-day losing streak and an analyst forecast a more sustained rally, not only in the emirate’s stocks, but across Middle East markets. Du climbs 4.3 percent to 2.18 dirhams, its highest finish since June 22. “Du, although a defensive play, has shown some good momentum,” says Musa Haddad, head of MENA equity desk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “It has broken resistances at 2.11 and 2.16 and could reach 2.24.” Dubai Financial Market

climbs 0.7 percent and Aramex adds 1.2 percent. “Dubai went down in early trading, but then recovered and seems ready for a move upwards,” says Haddad. “We could soon see a flow of funds from international investors coming into MENA markets, so now is a good time to start building positions.” He predicts foreign investors will rotate cash into underperforming Middle East markets as world and emerging equities stumble. “It’s cyclical as international investors move money from one

region to another,” adds Huddad. “We’ve traded sideways for a long time on low volumes, but a shift is slowly happening and should be accelerated after Ramadan.” Dubai’s index climbs 0.2 percent to 1,487 points. Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa) falls 0.8 percent after its former chief executive sues the firm. Other Abu Dhabi bluehcips also decline, weighing on the emirate’s index which drops 0.3 percent to 2,492 points. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank loses 1.2 percent and First Gulf Bank dips 0.4 percent. —Reuters

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

.283000 .4441000 .3610000 .2790000 .2690000 .2530000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780450 .7603700 .4020000 .0750000 .7454100 .0045000 .0500000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2877000 .4433950 .3636970 .2812830 .2709630 .0488350 .0386680 .2558360 .0369710 .2120040 .0034150 .0061530 .0025570 .0033740 .0041690 .0783680 .7635140 .4068850 .0767690 .7487140 .0063930 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2898000 .4465260 .2832750 .0772580

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees


.2930000 .451000 .3690000 .2870000 .2780000 .2610000 .0075000 .0035000 .0788290 .7680120 .4180000 .0790000 .7529020 .0072000 .0580000 .2898000 .4465260 .3662660 .2832750 .2728820 .0491810 .0389420 .2576430 .0372330 .2135050 .0034390 .0061970 .0025750 .0033980 .0041990 .0788680 .7683820 .4097670 .0772580 .7534880 .0064380

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

3.368 2.557 3.846 213.720 37.134 4.156 6.401 9.257 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.025 Qatari Riyal 79.365 Omani Riyal 750.440 Bahraini Dinar 767.180 UAE Dirham 78.658 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 53.400 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 50.611 Yemen Riyal 1.374 Tunisian Dinar 194.820 Jordanian Dinar 407.900 Lebanese Lira 193.800 Syrian Lier 6.169 Morocco Dirham 33.573 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 288.730 Euro 368.710 Sterling Pound 446.230 Canadian dollar 273.160 Turkish lire 189.650 Swiss Franc 285.730 Australian dollar 259.370 US Dollar Buying 287.845 GOLD 20 Gram 245.000 10 Gram 124.000 5 Gram 64.000

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

SELL CASH 261.300 767.590 4.300 275.200 566.600 14.100 50.200 167.800 52.890 371.100

37.850 6.150 0.035

408.000 0.194 93.750 3.870 205.100

SELL DRAFT 259.800 767.590 4.157 273.700

214.300 50.639 369.600

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

288.850 273.657 445.790 367.907 282.547 707.989 764.553 78.622 79.319 76.995 407.606 50.697 6.150 3.379

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

2.558 4.171 6.362 3.421 9.213 6.301 3.851

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

749.600 3.380 6.400 79.400 77.070 214.280 41.700 2.556 446.500 286.400 6.300 9.400 78.660 288.600

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

37.800 6.370 0.035 0.273 0.252 3.520 409.440 0.196 93.750 46.100 4.520 206.600 1.967 46.900 749.780 3.510 6.600 79.830 77.070 214.280 41.700 2.748 448.500 40.000 287.900 6.300 9.530 198.263 78.760 289.000 1.310 GOLD 1,351.470 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 446.500 288.600

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

288.600 3.385 6.160 2.570 4.160 6.430 78.660 77.170 767.200 50.605 449.000 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 409.900 5.750 372.400 277.200

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

Transfer rate 288.600 368.000 446.000 273.350 3.450 6.160 50.720 2.563 4.153 6.372 3.375 768.000 78.600 77.000


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Indian carmaker Maruti, bike maker TVS post record sales MUMBAI: India’s leading car and motorcycle makers posted surging sales in August, industry figures showed yesterday, with Maruti Suzuki and and TVS Motor posting record monthly figures. Japanese-owned Maruti, India’s top passenger car maker, announced a 23.5 percent jump in sales to 104,791 cars in August, up from 84,808 in the same month a year ago. “This is the highest ever monthly sales recorded,” a company statement said. The figure surpassed the 102,175 units Maruti sold in May. Auto makers have seen robust

sales in recent quarters, as the incomes of India’s middle-class grow, after the job slump in 2008. More than half Maruti’s sales were of popular small vehicles, selling 65,953 cars, up 26 percent from the same month a year earlier. TVS Motor, the country’s third-largest maker of motorcycles and scooters, said sales soared 34 percent to 170,735 units in August from a year earlier. The country’s largest vehicle maker Tata Motors said sales of its passenger vehicles

rose 45 percent-at 29,196 — on the previous year. The company sold 8,103 Nano cars, the world’s cheapest, in August, soaring 224 percent over last year, when the jelly-bean shaped car hit the roads. Ford India said it tripled car sales at 7,925 units, from a year ago, led by the popular Ford Figo. Ford last week said it plans to storm the Indian market with eight new models and make it an export hub for the Figo, which is to be exported to 50 countries, including Mexico, North Africa and the Middle-east,

BP sells Malaysian assets to Petronas LONDON: British oil giant BP has agreed to sell some of its Malaysian assets to local state energy firm Petronas for 363 million dollars (285 million euros), the group announced yesterday. “BP today announced that it has agreed to sell its interests in ethylene and polyethylene production in Malaysia to Petronas,” the London-listed company said in a statement. “The agreement concerns BP’s 15 percent interest in Ethylene Malaysia and 60 percent interest in Polyethylene Malaysia.” Both production facilities are operated by Petronas, and are located at Kertih on the eastern coast of Malaysia. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to certain conditions, and does not affect BP’s other businesses in the Asian nation. BP is seeking to sell off up to 30 billion dollars of assets over the next 18 months as it faces spiralling costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. At the start of August, the group agreed to offload its Colombian business for 1.9 billion dollars (1.4 billion euros) to national oil company Ecopetrol and Talisman of Canada. Petronas, Malaysia’s biggest company in terms of profit, assets and revenue, saw its net profit plunge 23.2 percent due to weak demand and low oil and gas prices in the group’s last fiscal year that ended on March 31. — AFP

Mahantesh said. The figures come as car makers hike the prices of their vehicles to offset increased costs of raw materials such as steel and rubber. But despite the increases analysts see car sales remaining strong as the economy picks up. On Tuesday, official data showed India’s economy grew 8.8 percent in the fiscal first quarter to June, the best performance since 2007. India has been fast turning into a battleground for global vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Renault-Nissan, General

Motors and Volkswagen. They have been hoping to offset sluggish sales at home by boosting sales in India and China, seeing huge potential in their billionplus populations. Sales of vehicles in India, still one of the world’s least penetrated auto markets, have grown at an average annual rate of 17 percent since 2005. Indian car sales could get a further lift from an expected rise in rural income, boosted by expectations of higher farm output this year, thanks to heavy monsoon rains, analysts say. — AFP

Oil rises, dollar, government bonds fall

Strong Asian data boosts world stocks LONDON: World stocks sta rted the month on a brighter note yesterda y as data showed a manufacturing rebound in China and stronger-tha n-expected growth in Australia , w hile the yen held near recent 15-year peaks against the

KUALA LUMPUR: In a file picture taken on November 2, 2005 workers put up a Petronas oil company billboard at a service station in Kuala Lumpur, with Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers in the background. British oil giant BP has agreed to sell some of its Malaysian assets to local state energy firm Petronas for 363 million dollars (285 million euros), the group announced yesterday. — AFP

flydubai says yes to Yekaterinburg KUWAIT: flydubai, Dubai’s first low cost airline, will expand its network into the foothills of the Ural Mountains on October 16, when the airline begins flights to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: “Staying true to flydubai’s promise to offer new and interesting destinations, Yekaterinburg has much to attract both business and leisure travellers. “Trade between Russia and the UAE has grown considerably in recent years and the addition of a direct air link with the commercially important city of Yekaterinburg will help strengthen the relationship between the two countries. “Yekaterinburg has a special place in Russian history but is also very forward looking. Visitors to the city will be sure to experience a taste of the rich culture of this fascinating country, both past and present.” Yekaterinburg, formerly known as Sverdlovsk, is located to the east of the Ural Mountains and is the administrative centre of the Sverdlovsk Oblast region. One of Russia’s largest cities, Yekaterinburg has a unique architectural flavour, featuring more than 600 monuments. The city is perhaps most associated with the doomed Romanov imperial dynasty and the Russian Revolution. Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and children, were executed by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg’s Ipatiev House, the home of a leading merchant family, in July 1918. The site is now commemorated by the impressive monument, the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the

starting 2011. Sales for General Motors India were led by the popular Chevrolet Spark and Beat models, with total sales of 7,941 cars last month against 5,939 in the same time a year earlier. Hyundai Motor India sales were flat at 50,636 units in August, but local sales jumped 17 percent to 28,601 vehicles. “Demand for cars has been strong in spite of a rise in fuel prices and taxes,” said Mahantesh Sabarad, senior analyst at Fortune Equity Brokers. “The demand is likely to hold up in coming months,”

Russian Land. Today, the city is a hub for heavy industry, as well as a key centre for business and finance. Home to the prestigious Ural State University, Yekaterinburg is an important stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and boasts the tallest building in Russia outside Moscow, the Antey III tower. The flydubai service to Yekaterinburg will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays from October 16, with flight FZ901 departing Dubai at 0900hrs and arriving in Russia at 1615hrs local time.

Return flight FZ902 will depart Yekaterinburg at 1715hrs and arrive in Dubai at 2030hrs. Flights from Dubai start at AED 1150, with flights from Yekaterinburg from USD 400. Flights can be purchased on flydubai’s website (, through the call centre and with travel partners. flydubai has a simple model where customers only pay for services they want to receive. flydubai operates from a modernised and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.

The strong readings from Asia helped offset concerns that the US economy is slowing to an extent that would force the Federal Reserve to consider easing policy again. “People are fixated on only two economies in the world: China and the US It becomes a risk-on day if you get good Chinese data and a risk-off day if you get bad US data,” said Marc Ostwald, a strategist at Monument Securities in London. The MSCI world equity index rose 0.8 percent, moving further away from a sevenweek low hit last week. The benchmark index is still down nearly 7 percent since January. The Thomson Reuters global stock index rose 0.9 percent. In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index jumped 1.2 percent, led by mining shares such as Anglo American. US stock futures rose around 1.2 percent, pointing to a firmer open on Wall Street later. Emerging stocks added 0.8 percent while U.S. crude oil rose 0.7 percent to $72.46 a barrel. German government bond futures fell 66 ticks. The low-yielding dollar, which still tends to suffer when investors buy into riskier assets and currencies, lost 0.8 percent against a basket of major currencies. The weaker outlook for the US economy itself is also weighing on the dollar, with minutes of the Fed’s Aug 10 meeting showing the central bank would consider additional easing steps if the outlook weakened “appreciably”. The meeting was held against a darkening backdrop, and the Fed, in a significant policy shift, decided to reinvest maturing mortgagerelated securities in government debt so its support for the stumbling recovery did not fade. “We’ve seen a reprieve for risk from the data overnight but I’m of the opinion you sell rallies in riskier currencies.” said Kenneth Broux, markets strategist at Lloyds Banking Group. “The market will keep buying safe havens such as the yen and the Swiss franc if US data continues to disappoint.” The Japanese currency rose 0.2 percent to 84.03 per dollar, within half a yen of last week’s 15-year high of 83.58. The euro gained 0.9 percent to $1.2797. Manufacturing activity in the euro zone expanded for 11 months in a row although the pace of growth slowed, according to a Markit survey. — Reuters

dollar. China’s ma nufacturing sector staged a moderate rebound in August after slow ing for several months, w hile Australia’s economy grew a t the fa stest pa ce in three yea rs la st qua rter.

BEIJING: A Chinese girl exits a China Mobile self-service payment machine outlet in Beijing, yesterday. China began requiring identification yesterday from anyone purchasing a new mobile phone number in what it says is a bid to stamp out rampant junk messages but that some say is raising new privacy concerns. — AP

China requires ID to buy mobile phone numbers BEIJING: China began requiring identification yesterday from anyone purchasing a new mobile phone number in what it says is a bid to stamp out rampant junk messages but that some say gives the government a new tool for monitoring its citizens. The rules apply to everyone, including foreigners visiting China for a short stay, the China Daily newspaper reported. The paper said the regulation was “the latest campaign by the government to curb the global scourge of spam, pornographic messages and fraud on cellular phones.” But some say China is looking for a way to track people who might spontaneously join protests. Users could previously buy low-cost mobile phone SIM cards anonymously with cash at convenience stores and newspaper stands and use them right away. “I think the government has an eye on Iran where protests were fueled by text messages and Twitter and they are doing this for social stability reasons,” said Wang Songlian, research coordinator with the Hong Kongbased Chinese Human Rights Defenders. She added that the

new requirement fits a pattern of tightening government control over new communication technologies. China censors Internet content it deems politically sensitive and blocks many websites, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Following ethnic riots in far western China’s Xinjiang, international phone service and the Internet in the region were suspended for months. The new regulation probably won’t impact Chinese dissidents, many of whom already have their phones closely monitored, but it could help police track down ordinary people who take part in protests, Wang said. China has seen a growing number of protests sparked by labor disagreements, anger over pollution or other issues. The ID requirement is also raising new privacy concerns and will likely upset some customers unwilling to give personal information to vendors and telecom companies for fear it will be resold, said Duncan Clark, managing director of BDA China Ltd., a technology market research firm. China is far from alone, however. Similar rules have been

implemented in several Asian, European and Latin American countries, often after phones were used to detonate bombs, organize terrorist attacks, or conduct criminal activities. Federal legislation has been introduced in the US, where prepaid phones have long been used by drug dealers. In many places, however, the rules are easily skirted with fake IDs or false names varies from place to place. China has more than 800 million mobile phone numbers already in use. The Global Times newspaper reported Wednesday that about 320 million of those were purchased without real-name registration. They will have to be reregistered by 2013 or could be suspended, it said. China Unicom, one of the country’s three major state-owned phone carriers, issued a notice on its website on Aug. 20 saying that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had informed them that real-name registration would be required for all new telephone number purchases starting Sept. 1. China Mobile — the world’s biggest phone carrier by subscribers — was also complying

with the directive, said a customer service representative who would only give his surname, Zhang. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not respond to questions about the new rules and a man who answered the phone at the ministry’s press office refused to comment. At a newspaper stand in downtown Beijing where SIM cards are sold, a 24-year-old officer worker said she read about the new regulations Wednesday morning on her mobile phone and supports the move. “I hope it will help crack down on spam,” Wu Xi said. “It won’t be a problem if I have to show my ID.” Chen Haimin, the owner of a Beijing convenience store, said he was still selling cards without personal information and he was doubtful that the new scheme would put an end to junk mail. “How do you know if people are even showing their real ID?” he said. “People who want to send spam can always come up with ideas to get around the regulations. Besides, it’s not hard to get a fake ID.” — AP

China auto sales rebound to 56 percent in August BEIJING: Auto sales in China, the worldís biggest car market, rebounded in August as subsidies for energy-efficient vehicles spurred demand. Sales rose 55.7 percent over a year earlier to 1.21 million vehicles, up from 1 million vehicles the month before, the Cabinet’s China Automotive Technology and Research Center said yesterday. The increase compared with 17 per-

cent year-on-year growth in July and 19.4 percent in June. Sales of energy saving vehicles rose 32 percent to 129,600, the center said in a report posted on its website. The rebound is good news for automakers looking to China to drive sales amid weak global demand. Sales this year are forecast to grow by no more than 20 percent, well off 2009ís stunning 45 per-

cent rise. The automotive center, one of several sources of monthly data on Chinese auto sales and production, estimated sales in January to August at 9.5 million vehicles, up almost 32 percent from the same period of 2009. Monthly sales growth had waned after Marchís 63 percent rise, prompting Beijing in June to renew subsidies of

3,000 yuan ($443) per vehicle for fuelefficient cars and small trucks. Automakers have nonetheless begun cutting back on output to match slowing demand. Production rose 10 percent in July to 1.2 million units, down slightly from July, the report said. Output in the first eight months rose 35.5 percent, to 10.9 million vehicles, it said. — AP



KSE price index ends trade down to 6,677.9 points Global Daily Market Report KUWAIT: Kuwait's equities witnessed mixed trends yesterday. Blue chips edged higher sending market cap. weighted indices northwards, whilst price indices moved southwards. Four out of the eight sectors managed to eke out some gains. Global General Index (GGI) closed 0.40 points down (0.20 percent) during the day at 202.01 point as the Market capitalization was up for the day reaching KD33.39mn. On the other side, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index managed to close down losing a 10.70 point (0.16 percent) to its value and closed at 6,677.90 point. During the session, 106 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 39 equities retreated versus 27 that advanced, while 146 stocks remained unchanged during the trading session. Trading activities ended on a mixed note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 0.68 percent to reach 132.57mn shares, and value of shares traded increased by 14.72 percent to stand at KD28.66mn. The Service Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 24.18 percent of total shares and the Service Sector also was the value leader, with 48.17 percent of total traded value. Kuwait International Bank was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume

of 12.52mn shares. Mobile Telecommunication Co. (ZAIN) was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD11.96mn. In terms of top gainers, Safwan Trading & Contracting Company was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 6.56 percent and closed at KD0.260. On the other hand, Al Safwa Holding Group was the biggest decliner, dropping by 8.62 percent and closed at KD0.027. The advance was broad-

based with 4 out of 8 sectors closing in positive territory. Services stocks spearheaded advancers, clocking 0.85% in sector gains. Mobile Telecommunication Co. (ZAIN). and Agility Co. added 1.67 & 2.30 percent respectively. Insurance stocks inched higher by 0.58 percent. AlAhleia Insurance Company was the only ganier in the sector ended the day up by 3.49 percent. On the down side, Global

Real Estate Sector Index shed 0.48 percent, United Real Estate Co. was the biggest loser in the sector ended the day down by 3.75 percent. With regard to Ten Large Cap Index components for the month of September, Burgan Bank replaced Ahli United Bank, to be the tenth largest market cap company (KD979.44mn). On the other hand, components of the Small Ten Cap Index changed significantly for September, as two

companies, Grand Real Estate Projects and Kuwait Building Materials Manufacturing Co. newly joined the index replaced National Company For Consumer Industrial Co. & Gulf Petroleum Investment Co. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at US$72.39 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with US$73.05 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

LG offers latest home entertainment at IFA 2010 KUWAIT: At this year's Internationale Funkausstelung (IFA) in Berlin, LG Electronics (LG) is serving up a spectacular mix of home entertainment products whose range, innovation and connectivity show consumers just how good life can be with LG. "It's been a really exciting year for home entertainment, and our display at this year's IFA shows that it's going to get even better," said Mr H.S. Paik, President of LG Gulf FZE. "By listening to our customers, we've come up with even sharper TV pictures, better sound and more intelligent, user-friendly products for a home entertainment experience that really does deliver Freedom through Infinite Possibilities." The LG experience begins this year with a spectacular gateway adorned with a massive wall of 131 screens, giving visitors their first taste of the world of INFINIA. Beyond this, just inside the LG booth, is an array of LEX8 NANO FULL LED TVs, the company's newest offering in visual innovation. As the world's first TV with nano technology, the LEX8 uses NANO Lighting Technology to disperse the LED light more evenly and effectively around the screen, producing pictures that are brighter, clearer and smoother than ever before. Better still, thanks to its NANO Lighting Technology, the LEX8 also boasts an exceptionally slim line INFINIA Design, with the slimmest depth and narrowest bezel on any FULL LED TV on the market today. For a taste of just how realistic TV colors can be, the LEX8 display is serving up a medley of sports footage, including windsurfing and skiing. As the skiers speed downhill, the azure skies and white mountainsides are so clear and realistic, viewers can almost feel the chill. Immediately adjacent to the LEX8, the thrills continue with a selection of FULL LED 3D TVs, a key component of LG's increasingly comprehensive 3D collection. Off to the left is the LEX9, with an expansive 72-inch screen, the largest on any LED LCD TV on the market today. On the wall opposite the LEX9, a series of mini theatres plays host to LG's range of 3D projectors as well as its first Real 3D Sound Home Theater System, the HX900. With an innovative new set-up producing sound that blankets every corner of the room, the HX900 transports viewers right into the middle of the action. And to answer the growing trend toward bigger, more immersive TV sets, LG is also showcasing a 180-inch 3D Multi Vision Display at the Home Entertainment stand. With its vast, utter-

ly absorbing 3D picture, viewers can get carried off on a Tahitian canoe, blast away at invading forces in a shoot-em-up game, or get lost in a world of animation. For a peek at the future of Home Entertainment, LG will be displaying its revolutionary OLED TVs at IFA, including a new 31inch 3D model with a depth of just 0.29 cm, the slimmest of any comparable set in the world. Dispensing with back-screen lighting, OLED TVs' pixels generate their own light to produce an entirely new level of color, clarity and depth of blacks. Pencil-thin and exceptionally light, LG's OLED TVs are an elegant addition to practically any environment and surface, as the ceiling-mounted sets in the LG OLED zone at IFA can attest. Demonstrating the extraordinary possibilities for 3D on an OLED TV, the 31-inch 3D model seduces viewers into a world with a level of detail that is a wonder to behold. Sure to be gaining much attention is LG's take on SMART TV, the technological leap that promises to reshape our relationship with television. LG is showcasing its concepts for its groundbreaking SMART TV at IFA focusing on four lifestyle concepts: Easy shows how a convenient Home Dashboard allows viewers to use applications and access premium content on a single screen; Fun demonstrates the SMART TV's enjoyable and practical apps, ranging from coloring books for kids to first aid classes for adults; More shows how the Media Link feature can be used to seamlessly synchronize online content to a smartphone so that watching movies and TV programs on the go is as effortless as turning on a radio; Better showcases quick, direct links to the hottest online services such as YouTube, Maxdome, Orange and MLB. Held annually in Berlin, Germany, IFA is one of the world's largest and oldest consumer electronics and appliance tradeshows. This year the show runs from September 3 through 8.


Thursday, september 2, 2010


Cotton biggest gainer in August, Natgas loses most NEW YORK: Cotton topped the list of bestperforming commodities in August as speculators piled into a market they saw as oversold, while corn and silver emerged as the next-biggest gainers and natural gas the main loser. Cotton finished the month up nearly 10 percent, and corn rose about 8 percent as unfavorable weather reinforced supply concerns. Silver gained about 8 percent as an alternative play to gold. Natural gas lost 22 percent, its biggest drop in two years, as strong U.S. production added to already high stockpiles of the fuel. The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index of 19

commodities shed almost 4 percent as crude oil-its main component-fell with natural gas. Analysts said energy prices were also weighed down by concerns that the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, was lagging expectations. Oil fell 9 percent-its largest loss in three months- as U.S. economic data failed to inspire investors. Markets will watch August job numbers due on Friday for a clearer indication of whether the economy is improving. “The (oil) market is cautious ahead of the big jobs number on Friday,” Richard Ilczyszyn, senior market strategist at Lind-

Waldock in Chicago, said. Cotton’s benchmark December contract in New York settled down 0.23 cent on Tuesday at 86.20 cents a lb. For the month, it was up 7.44 cents, or 9.45 percent. Cotton seldom leads gains in commodities, which are usually dominated by oil, metals or grains. It hit two-year highs for two days in a row on speculative fund buying evident through most of August after touching five-month lows in July. Analysts said speculators began buying cotton this month on the view that the fiber had been oversold, though some believed it had now risen too much and was due for a

correction. “It’s extraordinarily frothy in cotton,” said Sharon Johnson, cotton expert for First Capitol Group in Atlanta. But there are also investors who think the rally may not yet be over because open interest remains below March 2008 levels, when prices last extended beyond $1 per lb. Open interest in cotton in March 2008 exceeded 300,000 lots. Total open interest in cotton stood at 216,862 lots as of Aug. 27, from 215,723 lots previously, the exchange said. Corn matched the 14-month highs of the previous session and its gains in August

were the second largest in 10 months. U.S. corn’s front-month contract, September, finished down 1 cent at $4.241/2 per bushel. For the month, it was up 31.75 cents, or 8 percent. Grain futures have roared higher this summer as a drought in the Black Sea region, too much rain in Canada and a mix of unfavorable weather in the 27-country European Union have forced downgrades of 2010 crop forecasts. U.S. corn also had support from disappointing yields in early-harvested fields in the United States that gave momentum to speculation that production estimates will

fall. In natural gas, the front-month October contract rose 0.4 cent on the day to settle at $3.816 per mmBtu. But for August, the contract lost more than $1 as high supplies and the coming end of summer put the gas market on the defensive. Although hotter weather this week from Texas to New York triggered some physical buying of natural gas, few traders expect much upside from the market unless a Gulf of Mexico storm disrupts production. With summer winding down, analysts said gas storage levels were comfortable with production remaining at its highest in nearly 40 years. — Reuters

German central bank mulls director’s ouster

German cabinet approves controversial spending cuts BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet signed off yesterda y on a hefty austerity packa ge tha t critics say will hit the poorest ha rdest a nd could enda nger Germa ny a nd therefore Europe’s economic recovery. The 80-bil-

SYDNEY: Shipping goods containers (below) are driven into the Port Botany Container Terminal near Sydney yesterday. Australia’s economy surged 1.2 percent in the three months to June, the biggest jump in three years, official figures showed yesterday, sending share prices and the local dollar sharply higher. — AFP

Australia clocks fastest growth in three years SYDNEY: Australia’s economy surged 1.2 percent in the three months to June, the biggest jump in three years, official figures showed yesterday, sending share prices and the local dollar sharply higher. Annual growth clocked 3.3 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said, smashing analyst forecasts of a 2.8 percent rise over the year and 0.9 percent from the March quarter. “Without a doubt, Australia currently has one of the strongest economies in the advanced world,” Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James said. The fastest increase since 2007 came mainly from construction and scientific and technical services, as well as mining, easing concerns over a “two-speed” economy where the roaring resources industry leaves other sectors behind. “This was a very strong figure in just about all aspects. This economy is looking less two-speedish by the day-more one speed, and that speed is fast,” said Stephen Roberts, chief economist at Nomura. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.67 percent to 4,477.9 points on the news, after hitting a 10-day high of 4,479.9, while the Australian dollar was at 89.69 US cents, up three-quarters of a US

cent. Analysts said the figures also raised the prospect of renewed interest rate rises after the Reserve Bank put an aggressive series of hikes on hold in June, with the official cash rate at 4.50 percent. “On the back of this GDP number, it certainly increases the likelihood” of a rise, said BNP economist Dominic Bryant, predicting an upward move by November. Consumer spending rose 1.6 percent, surprising analysts who expected a smaller rise with households affected by the interest rate rises, while exports were 5.6 percent higher. “These are an outstanding set of figures that all Australians can be proud of,” said Treasurer Wayne Swan. “Prime ministers elsewhere would kill for a set of outcomes such as these,” he added. Australia’s economy has been dubbed the “wonder from Down Under” after avoiding recession during the financial crisis and recovering strongly since, helped by booming resources exports to Asian countries such as China. Unemployment sits at 5.3 percent, against 9.5 percent in the United States and 10 percent in Europe, while figures released this week showed the lowest current account deficit in eight years and a record jump in company profits. — AFP

Investors get back into bond market NEW YORK: Interest rates fell as traders jumped back in the Treasury market after suffering from seller’s regret over the weekend. Rates held steady for the first hour of trading, but then dropped as the day wore on. The yield on the 10-year Treasury retraced much of the rise it made on Friday as bonds sold off, but the moves likely were exaggerated by thin trading. “Cooler heads prevailed over the weekend. Traders are thinking maybe the sell-off was overdone,” said Bill O’Donnell, head of government bond strategy at RBS Securities Inc. O’Donnell also said, though, that he thinks bonds may have further to fall.

The 10-year Treasury note’s yield fell to 2.53 percent in afternoon trading, down from 2.65 percent late Friday. Its price, which moves in the opposite direction from its yield, rose $1 to $100.813. Investors mostly ignored a government report on consumer spending Monday and instead positioned themselves ahead of larger economic reports due out this week. “We’re back to the trend today. Everything will be a building drumbeat to the payrolls data on Friday,” said Mike Wallace, global market strategist at Action Economics. On Tuesday, the Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for August,

while the Institute for Supply Management releases its monthly manufacturing survey Wednesday. The Labor Department releases its employment data for August on Friday. The yield on the two-year notes maturing in August 2012 fell to 0.51 percent in Monday afternoon trading from 0.56 percent late Friday. Its price increased 9.375 cents to $99.75 In other trading, the price on the 30-year bond that matures in August 2040 rose $2.125 to $105.313, while its yield fell to 3.58 percent from 3.69. The yield on the three-month bill slipped to 0.13 percent from 0.14 percent. Its discount was 0.14 percent. — AP

TOKYO: A pedestrian walks past an electronic share prices board in Tokyo yesterday. Japanese share prices rose 102.96 points to close at 8,927.02 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange as exporters gained ground on speculation that authorities may be leaning towards forex intervention to stem the yen’s rise. — AFP

In a poll by the television channel ARD when the plans were first unveiled in June, 79 percent of Germans said the austerity plan was not socially balanced, while tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations. Much of Merkel’s plans are also reliant on measures that are still in the works, slowed down by squabbling among ministers in her fractious centre-right coalition, in office since October. Most controversially, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s sums foresee tapping German energy firms for billions of euros in return for extending the lifetime of nuclear plants beyond a planned shutdown in around 2020. The utility companies are putting all their considerable lobbying powers into resisting such a levy, while postponing the date on which Germany goes nuclearfree is likely to go down very badly with many voters, surveys show. The nuclear tax was not part of what the cabinet approved. In military spending, Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s proposals for doing away with conscription are provoking strong resistance even within government ranks. Also on the income side, Berlin wants to raise funds from new taxes on financial transactions and a levy on flights, earning her the ire of banks and airlines. Since June, however, Germany has posted a surprisingly strong recovery, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding a record 2.2 percent in the second quarter, the fastest expansion since reunification in 1990. Schaeuble said yesterday that this has proved the government right. “Internationally, there was a strong debate about our reductions to our public deficit supposedly being too early, too big and too quick, and that we were not doing enough for growth in Europe and in the globalised world. “This debate has since quietened down ... I have repeatedly told my colleagues from other countries that one of the biggest barriers to growth and to domestic demand is growing insecurity among the population about high deficits,” he told reporters. He warned that the high growth rate of the second quarter would not be repeated in the coming year, but that Germany was “on the right path” and was “growth engine of Europe.” “In the view of the German government a growth-friendly deficit reduction is an essential and the most important to ensure a sustainable and favourable economic development.” he said. “I remind you that in 2009, GDP contracted by 4.7 percent, a drop that in the history of the Federal Republic had seemed unimagineable ... Now that the crisis is over, we have to implement an internationally coordinated exit strategy step by step in order to reduce excessive deficits. Schaeuble also rejected accusations that Berlin was depending too heavily on exports for growth while not doing enough to boost demand among German shoppers for goods made in other countries. Meanwhile, the German central bank said yesterday it would make no immediate statement on the future of controversial board member Thilo Sarrazin, who has criticized the effect of Muslim immigration on Germany. —Agencies

lion-euro (102-billion-dollar) packa ge of spending cuts over the period 2011 to 2014 include big cuts in unemployment a nd pa rental leave benefits, while ministers were told to tighten their belts a cross the boa rd.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini awarded European Mobile Phone KUWAIT: Sony Ericsson is pleased to announce that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini has been awarded “European Mobile Phone 2010-2011” by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA*). Chosen for its unique combination of compact size and excellent performance with a comprehensive range of features, the accolade highlights Sony Ericsson’s commitment to deliver smartphones optimised for communication and entertainment through its Sony Ericsson Xperia(tm) smartphones. Editors from 50 special interest magazines across Europe singled out the Sony Ericsson Xperia(tm) X10 mini as their number one mobile phone, highlighting the mobile phone’s style and design features and the easy way you can use it to communicate with just one hand. This recent accolade follows the earlier announcement that the Sony Ericsson Xperia(tm) X10 mini has received the

prestigious Red Dot Product Design Award 2010. The official award citation from the EISA jury reads: “Xperia X10 mini from Sony Ericsson is a very small and stylish mobile phone. Nonetheless, it delivers excellent performance with a comprehensive range of features such as GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and a 5 megapixel camera with flash. The phone runs on the Android platform and offers users the full benefits of a much larger device although its touch screen size is just 2.55-inch (6.48 cm). Its small size and weight and variety of vivid case colours make it perfect for introducing the fairer sex to smartphone technology.” “We’re delighted Sony Ericsson has been recognised for refining the smartphone user experience,” said said Ruediger Odenbach, General Manager, Sony Ericsson, Middle East. “Over time, the relationship people have with their mobile phones has changed significantly.

Consumers have moved away from using them as pure communication tools to creating a more personalised entertainment experience. As a result, mobile phones were growing in size. Sony Ericsson has identified the need for a compact and powerful mobile phone with all the benefits that come from a smartphone platform.” The stylish human curvature design of the Sony Ericsson Xperia(tm) X10 mini, combined with touch navigation optimised for compact screens, offers users the easiest way to connect and communicate with one hand. The credit card sized handset enables consumers to co-create an experience that is as individual as they are. The clever graphical user interface, with four customisable touch corners and intuitive navigation, opens up limitless possibilities and access to favourite applications and web links with just one touch. Consumers can build a unique mobile phone experience and download games, movies, music and more.

Kabul Bank in no danger of collapse: CB governor KABUL: Afghanistan’s central bank governor said yesterday the country’s biggest bank, Kabul Bank, was in no danger of collapse following US media allegations of corruption. Abdul Qadir Fitrat said two senior executives of Kabul Bank had not been forced from office but had resigned after the introduction of new rules forbidding shareholders from holding senior positions. “The central bank, the government of Afghanistan, is standing behind Kabul Bank and will never allow it to collapse,” Fitrat said. “Kabul Bank has no liquidity problems. Right now the Kabul Bank is functioning all over the country. Kabul Bank will never have liquidity problems in the future, inshallah (God willing),” he said. Major US newspapers said the central bank had replaced the two top executives at the bank, partly owned by President Hamid Karzai’s brother, and ordered its chairman to hand over 160 million dollars’ worth of property purchased in Dubai for well-connected insiders. The Washington Post said the central bank had summoned Kabul Bank’s chairman Sher Khan Farnud and chief executive Khalilullah Feruzi to its Kabul offices on Monday and ordered them to resign. Fitrat denied they had been

forced to resign, saying the departure of Farnud and Feruzi had been “a Kabul Bank initiative” conforming to the new regulations. Asked if the central bank was investigating large loans taken out by shareholders, as alleged in the newspaper reports, he said: “We investigate any irregularities.”

The resignations of the two men was “solidly based on the decision of the central bank that we announced two months ago”, Fitrat said. “But unfortunately some media organisations published some rumours and wrong information that Kabul Bank has been taken over by the central bank. We have not taken over Kabul Bank.

“Kabul Bank itself has appointed a new CEO and the rest of the Kabul Bank staff are Kabul Bank staff. The only people who have resigned are the chairman and the CEO. And that is based on the instructions of the central bank.” He refused to go into further detail or address directly the allegations in the reports. — AFP

KABUL: Afghans pass by the main office of Kabul Bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. The Afghan central bank’s decision to force out executives of the nation’s biggest bank amid allegations of mismanagement and questionable lending practices offers the government a chance to take a strong stand against corruption, the US said Tuesday. — AP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

US says it lacked authority to charge Moody's WASHINGTON: The Securities and Exchange Commission has declined to seek fraud charges against Moody's Investors Services over its ratings of risky investments that led to the financial crisis. But the SEC said it decided against seeking civil charges only because it determined it lacked authority to charge a foreign affiliate of Moody's. Instead, in a report on its investigation, the SEC warned all credit rating agencies that they could face charges if they mislead investors with deceptive ratings. Investors

rely on the statements these agencies make in their applications and reports to the SEC, Robert Khuzami, the SEC enforcement director, said in a statement. "It is crucial that (rating agencies) take steps to assure themselves of the accuracy of those statements and that they have in place sufficient internal controls over the procedures they use to determine credit ratings," he said. The warning is the latest step by the SEC to address the conduct of major financial firms that contributed to the Wall Street meltdown. Goldman Sachs & Co. agreed in

July to pay $550 million to settle civil fraud charges related to its sales of mortgage investments. And Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay $75 million to resolve charges it misled investors about billions of dollars in potential losses from subprime mortgages. The financial overhaul law enacted in July calls for reducing the influence of the big three rating agencies -- Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. They were discredited in the financial crisis for giving high ratings to risky mortgage securities.

The financial overhaul law also gave the SEC authority to pursue alleged fraud by foreign affiliates of US companies that could have a significant effect within the US. The SEC accused Moody's of failing to disclose ratings misconduct by a European affiliate when it registered with the agency, as required by law at that time. Because the alleged misconduct occurred before the financial overhaul law took effect, the SEC said it lacked jurisdiction to pursue an enforcement case against Moody's.

According to the SEC report, a Moody's analyst found in 2007 that a computer error at the European affiliate had resulted in certain bonds receiving ratings that downplayed their level of risk. A Moody's rating committee later voted against changing the rating, partly out of concern that it would harm the firm's reputation, the SEC said. The committee's conduct violated Moody's risk practices as described in its application to register with the SEC, the agency said. The report says the SEC will pursue

antifraud actions involving deceptive ratings, including cases overseas. The rating agencies' grades of public companies and securities can affect a company's ability to raise or borrow money and how much investors will pay for securities. The big agencies assigned AAA ratings to securities tied to risky subprime mortgages that later went bad and helped cause the housing bust. Afterward, the agencies had to downgrade many of the bonds as home-loan delinquencies soared and the value of those investments sank. — AP

Dow, S&P end flat, Nasdaq down 0.3%

Wall St ends dismal month on flat note, semis slide NEW YORK: US stocks ended little changed in choppy trading, closing out an August the bulls would like to forget. Positive data surprises sustained a rally for most of the session, but declines in technology shares capped overall gains. The S&P 500 bounced off the key technical level of 1,040 for the third

time in the last five sessions. The S&P 500 fell 4.7 percent in August, the third time in the last four months the benchmark has lost at least that much, pressured by growing evidence the economic recovery is sputtering. The month also witnessed the five lowest daily trading volumes of the year.

NEW YORK: Traders and specialists work the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the start of trading, yesterday, in New York. —AP

Two-speed eurozone a new test for the ECB FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank, which has become used to handling crises, must now draft a monetary policy for what is becoming a twospeed economic zone, economists say. "The good news isthe eurozone economy is still on a growth path. The bad news is-there is still a deep division between eurozone countries," Commerzbank analyst Christoph Weil said. After ECB governors make their decision on interest rates today, president Jean-Claude Trichet is to unveil the latest forecasts by bank staff for eurozone growth and inflation. "The ECB is universally expected to leave rates on hold," Bank of America Merill Lynch analyst Silvia Ardagna noted. The 2010 growth rate will surely be raised from an estimate in June of 1.0 percent, however, while the outlook for 2011 is more uncertain. Countries like Germany have rebounded from a deep recession last year but others on the 16-nation eurozone's periphery will struggle for months and possibly much longer to get growth back on track. Commercial bank reliance on central bank funds meanwhile means the ECB's interest rate of 1.0 percent will remain at its record low and that Trichet could announce an extension of offering unlimited loans for up to three-months. The ECB's headline rate compares with just 0.1 percent at the Bank of Japan, while the Bank of England's benchmark rate is 0.50 percent and the US Federal Reserve has kept its Fed funds rate at virtually zero. Fed chief Ben Bernanke said Friday it will take even more aggressive steps to boost growth if the economic outlook "deteriorated significantly," but added that prospects for a US growth pick up in 2011 appeared to "remain in place."

The eurozone economic backdrop is pretty good in contrast, with overall growth of 1.0 percent in the second quarter and inflation at a tame 1.7 percent in July, although unemployment remains stuck at 10 percent. Business activity varies widely across the zone however, expanding by a quarterly record of 2.2 percent in Germany but contracting by 1.5 percent in Greece, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat. Major economies like France, Italy and Spain posted modest growth rates that ranged from 0.6 to 0.2 percent, and the region could face stronger headwinds later this year. "Calibrating the common monetary policy won't be easy if core eurozone enjoys robust

growth while the periphery suffers from continued economic weakness and from periodic bouts of tensions in the financial sector and sovereign bond markets," UniCredit chief economist Marco Annunziata said. ECB governing council member Axel Weber, a leading candidate to replace Trichet as president next year, has said that while it was crucial to normalise monetary policy, which would mean withdrawing exceptional credit support measures, that discussion would probably take place only early next year. Commercial banks, especially those who now rely on the ECB for access to wholesale funding, will face a crunch time in late December when they close out their books for 2010. Meanwhile, renewed ten-

sion on sovereign debt markets is a reminder that a weaker global economic climate could raise pressure on eurozone countries with excessive deficits. Ireland, which many including Trichet praised for tough austerity measures aimed at getting to grips with shaky finances, had its sovereign debt rating downgraded last month by Standard and Poor's. S&P warned it could cut the rating futher should the fiscal costs of supporting the debtladen country's banking sector rise further. "While inflation should not be a worry for the ECB at the current juncture, the still fragile state of the financial system apparently is," ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski commented. —AFP

BRUSSELS: European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek (R) and new Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (L) give a joint press conference after their meeting at the EU Parliament headquarters in Brussels, yesterday. Komorowski urged EU partners yesterday to protect grants for poorer regions and farm payments, citing Warsaw's willingness to help fund eurozone bailouts. — AFP

US consumer confidence rose more than expected in August and home prices ticked up in June, though a separate report showed business activity in the U.S. Midwest grew in August a bit less than economists expected. "It seems like the market is whipping around on every bit of data that comes out," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago. "Each piece of news causes a reaction, then 15 minutes later, people are looking for the next piece of news." Broadcom Corp tumbled 6.4 percent to $29.96 and the PHLX semiconductor index closed at its lowest level in almost 10 months in the aftermath of Friday's revenue warning from sector bellwether Intel Corp. "We see Intel as the first of many possible earnings that could be short of expectations," said Steve Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut. Intel, down 1.6 percent at $17.67, said Friday its thirdquarter revenue could fall below its own estimates. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 4.99 points, or 0.05 percent, to 10,014.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 ticked up 0.41 point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,049.33. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 5.94 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 2,114.03. For the month, the Dow fell 4.31 percent while the Nasdaq tumbled 6.24 percent. The S&P 500 lost 4.75 percent, posting its worst August since 2001 in terms of percentage declines. Further weighing on the market on Tuesday, minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting suggested the outlook for the U.S. economy would have to deteriorate "appreciably" to spur fresh support from the central bank. "Market participants have some hope that the Fed will engage in (more quantitative easing) which had such a positive impact in 2009," said Barry Knapp, managing director of equity research at Barclays Capital in New York. "That doesn't look likely in the near term." Monsanto Co was the S&P 500's second-biggest percentage decliner behind Broadcom, falling 5.8 percent to $52.65 after it forecast full-year earnings below expectations and said it would further reduce its work force. Research in Motion Ltd's U.S.-listed shares lost 6 percent to $42.84 after Sanford C. Bernstein cut its price target on the stock, citing a threat to the contribution to earnings from the BlackBerry maker's corporate business. Saks Inc surged 19.6 percent to $7.89 after a news report suggested that a group of private equity firms might soon bid for the New Yorkbased luxury department store operator. About 8.16 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, below last year's estimated daily average of 9.65 billion but still the month's fourth-busiest day. Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 5 to 4, while on the Nasdaq, advancers and decliners were about even. — Reuters

FLINT: In this June 23, 2010, assemblyman Kenny Bradburn works on the right front fender on the 2011 GMC Sierra at the Flint Assembly in Flint, Mich. General Motors Co. said yesterday, its August sales dropped 7 percent compared with July, another sign that the economic recovery is stalling. — AP

GM reports 7% sales dip DETROIT: General Motors Co.'s August sales dipped 7 percent compared with July as fears about the shaky economy discouraged customers from buying new cars and trucks. US auto sales in July were a strong point for the economy, helping to boost consumer spending. But high unemployment and a declining stock market have made people afraid to spend money on big-ticket items. GM's August sales also fell 25 percent from August of 2009, when sales were boosted by the government's "Cash for Clunkers" rebates. GM says sales from its four remaining brands - Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac -- dropped 11 percent versus August of last year. Buick, GMC and Cadillac reported increases. But Chevrolet, the company's largest brand, slipped because of the tough comparison with August of last year, when buyers snapped up many of Chevy's small cars under the clunkers program.

All automakers report sales figures yesterday. Industry analysts say the numbers could fall below 1 million vehicles, making it the worst August in 27 years. Sales in August, typically among the year's strongest months, tailed off in the final week, says Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates. "There hasn't been enough horsepower behind the recovery to motivate consumers to regain their confidence and purchase vehicles at a higher rate," he says. Also, potential buyers are having a harder time getting big discounts. Automakers have been reluctant to increase incentives such as rebates and low-interest financing. Most car companies are making money at lower sales levels because they've cut production. They no longer need to offer cars at below break-even prices just to move them off lots. — AP

PARIS: (From L to R) Vivendi's Financial director Philippe Capron, Vivendi's CEO Jean-Bernard Levy, Canal Plus' CEO Bertrand Meheut, SFR's CEO Frank Esser, CEO of Universal Music France, Pascal Negre, and CEO of Maroc Telecom, Abdeslam Ahizoune, give a press conference yesterday in Paris. French media and telecom group Vivendi which sold a controlling stake in Universal to General Electric's NBC, still controls video game giant Activision Blizzard, Universal Music Group, French telecom giant SFR and entertainment firm Canal Plus. — AFP

Dollar rebounds slightly against yen TOKYO: The dollar strengthened against the yen yesterday as upbeat data helped lift sentiment for the global economic picture, but caution remained ahead of US payroll figures later this week, dealers said. The dollar fetched 84.36 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 84.22 late Tuesday in New York. The euro rose to 1.2704 dollars from 1.2681 dollars in New York and to 107.17 yen from 106.80. Risk appetite improved after Australia posted better-than-expected growth for the AprilJune quarter while the HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, a gauge of nationwide activity, resumed expansion after contracting in July, dealers said, easing fears of a Chinese slowdown. "Yen buying sentiment against the dollar subsided temporarily and some players were buying back the dollar following its recent losses," said Yusuke Hosokawa, head of forex at Chuo Mitsui Trust Bank. "But the dollar's rebound should be limited because another wave of yen-buying is likely to emerge anytime in the future," Hosokawa said. Market players were also reluctant to take long positions ahead of August unemployment figures to be released in the United States on Friday, he added. "The market's main concern is still the US economy." The yen has remained strong despite the Bank of Japan's plan to expand a multibillion-dollar loan scheme to boost liquidity, amid hopes it would take the heat out of the Japanese currency, which is off a 15-year high against the dollar. But markets have taken a dim view of Japan's monetary and government stimulus plans,

and the strong yen continues to cast a shadow over the export sector that is key to the Japanese economy's health. Yesterday's yen-buying sentiment was also supported by expectations that the Japanese government is unlikely to intervene into the market immediately to cap the currency's strength, dealers said, as its options appear limited. "Even if the finance ministry intervenes, the impact should be very limited," Hosokawa said. "Concerns about Japan's intervention are fading in the market." Japan has not conducted market intervention since March 2004. The market largely shrugged off the latest ructions in Japanese politics, a day after political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa confirmed his bid to challenge Prime Minister Naoto Kan for the premiership, dealers said. However, reports that Ozawa expressed an intention to step into currency markets to stem the yen's rise if his leadership challenge was successful helped buoy Tokyo shares in afternoon trade. Easing political tension and an improving outlook for corporate earnings, The dollar fell to 1,189.45 South Korean won from 1,196.40 Tuesday, to 1.3537 Singapore dollars from 1.3553 and to 9,017.50 Indonesian rupiah from 9,040.00. It also declined to 45.11 Philippine pesos from 45.29. An improving outlook for corporate earnings saw the Thai baht rise to an intraday high of 31.02 to the dollar-highs not seen since 2008 -- before easing to 31.17 from 31.26. The dollar was flat at 32.03 Taiwan dollars. — AFP

Thursday, September 2, 2010



Sony Ericsson eyes smartphone market BEIJING: Sony Ericsson said yesterday China would become its biggest handset market by volume in the next three to four years, as it moved to grab a bigger slice of the fast-growing smartphone market. The Japanese-Swedish mobile phone manufacturer estimated smartphone use in China would reach 50 percent of all mobile phone users in the country by 2015, as it launched its latest smartphone, called the A8i, in Beijing. Smartphones accounted for 11.2 percent of the mobile phone market in the second quarter, according to research firm Analysys International. "People want smartphones and affordability will be there because smartphones will quickly go down in price range," Sony Ericsson global president Bert Nordberg told reporters. Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Ericsson of Sweden and Sony of Japan, said the A8i was developed with China Mobile and

supports the Chinese homegrown third-generation network TD-SCDMA. The smartphone uses an operating system based on Google's Android and will hit store shelves in the fourth quarter of this year, Nordberg said. Sony Ericsson had 9.3 percent of China's smartphone market in the second quarter, ranking the company fourth behind Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Motorola, according to Analysys. The A8i was the "first step" in developing smartphones that support the TD-SCDMA network, said Magnus Ahlqvist, president of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communication in China. "We have a plan to engage more broadly and cover more price ranges," Ahlqvist told reporters. Sony Ericsson said the price tag for the A8i smartphone would be decided by China Mobile. China had 814 million mobile phone users at the end of July, official data showed.— AFP

Apple in tech world spotlight SAN FRANCISCO: Gadget lovers were dreaming of iPods, iPads and bargain-rate Internet television yesterday as Apple prepared to unveil its latest creations at a music-themed special event here. The technology world has been rife with speculation regarding what Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs will introduce. In its usual cryptic style, Apple sent out email invitations last week revealing little more than the place and time of the event, which was held at 10:00 am (1700 GMT) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco. By Tuesday, the theater had been decorated with a giant banner of an acoustic guitar with a sound hole in the shape of the culture-changing California company's logo. The safest bets were that Apple will roll out improvements to its line of iPod media players. Apple traditionally upgrades its iPod line in September to position the trend-setting portable devices for the year-end holiday shopping season. "It is time for the iPod Touch update," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. "They tend to refresh the iPod now. The only thing that is heavy speculation is if they will mention Apple TV."

The iPod Touch was expected to be upgraded to get "pretty much everything" already included in the latest generation of the iPhone except phone capability, according to Enderle. The iPod Touch is expected to inherit features like video chat and a crisper resolution screen from the iPhone 4. There was also talk that cameras, front and back, may be added to the iPod Touch and an iPod Nano with a small touchscreen may be unveiled. Apple is also expected to update and expand digital content offered for sale at its popular iTunes online store. Some wondered whether Apple would go so far as to upgrade the software of its freshly-launched iPad tablet computers. Analysts will also be watching to see whether Apple responds to a move by Internet giant Google to expand its kingdom to the living room with an ambitious new service that lets people mesh television viewing with Web surfing. Rumor in the blogosphere included the chance of a new generation Apple TV set-top box priced about 100 dollars, but Enderle cautioned that Apple might not want to cram too many big announcements into a single event. — AFP

TSUKUBA: This handout picture taken shows a member of the Japanese research team demonstrating world's first 3D television system that allows users to touch, pinch or poke images seeming to float in front of them. The technology changes the shape of three-dimensional images in response to "touches", aided by cameras that monitor how the fingers move. It is not known when the technology will be put to practical use but its creators see it being used to simulate surgical operations and in video game software allowing players to experience the sensation of holding weapons or sports equipment. — AFP

Online learning startup rises on wings of ‘angel’ investors SAN FRANCISCO: A startup intent on making it simple for anyone to teach online has received a million dollars in funding from "angels," technology industry successes backing peers with good ideas. will use the cash to hire workers and ramp-up operations, co-founder Gagan Biyani said Tuesday in making the announcement. "We want to essentially democratize education so that anyone can teach over the Internet," Biyani said. "We make it really easy for anyone to develop an online course." Biyani and the two other co-founders have been the entire workforce since Udemy was launched in May in the northern California city of Palo Alto. Most courses listed at Udemy on Tuesday were free to students. Topics ranged from how to start a business or use computer software tools to winning at poker or picking up women. The course list included an online class by high-level Google executive Marissa Mayer titled "Ideas come from everywhere." More than a thousand instructors have created courses at Udemy, with a host of offerings coming from prestigious US universities including Stanford, Yale, and MIT. Biyani said that he and fellow founders Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar began working on Udemy about two years ago after meeting at Founder Institute, a training camp for entrepreneurs run by The financing won by Udemy is a prime example of how angel investors in the form of technology industry successes are stepping in to back people with cool new ideas, according to Adeo Ressi of He said that the amount of money being invested by venture capital firms (VCs) has sunk while folks reaping rewards at hot companies such as Google, Facebook, or Zynga are putting newfound wealth into startups that they like. "You have a decline in venture capital with a really aggressive surge in angel investing," Ressi said. "These angels are essentially coming to the rescue of new startups." Venture capital for startups dried up as the global economy melted down and the market made it daunting for young companies to go public with stock offerings when early investors are counting on big returns. "The VC industry is really

hurting," said VentureBeat editor Matt Marshall, executive producer of a DEMO event considered a premier showcase for technology startups. "Angels are big." Ressi declared 2010 the year of the angel investor, saying he hasn't seen this type of situation before in his more than 15 years as an entrepreneur. "Professionals who made money in technology are investing in new companies at an unprecedented pace," Ressi told AFP. "Small to mid-size mergers and acquisitions have created single-digit millionaires that are interested in putting that money to work to be multi-digit millionaires." Employees at private companies such as Facebook are able to cash-in by selling options for future stock shares in flourishing markets that have sprung up for such deals. "There is a new private marketplace making employees at private companies rich," Ressi said. He distinguished between VCs and angels by saying the former are professional investors who follow hot trends while the latter are "passionate enthusiasts out to give something back" to the technology world while taking part in fun new ideas. Udemy had won backing from two technology industry veterans before it turned to AngelList, an online forum for matching promising startups with folks that have cash to invest. Serial entrepreneurs and investors Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant, who share startup advice at a Venture Hacks website, launched AngelList in February with a roster of more than 50 people looking to invest a total of about 80 million dollars this year. The AngelList roster has reportedly grown into the hundreds. Udemy was introduced to more than 25 potential investors in less than two weeks after the startup's pitch got the AngelList stamp of approval and was forwarded to folks on the roster. Interest was so strong that Udemy doubled its funding goal to a million dollars and wound up turning away some cash, according to Biyani. "Angels are actually supporting a wider variety of companies than VCs ever have," Ressi said. "All different types of technology companies and software companies are being funded by angels that have been overlooked by VCs." — AFP

NEW YORK: This product image provided by Pylones-USA shows the chocolate bar iPhone case from the International Gift Fair. The fair, held twice a year, features thousands of booths stocked with the newest furnishings, books, children's goods, jewelry and textiles.— AP

Ceglia claims 84% Facebook stake

Keep personal life out of lawsuit: Facebook CEO NEW YORK: Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg says a lawsuit by a man who claims to own a huge chunk of the popular social networking website is seeking to uncover unnecessary details about his private life to harass him. Zuckerberg is fighting a civil lawsuit filed by Paul Ceglia, an upstate New York resident who claims an 84 percent stake in the privately held company, believed to be worth several billion dollars. Ceglia, an owner of a wood pellet fuel company who lives in Wellsville, New York, is trying to return the case to a New York state court, after Zuckerberg moved it to federal court. "They filed this remand motion to harass defendants under the pretext of obtaining jurisdictional discovery into Zuckerberg's private life," lawyers for Zuckerberg said in

a Monday filing in the federal court in Buffalo, New York. Ceglia alleged in a June 30 lawsuit that a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg entitles him to control of Facebook. Forbes magazine in March estimated Zuckerberg was worth $4 billion. Federal courts can hear cases from parties in different states. Zuckerberg, 26, considers himself a California citizen, while Ceglia said both men are New Yorkers. "The higher the stakes, the more likely you want to take advantage of procedural moves to improve your chances of winning, or settling on the most favorable terms," said Adam Steinman, a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. Steinman said "conventional wisdom" is often that defendants prefer federal court to state court, because cases might

India wants Google, Skype to establish local servers NEW DELHI: India's government yesterday said BlackBerry, Google, Skype and other communications providers must set up servers in the country to allow security forces to intercept Internet data. G K Pillai, the chief bureaucrat in the Home Ministry, said "all people who operate communication services in India should have a server in India" to aid in monitoring encrypted data. The government has already asked BlackBerry to set up a server in India to track the smartphone's secure messaging system and "we have made this clear to other companies" that they must do the same, he told a news conference. Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia said earlier in the week it would set up a server in the country by early November to ensure that the government had access to data carried by its smartphones. India's security forces, battling insurgencies ranging from Kashmir in the northwest to the remote northeast, are worried militants could use encrypted services to plan attacks. Pillai's comments came two days after India gave BlackBerry's Canadian maker a two-month window to provide a solution to its security concerns to avert a shutdown of its encrypted corporate email and messenger chatting services. Skype, the Internet phone service, and Google, which uses powerful encryption technology for its Gmail email service, are also in the government's firing line as it widens its crackdown on communications firms. BlackBerry's reprieve came after the government said the handset's manufacturer Research in Motion, or RIM, had made proposals for giving security forces "lawful access" to messages carried on the hand-

sets. "Discussions with BlackBerry are still continuing. We have given them 60 days' time to find a solution" to government demands for access to messages carried by RIM handsets, Pillai said. India's home ministry has said it is now reviewing the feasibility of RIM's monitoring proposals. India, which has the world's fastest growing number of mobile users, is a key market for BlackBerry, which has 1.1 million customers in the country. "All security concerns (related to BlackBerry) need to be addressed," Home Minister P. Chidambaram said late Tuesday. "Our stand is firm. We look forward to getting access to the data. There is no uncertainty over it." BlackBerry has become a global market leader in the smartphone sector thanks to its heavy data-protection and analysts say any compromise with the Indian government could damage its popularity. RIM, which insists it has cut no special deal with India, is already facing threats to its dominance in corporate mobile email from other smartphone makers globally such as Apple and Nokia. The Times of India reported yesterday it was the flood of international visitors expected for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next month and US President Barack Obama's planned visit in November that resulted in the reprieve for BlackBerry rather than any breakthrough in talks with the company. The blackout of BlackBerry's core features would have disrupted communications for the two events, the newspaper said, adding there would be more talks with RIM before Obama's visit. — AFP

be dismissed faster or less likely to reach juries. "There could also be a 'home-field' advantage if a state judge were more sympathetic to a local plaintiff," he said. It is unclear what details Ceglia hopes to uncover, or Zuckerberg wants to keep from being revealed. Social networking companies such as Facebook have long faced concerns over privacy. They must balance users' concerns about how much personal information is made public with a need to generate revenue by sharing details with advertisers. In May, Facebook introduced tools to give users more control over what information is shared. Zuckerberg, a Dobbs Ferry, New York native, launched Facebook in February 2004 as a Harvard University sophomore. He dropped out after that year and moved to California.

Now based in Palo Alto, California, Facebook said it has more than 500 million users and 1,600 employees. Terry Connors, a partner at Connors & Vilardo LLP in Buffalo who represents Ceglia, said he expects to respond to Zuckerberg's allegations in a court filing within two weeks. Facebook, in an emailed statement, said "Ceglia's claim that Mark Zuckerberg lives in New York is another ridiculous and demonstrably false claim in an already absurd lawsuit." In June, Zuckerberg said he had no date to take Facebook public. The next month, he told ABC News he was "quite sure" there was no contract ceding Facebook ownership rights. A hearing on Ceglia's lawsuit is set for Oct 13. The case is Ceglia v Zuckerberg et al, US District Court, Western District of New York, No 10-00569. — Reuters

Amazon offers subscription TV LOS ANGELES: Inc is talking with major media companies about offering unlimited views of older TV shows and movies online, as it struggles to stay relevant to consumers flocking to Apple Inc's iTunes a la carte store and Netflix Inc's subscription DVD plan. Amazon has approached several companies, including Viacom Inc, Time Warner Inc, and Sony Corp, three people familiar with the matter said Tuesday. They requested anonymity because the talks are ongoing. The talks are at an early stage and focus on offering TV shows and movies that have already been available on home video, according to one person. Amazon intends to link the service to its Amazon Prime membership, a $79 per year plan that gives customers discounted shipping costs. But some media companies are averse to having their offerings potentially perceived as freebies, another person said. A spokesman for Amazon, which is based in Seattle, said the company would not speculate on future business deals. News of the talks emerged in The Wall Street Journal, a day before Apple is expected to announce a new TV offering and a revamped iTunes. An Apple spokesman also declined to comment. Apple has also been talking with several media companies and is nearing a deal to offer recently aired TV shows from The Walt Disney Co's ABC and News Corp's Fox for 99 cents. The shows could be downloaded but would expire 48 hours after purchase. They are intended for fans who want to catch up on shows even on airplanes or other places without wireless Internet service. Apple is also expected to cut the price of its Apple TV

device. Pre-empting the move, Roku Inc., whose set-top box allows Netflix subscribers to watch older movies and TV shows, cut the prices of its basic high-definition device by $30 to $69.99 on Monday. Many companies are trying to bolster their online offerings but media companies are being careful not to upend lucrative existing businesses, including that of selling TV shows as reruns to other channel operators or TV stations. Time Warner in particular is trying to preserve the business of monthly cable or satellite TV subscriptions by

pushing its "TV Everywhere" plan. In the plan, it gives paying subscribers of upper tier channel plans unlimited online access to the current season of shows such as TNT's "The Closer." Meanwhile, Hulu, the online video service jointly owned by Disney, News Corp and NBC Universal, kicked off a $10-amonth subscription TV plan in June. It offers episodes from the current and past seasons of many ABC, Fox and NBC shows such as "Glee," "The Office," and "House," although subscribers still have to watch advertisements. — AP

This product image provided by Sony Corp., shows the Sony Reader Pocket Edition, in pink. — AP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Experts warn against ‘stem cell tourism’ Experts say up to 700 clinics offer unlicensed treatments LONDON: Thousands of people are putting their health and life savings at risk to travel to private clinics around the world for unproven and potentially dangerous stem cell treatments, British experts said on Tuesday. A panel

of specialists highlighted individual clinics in Germany and China where socalled “stem cell tourists” go for unlicensed treatment, and said there may be up to 700 similar businesses globally offering unproven cell therapies.

HOBART: In this handout picture, researcher Alex Kreiss holds a Tasmanian Devil named “Cedric” at the Menzies Research Institute of the University of Tasmania. —AP

Tasmanian devil proves mortal SYDNEY: A Tasmanian devil named Cedric, once thought to be immune to a contagious facial cancer threatening the iconic creatures with extinction, has been euthanized after succumbing to the disease, researchers said yesterday. The death of the devil - previously heralded as a possible key to saving the species - is another blow for scientists struggling to stop the rapid spread of the cancer, which is transmitted when the furry black marsupials bite each other. “It was very disappointing indeed,” said scientist Alex Kreiss of the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Tasmania, which has led the studies on Cedric. “It’s just made us more determined to keep the research going.” The Tasmanian devil population has plummeted by 70 percent since Devil Facial Tumor Disease was first discovered in 1996. The snarling, fox-sized creatures - made famous by their Looney Tunes cartoon namesake Taz - don’t exist in

the wild outside Tasmania, an island state south of the Australian mainland. In 2007, Menzies researchers injected Cedric and his half brother Clinky with facial cancer cells. Clinky developed the disease, but Cedric showed an immune response and grew no tumors - giving researchers hope that he could help them create a vaccine. But in late 2008, Cedric developed two small facial tumors after being injected with a different strain of the cancer, which causes grotesque facial growths that eventually grow so large, it becomes impossible for the devils to eat. Current estimates suggest the species could be extinct within 25 years due to the prolific spread of the cancer. Researchers removed the tumors, and Cedric appeared to be rallying. But X-rays taken two weeks ago showed the cancer had spread to the 5-year-old’s lungs, Kreiss said. Tests confirmed the lung tumors were a result of facial tumor disease. Surgery to remove the lung tumors was

not possible, chemotherapy wouldn’t have worked and researchers didn’t want the animal to suffer, Kreiss said. “We had to decide to euthanize him before he deteriorated,” said Kreiss, who has worked with Cedric for years. “It was a really hard decision. The scientists plan to soldier on in their quest to develop a vaccine, Kreiss said. There are also several other projects under way to help stave off extinction: Australian zoos have bred around 280 disease-free devils as insurance populations, and officials are conducting “suppression trials,” where infected animals are trapped and removed. The Menzies scientists buried Cedric, but have no plans to hold an official memorial for him, Kreiss said. Still, he hopes people will look to Cedric as a reminder of the hard work that must be done if the beloved creatures are to be saved. “We always would like to remember Cedric as a symbol of the devils that are dying in the wild,” Kreiss said. —AP

Breast, ovaries removal can reduce cancer risk for some WASHINGTON: Women with a certain genetic predisposition to breast or ovarian cancer can dramatically reduce their risk of developing either by undergoing preventative surgeries, a study showed Tuesday. The research, which tracked nearly 2,500 women with certain genetic mutations, found that preemptive mastectomies or surgeries to remove the ovaries or fallopian tubes nearly eliminated the

incidence of either cancer. “This is the first study to prove women survive longer with these preventative surgeries and shows the importance of genetic testing when there is a family history of early breast or ovarian cancer,” said Virginia Kaklamani, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University and a co-author of the study. The research looked at 2,482 women with mutations of

the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which significantly increased their chances of developing ovarian or breast cancer. It found that women with mutations in either gene who opted for prophylactic mastectomies effectively eliminated their future risk of breast cancer. The study showed “no breast cancer events occurring in women who underwent riskreducing mastectomy during

‘Kangaroo’ cuddle saves Australian baby SYDNEY: An Australian couple yesterday spoke of how they believe the skin-to-skin “kangaroo” cuddle they gave their newborn baby saved the infant’s life after their doctor had given him up for dead. Speaking to Australian television, Kate and David Ogg said medical staff told them that tiny Jamie-delivered prematurely at just 27 weeks and weighing only one kilogram (2.2 pounds) — could not be saved. They said their doctor, who was not named in the Channel Seven report, spent 20 minutes trying to resuscitate the child before giving them the bad news. “He turned to look at me while his hands were still on the bed and said, ‘Have you chosen a name for your son?’ And we said his name was going to be Jamie. He turned around and said, ‘We’ve lost Jamie. Jamie didn’t make it.’” Given the tiny baby to hold, Kate gently placed him on her bare chest and cuddled him in what is known as the “kangaroo” care method, named after the hopping Australian marsupial which carries its young in a pouch. In this position, Jamie would have been able to hear his

mother’s heartbeat and feel the warmth of her skin. “He started gasping more and more regularly and I’m like, ‘Oh my God what is going on? Then a short time later he opened his eyes,” Kate said of the two-hour experience, which Channel Seven said was backed by hospital reports. “Coming back from the dead sounds pretty miraculous,” she added. Kate and David said they sent a message to the doctor that Jamie seemed to be showing signs of life but were informed that his movements were natural reflexes and there was no way he could be alive. “I would say that we would have been the only two people in the hospital that believed the possibility of him coming back after he started showing signs of life,” David said. The couple, who are about to take their thriving five-monthold son and his twin sister to the United States for media appearances, said they were astonished at the interest their story had generated around the world. “Kangaroo care, it sounds cute, it sounds fun. It helped bring our baby boy around,” Kate said. —AFP

three years of prospective follow-up.” Seven percent of women in the study who did not undergo the surgery developed breast cancer in the same period. Similarly, among a subset of the women who underwent surgery removing their ovaries and fallopian tubes, the risk of ovarian cancer dropped off completely. Kaklamani said the study showed not only the potential benefits of preemptive surgery, but also the importance of genetic testing to detect whether the gene mutations are present. “Primary care physicians, gynecologists and women need to be more aware that these tests exist,” she said. “So if a woman has a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, the woman can be genetically tested. Testing should not start with the oncologists.” While many women remain reluctant to undertake such significant surgeries without a cancer diagnosis, the authors urged high-risk patients to consider the preemptive measures. “Women should be aware that options for these preventative surgeries have improved,” they said. “Cosmetic options for women getting mastectomies have greatly improved,” they said, adding that removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes is a fairly low-risk, out-patient procedure. —AFP

Despite a lack of scientific evidence that such therapies work, patients whose lives are blighted with conditions like Parkinson’s disease or childhood blindness are being lured into spending tens of thousands of dollars with little chance of success. “The patient is in danger of losing their life and health, needlessly travelling long distances away from home, friends and family, not having their condition improved, and potentially losing a large sum of money,” said Chris Mason of University College London’s (UCL) regenerative medicine bioprocessing unit. The scientists cited one case of an Israeli boy who received a stem cell treatment in Russia for a spinal injury and subsequently developed multiple tumors. In another case, they said, a 46-year-old woman was treated in Thailand for the autoimmune disease lupus. She later developed kidney failure and died from sepsis. Stem cells are the body’s master cells that give rise to many different tissues and blood cells. They are standard treatments for leukaemias and a few other genetic diseases, but their use in treating other conditions such as Parkinson’s, spinal injury or optic nerve damage is as yet unproven. The International Society for Stem Cell Research has previously warned of rogue stem cell clinics around the world seeking to exploit desperate patients oblivious to the risks. The British experts said they had been prompted to speak out because of a flood of requests they get from patients who read about apparently dramatic cures on websites and in the media. They said that while private clinics were not operating illegally, they were offering treatments that are unlicensed and in many cases untested, and advised patients to steer clear. Treatments can cost around $30,000 a patient, they said, and in the absence of clinical trial data to support their work, clinics post patient testimonies on their websites from people who say they have been helped. Health authorities in Costa Rica ordered the country’s largest stem cell clinic to stop offering treatments in June, saying there was no proof they were effective. Thailand and Mexico also offer stem cell treatments. The British experts said they were particularly concerned about a firm in Germany called XCell-Centre and a firm in China, Beike Biotechnology, which offers stem cell treatments for a range of conditions including brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and optic nerve damage. XCell said it would issue a statement yesterday about the experts’ comments and Beike did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a response. “These companies do not offer licensed therapeutics, so it is something the patients themselves have to sign consent forms for,” said Peter Coffey of UCL’s ophthalmology institute, referring to the two named firms and others like them. “The main issues around licensing a therapeutic is not just that it’s safe... but also to show efficacy. None of these companies has ever been through that type of procedure.” Robert McLaren, a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London who was also on the panel, said there was “categorically” no evidence to date that stem cell therapies could effectively treat retinal or optic nerve conditions. “Unfortunately we are dealing with patients who are completely desperate and willing to try anything,” he said. —Reuters

GAUHATI: In this file photo, a crane attempts to lift an injured wild baby elephant, which was knocked down by a train, at the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary. —AP

India must secure elephant reserves NEW DELHI:India should protect its elephant population by securing its wildlife reserves, curbing poaching and restricting development in the corridors they use to travel between forested areas, a panel recommended. Poaching for ivory and increased conflicts between people and elephants due to their dwindling habitat are key problems faced by India’s wild elephant population, estimated at around 26,000. The Elephant Task Force recommended setting up a national elephant conservation authority, better management of elephant reserves and protecting 88 corridors that the animals use across the country from

mining, irrigation and other industrial projects. The report’s lead author, Mahesh Rangarajan, said elephants have not received the same attention as tigers and other endangered wildlife, partly because their rate of decline has not been as dramatic. The numbers of wild elephants in India have stayed about the same over the past decade, but their habitat has continued to decline. “With the elephant it is not a crisis of extinction, but a crisis of attrition,” he said. Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said India was declaring the elephant its “National Heritage Animal” to raise awareness of the issue.

The panel also said Tuesday that India needs to curb poaching by using trained forest guards with modern communication equipment. Only male Asian elephants have tusks, and the poaching of males for their ivory has drastically skewed the ratio between male and female elephants in India. “In some places, the ratio is down to one male elephant for every hundred females,” Rangarajan said. Vivek Menon, a wildlife expert with the Wildlife Trust of India, said the panel’s recommendations are a step in the right direction. “If implemented in full, these are more than enough to save the elephant,” he said. —AP

BROOKFIELD: In this photo, two female orphaned California sea lion pups are seen at Brookfield Zoo where they are getting acclimated to their new surroundings. The two unnamed pups, born on June 7 and June 10, were abandoned by their moms at a popular tourist attraction-Pier 39 in San Francisco-which is a highly unusual place for a California sea lion to give birth. —AP

Greeks face smoking ban ATHENS: Greece, which has been praised for its budget cutbacks and austerity program, is going after another vice: smoking. Starting yesterday, the Socialist government will impose a tough smoking ban that outlaws lighting up in enclosed public areas and prohibits tobacco advertising. Offenders will be fined up to euro 10,000 ($12,750) and face swift prosecution. With the help of Harvard University’s School of Public Health, the campaign will include an advertising blitz that hands out anti-smoking board games to children. And all this will be happening in a country where 42 percent of people over 15 smoke, well above the European average of 29 percent. In Greece, where chain smokers are still fairly common, lighting up was once regarded by many as a symbol of the national disregard for rules. But the government thinks it’s now time to break the habit. Deep in a debt crisis, Prime Minister George Papandreou is struggling to repair a near-bankrupt economy after decades of overspending. Like the austerity plan, the smoking ban will help teach

Greeks to consider the consequences of their actions, he said. “It will contribute to the work we’re doing today that’s aimed at changing attitudes, norms and behavior to improve our quality of life and to make our country viable, not just its economy but in every day life,” Papandreou said Tuesday. Gregory Connolly, a Harvard professor of public health, said Tuesday the smoking problem is enormous for Greece. Speaking to reporters in Boston, he said: “We can conservatively project that of all the children alive in Greece today, over 350,000 will be killed prematurely by smoking unless urgent action is taken.” Connolly and colleagues from Harvard and the University of Athens are gathering data in Greek cities to gauge the effect of the ban. The country’s Health Ministry says the measures are needed after efforts over eight years to impose partial smoking bans were generally ignored. Starting yesterday, offices and businesses will ban smoking and close popular smoking rooms. —AP

Thursday, September 2, 2010

healTh & Science


donated malaria drugs being stolen in Africa Private health clinics flooded with cheap drugs that don't work LONDON: Millions of free malaria drugs are sent to Africa every year by international donors. New research is now providing evidence for what health workers have long suspected: some of the donated medication is being stolen and resold on commercial markets. During three periods from 2007 to 2010, American and British experts bought malaria medicines randomly from private pharmacies in 11 African cities. Of the 894 samples, they found 58, or 6.5 percent, were supposed to have been donated to government hospitals and clinics. The study will be published today in the journal Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine and was paid for by the Legatum Institute, a US philanthropic group with no ties to drug makers. The finding was particularly strong in artemesinin combination drugs, the best available malaria drugs, and those often purchased by international donors. In 2007, they found about 15 percent of such donated drugs had been stolen for resale. This year, it was nearly 30 percent. The authors acknowledge the sample sizes were small and could exaggerate the problem. Outside experts said donated drugs regularly disappear across corruption-

plagued Africa and that the research was credible. There have been no large-scale published studies analyzing the problem. "The study is important because it clearly documents something that we need to study (the issue) more closely," said Tido von Schoen-Angerer, a director at Medecins Sans Frontieres, which works across Africa. Von Schoen-Angerer said it is extremely difficult to determine the scale of the problem since drugs are not often followed from their origin to their ultimate destination in Africa. According to an audit last year by the US President's Malaria Initiative, about $640,000 worth of medicines sent to Angola vanished from airports and the government's medicines warehouse. "Critical malaria commodities are not reaching their intended beneficiaries and more Angolans may be unnecessary victims," the report said. "We've heard about this kind of corruption anecdotally for years," said Julian Harris, a health expert at International Policy Network, a London-based think tank. He was not linked to the study. "But the response from funders has been to keep throwing millions of dollars' worth of these medicines into countries, even

when there is evidence the drugs aren't reaching the needy." In the study, Roger Bate, a fellow at American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, and colleagues focused on the most popular artemesinin combination malaria drug, Coartem, made by Novartis AG. They bought it in private markets in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria. Other drugs from Sanofi Aventis, Cipla and dozens of other companies were also included. Novartis makes two versions of the drug for Africa: the one to be donated comes in a flat white packet with a blister sheet of pills while the one for commercial markets is sold in an orange and white box. Bate, an economist who studies health policy, found donated drugs originally meant for Nigeria on sale in Kenya, drugs with "Not for Sale" stamped on them, and drugs packaged in the wrong local language, which suggests they were stolen from aid deliveries. Novartis declined to comment on the issue. The donated medicines were first bought by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the US President's Malaria Initiative, a joint program led by the US Agency for International Development and the US Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention. Both the Global Fund and the President's Malaria Initiative receive funds from international donors, including US taxpayers. The Global Fund did not respond directly to questions about their drugs were being stolen. But in a recent review, the Fund discovered loopholes in its distribution system and admitted medicines could end up in commercial markets. It has previously suspended grants to Mauritania, Uganda and Zambia when it couldn't track where its money was going. Some experts dismissed the theft of donated drugs as a major health concern. Dr David Sullivan, an associate professor in the Malaria Research Institute at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said he did not condone the theft of drugs, but thought the supply of high-quality drugs - like those bought by international donors - to private markets was actually a good thing. He said about half of Africans go to private health clinics, often flooded with cheap drugs that don't work. "The methods of getting better drugs is not ideal, but from a public health perspective, it's better that effective drugs are available in private clinics." —AP

LAGOS: In this photo, Ayo Bello displays a box of Coartem malaria medication, packaged for the commercial market, at a pharmacy. — AP



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Celebrate Eid festivities with Safir Hotels


ith the onset of Eid AlFitr, Safir Hotels & Resorts extends its warmest wishes and greetings to you and your family. Experience three days of leisure and enjoyment at any of the Safir properties around Kuwait. Safir Marina Hotel, Safir Hotel & Residences and Safir International Hotel are offering guests a multitude of special room packages at exclusive

prices. The Safir Marina Hotel has planned special programs for children of all ages to participate in the Eid celebrations and enjoy themselves at the hotel premises. With the Marina Kids Club program they have an opportunity to benefit from the various fun filled activities along with the Kids Club entertainers which include Eid shows, games for adults and

kids, magic shows, movie viewing, football, volleyball, basketball, bouncy castles, trampoline, face painting and sand castle building to name a few. Authentic innovations spring to life inside the Six Palms Restaurant with its International Buffet with Oriental specialties and Oriental band performance. Known for its luscious breakfast and lunch buffet, guests are sure to savor on the exquis-

itely prepared delicacies at The Atlantis Restaurant. Safir Hotel & Residences Fintas, is the perfect weekend getaway offering special room packages and an excellent choice of restaurants to dine in this Eid. Flavors Restaurant & the newly opened Chit Chat Cafe Restaurant are famous for their creative menus, stylish dÈcor and an ample and delightful fusion of

intercontinental cuisines that encourage lively conversations and a memorable dining experience. A special dinner buffet will be served every night at Al-Seif Ballroom cooked to perfection by the creative chefs. Special kids carnival will be available beach side including trampoline, bouncing castles, pony rides, DJ and a multitude of cartoon characters at the Lobby every day.


KMTCC Executive Committee members welcome convention speaker Benjamin Moses to Kuwait. The convention will be held from September 7 to 10 at the Neck Church and Parish Hall from 7:30-9 pm.


he Entertainment City will be open to welcome its visitors during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday from 4:00 pm until 1:00 am, announced the head of the activities and operations department of the Touristic Enterprises Company, Anwar Al-Nisf. Furthermore, the Entertainment City’s administration has prepared several programs and activities specially for this event, including a cartoon characters show, a circus show, traditional and musical concert in addition to firework displays. The price for entrance tickets during the holiday will be KD3.500 per ticket.

Birthday greetings


appy Birthday Ivan Beltran! We wish you good health, happiness and more success in life. Best wishes come from your family and friends.

SMCA Fahaheel celebrates Onam


yro Malabar Cultural Association, Fahaheel area unit celebrated Onam and second anniversary of family units on Friday, August 27 at the Mangaf Auditorium with colorful traditional cultural programs followed by delicious Onasadhya. The traditional lamp was lit by the central ex-officio and area ex-officio, and children of St Joseph Unit sung the prayer song and SMCA anthem. Area Secretary Sancylal Chakkiath delivered the welcome speech and Area General Convener Jose Mathew Choonatu delivered the presidential address. SMCA Central Ex-officio felicitated the gathering. The cultural program started with a traditional welcome of “Maveli” with “Talapoli”

Sky Scrapers. Head towards any of the Safir Hotel’s around Kuwait this holiday season, enjoy all of our enticing offers and make your family’s Eid holiday a memorable event. All Safir properties are dedicated to focus on the individual guest experience, satisfaction and offer high standard of service quality. For more information on bookings please contact the hotel property directly.

Rezidor announces new appointment


TEC gets set for Eid

Families wishing to spend this Eid holiday at the Safir International Hotel can relax in the luxurious rooms and benefit from the hotels various facilities and amenities. Indulge yourself and your family with a lavish spread of the lunch and dinner Eid buffet at the “Sea Breeze” Restaurant located on the 19th floor overlooking Kuwait Towers, Gulf Road and the upbeat City

paraded by ladies and children in colorful costumes. This was co-ordinated by Babu Chackola and family. Other main traditional cultural events were “Thiruvathira” by Liza and Team, “Vallamkali” by George

Chacko and Team , “Onakkali” by Benny Thomas and Team, “Pulikali’ by Joy Mangalan and Team. Onasadhya with the various homemade dishes were served to all in a traditional Onam style by a dedicated

team under Shaju Devassy. The programs were concluded with the vote of thanks by the Area Treasurer Wilson Vadakkedath. The overall coordination was conducted by Area Arts Convener Johnson Neelankavil.

he Rezidor Hotel Group one of the fastest growing hotel management companies worldwide announces the appointment of Biya Levy as the new Regional Responsible Business Coordinator for the Middle East. Levy, an Indian national; has over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry as well as a solid background and involvement in responsible business activities. Having worked for a number of leading International operators in India and the Middle East throughout her career, Levy joined Rezidor in 2005 as Executive Secretary at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. It was during this time that she took on the additional role of Responsible Business Trainer and Co-ordinator for the hotel. In 2009, Levy moved to the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island as Executive Secretary and Responsible Business Coordinator and Trainer for the Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. Having worked as a Responsible Business Trainer and Co-ordinator for five years, Levy has undertaken various responsible business activities on behalf of the hotels including; the launch of a recycling programme in TECOM, Dubai, collaboration with the engineering departments to search for more energy saving solutions, ongoing monitoring of recycling programmes within the hotel and staff accommodation, as well as working in partnership with a number of local charities to organize events, raise funds and utilize the hotel facilities and team members to provide valuable support to those in need. Levy also played an integral part in the successful launch of the now annual

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City Shoebox Appeal Programme in September 2008 which saw over 7,500 boxes of essential items with a total value of AED 900,000 donated to local construction workers. Speaking of the appointment, Marko Hytonen, Area Vice President, Rezidor Hotel Group said “We are delighted to have Biya on board to oversee the fantastic work we are doing as part of our corporate Responsible Business programme. Biya is an extremely driven and motivated individual who has already shown a great commitment and dedication to the Responsible Business cause and I feel confident that in her capable hands, Rezidor’s Responsible Business programme in the Middle East will reach even greater heights.” Rezidor was one of the first international hotel groups to introduce its own, company-wide Responsible Business Programme. Since 2001, all operating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa (today more than 280 properties) focus on the health and well-being of guests and employees, social and ethical issues within the company and on a reduced negative impact on the environment. An environmental programme has however been in place since the mid 1990s. The firm recently announced that two of its hotels in the Middle East region have achieved Green Globe Certification and plans to achieve the same for a number of other properties in its portfolio in the near future. In her new role, Levy will drive and coordinate Responsible Business activities across Rezidor’s 25 Middle East hotels including overseeing and initiating activities for the firm’s annual Responsible Business Action Month in September; a month where all entities within the group are encouraged to dedicate time and resources to responsible business activities and raising money for the World Childhood Foundation, Rezidor’s corporate charity.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

31 Embassy information

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.


Al-Kharafi is greeted upon his arrival at the ghabqa.

Members from the society greet the guests.

Al-Kharafi poses with a group of the society members.

The Iraqi ambassador to Kuwait is greeted upon his arrival.

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: ✦✦✦ Call to classical music lovers: Are you a lover of music? Would you like to promote the traditional Indian classical music in Kuwait? If your answer is in the affirmative, please write ton more details to in (that is, music underscore karnatic) with your contact details or call 7978286. SEPT 24 NSS Onam: Nair 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.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 one of the largest Socio-Cultural Organization in Kuwait formed in year 2001 and now has more than 3000 Indians as members. For more information, contact Anish Nair, NSS Kuwait 9969-1431. Oct 14 Tulukoota Kuwait announces its “Decennial Parba “on October 14th & 15th. 2010 at American International School Hawally. We invite all Tulukoota Kuwait members to join us for fun filled and exciting events planned to celebrate the milestones throughout Tulukoota Kuwait’s 10 years journey. 14th October Rasamanjari musical show by Star performer Anuradha Bhatt, Prakash Mahadevan Naveen Koppa & others, Vismaya Jadoo by Mega Magic Star Ganesh Kudroli & troupe. Dr. Mohan Alva Cultural Performances & King of Comedy Navin D Padil presents tulu drama “ Paniyerla aath Panande Budiyerla aath” This is a fun tilled evening for entire family! Join us for a great time. For more information call : Swarna C Shetty - 99006934; Pascal Pinto - 9953 1557; Sathya Narayan 66585077: Suresh Salian - 99161228; Chandrahasa Shetty - 55941955. 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. 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. Nov 17 Trend setter Udupi Restaurant, Kuwait proudly presents “ Gandharva Ganam” a live carnatic classical concert by living legend & maestro Padmabooshan Dr. K.J.Yesudas with his troupe on 17th Nov. 2010 at American International School, Kuwait. Sri. Nagai Murali on violin, Sri. Bakthavalsalam on Mridangam and Sri. Thripunithura Radhakrishnan on Ghatam. For more details, please contact 66752462 or 66784867.

A view of the audience.

Guests seen enjoying the ghabqa.

Al-Kharafi is pictured along with other guests.

MP Rola Dashti is seen at the event.

Kuwait Society of Engineers holds ghabqa


he Kuwait Society of Engineers recently held its annual ghabqa at its headquarters building in Bnaid Al-Gar. The event was attended by the Speaker of the Parliament, Jassem Al-Kharafi, in addition to MPs, engineers ambassadors, and social activists.

Toastmasters Club announcement


o you want to overcome your fear of speaking in public? Do you want to sharpen your presentation skills? Do you want to develop leadership skills? Do you wish to attend job interviews with confidence? All of these can be achieved for a nominal fee with unlimited opportunities to practice and develop at the new Toastmasters Club (affiliated to

Toastmasters International USA), being chartered in Salmiya. If you want to be part of your own chartered club, join us at Bayan Restaurant, Salmiya (next to Red Tag) at 7:45 pm on Friday, September 3, 2010. For free registration contact Vishwanath at 67735024 or Xavier at 99850173

bers 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: New players are always welcome.

Al-Kharafi arrives at the ghabqa.

Sports Filipino Badminton Committee is inviting all badminton enthusiast to join its 19th badminton tournament dubbed as the Ambassador Shulan Primavera Cup. Interested may register on Friday at Jawhara Saleh Private School, located at Riggae right beside the Ramada Hotel. The gym is open from 8 am until 5pm. For more details, contact Pres. Nelson Lacson 97796294, VP Garry Calub -66237872 or Dr. Chie Umandap at 97197268 ✦✦✦ 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 mem-

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 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 and send it to the e-mail: 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.



Thursday, September 2, 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 In Plain Sight 06:00 The Closer 07:00 The Unit 08:00 Dawson’s Creek 09:00 Criminal Minds 10:00 Flash Forward 11:00 Hawthorne 12:00 The Closer 13:00 Criminal Minds 14:00 Flash Forward 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 Dollhouse 19:00 The Closer 20:00 One Tree Hill 21:00 Warehouse 13 22:00 Criminal Minds 23:00 Grey’s Anatomy

00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Shark After Dark 02:35 Planet Earth 03:30 Untamed & Uncut 04:25 Cats of Claw Hill 04:50 Britain’s Worst Pet 05:20 Animal Battlegrounds 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 08:40 Cats of Claw Hill 09:05 Britain’s Worst Pet 09:35 Animal Battlegrounds 10:00 Deadly Waters 10:55 Monkey Life 11:20 Night 11:50 Miami Animal Police 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 Air Jaws 2 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Breed All About It 17:45 Breed All About It 18:15 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 19:10 Return of the Prime Predators 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Shark Attack Survivors 22:00 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 22:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 23:50 Untamed & Uncut

00:25 Lead Balloon 01:25 The Weakest Link 02:10 Casualty 03:00 Casualty 03:50 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:20 Gigglebiz 04:35 Teletubbies 05:00 Tellytales 05:10 Tikkabilla 05:40 Gigglebiz 05:55 Teletubbies 06:20 Tellytales 06:30 Tikkabilla 07:00 Gigglebiz 07:15 Teletubbies 07:40 Tellytales 07:50 Tikkabilla 08:20 Gigglebiz 08:35 Teletubbies 09:00 Tikkabilla 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Coast 11:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Coast 15:15 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Casualty 18:55 Casualty 19:45 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 The League Of Gentlemen 22:15 The League Of Gentlemen 22:45 Lab Rats 23:15 Lab Rats

00:15 The Hairy Bakers 00:40 Glamour Puds 01:00 The Home Show 01:50 Cash In The Attic 03:20 Come Dine With Me 04:05 The Restaurant Uk 04:55 Hidden Potential 05:20 10 Years Younger 06:05 The Hairy Bakers 06:30 Hidden Potential 07:10 The Restaurant Uk 08:00 Living In The Sun 08:50 Bargain Hunt 09:35 Hidden Potential 10:00 The Hairy Bakers 10:50 Glamour Puds 11:10 The Home Show 12:00 10 Years Younger 12:50 Come Dine With Me 13:35 Cash In The Attic 14:20 Living In The Sun 15:10 Bargain Hunt 15:55 The Hairy Bakers 16:20 Glamour Puds 16:45 Glamour Puds 17:10 The Home Show 17:55 10 Years Younger 18:45 Come Dine With Me 19:35 The Hairy Bakers 20:05 Indian Food Made Easy 20:35 Chuck’s Day Off 21:00 Cash In The Attic 22:30 Come Dine With Me 23:20 The Restaurant Uk

01:15 Stray Dogs-PG15 03:00 Missing-PG15 05:00 The Bridges Of Madison CountyPG15 07:15 Quid Pro Quo-PG15 09:00 The Sting-PG15 11:15 Fireproof-PG 13:15 Janis-PG 15:00 Coeurs-PG 17:15 Losing Isaiah-PG15 19:00 A Thousand Acres-PG15 21:00 Burn After Reading-PG15 23:00 Croupier-18

00:40 Street Customs 2008 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Moments of Terror 03:25 Mega Machines 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Machines Work 05:40 How Does it Work? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 07:25 Mega Machines 08:15 Street Customs 2008 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 11:00 Eyewitness 11:55 Border Security 12:25 How Does it Work? 12:50 How Machines Work 13:20 Mythbusters 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Ultimate Survival 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Overhaulin’ 17:55 Mythbusters 18:50 Cake Boss 19:15 Border Security 19:40 The Gadget Show 20:05 How Does it Work? 20:35 How Machines Work 21:00 Discovery Saved My Life 21:55 Serial Killers 22:50 I Escaped Death 23:45 MacIntyre: World’s Toughest Towns

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 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 09:00 What’s That About? 16:20 How Stuff’s Made 16:50 Junkyard Mega-Wars 17:45 Brainiac 18:40 Catch It Keep It 19:30 Science of the Movies 20:20 How It’s Made 21:10 Kings of Construction

06:00 K9 Adventures 06:25 American Dragon 06:50 Kid Vs Kat 07:15 Phineas And Ferb 08:05 Kick Buttowski 08:30 Pokemon 09:00 Zeke And Luther 09:50 I’m In The Band 10:15 Phineas And Ferb 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Phil Of The Future 12:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:00 Kid Vs Kat 14:00 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 14:50 Zeke And Luther 15:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 15:45 Kick Buttowski 16:15 I’m In The Band 16:40 Suite Life On Deck 17:05 Zeke And Luther 17:55 Phineas And Ferb 18:45 Kick Buttowski 19:10 Pokemon 19:35 American Dragon 20:00 Aaron Stone 20:30 Kid Vs Kat 21:00 Phineas And Ferb 21:25 I’m In The Band 21:55 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 22:20 Shreducation 22:30 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 E!ES 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets of Hollywood 06:00 E! Investigates 07:45 Behind the Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Fashion Police 10:15 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Fashion Police 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Dr 90210 15:25 THS 16:15 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Fashion Police 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E!ES 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Fashion Police 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Chelsea Lately

00:00 Cape Epic 01:00 Fia European Drag Racing 2008 02:00 Fim World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 02:30 Fim World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 03:00 Fight Girls 04:00 Man’s Work 05:00 Iex 2009 07:00 Sony Ericsson B-boy... 08:00 Sacred Ride 11:00 Bmx Megatour 12:00 Fantasy Factory 13:00 Fia European Drag Racing 2008 13:55 Sony Ericsson B-boy... 15:10 Bmx Megatour 16:00 Fantasy Factory 17:00 Sacred Ride 20:00 Fantasy Factory 21:00 Bmx Megatour 22:00 Sports Jobs 22:30 Sports Jobs 23:00 Fim World Motocross Mx3 Championships...

00:00 Iron Chef America 01:00 30 Minute Meals 01:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 02:00 Food Network Challenge 03:00 Barefoot Contessa

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

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:05 Murder Shift 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Crime Scene Psychics 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Real Emergency Calls 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Fugitive Strike Force 09:30 Solved 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 Solved 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 20:20 On the Case with Paula Zahn 21:10 CSU 22:00 Autopsy: Most Shocking Cases 22:50 Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:15 Fat Dog Mendoza 00:40 Rescue Heroes 01:00 Fat Dog Mendoza Marathon 06:00 Max and Ruby 06:25 Rupert 06:45 Rolie Polie Olie 07:15 Corduroy 07:35 Boo and Me 07:40 Babar 08:30 Ned’s Newt 09:20 New Adventures of Madeline 09:45 Heathcliff 10:05 George Shrinks 10:35 Fat Dog Mendoza 11:00 Sonic Underground 11:45 Beverly Hills Teen Club 12:10 Sabrina The Animated Series 12:35 New Adventures of Ocean Girl 13:00 Dinosaur Island 14:15 Dennis The Menace 14:40 Birdz 15:05 Heathcliff 15:30 Fat Dog Mendoza 15:50 Boo and Me 15:55 Birdz 16:20 Sabrina The Animated Series 16:45 New Adventures of Ocean Girl 17:10 The Future is Wild 17:35 Rescue Heroes 18:00 Dino Squad 18:20 Boo and Me 18:25 Ace Lightning 19:00 The Future is Wild 19:20 New Adventures of Ocean Girl 19:50 Sabrina The Animated Series 20:15 Rescue Heroes 20:35 Ace Lightning 21:00 The Future is Wild 21:25 New Adventures of Ocean Girl 21:50 Dino Squad 22:15 Rescue Heroes 22:40 Ace Lightning 23:05 Tales from the Cryptkeeper 23:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 23:50 Sonic Underground

01:15 American Dragons 02:50 Beach Red 04:30 The Mean Season 06:10 Number One Fan 07:40 The Spring 09:05 Napoleon 10:25 Signs Of Life 11:55 The Winter People 13:35 Woman Of Straw 15:30 Haunted Honeymoon 16:50 Bigger Than The Sky 18:35 Dreamchild 20:05 The Pink Panther 22:00 Far North 23:30 L.A. Bounty

The Wrestler on Show Movies

00:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 01:30 Banged Up Abroad 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Destination Extreme 04:00 Long Way Down 05:00 Bondi Rescue 05:30 Banged Up Abroad 06:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 07:30 Banged Up Abroad 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Destination Extreme 10:00 Long Way Down 11:00 Bondi Rescue 11:30 Banged Up Abroad 12:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 The Best Job In The World 14:30 4Real 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Destination Extreme 16:00 Long Way Down 17:00 Bondi Rescue 17:30 Banged Up Abroad 18:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 The Best Job In The World 20:30 4Real 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Destination Extreme 22:00 Long Way Down 23:00 Bondi Rescue 23:30 Banged Up Abroad

00:00 Rita Rocks 00:30 Seinfeld 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 That Mitchell and Webb Look 04:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 04:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 05:30 Just Shoot me! 06:00 Malcolm in the Middle 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:30 Frasier 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Just Shoot me! 09:00 Malcolm in the Middle 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Will & Grace 10:30 The League 11:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 11:30 Frasier 12:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 Malcolm in the Middle 14:30 Rita Rocks 15:00 The League 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 The League 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 The League

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 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 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 Lazytown 07:25 Imagination Movers 07:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:15 Handy Manny 08:40 Jungle Junction 08:50 Special Agent Oso 09:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:25 Handy Manny 09:50 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 10:15 Little Einsteins 10:40 Special Agent Oso 11:05 Imagination Movers 11:30 Lazytown 11:55 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:20 Handy Manny 12:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:10 Little Einsteins 14:00 Higglytown Heroes 14:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:50 Special Agent Oso 15:05 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 15:30 Imagination Movers 15:55 Little Einsteins 16:20 Handy Manny 16:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:10 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 17:35 Special Agent Oso 17:45 Imagination Movers 18:10 Handy Manny 18:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:00 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 19:25 Handy Manny 19:35 Special Agent Oso 19:50 Jungle Junction

00:00 45 R.p.m.-PG15 02:00 Shoot The Hero-PG15 04:00 A Previous Engagement-PG15 06:00 Beneath The Blue-PG15 08:00 All She Wants For Christmas-PG15 10:00 The Secret Lives Of Second WivesPG15 12:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM 14:00 Sugar-PG15 16:00 All She Wants For Christmas-PG15 18:00 Man In The Chair-PG15 20:00 The International-18 22:00 The Wrestler-18

01:00 Wushu Warrior-PG15 03:00 The X Files-PG15 05:00 The Scorpion King 2: Rise Of A Warrior-PG15 07:00 The Bodyguard 2-PG15 09:00 Chocolate-PG15 11:00 Mercury Man-PG15 13:00 H.i.t.-PG15 15:00 Chocolate-PG15 17:00 The Watch-PG15 18:45 The Abyss (extended Version)PG15 21:30 Thor: Hammer Of The Gods-PG15 23:00 Hush-PG15

00:00 New York City Serenade-PG15 02:00 I’m Not Rappaport-PG15 04:30 Wag The Dog-PG 06:30 Adventures Of Power-PG15 08:00 A Plumm Summer-PG15 10:00 Dirty Work-PG15 12:00 Orange County-PG15 14:00 The Scout-PG15 16:00 New York City Serenade-PG15 18:00 Run Fatboy Run-PG15 20:00 Go-18 22:00 The Last Shot-PG15

00:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 02:00 The Gold Retrievers: Legend Of

The Secret Life Of Bees on Super Movies The Lost Tre-PG 04:00 Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia-FAM 06:00 Scooby-doo ! And The Samurai Sword-FAM 08:00 Christmas In New York-PG 10:00 Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia-FAM 12:00 The Three Musketeers-PG 14:00 The Gold Retrievers: Legend Of The Lost Tre-PG 16:00 Felix 2-FAM 18:00 That Darn Cat-PG 20:00 Gladiators:the Tournament-PG 22:00 The Three Musketeers-PG

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 Cold Case 02:00 Private Practice 03:00 Ghost Whisperer 04:00 8 Simple rules 04:30 Rita Rocks 05:00 Without a trace 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 CSI Miami 08:00 8 Simple rules 08:30 Rita Rocks 09:00 Ghost Whisperer 10:00 Without a trace 11:00 CSI Miami 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 8 Simple rules 13:30 Rita Rocks 14:00 Burn Notice 15:00 Cold Case 16:00 Without a trace 17:00 Smallville 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Turn Back Your Body Clock 19:00 Heroes 20:00 Cold Case 21:00 CSI Miami 22:00 Lie To Me 23:00 Smallville

01:00 AFL Highlights 02:00 Rugby League Challenge Cup 04:00 Futbol Mundial 04:30 European Tour Weekly 05:00 Ladies European PGA Tour Highlights 06:00 AFL Highlights 07:00 Women’s Rubgy World Cup 09:00 Women’s Rubgy World Cup 11:00 European Tour Weekly 11:30 World Pool Masters 12:30 ICC Cricket World 13:00 Rugby Union 15:00 Ladies European PGA Tour Highlights 16:00 AFL Premiership 19:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 World Sport 21:00 Total Rugby 21:30 Live Premier League Snooker

00:00 Triathlon 01:00 Women’s Rugby World Cup 03:00 Women’s Rugby World Cup SF 05:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 05:30 Futbol Mundial 06:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 08:30 Brazil League Highlights 09:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 10:00 Countdown to The Ryder Cup 10:30 AFL Highlights 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 Women’s Rugby World Cup 14:00 Women’s Rugby World Cup 16:00 Countdown to The Ryder Cup 16:30 Live European PGA Tour 19:30 Countdown to The Ryder Cup 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 European Tour Weekly 21:00 World Sport 21:30 European PGA Tour

00:00 Le Mans Series Highlights 01:00 UAE National Race Day 01:30 Planet Power Boats 02:00 WWE NXT

03:00 UFC 118 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 WWE Bottom Line 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 11:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 12:00 V8 Supercars Championship Highlights 13:00 V8 Supercars Championship Highlights 14:00 UAE National Race Day 15:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 15:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 17:00 UFC:118 Edgar vs. Penn 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fight Championship 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:30 Staten Island-PG15 03:30 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 05:15 Captain Drake-PG 07:00 A Shine Of Rainbows-PG15 09:00 The Secret Life Of Bees-PG15 11:15 Sticks And Stones-PG 13:00 Race To Witch Mountain-PG15 14:45 Bring It On 5: Fight To The FinishPG15 16:45 The Secret Life Of Bees-PG15 19:00 Gran Torino-PG15 21:00 Capitalism : A Love Story-PG15 23:15 Wanted-18

01:15 The Prize 03:30 The Screening Room 04:00 Brother John 05:35 The Honeymoon Machine 07:00 The Big Sleep 08:50 The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad 10:35 Desert Bloom 12:20 The Philadelphia Story 14:10 The Screening Room 14:35 The Man In The Moon 16:15 The Prize 18:30 The Honeymoon Machine 20:05 Mogambo 22:00 California Split 23:50 Tap

00:30 Conspiracy? 01:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 02:10 Cities Of The Underworld 03:00 Pawn Stars 03:55 Nostradamus: 2012 05:40 Nostradamus Effect 06:30 Conspiracy? 07:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 08:10 Cities Of The Underworld 09:00 Pawn Stars 09:55 Nostradamus: 2012 11:40 Nostradamus Effect 12:30 Conspiracy? 13:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 14:10 Cities Of The Underworld 15:00 Pawn Stars 15:55 Nostradamus: 2012 17:40 Nostradamus Effect 18:30 Conspiracy? 19:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 20:10 Cities Of The Underworld 21:00 Gestapo 23:40 How The Earth Was Made

00:00 Dr 90210 01:00 The Designers 01:30 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 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 Go Fix Yourself 06:30 The Look for Less 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Dress My Nest 08:00 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 10:00 Married Away 11:00 Peter Perfect 12:00 How Do I Look?

13:00 Fashion Police 14:00 Exposed: The 25 Fashion Week Moments 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Ruby 17:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 21:00 How Do I Look? 22:00 Jerseylicious 23:00 Glamour’s 50 Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

00:15 Top Sexy 00:17 Playlist 01:00 Latina 10 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 03:15 Top New 03:17 Playlist 05:00 Legend 06:00 Playlist 07:15 Top Fashion 07:17 Playlist 08:00 Latina 10 08:45 Playlist 09:15 Top Gossip 09:17 Playlist 13:00 Urban Hit 13:45 Playlist 14:00 Trace Video Mix 15:00 Playlist 15:15 Top Money 15:17 Playlist 16:00 Rnb 10 16:45 Playlist 17:15 Monthly Top 17:17 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Sound System 10 20:45 Playlist 21:00 Guest Star 21:15 Playlist 22:15 Top Sexy 22:17 Playlist

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood and Vines 01:30 Chef Abroad 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 Travel Oz 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Hollywood and Vines 09:30 Flavours of South Africa 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Riding Eastern Europe 11:30 Essential 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Taste Takes Off 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 Entrada 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 Hollywood and Vines 15:30 Flavours of South Africa 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Travel Oz 17:30 Taste Takes Off 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 (P) Mtv At The Movies 00:30 Blue Mountain State 01:00 The Dudesons   01:30 Boling Points 02:00 Hit List Uk 03:00 Music Mix 07:00 Breakfast Club 08:30 100% Mtv 11:00 (P) #1 Hits 12:00 Nothing But Hits 14:00 10 Biggest  Tracks Right Now 15:00 100% Mtv 15:30 Teen Cribs 16:00 (P) The City S2

Thursday, September 2, 2010


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation is available in a C-A/C flat for decent family or working ladies at Jabriya area 10, near Jabriya Indian school. Please contact Mob: 99300513. (C 2636)

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Thursday 02/09/2010 Airlines

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



802 Amman 188 Bahrain 211 Bahrain 045 Dhaka/Bahrain 772 Istanbul 238 Karachi/Abu Dhabi 620 Addis Ababa 551 Alexandria 614 Cairo 370 Bahrain 853 Dubai 305 Abu Dhabi 138 Doha 802 Cairo 201 Dubai 503 Luxor 412 Manila/Bangkok 527 Alexandria 157 London 529 Assiut 613 Lahore 204 Lahore 605 Isfahan 302 Mumbai 053 Dubai 332 Trivandrum 676 Dubai 284 Dhaka 362 Colombo 855 Dubai 121 Sharjah 132 Doha 301 Abu Dhabi 213 Bahrain 404 Beirut 102 Dubai 447 Doha 491 Jeddah 341 Damascus 422 Amman 610 Cairo 672 Dubai 982 Washington DC Dulles 800 Amman 432 Damascus 621 Assiut 257 Beirut 332 Alexandria 500 Jeddah 552 Damascus 1502 Beirut 745 Jeddah 134 Doha 546 Alexandria 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi 173 Dubai 118 New York 403 Colombo/Dubai 303 Abu Dhabi 857 Dubai 215 Bahrain 402 Beirut 510 Riyadh 562 Amman 617 Ahwaz 125 Sharjah 493 Jeddah 227 Colombo/Dubai 304 Cairo 104 London 106 Dubai 093 Kandahar/Dubai 502 Beirut 542 Cairo 618 Doha 786 Jeddah 202 Jeddah 433 Mashad 674 Dubai 614 Bahrain 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi 344 Bahrain 061 Dubai 647 Muscat 402 Beirut 081 Baghdad 572 Mumbai 0445 Amsterdam 372 Bahrain 217 Bahrain 859 Dubai 178 Geneva/Frankfurt 618 Alexandria 136 Doha 981 Bahrain 981 Chennai/Ahmedabad 313 Bahrain 241 Amman 636 Frankfurt 449 Doha 185 Dubai 612 Cairo 043 Dhaka 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore 606 Luxor 205 Lahore

Departure Flights on Thursday 02/09/2010 Time



00:05 00:30 01:05 01:05 01:15 01:20 01:45 02:00 02:05 02:15 02:25 02:55 03:20 04:45 05:25 05:50 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 09:20 10:45 10:50 11:05 11:20 12:00 12:05 12:50 12:55 13:15 13:35 13:35 13:35 13:40 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 18:00 18:35 18:35 18:45 18:45 18:50 18:50 18:55 18:55 18:55 20:55 19:20 19:20 19:25 19:25 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:30 20:30 20:40 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:20 21:35 21:55 22:05 22:10 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:40 22:55 23:00 23:10 23:15 23:55

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

528 Assiut 442 Lahore 607 Luxor 394 Cochin/Kozhikode 0447 Amsterdam 576 Goa/Chennai 637 Frankfurt 216 Karachi 773 Istanbul 046 Dhaka 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa 552 Alexandria 615 Cairo 371 Bahrain 854 Dubai 306 Abu Dhabi 139 Doha 490 Jeddah 101 Dubai 803 Amman 331 Alexandria 446 Doha 212 Bahrain 421 Amman 094 Dubai/Kandahar 256 Beirut 431 Damascus 156 London 545 Alexandria 054 Dubai 606 Mashad 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat 1501 Beirut 771 Riyadh 671 Dubai 551 Damascus 122 Sharjah 101 London/New York 856 Dubai 133 Doha 302 Abu Dhabi 401 Beirut 214 Bahrain 165 Rome/Paris 405 Beirut 303 Cairo 172 Dubai 541 Cairo 456 Damascus 510 Sharm El Sheikh 492 Jeddah 561 Amman 501 Beirut 342 Damascus 785 Jeddah 201 Jeddah 611 Cairo 105 Dubai 801 Amman 105 Dubai 622 Assiut 982 Bahrain 673 Dubai 3057 Jeddah 617 Doha 746 Jeddah 505 Jeddah 135 Doha 613 Bahrain 082 Baghdad 304 Abu Dhabi 404 Dubai/Colombo 216 Bahrain 858 Dubai 305 Cairo 543 Cairo 126 Sharjah 511 Riyadh 616 Ahwaz 285 Chittagong 228 Dubai/Colombo 448 Doha 283 Dhaka 345 Bahrain 361 Colombo 062 Dubai 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore 321 Sharm El Sheikh 351 Cochin 648 Muscat 403 Beirut 571 Mumbai 187 Bahrain 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam 218 Bahrain 373 Bahrain 675 Dubai 619 Alexandria 860 Dubai 102 Bahrain 137 Doha 301 Mumbai 205 Islamabad 526 Alexandria 981 Washington DC Dulles 502 Luxor 460 Damascus 411 Bangkok/Manila 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta 613 Cairo




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

Furnished sharing accommodation available for small family, non-smoking executive bachelor, couples to share with Keralite family in a two bed room flat near Abbassiya super market with immediate effect. Tel: 97647066. (C 2637) 2-9-2010 Khaitan - sharing room / bed space available for decent Indian bachelor in CA/C new building, beside main road and bus stop, near police station round about. Contact: 97523316 / 24745162. (C 2635) 1-9-2010 Sharing accommodation for executive bachelor, families or ladies with 2 BH and CA/C apartment. (Indians Only) Ph: 66625901 / 24716975. (C 2629) 31-8-2010 Single room available for an Indian family or a bachelor at Salmiya, Amman street, opp. Al-Rashid hospital. Contact: 66332653. (C 2621) Sharing accommodation available for a decent working lady in Abbassiya with Keralite family. Cont: 66013882. (C 2625) Furnished sharing room available with all facilities in a D / B, Window A/C, apartment near Garden Circle (Salmiya). Rent KD 80 only. Interested please contact: 99787621. (C 2623) Sharing accommodation available for single decent bachelor, non smoking, to share with family. Opposite to Al-Rashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Tel: 25651678. Mob: 66232356 / 65717906. (C 2626) 29-8-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Echo 2005, golden color in excellent condition, factory painting, used by a lady. Price KD 1,600. Please call: 60973490. (C2633) 1-9-2010 2006 Toyota Corolla 1.8 color white, done 65,000 km, excellent condition, price KD 2,450. Cont: 94973026. (C 2628) 30-8-2010 All items in a well furnished unit A/C, flat in Farwaniya for sale with, 4 bedrooms, big hall, 2 bathrooms, kitchen. Please contact: 66047733. (C 2617) Household furniture for sale, fridge, cooking range, pressure cooker-cutlery items, big cupboard, single beds, dressing table, side tables, TV with stand, sofa set, VCR, computer with table + printer etc. all items 2yrs old sparingly used. Contact Tel: 66764062. (C 2615) 27-8-2010 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan dark green van for sale, run 221000 km, very good condition. Call: 99162920. (C 2612) 2009 Toyota Corolla 1.8 color sky blue, C.D, ELE. folding mirror, wood dÈcor and sen-

sor, excellent condition, 44000 km, Price KD 3850. Contact: 66211779. (C 2613)

MATRIMONIAL Mangalorean RC parents invite proposals for their daughter MBBS, MD working MOH, 28 yrs, 5í3” from RC bachelor doctors, CA, Engineers, Accountants, Post-graduates. Contact: (C 2630) 2-9-2010 Parents from Ernakulam Dist. invite proposals for daughter 26/154, Optometrist working in MOH, Kuwait (Vacation in October) from qualified Marthoma / Orthodox / Jacobite boys preferably working in Kuwait. Cont: Email: (C 2631)

Proposals invited for well educated (B-Tech with MBA) Nair girl 25 years, 160cm, 54kg, slim, fair and working in Kuwait, from handsome Nair boys well educated Engineers with MS/MBA, Age 27-30 preferably working in Kuwait or abroad with good family background. Contact: (C 2632) 31-8-2010

F8462504, change my name to “Mohamed Ghouse Shahab Shahida”. (C 2620) 29-8-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Required driver, cook and maid to work in Kuwaiti home. Tel: 22450617 / 22450618. (C 2627) 30-8-2010 BABySITTING

CHANGE OF NAME I, Govind Bahadur, holder of Indian passport No. G7938083 hereby change my name to Govind Bahadur Rana. (C 2634) 1-9-2010 I, Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab Shahida, daughter of Mohamed Ghouse Shahab, born 02-09-1966, in Chennai district, TN, residing at No: 3/64, North Avenue Road, Muthamizh Nagar, Kodungaiyur, Chennai 600118, Passport

Baby sitting available at Salmiya, Amman street, opposite Al-Rashid hospital. Tel: 65515717. (C 2622) 29-8-2010


I need job as part time accountant, 4 years experience in Kuwait, + MBA, good financial reporting skills, valid driving license also. Please call: 55355954. (C 2624) 29-8-2010



Thursday, September 2, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) In the workplace, you are able to tend to the business at hand, as well as help the public with answers to their questions. You have the choice and the ability to change a negative into a positive--do not push. Independence, as well as anything unusual or different, is valued. Do not become lost in someone else’s emotional tussle. Sensitive, psychological material coming up now is presented to you in a disguise. You think it concerns you, but what is happening is that you are chosen to guide and teach the other--friend, neighbor, relative, etc. Later, you will be able to understand what really occurred. Now, you will benefit from analytical insights, getting to the heart of things--penetrating. You may enjoy the evening meal away from home tonight. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You seem to pull answers out of a hat. You have the ability to guide and lead others through the hassles of life. You could be very much in demand as a counselor. You are good at solving problems and can teach others some of your own findings. This is a real time to concentrate on your career. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what proves successful. You may decide that now is the time to go into business for yourself. You achieve the best for yourself through work that is open and honest. You feel love is in the air as you receive an invitation to go to an upcoming event with someone you have wanted to date for a while. A buffet table is of interest to you this evening; careful on the seconds.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Informal or slang terms for mentally irregular. 5. God of wealth and love. 10. Counting the number of white and red blood cells and the number of platelets in 1 cubic millimeter of blood. 13. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 14. A switch made from the stems of the rattan palms. 15. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 16. The basic unit of money in Iran. 17. Very attentive or observant. 18. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 19. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 21. Someone who makes an offer. 23. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 26. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 27. An early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940). 30. United States physiologist (born in Germany) who did research on parthenogenesis (1859-1924). 31. A bachelor's degree in music. 35. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 36. A communication (usually brief) that is written or spoken or signaled. 39. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 40. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and healthrelated products. 42. A person forced to flee from home or country. 43. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 44. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 46. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 47. A special loved one. 49. 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. 51. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 54. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 55. Fertility goddess in ancient Greek mythology. 59. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 61. Crowd or pack to capacity. 64. Produced by a manufacturing process. 65. (biology) Having or resembling wings. 67. Last or greatest in an indefinitely large series. 68. A primeval personification of air and breath. 69. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 70. A state of southwestern India. DOWN 1. The capital of Switzerland. 2. The capital of Western Samoa. 3. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 4. Food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing. 5. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 6. A salt of any halogen acid. 7. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 8. Clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion. 9. Ludicrously odd. 10. Wearing or provided with clothing. 11. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 12. A human female who does housework. 20. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 22. United States labor organizer who ran for President as a socialist (1855-1926). 24. Expletives used informally as intensifiers. 25. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 28. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 29. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 32. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 33. Large sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit having a thick wrinkled skin. 34. The compass point that is one point east of southeast. 37. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 38. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 41. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 45. Quieten or silence (a sound) or make (an image) less visible. 48. An association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens. 50. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 51. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group. 52. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 53. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 54. A public promotion of some product or service. 56. A special way of doing something. 57. (prefix) Outside or outer. 58. A Loloish language. 60. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 61. A Mid-Atlantic state. 62. (Judaism) Sacred chest where the ancient Hebrews kept the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments. 63. Type genus of the family Myacidae. 66. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) The positive pictures that you can create in your mind give you an unlimited supply of energy today. You could learn to use these pictures in the future when you have feelings of inadequacy. Real power is always hidden--finding it means delving into the secret places where you are bound to look now. You seem compelled to deal with the great mysteries in life. A bout of philosophy or even a little religion could have an enormous effect on your career at this time. Lasting values can guide you now--opening up avenues that have remained blocked. The creative side of you is aching to perform this evening. You may be teaching, redecorating, cooking or learning some new artistic medium. If you are shopping this evening, there are thoughts of future redecoration.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You decide not to challenge authorities--instead you work up a presentation that will do just as well and better prove your point. You may have learned about some important information lately. Resourceful ideas hold the key to realizing your ambitions. The energies today lean toward broken promises. Keep your promise and you will not be as inconvenienced as you think--break it and you will have many regrets. If someone breaks a promise to you, remember the old saying about, “walking a mile in another person’s shoes.” There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. General good feelings and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. Leo (July 23-August 22) Your ambitions and goals are central to your character. Today you will be considering your goals and how close you are to reaching them. You will get the green light to proceed with a plan in the workplace today. Much of your personal life hinges on pursuit of your own growth and success--now is the time for some big progress. Your talents and activities seem to be related to the workplace instead of as a hobby or past time. When in the mood, you love to express yourself, entertain and perform for others and enjoy being surrounded by an audience. This afternoon you may find yourself shopping for new clothes. This evening you will be entertaining a few of your neighbors in a small get-together. You are very magnetic and dynamic.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may be picking out a home or purchasing real estate soon. Financial gain and material well-being are among the brighter prospects looming before you now, as you focus in on how much things really mean to you. There may be a tendency to emphasize the material too much, which could lead to the feeling that the things you own, own you instead. Faith, optimism and a yearning to explore all kinds of new horizons are some of the focal points in your life at this time. Travel or continued education may open new doors of opportunity to you. If you are in the workplace instead of in educational surroundings, you may decide to obtain further instructions or education to better your job. You will be pleasantly surprised at the result of your efforts.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You set your own pace in the workplace this Thursday. You keep things running in a smooth manner. Business is very good and you are able to create more business at almost every turn you make. This may mean that you get a lot accomplished. Work on developing your technical skills for today. Networking with others, in addition to developing your technical skills, will soon provide you with many opportunities to a more secure future. Your ability to work well with people is imperative. A time is coming when you could make some real headway in the working world through your social contacts. You are also learning that job security rests in your professional relationships as well as your skills--an important lesson. Think of ways to network.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You may be looking through some of your company’s old files and dates and complaints or orders to see where some technical problem keeps happening. You may spend a great deal of time finding the key that opens the answer. Don’t give up; you are on the right track. You have a lot of energy for this research and during the process; there is a chance that you can improve the accounting procedures for the company. You are very motivated to improve, correct or change. You may find that both your personal growth and your career may depend on how you can handle some of the sensitive psychological material coming up now. You will benefit from logical insights, getting to the heart of things. Tonight there is time for a good movie or book. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)You are a winner because you never consider failing. This can be rough, however, because if there are no challenges, such as failing, there are no opportunities to grow. In the workplace you strive to see both sides of an issue and you may use your noon break to figure out resolutions to opposing views. It is important that you take some quiet time for yourself. This may mean a short drive or walk. Clearing your mind can actually bring new insights. There is a greater than usual interest in relationships, social connections and the arts this evening. Appearances and style may count more than substance now. Romance, the arts and life's other pleasures seem to take center stage. You benefit by sharing your loving thoughts this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a day for thinking and ideas. You may feel like talking a bit more than usual, exploring new ideas or getting happily lost in a conversation. There will be an urge to communicate. Also, perhaps a short trip, or a special phone call is in order. Your high degree of mental concentration makes you an excellent student and if you are not involved in any sort of educational achievement, you may want to become involved now. This could be something as simple as taking a class in scuba diving or a writing class to update your working skills. You are able to excel in speaking, writing and all types of communication skills. Your ambitions go hand-in-hand with communication and using the mind. Friends want to play this evening. Enjoy!

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your career may be tied more to your appearance and how you come across to others. You may find that success comes by concentrating on your outward manner--the way others see you. There is intellectual creativity and expressing yourself with a flair that comes to mean more to you at this time. Beating the odds through cleverness is appealing and this may lead to an interest in all kinds of financial speculation. A lover or child who is bright and expressive begins to play a bigger role in your life now. You are pleased to guide and direct this person's education. You may be able to enjoy and value your own life situation. A visitor may compliment you on your tastes. Creative expression may give you much enjoyment this evening. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You should find this day an easy one that runs fairly smooth. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may be current, but on a level that shares information, not to criticize work. Working with--rather than against--the flow should be easy to do. You are disciplined, work hard and are good at getting others to work with and for you. A creative friend is more than willing to help you make progress. Perhaps a little too serious and frugal, you enjoy getting along on less. Others could learn from your thrifty ways. Romance and other things that tug at the heartstrings come your way as a new cycle begins. A child or lover may come to mean everything. This is a creative period for you, a time to take a chance, a time to be appreciated.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


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Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


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Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS













Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


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North Jahra


North Jleeb














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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290 Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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Thursday, September 2, 2010


Ageis no barrier to love T

he 29-year-old star - who recently insisted she was not romantically interested in 16year-old Justin Bieber - believes the key to a successful relationship is making a “connection”. She said: “The oldest I’d date? I once went out with someone who was almost 50. I do like someone young and fun, but not 16 young, more like 26 young. “Whoever your soul connects with, whoever you fall in love with no matter what the age. However, it might seem good

when you’re 25 and they’re 50 but when you’re 50 and they’re75...” The brunette beauty believes she never went off the rails when she was younger because her father wanted her to be “responsible” for her older sister Kourtney Kardashian, and even taught her to drive when she was just 14. She explained to US TV host Jay Leno: “I’ve never been a drinker, I’ve never gotten into drugs, I have such a close family. My sisters do enough drinking to fill up the whole

family so from a young age my dad made it clear I was the responsible one. “And he taught me how to drive when I was 14 in case my sister or her friends were going to be drinking, and I had always had permission to drive, or else I had to call him from the destination to the final place...So I always felt this sense of pride that he had in me as the responsible one, so I’ve always wanted to make him proud.” However, the reality TV star - who is dating NFL player Miles

immortalized in wax


he ‘Rude Boy’ singer is the latest star to be honoured with her own replica figure by famous museum Madame Tussauds and was so happy with her likeness - unveiled in Washington D.C. that she immediately tweeted a picture of it. The singer’s stylish double wears a black lace corset, fitted jacket, skinny pants and black silk heels, by Balmain, which was donated by Rihanna and is the outfit she wore to the French fashion house’s show during Paris Fashion Week last October. Madame Tussauds added diamond earrings, tennis bracelet and a ring, as well as a glittering pin on the jacket lapel of the figure,

which sports the singer’s trademark blonde quiff. Rihanna - who is now sporting red hair - was not at the unveiling yesterday, but a spokesperson for Madame Tussauds said that the singer was granted a sneak peek of the waxwork last week and “absolutely loved it.”As well as being excited about her waxwork replica, the ‘Umbrella’ star is looking forward to releasing new music. Asked by DJ Ryan Seacrest when she plans to unveil some new songs, she tweeted: “Soon! In less than 10 dayz ima send u sumn special, and ur gonna play it OVER and OVER, like I’m the only girl in the world (sic)”

Austin -has finally found an alcoholic beverage she likes after promising her sisters she would be “less boring” before reaching 30. She explained: “I hate the taste of alcohol.” “I did say that, at 30, I’m going to have a drink to lighten up because my sisters say I’m so boring. So I tried a White Russian a few months ago...It tastes like chocolate milk, and it’s kind of amazing.” A White Russian is a cocktail made from vodka, coffee liqueur and milk.

Winehouse’s boyfriend cheating for months A

my Winehouse’s boyfriend has been cheating on her for months, it has been claimed. Reg Traviss’ ex-girlfriend, burlesque dancer Raven - who he was pictured holding hands with last week - says she has continued sleeping with the filmmaker throughout his four-month romance with the troubled singer, except for a brief split. Raven said: “I’ve spent pretty much every day with him. I’m surprised we haven’t been spotted together before. “When Amy and Reg were first pictured together, he called to warn me. He said Amy had grabbed his hand as they left a restaurant, but they were just friends.” The 25-year-old blonde called a halt to her relationship with Reg in July after realising he was more than just friends with the singer, but they reconciled on August 5 after he bombarded her with calls and messages. Raven added: “He told

Gabor has rushed back to hospital


he ailing 93year-old Hollywood legend was taken to the UCLA medical centre in California after an emergency services call from her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt - though her condition is not thought to be life threatening. Zsa Zsa has suffered ill health all year and spent most of August - including her ninth wedding anniversary - in hospital after undergoing hip replacement surgery. The veteran actress suffered further complications after the operation including a blood clot, for which she had to have more surgery, and at one point her condition worsened to the point where she was read the last rites by a priest. However, the Hungarian-born actress left hospital the very next day on her own insistence, with her husband saying she wanted to live out her final days at home. Her spokesperson said at the time: “Her health has been up and down ever since her hip replacement. She wanted to spend her final days at home. It is a very difficult time for her family.” Zsa Zsa’s career spans five decades and includes cinema classics ‘A Touch Of Evil’ and ‘For The First Time’. She has also famously been married nine times, and has one daughter, Francesca Hilton, by her second husband, hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.

me that he loved me, that he only wanted to be with me, have babies and get married. “I believed him. He told me he had stopped talking to Amy. I was still in love with him so I agreed to give our relationship another go.” However, after seeing pictures of the director with the singer last week, Raven ended their relationship for good. She told Grazia magazine: “I phoned Reg and asked if he had met with Amy after he’d run away from the pub. He denied it at first, but then finally told me he had. And the next day I saw pictures of them acting like a couple. I’ve ended things.” The performer has now urged Amy to follow her lead and dump Reg. She added: “I can’t believe anything he says. “I really feel for Amy as she’s obviously a vulnerable person. He’s going to break her heart. “My advice to Amy would be that she ended it like I have.”

Perry might judge X Factor


aty Perry has been offered $340,000-a-week to judge the US version of ‘The X Factor’. The ‘Teenage Dream’ singer reportedly wowed show boss Simon Cowell so much with her stint as a guest judge at the auditions on the UK programme, he now wants her to be the first name added to the panel on the Stateside talent contest when it launches next year. A source said: “Simon wants to get the judging names signed, sealed and announced within six weeks. He wants at least one massive American star, someone who is known globally, plus one Brit and at least one authoritative male. “Katy was thrilled, especially by the package which is said to be a $340,000-a-show deal.” The 50-yearold music mogul was said to have been considering a number of big-name American stars before deciding on Katy after seeing how well she coped judging UK hopefuls in Dublin, Ireland. The source added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Jennifer Lopez was a serious consideration as was her husband Marc Anthony. Mariah Carey’s other half, Nick Cannon, is also in the frame. But Katy really came on Simon’s radar after the Dublin auditions. She absolutely nailed it. She was a natural.”Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger is also believed to be in the frame for a role on US ‘X Factor’ after impressing with her stint as a guest judge on the UK programme, while the show’s current host Dermot O’Leary is tipped to also take on presenting duties when then new series launches.

Richie’s life turned around by Madden

Douglas vows to ‘beat’ cancer T

he ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ actor - who has two children Dylan, 10, and seven-year-old Carys with wife Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as 31-year-old Cameron with former spouse Diandra - was diagnosed with a tumour in his throat last month and is now set to undergo eight weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the hope of ridding his body of the disease but remains positive about his prognosis. The 65-year-old star told People magazine: “I’ll beat this.” While doctors expect the Oscar-winning actor to make a full recovery, medical experts have warned he may never act again, as the aggressive combination of radiation and chemotherapy could result in him losing his voice. Dr Lawrence Tena, a physician in the department of radiation and oncology at the Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City, recently explained: “When a patient is getting radiation and chemotherapy combined, they typically have an advanced stage of cancer. Sixty to 70 percent of patients, even with advanced cancers, survive.” However if the procedures fail to work, Michael will have to undergo a full or partial laryngectomy, which could leave him with a changed voice, or even no voice at all.


he reformed party girl - who has children Harlow, two, and Sparrow, 11 months, with the Good Charlotte rocker - has delighted her father Lionel Richie with the way she has got herself back on the right path. Lionel said: “I think Joel had a lot to do with it, Joel’s an anchoring soul for Nicole. He came in the door once and said, ‘Mr. Richie, I just want to let you know I’ve got control of this.’ I was like, ‘No you don’t! Are you kidding me?’ “But I think that was the start: she found somebody that would challenge her stuff. They are a great team and I love him very much.” The legendary soul singer - who formally adopted Nicole when she was nine - admitted seeing his daughter go off the rails as her drinking and drug taking spiralled out of control was a “brutal” experience. He added to Closer magazine: “It was brutal. You’re a parent so you’d like to just take them and put them in a basket and say: ‘I’ll protect you.’ But when they’re over 18 they get to walk out and you can’t keep them in a bubble. You have to sit and kind of watch it, because there’s nothing you can do.” However, the ‘Hello’ hitmaker is thrilled with how well the designer has taken to motherhood. He said: “Nicole turned into a mom! She’s done a great job, I’m really proud of her. She grabbed the bull by the horns and turned it around.” —Bang Showbiz


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Levi’s tosses some Curves at women’s denim market ould it be shape, not size nor style, that really counts in flattering jeans?That’s what Levi’s now says. The brand that first brought denim jeans to consumers nearly 130 years ago says the longtime emphasis on waist-size and silhouette , boot-cut versus skinnyleg, for example , hasn’t really given women what they’re looking for: jeans that complement their body type. A new line, called Levi’s Curve ID, will, pledges company president Robert Hanson. “One of the most frustrating things for women is that they are not finding the right jeans for their body,” he says,


putting jeans in the same shape-sensitive category as bras and swimsuits. To make his point, Hanson and senior vice president of women’s design, You Nguyen, met last week at the Levi’s Manhattan office with three models, all fit, trim and a Levi’s size 27 waist. Not much else about their figures were similar, though. One woman had a very narrow bottom with only a small difference in width. She typically struggles with pants that, if they fit her in the hips and thigh, are tight around her waist. Another woman had a more proportional shape, but jeans that fit her in the

waist weren’t flattering to her hips and thighs. The third had the problem of pants that fit her wider hips and thighs gap at the back of the waistband. The models were like so many of the 60,000 women around the world that participated in Levi’s-sponsored body scans, Hanson says. The dilemma almost always came down to the differential between the waist (which should be measured at the natural waist, the point at which the torso bends), the hips at the spot that is exactly four inches below the waist, and the seat, which is eight inches below that.

Wearing their new Curve ID jeans, the models showed off jeans that hugged but didn’t pull nor hang. The rise was different on each pair and so was the placement of the back pocket. One had a thicker waistband, while the contrast stitching stretched down farther on the leg for another. “These are completely different patterns,” says Nguyen. Still, these women all had enviable shapes , they are models, after all. Wouldn’t anything look good on them? So, they switched them. The narrowest woman, who wore the Slight Curve so well, now had on jeans that

were way too high waisted, and the proportional Demi Curve model couldn’t button the Bold Curve jeans that had fit the more hourglass-shaped woman. And the Bold model was back to her gaping waistband. That’s where the connection between fashion and self-esteem goes awry, Nguyen says. To look good in your clothes, you have to feel good in them, and to feel good in them, they need to fit, he says. The three styles of Curve won’t work for every woman, at least not yet, Hanson allows. There’s a fourth body

type the brand is still working on and hopes to launch by the end of the year. The size range is 22-34, but there are 45 distinct choices , adjusting for curves, leg style and fabric , for each of those waist measurements. This is a program just for women, one spawned by countless conversations with female customers. “This is particularly a women’s issue because of the diversity in body type,” Hanson says. “Men tend to wear jeans that are a little less shape-enhancing, and most men don’t want to have a discussion with you about shape and they really don’t care.”— AP

Celebrate the festivities of Eid with Centrepoint Exciting new collections now available in store this festive season entrepoint the popular shopping destination in Kuwait would like to greet all its patrons on the festive occasion of Eid Al Fitr. An exciting new collection is now available in stores for you to check out and promises to completely bowl you over with a wide variety of styles to choose from. Splash; the high-street fashion brand at Centrepoint is all set to woo its customers with an exclusive sequined & crystal-embellished collection; keeping in mind that one would like to add a touch of “bling” to their wardrobe staples. The compilation of 15 different styles will be available under one of the most popular brands “MS” in the Splash bouquet. Available in a variety of bold colors like golden, silver, hot pink, purple and black the collection also features crystal-embellished T-shirts with quirky designs. These embellished pieces will be up for grabs; so make a dash to your nearest store and enjoy the fun and festivities of this wonderful season . At “Juniors”, your little ones can too sparkle and shine with the new Eid collection at Centrepoint. An entirely new range of shimmering festive wear that adds a touch of opulence is surely set to mesmerize your senses. From petite occasion wear to smart casuals, the entire range showcases an endless variety of the latest offering for your little ones. In sync with the cheerful mood of the festival, the range highlights a vibrant color palette of cherry red, baby pink, sunflower yellow, sea blue, jet black to mention a few.


Bollywood actress Malaika Arora, center, poses wearing an Orra bustier along with other models at a fashion show in New Delhi, India yesterday. The bustier is crafted from over 500 carats of Belgian diamonds and is priced at a million euros, according to a company press release. —AP

Who cares about hemlines? Pants again on the radar enswear details, including blazers, vests and button-downs, have been invading women’s fashion trends for a while. Now comes the most obvious of all for fall: pants. Dresses had been dominant for several seasons, there is appeal in an effortless uniform, after all, but pants are powerful, utilitarian and versatile, and that seems to be what women are craving this style cycle. “I don’t need to tell the girls in the room how practical pants are. A great black pant goes desk to dinner, morning to evening. It’s easy and you don’t have to think about it too much,” says Simon Kneen, creative director at Banana Republic. “We see pants as the next ‘it’ item,” agrees Colin Dyne, CEO of William Rast. “The categories we’re focused on for fall and going into spring are chinos, cargos, pants that utilize silk blends and other fabrications.” And that’s what’s new about pants this go-around: Pretty much anything goes. There’s not a specific skinny silhouette that’s the must-have, nor a tailored trouser. The runways, and now the racks, have wide legs and narrow ones, high waists and low. They are all, however, relatable, not kooky con-


coctions meant only for the catwalk. “There’s a return to the idea of a flattering pant,” says Mark Holgate, Vogue’s fashion news director. “We were knee deep, no pun intended, in the world of crazy pants ... and then what happened was women wore leggings. But now the trend is coming back like the 1990s , a wonderful Helmut Lang pant that’s boyish and womanly, that could be worn with a jacket shirt, evening top, heel, flat or boot.” He also sees a nod to the ‘70s, which Holgate calls “the great years of pants.” Susan Cernek, Glamour’s senior online fashion and beauty editor, says she recently was flipping through a book of Yves Saint Laurent’s archival work and had to do a triple take at the date. “There was a 1974 runway look but it looks like so many looks from the runway this year. It was worn with a bow blouse, loose jacket and tailored trousers.” Pants create an image of strength, Cernek says, “not because they are borrowed from the boys but because you have to be committed to this look. You literally suit up from head to toe.” The top you choose, the shoes you wear and the scarf wrapped around the neck all become

more important when your outfit is built around pants, Kneen explains. It’s almost ironic, but wearing pants can be dressier than a dress. Dyne sees movement toward a more refined look, even for William Rast’s cool, casual customer. Even cargo pants are getting cleaned up, and you’ll see people wearing them with blazers out at night, he says. Gap’s new black-pant collection is a reaction to consumer demand, says Lexi Tawes, vice president of women’s merchandising. People want a pair of pants that can be worn seven days a week, and, for many women, that’s their black pants. “The challenge for us was, ‘How do you make black pants cool and sexy again?” Fit might be the key. You’d be surprised what flattering pockets and tailored waistband can do, Tawes says. At Banana Republic, the design starts in the rear, explains Kneen. “It’s what a woman looks at first in the changing room, and if that fits it means you’re fitting well around the hips.” Finding the best pants for your figure can require a little trial and error, says Glamour’s Cernek. “It’s worth the investment of time to find trousers that fit and flatter you, but you might have to

go with your game face on.” She says high heels are trousers’ favorite accessory, and that might mean buying pants longer than your gut first tells you to. “The heel line can change the entire line of the body. You should take shopping your most frequently worn pair of heels.” And, she adds, a sharp, single pleat down the leg creates a strong vertical line and elongates the silhouette. Kneen advises balancing simple, chic trousers with the other seasonal trends, including frilly feminine tops, layering and embellishment such as bows and ribbons. “The pants are the grounding,” he says. The three go-to pants in Cernek’s closet are tailored black pants, camelcolored trousers , a more work-appropriate version of khakis, and a pair of Katharine Hepburn-inspired gray flannels. “You can keep those for 10 years and be happy.” A great pair of pants don’t have an expiration date in the way that a hemline on a dress, no matter how lovely, might have because of changing tastes. “Pants are a good investment piece,” says Vogue’s Holgate. “It feels like you’re in familiar territory and that your legs are back on steady land.”— AP

Teddy bears ward off ‘evil eye’ in Albania A

weather-beaten teddy bear hangs from the front of Izet Sina’s home. But this tattered old toy is no abandoned play thing. It is designed to protect the family from misfortune and ward off the “evil eye”. The 51-year old farmer believes all the woes that have befallen him-his wife’s death, property disputes, and the flooding of his land by torrential rainswere caused by the ill will of his relatives and neighbors. In his search for good luck, Sina, like thousands of his compatriots, has turned back to the superstitious traditions that largely disappeared under communism, but which have now made a come-back. “It will preserve my house from “Syri i keq” (the evil eye) and chase away any evil which will not dare now to touch my family,” he says of the teddy bear. Sina, who lives in Kuc, a tiny village some 30 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana, strongly believes in the power of the soft toy. He says misfortune came his way after his relatives and neighbours effectively cursed him out of envy for

the house he built. Now the father of seven believes the teddy bear will protect both the house and the family from any new catastrophe. In the 20 years since the fall of communism, superstitious practices have thrived in Albania. Besides new fads such as the stuffed toys, traditional amulets have also reappeared: horseshoes, red flags, garlic are often seen on homes and even luxury apartments in Tirana’s posh neighbourhoods. The Balkan country’s brutal communist dictatorship which ruled for nearly half a century from 1945 to 1992 tried to stamp out all such traditions as well as religion itself. Late communist leader Enver Hoxha, who kept the Albanians in isolation for decades, even boasted of making Albania the first atheist country in the world. After the regime crumbled in the 1990s Albanians began to embrace the superstitious traditions of their ancestors. “Ram horns, garlic, red flags, all are equally highly respected by the Albanians as a means of protecting oneself from the evil eye,” explained

anthropologist Aferdita Onuzi.She describes her compatriots as essentially “divided between religion and superstition, belief and agnosticism”. According to sociologist Zydi Dervishi this passion for the supernatural is partly caused by the feelings of insecurity and fragility in Albania which has faced considerable challenges in the past two decades. “The fear of the unknown, this powerless feeling in the face of almost omnipresent corruption and the absence of laws, incite a lot of people to take a refuge in superstition,” he says. And when this does not work, there is always magic. In her modest home hidden at the far end of a shabby street on the outskirts of Tirana, Mereme Coba, 40, sees dozens of unfortunates each day. She is a “Njeri i Mire” or good woman, a term used to describe those thought to be in direct contact with God. Many Albanians believe that the “nusks” or charms they prepare can cure diseases and chase misfortune away. On a normal weekday about a dozen

people patiently wait in blistering heat for their turn. Most are women with children, but there is also one young man. Many seem confused, looking for a cure for problems ranging from unemployment and family dramas to ill health. “My girl is five years old, she cannot walk,” Leta, a thirty something mother said with tears in her eyes. She has seen several regular doctors but has lost confidence in their abilities and has turned to magic as a last resort, she told AFP. “In order to protect oneself, the children, the pregnant women, the travelers... and the men of state must prepare three coffee beans, a head of a dried or salted snake,” Coba prescribes in a highpitched voice. The required objects must then either be left in their home or carried with them wherever they go, she insists. In addition to the advice, Coba draws several unrecognisable characters and hands over a folded paper, again to ward off the evil eye. She tells AFP she only accepts money if people want to pay her. She was sent by God to help the people, she says. — AFP

To compliment the festive season, one should look out for the new must-have collections of gorgeous colors from NYX cosmetics available at Lifestyle in Centrepoint. Available are three gorgeous Look kits which come with 9 eyeshadows, 2 lip colors, applications, mirror and instructions to go about using the product. It’s surely guaranteed to give you that perfect look this season! So also, kits for your eyes and lips are available in store. Completely new to Lifestyle, the NYX Nail polish collection in 43 delicious shades comes in almost every imaginable color. Formulated for long lasting wear with no lumps or lines; the expert applicator brush picks up the right amount of liquid and smoothly applies polish. The formula is super quick dry. In line with your wardrobe, Shoe Mart has introduced a unique collection this season. The collection comes with great shoes coupled with matching clutches and accessories. Stilettos and sandals enclosed in elegant red and pretty pink with statement brooches and stones to leopard print peep toes rings out style and sensuality for this festive season. The accessories collection expresses an essence of Greek Goddess. The collection of metallic gold and silver plated necklaces designed with leaf like designs and shiny chains will make a statement. Paired with eye catching nature enthused earrings for your daily dose of glamour. So ride on to any Centrepoint Stores and adorn yourself for Eid.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Children dressed as Hindu God Krishna look on during festivities to mark Janmashtami at a school in Mumbai, India yesterday. Janmashtami is the festival that marks the birth of Krishna. —AP

Lambert tops CMA Awards with 9 nominations M

iranda Lambert made history yesterday morning when she was nominated for nine CMA Awards, the most for a female country music artist. She’ll be celebrating with close friends Lady Antebellum and fiance Blake Shelton. Lady A earned the second most nominations with five and Shelton was next with four, tied with Zac Brown Band. L ambert and Dierks Bentley announced nominations in five categories yesterday morning on “Good

Morning America.” The first seven categories were announced Tuesday in Nashville. L ambert, L ady A, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban were nominated for entertainer of the year, the Country Music Association’s top award. Lambert, whose last album “Revolution” was widely hailed by her peers and critics, fell just short of Alan Jackson’s overall record of 10 nominations, set in 2002. Merle Haggard is the only oth-

album. Along with the entertainer nod, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott received nominations for vocal group of the year, for album of the year, single of the year and music video of the year. Zac Brown Band also is up for vocal group of the year, new artist of the year and musical event for “Can’t You See” featuring Kid Rock. The Atlanta six-piece is the first act to be nominated for both entertainer and new artist in the same

er artist to receive nine or more nominations. The fiery Texan also earned nominations for female vocalist of the year, album of the year, single of the year for both “White Liar” and “The House That Built Me,” song of the year for “White Liar,” musical event for “Bad Angel” with Bentley and Jamey Johnson, and video of the year for both “White Liar” and “House.” Lady A continued to ride the success of “Need You Now,” the year’s top-selling country

year since Ricky Skaggs in 1982. Shelton, who proposed to Lambert earlier this year, is up for male vocalist of the year, and his collaboration with Trace Adkins on “Hillbilly Bone” earned him nominations for single, music event and video of the year. That means Adkins also has three nominations. Paisley moved into No. 3 on the CMA’s list of career nominations with three nods, including music video of the year and male vocalist, which

he’s won three consecutive times. Paisley has been nominated every year since 2000 and has 52 career nods. Only George Strait (81, including two this year) and Alan Jackson (79) have more. Bentley also has three nominations with nods for male vocalist of the year, album of the year for “Up On The Ridge” and the “Bad Angel” collaboration. The CMA Awards show will be aired live on ABC on Nov. 10 in Nashville. —AP

Japanese-Argentine couple take world tango dance crown


n Argentine-Japanese couple Tuesday beat 400 dancing pairs to take top prize in the Mundial de Tango world competition held this year in Buenos Aires’ Luna Park amusement center. “I can’t think straight, only feel, feel and feel this emotion,” a sobbing, nearly speechless Tokyo-born Chizuko Kuwamoto said after winning the competition. She and her partner Diego Ortega live in the Japanese capital, where they competed in last year’s Mundial de Tango but lost. This year, they decided to represent his home town of Colon in the contest. The couple this time

beat their Japanese rivals Kyoko and Hiroshi Yamao, title holders since 2009. In the closing ceremony of the eighth tango dance-off, thousands of people watched all the dancers participate in a final spectacle, hosted by Panamanian singer-composer and sometime actor Ruben Blades. “Salsa (music) and the tango both spin an urban tale of music that transcends borders and nationalities,” Blades told the crowd. Twenty-two couples reached the finals, including three from Japan, five from Colombia and one each from South Korea, Chile and Venezuela. —AFP

In this June 9, 2010 file photo, country singer Miranda Lambert attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards, in Nashville, Tenn. —AP

‘Glee,’ American Express team up for social action


Cristian Lopez, left, and Naoko Tsutsumizaki, from Japan, celebrate after finishing in third place at the end of the finals of the 2010 Tango World Championship Salon category in Buenos Aires, Argentina Monday . —AP

9/11 musical film to open in New York “C

lear Blue Tuesday,” a musical film about love and overcoming tragedy in New York City after attacks of September 11, 2001, opens this weekend, its producers said Tuesday. Dubbed an “indie (independent) rock musical drama,” the movie follows the lives of 11 New Yorkers over seven Tuesdays in the following seven years after the World Trade Center was destroyed, killing nearly 3,000 people. In

the musical drama, the eleven protagonists “are transformed by love, desire, art, ambition, fury, grief, faith, fear, hope and, ultimately, connection with each other,” said a joint statement by the producers, who included director Elizabeth Lucas. The film, which opens eight days before the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, is “about the persistence of love and the resilient heart of a city in the face of catastrophe,” they said. —AFP

it television show “Glee” and credit card company American Express have joined forces on a new social action campaign to inspire viewers to make a differ ence in their communities. The call to charitable action-a partnership between US TV network Fox, which airs “Glee,” and American Express’s philanthropic division, Members Only-kicks off yesterday on the Web and TV with video vignettes written, directed and produced by the creative team behind the show and starring its actors, in character. Four videos will air on Fox at night. Tomorrow a 60-second black-and-white vignette starring Emmy winner Jane Lynch as her cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester will debut in movie theaters across the country. “Some people want to do good, some people don’t. Which one are you?” the campaign asks fans and urges them to go and find out how to volunteer, vote, donate and affect change. Once online, the journey gets more interactive with a quiz and Facebook and Twitter updates from the “Glee” characters among other things. There is also a sweepstakes where 10 winners will get to fly to Los Angeles and engage in actual volunteer work with members of the “Glee” cast, who include Lynch, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Chris Colfer. The show follows members of a high school glee club as they deal with the everyday trials of being typical US teens and, of course, compete with other singing groups. It has become a hit with audiences and critics in only one year on TV. Fox Broadcasting executive vice president of sales Jean Rossi said that at it’s core, ‘Glee’ is an inspirational program that “reflects the authenticity of individuals taking small steps to take charge of their lives.” Marie Devlin, a senior vice president in advertising at American Express added, “‘Glee’ is such an incredibly popular show and it’s values of giving back and doing good align with our cardmembers.” The second season of ‘Glee’ debuts on September 21. This past Sunday night at the Emmy Awards telecast, Lynch won a best supporting actress Emmy for her work on “Glee.” Series creator Ryan Murphy took home best comedy direction. —Reuters

Sadichha Shrestha, 19, smiles after being crowned Miss Nepal in Kathmandu yesterday. The new Miss Nepal Sadichha will represent her country in the Miss World 2010 pageant. — AP


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Indonesian women buy traditional cookies and snacks in preparation for Eid Al-Fitr, at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. Shopping malls and markets in the capital are packed as Indonesians begin to shop in preparation for Eid Al-Fitr, a celebration that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. —AP

Walking in a cloud at Venice architecture show f you thought that the world’s biggest architecture show would be about buildings, this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale has a few surprises in store. Highlights include a steel ramp sneaking into a cloud, a pitch-black room where water falls from a swirling hose and a tower of metal cages from which one can jump into the void- setting the tone for a show that, in a break with the past, this time focuses on people and space. Set in the 16th century rope-making


factory of the Venice navy, the Biennale mixes design with art installation and has pavilions from 53 countries, plus around 50 works from some of the world’s top names in the business. This edition is directed for the first time by a woman, Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima. The winner of this year’s prestigious Pritzker Prize, Sejima and her Sanaa studio are best known for designing the New Museum in New York and the undulating Rolex Learning Center of Lausanne.

The initial reaction by critics to her Biennale has been generally positive, with many praising the show as entertaining and atmospheric and welcoming the break with previous text-heavy, worthy exhibitions. One of the most popular works is “Cloudscapes”, by Japanese architect Tetsuo Kondo and engineers Transsolar, where visitors climb through layers of vapour on a 70-metre long ramp, and feel changes in temperature and humidity as they go. “This is a place to experience a real cloud from below, with-

in and above,” say the authors. Denmark’s Olafur Eliasson has streams of water cascading in a dark room to be captured by strobe lights, Chile’s Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa have dug a shelter in a huge rock, while the Polish pavilion hosts a tower of metal cages from where people can leap, landing on a foam mattress. Another installation that has generated a lot of buzz is a structure of barely visible thread-like wires by Junya Ishigami, who won the Biennale’s Golden Lion award for best

project. Unfortunately, it has already collapsed twice-once after a cat started having fun with it-and some visitors complained that they found a message saying “Sorry, It’s broken.” Those wanting more concrete examples of how futuristic design and architecture can make the world a better place should look at the “Seaswarm” technology that inventors say could clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in less than a month.

Illegal aliens are heroes in Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ knife-wielding illegal immigrant from Mexico turns into an unlikely hero in “Machete,” a provocative action film mixing blood, humor and immigration issues. The unusual film is the latest offering from director Robert Rodriguez-of “El Mariachi” fame-and opened in Europe yesterday and to open in the United States yesterday A hitman with a gift for slashing his enemies every which way, Danny Trejo as Machete takes on corrupt officials on both sides of the border, sharing top billing for the first time along with Robert de Niro, Steven Segal, Don Johnson and Lindsay Lohan. The starstudded cast turns the daily troubles of the dangerous US-Mexico border into a satire about drug traffickers, sadistic border guards and politicians on the take. “Recently, immigration has really become a huge issue here in America, and so I wanted to make something that really looked into the corruption that exists in the system beyond what you see on the news,” Rodriguez, 42, told reporters in Beverly Hills. “People always want to debate immigration but they never want to talk about the corruption that exists between the US and Mexico governments when dealing with the issue,” the Texan said. “That’s why filmmakers create these kinds of super-heroes, like Rambo or even Machete... to solve the problems that just can’t be solved in reality,” added the director of the award-winning “El Mariachi” (1992). Shot in English, Rodriguez’s film casts Trejo, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez as Latin American heroes, even though some of them can barely speak Spanish. “That’s part of today’s reality in United States. We’re all from this country,” said “Avatar” star Michelle Rodriguez, a 32-year-old Texan with roots in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The action-packed film bears all of Robert Rodriguez’s directing trademarks, including gory, blood-soaked fights, sarcastic dialogues and high-speed car chases reminiscent of 1970s Hollywood movies. Any reflection on actual sociological or political realities on either side of the border clearly takes on an exaggerated tint in Rodriguez’s purely entertaining movie. “The timing for a hero like Machete is perfect, and how the immigration issue that currently plagues our society is the perfect issue to tackle in a gritty film like this,” Rodriguez said. The idea for “Machete” came from a mock trailer included in “Grindhouse” (2007), which Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino co-produced and co-directed. That movie was a double feature film-”Planet Terror” by Rodriguez, and Tarantino’s “Death Proof”-derived from the popular B-theater matinees held across the United States in the 1970s The two Grindhouse films were seen separately by foreign audiences. “Robert has been training me for this movie since we did Desperado (in 1995). He’s been telling me about the character of Machete since way back then, and everything we’ve done together has been leading up to this movie,” the tough-looking, tattooed Trejo, 66, told reporters. Accustomed to his supporting roles in movies, Trejo said he found it difficult at first to adapt to the grueling work and responsibility of a lead actor, but later discovered it had its compensations. “It was tough, but now being the lead meant that I got to kiss Jessica Alba and a lot of other ladies so that was fine with me.” On the controversy Machete could unleash, especially among more conservative viewers, Trejo said: “People are going to be offended equally and be happy equally.” Rodriguez was equally circumspect. “If anything the film is out of step with usual Hollywood fare where Hispanics are constantly portrayed as villains. But even then, I made this in a way that includes all audiences. “I didn’t design this to turn off audience segments. The movie is extremely fun and for everyone.”—AFP

Developed by M.I.T’s Senseable City Lab, the Seaswarm is a fleet of small robots fitted with a conveyor belt made of a thin “nanowire mesh” that soaks up oil. The special fabric can absorb up to 20 times its own weight in oil while repelling water and the robots have sensors to detect the presence of pollutants. Once absorbed by the conveyor belt, the oil can be removed and the fabric re-used, making it more efficient and less expensive than current skimming methods, its creators say. The Architecture Biennale runs

Venice show reveals Kubrick, photographer


filmmaker S t a n l e y Ku b r i c k c u t his teeth as a photographer, hired by Look magazine when he was 17, and his keen eye is evident in images shown for the first time at an exhibition in Venice. R ainer Crone, a professor of ar t histor y, spent 10 years poring over some 14,000 negatives t h a t t h e d i re c t o r o f “A Clockwork Orange” snapped for the iconic picture magazine that stopped publishing in 1971. Kubrick’s father, himself a photography buff, gave his son his first camera when he was 13 and already hooked on movies. The boy took to the new hobby with a passion, developing his photos with a friend in the family darkro o m . S i n c e h i s h i g h school results were not good enough for him to go t o u n i v e r s i t y, h e b e g a n working for Look, dividing his time between going to the movies and honing his skills as a photographer. C ro n e obtained Kubrick’s per mission to use the photographs in a book and an exhibition in 1998, but said the director, then 70 and in his last year of life, had no negatives from his 1945-50 stint at Look and did not know where they were. “In the end he said, ‘I wish you g o o d l u c k ’ , ” C ro n e t o l d AFP. The researcher finally tracked down the negatives at the US Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York. “They were in the original bags of L ook magazine, dusty and every-


In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, Danny Trejo stars as a legendary exFederale in a scene from, “Machete.” —AP

‘Gone With the Wind’ fans give gowns another day ans of “Gone with the Wind” obviously do give a damn about Scarlett O’Hara’s extravagant dresses with a museum appeal for funds to restore gowns from the 1939 movie meeting its target in three weeks. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which acquires and preserves cultural materials, launched a public appeal earlier this month to raise $30,000 to restore five dresses worn by Vivien Leigh in the Oscar-winning film. The costumes, from the collection of filmmaker David O. Selznick who produced “Gone With The Wind” as well as “A Star Is Born” and “Rebecca,” were described as being in a fragile condition and in bad need of restoration. The museum said more than 600 people from 44 US states and 13 countries contributed to the appeal.


“These generous donations confirm that the film’s legions of fans do, in fact, care,” Steve Wilson, film curator at the Ransom Center, said in a statement. He said the donations will allow the Ransom Center to restore the dresses and purchase protective housing and custom-fitted mannequins to allow for them to be exhibited according to conservation best practices and standards. The Ransom Center wants to display the costumes in 2014 as part of an exhibition to celebrate the 75th anniversary of “Gone With The Wind” and also to be able to loan the dresses to other museums around the world. Jill Morena, the museum’s collection assistant for costumes, said the Selznick collection came to the center in the 1980s and the gowns had been kept in humidity and temperature controlled conditions in

acid-free tissue paper in archival boxes but damage was inevitable. “Most costumes are not constructed to last beyond the production of the film nor are they finished in the same way as a ready-to-wear garment,” said Morena. “We’ve taken steps to prevent further damage, but we want to be able to safely display and share the dresses.” The dresses at the R ansom Center include a burgundy ball gown that S c a r l e t t w o r e t o A s h l e y W i l ke s ’ b i r t h d a y p a r t y, t h e w e d d i n g d re s s when she married Charles Hamilton, a blue velvet peignoir and a green velvet dressing gown. The collection also includes the green velvet dress that a struggling Scarlett O’Hara made from some curtains before she went to ask Rhett Butler for financial assistance.—Reuters

thing,” Crone said. He selected around 150 to print for the first time to give the public a glimpse at this other side of the director. The resulting s h o w, “Stanley Ku b r i c k , P h o t o g r a p h e r 1945-1950,” runs until November 14 at Venice’s Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti. The shots show a precocious talent for capturing the essence of daily life in post-war America, from the doomed career of a long-legged starlet named Betsy von Fuerstemberg to the hardships of circus performers, crystallised in a photo of a ringmaster with anxiety etched on his face. “These photos give a vital image of what American culture must have been like when it started differentiating itself from the European culture which was dominant at the time,” Crone said. The curator believes Kubrick “invented a completely new concept of photography... telling stories by still photographynarratives.” “My thesis is that these photos are basically storyboards. He was thinking of films.” Especially moving is a 1947 photo essay showing a day in the life of Mickey the shoeshine boy, aged about 12. Another photo essay titled “Prizefighter” does the same for the boxer Walter Cartier and was the starting point for Kubrick’s first movie, the documentary short film “Day of the Fight” (1951). The show began in Milan and will travel from Venice to New York, Lugano, Switzerland, and Lisbon.—AFP

Venice film festival focuses on

film innovation


n film, recession may be the mother of innovation. The Venice Film Festival opened yesterday with its share of bigscreen bound blockbuster potential, from Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” to Sofia Coppola’s highly anticipated “Somewhere” and Ben Affleck’s sophomore directorial effort, “The Town.” But director Marco Mueller says that the economic downturn has forced even big name directors to come up with cheaper means of production, giving rise to innovation and an “in-between” budget category , bridging low-budget under a million dollars and mid-range of around $7.5 million to $9 million. “In between there was very little. And now several people rush to occupy that special space,” Mueller told The Associated Press in an interview. “Because it’s also the space where with some local, regional subsidy, some private money, and maybe with a few distributors interested in the project you can get your film off the ground.” Oscar-winning Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, limited after last year’s big-budget bonanza “Baaria,” turned to documentary making this year with a portrait of Italian cinematographer Goffredo Lombardo still in progress, to be shown out of competition. Vincent Gallo will be at the Lido both as an actor, playing a terror suspect plotting his escape in Jerzy Skolimowski’s “Essential Killing,” and as the director of two films. “Both films are entirely self-

Jury President Quentin Tarantino, left, speaks with fellow Jury member and director Gabriele Salvatores during the jury photo call at the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy yesterday. —AP produced. He started with a short film, then he actually realized that using the same mode of production he could dare to look forward to a feature,” Mueller said. The result is “Promises Written in the Water,” which will compete for the Golden

Lion. The film tells a romantic story about a man , a professional assassin , and a woman confronting terminal illness. It was shot without preparation or a traditional script. And US director Monte

Hellman, whose influence has been greater than his popular acclaim, will be showing his movie “Road to Nowhere” in competition. The film is described as a romantic thriller about a filmmaker who becomes involved in a criminal conspiracy. “Monte made the film he has wanted to make for several years on a shoestring budget with an incredible cast using quite a few important names and all of a sudden we have a film with special effects. Without being a travelogue it does move to a number of countries and it cost less than $2 million,” Mueller said. Second only to Cannes in terms of prestige, Venice has suffered since the economic downturn of 2008, with many Hollywood producers preferring the cheaper option of taking their movies to the Toronto Film Festival, which overlaps with Venice. However, Mueller has continued to insist that his festival will accept primarily world premieres , 79 are showing at this year’s festival , and believes that events are moving back in Venice’s favor. “A lot of people now are counting on a two-step operation where the visibility, the credibility of the film is built in Venice, Venice reveals the immediate aesthetical qualities of the film, or everything that makes this film very exciting. And Toronto reveals the market value of the film.” The Venice festival opens with an unprecedented triple-header: Golden Lion-winner Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” and Hong Kong director Andrew Lau’s

Bollywood to make film on life of Jesus I

t’s a subject that has attracted directors from Cecil B. Demille to Martin Scorsese and Mel Gibson. Now Bollywood is getting in on the act with a film about the life of Jesus Christ. Shooting for the as-yet untitled biopic-claimed by studio Aditya Productions as a first for the Indian film industry-is expected to start soon, with versions planned in four Indian languages. Pawan Kalyan has been lined up to play the lead role in the Telugu and Malayalam language versions, with an announcement expected soon on the stars of the English and Hindi adaptations. The film, which reportedly has a 30-million-dollar budget, is to be directed by the veteran south India film-maker Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and produced by Konda Krishnam

Indian actor Pawan Kalyan, also known as Konidela Kalyan Babu, speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Indian filmmakers say they are in the Holy Land to shoot the first Bollywood movie on the early life of Jesus. —AP

Raju, who has a number of Telugu blockbusters. Indian media said yesterday that the film would be shot in India and Israel and focus on the childhood of Jesus. It will include several songs. Rao told a news conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday that he hoped the film would spread “the message of love and peace” around the world, “wherever there is a conflict, wherever there is a war”, according to reports. Kalyan said the film would find a receptive audience in Hindu-majority India, where about 2.3 percent or 24 million of the country is Christian. “In India there’s a great tolerance towards other religions,” he told reporters. Previous films on the life of Jesus have attracted controversy. —AFP

“The Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen,” starring Donnie Yen, followed by a special midnight screening of Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete.” “I can predict that at midnight the atmosphere will still be the atmosphere of a rock concert or a football match,” Mueller said. Festivities get under way Tuesday evening with a tribute to one of Italy’s most famous cine-

matic and theatrical actors, Vittorio Gassman, with a free, open-air screening of the 1974 classic “Scent of a Woman” in a Venetian square attended by the Gassman family. In addition, the Italian edition of Vanity Fair is hosting a party in a palace on the Grand Canal for Quentin Tarantino, who heads the jury that will select the winner of the prestigious Golden Lion on Sept. 11. And the industry publica-

tion Variety is holding a big party where it presented producer Aurelio De Laurentiis with an award. “America considers the movie business the first business of the country, how to export their taste everywhere,” De Laurentiis said as he accepted the honor. “I’m sad (that) in Italy we have a lot of things but we never use movies to bring outside of our territory our values.” —AP

The Jury of the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival pose for photographers in Venice, Italy yesterday. Jury members from left are, director Luca Guadagnino, director Arnaud Desplechin, film composer Danny Elfman, director Guillermo Arriaga, actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Jury President Quentin Tarantino, and director Gabriele Salvatores. —AP

Bollywood raises awareness on ‘honor killings’ in new film B

ollywood is looking to raise awareness about so-called “honor killings”, as the Indian government comes under pressure from its own judiciary and human rights groups to tackle the problem. “Aakrosh” (Anger), star ring Ajay Devgn and Bipasha Basu, is being billed as the first Hindi-language film to address the issue, which the administration in New Delhi has described as “a national shame”. The United Nations has said there are about 5,000 “honor killings” around the world each year. One recent report said some 1,000 women a year are victims in India, mostly in northern states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Deaths often involve young people who have married outside their caste, village or religion or have broken strict conventions on kinship in rural areas. The killings are carried out by relatives to protect the family’s reputation and pride. “Aakrosh”, a thriller due out on October 1, is directed by the filmmaker Priyadarshan, who was behind the family drama “Bumm Bumm Bole”

inspired by the Oscar-nominated 1997 Iranian film “Bacheha-Ye Aseman” (Children Of Heaven). “Films can’t change society. But they can be used as a tool to bring about an awakening,” Priyadarshan was quoted as saying by the Bombay Times on Tuesday. News of “honor killings” appears regularly in the Indian media. In July, Indian police arrested five members of the same family in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly murdering a 20-year-old woman after she secretly married her lower-caste boyfriend. A month earlier, the Supreme Court ordered the government and several states to outline what steps they have taken to prevent “honor killings” af ter a spate of murders, including that of a pregnant journalist on a national daily. Global rights monitor Human Rights Watch has urged the government to crack down on powerful village councilsor “khap panchayats”-that order killings, and the local politicians and police who often turn a blind eye. “Officials who fail to condemn village council edicts that

end in murder are effectively endorsing murder,” HRW’s South Asia director, Meenakshi Ganguly, said last month. “Politicians and police need to send these councils a strong message to stop issuing edicts on marriages... Murder is murder and customary sentiment should not prevail over basic rights and the laws of the land.” Calls for laws to be tightened have sparked opposition, with some political groups and “khap panchayats”, which deny sanctioning killings, fearing a threat to traditional values and their way of life. Researchers say the phenomenon in Hindu-majority India shows that “honor killings” are not only a problem in Muslim countries. “We are talking about a deeply conservative, patriarchal society where the idea of brotherhood is strong,” Sherry Sabharwal, a Haryana University sociology professor, told AFP last year. “In Islamic countries, religion is used to justify the murders while in India it is tradition and caste.” The film is the latest Bollywood production to tackle contemporary issues. —AFP

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